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Celebrating 80 Years

Congratulations Cathy Hughes

1938 2018

Dedicated to the Service of the People that NO Good Cause Shall Lack a Champion and that Evil Shall Not Go Unopposed

Nebraska’s Only Black Owned Newspaper Vol. 80 - No. 10 Omaha, Nebraska

Friday, May 18, 2018

Omaha Star Receives Civics Recognition Award By Walter V. Brooks On May 10, Nebraska Secretary of State John A. Gale personally traveled to Omaha to present the Civics Recognition Award to The Omaha Star newspaper. Phyllis Hicks, publisher and managing editor of the Omaha Star, accepted the award at the Omaha Star headquarters building at 2216 N. 24th St. Secretary Gale had intended for the award to be presented in 2017, but multiple staffing changes in his office delayed compiling all the information required to certify the award last year. In presenting the award, Secretary Gale said, “An analysis of articles published by The Omaha Star in 2016, indicated that readers were provided with information on a number of significant election issues including: candidate and voter deadlines, early voting, online voter registration, voter turnout, Election Day reminders, voter guides, changes in polling places and information as to how people could obtain rides to their polling place, if needed. “In addition to issues that were of particular importance to my office, The Omaha Star also provided continual updates on the death penalty petitions. I was Preston Love Jr. and Phyllis Hicks receiving particularly impressed with the award from Sec. Gale columns written by Preston Love, as he always stressed the importance of voting and would often outline particular reasons about why voting makes a difference to a community. “Without the assistance of our media partners, the effort to educate voters would See Star Award continued on page 3

75 cents

Exclusive Election Report By Preston Love Jr. The 2018 mid-term Primary Election has come and gone. Politically, north Omaha has made history this election period. A new loosely organized collaboration was formed to increase voter registration, education and mobilization. In April, the coalition of over 20 north Omaha organizations held their first ever and very successful political convention. Additionally, 14 African-Americans ran for office. With that backdrop, and the mantra “Vote like Crazy,” the community now has the longawaited results of the efforts of so many to get the north Omaha vote out. The preliminary results are in. The Douglas County turnout was a dismal 19%, with North Omaha trailing behind. However, north Omaha still has a chance to show our strength in the General Election. This is a refresher on how the Primary Election works: • For the Partisan elections: The winners of each party (Democrat and Republican) advance to the General Election in November. • For non-Partisan races: The top two vote getters advance to the General Election in November. • Uncontested candidates: Partisan and non-Partisan candidates are on

the Primary Ballot. In both cases, they advance to the General Election in November The community can be proud of our history making candidates of color. Of the 14 people of color who ran for office, 10 will be on the General Election ballot in November. Below are the results. • Governor: Vanessa Ward did not win in the primary, but ran an excellent race. She received over 25,000 votes statewide and garnered 28% of the vote. • Secretary of State: Spencer Danner ran uncontested and advances to the General Election in November • Douglas County Sheriff: Michael Hughes ran uncontested and advances to the General Election in November • Douglas County Treasurer: John Ewing ran uncontested and advances to the General Election in November • NRD: Fred Conley ran uncontested and advances to the General Election in November • OPS Board: Marque Snow won his race against Marlon Brewer. • OPS Board: Kimara Snipes ran uncontested and advances to the General Election in November • OPS Board: Shavonna Holman ran uncontested and advances to the

North Omaha Rupture at Center of PlayFest Drama ©by Leo Adam Biga Appearing in the May 2018 issue of The Reader

In her original one-act “More Than Neighbors,” playwright Denise Chapman examines a four-decades old rupture to Omaha’s African-American community still felt today. North Freeway construction gouged Omaha’s Near North Side in the 1970s-1980s. Residents got displaced, homes and businesses razed, tight-knit neighborhoods separated. The concrete swath further depopulated and drained the life of a district already reeling from riots and the loss of meatpacking-railroading jobs. The disruptive freeway has remained both a tangible and figurative barrier to community continuity ever since. Chapman’s socially-tinged piece about the changed nature of community makes its world premiere May 31 at 7:30 p.m. as part of the Great Plains Theatre Conference’s PlayFest. The site of the performance, The Venue at The Highlander, 2112 N. 30th St., carries symbolic weight. The organization behind the purpose-built Highlander Village is 75 North. The nonprofit is named for U.S. Highway 75, whose North Freeway portion severed the area. The nonprofit’s mixed-use development overlooks it and is meant to restore the sense of community lost when the freeway went in. The North Freeway and other Urban Renewal projects forced upon American inner cities only further isolated already marginalized communities. “Historically, in city after city, you see the trend of civil unrest, red lining, white flight, ghettoizing of areas and freeway projects cutting right through the heart of these communities,” Chapman said. Such transportation projects, she said, rammed through “disenfranchised neighborhoods lacking the political power and dollars” to halt or reroute roads in the face of federal-state power land grabs that effectively said, “We’re just going to move you out of the way.” By designating the target areas “blighted” and promoting public good and economic development, eminent domain was used to clear the way. “You had to get out,” said Chapman, adding, “I talked to some people who weren’t given adequate time to pack all their belongings. They had to leave behind a lot of things.” In at least one case, she was told an excavation crew ripped out an interior staircase of a home still occupied to force removal-compliance. With each succeeding hit taken by North O, things were never the same again “There was a shift of how we understand community as each of

Scholarship Deadline – May 25 See article on youth page

those things happened,” she said. “With the North Freeway, there was a physical separation. What happens when someone literally tears down your house and puts a freeway in the middle of a neighborhood and people who once had a physical connection no longer do? What does that do to the definition of community? It feels like it tears it apart. “That’s really what the play explores.” Dramatizing this where it all went down only adds to the intense feelings around it. “As I learned about what 75 North was doing at the Highlander it just made perfect sense to do the play there. To share a story in a place working to revitalize and redefine community is really special. It’s the only way this work really works.” Neighbors features an Omaha cast of veterans and newcomers directed by Chicagoan Carla Stillwell. The African-American diaspora drama resonates with Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun and August Wilson’s Jitney with its themes of family and community assailed by outside forces but resiliently holding on. Three generations of family are at the heart of Chapman’s play, whose characters’ experiences are informed by stories she heard from individuals personally impacted by the freeway’s violent imposition. Faithful Miss Essie keeps family and community together with love and food. Her bitter middle-class daughter Thelma, who left The Hood, now opposes her own daughter Alexandra, who’s eager to assert her blackness, moving there. David, raised by Essie as “claimed family,” and his buddy Teddy are conflicted about toiling on the freeway. David’s aspirational wife, Mae, is expecting. Through it all – love, loss, hope, opportunity, despair, dislocation and reunion – family and home endure. “I think it really goes back to black people in America coming out of slavery, which should have destroyed them, but it didn’t,” Chapman said. “Through our taking care of each other and understanding of community and coming together we continue to survive. We just keep on living. There are ups and downs in our community but at the end of the day we keep redefining community hopefully in positive ways.” “What makes Denise’s story so warm and beautiful is that it does end with hope,” director Carla Stillwell said. See PlayFest continued on page 3

First time voters Aujanae McCoy and Anthony Brown know Black Votes Matter.

General Election in November • MCC Board: Angela Monegain won the primary and advances to the General Election in November • State Legislature: Mina Davis came in second and advances to the General Election in November • Learning Community: Tonya Ward won the primary and advances to the General Election in November • Note: In the all-important Congressional race, Kara Eastman won a narrow victory over Brad Ashford.

Dow and Runnels among Omaha Press Club Hall of Fame Inductees

One of the Omaha Press Club’s (OPC) most glorious celebrations, a night to honor journalists past and present, is coming June 2. The 10th Annual OPC Journalists of Excellence Hall of Fame will induct six industry professionals recognized for their extraordinary contributions to the media industry. Among those being honored are Harold Dow (posthumous) and Bob Runnels. Past Hall of Fame recipient, John Prescott, will emcee the evening, which begins at 5:30 p.m. with cocktails and dinner to follow. The event, sponsored by Firespring, is open to OPC members and non-members, but reservations are required. Harold Dow (posthumous) – Dow was the first African-American television reporter in Omaha, serving as co-anchor and talk show host for KETV. From there he moved on to a distinguished career at CBS News that lasted from 1972 to 2010, when he died of an apparent asthma attack. Over the course of his career, Dow received five Emmy Awards plus a Peabody Award for his “48 Hours” report on runaways and a Robert F. Kennedy Award for a report on public housing. Before joining CBS, he worked in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, Calif., and Paterson, N.J. A native of Hackensack, N.J., Dow attended the University of Nebraska at Harold Dow Omaha. Bob Runnels – Runnels was a 20-year journalist in the U.S. Navy before arriving in Omaha in 1971 to work at KMTV (Ch. 3), where he was a reporter-photographer for 12 years. He also hosted a weekly community affairs show entitled “Expressions.” While in Omaha, he was a board member of the Greater Omaha Girl Scout Council. Runnels moved to Washington State in 1984 and taught journalism for 10 years at Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake. He returned to his Illinois roots in 2002 and currently is a threeterm alderman in North Chicago. Other 2017 inductees include: Jim Fogarty, Legacy Preservation, KETV, Omaha World-Herald; Cate Folsom, Omaha World-Herald; Ron Hull, NET, Bob Runnels University of Nebraska-Lincoln and R.W. (Jeff) Jordan, KMTV, Union Pacific, Omaha World-Herald

Salute to Graduates Issue – June 29 Send Photos to Phyllis Hicks by June 12

Nebraska’s Death Penalty – May 27 See In the Village for details

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May 18, 2018

Nebraska Children’s Home Society to Celebrate 125 Years

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U.S. Cellular Donates $25,000 to Boys & Girls Clubs





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Annual Percentage Rate (APR). New money only. Other offers available. This offer applies to home equity loans and lines of credit for single-family owner occupied homes. Estimated payment on a 60 month fixed $10,000 loan at 4.95% APR would be $186.32 per month. For a fixed rate, interest only line of credit, if you made only the minimum payment and took no other advances, it would take 5 years to pay off a credit advance of $10,000, at and APR of 4.95%. During that period, you would make 59 monthly payments ranging from $37.97 to $42.04 and one final payment of $10,042.04. Payment examples do not include amounts for insurance and taxes. Loan fees, including an external appraisal if applicable, will be charged at the time of closing and can range between $900 and $950. Subject to Pinnacle Bank credit underwriting. Offer expires June 30, 2018.

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ATTENTION In order to be included in the Omaha Star, all articles and announcements must be submitted by e-mail to fwilliams@ no later than two weeks in advance of the event. All articles and announcements should be prepared in a word document using Times New Roman, 10 pt. Submissions must be limited to 500 words. Any accompanying photographs should be submitted in a jpeg or pdf file. The deadline for all articles is Monday at 3:00 p.m., two weeks prior to the event date. Articles and announcements will not be accepted at the Omaha Star office. The Omaha Star is now published bi-weekly on Fridays. The Omaha Star business office hours are MondayThursday, 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

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Nebraska Children’s Home Society (NCHS) will celebrate its 125th anniversary on June 9 at 5:30 p.m. at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Conference Center, 12520 Westport Parkway in La Vista. The event, “Children First for 125 Years,” celebrates a quasquicentennial of services to the children and families of Nebraska. During the celebratory event, awards will be presented to individuals supporting the NCHS mission “to provide safe and loving to children of all ages.” The event’s keynote speaker, Josh Shipp, will present the “The Power of ONE Caring Adult.” Shipp knows, all too well, the difference one person can make in the life of a child. He experienced a challenging childhood, bouncing from one foster home to the next, until a handful of caring adults reached out to him. Today, Shipp is a best-selling author, global youth empowerment expert and acclaimed speaker. His documentary TV series, “Teen Trouble,” on A&E, followed his groundbreaking work with teens. He is the author of the national bestseller “The Teen’s Guide to World Domination,” and was listed on Inc. Magazine’s 30 under 30 list. Shipp has been featured on Good Morning America, OPRAH, Anderson Cooper, MTV and Comedy Central. Julie Cornell, news anchor for KETV, will serve as master of ceremonies for the event. Honorary chairs are Randy and Darlene Mueller. The event begins with a social hour and silent auction, benefiting NCHS. The dinner and program begins at 6:30 p.m. To purchase tickets or sponsor this event, phone 402-898-7753 or visit The morning of the event, from 11 a.m. to noon, Shipp will provide a motivational speech to foster youth from the metro area at College of Saint Mary’s in Gross Auditorium. There is no charge for this speech. Local nonprofit organizations that would like to participate should contact Lindsay Hofbauer at or 402-898-7753.

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U.S. Cellular has announced a $25,000 donation to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands to provide K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) educational opportunities to youth. This is part of a $1 million donation to clubs across the country and $30,000 in Nebraska. It is the fourth year U.S. Cellular has funded 57 Boys & Girls Clubs to provide academic and after-school enrichment programs, with a focus on STEM programming. “U.S. Cellular is committed to enhancing youth learning experiences in our local communities and proud to continue working with the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands to invest in our future leaders,” said Mike Adams, U.S. Cellular’s director of sales for Nebraska and Iowa. “Throughout the year, we strive to provide youth with unique, interactive opportunities, which showcase real-world applications for STEM careers.” U.S. Cellular has a longstanding commitment to the community and education. The company has contributed more than $10.65 million to K-12 education since 2009. In 2017, U.S. Cellular associates volunteered at more than 185 events and are committed to volunteering 35,000 hours in local communities again this year. For more information, visit community-outreach.

