World-Herald columnists

Grace: At 72, writer and gardener Jan Riggenbach still digs in, even when Mother Nature has other plans

Jan Riggenbach, whose gardening column has run for more than 40 years, doesn’t consider herself tough. Passionate is more like it. Like the goldenrod in her yard shooting straight toward the sun, Jan reaches toward what she loves. 


Shatel: What’s this? Shawn Eichorst talks about his guy Mike Riley’s team

Don’t know if you saw it, but there was good news last week. Nebraska Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst has reversed his policy and will now apparently give us regular updates on how the Husker football team is doing.

Breaking Brad: Huskers starring in their own version of 'Groundhog Day'

It was another last-second loss for the Huskers. This is starting to feel like the movie "Groundhog Day."

Breaking Brad: Can things get any worse for the Huskers? Check back Saturday

This week the Nebraska football team plays Minnesota. It'll be the Land of 10,000 Lakes vs. the Land of 10,000 Dropped Interceptions.

Kelly: 'Uniquely Omaha' book counts the many things that characterize the Big O

“Uniquely Omaha” covers lots of ground. If you mix all the stories, snippets, factoids, whimsy and photos together, the concoction describes one and only one place: Omaha.


Dickson's Bottom 10, Oct. 12

Welcome to the Columbus Day edition of the Bottom 10. I’m thinking if Christopher Columbus had known about some of these teams, he would have thought twice about discovering America.

From the notebook

Kelly: Former UNO chancellor Del Weber rediscovers joy of attending church

Del Weber was excited this week for his beloved University of Nebraska at Omaha but also for another development — at his downtown church.

What's in a name?

Grace: Is white poet's use of Chinese pen name a shrewd tactic or cultural blunder?

“As a strategy for ‘placing’ poems, this has been quite successful for me,” he wrote unabashedly in an author’s biography included in Best American Poetry.


Dickson's Week in Review, Oct. 4-10

I never thought I’d write this, but right now I miss the days when Wisconsin defeated Nebraska by five touchdowns.

Grace: Mother of 16 lost 'love of my life,' but she kept living for 43 more years

The Omaha matriarch, who died Wednesday, also was familiar with death — a subject she wrote tenderly about in a soon-to-be-released book on the subject.


Shatel: Why Nebraska needs Tom Osborne now more than ever

Some speakers are so good, so compelling, that nobody dares to look away. That was Tom Osborne on Thursday morning, at the Big Red Today Breakfast.

Hansen: He's a lawyer, patriot, Muslim and American

It's jarring to remember that Lt. Cmdr. Chris Fletcher, the All-American man at the center of this "wetting down" ceremony, sometimes feels compelled to explain the difference between his beliefs and those of the Islamic State.

Hansen: The impact Dr. Tom had is far greater than words can say

“With most doctors, there is a separation. Your doctor is your doctor,” says Omaha lawyer Warren Whitted, a longtime Tonniges family friend. “Here’s the thing about Tom. There was no separation between Tom and his patients. He wasn’t just your doctor.”


Shatel: Forget rivalries; Huskers need to beat Badgers for pride and soul

Put it on the shelf. We don’t need no stinking trophies today. If Nebraska can’t figure out why it needs to get up for Wisconsin, then NU should just drop football and take up badminton. This is a manhood game for the Huskers. 

Breaking Brad: Psst, Husker coaches. Try running the ball. They'll never expect it

I have a suggestion for a trick play the Huskers can maybe try against Wisconsin. With a lead and the clock running down, hand the ball to a running back.

Breaking Brad: Who needs ConAgra? Taylor Swift is in Omaha this weekend!

This is such a big deal, Mayor Jean Stothert will be presenting Swift the keys to all 160 cities she has annexed.


Chat: Lunch with Tom replay

Replay Thursday's “Lunch with Tom” chat to get World-Herald columnist Tom Shatel’s take on the latest sports headlines.

