Comedian, author and actor Louie Anderson is returning to Norfolk June 18-19 to headline the opening session of the annual comedy festival at the Johnny Carson Theatre. He was there in 2011. Host will be Brian Kiley, the 2014 pro stand-up competition winner last year and a writer for Conan O’Brien. Comedian Brian Regan will be the Saturday night headliner.
A $900,000 federal air-quality grant through the Nebraska Department of Roads will help Omaha’s bike sharing network double its stations this year. Heartland B-Cycle now has 31 stations with 150 bikes in downtown, midtown, NoDo (north downtown) and Ak-Sar-Ben Village. Bike sharing provided an estimated 6,700 rides last year. Daily passes are $6.
Good job, Classic Car Collection on Highway 30 in Kearney. They got a story in the May issue of Motor Home magazine. Kearney is the midpoint of the Old Lincoln Highway, and you can browse through 200 classic automobiles at CCC, everything from a 1907 International Auto Buggy to a 1991 Ferrari Testarossa. The Taulborg family donated 131 of the vehicles. CCC’s upcoming event is Cruise Nite Week, July 14-19.
This weekend, catch the Catfish Classic at Lake McConaughy. The Ogallala event runs on Friday and Saturday. Call (308) 778-5879 for the details.
What a cool idea: Humanities Nebraska intern Tim Lundy made a free mobile app for GooglePlay and iPhone, the Nebraska Literary Tour. You can “tour” by author or by geographical location, perhaps in tandem with an in-person visit to the memorials, if any, of the famous authors. It is loaded with biographical information, photos, excerpts and much more. There’s a map app, too. The eight authors currently featured are: Bess Streeter Aldrich, Hartley Burr Alexander, Willa Cather, Loren Eiseley, Weldon Kees, Wright Morris, John G. Neihardt, and Mari Sandoz. The goal is to add two to four authors each year. The six geographic regions are west, central, northeast, southeast, Omaha and Lincoln.
Nebraska has the biggest inventory of cattle on feed of any state in the nation, according to a March report by the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Nebraska edged out Texas for the distinction. Nebraska had more than 4,500 feeding operations, with 2.49 million in feedlots of 1,000 or more. According to the Nebraska Beef Council, the state sells $6.5 billion worth of cattle each year.
A routine traffic stop last weekend on Interstate 80 in Seward County led to the seizure of nearly 227 pounds of marijuana and six arrests. Though that was one of the larger drug busts recorded, in 2012 Nebraska state troopers confiscated a total of 7,800 pounds of the drug. In 2007, a vehicle carrying one ton of marijuana worth an estimated $3 million was stopped in Omaha at I-80 and 96th Street. The legalization of marijuana in Colorado has made it a “source state” the way Mexico is a “source nation” for the drug trade, law enforcement officials said.
Several Hall County Vietnam War Hero Flights to the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C., are being planned in Grand Island, starting in mid-2016. The initial fundraising activity will be a hamburger feed from 5 to 8 p.m. April 29 at the United Veterans Club. Volunteers — as well as veterans to participate! — are encouraged to attend and sign up.
Veterans who will live in the 225-bed, $121 million Central Nebraska Veterans’ Home planned in Kearney will benefit from the ideas and work of University of Nebraska-Kearney students who are building model suites for the project. The construction management and interior design students were invited to build and furnish the rooms using blueprints from Wilkins Hinrichs Stober Architects.
The Hastings area will host the Prairie Loft Springfest on April 19. It’s a great chance for kids of all ages to meet baby animals, watch sheep shearing, milk a cow, go on a nature walk, hear bluegrass, make mud pies, plant vegetables, and learn all about Nebraska agriculture and food. For more: www.prairieloft.org.
The citizens’ right to be protected is being weighed against Nebraska’s prison overcrowding problem as the Unicameral debates whether to do away with many “mandatory minimum” sentences in Nebraska law. Purpose: to reduce the number of incoming inmates. The Nebraska Association of County Attorneys and Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert are among those who advocate keeping the stiff sentences for drive-by shootings; crack, heroin and meth dealing; and habitual criminal violations. Others, including Lincoln Sen. Colby Coash, defend LB 173, saying it would ease the overcrowding problem and return more discretion to judges. The state’s prison population is 1,938 inmates, 59% above design capacity. Adding a prison would cost an estimated $130 million.
Horse racing fans had been race down the homestretch to Fonner Park in Grand Island. Live thoroughbred racing is still going on this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Check www.fonnerpark.com.