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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 3, 2000)
■ The state scholarship
program benefits from
Col. Barney Oldfield.
By Veronica Daehn
A donation to Nebraska’s Dollars
for Scholars scholarship program
should help more students go on to a
higher education, members of the
Legislature said Thursday.
Lt. Gov. Dave Maurstad said a
donation by Col. Barney Oldfield
was the largest ever given to the pro
“This gift will impact countless
young people and their families,”
“Any parent can tell you of the
challenge of paying for a college edu
Maurstad, who has three children
in college now, said helping more
young people attend college would
help Nebraska’s economy.
^ This gift will impact countless young
people and their families.”
“The growth of Nebraska’s econ
omy is tied to our encouragement of
new business,” Maurstad said.
Students who attain a higher edu
cation are more likely to get involved
with and help in the success of busi
nesses, he said.
Two percent is the average unem
ployment rate in Nebraska, which
Maurstad said is one of the lowest in
the United States.
To keep that rate low, Nebraska’s
young people need to continue to
attend college, he said, and Oldfield’s
donation will help them do that.
Sen. Ardyce Bohlke of Hastings,
chairwoman of the Education
Committee, agreed that the new
scholarship would benefit the state’s
“I know we have quality higher
education programs here,” Bohlke
said. “But we may not have provided
the opportunities for all students to
'Commissioner of Education
Doug Christensen said the scholar
ship is a big deal for Nebraska.
“Our future bums brighter today,”
Christensen said. “Nobody gets to
where they are by themselves. We all
have a need and responsibility to give
Christensen said Oldfield was
giving back to the youth of Nebraska.
“This is a story about creating the
future by directing money to young
people,” he said.
Two arrested men could be
■ Two men, arrested after
failed Omaha robbery, are
suspected of other crimes.
By Michelle Starr
Authorities believe two men arrest
ed Wednesday might be responsible for
a string of robberies in the Midwest,
including one in Lincoln.
The arrests, one in Omaha and the
other in Missouri, came after
Wednesday’s near-fatal robbery at
Great Western Bank in Omaha, said
Omaha Police Sgt. Dan Cisar in a state
Lincoln Police Ofc. Katherine
Finnell said the two suspects, Gregory
Bernal, 41, and Bradley Allen
Simmons, 42, both from Kansas City,
Mo., could be responsible for about 16
Cisar said on Wednesday that at
about 10:40 a.m., Simmons entered the
bank, 4718 L St., in Omaha.
The suspect pointed his gun at off
duty Omaha Police Ofc. Jeff Holland,
who was working as a security guard at
the bank, and ordered him to handcuff
himself, Cisar said.
Holland, refusing to handcuff him
self, lunged at Simmons and disarmed
him, Cisar said. Bernal then entered the
bank, threatened to shoot Holland and
fired several times, Cisar said.
Two of the bullets hit Holland, one
in the chest and the other in the right leg,
A third wound was found on the
officer’s sternum, but it was unknown if
the wound was caused by a gunshot dur
ing the robbery, Cisar said.
Though Holland was wounded, he
overtook Bernal and forced him onto
the ground, but Simmons fled the scene
^ They were so bad I don ’/ ever want
them to see my name in print.”
witness to robbery attempt in Omaha
and drove away in a brown BMW, Cisar
A customer in the bank held Bemal
until other officers came onto the scene,
Cpl. Sheldon Lyon, public informa
tion officer for the Missouri State
Patrol, said after a high-speed pursuit,
Simmons was apprehended by troopers
on 1-29, 20 miles north of St. Joseph,
Troopers were notified of
Simmons’ whereabouts after a descrip
tion of the car was sent by Nebraska
State Patrol over the radio. A truck dri
ver heard the description and reported
seeing the car southbound in Atchison
County, Mo., Lyon said.
Troopers tried to stop the vehicle,
which led to a pursuit, Lyon said.
The pursuit eventually ended, and
Simmons was arrested without inci
dent. A loaded automatic gun was found
in the car, but it was jammed, Lyon said.
“Who knows what the outcome
would have been if he had a functioning
gun when we arrested him,” Lyon said.
The description of the men and the
car matches the description given of
suspects involved in a 12:30 p.m. rob
bery at Lincoln Federal Savings Bank
on Feb. 25, said Lincoln Police Chief
“We believe that these defendants
are also responsible for the robbery at
Lincoln Federal,” Casady said.
Two armed men walked into
Lincoln Federal Savings Bank, 7001 O
St., and demanded money, Finnell said.
They took an undisclosed amount
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of money and the surveillance video
and left in a tan or beige two-door sports
vehicle, Finnell said.
A witness and supervisor at the
bank said: “They were so bad I don’t
want them to ever see my name in
Though no one was hurt in the
Lincoln Federal robbery, everyone was
forced onto the ground by the armed
men, the witness said.
The witness, who has been through
other robberies, said the robbers knew
what they were doing, and the robbery
seemed to last forever.
The witness described the robbers
“They’re not the average little guy
that just wants some money,” the wit
The witness described the men as
demanding, shouting orders. The men
made everyone lie on the ground and
count backwards as the suspects left.
Larry Holmquist, spokesman for
the Federal Bureau of Investigation in
Omaha, said agents are still piecing
together information to determine if the
two men have been involved in any
other unsolved robberies.
He would not release any informa
tion about the agents’ findings.
Lyon said the suspects apprehended
on suspicion for the Great Western
Bank in Omaha look similar to pictures
from two robberies in St. Joseph, Mo.
