The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 09, 1999, Image 1

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    i SPORTS
a) The king and the Duke
^ All the players on the Duke basketball team can
jump, run and shoot, making them the prohibitive
J favorites for the NCAA Tournament. PAGE 7
American renaissance
Visiting instructor Linda Anfuso is spreading her
message of Native American heritage through art
and serious lectures. PAGE 9
March 9, 1999
The Worst Is Over
Partly cloudy, high 40. Cloudy tonight, low 25.
Hopkins receives 20-year jail sentence
What my client
did was not
manslaughter. It was
first-degree murder”
Scott Helvie
Hopkins’ lawyer
By Josh Funk
Senior staff writer
The man who confessed to the 1995 murder
of a Lincoln teen-ager received the maximum
sentence for manslaughter Monday as part of a
plea agreement.
Timothy Hopkins w'as sentenced to 20 years
in prison for manslaughter for the murder of 17
year-old Michael Schmader.
On Oct. 18, 1995, Schmader was brutally
beaten and stabbed to death in an Antelope
Creek storm-drainage tunnel under 48th Street.
Schmader’s body went undiscovered until
Dec. 22,1995, when two other teen-agers found
Hopkins, 20, will serve the manslaughter
sentence consecutively with a 15-to-20-year
sentence handed down in December for the use
of a weapon to commit a felony.
Under Nebraska law, Hopkins must serve
half of both his sentences before he is eligible
for parole. With good behavior and time served,
Hopkins could be paroled in approximately 16
Last week, Hopkins was the state’s main
witness in the murder trial of Tony Galligo, 19,
who Hopkins claimed was an accomplice in the
But Galligo’s jury apparently did not
believe Hopkins’ testimony. Galligo was
acquitted Thursday after he testified that he was
a witness - not an accomplice - to the murder.
During the trial, both Hopkins and his
lawyer, Scott Helvie, said Hopkins was guilty
of first-degree murder.
“What my client did was not manslaughter,”
Helvie said. “It was first-degree murder.”
Please see HOPKINS on 2
Slip-sliding away
TAYLOR MUNDERLOH, 7, prepares to sled down the hill on the east side of Fredstrom Elementary School on Monday afternoon. All area
public schools were closed because of a snowstorm early in the day.
Vrtiska presses for funding Peru State
■ The Table Rock senator
sponsoring LB650 wants
$6 million to brace the college.
By Jessica Fargen
Senior staff writer
Sen. Floyd Vrtiska is getting used to par
ents of prospective college students stopping
him at football games or calling him with the
big question: Is Peru State College going to
LB650, heard by the Appropriations
Committee on Monday, would give the Table
Rock senator more confidence when he tells
those people that if they send their children to
Peru, it will still be there four years later.
Repeated debate about closing the 133
year-old college has taken a toll on recruitment
and retention, said Vrtiska, who is sponsoring
LB650, which would appropriate about $6 mil
lion for renovations at Peru.
“When you have that concern hanging out
there all the time, it makes it difficult,” Vrtiska
Twenty-five senators have signed onto the
bill, and Gov. Mike Johanns has put money for
Peru in his budget.
A 1998 Coordinating Commission for
Postsecondary Education report recommended
limited renovations to Peru in lieu of closing or
moving it. But the report also stated that Peru
had to do something about its 47 percent fresh
man retention rate and about a dozen other
depressing statistics.
Committee members said they wanted con
crete information on how Peru expected to cor
rect its problem areas and meet yet-to-be set
benchmarks recommended by the commission.
“I’m only willing to make these invest
ments if we have firm, definable benchmarks,”
said Omaha Sen. Pam Brown, who signed onto
the bill.
David Powers, with the Coordinating
Commission, said timelines for the bench
marks should be set by April 1. Those timelines
could then be relayed to the Appropriations
Committee, he said, before the final state bud
get is set.
If the Legislature is going to stand behind
the report, some committee members also
wanted more commitment from the communi
Please see PERU on 2
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to tenacity
Honors students make a point
of increasing scholarly success
Editor's note: This is the first in a three-part senes
that will take an in-depth look at the University of
Nebraska-Lincoln Honors Program.
Senior staff writer
Last fall, more than 1,350 potential UNL students
were identified as the cream of the crop of their high
school graduating classes.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Office of
Admissions then began extensive recruiting efforts
hoping to persuade some of those students to apply for
the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Honors Program.
As of last week, the admissions office received
more than 850 applications requesting admission to the
About 65 percent of those students will be admitted
to the program. To stay within the program's budget,
about 400 of those admitted will be allowed to enroll.
“It's a difficult and lengthy process,” said Kristine
Stelzer, assistant director for honors recruitment. “We
want to give every applicant an equal opportunity to fur
ther their academic abilities.”
Stelzer, who has been recruiting honors program
students for the past three years, said the demand to be
in the honors program was 20 percent higher than last
Honors Program Director Patrice Berger said the
increase stemmed from students seeking an intense
intellectual experience in a small university communi
ty, strong recruiting efforts and scholarship opportuni
ties.“There’s an expectation we must continue to pro
vide and uphold,” Berger said. “Our purpose is to pro
vide all of our talented students the opportunity to
engage in a rigorous education.”
Accepting the challenge
The university admissions office seeks to recruit
“students far and beyond the ordinary,” both in-state
and nationwide, Stelzer said.
“The honors program provides a challenging and
creative academic program for talented and highly
motivated students,” Stelzer said. “We are looking for
students who are ready to accept that challenge.”
Ryan Minert, a freshman computer engineering
major, said he applied to the program just for that rea
Please see HONORS on 2