Omaha Chess Club finally finds a home

A press release from the office of Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert describes the final days of the W. Dale Clark Library.

John Hartmann is delighted that the Jack Spence Chess Club has a home again.

Launched in 2013 for more competitive players, the group had to move to different locations as they became available, then were sidelined by the pandemic.

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They now play Wednesday nights at West Hills Church, 3015 S. 82nd Streets.

At the club’s first meeting in five years, as Hartmann finished his instructions, he told everyone it was good to see them all. Many were newcomers.

“They all clapped,” he said. “It was a really good feeling to have a bit of community again.”

The competitors, who average 10 to 15, play ranked US Chess games. The club runs sanctioned tournaments only, which can range from one night to five weeks for the championship. There is a small entry fee so prizes can be offered.

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“It’s an outlet for more serious players and people looking to test their skills,” Hartmann said.

Players range from high school to older adults. Hartmann, who is 46, has a Class A rating.

Hartmann said there are several clubs in the area that are not so formal. They can be found on

Hartmann is editor of Chess Life Magazine, which he says isn’t a bad gig for a chess lover.

“The hardest thing is that I no longer have a hobby,” he said.

Rude Catholic Student Wins Hispanic Award

Gross Catholic’s Jazlyn Rodriquez won the National Hispanic Recognition Award from the College Board National Recognition Programs.

Jazlyn Rodriquez

Jazlyn Rodriquez

National recognition programs give underrepresented students academic honors that can be included in college and scholarship applications, and connect students to universities across the country and stand out during the admissions process.

“We are delighted that Jazlyn has earned this recognition. We are very proud of all of her accomplishments in the classroom and on College Board assessments,” said Principal Paulette Neuhalfen. “These programs help students from underrepresented backgrounds stand out in colleges during admissions.”

Girl Scouts honor volunteers

Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska is the largest girl-serving organization in the state with approximately 13,700 members. It’s no wonder it takes more than 2,500 committed volunteers to mentor, guide and develop the leadership potential of each Girl Scout.

girl scout retreat

Staff and volunteers attend the Girl Scout Volunteer Retreat weekend earlier this summer.


A Volunteer Awards Ceremony was held at Camp Catron in the Nebraska City to celebrate the meaningful and inspiring dedication that volunteers put into the Girl Scouts. The annual ceremony recognizes volunteers for their achievements and contributions to Girl Scouting.

Omaha Metro winners and the awards they received:

Useful adult diploma: Rob Whalen, Bellevue.

Excellence Volunteer Award: Kelli BenSalah, Tina Caillier, Sara Christensen, Liliana Delgado, Beth Nilson, Serena Rumfelt, Omaha; Christine Roberts, Fort Calhoun; Sarah Rogers, Leslie Groff, Stephanie Waldbauer, Bellevue; Angela Wilwerding, Butterfly

Years of volunteering: Terra Beethe, Gretna; Shannon Peterson, Morgan Wise, Omaha, five. Beth Nislon, Omaha, 10.

The award honors work with mothers

CyncHealth, Collective Medical, and Innsena have won the Department of Health and Human Services’ Racial Equity in Postpartum Care Challenge, including $40,000 federal funding, for their innovative postpartum care.

The award recognizes collaborative work to improve postpartum care for Black, African American, Native American, and Alaska Native parents with high-risk conditions who participate in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program in significantly reducing maternal morbidity and mortality. Initial work has begun in Omaha and is expected to expand statewide in a second phase.

CyncHealth is the designated health information exchange for Nebraska and Iowa, serving more than 6 million people. Collective Medical is a PointClickCare company and Innsena is a strategic health and health informatics consulting agency.

The Maternal Health Program supports healthy outcomes throughout pregnancy and postpartum by helping health care teams identify at-risk mothers and infants to enable enhanced and informed coordination of care before, during and after childbirth. Using critical system, clinical, and community strategies that close gaps in care for Black, African American, American Indian, and Alaska Native people, outcomes and conditions commonly associated with lack of services and health support are avoided.

Nebraska, which ranks 19th nationally in maternal morbidity, faces a significant racial disparity in maternal morbidity and mortality. In Douglas County, the infant mortality rate for blacks is 14.5 per 1,000 births, more than double the infant mortality rate for whites and Hispanics.

“This program puts people first by connecting health providers with timely and accurate information for the right care at the right time, which is an important way to reduce inequality in child and maternal morbidity for black or African Americans and American Indian/Alaska Native women and infants,” said Mandira Singh of PointClickCare.

VNA will make flu shots

As part of the Visiting Nurse Association’s long-term commitment to community wellness, it will once again offer drive-thru flu shot clinics at its head office, walk-in.

All proceeds from annual flu shot clinics are reinvested into VNA’s community care services. In 2021, VNA supported 2,026 community care patients through shelter nursing, childbirth education and community events.

Last year, VNA vaccinated more than 10,500 people against influenza, meeting the growing demand for easily accessible influenza vaccines.

They will be offered from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on September 29, October 3, October 14 and November 2 at 12565 West Center Road.

Charges apply and a form must be completed prior to arrival. Go to

The last clinic will be inside. The cost is covered by some insurance.

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