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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 16, 1995)
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Lincoln firefighters decide how to secure the area surrounding a fire that engulfed Ray’s Lawn and Home Care at 503 West
A St. early Wednesday morning. Firefighters were afraid of the spread of hazardous materials.
Health department assessing chemical blaze
By Angie Schendt
The Lincoln-Lancaster County
Health Department is trying to de
termine the danger from chemi
cals at an early Wednesday morn
ing fire at Ray’s Lawn and Home
Marcia Willhite, assistant chief
for the environmental division of
the department, said it also was
trying to find where water run-off
was going. Lab results are not back
“We have to make an assess
ment first, and then we can figure
out how to clean it up,” Willhite
Willhite said the department
wanted to get the chemicals cleaned
up as soon as possible, but she said
she didn’t know when the test re
sults were expected.
The roof of the business at 503
West A St. was gone Wednesday,
and the building was destroyed.
No one was hurt in the blaze,
although a dog was in the building
at the time. A firefighter on the
scene did not know how the dog
The cause of the fire still is
undetermined. The fire started a
combustion of different chemicals
in the building, such as pesticides
Initially, five fire engine com
panies and two fire truck compa
nies were sent out. By late after
noon Wednesday, two engines and
one truck were left on the scene.
The fire was controlled, and
two health department officials
were able to inspect the scene,
though the firefighters were let
ting the chemicals burn.
The Village Square strip mall
in front of the building has been
closed until the results of the
samples are known.
The Shiner Food Mart, which is
across the street from the Village
Square Food Mart, experienced
more business because of the fire,
cashier Lisa Davis said.
“They said if the wind changes,
we will have to close down,” she
Davis said she saw a couple of
flames when she came to work at
11:30 a.m., but the building was
just smoking in the afternoon.
By J. Christopher Hain
Gov. Ben Nelson wants to cut in
come tax — a little bit.
Nelson testified before the
Legislature’s Revenue Committee
Wednesday in support of his plan to
provide Nebraskans with a 4.5 per
cent reduction in
state income tax.
Nelson said his
plan would put
money back in the
pockets of Ne
money to indi
viduals, he said,
state and local
allow Nebraskans to share in the ben
efits of cutting government.
Nelson said it was important to
pass along the government’s savings,
even if it was a small amount.
“It’s better to inject some money
into Nebraska’s economy than al
ways drawing it out,” he said.
The governor’s proposal, LB663,
was introduced to the committee by
Sen. Eric Will of Omaha.
Will said the income tax cut was
not dramatic, but it showed that state
officials were working to reduce gov
“If we can afford it,” he said, “it
sends the right message.”
The cut would result in a $35
million loss in state revenue each of
the next two years.
Nelson said that loss in revenue
would be made up by streamlining
government, cutting the budget and
receiving additional funds from the
The loss in revenue would also
mean a more than $5 million reduc
tion in state aid to schools through the
fund created by LB 1059 in 1989.
Nebraska’s public schools receive
part of their funding from local prop
erty taxes and part from the LB 1059
fund, made up of state sales and in
Nelson suggested that money
would be replaced by other general
Sen. Stan Schellpeper of Stanton
See TAX on 3
Chadron shooting raises concerns of future teachers
By Matthew Waite
Violence in the classroom is in the back of
Amy Franzen’s mind.
The junior elementary education major said
Wednesday that last week’s shooting of a
Chadron teacher during class showed the need
for some type of training on how to handle
Franzen said violence in the classroom did
not warrant the creation of a separate class,
however. She also said the violence wouldn’t
move her to change her major.
“I tend to be more naive and think that all
kids are good and find the good in kids,” she
said in Henzlik Hall.
In the Teachers College’s educational psy
chology curriculum, the topic of violence in the
classroom comes up from time to time, said
Greg Schraw, a coordinator for the educational
psychology program at the University of Ne
But much ground must be covered in the
class, he said, and violence in the classroom
does not get much time.
But since the Chadron shooting occurred,
students have been bringing up the issue in
class, Schraw said.
Andy Pope, a Chadron middle school
teacher, was shot by a seventh-grade student at
The issue usually comes under the title of
classroom management, Schraw said. Three
weeks during the semester are devoted to class
room management, he said.
During those three weeks, he said, the class
talks about discipline and management from
all sides of the issue.
“I also like to talk, not only about violence
perpetrated from students to teachers, but the
other way around,” Schraw said.
For example, he said, corporal punishment
is still allowed in Texas.
Among the faculty he talks to, Schraw said,
there is not much discussion about adding
classes to deal with classroom violence. He
said, however, that because the Teachers Col
lege is spread out through six buildings, he did
not know if other faculty had been discussing
Also, Schraw said, he did not know of
anyone in the college who had any degree of
expertise in classroom violence.
To account for that, he said the issue of
classroom violence was new, and many profes
sors at UNL focus on more fundamental as
pects of teaching.
Compared to the rest of the nation, Ne
braska has a lower level of violence in the
classrooms, Schraw said, and that might ex
plain why professors at UNL are not digging
into the issue.
But even though Nebraska has a lower vio
lence rate, Schraw said the state wouldn’t see
a mass migration of teachers because of it.
“1 don’t think people go into education for
that at all,” he said.
For a teacher to leave a school because of
violence, the situation would have to be very
bad, Schraw said.
“They think about it, but it wouldn’t be
much of a deterrent,” he said.
Franzen, however, said violence would de
termine where she went because she did not
want ro raise a family where there was a lot of
But, she said, many students in the college
are looking for the challenges of inner-city
schools, where most of the violence occurs.
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