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.

Minden School Board member who refused to wear a mask is ordered reinstated to board seat

By: - December 28, 2023

LINCOLN — A Minden School Board member who was removed from the board in 2021 after refusing to wear a mask during the COVID-19 pandemic has been reinstated to her position. A district judge, in a ruling last week, agreed with arguments made by Katherine Sinsel that her fellow board members had exceeded their authority […]

Anthony Warrior

Chef dishes out education on healthy eating along with Native American-‘inspired’ cuisine

By: - December 27, 2023

BANCROFT, Nebraska — The first time Anthony Warrior was asked to cater a meal of Native American foods, his client requested fry bread. Warrior responded that the deep-fat-fried bread dish wasn’t what Native Americans ate, but instead was something created during the Depression to eat. “That was not our food. We didn’t have flour on […]

Nebraska state patrol

State trooper, Lincoln County deputy honored for rescue in freezing water near North Platte

By: - December 26, 2023

LINCOLN — A Nebraska state trooper and a Lincoln County deputy who jumped into freezing water to rescue a trapped, 1-year-old girl have been honored for their bravery. The actions of Trooper Alex Coffman and Lincoln County Deputy Tyler Schultz were labeled as representative of the “dedication and selflessness” of public servants by Gov. Jim […]

Dean Terrill

Book chronicles tales spun by ‘roving reporter’ who plied the backroads for human-interest stories

By: - December 23, 2023

LINCOLN — Reporter-photographer Dean Terrill would often leave his home in Fairbury, Nebraska, for a destination in southeast Nebraska without knowing what story he might write that day. Such was the life of a “roving reporter,” deployed by major newspapers across their rural circulation areas in search of tales of every flavor and style. Terrill […]

Child Nutrition protest

Omaha man launches vigil at Governor’s Residence as Pillen proclaims that he doesn’t ‘believe in welfare’

By: - December 22, 2023

LINCOLN — An Omaha, anti-poverty activist launched a vigil Friday at the Governor’s Residence to protest the state’s rejection of $18 million in federal funds to feed children. Gov. Jim Pillen’s administration earlier this week said the state would turn down $18 million in federal grocery benefits for low-income families because, according to one administration […]


ACLU sees ‘red flag’ in increase in use of solitary confinement for juveniles

By: - December 22, 2023

LINCOLN — The ACLU of Nebraska says a new report raises a “red flag” about a significant increase in solitary confinement of juveniles in state facilities. The civil rights organization said that a reported 32% increase in the hours that youths were confined during fiscal year 2022-23 came despite an effort by the State Legislature […]

NAPE objection

State labor court hears arguments over requested delay in Pillen’s order to end remote work

By: - December 21, 2023

LINCOLN — A state labor court on Thursday took under advisement a request by the state employees’ union to delay an executive order by Gov. Jim Pillen to end most remote or hybrid work arrangements by Jan. 2. Such an order, union representatives argued Thursday, would create “chaos” for state workers and the taxpayers they […]


McCook recognized by national magazine for its arts, culture and food

By: - December 21, 2023

LINCOLN — Efforts to bolster the arts, recreation and food in McCook have garnered national recognition for the southwest Nebraska community. Food & Leisure magazine, in its annual “best small towns” feature, named McCook runner-up as the best small town for food and culture, right behind Los Olivos, California. The magazine cited McCook, population 7,356, […]

Proponents of providing medigap coverage for those under 65 with disabilities will try again

By: - December 21, 2023

LINCOLN— Seven years ago, Shawna Thompson, a registered nurse, was a passenger in an ambulance that veered off an Interstate highway when the driver fell asleep.  Thompson, who lives in North Platte, suffered a traumatic brain injury in the crash.  Since then, the 58-year-old has gone from taking four pills a day to 20 to […]

minimum wage

Minimum wage rising to $12 an hour in Nebraska after voters approved gradual increases a year ago

By: - December 20, 2023

LINCOLN — The minimum wage in Nebraska will rise to $12 an hour Jan. 1 — an increase of $1.50 — after voters approved a ballot measure last year to make gradual increases in the minimum pay. State voters in 2022, by a nearly 6-to-4 margin, approved a ballot initiative to increase the state’s minimum […]

Nebraska secretary of state says rationale in Colorado to keep Trump off ballot ‘not persuasive’

By: - December 20, 2023

LINCOLN — Nebraska Secretary of State Bob Evnen said Wednesday that the decision in Colorado to deny former President Donald Trump a place on the 2024 primary ballot was “not persuasive.” Evnen emphasized that Tuesday’s ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court has no legal bearing on what will happen in Nebraska and that he hopes […]

starbucks union

Second Starbucks location in Omaha seeks to unionize; one Lincoln location has voted

By: - December 20, 2023

LINCOLN — Moriah Duran, a shift supervisor at the 72nd and Dodge Streets location of Starbucks in Omaha, says workers there are tired of being overworked, “constantly” understaffed and underpaid. “We’re tired,” Duran said Wednesday. “There’s so many tasks, so many things we’re being asked to do … we feel like we’re being exploited.” On Wednesday, […]