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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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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Health/Medical
5:06 am
Mon July 2, 2012

UNMC to open a new large-scale biobank this winter

A new biobank at UNMC will allow researchers access to a larger number of blood samples that aren't specific to any one disease. Dr. Jennifer Larsen, vice chancellor for research, says a biobank holds biologic samples to be used in future research. 

Currently, UNMC has several condition-specific biobanks. But this new biobank would contain blood samples obtained from individuals when they go to the doctor for a routine visit.

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Arts
5:06 am
Fri June 29, 2012

Student Exhibit on View at Mayor's Office

Artwork from the Kent Bellows Studio is on view in the Omaha Mayor’s office.

Anne Meysenburg, Executive Director for the Kent Bellows Studio, said Mayor Jim Suttle's office wanted something to connect them to the art community, as well as something to beautify their offices.  She says the 12 pieces on display include some paintings, some drawings and collage work. 

Meysenburg says the art was created by students over the past couple of semesters.  She says the students and staff at the studio are excited about this collaboration with the Mayor’s office.

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General News
5:06 am
Thu June 28, 2012

MAPA seeking comment through this morning

This morning is the public’s final opportunity to weigh in on the draft of MAPA’s 2013-18 Transportation Improvement Program.

Greg Youell, Transportation and Data Manager for the Metropolitan Area Planning Agency, says the TIP represents all federally funded transportation projects in the metro area.  He says transportation projects slated for Douglas and Sarpy Counties in Nebraska, and the Council Bluffs area in Iowa, are included in the TIP. 

Youell says it’s important for citizens to understand they do have an opportunity to give input on the selected projects.

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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…

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