The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 07, 1997, Image 1

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

    8 p o ■ t 8 *AJ-_ FRIDAY
.Fast track Minneapolis’ three sons February 7,1997
The Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational — one of The Wonsers, a Minneapolis-based rock trio maHe ---
the premier track meets in the nation — will be at up of three toothers, perform at Knickerbockers b The Clear?
the Bob Devaney Sports Center track. PAGE 7 Saturday night in a 21-and-over show. PAGE 9 Diminishing snow,
By Brian Carlson
Staff Reporter
Allowing law-abiding citizens to
carry concealed handguns would re
duce violent crime without increasing
the number of guns on the street, sup
* porters of LB465 argued Thursday.
But opponents expressed concern
about introducing weapons into poten
tially violent situations and questioned
the proposed criteria for obtaining gun
concealment permits.
cutting taxes
By Erin Gibson
Senior Reporter
Congress and the state Legislature
should “cut back and give back” to the
people of Nebraska, Gov. Ben Nelson
said Thursday.
The state treasury has a surplus, he
said, and the federal government has
been collecting Nebraskans’ money in
ahighway trust fund and not returning
it fully to the state.
In both cases, Nebraskans should
have money coming back to them from
the government, he said.
The state treasury has collected
more tax dollars than it needs to run
the government, and the surplus should
go back to Nebraskans in the form of
tax cuts, Nelson said.
This would mean an annual $225
back in the wallet of the average Ne
-braskaij, he smd^ ^
do it,” Nelson said. “It’s time to cut
bade and give back to the people of
Nelson has officially proposed the
tax cuts through two legislative bills,
LB493 and LB401. The first bill would
give all resident homeowners a $160
state tax credit. The second would pro
vide an average income-tax reduction
of 5.5 percent to Nebraskans, he said.
Income-tax savings would equal
about $65 for a family of four making
about $46,000 a year, he said.
The governor will testify on behalf
of both bills during a Legislature Rev
enue Committee hearing at die Capitol
Fridav afternoon.
Legislators have given Nelson’s two
tax-cut bills a “lukewarm reception,”
he said. Many are afraid that such cuts
are not sustainable over two or more
years, because they would mean a
$ 106-million annual loss to the state.
Some legislators said the $106 mil
lion could go to funding other state
programs, Nelson said. But he said the
money should not be spent to increase
“We don’t need to grow govern
ment to grow Nebraska,” he said.
But Nelson said Nebraskans do
need money deposited in the federal
Highway Trust Fund to help the state
During the National Governor’s
Conference in Washington this week,
state governors unanimously agreed a
portion of funds raised by die federal
gas tax should be returned to the states,
Nelson said.
In 1994, Congress raised the fed
eral gas tax by 4.3 cents to help fund
budget-reduction efforts.
Money raised by gas taxes goes into
the Highway Trust Fund, Nelson said,
and should not be earmarked for other
Currently, for each dollar in gas
taxes Nebraskans put into the trust
fund, only 80 cents is returned for high
way improvement projects, he said.
The Legislature’s Judiciary Com
mittee heard testimony on the Con
cealed Handgun License Act, spon
sored by Sen. Stan Schellpeper of
The proposal would allow citizens
to obtain permits to carry a concealed
weapon following background checks
of criminal records and mental health
conducted by the state patrol.
Schellpeper said experts had told
him LB465 would be stricter than other
states’ laws allowing gun concealment.
Bill supporters backed their argu
ments with die testimony of John Lott
of the University of Chicago Law
Lott recendy completed a nation
wide study that found a consistent de
crease in violent crime following the
passage of laws allowing gun conceal
ment The study examined the period
from 1977 to 1992, and Lott said the
size and scope of the study allowed for
control of other factors such as demo
graphics and sentencing policies.
“In most areas we studied, crime
rates were generally increasing until
the law was passed, then were fol
lowed by a leveling off and a de
crease,” he said.
Lott’s findings showed an overall
decrease of 6 percent in the incidence
of violent crime. Murders dropped by
8 percent, aggravated assault by 6 per
cent and rape by 5 percent.
The rate of crimes against women
Please see GUNS on 3
I attends game
sr -r------ '
BOULDER, Colo.—Tracy Jensen
% has received many mementos and gifts
from family and friends to make her
\ third-floor room at Craig Hospital in
; Englewood, Colo., feel more like
l home.
Despite the posters, teddy bears,
l Precious Moments figurines and pic
■ tures of her home in Lyons, Jensen
| could never completely forget she was
! still in a hospital room.
Wednesday night Jensen left the
* hospital room, in which she has been
e for nearly two months, and attended
the Nebraska-Colorado women’s bas
ketball game at the Coors Event Cen
ter in Boulder, Colo.
It was the UNL cheerleader s first
trip out of her hospital room since ar
riving at Craig in December.
Jensen, a junior, injured her neck
during a basic tumbling routine during
practice Dec. 4. She was treated and
stabilized at Lincoln General Hospital
before being transported to Craig Hos
pital, which specializes in spinal cord
At Craig she has undergone physi
cal therapy and rehabilitation, which
* has helped her progress. In December
she was able to move only her toes,
f Now she can stand and support her
own weight.
“I can’t walk yet,” Jensen said. Her
voice was weakened by stress, but she
was enjoying her first outing. “I’ve been
- working out on a stationary bike and
ii I’m able to pull my wheelchair to me
and get in it on my own.”
Two weeks ago, her progress had
improved enough that Jensen’s doctors
told her she might be able to make trips
outside die hospital.
When Jensen noticed that the
Huskier women’s basketball team was
playing Colorado pn Feb. 5 in nearby
Boulder, Colo., she seta goal to be at
the game.
“The CU cheerleaders have kind of
adopted me and invited me to attend
Please see JENSEN qn 3
Rwi Soderlin/DN
RICHARD CREES, a tour guide at the State Capitol, answers a question from a Rrlnlty Lutheran Elementary
student. Crees explained who built the Capitol, why It was built and the symbolism behind its art.
A Capitol
idea for
Tbur the
tower of
By Jim Goodwin
Staff Reporter
In the maze and tower of the Ne
braska State Capitol, a trio Of work
ers links Nebraskans with the sym
bol of their statehood.
Those three elements — Rich
ard Crees, Gloria Witherspoon and
Angie Turner — are the building’s
official tour guides.
In an atmosphere thick with con
cerns of property taxes and naming
the official state fish, the guides are
the casual tourist’s relief from what
can be government vertigo.
Whether visitors arrive by the
pairs or by the hundreds, the guides
said they offer tours full of infor
mation about history, architecture,
craftsmanship and symbolism.
“We enjoy showing and sharing
the building with the public,” guide
supervisor Roxanne Smith said ‘To
get them beyond saying, ‘You could
stack a lot of hay in here,’ to under
standing the nuances of the Capitol’s
architecture is quite fulfilling.”
Enjoying the building and con
versing with those who visit it are
two of the many highlights
Witherspoon cited about the seven
years she’s been showing the Capi
tol. r' •;
“I want my tours to reach out
and grab people,” Witherspoon said.
“I enjoy having action in the build
ing because I get to interact with
Witherspoon said her favorite
spot in the Capitol depended on the
time of day, the season and her own -
mood. For example, following a tir
ing flurry of tours, she energizes in
the powerful ambience of the Su
preme Court.
The Rotunda, with its tile-mo
saic representations of “The Virtues
of the State,” is Ibmer’s area of
choice. '
Turner said she was drawn by
the floor’s more than 25,000black
and-white, hand-cut pieces of
marble representing Mother Earth
and the four elements of classical
Please see TOURS on 6
' -