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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 11, 2000)
Bill would help parents
with child-raising tips
■ The packet would
include tips such as fun
activities and good books.
By Veronica Daehn
Omaha Sen. Deb Suttle said she
knew nothing about child care when
she had her first baby.
She made it through, of course,
but told members of die Health and
Human Services Committee ?n
Thursday that she wanted to make it
‘easier on future parents of Nebraska
Suttle’s bill, LB 1139, would
authorize the Department of
^Education and the Department of
Health and Human Services to devel
op a packet called “Learning Begins
The packet would include materi
al on how to rear a child.
“These things are so important
for parents to know,” Suttle said.
Included in the packet would be a
list of activities parents can do with
their children, a list of enjoyable chil
dren’s books, information about
brain research and healthy develop
ment, information on how to get a
library card and information about
childhood diseases and immuniza
•• Advertising is a good thing when it
helps to pay for something good.”
Information about the effects of
secondhand smoke on children and
what child care is available would
also be included.
Starting in January 2001, the
packet would be given to every
Nebraska resident who has a baby.
Suttle said she got the idea for the
packets from a program started in
Michigan in 1998.
Michigan spends $9.25 on each
packet it produces, Suttle said, and it
distributes 20,000 packets a month.
Nebraska only has 23,533 births
a year, she said. So the number of
packets distributed would be much
In creating the packets, the
departments could not endorse any
private companies or products, but
private companies could have their
materials advertised in the packet.
This would help cut the cost to the
state of the packets, Suttle said.
“Advertising is a good thing
when it helps pay for something
good,” she said.
David McBride, executive direc
tor of the Nebraska Optometric
Association, said he supports the bill
and urges the committee to add an
amendment that would add informa
tion on eye care to the packets.
“Of all the senses that are critical
to the development of a child, vision
is the most important,” McBride said.
“Eighty percent of learning
comes through the visual system.”
McBride said one of four sixth
graders has a vision deficiency that
can be corrected better the earlier it is
Suttle said the packets would be a
good resource for new parents.
“This would give people some
idea of what to expect,” she said.
“The only shortcoming is that you
can give people information, but it
doesn’t mean they’ll use it.”
By Lesley Owusu
The Student Alumni Association
is trying to ease the' cost of putting on
events for student organizations.
The Student Enhancement Fund is
money the Nebraska Alumni
Association has given to the Student
Alumni Association to be distributed
and used to enhance student life on
campus, primarily through student
An annual $25,000 is available to
student organizations, and individual
student groups can receive up to
Shelley Zaborowski, director of
student programs, said: “It is often dif
ficult for students to find funds for
holding events. The Student
Enhancement Fund is simply an outlet
available to students to help them.”
The purpose of the fund is to pro
vide opportunities for interesting stu
dent programs that meet certain crite
ria; the activities should create a
greater harmony on campus among
diverse groups, enhance campus life
for students in a meaningful way and
create a greater understanding of the
Students who feel their organiza
tions can meet this requirement are
encouraged to apply.
Jim Cahow, the Student
Enhancement Fund Committee
Chairman, said: “This fund is an
excellent program for students, and
students need to be aware of what is
available to them”
Student groups who have benefit
ed from this fund include ASUN,
UNITE, Indian Student Association,
Student Involvement, NU on Wheels,
Malaysian Student Association and
ASUN President Andy
Schuerman said the enhancement
fund has many benefits.
“This fund gives students opportu
nities to hold events and to enhance
the campus community,” he said.
Applications are reviewed by the
Student Alumni Association Student
Alumni Committee once a month.
Student groups must submit a
written proposal and give a presenta
tion to the committee providing a
detailed description of the goals of
their program and activities.
Applications are reviewed, and
selected groups are expected to report
to the committee upon completion of
Zaborowski encourages all groups
to seek assistance.
“We sincerely hope to help stu
dents and achieve our goals with the
fund,” she said.
Deadlines for applications are
March 23 and April 6 and may be
turned in to the Wick Alumni
Drive by damages doors
A drive-by shooting left a metal
framed door damaged Thursday
The 3:40 a.m. shooting damaged
a metal door at J-Mart, 501 W. A St.
The business was closed, and no one
was injured, Lincoln Police Ofc.
Katherine Finnell said. Damages
Police were alerted to the shot
from an alarm system in the conve
nience store. Officers found a .40
caliber casing on A Street, Finnell
Police have no suspects, Finnell
Man arrested for theft by
A man was arrested in connection
with two instances of trying to swin
dle convenience store clerks on
Police said Archie Brown, 44,
2701 S. 14th St., and another man
allegedly went into two different
Kwik Shops, one at 3939 A St. and
another at 5600 Holdrege St., and
ordered $100 money orders at each
location. After the clerks told the men
they didn’t have enough to pay,
Brown said they would return with
more money, Finnell said.
Brown, who had already put the
$100 in his pocket, took out a differ
ent money order for $ 1 and handed it
to the clerks, Finnell said.
The clerks each believed it was
the $ 100 money order.
By the time the clerks discoverec
the envelopes contained $1 mone)
orders, Brown had left with $ 1OC
money orders, Finnell said.
Brown was arrested for twc
counts of theft by deception, Finnel
said. The second man has not beer
Compiled by staff writei
Here kitty, kitty:
Cats help students
CATS from page 1
everyday life. Using cats is a good way
to observe more familiar oiganisms.
Because students don’t have a lab in
the class, it gives them hands-on experi
ence, Osterman said. 1
The program has been highly suc
cessful, Christensen said, with nearly
100 percent of the students participat
ing in the extra-credit project
Once the results are in, the data are
tabulated and used for illustrations in
the population genetics section of the
In order to keep the data on the cat
population for the area accurate, the
professors instruct students to avoid
counting the same cat twice.
Christensen said he reviewed die sheets
students turned in to see if there were
Cats from outside the general
Nebraska and Iowa area are not includ
ed in the population data, either, he said,
though observing any cat will gamer
extra credit for students.
“I strongly encourage them to use
cats from Nebraska or nearby, but I
allow students to collect them from
anywhere,” Christensen said.
Students have chosen cats fromiall
over. Once a student even used her two
cats from Japan, he said.
All of the extra credit available is
given for collecting information on
only one cat, but a few students go cat
crazy and observe many more.
“The record is 31 cats, shattering
the old record of 15,” Christensen said.
The record is held by a student who
observed cats on her farm.
Osterman said the data can be used
to calculate the frequency and stability
of cats’ genotypes in the area’s popula
tion. Cat populations tend to be stable in
their characteristics, he said, so the
information can be used in a variety of
He said different frequencies of
color combinations have made it possi
ble to trace former trade routes in
Europe. In the United States, some of
the first settlers to travel through an area
have left their mark with cats.
In Nebraska, much of the cat popu
lation comes from trail travelers, he
“The typical barnyard cat probably
has ancestors going back to the Oregon
Trail,” Osterman said.
Dana Novak, a sophomore bio
chemistry major currently enrolled in
Osterman’s class, said being able to
look at a cat’s fur to study its genes is a
good application of genetics.
“It relates to the next thing we’re
doing, because it will be about popula
tion genetics,” she said
Novak plans to go home to
Bellevue this weekend and look at her
two cats there.
“It’s easy,” she said. “It’s definitely
worth the 10 points.”
Christensen said he has submitted a
paper on the project titled “Cats as an
Aid to Teaching Genetics” to the jour
nal Genetics. He has not heard back
from the journal, but he is optimistic.
“I think it’s kind of a novel idea, and
I’m hoping to get the paper published”
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