Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway have picked well-known author and Harvard professor Dr. Atul Gawande to transform the health care they give their employees.
The three corporate titans said Wednesday that Gawande will lead an independent company focused on a mission they announced earlier this year: figuring out ways to improve a broken and often inefficient system for delivering care.
Health care researchers have said any possible solutions produced by this new venture will be felt well beyond the estimated 1 million workers the three companies employ in the United States. Other companies that provide employee health coverage are eager to find solutions for health care costs that often rise faster than inflation and squeeze their budgets in the process.
Berkshire Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett has described health costs as a "hungry tapeworm on the American economy."
Leaders of the three companies have said little about how their Boston-based venture plans to tackle this problem, but they have noted that it will take time to figure out solutions, a point they emphasized again on Wednesday.
"We said at the outset that the degree of difficulty is high and success is going to require an expert's knowledge, a beginner's mind, and a long-term orientation," Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a prepared statement. "(Gawande) embodies all three, and we're starting strong as we move forward in this challenging and worthwhile endeavor."
Employer-sponsored insurance covers about 157 million people, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. That's nearly half the total U.S. population and the biggest slice of the country's patchwork health insurance market.
Neither companies nor many of their employees are happy with how the system currently works. Employers have reacted in part to rising costs by raising deductibles and other costs, asking their workers to pay more of the bill and to shop around for better deals. Many patients, especially the sickest, struggle with that.
Nebraska advances execution plans despite secrecy concerns
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska officials are forging ahead with their effort to execute the state's longest-serving death-row inmate without disclosing where they obtained lethal injection drugs, despite a judge's order this week to identify their supplier.
The Nebraska attorney general appealed the judge's ruling on Tuesday as it pushes in a separate case to set a July 10 execution date set for Carey Dean Moore.
State officials are scrambling to execute Moore before their supply of a key execution drug expires in August, while simultaneously fighting a legal battle that could force them to reveal who gave them the drugs.
The administration of Gov. Pete Ricketts has also sued the Legislature to block a subpoena that would force the state corrections director to testify about Nebraska's execution protocol.
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A new court in Nebraska is working with veterans facing felony charges to get their lives back on track.
The Lincoln Journal Star reports that the Lancaster County Veterans Treatment Court has accepted six veterans into the program since it began about a year ago. The court serves combat veterans with little or no criminal record before their service ended, who were honorably discharged and have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder or a traumatic brain injury.
Corry Starks has both and was facing two felony drug charges. He says the program is a full-time job, but it's helping him transition back into society.
Coordinator Tony Conell says the program is beginning to welcome more applicants. He says they're looking to extend treatment to combat veterans with mental health disorders beyond PTSD and brain trauma.
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The state's preliminary May unemployment rate matched the April, March and February rate of 2.8 percent, the Nebraska Labor Department said in a report released Friday.
The rate is down a tenth of a point from the 2.9 percent of May 2017, the department said, and remained well below the U.S. figure, which dropped to 3.8 percent from 3.9 percent in April.
"Total nonfarm employment for May 2018 marks an all-time high for Nebraska," said state Labor Commissioner John Albin. "Contributing to this growth were the Lincoln and Omaha metropolitan areas, which also reached historical highs."
State nonfarm employment for May was 1,039,557, up 12,760 over the year and up 13,162 over the month. Private industries with the most growth year over year were manufacturing, up 3,539; leisure and hospitality, up 3,442; and professional and business services, up 2,857.
Month to month, the largest gains were seen in mining and construction, up 3,525; trade, transportation and utilities, up 3,378; and leisure and hospitality, up 2,736.
The preliminary Omaha-area rate dropped to 2.8 percent from 2.9 percent in April. The new rate is a tenth of a point lower than that of May 2017. Lincoln's preliminary rate remained unchanged at 2.6 percent in May, matching the year-ago figure. Grand Island's preliminary rate for May dropped to 2.9 percent from 3 percent in April. The new figure was a tenth of a point higher than May 2017.
The unemployment rates for Grand Island, Lincoln and Omaha have not been seasonally adjusted, so they cannot be directly compared with the state unemployment rate.