Breaking Brad: Like Siberia this time of year? When you play hockey with Putin, just let him score

On his 63rd birthday, Vladimir Putin played hockey against Russia hockey stars. Putin scored something like seven goals. This, after the goalie on Putin's last birthday shut him out and is still in the gulag.

Breaking Brad: Durham Museum tries to lure crowds with beer and Bieber

The Durham Museum’s 2016 season will include beer exhibits. This is when you know Omahans love beer. When we’re not drinking it, we line up to view its history in museums.

Hansen: Dr. Tom — who defied the silence of ALS to speak out, one last time — dies

My childhood doctor had ALS. But Dr. Tom broke his imposed silence to shout, again, for patients.


Shatel: New digs for Mavs have Blais bubbling

Baxter Arena looks like the ultimate college hockey hangout, and UNO hockey coach Dean Blais couldn't be happier. "We were looking to get a modern feel but also an old hockey barn feel.”

Breaking Brad: U.S. Postal Service making progress, lost only $586 million

The U.S. Postal Service lost $586 million in the most recent quarter. That is down from nearly $2 billion in the same quarter a year ago. Only the U.S. Postal Service could lose $586 million in three months and have it be labeled an improvement.

Breaking Brad: UNO hockey season opener approaches. You know what that means: taco cannon!

It’s almost time for the UNO hockey season opener at Baxter Arena. The best news is that so far in practice the new taco cannon only took out the windshields of six vehicles on West Center Road.

Kelly: Pat Venditte's ambidexterity is point of pride for his dad, who taught him the rare skill

Pat Venditte’s rise to the major leagues has been chronicled in our sports section. The other side of the story is that of an Omaha family and a baseball-loving dad who hatched the crazy idea to make his child into an ambidextrous pitcher.

Breaking Brad: Sure, let's have the city pay more to help out Crossroads Village ... then watch it move to Chicago

There's a new, extremely popular product called Husker Rogaine. It's for the thousands of fans who are so frustrated they've pulled their own hair out.

Breaking Brad: Forget Silicon Valley, hipsters; ConAgra needs you to go to Chicago and make TV dinners

According to a World-Herald article, ConAgra is moving to Chicago to tap a “young, hip talent pool.” Sure, every young, hip person I know wants a career making cheese and TV dinners.


Shatel: Peers’ treatment of captain Lewis will gauge Husker football team’s unity

Should Alex Lewis lose his captain’s “C?” It’s not my call. Lewis’ teammates know why they voted him a captain and know what they expect. It needs to be their decision.

Breaking Brad: Husker Rogaine sells out within minutes

There's a new, extremely popular product called Husker Rogaine. It's for the thousands of fans who are so frustrated they've pulled their own hair out.

Breaking Brad: Is this the curse of Bo Pelini?

The Nebraska football team has lost three games in the closing seconds this season. Every rational person can tell you it’s clear that Bo Pelini put a curse on the program.


Dickson's Bottom 10, Oct. 5

I realize Husker fans are frustrated. But as the adage goes, you don’t have to look far to find someone who has it worse than you. In college football, that would be Kansas and Texas.

Kelly: Bride books her destination wedding in Omaha, packs menu with local food

“We wanted to do a fun destination wedding to one of my favorite places in the world,” Caroline said. “We wanted to show off the city and let people know it’s a unique place.”


Shatel: 31 reasons this Husker victory became a Husker loss

Just when you think you’ve seen every possible way to lose a game the last 10 years, there’s one more.


Dickson's Week in Review, Sept. 27-Oct. 3

Saturday’s Michigan at Maryland contest was moved up to noon because of concerns about a hurricane impacting the game. “Signs you’re no longer in the Big Eight Conference.”

Grace: ConAgra dumped us, Omaha. Now we have to get over the breakup

Despite all the it’s-not-you-it’s-me talk the Fortune 500 corporation gave Thursday, it’s hard not to take the rejection personally.

Breaking Brad: In commute-cutting move, ConAgra is moving to Chicago

To "cut costs," ConAgra is moving from Omaha to Chicago. I believe this is the first time anybody ever moved from Omaha to Chicago to save money.

