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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 6, 1997)
is p o t t « ue THURSDAY
Signing day The blues, brother • February 6,1997
Eric Crouch, a quarterback from Millard North, Matt “Guitar” Murphy is known for much more
■ headlines Nebraska’s 22-member football recruit- than his work in the backup band for the Blues JUST PLAIN GRAY
ing class. PAGE 9 Brothers. FACE 11 Cloudy, light wind, later, low 20.
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VOL. 96 COVERING THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA-LINCOLN SINCE 1901 NO. 95
LOBBYIST PAUL O’HARA, left, talks with lobbyist Jim Cunningham in
tho Capitol Rotunda last Thursday morning. O’Hara lobbios for O’Hara
& Associates, while Cunningham lobbios for the Nebraska Catholic
Voices that carry:
Lobbyists say it all
By Erin Schulte
Senior Reporter ^
The voices that rise above the
din of cohstant chatter at the State
Capitol are the ones with money
“Money is a megaplione,” said
Walter Radcliffe, who has been a
lobbyist since 1977.
People know that lobbyists of
ten have a say in which bills rise and
which bills fall — and it’s not be
cause they have well-developed vo
_ It’s because of their clients’
Lobbyists are hired by clients —
often hospitals, special-interest
groups like the American Associa
tion of Retired Persons, or corpo
rations — to work full time repre
senting their interests at the Capi
Besides the money transactions
between clients (known as “princi
pals”) and lobbyists, money flows
from principals to legislators in the
form of campaign contributions,
according, sometimes, to who votes
“You try to elect your friends
and unelect your enemies,” Radcliffe
More than money
The other side of the lobbyist’s
coin is that they provide an invalu
able service to legislators.
Sen. Dwite Pederson of Elkhom
said if he!s studying a bill’s effects
Please see LOBBY on 7
Allant Increases rates
to support upgrades
By Josh Funk
Nobody ever said technology was
Effective March 23, all residential
Aliant Communications customers will
experience a change in their rates to
pay for improvements the company has
Aliant will raise its basic rate from
$12.50 to $13.75 per month, but at the
same time it also will lower its long
All 175,404 of Aliant’s residential
customers were notified of the rate
change on Nov. 8, 1996.
Lela Kelliher, Aliant Communica
tions specialist, said callers who use
their long-distance often may end up
With a small net change in their bills.
the^Rrst baSir ^vice rate
increase in five years. The increase is
tQ pay for the $ 128-million investment
Aliant has made in improving its ser
Aliant has installed fiber-optic lines
and digital switching centers to im
prove its service.
The fiber optics are installed in a
ring to prevent a loss of service if the
lines break. In the event of a break, the
signal will just reverse direction in the
ring and continue.
“Customers should notice that then
calls are going through faster with the
Nebraska Pbeae Rates
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'Basic Service does not include several additional charges that may be allotted by Sprint/United
Aaron Steckelberg/ DN
fiber optics,” Kelliher said.
The digital switching system has
allowed Aliant to offer several new ser
vices to its customers such as caller
identification and last-call return.
Officials said the long-distance rates
are being revised in response to the
Telecommunications Act recently
passed by Congress.
“We are eliminating the subsidies in
long-distance service to encourage
competition and those savings are be
ing passed on to the customer,” Kelliher
Even with the impending increase
in rates, Aliant Communications will
compare favorably with other cities. In
other areas of Nebraska such as
Omaha, Grand Island, Alliance and
Lexington, the basic rate for phone ser
vice is $16.25 a month.
Customers who think the rate
change is unjustified can petition the
Nebraska Public Service Commission
to have the rate change reviewed be
fore March 10.
Two percent of Aliant Communi
cations customers, or 3,509 people,
must petition the commission to jus
tify a hearing.
“Legally, Aliant can raise its rates
10 percent a year,” said John Burvainis,
deputy director of the public service
“If we receive enough petitions the
commission will hold a hearing to re
view the rate change. Then the com
mission will set the rate.”
Sigma Ghi could face sanctions
From Staff Reports
Sigma Chi could face sanctions
from its international organization for
the cross burning that took place dur
ing a Jan. 23 pre-initiation ritual.
Burning a cross is a direct violation
* of national fraternity policy, according
to Mark Anderson, president of the
Sigma Chi Corporation in Evanston, Bl.
“We are not racists, and we did not
want to do things that would lead to
the perception that we are racist,”
The international organization's ban
on cross burning was issued twice and
is now a part of the Sigma Chi policy
= manual; Anderson said. The local chap
ter could face sanctions ranging from
demanding a simple apology to with
drawing the Sigma Chi charter, he said.
When questioned Jan. 27 about the
incident, Anderson said he thought the
reported cross burning was a misun
The ritual likely involved only the
fraternity’s symbol, the Norman Cross,
he said. A Norman Cross has flared
ends and is featured on the Sigma Chi
Lancaster County Sheriff’s Dep$3
ment officers said they discov^r^d
We are responding, and we will carry out
whatever punishment they deem
as appropriate. ”
Sigma Chi chapter adviser
about 30 Sigma Chi fraternity members
engaged in a historical ceremony out
side Lincoln on Jan. 23.
No arrests were made regarding the
ritual, which included Confederate uni
forms, rifles, sabers and the burning of
a 6-foot cross, they said.
Craig Vacek, Sigma Chi president
“at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln,
said the burning cross was used to re
enact the early heritage of Sigma Chi
heraldry—when Emperor Constantine
had a vision of a burning white cross
before his successful invasion of Rome.
Vacek said die ceremony was not
racially motivated but a ritual to reen
act the founding of Sigma Chi by sol
diers during the civil war. The frater
nity has since apologized for allowing
the opportunity for misunderstanding.
International Sigma Chi officials
reported they have conducted an un
official investigation and asked for the
local chapter to respond to some ques
tions about the incident.
“We are responding, and we will
carry out whatever punishment they
deem as appropriate,” said Richard
Rice, a Lincoln attorney who advises i
the local chapter.
UNL did not punish the fraternity
because the incident did not violate any
specific university policy. The
university’s Interfratemity Councilalso
did not sanction Sigma Chi.
The Associated Press contributed
to this report.
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