The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas on June 15, 2006 · Page 3
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The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas · Page 3

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Thursday, June 15, 2006
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THURSDAY, JUNE 15,2006 REGION AND STATE THE HAYS DAILY NEWS A3 Authorities investigate possible shooting Board OKs Department of Education reorganization By JOHN HANNA ASSOCIATED PRESS By WILL MANLY HAYS DAILY NEWS QUINTER —JaredWolf thought he had been hit by a paintball until he felt blood coming from a wound in his back. Wolf was playing catch June 6 at a city park in Quinter when he was hit in the back with enough force to knock him to his knees. When he discovered he was bleeding, he thought perhaps he had been struck by a stray bullet. "It was a stinging sensation," Wolf said today. "Then I reached around and felt the blood, and I just thought I got shot with something." Gove County Sheriff Allen Weber said the incident is still under investigation. Some witnesses watching a nearby baseball game thought they heard a firecracker go off, he said. "We can't determine whether or not it was an actual firearm, or if he got hit with a firecracker," Weber said. "For some people, they said they heard what they thought was firecrackers." Wolf said he felt something fall from his back. Investigators searched the area for the possible projectile but found nothing. "Nothing was found at the scene, no projectiles or nothing like that," Weber said. "We looked all around that area, because he said he felt something in his hand, and it fell to the ground." Wolf said he went to the emergency room, but the injury was not life-threatening. "It wasn't just ridiculously bad," Wolf said. "We thought it could have been a stray .22 bullet or something, but we're just notsure." Reporter Will Manly can be reached at (785) 628-1081, ext. 138, or by-e-mail at wmanly0dallynewa.net. TOPEKA — A reorganization of the Department of Education won the state school board's approval Wednesday, but one member complained that the administrative change was "extraordinarily careless" and potentially harmful. The decision creates the School Innovation Division, complementing the department's existing Learning Services and Fiscal Services divisions. All three will be led by deputy education commissioners. The State Board of Education's 6-4 vote also approved the hiring of two deputy commissioners, one replacing Alexa Pos- ny, who left the learning services job in April to take a federal education post, and one to fill the newly created innovation position. Education Commissioner Bob Corkins proposed the reorganization, saying it would help the state do a better job of promoting innovations improving student performance. Board Chairman Steve Abrams said the state needs to do a better job of disseminating information about best practices. "We have some good things going on around the state in various schools," said Abrams, an Arkansas City Republican. "I view this as an opportunity to really focus on that redesign and delivery of education." Corkins' reorganization plan had the support of the board's conservative majority, with the vote the same as it was to hire Corkins as commissioner in October. At the time, the board's less conservative members — and many educators and legislators — questioned Corkins' hiring. He was the state's first top schools administrator in more than 80 years not to have served first as a local superintendent. Board member Bill Wagnon, a Topeka Democrat who opposed Corkins' hiring, questioned Wednesday whether Corkins thought the reorganization through. Because the new division will be created from existing resources, the department will be splitting up an effective learning services team, hindering its efforts, he said. "It's very casual," Wagnon said. "It demonstrates an unsophisticated understanding about how to run a complicated, multifunctional organization like the Department of Education." He added: "Nobody's given much thought to redesigning and mission, in terms of the new structure, and so I considered it to be extraordinarily careless." Abrams said he wasn't surprised by the criticism. "Liberals don't like what conservatives do," Abrams said after the board's meeting. "I mean, why should I be surprised by that?" Corkins announced last week that he'd appointed the two deputy commissioners, pending the board's approval. Thomas Foster replaces Posny as deputy commissioner of learning services, having served this year as director of school improvement and accreditation, following two years as assistant director. Before that, he worked 11 years as curriculum supervisor and vocational education director for the Auburn-Washburn school district in Shawnee County. The deputy commissioner for school innovation is Larry Allen Englebrick, formerly an assistant