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PlayFest continued from page 1 Past and present commingle in the nonlinear narrative. “One of the brilliant things about her piece is that memory works in the play in the way it works in life by triggering emotions. To get the audience to experience those feelings with the characters is my goal.” Feelings run deep at PlayFest’s Neighborhood Tapestries series, which alternates productions about North and South Omaha. “The response from the audience is unlike any response you see at just kind of a standard theater production,” GPTC producing artistic director Kevin Lawler said, “because people are seeing their lives or their community’s lives up on stage. It’s very powerful and I don’t expect anything different this time.” Neighbors is Chapman’s latest North O work after 2016’s Northside Carnation about the late community matriarch, Omaha Star publisher Mildred Brown. That earlier play is set in the hours before the 1969 riot that undid North 24th Street. Just as Northside found a home close to Brown and her community at the Elks Lodge, Neighbors unfolds where bittersweet events are still fresh in people’s minds. “The placement of the performance at the Highlander becomes so important,” said Chapman, “because it helps to strengthen that message that we as a community are more and greater than the sum of the travesties and the tragedies. “Within the middle of all the chaos there are still flowers growing and a whole new community blossoming right there on 30th street in a place that used to not be a great place – partly because they put a freeway in the middle of it.” Chapman sees clear resonance between what the characters in her play do and what 75 North is doing “to develop the concept of community holistically.” “It’s housing, food, education and work opportunities and community spaces for people to come together block by block. It’s really exciting to be a part of that.” Chapman is sure that Neighbors will evoke memories the same way Northside did. “For some folks it was like coming home and sharing their stories.” Additional PlayFest shows feature a full-stage production of previous GPTC Playlab favorite In the City in the City in the City by guest playwright Matthew Capodicasa and a “homage collage” to the work of this year’s honored playwright, Sarah Ruhl, a MacArthur Fellowship recipient. Two of Ruhl’s plays have been finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. Capodicasa uses a couple’s visit to the mythical city-state of Mastavia as the prism for exploring what we take from a place. “It’s about how when you’re traveling, you inevitably experience the place through the lens of the people you’re with and how that place is actually this other version of itself – one altered by your presence or curated for your tourist experience,” he said. In the City gets its world premiere at the Blue Barn Theatre on Tuesday, May 29 at 7:30 p.m. Producing artistic director Susan Clement-Toberer said the piece is “a perfect engine” for the theater’s season-long theme of “connect” because of its own exploration of human connections.” She also appreciates the open-ended nature of the script. “It’s evocative and compelling without being overly prescriptive. The play can be done in as many ways as there are cities and we are thrilled to bring it to life for the first time.” You Want to Love Strangers: An Evening in Letters, Lullabies, Essays and Clear Soup celebrates what its director Amy Lane calls Ruhl’s “poetic, magical, lush” playwriting. “Her plays are often like stepping into a fairytale where the unexpected can and does happen. Her work is filled with theatre magic, a childlike sense of wonder, playfulness, mystery. We’ve put together a short collage that includes monologues, scenes and songs from some of her best known works.” The Ruhl tribute will be staged at the 40th Street Theatre on June 1 at 7:30 p.m. All PlayFest performances are free. For details and other festival info, visit http://www.gptcplays. com.

Seed Capital Available To 12 Early Stage Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs focused on building high-growth, software-centric companies in the Midwest have one less barrier in their path to scale. The Startup Collaborative (TSC), an on-demand startup accelerator and program of the Greater Omaha Chamber, in collaboration with ‘Murphy Vision Funds,’ has announced it will begin making growth capital investments in early stage tech startups. Initial funding – $300,000, provided by Chris and Betsy Murphy, in partnership with First Westroads Bank – will be matched dollar-fordollar by Invest Nebraska, a private-public venture development organization that partners with the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. The funding, a total of $600,000, seeks to increase participation in TSC’s on-demand fellowship initiative. “Our family is honored to celebrate innovation by supporting Nebraska’s startup entrepreneurs, and our team at First Westroads Bank is excited to assist these entrepreneurs on their journey to starting a successful business,” said Chris Murphy, chairman and CEO, First Westroads Bank. “We hope our investment in the region will serve as a spark that encourages others to help elevate our community and advance the next wave of creators and trailblazers,” said Daniel Murphy, director of marketing, First Westroads Bank. David G. Brown, president and CEO, Greater Omaha Chamber, echoed Murphy’s remarks, “Innovation is at the core of our economy, our community and our businesses. We would like

to thank the Murphy Family and Invest Nebraska for helping us enhance our culture of innovation – one where the pursuit of better, different, more efficient or just plain interesting is not only encouraged, it’s backed by significant funding.” Brown said available funds will be deployed in $25,000 and $50,000 increments to qualifying participants in TSC’s fellowship program who have pinpointed product-market fit, developed a prototype, have an in-house team and at least 25 paying customers. “By partnering with the Murphy Family and The Startup Collaborative, we saw an incredible opportunity to accelerate our mission of assisting entrepreneurs, investing in the state’s startups, and developing the innovation infrastructure needed to grow Nebraska’s innovation ecosystem,” said Dan Hoffman, CEO, Invest Nebraska. “Finding product-market fit is hard enough – finding capital shouldn’t be. We are dedicated to solving every barrier to grow our Midwest startups face, including access to capital,” said Erica Wassinger, cofounder, The Startup Collaborative. Wassinger added, “One of the many reasons startups fail is because they simply need capital to accelerate their growth. TSC buys down the risk of failure from other causes and will now be able to mitigate the lack of access to early-stage capital too.” Interested entrepreneurs can earn their way to growth capital by joining the fellowship. Learn more about TSC here: http://startupcollaborative. co/.

Doing Good in the Neighborhood


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Star Award continued from page 1 be much more challenging. We rely on The Omaha Star and other outlets, to inform and educate citizens about these and other issues – that arise on the federal, state and local levels. Since 2008, I have given the Civics Recognition Award to individuals, organizations and media outlets which have met this challenging task.” John Gale has been Nebraska Secretary of State since December 2000 and has served under three Nebraska Governors Johanns, Heineman and Ricketts. The Civics Recognition Award is a major recognition from the Office of the Secretary of State because Gale has placed a strong emphasis on election reform. He noted that federal campaign reform funding enabled his office to develop some outstanding election reform opportunities for the state of Nebraska. Preston Love, has been a contributing writer to The Omaha Star for decades, and one of the most long-serving advocates of African American voting rights, including serving on Rev. Jesse Jackson’s campaign staff during Jackson’s historic runs for the presidency in 1984 and 1988. Phyllis Hicks said, “Preston Love has devoted

years of his life to increasing the voter turnout in North Omaha and to encouraging African Americans to run for office. He has maintained a column in The Omaha Star for many, many years. This year, we have a record number of African Americans running for office locally and statewide. Voting rights programs and engagements, many spearheaded by Preston Love’s efforts and dedication to African American voting rights, are now bearing fruit at historic levels in our community.” Phyllis Hicks, following the brief presentation ceremony, gave Secretary Gale and his wife, Carol, a tour of The Omaha Star headquarters and explained the building history as both the office space and home of founder Mildred Brown. It was his first time to personally visit The Omaha Star. In addition to Secretary Gale’s presentation of the 2018 recognition award to The Omaha Star, he also traveled across the state and personally presented the award to the Imperial Republican, Keith County News, McCook Gazette and Kearney Hub.

MCC Recognized for Cybersecurity Excellence

Metropolitan Community College has been designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense two-year education (CAE2Y) through academic year 2023 by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. The college was selected for the designation after the NSA conducted a thorough review of MCC’s cybersecurity curriculum. “The designation of National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense two-year education positions Metropolitan Community College on a national and international level to prepare students to contribute to the national defense,” said Gary Sparks, MCC faculty member and program director of MCC’s Center for Cybersecurity Education. MCC representatives will be formally recognized during a designation ceremony on June 6 at the National Cyber Summit in Huntsville, Ala. The designation announcement comes on the heels of a partnership with Cyberworld Institute, an agreement that greatly expands MCC’s course offerings in cybersecurity. The goal of the academic excellence program from the NSA and DHS is to reduce vulnerability in national information infrastructure by promoting higher education in cyber defense and producing professionals with cyber defense skills. All four-year, two-year and graduate level institutions are eligible for the designation as long as they meet a strict set of criteria. For more information about MCC’s Center for Cybersecurity Education, visit cyberomaha. com.

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It’s an Apartment NOT AN ASHTRAY Live without someone else’s smoke when you use to find your next apartment or home. This FREE online service by the Metro Omaha Tobacco Action Coalition (MOTAC) connects you to smoke-free housing located throughout the Omaha metro. Find a place that has everything you want – without the smoke.

Left to right: Ella Willis, Tina Moulton, Patricia Baker Neighborhood Action And Fact Association (NAAF) members recently presented The Ronald McDonald House Charities with aluminum can tabs collected over a three year period. Tina Moulton, Ronald McDonald House Director of Operations, accepted the five 5-gallon tins filled with tabs collected by NAAF member Pat Baker, Mike Jones from King Science Magnet Center, Ronald Jefferson from the Elks Club and others. The Ronald McDonald House helps pediatric patients and their families. The tabs are recycled and the charity receives 46 cents per pound. This money is used to pay for utilities and their operational budget. for your next apartment or home

This project is supported in part by Region 6 Behavioral Healthcare through funding provided by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services/Tobacco Free Nebraska Program as a result of the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement.

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We Are The Caretaker Of Our Thoughts

May 18, 2018

Deaths & Funerals

By Dr. William Holland I read a book years ago by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale called, “The Amazing Results Of Positive Thinking” and I recommend it as an inspiration and encouragement to your spiritual life. He explains that our mind is filled with all types of thoughts and persuasions but everyone is held accountable to manage them. We have the ability to resist and ignore the negative influences that hinder our life and to also embrace the suggestions that are positive and encouraging. I remember after studying about this principle, I had an interesting dream. I do not always place a lot of credibility in dreams because sometimes I think they are related with late-night pizza binges, but on the other hand, the Bible reveals that some dreams have been used a legitimate way that God can communicate. Anyway, here was my dream. I found myself on a dusty construction site and as I looked around, I noticed workers with shovels and they were busy digging up small trees and bushes. Some were driving trucks and others were using chainsaws and in the distance, I noticed a bulldozer was pushing over large trees. They were obviously clearing the land but I was not sure for what reason. I approached one of the workers and asked who was in charge but he just kept walking. For some reason, I sensed in the dream that Jesus was overseeing this operation and so I started searching for him. I was expecting any moment to see him in a white tunic, sandals, and hard-hat, but I never did. Finally, I saw a man that was writing on a clipboard and he appeared to be a supervisor. I went over to him and said, “excuse me, sir, can you tell me where to find the project manager?” As he started walking away he turned his head and calmly said, “you are.” This is the last thing I remember. There is an old rhyme that says, “Your mind is a garden, your thoughts are seeds, you can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.” This may sound silly, but in relation to our subject, it makes perfect sense to consider that we are the gardener and caretaker of our own mind. We may not want to admit it, but our spiritual journey was never intended to be a carefree experience but rather to fulfill a destiny of specific meaning and purpose. Since it’s been established that what we think is directly associated with how we feel along with what we say and do, we can agree that whatever has taken root and is growing in our mind is having a huge impact on who we are. As the wind and the birds distribute seeds upon the earth, likewise the voices and experiences of this life are deposited within our soul. Recognizing this spiritual reality and becoming determined to pray and work toward our mental transformation, will help us stay sensitive to His still small voice. We will never become what God has called us to be until the desire to change becomes greater than the desire to remain the same.

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Betty J. Brookins Mrs. Betty J. Brookins, age 69, passed away Wednesday, May 9, at a local hospital. Survived by husband: George Brookins, Sr; sons: George Jr, Andrew, & Christopher Brookins, Omaha; daughters: Doretta Brookins, Lincoln, NE; mother: Dorothy Robinson, Omaha; 10 brothers, sister, grandchild, 2 great-grand, nieces, nephews, other relatives. Funeral Service: 9 am Saturday, May

By Carey Kinsolving And Friends “I think I would have my own room and not with my brother,” says Danielle, 7. Danielle, if you did share a room with your brother, you’ll like the resurrection version of him. “Well, heaven is big. God has a big house, and heaven is really big like a yard,” says Carissa, 5. Yes, “big” is the key word. Heaven enters our hearts when we receive God’s gift of eternal life by believing in Jesus as the only way to heaven. This new life is far more than an eternal life-insurance policy. God wants us to live a big life on Earth before we arrive in heaven. Jesus called this the abundant life. “Heaven looks like a kingdom. No one dies, and no one cries, and everyone gets a lot of food,” says Sam, 5. There will be a lot of food at the biggest party of all time, the marriage feast of the Lamb. “Yellow dogs are in heaven because the streets are made of gold. They are both yellow,” says John, 6. Remember the movie “Old Yeller”? According to John, there will be many Old

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Yellers in heaven. Caroline, 7, has a plan to get her favorite pet past the pearly gates: “I will go up to God and praise him. Then, I will ask him, ‘If people are supposed to be happy in heaven, then if your pet makes you happy, will your pet be in heaven with you?’” God knows what will make you happy. When you see Jesus in heaven along with all the spectacular sights and sounds, you might be hard-pressed to remember your pet’s name. “I think that the streets are gold, the waters are crystal and the houses are made of clouds,” says Kristan, 10. “In God’s room, there are TVs so he can see what we’re doing all day.” I doubt there will be television in heaven, but if there is, I can assure you that all the news will be good. Kristan also mentioned crystal waters. Jesus once told a woman at a well how to have her thirst permanently satisfied: “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, `Give me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water” (John 4:10). In the New Jerusalem, the river of life will flow from God’s throne. Concerning God’s

Kensington Palace has confirmed on Twitter that “Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle have asked that The Most Reverend Michael Bruce Curry, the 27th Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church, give the address at their wedding.” Curry, 65, from Chicago, is one of the most senior ministers in the U.S., and was elected as bishop of North Carolina in 2015. He will join the Dean of Windsor, the Right Reverend David Conner, who will conduct the service, and Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who will officiate as the couple make their marriage vows. Prince Harry and Markle have yet to meet the high-energy, evangelical preacher, who has been credited with shaking up the face of Episcopalianism. The Episcopal Church is a spin-off of the Church of England in the U.S. and is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Bishop Curry presides over 1.8 million members of a Christian community that has historically been home to the nation’s business and political elite. Curry has been a social justice activist throughout his ministry; he has spoken about immigration policy, according to his Episcopal Church’s website biography. He also has participated in preaching missions, played a role in creating networks of family day care providers and educational centers, as well as helping bring millions of investment dollars into inner-city neighborhoods. Bishop Curry received a Master of Divinity degree in 1978 from Yale University Divinity School. In his 2015 autobiography, Songs My Grandma Sang, Curry reveals that his family are descended from slaves and sharecroppers in North Carolina and Alabama. Curry said: “The love that has brought and will bind Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle together has its source and origin in God, and is the key to life and happiness.”

