Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 31, 1997)
Nem t ' i
Explosion is region's
incident in a week.
VALLEJO, Calif. (AP) — An ex
plosion blew a manhole-sized crater
in the wall of the Solano County court
house Thursday, smashing windows
and damaging nearby buildings.
It was the region’s fourth bomb
related incident in a week.
The powerful device, placed be
hind a wall of hedges near the front of
the courthouse, didn’t penetrate the
building when it exploded, and no one
was injured. Still, it shattered 22 court
house windows and damaged several
Federal agents were looking for
connections between the courthouse
blast and two earlier bombs, one of
which blew up near several bank
ATMs, as well as a threat that forced
the evacuation of the Vallejo court
And later Thursday morning, a
bomb threat forced officials to evacu
ate the courthouse and sheriff’s office
in nearby Fairfield. No bomb was
found after either threat.
Investigators said thick fog and the
dense hedge probably shielded who
ever planted the device at the Solono
courthouse. A wire leading from the
site across the lawn and an adjacent
street to an alley probably was used to
trigger the explosion, according to
Charles Barnett, arson and bomb su
pervisor for the Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco and Firearms office in San
A car battery was found near the
wire, but it wasn’t clear if it had been
used to detonate the bomb. Barnett
said lab tests would try to tie the ex
plosive to two bombs from the week
He said the three bombs appear to
be “similar in design.” He also said
the simple devices could have been
built by anyone with “common blast
Deputy David Robinson said links
to other bombings around the country
were being looked at. He provided no
other details. He said there was a wit
ness, but declined to elaborate.
A bomb made of 30 sticks of dy
namite and blasting caps was found
in a rucksack at Vallejo's John F.
Kennedy library on Saturday. It wasn't
armed, but the library, City Hall, post
office and a restaurant nearby had to
be evacuated while authorities dis
A second device exploded about 12
hours later, early Sunday, in front of a
set of Wells Fargo ATM machines a
few miles away. The machines were
damaged, windows were shattered and
a hole was punched in the bank build
ing. No one was injured and no money
And on Monday, a bomb threat
forced the evacuation of the court
house in Vallejo, a blue-collar town
of about 100,000 people 40 miles
northeast of San Francisco. The town
was home to Mare Island Naval Ship
yard for 142 years until it was closed
Mall wall collapse kills three
HOUSTON (AP>~ A wall col
lapsed at a shopping mall Thursday
morning, killing three people, injur
ing seven and sending dozens of eld
erly “mall walkers” scrambling for
As many as six others were feared
missing under tons of concrete and
The wall was being tom down to
make roan fa a Magic Johnson movie
theater complex when it caved in.
“It just all of a sudden went crack
ling. I ran,” said Dorothy McCann,
who was among those who exercise
daily by walking laps inside the
Rescuers using dogs searched
through the debris for victims. Cranes
were brought in during the afternoon
to move rubble.
The bodies of two women were re
trieved 10 hours after firefighters and
paramedics descended on the site. A
third body was discovered early in the
evening but could not be recovered
“We’re pretty certain there may be
other people under the debris,” Fire
Chief Eddie Corral said. “We won’t
really know until we get in there and
pull it off. Some of it is rather large
The cause of the accident was not
Demolition crews were removing
the last sections of an old department
store when a wall shared by the store
and the mall caved in at about the time
the mall opened at 9 a.m.
“I just heard a loud rumble,” said
Mary Shields, 59, who was inside the
mall. “I could see dust flying, I turned
around and looked back. I saw people
running out of the offices saying some
body got hurt. The dust was so thick.
You couldn’t see.” ,
Six of the injured were “mall walk
ers,” most of them in their 60s and
70s. Among them were a man who ran
through a window to flee the ava
lanche of debris, and a couple who
were pushed to the ground by the force
of the collapse.
Refund-seekers find AOL lines still busy
Refund schedule for
customers enrolled In the
service during December
$19.95 unlimited plan
■ Hours used Percent refunded
■; 2 hours i —?-.: •
and 8 hours
Between 8 , '-> sews
. j and 15 hour* K
Morsthan | (No refund)
15 hours 1 7
Bi£$sfirs nss wet
(5 hours of usage per month;
$2.95 tor each additional hour)
Hours used Pervert refunded
Leas than •_
: 1 Mir I i
Between 1 " "
|| and 3 hour* £
2 hours (No refund)
($2.50 tor eadfaJdMonal hour)
Hours used Pervert refunded
1 hour v m
* Between ^ + \
r and 2 hours I _ v*|$
Jhrt than (Nb refund)
2hours l l A.T
'• AOL will suspend most advertising in February while jt attempts to
expand its capacity.
• Future AOL advertising must “dearly and conspicuously" state that
s customers may encounter delays,
# AOL will make it easier for customers to cancel service, either by fax
AP/Wm. J. Castellc
NEW YORK (AP) — A day after
American Online announced refunds
for customers who can’t get through,
people trying to put their requests in
Thursday encountered more busy sig
nals —and a suggestion they put it in
“I got put on hold for over an hour
and a half,” said Jack Simpson, an
AOL customer in Florida. “It seemed
like every 30 seconds they said, 'We’re
sorry, the lines will be busy.’”
