World-Herald columnists

Hansen: To slim down, pretend you live in Tokyo

It sounds like a late-night infomercial, like a scripted pitch delivered by a man with nice hair who is attempting to sell you a magic pill for the low, low price of $19.95. Eat the exact same number of calories, Americans, and yet lose weight. A bunch of weight!

Breaking Brad: Big Ten Media Days nears. Why is Rutgers here again?

Big Ten Media Days begin Thursday. This is when Commissioner Jim Delany sits and stares at the Rutgers delegation asking himself "Why?"

Breaking Brad: Omaha could pass Kansas City in population before annexing it

Omaha may soon surpass Kansas City in population. I attribute this to Omaha offering a high quality of life – and Mayor Stothert annexing everything on the map, not necessarily in that order.

Grace: In death penalty crusade, Pete Ricketts not as in sync as he thinks

The church is not as vocal or absolute on the issue as it is on, say, abortion. This may explain why Catholics are split on the death penalty and why some — like Ricketts — even find justification for it in church teaching.


Shatel: With Big Ten media days near, it’s time to talk about football

Ohio State was picked to win the Big Ten by league writers in a Cleveland Plain Dealer poll. Very astute. In other news, the writers don’t know what to do with the West Division, so they went chalk. Why not?

Breaking Brad: 'Ant-Man' movie poster or Husker alternate uniform photo?

I saw a poster for the new "Ant-Man" movie. Either that, or it was another photo of the Husker football alternate uniforms.

Breaking Brad: Ranking the Huskers' top 50 athletic department staffers

You know it’s almost time for football season. The World-Herald is counting down the top 10 Husker equipment managers to watch.

Hansen: UNL researcher dedicated career to finding out what makes workplaces tick

Now set for retirement, Fred Luthans leaves behind some groundbreaking research and a seminal textbook — yet he still wonders why so many managers fail to follow his simple advice. “This isn’t rocket science,” he says.


Dickson's Week in Review, July 19-25

On Thursday, the new Husker alternate football uniforms for the game vs. Northwestern on Oct. 24 were introduced. They allow for “increased range of motion.” It’s sort of like the team signed Gumby.

Breaking Brad: The Husker alternate uniforms are out of this world

After getting a look at the Husker alternate uniforms, I'm pretty sure they were designed by the same person who outfitted the crew of the Starship Enterprise.

Breaking Brad: City Council members all for giving themselves a raise. I'm stunned

Omaha City Council President Ben Gray is seeking a two percent annual salary increase for council members. A few days after the City Council approved installing new parking meters, there’s a request for a raise for themselves. Let’s give ‘em the money in nickels.

Breaking Brad: Mayor Stothert's budget would fund pothole repair – 1 pothole

Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert's new budget allocates $1 million more for street resurfacing. That's almost enough to repair one of our deeper potholes.

Breaking Brad: A talking Bob Kerrey bridge ... yeah, that'll amp up tourism

In a series of new marketing videos, the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge appears to speak. A potential tourist: “Heck, no, I don’t want to go to Omaha for the weekend. Haven’t you seen that marketing video? The bridges there are haunted!”

Hansen: A lonely fundraiser, but pingpong won’t play itself

The second-year Creighton law student had plenty of time to think about space aliens, the Federal Reserve and the gold standard, among other things, as he played a fourth of the 48 hours by himself.

Grace: Weekend of police reports reveals a hidden Omaha

Flipping through police reports is a reminder to feel grateful for being the reader of such reports, not their subject. It’s a window into a world few see, unless they carry a badge or call 911. Or unless they have to read them daily to see what, if anything, is news.

Breaking Brad: Roadwork on the West Dodge Expressway? Wait ... is that a NASCAR official showing interest?

* Mayor Stothert introduced her 2016 city budget on Tuesday. There will be no property tax or restaurant tax increases. This, after mathematical experts told the city it was numerically impossible to raise either.

Breaking Brad: The Mammoths are dead. Stay tuned for for Omaha's next football team

Sad news. The Omaha Mammoths won't be back in Omaha next season. The amazing thing is this was announced 24 hours ago and Omaha doesn't have a new football team to replace it yet.

Breaking Brad: Ex-teacher running for Legislature, the only job that pays less than teaching

A retired elementary and middle school teacher named Ardel Bengtson from South Sioux City is running for Nebraska Legislature. The bad news for Bengtson: State legislator is the one profession that pays worse than teacher.

Hansen: Family feed store, perhaps Omaha's last Stockyards-related business, is closing after 74 years

In an era when big companies often control supply chains, the South Omaha Terminal Warehouse Co. has endured. It will endure until the end of August, at least. “For the last few decades we have had one advantage, just one," says owner Jack Anderson, 86. "And that is when you walk through the door here, you aren’t a number on a spreadsheet. You are a person.”

