The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on March 31, 1998 · Page 3
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 3

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Salina, Kansas
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Tuesday, March 31, 1998
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Page 3
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THE SALINA JOURNAL Great Plains TUESDAY, MARCH 31, 1998 A3 SALINE COUNTY APPRAISALS County even hears of low home appraisal Total residential appraisal was up 9 percent : this year By SHARON MONTAGUE The Salina Journal Before noon Monday, Saline County Appraiser Rod Broberg had heard from two Salinans upset about the value appraisers determined for their properties. The first caller, Broberg told county commissioners, was upset that the value placed on his lot was more than he paid for the property — a typical complaint. The second caller, he said, was upset that the value of her house on Columbine had gone down. She and her husband relocate every two years, she said, and her husband's employer buys the couple's house for the value set by the appraiser's office. "They didn't want the value to go down," Broberg said. Broberg said he assured both that they could appeal the values. The woman whose home's value had decreased had scheduled an appeal hearing. BROBERG All in all, Broberg said things were pretty calm in his office Monday, the first business day after change-in- value notices were mailed to county property owners. Property owners who don't agree with the values placed on their properties are required to call Broberg's office to schedule informal hearings before appraisal staff. "The phones weren't real busy this morning, but it might pick up this afternoon," Broberg said. Commissioners also hadn't been deluged with complaints. Commissioner Doug Forsberg said he received one phone call. Commission Chairman Deane Allen said people had expressed concerns to him when they saw him, but that he hadn't received calls. Broberg didn't calculate an average increase this year for residential or commercial properties, he said. But the combined value of all residential property is up 9 percent over last year's value, Broberg said. The combined value of all commercial property is up 14 percent over last year, and the value of agricultural property as a whole is down 1.5 percent. Those figures include new residential and commercial construction, Broberg said. Those numbers don't represent the. final assessed value of all property in, the county; values might be lowered during the appeals process, Broberg. said. The 1997 total county valuation was $322,410,885. The total value of all property is important because tax levies are based on that valuation. As the total valuation in* creases, the property tax levy decreases to raise the same amount of money. BRIEFLY Salina fleet among Hueys grounded ,' The military's grounding of its fleets of UH-1 Huey helicopters has affected the several aircraft Stationed at Salina. « "Our Hueys will be down until further notice," said Dave Young, assistant public affairs officer for the'adjutant general's office in Topeka. ! "This is a worldwide grounding <^f all Hueys." The order was issued Friday. The Vietnam-era helicopters have suffered "catastrophic mechanical problems" involving gearboxes that for unexplained reasons caused the engines to speed up while gauges dropped to zero, an Army official told the Associated Press. Young said there have been no problems with any of the Hueys used by the Kansas Guard. When not In use for warfare training, the aircraft assist with emergencies.. throughout the state. Ijtj-Salina, the helicopters are paifcof Company D, 1st Battalion, ll^fh Command Aviation. Besides the UH-1 aircraft, there are^three newer UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters assigned to Detachment 1, Company A, 1st Bat- talibn 108th Aviation. Phone calls to the aviation units went unanswered Monday. Police investigating missing teen-ager ; .MINNEAPOLIS 1 — Police are investigating the disappearance 6f;a teen-age girl who has been missing for about a week. . Tabitha Ann Marie "Tabby" Hanchett, 17, was last seen in Minneapolis at 8:40 p.m. March Chief Lanny Zadina S ouldn't comment on whether arichett was a runaway or Whether foul play was suspected in her disappearance. He also would not say where she was last seen. .' ;"A11 1 can say is we're investigating the case, and we're seeing ifVe can locate her," Zadina said. Hanchett is described as 5 feet, 4 inches tall, 119 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. When she was last seen, she was wearing dark sweat pants, a T- shirt and sandals. Body of man missing 3|nce November found : MILFORD LAKE — The body of a:Slay Center man who disappeared Nov. 1 at Milford Lake during a hunting trip with his son was recovered Saturday. t Alan Huber, 44, was hunting ^ater fowl with his 13-year-old son, Jason, when the boat the two were in capsized about 300 yards from shore. ' The boy survived, but his father was presumed drowned. ; An extensive search for Huber was conducted following his disappearance with no success. I Hubert's body was spotted by a fisherman, Wayne Fowler, Wake- fjeld, north of the Wakefield oauseway. The body was recovered by Clay County sheriffs offi- ciers about 9 p.m. Saturday. b three arrested after marijuana found on bus ; Three people were arrested in S,.alina after 50 pounds of marijuana were found on a Greyhound bus headed for St. Louis. i Lt. Steven Ragan of the Kansas Highway Patrol wouldn't identify the people who were arrested, saying the case was being investigated. '• The three were arrested after the bus, stopped at the Amoco gas sjation at Interstate 135 and Qrawford Street, was searched by ij drug-sniffing dog. The marijuana was found in two duffel bags. i Ragan said officers delivered tfie marijuana to St. Louis, where a( fourth person was arrested. From Staff Reports