World-Herald columnists


Kelly: Boston's 100 inches of snowfall led to downfall of ex-Omaha City Council chief

Tom Mulligan, a Union Pacific retiree and president of the Omaha City Council in 2011-2013, served as general manager of commuter rail operations for the MBTA, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, from last July until this week, when he was ousted from the position.

Grace: Razing of mansion-turned-mortuary feels like a funeral to one Omaha art appraiser

Before anyone carts out treasures Sunday from 1234 S. 10th St. and before the building itself becomes dust, an Omaha art appraiser wants you to remember Anna Cornish Metcalf, a woman who once lived there.

Breaking Brad: Fancily clad sheep not impressed with cougar's intrusion

Tuesday night, a mountain lion was spotted near Horsemen's Park in Omaha. It fled in horror when the Omaha City Council passed an emergency "mountain lion tax."

Breaking Brad: So that cigar bar dispute is FINALLY over, I think

The Nebraska Legislature passed and Gov. Pete Ricketts signed LB 118, which permits consumers to smoke cigars and pipes at cigar bars. It's obviously called LB 118 because this was the 118th vote on cigar bars.

Breaking Brad: Huskers play at Ohio State in Day 4 of #smoothiebarlockout

The Nebraska men's basketball team plays at Ohio State tonight. If I know the Ohio State student section like I think I do, look for fans to wave a giant smoothie bar.

Breaking Brad: You mean I can get a pizza wrapped in bacon!?!?

Little Caesars has a new pizza with bacon wrapped around the crust. That wasn't rain in Omaha on Tuesday; those were tears of joy.


Shatel: Omaha Beef still cooking entering 16th season

The Beef open their 16th season of indoor football in Omaha this weekend. Sixteen years of indoor football. And 16 years of indoor football in Omaha. How did that happen? That’s an astounding length of time for a sports team in this market not affiliated with a university or a major league baseball team.

Breaking Brad: It's so cold, I saw NPH wearing pants!

In most of the country, it's freezing cold. It's so chilly, Neil Patrick Harris put on pants.

Breaking Brad: Someone notified the mayor of the incoming snow, right?

It's a little snow, Omahans. It's not the end of the world ... unless you live on a side street.

Grace: Over the years, habits have changed, but Sister of Mercy Kay O'Brien has never stopped serving

A current Durham Museum exhibit showcases the Sisters of Mercy. Tonight, the Mercys will host a private gala at the museum for some 300 supporters. It is part of the order’s ongoing celebration of its 150-year history in Omaha.

Breaking Brad: What if the Daytona 500 were in Omaha?

If the Daytona 500 was in Omaha, the course would be about 300 miles before the course was closed for fiber optic cable work.

Breaking Brad: How will Husker hoopers survive without their smoothie bar?

After the Huskers' 74-46 home loss to Iowa, Coach Tim Miles locked players out of their locker room, which contains a smoothie bar, for the "foreseeable future." Please donate to my Kickstarter campaign to set up a temporary Husker smoothie bar.

Hansen: Are parents training resilience and creativity out of their kids?

CEOs and business experts routinely say in surveys that creativity and questioning are among the most important traits they look for in an employee. But kids who ask a lot of questions are often shushed.

“My concern is we’re training the ‘Why?’ out of our kids,” says Dr. Laura Jana.


Shatel: No surprise as Jays, Huskers take a step backward

So, we had so much excitement with college basketball last year, we needed a year off, right?

Breaking Brad: Oscars, space tourism, cat studies

The rapper known as Afroman and best known for “So I Got High” has been arrested for allegedly punching a fan onstage. I believe technically this would be Afroman’s second hit.

Breaking Brad: little league corruption and a schnauzer named Quackers

* McDonald’s might extend the hours it serves breakfast to later than the current 10:30 a.m. This would mean Americans no longer have to hit the drive-through doing 85 mph at 10:29.

Hansen: Paralyzed Nebraskan takes great strides forward with help of bionic legs

Courtney Milburn is a 24-year-old woman from tiny Rushville, Nebraska, who has not walked across a room in three years. She has not walked since the car wreck that crushed her spine and nearly killed her.

Grace: Once lost, they're now found; those hoping for a better way share the struggle of being black in Omaha

A group called the Found Period holds its weekly two-hour sessions at a place named for Malcolm X, the Omaha-born civil rights activist who was killed 50 years ago today.