Breaking Brad: Mexican drug lord's escape tunnel had ventilation, lights – what, no cable?

Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman escaped from a maximum security prison through a tunnel that was ventilated and had lighting. Prison escape tunnels now sound nicer than my first apartment.

Breaking Brad: Stop everything – the Beer and Bacon Festival is coming

On Aug. 1, Omahans will be flocking to the Beer and Bacon Festival. Well, flocking isn’t the right word. They will be making a pilgrimage.

Grace: In tales of mental illness, families find they are not alone

Sisters Mary and Elin Widdifield have coauthored a book about parents with mentally ill children. Mary said all the parents interviewed used the same two words to describe their experience: Chaos. And blur.


Dickson's Week in Review, July 12-18

Former president and Michigan football standout Gerald Ford was left off the Nebraska 100 list because he didn’t meet residency requirements. I’m thinking his legacy will survive.

Breaking Brad: Complain about the heat. Complain about the snow. Make up your minds, people!

The weather is all relative. Next February when you're digging out after a blizzard, you'll go: "Man, I sure miss that day last July when there was a heat advisory."

Breaking Brad: Pluto's 'canyons' should make Omahans laugh

Astonishing photos from Pluto reveal “chasms as deep as the Grand Canyon.” In Omaha we call those “moderate-sized potholes.”

Grace: For some Harper Lee fans, the story stops with ‘Mockingbird’

Teresa Shane, an Omaha librarian and ardent fan of "To Kill a Mockingbird," says she won't read “Go Set a Watchman," which depicts the beloved characters from "Mockingbird" two decades later. “That story was completed,” Shane said. “I’m happy to leave it that way.”

Breaking Brad: Omaha no longer has the No. 1 zoo? Blame that glass-shattering gorilla!

According to TripAdvisor readers, the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium has dropped to No. 6 in the world, down from No. 1 last year. Thank you, glass-shattering gorilla that went viral.

Breaking Brad: In the latest science news, Pluto is desolate, cold ... it reminds me of North Dakota

Pluto is desolate, cold and remote. So it's like North Dakota, only more accessible.

Breaking Brad: Following Gov. Ricketts on Twitter ... oops, he just vetoed my tweet again

I’ve begun following Gov. Pete Rickets on Twitter. So far he’s vetoed my first three tweets.

Breaking Brad: Historic photos of Pluto! But wait — are those tiny specks Walmart Neighborhood Markets?
NASA has released the most detailed photo of Pluto ever taken. Wouldn't you know it. If you use a magnifying glass, you can spot six Walmart Neighborhood Markets. 

Breaking Brad: Define 'celebrity softball game' again for me, please

The celebrity softball game at Werner Park on Sunday featured starting pitcher Thor Tripp, the KETV weekend sportscaster. Evidently the definition of "celebrity" has been significantly loosened.

Breaking Brad: It's been so hot this week ...

The heat index in Omaha again topped 100 degrees Monday. It’s been so hot and humid that an Omahan had to be air-lifted from a giant pool of sweat.

Bald from chemo, Omaha woman turns to henna instead of covering up

Jolene McHugh could have worn a hat to her great-niece’s wedding. Or a scarf. Or a wig. As for going plain-Jane? Jolene is no prima donna, but she wanted to dress up her noggin.


Shatel: Storm Chasers owner Green’s bond with Darryl Strawberry is priceless

How do you get Darryl Strawberry to come to Omaha, Nebraska, in the middle of the summer to play in a celebrity softball game? The answer comes in a Gary Green story, and the Omaha Storm Chasers owner has a lot of good ones.

Breaking Brad: I could go for a 'mini ice age' right about now

Some scientists are predicting a "mini ice age" in 15 years. With the heat in Omaha right now, that sounds pretty darn good.

Breaking Brad: Officials brace for tens of people at Omaha fireworks amnesty day

Fireworks are pretty much first in the hearts of Omahans. On Aug. 1 in north downtown, a Bacon and Beer Festival will be held. OK, actually, fireworks are third in the hearts of Omahans.


Shatel: Stars align for showcase of Storm Chaser success

The Omaha Storm Chasers deserve better than a bad pun, but in this case I think they’d approve. What you’re seeing out at Werner Park these days is the Perfect Storm.


Dickson's Week in Review, July 5-11

Nebraska offered a football scholarship to a 15-year-old sophomore-to-be tight end in Beatrice named Cameron Jurgens. That’s mind-boggling. I mean, the part about Nebraska offering an in-state kid.

Breaking Brad: Omaha's favorite attraction: CWS or Bacon and Beer Festival?

On August 1, North Downtown Omaha will host a Bacon and Beer Festival. It'll be like the College World Series only with more people.

