The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, September 28, 1999, Page 7, Image 7

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    UNL center prepares teachers
BARKLEY from page 1
One of the first steps in deaf
teacher preparation is learning sign
language. All graduate students in the
college are fluent in sign language,
creating a good atmosphere for deaf
students at the Barkley Center,
Ramsey said.
But there aren’t enough teachers
to fulfill the demand for American
sign language courses. Classes always
fill up quickly, and all interested stu
dents can’t enroll.
American sign language courses
are also offered in the summer, but
sometimes the class is canceled
because not enough students sign up,
Ramsey said.
Students gain valuable experience
interacting with children, but they
also learn to work with parents of deaf
children, Ramsey said.
- Parents often have difficulties
dealing with hearing impaired .-chil
dren, and one of the goals of the pro
gram is to turn out teachers who are
sympathetic to parents’ needs,
Ramsey said.
Students must fulfill all require
ments for the Teachers College to
obtain a degree in special education or
deaf education.
UNL’s teacher preparation pro
gram is approved by the Council on
Education of the Deaf, a national
accreditation organization, Ramsey
said.
Most students involved in the clin
ic and preschool are graduate stu
dents, said John Bemthal, director of
the Barkley Center.
Those students gain valuable
experience through classes and
hands-on experience, Bemthal said.
Part of this hands-on experience
includes research of children with
communication disorders.
Cynthia Cress, assistant professor
of Communication Disorders at UNL,
is the head of a research group that
studies early intervention of children
at risk of having a communication
disorder.
The early intervention program
targets children as young as 1 year
old. Students, under the supervision
of a faculty member, go into the
it
Students follow
communication
development and
learn the language
process”
Cynthia Cress
assistant professor
of Communication Disorders
child’s home to work directly with the
child, Cress said.
Students learn to recognize key
behavior that would indicate a com
munication disorder, Cress said. The
early intervention program prepares
students for work in schools and
health care, Cress said.
“Through early intervention, stu
dents follow communication develop
ment and learn the language process,”
Cress said.
Nebraska, neighboring states
involved in water rights case
WATER from page 1
water use by requiring permits for
wells.
“There is no control in
Nebraska,” she said. “No permits are
issued, no limits are in place, and
there is no reporting of amounts
pumped.”
Sitzman said there is no question
that groundwater use has affected the
flow of Frenchman Creek.
“In the ’60s, there just weren’t
irrigation wells,” she said.
Now, individual farmers have
drilled wells throughout the district.
Although the number of wells
skyrocketed during the 1970s,
Sitzman said the number of wells in
her district is not above average for
the region.
She said past drilling practices
may have contributed to the present
shortage of water but that current
irrigation is much more conserva
tion-conscious.
“There’s not a whole lot you can
do when you only have 5 inches of
water,” Sitzman said. “When you go
to these meetings, and they talk about
conservation, you’re like, ‘What are
you talking about?’ When you only
have 5 inches, you can’t waste a
drop.” *
- Sitzman said the well-water-sup-’
plied center-pivot irrigation systems
farmers in her district use are much
more efficient than traditional ditch
es.
Still, Sitzman said, groundwater
pumping leaves her irrigators in a
catch-22 situation.
The farmers can’t get enough
water from Enders Reservoir to war
rant shutting off their irrigation
wells.
And they can’t close off the ditch
es, which draw from Enders, because
the farmers could overuse their
wells.
So, farmers in her district pay
twice for their water - for the mainte
nance of both the wells and ditches
Sitzman said the ditches cost the
same amount of money whether one
or 20 inches of water are delivered.
Norman Thorson, a University of
Nebraska law professor, said the
Supreme Court’s opinion on whether
groundwater was intended to be part
of the Republican River Compact
will largely decide the case.
In his opinion, though, ground
water was not part of the agreement.
“There is very little evidence of
an intent to include groundwater or
even adequate knowledge of the rela
tionship between ground and surface
water at the time of the agreement,”
Thorson said.
“This may mean the states need
to sit down and re-examine the agree
ment under modem understanding of
hydrological relationships.”
Thorson said the case may go on
for years before anything is decided.
He said Nebraska vs. Wyoming,
another water rights case, has been in
the courts for 10 years.
In the meantime, Sitzman will
continue to do what she has for the
past 33 years: the best she can.
Enders Reservoir continues to
receive less and less water from
Frenchman Creek.
Sitzman said Enders is largely
spring-fed. This has protected her
district from droughts in the past but
now contributes to the district’s
woes.
