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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 21, 1998)
After adjusting to a new position this season, NU
sophomore point guard Nicole Kubik is stepping
it up both on and off the court. PAGE 7
Floating on airwaves
Local supergroup Floating Opera will make its
television debut Friday night on the PBS pro
gram “33rd Street Sessions.” PAGE 9
January 21 1998
Let It $mr, Ur It ov
Snowy, high 25. low 13.
VOL. 97 COVERING THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA-LINCOLN SINCE 1901 NO. 84
Burning do—the house
FIREFIGHTERS EXTINGUISH a fire that started in the nibble of the former Firestone service station at 11th and
M streets. Workers were removing the demolished building Tuesday morning when a torch Ignited some wood
while cutting through metal pipes. Firefighters had to use a backhoe to move the rubbish and get to the fire.
Crime rates down from 1996
By Josh Funk
Lincoln was safer last year than it
was the year before.
That’s the case if you ask number
crunchers at the Lincoln Police
According to a police report
released Tuesday by Mayor Mike
Johanns, crime was down in Lincoln
for the second year in a row.
Crime statistics from 1997 show a
7 percent decrease in violent crimes
and a 1 percent decrease in the overall
Johanns attributed the decrease to
the enlarged police force and the
community’s vigilant intolerance of
“Our commitment to the police
along with more officers helps them
investigate crime,” Johanns said.
Also, community organizations
such as Neighborhood Watch and
MADD.Dads help reduce crime, he
“When people show a lower toler
ance for crime, their actions deter
criminals,” Johanns said.
Police Chief Tom Casady said he
believed imprisoning more habitual
criminals also reduced crime.
But Casady said die police depart
ment is only a small part of the commu
nity, and it can’t prevent crime alone.
“There are 800 miles of streets in
Lincoln,” Casady said. “The officers
, -• ■ . ■
Holy fewer crimes, Batmen
Lincoln’s 1S97 crime statistics were reteased
Tuesday by Mayor Mike Johanns.
The report indcated there was a 7 percent
decrease in violent crimes and a 1 percent
^ B Felony Assault
c H Auto Theft
§ B Robbery
^ WB Rape
1995 1996 1997
can’t be everywhere.”
The decrease in crime coupled
with the continual increase in popula
tion makes Lincoln even safer to call
home, Casady said.
This per capita crime rate is the
lowest since 1991.
The bad news is that robbery, rape
and automobile theft were up, Casady
said, but the good news is that felony
assault and violent crimes were down
Although the crime rate is down
front 1996, it has been steadily
increasing over the last decade.
Violent crimes are up 58 percent
since 1987, and crime involving
property is up 10 percent.
The long-term increase in crime
can be partially attributed to a record
number of drug cases, Casady said,
especially marijuana- and metham
Also gang-related crimes in the
capital city seem to have leveled off,
“Our gang files have been stable
for almost a year.”
Read the Daily Nebraskan on the World Wide Web at http://www.unl.edu/DailyNeb
By Brad Davis
A UNL Chemistry administrative
assistant was arrested then fired
Tuesday for allegedly misusing more
than $60,000 in department funds.
Diane Stevens, who has worked at
the university for more than 20 years,
was arrested by University ofNebraska
Lincoln Police Tuesday for “processing
false employment paperwork,” which
paid someone for work not done.
Phyllis Larsen, UNL director of
public relations, said it was unknown
if the money went to Stevens or
Charges have not yet been filed in
the case, but UNL Police Chief Ken
Cauble said the Lancaster County
Attorney’s office will probably file
Stevens was released from
Lancaster County jail Tuesday after
Larsen said Stevens may have had
help if she was stealing money, but
Cauble said he did not think Stevens
would have had a co-conspirator.
A university statement said
Stevens allegedly created a tempo
rary “research associate” position.
Stevens’ duties, the release said,
included completing die forms that add
employees to the university payroll.
Larsen said another employee
discovered the alleged criminal activ
ity, but she would not name the
employee or the manner in which he
or she discovered the possible theft.
Larsen said the Lancaster County
Attorney’s office instructed UNL
officials to remain quiet about the
case while it is under investigation.
Although administrators believe
the missing money is an isolated
case, Larsen said an investigation is
being conducted to malm sure there
are not other irregularities.
... there were
policy violations to
UNL director of public relations
“The university folks who had done
their investigations felt there were
enough university policy violations to
cause her termination,” she said
Vice Chancellor for Business and
Finance Melvin Jones said the
alleged theft occurred in a special
ized sector ofUNEs workforce.
- The university witi-investigate all
the jobs similar to Stevens’ to make
sure the same thing is not happening
in other departments, Jones said.
Larsen said the case was under
investigation by the UNL Police, the
UNL Department of Operations
Analysis and the Lancaster -County
Director of UNL Operations
Analysis Linda Enck said her office’s
involvement with the case didn’t
require anything out of the ordinary.
She said the Operations Analysis
office continually audits all university
departments to ensure checks and bal
ances within departments are function
ing property and funds are not misused.
Enck said her department was
now auditing the chemistry depart
ment, which would have happened
“This is what we do each and every
day,” Enck said. ‘To say we’re going to
start auditing just because of some
thing like this would be incorrect.”
Legislative bill focuses on
teaching phonics in schools
By Joy Ludwig
Weinmaster of Omaha couldn’t read
or write the alphabet during the first
grade until his mother transferred
him to a school that had a phonics
In three months, he said, he was
able to read and write the alphabet
legibly, not just “chicken scratch” -
all because he learned j
stand for sounds, he said.
Tuesday afternoon We!
With his mother Linda, spoke at the
Legislative Education Committee
would require school districts to use
“systematic phonics instruction” as
part of the reading curricuhim for
kindergarten through second grade.
Sen. Kate Witek of Omaha, who
introduced the bill, joined teachers, a
concerned parent and a member of
the Lincoln Public School board in
testifying on the bill.
“Why this is not already being
done in classrooms jf
she said. “Weha\
sionals and they havelef
and I want to know why.”
As an example, she said one of
Please see PHONICS on 6
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