The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 09, 2001, Page 2, Image 2

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    News Digest
on the rise
WASHINGTON—A colorful but complex demo
graphic portrait of America emerged Thursday from
the first official release of Census 2000 data as hun
dreds of thousands of people took advantage of the
opportunity to identify themselves as members of
more than one race.
The data, made available first to New Jersey,
Mississippi, Virginia and Wisconsin, also confirmed
forecasts of explosive growth in the Asian and
Hispanic population, especially in the biggest and
fastest-growing counties.
"We’re on our way to becoming a country literally
made up of every other nation in the world,” said
social scientist Kenneth Prewitt, former head of the
Census Bureau.
The figures documented trends long predicted,
depicting an increasingly diverse society as the new
century dawned. Among the revelations:
■ New Jersey saw its Asian population soar at least
77 percent in the past 10 years, from 270,839 in 1990 to
at least 480,276 in 2000.
■ The Hispanic population soared by 14 percent
in Virginia, to nearly 7.1 million. But that was dwarfed
by the Hispanic growth rate in Loudon County, Va., in
the outer suburbs of the nation’s capital. The number
of Hispanics there skyrocketed by 368 percent over
the decade, to 10,089.
■ In Wisconsin, Milwaukee County recorded a
slight 2 percent decrease in population from the 1990
headcount, 940,164. But it’s Hispanic population shot
up by 84 percent, to 82,406.
■ The black population in Mississippi, in the
Deep South, increased at least 13 percent, to a little
more than 1 million.
Direct comparisons of figures for 1990 and 2000
were impossible, however, because people previously
could choose from only five racial categories com
pared to 63 in the latest census.
State lawmakers will use the long-awaited data to
reshape congressional, state and local legislative dis
trict boundaries. The figures also will be used to redis
tribute over $185 billion a year in federal money
among states and communities.
Because of changes in federal guidelines for col
lecting statistics on race and ethnicity, Census 2000
was the first which allowed people to “mark one or
more races.”
The release of the figures to the four states
Thursday was the first in a series of reports for the var
ious states that the Census Bureau will make public
throughout March.
Figures for seven other states-Arkansas, Indiana,
Louisiana, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas and
Vermont - also were to be sent this week.
Tim Boyle/Newsmakers
The Rev. Jesse Jackson wipes his forehead during a news conference at Rainbow/PUSH headquarters Thursday in Chicago. Jackson, recently stung by a sex
scandal, defended his civil rights record and announced the release of some records of his finances.
IRS may audit Jackson's group
■ The civil rights leader says he's
done nothing wrong in accepting
donations to help his crusade.
CHICAGO — The Rev. Jesse Jackson
said Thursday there was nothing wrong
when friends and civil rights groups
profit from companies he had targeted
in his crusade to increase minority rep
resentation in business.
Jackson likened his pressure tactics -
from threat of boycott to protests of
mergers - to the bus boycotts and civil
rights marches of the 1960s. And he said
if his friends who were minority entre
preneurs benefit, it was all the better.
"If we can get these very7 able people
in, we’ll break down the barriers, and
that is our mission,” Jackson said. “Of
course they are friends, but that’s not the
basis of their getting business.”
Jackson held a news conference to
release financial records for the 1999 tax
year for two of his groups.
An internal audit lists corporations
that have given donations or grants,
including some who have made deals
with Jackson’s friends and family mem
bers. Their names had been kept private
in the past.
SBC and Ameritech, for example,
pledged $500,000 to Jackson-led groups
at a time when the companies were
seeking state and federal approval to
merge. Jackson initially opposed the
deal, then changed his position when
Ameritech agreed to sell part of its cellu
lar business to a minority partnership.
That partnership included longtime
Jackson friend Chester Davenport.
Other telecommunications firms,
including Bell Atlantic, GTE, Viacom
and AT&T, also contributed heavily to
Jackson’s groups and struck deals with
his friends. Jackson acknowledged that
he targeted the industry.
"It’s where the biggest mergers took
place,” he said. “It’s where the most
money was. It’s where the most oppor
tunity was.”
The civil rights leader denied that his
friends got business deals simply
because of their association with him.
He said he gave lists of minority-owned
businesses to the corporations, which
then checked out the qualifications of
people he suggested.
A conservative watchdog group, the
National Legal and Policy Center, has
filed a complaint with the IRS asking for
an audit of the Citizenship Education
Fund. The group claims CEF may have
violated its tax-exempt status by pres
suring corporations for donations
through the threat of boycott or public
Dan Rene, the group’s spokesman,
called the internal audit inadequate.
