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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 1, 2001)
Federal reserve reduces interest rates
■The Bush administration is using the
spreading economic weakness to sell
Congress on its $1.6 trillion tax cut.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON-The Federal Reserve,
pledging a “rapid and forceful” response to
the economy’s dramatic slowdown, cut
interest rates on Wednesday by another
half percentage point
It was the second rate reduction in
January and was viewed as a strong signal
the central bank plans to move as aggres
sively as it can to fight the growing threat of
The widely expected rate cut drew a far
more muted response on Wall Street than
the Federal Reserve surprise announce
ment of its first half-point reduction on Jan.
3. That move had triggered die biggest one
day rally in Nasdaq’s history.
On Wednesday, the Dow Jones indus
trial average ended the day up just 6.16 at
10,887.36 while the Nasdaq fell by 65.62 to
2,772.73, a reaction analysts attributed to
The Federal Reserve said it was lower
ing its target for the federal funds rate, the
interest that banks charge each other, to 5.5
percent. It had been at 6.5 percent at the
beginning of this month, reflecting six rate
increases from June 1999 to May 2000 as
the central bank pushed rates higher to
slow growth and combat inflation.
The two half-point cuts marked the
first time in Federal Reserve chairman Alan
Greenspan's 13-year tenure that the central
bank has reduced the funds rate by a full
percentage point in a single month.
The Federal Reserve’s action meant a
further drop in borrowing costs for mil
lions of Americans as commercial banks
immediately announced reductions in
their prime lending rate, the benchmark
for many business and consumer loans, by
one-half point to 8.5 percent
The Federal Reserve statement cited a
long litany of economic troubles that had
caused it to act
“Consumer and business confidence
has eroded further, exacerbated by rising
energy costs that continue to drain con
sumer purchasing power and press on
business profit margins,” the Federal
Reserve said in its statement. “Taken
together, and with inflation contained,
these circumstances have called for a rapid
and forceful response of monetary policy.”
Analysts viewed the back-to-back half
point reductions and the Federal Reserve’s
strong language as a clear signal more rate
cuts are coming.
“The Fed is telling us that they are going
to do whatever they possibly can to keep us
out of a recession,” said Martin Regalia,
chief economist at the U.S. Chamber of
The Federal Reserve’s action came after
the government reported Wednesday that
economic growth slowed to just 1.4 per
cent at an annual rate in the final three
months of2000, the weakest increase in the
gross domestic product in more than five
Greenspan had told Congress last week
that growth in the current quarter could be
“very close to zero.” He said whether the
economy averts a full-blown recession
would determined by how much worried
consumers cut back on spending.
The Conference Board on Tuesday said
that its closely followed consumer confi
dence index fell for a fourth straight month
in January, dropping by the largest amount
in four years.
Allen Sinai, chief economist at
Decision Economics in New York, said fac
tors such as how much businesses cut back
on production and the impact of the
California energy crisis will determine
whether the GDP turns negative in the first
quarter. He said he was currently forecast
ing a 0.5 percent growth rate.
“For sure, we are going to have a reces
sion-like environment. That is already
here,” Sinai said. "The hope is that this
aggressive easing of monetary policy will
limit any downturn and shorten its length.”
The Bush administration has used the
spreading economic weakness to sell
Congress on the need to act quickly on its
$1.6 trillion tax cut. President Bush told
reporters Tuesday that he would refrain
from any further direct comments on fed
eral reserve action in order to respect the
central bank’s independence.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON - President Bush pledged
Wednesday to keep pressure on Libya to admit
responsibility for die 1988 terrorist bombing aboard
Pan Am Flight 103 and compensate survivors of those
who were tilled
“Nothing can change the suffering and loss of this
terrible act, but I hope die families do find some sol
ace that a guilty verdict was rendered,” Bush said
A Scottish court on Wednesday convicted a
Libyan intelligence officer of murder in the bombing
that killed 270 people. The court sentenced Abdel
Basset Ali al-Megrahi, 48, to a minimum of 20 years in
prison. Al-Megrahi maintained his innocence, an
indication he will appeal.
A second Libyan, Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, was
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher
told reporters Wednesday that al-Megrahi was a high
ranking agent of Libya’s Jamahiriya security organiza
"The verdict established quite dearly die person
al responsibility of an individual who is a Libyan gov
ernment security service agent The Libyan govern
ment as a whole, therefore, bears responsibility for
the actions that were taken," he said
Libya’s U.N. ambassador said his government
respects the verdict but denies it was involved in the
crime. Ambassador Abuzed Omar Dorda said Libya
would honor any financial penalties assessed as the
result of civil action in Scottish courts.
