The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, November 23, 1999, Page 2, Image 2

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

    LES budget approved
The City Council voted 6-0
Monday to approve the Lincoln
Electric System’s budget after LES cut
$54,000 worth of billboard advertis
The council had decided to move
voting from Nov. 8 to Monday because
it questioned the LES advertising bud
get LES is a public utility.
“My problem has been the feel
good (ads) that don’t talk about what
LES does,” said Councilman Jonathan
Cook. “Overall, die LES board does a
fantastic job. I hate to see controversy.”
Council Chairwoman Coleen
Seng said a lot of people called the
City Council office about an LES
commercial they said was stereotypi
cal. It featured two women baking pies
during a storm for male LES workers.
Marilyn Borchardt, vice chair
woman of the LES administrative
board, said die commercial was taken
from a real-life situation.
The women had made the pies
because they were glad the power was
coming back on.
“I had no objection to OK’ing and
agreeing with that ad,” Borchardt said.
The commercial is no longer run
Council asked to examine
conservation area drainage
About eight Lancaster County
residents asked the council not to
approve a conservation area near S.W.
40th and West Van Dorn streets
because they were worried about
sewage drainage. '
“We’re requesting that the EPA get
involved,” said Jeanne Gaston, a
fourth-grade teacher at Belmont
Elementary Schools
The 82.5-acre area would be part
of a 50-home development by Long
View Estates Inc.
LongView Estates gets to build 20
more homes because it is setting aside
acreage for woodlands, prairie, open
space and wetlands, said Nicole
Fleck-Tooze, a Lincoln-Lancaster
County planner.
However, neighbors were worried
that sewage from the new homes
would overflow into the wetland area
if it rained a lot. They asked the coun
cil to drive out and look at the land.
“The soil does not perk,” Gaston
said. “It’s all clay; it doesn’t drain.”
Council members decided to
delay voting on the agreement until
Dec. 8.
Garage-hotel skywalks OK’d
When it is completed, visitors at
the Embassy Suites Hotel won’t have
to walk in the rain to a parking
The council voted 6-0 Monday to
approve an operating permit to build
two skywalks to two parking garages
from Embassy Suites. The permit is
between the city of Lincoln and John
Q. Hammons Revocable Trust, which
manages the Embassy Suites.
The two skywalks will go over
North 10th Street and North 11th
Street. They will cost $1.27 million
together, said Linda Hershberger,
parking manager for the city of
At the council meeting, Richard
Halvorsen of Lincoln told the council
he didn’t like the idea.
“I do not see why we should use
taxpayer money to pay for the sky
walk and the garage,” Halvorsen
Hershberger said the $1.27 mil
lion is coming from downtown rede
velopment bond money.
Compiled by staff writer Sarah
■ London
British minister to suspend
new province administration
LONDON (AP) - Seeking to
build Protestant support for the latest
compromise plan, Britain’s minister
for Northern Ireland pledged
Monday to suspend a new
Protestant-Catholic administration
for the province if the Irish
- Republican Army refuses to begin
Northern Ireland Secretary Peter
Mandelson appealed to the Ulster
Unionists, the major Protestant
party, to back leader David Trimble
in a crucial vote Saturday.
The vote will determine whether
plans mediated by American diplo
mat George Mitchell - to establish
the new provincial government next
week, and for the IRA to gradually
disarm in response - can proceed.
The Cabinet would include two
members of the IRA-linked Sinn
Fein party.
Mandelson said if the IRA didn’t
cooperate folly with a disarmament
commission, “the two governments,
British and Irish, will take the steps
necessary to cease immediately the
operation of foe institutions.”
■ Washington
Report shows decline
of crime in first half of 1999
reported crime showed an unusually
large 10 percent decline during the
first half of 1999, prompting one
expert to conclude that lawfulness is
becoming contagious.
Led by drops of 13 percent in
murders, 14 percent in burglaries
and 12 percent in auto thefts, the
FBI’s preliminary report released
Sunday extended the nationwide
crime decline to years.'