“I think Jackson is trying to get a leg
up in the public relations battle, and
that’s not what this is about,” Rene said.
“It’s about questions that are raised
about his finances.”
Critics have scrutinized the group’s
finances since January, when Jackson
aides acknowledged that a staff member
with whom Jackson had a child had
received a $35,000 severance package.
Court rejects complaint against proposed library
Arkansas' highest court on
Thursday rejected a claim that
voters should decide whether
Little Rock can use city recre
ational funds to buy downtown
land for the Clinton Presidential
Activist Nora Harris had chal
lenged the way city officials plan
to buy almost 28 acres, alleging
that the city would use its general
fund to pay off long-term bonds
which is in violation of state law.
Harris said Little Rock should
have put the bond issue to a pub
lie vote because city hinds would
benefit a private entity, the library.
Library supporters have said
that waiting for a general election
might have led the former presi
dent to pick another city.
The state Supreme Court said
the plan did not violate the state’s
constitution because it did not
require tax money to pay off $ 16.5
million needed to help buy river
front land. The court said the city
could pay off the debt using any
source it wanted, other than taxes
or other special assessments.
The justices said the funding
plan was proper, with only fees
generated by the city’s parks, golf
courses, tennis centers and other
operations going toward buying
the library land.
Some of the justices agreed
with Harris in principle but said
she failed to prove the case in
“This is clearly a case of the
city attempting to do indirectly
what it cannot do directly,”
Special Justice Norman Mark
Klappenbach wrote.
City Attorney Tom Carpenter
said Little Rock was concerned
that some justices made com
ments about issues not men
tioned in the court record, but the
city was not worried that it would
have to alter its plans.
“The city of Little Rock totally
complies with the state statutes,”
Carpenter said.
Harris’ lawyer, David Henry,
argued before the justices last
month that the city could not pay
off the revenue bonds without
tapping its general fund.
According to the court, Harris
presumed that City Manager Cy
Carney would have to use general
tax revenues for the parks or other
areas because of the library fund
Her lawyer “only succeeded in
getting Carney to state, hypothet
ically, that if he were to make such
a proposal to the board, it would
involve moneys from the general
fund," associate justice Donald L
Corbin wrote for the court.
Harris has said she was not
opposed to the library but wanted
it “to be done legally and right."
The library is to be built along
the Arkansas River as part of $200
million complex that includes
museums, a farmers’ market and
headquarters for the regional
library system.
Since former President
Clinton selected the site, other
businesses have announced
plans to build in the old ware
house district.
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Knight plans to sue Indiana University
INDIANAPOLIS — Bob Knight has
told Indiana University he intends to sue
the school for slander and libel from his
September firing, alleging his former
employer cost him more than $7 million.
According to a letter obtained
Thursday by The Associated Press,
Knight alleges the university also violat
ed the Indiana Open Door Law, inflicted
emotional distress and interfered with
his ability to find a coaching job.
“If the university doesn’t negotiate
with us, we have no choice but to sue,”
said Knight’s attorney, Russell E. Yates of
Knight was fired Sept. 10 by IU
President Myles Brand after 29 years as
coach for violating its “zero-tolerance”
policy. The firing came after Knight
grabbed a freshman student by the arm
and lectured him on manners after he
greeted the coach informally.
Knight had 180 days to notify the
university of his intention to sue. That
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“We were disappointed and
even taken aback to hear
the allegations contained
in the notice of tort claim."
Susan Dillman
Indiana University spokeswoman
deadline is today.
Yates said Knight was driving to his
home in Arizona after he spent time with
the St. Louis Cardinals at spring training
in Jupiter, Fla., and was unavailable for
comment. The university denied the
“We were disappointed and even
taken aback to hear the allegations con
tained in the notice of tort claim,” uni
versity spokeswoman Susan Dillman
said. “The charges are frivolous and
totally without merit.”
The letter, dated March 2, said the
damages were “lost income, pain and
suffering, mental humiliation and inter
ference with his ability to obtain subse
quent employment.”
Yates’ letter said the university’s
actions cost Knight more than $7 mil
“That’s a number we put in there that
if we had to sue and there were punitive
damages, that’s what it would be,” Yates
said. “That’s nowhere near what we
think we’re entitled to under the con
Yates said Knight had not instructed
him to file notice, but that not doing so
would have constituted “malpractice."