Kelly: ‘Landlocked’ Kountze Memorial Church buying KETV site, so it can have room to grow

The broadcasting company is planning to move this fall to the old Burlington train station at 10th and Pacific Streets, a $22 million renovation project.


Shatel: Hawks’ high hoops standards are a worthy model for NU

In terms of approach and passion, Iowa gets it. In fact, you can make the case — and I will — that Iowa fans care more about winning in basketball than they do football. I’m sure some Hawks will disagree. But actions and history tell the story.


Dickson's Week in Review, Feb. 15-21

Doug McDermott said there is very little practice in the NBA “... because there are so many dang games.” If McDermott does nothing but increase the use of “dang” in the NBA, that alone will justify him being the 11th pick.

Breaking Brad: 2 Nebraska mayors and a wallaby walk into a room...

On Wednesday, the mayor of Omaha, the mayor of Lincoln and a wallaby walked into the Nebraska Legislature chambers. That sounds like a setup for about 85 jokes, none of which are appropriate for a family newspaper.

Breaking Brad: Beer Week's almost over, but Omaha will never stop drinking!

Omaha Beer Week is winding down. That's it for the celebration of beer. Well, until the Benson Beer Fest on May 30. Then there's the Omaha Beer Fest on June 5 and 6. And don't forget the Great Nebraska Beer Festival on Aug. 22. Then ... that's it, I think.

Kelly: Ex-porter at Union Station, who once handled passengers' baggage, offers a ride into the past with his stories

A long-ago Red Cap at Omaha’s old Union Station, Bob Fahey, 86, enjoys volunteering today at the station, now the gleaming Durham Museum, and sharing his tales of the old days. 

Breaking Brad: What do UNL administrators and Nigerian bankers have in common?

What's the difference between UNL administrators and Nigerian bankers? Emails we get from Nigerian bankers are more believable.

Breaking Brad: Bluffs officials plan big surprise for Donald Trump's visit

Donald Trump is coming to Pottawattamie County for the Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner in May. While there, Council Bluffs officials plan to unveil a $20 million overpass sculpture based on Trump's hair.


Shatel: Miles is still Miles, and he won’t give up on Huskers

Maybe the poor guy who answered his cell phone thought Tim Miles had been silenced by Creighton and Incarnate Word. Maybe he didn’t know Miles at all. Either way, he found out the hard way you don’t answer your cell phone while Tim Miles is in the middle of being Tim Miles.

Breaking Brad: Get your fireworks ready for the Chinese New Year!

If you hear fireworks in Omaha on Wednesday and Thursday, there's an explanation: Fireworks are legal here on Chinese New Year's. No? Well, they should be.

Breaking Brad: Thankfully, Omaha not considered too 'appetizing' to zombies

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: A tax break for fraternal groups? I’ll take one

I read about Woodmen of the World and its battle for property tax relief. Woodmen, which sells insurance, is arguing that it should be exempt from property taxes because it is organized as a fraternal benefit society. Hey, why can’t the Grace family follow Woodmen’s example?

Breaking Brad: In America circa 2015, isn't every Tuesday Fat Tuesday?

Today is Fat Tuesday. With the U.S. obesity epidemic, we now also have Fat Wednesday, Fat Thursday, Fat Friday, etc.

Breaking Brad: I saw snow flurries. So school's out for a week, right?

There was a chance of flurries in Omaha on Tuesday. So OPS shut down schools, I imagine?

Hansen: UNMC's Warren Sanger helped shepherd genetic testing from its infancy into modern era

In the 1970s he spent much of his time driving across Nebraska, teaching doctors and patients about tests for babies suspected of having genetic disorders. But his eyes were already on the future: Could his lab help doctors diagnose cancers?


Shatel: Choose to share like Petteway and friends will care

The Terran Petteway story last week hit me right in the gut. Twenty years ago, I lost my mother to cancer. In the months before she passed, I never told anyone about her illness. Not my co-workers. Not my friends.

Kelly: A precious gift of life for a life that was nearly lost

Bridget Kelly, the daughter of World-Herald columnist Michael Kelly, survived an attack and drew wide attention for speaking out on behalf of survivors of sexual violence. Bridget and her husband, Eric, now have produced a most welcome addition — Joshua Carl Strauss, born at a robust 8 pounds, 15 ounces.

