Social Services

Legislative committee considers bills to boost Nebraska’s 911 system, add transparency

BY: - February 20, 2024

LINCOLN — During one of the worst emergency service calls in a volunteer firefighter’s 40-year career last December, next-generation 911 helped provide clarity. Veteran Micheal Dwyer of Arlington expressed his support Tuesday of such technology, describing a Dec. 28 response to a two-vehicle crash where a good friend of Dwyer’s died but two other lives were […]

State Capitol

Nebraska child welfare, prison watchdogs have temporarily restored access for oversight roles

BY: - February 14, 2024

LINCOLN — A six-month fight between Nebraska’s legislative and executive branches has gotten a reprieve, with watchdog access at least temporarily restored Wednesday to state inspectors general. With the blessing of Speaker John Arch of La Vista and Executive Board Chair Ray Aguilar of Grand Island, the Legislature joined Gov. Jim Pillen in a memorandum of […]

jim Pillen

Governor changes course, says he has a ‘Nebraska way’ to provide additional food for kids

BY: - February 12, 2024

LINCOLN — Gov. Jim Pillen reversed course Monday, saying his administration will apply for $18 million in federal funds to provide extra funds for food over the summer for low-income families. The program is expected to deliver an additional $40 a month in grocery buying funds to an estimated 150,000 kids across the state who […]

Sneak peek of ‘Cabrini’ movie hits home with Nebraskans of Italian heritage, other immigrants

BY: - February 12, 2024

OMAHA — Sarita Ruma has spent decades in and around the historic brick church named after St. Frances Cabrini in the Little Italy enclave south of downtown Omaha. She’s attended weddings, festivals and worship services there. She’s heard the neighborhood lore — that the parish namesake herself, Frances Cabrini, walked up the hill from the […]

Advocates, past drug offenders call for end to lifetime ban on receiving food stamp benefits

BY: - February 11, 2024

LINCOLN — Eighteen years ago, Kayla Tobey, then 22, was convicted of a Class 4 felony, possession of a controlled substance. She completed her probation long ago, but Tobey said she’s still being punished by a Nebraska law that imposes a lifetime ban on her, as a drug offender, from obtaining food stamps, now known […]

care center deserts

Senators, Sandhill residents tout bills to address ‘care deserts’ due to closings of senior care centers across Nebraska

BY: - February 11, 2024

LINCOLN — Eleven state senators, as well as rural residents who now drive hours for medical care, called last week for an end to the expansion of “care deserts” in Nebraska. Those are counties, which now number 15, that no longer have a skilled nursing home or assisted living center. One care desert is in […]

Proposal to force NE to accept $18M in federal food funds for kids draws no opponents at hearing

BY: - February 1, 2024

LINCOLN — At age 55, Dr. Karla Lester said, she is just now able to talk publicly about her childhood shame: hunger. Speaking Thursday to a legislative committee, the Lincoln pediatrician was among 17 proponents who urged lawmakers to adopt a proposal — against Gov. Jim Pillen’s wishes — that would require Nebraska to participate […]

state auditor

State audit claims senior center manager in Ogallala overpaid herself

BY: - January 31, 2024

LINCOLN — The Nebraska State Auditor’s Office on Wednesday accused the former director of an Ogallala senior center of improperly paying herself more than $11,000 upon leaving the job. According to an audit of the Keith County Senior Center, Jeanine “Jeanie” Herman paid herself $2,380 twice for unused vacation leave upon her exit in March […]

Joyce Beck

Caregivers say tax credit would help them afford care of loved ones and reduce state costs

BY: - January 25, 2024

LINCOLN — The health of Joyce Beck’s husband spiraled downward after he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in his 40s. There was a quadruple heart bypass surgery in his 50s, followed by issues with erratic blood pressure and, later, prostate cancer and a fractured hip and pelvis. Beck, a hospital CEO, was forced to retire […]

Nebraska State Capitol Building

Poverty elimination is goal of proposal aired at NE Legislature

BY: - January 23, 2024

LINCOLN — A proposal calling for Nebraska cities to create a five-year anti-poverty plan was met mostly with support Tuesday at a legislative hearing, though a few opponents worried it would be an expensive undertaking for smaller towns. The Poverty Elimination Action Plan Act was introduced by State Sen. Terrell McKinney to promote upward mobility. […]

Nebraska lawmakers advance proposal to consider whether bids are ‘responsible’ and ‘reasonable’

BY: - January 22, 2024

LINCOLN — State lawmakers quickly advanced a bill Monday designed to avoid future multimillion-dollar mistakes in awarding state contracts. The proposal grew out of the failed contract with Saint Francis Ministries, which underbid its lone competitor by 40% in 2019 to obtain the contract to handle child welfare services in eastern Nebraska. But the Kansas-based […]

Omaha landmark awarded funds in national effort to preserve legacy of America’s Black churches

BY: - January 22, 2024

OMAHA — A North Omaha landmark, built more than a century ago, is part of a national wave of religious buildings that will share $4 million awarded last week under a program to protect the legacy of America’s Black churches. The former Calvin Memorial Presbyterian Church, 3105 N. 24th St., is to benefit from a […]