The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 28, 1994, Image 1

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    ■4 SPORTS
Gymnastics gems
The Nebraska men's and
women's gymnastics teams
laid claim to the Big Eight
titles over the weekend.
Page 7
Today, partly cloudy.
March 28, 1994
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Decision on college
still six months off
By Jeffrey Robb
Senior Editor
final decision on the question
of creating a separate engi
neering college at the Univer
sity of Nebraska at Omaha has been
NU President Dennis Smith an
nounced at Saturday’s Board of Re
gents meeting that a university task
force would be formed to devise a
strategic plan for the engineering sit
uation in the state. Included in that.
Smith said, would be a development
plan for an independent engineering
college at UNO.
Though none of the task force mem
bers has been named. University of
Nebraska spokesman Joe Rowson said
Sunday outside consultants would be
included. The positions will not be
paid, he said.
Smith said he would 1 ike the group's
report within six months, after which
he would make his own recommenda
tions on engineering to the regents.
Earlier this month, a groupof inde
pendent consultants hired by the uni
versity to review engineering educa
tion in Nebraska released a report
recognizing the need for a separate
college of engineering at UNO.
The consultants also concluded
Nebraska’s investment in engineer
ing education was small, Smith said.
The underlying problem, he said,
is funding.
“We arc going to develop only
those programs that are clearly iden
tified educational priorities for our
students,” he said. “We will have to
find funds to meet every legitimate
need within our ability to do so.”
Although the report addressed a
narrower range of issues than he hoped.
Smith said he took it seriously. He said
the board indicated from the begin
ning the engineering needs of the
entire state had to be met.
But meeting those recognized needs
will be hard until release of the final
recommendations. Smith said.
Until Smith gets the report, he will
allocate $200,000 from central ad
ministration reserves to UNO to ad
dress immediate needs of its engineer
ing program.
The Nebraska Legislature approved
the expenditure last week.
Smith said he was concerned with
the competitive and political aspects
of the engineering debate.
Competition should not be the fo
cus of the debate, Smith said. The
university should strive only for the
goal of creating the highest quality
programs for the university.
Stadium video screens
approved by regents
By Jeffrey Robb
Senior Editor
The proposal to add v idco screens
to Memorial Stadium advanced
Saturday when the NU Board
of Regents approved a bid for the
Mitsubishi Elec
tronics of Ameri
ca won the project
with a bid of more
than $3.6 million
to furnish and in
stall screens on
towers in the
northwest and
southeast corners
of the stadium.
The project will be fully funded
through sponsors. University officials
have estimated the project will cost
about $4.5 million.
Regents also approved a $60,040
bid for services in building a video
production studio and control room to
accompany the screens. The project
has an estimated cost of $715,000.
Regent Nancy O Bricn ol Water
loo questioned how much of the need
ed funding had been raised. If the
athletic department did not find
enough sponsoring for the project, she
said, the university could be 1 iable for
paying the difference.
When told the funding was not all
in hand, she requested that the board
hold off approval until it was.
But John Goebel, University of
Nebraska-Lincoln vice chancellor for
business and finance, said the athletic
department would make up any short
fall, although that was unlikely to
Moving forward on the project was
critical, Goebel said. The schedule
already is tight to have the screens in
place for the start of the football sea
son, he said, and waiting for approval
at another meeting would cause an
unnecessary delay.
Goebel said the project, which is
slated to be mostly complete by Sept.
1, could not move forward without
See SCREENS on 6
Ultimate fun
John Lory (above) plays
with his son Joshua
Sunday afternoon on the
University of Nebraska
Lincoln East Campus
before practicing with
the Postmortem Lincoln
Ultimate Club. Paul
Thygese (left) tries to
keep Brian Fomes from
making a pass during a
scrimmage. The club is
preparing for a
tournament in Kansas.
Genk Parmele/DN
Mental health bill awaits signing
By Matthew Waite
Senior Reporter
A measure that could alleviate
problems in Nebraska’s men
tal health care system awaits
the signature of Gov. Ben Nelson.
The Scott Baldwin case is an exam
ple of the problems with the current
system. Sen. Don Wesely of Lincoln
Wescly said Sunday he was confi- i
dent LB498 would get the governor’s i
The bill would give courts more I
options in eases where defendants were *
declared not guilty by reason of insan- *
ity. i
The current system releases with- r
out restrictions a person found to be I
not harmful to one’s self or others. It -
also allows courts to use only overt
icts and threats to determine whether
i person is dangerous.
Baldwin, a former University of
Nebraska-Lincoln football player, was
.rrested for assault in January 1992
nd found not guilty for reasons of
nsanity. He did not take prescribed
tiedication after his release and, (bl
owing another psychotic episode in
See BILL on 6
Bjorklund s lire rests with opinion ot judge
Bjorklund Case Review
Sept. 22,1992 - Candice Harms disappears.
Dec. 2,1992 -- Roger Bjorklund and Scott Barney are arrested for a string of
Lincoln robberies.
Dec. 6,1992 - Barney leads police to Harms' body in a field south of Lincoln.
Barney implicates himself and Bjorklund in the death.
Feb. 4,1993 - Lancaster County Attorney Gary Lacey announces he will seek the
death penalty for Bjorklund.
March 3,1993 -- Bjorklund pleads not guilty to first
degree murder in the Harms case.
Oct. 25,1993 - Bjorklund's first-degree murder trial begins
Nov. 17,1993 - A 12-member jury from Sidney finds
Bjorklund guilty of first-degree murder.
March 7,1994 - Sentencing hearing begins.
March 24,1994 - Bjorklund speaks to the court for the
first time at the close of his sentencing hearing.
May 23,1994 - Lancaster County District Judge Donald
Endacott is scheduled to announce if Bjorklund will be
sentenced to life in prison or death by execution.
By Jeff zeieny
Senior Editor
In 56 days, Roger Bjorklund will know his
Friends have called him caring.
His mother called him loving.
And his sister said Bjorklund always was
But Lancaster County Attorney Gary Lacey
wondered what adjectives Candi Harms would
have used to desribe her murderer.
“I don’t think they would be ‘loving.’ 1 don’t
think they would be ‘caring.’ I don’t think they
would be ‘helpful,’” Lacey said.
After a jury conviction in November and
three weeks of sentencing hearings, Bjorklund
finally will hear the opinion of Lancaster Coun
ty District Judge Donald Endacott.
On May 23, Endacott will rule whether
Bjorklund will live or be executed.
*** * ■
Last Thursday, Bjorklund appealed to the
mercy oi me court, saying oiners wouiu do
affected if he were sentenced to death.
“Should the court choose to impose the death
penalty, not only will you affect me,” Bjorklund
said, “but you will affect the person sitting
behind me and a 10-year-old litie girl and an 8
year-old little girl who loves her daddy very
Bjorklund spoke for more than 30 minutes.
Occasionally sniffling and sipping ice water, he
said he had tried to put himself in the position
of the Harms family, but couldn’t.
“It is hard for me to understand what they
have gone through,” Bjorklund said.
“I’m sorry.” he said. “There’snoother words
in the English vocabulary to describe what I
Bjorklund detailed the problems he faced
during childhood. An abusive father caused
tension in the Bjorklund household, he said.
“I wish my family could have been different