But he said the government had been cleared of
any link to the crime when prosecutors dropped con
spiracy charges against the defendants.
President Bush earlier Wednesday said, "I want to
' assure the families and victims the United States gov
ernment will continue to pressure Libya to accept
responsibility for this act and to compensate the fam
The families called for Bush to support U.N. sanc
tions, which have been suspended, and to support
their pending lawsuits against Libya and Libyan
leader Moammar Gadhafi.
Partly cloudy Partly cloudy
high 22, low 7 high 35, low 26
Editor Sarah Baker
Managing Editor Bradley Davis
Associate News Editor Kimberly Sweet
Assignment Editor Jill Zeman
Opinion Editor Jake Glazeski
Sports Editor Matthew Hansen
Assistant Sports Editor David Diehl
Arts Editor Samuel McKewon
Copy Desk Chief: Danell McCoy
Copy Desk Chief: Jeff Bloom
Art Director. Melanie Falk
Art Director Delan Lonowski
Photo Chief. Scott McClurg
Design Coordinator Bradley Davis
Design Coordinator Samuel McKewon
Web Editor Gregg Stems
Assistant Web Editor Tanner Graham
General Manager Daniel Shattil
Publications Board Russell Willbanks
Professional Adviser Don Walton
Advertising Manager NickPartsch
Assistant Ad Manager Nicole Woita
Classified Ad Manager Nikki Bruner
Circulation Manager Imtiyaz Khan
Fax number (402) 472-1761
Work) Wide Web: www.dailyneb.com
The Daily Nebraskan (USPS144-080) is published by
the UNL Publications Board,20 Nebraska Union, 1400 R St,
Lincoln, NE 68588-0448, Monday through Friday during the
academic year; weekly during the summer sessions.The
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Readers are encouraged to submit story ideas and
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ALL MATERIAL COPYRIGHT 2001
THE DAILY NEBRASKAN
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Skier convicted for recklessness
■The California man was found
guilty of negligent homicide and
sentenced to 90 days in jail.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
EAGLE, Colo. - A skier was sen
tenced to 90 days in jail Wednesday for
a deadly collision on the slopes at Vail
four years ago, which prompted a
crackdown on reckless siding.
Nathan Hall, 21, who was convict
ed of negligent homicide, wept in
court as he apologized to the family of
Alan Cobb, the 33-year-old Denver
man who was killed in the collision.
“I stand before you guys knowing
I’ve taken a human Me, a Me obviously
very special and valued by a lot of peo
ple,” said Hall, who stopped several
times to compose himself. “I in no way
feel I’ve suffered even a small fraction
of what I’ve put you guys through.
"Now that I’ve had a chance to
explain my feelings and express my
apologies. I feel like I can finally start a
new beginning with my Me.”
Hall, who had faced up to six years
in prison, remained free on $15,000
Hall also must perform 240 hours
of public service - about a month’s
worth of eight-hour days - and is
barred from drinking alcohol and
recreational skiing as part of a proba
Hail’s lawyer promised to appeal,
saying the judge should have given
jurors the option of convicting his
client of a misdemeanor.
“I was absolutely appalled and
shocked at their decision to appeal,”
said Christi Neville, Cobb’s fiancee. “I
was very satisfied with the sentence of
90 days and probation, but their deci
sion to file an appeal negates every
thing they said today."
The case has been closely watched
by the ski industry. Ski safety experts
said Hall was the first person to be
convicted at trial of killing another
skier. In 1989, Texas skier Howard
Hidle hit and killed an 11-year-old girl
at Colorado’s Winter Park resort. Hidle,
who pleaded no contest to criminally
negligent homicide, later committed
Vail earlier settled a lawsuit by
Cobb’s family for about $300,000.
Hall had just ended his shift as a lift
operator and was heading down the
mountain when he struck Cobb on
April 20,1997. Hall, who was 18 at the
time, admitted he was skiing too fast
Hall, of Chico, Calif., said he
remembers losing control and trying
to regain it, but doesn't recall the colli
sion itself. He said it was an accident,
and criminal charges were unjust.
“I never had any intent or made a
conscious decision to endanger the
7 was absolutely appalled
and shocked at their
decision to appeal
life of another person,” he told
“Dateline NBC” for an interview aired
"If I was aware of those risks,
there’s no way I would have been ski
ing that fast.”