& nephews: Phyllis Hicks, Bridgette Smart, Omaha, Gary Tiggs, Daly City, CA, Diane White, Omaha, Barbara (Charles) Robinson, Overland Park, KS; great nieces & nephews, other relatives. Funeral Service: 1 pm Thursday, May 17, Mortuary, Rev. Kenneth Allen, officiated. Interment: Mt. Hope Cemetery. Arrangements by Thomas Funeral Home.

throne, Stephen, 8, writes, “Jesus has his own chair. No one can sit in his chair, only if he says, `Probably, yes.’” Actually, Jesus will invite some Christians to sit on his throne. Those who overcome are those who have fellowship with the Lord and follow him as disciples (Revelation 3:21). To sit with Christ on his throne means to have a position of authority in his kingdom. There is no greater honor. Jesus will reward faithful believers. “There is probably a huge temple in heaven,” says an anonymous friend. Is there? In the Apostle John’s vision of the New Jerusalem, he wrote, “But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” (Revelation 21:22). Think about this: The temple and all its priestly functions in the old Jerusalem were a shadow of a greater reality. God’s presence dwelt in the temple. When Jesus was born, his name was called “Immanuel,” which means “God with us.” Memorize this truth: “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2). Ask this question: Who or what occupies your mind?

Pleasant Green to Honor Pastor Page

Pleasant Green Baptist Church, 5555 Larimore Ave., will celebrate the first pastoral anniversary of Rev. Brian E. Page on May 27. The theme will be: An Appointed Shepherd – “And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, said the LORD.” (Jer. 23:4 KJV). The guest preachers will be Rev. Rodney Haynes of The McKinney First Baptist Church in McKinney, Texas, officiating at the 11 a.m. service; and Rev. Dr. Selwyn Q. Bachus, senior pastor of Salem Baptist Church in Omaha, who will officiate at the 4 p.m. service.






Forest Lawn Funeral Home Cemetery & Crematory

aunts, uncles, cousins, other relatives and friends. Funeral Service: 11 am Tuesday, May 22, Zion Baptist Church, Rev. Dr. Thomas Smith, officiating. Interment: Graceland Cemetery Arrangements by Thomas Funeral Home. *** Charles A. Sullivan Mr. Charles A. Sullivan, age 77, passed away Sunday, May 6, at a care center. Survived by nieces

Presiding Bishop of Episcopal Church Will Give Address at Royal Wedding

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Anthony R. McCroy Mr. Anthony “Tony” R. McCroy, age 55, passed away Saturday, May 12, at a local hospital. Survived by wife: Melanie McCroy; son: Christopher McCroy; sisters: Cynthia McCroy, Omaha, Maureen (Leroy) Venzen, St. Thomas, VI; nephews: Curtis Johnson, Jr, Omaha, Andrew (Meagan) Finch, Lebo, KS; great-niece: Carmyn Vaughn; mother-in-law: Emogene Finch; sisterin-law: Shirley (Jeffrey) Finch-Willis, Omaha;

Kids Talk About God What Does Heaven Look Like? (Part 1 of 3)


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19, Greater St. Paul C.O.G.I.C. Bishop Joseph Shannon, officiating. Interment: Forest Lawn Cemetery Arrangements by Thomas Funeral Home. *** Margaret Johnson Mrs. Margaret Johnson, age 83, passed away Monday, May 14, at a local care center. Arrangements are pending. Arrangements by Thomas Funeral Home. ***

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2901 Fontenelle Blvd. 68104 Ph: 402-451-6622 • Fax 402-457-6901 Mass Schedule: Mon. - Fri. 8:30 a.m., Sat. 8:30 a.m. & 5:00 p.m. Sun. 8:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m. & Noon (Spanish) Reconciliation: Sat. 4:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. or by appointment Pastor: Rev. Vitalis Anyanike

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Pastor Darnell N. Johnson, Sr. 1823 Lothrop Street, Omaha, NE 68110 Phone: 402-451-3700 Fax: 402-451-3700 Email: Follow us on Facebook at RisingStarMBCONE Sunday Sunday School‌‌‌‌‌.............. 9:30 a.m. Sunday Morning Worship‌...........10:45 a.m. Tuesday P  D  N. J , S . Tuesday Night Teaching‌‌...........6:30 p.m.  L  J Wednesday Prayer Meeting/BIBLE Study............7:00 p.m.

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Page Six

COMMENTARY May 18, 2018 The Real Problem With Mentoring Matters for the long-term development, and the other helps By Debra L. Shaw The Black Community you improve immediately. This website gives


By Terrance Amen founder and CEO of 3Ufirst FPC ( – As a community, we would rather give all or most of our money, abilities, and attention to the problems of our community, rather than the solutions. We like and share these problems on Facebook who won’t even allow us to reach all our friends, while, our very own Black Facebook continues to struggle. At the very least, we should have an account with them, but should make a onetime donation to their business. Our elder leaders who’ve dedicated their lives to uplift our community, continue to struggle for decades, because we refuse to support them financially. We listen to their lectures and watch their videos, but when it comes to supporting their cause, we look for someone else to listen and watch. Our elders are dying off, without reaching their goals for our community, while we continue to search for the next news article or video that talks about another death, disrespect, or whatever to like, share, and tweet about. Some of our elders are part to blame because they refuse to work together in order to reach our full potential. I’ve said this before, how can we expect our community to come together when the elders won’t even work together. Elder Sadiki Kambon has an organization that was created to bring all the so called leaders and elders together, called the Nubian leadership circle. Our elder leaders are in their 70s or older and are so scared that they have latched onto individuals and groups that really don’t have their best interest in mind, but they only see the opportunity to uplift what they’re doing rather than what’s best for our

community. While our men, women, and children are being slaughtered by these devils, we tweet, like, and share the news, or boycott. We wonder why we don’t get any respect, it’s because we don’t respect ourselves. This doesn’t solve the problems we’ve had for the last 50-60 years and in some cases, it’s worse. What does that tell you? It tells me, we are not supporting each other enough to solve our problems. This is a community’s problem not an individual’s problem. But we think as individuals now rather than as a community. If it doesn’t hurt us personally, then we’ll just tweet, like and share. If we don’t wake up and start supporting and investing in our community, we’ll be talking, tweeting, liking, and sharing the same problems for the next 50-60 years. The problem is not outside our community anymore, the problem is inside our community and until we realize this, nothing will change. We’re still using the same tactics we’ve used in the past, yet nothing has significantly changed. Where are our hospitals, national bank, educational systems, major TV and movie studios, businesses so we don’t have to go out of our community to get a job? We are the most powerful people on this planet and everyone knows it but us. We have to start supporting and investing in our own and the problems will go away, period. Black unity will always be the solution to our problems. Now how many of you will like, share and tweet this? For more information on how we can get ourselves out of the cycle of problems, watch the short video called The Real Solution, on (Terrance Amen is founder and CEO of 3Ufirst FPC, created to end the major problems in the African American community, by bringing some of the trillion dollars we spend every year, outside our community, back to our community. Based on his book, “Black Unity: The Total Solution to Financial Independence and Happiness.” For more information, go to



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The long-term impact of mentoring can be life and career changing to individuals on the pathway to educational and professional success. Without a doubt, a mentor relationship is a significant resource for navigating the journey of reaching desired goals and seeking positive outcomes. Oftentimes, mentoring and coaching is combined as the same philosophy when assisting students as they discover their own potential in academia and sports. However, coaching and mentoring are different in nature, although both have rewarding results and benefits for each relationship partner. The terms mentoring and coaching are often used interchangeably, and that is misleading. While similar in their support of someone’s development, they are very different disciplines in practice. Mentoring is a long-term relationship where the focus is on supporting the growth and development of the mentee. The mentor is a source of wisdom, teaching, and support, but not someone who observes and advises on specific actions or behavioral changes in daily work. Coaching is typically a relationship of finite duration where the focus is on strengthening or eliminating specific behaviors in the here and now. Coaches are engaged to help professionals’ correct behaviors that detract from their performance or, to strengthen those that support stronger performance around a set of activities. Both mentoring and coaching are incredibly valuable in providing developmental support. However, one offers high-level guidance

a clear description of the differences between the terms mentoring and coaching: https://www. A mentor builds a relationship that is lasting through good times and challenging times and is not typically tied to one event but multiple engagements. A mentor creates a bond through sharing experiences and exploring new avenues of growth with the mentee. A mentor gives the mentee the license to uncover hidden talents, to sharpen skills and to simply encourage them to have fun while learning. Mentors can change the direction of a mentee’s educational route just by asking thought-provoking questions or introducing the mentee to an array of specialized career opportunities to consider in his or her decision-making process. Julie Starr is an executive coach, writer, speaker and the owner of Starr Consulting; a leading provider of coach and mentor training, which works internationally and across cultures. She is the author of two successful books on coaching, “The Coaching Manual” and “Brilliant Coaching,” both by Pearson. In her book entitled, “The Mentoring Manual,” she states that a mentor must be many things: role model, expert, advocate, cheerleader, enforcer and friend. Plus, a mentor must make a positive, lasting difference to the knowledge, skills and prospects of the mentee. Mentoring Matters!

Starbucks: From Boycott to Victory By Phillip Jackson Founder and Chairman, Board of Directors The Black Star Project If Howard Shultz wasn’t the founder of Starbucks, he would have been one of the boycott protesters with us. He said he was “embarrassed” and “ashamed” by the arrest of two Black men in a Starbucks Store in Philadelphia, Pa., who were taken away by police and subsequently held for nine hours in a Philadelphia jail for the crime of sitting in a Starbucks store and not ordering coffee. Starbucks is widely known as a good operator and an overall good guy in American business circles with its clean stores, open meeting spaces, free Wi-Fi; strong community relations, and its great business model consisting of good jobs with fair benefits. But the Starbucks decision to fix this public relations problem with “diversity training” is not the Howard Schultz or even the Starbucks way. Rather than work with the Black community towards a solution to this potentially international issue, Starbucks turned to themselves and created a program for diversity training that includes closing their stores for one day and hiring the highest-priced diversity trainers money can buy. The Black community wanted to know, “How will we, the Black community – aggrieved by this incident and aggrieved every day – how will we be better because of your “diversity training”? The only answer Starbucks could give was, after the training “You will be better because we will be better.” Sorry! Not good enough! Numerous studies by Harvard University, MIT, Tel Aviv University and others show that diversity training doesn’t work and can produce the opposite of intended outcomes. These studies conclude that decades of cultural, racial and environmental bias and prejudice cannot be eradicated with one or 50 or 100 “diversity trainings.” In fact, such “trainings” can cause those hard-wired feelings to become more deeply entrenched thus resulting in the opposite of the sought-after effect. The Chicago Boycott – Case Study In Chicago, The Black Star Project organized a 12-store boycott of Starbucks. During the boycott, no anger was displayed. No one was arrested. No windows were broken. No stores were firebombed. Instead, there was plenty of dialogue. Dialogue is the Starbucks way. There were reports of Starbucks’ employees offering the boycotters free coffee and standing with the protesters. Protesters held doors open for elderly customers who did not honor the boycott. One protester even offered to buy a Starbucks coffee for the sick father of a man who expressed guilt about violating the boycott, but explained that his dad could only drink one kind of coffee – only available at Starbucks. It seemed as though boycotters and boycottees had reached a human accord – The Starbucks Way. The Chicago boycott organizers are now planning community forums at more than 300 Black-owned or managed coffee houses, as well as at faith-based and community-based organizations across the U.S., especially near the 12 Starbucks stores previously boycotted.

