The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 23, 2001, Image 1

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    i r
Lone senior gymnast
Amy Ringo leads the
team by example
In SportsWeekend/10
Fetal tissue research debate on hold
A deadlocked legislative committee put
debate on fetal tissue research on hold
The Judiciary Committee voted 4-4 not
to advance a bill aimed at banning the use of
the tissue in research.
It also shot down a motion to kill the bill.
But Sen. Dwite Pedersen of Elkhorn,
who introduced the bill, vowed to jump start
debate again soon.
“(The vote) was no big surprise,- he said.
Pedersen said he made a motion to
advance the bill as a ‘last hope’ that one of
the bill’s opponents had changed his or her
The vote quickly revealed committee
members’ opinions hadn't shifted.
To get the ball rolling again, Pedersen
said he would file a motion to have the bill
pulled from the committee by a vote of the
entire 49-member Legislature.
r.. "■■■
Pedersen will need 25 votes - which he
almost surely will get - to continue discus
sion on the topic.
Sometime next week, he said he would
make the motion to pull die bill.
"There's no hurry,” he said.
Sen. Matt Connealy of Decatur held the
swing vote on the split committee and could
have voted to advance the bill, making the
pull vote unnecessary.
But, Connealy, who says he is against
abortion, voted against the proposal.
“This isn’t about abortions,” he said.
Fourteen anti-abortion groups stepped
up Wednesday to assure Connealy that in
their opinions, senators can’t separate the
In a press conference, the two groups
said senators who oppose abortion must
logically oppose fetal tissue research.
Both practices are morally reprehensi
ble, they said.
Connealy said he agreed abortion was
But, he said, the dilemma is “a lot more
complicated” than the simple picture the
anti-abortion rights groups painted.
For example, Connealy said, the bill had
the potential to damage the quality of the
medical center’s staff and research opportu
University officials testified in hearings
on the bill that it would send talented
researchers to other states that allow the
More importantly, Connealy said, the
bill could jeopardize the health of many
Nebraskans who could benefit in the future
from medical discoveries linked to fetal
Adding more fuel to the fire, medical
Please see FETAL on page 5
I Research sees setbacks
Despite recent reports detail
ing failures of fetal cell implants
in Parkinson’s disease patients,
UNMC officials say fetal cell
research should continue.
The reports were published in
the New England Journal of
The implants are intended to
replace dead cells in Parkinson’s
disease patients’ brains with new
cells from aborted fetuses, said
Sam Cohen, chairman of the
University of Nebraska Medical
Center pathology and microbiol
ogy department
The new cells would ideally
produce dopamine, a chemical
that reduces the disease’s symp
toms, he said
In a New York Times article
published March 9, scientists
reported recent implants failed
because the implanted cells
released too much of a chemical
that controls movement, causing
patients to writhe and jerk
The article also said scientists
had no way to remove or deacti
vate the over-productive cells.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s,
according to the Society for
Neuroscience’s Web site, normal
Ptease see FETAL CELL on page 5
IT: Many
advantage of
increasing tem
peratures and
skies during the
past week- a
good number
venturing out*
side, like this
pair did ■
enjoy the good
liiii l tli me
WvflU Ivl •
Forecasters say
io enjoy n wniie
you can, though,
because cooler
and stormy skies
are on tap for
the weekend.
David Oasen/DN
'Unintelligible'merger bill may get ax
They try to dodge redundant dis
cussions to maximize every debating
But Thursday afternoon the
Legislature found its legal legs weak
and its sneakers full of heavy amend
Lawmakers began stumbling
along at a snail-like pace when they
started debating the session's first
committee priority bill, LB142.
The bill would breathe life into a
constitutional amendment passed in
1988 allowing cities and counties to
Four bills aimed at enacting the
amendment have failed, and sena
tors have heard testimony on the pro
posal during six separate hearings.
Not to mention that lawmakers
passed a bill a few years ago that
formed a task force to study the plan.
Despite its past failures, Sen.
DiAnna Schimek of Lincoln led the
charge Thursday to get the bill
Over the years, she said, she and
other senators have worked out kinks
in the plan to assure that small rural
communities don’t get muscled into
joining bigger cities.
Some communities have experi
mented with merging governments
hoping to streamline services and
improve efficiency.
Many law enforcement officials
and clerics on both the city and coun
ty levels perform duplicative services.
But some members of small com
munities fear that larger cities and
counties would usurp them and force
them to pay unfair taxes.
These concerns prompted a slew
of amendments to the bill that Sen.
