The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, January 26, 1995, Image 1

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Piping hot__
OSHA inspector Frank Winingham looks at sample dirt surrounding a broken steam pipe at the comer of 14th and
R streets on Wednesday. The dirt being excavated was 110 degrees, said Dennis Willeford of General Excavating.
Job safety concerns
brought to attention
in steam line reapair
By Brian Sharp
Senior Reporter
An investigator looking into possible
occupational safety violations inspected a
construction site at UNL Wednesday.
If the contractor repairing a leaking steam
line at 14th and R streets is guilty of violat
ing safety codes, it could face up to $7,000
in fines.
The steam drifting from area manholes
and from the mounded construction zone is
the result of a broken steam line that has
been leaking since before Thanksgiving,
said Gaiy Thalken, utilities manager at the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
But it’s not the broken line that may have
Occupational Safety and Hazard Adminis
tration officials steamed. Instead, there’s a
question as to whether the contractor has
created a dangerous working environment
in which to repair the leak.
Thalken said the 50-year-old steam line
generated from the UNL power plant at
14th and Avery streets. It feeds the State
Capitol, he said, along with the Union In
surance building, state office building and
the governor’s mansion. The steam is used
to heat the buildings, he said.
Using infrared photography to deter
mine where the “hot spot” was, contractors
began work a couple of weeks ago to find
and repair the leak, Thalken said.
Ben Bare, area OSHA director, said that
in general, any hole more than 5-feet deep
must have sloped or supported sides.
After receiving a complaint that the con
tractor, Shanahan Mechanical ofValparaiso,
had not met those specifications, OSHA
sent an investigator to the site Wednesday.
The investigator would not comment on
his findings Wednesday afternoon and re
ferred all questions back to Bare. The site
contractor also refused comment. Steve
Shanahan, vice president of the company,
did not return phone calls.
The site did not have sloped or rein
forced walls for at least part of Wednesday.
Metal sheets had been brought in, but re
mained on a truck at 1 p.m.
Bare said results of the findings wouldn’t
be made public until the investigation was
complete in about two weeks.
OSHA considers entrenchment viola
tions “very serious,” Bare said, and such
violations could draw anything from an
order to make necessary adjustments to a
$7,000 fine.
Thalken said UNL would not be respon
sible for any violations on the part of
Shanahan because the contract states that it
is the responsibility of the contractor to
follow all rules and regulations.
Given no further delays, Thalken said he
expected the pipe to be repaired within two
Thalken said he was told Monday that
workers were within a few feet of finding
the leak. But that leak might be under the
bus shelter located on the comer, he said. If
so, it would mean more permits and regula
tions would have to be worked through
before proceeding, he said.
Another consideration that will have to
be made when repairing the leak, he said, is
that the steam will have to be shut off for
about six hours, which means no heat will
be available to the buildings the line feeds..
spar off in
OJ. trial
By Linda Deutsch
The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES—O.J. Simpson’s defense
vowed Wednesday to prove him an “innocent
man wrongly accused” of two murders and
promised a parade of supportive witnesses.
Attorney Johnnie Cochran Jr., striking back
after powerful prosecution statements about a
trail of blood that could tie Simpson to the
murders of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and
Ronald Goldman, accused the district attorney’s
office of a “rush to judgment, an obsession to
win at any cost and by any means necessary.”
He said there were “trails that led toward
innocence and they were not pursued.”
Simpson was off-camera to television audi
ences, however, because the judge barred the
camera from spanning the courtroom after an
alternate juror’s face was accidentally shown
Stacking up evidence of reasonable doubt,
Cochran told of two women who approached
the defense team after police and prosecutors
refused their information, and of one witness
who reported seeing four men fleeing from the
area of Nicole Simpson’s home the night of the
Cochran said the woman who reportedly
See O.J. on 3
Bill aims to
bring care to
rural areas
By J. Christopher Hain
Senior Reporter
Dawn Sanderson grew up in rural Nebraska
taking care of sheep. Now she would like to do
the same for people.
Sanderson, of Colon, is a junior occupa
tional therapy student at Creighton University.
She would like to return to rural Nebraska
when she completes her program.
But she said the high cost of her education
could lead her to give up her goal for the
financial opportunity of a bigger city.
“There are so many incentives to stay in a
bigger town,” Sanderson said.
Bringing talented health care professionals,
like Sanderson hopes to be, to rural towns is the
aim of a bill sponsored by Sen. Merton “Cap”
Dierks of Ewing.
LB373, which was introduced Wednesday
to the Health and Human Services Committee,
would add pharmacists, dentists,physical thera
pists and occupational therapists to a loan
program established in 1991.
The program helps repay the loans of pri
mary care doctors, mental health doctors and
psychiatrists who agree to practice for three
See THERAPY on 3
LETTUCE head serious about winning ASUN campaign
Editor’s note: This is the first of a
series of reports taking a look at
parties campaigning for the ASUN
By Matthew Waite
Senior Reporter
A new head of LETTUCE will
lead his party in this year’s ASUN
presidential campaign.
Both Brian Fitzgerald, the LET
TUCE presidential candidate, and
Matt Kissler, the party’s second vice
presidential candidate, know what
it’s like to be a part of the campaigns.
Fitzgerald was last year’s first vice
presidential candidate, and Kissler
was the presidential candidate. '
Last year, the LETTUCE party
started as a write-in party, advocating
the idea that green space should be
used to graze animals and grow kohl
The party turned the only debate it
was allowed to be part of into a circus,
complete with secret service agents
and a foiled assassination attempt
with a sausage.
During the party’s concession, a
member made a serious, standing
proposal of marriage to the winning
second vice president, Judy Rishel.
LETTUCE party members started
their campaign to get 100 votes and a
story in the Daily Nebraskan. Despite
being a write-in party, they managed
to notch 11 percent of the vote and
take second place in the election.
But this year, the party added An
drew Smith as vice-presidential can
didate and a platform with legitimate
Party members insist they are seri
ous about winning.
Well ...
“The LETTUCE party is so strong
this year we’re liable to kick our own
asses,” Fitzgerald said. “We’re turbo
In a dark comer of Cliffs Lounge,
armed with Tijuana Smalls cigarettes
and the official drink of the LET
TUCE party, vodka tonics, the three
members of the party outlined last
Saturday their run at the presidency.
Like last year, humor filled a po
litical function. Kissler—whom some
called “Jesus” last year because of his
long hair, burlap cloak, sandals and
beard—was dressed in brown poly
ester pants and a big yellow tie.
The Jimmi E. Cascade Founda
See LETTUCE on 3