The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 29, 1996, Page 3, Image 3

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

    Parents fight for baby’s life
py oieve Mine
The Associated Press
OMAHA — Baby Tabatha’s
heart stops once a day and doctors
revive her.
Every one of the brain-injured
baby’s vital functions is regulated
by machine.
The 3-month-old girl’s parents,
who say they don’t know how she
was hurt, are fighting a hospital’s
decision to remove the child from
life support.
Doctors say the baby was shaken
violently, severely injuring her
brain, and she should be discon
nected from the machines.
A juvenile court judge will be
asked Monday to decide what hap
“This child is dead,” said Deb
Thomas, deputy director of the state
Department of Social Services. She
said on Thursday that it would be
inhumane to keep the baby on life
Ronda Renshaw, 22, insists that
her child responds to her and will
“When I talk to her she moves
her eyes. She’s opened them like
halfway,” Renshaw told Omaha
television station KMTV. “She
grabs hold of my hand, she holds on
to my finger.”
Renshaw’s attorney said Thurs
day he would not allow Ms.
Renshaw to be interviewed before
Friday, and then only under the
“When I talk to her she
moves her eyes. She’s
opened them like
halfway. She grabs
hold of my hand, she
holds on to my finger. ”
condition that no questions would
be asked about how her child was
Thomas said that the Douglas
County attorney was investigating
whether Ms. Renshaw and the
child’s father, Ronald Davis, 24,
were responsible for the child’s in
juries. Neither has been charged.
The prosecutor’s office declined
to take part in the hearing set for
Monday, saying it had a conflict of
interest because of its investiga
tion. A court-appointed attorney
will represent the county, while
another will represent Tabatha.
Doctors at St. Joseph Hospital
concluded Jan. 22 that Tabatha was
a victim of Shaken Baby Syndrome,
or severe brain injury from being
shaken violently, court records say.
Both parents told police they found
the child lifeless with blue lips,
court records say.
Inc state took temporary cus
tody of the child, but the parents
still have parental rights.
Renshaw’s attorneys, Michael
Bianchi and Martin Cannon, point
out that there has been no official
finding that Tabatha’s parents hurt
her. Bianchi said that the Social
Services Department and the hos
pital should not be allowed to end
life support without the parents’
“I think it’s unusual for the state
to seek to terminate life support”
before the rights of the parents are
considered, said Bianchi. He said
the parents were not consulted when
a hospital ethics committee decided
that life support should end.
Thomas said the Social Services
Department did not initiate action
to remove life support. Rather, she
said, the agency responded to rec
ommendations from medical au
“We deliberate for hours, for
days — we cry over these cases,
and I mean that literally,” she said.
“This child is not going to get
better,” Thomas said. “She will al
ways be in an ICU (intensive care
The department has dealt with
two other cases in which life sup
port was removed from comatose
children this year. The parents did
not object in those cases.
Thomas said there Had been
about a dozen such cases in the last
10 years, including some in which
parents objected. She could not say
how many.
Schools concerned about guns
KEARNEY (AP) — Guns arc no
more prevalent in Kearney Public
Schools than they were years ago, a
school official said, but he still be
lieves a federal law requiring a weap
ons policy is useful.
“I think we all want safe schools,”
said Larry Swclcy, director of student
services. “And anytime those schools
are at risk, I think everybody in a
caring environment wantsthose tilings
Sweley said weapons in school
hadn’t been much of a problem over
the years.
“1 do not believe we have more
incidents (in Kearney) now than we
had years and years ago,” Sweley said.
“I do think our enforcement has
changed because we’re concerned
about safer school environments.”
The federal law requires school dis
tricts to have a policy against guns and
to punish students who violate it with
a one-year expulsion.
Lexington Superintendent Gary
Druckemiller said he liked the law.
“It sends a clear message that Con
gress is concerned about the problem,
and we plan to follow the intent of the
law,” he said.
Schools in Broken Bow, Minden
and Holdrege have had to suspend
students because of gun incidents.
Guns and knives are the weapons of
most concern. Druckemiller said
knives had been more of a problem in
“We don’t think we have a problem
with guns here,” Druckemiller said.
“Our high school principal, Tom
Kruger, has worked hard to tell the
kids that if they bring a gun to school,
it will be taken from them and they will
be suspended from school.”
Druckemiller said if any type of
gun was brought on to school grounds,
it would be confiscated and the student
would be suspended for one year.
In October 1994, a Broken Bow
High School student was expelled for
a year for bringing a starter’s pistol to
study hall. A second high school stu
dent was suspended for firing a paint
gun outside the school.
