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Best of the weekend: Shoveling via smartphone, Nebraska’s party cave — and 5 more must-read stories

January 28, 2019

The World-Herald creates lots of important journalism — stories, photos, video — that is both timely and compelling. But we also know our readers are busy.

Here is a convenient roundup of some of our best work from the last several days that’s worth checking out.

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Scott Frost’s air travel became legendary in December 2017, when he was pulling double duty as the head coach at both Central Florida and Nebraska. During one particularly long night, he flew across the country to see a star quarterback in California he wanted in Husker red, then made it back to Orlando, Florida, to run another practice for the Peach Bowl. Frost and his staff continue to fly the friendly skies, compiling a consensus top-20 recruiting class for 2019 in large part because of air travel.

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The standing-room-only crowd at a recent the three-hour session negotiating session between the Omaha Public Schools and its teachers union underscored how the district’s current budget woes — largely driven by catch-up payments to the district’s badly underfunded pension system — are causing some teachers to worry they could face wage freezes and other concessions.

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A broker and others familiar with downtown real estate trends expect retailers — including specialty clothing, novelty shops, service retailers and even a grocery store — to increasingly fill north downtown gaps as more apartment dwellers come to the area and daytime workforces multiply.

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StratCom’s new headquarters is among the costliest and most expensive building projects ever undertaken by the Defense Department. Its price tag is just slightly less than the bill for the Pentagon itself, which cost $83 million when it was built in 1941, equal to $1.4 billion in current dollars.

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One hundred and fifty years ago this spring, a German immigrant named Jacob Andra crawled down into a water-eroded pocket of a Dakota sandstone bluff under Lincoln. Over the next four years — using pickaxes, shovels and wheelbarrows — he and a few helpers dug out a 5,600-square-foot cave with 500 feet of tunnels.

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Two apps offering residential snow removal via Android and Apple phones, Lawn Love and SnoHub, are expanding now into the Omaha market. A third app, Shovler, serves the area already with individual snow shovelers.

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Mayor Jean Stothert announced Friday that landlord Kay Anderson will face 100 misdemeanors relating to violating city code and not fixing repairs at the apartments at 34th Avenue and Lake Street after squalid conditions were found.

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