Two courts had thrown out the
case, but the Colorado Supreme Court
ordered it to trial. Hall was charged
with reckless manslaughter, which
carries up to 16 years in prison, but
jurors instead found him guilty of the
Cobb's death and the subsequent
deaths elsewhere of Michael Kennedy,
Sonny Bono and several other skiers
were followed by a crackdown on reck
less skiing at several major resorts.
There were 30 skiing or snow
boarding deaths last year compared
with 39 the year before.
“You’re surrounded by safety mes
sages al every single ski resort,” says
Jim Felton, a spokesman for
Breckenridge, the nation’s busiest
resort for two-straight years.
The Associated Press
Third-grader suspended for
using chicken finger as gun
JONESBORO - An 8-year-old
boy was suspended from school
for 3 days after pointing a breaded
chicken finger at a teacher and
saying, “Pow, pow, pow.”
The incident apparently vio
lated the Jonesboro School
District's zero-tolerance policy
against weapons. The boy was
suspended last week.
Kelli Kissinger, mother of first
grader Christopher, said she
believed die punishment was too
"I think a chicken strip is
something insignificant,” she
said. "It's just a piece of chicken.
How could you play like it's a
South Elementary principal
Dan Sullivan said he was prevent
ed by law from discussing
Sullivan said the school has
zero-tolerance rules because the
public wants them.
■ Washington, D.C.
New camouflage uniforms
modeled by Marine Corps
One year in the making, the
Marines are test-wearing a new
uniform with a computer
designed camouflage pattern that
has more brown tones to keep
troops better hidden pn the bat
Marine Corps Commandant
Gen. James L. Jones modeled a
version of the new uniform on a
trip to San Diego last week.
Marines at bases in
Twentynine Palms and Camp
Pendleton, Calif., and on the
island of Okinawa, Japan, have
begun wearing the new uniforms
to test several optional features
such as zip-off sleeves and Velcro
Capt. Pete Mitchell, a
spokesman at Marine Corps
headquarters in the Pentagon,
said the new camouflage pattern
will make Marines harder to spot
by the enemy while also distin
guishing Marines from members
of other services. There will be a
desert pattern and a woodland
The Marines also are testing a
new desert boot made of “rough
out” suede that requires no pol
HANPCUN from page 1
over to citizens who plan to hide
them can't possibly lead to safer
communities, he said.
“I don’t believe concealed
weapons are the answer,” he said
To holster their undercover
pistols, citizens would have to file
for a permit with the sheriff of the
county where they live.
When they apply, the candi
dates would have to show several
forms of identification, fork over
a set of fingerprints and prove
they are at least 21 years old The
paperwork would then shuffle to
the Nebraska State Patrol for
wuuam woods, a spokesman
for the Nebraska Council of
Sportsmen’s Clubs, said if the bill
passes, Nebraska would join the
ranks of 43 states that let citizens
carry concealed weapons.
Ron Grapes, a spokesman for
the Nebraska Shooting School e
Association, said these other
states have been brave enough to
protect their citizens.
Police officers can enforce
the law, but, he said, they can’t
guarantee the safety of every citi
zen because they are tremen
“They can't be every place all
of the time,” he said.
Steve Grabowski, a
spokesman for the Nebraska
Fraternal Order of Police, agreed
police can't be everywhere.
But, he said, tossing more
weapons into the mix, especially
if they are hidden, doesn’t
In fact, he said more weapons
jeopardize the safety of every per
son, including police officers.
All afternoon, proponents
and opponents clashed over
whether more guns can be
equated with greater safety.
Sen. Ernie Chambers of
Omaha wrapped up the attitudes
of the anti-concealed weapon
/ “I don’t believe in craziness,”
Meth lab busted, more may come I
BY CHARLIE KAUFFMAN
There’s one less methampheta
mine lab in Lincoln thanks to a tip that
came to Crime Stoppers this week.
But police say the fight to shut
down all the labs in Lincoln has just
A tip from the Crime Stoppers line
led police to a suspected metham
phetamine lab and its suspected oper
ator Wednesday morning.
The Lancaster County Narcotics
Task Force raided the suspected lab at
332 W. Rio Road at 3 a.m. Wednesday
Police arrested Robert Steven
Anderson, 36, who is accused of oper
ating the lab. Police anticipate more
arrests in the case.
