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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 31, 1995)
Frazier confident that he
will start, page 10
Arts & Entertainment
Autoharpist to perform at
Joyo Theater, page 12
COVERING THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA SINCE 1901 VOL. 94 NO. 131 -
_ March 31- April 2, 1993
By Jeff Zeleny
Cliff Kubert’s decision to take the day off work
Thursday to volunteer at his church is likely the
reason a Lincoln mother and her 4-year-old daugh
ter escaped a house fire without injury.
Kubert, a Lincoln Telephone Co. employee,
was trimming branches at Grace Methodist Church,
2640 R St., when he saw smoke pouring through
trees near 25th and S streets. Kubert said he located
the source of the smoke — a blue two-story house
at 424 N. 25th St. — and reacted immediately.
— and reacted immediately.
“When we spotted it.it was light smoke,” Kubert
said. “When I got here, flames were shooting.”
Kubert said knocks on the house's back door
were not answered. The flames, which came out of
second-story windows on the southeast corner of
the home, touched a power line and sent sparks
Hying behind the house, Kubert said.
Stephanie Vinson, 2 8, and her 4-year-old daugh
ter Toneshia were awakened when Kubert banged
on their front door.
“It scared me,” Vinson said in an interview
behind her home, as smoke continued to roll out of
the windows. “I never heard nobody knock that
hard on a door before.”
Vinson said she and her daughter were sleeping
on a mattress in the living room when Kubert
Toneshia remained calm, Vinson said, but they
ran out of the house immediately.
“I just panicked and picked her up and walked
out the door,” Vinson said, as she stood with bare
feet in the parking lot behind the house.
The fire was reported by a neighbor at 11:39
a.m. Thursday, Deputy Fire Chief Dean Staberg
said. The entire second-floor was engulfed when
firefighters arrived, Staberg said.
“There will be no way they can live here,"
Fire Investigator Eric Schoen said the blaze
remained under investigation late Thursday. The
fire started in a vacant bedroom on the house’s east
side, Schoen said.
Vinson said her five other children, who also
live in the house, were at school when the fire broke
out. She also said she didn’t know the cause of the
Firefighters controlled the blaze in fewer than
10 minutes, but smoke rolled out of the southeast
top corner of the house for hours. Heat rippled the
blue house siding, and black, charred debris lay
scattered throughout the neighborhood.
Mary Thompson, who lives directly south of the
burned house, said electricity to her home went out
See FIRE on 6
A diver watches for sharks above the underwater tunnel in the Kingdom
of the Seas Aquarium at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha.
to open Saturday
By Paula Lavigne
Imagine walking into an arctic cocktail
party where the tuxedo-clad waiters swim
like bullets through the punch bowl and
waddle proudly with their beaks in the air.
Step around the corner under the watchful
eyes of an octopus and enter a tropical beach
where a rainbow of fish sparkle in the rip
Walk on the ocean tloor under 450,000
gallons of water as sharks hover overhead,
coral reefs surround you and jellyfish wait
for you at the end.
But you don’t have to charter a boat to
take this worldwide journey. This aquatic
adventure unfolds at the Omaha Henry Doorly
Zoo’s SI6 million Kingdom of the Seas
exhibit, which opens Saturday.
The kingdom features aquatic habitats
from the polar regions, cold oceans, coral
reefs and the Amazon, a tropical reef shark
system, beach exhibit, wave tank, Pacific
reef and Hooded Amazon forest.
The ruler of the kingdom. Zoo Director
Lee Simmons, said he had a dream 10 years
ago to build a real aquarium.
Once the SI 5 million Lied Jungle opened
in 1992. Simmons said he “took a breathing
spell” and then dived in with plans for the
aquarium. Construction began in June 1993.
The Kingdom of the Seas exhibit will
rank the Henry Doorly Zoo as one of the top
five zoos in the world, he said.