These community forums will serve as “Black Economic Empowerment Forums,” where attendees will develop plans to improve the economic vitality of their communities. We wanted Starbucks to be part of this initiative. So far, they have said no. Starbucks is really one of the “good guys” in corporate America but working with the community will only make them better. It’s important to understand that even with over 9,000 stores throughout America, Starbucks shops are really only guests in these communities. Meet Howard Schultz, Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors Howard Schultz, Founder and Executive Chairman of the Starbucks Board of Directors, does understand Starbucks culture and he understands America. He knows that the Starbucks success is tied to communities’ success. He is unafraid to try new ideas even though those ideas might fail. However, this seems not to be the Starbucks way today. In 2015, Starbucks tried to convene a “Race Together” dialogue through its stores. America was not ready then. In 2018, America is coming apart racially, socially and religiously. America is now ready for Howard Schultz’ ideas. But this effort cannot be owned by Starbucks alone. Other corporations, government agencies at all levels, foundations, faith-based and civic organizations along with social institutions and others must partner with Starbucks to make America and the world better. Mr. Schultz’ leadership style has been described as transformational. He does not think like a businessperson. He thinks like a person wanting to make the world a better place. But even he, super-rich, powerful, and well-intentioned, needs the help of the world to achieve this transformational vision and reality. Starbucks, well established in business history, now has a chance to establish itself in human history. In the words of Mr. Schultz: “…if we think about the country today – and I’m not talking about politics – I think the country needs to become more compassionate, more empathic. And we can’t speak about the promise of America and the American Dream and leave millions of people behind. And it’s my view that – leave Washington aside and all the politics aside – businesses and business leaders need to do a lot more for the people we employ, the communities we serve, and we can make a significant difference.” So where does Starbucks go from here? Schultz says that he knows the Starbucks chain “won’t bridge the racial divide on its own” and that a coffee company “can only do so much.” However, he hopes to keep pushing forward and pursue initiatives that matter to him with the “same vigor he pursues corporate profits.” The Montgomery Bus Boycott that changed America forever lasted 381 days. The Starbucks Boycott is only 33 days old. Only 348 days to go. (Phillip Jackson is Founder and Chairman, Board of Directors, The Black Star Project, 3509 South King Drive, Chicago, IL 60653. Email:

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LOCAL NEWS THE OMAHA STAR Page Seven UNO Andy Award Helps Journalists Arts For Everyone at 44th Festival Inventive additions, extended hours and new So, sit back, enjoy an ice-cold beverage of your Cover Jamaican Festival twists on beloved traditions make the 44th choice, and soak up the music.

May 18, 2018

University of Nebraska at Omaha International Programs has announced the 2018 winners of the Andy Award for International Journalism. This year’s recipients, journalist JoAnna LeFlore and photojournalist Alisha Davis, recently traveled to Jamaica to cover the Eighth Annual Dis Poem Wordz & Agro Festival, which took place on April 29. The festival blends the performance art of spoken word poetry with the impact of agriculture. The journalists met with festival organizers and other health advocates, Andy Award winners JoAnna LeFlore (left) and Alisha festival attendees, performing artists, Davis (right) recently traveled to Jamaica to cover the Dis Poem Wordz & Agro Festival, which they will report on for vendors and volunteers. “I’m truly excited to capture the life The Reader and Mind and Soul 101.3 FM and the spirit around these efforts. This is my first time traveling to Jamaica and this trip will allow me to not only witness the vibrancy but also bring it back to Omaha,” Davis said, prior to their visit. Davis and LeFlore will produce stories based on their visit for both radio on Mind and Soul 101.3 FM and print through The Reader. They will also work with the Sol Food Festival committee to formulate a thorough outreach strategy that can positively improve upon the holistic health of North Omaha communities. “I’m grateful and excited to finally witness the international grassroots effort that this festival is providing. What I notice is that a lot of the artists and activists involved have made it a personal mission of theirs to inform the public on healthy eating and agricultural avenues. That is what I love the most,” LeFlore said. Being able to document the Jamaican festival will allow both journalists to not only capture the vibrant culture of Jamaica, but investigate the importance of artists and musicians from Omaha reaching out to eradicate food social justice issues facing communities like Omaha. “We are excited to be able to extend the award to two exceptional journalists this year,” said Jane Meza, Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Global and Student Support. The Andy Award has honored Nebraska’s best international reporting since 1987. For the past 21 years, winners have received monetary awards, thanks to the generosity of Harold and Marian Andersen. The award committee accepts proposals to fund future reporting projects as a way to encourage more international journalism. This year’s award was $5,000. Applications for the 2019 Andy Awards will be accepted in Fall 2018. The competition is open to Nebraska-based news organizations – print, broadcast, and online – as well as freelance reporters. More information is available at

Union for Contemporary Art’s Abundance Garden Breaks Ground As part of The Union for Contemporary Art’s commitment to the revitalization of the North Omaha community, The Union’s Abundance Garden project has broken ground on a major new development. The Garden, occupying a 6,300 square foot lot adjoining The Union’s facility at 24th and Lake Streets, will provide fresh fruit and vegetables to North Omaha residents, and will serve as the site for community gatherings, youth education, and public performances. Situated within the boundaries of one of Nebraska’s most populous food deserts, The Union launched its first Abundance Garden in 2013. Since then, The Union has grown more than 650 pounds of fresh and free produce with its neighbors. Today, food security remains a key issue for many in the North Omaha community. According to data gathered by the Omaha Community Foundation’s Landscape Omaha project, 35% of Northeast Omaha residents worry that their food may run out before they can afford to purchase more. Lacking access to nutrient-rich foods, our neighbors are more likely to become overweight or obese and have a greater risk of developing chronic illness. Designed by The Union’s Garden Fellow, Andrew Tatreau, and funded by The Peter Kiewit Foundation, the new Abundance Garden will contain 960 square feet of raised garden beds, a geodesic dome greenhouse for seedlings and off-season growing, composting facilities, a performance space, and an outdoor classroom used for community events and The Union’s youth engagement programs. The Garden will include a wide variety of crops, from okra and ground cherries to several varieties of heirloom tomatoes, beans, peppers, melons, and fruit trees. The Union will also collaborate with Omaha’s refugee populations to start a dye garden where yields can be used to create natural dyes for fabric and weaving. Produce grown in The Abundance Garden will be made available, free of charge, to North Omaha residents and distributed with the help of local food banks, helping individuals and families meet this vital need. The Union previously implemented a CSA program for residents living in the Fair Deal Village Senior Apartments, providing them with fresh produce delivered to their door each week, and plans to re-launch this program as produce becomes available. Recognizing that hunger and the absence of readily available nutritious foods is a daily challenge for many of North Omaha’s youth, Art Club (The Union’s arts-based youth mentoring program) begins with the preparation of healthy meals and snacks. In addition to the obvious health benefits of eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, youth are encouraged to think of food preparation as another expression of art. Moving forward, youth will take this concept one step further by planting, cultivating, and preparing healthy foods with produce grown on-site. Beyond providing a much-needed source of fresh produce, The Union’s Abundance Garden will provide a beautiful, outdoor community space, as well as food growing resources (seed library, tools, and workshops) for individuals who want to plant their own gardens. Neighboring residents of all ages will benefit from the project. In its first year, The Union expects to directly engage 1,000 individuals on-site through youth engagement programs, workshops, and a series of performances scheduled to take place in the Garden. The Union will also pursue ongoing partnerships with multiple North Omaha food pantries for further distribution of produce to those with the greatest need.

NDOT Seeks Witty, Creative Friday Safety Messages The Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) wants your ideas on safe driving advice to travelers in “Friday Safety Messages” via electronic message boards along Nebraska’s interstate and other major highways. These messages will be posted on Fridays and the more creative, the better. Perhaps you’ve caught a glimpse of some of these messages over the past couple of years, including “SAVE THE MADNESS FOR THE COURT, DRIVE SAFE,” in reference to the NCAA Basketball Tournament, or a St .Patrick’s Day reminder to “HOLD ON TO YOUR POT O’ GOLD, DRIVE SOBER.” Many of these short safety snippets have tied in with holidays or special events, such as the Olympics, current events, back-to-school or sports. After a successful launch last year, followed by even more interest in January of 2018, the NDOT, in partnership with the Nebraska State Patrol, wants to continue that effort, reaching out to the public for witty, creative messages

to display on Dynamic Message Signs (DMS) across the state. A new safety message is posted every Friday, for 24 hours from 12:00 a.m. until 12:00 a.m. Saturday, on overhead DMS along I 80 and I-29, reminding motorists to consider all aspects of driving and safety. Submissions will be accepted through May 31 for these safety-oriented messages. Those submitting messages are encouraged to consider topics about safe driving, including tie-ins with holidays and upcoming events through summer and early fall of 2018. Submissions need to be three lines of text, with a maximum 18 characters per line (spaces count). These will be evaluated to conform to regulations and edited for clarity. Send submissions to NDOT’s website: Don’t delay. Send your Friday Safety Messages today, and remember: “DON’T FUMBLE YOUR LIFE AWAY, BUCKLE UP!”

annual Omaha Summer Arts Festival (OSAF) one of the most anticipated ever. But the thing that will make this year’s three-day celebration on Farnam Street so unforgettable? People. Colorful, creative, energetic, art-loving people. Anyone can go to a store and buy a piece of art off the shelf, take it home and hang it on a wall, but people flock to the Summer Arts Festival to meet the artists in person and hear the stories behind the paintings and other artwork they take home. It’s called a human connection – and that’s something worth celebrating! New Hours for 2018 The CenturyLink Artists’ Market will be open this year from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on June 8; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on June 9; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 10. Here’s Something Else Worth Celebrating … Music After Dark! For several years, festival-goers have said, “We’re having so much fun – we don’t want to go home!” With that in mind, there is a new offering, the first-ever “OSAF After Dark.” Meet under the big-top of the World Music Pavilion on Friday at 9 p.m., but don’t expect to stay seated – the foot-moving beats by Kethro and funky grooves of Linear Symmetry will keep festivalgoers full of energy and dancing well into the night. That’s Not All That’s Been Extended Art fans have an extra hour on Saturday and Sunday to browse the artwork of the festival’s 135 exhibiting artists. OSAF will open an hour earlier those days, with times now stretching from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. 135 Booths to Shop at the CenturyLink Artists’ Market With more than 300 professional artists applying for the chance to present their art at the OSAF, you can expect to see some of the most imaginative, awe-inspiring art ever seen. The 135 visual artists from across the United States – chosen from a discerning group of judges – will offer a visual feast of fine arts and crafts, including painting, jewelry, ceramics, glass, sculpture and photography. The best part: The price range fits all budgets. There’s plenty of local art, too, with 10 juried-artists hailing from Nebraska and 10 from Iowa. Free Live Music All Weekend Throughout Friday, Saturday and Sunday, OSAF will present 15 free concerts at the World Music Pavilion on the Luigi Waites Main Stage.

Eat, Drink, Be Merry This year’s celebration will feature savory selections from OSAF favorites as well as new food vendors. There is something for everyone’s palate at TasteFest. Festival-goers can also enjoy beer, wine and an expanded selection of ice-cold beverages at the World Music Pavilion. And don’t forget the sweets – with fresh funnel cakes and Italian gelato among the tasty delights. Street Performers Add to the Atmosphere All Weekend In addition to performers from the World Music Pavilion, those who attend the 2018 OSAF will have the chance to see Morphis Art Live featuring artist Christopher Morphis, one of the top jugglers in the world, Sam Malcolm and award-winning comedy magician Magic Brian sharing the intersection of 14th and Farnam Streets. Eye Candy for Young Art Fans It’s not the “Kids” entertainment stage, and it’s not the “adults” entertainment stage because the Family Entertainment Stage offers an eclectic lineup that will appeal to all ages. And the Featured Illustration Goes to … The annual OSAF tradition of selecting a featured illustrator continues in 2018. Commissioned by an artist who captures the spirit of OSAF, this custom piece becomes the annual visual centerpiece for the Festival. Through an application process earlier this year, Omaha artist Grace Gaard was selected as the 2018 Featured Illustrator. Gaard’s piece will be featured on souvenirs, TV ads and promotional pieces. Park Omaha Offering Discount for Festivalgoers OSAF is proud to partner with Park Omaha to offer information and discounts on parking in the downtown area. To make parking easier, visitors can download the free Park Omaha app. With the app, users can pay for parking without leaving their vehicles and receive text messages and in-app reminders before meters expire. Exclusive for OSAF attendees, receive a discount on rates at select Park Omaha parking locations. For more details and the discount code, visit Visit or download the Park Omaha app for a complete list of available public parking downtown. Follow the Festival’s Facebook page for artist, music, food and other program announcements.

