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Don Walton: Controlling the coronavirus is up to us
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Don Walton: Controlling the coronavirus is up to us


And now it's September.

With gorgeous autumn days ahead, painted with yellow and red leaves under blue skies.

A spectacular show before the darkness and the cold and the north wind and the warnings of another COVID-19 surge combined with a seasonal outbreak of the flu.

That could lead to "probably one of the most difficult times that we've experienced in American public health," Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warns.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says what we do will matter.

"We could get it to be under control if we do the things that we're talking about," he said.

Social distancing, wearing face masks, avoiding crowds.

"I believe it's achievable to get to a level that's quite controlled so that we can open up the country and get the economy back," Fauci said.

So, I guess, this is up to us.

Meet the state's budget chief, trusted by four governors from both political parties

* * *

Finishing up:

* The Internet is bursting with apocalyptic political traffic: Made in America? Or imported from Moscow?

* Mike Flood is back in the spotlight, this time as an attorney representing Husker football players who are suing the Big Ten. Flood returns to the Legislature in January with a political decision to make more quickly than he perhaps might wish: Enter the 2022 gubernatorial race or wait eight years; or maybe scrap that earlier ambition to be governor.

Sasse-Janicek debate focuses on health care, trade, China

* Here come more Jeff Fortenberry TV ads, new confirmation that he is taking this contest with Kate Bolz very seriously. One ad is positive, decrying division and "angry voices" in our country; the other attempts to tie Bolz to China once again because of comments she made following a trip there.

* Chuck Hagel should have a big invisible audience when he addresses the Lincoln, Omaha and Nebraska Chambers of Commerce online Thursday. You can be sure he will be direct; this man does not mince words.

* Ten years later, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Innovation Campus still could use that USDA research jolt. Ben Nelson always delivered and probably would have once again if appropriations earmarks had not been turned into a partisan issue 10 years ago, sinking plans for a research center here. Bravo, UNL Chancellor Ronnie Green, for nudging U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue while he was here.

Ag Secretary Perdue hears UNL plug for USDA research presence

* Perdue is a comfortable presidential cabinet fit in Nebraska; Steven Mnuchin, probably not so much.

* Is UNL in danger of another censure by the American Association of University Professors after firing Confucius?

* What are the odds of the casino gambling proposal passing its court test?

Supreme Court receives casino gambling initiative arguments

* The direct mail from the Nebraska Republican Party keeps coming, this time a couple of urgent warnings that Joe Biden is a captive of "the radical left."

* A new CNN report speculates that metropolitan Omaha's congressional district electoral vote could determine November's presidential winner.

* As expected, the call for a special session of the Legislature to deal with racial justice issues and pandemic-relief measures fell far short of the 33 affirming votes from state senators required to summon senators back to Lincoln. Fourteen of the 49 lawmakers signed on for a special session.

* Lara Trump will be coming to Omaha this week to campaign for the president. She's married to Eric, the president's son.

* A new University of Washington model forecasts a stunning 1,569 coronavirus deaths in Nebraska by Jan. 1 with mask use falling to an estimated 30% and mandates easing. The toll stands at 404 today.

* A pickup truck with a Fillmore County license plate and a hateful racial rant scrawled on it stained Lincoln when a photo of the truck parked in our town went viral on Twitter.

* Doc Rivers, raw and real: "It's amazing why we keep loving this country, and this country does not love us back."

Sasse: China wants Biden; Russia wants Trump

Milestones in Lincoln and Nebraska's coronavirus fight

See the top stories on coronavirus in Lincoln and Nebraska since the pandemic first affected the area in March.

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So far, 376 employees have asked for some kind of accommodations from LPS, including requests to work remotely, take leave or modify their work spaces with plexiglass barriers or additional PPE.

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Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody and South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson are taking the lead on the coalition. The letter is also signed by attorneys general in Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee and West Virginia.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7248 or

On Twitter @LJSdon

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