Here are preliminary area labor market unemployment rates for May, followed by the April rates:
— Beatrice: 3.0, 3.1
— Columbus: 2.8, 2.8
— Fremont: 2.8, 2.8
— Hastings: 2.8, 2.9
— Kearney: 2.5, 2.3
— Lexington: 2.7, 2.9
— Norfolk: 2.5, 2.6
— North Platte: 2.9, 2.9
— Red Willow: 2.6, 2.5
— Scottsbluff: 3.2, 3.3
(GRAND ISLAND, NEB.) — Troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol have arrested two men and seized 149 pounds of marijuana during a traffic stop on Interstate 80.
At approximately Wednesday, June 13, a trooper stopped an eastbound 2017 Dodge Caravan for failing to signal near York, at mile marker 353. During the stop, the trooper observed a vacuum-sealed bag of marijuana plainly visible inside the vehicle.
Troopers and deputies from the York County Sheriff’s Office searched the vehicle and discovered 149 pounds of marijuana. The estimated street value of the marijuana is $447,000.
The driver, Robert Rosenwasser, 56, of Florida, and Milton Coore, 53, of Jamaica, were arrested for possession of marijuana – more than one pound, possession with intent to deliver, and no Drug Tax stamp. Both men were lodged in York County Jail.
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The developer of the Keystone XL pipeline plans to meet with landowners along its planned route through Nebraska, South Dakota and Montana this week and will start aerial surveying of the route in all three states, a company spokesman said Monday.
ransCanada Inc. spokesman Matt John said the company will make financial offers to all landowners along the proposed route, including those who have already granted the company access to their land. Company officials are forging ahead despite pending lawsuits in Nebraska and Montana that aim to derail the project."It's important that all of our landowners are treated fairly, and offering these agreements to all landowners who have previously signed easements is part of our commitment," John said.
The $8 billion, 1,179-mile pipeline would transport Canadian crude through Montana and South Dakota to Nebraska, where it would connect with lines to carry oil to Gulf Coast refineries.
John said company officials will offer a "construction completion bonus" as an incentive to get landowners to sign easement agreements. They also plan to award bonuses to early signers and will give landowners time to review the contracts with outside attorneys. John said TransCanada still hopes to begin construction in early 2019.
Opponents said they're still confident they will thwart the project.
In Nebraska, landowners have filed a lawsuit challenging the Nebraska Public Service Commission's decision to approve a route through the state. A federal lawsuit brought by Montana landowners and environmental groups seeks to overturn President Donald Trump's decision to grant a presidential permit for the project, which was necessary because it would cross the U.S.-Canadian border.
President Barack Obama's administration studied the project for years before Obama finally rejected it in 2015, citing concerns about carbon pollution. Trump reversed that decision in March 2017, but John said the State Department has begun a supplemental environmental review of the route. The State Department has previously reviewed the route, but another analysis became necessary because the Nebraska Public Service Commission approved a different route than the one TransCanada had preferred.
"We know this song and dance very well," said Jane Kleeb, president of the Bold Alliance, a leading pipeline opposition group. "This pipeline will never be built. It's all P.R., and this is so typical of TransCanada."
The pipeline faces intense resistance from environmental groups, Native American tribes and some landowners along the route who worry about its long-term impact on their groundwater and property rights. But in Nebraska, many affected landowners have accepted the project and are eager to collect payments from the company.
"People here are a step above being OK about it — they're enthusiastic," said Ron Schmidt, a Madison County commissioner and farmer who owns property on the route. "I've talked to landowners who want the route to move just a little so it can go through their property."Schmidt said he views the project as a one-time boost for the local economy that would help generate tax revenue. He said he also sees it as a way to promote the nation's energy independence, an assertion that many opponents dispute.
Farmer Art Tanderup, who has fought the pipeline since 2012, said he's still hopeful the project will never move forward and that TransCanada is "trying to appease its investors" with its announcement.
He said he opposes the project because of its potential impact on the Ogallala Aquifer, a massive groundwater system in Nebraska and seven other states, and concerns about a foreign company trying to use eminent domain on U.S. landowners.
