By SAM T. DUDEK
Daily Staff Reporter
Every semester, students take part
in a challenging and aggravating ritual,
spending hours painfully preparing
for one fateful moment.
*No, it's not finals that cause such
strife. It's CRISPing.
One student, however, is trying to
ease this burden. LSA senior Daniel
Abrams has developed a computer
program he said will save students
from wasting endless hours as they
manipulate lecture and discussion
for truth in
r Petition to be
distributed to more
WASHINGTON (AP) - A
Michigan woman whose husband was
killed during a convenience store rob-
helped kick off a national peti-
t n drive yesterday to get "truth in
sentencing" laws on the books in ev-
The effort is aimed at ensuring
that criminals serve at least 85 per-
cent of their sentences instead of be-
ing released early due to prison over-
crowding or good behavior.
The petitions are available in more
t an 21,000 convenience stores na-
wide now until Sept. 25, organiz-
rs said at a press conference near the
Participants include the National
ssociation of Convenience Stores,
he Fraternal Order of Police and the
afe Streets Coalition, a grassroots
rganization that is pushing "truth in
entencing" laws like those in place
n states like Michigan, Missouri and
Linda Clark, who lives near Flint,
jch., began her crusade to get a law
Splace there after her husband, Kevin,
as killed May 10, 1993. The law
as enacted June 24 of this year, but
n't been implemented in this state
Clark said she got involved when
he couldn't assure her two children,
w five and seven years old, that the
ple who killed their father would
ebehind bars for a specific period of
"How many chances can we give
hese violent criminals when they've
mly given their victims no chances?"
Also on hand to persuade the pub-
n to sign the petitions was Marc
lass, father of Polly, who captured
national spotlight when she was
dnapped from her slumber party in
alifornia and killed by a repeat of-
He has since been tried and con-
icted for her murder.
"Go to a convenience store. Buy a
jnt of milk. Don't buy a pint of milk.
ut certainly sign this truth in sen-
encing petition," Klass said.
The groups say violent criminals
serving only 37 percent of their
entence, which is unacceptable to
lim and many of their supporters
'und the country.
Rep. Bill Baker (R-Calif.) said
eterrence would offset the cost of
xtra prison time.
"The goal is to eliminate the crime
self," Baker said.
The Michigan Dailv -- Thursdav. September 15. 1994 -- 3
Thet cirneavtes rogapr-tre hzR IaV4S'ntGr caosI I -
rnt creates program to pre uvent CRISP chaos
times to create the perfect schedule.
"When I was CRISPing for my
second semester freshman year,"
Abrams explained, "I thought, 'Heck,
a computer should be able to do this."'
He was right.
After two years and more than
1,400 hours, Abrams, with the help of
University alum Timothy Sharp, cre-
ated "Course Scheduling Made Easy"
The program works similar to
CRISP-INFO. Students type in the
classes they want and CSME informs
the user how many possible sched-
ules can be made.
Users can make special requests,
such as no classes before 10 a.m., the
omission of closed classes and the
removal of classes taught by certain
The program then recalculates the
number of possible schedules. This
process can be continued until the
student finds their perfect schedule.
Abrams did not stop there.
He founded his own company,
Collegiate Insight, and set up meet-
ings to sell his product to the Univer-
He says the administrators he has
talked with have shown enthusiasm
toward his product. "(Administrators)
have been very good to me," Abrams
said. "They've been very coopera-
Chuck Judge, an LSA adviser, was
not as impressed. "It's a nice little
program," he said about an earlier
version of the program, but he contin-
ued, "I do not think it's needed."
Abrams' concern is now whether
the University is willing to buy his
program. "They've been really busy
lately (with registration). It's under-
standable that these past three weeks
they haven't returned any ofmy phone
calls, but it doesn't make me feel
warm and fuzzy inside," he joked.
Where does Abrams go from here?
If he can successfully sell CSME
to the University, Abrams said he
would like to move on to other schools,
such as Michigan State University
and the University of Texas, to sell
But he said he wants the Univer-
sity to have it first, and will sacrifice
some profit to let his alma mater gain
"I want it up at Michigan first," he
said. "I want people five years from
now seeing my name and saying, 'Oh,
you're the Dan Abrams!"'
Besides CSME, Abrams is cur-
rently working on 19 other inven-
tions, including a patent-pending
three-dimensional computer mouse.
"I'd like to think I'm a creative
renaissance type of guy," he said.
si ll battling to
pass health care
The Washington Post
WASHINGTON - Senate Ma-
jority Leader George J. Mitchell (D-
Maine) said yesterday that he and a
small bipartisan group of senators had
made "a great deal of progress" to-
ward agreement on a modest health
care bill, but he acknowledged the
obstacles to passing any legislation
"We remain committed to this ef-
fort and united in the belief it is both
possible and desirable to get a bill
passed this year," Mitchell said after
an hour-long meeting with four sena-
tors in a self-styled "mainstream"
Many once-supportive members
of the Senate are now eager to drop
health reform permanently, and want
to do it well before the November
elections. A simpler proposal could
pass, senators estimate.
The so-called mainstream pro-
posal is a package of insurance regu-
lations that would prohibit insurers
from denying coverage to sick people
or to individuals when they change
jobs. It also includes Medicare and
Medicaid cuts that would be used to
fund subsidies for low-income people
and to help reduce the deficit.
It is a largely voluntary program,
with no requirement that employers
provide coverage to employees.
Aides to Sen. John H. Chafee (R-
R.I.) said the Congressional Budget
Office's preliminary estimate is that
the bill would cover 94 percent of the
population by the year 2000.