“We are continuing to actively
investigate this case,” Lincoln Police
Chief Tom Casady said, "but this is just
the tip of the iceberg.”
Casady confirmed police did seize
meth and meth ingredients from the
lab, which he said was operational.
Casady said he didn’t know how much
of each were seized.
Police had been monitoring the
lab for months and finally had enough
information to apply for and serve a
search warrant early Wednesday
“Like many good criminal investi
gations, this one began with a tip to
Crime Stoppers,” Casady said.
“We need the public's help in pro
viding us with information.”
Casady encouraged the public to
call Crime Stoppers to report any ille
gal activity, pointing out that inform
ants are monetarily rewarded for tips
resulting in arrests.
Casady said this marks the third
such lab discovered in Lincoln this
year, with a fourth lab discovered just
outside the city limits.
Casady said there are probably
more meth labs in Lincoln that have
not yet been raided.
“The problem of methampheta
mine labs is here,” Casady said.
“We have been expecting meth
labs to pop up.”
Casady said meth labs are
extremely dangerous because of the
volatility of the ingredients - especial
ly anhydrous ammonia.
“Any time a meth lab is operating
inside a building, everyone inside the
building is in danger,” Casady said.
People with information about
suspected dru$labs or other criminal
activity can call Lincoln Crime
Stoppers at (402) 475-3600.
It's that time again:The tax man calls I
BY LAUREN ADAMS
A college student with extra money
is about as uncommon as predictable
weather in Nebraska.
Keeping your checking account out
of the red can be especially difficult this
time of year. Tliition bills, spring break
and that special Valentine’s Day gift all
compete for the last few dollars sitting
in your bank account.
Donating plasma, getting another
job or reducing spending aren't the only
options to get some cash.
Filing an income tax return could
actually get you some extra money.
Although most students have a neg
ative perception of taxes, they can be
done easily and bring financial benefits,
said Kim Norrie, a spokeswoman at the
Nebraska Department of Revenue.
Notonly could filing your income
tax get you some quick cash, but you
don't even have to leave home. The
Nebraska Department of Revenue has
three different tax programs that can be
done from the comfort of your resi
dence hall room, greek house or apart
The Nebraska TeleFile system allows
taxpayers to file income tax returns over
the phone. All the necessary informa
tion can be entered on the telephone
Eligible taxpayers will receive a
Nebraska TeleFile booklet in the mail
that contains all the necessary instruc
tions. Nome said the department sends
the booklet to all taxpayers who qualify
- anyone who filed taxes last year.
The Electronic Filing program can
be used to file both federal and state
income taxes. Forafeeofabout$10, tax
payers are guided through an online tax
return form. Because of the simple lay
out, no tax knowledge is necessary to fill
out the form. The returns are received
within six to ten days, Norrie said.
“The real benefit of filing your taxes
online is that you get the return faster,
and it’s all electronically done,” Norrie
Norrie said there is less than a 1 per
cent error rate when filing taxes online.
The Quicken Tax Freedom Project is
a free option for taxpayers who make
less than $25,000 a year. The Quicken
Project is the same as the Electronic
Filing, except it’s free. The Quicken Tax
Freedom Project can be accessed at
Students can get more information
on TeleFile and Electronic Filing at
Freshman pre-veterinary major
Laura Krause said even though it
sounded convenient, she felt she lacked
the knowledge to file taxes online.
Some students may feel more com
fortable hiring professionals to do their
Krause gets her taxes done by H&R
Deb Freese, a tax consultant at H&R
Block, said the biggest benefit of hiring a
professional is the guarantee they send
out with each return.
“We have a computer system that
will check the accuracy of each return,
and we know exactly when the IRS
receives the paperwork,” Freese said.
Not only is it accurate, she said, but
the tax consultants try to make the
process as simple as possible. .
“Students can call in and make an
appointment to come in and discuss
their situation with a consultant," she
Freese recommended students wait
until after Feb. 10 to call for an appoint
“The last week of January and the
first two weeks of February are our
busiest times," said Freese.
It only takes about a half hour to get
all the information filed and sent out,
Freese said. The return may qualify in as
little as two to three days. An IRS check
will take approximately two to three
Freese advised students to begin
gathering records of expenses to bring
into an appointment. Freese said she
encouraged students to ask any ques
tions they may have. H&R Block repre
sentatives will answer questions for
“If a student has any questions
about their taxes, they can come in, and
we’ll be happy to answer them,” Freese
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