"It's easy for us to tell them 'no' if they do come knocking," Tanderup said.
The Nebraska baseball team had two players and two signees selected during the final day of the MLB Draft on Wednesday. Junior Jesse Wilkening and senior Luis Alvarado each heard their name called during a day that featured rounds 11-40 of the draft. The Philadelphia Phillies drafted Wilkening in the 14th round, while the Los Angeles Angels picked Alvarado in the 17th round. In addition, Husker signees Spencer Schwellenbach and Bo Blessie were each drafted on Wednesday. Schwellenbach, a right-handed pitcher from Saginaw Heritage High School in Saginaw, Mich., was drafted in the 34th round by the Cleveland Indians with the 1,033rd overall pick. Blessie, a right-handed pitcher from Robert E. Lee High School in Midland, Texas, was taken in the 36th round by the Washington Nationals with the 1,091st pick. During the second day of the MLB Draft on Tuesday, Scott Schreiber was drafted by the Houston Astros in the ninth round with the 282nd overall pick.
Jesse Wilkening – Philadelphia Phillies (14th Round – 407th Overall Pick)
Wilkening led the Huskers with a .372 batting average in 2018 en route to second-team All-Big Ten honors. Wilkening, who had at least one hit in 15 of NU’s last 16 games, compiled 10 multi-hit performances during that stretch. His .372 batting average and team-high 56 RBIs each ranked fourth in the Big Ten this season. Wilkening also led the team in doubles (14), while ranking second on the team in hits (74), home runs (9), runs scored (45) and total bases (117). Before coming to Nebraska, Wilkening was drafted in 2015 by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 28th round after a successful prep career at Hanover Central High School in Cedar Lake, Ind.
Luis Alvarado – Los Angeles Angels (17th Round – 511th Overall Pick)
Alvarado, who had been previously drafted twice, converted from reliever to starter in 2018. Alvarado, who threw a team-high 70.0 innings this season, led the Huskers in strikeouts (65) and recorded the lowest opposing batting average (.256) among NU’s starters. He went 3-7 with a 4.89 ERA in 14 starts in 2018 after earning 10 saves in 16 relief appearances in 2017. Alvarado was drafted in 2017 by the Seattle Mariners in the 13th round after being selected in the 2014 MLB Draft by the Boston Red Sox in the 33rd round out of high school.
The deadline for drafted players, other than college seniors, to sign with a team is July 6. Players who have exhausted their college eligibility have until one week before 2019 MLB Draft to sign.
After being among the Big Ten and national leaders at the plate in 2018, Scott Schreiber was drafted in the ninth round of the MLB Draft by the Houston Astros on Tuesday. Houston drafted a Husker for the second consecutive year after selecting Jake Meyers in the 13th round of the 2017 MLB Draft. The Astros went on to win the 2017 World Series.
Scott Schreiber – Houston Astros (Ninth Round – 282nd Overall Pick)
A three-time All-Big Ten performer, Schreiber was drafted by the Houston Astros in the ninth round with the 282nd overall pick. In 2017, Schreiber was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 26th round, but came back for his senior season at Nebraska and led the team in most offensive statistical categories, including hits (79), home runs (18), runs scored (62) and total bases (148). He was also among the Big Ten leaders in those categories, leading the league in runs scored, while ranking second in home runs and total bases. Schreiber hit .369 and is a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award as well as a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award after receiving second-team All-Big Ten recognition. Schreiber climbed up Nebraska’s career charts in 2018, finishing his career ranked fifth in school history in hits (259), tied for fourth in home runs (44) and ninth in RBIs (172).
The MLB Draft concludes on Wednesday with rounds 11-40, starting at 11 a.m. (CT) on MLB.com.