Cisar said Bernal, who was arrested
in Omaha, is being held there on suspi
cion of robbery, two counts of use of a
deadly weapon to commit a felony and
attempted first-degree murder.
Holmquist said Simmons is being
held in Jackson County jail in Kansas
for a felony flight warrant. Simmons
had escaped from a Kansas correctional
facility, but Holmquist was not certain
what the charge was or which institution
was involved, he said.
Kansas authorities were not avail
able for comment.
Holmquist, the officer who was
shot during the robbery, was upgraded
from critical to serious condition
Thursday at St. Joseph’s North Hospital
He is expected to recover from his
High court stays
By Michelle Starr
The Nebraska Supreme Court
granted a stay of execution for
John Lotter on Thursday.
“I anticipated it being entered,
and I think that’s consistent with
past cases,” said Jerry Soucie,
Lotter’s attorney. “It’s what I
Assistant Attorney General
Kirk Brown agreed.
“The stay of execution was not
something we expected or request
ed,” Brown said. “The fact that it
was stayed doesn’t come as a sur
prise to us considering the case.”
In a surprise decision on Feb.
24, the high court scheduled April
26 as an execution date for Lotter,
but he is scheduled for a post-con
viction hearing in Richardson
County on May 2.
Both sides attorneys’ were
shocked when the date was set.
The Nebraska Supreme Court
ruled that because of the pending
hearing, Lotter’s execution date
should be stayed.
Lotter and Marvin Nissen
were convicted of the 1993 mur
ders of Teena Brandon, 21, Lisa i
Lambert, 24, and Philip DeVine,
22, in a rural farmhouse near
Nissen received life in prison,
and Lotter was sentenced to death
for the triple murder.
The highly publicized case has
been the focus of equal rights
groups and is the story behind the
1999 movie “Boys Don’t Cry.”
Prosecutors said Lotter and
Nissen killed Brandon, who was
living as a man at the time of her
death, because she was dating a
mutual woman friend of theirs.
Prosecutors said the murder
was committed because Brandon
told police Lotter raped her after it
was discovered that she was a
Soucie said Lotter’s post-con
viction hearing is what he is work
ing on now, but Lotter has other
Diversity scholar to speak
Students of the University of
Nebraska and faculty members are
welcome to listen to a speech given
by Ronald Takaki on Sunday night at
7:30 in the Nebraska Union
Takaki is a professor of ethnic
studies at the University of California
Berkeley and the nation’s preeminent
multicultural ism scholar, said Liz
Rodriguez, whb works in
This is Takaki’s first visit to UNL,
and he will examine the ethnic diver
sity of American society and present
a proposal suggesting the require
ment of a multicultural education for
UNL students in order to graduate, he
It is a program that already has
been implemented at the University
His speech “The Coming
Multicultural Millennium - Bringing
it Home to the UNL Community”
will focus on introducing a historical
view of the origins and importance of
the races that formed the American
society for the development of a non
Takaki said he believes that by the
year 2050 whites will be a minority in
the United States.
By facing national history, people
can guide themselves toward the
opening rather than the closing of the
American mind, he said.
Rodriguez, the organizer of the
event, said the reason for bringing
Takaki to UNL is to provide an
opportunity for Nebraska citizens to
learn about the transitions that are
happening in today’s society.
A sign language interpreter will
Law open house Saturday
The University of Nebraska
College of Law will hold its annual
open house March 4 from 8:30 a.m.
to 1 p.m. at Ross McCollum Hall on
UNL’s East Campus.
The program will provide infor
mation about preparing for law
school, the admission process and
career opportunities, said Glenda
Pierce, assistant dean of the law col
“It’s designed for both prospec
tive and admitted students and stu
dents who’ve applied,” Pierce said.
Open house guests will experi
ence a law school class, and current
students will share their law college
For more information, call (402)
472-2161. Reservations are recom
mended but not required.
Chili fest to be on Sunday
Collegiate and alumni members
of Kappa Delta Sorority will hold
their annual chili fest and collect
donations from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on
Sunday, at 405 University Terrace.
Eighty percent of the proceeds
will go to the Friendship Home, and
20 percent will go to the National
Committee for the Prevention of
Child Abuse for nationwide public
Junior communications studies
major Amy Knowlton, a member of
Kappa Delta, said last year more than
600 people came to the chili fest, and
$2,500 was raised.
Husker football players Julius
Jackson, Aaron Wills, Tony Ortiz,
Eric Johnson and Steve Warren will
be signing autographs at the door,
and four bands featured on “The
Dean’s Boys” soundtrack will be per
forming outside, weather permitting.
Knowlton said this year, the 20th
year of the chili fest, is the first in
which Huskers will be signing auto
“We just wanted to bring in more
community members, and (the
Husker team) appeals to the Lincoln
Tickets are $4 in advance, $5 at
the door for the all-you-can-eat event,
and chili, vegetarian chili, chicken
noodle soup and cinnamon rolls will
Disney recruiters to visit
Monday, students have a chance
to secure a summer internship at the
most famous theme park in the world.
More than 2,000 students from
colleges and universities nationwide
participate in the Walt Disney World
Recruiters are visiting Monday at
4 p.m. in the Nebraska Union to con
duct a presentation and interview stu
Students who participate in the
program live in company-sponsored
housing and participate in classes led
by Disney leaders in business
philosophies, leadership and other
They work in areas such as attrac
tions, merchandise, food and bever
age and transportation. They can pick
their areas of study based on their
majors and areas of interest and can
earn either a “Ducktorate” or a
Compiled by staff writer Iara
Luchiari and senior editor Diane
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