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Omaha Magazine

Omaha Magazine - November/December 2022

Nov 01, 2022 10:02AM ● By Julius Fredrick

From The Editor: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Oblivion

Hello dear readers, familiar and fresh. This is Omaha Magazine associate editor Julius Fredrick, and I extend to you my sincerest gratitude for pausing here to read my inaugural editor’s letter—a gracious task, given the strength of content found in the proceeding pages.

While the team at Omaha Magazine prides itself on providing readers a much-needed breath from the bleak churn of the modern news cycle—highlighting and celebrating the good and goodwill that distinguishes the metro as a place of integrity, enterprise, and many an unsung talent—once a year, we tackle a big, sometimes frightening, and often heartbreaking story unfolding within our community.

Our main feature this issue addresses the deadly fentanyl epidemic: a national crisis that’s breached Nebraska’s “heartland” insulation with devastating impact. Calling on a wide, yet authoritative pool of individuals—both within, and well beyond, the margins of jurisprudence—we aim to illuminate this complex issue via thorough and multi-faceted investigation. Local and federal law enforcement outline their efforts to curb fentanyl trafficking and overdoses, while medical professionals trace its genesis, proliferation, and unique challenges regarding treatment.

On the other side of the law, we speak with an overdose survivor as he recounts his near-death experience with fentanyl-induced oblivion, and a repentant, if not cautionary, drug dealer. Finally, we call on a bereaved, frustrated father who lost his son to a fentanyl overdose just this past June. While the story is alarming by nature, we strive to to paint a clearer picture of the crisis through the perspective of these disparate yet interconnected individuals—each reckoning in their own way with Omaha’s rising fentanyl flood, and trying to stay afloat in its wake.

On a lighter note, our arts and culture section turns the spotlight toward inspired and inspiring members of the community—including award-winning documentarian Dan Napoli, rising pop starlet HARLOW, and creatively reenergized Oglala Lakota painter, Nathaniel Ruleaux. Meanwhile, our dining feature pays homage to Omaha staple Cascio’s, and how the family-owned steakhouse continues to adapt and fill seats through 76 years in business.

As for 60+, we usher in the holiday season with a profile on “Santa Bob,” a professional St. Nick who managed to weather the pandemic’s freeze on parties and events and emerge jollier than ever. Additionally, we highlight retired IT professional for Nebraska Medicine, Louise Foster, as she fully invests in the right hemisphere of her brain—pursuing a dream career as a “cozy” murder-mystery novelist, releasing six thrillers in quick succession.

Lastly, I’d like to issue a correction in regards to our October music profile on punk outfit Stronghold: the names of the current and previous drummers are Tim “Twig” Lorence and Ryan “Emmy” Emswiler, respectively. It’s true, drummers really never receive their proper respect, do they? Check out the amended version online at

Well, that’s it from me. If you made it this far, thank you again for humoring me and thank you for your continued support of Omaha Magazine. It’s you, the remarkable people of Omaha and your stories, that make it all worthwhile. And remember, through tragedy and triumph alike—it’s about all of us. 

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