World-Herald columnists

Grace: Creighton pays tribute to patron saint of outcasts who cared for lepers — and celebrates ties to Hawaii

When asked to care for people no one would touch in Hawaii, a 19th-century nun from upstate New York had no reservations about caring for lepers. “It would be my greatest delight,” said Marianne Cope. And when she was asked to move from the hospital to a remote leper colony — which would likely mean never going home — the nun answered: “Cheerfully.” Over a century later, Cope was canonized a saint. And recently, people gathered at Creighton University to remember her.

Breaking Brad: The big day is almost here ... who ya got in the Puppy Bowl?

Richard Sherman could possibly miss the Super Bowl if his girlfriend goes into labor with his son. Sherman's kid is a chip off the old block. He's already done five media interviews from the womb.

Breaking Brad: I've got a really big secret to share!

I was told to keep this a secret, but I gotta tell the world. You ready? I am the new CEO of OPPD!

Grace: Teen killed in car accident drew people together, in life and death

When a Christian pastor heard about a young Muslim man who had died last weekend, he threw open the doors of his north Omaha church. And the people came. They came to remember Zaiid Liwaru and honor his life.

Breaking Brad: For all we know, Batman may be the new OPPD CEO

Breaking news: The new OPPD leader plans to govern in silhouette with his voice altered to obscure his identity.

Breaking Brad: Say hello to OPPD's P.R. person, Marshawn Lynch

OPPD has come under fire over a reported secret selection process to find its new leader. Apparently the first "p" in "OPPD" no longer stands for Public?

Breaking Brad: Don't like this column? It's the locker room attendant's fault!

The NFL is looking into a locker room attendant in the Deflate-Gate scandal. That's like blaming the cab driver who drove the burglars to the hotel for Watergate.

Breaking Brad: What is the point of a life without fireworks?

The Iowa Legislature is debating a proposal to legalize fireworks. Right now, fireworks are illegal in Iowa. Omahans asked, "So what's the point of even getting up in the morning?"

Breaking Brad: Come back, CenturyLink sales reps! Come back!

Cox Communications estimates that the latest price hike will increase the average bill between $1 and $6. Which means the typical bill will probably increase by about $39.24.

Breaking Brad: It's just not March without a Cox rate increase!

Cox TV and Internet rate increases take effect March 3. The last major Cox rate increase in Omaha was last March. Cox rate hikes are now a surer sign of spring than birds singing.

Hansen: In young fashionista, style icon finds ideal buyer for home of 56 years

Sarah fell in love the moment she opened the door. She fell in love before she even understood why.

Breaking Brad: Bill Nye, Sesame Street weigh in on Deflategate scandal

On "Good Morning America," Bill Nye the Science Guy took issue with Bill Belichick's science. You can't make this stuff up, folks.

Breaking Brad: In Dog We Trust

Brad Dickson's humor column, "Breaking Brad," appears daily on and in The World-Herald.

Grace: 'Don’t put spaghetti between your toes'; dad lights up Internet with book of toddler talk

Martin Bruckner, an Omaha graphic designer, was inspired to create a 28-page book documenting the absurdity and humor of life with a 2-year-old. It was intended as just a sweet gift for his wife, Michelle Cartwright-Bruckner, but it has caught fire on the Internet.

Hansen: UNO's exchange program with Japanese university began with a cross-country walk

When the president of a Japanese university decided to forge a partnership with a U.S. college a quarter-century ago, both his superiors and his subordinates figured he would pick one in an American city they all knew. Los Angeles, maybe, or San Francisco. Chicago. New York. No, said Jun Kumamoto. I have chosen Omaha.

Kelly: At 57, Omaha singer-songwriter isn't chicken; he's finally chasing his dreams

This weekend Bobby O’Dell is releasing his first music video and a three-song CD, “Hippie Chicken Farm.” O'Dell is inviting the public to an 8 p.m. release party today at the Redeye Tavern.


Dickson's Week in Review, Jan. 18-24

Football and basketball players at the University of Nebraska will receive $3,600 for personal expenses. Too bad Kenny Bell finished his career — that’d almost cover one haircut.

Breaking Brad: In latest Deflate-Gate turn, Aaron Hernandez distances himself from Patriots

The good news: Tom Brady is still fairly handsome, even after his nose grew three inches during Thursday's press conference.

Breaking Brad: Pat McPherson must have a really good pair of noise-canceling headphones

This just in: A Japanese solider has been discovered in the woods, completely unaware that World War II had ended. The first words out of his mouth? "Nebraska Board of Education member Pat McPherson needs to resign."

