The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 24, 1999, Image 1

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    Final homestand
It's the final game at home for four seniors of the
Nebraska women's basketball team as it takes on
Kansas State. PAGE 9
Directly from the top
Risa Bramon Garcia, director of the upcoming
'80s-centric “200 Cigarettes,” speaks about what
the film means to students in the '90s. PAGE 11
February 24, 1999
Breaking the Ice
Partly sunny, high 45. Partly cloudy tonight, low 24.
Legislature kills
birth control bill
in committee
■ The debate, which
followed gender lines,
spanned sexism issues,
Viagra, moral judgments
and economics.
By Jessica Fargen
Senior staff writer
A bill that would have made insur
ance companies cover birth control
prescriptions for women at the same
level they cover Viagra for men was
killed in legislative committee
The inequality of coverage
between the two prescription drugs
opened debate along gender lines on
LB845, which would have mandated
that insurance companies cover con
traceptives for women such as birth
control pills and diaphragms.
“Generally there have been very
few mandated benefits that have been
successful in the committee," said
Lincoln Sen. David Landis after the
Banking, Commerce and Insurance
Landis, who is chairman of the
all-male committee, said many insur
ance companies already offer birth
control coverage.
“There are insurance policies in
the marketplace that have (contracep
tive coverage) in them that people
could buy if they wanted." Landis
Opponents of the bill, who were
all men, said this type of mandated
coverage made employers force a
moral judgment upon their employ
ees and would hike up insurance pre
miums for everyone.
But the all-female proponents of
the bill, sponsored by Omaha Sen.
Deb Suttle, said equality, along with
ensuring women's long-term health,
should be a concern of all insurance
On top of that, women suffer
financially when they have to dip into
their purses each month for the S20 to
S30 to pay for birth control. At the
Please see INSURANCE on 7
Teachers want
policy clarified
By Shane Anthony
Staff writer
Kathy Cure did not expect to start
searching for a new job after 19 years
of teaching in Bertrand.
But only a few days after the
school board said it would cut activi
ties such as field trips before full-time
jobs, she learned the board would cut
her position to half time - something
she did not expect after years of
involvement with several school
activities, she said.
"1 think that if they had considered
different criteria. I would still be
teaching there," she said.
Now, with less pay, she is in her
first year as a media specialist in the
Grand Island school system.
"The impact on myself and my .
family has been pretty severe." she
Cure was one of three teachers
who testified before the Education
Committee in support of LB 169 on
Tuesday. The bill, introduced by
Harrison Sen. Bob Wickersham,
would require school boards to estab
l don >
think board
policy was
ever supposed
to be this static."
John Bonaiuto
school boards executive director
ish reduction-in-force policies that
ist objective criteria in order of prior
ity, and prohibit schools from looking
anly at the programs to be eliminated
nr altered.The bill would also require
any changes to the policy be made
annually and before the start of the
employees' contract year.
Wickershana said the bill was
intended to protect school employees
covered by a reduction-in-force poli
cy and provide more predictability
Please see EDUCATION on 7
Ready to rumble
Lane Hickenbottom/DN
SCOTT JOHNSON OF LINCOLN wrestles in the snow with his daughters Amy, 15, left, and Amber, 12, Tuesday
at Arnold Heights Park. The girls were also accompanied by their mother Susan Johnson. The family took
advantage of school being canceled for the day to go sledding, something they said they try to do one day
each year.
Man dies after standoff
Grand jury to investigate death of suicidal man, 64
By Josh Funk
and Dane Stickney
Staff writers
After a standoff with the Lincoln
Police SWAT team Monday morning,
a Lincoln man died at a hospital
As required by Nebraska law, a
grand jury will investigate the death,
but Lincoln Police ChiefTom C’asady
said his officers did nothing wrong.
Ubviousiy, we aia notning tnat
would have caused his death,”
Casady said. “All we did was go into
the house and bring him out."
Police were called to 64-year-old
Lee Towle Sr.'s house on the 5100
block of West McGuire Road after
gunshots were reported, Lincoln
Police Officer Kathy Finnell said.
The SWAT team was called
because Towle, who had threatened to
kill himself, would not respond to
police, and also to ensure the safety
oi cnnaren wanting to Arnold
Elementary School, 5300 W. Knight
Drive, which is a few blocks from
Towle’s house.
Casady said police worked to get
all the schoolchildren through the
area safely.
Towle’s wife had called police
and reported that he was threatening
to hurt himself and may have over
dosed on medication, Finnell said.
Please see CUSTODY on 7
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