All NET News Stories

Transgender Nebraska farmer: Small town support “has been quite good” For a very long time Ashley Swartz kept a low-profile, satisfied with being on her fifth-generation farm land in Saunders County near Wahoo. Swartz is one of the few transgender farmers in America. Nearly twenty years ago Swartz decided to tell family and neighbors about her gender identification. Long before transgender issues became part of a national discussion, people around Malmo, Nebraska... more››
Feds weigh Sandhills power line's impact on endangered beetle A little black and orange beetle may be the biggest obstacle to a 225-mile-long proposed power line through Nebraska’s Sandhills. But a proposal to protect the beetle while allowing the line to be built has stirred up a hornet’s nest of opposition.Early morning, in a ditch outside a grassy field on the edge of the Sandhills, Bob Harms, a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, takes a... more››
Food insecurity in Nebraska and how one woman works to feed her family More than 200,000 Nebraskans don’t have consistent access to adequate food. Mike Tobias looks at the numbers and talks with one Nebraskan who deals with the challenge of feeding herself and her family.Lorraine Maddux was having a good day when I met her one afternoon at the Food Bank of Lincoln. She was finishing paperwork to buy a house and had received a promotion at work. But life hasn’t... more››
Health care dominates Fischer "listening session" in Omaha Discussion of health care dominated as Nebraska U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer hosted a “listening session” in Omaha Friday. (For the NET News Facebook page containing a video of the entire session, click here).The health care discussion started with the very first question, as a woman asked about a bill Senate Republicans are crafting that may include cuts, including to Medicaid. “When or if the Senate’... more››
Peru State College Ready to Celebrate 150 Years in Southeast Nebraska Tucked into rolling hills in the southeast corner of Nebraska, a college campus is celebrating an impressive anniversary. Peru State College was deeded into existence as the first state-supported college 150 years ago this Tuesday. The school has had its ups and downs, but has survived as an important part of the state’s public education system.The Peru State College campus features old oaks... more››
Nebraska Delegation Reacts to "Dark Day" in D.C. Nebraska's congressional delegation is looking for signs of unity following a shooting that injured a top House Republican leader and several others on a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia outside Washington, D.C. Wednesday.Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana was wounded in the attack by a gunman who targeted congressmen practicing for a charity baseball game. A congressional aide, lobbyist and... more››
Nebraska Tradition Continues with Start of Chautauqua A Nebraska tradition continues this week with an event that was an important part of the state’s social fabric more than 100 years ago and then made a comeback in the 1980’s. Chautauqua begins Thursday in Seward, and the subject is a war the United States entered exactly a century ago. If you’re unfamiliar with what Chautauqua is, Kristi Hayek Carley of Humanities Nebraska has a primer.“Between... more››
Nebraska tribe looks to language in preserving culture Members of the Omaha Tribe are fighting to keep their language alive. To the tribe's elders, it's not just about preserving the language; it also has to do with protecting the tribe's culture for younger generations.Even though he’s 79 year-old, Rufus White still remembers his first day of kindergarten like it was yesterday. Mainly because he and several other students were kicked out of class.“... more››
Fewer Farmers Are Working The Land. What Does That Mean For Small Towns? The most common occupation in America used to be farming. But farms are so high-tech these days, fewer farmers are needed to work the fields. That ends up having important side effects for farm towns across the Midwest and Great Plains.Brandon Biesemeier climbs up a small ladder into a John Deere sprayer, takes a seat in the enclosed cab, closes the door, and blocks out most of the machine’s... more››
Cities Plan for Climate Change Resilience In the wake of President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement, cities and states around the country have stepped forward to reaffirm their commitment to preparing for and addressing the impacts of climate change. Here in the Heartland, a group of cities has already been working to integrate climate change data into planning on the local level.Climate change... more››
KXL supporters and opponents clash in O'Neill Supporters and opponents of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline through Nebraska renewed their battle at a public meeting Wednesday in O’Neill.A total of 90 speakers spoke at a meeting that stretched over seven hours – part of the Nebraska Public Service Commission’s effort to get public input on the pipeline. It’s proposed to run from north central Nebraska diagonally southeast, part of a project... more››
Nebraska farmers preparing to take big financial stake in Costco chicken project The farmers that raise our chicken and our pork are in a tough business. They often invest millions of dollars and go into debt just to have the chance to land a contract with a big meat company. But those agreements don’t always work out.Tim Mueller has raised corn and soybeans on 530 acres near the city of Columbus, Nebraska, for decades, but today he is planning to take a big gamble.The big... more››