The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, December 07, 1994, Image 1

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    ■ .. _ —
■ NU takes 4-1 record into Creighton rivalry, Page 7
Arts and Entertainment
■ "White" to show at Riepma Ross Theatre, Page 9
PAGE 2: Whitewater probe nets guilty plea
Engineering dean asked to step down
By JafY Zalany
and Anga Brunkow
Senior Editors
Engineering Dean Stan Liberty said he was
surprised when he learned UNL administra
tors wanted him to step down from the college
he has directed for 13 years.
“I think everyone is surprised when they
discover that someone doesn’t wish that they
continue, even though their performance has
no deficiencies in it,” he said, “but that is their
Liberty announced Tuesday he would step
down on Jan. 1. In a letter to engineering
faculty and staff, he said that University of
Nebraska-Lincoln offi
cials wanted new leader
ship for the college.
,, The announcement
came two days before NU
President Dennis Smith
is expected to announce
his recommendation
about a separate engi
neering college in
Two members of the
NU Board of Regents
didn’t find the announcement a surprise. One
student regent said the timing wasn’t coinci
“It’s not a mistake this resignation came out
a day before President Smith’s decision,” said
Andrew Loudon, president of the Association
of Students of the University of Nebraska.
Regent Robert Allen of Hastings said the
decision was a result of administrative and
interest-group pressure.
“President Dennis Smith is forcing our en
gineering dean to resign even though he has
put our university’s engineering school in the
best condition it has ever been,” Allen said.
See LIBERTY on 3
Snow, sleet cover Lincoln streets
By Chad Lorenz
Staff Reporter
Lincoln residents were forced to dig,
scoop and brush more than four inches of
snow and ice Tuesday, but forecasters said
the relief begins today.
The snow that plagued more than half of
the state Tuesday will diminish today, said
Cathy Zapotocny of the National Weather
Service. Today’s high should be about 25
degrees with occasional winds, she said,
with the low around 15 degrees tonight.
However Tuesday’s mixture of sleet and
snow didn’t affect most students’ daily rou
Greg Beals. a freshman biojogy major,
said he didn’t mind the snow because his
only class ended before the storm started.
“It’s a nice change of pace,” he said.
Lorri Denton, a senior accounting major,
said the storm was cool since it was the first
snowfall of the year, but she still wasn’t
eager to drive.
UNL landscape service workers began
preparing to tackle the snow and ice at 5
a.m. Tuesday, and worked two eight-hour
Jay Schluckebier, assistant director for
UNL landscape services, said 42 plow units
removed snow on East and City campuses
Salt and sand was spread on all streets,
arterials and bus routes through the night by
Lincoln Public Works officials.
Six to eight inches of snow fell Tuesday
near Grand Island. However, much of north
ern Nebraska and the western Panhandle
escaped the nasty weather as the storm
system moved south.
Few accidents and no fatalities were re
ported Tuesday to the Nebraska State Pa
Patrol Capt. Andy Lundy said people
might have been prepared for slick weather
because the state already had faced some
wintry weather this season.
Deric Wild, a sophomore economics
major, said the storm only affected his wait
for the morning bus. He said he would stay
overnight at his fraternity rather than return
to his off-campus home.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
Michslle Paulman/DN
Dennis Markowskl of the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department
removes snow and sleet from Centennial Mall and Q streets. About four
Inches of snow fell Tuesday In Lincoln.
Prosecutor to
check legality
of charges
By Paula Lavlgiw
Senior Reporter
The special prosecutor in the Francisco
Renteria death will look into whether he has
the authority to upgrade misdemeanor charges
against two Lincoln police officers to man
Bert) Bartle said Tuesday that he would
research whether he could change the misde
meanor charges issued by the grand jury last
“I will do what the law allows me to do,” he
said. “I will carry out my responsibilities.”
The grand juiy indicted Officers Luke Wilke
and Stephen Schellpeper on charges of misde
meanor assault in the Oct. 1 death of Renteria.
Misdemeanor assault, punishable by a maxi
mum sentence of one year in prison and a
$ 1,000 fine, involves intentionally, knowingly
or recklessly causing bodily injury.
Members of Lincoln’s Hispanic community
and the Intercultural Coalition started a peti
tion Monday to change the indictments.
Manslaughter, defined as killing someone
without malice or causing a death unintention
ally while committing a crime, is punishable by
a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $ 1,000
Bartle said a letter from Carlos Monzon, the
Renteria family attorney, prompted him to look
into the issue.
“I’ve had a request made of me, and I will
respond to the request,” he said. Bartle said he
has had no chance to research the question yet
Ramon Noriega, a member of the Intercul
tural Coalition, said the charges should be
raised from misdemeanor to felony because of
the severity of the assault.
“A man is dead,” Noriega said, “and noth
ing is going to bring him back.”
Noriega saidcoalition members also wanted
the grand jury to bring manslaughter charges
against Police Chief Tom Casady and Fire
Capt. Danny Wright, who were arraigned on
other misdemeanor charges.
Man’s release scares his victim
Woman believed
book was closed on
sexual assault case
By PtPri Jan««»n
Senior Reporter
When Richard J. Barrett was con
victed last month of first-degree at
tempted sexual assault, his victim,
UNL sophomore Cheryl Gregg,
thought she had closed the book on a
yearlong nightmare.
“1 was so happy,” Gregg said. “I
was bouncing off the walls. It made
me feel as though all the pain I’ve
gone through may have actually done
something. I’ve seen him for the last
time. He’s going to jail — closed
But that book reopened Tuesday
when Barrett was released on $3,000
bond from the Lincoln Correctional
John Martin, a spokesman for the
center, said Lancaster County Dis
trict Judge Bernard McGinn stayed
Barrett’s one- to two-year sentence
pending a decision by the Nebraska
Court of Appeals.
“I am contused,” Gregg said. “I
think it’s stupid a criminal can get
through the appeals process after be
ing convicted.”
Barrett’s lawyer. Bob Creager, said
Barrett was appealing his conviction,
which includes the jail sentence.
Richard Scott, Barrett’s former
lawyer, said Barrett originally had
been charged with first-degree sexual
assault, which is a Class II felony.
As part of a bargain, Barrett plead
no contest to first-degree attempted
sexual assault, which is a class III
felony, Scott said.
Creager said it could take three to
six months before the court decided
on the appeal.
Petition seeks removal
of UNL police officer
By Paula Lavlgno
Senior Reporter
Members of the Intercultural.
Coalition started work Monday
on a petition that calls for the
removal of the UNL police of
ficer who first came into contact
with Francisco Renteria.
University of Nebraska-Lin
coln Police Officer Charlotte
Veskrna, who was not charged in
the Oct. 1 death of Renteria, mis
took him as a man violating a
protection order. Renteria died
after a scuffle with Lincoln and
university police.
Ramon Noriega, a member of
the coalition, said Veskma should
be removed from her job because
she started the incident.
“She started this whole thing,
See VESKRNA on 3