The report surprised experts
used to seeing single-digit declines
during the 1990s. The overall crime
figure had declined by only 5 per
cent, 4 percent and 3 percent in the
preceding three first-half-year
And criminologists said the lone
discordant note - a 1 percent rise in
murders among cities of more than a
million residents - did not foreshad
ow a future rise in crime, but rather
that there probably is some irre
ducible minimum level of crime.
■ Washington
Government proposes
aids to repetitive motion
Employers would have to correct
injury-causing workplace conditions
that require repetitive motion,
overexertion or awkward posture
under proposed regulations, the
Labor Department announced
The proposal would affect about
1.9 million work sites and more than
27 million workers. The department
estimated the cost to employers at
$4.2 billion a year.
Each year, 1.8 million workers
have musculoskeletal injuries relat
ed to ergonomic factors, and
600,000 people miss some work
because of them, according to the
Occupational Safety and Health
■ New York
Survey finds more teens
reject ‘drugs are cool’ notion
NEW YORK (AP) - The latest
survey from the Partnership for a
Drug-Free America finds that drug
use among teen-agers is leveling off,
with more teens rejecting the notion
that drugs are cool.
. “This trend means we have to
keep up our efforts,” said Barry
McCaffrey, director of the White
House drug control policy office.
“The teen-age notion that everyone
is doing drugs and that there must be
something wrong with me has to be
The 12th annual survey, released
Monday, shows that 40 percent of
teens questioned felt “really cool”
kids did not use drugs. By compari
son, 35 percent of those surveyed in
1998 agreed with that statement,
indicating more kids are turned off
by drugs now than before.
Among 13- to 15-year-olds, 8
percent believed marijuana smokers
were popular, down from 13 percent
last year and 17 percent in 1997, the
survey found.
■ Russia
Russian forces surround
Chechnya, continues bombs
(AP) - Russian forces are moving
steadily to encircle Chechnya’s capi
tal and believe civilians wifi encour
age Chechen militants to abandon
the city rather than wage an all-out
battle, Russia’s top army officer said
Russia pounded parts of
Chechnya from the air and ground,
with warplanes running about 50
combat missions in a 24-hour period,
the Interfax news agency said.
Fearful civilians kept up their exodus
from Chechnya.
So far, Russia’s march across
Chechnya, which began two months
ago, has not produced major battles
reminiscent of the 1994-96 war in
the breakaway territory. The out
gunned Chechens have regularly
retreated rather than confront the
larger and more heavily armed
Russian formations.
— " .— .. 1
Editor: Josh Funk
Managing Editor: Sarah Baker
Associate News Editor: Lindsay Young
Associate News Editor: Jessica Fargen
Opinion Editor: Mark Baldridge
- Sports Editor: Sam McKewon
A&E Editor: Liza Holtmeier
Copy Desk Chief: Diane Broderick
Photo Chief: Lane Hickenbottom
Design Chief: Melanie Falk
Art Director: Matt Haney
Web Editor: Gregg Steams
Asst Web Editor: Jennifer Walker
General Manager: Daniel Shattil
Publications Board Jessica Hofmann,
Chairwoman: (402)477-0527
Professional Adviser: Don Walton,
Advertising Manager: Nick Partsch,
Asst Ad Manager: Jamie Yeager
ClassHWid Ad Manager: Mary Johnson
Student arrested on f
sexual assault charge
From staff reports
University police arrested a 19
year-old male student Friday on a
sexual assault charge, University
Police Sgt. Mylo Bushing said.
The student, who lives in Cather
Residence Hall, was arrested on first
degree sexual assault charges for
being sexually involved with a 14
year-old girl he met over the Internet,
Bushing said.
“He’s charged with first-degree
sexual assault, but I think he’ll eqd up
getting charged with sexual assault
on a child,” Bushing said.
The student and the girl met on
the Internet, and the student invited
the girl to come to his residence hall
room. They watched television in the
room and eventually had consensual
sexual contact, Bushing said.
On a different occasion, the stu
dent picked up the girl at her home in
Lincoln around 2 or 3 a.m., took her
to his room and had sexual contaoL
again, Bushing said.
The girl’s mother found out about.
the sexual activity and called Lincoln
Police, who performed an initial
investigation before turning the case
over to University Police, Bushing):
“We don’t know the actual dates
that this happened,” Bushing said.
