The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, January 13, 1997, Page 8, Image 8

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Arctic blast halts state’s activity
OMAHA (AP) — Stamping his
boots, with his face turned against a
bitter northwest wind, Ron Czyz pon
dered going south Saturday.
“It would be nice to go down to
the Florida Keys,” Czyz said as he
pumped gas on “Day Two” of an arc
tic blast that gripped Nebraska.
“The cold gets tougher on you ev
ery day,” he said, before he hustled off
to pay the clerk.
The sun came out Saturday, bring
ing slightly warmer temperatures
across much of the state with 40-be
low-zero wind chills in eastern and
central Nebraska. The state high was
11 at Broken Bow. The overnight low
was 19 below at Alliance.
The arctic conditions blasted into
the state Friday, with 75-below wind
chills in north-central Nebraska.
Cathy Zapotoeny, a forecaster with
the National Weather Service in Val
ley, said the weather improved Satur
day from Friday.
A wind chill advisory remained in
effect late Saturday night for much of
northern Nebraska, with 45-below
wind chills in the northeast and 50
below wind chills possible later Sun
The cold spot during the afternoon
was Alliance with 7 below.
The frosty conditions were ex
pected to remain until early next week,
with a gradual warming on Wednes
day. However, residents shouldn’t ex
pect a heat wave, Zapotoeny said.
“It doesn’t look like we’re going
to get back to normal temperatures
anytime soon,” she said.
Sharon Newman of Omaha had to
“psych herself out” to go run some
errands. It’s easier to stay inside where
it’s warm, she said.
“It’s not human to be out in this,”
Newman said.
The cold drove more of the state’s
homeless into shelters. Paul Koch,
executive director of the Siena-Francis
House in Omaha, expressed concern
about homeless people being toil in
dependent in the dangerous weather.
“A lot of people, when it gets like
this, have to come in,” Koch said. “We
want to encourage people to come in.”
Other people who depend on so
cial services also were affected by the
bitter winter weather.
The Eastern Nebraska Office on
Aging canceled its scheduled hot-meal
delivery Friday out of concern for the
volunteers who make the deliveries,
spokesman Bob Whitmore said.
Temperatures reached a low of 15
below in some parts Sunday and a high
of 10 degrees.
The extended forecast calls for the
chilly weather to continue Monday,
with highs in the single digits and
teens and a chance of snow possible
in the far west.
Tuesday and Wednesday will be
slightly warmer with highs in the mid
teens to 20s. Lows will range from 5
below to 5 above on Tuesday, with zero
to 10 above in the west Wednesday and
15 above in the southeast.
Lawmakers may affirm AKsarben idea
OMAHA from page 1
FDR has said it would donate
some of the land to UNO for a
planned college of information sci
ences and technology.
The project has been called one
of the most significant in the city’s
history by Omaha Mayor Hal Daub
and NU President Dennis Smith.
The college, a $37.4 million
project, has already gone through
some preliminary designs. At the
December NU Board of Regents
meeting, the board was given an
update on the structure for high
tech offices and information sci
ence classrooms.
Only Regent John Payne of
Kearney had an objection — the
building’s $200 per-square-foot
pfice tag. The project’s chief aichi
tect, Ken West of Dana, Carson,
Roubal and Associates, said the
infrastructure dictated the cost,
which West called reasonable.
With the backing of the NU
Board of Regents, the city of
Omaha, Douglas County and FDR,
only a $22 million appropriation
from the Legislature remains.
Gov. Ben Nelson has said he
would put the money into the bud
get package he will present to the
Wehrbein said the appropria
tion will be part of the main bud
get package and would have to un
dergo months of debate and hear
ings. He said he had not heard of
any efforts to split the appropria
tion into a separate bill to speed up
the process.
Wehrbein said he hoped sena
tors saw the importance and need
for the project.
Debate on the $22 million ap
propriation will come from sena
tors concerned the project will only
benefit Omaha, said Education
Committee Chairwoman Sen.
Ardyce Bohlke of Hastings.
“There may be some gnashing
of teeth from the more western
senators,” she said.
Bohlke said that when the op
position was convinced of the state
wide benefit, the appropriation
would pass easily.
The benefit, Bohlke said, was
going to come in the form of new
high-paying technology jobs filled
by Nebraskans.
The Associated Press contrib
uted to this report
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