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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Politics & Elections
3:00 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

Senator Nordquist introduces a bill to make chemotherapy affordable

Senator Jeremy Nordquist

LB 882 would take cancer treatment decisions away from insurance companies and put them back into the hands of patients and their doctors.

That’s according to Omaha Senator Jeremy Nordquist, who introduced LB 882.  He says the measure creates parity between oral chemotherapy medications and IV medications for cancer patients.  Senator Nordquist says under the current system, IV medications are considered a medical benefit. 

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General News
5:06 am
Tue February 7, 2012

LFS' 3rd Annual At Ease Lunch featured Medal of Honor recipient Sal Giunta

Staff Sergeant Sal Giunta

Lutheran Family Services’ 3rd Annual At Ease Luncheon featured a Medal of Honor recipient.

This year’s keynote speaker was former U.S. Army Staff Sergeant, Sal Giunta.  Sgt. Giunta is the first living American serviceman to receive the Medal of Honor for service in Iraq or Afghanistan.  

Sgt. Guinta said he was happy to support At Ease, a program he said helps soldiers fighting for the freedoms all Americans enjoy.

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Education
5:06 am
Mon February 6, 2012

UNO Celebrates Black History Month with Educational and Entertaining Events

UNO is celebrating Black History Month with three public events.

Helen Kang is the Assistant Director for Cultural Programming at UNO.  She says the process of choosing events begins with reaching out to student and community groups.  After the Black History Month committee is formed, the brainstorming session begins. 

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Sports
5:10 am
Fri February 3, 2012

UNO Athletic Director headlined last month's Press Club

Trev Alberts

Omaha Press Club’s January Noon Forum featured Trev Alberts, UNO’s Director of Athletics.

Alberts started at UNO in 2009.  Last year, Alberts’ plan to reclassify UNO athletics from Division 2 to Division 1 was approved by the board of regents.  In July of 2011, Alberts secured a spot for the UNO Hockey Team in the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference. 

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Arts
5:00 am
Thu February 2, 2012

Youth Symphony Performs Two Large-Scale Masterpieces

UNO's Strauss Performing Arts Center

The Omaha Area Youth Orchestra’s Youth Symphony presents its Winter Concert Sunday at 2:00 in the Strauss Performing Arts Center.

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Arts
5:00 am
Wed February 1, 2012

Film Streams holds three panel discussions this month

Film Streams offers panel discussions after three documentary film screenings this month.  With more, here’s Omaha Public Radio’s Cheril Lee…

General News
4:16 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

5th Annual Heartland Walk for Warmth takes place this week

The 5th Annual Heartland Walk for Warmth takes place tomorrow (Thursday) at 6:00 p.m. at Westroads Mall.

Kathy O’Hara, Spokesperson for United Way of the Midlands, says the event helps raise funds for energy assistance programs.  She says the organization has seen a 30% increase in requests for help with energy assistance over the past year.  O’Hara says the Walk for Warmth is a one mile walk outside.  She says even though it’s been a milder winter, it can get cold in the house when you can’t afford to turn the heat on…

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Politics & Elections
5:00 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Senator Harms introduces all vote by mail elections options

A bill in the Nebraska legislature would allow residents in counties with fewer than 10,000 residents the opportunity to participate in vote by mail elections.

It would require the approval of eligible voters in the counties. The bill’s sponsor, Nebraska Senator John Harms, says the measure would streamline the voting process, save counties money and give more people the opportunity to vote.  He says the voting by mail turnout for special elections in the state has always been positive.

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General News
3:54 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Lutheran Family Services celebrates 120th birthday

Lutheran Family Services is holding a yearlong celebration in honor of its 120th birthday. 

LFS began as two orphanages in 1892.  Spokeswoman Bev Carlson says since then, the human care organization has served children in multiple capacities.  LFS offers assistance with adoption, foster care services, and childhood behavioral health.  Carlson says the organization will hold a celebration on Saturday, September 22nd that’s meant to be a reunion

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Arts
3:51 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

NHC adds 14 new programs to resource center

The Nebraska Humanities Council recently added 14 new programs to its Speakers’ Bureau. 

Programs are available to any Nebraska nonprofit organization for a small processing fee.  Mary Yager, Associate Director for the NHC, says there are about 300 programs in rotation at the Speakers’ Bureau at any given time.  She says the NHC puts out a call for speakers every three to four years.  

Yager says they recently expanded their programs to include subjects they haven’t had recently.  New programs center on Annie Oakley, the railroad and spoken word artists.

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