Author

Cindy Gonzalez

Cindy Gonzalez

Senior Reporter Cindy Gonzalez, an Omaha native, has more than 35 years of experience, largely at the Omaha World-Herald. Her coverage areas have included business and real estate development; regional reporting; immigration, demographics and diverse communities; and City Hall and local politics. She has won awards from organizations including Great Plains Journalism, the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing (SABEW) and the Associated Press. Cindy has been recognized by various nonprofits for community contributions and diversity efforts. She chairs the board that oversees the local university’s student newspaper.

Eviction notice and mask

Fight is still on for Nebraska’s shot at millions of dollars in federal rent and utility aid

By: and - March 24, 2022

LINCOLN — The Legislature’s push to collect at least part of $120 million in federal rental aid that Congress set aside for Nebraska — and that Gov. Pete Ricketts rejected — remains very much alive. That’s the word Thursday, a day after 26 state lawmakers passed a bill that would force the governor to apply for […]

Nebraska lawmakers hone in on who gets $1 billion in federal pandemic recovery funds

By: - March 24, 2022

LINCOLN — The Nebraska Legislature moved closer Wednesday to distributing more than $1 billion in federal pandemic recovery funds — and boosted the bounty headed to such efforts as mental health services and bonuses to attract nurses.  State lawmakers, following a daylong hearing, tweaked the Appropriations Committee’s spending proposal for the state’s allotment of federal […]

Back of legislative chambers

Nebraska lawmakers wrangle, then act on spending plans touching both rural and urban turf

By: - March 22, 2022

LINCOLN — Nebraska lawmakers on Tuesday dived into emotional debate reflecting rural vs. urban interests and, after hours-long wrangling, advanced two separate proposals that would fund projects across the state. On a 39-4 vote, the Legislature moved to a second round of discussion a plan to transfer about $513 million from the state’s “rainy day” […]

State audit reports nearly $278,000 went wrongfully to public retirees who already had died

By: - March 21, 2022

Nearly $278,000 from the Nebraska Public Employees Retirement Systems was wrongfully sent to 11 people — before authorities figured out those people were no longer alive. One woman had been dead for seven years. That’s 83 months of benefit payments worth $105,250, according to an audit released this week by the State Auditor of Public […]

Lively debate expected in the Legislature over divvying up federal recovery funds

By: - March 21, 2022

LINCOLN — An Omaha equestrian group could get a half-million dollars to help host an international horse jumping event in Omaha.  The Nebraska Crime Commission would get nearly $48 million to train that “next generation of law enforcement officers.” North and South Omaha would get at least $200 million to boost some of the most […]

Eviction notice and mask

Lawmakers continue the push to make Gov. Pete Ricketts apply for emergency rent aid for Nebraskans

By: - March 16, 2022

LINCOLN — A bill that attempts to force Gov. Pete Ricketts’ hand in applying for $120 million in emergency federal rental assistance is one step closer to being approved. The Nebraska Legislature advanced the measure to the final vote Wednesday on a voice vote. Ricketts has been adamant that the state should not apply for […]

San Francisco-based Unison chooses transforming downtown Omaha for office site

By: - March 15, 2022

A San Francisco-based company on Wednesday will open new offices overlooking Omaha’s Gene Leahy Mall — bringing a pioneering fintech product and an anticipated hundreds of jobs to a transforming downtown. Unison, which specializes in home equity agreements, has leased about half of the ninth floor in the newly renovated, 15-story Landmark Center at 13th […]

Omaha church sign about immigration sparks complaints; message is quickly changed

By: - March 14, 2022

A sign in front of a Catholic church along a busy South Omaha corridor fired up furor, hurt feelings and political emotions Monday — before church officials replaced the message with the words: “Lo Siento (Sorry).”  The apology came after an apparent flurry of complaints to the Archdiocese of Omaha, which oversees churches in the […]

From teaching and coaching Creighton Prep students to helping refugees of war-torn Ukraine

By: - March 14, 2022

After a three-year stint teaching French at Omaha’s Creighton Prep, the Rev. Damian Czerniak is tackling a new mission in his homeland of Poland: organizing support for families fleeing war in neighboring Ukraine. Czerniak, who also coached soccer and cross country while in Omaha from 2018 to 2021, recalled the day Russian missiles first struck. […]

‘Nebraska Promise’ will offer tuition-free undergraduate education to additional students

By: - March 14, 2022

Nebraskans with family incomes of $65,000 or less will be able to study tuition-free in the University of Nebraska system under an expansion of the “Nebraska Promise” program that was announced Monday. When it started in 2020, the program promised free tuition for qualifying full-time Nebraska undergraduates in families earning $60,000 or less. This year, […]

Omaha’s Mayberry: where new development clashes with neighborhood ‘oasis’

By: - March 11, 2022

OMAHA — Tucked behind two of midtown Omaha’s busiest corridors is a quirky residential pocket that’s been home to four generations of Debbie Rushlau’s family. She calls it an oasis. It’s where Rushlau and hubby Mark work on vintage cars, grow gardens and bask in the quiet of a dead-end street the city never paved […]

Lawmakers advance a bill that would force Gov. Pete Ricketts’ hand on rent aid

By: - March 9, 2022

LINCOLN — Nebraska lawmakers sent a message Wednesday to Gov. Pete Ricketts, voting 29-7 to advance a bill that could force him to apply for $120 million in federal rent assistance — something he has refused to do. State Sen. Matt Hansen of Lincoln called for the backing of the Legislature because Ricketts has repeatedly […]