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Teacher Has a Class Menagerie

July 01, 1987|DEBORAH CHRISTENSEN

--Teacher Janet Madsen concedes that her classroom is something of a circus. In fact, Madsen, a former circus dancer, travels with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus tutoring youngsters who tour with the Greatest Show on Earth and can't attend regular schools. She meets with each of her students one to two hours a day, six days a week, in a curtained cubicle similar to the ones used by the performers for their dressing rooms. Her current pupils, who range in age from 6 to 17, include an elephant handler, an acrobat and the sons of a tiger trainer. Teaching under the big top does have its special pitfalls. "The classroom falls over every now and then when it's set up too close to the elephants and camels," she said. "We just set it back up and go on."

--Television evangelist Oral Roberts said that the child he claimed to have raised from the dead may not have been dead after all. "Whether or not the child was clinically alive or dead, I don't know," Roberts said during his son's television program, "The Richard Roberts Show." "The mother thought it was dead. I thought it was dead. The people in the congregation thought it was dead." Roberts said he was preaching a sermon before 10,000 people when the mother rose from her seat screaming: "My baby's dead!" Roberts said she thrust the baby's cold body in his arms. "I held that little thing in my hands. I had a way in those days. . . . I said, 'God, restore this life. Restore this little baby.' And it jerked in my hand and it was still. And I called out again. It jerked and the little thing opened its eyes." Roberts told more than 5,000 people last week during a charismatic conference that he had raised people from the dead. He also said God told him he (Roberts) "will be coming back with my son to reign" during the Second Coming.

--A $2,000 painting that was accidentally sold at a yard sale for $5 has turned up and is finally headed for its intended destination--the Omaha History Museum. Eight-year-old Mark Pusch, who was left in charge of his parents' yard sale, sold the painting by Omaha artist J. Laurie Wallace. Mark's father, Jan Eric Pusch, had agreed to donate the painting of a local citizen to the museum and had left it in the garage to be picked up. Bob Kennedy said the couple who bought the painting brought it to his Council Bluffs, Iowa, shop later in the day and he paid them $60 for it. He realized what the painting was after reading about the accidental sale in the paper, and has agreed to donate it to the museum. Ellen Simak, a curator of American art at the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, estimated that the painting has a potential value of $2,000 but needs extensive restoration.

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