Three Nebraska football greats are among 76 players from the Football Bowl Subdivision announced as finalists Monday for the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. Huskers on the 2019 ballot for induction into the Hall of Fame include Heisman-winning quarterback Eric Crouch, and a pair of Outland Trophy winning offensive linemen in Zach Wiegert and Larry Jacobson. Crouch is on the ballot for the eighth straight year, Wiegert is making his fourth appearance on the ballot and Jacobson is a new addition to the Hall of Fame ballot. The 2019 class will be announced on Monday, Jan. 7, 2019,in Santa Clara, Calif. on the day of the College Football Playoff championship game. Crouch would become the second Husker quarterback in the College Hall of Fame, joining Tommie Frazier, who was part of the 2013 class. Crouch became Nebraska's third Heisman Trophy winner in 2001 after leading the Huskers to the National Championship game. An option-based quarterback out of Omaha's Millard North High School, Crouch set the NCAA record for career rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with 59, and he amassed 7,915 yards of total offense in his career. A consensus All-American in 2001, Crouch also reeled in the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, the Davey O'Brien Award and the Sporting News Offensive Player of the Year award during his senior campaign. His No. 7 jersey was retired by Nebraska in 2002. Jacobson was a stalwart on Nebraska’s first national title teams in 1970 and 1971. A consensus first-team All-American in 1971, Jacobson on the Outland trophy as a senior, as he tallied 73 tackles, including 12 tackles for loss to become the program’s first major award winner. He led the Blackshirts to top-five national rankings in rush defense (85.9, second), total defense (202.9, fifth) and scoring defense (8.2, third) en route to a 13-0 record and a second straight national title. During his three seasons at Nebraska, the Sioux Falls, S.D., product led the Huskers to a 33-2-1 mark with two national titles and three conference crowns. His No. 75 jersey was retired in 1994. Wiegert was a 1994 unanimous first-team All-American and is one of eight Huskers to win the Outland Trophy. A native of Fremont, Neb., Wiegert helped lead the Huskers to 1994 National Championship after NU played in the 1993 title game. The Huskers averaged 340 yards per game on the ground in 1994, and Wiegert led Nebraska with 113 pancake blocks. He even earned one first-place vote for the Heisman, finishing tied for ninth with 27 points. In addition to winning the Outland, he was a finalist for the Lombardi Award, a consensus All-American, the UPI Lineman of the Year and the Touchdown Club of Columbus Offensive Lineman of the Year. His No. 72 jersey was retired before the 1995 season. Aaron Taylor will became the 18th Nebraska player in the College Football Hall of Fame, as he will be inducted this December in New York City, joining recent Husker enshrines Trev Albers (2015), Tommie Frazier (2013), Will Shields (2011) and Grant Wistrom (2009).
Pitcher/infielder Courtney Wallace, who will be freshman on the Nebraska softball team in the fall, has been named Nebraska's Gatorade Softball Player of the Year. Wallace adds this honor to a PGF Regional All-America award, which she earned in May. Wallace played four years on varsity for Papillion-La Vista High School and played club ball for Nebraska Gold. She helped Papillion-La Vista to the Class A State Tournament each of her four years. The Monarchs finished runner-up in 2016, before claiming the title in 2017. As a senior, she posted a 18-1 record, with an ERA of 0.28 and 162 strikeouts in 2017. Her ERA was the lowest ERA recorded in the state since the pitching mound moved from 40 feet to 43 feet. At the plate, she hit .504 and had nine homeruns, 10 doubles, four triples, 35 RBIs, 45 runs scored and 14 stolen bases. She helped her team to the 2017 state title with a 16-4 win over Lincoln Southwest by hitting a leadoff solo homer to begin an 11-run, 10-hit inning for the Monarchs.
Lincoln – Nebraska’s non-conference schedule got a little tougher Friday, as the Huskers will travel to NCAA Sweet 16 qualifier Clemson as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge announced by ESPN. The matchup between the Huskers and Tigers will take place on Monday, Nov. 26, from Littlejohn Coliseum. Start time and television information will be announced at a later date, but all of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge games are on the ESPN family of networks. The Tigers are coming off a 25-win season, as Clemson reached the NCAA Sweet 16 before falling to top-seeded Kansas, 80-76, in Omaha. Senior guards Marcquise Reed and Shelton Mitchell lead an experienced lineup which returns three starters from a year ago. Reed led the Tigers in scoring (15.8 ppg) and steals (58), as he ranked sixth in the ACC in steals per game. Mitchell averaged 12.2 points per game and dished out a team-high 3.6 assists per game. In addition, Elijah Thomas gives the Tigers a third double-figure scorer returning, as he averaged 10.7 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game. Clemson, which tied a school record for conference wins in 2017-18, went 15-1 at home with the only setback being a one-point loss to Elite Eight qualifier Duke and finished 15th in the final USA Today/Coaches poll.
