A trail of signs along the corner of 17th and Washington Street encouraging voting, overlaid with the text
A trail of signs along the corner of 17th and Washington Street encourage people to vote and mail in their ballot this election.

Nov. 21: Adoption Day, Nebraska Supreme Court and volleyball milestone

Husker volleyball celebrates 300th consecutive sellout

In their Nov. 11 match, the women’s Husker volleyball team swept Iowa in their 300th consecutive sellout match — a streak that began over 20 years ago in 2001 in the approximately 4,000-capacity NU Coliseum. Despite the team’s 2013 move into the 7,907-seat Bob Devaney Sports Center, the streak continued. With a four-set loss to Ohio State Nov. 13 that dropped the team from first to third in the Big 10 bracket and fourth nationally, there are only four matches remaining in the season before the December NCAA tournament.

Nebraskan children forced to work graveyard shifts cleaning slaughterhouses, Labor Department alleges

A Wisconsin industrial cleaning company is accused of illegally using child workers, including a 13-year-old, to clean meat processing plants in Minnesota and Nebraska. A civil complaint filed Nov. 9 in the U.S. District Court of Nebraska claimed Packer Sanitation Services employed more than 30 children, as young as 13 and as old as 17, in meatpacking plants in several cities across the country, including Grand Island, Nebraska. Under federal law, workers under the age of 18 are prohibited from working federally designated “hazardous occupations” like working on killing floors or operating processing equipment. According to the Labor Department, several underaged employees were injured on the job, including a 13-year-old who was burned by caustic cleaning chemicals.

More than 15 children find forever homes during Nebraska’s Adoption Day celebration

On the morning of Nov. 12, designated National Adoption Day, Lancaster County judges finalized adoptions and guardianships for 11 Nebraska families — 17 children in total. In Nebraska, just less than 1,000 children await adoption, according to AdoptUSKids.org. The state’s annual celebration is held on or before the Saturday before Thanksgiving, a tradition spearheaded by retired Douglas County Juvenile Court Judge Wadie Thomas.

State authorizes $66 million to support Nebraska childcare workers

In light of worsening conditions and shortages in Nebraska’s childcare workforce, state executives plan to distribute $66 million in stipends and loan repayments. From Nov. 14 through Nov. 17, virtual information sessions in English and Spanish will be made available by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

Nebraska firearm season begins 

The firearm deer hunting season — the largest hunt by participation state-wide — runs Nov. 12 through Nov. 20. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission asks hunters to hunt on public land, or ensure they have permission in privately owned areas; update their deer permit; wear 400 square inches of bright orange safety clothing on the head, chest and back; and to use proper safety equipment.

Judges deny appeal from Nebraska Tinder Date Killer

On Nov. 11, the Nebraska Supreme Court rejected the appeal of a man sentenced to death for the murder of a Lincoln woman he met through Tinder. Aubrey Trail, the convicted killer, argued he qualified for a mistrial after he cut his own throat in front of the jury with a razor blade secretly snuck into the courtroom. Trail was convicted of and sentenced to death for first-degree murder in the 2017 death of 24-year-old Sydney Loofe in 2021. The state’s high court said it “will not permit Trail to benefit from his own bad behavior during trial.” A date has yet to be set for Trail’s execution.

Three Husker legends to join Hall of Fame

Alex Gordon, Jeff Christy and Jeff Leise are among the seven-member 2022 class and were inducted into the Nebraska Baseball Hall of Fame Nov. 13. Gordan played at Lincoln Southeast before coming to Nebraska, where he earned several awards, including two Big 12 Player of the Year awards. Christy was also a Southeast Knight before becoming a Husker while Liese was a star at Creighton Prep.

Nebraska counties adapt to national shortage of election workers

Amid fears of voter security and safety, Nebraska’s 93 counties continue to adapt to the national shortage of election workers — by using volunteer drafts and partnerships with neighboring counties to the institution of mail-only processes. According to Vet the Vote, a national campaign to recruit veterans and military family members to become the next generation of poll workers, the country experienced a shortage of more than 130,000 poll workers during the 2022 general election, a number that’s grown consistently over the past three elections. Read more about Nebraska’s response to the shortage on nebraskanewsservice.net.

Project Backboard brings a global basketball art project to Lincoln

City officials and residents celebrated the opening of the new mural at the Antelope Park basketball courts on Oct. 5. The court is part of a global art project called Project Backboard that brings new life to ordinary basketball public spaces. Read more online at nebraskanewsservice.net

Rural hospitals are hosting fun fundraising events to maintain quality health care for communities

Throughout Nebraska, rural hospitals host creative fundraising events in order to maintain quality healthcare services and fund improvements. On Nov. 13, the Foundation for Thayer County Health Services hosted its annual gala at the Stastny Community Center. The goal was to raise $24,000, and for every donation up to that amount, the Foundation and Hospital Guild matched it. Read more online at nebraskanewsservice.net

Contributors: Lauren Penington and Hanna Christensen