Breaking Brad: Celebrate Presidents Day by buying overseas goods at big discounts!

On Presidents Day, a lot of people don't work and instead sit around taking it easy. Sounds more like Vice Presidents Day.

Breaking Brad: Twitter getting classy with newest user, Bigfoot

Bigfoot now has a Twitter account. This large, hairy beast should add some much needed class and intellect to Twitter.

From the Notebook

Kelly: Has President Obama visited Nebraska while in office? Technically speaking, yes

A recent report noted that while in office, President Barack Obama has yet to visit three states: South Dakota, South Carolina and Utah. Wait a minute. As president, he has visited Nebraska?

Gurdon Wattles & Julia Vance

Hansen: Treasure trove of Omaha industrialist's letters spells out tale of unlikely courtship

Gurdon Wattles was a rich man. He was a hard man. But he was something else, too: When it came to Julia, he was a puddle of love.


Dickson's Week in Review, Feb. 8-14

Breaking: Some Big Red fans are criticizing Mike Riley’s 0-0 career record as Husker coach, saying, “We deserve better than .500.”


Shatel: Jays’ effort in last-place game shows program has backbone

This is the time of year when Creightonians are checking the RPI daily, totally plugged into the college hoops scene. But this season, nobody could blame them if they were counting the days until they could turn the page. But that’s not how Creighton basketball works. That’s what we saw Saturday, an important day for the program in an otherwise insignificant game.

It's just the gypsy in his soul

Grace: With Antarctica down, Blair high schooler could hit all 7 continents by graduation

He saw London's Big Ben at age 10, Australia's Outback at age 13 and just recently, at age 14, Tyler Lucht set foot in Antarctica. Thanks to a nonprofit student ambassador program, Tyler is a world traveler.

Breaking Brad: Should I go see 'Fifty Shades' or 'SpongeBob' this weekend?

In many multiplexes, "Fifty Shades of Grey" is playing adjacent to theaters showing "SpongeBob." There has never been a time to be more vigilant about walking into the right theater.

Breaking Brad: Omaha men face tough choice this weekend, '50 Shades of Grey' or Beer Week

Omaha Beer Week begins today. This gives men in town something to do on Valentine's Day.

Kelly: From her sorrow, Omaha artist paints a wish for peace

Jaclene Clinkenbeard was moved to create the artwork after a gang-related incident where eight people were shot. Omaha "has a lot of potential to be a good city. ... But we’re kind of lost right now and headed down a bad path," she says.

Breaking Brad: Tomorrow's Friday the 13th, but it's Beer Week, so who cares?

Tomorrow is Friday the 13th. It's also the beginning of Omaha Beer Week. There's no such thing as bad luck when you have deals on beer.

Breaking Brad: Can we find a place for the UNO hockey bandwagon to park?

The UNO hockey bandwagon is full but unfortunately can't find a place to park on campus.


Shatel: Escondido kid finds new home in Omaha with Mavs

You meet countless athletes and coaches in 40 years. You read a lot of bios in media guides. But until recently, I had never experienced the chill down my spine when I happened upon UNO sophomore Austin Ortega on the Mavericks’ roster. Hometown: Escondido, California.

Breaking Brad: I'm so excited for Valentine's Day, I just can't hide it!

I saw an online article titled "5 fun facts about Valentine's Day." I think I know one; it's observed only by women?

Breaking Brad: Omaha Beer Week is 10 days, yet nobody questions it

Feb. 13 through Feb. 22 has been designated "Beer Week" in Omaha. When beer and Omaha are involved, a week can be 10 days long.

Tomorrow's Events
Lowered Expectations: Real Talk About Romance
Apollon The
12:00 am
Let's face it - modern romance is a disaster.
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 …
Global Threads
9:00 am
The Global Threads exhibition will consist of the works, collections and scholarship for several fiber artists from around the globe, includin…
Fiber Legends
9:00 am
Fiber Legends explores the different ways in which fiber art conveys movement, captures and transmits culture and functions as fine art throug…
O’Reilly Auto Parts World of Wheels
Century Link Center Omaha
10:00 am
There will be over 300 custom cars, classics, hot rods, trucks, motorcycles and race cars on display. This will be a fantastic showing of true…

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