“It’s hard to get straightened out>
because we picked it up mid-stream
from LPD.”
Bushing said he thought the
events could have happened some
time last month, but the belated
reporting of the event makes the sex
ual contact hard to prove.
“It’s kind of a he-said-she-said
type of thing because we have no
physical evidence,” he said. “Once
we have more time to sort things out,
we’ll have a better understanding of
what went on.”
3-year-old fires gun;
no injuries sustained
A 3-year-old boy discharged a
handgun at his baby sitter’s home on
Sunday, Ofc. Katherine Finnell said.
Police were called to 3635
Cleveland St. at 7:25 p.m. to investi
gate the circumstances surrounding
the gunshot. The bullet lodged in the
The boy’s mother left him at a
house of two 22-year-old adults while
she went to work, police said.
While the boy and the adults were
watching television, the boy stood up,
and the adults assumed he was going
to the bathroom, Finnell said.
Instead, the boy went into a bed
room and found a loaded gun on the
The boy picked up the Colt .380
semi-automatic handgun and fired
the shot, Finnell said.
The slide of the gun pinched and
tore the boy’s finger. The adults took
him to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, where
the boy was treated and released.
No tickets were issued, but the
case is being forwarded to the county
attorney for further review, Finnell
Young girl taken to hospital,
treated for drugs in system
An 18-month-old girl was taken
to BryanLGH West by her mother on
Saturday night because she had lost
control of her muscles.
Initial testing revealed that the
child had cocaine and benzodiazap
ine in her system, Finnell said.
No arrests have been made, but
the mother of the child has been
cooperating to help Lincoln Police
determine how the child ingested
drugs, Finnell said.
The mother indicated that the
child had been at a baby sitter’s resi
dence earlier in the day and may have
found the drugs in a closet, Finnell
The child was taken into protec
tive custody by the state. As of
Monday afternoon, the girl’s condi
tion was unknown.
Intoxicated student found v
by police in Sandoz lot
University police were called to
the northwest corner of the Sandoz
Residence Hall parking lot at 6:40
a.m. on Saturday to attend to an
intoxicated student, University Police
Sgt. Mylo Bushing said.
A community service officer
reported an unconscious person sit
ting in a car in the lot. When police
arrived, the student was conscious,
and his car smelled heavily of alco
hol, Bushing said.
The student said he had been
drinking beer all night, and he wanted
to see his girlfriend, who lived in
The student lost his balance and
had slowed speech, police said, so Ik
was taken to the detoxification cen
ter, where his blood alcohol level was
found to be .145.
Compiled by staff writer Dane
Texas universities
honor accident victims
• ' /
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The usual
pre-Thanksgiving frenzy of school spir
it and football mania that sweeps the
University of Texas was put aside
Monday as the mourning continued for
foe 12 people killed in foe bonfire col
lapse at archrival Texas A&M.
Across Texas, thousands of mourn
ers crowded into one church after anoth
er, many wearing the maroon-and
white colors of the Aggies, to bid
farewell to five of those who died.
At UT, a candlelight vigil Monday
night took foe place of the annual “hex
rally,” when Longhorns traditionally put
a curse on the Aggies’ football team
before the annual day-after
Thanksgiving game.
* Traditions were put on hold at Texas
A&M, too. Officials postponed today’s
annual Elephant Walk - when seniors
turn over school-spint leadership duties
to juniors in a slow, symbolic walk
around campus - to Nov. 30.
In the Fort Worth suburb <ff
Watauga, about 2,200 people gathered
at Harvest Baptist Church to mourp
Chad Anthony Powell, 19, a high school
valedictorian and Eagle Scout who^
casket was draped with a Texas A&M
“I personally believe that God was
looking for a leader, and after searching
far and wide, he found Chad,” said,
Cody Austin, among 100 uniformed
Boy Scouts.
In Carrollton, outside Dallas, more
than 1,100 people overflowed St.
Catherine of Siena Catholic Church to
mourn 19-year-old Michael Stephen
Ebanks, whose desire to attend the uni
versity was magnified after his older
brother, a Texas A&M graduate, died in
a traffic accident in 1994.