BestOfWeekend

The World-Herald creates lots of important journalism — stories, photos, video — that is both timely and compelling. But we also know our readers are busy.

Here is a convenient roundup of some of our best work from the last several days that's worth checking out.

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Current Omaha Public Schools retirees and employees would see lower cost-of-living adjustments, newly hired employees would get less generous pensions, and the school district would kick in more money annually under a new plan for shoring up the district’s troubled pension fund.

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Concerns over careers and salaries have spurred a decline over the past 20 years in the number of liberal arts degrees being pursued by college students. The rising cost of higher education has put students on high alert to the connection between college and career.

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When the downtown Capitol District’s three-story office building finishes construction this spring, it will be the final structural piece that fully wraps the project’s much-touted outdoor entertainment plaza. That milestone — which caps major landscape changes at the site at 10th Street and Capitol Avenue — comes nine years after the $200 million-plus redevelopment was announced.

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A massive $2.6 billion proposal to transform the University of Nebraska Medical Center campus may hinge on state funding, as well as commitments from the City of Omaha and Douglas County.

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Memories of Nebraska’s last redistricting were still raw when state lawmakers started looking for ways to reduce the rancor and partisanship of the process. Every proposal put forward in the years since then has failed. Now, on the eve of the 2021 redistricting, some senators and citizen groups are intensifying efforts to make changes.

Some citizen groups want an independent, nonpartisan commission put in charge of redrawing political maps, similar to the process used in Iowa. Gov. Pete Ricketts doesn’t believe any changes are needed and said the Legislature "shouldn’t try to dodge" its constitutional duty of redistricting. State Sens. John McCollister of Omaha and Wendy DeBoer of Bennington favor a middle ground.

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For the Omaha Police Department’s air support unit, the 16th turned into a bad omen day, like Friday the 13th. In 2019, two different police helicopters crashed on the 16th of both April and August. Fortunately, the pilots suffered only minor injuries.

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The machine that is the University of Nebraska-Lincoln athletic department once again generated more money than it spent in the 2018-19 budget year, according to a report disclosed this week.

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“It was designed as a church, but I feel like what I want to create is a different kind of church,” Katrina Adams said. “So maybe it’s not grounded in religion so much as it is community. It’s still a place for fellowship, it’s still a place for hope and faith and connection to something bigger than oneself.”

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“Creighton has the best culture I’ve been around, from the president on down,” sports psychologist Jack Stark said. “They are always looking for something that can make it better. The thing about (coach Greg McDermott), he’s evolved. “Think of it as the cherry on top. We don’t have a single stinker on the team. Good kids, good families.”