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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (April 13, 1998)
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Texas two stepped Doomed flight April 13,1998
After upsetting 13th-ranked Texas A&M Friday, “City of Angels" attempts to remake Wim
the Nebraska baseball team lost a doubleheader Wenders classic film “Wings of Desire,” but it MOO'RE WARM WEATHER
to the Aggies Saturday. PAGE 10 isn't very successful. PAGE 9 Cloudy, breezy, high 68. Clear tonight, low 25.
■ A California teen driving a
stolen law-enforcement vehicle
was caught after police pursuit
through campus sidewalks.
By Josh Funk
Before his arrest Friday, a man driving a
stolen vehicle led police on a car chase
through UNL’s sidewalks, totaled someone
else's car and caused a man to be thrown
from his wheelchair
Henry Valencia Jr.. 18. was driving a car
stolen from the San Bernadino (Calif.)
Sheriff’s department. He fled from a state
patrolman after he was stopped for speeding
on Interstate 80. Nebraska State Patrol Lt.
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A trooper clocked Valencia at 93 mph
near the 27th Street exit when he was
stopped around 11 a.m.
While the state trooper was standing
next to Valencia's car on the side of the road.
Valencia drove away.
Police lost sight of the stolen 1995
Infiniti until one of the state patrol’s carrier
enforcement units picked up the pursuit
near 13th Street and Cornhusker Highway.
Then Valencia led police south on 14th
Street toward campus.
When Valencia made it to the heart of the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus he
took to the sidewalks,,driving across campus
to get to R Street and then 12th Street.
With the officer two blocks behind,
Valencia drove the wrong way down 12th
Street to O Street, where he hit another car,
which then hit a man in a motorized wheel
chair on the sidewalk.
The man in the wheelchair, William
Crawford, was tossed from the chair onto
the sidewalk. He was treated at the scene for
cuts and bruises.
The three passengers in the Oldsmobile
that Valencia hit, all from Boelus, were not
injured, but the car was totaled.
After the accident,Valencia left his car
near the intersection and fled into the NBC
Building at 13th and O streets.
Lincoln Police and state patrol officers
surrounded the building while officers
gathered a description of Valencia from wit
nesses on the street.
Police were concerned that Valencia had
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Plain clothes police officers spotted
Valencia in a fourth-floor snack bar trying
to look inconspicuous.
After a few questions, police determined
they had found their man and arrested him.
The stolen car Valencia drove was one of
the vehicles used to practice vehicle pur
suits at the sheriff's office in San
Bernadino, where both of his parents work.
Valencia was charged with fleeing to
avoid arrest and reckless driving in connec
tion with the chase. Additional charges
could follow in connection with the stolen
UNL ANIMAL SCIENCE MAJOR Jason Swanson helps a cow deliver a calf late March 28. Swanson was part of a group of seven students who
worked at the UNL Cow-Calf Management Research Center during calving season to help with calf deliveries. Calving season at the cen
ter started at about the end of February and is beginning to taper off. Birthing calves is not a 9 to 5 job. SEE STORY PAGES 8 AND 9.
Charges changed in deadly drunken crash
By Josh Funk
The man accused of killing a
UNL freshman and injuring her two
sisters in a drunken driving accident
last month now faces charges of
manslaughter and second-degree
The Lancaster County Attorney's
office amended the charges against
Jeffrey Ireland to include one count
of manslaughter and three counts of
Manslaughter carries a maxi
mum penalty of up to 20 years in jail
or a $25,000 fine or a combination
of both, and a minimum of one year
in jail if convicted.
Ireland was originally charged
with felony vehicular homicide in
connection with the death of Laura
Cockson and injury' of her two sisters,
Sarah, 19, and Erin, 16.
Attorneys from the Lancaster
County Attorney’s office did not
return phone calls Friday afternoon.
Police reports said Ireland’s car
ran a red light and broadsided the
Ireland, driving on a suspended
license, was driving a friend home
from a bar in another friend’s car.
After the wreck Ireland fled the
scene, but he later turned up in the
emergency room of Bryan
Memorial Hospital for treatment of
injuries from the wreck.
Ireland was arrested that night
and remains in Lancaster County jail
in lieu of bond.
Ireland’s preliminary hearing is
scheduled for Tuesday.
Family spurs love of rodeo
By Amanda Schindler
In a sea of winding back roads
and unending Nebraska sandhills lies
a little house set far from any pave
ment or neon sign.
Despite the blustery w ind of an
evening blizzard a single porch light
offers warmth in the otherwise harsh
From the outside, the house sug
gests nothing of one young man’s life
long devotion to a career in rodeo.
But the front door swings open to
a world of long-standing family tradi
tions. They hint at the driving force
behind UNL cowboy Kyle Whittaker,
a 21-year-old junior agriculture eco
nomics major who has won more
than 10 all-around professional rodeo
competitions in the 1997 season
Amid the shrine of belt buckles
and plaques, framed rodeo photos
and baby cowboy boots, Whittaker's
parents, Chip and Marilyn, wait with
patience to tend their 170 head of cat
tle on this freezing night.
They said they can’t imagine a
time when their son wanted anything
more than to rodeo.
“He’s always wanted to be a cow
boy,” Chip said.
That desire has paid off, as
Whittaker is now one of the best
rodeo cowboys in the region and a
three-year member of the
Professional Rodeo Cowboys
But there’s more to Kyle
Whittaker than just belt buckles and
cowboy boots, his family says. His
success stretches far from the saddle.
“He's really determined," his
mother said. “He’s one of the most
honest, straight-arrow people -
whether it was for his benefit or not,
he would tell the truth."
For Whittaker, that truth includes
a strong family tradition in rodeo, a
tradition including both victory and
Vem Whittaker, Kyle’s grandfa
ther and mentor, was killed while get
ting ready to steer wrestle - an event
in which Kyle now competes. As he
rode out, he was knocked off his
horse and fell and hit his head.
Just one month prior, he had
watched his grandson win his first
all-around junior rodeo.
Whittaker said the award was
especially profound since it marked
the last time he ever saw his grandfa
“1 could tell it really made him
happy to see that,” he said. “It seemed
like I was keeping up the family tradi
He credits his grandfather with
having a big influence on him as a
child, proudly describing a picture
taken of Vem riding a bronc at age 74.
“He was tougher than a boot,” he
said. “I watched movies about cow
boys, and he was more of a cowboy
Please see RODEO on 6
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