Breaking Brad: Citizens of Omaha — You, too, can do nothing on the City Council!

There is a proposal for Omaha citizens to sit in on City Council committee meetings. Citizens would just sit there and not anything, so it’s just like being a member of the council.

Breaking Brad: Iowa, you can have Hillary; we'll take Jim Cantore

Hillary Clinton was just interviewed on CNN from Iowa. Hey, let Iowa have its time in the limelight on CNN – Nebraska still dominates on the Weather Channel.

Breaking Brad: Celebrating Nebraska's 150th – of course our logo is an ear of corn

On Wednesday Gov. Pete Ricketts introduced the state logo to commemorate the upcoming 150th anniversary of Nebraska gaining statehood. I believe the logo is a giant syringe of lethal injection drugs.

Hansen: UNO's Tom Gouttierre retiring after 41 years near the center of historic events in Afghanistan

He’s counseled Karzai and sounded warning bells about bin Laden and built a world-renowned Afghanistan studies center from scratch; now, days from turning 75, he’s ready to attack retirement just like he attacked his one-of-a-kind career.

Breaking Brad: PSA for drug users — Don't wear shirts that say "Seriously, I Have Drugs"

At a Kmart in Hudson, Fla. a man wearing a T-shirt reading “Seriously, I Have Drugs” was arrested on marijuana and meth charges. So in other words, things went down about as you’d expect at a Kmart in Hudson, Fla.

Breaking Brad: The nation's dumbest criminals, Illinois edition

In Decatur, Ill., a bowling alley employee allegedly faked a robbery by hitting herself twice in the head with a bowling ball. Note to that employee: there are roughly nine million easier ways to fake a robbery.

Breaking Brad: Here's a thought to boost Omaha library budget — $189-per-day book fines

 Mayor Stothert and Omaha Public Library officials disagree on the compromise budget for the library. I can tell our library system has budget issues. The new fine for an overdue book is $189 per day.

Breaking Brad: Ahhhh, yes, the smells of summer ... like the stench of wet yard waste sitting at Omahans' curbs

It rained heavily in Omaha on Monday. Great, now the yard waste sitting at our curbs is wet. There's nothing like waking to the stench of wet yard waste.

Grace: In 71 years, Gorat’s has hosted just about everything; now, a wedding

Gorat's has hosted just about every kind of party, from birthdays to rehearsal dinners to funeral receptions. But the June wedding of Shaunda Fry and Leo Frese is the first marriage ceremony anyone can remember taking place at the famous midtown steak restaurant.

Breaking Brad: So ... when do fireworks go on sale for next July 4?

It's July 6. You know what that means: Time to begin stocking up on fireworks for the next Fourth of July.

Breaking Brad: Husker coach Mike Riley turns 62 today – 4-day weekend!

On Monday, Riley turns 62. Even though he hasn’t coached a game at Nebraska, I’m pretty sure this is a statewide holiday.

Today's Events
The Gravy Dippers
Bayliss Park, Williow and Pearl Streets, Council Bluffs
6:30 pm
Genre: Swing.
Prairie Life Fitness Wednesdays Warm Up/Cool Down
Turner Park at Midtown Crossing
5:30 pm
New for 2015, Prairie Life Fitness presents a weekly workout in the park. Workouts will change each week and will range from Zumba to Pilates …
Hydrant parties
1:00 pm
Keep cool all summer long with hydrant parties! Splash away when the Omaha Parks and Recreation Department comes to your neighborhood to unlea…
Crescent Moon Coffee, 140 N. Eighth St. #10, Lower Level, Lincoln
7:00 pm
Genre: Jazz.
Rude Punch, The Bishops, Mad Dog and the 20 20's
Lookout Lounge, 320 S. 72nd St.
8:00 pm
Genre: Rock. Cost: $6 21 and older, $8 20 and younger.
Native Omahan Days
Lookout Lounge, 320 S. 72nd St.
12:00 am
This homecoming celebration features a concert, a parade and a dance at various locations around Omaha. See for more information.
The Geezers
Lincoln Community Foundation Garden, 1415 N St., Lincoln
12:00 pm
Genre: Cover. Cost: no cover.
Children's Consignment Sale
Old Market
12:00 am
Found Mercantile is hosting a Children's Consignment Sale in the Old Market on 12 & Howard. Find amazing deals on gently loved baby and ch…
2 at a Table Speed Dating Event--Ages 35-45
The Rusty Nail
7:00 pm
Fun and safe Speed Dating Event for singles ages 35-45.  $15 includes: entrance to the event, 2 free drinks and a chance to win a "Movie Night…
Book signing: Summer Miller and Bryce Coulton
4:00 pm
Summer Miller, author of “New Prairie Kitchen,” and Bryce Coulton, from The French Bulldog, will sign books from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday at Will…

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