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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Health/Medical
2:06 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

Severe obesity is forecast to double by 2030

The Douglas County Health Department’s Chief of Community Health and Nutrition Services is in Washington DC for the Weight of the Nation Conference.

Mary Balluff says the purpose of the conference is to figure out how we as a community are going to combat the obesity issue.  A recent article in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine predicts an increase in the percentage of obese and very obese Americans over the next twenty years.  

Balluff says Douglas County has done a number of things locally to try to stem the tide of obesity in the Omaha area.

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General News
5:06 am
Tue May 8, 2012

D.J.'s Hero Awards Lunch set for Monday, May 14th

The Salvation Army's annual D.J.’s Hero Awards Luncheon happens Monday, May 14th.

Steve George, Chairperson for the event, says there are three goals of the event. One is to raise money for the Salvation Army’s programs. Another is to award scholarships to high school seniors who have overcome hardships in their lives, and the third is to feature a dynamic speaker. This year’s luncheon will be held at the Century Link Center.  George says there will be two guest speakers, Bob and Lee Woodruff.

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General News
8:00 am
Sat May 5, 2012

The Farmer's Market offers a wide selection of local produce

The Omaha Farmer’s Markets kick off this weekend.  The markets offer attendees a variety of items, including local produce, flowers, meat, and cheese.  Project Manager Heidi Walz says there are also local vendors with non-food items, including handcrafted jewelry and wooden toys. 

This year’s downtown Omaha Farmer’s Market will feature 110 vendors. The Farmer’s Market at Aksarben Village has expanded to 75 vendors.  Walz says the mission of the markets goes back to community, and that’s why they accept SNAP cards at all their locations.

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Arts
3:27 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

The OAYO's 13th Annual Side-by-Side Concert is this weekend

Maestro Thomas Wilkins
Courtesy of Omaha Symphony

The Omaha Area Youth Orchestra will play popular pieces from Rimsky-Korsakov, Delius and Mendelssohn at its annual Side by Side program.

The Side by Side Concert takes place Sunday at 7:00 in the Holland Center.  OAYO Executive Director Aviva Segall says the program offers the Youth Symphony the chance to perform alongside Omaha Symphony musicians. 

She says Maestro Thomas Wilkins will conduct the majority of the concert.

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General News
3:16 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

Mayor Suttle announces a partnership to aid homeless veterans

Mike Fornear, Homeless Veterans Project
Courtesy of Cheril Lee

There are approximately 1500 homeless veterans in Nebraska and around 200,000 nationwide.

A new partnership announced this morning would work to make Nebraska the first state to end veterans’ homelessness.  Mayor Jim Suttle and Mike Fornear of the Homeless Veterans Project, were joined by civic and business leaders to discuss the new project called “Vets Town.” 

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Education
5:06 am
Fri April 27, 2012

Creighton University Finance Program Ranked in Top 20 in Nation

The U.S. News & World Report 2012 Department of Finance ranked Creighton University’s college of business finance program 19th in the nation.

Anthony Hendrickson, Dean to the College of Business, says the program is up two points from last year.  He says Creighton boasts more Certified Financial Analyst charter holders on its faculty than any other institution in the world. 

Hendrickson says he thinks the visibility of the master’s in security analysis has attracted a lot of attention.

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Health/Medical
5:06 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Heyday on May Day!

The number one priority on the City of Omaha’s Transportation Master Plan is the Market to Midtown Connector.

The connector would convert Harney Street, from midtown to the Old Market, into a street that supports multiple modes of transportation, including biking and walking.  

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General News
3:28 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Lunch for the Girls 2012 Features First Lady Michelle Obama

First Lady Michelle Obama at Girls, Inc. Luncheon
Courtesy of Cheril Lee

First Lady Michelle Obama gave the keynote address at the Lunch for the Girls this afternoon, telling young women to work hard and surround themselves with positive people.

Mrs. Obama thanked the parents, Girls, Inc. staff, volunteers and community for their support of the girls. The First Lady says girls being strong, smart and bold isn’t just about getting good grades, but also about being a good friend, taking care of your body by getting active and eating right, and giving back to the community.

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Health/Medical
8:09 am
Tue April 24, 2012

April is Get Yourself Tested Month

Dr. Adi Pour, Director of the Douglas County Health Department, says they’ve known since 2004 that the rate of STD infections in Douglas County is at an epidemic level.

She says the health department wants to take every opportunity to keep young people healthy.  Dr. Pour says one of the ways to do so is to increase screening rates. 

She says often these types of infections are asymptomatic, so people may not know they are infected.

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Politics & Elections
7:19 pm
Sun April 22, 2012

Second Congressional District GOP candidates debate federal deficit, health care, tax code

The federal deficit was on the minds of the GOP candidates for Nebraska’s Second Congressional District at a debate Friday. The Omaha Press Club and League of Women Voters sponsored the debate.

Incumbent Congressman Lee Terry has three challengers. One is financial advisor Brett Lindstrom. UNO mathematics professor Jack Heidel and former Douglas County Republican Party Chairman Glenn Freeman are also running for Congress. 

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