He said Knight would be ‘*surprised”
to learn he had filed notice with the uni
JohnWalda, president of Indiana’s
Board of Trustees, said he also was sur
prised by the action but cautioned it was
only Knight’s intent to file a lawsuit.
“Since I am familiar with the back
ground, I know the actions are not sup
ported factually.” said Walda, who was
co-chairman of a university investiga
tion into Knight last spring. “They bor
der on being frivolous.”
Dillman had no comment on what
the university’s next step will be.
Yates said he had tried to negotiate a
deal with the university, which he said
hired a Chicago law firm to represent it.
Knight had a 661-240 record with
three national championships during
his career at Indiana and ranks fifth all
time with 763 victories, including his
time as Army's coach.
Controversy is nothing new to
Knight, who has become embroiled in a
number of incidents through the years,
including one almost a year ago when
former player Neil Reed claimed Knight
choked him during a practice.
The university started an internal
investigation, w+tich turned up a video
tape that showed Knight putting his
hand around Reed’s neck.
That led to the university imposing
the “zero-tolerance” policy on Knight.
The Associated Press
■ Washington
Memorial may not indude
former President Reagan
The Bush administration says
it’s too soon to decide to put
Ronald Reagan in the company of
George Washington, Thomas
Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln
with a memorial on Washington’s
National Mall.
The rules forbid it, and
Reagan is a man who followed the
rules, a House committee was
told Thursday.
Richard Ring, an official of the
National Park Service in the
Interior Department, noted at a
hearing that it was Reagan who in
1986 signed the Commemorative
Works Act that barred any memo
rials on the Mall until 25 years
after a person’s death.
“Former President Reagan is a
man who follows the rules, and
we believe that he is better hon
ored by following the processes
set forth,” Ring told the House
Resources subcommittee on
national parks, recreation and
public lands.
■New York
Man pleads guilty to
smuggling explosives into 115.
NEW YORK — An Algerian
accused of helping smuggle
explosives into the United States
in a 1999 case that stirred fears of a
terrorist attack during the millen
nium celebrations has pleaded
guilty and agreed to cooperate
with the government.
Abdel Ghani Meskini, 33,
entered the plea in federal court
on Wednesday. A transcript was
released Thursday.
The guilty plea to conspiracy
charges couid carry as many as
105 years in prison and fines of
$2.75 million, but prosecutors
said they would argue for a lesser
term and possible admission to
the witness protection program if
Meskini cooperated.
Meskini was arrested for his
alleged part in a conspiracy to
sneak explosives from Canada
into the country in late 1999.
Meskini was taken into cus
tody after authorities connected
him to Ahmed Ressam. Ressam, a
32-year-old Algerian, was arrest
ed in Port Angeles, Wash., after
arriving on a ferry from Canada in
December 1999. He was allegedly
trying to smuggle bomb-making
materials into the United States.
■ New York
Police arrest man after finding
girlfriend's remains in home
HAMBURG — Police charged
a 32-year-old man with murder
after finding the dismembered
body of his girlfriend in the base
ment of the couple’s home.
The remains of Kym Kraffert,
27. were discovered Wednesday,
several hours after she was report
ed missing by her family.
Police suspect her live-in
boyfriend, Brian Faust, cut her up
with a electric saw, Capt. Daniel
Shea said.
Faust was arrested
Wednesday at a hospital, where
he was admitted after being
found in a car with apparently
self-inflicted stab wounds.
After interviewing Faust at the
hospital, police searched his
home and found the body in three
boxes "in a very organized fash
ion” at the home, Shea said.
Faust was admitted to a psy
chiatric ward.
■ Germany
Starbucks Coffee Co.opens
first European location
FRANKFURT—Europe is the
last frontier for one of America’s
greatest commercial icons.
But can Starbucks Coffee Co.
make it in the homeland of the
leisurely street cafe? Is it even pos
sible to sell Italians more double
shot espressos or make the
French drink skim milk cafe au
lait out of a paper cup?
After building a caffeine
empire, Starbucks finally waded
into continental Europe on
Thursday, opening a shop in
Zurich. Switzerland, the first of
650 stores Starbucks says it will
open in six neighboring countries
by 2003.
Until now, Starbucks has
cashed in on bringing Seattle
stvle coffee culture to countries
where coffeehouses were seen as
exotic imports
But Europe itself is new terri
tory for the Seattle-based retailer.