66
There s not a whole
lot you can do when
you only have 5
inches of water’
Norma Sitzman
irrigation district manager
Less groundwater means less
water from the natural springs.
Oaklund said the Republican
River Compact is set up so a state is
in violation of the compact if it uses
too much water in any Republican
River sub-basin, such as Frenchman
Creek.
Ball named the Frenchman basin
as one of the most depleted sub
basins of the Republican River.
Compact compliance is mea
sured by calculating the available
water and then calculating the
amount of water used.
Oaklund said it was impossible to
tell whether a state was in violation
of the compact until after an irriga
tion season had been completed.
Ball said she did not know what
the economic impact of the loss of
water had on Kansas.
If the Supreme Court orders
Nebraska farmers to reduce pump
ing, the economic impact will be
immediate and measurable for farm
ers in Sitzman’s district.
“We can’t get by without both
(groundwater and ditches),” she said.
“It all works together.”
Senate takes on education funding
WASHINGTON (AP) - Priming
for year-end budget battles, Senate
Republicans and Democrats spent
Monday in a highly partisan debate
over the course and funding of
national education programs.
Republicans, using their majority,
prevailed in pushing through a non
binding resolution commending the
GOP-led Congress for reforming the
education system by giving states,
local schools and parents more flexi
bility and authority over their chil
dren’s education.
It passed on a party-line 51-42
vote.
Immediately afterward, a
Democratic resolution condemning
Republican budget writers for cutting
educational funding and stating that
more money should be spent to hire
and train new teachers went down,
52-41. A lone Democrat voted with
the Republicans, Sen. Robert Byrd of
West Virginia.
Democrats claim that the
Republicans cut education funding to
an unacceptable level while strug
gling to come up with a budget for the
fiscal year 2000 that meets strict
spending ceilings set in the 1997 bal
anced budget law.
The original GOP budget propos
al for fiscal 2000, which begins
Friday, reduced education by 17 per
cent from 1999 levels. The House
Appropriations subcommittee
responsible for that bill last week
agreed on a plan that would reduce
education by only 1 percent.
Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.,
said President Clinton is seeking a 3
percent increase in education. “It’s
wrong to cut education at all,”
Kennedy said. “We should be invest
ing more in education, not less.”
But Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., said
Republicans believe the president’s
education spending initiatives only
impose more federal mandates on how
schools can spend their money.
I N-Zone’s license extended
COUNCIL from page 1
he said.
In a phone interview, Lori Seibel,
director of the Community Health
Endowment, said the board will meet
at the state park Oct. 13 to choose
funding priorities in a more relaxed
environment.
“The public is welcome to attend,
(but) we didn’t feel there would be an
overwhelming desire,” she said.
Seibel said the board will have a
comment line, an open forum and a
Web site for Lincoln residents to talk
about the Oct. 13 funding decisions.
“We know this is public funds,
and we’re very strongly attuned to
that,” Seibel said.
The council also appointed
Kathleen Sellman as the new
City/County Planning director and
James E. Main, University of
Nebraska-Lincoln assistant vice
chancellor for business and finance,
to the StarTran Advisory Board.
Researchers: Enzyme
could aid cancer fight
WASHINGTON (AP) —
Researchers have found that blocking
production of an enzyme interferes
with the ability of many cancers to
reproduce, a step that could one day
lead to new treatments for the dis
ease.
In laboratory experiments, the
scientists prevented cancer cells from
producing the enzyme telomerase,
which helps the cells grow without
limit. That resulted in the cells stop
ping their reproduction and dying.
“We haven’t developed a chemi
cal, a therapeutic drug,” stressed Dr.
Robert Weinberg of the Whitehead
Institute for Biomedical Research in
Cambridge, Mass., a member of the
research group.
But, Weinberg said, the findings
being published in the October issue
of the journal Nature Medicine point
the way for pharmaceutical compa
nies to search for drugs that do the
same thing.
Dr. Jerry Shay of the University
of Texas Southwestern Medical
Center in Dallas called the report
“very dramatic proof of the principle
that inhibiting telomerase may in fact
lead to the death of cancer cells.”
Shay, a leading cancer researcher,
was not a member of Weinberg’s
research team.
In normal cells, structures called
telomeres protect the ends of the
DNA that codes the cell’s purpose.
Each time the cell reproduces, the
telomeres shrink slightly, until they
reach a critical length that stops the
cell from reproducing, and it dies.
Scientists have learned that 80
percent to 90 percent of cancer cells
have developed the ability to produce
the enzyme telomerase, which pro
tects the telomeres, allowing the cell
to keep reproducing indefinitely,
growing into a tumor.
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