Paul Hammel

Paul Hammel

Paul Hammel is the senior reporter for the Nebraska Examiner. He has covered the Nebraska Legislature and Nebraska state government for decades. He started his career reporting for the Omaha Sun and was named editor of the Papillion Times in 1982. He later worked as a sports enterprise reporter at the Lincoln Journal-Star. He joined the Omaha World-Herald in 1990, working as a legislative reporter, then roving state reporter and finally Lincoln bureau chief. Paul has won awards from organizations including Great Plains Journalism, the Associated Press and Suburban Newspapers of America. A native of Ralston, Nebraska, he is vice president of the John G. Neihardt Foundation and secretary of the Nebraska Hop Growers.

(South Dakota Searchlight/Datawrapper)

Whiteclay area substance abuse center closes, leaving few alternatives

By: - March 27, 2023

LINCOLN, Neb. – The only inpatient substance-abuse treatment center serving the Whiteclay, Nebraska, area has closed, making help for Native Americans battling alcohol or drug problems even less accessible. The Northeast Panhandle Substance Abuse Treatment Center (NEPSAC) in Gordon, 37 miles from Whiteclay, closed Jan. 31. The center, which had operated since the 1990s, was […]

(Photo by Travel South Dakota)

SD’s pheasant predator bounties are wrong for Nebraska, experts say

By: - February 9, 2023

LINCOLN, Neb. — Pheasant hunting in South Dakota generates an estimated $220 million a year in retail spending and causes an annual flood of 120,000 orange-clad hunters into the state. But a Nebraska state senator’s effort to try to replicate that kind of economic impact by increasing Nebraska’s shrinking pheasant population prompted opposition from biologists […]

Dozens of chicken barns, like this complex southwest of David City, Nebraska were built in Butler County to supply broilers for Costco. The county became a popular location because it has no zoning ordinances. (Paul Hammel/Nebraska Examiner)

Nebraska bill aims to protect farmers from nuisance lawsuits

By: - January 23, 2023

LINCOLN — A proposed revision to Nebraska’s “right to farm” law, promoted as increasing protections for farmers, is being condemned by environmentalists as a way to eliminate nearly all nuisance lawsuits. Under Legislative Bill 662, introduced Wednesday by State Sen. Beau Ballard of Lincoln, only landowners who live within a half-mile of agricultural operation, and […]

Rows of compost, with chicken bones visible, sat just west of David City on Sept. 30.

Compost piles containing dead chickens near wellfield in Nebraska town to be removed

By: - November 18, 2022

DAVID CITY, NEBRASKA — Piles of compost containing dead chicken parts are expected to be removed soon after the mayor of David City and nearby residents complained that the compost was within the wellhead protection area for the town’s water supply. But while state officials said the composting operation followed applicable rules, the incident has […]

Bison once roamed North America, from coast to coast, from Alaska to Mexico. Several groups, including the Nature Conservancy, have been working to re-establish the native grazing animals to lands owned and managed by Native Americans.

Bison return program is now helping Native American ranchers build herds

By: - November 4, 2022

LINCOLN — For years, Wayne Frederick and his father managed a herd of bison held by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe of south-central South Dakota. But now, a unique partnership between a tribal nonprofit that helps Native ranchers raise bison and the Nature Conservancy is helping Frederick start his own commercial herd. Four bison were delivered […]