Group of people waving flags and holding signs in front of the State Capitol, overlaid with the text
Photo by Lauren Penington/NNS

March 14: Peace rally, bird flu and Husker football

Community members gather at State Capitol to rally for peace in Ukraine

About 100 people congregated on the steps of the Nebraska State Capitol on March 6 to show support for peace in Ukraine. Those in attendance listened to speakers and encouraged people who were driving by to show support for their cause by honking their horns. Many of the attendees held signs with messages including “Stop the War, Feed the Poor,” “Negotiation not Annihilation” and “Peace is Possible.” The event was put together by Nebraskans for Peace and other organizations.

Bryce McGowens named AP’s Newcomer of the Year

While the Huskers men’s basketball team finished 10-21 this season, player Bryce McGowens excelled offensively. He averaged 17.2 points and 5.3 rebounds per game and started in 30 out of 31 games. McGowens was named AP’s Big Ten Newcomer of the Year on March 8.  

Survey indicates the majority of football fans want alcohol and bigger seats at memorial stadium

The University of Nebraska Athletic Department released the results of a survey regarding what changes and improvements fans want to see in Memorial Stadium. Of the 21,780 respondents, 58% had a positive attitude toward the introduction of alcohol at Memorial Stadium, 14% were neutral and 28% were against it. Eighty-three percent of respondents had a positive attitude toward alcohol-free sections. Of those who took the survey, 22% said they would be more likely to attend Husker games if they could buy alcohol there. Seating was the element of Memorial Stadium that respondents thought could use the most improvement. Seventy-seven percent wanted enhanced seat comfort. On a question regarding stadium satisfaction, the event staff, ushers and overall gameday atmosphere ranked highest.

Lincoln COVID Risk Dial moves to low yellow

The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department announced March 9 that the COVID-19 Risk Dial has shifted to low yellow, indicating moderate risk. Since the end of January, the number of COVID cases in the community has declined by 40% each week. The positivity rate in Lancaster County dropped to 4.6% last week, which marks the first time the rate has been below 5% since July 2021.

Bird flu found in Lincoln 

A case of the avian flu was found in a wild goose near Holmes Lake in Lincoln March 7, according to the Nebraska Department of Agriculture. This is the first confirmed avian flu case in Nebraska since 2015. The avian flu is extremely contagious, and nearly 5,000 laying hens were euthanized in Dixon County due to the 2015 outbreak.  The Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha and the Lincoln Children’s Zoo closed their aviary exhibits due to concerns about the avian flu.

University asks Herbster, Lindstrom and Pillen to stop using its imagery in ads

The University of Nebraska sent letters dated Feb. 25 to three candidates for governor– Charles Herbster, Brett Linstrom and Jim Pillen– asking them to stop using its marks and imagery in their campaign ads. “Essential to its ability to remain neutral on matters of a political nature, it has been the University’s request that any and all political candidates and office holders refrain from using any marks associated with the University in any matter,” the letters, which were published by the Omaha World-Herald, said. The University said political candidates have historically respected this request. Herbster, who has an ad running about critical race theory that mentions the University, released a statement on Twitter March 7 that stated that the University is limiting free speech. “The University does not want to be exposed in its support of Critical Race Theory and all the other terrible liberal policies Jim Pillen has supported,” the statement said.