This will be the second time in three years that the Huskers and Tigers have squared off. In 2016, the Huskers dropped a heartbreaking 60-58 loss to the Tigers, as Tai Webster’s shot missed at the buzzer. Husker senior Glynn Watson Jr. had 20 points, six rebounds and four steals to lead all scorers that evening. Watson and juniors Isaiah Roby and Jordy Tshimanga are the only current Huskers who played in that matchup against Clemson. The Huskers have played well in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge under Miles, going 4-2 in six previous appearances, including road wins at Wake Forest (2012) and Florida State (2014). Nebraska is 4-3 all-time in Big Ten/ACC Challenge games since joining the Big Ten prior to the 2011-12 season with two of the losses coming by two points and the other in overtime. Nebraska is one of only two Big Ten teams with a winning record in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Nebraska is 15-15 all-time against current ACC members following a win over Boston College last season.
Nebraska also returns five players who made at least 13 starts for NU in 2017-18 and 10 returning letterwinners from a team that went 22-10 and reached the NIT. The returnees are led by preseason All-America candidate James Palmer Jr., who led the Huskers in scoring at 17.2 points per game while also averaging 4.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. The guard from Upper Marboro, Md., was a first-team All-Big Ten selection last year, and is one of three double-figure scorers back for the Huskers. NU also returns senior forward Isaac Copeland Jr., who averaged 12.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game in earning All-Big Ten honors, and Watson, who chipped in 10.5 points and 3.2 assists per game.
The Huskers’ matchup with Clemson is part of a loaded non-conference schedule which also features two games in Kansas City for the Hall of Fame Classic (Texas Tech, USC and Missouri State), a Gavitt Tipoff Games matchup with Seton Hall as well as the annual matchup with Creighton. The 2018-19 slate will also include 20 Big Ten games, as pairings were announced earlier this spring.
This is the 20th year of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, and the Big Ten will look to regain the Commissioner’s Cup after the ACC has won the event in each of the past two years. The ACC leads the all-time series, 12-5-2, but the Big Ten is 5-2-2 over the last nine years.
2018 ACC/Big Ten Challenge Schedule
Monday, Nov. 26
Minnesota at Boston College
Nebraska at Clemson
Tuesday, Nov. 27
Illinois at Notre Dame
Indiana at Duke
Michigan State at Louisville
Pitt at Iowa
Virginia Tech at Penn State
NC State at Wisconsin
Wednesday, Nov. 28
Purdue at Florida State
Rutgers at Miami
North Carolina at Michigan
Virginia at Maryland
Georgia Tech at Northwestern
Syracuse at Ohio State
Nebraska will usher in the Scott Frost era under the lights at Memorial Stadium on Sept. 1 against Akron. The game, which will be televised nationally on FOX at 7 p.m., was one of six kickoff times for the 2018 season announced on Thursday by the Big Ten Conference and its television partners. Nebraska also learned kickoff times for its three other September home games, as well as road games at Northwestern (Oct. 13) and Iowa (Nov. 23). Network assignments have been made for four games, including two appearances on FOX, one on ABC and one on BTN. The primetime season opener marks the third consecutive season and sixth time in the past decade Nebraska has opened the season with a home night game. The following week on Sept. 8, Nebraska will renew a matchup with long-time Big Eight and Big 12 foe Colorado with kickoff set for 2:30 p.m. at Memorial Stadium and the game televised by ABC. The Husker-Buff matchup will follow a long tradition of that contest being televised on ABC. The final 17 conference matchups (1994-2010) between the schools were televised by ABC. The Huskers complete their non-conference schedule on Sept. 15 against Troy, with kickoff at 11 a.m. on BTN. Nebraska’s Homecoming game on Sept. 29, against Purdue will start at either 2:30 or 3 p.m., with the network to be determined. The Huskers’ Oct. 13 road game at Northwestern will kick off at 11 a.m. CT, with the network determination made at a later date. The Huskers’ regular-season finale at Iowa on Black Friday is also set for an 11 a.m. kickoff with national television coverage on FOX.
