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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 3, 1999)
One down HI
The Nebraska women’s basketball team clawed
its way to a 82-71 win over Texas A&M in the
first round of the Big 12 Tournament. PAGE 9
A & E
South by so what
Ev ear the best unsigned bands go to Texas for a
giant music festival and a chance to get signed. Two
invited Nebraska bands say “big deal.” PAGE 12
JLViarcn a, xyyy
Partly sunny, high 45. low 33.
VOL. 98 COVERING THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA-LINCOLN SINCE 1901 NO. 113
Police say a drug deal was involved
By Josh Funk
Senior staff writer
Police arrested three suspects this
week in the murder of a Lincoln
teen-ager who was found dead in Van
Dorn Plaza Shopping Center on Feb.
The murder was the result of a
botched robbery in the parking lot,
Lincoln Police Chief Tom Casady
Brandon Pickinpaugh was shot
once in the head while the three men
tried to steal the approximately three
quarters of a pound of marijuana and
the $950.40pickinpaugh had with
him, police said.
Casady sard Pickinpaugh had
been dealing drugs.
All three men were arrested for
other crimes, and the County
Attorney will charge them for the
homicide after reviewing the files.
Pickinpaugh, 17, was shot and
was found lying on the ground next
to the green Chevrolet Cavalier he
A McDonald’s customer who
was parked near Pickinpaugh saw his
body when he was returning to his
car around 9:30 p.m. and called
' Pickinpaugh, a Hastings native,
had been living in a group home run
by Robert and Marilyn Beggs since
he became a ward of the state in
December 1997. He was a junior at
Lincoln Southeast High School.
None of the suspects arrested
were group home residents, but sev
eral of them were known gang mem
bers, Casady said.
Jeremy Kurtzer, 18, was arrested
Monday evening at 6011 S. 43rd St.
for possession of stolen property.
Police said Kurtzer gave a stolen
handgun to another teen-ager who
robbed an ATM user in January.
Derek Graves, 20, was arrested
for several outstanding warrants
Monday afternoon when police
served a search warrant at his apart
ment, 4600 Briarpark Drive, Apt.
Graves was wanted for burglary,
possession of a controlled substance
and refusal to comply with a police .
The SWAT team found several
guns in Graves’ apartment, and they
arrested Graves’ roommate, Tanner
Andrews, 19, for having a .38-Caliber
revolver that was stolen in a
November burglary. Andrews has not
been linked to the murder.
Monday evening, police arrested
Jedidiah Ngirchoimei, 19, for the
This isn’t the Paula
Jones lawsuit. If you
lie in a murder
Lincoln police chief
attempted robbery of Pickippaugh.
Ngirchoimei, Graves and Kurtzer
are all implicated in the murder, but
police have not said which one shot
During their investigation,
Casady said police encountered sev
eral teen-agers who concealed evi
dence or lied to them.
Dennis Sciscoe, 19, was arrested
Tuesday morning for concealing evi
dence. He was charged with being an
accessory to a felony.
Casady said that more arrests
could follow for accessory to a
felony and giving false information
to a police officer.
In recent homicide investiga
tions, Casady said the trend has been
not to tell the truth to police.
But Casady said investigators
feel strongly that people need to be
arrested for lying.
“This isn’t the Paula Jones law
suit,” Casady said. “If you lie in a
murder investigation, you get arrest
While police had Graves’ apart
ment under surveillance, Casady
said veteran investigators were taken
aback by the number of teen-agers
who hung out at the apartment even
though they were aware of the gang
“It deeply concerns me to see 15
, lb^and 17-year-old kids hanging
out here after school,” Casady said.
Casady said that this murder
should be a warning for parents.
“The message to parents is wake
up and pay attention to who your kids
are hanging around with,” Casady
Parents need to get their children
away from people involved in these
activities, Casady said, so they are
not subject to the risks.
It is dangerous to normalize this
kind of conduct, Casady said.
“When you get a couple of
wanna-be gangsters together with a
gun, you get a wanna-be homicide .”
Taking the floor
afternoon. “I love my state,” said Rockenbach, a 42-year-old IINL graduate with a degree in Great Plains folk
lore. “My family has some real roots here.”
Candidates make final cases
Communication, academic rigor top lists of priorities
By Kim Sweet
ASUN election candidates faced
off one last time Tuesday, giving curi
ous voters a chance to cement their
decision on which box they will
check in today’s elections.
Presidential and second vice
presidential candidates shared the
microphone with senatorial candi
dates for the College of Agricultural
Sciences and Natural Resources
positions during the first debate held
on East Campus.
When asked what the biggest
issues students will face next year
are, Kate Hutchens, Voice senatorial
candidate for the agricultural col
lege, said communicating with stu
dents and finding out their concerns
will be the biggest issue.
“Just making sure students feel a
part of the university they are in will
be important,” Hutchens said.
Focus presidential candidate Paul
Schreier responded with the words
retention rates and academic rigor.
How the Legislature will view the
university when considering a spend
ing cap will also be a discussion that
university students will have to par
ticipate in next year, Schreier said.
Responding to the question of
how the candidates plan to bridge the
divide that currently separates East
Campus, Focus party senatorial can
didate for the agricultural college
Matt Rasmussen said bringing more
core academic classes there would
force students to become more famil
iar with the campus.
Hutchens said unifying East
Campus first was necessary before
trying to bring the two campuses
together. A Voice ticket that is made
Please see DEBATE on 6
Student aid dollars may be at risk
■ A loan program’s
switch to nonprofit raises
concerns about funding.
By Jessica Fargen
Senior staff writer
Millions of dollars in scholarships
and educational support for Nebraska
college students was at stake recently
when NebHELP - Nebraska Higher
Education Loan Program Inc. -
switched from for-profit to nonprofit.
Concerns that the transition last
year was done largely behind closed
doors and with little public scrutiny is
what brought representatives from a
national consumer group to Lincoln
Patrick Gardner, coordinator of the
Educational Assets Project for the
Consumers Union in San Francisco,
was in town to increase awareness about
funds available for student financial aid
through an educational foundation cre
ated with the $100 million.
“We are trying hard to get the public
interested in their own community,” he
said. “We’re trying to open the door that
you all walk through.”
Gardner met with representatives
from social and educational groups-*
Tuesday at the Nebraska Appleseed
Center. Today he will meet with state
officials, the Attorney General’s staff
and UNL Vice Chancellor for Student
Affairs James Griesen.
NebHELP, which buys and sells
student loans, has actual assets of about
$100 million. This money was accrued
during die last 20 years through issuing
tax-free bonds. The $100 million was
used to create the Foundation for
The FEF partially funds three stu
dent-loan help centers statewide, one of
which is at 13* and O streets. It also has
given out $500,000 in need-based
Gardner said the FEF was created
with taxpayer money and therefore the
^public should be involved in determin
ing its mission. Insufficient public input "
has gone into the foundation, he said.
“When you have a nonprofit, you
Please see AID on 6
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