Lied Center Announces 2018-2019 Season of World-Class Artists (LINCOLN) – The Lied Center for Performing Arts at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is pleased to announce another outstanding season with the best in music, theater and dance performances, beginning Oct. 5 with Leslie Odom Jr. from Broadway’s “Hamilton.” Tickets to all performances are available as part of a season ticket package online at or through the Lied Center Ticket Office at 402-472-4747. In December, “The Book Of Mormon,” winner of 9 Tony Awards, will play a limited week-long engagement. The New York Times calls it “the best musical of this century” and Entertainment Weekly says it’s “the funniest musical of all time.” Classical highlights of the 18/19 season include two of the world’s iconic orchestras, the San Francisco Symphony and Russia’s Mariinsky Orchestra, as well as the seventh season of the Lied’s “Piano Series” bringing top piano soloists to Lincoln. Eleven-time Grammy Award-winning conductor Michael Tilson Thomas returns to the Lied for the first time since 1996 to lead a concert as part of his final season with the San Francisco Symphony, while the Mariinsky Orchestra performs Mahler’s triumphant Symphony No. 5, led by conductor Valery Gergiev. Lied Center Executive Director Bill Stephan said, “We pride ourselves in presenting worldclass artists to Nebraska audiences every season, and this year is no exception. From comedy legend Tim Allen to Complexions Contemporary Ballet featuring the music of David Bowie, Mannheim Steamroller Christmas to the best of Broadway, there is truly something for everyone on our stage.” The Lied Center’s full 18/19 season listing is as follows: An Act of God (Nebraska Rep) – Sept. 26-Oct. 14 An Evening with Leslie Odom Jr., star of Broadway’s Hamilton – Oct. 5 Johnny Mathis – The Voice of Romance Tour – Oct. 7 Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – Oct. 17 The Capitol Steps – Oct. 19 Chinese Warriors of Peking – Oct. 21 Sedition (Angels Theatre Company) – Oct. 25-28 Mariinsky Orchestra – Oct. 28 Ballet Folklórico De Mexico – Oct. 30 Monty Python’s SPAMALOT – Nov. 2-3 The TEN Tenors – Nov. 5 Gabriela Montero – Nov. 13 The Book of Mormon – Dec. 11-16 Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip

Davis – Dec. 20 Paul Shaffer & Nebraska Jazz Orchestra – Jan. 10 The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favorites – Jan. 17, 2019 The Broadway Princess Party – Jan. 19, 2019 Susan Werner – Jan. 25, 2019 Rennie Harris Puremovement – Jan. 26, 2019 Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I – Feb. 1- 2, 2019 Chris Botti – Feb. 7, 2019 My Ántonia – Feb. 7-8, 2019 Emanuel Ax – Feb. 10, 2019 Dutchman (Nebraska Rep) – Feb. 13, 2019 A Celebration of Music and Milestones, N 150 – Feb. 15, 2019 Tim Allen – Feb. 23, 2019 “Rent” 20th Anniversary Tour – March 1-3, 2019 A Celtic Celebration featuring Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy – March 5, 2019 The Polar Bears Go Up – March 7-8, 2019 Delfeayo Marsalis and the Uptown Jazz Orchestra – March 14, 2019 Purple Reign, The Prince Tribute Show – March 16, 2019 “Hair” (Nebraska Rep) – March 27, 2019 San Francisco Symphony – March 28, 2019 “Rain” – A Tribute to The Beatles – April 2- 3, 2019 Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Star Dust: A Tribute to David Bowie – April 11, 2019 The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain – April 14, 2019 Tap Dogs – April 23, 2019 “Something Rotten!” – April 26-27, 2019

Ticket Information A season ticket package is an order of any four or more events. Members of the general public will receive a 10% discount for season ticket orders including four to seven events. Orders of eight or more events will receive a 20% discount. UNL students can place season ticket orders and receive a 10% or 20% discount (in addition to the 50% discount all current UNL students receive on Lied Center tickets). Please note: There are no discounts for The Book of Mormon. If the performances are not sold-out through season ticket orders, any remaining tickets will be available for single ticket purchase starting in early August. Season ticket orders can be placed online at, by phone at 402-4724747, or in person at the Lied Center Box Office, 301 N. 12th St.

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LIFE & STYLE/HEALTH & WELLNESS May 18, 2018 The Best Of Ask Alma Disowning Kanye Many stars have also come out over the last week By Jayme S. Ganey A Dangerous Sister Act criticizing Kanye, including fellow artist,, who


By Alma Gill NNPA Columnist Dear Alma, My sister and I are very close. We’re only three years apart. Although not roommates, we do everything together. She’s a free spirit, college professor and lives well. I am a government employee who has a secret clearance and I too make a good living. My sister and I often take spa trips and luxurious vacations together. She was in a car accident and smokes marijuana for the pain. Recently, she’s started bringing her weed on our trips. I don’t smoke and I can’t take the chance of being caught at the airport with drugs. When I asked her not to bring it, she says it’s no big deal. She and I have a trip planned, but I’m not sure I want to go. I

don’t want to lose my job because of her habit. I’m not judging, but how do I get her to understand the position she’s put me in? Name withheld Sister, sister, based on your relationship, I’d suggest you be frank with her. Just say, “I can’t afford to lose my secret clearance, so you can’t bring your weed when we travel.” Remind her that you aren’t asking just because you don’t smoke, you’re asking because she’s jeopardizing your job. If she can lay off the pot for a few days, as a peace offering add Colorado to your list of vacation spots, just to show her you can be a good sport, LOL! If that’s not an option for her, here’s plan B. Take a different flight and book a separate hotel room. Boom, it’s that easy. She’s a smart woman, she’ll understand. What a double blessing, a sister who’s like a best friend. It doesn’t get much better than that. Alma

Kanye, who had previous rantings on Twitter, deleted all his tweets in 2013 along with his account, right before the release of his album “Yeezus.” He only returned to twitter just short of a month ago. However, he may have gone too far this time. Twitter has exploded with multiple responses including a #mutekanye campaign, where fans have not only threatened to cut him out of their social media, but also trade him out of the Black community and discard his music: In addition to the Twitter campaign, radio hosts BiGG and Shay Shay of “The Bounce” on Detroit’s Hip Hop radio station 105.1 made the collective decision after polling their listeners to pull all of Kanye’s songs (18 of them) out of rotation, according to the Detroit Free Press. Their tweet: “We feel like Kanye has gone too far with his latest statement declaring that ‘slavery was a choice.’ We are over it. We don’t want to hear Kanye’s music. So we are taking a stand and we aren’t playing his music anymore; we just are refusing to give him a platform.”

appeared on “Good Morning Britain” and questioned his “hood card” and hoped this wasn’t a ploy for album sales. Kanye has been known in the past to draw attention to himself prior to album releases, and he currently has an album release slated for June 1. TMZ’s Van Lathan, in regards to Kanye’s free thinking that he touted as the reason for his statements and a necessary tool for his art, retorted: “I actually don’t think you’re thinking anything. I think what you’re doing right now is actually the absence of thought.… Frankly, I’m disappointed, I’m appalled and, brother, I am unbelievably hurt by the fact that you have morphed into something, to me, that’s not real.” Social media has also continued to make a mockery of Kanye’s comments with #IfSlaveryWereAChoice: So who are the brave ones that are sticking by him? In addition to Trump supporters and Kim K., Adidas has decided to keep the Yeezy brand despite the controversy, according to the Detroit Free Press. At least sneakers don’t talk.

Michelle Obama: ‘I Wish Girls Could Fail as Bad as Men Do and Be OK’ By Sheryl Estrada At the United State of Women Summit in Los Angeles recently, former First Lady Michelle Obama talked with actor and activist Tracee Ellis Ross, star of “Black-ish,” about gender equality. Obama expressed that girls, and women, are held to a higher standard than men, who could fail repeatedly without repercussions. Some even “fail up” and become president. “I wish that girls could fail as bad as men do and be okay,” she said. “Because let me tell you, watching men fail up – it is frustrating. It’s frustrating to see a lot of men blow it and win. And we hold ourselves to these crazy, crazy standards.” Obama also said that often women in the workforce “have to take some risks for our girls.” “So many of us have gotten ourselves at the table, but we’re still too grateful

to be at the table to really shake it up,” she said. “That’s not a criticism, because for so many, just getting to the table was so hard, so you’re just holding on. But now we have to take some risks for our girls ... just holding onto our seats at the table won’t be enough to help our girls be all that they can be.” Women executives from Hilton ( No. 10), The Hershey Company (No. 33), General Motors (GM) (No. 31) and Humana (No. 48) discussed strategies that have helped shake things up and move women into leadership roles at their companies during the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies event in New York City. For example, GM CEO Mary Barra, the first woman to lead an auto manufacturer, began her career

at the company as a co-op student, and Alicia Boler-Davis started as a manufacturing engineer and now is executive vice president of global

manufacturing. DiversityInc COO Carolynn Johnson asked panelist Laura Jones, Global HR Director of GM’s Cadillac, to share why the company is successful in developing women’s talent. “It’s a behavior we are all accountable

run through manufacturing, global product development sales, service and marketing. At the Summit, Obama also criticized the role of women in electing President Donald Trump. “In light of this last election, I’m concerned about us, as women, and what we think about ourselves and about each other,” she said. “What is going on in our heads where we let that happen? So I do wonder what are young girls dreaming about, if we’re still there?” Obama continued, “When the most qualified person running was a woman and look what we did instead, I mean, that says something about where we are, if we as women are still suspicious of one another, if we still have this crazy, crazy bar that we don’t have for men ... if we’re not comfortable with the notion that a woman could be our president, compared to what?”

REACH REACH Health Ambassador Recognition Ceremony

Something to Talk About

No Time Like the Present By Ashley Marie Dantzler May is observed as Mental Health Month, a month that mental health awareness is talked about and widely publicized. I have often talked about the struggle being real, and that it is, but I am grateful for the many people in our community and those abroad, that observe this month to investigate their positions on the matter. From the music industry to the basketball court, people are talking about the struggle being real. Recently the National Basketball Association (NBA) began recognizing the truth behind mental health. All-Star players have emerged and taken a stand against stigma, speaking out about their own struggles, causing a needful chain reaction among the league. And now the NBA is taking serious steps in making sure that these athletes have the best in mental health care. They have broken the silence and in turn are breaking the chains of stigma. As a basketball fan and a person who battles with mental illnesses, I can appreciate the efforts of these organizations and their steps towards helping not only these brave voices, but also their adoring fans. This month should not be the only time we gather and speak about the truth behind the mental health curtain. I can only hope that this month become a beacon that shines throughout the whole year; letting people know the reality behind what so many call fiction. Because for so many their reality is so different than yours and even mine. I am so many times reminded just how blessed I am, but I will be transparent and say that I have been guilty of thinking otherwise. However, today I see the blessings in the form of awareness from my community, and strength from my support system. My support system may differ from yours, or from someone’s you know, but it is a blessing to know that we are not alone. And that we do not stand alone in this world full of hatred and bitterness towards those suffering mentally. We suffer, but we look for a reward in our recovery. A reward that only God can give. The strength may not lie in our mental stability, or our mental toughness. We may lack the basic things that one so freely takes for granted. But what we do have, what we possess possibly more than anyone else, is the will to want to be better. The will to want to educate our community; standing against stigma and prejudice against the walls of injustice that have so long surrounded us. Apart we are on an island, but together we are a mighty force for those who cannot speak for themselves. Those who have not found their voice. We wait for them, but for now we give them a bit of hope. A hope that they too will emerge and stand together with us. Don’t wait for tomorrow to seek help, tomorrow is promised to no one, and there is no time like the present. If you or a loved one are looking for a way to celebrate this month of champions and overcomers, there are people in our community and in the online community who can help. Visit or National Alliance on Mental Illness Omaha - www.

to own,” Jones said. She explained that Barra appointed Boler-Davis as chair of the company’s women’s advisory board. “As Boler-Davis says boldly, ‘we as women leaders in the company have to pay it forward,’ It’s a behavior that we have to own and it’s on us all to engage with women in the business and actually take them forward with us.” She continued, “Formally, Mary gathers in all the women senior leaders on a frequent basis. And she opens up the discussion of ‘Where are you engaging with certain women in the organization? What exposure are you giving them? What education can we give them?’” Jones said that she, herself, is a recipient of that kind of mentoring at GM. She also added that the company has women’s boot camps, which are

Racial and ethical approaches to community health (REACH) is a bi-weekly column featuring articles that focus on reducing health disparities in the African American community. It will include topics submitted by Creighton University Health Sciences Multicultural and Community Affairs (HS-MACA) department. By Dr. Richard L. Brown, Ph.D., FACHE Executive Director, REACH, Creighton University Last month, a recognition ceremony was held for 11 REACH (Racial and Ethnic Approach to Community Health) Health Ambassadors and 8 HSMACA/ CPHHE (Health Sciences Multicultural and Community Health/Center for Promoting Health and Health Equity) Community Health Advocates. Together these individuals are hereby referred to as Health Promoters (HP). This event was held at the Creighton University Cardiac Center auditorium in Omaha. Facilitated initially by the Creighton University school of Medicine and now the Douglass County Health Department, a “train the trainer” Physical Activity Leadership Certification Program was established three (3) years ago. The purpose of the program was to train community members from partnering faith based organizations, Omaha Housing Authority, Charles Drew Health Center and the Urban League of Nebraska, to promote physical activity at their organization locations and surrounding communities. Upon completion of the leadership training that includes extensive education on exercise and health, ambassadors are equipped with the necessary skills to develop and implement policies, systems and environmental improvements in North Omaha. Each HP has made commitments to serve as liaisons within the community through forming partnerships to build individual and community awareness about the value of participating in physical activity to reduce the risk

of chronic diseases by changing policies, systems and the environment. Since 2015, REACH has trained 56 Certified Health Ambassadors who have as their daily activity, to encourage physical activity among Omaha’s African-American community. In 2015, the HSMACA/CPHHE Community Health Advocates Program (CHA) was created. It was made possible with funding from Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) and Omaha Housing Authority (OHA). The purpose of the program is to provide training to eight lay-community individuals to become community advocates on health- related issues. CHAs served as liaisons between community members and health institutions to eliminate barriers of access to care through assistance in navigating Omaha healthcare systems. Organizations that contributed to CHAs training included representatives from Douglas County Health Department, Creighton University School of Medicine, Charles Drew Health Center, Omaha Police Department, UNMC Breast Cancer Navigation Program, One World Community Health Centers, and the centers’ co-directors and staff. Training for future CHAs will be solely supported by CPHHE, with assistance from the Creighton University Health Sciences Multicultural Community Affairs (HS-MACA).

GRADUATES Health Ambassadors: Mary Jo Rice, Khalil V. Ahmad, Leanne Belgrave, Ester Jackson Queen, Cheryl Lillie, Martha Foxall, Virginia Jefferson, Alisa Stovall, Rev. Walter Jones, Renee Jones, Juanita Thomas. Community Health Advocates: Alecia Ortis-Delgado, Dianna G. Ortiz, Antonio Lopez, Flor Hernandez, Pastor Trinidad Sotelo, Pastor Victor Esquivel, Maria Concepcion Garcia, Maria del Refugio Castaneda Silva.

