The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 11, 1997, Image 1

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    U-O&is_ *_SJ_ TUESDAY
No. 23 Sin’s last hurrah Februaiy li,1997
The Nebraska women’s basketball team has re- Thousands of party-goers converged on New
turned to the AP top 25. NU is ranked 23rd in the Orleans for Mardi Gras, and DN reporter Mat- Bum, Bum, Bum
latest poll. PAGE 7 thew Waite was among them. PAGE 9 Cloudy with snow, high 30. Blustery tonight, low 15.
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Matthew Waite/DN
THOUSANDS OF REVELERS at New Orleans’ Mardi firas parades scramble for trinkets tossed by masked
characters on floats Friday night. Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is the day before Ash Wednesday, the start
of Lent. Please see page 9 for weekend tales from the Big Easy.
state Hquar laws
By Brian Carlson
Staff Reporter
The Legislature’s General Affairs
Committee brewed over several bills
Monday regulating the sale of liquor
in Nebraska.
Those testifying acknowledged
statewide problems with alcohol-related
violence and the failure of liquor-li
censed establishments to comply with
industry regulations, but disagreed over
ways to deal with the issues.
Concerned by levels of alcohol use
among minors, several advocacy
groups testified on behalf of LB 17.
TTie proposal, sponsored by Sen.
David Landis of Lincoln, would allow
the Nebraska Liquor Control Commis
sion to enforce suspensions of liquor
licenses after an establishment’s sec
ond offense of selling alcohol to mi
nors. •
Currently, a business may either
pay a fine or accept a suspension of its
liquor license after a violation, regard
less of its number of previous viola
Landis said fines were inequitable
for businesses of varying sizes and
were unable to serve as economic de
terrents to license violations.
“You have to have the punishment
fit the crime,” he said. “The virtue of
suspensions is that they make the pun
ishment fit the nature of what’s going
Frosty Chapman, executive direc
tor of the Liquor Control Commission,
said the most common violations ad
dressed by his department were sales
to minors and to intoxicated custom
The buy-out option of only paying
a fine currently available to violators
prevented his department from effec
tively enforcing the law, Chapman
“We need a tool to get the atten
tion of certain establishments where
fines do not appear to be doing the
job,” he said.
Bill proponent Ed Want, repre
senting Omaha’s Project Extra Mile,
cited the results of a recent series of
police sting operations in Omaha.
Of 105 liquor-licensed outlets in
vestigated, 42 percent were caught
selling alcohol to minors. Most did not
check for identification, he said.
“If the people of Nebraska were
really aware of the buy-out option, they
would demand that a suspension be
placed on a business on the first of
fense,” Want said. “How can the in
dustry defend such a high percentage
Please see LIQUOR on 3
Unanimous vote by City Council
denounces January cross burning
Lori Robison
Staff Reporter
After officially expressing its dis
appointment with Sigma Chi’s cross
burning ceremony, the Lincoln City
Council added its voice Monday to the
firestorm of criticism leveled at the
fraternity since the Jan. 23 incident.
But even though a resolution de
ploring the action was passed unani
mously Monday, Dale Young, council
man for Lincoln’s southwest district,
defended Sigma Chi and its history. He
said the fraternity was one of the first
in UNL’s greek system to include mi
norities in its membership.
‘I’ve worked with and known many
members of this fraternity,” Young said
“I believe them when they deny a con
nection to the (Ku Klux Klan).”
Richard Rice, a UNL fraternity
alumnus and professional adviser to
Sigma Chi, spoke to die council Mon
day on behalf of the fraternity.
After apologizing for any pain
caused by the cross burning, Rice out
lined the ceremony’s historic meaning
of brotherhood ami unity. He said he
hoped the community understood that
die fraternity’s intent of performing the
ritual was historic, not racial.
This is 1997, and we need to make sure
that people understand by their actions
what they are doing when they do
Coleen Seng
Addressing the legality of the cer
emony, Rice told the council that the
police were advised of when and where
Sigma Chi’s initiation ceremony
would take place — on a privately
owned field outside of Lincoln. He
added that cross burnings would not
be a part of future ceremonies.
Coleen Seng, councilwoman for
the city’s northeast district, expressed
her disbelief that a cross burning oc
curred in Lincoln in the first place.
“I couldn’t believe this happened
in our community,” she said. “This is
1997, and we need to make sure that
people understand by their actions
what they are doing when they do
Cindy Johnson, councilwoman-at
laige, said the incident was a valuable
lesson for her children. She also thanked
the fraternity for its courage in facing
its responsibilities to die community and
speaking before the City Council.
According to Rice, the fraternity
expects several sanctions, which may
include revocation of its charter, leveled
against it in the near future from the in
ternational fraternity organization.
Nebraska Union face lift
slows fast-food business
By Kasey Berber
Staff Reporter
It’s official among fast-food res
taurants in the Nebraska Union:
Business is down, and the union
expansion project is partly to blame.
The expansion project has closed
the north entrance of the union,
which opened to Subway, Imperial
Palace Express and Amigos.
The result, operators say, has
been a loss of business to students
who find it more convenient to walk
to a fast-food business on Q Street.
Tim Church, associate manager
of Amigos, said it was a matter of
, “Students have to walk all the
way around the building just to get
in,” Church said. ‘It’s not too con
The closing of the north en
trance has also had an effect on at
tempts to attract new customers.
Amy Deubelbeiss, manager of
Subway, said she had seen a drop
off in businessfrom those new cus
tomers, who might not know the
Subway is therer
“Basically, the customers we
have are ones we’ve seen before,”
Deubelbeiss said. “There aren’t a
lot of new faces.”'
Another factor contributing to a
drop-off in fast-food business has
been a lack of student seating.
Deubelbeiss said most custom
ers want a quiet place to eat or talk
with friends. The remaining seats
are close to construction and some
times loud, Deubelbeiss said.
Daryl Swanson, Nebraska
Unions director, said workers were
trying to improve the food court’s
Swanson said because of asbes
tos removal, the food court seating
has been limited, but the situation
will get better.
“We’re working every day to
make things more comfortable for
students,” Swanson said.
Meanwhile, food court busi
nesses are dealing with the loss,
which Amigos and Subway say is
not substantial.
“I’m waiting to see what will
happen,” Deubelbeiss said. “Our
business always drops off a little in
the winter, but if it doesn’t pick up
much in the spring, it would be a
bad sign.”