Cheril Lee

Reporter/Anchor

My broadcasting career began in the most unlikely of places…Okinawa, Japan.  I was interviewed one afternoon while I was in college and, on a lark, I asked if the TV station needed any volunteers.  They said they could use a weather person who would stick around for at least six months.  Two auditions and one meeting later, I was in front of the cameras Monday through Friday night, giving the weather forecast for the island. 

Did I mention that FEN was the ONLY American TV station on the island?  Well, let’s just say that I got to know what being a celebrity was like, really quickly.  Since I was the only civilian on an all-military newscast, I stood out just a little bit.  It was one of the best times of my life and I worked with eight different news anchors.  This taught me that every broadcaster has a different way of approaching the craft. 

After Japan, I made my way back across the ocean, by way of plane, to the great state of Mississippi.  While there, I anchored daily newscasts at a local station, Northland Cable News.  The station was located in Starkville, the home of Mississippi State University.  While there, I got to attend football games in the press box, which was quite cool until the day they tapped me on the shoulder and informed me that cheering was not allowed in the press box.  Oops.  Again, I learned a little something about retaining one’s professionalism in every situation. 

While in Mississippi, I also made appearances on other TV stations’ breakfast and lunch time shows, usually talking to the hosts about various plays I was appearing in onstage.

My next broadcasting gig was right here in Omaha at KVNO, Classical 90.7 where I became the News Director in 2000.  I remember that my first day was right in the middle of a fund drive.  The Program Director asked me if I wanted to jump in and pitch and I thought, “What the heck is pitching?”  I deferred, telling him I’d participate in the next one.  And participate I did.  While I was there, I did more than 20 fund drives.  Additionally, I anchored several daily newscasts, wrote, produced and delivered the Arts at 8:30 and at the end, hosted a two-hour on-air shift in addition to my other duties.  I learned a lot about classical composers, including the correct pronunciation of Dvorak.

After a decade at KVNO, I decided to pursue my Master’s Degree at UNO, so I left the station to take classes.  But it wasn’t long before the siren song of public radio lured me back.  I started working for KIOS in January of 2010 as a news anchor, reporter and on-air host.  The Saturday morning programs are among my favorites and I love talking with listeners who are as passionate about public radio as I am.

When I’m not talking on the airwaves, I love to act in community theatre productions, rock out to concerts and write.  Traveling has always been a passion of mine.  I’ve been to several countries, including Italy, Japan, Albania, Slovenia, England and my personal favorite, Ireland.  Up next, are the Dominican Republic, France and Scotland. 

Ever the optimist, you will usually hear a smile in my voice when I’m hosting.  It is my goal to be good company as you move through your day.  

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Education
5:06 am
Fri July 13, 2012

MCC Moves Ahead with expansion of the Elkhorn Campus

MCC, Elkhorn Campus

The Metropolitan Community College Board of Governors recently approved a Master Plan that calls for the expansion of the Elkhorn Campus.

Board Member Tim Potter says the plan provides for the construction of new buildings to accommodate the fast growing campus.  He says right now, a building on Metro’s Elkhorn Campus is at 105% of capacity.  Potter says the only potential obstacle to the expansion right now is a dispute Metro has with the City of Omaha.

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Arts
5:06 am
Thu July 12, 2012

Jazz on the Green kicks off tonight

Mike Gurciullo and His Las Vegas Lab Band

Mike Gurciullo and His Las Vegas Lab Band open the 2012 Jazz on the Green Series tonight at Turner Park.

Gurciullo is originally from Omaha, and spent more than a decade in Las Vegas as an entertainer.  Gurciullo played lead jazz/trumpet in the Wayne Newton Orchestra for four years.  

He says he and his band play classic standard arrangements of out of print or unpublished songs as well as original arrangements.  Gurciullo says he and his band will be brining a bit of Las Vegas to Omaha tonight.