Breaking Brad: Wait, 'We Don't Coast' didn't make ConAgra want to stay?

ConAgra Foods is moving its headquarters to Chicago, so Omaha is losing a Fortune 500 company. The good news: By this time in 2020 we should have 15 more neighborhood Walmarts.

Hansen: He has what it takes to make it on 'Jeopardy!' stage. Who is Bellevue's Austin Yates?

He leaned against his podium, clutched his buzzer, tried not to think about his wife and mom and grandma in the studio audience or his two boys in Bellevue or Alex Freaking Trebek standing five steps away.


Lunch with Tom: Replay

Replay Thursday's “Lunch with Tom” chat to get World-Herald columnist Tom Shatel’s take on the latest sports headlines.

Breaking Brad: But we washed your car, Sean Connolly!

I wouldn't say we tried hard to keep ConAgra, but yesterday four Douglas County commissioners were seen washing the CEO's car.

Breaking Brad: Good luck with those -30 degree days, ConAgra

It's official, ConAgra is moving its headquarters from Omaha to Chicago. This means in the winter, when the wind chill is -30 near Lake Michigan, it'll only be -20 in Omaha. That's a very significant loss of 10 degrees.


Shatel: Big Ten West offers some similarities to Huskers' Big Eight days

It’s 516 miles from Lincoln to Champaign. We’ve got a full tank of gas. We’re wearing sunglasses. It’s ... Wait a minute. Did you say 516 miles? Yes. Farther than a drive to Norman, Oklahoma, or Boulder, Colorado, and this isn’t even the longest trip in Nebraska’s division.

Breaking Brad: ConAgra Foods loses money while the nation's waistline expands ... Seriously?

Here's my question about the ConAgra Foods situation: How can a business with "Foods" in its name lose that much money in a nation suffering an obesity epidemic?

Breaking Brad: Nebraska homeownership at its lowest level in 50 years? About those property taxes ...

Nebraska homeownership has fallen to its lowest level in 50 years. But that’s only because property taxes cost more than the mission to Pluto.

Breaking Brad: Soon John Boehner can really take advantage of his unlimited tanning package

House speaker John Boehner is stepping down. Just imagine how good he'll look when he has all day free to tan.

Breaking Brad: Ralston, ConAgra, Greek officials – who not to have managing your finances

I had the worst nightmare last night. ConAgra executives, Ralston officials and the leaders of Greece teamed up on a financial endeavor.


Shatel: Wacky college football weekend brings back memories

I know I live in the past, but it sure felt like a double dose of Husker history on Saturday. First, TCU beats Texas Tech with a touchdown pass right out of Matt Davison’s “Fleakicker” playbook. Then, later that night, Utah went to Oregon and beat the Ducks daffy.

Breaking Brad: Turf catches fire at Rams-Steelers matchup. Best pregame show ever

During the pregame show before the Rams-Steelers game, fireworks caught the turf on fire. That almost sounds entertaining. I mean, if I had to choose between another Bruno Mars Super Bowl halftime show or a burning field, I'm voting for B.

Breaking Brad: Sunday Night Football or supermoon? Meh, that celestial event will happen again

Sunday night the amazing, incredible, nearly once-in-a-lifetime supermoon eclipse took place. Unfortunately, it occurred the same time Sunday Night Football was on, so I missed the whole thing.

Kelly: Omahan who served at Checkpoint Charlie heads back to Berlin

Retired Army Lt. Col. Fred Van Peer, 69, is one of 12 Americans flown to Berlin for a seven-day “welcome home” visit sponsored by the Checkpoint Charlie Foundation of Germany.


Dickson's Bottom 10, Sept. 28

Welcome to this week’s Bottom 10, featuring teams that mostly aren’t even good enough to have their games air on ESPNews.

Featured Events

Sign up to get breaking news and daily headlines from the Omaha World-Herald delivered to your email inbox.

Subscriber Services »