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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (April 27, 1995)
COVERING THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA SINCE 1901
VOL. 94 NO. 150
Sippel to be honored this . /—
weekend, page 12
Arts & Entertainment
Canadian Brass to play at Lied
Center, page 15
April 27, 1995
The frankintons in 1992
AIDS attacks family, can’t tear it apart
By Jeffrey Robb
The pictures in the Plankintons’ scrap
book show the way their lives used to be.
The photos portray the good days: the early
stages of Rick and Laura’s marriage, their
basement apartment, Christmas, the yearly
Easter egg hunt.
It was a good life, a happy life.
But that life stopped in the summer of
1987 when their 4-year-old daughter, Sa
rah, was diagnosed with AIDS.
Within eight years, Sarah and two other
members of the family would be dead. A
fourth is near death. All were victims of this
It is a tragic story. But it’s also a story
about the binding together of a family; a
story about love and sacrifice and great
The Plankintons’ plight actually started
back in 1978. Rick and his younger brother,
Ron, were hemophiliacs. The AIDS virus
was passed on to them through a blood
product used to fight their hereditary condi
tion. Unaware that he was infected, Rick
passed the virus on to his wife. Laura,
through birth, transmitted the disease to
But the problem lay undetected until
1987, when Sarah entered Norfolk Lutheran
Hospital with pneumonia. The bout with
pneumonia, ear infections, a milk intoler
ance — all made Rick wonder about the
possibility of AIDS.
“You remember that I have hemophilia,
and they’ve been finding that virus in he
mophiliacs,” he told the doctor. “You don’t
suppose that’s what’s wrong with Sarah?”
“No, I don’t think so,” the physician
But he ran some tests anyway.
The results returned two days later. The
family, including Rick’s parents, Ray and
Betty Plankinton of Columbus, gathered
See AIDS on 10
By Sharon Cohen
The Associated Press
OKLAHOMA CITY — New details of
Timothy McVeigh’s activities in the days be
fore the Oklahoma bombing surfaced Wednes
day, including the suspect’s chilling warning
to a friend that “Something big is going to
Investigators also were trying to trace
McVeigh’s movements after the explosion that
gutted the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building,
a source said.
One theory was that McVeigh dropped off
a still-missing colleague before being arrested
for traffic and weapons violations.
Three witnesses placed McVeigh in front of
the federal building moments before the ex
plosion, apparently before the truck carrying
the bomb arrived, the same source said.
Revelations of McVeigh’s actions in the
days before the bombing came in a Wichita,
Kan., courtroom as prosecutors sought to take
McVeigh’s fnend, Terry Nichols, to Okla
homa. The judge granted their request but
delayed it until May 5 so Nichols could appeal.
As the investigation advanced, the city and
the nation paused to observe a moment of
silence at 9:02 a.m. — the precise moment of
the blast one week ago. Bells rang, tears flowed
and heads bowed as searchers stood amid the
ruins of the collapsed federal building. The
death toll stood at 98.
See BOMBING on 7
Cost of union
By Brian Sharp
Senior Reporter "
The projected cost of overhauling the Ne
braska Union is on the rise.
Early estimates figured an expansion and
renovation project for the union at $11.8 mil
lion. That total is now almost $12.7 million.
The University of Nebraska Board of Re
gents will be asked to approve a program
statement at its Saturday meeting, including
the increased estimate.
The project will add 48,000 square feet of
space to the union and remodel almost 67,000
square feet. Memorial Plaza and Broyhill Foun
tain will be moved north to compensate for
building expansion. The project is scheduled
to begin in late 1996, with a completion date
See UNION on 7
Cynthia Keeps, right, and Jay Brower, left, receive help Wednesday from their instructor,
and Physiology class at Southeast Community College.
Bruce Stephen, during Anatomy
Two-year colleges gain popularity
Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a five
part series of about the rising costs of higher
By J. Christopher Hain
More and more students are taking a two
year detour on the way to a four-year college
Community colleges in
Nebraska are no longer die
sole domain or welding and
machine technology. Al
most every community col
lege in the state now offers
a program of academic
With the cost of higher
education rising, many stu
dents are saving money bv
taking their first two years of classes at a
Sue Cain, academic support counselor at
Lincoln High School, said more of her students
were stuck between financial reality and a job
market that nearly requires a college degree.
Most of the families who have children at
Lincoln High are lower-income, Cain said.
She said Lincoln High was encouraging more
students to begin their post-secondary educa
tion at a community college.
“They can save a lot of money by going to
Southeast Community College first,” Cain said.
As the federal government cuts financial
aid, Cain said, she expects more students to
choose a community college as a first stop cm
the way to a four-year degree.
“A lot of our families are thinking, ‘Maybe
we should consider a community college,”’
For years, starting at a community college
on the way to a four-year degree at a university
has been prevalent in California, home of the
nation’s largest community college system.
An estimated 1,357,300 students attended
California’s 106 community college campuses
in the fall 1994 semester.
“We are the largest higher education sys
tem in the world,” said Kyle Orr, spokesman
for the chancellor’s office of the California
In California, high school graduates in the
top one-eighth of their classes qualify for the
University of California system, graduates in
“A lot of our families are
thinking, ‘Maybe we should
consider a community
Lincoln High counselor
the top (me-third qualify for the California
State University system and everyone else is
eligible to attend a community college.
Community colleges play a major role in
higher education in California, Orr said.
The California State University system re
lies heavily on community college transfers to
fill its halls.
In the 1993-94 academic year, the CSU
system had 44,454 transfer students from com
munity colleges, compared with 22,035 first
time freshmen students.
Saving money is a big reason students at
See COLLEGE on 7 .
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