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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 4, 1997)
Gambling assistance groups may get aid
A bill providing funds
to programs that help
addicts moves closer to
By Erin Schulte
Compulsive gambling assistance
programs in need of funding are one
step closer to receiving an annual $1
million after a legislative bill moved
closer to approval Monday.
An initial amendment to LB248,
which deals with technical wording in
gambling laws, would have provided
$250,000 each year until 2000, and
$500,000 per year after then to pro
grams that help problem gamblers
stop their habit. It was advanced to
select file with an adopted amendment
Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha
vehemently opposed the original
amendment and said it was a token
gesture not aimed at correcting the real
problem of compulsive gambling.
He said the money was a balm to
soothe a government’s conscience af
ter it lured people to spend money
“We have created a precipice, and
we say to those who don’t fall over
the side, we’ll give them a Band-Aid,”
he said. “We are going to assuage our
guilt by putting some piddly amount
of money out there.”
Sen. Kate Witek of Omaha said the
amendment was not proposed to de
bate the actual issue of legal gambling.
Witek said the programs were suc
cessful in helping rehabilitated gam
blers restructure finances after beat
ing addiction, pay back debts and keep
Sen. Stan Schellpeper of Stanton
said not enough funds were currently
available to help all the people who
wanted to overcome their gambling
addictions with help from the group.
“This money is needed, and it’s
needed now,” Witek said.
Chambers said offering the money
just encouraged people to gamble.
“Go ahead and (gamble), and when
you have a problem, the state is there
to take care of you,” he said.
Three senators agreed with Cham
Sen. Jennie Robak of Columbus
said there were other groups that gov
ernment did not help, including the
mentally ill and people with other hab
“I don’t know why webave to fund
addicted gamblers any ifrore than ad
dicted credit card users,” Robak said.
Chambers introduced an amend
ment that would nullify the first
amendment, but later withdrew it to
propose an amendment that would
instead provide $1 million yearly on
the condition that the groups could
prove they needed money to provide
He said he was satisfied the money
would not be wasted if the tunding had
to be approved by the Legislature.
“If the need is not demonstrated,
not even the $500,000 would go into
the fund,” he said. “Even I can agree
“Need must be demonstrated to
Scrooge multiplied 48 times.”
Sen. John Hilgert of Omaha said
the need-based wording was a good
Witek said states like Iowa put
around $5 million into similar pro
grams to combat compulsive gam
bling, and Schellpeper said the funds
would make Nebraska more progres
sive in its approach to the problem.
“Nebraska is a leader with money
like this,” he said.
Bill pushes for diversity
in hiring ofNU faculty
FACULTY from page 1
versity officials who testified on
bills Monday, the problem of racial
and gender diversity was apparent.
“Every one of those has been a
white male,” she said.
Jim Lewis, chairman of UNL’s
Mathematics and Statistics Depart
ment, said more needed to be done
to recruit women and minorities,
but an unfunded mandate wasn’t
the way to do it.
“You can say that you want
major changes at the university,”
Lewis said, “but the bill needs se
After the hearing, the Associa
tion of Students of the University
of Nebraska President Eric
Marintzer said the bill’s goals were
good, but it tried to achieve them
the wrong way.
“It ties the university’s hands
when you have to hire someone
based on their race or gender,”
Marintzer said. “The word that
The word that
never came up
never came up during that hearing
Wesely said the 11 -to-1 ratio of
men to women of full professors at
UNL was “not right,” but eventu
ally said that advancing the bill
might not be the best thing to do
and urged the committee to hold
Survivors of public servants
could get college tuition aid
From Staff Reports
Children and spouses of public
safety servants killed in the line of duty
would be provided with free college
tuition under a legislative bill pro
The Legislature’s Education Com
mittee heard testimony on LB267,
sponsored by Sen. John Hilgert of
Omaha. The bill would cover the chil
dren and spouses of firefighters, po
lice officers and other publicservants
killed as a direct result of injuries sus
tained on the job.