superintendent for business services for Kansas City, Kan., schools for nearly five years. He'd previously directed the district's instructional support and school improvement efforts. Heading the Fiscal Services Division is Dale Dennis, long considered the state's leading expert on school finance issues. Cross country run FRED HUNT / Hays Daily News Fort Hays State University cross country runners Shannan Herzet and Alicia Trujillo make their way Wednesday evening dpwri (^oltCourse Road. 1 /Mr., Briefs Chamber Chat revisits shop, New Smith County sheriff offers event information takes office today The staff of the Hays Area Chamber of Commerce invites its members and the public to join them for Chamber Chat at A Computer Repair Shop, 2202 A Vine Street, at 9 a.m. Friday. "Cory and Rusty Riggs have invited us back to visit their store and learn more about their products and services," said Chamber Executive Director Gina Riedel. "This chat will provide members of our business community and the general public the opportunity to network with other individuals in a casu : al environment as well as learn about chamber and community happenings." Those who attend Friday's Chamber Chat will have the chance to hear more about upcoming community and Chamber events including the Wild West Festival and the Chamber's Business Appreciation event. Friday's Chamber Chat will last approximately 20 minutes. SMITH CENTER — Bruce Lehman was sworn in as Smith County Sheriff at noon today Lehman was selected by the Republican Central Committee to replace former Sheriff Ellsworth Murphy, who was recalled from office May 23. Lehman ^ Lehman had been a deputy "*' 'eriff in Lincoln County before his appointment. Nebraska woman dies from injuries in Sunday wreck A car wreck Sunday just east of Colby has taken the life of a second person. Josefa Alanis, 46, Lexington, Neb., died Monday after her vehicle collided with another car Sunday at the intersection of U.S. Highway 83 and Kansas Highway 24. Constance S. Lillich, 50, Atwood, was driving the other vehicle and died in the wreck. Alanis failed to stop at a stop sign, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol. Selena Martinez, 24, Lexington, Neb., was a passenger in Alanis's vehicle. Neither Martinez nor Alanis were wearing seat belts and both were ejected from the vehicle, the highway patrol said. They were taken to Citizens Medical Center in Colby, then moved to another hospital. Lillich was wearing a seat belt. Brownback leads Kansas delegation in wealth WASHINGTON (AP) — If Sen. Sam Brownback's presidential hopes don't work out, he can take comfort in knowing that he continues to lead the Kansas congressional delegation in personal wealth. Financial disclosures released Wednesday show the Kansas Republican and his wife have a blind trust worth as little as $1 million and as much as $5 million. Brownback also owns mutual funds, stocks and other investments; worth between $223,000 and $675,000. The state's senior senator, Republican Pat Roberts, listed most of his assets in real estate. Roberts owns two condominiums in Alexandria, Va., and a home in Dodge City, with a total value between $450,000 and $1 million. He carries a mortgage between $100,000 and $250,000 on one of his Virginia proper- , ties. Republican Jerry Moran of Hays — a huge proponent of ethanol use — owns $50,000 to $100,000 worth of stock in Exxon Mobile Corp. He also owns stock in Hanston Insurance Agency in Hanston, worth $100,000 to $250,000. Moran inherited farmland last year in Jackson County, Mo., worth $1,000 to $5,000. Road to China leads student to study law WATER: Children entertain themselves with water fun CONTINUED FROM PAQE A1 \ Sarah Jaquay, 3, just looked up and smiled as she .picked up her white towel covered with long dark marks. ^ Caylen Kuhn, 4, figured out how to get his towel clean, and plenty wet as he piled it atop the sprinkler, then held it dripping over his head. The teachers just shook their heads and smiled. "This is great," said Tara Neitzel, a Fort Hays State University student who helps out at Little Sprouts. "They enjoy themselves so much, and it feels good when we get wet, too." In the back yard, five toddlers ages 1 to 3 were making their own fun. Kylie Wellbrock, 21 months, and Gage Porter, 20-month-old son of Brenda Porter, Little Sprouts owner and director, took turns using plastic shovels to dump water into a bucket from a container. "They love playing in the water," Brenda Porter said. ' And in the sand. Gage, Kylie and Nolan Klaus, who will turn 3 next month, alternated between the water toys and the sandy area beneath the swing set. "They just go from one to the other," said Porter, also head teacher of the preschool. "They're good about entertaining themselves." Meanwhile, In the front yard, 3-year-old Grace Degbien stood below the spout of the sprinkler and let the water run down her back while the rest of her classmates