Nebraska at a Glance is a weekly update designed to bring you headlines and brief updates from across the state. Our Nebraska News Service team will provide a weekly roundup of news and events on Friday mornings.
COVID dashboard relaunched
Gov. Pete Ricketts signed an executive order Sept. 20 that reinstated the COVID-19 dashboard. The state will now be able to share hospitalization information. The dashboard is now active on the Department of Health and Human Services website.
Memorial Stadium and Fiji vandalized
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Police launched an ongoing investigation into two cases of vandalism that happened on campus over the weekend. UNLPD received a report at 10:45 p.m., Sept. 20, that the Husker Legacy Statue outside Memorial Stadium was vandalised with spray painted smiley faces and other marks, resulting in around $2,000 worth of damage. A few hours later, UNLPD received another report that the front of the Phi Gamma Delta house, also known as Fiji, had been vandalized. Capt. John Backer estimated the damage to be at $500 but declined to describe the graffiti. He believed the two incidents were related.
Following three redistricting committee hearings, a map was put forward for floor debate. This map, drawn by Sen. Lou Ann Linehan of Omaha, split Douglas County in half. Floor debate began Sept. 17. On Sept. 20, the Linehan map was filibustered, meaning compromise is going to take place.
Plum Creek Literacy Festival Canceled
The Plum Creek Literacy Festival organizers tweeted Sept. 22 that parts of the 2021 festival have been canceled. The festival was set to include author and illustrator visits to area schools on Thursday and on-campus events on Friday and Saturday. Concordia University in Seward hosts the annual festival and said several authors and illustrators withdrew citing a discriminatory policy on campus. Molly Idle, an illustrator who withdrew from the festival, posted a tweet saying “As a parent positively brimming with love and pride for my LGBTQ child- the choice was an easy one.”
Lincoln Calling taking place Sept. 23-25
The annual music festival will feature art, music and education. Headliners include alternative rock group Slothrust, blues band Indigenous and electronic duo Birthdayy Partyy. The festival will be held at three outdoor venues in downtown Lincoln, a decision made by Lincoln Calling staff due to the increase in COVID-19 cases in Lancaster County.
Fight breaks out at Roca Berry Farm
Police were alerted to a fight that broke out during the opening night of the haunted house at Roca Berry Farm on Sept. 18. Two teenage girls were assaulted and treated at the hospital with minor injuries. The Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office has yet to announce the cause of the incident, but Sheriff Terry Wagner told the Journal Star that he believed TikTok might have something to do with it. LSO also dispelled the rumors that a stabbing occurred during the fight. The owner of Roca Berry Farm, Jeff Schaefer, said he would be adding two more off-duty police officers and security guards to patrol the property. A message posted on the farm’s website announces a new rule where anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a guardian of 19 years of age or older.
Pfizer vaccine works in children ages 5-11, booster shot approved
Pfizer announced on Sept. 20 that a recent study shows its COVID-19 vaccine is safe for children ages 5-11 at a lower dose than the current shot. The company will seek authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use. A booster shot for the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine has also been approved for those over the age of 65 and adults at high risk for COVID.
UNL Homecoming 2021 is around the corner
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is hosting its Homecoming celebration next week from Sept. 26 to Oct. 2. Organizations across campus will work to incorporate this year’s theme, “The Good Life,” into their events. ASUN Student Government is in charge of the annual Homecoming competition where Recognized Student Organizations, Greek chapters and residence hall floors compete with one another in a series of activities throughout the week. Rapper Yung Gravy will headline the Homecoming concert on Sept. 30 presented by the University Program Council. The celebration is set to conclude at the Memorial Stadium on Saturday as the Huskers face off against the Northwestern Wildcats. The full Homecoming event schedule can be found here.
Dig Deeper Farm Tour
Local farms across southeast Nebraska participated in the Dig Deeper Farm Tour on Sept. 18, inviting customers to see their facilities, shop for fresh produce and learn more about local agriculture. Farms in Fremont, Plymouth, Raymond, Firth and Lincoln participated in the tour. The tour was a collaboration between Open Harvest Co-op, the Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society, Buy Fresh Buy Local Nebraska and Sunday Farmers’ Market at College View.
Contributors: Chin Tung Tan, Hanna Christensen, Ramey Vachal, Jasmine Hermosillo-Padilla, Jon Grant and Caitlyn Thomas
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