Other than the pressure of time,
the "mainstream" plan faces a num-
ber of other obstacles: The White
House and health analysts have suc-
cessfully argued that insurance mar-
ket reform without universal cover-
age will drive up the cost of premiums
for some insured people.
A recent study backed by the in-
surance industry found that premi-
ums for small business could jump as
much as 30 percent if Congress en-
acts insurance reforms without re-
quiring that everyone to buy insur-
Secondly, the bill is nearly 900
pages long and will give ammunition
to Republicans who have argued that
all pending legislation is too complex
to be considered at the last minute.
As the "Pizza House" restaurant goes under reconstruction, Tim Smith helps keep the mess under control by
spraying water on the dust that flies up as a bulldozer makes a pile of rubble.
Teachers urge lawmakers to expel students with guns
LANSING (AP) -- Carol Powell
once talked a seventh-grade boy into
putting down the loaded semiauto-
matic gun he was pointing at her and
a classroom full of children.
She doesn't want to have to do it
again. Powell, a seventh grade litera-
ture teacher in West Branch, joined
Gov. John Engler yesterday in urging
lawmakers to pass a measure requir-
ing expulsion of students who bring
weapons to school.
"It would keep this child from
doing it again," she said.
The measure already has passed
the Senate. It faces action Tuesday in
the House Education Committee. The
co-chairman of that panel, Rep. Wil-
liam Bryant, said some changes might
be made to prevent ridiculous situa-
"We need to provide a little bit of
flexibility so that if a five-year-old
kid in total innocence wanders into
school to turn a gun in, that they don't
have to kick the kid out because he's
a carrying a weapon," said Bryant (R-
Grosse Point Farms).
The bill would require expulsion
of any student bringing a weapon to
school and would bar him or her from
being admitted to any other public
A student in fifth grade or below
could petition for reinstatement after
60 school days and the school board
could reinstate the child after 90 school
Older students would have to wait
150 school days to petition and school
boards couldn't reinstate them for 180
school days. That's a full school year.
Michigan schools already do ex-
pel students in such cases. In the first
three months of 1994, 73 were ex-
pelled for gun use or possession, the
governor's office said.
Engler said special schools could
be set up for such offenders.
Without changers, Bryant said, the
bill would require the permanent ex-
pulsion of even small children.
Bryant said a compromise worked
out with the governor's office would
still require such children to be imme-
diately expelled. But they could avoid
permanent expulsion by showing that
the item wasn't brought with the in-
tention of using it as a weapon.
They also could try to show that
they didn't knowingly possess it or
that they did not know it was a dan-
gerous weapon, such as a knife with a
blade longer than three inches.
Students couls also try to show
that they brought the weapon as part
of a handgun amnesty program.
"If the community and police are
trumping it up and the school is talk-
ing about it and some little third grader
decides to take Daddy's gun out of the
drawer because that's what they are
supposed to do and walk into school
to turn it in ... we need to allow a
school board to say, 'Wait a minute,"'
Engler is up for re-election in No-
vember. His opponent, Democrat
Howard Wolpe, said he called for
similar legislation a year ago.
"Of course students who come to
school with guns should be expelled
from school," he said, adding he sup-
ports putting them in alternative pro-
George Burns, 98, recovering well
Los Angeles Times
LOS ANGELES - Beloved co-
median George Burns was conscious
and in stable condition at Cedars-
Sinai Medical Center Tuesday fol-
lowing a two-hour operation to re-
move fluid from his brain, a hospital
Burns, 98, entered the hospital
Monday afternoon and entered sur-
gery at about 6 p.m., spokesman Ron
"I have no sense of impending
disaster," Wise said, adding that Burns
"tolerated the surgery well.... With
any kind of luck he'll be out of here in
Burns was flown to Cedars-Sinai
for observation July 13 immediately
after a fall in a bathtub in his Las
Vegas home, which required two
stitches for a cut. He was released
from the hospital then, but his speech
was slurred as a result of the accident
and the slurring worsened recently,
according to Burns' manager, Irving
The fluid had gathered above
Burns' brain as a direct result of the
fall, Wise said, and the surgery was
designed to relieve pressure on the
Fein said Burns has canceled en-
gagements in Foxport, Conn., from
Sept. 30 to Oct. 2, and a luncheon at
the Plaza Hotel in New York, as a
result of the surgery.
Earlier this year, Burns celebrated
his 98th birthday with a sellout show
where he received several standing
ovations as he traced his 91-year ca-
Burns, with his trademark cigar,
has been a fixture in comedy since
vaudeville and moved later into ra-
dio, motion pictures and television.
Wednesday, Sept. 21
The Michigan Daily
Join the Navy, see the world
Join the Daily, see the Batcave.
MUSKET will be performing "Hair," not "Little Shop of Horrors," this year. This was incorrectly reported in the
ew Student Edition of the Daily.
Q Alcoholics Anonynmous, group
meeting, 3200Michigan Union,
U Haiti Solidarity Group, First
United Methodist Church, 120
S. State, 7:30 p.m.--_
0 "Feminist Heterosexuality and
Its Politically Incorrect Plea-
sures," sponsored by the
Woman's Studies Department
Michigan League, 4-6 p.m.
U Poetry Reading, sponsored by
ham Amphitheatre, 5 p.m.
U Hillel, Yom Kippur Break Fast
Meal, 1429 Hill,
U 76-GUIDE, peer counseling
phone line, call 76-GUIDE, 7
Tiv; Ann Iuhaw'o