Shortly after I started at The World-Herald in 1975, a devastating tornado struck Omaha. Not since that year has weather dominated so much of my work. The Mapleton, Iowa, tornado in April and summer flooding along the Missouri River were memorable. I was touched by how gracious the family of Millard South’s slain assistant principal, Vicki Kaspar, was to me while covering her viewing. I also couldn’t help but feel for the UNO athletes who were left without teams after programs were cut by the school. I look forward to 2012 with the hope of less violence in our city and, although even though I can’t control it, kinder weather.
Iowa DNR district supervisor Mark Sedlmayr checks the edge of Interstate 680 west of Interstate 29 during a tour of flood damage on the Interstate System in Iowa near Crescent in August.
Charles Wakefield mows around sandbags at his aunt's home in South Sioux City, Neb., in June. "It has to get done," he said.
Americorps DNR volunteers Justin Jones of Solon, Iowa; Stephanie Meyer of Swisher, Iowa; and Jarett Svihlik of Dubuque, Iowa, walk the secondary levee northwest of Hamburg, Iowa, looking for problems in July.
Bonnie Carlson talks on her cell in what remains of her sister's home after a tornado damaged much of Mapleton, Iowa, in April.
Three Millard South students say goodbye to assistant principal Vicki Kaspar, who was killed by a student in January.
A cardinal sits in a snow-covered tree in midtown Omaha in December.
About James R. Burnett
I graduated from Creighton University and started at the Omaha World-Herald in 1975.