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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 13, 2000)
Fire mins borne of vacationing family
By Michelle Starr
Lincoln firefighters continued
Wednesday to check the rubble of atwo
story house for signs of hot spots. The
house caught on fire Tuesday morning.
“It’s only a pile of ashes,” said fire
fighter Ron Trouba when he helped
inspect the area Wednesday afternoon.
The fire rekindled about 11 p.m.
Tuesday night, Trouba said.
The fire at 522 W. Lakeshore Drive,
in Capitol F each, caused an estimated
$315,000 damage to the structure and
The blaze, caused by a pinched elec
trical cord under a washing machine in
the laundry room, had burned for an
estimated five to 10 minutes before fee
fighters arrived on the scene, Trouba
The fire was so large, passing
motorists could see it from the inter
state, and they reported it to the fire
department, Trouba said.
Luckily, Chad and Joleen Holthus
and two of their children were on vaca
tion in Colorado. Their youngest child
was sleeping at Chad Holthus’ mother’s
house down the street from the blaze.
The family was back by 4 p.m.
Tuesday to inspect the damage. They are
now staying in a local Residence Inn.
The material loss was not the fami
ly’s first concern, said Chad Holthus’
mother, Joan Weeks.
“The thing that I admire about my
son and his wife was that their immedi
ate response was that the family was
OK, everything else was just stuff,”
When Weeks got to the fire, the fire
fighters had the blaze contained, she
— ELECTION 2000 —
13 senators endorse
Stenberg Senate run
■ State senator says the
Nebraska attorney general
does a ‘great job.’
Thirteen state senators announced
their support Wednesday for Nebraska
Attorney General Don Stenberg in his
2000 campaign for the U.S. Senate.
Stenberg is running for Democrat
Bob Kerrey’s seat.
The senators gathered around
Stenberg during a press conference to
voice their support for the candidate.
Stenberg, a Republican, said the
senators’ support was “another impor
tant step to victory in November.”
Stenberg said he was committed to
serving the state in the Senate and will
work hard to represent Nebraska val
Sen. Mark Quandahl of Omaha
“I think that Don Stenberg is doing
a great job as attorney general, and I
think he can continue that as a senator,”
Sen. Kerrey has not yet announced
whether he will run for re-election,
which has had a positive impact on
Stenberg’s campaign, Stenberg said.
“It has helped energize our cam
paign, and that momentum will not
slow down if Sen. Kerrey does run,” he
Other leaders who have announced
then support for Stenberg’s campaign
include Gov. Mike Johanns', Lt. Gov.
Dave Maurstad, Secretary of State
Scott Moore, State Treasurer David
Heineman and State Auditor Kate
Barrett looks forward
to coming retirement
By Veronica Daehn
After five terms in the U.S. House
of Representatives, Republican Bill
Barrett has decided to call it quits.
Nebraska’s third district representa
tive since 1991 announced in October
that he will not run for re-election in
Barrett said he was ready for a new
“I’ve decided that I’m at a point in
my life where I’d rather start my day
with ‘Good morning, Grandpa’ instead
of ‘Good morning, Congressman,’” he
said in a press release.
Barrett was elected to the House in
1990, but his political career began in
Early on, he was part of the
Republican State Executive Committee
and was chairman of the Nebraska
In 1973, he served on the
Republican National Committee, and
he joined the Nebraska State
Legislature in 1979.
He remained in the Unicameral
until 1990, when he decided to run for
After serving nine years in the
House, Barrett said it was hard to leave.
“Deciding it was time to retire from
public service has been one of the
toughest decisions I’ve made in a long,
long time,” Barrett said. “Thrvast
majority of my colleagues are the salt of
the earth, and they’re committed to
making our demociky work.”
Without the pressure of campaign
ing for re-election, Barrett said he
would have more time to focus on his
work in the House.
In his final term, he said he wanted
to look at education, rural health care,
Social Security, tax relief and farming,
Some of Barrett’s constituents were
unhappy with his decision not to return,
Charles Isom, Barrett’s press secretary,
“Some were disappointed, but there
was a lot of understanding,” Isom said.
“After years of service, he just felt it was
time to step down.”
Barrett said he is grateful to
Nebraskans for giving him the chance
to serve in what he calls the “greatest
political system on earth,” despite the
sometimes bumpy path representatives
“I learned that this is a gratifying
job, but hard, humbling, frustrating
work,” Barrett said “Still, being part of
it is a high privilege and honor.”
Isom said several candidates have
filed to run for the third district seat.
Republican candidates are: John
Gale, David Hergert, Dan Urwiller,
Kathy Wilmot and Carroll Scheldon.
Rollie Reynolds is the lone
Die filing deadline for incumbents
is Feb. 15, while others have until March
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Political Science Professor John Comer
said Barrett’s work would be missed
“He was a respected legislator and
did a lot for the state of Nebraska in
terms of his support for agriculture,”
“Whenever you have a member
resign, you lose his expertise, his con
tacts and his seniority. Nebraska will be
less represented in the short-run.”
“What I saw was them pumping
water into what would have been my
grandson’s room,” she said
Trouba said the fire was so large that
firefighters took a defensive attack,
which he referred to as “surround and
Trouba said that common errors
could have grave consequences when
dealing with electrical cords.
People should remember never to
leave after starting an electrical appli
ance, including dishwashers, washers
and dryers, Trouba said.
He also said over-use of extension
cords is dangerous; they should not be
used as permanent fixtures.
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