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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General News
2:02 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Secretary of the Navy Celebrates the Naming of the USS Omaha

Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle says he was in awe of the honor bestowed on the city earlier this week.

On Monday, the Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, presided over a ship naming ceremony.  The USS Omaha will be the 4th vessel to be named after the City. 

The craft will be one in a series of littoral combat ships to be commissioned by the U-S Navy.  Mayor Suttle says he’s proud that the city has received such an honor.

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Politics
2:32 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Nebraska Appleseed Reacts to US Supreme Court Ruling on Arizona Immigration Law

On Monday the US Supreme Court threw out three of the four sections of Arizona’s state-level immigration policy.

Darcy Tromanhauser, Director of Nebraska Appleseed’s Immigrant Program, says the 4th section, which requires police to check the citizenship status for any person lawfully stopped, detained or arrested, is still subject to civil rights questions that are coming up through the courts. 

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General News
5:06 am
Tue June 26, 2012

UNO Hosts Eureka Program for Young Women

Throughout the month of June, 28 young women have been participating in an educational experience called the Eureka Program.

Angie Hodge directs the program.  She says this is the first year the nationwide program has been offered in Nebraska.  Eureka offers 8th grade girls the opportunity to explore science, technology, engineering and math. 

In addition to focusing on the STEM fields, Hodge says the program also helps build character, and encourage physical wellness.

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Health/Medical
5:06 am
Mon June 25, 2012

Hotter temperatures have arrived

Hot summer temperatures preceded the official start of the season last week. So it’s important to protect yourself while enjoying outdoor activities.  With more, here’s Omaha Public Radio’s Cheril Lee…

Arts
5:06 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Durham Museum Wins Merit Award

The Durham Museum will receive the 2012 Award of Merit form the American Association for State and Local History.

Shawna Forsberg, Durham Marketing Director, says the award is for the museum’s distance learning initiative.  She says the program began in 2007 when the Durham opened its new lecture hall. 

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Education
5:06 am
Wed June 20, 2012

UNO Hosts Conference of Metropolitan Universities

“A Love of Place: The Metropolitan Advantage” is the theme of the 2015 conference of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities.

UNO will host the conference.  Chancellor John Christensen says the coalition is comprised of 70 institutions across the country. 

He says between 250 and 350 leaders from those universities attend the conference each year. 

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Arts
2:30 pm
Mon June 18, 2012

Nebraskans for the Arts Reveal Study Results

Holland Center, Omaha

Omaha’s arts and culture industry is one the city can count on, according to a new report released last week.

The Arts and Economic Prosperity report shows arts and culture provides for 3,400 full-time jobs, both directly and indirectly, in Omaha.  

Marjorie Maas, Director of Nebraskans for the Arts, says the city’s arts and culture organizations provided 89 million dollars worth of economic impact last year, making up half of the state’s 174 million. 

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General News
5:06 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Report Finds More Children Raised by Relatives and Family Friends

2.7 million children are in kinship care on any given day in the United States.  

Kinship caregivers are either extended family members or close family friends who take care of kids in their parents’ absence.

Rob Geen, Director of Family Services and Systems Policy at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, says often these caregivers are taking care of children without much advance notice. He says making their lives ready to be able to care for the kids is a challenge.  

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General News
5:06 am
Fri June 15, 2012

One Iowa at Pride Event in Omaha

Pride Month celebrates the LGBT community and the progress the community has made towards full equality.  Omaha is the site of the Heartland Pride event on June 30th.  

Staff and volunteers from One Iowa will have a booth at the event.  Communications Director Molly Tafoya says the group will share information and talk with attendees about the impact the organization has had on equality issues.  She says one of the things that makes Iowa so unique is their leadership in the movement for LGBT equality in the Midwest.

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Politics
5:06 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Election Commission Meets with Omaha Community Coalition

When Douglas County began its redistricting process, the election commission had a meeting with 25 people from the community who had concerns over the changes. Dave Phipps, Douglas County Election Commissioner, says the Omaha Community Coalition was formed from that initial group.  Phipps has met with the coalition three times.  He says the first meeting was a get to know you session to find out their thoughts and concerns. 

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