Game times and television information for Nebraska’s remaining six games on the 2018 schedule will be made six-to-12 days in advance.
Nebraska 2018 Game Times/TV Information
Sept. 1 – Akron at Nebraska, FOX, 7 p.m. CT
Sept. 8 – Colorado at Nebraska, ABC, 2:30 p.m. CT
Sept. 15 – Troy at Nebraska, BTN, 11 a.m. CT
Sept. 29 – Purdue at Nebraska (HC), Network TBA, 2:30 or 3:00 p.m. CT
Oct. 13 – Nebraska at Northwestern (HC), Network TBA, 11 a.m. CT
Nov. 23 – Nebraska at Iowa, FOX, 11 a.m. CT
Athletic Director Bill Moos, Head Coach Scott Frost and members of the Nebraska football staff will visit all areas of Nebraska as part of the Husker Nation Tour presented by First National Bank. The two-day, 26-town blitz will take place on Monday, June 11 and Tuesday, June 12. All events in the Husker Nation Tour are free and open to the public and give Nebraska fans a chance to meet the coaching staff as preparations continue for the 2018 season. The tour will kick off with Frost, Moos and Associate A.D. for Football Matt Davison highlighting a trip to Scottsbluff and Alliance on Monday. The trio will be at the Gering Civic Center for a mid-day event on Monday, followed by an early evening event at Newberry's in downtown Alliance. Monday evening events will also take place in Valentine (Troy Walters, Mike Dawson) and Ogallala (Erik Chinander, Frank Verducci), before the staff meets fans in 22 towns on Tuesday, June 12. Tuesday groups include Walters and Dawson (O'Neill, Aurora, Seward); Chinander and Verducci (Imperial, McCook, Lexington); Jovan Dewitt and Ryan Held (Kearney, Hastings, Geneva, York); Barrett Ruud and Sean Beckton (Norfolk, South Sioux City, West Point, Blair); Travis Fisher and Mario Verduzco (Wahoo, Fremont, David City, Beatrice) and Moos, Greg Austin and Zach Duval (Falls City, Auburn, Plattsmouth, Gretna).
2018 Husker Nation Tour Presented by First National Bank
|MONDAY, JUNE 11|
| Bill Moos, Scott Frost,
| 12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
4:30 - 6:30 p.m.
| Gering Civic Center
Erik Chinander,Frank Verducci
5:30 - 7 p.m.
Open Range Grill
5:30 - 7 p.m.
Bolo Brewery & Tap Room
|TUESDAY, JUNE 12|
| Erik Chinander,
| 8:30 - 9:30 a.m.
1 - 2 p.m.
5 - 6 p.m.
Chase County Fair
LakeShore Marina Bar
| 8:30 - 9:30 a.m.
1 - 2 p.m.
4 - 5 p.m.
| O'Neill Community Center
Bremer Community Center
| 8:30 - 9:30 a.m.
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
3 - 4 p.m.
5:30 - 6:30 p.m.
| First National Bank (Downtown)
Lochland Country Club
Holthus Convention Center
South Sioux City
| 9 - 10 a.m.
12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
3 - 4 p.m.
5:30 - 6:30 p.m.
| Norfolk Country Club
Nielsen Community Center
Woodhouse Auto Family
| Travis Fisher,
| 8:30 - 9:30 a.m.
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
2 - 3 p.m.
5 - 6 p.m.
| Hilltop Country Club
Sid Dillon Chevrolet
Par IV Restaurant & Lounge
The Black Crow
Greg Austin,Zach Duval
| Falls City
| 9 - 10 a.m.
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
2:30 - 3:30 p.m.
5 - 6 p.m.
| Pritchard Auditorium
Plattsmouth Community Center
Spikers Sports & Spirits