Ernie Chambers said made the pro
posal “unintelligible.”
When complicated legal and gov
ernment jargon began rippling across
the floor, several senators turned
their attention away from the compli
cated bill prompting Chambers to
laud Schimek and Sen. Bob
Wickersham for trying to lead the
“They're (Schimek and
Wickersham) dreamers,” he said.
Chambers eventually labeled the
amendment-ridden bill a “scabby
amoeba” and urged senators to ditch
the idea.
Even though laughter followed
the Omaha senator’s comments, sev
eral senators said they weren’t ready
to abandon the plan despite the
dwindling amount of time left in the
session to cover important issues like
fetal research, redistricting and
teacher pay.
Sen. Pam Brown of Omaha said
Please see AMENDMENTS on page 6
Small sports
could lose
Fueled by die NU Board of Regents’ call to cut
expenditures in sports, the NU Athletic
Department could be forced to cut some of its
smaller programs.
Earlier this month, the Chronicle of Higher
Education reported the University of Kansas in
Lawrence announced it would drop men’s teams in
swimming and tennis at the end of this academic
Robert Frederick, KU’s athletics director,
couldn't be reached for comment Thursday.
But in The Chronicle, Frederick said the cuts
would save $3.6 million in the
next five years.
UNL’s athletic budget is 7/ We don't
ahout $412 million- CO”, change the
pared to KU s $22.4 million . 27
budget rules... we
The regents’ request to cap could drive
expenditures comes after the ,
NU Athletic Department YnOaeSt -
ended up about $250 million inCOYne
in the red last fiscal year. vtonnlo nut
And because NU’s Athletic
Department costs continue to Of the
rise, Regent Chuck Hassebrook ctntiUivYi "
of Lyons said the university
would be forced to look at cut- ^
ting some of its athletic pro- Hi u In null
Hassebrook said the pro- NU regent
grams that bring in the most
money - football and basket
ball -would be the last ones to face budget cuts.
“You’ve got to keep them strong because if you
lose them, everything is in trouble,’’ he said.
If the Athletic Department’s costs aren’t kept in
check, ticket prices could also go up, he said.
Right now the department is entirety self-fund
ed, but if it continued to operate in the red, it could
draw money from academics, he said.
“If we don’t change the rules (of the Athletic
Department’s spending),we could drive modest -
income people out of the stadium or take money
from academics,’’ he said.
“I don’t think many people want ei. ,er of
If programs need to be cut, Hassebrook said he
thought the Athletic Department should deter
mine what to cut, not the regents.
University of Nebraska Athletic Director Bill
Please see ATHLETICS on page 5
McGill paved the way for female officers
■The first woman to totea
gun for the UNL RD.still works
to keep campus safe.
In 1972, Barb McGill - then
Barb Hoyt - needed a job.
McGill chose an unconven
tional job for women at hie time: a
police officer at the University
Police Department
“The pay was quite good
compared to, say, if I was a derk in
a department store,” she said
She had just finished her
degree in history and education
from then-Kearney State College
in 1971 when she went job hunt
McGill said she chose UNL
because it offered her the oppor
tunity to be an actual officer.
“I know from a friend who was
at the Lincoln Police Department,
and at that time, ladies didn’t wear
uniforms, and it was like more of a
social service type work,” she said.
But before McGill could be an
actual officer allowed to ride in a
' police cruiser, she had to pay her
dues. .
McGill first started as a resi
dence hall officer but was only
allowed to carry Mace, she said.
“In the spring before I started,
there were several sexual assaults,
so they thought having a female
officer would be a good thing,”
she said.
Although there were other
female officers working for UNL
at the time, they were only park
ing officers, she said.
“They had no desire to take
reports. They were, at the time,
perfectly content,” she said.
Parking tickets and residence
hall walk-throughs didn't satisfy
McGill, though
In July 1973, at the Nebraska
Law Enforcement Training
Center in Grand Island, McGill
finished the range course, which
allowed her to cany a gun.
But she still had a long road
before her.
By 1974, although she was
able to carry a gun and able to
drive around in the cruisers
instead of traipsing the residence
halls on patrol, McGill said she
still faced some criticism.
While her family didn’t find
her new job unreasonable -
McGill’s grandfather was a justice
of the peace and her father
worked security for different
organizations - other officers
Please see MCGILL on page 5
Jennifer Lund/uN
Bari) Mtd is the most senioniioman pefee officer to the UNI Mke Department
She often handfes campus investigations.