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General News
12:00 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

Metro Fireworks/Gun Amnesty Day Saturday

The 4th of July is over and the Omaha Police Department is offering individuals the opportunity to turn in leftover fireworks this weekend.

The Metro Area Fireworks and Gun Amnesty day will take place this Saturday from 9:00 to 3:00 at two locations: Ambassador Worship Center, 103rd and Fort Streets and Seymour Smith Park, at 72nd and Harrison Streets.  OPD Sgt. Matt Manhart says guns, ammunition and fireworks will be accepted at both locations with no questions asked. 

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Arts
5:06 am
Wed July 11, 2012

Film Streams Celebrates its 5th Anniversary

Rachel Jacobson at Ruth Sokolof Theater
Leo Adam Biga

Ruth Sokolof Theatre had its grand opening on July 27, 2007 and Film Streams is currently celebrating its 5th Anniversary.

Executive Director Rachel Jacobson says Film Streams has come a long way in five years, further than she expected.  She says the overwhelming community support has allowed Film Streams to present all sorts of programs.  Jacobson says the theatre shows about 150 films per year, and has offered many screenings in collaboration with community partners. 

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Arts
5:06 am
Tue July 10, 2012

New Exhibit on View at Loves Jazz and Art Center

Martin Luther King, Jr.

More than 50 black and white photographs of civil rights leaders are on view at the Loves Jazz and Art Center through August 25th.

Selma to Montgomery: Marching Along the Voting Rights Trail is being offered as a lead-in to the November elections.  Photos of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Harry Belafonte, and Ralph Abernathy are included in the exhibit.  Program Director Janet Ashley says the photographs offer visitors the opportunity to see and feel an important moment in our nation’s history.

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Politics
5:06 am
Mon July 9, 2012

The U.S. Senate passes Farm Bill

The U.S. Senate recently passed the 2012 Farm Bill by a vote of 64-35.  Chuck Hassebrook, with the Center for Rural Affairs, says this bill will provide continued support to Nebraska farmers. 

He says one of the biggest disadvantages in the bill is that it over subsidizes crop insurance for larger agricultural interests, making it difficult for smaller family-sized farmers to compete.  

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Other Content
5:06 am
Fri July 6, 2012

Iowa Western Community College to receive EPA workforce development funds

Iowa Western Community College is one of only 15 workforce development organizations in the nation to receive job training funds from the EPA. The college will receive the $200,000 grant on September 30th.  The funds will be used to train unemployed and underemployed residents of Omaha and Council Bluffs on how to clean up contaminated sites. 

Ina Square is a Job Training Coordinator for the EPA.  She says once they have the grant, Iowa Western will recruit students, set up a curriculum, and hire instructors.  The core training program includes 152 hours of instruction.

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Arts
5:06 am
Thu July 5, 2012

National Treasure is on Exhibit at the Durham Museum

The Durham Museum is offering visitors the opportunity to see one of the top 100 most significant documents in our nation’s history.

Shawna Forsberg, Durham Marketing Director, says original pages of the Pacific Railway Act are on view at the museum through the end of this month.  President Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act on July 1, 1862, establishing Union Pacific Railroad Company. 

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General News
2:21 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Chief Standing Bear Featured in June Press Club

The 1879 trial of Omaha Chief Standing Bear was the subject of last month’s press club.

Award winning author, college professor, and former newsman Joe Starita was the guest speaker.  Starita wrote I AM A MAN, which detailed the landmark case of Chief Standing Bear.  He said the case stemmed from the U.S. government forcing the Ponca Indians from their ancestral land, and Chief Standing Bear’s efforts to lead some of them back.

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General News
2:25 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

A Celebration of All Things Train and Track

150 years ago, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act, establishing the Union Pacific Railway.  In honor of Union Pacific’s sesquicentennial, six local organizations are collaborating to offer Railroad Days.  The two-day celebration takes place July 14th and 15th. 

Each venue will offer special activities to explore the region’s railroad heritage.  The Durham Museum is one of the participating venues.  Shawna Forsberg is Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the Durham.

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