African Americans and Kidney Disease New York, NY – African Americans are at least three times more likely than Whites to develop end-stage renal disease,

most commonly known as kidney failure. This lingering health crisis, its urgency, and the need to solve the problem through

Join us for Omaha’s Together To End StrokeM Walk rallying the Omaha community to promote stroke awareness and prevention.

Saturday, June 2 9 a.m. Walk | Fontenelle Park Pavilion Refreshments | Awards | Giveaways TEAMS consist of two or more family, friends and/or co-workers. The largest team registered by May 19 will get the traveling trophy. REGISTRATION FEE: $6 for youth 12 and under; $10 for adults S/M/L/XL; $13 for adults XXL/XXXL Register by May 19 online at to get t-shirt (Walkers are welcomed later, but will not receive a t-shirt.)

Register Today at: Questions? Call 402-444-3367 email Thanks for supporting the walk!

©2018 American Heart Association. Also known as the Heart Fund. MWA

living kidney donations versus years of dialysis, are the focal points of a new 60-second video public service announcement produced by the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) as part of “The Big Ask: The Big Give” platform. The PSA features two prominent African American women dedicated to fighting kidney disease: Kidney transplant surgeon Velma Scantlebury-White, MD, America’s first African American female transplant surgeon; and New York business executive Tracy McKibben, who donated a kidney to her mother. “The impact on our community is greater,” said McKibben, Founder and CEO of MAC Energy Advisors LLC, a global investment and consultant company; a Harvard Law School graduate and former National Security Council official in The White House. “Having gone to a dialysis center and seeing that the majority of the people there were African American, I was able to immediately see

the impact … but I don’t know if many people realize that. My mother was on dialysis for several years, and we just didn’t know that it was an option to be able to donate a kidney. My mother was able to have the last nine years that she had because I donated a kidney to her. I was able to give her a different life.” “The Big Ask: The Big Give” platform, which provides nationwide outreach, is designed to increase kidney transplantation through training and tools that help patients and families find a living donor. It includes direct patient and caregiver support through a toll free help line 855-NKFCARES, peer mentoring from a fellow kidney patient or a living donor, online communities, an advocacy campaign to remove barriers to donation, and a multi-media public awareness campaign. All of these resources are free and designed to teach kidney patients, or their advocates, how to make a “big ask” to their friends, loved

ones, or community to consider making a “big give,” a living organ donation. “One of the things we battle with is getting African Americans to get checked every year, because if they were aware of chronic kidney disease progressing to endstage kidney disease, there’s that possibility that they could get a living donor and avoid dialysis altogether,” said Dr. Scantlebury-White, Associate Director of Renal Transplant, Christiana Hospital, Newark, DE. “African Americans with kidney disease should know that they don’t have to be on dialysis for the rest of their lives. They should be encouraged to pursue becoming a candidate for a kidney transplant.” Dr. Scantlebury-White continued. “Many people are afraid to let their family know they need a kidney or even their friends, but they also fear that if they use their loved one they might be taking advantage of them. Once a patient is

transplanted, even on that first day, they look different, and they feel different.” Many people never receive a transplant because they’re not equipped with the tools they need to ask. “The Big Ask: The Big Give” has new, in-person trainings nationwide, presented with leading transplant centers that offer patients and potential donors the hands-on training they need to find a living donor. NKF then provides ongoing support to patients and their advocates with multiple tools and resources. “The initial results from “The Big Ask: The Big Give” are encouraging,” said Kevin Longino, CEO of the National Kidney Foundation and a kidney transplant recipient for more than 13 years. “We’re seeing success stories come in from people who have just gone through the program. Participants are stepping forward to tell us they’ve found potential living donors or a living donor who is a match.”


May 18, 2018

MAPA Amending Transportation Plan for 156th Street Project

The Omaha-Council Bluffs Metropolitan Area Planning Agency (MAPA) is amending its 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) to address cost increases for the City of Omaha’s 156th construction project: Pepperwood Drive to Corby Street. The public comment period runs through May 30, 2018 and will include an open house public meeting. Please arrive at any time during the meeting time frame.

Wednesday (May 23), 4-6 p.m., MAPA, 2222 Cuming St. MAPA offices are located on Metro bus routes 4, 18 and 24. Bike racks are available in front of the building. Please submit written comments via mail or email by 4:30 p.m. on May 30. Metropolitan Area Planning Agency 2222 Cuming St. Omaha, NE 68102 Email: Phone: (402) 444-6866

Fax: (402) 951-6517 View the 2040 LRTP amendment at: https://tinyurl. c o m / M A PA - 2 0 4 0 - L RT P Amendment Meetings of the OmahaCouncil Bluffs Metropolitan Area Planning Agency are conducted in compliance with the Iowa and Nebraska Statutes of the Open Meetings Act. Auxiliary aids, language assistance and services are available when requested in advance.

Epting Draws On Faith, Family, Roots For Soul Food Restaurant

Justin Epting may have one of the toprated restaurants in the country, but he hasn’t forgotten where he came from. In fact, it’s his faith in God, his family and his roots that he credits for his current success. “Glory be to God,” said Epting. “He’s been taking very good care of us.” Epting was featured earlier this month by “Travel Noire,” a digital publishing platform that offers tips and resources for unconventional travelers. His Bellevue-based business, Quick Bites Soul Food, was highlighted in the article, “50 Restaurants, 50 States: The Best BlackOwned Restaurants In America.” It was the only restaurant in Nebraska to make the list. “I had no idea there even was a list,” said Epting. “One of the guys who does dialysis with me, told me about it. I had to do a Google search to see if it was true.” The recognition is one of many Quick Bites has received since opening Nov. 14, 2016. Best Things Nebraska honored the restaurant as one of “The 10 Best Places for Fried Chicken in Nebraska” – an entrée that also earned a spot in the 2017 Sarpy County People’s Choice Awards. Although the length of time he has been in business is relatively short in relation to the number of accolades he has received, Soul Food – Justin Epting hangs a sign for his new restaurant, Quick Bites Soul Food, in Bellevue. Epting earning them has taken a lifetime. is originally from North Platte.

what I wanted to do anyway,” Justin said. “So, I A dream in the making “I always knew I wanted to own a soul food switched gears. I had been working at a restaurant restaurant,” said Epting. “I grew up in North while going to school and had been learning as Platte, Nebraska, where there wasn’t anything like much about the business as possible because that, but I was fortunate in that the best soul food whatever I’m doing, I want to be the best. Since I came from my mother’s kitchen. Most of the stuff had a foot in the door, I decided to go back to my original dream and open my own restaurant.” I learned about cooking came from her.” The influence of his mother, Dot Epting, can be found in the flavors and recipes used at Quick A dream comes to fruition Justin took some culinary classes, but drew Bites. Almost all of the desserts offered, such as the pound cake and the crazy chocolate cake are primarily on his childhood experiences and his mother’s influence when planning Quick Bites. Dot’s recipes. He hired a chef and found the perfect location in “When I started writing the menu for my restaurant, the person I wanted approval from was a vacant space that needed only minor renovations, my mom,” Justin said. “I still call on her if I’m formerly a Mexican restaurant in Olde Towne thinking about adding something new, and she Bellevue. “As a veteran, I loved the idea of being so close calls me with ideas, too.” Types and quality of food weren’t all Justin to Offutt Air Force Base,” Justin said. “I wanted learned from his mother, however. He also picked to be able to offer the people there a good homecooked meal, and soul food is that. Soul food up on her presentation skills. “The kids were always teasing me because I like makes you feel warmth in your bones.” The restaurant was ready to open by September my plate to look a certain way,” said Dot. “All the of 2016. food has a place, and there needs “We had a prayer dedication and to be some color. I remember everything, but then the next day one time the kids put together I found out I had to have heart a dinner for me, and I was so surgery,” said Justin. “Between impressed by it. Instead of the that and the fact that I have to usual baked potato we would do dialysis three times a week, have with a steak, Justin, who the opening was delayed. We was 9 or 10 at the time, served ended up doing a soft opening the steak atop ramen noodles in November and then the grand then arranged vegetables around opening in February of 2017.” it before handing it to me.” Business picked up quickly as Hospitality was another lesson word about Quick Bites spread. Justin learned in Dot’s kitchen – Soon, people from all over the he just didn’t appreciate it at the state were coming through the time. doors to experience the catfish “Anyone who grew up around nuggets, cornbread, red beans and my family knew about my rice, collard greens, watermelon mom’s cooking, and my mom always had an open door,” Justin and his mother, Dot sweet tea and other delicacies Justin said. “After I was grown, Epting, take time out for a offered. I would go back to visit, and I picture together following the Because of his health, Justin had was always like, ‘Why are all opening of Justin’s restaurant, to rely heavily on those around these other people in my home?’ Quick Bites Soul Food. Dot is him – especially his family. I could never go to my mom’s the inspiration behind the new “My wife Carolyn is the reason we were able to get the restaurant house and eat just with her. It business. open at all,” Justin said. “There’s always had to be with the whole rest of the city. But, that’s how it’s supposed to be. no way I could have done it, or could continue God wants us to share what we create with others. to operate the business, without her. She does so much behind the scenes. She keeps the restaurant That’s what we do with Quick Bites.” running, makes almost all the desserts and has incorporated a store called, Carolyn’s Corner, with The early days Quick Bites wasn’t even on the radar when candy and specialty gifts.” The couple’s children, LaDarius, Justinna, Justin graduated from North Platte High School in May of 1993. He joined the U.S. Navy a month Jaylen and Jru also help with various aspects of the restaurant, including serving and social media. later and ended up stationed in San Diego. Justin sailed to Hawaii, Japan and Korea and That’s a huge help considering business continues toured up and down the east coast of the U.S. as to grow at a rapid pace. “We make gumbo on a regular basis, and people a member of the all-Navy boxing team. He was forced into an early medical retirement in 1997 come out of the woodwork for it,” Justin said. “We have a lot of returning customers because of the after being diagnosed with kidney disease. “At that point, I returned to North Platte,” food, but also because of the fellowship.” In fact, business has been so good that Justin is Justin said. “I worked for the railroad for a while then started college at North Platte Community already considering expanding to another location. His success has been a celebration for the College. That’s where I really got my focus and started thinking about my future. I joined the whole family, but it’s quite possible that no one is basketball team and studied medicine. My goal prouder than his mom. “Quick Bites has been such a blessing for was to become a doctor.” Justin knew that in order to achieve that goal, he Justin,” Dot said. “It’s been a vision of his for so would have to work his way up one level at a time. many years, and he’s worked so hard for it. He’s He graduated from NPCC’s Emergency Medical the perfect example of someone who got his start Technician program in 2001 then transferred in his own backyard, and I hope others see that. to the University of Nebraska Omaha to study It’s not ‘nothing’ out here in rural Nebraska. It’s ‘something’ - in some cases, a tipping point for a nutritional science. “My idea was to become a nutritionist, then go diamond in the rough.” Quick Bites is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. to med school and become a doctor,” said Justin. Plans changed when he had to have a kidney Monday through Saturday. It offers catering, taketransplant and was unable to continue his studies. out and delivery via Fast Guys Delivery service in “I started to realize being a doctor wasn’t really addition to a dine-in option.


Page Nine

United Way Receives Grant from Lincoln Financial Group United Way of the Midlands (UWM) is proud to announce it has been awarded a grant of $85,000 from the Lincoln Financial Group. The grant is supporting UWM’s partnership with the Siemer Institute and Family Housing Advisory Services (FHAS) – a collaborative partnership that addresses the needs of families on the edge of homelessness. The Family Support program, managed by FHAS, ensures families stay in their homes and children stay in school. About 320,000 people in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro area are not financially stable. When callers contact UWM’s 2-1-1 Helpline seeking services, more than 60% of needs are related to housing and utilities. With Lincoln Financial Group’s support, UWM’s partnership with the Siemer Institute and FHAS will help families remain in their homes, improve their income and ensure children remain in their school of choice. The Family Support Case managers work intensively with clients to provide housing and financial coaching, which reduces the likelihood a child will move. Through the program, families receive financial literacy education, housing education and rent/utility assistance. The program emphasizes the intensity, duration and depth of the services provided to clients so that families can overcome immediate barriers and experience long-term stability. The program uses an evidenced-based model shared by similar programs across the country, and UWM’s outcomes are consistently above average. Lincoln Financial Group’s contribution will allow UWM to continue its partnership with the Siemer Institute and FHAS with a commitment to address the complex barriers to opportunity that are experienced by people living in poverty in our community. This partnership represents the best of what happens when effective organizations come together, and in doing so, improve lives and strengthen our community with an impact that is greater than the sum of individual efforts. Lincoln Financial Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Lincoln Financial Group, believes in empowering people to live greater lives, which advances culture and empowers greater positive change. Its grant is part of Lincoln Financial’s annual $10 million investment in its local communities’ youth education, economic and workforce development, human well-being and arts programs.