Superintendent Scott Maline said
Minden had suspended one student as
a result of a violation of the school gun
“The handgun situation is out of
control,” he said. “We need new laws.
It hasn’t hit central Nebraska yet, but
in the big cities it’s a real problem.” '
Omaha museum hindered
by financial problems
OMAHA (AP) — The vision that
organizers had for the Great Plains
Black Museum may be fading.
The museum is in trouble, under
tremendous financial strain and other
Bertha Calloway has been the
museum’s curator, promoter, fund
raiser, researcher and bookkeeper for
20 years. She had to cut her time at the
museum after undergoing brain sur
gery in 1993.
Her son, Jim Calloway, said fund
raising had been stagnant.
Calloway stopped short of saying
the museum might close, but said the
museum couldn’t continue the way it
had been going.
“We just can’t have another year of
going day to day with no working
budget,” he said this week. “We may
have to downsize instead of upsize if
that’s what it takes.”
The museum has trimmed its hours,
the heating of the building and staff
positions. The building needs repairs,
and some of the archives are deterio
rating because the museum can’t af
ford to preserve them properly.
If the museum closes, it will mark
the end of a cultural institution that has
existed in north Omaha for more than
20 years.
Bertha Calloway and her husband,
James, who is now deceased, purchased
the original Nebraska Telephone Co.
building in 1974 and filled it with
Bertha Calloway’s personal black his
tory collection.
Thebuildingnowisonthe National
Register of Historic Places.
During February — Black History
Month — many corporations and
schools rely on the museum for help
with black history programs. Bertha
Calloway said she had dreams of pro
viding even more services, but there
had been setbacks.
Jim Calloway, who managed a res
taurant in Lincoln before moving back
to Omaha, has run the museum since
1993 with a part-time tour guide.
“I’m doing everyth ing I can to keep
the museum above water, but my main
concern is my mother and her health,”
he said. “I’d like for it to be that she
could spend time with tours and lec
tures and not have to be bothered with
day-to-day operations.”
Continued from Page 1
loo said Leitzel’s departure sur
prised her.
“Until this opportunity came
along, she was focused on staying
here,” O’Brien said. “I’m really
sorry to see her go.”
While UNL officials said they
were sorry that Leitzel would leave,
officials from UNH said Thursday
they were pleased she accepted.
Tom Trout, one of 16 members
of the president search committee,
said they chose Leitzel because of
her leadership and experience.
“We were impressed by her in
sight, vision and experience,” Trout
said. “She was able to form a vision
of where this campus could go and
how to get there.”
Trout said the vote to select
Leitzel was unanimous, and there
was no second choice.
“She seemed to be the right per
son for us at the right time,” he said.
“Her openness, integrity, style and
strong rule impressed us.”
Arthur Grant, secretary of the
University of New Hampshire sys
tem, said a special meeting of the
Board of Trustees on April 9 would
make Leitzel’s appointment offi
The board needs to elect Leitzel
to the position.
“This search has been under way
for two years,” Grant said. “The
chancellor and the search commit
tee expect that she will be elected
by the board.”
Grant said Leitzel’s salary must
be approved but should be $ 155,000
per year. She also will live in the
president’s house on campus and
receive a car.
Leitzel now earns $142,000 per
Moeser said an interim senior
vice chancellor would be appointed
within the next few weeks. He will
consult with deans, the Academic
Senate executive committee and the
chancellor’s cabinet to make a se
He wants to begin a national
search for Leitzel’s replacement as
quickly as possible, Moeser said.
Leitzel said she planned to make
Durham her home and stay there for
“I plan to stay forever,” she said.
“I never plan to do this again.”
1 I
| Six-pack & a pound of potato ole's j
^ $4.99 :
with coupon
(reg. $5.99)
Expires 4/29/96
56th & Hwy 2
L---1 I
"Your" Store for The Great Outdoors
Specializing in Boots, Packs, Tents and Camping Accessories
10 % off with UNL Student ID
JjjjL/ > Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Equipment
||p Also Turkey Hunting Supplies
PI M-F 10-8pm Sat 10-6pm Sun 12-5pm 420-2244
UUlrTIltKo § j 56th & HWY 2 Alamo Shopping Center
•Personalized service,
Style & selection 56th & HWY 2 Alamo Shopping Center
- ... 1
JD's Big &Tall
clothing and sportswear
The store that starts where others leave off
*20% o»
Any sportcoat or suit purchase
withtnisad. Expires 4/13/96
I ^