Breaking Brad: You really shouldn't pass gas in someone else's face...

A South Carolina woman allegedly beat a man for passing gas in her face. I'm not sure where it happened, but I'm ruling out a Mensa meeting.

Breaking Brad: Extra second on 2015 clocks gives us time to ponder City Council's accomplishments

A leap, or extra, second is being added to atomic clocks on June 30. I plan to spend the extra second reviewing all of the Omaha City Council's accomplishments for the first half of the year.

Breaking Brad: Why was the World-Herald so late on its preseason top 25!?!?

The World-Herald released a preseason top 25 college football ranking for next season. I am irked by this. It's two weeks late! Normally, we come out with this thing around January 2.

Breaking Brad: Iowa professor proves crows are too smart to work at the DMV

According to a new study involving the University of Iowa, crows are capable of analogical reasoning. To shed some perspective, 80 percent of members of Congress are incapable of this.

Grace: Iconic Dodge Street pedestrian bridge, nearing its 50th birthday, is showing its age

The well-used green overpass, which unites Memorial and Elmwood Parks, is faded, rusted and a little wobbly. Omahans are asking the city to put some money into improvements, starting with a paint job.

Hansen: New $2.5M machine could turn Boys Town into hub for cutting-edge brain research on kids

The fMRI machine is twice as powerful as a normal MRI device, so powerful it can view the brains of depressed, anxious, hyperactive and defiant children in real time. It's so powerful that it places Boys Town at the center of an effort to understand the developing brains of mentally ill kids.

Breaking Brad: How does one survive in Iowa without legal fireworks?

The Iowa Legislature is debating legalizing fireworks. Omahans' response: "Fireworks are banned in Iowa? We'd sooner go without air or water."

Breaking Brad: Will Joni Ernst deliver SOTU rebuttal from pig farm?

Tonight, Joni Ernst will deliver the GOP rebuttal to President Obama's State of the Union. As much time as Obama spends there, this is basically Iowan vs. Iowan.

Hansen: Nebraskans get fed up with bigotry, declare: 'Words matter'

It is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and so it seems worth pointing out that in 2015, we have a democratically elected education official who has long run a blog peppered with overtly racist language. But a grass-roots campaign has quickly placed a shocking amount of pressure on him to resign.

Kelly: Accidental friendship uplifting for teen and his family

What followed a fender bender turned the experience from upsetting to uplifting. It led to an unlikely bonding of strangers, fueled by compassion and gratitude.

Breaking Brad: This just in — Obama less popular than Clinton

Brad Dickson's humor column, "Breaking Brad," appears daily on and in The World-Herald. To read more from Brad, check out his past columns at and follow him on Twitter.


Breaking Brad: 24-hour booze in Nebraska. Let's tax it.

Brad Dickson's humor column, "Breaking Brad," appears daily on and in The World-Herald. To read more from Brad, check out his past columns at and follow him on Twitter.

Grace: Anne Boyle, grande dame of Nebraska's Democrats, retiring but not retreating

Don’t count on the 72-year-old Boyle to be apolitical. "The soul" of the Nebraska Democratic Party — she is a former state chairwoman — plans to remain vocal about the rights of immigrants and gays. And with her husband, former Mayor Mike Boyle, still serving on the Douglas County Board, Anne will remain in the public sphere.


Kelly: Icing on the 'Cake'? Omaha's premiere of new Jennifer Aniston film came a week before L.A.'s

The special preview Jan. 7 was for 23 residents on couches and chairs at the Paxton condominiums, the former Paxton Hotel at 14th and Farnam Streets.


Dickson's Week in Review, Jan. 11-17

At the Outland Trophy banquet, new Husker coach Mike Riley said the recruiting goal is to “own this state.” That’s opposed to the previous coaching regime’s recruiting goal of “leaving no Cotton unsigned.”


Shatel: Ferentz keeping his cool on the hot seat, for now

The heat lamp is clearly on Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz these days, and the coach is fighting back. Ferentz held a press conference the other day to basically answer his critics and calm the masses (a message that fell short). He showed up at the Outland Trophy dinner on Thursday night in Omaha, and while the Hawkeyes’ staff embraces the Outland, this appearance had some symbolism, too. Ferentz isn’t in hiding.

Kelly: Omahan takes part in France's biggest outpouring of solidarity since World War II

“People were hanging out their windows watching and cheering to the crowd,” Greta said. “French flags were waving in the air, and everyone had a ‘Je suis Charlie’ sign. Everyone around was speaking different languages, but for that day we were all French.”