“We want to send a clear message
that we appreciate the efforts of pub
lic-safety servants and that we as a
community care for their children,”
Tuition credits could be used at any
public college or university in Ne
braska, or an equal amount could be
applied to private in-state colleges.
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not at fault
From Staff Reports
Officer Launa Humiston acted
within Lincoln Police Department
use-of-force guidelines when she
shot a suspect Friday, according to
an investigation that ended Mon
Lincoln Police Chief Tom
Casady said he had determined
Humiston acted properly when she
shot Chester Breitzman in the ab
domen as he reached for a knife
during a pursuit.
Breitzman was still recovering
in Lincoln General Hospital under
police guard. Casady said he was
unsure when he would be released
from the hospital, but knew where
he was going next.
“He’ll be going directly to jail,”
Humiston, in the meantime, has
been returned to full-duty status,
Breitzman led Humiston and
another officer on a high-speed
chase through southeast Lincoln
early Friday morning after he had
allegedly robbed a convenience
store. The chase ended near 74th
Street and Fox Hollow Road, where
Breitzman crashed into a group of
When Humiston and another
officer, Bob Hurley, approached the
vehicle shouting commands,
Breitzman did not listen. When he
reached underneath the seat of his
1977 Chevy pickup, Humiston shot
him. Officers found a 6-inch bon
ing knife in his hand.
Breitzman was arrested for
armed robbery and flight to avoid
GAMBLE from page 1
to casinos, and then fining them when
they succumb to that temptation?” Pat
Loontjer asked, referring to the pun
ishment of underage youth caught in
a Council Bluffs casino last month.
Loontjer is the director of Gambling
with the Good Life.
Speakers opposing the bill also
included representatives of the Ne
braska Christian Coalition and a state
keno operator organization.
The Committee on General Affairs
also heard arguments Monday sup
porting and opposing seven other
gambling-related bills affecting the
state lottery, pickle cards and bingo.
We’re saying we’re
Planned health center criticized
GRAND ISLAND (AP) — Terri
Thiessen says education and not
health should be the focus of public
schools. She is the leading critic of a
plan to put a health center in a high
The proposed health center, which
would be a first in the state, is a risky
social experiment that wotild put
children’s lives at risk, Thiessen said.
Supporters maintain the proposed
center at Grand Island Senior High
would reduce absenteeism and drop
out rates and would meet health needs
currently unmet by the school nurse.
The idea was presented last month to
the school board by St. Francis Medi
The school board is expected to
consider the plan Monday.
Thiessen said she worried the cen
ter would interfere with parental re
sponsibility and would dispense advice
on pregnancy and birth control issues.
“My first concern is that school is
an academic institution,” she said.
“People pay taxes so their children will
have a good education. I have a real
concern about putting a medical fa
cility in a school. We already have
plenty of social welfare in this coun
Senior High Principal Kent Mann
said the health center was proposed
only because students at the high
school have health needs beyond the
Forum on World Issues
A cooperative project of The Cooper Foundation and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
From the Cold War of Ideology to the Cold War of Race:
The Threat of Global
Apartheid in the 1990s
umanity has rightly celebrated the end of the
ideological Cold War between the United States
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Warsaw Pact, and the end of political apartheid in
South Africa. But has the end of ideological
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and other questions.
University Of International Affairs
■ Nebraska Division of Continuing Studies
. Department of Academic Conferences
■■ Lincoln and Professional Programs
UNL is a nondiscriminatory institution.
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scope of the school nurse.
Mann said students should miss
less school because the health center
can provide “basic prescription medi
medicines” — to help them deal with
sore hroats, congestion, sinus infec
tions and other ailments that could
cause them to miss several days.”
Although St. Francis Medical Cen
ter would operate the health center,
Thiessen said, the center would be
obligated to make referrals. She said
the report on the proposed center said
one possible place for referral is
Women’s Health Services, which she
believes emphasizes contraception
rather than abstinence.
Featured in the PBS series,
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• . .. 11
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