Popular Owl Ride Event Returns on Aug. 4 Registration has opened for the Aug. 4 Owl Ride, Omaha’s nighttime urban cycling adventure. The unique recreational bike ride, now in its eighth year, is the largest annual night bicycle ride between Chicago and Denver. Register online by visiting http://www.owlride. org. There is a cost for adults and children 12 and under when riding with an adult; the cost is higher the day of the event. There’s also a new Owlet Ride that will let the youngest of kids on their bikes, trikes and big wheels join in the fun. This year’s starlit ride will feature an earlier start (9 p.m.) at Lewis and Clark Landing on Omaha’s riverfront. There’s again a choice of a 17-mile course through Midtown, Dundee, Aksarben, Field Club and downtown, or a shorter, family friendly 7.5-mile course. One thing that hasn’t changed is the great cause the ride benefits – helping the non-profit Meyer Foundation for Disabilities (MFD) improve the lives of adults with developmental disabilities in our community. Almost everyone knows or went to school

with someone who has Down syndrome, autism or some other disability. Did you know that as children with disabilities age out of the school system into adulthood, support for them and their families dries up, often leaving them socially isolated? The Owl Ride gives these families a lift, providing recreational, social and life skills programs for young adults with disabilities, many delivered through UNMC’s renowned MunroeMeyer Institute. When you register for the Owl Ride, you help these young adults enjoy an evening of swimming, playing games with friends, or learning to cook for themselves. And you give their families a much-needed break from the role of 24/7 caregivers. In the past, as many as 2,000 riders have taken part in the ride. Bicycle decorations ranging from battery-powered holiday lights to custom neon creations enhance the atmosphere of the ride, with awards given for the best-decorated bikes. There’s a ride after-party, too.

Check out our Facebook Page! NOTICE TO BIDDERS OMAHA, NE PROJECT #: 04-18 – SHELTER INSTALL Separate sealed bid proposals will be received at the Offices of the Transit Authority of the City of Omaha, d/b/a Metro (Metro), Omaha, Nebraska, until 2:00 pm local time, on Thursday, June 14th, 2018 for the furnishing of all labor, materials, use of Contractor’s equipment and plant, and all else necessary to properly construct Bus Shelters and miscellaneous amenities at shelter locations throughout the City of Omaha, as more clearly specified in the construction documents. At which hour, Metro will proceed to publicly open in the presence of bidders and consider the bid proposals received for the furnishing of said labor, materials, and equipment necessary for the proper construction of the improvements. Proposals submitted after this date and time will be deemed non-compliant and will not be considered. The project has a base bid that includes the complete construction of Bus Shelters at various location in Omaha NE. Plans, Specifications, Davis-Bacon Wage Rates, and Contract Documents may be examined at 2222 Cuming St, Omaha NE. Contract Documents will also be available online at General Contract Work Items: The complete project includes the construction of 57 Bus Shelters in various location in Omaha NE, plus 2 Add Alternates. Prospective bidders are hereby advised that the work includes. • • • •

Remove and replace 45 existing shelters with new shelters to be provided by Metro. Modify current site for 27 existing shelters. Install 14 new shelters on new sites. Remove, without replacing, 11 shelters.

Contract Time: Metro has established a completion date of Friday, November 2, 2018 for the project. All project work shall be substantially completed within the stated timeframe. Bid Security: Each bid proposal must be accompanied by a bid guaranty in the amount of 5% of the total amount of the bid. The bid guaranty must be a bid bond made payable to the Transit Authority of the City of Omaha, d/b/a Metro. Bonding Requirements: The successful bidder will be required to furnish separate performance and payment bonds each in the amount equal to 100% of the contract price at the time of contract execution. Award of Contract: Award of the contract will be based on the lowest base bid submitted from those bidders that are confirmed as being responsive and responsible. The right is reserved, as Metro may require, to reject any and all bids and to waive any informality in the bids received. Funds for project are being provided through a Federal Transportation Administration grant. Federal Provisions applicable to this project include; Equal Employment Opportunity – Executive Order 11246 and 41 CFR Part 60, Disadvantage Business Enterprise – 49 CFR Part 26, Davis-Bacon Act, as amended – 29 CFR Part 5, Debarment, Suspension, Ineligibility and Voluntary Exclusion – 49 CFR Part 29, Foreign Trade Restriction – 49 CFR Part 30, Buy American Certification, Lobbying Restrictions – 49 CFR part 20. Additional Provisions: Modification to the project documents may only be made by written addendum by Metro or Metro’s authorized Representative. The bid proposal must be made on the forms provided by Metro. Bidders must supply all required information prior to the time of bid opening. Submittal of Bids: Additional information and instruction for submittal of the bid proposal are provided within the Instruction-to-bidders. A Pre-Bid Conference will be held at the Metro Administrative Facility, 2222 Cuming St, Omaha NE on May 22th at 2:00 pm CT. The conference will include the review of the scope of work and bidders will have the opportunity to ask questions. All bidders are strongly encouraged to attend the Pre-Bid Conference but it is not mandatory. Envelopes containing bids must be sealed and addressed to: the Transit Authority of the City of Omaha, d/b/a Metro, attn.: Jeff Rumery, Grant Administrator, 2222 Cuming Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68102. The upper left-hand corner of the sealed envelope must identify the following information: CONTRACT BID Bid of (Name of Contractor) For construction improvements at: 04-18 Shelter Install Grant No.: NE-90-X107 To be opened at: Metro Administration Office, 2222 Cuming St, Omaha NE June 14th, 2018 at 2:00 pm, local time. Dated this 9th Day of May, 2018. BY The Transit Authority of the City of Omaha, d/b/a Metro



Omaha Author Pens Children’s Book Celebrating Tuskegee Airmen

LaVon Stennis-Williams of Omaha recently published the 32-page, full-color illustrated children’s book “When I Grow Up, I Want To Be Like the Brave Men of Tuskegee.” The book celebrates the history of the Tuskegee Airmen through the narrative of the book’s main character, Brandon Dean. Brandon is a fictional character named after the author’s new grandson. In the book, Brandon is an 8-year-old sharing what he’s learned about the Tuskegee Airmen from books his Papa reads to him. Brandon’s best friend is Kyle Wayne, named to honor the memory of Staff Sgt. Kyle Wayne LeFlore, who was killed last January in an Omaha robbery. The book is dedicated to the memory of LeFlore, the Tuskegee Airmen and all brave men and women who serve America. The Tuskegee Airmen refers to a group of African-Americans who became the first to fly U.S. military combat missions in war. They formed the 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the United States Army Air Forces. Their ranks also included navigators, bombardiers, mechanics, instructors, crew chiefs, nurses, cooks and other support personnel. Black military pilots trained at Moton Field, the Tuskegee Army Air Field, and were educated at Tuskegee University (Alabama). The resilience, bravery and skill demonstrated by the Tuskegee pilots in escorting Allied bombing missions over North Africa and Europe in World War II earned them respect. The full story of their achievements did not become known until decades after the conflict. Some Tuskegee Airmen variously owned Nebraska roots or settled in the state after the war.

Illustrator of the book is Rana Wijayasoe. When I Grow Up is the first of several works that Stennis-Williams intends to publish in a legacy series highlighting African-American history targeting young readers. An adult book written and published by the author entitled Climbing Forward is scheduled for a Fall 2018 release. The forthcoming adult book focuses on building resiliency to overcome challenges and is the first in a series StennisWilliams is developing around personal selfdevelopment. Inspiration for the children’s and adult series come from her love of history and her own personal experiences of overcoming challenges. Stennis-Williams is founder and executive director of ReConnect, Inc. The human service and life skills agency based in Omaha works with the state’s re-entry population and their families. The former attorney is also a motivational speaker. An author’s reception and book signing will be held May 30 at 5:30 p.m. at Rhythmz , 10841 Q St., to celebrate the release of “When I Grow Up” and the launch of the author’s publishing company, Two Bee Publishing. Stennis-Williams formed Two Bee as a platform for books written to inspire, motivate and encourage children and adult readers to become who they aspire to be. “When I Grow Up” is available on Amazon ( or directly through Two Bee Publishing (https:// For more details and to arrange signings and talks, contact the author at twobeepublishing@

NAACP Juneteenth Parade is June 16

‘A Night at the Dreamland Ballroom’ The Great Plains Black History Museum invites the community to visit A Night at the Dreamland Ballroom exhibit opening on June 1 at 6 p.m., and dancing with The Omaha Jitterbugs on June 2 at 11 a.m. Dreamland Ballroom hosted some of the country’s greatest jazz acts during its heyday in the 1930s, 40s and 50s until its closing in 1965. The exhibit will highlight photos and artifacts from this era. The exhibit will be on display until Sept. 1. The museum, 2221 N. 24th St., is open to the public at no charge Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 1-5 p.m. For more information about the Great Plains Black History Museum, phone 402932-7077 or follow them on Facebook at Greatplainsblackhistorymuseum.

The Omaha Branch of the NAACP is gearing up for the best parade of the summer – the NAACP Juneteenth Parade Celebration! On Jan. 1, 1863, President Lincoln issued the official Emancipation Proclamation declaring “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious areas “are, and henceforward shall be free.” On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, TX with the announcement that granted freedom to the last remaining slaves in the United States. Juneteenth commemorates freedom from slavery and reminds us of the horrors and tragedy of slavery. It also gives us an opportunity to reflect on this dark part of our nation’s history and build upon the strength, sacrifice and courage of those slaves who fought to be free. Juneteenth gives the community an opportunity to celebrate our heritage and successes. The annual Juneteenth parade will be held June 16 from 10 a.m. – noon. The route is 30th & Lake north to 30th & Sprague. Join the celebration! Register your business, organization or group by phoning 402-3456227.

Business Connection

To advertise your business, please contact Phyllis Hicks. Call 402-346-4041 Ext. 4 or email

Convenient Store Entertainment



Timothy Ashford


Attorney at Law

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Sherman P. Willis, Agent 4915 N 120th St Ste 107 Omaha, NE 68164 Bus: 402-493-1000 Mon-Fri 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Evenings and Sat by appt. 24/7 Good Neighbor Service

In The Village! Things to do, people to see, places to go. May 22 – Omaha Police Department Northeast PAC meeting, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. at 4316 n. 30th St. Lunch is provided and RSVPs are required. For more info, contact Theola Cooper at May 23 – Latino Center of the Midlands will host Diversion and Inclusion Happy Hour at Capitol District Plaza, 1022 Capitol Ave from 5-7 p.m. Learn about their program, current volunteer opportunities and meet with the staff and other inclusion/diversity groups in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. For more info, contact Candy Jimenez-Caballero at ccaballero@ To register, visit Eventbrite. May 25 – Midtown Crossing’s pop-up festivals at Turner Park from 6-10 p.m. More than 30 local vendors will offer a wide selection of handmade goods and local non-profits will provide fun activities for all ages. Food options will be available. Enjoy cold beer, wine and signature cocktails at the new Cocktail Patio, while having the option to stroll the market with beer or wine in hand. The event is free, open to the public and dog-friendly. May 26 – The Pleasant Green Baptist Church Women’s Fellowship will host a “Tea Party” brunch honoring their first lady, Cali Page, from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. at the church, 5555 Larimore Ave. RSVP to pgbcwomensfellowship@gmail. com. May 26 – Summer Reading Program kickoff party at Washington branch library, 2868 Ames Ave from 1-3 p.m. For more info, phone 402-444849. May 27 – Expand Your Horizons at a series of informative gatherings sponsored by the Social Justice Committee of the Notre Dame Sisters and Associates. The May topic is Nebraska’s Death Penalty - Then and Now - Current Legal Challenges. Discuss and understand the current legal challenges to Nebraska’s Death Penalty with Amy Miller, Legal Director of ACLU of Nebraska and Matt Maly, Operations Coordinator for Nebraskans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (NADP). The gathering

will be held from 7-8:30 p.m. at Notre Dame Housing, Senior Center, 3439 State St. For more info, phone 402-455-2994. May 30 – LaVon Stennis-Williams will host a reception and book signing for her newly released children’s book, When I Grow Up, I Want To Be Like the Brave Men of Tuskegee, at 5:30 p.m. at Rhythmz, 10841 Q Street. The public is invited. May 31 – Salon Talk: Licensure with Kessa Moore at Union for Contemporary Arts, 2423 N. 24th St., from 6:30-8:00 p.m. Join a nuanced conversation about licensure for braiding professionals in Nebraska and nationally with local stylist Kessa Moore. What are the regulations surrounding hair braiding services? What protections and barriers do they create? How does traditional cosmetology include or exclude Black hair care techniques? The event is free and open to the public. For more info, phone 402-933-3161. June 1 – Urban League of Nebraska Guild hosts their annual African-American Leadership Awards, from 6-9 p.m. at the Hilton Omaha, 1001 Cass St. The awards recognize the achievements of local African Americans in the areas of Business, Community, Education, Faith, Government, Health, Young Professional (ages 21 to 39) and Youth (ages 16 to 18). For more info, phone 402-453-9730. June 1-2 – The Great Plains Black History Museum opens A Night at the Dreamland Ballroom exhibit at 6:00 p.m. and dancing with The Omaha Jitterbugs on Saturday, June 2, at 11:00 a.m. The museum, 2221 North 24th St., is open to the public at no charge Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 1-5 p.m. June 10 – The Munroe-Meyer Guild’s Garden Walk turns 50 this year. Some of this year’s gardens were originally featured on the Garden Walk up to 20 years ago. The Garden Walk will be held from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Tickets are available online. Children younger than 5 are free, but no strollers are allowed in the gardens. For more info, or to buy tickets, visit https://

Summer Reading Program Kick-Off Party Start your summer off right by signing up yourselves and the youth in your family for the Washington library (2868 Ames Ave) Summer Reading Program on May 26 from 1-3 p.m. There will be prize drawings and refreshments. For those who complete the program by reading 10 or more hours by the end of July - here is what you can look forward to: For kids: • Coupons for local sponsors • Free book • Foldable backpack • Storm Chasers voucher (for an 8/5 or 8/6 game) • Still pending: Entry in a drawing for a NEST 529 scholarship • Entry in a drawing for gift certificates to local venues

For teens: • Coupons for local sponsors • Free book • Pair of earbuds • Storm Chasers voucher (for an 8/5 or 8/6 game) • Still pending: Entry in a drawing for a NEST 529 scholarship • Entry in a drawing for gift certificates to local venues For adults: • Pair of earbuds • Coupon for a free book from Friends of OPL • Still pending: Chipotle coupon • Entry in a drawing for gift certificates to local venues.