Breaking Brad: Can you really be sure your ex-girlfriend isn't a trained assassin?

Brad Dickson's humor column, "Breaking Brad," appears daily on and in The World-Herald. To read more from Brad, check out his past columns at and follow him on Twitter.

Breaking Brad: Bluffs official says city has tourism potential. Riiiiigggghhhhhttttt

The new head of the Council Bluffs Convention and Visitors Bureau said the city has lots of potential as a tourist destination. Right now, most tourists to Council Bluffs spend two-thirds of their time staring at some overpass art, going, "What the $%&* is that?"

Breaking Brad: World's top badminton player tests positive for steroids

The world's No. 1 ranked badminton player tested positive for steroids. Officials got suspicious when, instead of a birdie, he used a shot put.

Breaking Brad: Those poor, poor CenturyLink sales representatives...

I wouldn't say that rival companies tried to profit off the recent disagreement between Cox Communications and WOWT's operator, but when I woke up Sunday morning, there were 11 CenturyLink salespeople on my front porch.

Kelly: Fans love Dr Pepper football fanatic played by Omaha native

“It’s a very strange experience, an amazing experience,” Jim Connor said. “This is the first time I’ve ever been recognized like this. People scream, they grab me and they pull me away. It’s like being a rock star.”

Breaking Brad: Omaha weather 'not bad at all for mid-January'? So that means a blizzard?

According to, the weather forecast is "not bad at all for mid-January." In Nebraska, that could mean a small blizzard.

Breaking Brad: In Iowa, Obama says C.B. overpass art qualifies for disaster relief funds

President Obama is in Iowa on Wednesday. It's pretty embarrassing. He flew over the state and declared that Council Bluffs overpass art qualities for federal disaster relief funds.

Breaking Brad: New NU prez to stretch the bounds of OWH headline writers' creativity

The University of Nebraska has a new president: Hank Bounds. This is a gold mine for World-Herald headline writers, who can pen stuff like "NU President Out of Bounds, Regents Say."

Breaking Brad: Obama is coming to Nebraska! No, forget it, it's just Iowa again.

On Wednesday, President Obama is scheduled to make yet another trip to Iowa. This time, could he at least stand on the Council Bluffs side of the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge and wave at Nebraska?


Shatel: Like playoff, Ohio State wasn't perfect but was effective

This was undisputed fun. It wasn’t perfect. Wasn’t pretty. But for sheer entertainment, and finality, the first College Football Playoff was as effective as Cardale Jones and relentless as Ezekiel Elliott.

Grace: How a serial stalker was finally stopped

For at least two decades, Dammon Haynes terrorized women. He seemed unstoppable. Then someone stopped him.

Kelly: Nebraska politics not 
as simple as Democrats vs. Republicans

A left-leaning Nebraskan’s recent essay in the New York Times lamented our right-leaning state’s political imbalance.

Firing up city cuisine

Hansen: Jim Trebbien whipped up cooking school that has trained chefs across Omaha

Trebbien took over an all-but-dead cooking program at Metropolitan Community College and transformed it into one of the premier culinary schools in the Midwest. In the process, he helped change this city’s restaurant industry.

Breaking Brad: WOWT back just in time for ... the Golden Globes (sad trombone)

The Golden Globes is when we honor the best movies that will never play in Omaha.

Tomorrow's Events
Nature Connects 2: Art with LEGO® Bricks
Lauritzen Gardens
9:00 am
See an all-new installment of LEGO® brick sculptures at Lauritzen Gardens. Don’t miss Nature Connects 2 by Sean Kenney- on display January 17 …
Black History Month Lunch Talk
Church of the Resurrection
11:00 am
The Church of the Resurrection's Black History Month celebration includes four consecutive Sunday Lunch Talks, beginning Feb. 1 and running th…
Shadow Ridge Band
Eagles Club, 24th and Douglas Streets
1:00 pm
Genre: Country. Cost: no cover.
Orpheum Theater
1:30 pm
This four-time Tony Award®-winning show CAMELOT®, tells the story of the infamous love triangle between King Arthur, Queen Guinevere and Sir L…
Omaha Symphony Pops
Holland Performing Arts Center
2:00 pm
In "One Singular Sensation," the Symphony takes on the music of Marvin Hamlisch, composer of "A Chorus Line," "The Way We Were" and "The Sting…

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