played on the grass. Even Justus Schwarz was able to get into the act, despite wearing a bright orange full- length cast on his left arm. Justus, 5, broke his arm when he fell backwards on it while playing earlier this month, and the lining in his cast is foam rather than cotton, so it doesn't absorb water. Justus' dad, Pat Schwarz, said the first thing he thought of when Justus broke his arm was not being able to play in the water. "He loves water," said Pat Schwarz, who added that Justus enjoys everything at Little Sprouts. "The best thing is that he is ready to get up and go in the morning, no problem." Karl and Sandra Meyers have two children — 5-year-old Braiden and 2-year-old Macy — attending Little Sprouts, making it convenient for the family. "I love it that they can be there together," Sandra Meyers said. "It's a great learning environment. They get lots of special attention, and there's always something fun to do." On Wednesdays during the summer, number one on the fun list is playing in water. After about a half hour of frolicking In the water and grass Wednesday, the youngsters began spreading out their towels and laid down on them face first. Were they worn out already? "No," Neitzel said, shaking her head. "They're just sun-bathing." STEVEN HAU8LER / Htya Dally News Kylie Wellbrock, 21 months, playi with water Wedneiday at the little Sprouts Childcare Center and Prewhool In Haya. Reporter Diane Qasper-O'Brien can be reached at (785) 628-1081, ext. 126, or by e-mail at dobrl»nOd9llynmw9.n*t. By MICAH MERTES HAYS DAILY NEWS For Fort Hays State University senior Diane . Becker, a one- month trip to China turned into an almost year-long stay and a big start to a burgeoning career in law. _ , Becker, Becker Lenora, recently returned from about 11 months of schooling, teaching and interning at a prominent Chinese law firm. "I didn't start out expecting to stay that long," she said. "Opportunities just kept coming up, ones I couldn't turn down. I'm pretty glad I didn't turn them down; it's one of the best experiences I've had yet." Last July, Becker, along with a handful of other FHSU students, arrived in Beijing to study at the University of Business and Economics. Halfway through the month-long program, Becker decided that she wanted to stay throughout the fall semester and study Chinese. For the next few months, Becker honed her ability in the language and also taught two sections of oral English at the university. "It was very challenging to get the students to talk," she said. "Chinese culture teaches them not to give opinions, to just listen and take notes. But everyday they got a little bit more open. I definitely saw an improvement by the end of the semester." At the same time, Becker found herself missing her friends and family, ready to come home during winter break. Then another opportunity arose. She found that an intern position had opened up at the Zhong Sheng Law Firm in Beijing. "I was so nervous going in applying, really doubting my ability," Becker said. "But I couldn't pass It up." Becker nailed the Interview, got the internship and found herself staying another few months in China. "I was so thrilled to get it," she said. "I got to deal with international arbitration, the area of More than anything, the experience gave me the confidence to know that I can compete with students at bigger and more expensive universities. pp Diane Becker, FHSU student law I want to study." International arbitration focuses on settling disputes between international businesses with different national business laws. Originally, Becker was hired to translate the documents into English. But as time progressed, she started getting more responsibilities. "I started writing the statement of claim, added to it, changed its order with the lawyers I worked with," she said. "I started doing a lot more." . One particular case she was working on is going to trial in October. She will go back to China to help argue the case, and if the case works out in her firm's favor, she could end up seeing a chunk of her firm's take. "Getting to work at a major law firm like that opens a lot of doors," Becker said. "But more than anything, the experience gave me the confidence to know that I can compete with students at bigger and more ex- , pensive universities than FHSU. "A year ago, I wanted to go to Stanford Law School, but I never could believe in myself," she said. "But something that I realized, something that all Fort Hays students should realize, is that we have all the skills that we need, maybe even more so than a lot of other schools. We're able to interact personally, to build relationships, which is really what the world is all about." This fall, Becker will begin applying to different law schools, including Stanford. Reporter Mfcart Merteg can be reached at (78S) &8-18Q1, egt. 139, or by e-fnaji at mmert»tOdallyn*W9.ntt I-

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