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
Tue February 21, 2012

Sister of Beatle George Harrison visits Morton Magnet Middle School

The Liverpool Legends will perform at Morton Magnet Middle School tonight at 7:00.

The group is comprised of musicians specially picked by Beatle George Harrison’s sister, Louise.  

Dan Mattran, Instrumental Music Director at Morton Magnet, says the concert will offer a complete Beatles experience with music that spans the Fab Four’s entire career.  He says the performance will feature Morton’s chorus and band on selected songs. 

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Health/Medical
1:47 pm
Mon February 20, 2012

UNMC breast cancer researcher pushes science forward with his research

Researchers at UNMC are making strides in dealing with Her2. 

Dr. Kay Wagner says Her2 is an aggressive type of breast cancer.  He says there are several subsets and that each case must be treated differently. 

Dr. Wagner says in previous studies, it was thought that by inhibiting a certain protein called Cyclin D1, the growth of breast cancer cells could be stopped or slowed.  But he says his research indicated the opposite was true.

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General News
5:06 am
Thu February 16, 2012

Ultra Chic Prom Boutique Celebrates Five Years

The 5th annual Ultra Chic Prom Boutique takes place Saturday, February 25th.

Lisa Sekundiak, Vice President and Owner of Max I. Walker, says she was inspired to start the event after looking through her own closet of gently used formal wear.  She says the company asks people to look through their own closets, and consider donating any unwanted bridesmaids gowns or prom dresses. 

Sekundiak says Max I. Walker cleans all the dresses and then displays them all at the boutique.  Each dress is sold for $25.  Sekundiak says the prom boutique features more than dresses.

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Arts
5:06 am
Wed February 15, 2012

Joslyn Art Museum presents To Live Forever: Egyptian Treasures from the Brooklyn Museum

Large Outer Sarcophagus of the Royal Prince, Count of Thebes, Pa-seba-khai-en-ipet
Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund

Last weekend, the Joslyn Art Museum opened To Live Forever: Egyptian Treasures from the Brooklyn Museum.  The exhibit explores beliefs about life, death and the afterlife.  With more, here’s KIOS’ Cheril Lee…

Education
5:06 am
Tue February 14, 2012

UNO announces a major gift toward academic success

Sapp Fieldhouse

UNO’s Athletic Department recently received a leadership gift from Brian and Carey Hamilton. 

Trev Alberts, UNO’s Athletic Director, says the money will be used for a student academic success center.  

He says the department’s focus right now is to look programmatically at how they can help students and coaches be successful at Division 1. 

Alberts says the university’s move to Division 1 means more competition and accountability.  He says that’s why it’s important that the department administratively supports the student-athletes and coaches.

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General News
2:25 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

PRIDE-Omaha, Inc. Closing

PRIDE-Omaha, Inc. is dissolving its non-profit corporation on March 31, 2012.

The organization was formed in 1978 with the purpose of working to keep children safe and drug-free.  Executive Director Susie Dugan says even though the need for drug prevention is as great as ever when it comes to kids and drugs, it has become increasingly difficult to sustain funding for their resource center. 

She says PRIDE-Omaha is grateful to the community and state supporters who made it possible for them to do their work for so long. 

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Health/Medical
5:06 am
Mon February 13, 2012

American Red Cross to Host Mass Care Boot Camp

The American Red Cross of Nebraska/Southwest Iowa is holding a Mass Care Boot Camp for volunteers February 27th through March 4th.

Tina Labellarte, CEO for the American Red Cross’ Nebraska/Southwest Iowa region, says last year, volunteers responded to events in 46 states.  

Because events can happen quickly, she says it’s important that volunteers are properly trained ahead of time.  The Red Cross’ Mass Care Boot Camp offers training in a shorter period of time. 

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Health/Medical
2:00 pm
Fri February 10, 2012

UNMC is offering a doctoral degree in epidemiology

UNMC is offering a new doctoral degree in epidemiology.

Dr. Dana Loomis, Professor and Chair of Department of Epidemiology, says this is the fifth doctoral program in UNMC’s College of Public Health.  

Dr. Loomis says epidemiology is the basic science of public health, providing knowledge that’s important for all the health disciplines.

It also generates scientific data that helps in decision making across health fields.  Dr. Loomis says it is a broad field that’s not just about investigating disease outbreaks.

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Education
3:18 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

Project Interfaith offers multiple programs dealing with children, families and faith

Project Interfaith is offering children’s story time and show and tell Sundays at 3:00 at the Bookworm through March 4th. 

Each week of the story time features a different religion.  Beth Katz, Executive Director for Project Interfaith, says more than 60 people attended the first event last Sunday.

She says the events offer a great opportunity for parents and children to learn more about the diversity of beliefs and cultures present in our community and the world.

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Health/Medical
5:00 am
Thu February 9, 2012

Being Heard: A Creative Healing Program Using the Arts takes place this weekend

Being Heard: A Creative Healing Program takes place this Saturday at the Omaha Home for Boys.

Rita Paskowitz is the Director of the Storytelling workshop.  She says this weekend’s program is geared toward at-risk youth.  

Paskowitz says the purpose of creative healing is to get people to work through their grief using the arts.  Workshops in storytelling, music, movement, poetry and visual arts will be offered on Saturday.  

Paskowitz says it is sometimes easier for those who are grieving to express themselves through the arts. 

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