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.

Nebraska Examiner is part of States Newsroom, the nation’s largest state-focused nonprofit news organization.

Eviction notice and mask

Governor continues to see no justification to apply for rental assistance money

By: - March 7, 2022

LINCOLN — Despite a recent plea from key state senators, Gov. Pete Ricketts continued to say “no” Monday to applying for an additional $120 million in federal funds for utility and rent assistance. During a press conference, the conservative Republican was asked to respond to a letter sent last week by the members of the […]

Ukraine rally Lincoln March 5

Ukrainians in Nebraska worry for loved ones, dread what the future may bring

By: - March 6, 2022

LINCOLN — The message on Halyna Carbullido’s Facebook page says a lot:  “My morning doesn’t start with coffee any more. It starts with making sure my friends and relatives in Ukraine are still alive.” This is the world inhabited by Ukranians in America right now. They’re glued to the internet, to their cell phone, to […]

Sign protesting XL Keystone pipeline on a storefront in Polk, Nebraska

With CO2 pipelines planned, landowners call for additional state protections

By: - March 5, 2022

LINCOLN — With carbon dioxide pipelines planned across Nebraska, some landowners are asking the state to adopt additional protections for them when such pipelines are abandoned. Meanwhile, a recent Wall Street Journal article raised questions about whether carbon sequestration projects — which would be fed by the pipelines — can be done successfully. Some of […]

Whiteclay advocates

John Maisch, who fought to close notorious Whiteclay beer stores, has died

By: - March 4, 2022

LINCOLN — John Maisch, an Oklahoma attorney who became a key figure in the closing of the notorious beer stores in the Nebraska border village of Whiteclay, died unexpectedly Thursday. He was 51. Funeral services were pending Friday in Edmond, Oklahoma. Maisch, a former state liquor law prosecutor and a native of the Hastings area, […]

Alliance Recycling

Alliance recycling program among those questioning snubs for state environmental grants

By: - March 3, 2022

LINCOLN — For the past 10 years, the Alliance Recycling Center has been awarded grants by the Nebraska Environmental Trust, which doles out about $20 million a year in state lottery proceeds for environmental projects. On Thursday, the director of the Alliance recycling program made the seven-hour drive to Lincoln to find out why the […]

Sen. Steve Lathrop

Bill advances that seeks to ensure prison rehabilitation programs work and are available

By: - March 3, 2022

LINCOLN — The Nebraska prison system would get funding to test and verify the effectiveness of its rehabilitation programs under a bill given first-round approval Thursday by state lawmakers. Legislative Bill 896 would also help determine whether the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services is offering enough programs to turn inmate lives around. The advancement of […]

Evnen: ‘No credible evidence’ that vote-counting machines have been mistaken

By: - March 2, 2022

LINCOLN — Nebraska Secretary of State Robert Evnen, in often emphatic terms, rejected allegations Wednesday that the state’s ballot-counting machines could be hacked by “foreign adversaries.” Evnen, testifying toward the end of an afternoon-long public hearing, said Nebraska’s ballot-counting machines are never connected to the internet and are designed so they cannot be connected to […]

Sen. Adam Morfeld

Judge rules that senator’s work as lawyer qualifies him to seek county attorney post

By: - March 2, 2022

LINCOLN — A judge has denied a challenge by Republican interests to force State Sen. Adam Morfeld of Lincoln off the May primary ballot. Morfeld, a Democrat and a licensed attorney, has filed to run for Lancaster County attorney against incumbent Pat Condon, a Republican. But the Nebraska GOP, as well as the Lancaster GOP, […]

ricketts press conference

Ricketts doubles down on Perkins County canal project, says delay helps Colorado

By: - March 2, 2022

LINCOLN — Gov. Pete Ricketts and the state’s top water official doubled down Wednesday on the need to build a $500 million canal on the South Platte River, saying that delaying the work would hurt Nebraska. “Delay only benefits Colorado,” the governor said at a morning news conference. That brought a strong retort later Wednesday […]

Sen. Brewer

Controversial ‘Opportunity Scholarship’ issue gains new life; ‘it’s not trickery,’ Linehan says

By: - March 1, 2022

LINCOLN — An issue thought to be dead for the 2022 session — providing state tax credits for donations to private school scholarships — has found a rare path to resurrection. A so-called “Opportunity Scholarship” proposal from State Sen. Lou Ann Linehan of Elkhorn, which was blocked by a filibuster after it was introduced last […]

Monolith Materials

Bill would make Nebraska a bidder to become a regional ‘clean hydrogen hub’

By: - March 1, 2022

LINCOLN — Could Nebraska lure $2 billion in federal funds and become one of four national hubs to expand development of clean hydrogen? State lawmakers think so, after giving 43-0 first-round approval to a bill that would set up a working group to seek Nebraska’s designation as one of four “regional clean hydrogen hubs” in […]

Sen. Mike Groene

Lincoln attorney hired to handle probe into harassment allegations against Groene

By: - March 1, 2022

LINCOLN — The special committee of three state senators probing the workplace harassment allegations against recently resigned State Sen. Mike Groene of North Platte has hired an attorney to assist them. Tara Paulson, a Lincoln attorney who specializes in labor and employment issues, has been retained, according to one member of the special committee, State […]