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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 16, 2001)
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In Opinion /4
NU defeats a ranked
opponent for the first
time in a long time
Kimball Hall once again
offers a healthy slate of
music over the semester
Despite opposition from several community
members, the NU Board of Regents voted unani
mously Saturday to approve the first phase of a 20
year traffic and floodwater plan that will reshape
the UNL campus and downtown Lincoln.
The regents’ approval makes it possible for the
Antelope Valley project to receive $49 million in
The plan was previously approved by the
Lincoln City Council and the Lower Platte South
Natural Resources District.
All three partners' consent
was necessary for the project to
receive the federal funding.
The plan will create a six-lane
road along 19th Street from K to Q
streets. The road will run east
between the Beadle Center and
Malone Center and come back
west along an expanded Antelope
Creek, diverting the bulk of traffic
around the University of
Nebraska-Lincoln’s City Campus.
Vine Street will be rerouted in
After Antelope Creek is
expanded, it will be able to better
To complete the project, the
city will need to buy homes,
which will displace families close
unl interim cnanceiior
Harvey Perlman said the university can benefit
greatly from the project.
Removing Vine Street from the heart of UNL’s
campus will make the university more aesthetic,
Hus, the university will be able to build on and
utilize land freed from the flood plain, he said.
The project also would create building oppor
tunities for businesses that want a location close to
the university, Perlman said.
But Barbara Morley of Lincoln said the plan was
flawed because it may not effectively stop floodwa
ters in and around campus.
Morely also said changing the road structure
around campus will not influence the decision of
prospective students to attend UNL.
“Students go elsewhere not because they have
to cross 16th and 17th streets,” she said.
“This plan is both misguided in logic and in
Several citizens expressed disdain over the pro
posed project, but Regent Charles Wilson of
Lincoln said the board needed to focus only on the
“Even though there are legitimate questions, a
number of concerns are not under our control,”
Wilson said. f
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the recent series in the Omaha World-Herald,
“UNL: Confronting Mediocrity.”
NU President Dennis Smith said while the
essence of the stories is factually correct, he object
ed to the headlines and graphics that accompanied
"UNL is not a mediocre university," Smith said,
“UNL is a very good university that could be bet
Perlman agreed with Smith, and said he was
pleased the series recognized UNL’s advances in
die past few years.
For example, the freshman learning experience
task force was formed, which helped promote
freshman learning communities. The Honors
Program also has been strengthened.
Research at UNL also has flourished, with fed
eral funding increasing each year, he said.
Despite these advancements, UNL was placed
in the third tier of universities by the U.S. News and
Please see REGENTS on 5
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High school and college students arrive at the State Capitol Monday carrying banners recognizing Martin Luther King Jr.The students marched from the
Culture Center, 14th and R streets, to the Capitol to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
■ Speaker Rev.Thomas asked
church-goers to continue to
strive for the dream.
BY UNDSEY BAKER
UNL political science pro
fessor Michael Combs leads a
double life of sorts, some say.
Teaching political science by
day and the “word of God" at
night, Combs serves as not only
a university professor, but also
as pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist
Church, 3301N. 56th St.
Combs’ duties as pastor
include giving sermons, visiting
the sick and working with youth.
“It requires a person who is
dedicated and devoted,” he
That dedication and devo
tion carried over to Mt. Zion’s
special Martin Luther King Jr.
- “I am always reminded that
every individual is special and a
unique person worthy of
Please see CHURCH on 6
Margarette Smith, a Lincoln resident, walks past Bennett
Martin Library, 14th and N streets, Monday afternoon.
BY LINDSEY BAKER
Hands of all races joined
together to the swelling of joyful
music in the Nebraska Union at
Monday afternoon’s Martin
Luther King Jr. celebration
“Continuing the Civil Rights
Movement for All.”
Audience members - both
university students and Lincoln
community members - con
cluded the day’s events with a
rendition of “Reach Out and
Touch Somebody's Hand,” sung
by Lincoln Northeast High
School’s Voices 'N' Harmony.
“(King’s) dream has not
come to fruition,” said Charles
H. Bowling, the director of
Voices ’N’ Harmony. He encour
aged people to step outside of
their comfort zone and talk to
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That sentiment was the
message of the day. Students
and community residents felt a
sense of togetherness through
out the morning and afternoon
events, which included renew
ing UNL’s partnership with
University, a historically black
college, and the presentation of
the chancellor's “Fulfilling the
“I think they did a really
good job celebrating the day
and what it means, bringing
everybody together, no matter
what color or what religion or
who they are,” senior horticul
ture major Dusti Duffy said.
Assistant Director of Student
Involvement and Martin Luther
King Jr., Day Committee co
chairwoman Karen Wills said
she was pleased with the
turnout for the events.
Around 150 people attended
the morning events, she said,
and close to 600 meal tickets
were handed out in the after
Reeling me positive energy
was amazing,” Wills said.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Committee co-chairman Robert
Hicks said he hoped everyone
who attended were moved to
carry on King’s dream.
“The goal of the program
was (for people) to come and get
a true meaning of what Martin
Luther King stood for, and hope
fully to Carry out in their daily
lives the things that he hoped
and died for,” Hicks said.
“It’s not just for one day.
Please remember in your hearts
what we’re here for.”
“Fulfilling the Dream”
award-winner Paulette Jones,
who has served on more than 40
organizations since moving to
Lincoln in 1979, emphasized the
importance of living King’s
dream through giving back to
“Martin Luther King gave his
life,” she said. “I watched my
mother give back to the com
munity in the projects of
Please see KING on 6
Attorneys take dispute of settlement in Brandon case to state's high court
BY CHARLIE KAUFFMAN
Attorneys representing Joann
Brandon and Richardson County
argued in the Nebraska State Supreme
Court Friday over the settlement result
ing from the wrongful death of
Brandon's daughter Teena, whose
December 1993 rape and murder
formed the story for the movie “Boys
Herbert Friedman, who represents
Brandon, alleged that then-sheriff
Charles Laux did not act quickly
enough to stop Brandon’s murder after
her initial rape.
"(Laux) knew these people were
brutal, he knew they were vicious,"
Friedman said. “Instead of the long arm
of the law assisting her, what they
ended up doing was brutalizing her all
\ Brandon, who was born a woman,
lived as a man under the name Brandon
Teena and moved to Falls City in 1993.
Shortly after Brandon’s true sexual
identity became known, she was raped
by Thomas Nissen and John Lotter, both
of Falls City.
Despite threats made by Lotter and
Nissen, who told Brandon they would
kill her if she told anyone about the
rape, Brandon notified Sheriff Laux,
naming her attackers.
According to Friedman, Laux not
only notified Lotter and Nissen, but
failed to arrest them after the rape,
allowing them to find and murder
Brandon several days later.
In 1995, both men were convicted of
first-degree murder. Nissen was subse
quently sentenced to three consecutive
life sentences, and Lotter was sen
tenced to death.
Richard Boucher, who represents
Richardson County, argued that the
investigation could not have proceeded
any faster and that Brandon was not
entirely compliant with the authorities.
“How can you protect someone who
doesn’t want your protection?" Boucher
said. “She was not completely candid
concerning the events of that night.”
Boucher said Brandon indicated
she was headed for Lincoln, so the sher
iff’s department concluded that the ele
ment of immediate danger was with
drawn, although Brandon never went to
Boucher pointed out that no federal
statute exists requiring law enforce
ment officials to make an arrest based
on probable cause.
Boucher also said Laux made suffi
cient efforts to help Brandon after the
“The first night of the interview, he
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