Author

Aaron Sanderford

Aaron Sanderford

Political reporter Aaron Sanderford has tackled various news roles in his 20-plus year career. He has reported on politics, crime, courts, government and business for the Omaha World-Herald and Lincoln Journal-Star. He also spent several years as an assignment editor and worked two stints as an editorial writer. From 2005 to 2007, he served as communications director for then-Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman. Aaron most recently was the lead investigative reporter for KMTV 3 in Omaha, focusing on holding public officials accountable. His work has received awards from the Associated Press, Great Plains Journalism and more.

State investigating what could be Nebraska’s largest bank fraud

By: and - December 2, 2022

LINCOLN — State and local officials are investigating what might be Nebraska’s largest case of bank fraud related to loans obtained by a recently deceased Lincoln developer. Claims by banks and other lenders against the estate of Aaron Marshbanks already total more than $30 million and may eclipse $50 million by the time all of […]

Pride flags and ‘safe space’ stickers: signal of student safety or political speech?

By: - December 2, 2022

OMAHA — Some local parents and students consider a pride flag or “safe space” stickers displayed in a handful of Omaha suburban high school classrooms as inappropriately political. But these symbols aren’t political to local LGBTQ students. To them, these handheld flags, stickers and supportive posters help them feel accepted and safe. That is why […]

Floor of the Nebraska Legislature

Record number of women in the Nebraska Legislature and in other states

By: and - December 2, 2022

LINCOLN — Nebraska voters in November elected a record number of women to the Legislature, sending new faces to join the 14 women already serving and setting a new high of 18.  Women in 2023 will hold more than a third of Nebraska’s 49 seats for the first time — at 37% — with nine […]

Fischer’s year-round 15%-plus ethanol bill has oil backing

By: - November 30, 2022

LINCOLN — The U.S. Senate, with volatile gasoline prices top of mind, is inching toward a bipartisan solution to a years-long push for year-round sales of ethanol blends of 15% or more.  Bills to codify the change have shared support from agricultural organizations and biofuels boosters, including the congressional delegations from ag states like Nebraska, […]

State hopes UNL study will help explain wild turkey population decline

By: - November 29, 2022

OMAHA — Hunters and conservationists hope a new study of Nebraska’s declining number of wild turkeys will help determine how to help the roaming gobblers rebound. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is funding the study with $1.8 million in fees from gun, ammo and hunting permit sales, said Luke Meduna, who heads the agency’s […]

Nebraska test scores show sizable hurdle of pandemic learning loss

By: - November 23, 2022

LINCOLN — The academic hole facing Nebraska’s students, teachers, parents and policymakers became clearer Wednesday with the release of state K-12 test scores from 2021-22. Student proficiency scores in math and language arts were mixed, amid a national dip in student performance on tests taken during the coronavirus pandemic. Last year, proficiency scores in math […]

Lincoln Mayor Gaylor Baird announces she will run for re-election

By: - November 21, 2022

LINCOLN — Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird announced her re-election bid Monday by embracing her record, including the city’s responses to COVID-19 that she knows her opponents will criticize. Nebraska’s highest-profile Democrat said in an interview that she is proud of how Lincoln and Lancaster County kept mortality rates among the lowest in Nebraska and […]

Provisional ballots boost Nebraska Dems’ margins in urban races

By: - November 18, 2022

OMAHA — In the end, voters in Nebraska’s most populous counties helped Democratic state senators hold onto the ability to filibuster legislation they oppose.  On Friday, the election commissioners in Douglas and Lancaster Counties finished the counts of provisional ballots from the Omaha and Lincoln areas that needed to be verified. As a result: The […]

In Nebraska’s Sea of Red, few felt splash from ‘Republican wave’

By: - November 15, 2022

OMAHA — Nebraska Republicans, like their counterparts nationally, expected a rush of Election Day enthusiasm by GOP voters to drown out their Democratic opponents. In this state, Republicans still won most of the state’s races, by dint of having a 260,000-person voter registration advantage. But they gained less ground than they anticipated from a predicted […]

Nebraska State Capitol Building

Democrats appear to have headed off GOP goal of gaining filibuster-proof majority in Unicameral

By: and - November 11, 2022

LINCOLN — It looks like Nebraska Democrats may thwart an effort by state Republicans to obtain a filibuster-proof majority in the one-house Nebraska Legislature. On Friday morning, absentee ballots submitted on Election Day were counted in Douglas County. Those new ballots moved Omaha mental health provider John Fredrickson, a Democrat, ahead of attorney Stu Dornan, […]

High School Republicans, union support helped power Bacon’s win

By: - November 10, 2022

OMAHA — Cole Lumsden had classes Wednesday at Elkhorn South High School, but that didn’t keep him from staying at U.S. Rep. Don Bacon’s Election Night party until 11:15 p.m. Tuesday. Lumsden is president of the Nebraska High School Republicans, a group of 125 students in 33 schools across the state. Bacon credits the high […]

Bacon tops Vargas, brings home 2nd District U.S. House win for fourth time

By: and - November 9, 2022

OMAHA — U.S. Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., won a fourth term in Congress Tuesday serving the Omaha area. As of early Wednesday, he led State Sen. Tony Vargas by 4 percentage points in Nebraska’s most competitive congressional district.  Bacon overcame voter anger over the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade by focusing on inflation […]