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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 24, 1998)
USA COMEAUX, a graduate student at the University of Tennessee, extracts a sample of a Rodrigues fruit
bat’s wing Friday while zookeeper Lucinda Faunce holds the bat down. Comeaux is testing the DNA of the
Rodrigues bats in North America as part of her doctorate research to halt the inbreeding of the bats.
UNA of bolsom s endangered bats tested
BATS from page 1
leads to loss of genetic diversity, low
sperm production, slow growth
rates, lower disease resistance and
lower reproductive capacity,” she
The Rodrigues fruit bat has made
a jump in population from an esti
mated 80 in 1974 to 540 in captivity
and 1,000 in the wild on their native
Rodrigues Island in the Mauritius
chain east of Madagascar, which is
off the eastern coast of Africa.
“But a single cyclone could wipe
them out,” Comeaux said.
Eighteen individual bats were
captured originally, and all the bats in
captivity are descended from
those.The Folsom Children’s Zoo is
one of only 18 institutions in the
world to have Rodrigues fruit bats.
Comeaux said she will be travel
ing to other facilities in the country
that house these rare bats, including
the Lubee Foundation in Gainesville,
Fla., and the Bronx, N.Y., and
Randy Scheer, animal curator at
Folsom, said the Rodrigues is the
most endangered species at the zoo.
“The Mauritius Islands are in a
path of hurricanes,” he said. “The
bats could become extinct before our
The process by which the DNA
samples were taken involved small
skin samples punched from the bats’
wings. Comeaux will take all the
samples back with her to Tennessee.
“I plan to have all the research
done within two years,” Comeaux
said. “It is our goal to implement the
new breeding program very soon
“This project will certainly be a
step in the right direction for preser
vation of this species, but it will be a
long time before they can be
removed from the endangered
Police team up for charities
Programs aim to collect $20,000 during holidays
By Josh Funk
Senior staff writer
This year, like each of the last 18,
Santa Claus will get a little help from
some elves who wear badges and carry
The Lincoln Police have two chari
ties they work with during the year,
Santa Cops and Special Olympics, and
both have events planned for the holi
During the busiest shopping days of
the year, the first three days after
Thanksgiving, off-duty officers will be
camping out on top of discount stores in
eight eastern Nebraska cities to collect
donations for Special Olympics.
In Lincoln the officers will be atop
the two ShopKo stores, at 27th Street
and Highway 2 and 66* and O streets,
with other people on the ground to
“This time of year, people are
thinking of helping others,” Police
Chief Tom Casady said, “and the
Special Olympics is a great way to do
Last year police raised $200,000 for
Nebraska Special Olympics with
events such as Cops on Top.
The other holiday event Lincoln
Police sponsors is the Santa Cop cam
paign, where officers distribute toys to
2,000 to 2,500 needy children.
So far, officers have raised $ 16,600
toward their goal of $20,000 through
donations and a charity auction held
last weekend, campaign organizer
Officer Tom Duden said.
The community has been very sup
portive of the effort, Duden said, but
there are always more children to reach.
Police plan to spend about $10 on
each toy to be provided to the 2,000
Most of the families are chosen by
the Lincoln Action Program, a commu
nity organization that helps families in
need. Other families are identified by
The families are then given vouch
ers for each of their children, and they
get to go shopping in a toy store set up
in the basement of St. Francis Chapel
Police deliver some of the toys to
homes and hospitals starting Dec. 19.
The program helps brighten the
holidays for many children, and police
said it gives them a chance to interact
with people in a positive way.
“It gives us the opportunity to be
the good guy,” Duden said. “We have
the opportunity to show our real atti
tude to the community.”
Police are accepting donations of
money and toys to help their efforts,
though they won’t take anything that
looks like a gun, Duden said.
Toys can be dropped off at the
Prairie Life Center, the Lincoln
Children’s Museum, Shelter Insurance
offices and the Lincoln Police
More information can be found
online at http://www.santacop.org or
by calling police at (402) 441-7204.
Santa Cops try to support children
through gift giving, Duden said.
“We want kids to feel entitled to the
same things the kids down die street are
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Dunagan to bargain;
may avoid jail time
DUNAGAN from page 1
Police affidavits filed with
Lancaster County Court detail the
events of that night
Matt’s parents, John and Kay
Dunagan, had been arguing, which the
report said was common. John had
During the argument, Matt
Dunagan went to his room and loaded a
Two hours later, after the argument
was over, John Dunagan threatened
Kay in front of Matt
Then Matt retrieved the shotgun
from his room upstairs and shot his
father three times as he lay on the
couch, the affidavit said.
In her 911 call, Kay Dunagan said
Matt defended her, and that her hus
band, John, had been threatening to kill
her for a long time.
Dunagan admitted to police that
night that he had shot his father.
