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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 31, 1975)
Tuition grant asked of Education Committee
By Jim Zalewski
College students in Nebraska may be eligible for
grants up to $1,000 for tuition and fees if a proposal
submitted to the Legislature's Education Committee
passes, said NU President D.B. Varner.
The proposal would establish a commission to
determine qualifications for the grants, which would
be based on need, Varner said. The commission, he
said, would be independent from financial aid
departments and would accept applications from
students at both private and state schools.
Such a plan would particularly help private
colleges in the state, some of which cannot offer
adequate financial aid, he said.
The state funds for the program would come from
the state general fund, which is composed of revenue
from sales and income taxes, he said.
Anne Campbell, commissioner of the state
education commission, said the state would receive
matching federal money.
The grants would have to comply with the federal
rules and regulations, she said.
Varner said he recommended a first-year budget of
"I would like to see the budget kept at a
reasonable level the first year in order to get the
program established," he said.
Varner said the grants would be awarded to the
students, not the schools.
"I want to emphasize that the money goes directly
to the student to be used at the college of his or her
choice in Nebraska," he said.
friday, january 31, 1975 lincoln, nebraska vol. 98 no. 74
Bill would change drunkenness
from crime to treatable disease
Editor's note: This is the first of two stories
examining LB237 which would establish
detoxification centers for people arrested for
public drunkenness. Today, the sponsors of the
bill are interviewed. On Monday, the bill's
opponents will be interviewed.
By Lynn Roberts
State senators soon will decide whether public
drunkenness is a personal problem or crime-best
treated by understanding rather than jail.
A bill introduced by Lincoln Sen. Wally
Barnett would decriminalize public intoxication
and treat alcoholism as a disease instead of a
The bill covers public drunkenness and steers
clear of the drunk driver, who, Barnett said, is a
problem not only to himself, but to society as
Under the bill, police officers still would pick
up people for public drunkenness, but instead of
taking them to jail, the officers would take them
to a detoxification center.
There the person would be treated, fed and
given a place to sleep. No one would be kept
involuntarily for more than 72 hours.
After detoxification the person would be
evaluated and provided with the opportunity to
be placed in a more comprehensive program.
The centers would in no way be a place for an
alcoholic to come for weekend food and lodging,
Repeaters would be placed in a comprehensive
program if the courts determine it is necessary,
The centers would be set up through the
state's six mental health regions. The director of
the program would be the director of the division
on alcoholism of the Department of Public
The details of setting up the centers will be
determined after the bill is passed, Barnett said.
"This is a small step-a first step," Barnett
said. A more comprehensive bill was introduced
in the last legislative session, but failed.
Barnett said he is confident the new bill will
fare better this session.
"I think we should try to help these
alcohol-dependent people instead of throwing
them in jail," he said.
Assistant Lincoln Police Chief Dale Adams
said persons presently found drunk in public are
taken to jail where they remain until they are
sober or released to their attorney or on their
They must appear in court the day following
their arrest. There is no type of rehabilitation at
the jail but the court does offer alternatives to
fines or jail sentences in some cases, Adams said.
First offenders fined
First offenders usually are given a small fine,
but repeaters are often offered alternatives
through a court approved program, said Walt
Giles, alcohol program coordinator for the
municipal court. J
If the person chooses to participate in a court
approved program, such as counseling or
attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings,
sentencing will be delayed.
The person must then prove that he
participated in the program and the case usually
will be dismissed, Giles said.
Giles, who helped draft the Barnett bill, said it
will provide a place to treat the alcoholics's
problems medically, not criminally.
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Lincoln Sen. Wally Barnett introduced the hill (LB237) that would treat alcoholism as a
disease instead of a crime.
A similar measure introduced last year died in
committee, possibly because it would have awarded
the grants to the schools and not to the students, he
The Nebraska Supreme Court ruled that the use of
public funds at private schools is unconstitutional,
which led to the bill's defeat, Varner said.
"My understanding is that the direct grant to the
student will be within the limits of the constitution,"
The grants would be available only to Nebraska
The grants have been proposed by the Nebraska
Postsecondary Education Council, Campbell said.
State Sen. Frank Lewis, chairman of the
Education Committee, was unavailable for comment.
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Milton Yuan of the Nebraska Dispatch testified Thursday night at
the Lincoln City Council's well-attended public hearing on the
Lincoln Police Department's activities in alcohol related offenses.
Alcohol hearing fills
city council chambers
By Lori Demo
Lincoln citizens filled the City Council Chambers and outside
lobby Thursday night for the public hearing on the Lincoln Police
Department's (LPD) policies dealing with alcohol-related offenses.
Before the public testimony started, Chairwoman Helen
Boosalis introduced Lincoln trial attorney M. James Bruckner who
will lead the council's investigation into the matter.
Boosalis said the hearing would include police policies and
-the arrest of persons for driving while intoxicated (DWI) and
the state law which sets the legal limit for intoxication at .10 per
cent blood alcohol content as shown through body tests.
-arresting and processing public intoxicants,
-patrolling taverns and other establishments holding liquor
licenses for the purpose of enforcing liquor laws.
Bruckner said his investigation would be conducted like a trial
and that his findings would be reported to the council by April 1.
He said all testimony would be under oath, in a closed hearing
before himself and a court reporter.
He said "peopie wili be less innibiicu and wc'II'get closer to the
truth" in a closed hearing.
"The truth mellows when it's given under oath," he said.
"The problem we anticipate is that reluctant people will feel
that they will be hassled," he said. "Those who want to remain
anonymous will. We want as many people as possible to
He said anyone interested in testifying for the investigation can
arrange for an appointment with him by calling 473-6269.
Bruckner said interviews probably will be scheduled at night so
people can participate without having to miss work.
"These will continue through February and March until
everyone interested has had a chance to testify," he said. "But we
have to end them by mid-March to have time to get the report
Bruckner said anyone who feels inhibited by testifying at the
County-City Building can arrange to testify in his office. ,
He said the purpose of the investigation was "to get to the
truth" of charges that LPD denies suspects of their constitutional
rights, harasses people frequenting taverns and private parties,
unnecessarily detains people in jail and denies suspects the right to
make telephone calls. ,
The charges were made by Lincoln businessman Roger V.
Dickeson who, during the last month, has sent letters to city, state
and federal officials and to the news media.
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