Groundbreaking Ceremony For New Westside Boys & Girls Club Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands and Westside Community Schools broke ground on May 8 at Westbrook Elementary, 1414 Robertson Dr., for the construction of the new Westside Boys & Girls Club honoring the Hawkins Family. Longtime advocates of the Clubs, the Hawkins Family, Kim, Karen, and their three children, are passionate about serving kids and providing them with opportunity through the Clubs. Karen and Kim have been instrumental in making Boys & Girls Clubs one of the largest youth-serving organizations in Omaha over the last 30 years. Karen and Kim have significantly built on a long history of the Hawkins family involvement with BGCM and have taken it to new heights. They have brought a strong sense of family to their involvement by introducing their children to the Clubs where they have now taken leadership roles. For 13 years, the Westside Boys & Girls Club has provided a safe and fun place for youth ages 6-18 to spend time after school. This brand new state of the art facility will continue the mission to inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, healthy and caring members of society. Students, staff, parents, community members and invited guests celebrated the ongoing partnership and investment in our community’s future – our youth.

“Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands is honored to continue our partnership with Westside Community Schools,” said Ivan Gilreath, President and CEO of Boys & Girls Club of the Midlands. “Our afterschool program at Westbrook Elementary will have a newly built facility that will be safe, fun and equipped with a state of the art Innovation Center that will have the latest and greatest technology, including a drone obstacle course. This Center will also be available to the school during school hours. Our partnership will provide opportunities to assist youth in being successful academically and socially.” The $3.7 million facility will be 15,000 sq. ft. and serve 250 youth per day. Construction will begin at the conclusion of the school year and is slated to open on the first day of school in August of 2019. The Club will consist of a shared secure entry for both the Club and the school, space for younger members, teen center, learning center with computers, and an innovation center/multipurpose area that can be used for flying drones or a basketball game. “Our job as educators is to help our learners grow and thrive in all facets of their lives,” said Tyler Hottovy, Principal of Westbrook Elementary. “This beautiful new facility, right next door to Westbrook, ensures children will continue learning in a positive environment every day when they leave school.”

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Have You Heard About The Business Connection? To advertise your business, please contact Phyllis Hicks.

Join Today! Call 402-346-4041 Ext. 4 or email

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May 18, 2018


Congratulations to 15 Great Teachers The 2018 Alice Buffett Outstanding Teacher Award Winners

Rachael Arens

S. Hakan Armagan

Penny Eastwood

Jimmie Foster

Colleen Kurmel

Northwest High School Science

Burke High School Physics

Davis Middle School Special Education

Central High School Social Studies

Bancroft Elementary Special Education

Rachael Arens has been with OPS for 4 years, all of them at Northwest. She has a B.A. and an M.S. from UNO. Miss Arens is from Pierce, NE.

S. Hakan Armagan, a native of Turkey, has been with OPS for 14 years. Mr. Armagan has a B.S. from the University of Ankara and an M.S. from UNL.

Penny Eastwood has been a teacher with OPS for 5 years, all of them at Davis. A native of Omaha, Mrs. Eastwood has a B.S. from Concordia University.

Jimmie Foster, a native of Broken Bow, OK, has spent his entire 21-year teaching career with OPS at Central. Mr. Foster has a B.S. and an M.S. from UNO.

Colleen Kurmel has been with OPS for 35 years, 34 of them at Bancroft. Mrs. Kurmel is from Omaha and has a B.S. from Morningside College and an M.S. from UNO.

Laura Marr

Jodie Martinez

Debbie Oshlo

Durkhany Prososki

Ana Rivera

Liberty Elementary Pre-Kindergarten

Central High School English

King Elementary English as a Second Language

Central Park Elementary Fifth Grade

Gomez Heritage Elementary First Grade

Laura Marr has been with OPS for 13 years, all of them at Liberty. Mrs. Marr is a native of Ft. Gordon, GA, and has a B.S. from UNO and an M.Ed. from Concordia University.

Jodie Martinez, a native of Des Moines, IA, has been with OPS for 31 years, all of them at Central. Ms. Martinez has a B.S. and an M.A. from UNO.

Debbie Oshlo has been teaching in OPS for 13 years, 11 of them at King. Ms. Oshlo is from Council Bluffs and has a B.S. and an M.S. from UNO.

Durkhany Prososki has been with OPS for 14 years, all of them at Central Park. Mrs. Prososki is from Omaha and has a B.S. from UNO and an M.S. from Wayne State College.

Ana Rivera, a native of Puerto Rico, has been with OPS for 18 years, 14 of them at Gomez Heritage. Mrs. Rivera has a B.A. from the University of Puerto Rico and an M.Ed. from Concordia University.

Danielle Rowe

Rose Rydberg

Nicholas Spath

John Urbanski

Gregory Verranault

Washington Elementary Kindergarten

McMillan Magnet School and North High School Music

Beveridge Middle School Music

Morton Middle School Physical Education

Fullerton Elementary Third Grade

Nicholas Spath has been with OPS for 15 years, the last 2 at Beveridge. A native of Omaha, Mr. Spath has a B.M. and an M.M. from UNL.

John Urbanski has been with OPS for 17 years, all of them at Morton. Mr. Urbanski is from Grand Island and has a B.A. from UNK.

Gregory Verranault has been with OPS for 11 years, the last 4 at Fullerton. A native of Kearney, Mr. Verranault has a B.A. from UNK and an M.S. from Peru State College.

Danielle Rowe has been with OPS for 9 years, all of them at Washington. Ms. Rowe, a native of Riverside, CA, has a B.A. from Wayne State College.

Rose Rydberg has been with OPS for 10 years; 10 at McMillan and 3 at North. Mrs. Rydberg has a B.M. and an M.M. from UNO. She is from Omaha.

It is with a great deal of pride that we make these awards of $10,000 each, to teachers in the Omaha Public School system. Fortunately for Omaha, there are far more great teachers in the Omaha Public School system than there are awards to give. We particularly thank all of you who nominated so many fine teachers, and we encourage you to support them for the 2019 awards.

In a wide variety of ways, each outstanding teacher is respected and admired by students, parents and peers. Each one has an unusual ability to make subject matter come alive. Each one goes to extraordinary lengths to encourage and stimulate our childrens’ interests in numerous subjects and skills. Each one shows incredible energy over the school day – a day that often extends into the evening and weekend. As a group, they are among our most important resources for the future. We cannot support and applaud them enough.

Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation 808 Conagra Drive, Omaha, NE 68102

Page Eleven

YOUTH/EDUCATION NEWS May 18, 2018 McDonald’s ‘True to the HBCU’ Scholarship Inia Jones Represents Nebraska at Thurgood Marshall College Fund the EGB All American Games (TMCF) and McDonald’s are proud

Page Twelve


Inia Jones was the first in Nebraska to receive an invite, and play, at the Elite Girls Basketball (EGB) All American Games. This invite-only event brings some of the nation’s top rising players together, allowing them to showcase their talent by competing with and against each other. Inia currently attends Buffet Middle School, where she excels academically. Out of more than 2,500 applicants, Inia was one of 120 outstanding middle school girls’ basketball players to be selected. Thanks to the support of family and community, Inia was afforded the opportunity to recognize the skills of other girls her age and see where she stood against national competition. Inia was seen as a good candidate for the opportunity while playing with Team Nebraska Express, wherein she consistently demonstrates her ability to play at an elite level. The first day consisted of a photo shoot, meet and greet with WNBA players, and a light practice, allowing players to get acquainted with teammates. Once business for the morning ended, the players were able to enjoy some Women’s Final Four activities with their ELITE access. Later that LaChina Robinson, Basketball Analyst evening, the gym was standing room only, as the players for ESPN and the Atlanta Dream of the WNBA were given the opportunity to stand out with back to back showcase games. Inia did not disappoint, she quickly garnered the attention of scouts and college recruits with her high energy and competitive spirit. “The experience was amazing,” says Jones. “I was scared at first, but then I just remembered to have fun.” Due to Inia’s impressive showing, she was named the All American Games’ co-MVP of her class (2024). Out of the 120 who attended this years’ All American Games, Inia was one of only 20 invited back for the 2019 Women’s Final Four event, scheduled in Tampa, Fla. She was described by Blue Star Media as, “Inia Jones – 2024 – Omaha, Nebraska – Strong individual skills with the ball - Can penetrate and pass - Reads - Always attacking - Works well in traffic - Changes direction on a dime at speed.” Inia is one of many girls who can compete on an elite level. This opportunity will provide other girls an opportunity to showcase their talents and position themselves to play basketball on the collegiate level. Inia stated that the experience has boosted Shay Murphy, WNBA player of the her confidence. She is looking forward to attending again next year and plans to work hard this summer. San Antonio Stars


6 p.m. Reception 7 p.m. Awards Ceremony

Friday, June 1, 2018 Hilton Omaha 1001 Cass St. Omaha, NE 68102

For tickets and sponsorship opportunities, please visit or call (402)-453-9730 $1,000 Reserved Table for Ten $50 Individual Ticket (General Admission)




Chandra Henley Union Pacific Railroad

Arvin Frazier College Possible

Dr. Sandra Hodges Omaha Public Schools (Ret.)


Reverend Jon Lucas New Rising Star Church


Captain Wayne Hudson Douglas County Sheriff’s Department


Kenny McMorris Charles Drew




Lonnie McIntosh

Aja Anderson Charles Drew Health Center

Rianna Gunter Omaha North High Magnet School

to offer opportunities to outstanding undergraduate or graduate students attending one of the 47 publiclysupported Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) within the TMCF member-school network. Selected scholars will receive a scholarship award during the upcoming academic school year, which may be used toward covering the costs of tuition and fees, on-campus room and board or required textbooks purchased from member schools. The McDonald’s True To The HBCU Forward Scholarship is awarded for dedication to your HBCU and campus community. How do you represent your school in the classroom and on campus? Why did you choose your specific school? Tell us about your HBCU pride and why you always stay True to your HBCU! The scholarship is open to students 18 years or older, and all applicants must be currently enrolled in the upcoming school year as a full-time student at one of TMCF’s 47 member-schools; undergraduate or graduate. In addition, the applicant’s current grade point average must be 3.0 or higher. Applicants must be able to demonstrate involvement in their HBCU community, and demonstrate leadership ability through a variety of measures. The deadline for this scholarship is usually in June of each year, and the award amount is usually $10,000. For more details, visit

Kappa Alpha Psi Scholarship Deadline is May 25

The Omaha Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. is proud to announce the 2017–2018 scholarship application is open to current male Omaha Metro students planning to enroll at University of Nebraska at Omaha, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Creighton University, or Bellevue University in the fall of 2018. This scholarship is awarded to assist male African American students with the cost of higher education. Recipients are chosen on the basis of scholastic ability, community service, and leadership. Personal or family financial situations may be a factor in consideration of eligibility and in awarding the scholarship. The scholarship amount is $1000 towards the first semester of schooling. Visit to download and complete the scholarship application. Submit your application and transcript via email to by the application deadline of May 25. To be eligible for this scholarship, applicants must: 1. be an African-American male graduating from a Omaha Metro area high school in the Spring of 2018, 2. plan to enroll at UNO, UNL, Creighton University, or Bellevue University in the fall of 2018, 3. have a grade point average of 2.5 or above on a 4.0 scale or the equivalent thereof, 4. provide most recent transcript in PDF format, 5. be active in extracurricular school/community activities and demonstrate social awareness and involvement. Selected candidates will be notified by the scholarship committee.

New Parent University Course Created Just For Fathers When the Learning Community of Douglas and Sarpy Counties conducted parent focus groups recently, they discovered fathers shared a common need. Later this month, the Learning Community launches “Daddy’s Home,” a sixweek Parent University course with training and discussion just for fathers. Anthony Douglas signed up for “Daddy’s Home” right away. He’s completed more than 30 Parent University courses in the Learning Community Center of North Omaha. He thinks a class focused on fathers is a much-needed opportunity. “It’s important for fathers to share experiences and understand our common struggles.” The session filled quickly. Douglas hopes the weekly fatherhood class will be a place “to lift each other up.” Research shows young children get tremendous benefit from a loving and involved father. Benefits Of Involved Fathers • Increases a child’s confidence • Supports student success • Builds problem solving skills “Many fathers want to make a positive impact in their child’s life, but struggle to find their place.” Jamalia Parker. Learning Community Director of Family Engagement Services. says “Daddy’s Home” gives fathers the opportunity to learn from each other and take advantage of resources to make fatherhood a little easier. The Learning Community of Douglas and Sarpy Counties is an educational subdivision

Anthony Douglas with his 6-year-old daughter Aaliyah. focused on outcomes and opportunities for children and families. It achieves impact through a collaborative network of metropolitan area school districts and community organizations. Independent evaluations demonstrate consistently strong results in early childhood education and family engagement. Recognized nationally for advancing a twogeneration approach, the Learning Community creates opportunities to address the needs of children and families together. A 12-member Coordinating Council, elected by the public, guides policies which challenge the opportunity gap and strengthen our communities. Visit:

Vol.80 - No.10  

The Omaha Star, in existence for more than 70 years, has been Nebraska's largest African American newspaper and the city's most effective de...

Vol.80 - No.10  

The Omaha Star, in existence for more than 70 years, has been Nebraska's largest African American newspaper and the city's most effective de...