Even as people delight at the childish
antics of the penguins and stand awestruck
in the ocean tunnel — the longest one in
North America — Simmons said he hoped
the exhibit would be educational as well,
With many people paying attention to the
prairie, Platte River and rainforest ecosys- ;
terns, Simmons said he wanted to expose
them to a world they would miss unless they
put on scuba gear.
Without oceans and the hydrological
cycle, he said, life wouldn’t exist on Earth.
The exhibit also will be a giant classroom
and the subject of several scientific papers,
he said. Although it will be ready for the
public on Saturday, he said, the Kingdom of
the Seas, like the Lied Jungle, will never stop
See KINGDOM on 3
Pfizer bid goes to Pennsylvania
By Paula Lavigne
Senior Reporter —
Lincoln lost its bid for the North
American headquarters for Pfizer
Inc. Thursday when the company
chose to locate in southeastern Penn
Pfizer, a research-based, diversi
fied health-care company with global
operations, was considering several
sites for its new headquarters, includ
ing Lincoln. The company reported
sales of $1.3 billion in 1994.
“A Pennsylvania location enhances
the continuing integration of our orga
nization,” said Robert W. Mullen, area
president in the North American re
gion, in a press release.
Pfizer completed its acquisition of
SmithKline Beecham Animal Health
for $ 1.45 billion in January, and oper
ates an animal health products plant in
The company owns or leases two
properties in Chester County in south
eastern Pennsylvania and is evaluat
ing several other opportunities to buy,
lease or build a headquarters facility
The company will name a specific site
within 60 days.
The Pennsylvania location would
be close to Pfizer’s worldwide head
quarters in New York, he said, and
would require the relocation of the
smallest number of employees and
Bob Fauteux, a Pfizer spokesman
in New York, said the decision would
have no impact on the Lincoln plant,
but the plant’s animal vaccine produc
tion capabilities were an important
acquisition for the company.
“We were very, very pleased at the
presentations made by the governor
and mayor and business groups in
Nebraska,” he said. “And certainly all
demonstrated the caliber ofNebraska,
but our considerations had to be on
Charles Lamphear, director of the
Bureau of Business Research at the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, said
Pfizer’s decision did not surprise
Lincoln was probably rejected for
"For some reasons we
simply are kind of
stalling out of getting
that momentum going. ”
Director of UNL’s Bureau of
non-economic reasons,V he said, such
as not being able to provide adequate
“Lincoln has a real hard time get
ting adequate air service,” he said,
“and it’s a threshold problem. We are
just below a critical mass level to get
more carries in here and schedule
flights that can meet the needs of busi
“For some reasons we simply are
kind of stalling out of getting that
momentum going,” he said.
Unnamed public defender
assigned to Williams' case
By Brian Sharp
i Senior Reporter
A public defender will be assigned
to the case of death row inmate Rob
ert Williams, Lancaster County Dis
trict Court Judge Paul Merritt has
The decision came after both Wil
liams’ lawyers filed motions to with
draw from the case.
Officials at the defender’s office
contacted late Thursday said no de
cision had been made about who
would represent Williams in his
Lancaster County District Court hear
ing about possible juror misconduct
in his 1978 trial. No date has been set
for that hearing.
Williams came within three hours
of his scheduled execution last week
before the Nebraska Supreme Court
ordered a stay.
Paula Hutchinson, one of Will
iams’ lawyers, refused comment
I Thursday when asked if the decision
was made at Williams’ request or
with his consent. V ince Powers, Wil
liams’ other lawyer, could not be
Identical motions filed by the law
yers in District Court stated that “this
matter was filed on an emergency
basis” without sufficient time for the
court to appoint a lawyer.
Both were appointed in federal
courts, but the latest issue will be
addressed in District Court.
“Counsel does not believe that it
was the intent of Congress to have
the federal taxpayers pay for an addi- «
tional proceeding and work when the
state proceedings specifically allow
for the appointment of counsel,” the
Williams raised a conflict-of-in
terest question with the public
defender’s office in earlier court pro
ceedings. A former employee of that
office is a possible witness for the
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