On Wednesday, AOL, undo* pres
sure from the attorneys general in
more than 36 states, agreed to give
millions of dollars in refunds and
online time to customers.
But by Thursday morning, the
nation's biggest online service had not
yet updated its toll-free number for
handling requests. People calling the
number got a maze of recorded op
tions. None mentioned a refund.
The toll-free number finally was
updated by Thursday afternoon to in
clude a prompt for getting refunds.
Still, some customers encountered the
same problem they were trying to get
compensation for — clogged phone
A customer service representative
answering AOL’s phone line during
the afternoon said it would take at least
30 minutes before someone could
handle a refund request because of a
flood of calls from customers. Instead,
he urged that the request be put in
Look! Up in the 8ky! Is it a groundhog ~ or groundhog?
TULSA, Okla. — A radio station got its listeners’ attention with a
Groundhog Day promotion. It also got them upset.
The phones at KHTT-FM were flooded Wednesday morning after
disc jockey Andy Barber said the station planned to drop “Grady the
Groundhog” 200 feet from a hot air balloon.
If Grady survives, Barber told his listeners, then spring will be on
the way. If not, then winter will stick around.
Station news director Katrina Tyler said KHTT received so many
calls, they started playing some of diem on the air.
She said the station will go ahead with its plan Sunday, but isn’t
saying whether a live animal will be used. “All I can say is it’s a ground
hog,” she said.
Rumor has it the station will drop a package of sausage—a ground
Missing kids web site
to help rejoin families
WASHINGTON (AP)—Five days
before Christmas in 1995, Becky
Comeaux suddenly found herself buy
ing gifts for a son she hadn’t seen in
Just 15 months old when he was
taken, Beau Arceneaux had become a
computer-savvy teen-ager who, with
the help of people using an Internet
chat room, found his way home.
V Mother and son were on hand
Thursday to help inaugurate a World
Wide Web site run by the National
Center for Missing and Exploited
:s New technology donated by Com
puter Associates of Islandia, N.Y., will
allow the center to keep photos of its
12 most recent missing children cases
current on a web page, with links to
other pages and access to the center’s
entire database of missing youngsters,
the web page it had been using since
1995 sometimes took 24 to 48 hours
“We’ve come a long way from milk
cartons,” said Ernie Allen, president
of the center.
Beau was 15 months old when his
father kidnapped him in 1983, said
Mrs. Comeaux of New Iberia, La. It
was a shock when a call finally came
from the FBI in December 1995.
“I remember,yelling and going
down on my knees,” she said of the
first call, Dec. 18, teHing her that he
might have been located.
When the FBI brought her photos,
she didn’t believe the tall youth was
Beau. Her memory of him was always
as a baby, and she remembered that
when last she saw hifti she had car
ried him (Mi her hip.
Beau, living with his father in
Austin, Texas, said he had been told i
his mother left and had no interest in
him. He had been using a neighbor’s
computer to visit a chat room on the
Internet computer network and
women in Delaware and Minnesota
became curious about the boy who had
no contact with his mother. They con
On Dec. 20,1995, the FBI showed
up at Beau’s home to tell him his fa
ther had been arrested and his mother
was looking for him.
“When I talked to her on the
phone, my mom, it just seemed like
everything was going to be all right,”
he went on, smiling at his mother, now
three inches shorter than the boy she
once carried on her hip.
Back in Louisiana, Ms. Comeaux
went Christmas shopping for a lad she
knew nothing about.
One photo showed him in a Char
lotte Hornets jacket so she “went
crazy” buying Hornets paraphernalia.
Lata* he told ha he had picked up the
jacket at a yard sale.
But she still wasn’t sure the boy
was hers, not until that moment of
greeting: “Once we hugged, it was all
The National Center for Missing
and Exploited Children home page
is at http://www.missingkids.org.
_ Hath* _ i Questions? Comments? Ask for the
Editor DougKouma A&E Editor Jeff Randall
Managing Editor Paula Lavigne Photo Director Scott Bruhn
Assoc. News Editors: Joshua GHIin Art Director Aaron Steckslberg
Chad Lorenz Web Editors: Michelle Collins
NtahtEdttor: Anne Hjersman AmyHopfBnsperaer
Opinion Editor Anthony Nguyen Night News Bryce Glenn
APWIre Editor: JohnFulwkJer Editors: Leanne Sorensen
Copy Desk Chief: AiBe Sobczyk Rebecca Stone
Sports Editor Ttevor Parks Amy Taylor
The Daily Nebraskan (USPS 1444)80) is published by the UNL Publications Board,
Nebraska Union 34,1400R St, Lincoln, NE 685884)448, Monday through Friday during
the academic year; weekly during summer sessions.
Readers are encouraged to submit story ideas and comments to the DaHy Nebras
kan by calling 472-2588. The public has access to the Publications Board.
Subscription price is $55 for one year.
R>stmaster: Send address changes to the Daily Nebraskan, Nebraska Union 34,
1400 R St, Lincoln, NE 68588-0448. Second-class postage paid at Lincoln, Neb.
ALL MATERIAL COPYRIGHT 1997 DAILY NEBRASKAN
Powered by Open ONI