Nebraska rat pack goes for the goldNebraska Wesleyan...

Off the beat

December 02, 1990

Nebraska rat pack goes for the gold

Nebraska Wesleyan University psychology students put their laboratory rats through the paces yesterday in Lincoln, Neb., in the annual Rat Olympics.

The Olympics are part of the psychology department's learning and motivation class. The rats compete in six events: the 5-yard --, the 4-foot tightrope walk, weightlifting, the 5-yard hurdles, the long jump and the 5-foot rope climb.

Kenneth Keith, professor of psychology, says the competition broadens the students' understanding of behavioral principles as they apply in a lab, and teaches them to manage the behavior of an animal that doesn't respond to language, to treat the animals humanely and to be responsible for their care.

Students train 6-month-old female rats, Keith said.

No ring too small for the 'Big Meal'

No place is too small for George Foreman as he prepares for his heavyweight title fight with Evander Holyfield in April. A promoter in Omaha, Neb., said the former champion will fight an exhibition Jan. 17 in the Peony Park ballroom in Omaha.

But promoter Fred Berns said he still is looking for someone to meet Foreman in the ring.

Disabled skier eludes slippery slope

Federal investigators have dropped their fraud probe involving disabled skier Julie Wallace, who was accused of faking her blindness.

Agents from the Denver division of the federal Department of Health and Human Services have been investigating Wallace, but said they have been hampered by a lack of cooperation from Social Security officials.

Also, they cited her recent leg amputation.

Wallace was dropped from the elite Winter Park disabled ski team in January after her coaches suspected that she could see. She also had bragged about advanced degrees in chemistry and physics; convinced people she was the first female member of SEAL, the Navy's elite commando unit; and claimed to be afflicted with leukemia after swimming through nuclear waste.

A months-long investigation also uncovered more than $100,000 in unpaid medical bills at hospitals in the United States and Canada.

Kayleen Drissell, regional inspector general for Health and Human Services, said she believes that Wallace caused her leg amputation by cinching a tourniquet around her leg to aggravate an infection.

Wallace has denied the allegations and said she is receiving counseling for mental problems.

The quote

Atlanta Hawks general manager Pete Babcock on rookie salaries in the National Basketball Association: "In any other occupation, the longer you do something, the more proficient you become, the more you make. In our league, you may be the most marketable before you've proven anything."

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