After posting bond, Dunagan com
pleted his senior year of high school at
Lincoln Pius X through tutoring and
graduated with a 4.0 grade-point aver
Dunagan started at UNL in August
and has already registered for 16 hours
of classes next semester.
Defense attorneys are trying to
secure a plea agreement so Matt
Dunagan can continue his studies,
Hansen said. They want to give Matt a
chance to have a life.
Senior to toss her last baton
Friday at final home game
TWlKLER from page 1
Despite having some slip-ups, Hill
has continued to electrify audiences.
She began tossing her baton in the
second grade. By age 11, she had cap
tured her first championship. Lately,
she’s been all but perfect
All in all, Hill has won six national
championships and seven world cham
pionships in various solo competi
The champion solo twirler is anx
ious to show her stuff one last time to
Husker football fans, though she’ll
miss doing what she does best
“I’ll definitely miss performing,”
Hill said. “There’s nothing like per
forming at Memorial Stadium.
“I couldn’t have been here at a bet
ter time,” she said.
While “every year gets a little
sweeter” for her, Hill cherishes most
being apart of a program that has won
three national championships in the
past four years.
The first Husker championship
Hill experienced was Nebraska’s
defeat of the University of Miami at
the 1994 Orange Bowl.
After the victory, Hill began cry
“The years when we won (champi
onships) were awesome,” she said.
Before she began twirling for the
Cornhusker Marching Band, the
seven-time world champion had con
sidered twirling for the University of
“It wasn’t my calling,” she said.
A good friend of Hill’s proved to be
the difference in her decision. Hill’s
high school coach in Texas was origi
nally from Omaha. She had always
wanted to twirl for Nebraska, but was
Hill was leaning toward Texas at
the time, but decided to take some
advice from her coach and visited
Immediately, she said, she was in
love with the campus. She said she
loved the size of the school and also
UNLfc friendly atmosphere.
The biggest problem now, Hill
said, is the two losses Nebraska has had
to Texas in the past three years.
After this year’s defeat, Hill said
she didn’t even want to speak with
some of her old friends from Texas
who were inside Memorial Stadium.
Still upset about die loss, Hill says
Texas will always be her home. But she
says Nebraska also fills a big place in
And Nebraska has definitely been
a huge part of her life, considering her
Hill admits to “never having
enough time in one day to get every
That’s because of a hectic schedule
filled with baton and dance practice,
not to mention her usual travels with
the football team.
She also has to juggle her courses
with the rest of her load. Endless nights
working on broadcasting projects at
Avery Hall have taken their toll on the
But Hill said her hectic schedule
dates back to high school.
Many times in high school, Hill
would practice three hours a day before
going to either band or dance practice.
Her work ethic, however, is just
one reason for her success, she said.
Family support and good teaching are
extremely important, too, she said.
Though she loves traveling, Hill
said, there’s nothing like performing in
front of Nebraska’s sea of red.
And sometimes, she said, she
catches a glimpse of herself perform
ing live via HuskerVision screens
inside Memorial Stadium.
“It’s kind of freaky.”
Hill said that because of a two-sec
ond time delay on die screens, she tried
to avoid looking at HuskerVision dur
ing her performances.
Besides her many travels to Notre
Dame University for America’s Youth
on Parade championship competi
tions, Hill has seen much more of the
world. Her career has taken her across
most of the United States and also to
Ireland and England. In Ireland, Hill
marched in a St Patrick’s Day Parade.
But Hill said solo twirling is her
favorite outlet for her talent. Solo
twirling involves a lot of know-how,
she said. Besides high tosses and gym
nastic moves, Hill says doing low flips
can be the most difficult
It takes such perfect timing.
But, for the most part, Hill is
always on time with her moves, earn
ing her praise from John Kloecker,
director of bands and associate profes
sor of the School of Music.
“You try to find something nega
tive about Courtney and there really
isn’t,” Kloecker said “She may be one
of the best twirlers in any college band
in the country. I’ve had a lot of good
twirlers in my 12 years, but she’s the
best I’ve ever had - by far.”
Kloecker said Hill was “a natural
from the beginning.”
“She is going to be really hard to
replace,” he said.” Whoever comes in
next year will have some really big
shoes to fill.”
The most admirable thing about
Hill is that she always just casts herself
as part of the group, he said
“She’s a good person all the way '
around,” Kloecker said, “and I really
appreciate that. She’s down to earth,
and she’s part of the team. She’s always
been a part of us.”
While twirling the baton is second
nature for hei; Hill now looks forward
to a new challenge: finding a job in
television reporting after graduation in ,
She also looks forward to Friday’s
“I’m sure I’ll get a little misty-eyed
after it’s all over. I’ve had such fhn and
such a good time. I’ve met so many
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