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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On Sept. 28, 1919, a rioting mob of perhaps 15,000 white people set the Douglas County Courthouse on fire, took Will Brown from his cell, beat him and hanged him from a telegraph pole outside the courthouse as it burned. One hundred years later, artists, activists, historians, playwrights, pastors and politicians are shining a light on Omaha’s darkest hour and its place in America’s ongoing story of racism.

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Churches are supposed to be places of refuge and hope, love and peace. To what degree is society willing to make them also fortresses? And what does it say about a free society if its symbols of solace, peace and help are under guard? Besides those philosophical questions, what about the brass tacks of this added security, starting with who is going to be the so-called “good guy” with a gun?

St. Columbkille Catholic Church in Papillion is arming volunteers for its weekly all-school worship hour, and will have off-duty law enforcement officers on watch. They won’t be in uniform, so it’s not like children will pass through a gauntlet on their way to worship. Still, these volunteers will be carrying guns.

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In March, Mary Jochim started thinking about how Papillion could transform its downtown area into a space with the vibrancy of Omaha’s Old Market. Then 10-year-old Abby Whitford died in August after being struck by a car in the suburban downtown, and suddenly, Jochim’s plan — to close off Washington Street (84th) and make it a pedestrian-only district — felt as urgent as ever.

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At Buildertrend, a software company in Omaha, work is accompanied by video games, pool tables and push scooters. The company gives an outsider the impression that work is secondary to relaxing or having fun, but it’s serious business. The founders say they want a workplace that is enticing to young talent from in and out of state. And that approach appears to be working; with its hires last week, Buildertrend now has 500 full-time workers, up from about 100 at the end of 2015.

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State government is struggling to find workers for numerous jobs, forcing increased overtime costs and prompting measures including hiring bonuses, job fairs and increased advertising to lure applicants. The shortages in some areas, such as the Department of Corrections and the Nebraska State Patrol, mirror a national trend in the decline of applicants for law enforcement jobs that require demanding hours and some risk.

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Not many teams can boast "we've won 900 games!" like Nebraska now can. In fact, just a handful of bluebloods — Michigan, Ohio State, Texas and Alabama are in the 900 club. The Huskers have beaten 128 teams to get to 900. Here's a graphical analysis of how they got there.

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Hollywood is always coming up with new, exciting ways to rehash old ideas. Often they adapt screenplays from novels, comic books, TV shows and more. With the latest TV adaptation, “Downton Abbey,” in theaters now, we thought it'd be a good time to look at the very best and the absolute worst in film adapted from television.

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402-444-1503; nigrin@owh.com

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