The Associated Pres Reps. David Adklns, R-Leawood, (with booklet) and Ed McKechnle, D-Pittsburg, present the higher education reform plan Monday to the joint Senate committees. Senate unlikely to move on college reform Committee chairs don't think they have enough time for issue By The Associated Press TOPEKA — Two Senate committees may be the end of the line — at least this session — for an ambitious plan developed in the House to change the way Kansas' higher education insti- tutions and programs are governed and coordinated. Chairmen Dave Kerr of Ways and Means and Barbara Lawrence of the Education Committee said they believe too little time remains in this session for their panels to review, rework and send to the Senate a proposal developed by the House Select Committee on Higher Education. Kerr also was skeptical whether the state could, afford to grant $190 million in tax relief this year and also finance the higher education restructuring plan, which he said would cost $150 million over four years. Despite the unenthusiastic Senate reception, Speaker Tim Shal- lenburger and Chairman David Adkins of the select committee said they are not ready to concede the plan has no chance of winning Senate approval this session. "We're not through yet; we're not giving up," said Shallen- burger, R-Baxter Springs. "They've had the hearing; now they can reflect on that." Adkins, R-Leawood, said, "I'm not willing to send up a white flag yet. I think we have created an opportunity that I would hate to see them squander just because it's late in the session." While conceding he has "not much leverage" in the Senate, there is always "sweet talk," to try to get the plan considered, Shallenburger said. Adkins said he is certain leaders will continue to discuss the plan. The plan abolishes the Board of Regents and replaces it with a new Council on Higher Education that would govern the six state universities, bring Washburn University into the state system and coordinate program activities of the state's 19 community colleges and 11 vocational-technical schools. T NATURE An odd duck lights on Salina pond By DAVID CLOUSTON The Salina Journal A duck usually not seen far from Mexico has made a home, temporarily at least, on a pond at the Red Fox Lane housing development in southeast Salina. The black-bellied whistling duck is native to Mexico, the southern tip of Texas and southern Arizona. "This far out of its range, it's just lost," said Doug Rudick, owner of a bird supply store. "We've had a lot of high winds the last few days, and a lot of birds get blown off track." Donna Young, who commonly feeds the ducks and geese that land on the ponds near her home at 4 Red Fox Lane, first spotted the duck about two weeks ago. "When I threw some grain out to feed them it came up to eat," she said, "It's got longer legs than a normal duck. It makes a whistling noise instead of a quack." The bird has a bright red bill with a pale tip, pink legs, a gray face and upper neck with white eye ring, a black belly and dark reddish-brown body. Rudick, owner of Wild Bird Crossing at 2306 Planet, said this is only the fourth recorded sighting of a black- billed whistling duck in Kansas. A pair were spotted in Butler County in 1982. The other sightings were at the Quivira National Waterfowl Refuge in 1980 and the Marais Des Cygnes Wildlife Area in eastern Kansas in 1956. Rudick saw the bird Sunday morning. "I was thinking it was going to be way out on the pond. Actually I heard it whistling, then it went right by my car and landed on the road and started eat- Home away from home Salina t KANSAS MINNEAPOLIS ELLSWORTH CLOUD AUSTIN ALBERT The black-bellied whistling duck has made a surprise visit to the ponds of Red Fox Lane in Salina. • Most populated habitat In the U. S. of the black-bellied whlsitling duck ing some corn. It was about 15 feet away," he said. The bird has attracted other viewers. It can be seen from the road, at times swimming with mallards and Canada geese on the west side of the west pond. "This is what's fun about being in Kansas, because you truly can see just about anything," said Marge Streckfus, a member of the Smoky Hills Audubon Society. "What it's doing up here in the spring? I don't have a clue." T SALINE COUNTY COMMISSION Vote delayed on sheriff's supplies By SHARON MONTAGUE The Salina Journal The Saline County Sheriffs Office will hav> to wait another week to see if county commiav sioners approve the purchase of tire flattenere; and training tools. T- The tire flatteners are spike-bearing mats' that can be stretched across a road to flatten the tires of a fleeing suspect. ' Commissioners will vote on the issue at their- formal meeting at 11 a.m. April 7. * '. Sheriff Glen Kochanowski wants seven sets' of Stinger Spikes, along with carrying case&tools and replacement spikes. That will bel enough to place one set in each patrol car. The; total cost is $2,835. :; The spike mats are about 15 feet long andl about 18 inches wide. Kochanowski said one of% ficer can deploy the spikes as the suspect cai^ approaches, then remove the mat before chasj-* ing law enforcement vehicles arrive. -' Kochanowski also wants a padded suit and &• dummy for use in training officers in the use of- expandable batons, known as asps. - * In early training, officers use the dummy to* learn how best to hit a person, he said. * ' After learning the maneuvers on the dummy,', officers train with a person dressed in the- padded suit. \'. The suit and the dummy will cost a total o£ $3,412. ; • In response to a question from Commission* Chairman Deane Allen, Kochanowski said that; if commissioners approved only one of the twp' purchases, he would prefer to have the road* spike mats. Money for both purchases was in*; eluded in the county's 1998 equipment improve!-' ment fund. SUGGESTIONS? CALL BEN WEARING, DEPUTY EDITOR, AT (785) 923*6363 OR 1-800-827-6363 OR E-MAIL AT 8jbwearlng@saljournal.com

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