Paul Hammel

Paul Hammel

Senior Reporter Paul Hammel has covered the Nebraska state government and the state for decades. Previously with the Omaha World-Herald, Lincoln Journal Star and Omaha Sun, he is a member of the Omaha Press Club's Hall of Fame. He grows hops, brews homemade beer, plays bass guitar and basically loves traveling and writing about the state. A native of Ralston, Nebraska, he is vice president of the John G. Neihardt Foundation.

History Nebraska

History foundation reaches agreement with state over $270,000 in misdirected COVID-19 funds

By: - September 30, 2023

LINCOLN — The History Nebraska Foundation has reached a financial settlement with the state over $270,000 in COVID-19 relief that was re-directed away from that purpose. The re-direction of the money led to the filing of a felony theft by deception charge against the now former director of History Nebraska, Trevor Jones. The episode has […]

Tim Walz

Minnesota governor says Democrats need to ‘focus on what improves people’s lives’

By: - September 29, 2023

OMAHA — The Democratic governor of Minnesota, a state that has passed progressive policies on abortion and education, urged Nebraska Democrats on Friday to emphasize grass-roots efforts, and “skate to where the puck is going to be.” “Don’t wait for a savior candidate to come along and be fantastic in a debate and run these […]

Nebraskaland contest

Award-winning magazine seeks award-winning photos of Nebraska wildlife, scenes

By: - September 29, 2023

LINCOLN — A magazine known for its award-winning photography is seeking to honor the best of pictures of Nebraska wildlife, scenery and outdoor recreation. Nebraskaland Magazine will begin accepting submissions for its 2023 photography contest on Sunday. The annual contest honors the best photographs of Nebraska wildlife, outdoor activities and landscapes in the Cornhusker State. […]


Senators studying how to make Nebraska more inviting to military veterans

By: - September 29, 2023

LINCOLN — Officials from several veterans groups plan to testify Friday at an interim hearing looking at how to make Nebraska more inviting to military retirees. State Sen. Jen Day of Gretna introduced the interim study resolution, which states that making Nebraska a more appealing destination for retired service members “can be part of the […]

Platte Institute

Panelists tout ‘second chances’ for prison inmates to help address workforce shortages

By: - September 28, 2023

LINCOLN — Twenty years ago, Diane Good-Collins lived behind bars as Nebraska prison inmate No. 94586. Today, she’s the head of a community college program that has trained and placed in jobs 3,100 former state prisoners so far this year. Good-Collins, the director the Re-Entry Program (RAP) at Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, said she […]

Memorial Stadium

Memorial Stadium renovation plans revealed: replace South Stadium and reduce capacity to mid-70,000 while enhancing fan experience

By: - September 28, 2023

LINCOLN — Memorial Stadium, often described as the state’s “third-largest city” during football games, is headed for a $450-million modernization designed to enhance the fan experience. Planned improvements include chair-back seating replacing benches in the South, East and West Stadiums, enhanced restroom and concession areas, and improved access to upper portions of the structure, first […]

Inspector generals

State watchdogs say they’re still doing their job, albeit slower, since legal opinion

By: - September 27, 2023

OMAHA — Members of a North Omaha racial justice group expressed fears Wednesday night that a recent, adverse legal opinion may be shutting off a vital resource for addressing problems in state agencies. If state “inspectors general” for corrections and child welfare can’t get access to what’s going on, how can they report on concerns […]

megan hunt

Judge dismisses defamation lawsuit against far right group that accused state senator of being a ‘groomer’

By: - September 27, 2023

LINCOLN — State Sen. Megan Hunt of Omaha said she is reviewing her options after a judge dismissed a defamation lawsuit against a far-right group that had accused her of abusing and sexually grooming her son. “No mother, regardless of whether they are an elected official or not, should be accused of abusing their children […]

Larry Bare

State government stalwart, Larry Bare, remembered for vast knowledge, no nonsense advice

By: - September 27, 2023

LINCOLN — Larry Bare was likely the most powerful state official you’ve never heard of. That’s despite working a state-record 16 years as the chief of staff for two governors, heading up State Capitol offices and agencies, and working under seven different governors — all over five decades of public service. Bare’s style was low […]

Man smoking marijuana

Senators renew plea for ‘streamlined’ process for pardoning nonviolent marijuana convictions

By: - September 27, 2023

LINCOLN — A trio of state senators renewed their call Tuesday for the State Board of Pardons to adopt a “streamlined” process for people to be forgiven for minor marijuana convictions that do not involve violence. In a letter, State Sens. Danielle Conrad of Lincoln, and Terrell McKinney and Justin Wayne, both of Omaha, said […]

NU regent dismisses rumor that he is interested in top job at University of Nebraska

By: - September 25, 2023

LINCOLN — The current chairman of the University of Nebraska Board of Regents on Monday dismissed rumors that he was interested in applying to become NU’s next president. Regent Tim Clare of Lincoln said he won’t be a candidate, but will be heading up a search advisory committee that will provide input on qualities needed […]

tom brewer

State senator who is member of Oglala Lakota Tribe is chosen for ‘courage’ award from Standing Bear group

By: - September 25, 2023

LINCOLN — State Sen. Tom Brewer of Gordon, a member of the Oglala Lakota Tribe, is being honored for his involvement in several Native American initiatives. The Chief Standing Bear Project has chosen Brewer for its annual “Prize for Courage” to be awarded during a banquet on Indigenous People’s Day, Oct. 9, in Lincoln. Larry […]