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
1:00 am
Thu June 7, 2012

An Evening with Terese Svoboda

The Nuer people of South Sudan share two special connections with Nebraska. One is there are more Nuer living in Nebraska than anywhere outside South Sudan.  The other is their preoccupation with cattle. 

Terese Svoboda will present an evening of poetry and music, sharing the culture of the Nuer with Nebraskans and the Nuer living in Nebraska.  Svoboda says the Nuer were made famous by E. Evans Pritchard’s classic text on social anthropology.  But she says she shares her own personal connection to the people as well.

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Arts
1:00 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Season tickets on sale for Omaha Performing Arts' upcoming season

Wallace Smith as Simba, The Lion King
Courtesy of Omaha Performing Arts

Omaha Performing Arts offers five different series: Broadway, Dance, Family, Jazz and Showcase, formerly the Popular Series.  

Executive Director Joan Squires says several of the shows offered during this season’s Broadway series are coming to Omaha for the first time.  The season begins with Shrek! The Musical in October.  Squires says that’s followed by Billy Elliot in November.

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General News
5:06 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Three recipients recognized with Omaha Community Excellence Awards

The City of Omaha recently honored the Empowerment Network, the Deer Park Neighborhood Association and neighborhood advocate Jeannie Dickes with Community Excellence Awards.

Mayor Suttle says the awards recognize the hard work these recipients have done in helping to improve the quality of life in Omaha’s older neighborhoods.  He says over the past several years, the number of neighborhood associations and the projects they are taking on has grown substantially. 

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General News
1:00 am
Mon June 4, 2012

Fund for Omaha Announces Grant Recipients

More than half the grants awarded by Fund for Omaha will fund programs, with the rest funding capacity building and operational expenses.

Fund for Omaha awarded over $170,000 in grants to 18 local nonprofits this month.  The NorthStar Foundation received a $7,000 capacity building grant.  

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General News
2:05 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

NRC Holds Open House to Discuss Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant

Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant
Courtesy of OPPD

The community was invited to attend an Open House with The Nuclear Regulatory Commission this afternoon in Omaha. 

The NRC held the event to address community members one on one about their concerns regarding the Fort Calhoun nuclear plant. OPPD operates the nuclear plant, which was shut down in April last year because of flooding along the Missouri River. 

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General News
5:06 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Child Welfare in Nebraska the Subject of May's Press Club

The May Press Club featured Lincoln Senator Kathy Campbell, Chairwoman of the Health and Human Services Committee and Carolyn Rooker, Executive Director of Voices for Children in Nebraska.

The two talked about the changes the legislature has made dealing with the safety and well-being of abused and neglected children in Nebraska.  Senator Campbell guided the legislation through the Unicameral. Rooker is an advocate on child welfare issues.  She says nationally there are three main things the child welfare system strives to do.

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Health/Medical
5:06 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Unusual Number of Flesh Eating Bacteria Cases at The Nebraska Medical Center

Six recent cases of flesh eating bacteria are not connected, according to the Director of The Nebraska Medical Center’s Hyperbaric Oxygen Unit.

Dr. Jeff Cooper says all six individuals were infected with different organisms.  He says though some individuals, such as those with diabetes, those who smoke, and the obese are more susceptible to flesh eating bacteria, contracting a virus is largely a matter of bad luck.  

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Health/Medical
5:06 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Breakthrough Drug Brings New Hope for Cystic Fibrosis Patients

The director of UNMC’s Adult Cystic Fibrosis program says he’s excited about a new treatment called Kalydeco.

Dr. Peter J. Murphy says Kalydeco is a drug that specifically targets a certain class of genetic mutation that causes cystic fibrosis in some patients.  Cystic fibrosis is a disease that primarily affects the lungs, with thick secretions that may sometimes become infected and make it difficult for patients to breathe.  

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Arts
5:06 am
Thu May 24, 2012

KANEKO has a new direction

Omaha’s KANEKO has a new board chairman and new plans for programming.

In March, then-Executive Director Hal France stepped down. Jim Linder, Incoming Chairman of the Board, says France stepped down as part of a planning process.  Linder says the board believed a different structure was needed for KANEKO as it looked at integrating administrative leadership, fundraising and programming.

KANEKO’s mission, to promote creativity and explore innovation will not change.  What will change, according to Linder, is that programming in the new season will follow four major themes.

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General News
2:00 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

Lawsuit Filed to Protect the Rights of Nebraska Children with Autism and Developmental Disabilities

Nebraska Appleseed and the National Health Law Program filed a class action lawsuit last Friday in Lancaster County District Court over services provided to disabled children. 

James Goddard, a staff attorney for Nebraska Appleseed, says the suit was filed on behalf of two children who were denied necessary behavioral health treatment.  

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