The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 1, 1998 · Page 11
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 11

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Salina, Kansas
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Wednesday, April 1, 1998
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Page 11
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f Si WEDNESDAY APRIL-1,1088 THE SALINA JOURNAL Great Plains VIEWPOINTS / B2 ALMANAC / B3 FUN / B4 B V SALINE COUNTY SHERIFF Standoff over sheriff's budget grows stale Former sheriff calls for discussions to find middle ground on hiring consultant By SHARON MONTAGUE The Salina Journal A two-week stalemate between Saline County commissioners and Sheriff Glen Kochanowski over the possible hiring of a consultant continues, prompting one commissioner to term the situation "ridiculous" and a former sheriff to call for discussions. The standoff stems from the commissioners wanting to hire a consultant to study the sheriffs office because of budget overruns in nine of the past 10 years. But after learning that the study would include possible privatization of the county jail, Kochanowski refused to cooperate further. "Since that time, the commission has not done any more work" on a proposed scope of services for the consultant study, KOCHANOWSKI WHITE FORSBERG ALLEN WILSON Commissioner Mike White said Tuesday. White said the scope of services for such a study had been completed before Kochanowski expressed his concern and told commissioners he wouldn't cooperate. Without the sheriffs cooperation, such a study might not be helpful. White said he had lunch with Kochanowski last week to discuss the situation and other issues, and Commissioner Doug Forsberg said he hoped to meet with Kochanowski and talk. "I do hope we can get it resolved, one way or another," Forsberg said. "It's ridiculous to have two entities at odds and not be on the same page." Commission Chairman Deane Allen said he wasn't sure what could be accomplished by commissioners talking individually with Kochanowski. "There's nothing to be gained by it, that I can see," Allen said. A concern is whether a consultant study could be completed in time for the information to be used in completing the 1999 county budget. Budgets are completed in June or July. "That question has come up in conversations," White said. But Forsberg noted that if results of a study weren't available when the budget was completed, the budget could be amended later. Kochanowski declined comment on the consultant issue. Former sheriff urges talks Former Saline County Sheriff Darrell Wilson said he would urge commissioners and Kochanowski to sit down together to discuss their differences and come to some resolution. In fact, when speaking with newly elected sheriffs at the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center last fall, he stressed that it's necessary for sheriffs to find common ground with their commissioners and strive to communicate well with them. "They need to develop that common ground before they have disagreements, because there are going to be disagreements," Wilson said. "They have to be prepared." If Kochanowski and Saline County commissioners were to sit down together and talk, Wilson said, he was sure they could come to some agreement. '. "They sat down and came to a resolutibh' with Saddam Hussein," Wilson quipped! ; Wilson supports Kochanowski's plans to appoint a citizen committee to study past budgets and help develop the sheriffs office's 1999 budget. Although he won't serve on the committee, Wilson said he would act as a resource person, helping the committee understand the history of the department and its budgets. Wilson said he is a big believer in com-, mittees. He established the jail advisory, board during his tenure to study the possibility of building a new jail or an addi- j tion to the existing jail. The board dev'el- ( oped the building and financing plans and continued to meet during construe,-, tion of the facility. J "The town is full of knowledgeable, intelligent people who are eager to help," Wilson said. "I like using citizens of the county to help make decisions. The jail advisory board did a tremendous service' to the community." BRIEFLY Flooding closes K-4 highway overnight Saline County officials closed K-4 highway late Monday night because of Gypsum Creek flooding but opened the road early Tuesday morning. The county expected no more flooding unless more precipitation falls, said Bryan Armstrong, assistant director of Saline County Emergency management. "Everything is on its way down," Armstrong said. "The only problem is unless we get everything dried out, every time it rains, all that water is going to go into the rivers and creeks because the ground just can't hold anything." District plans nothing fancy, Morris says There's nothing fancy in the Salina School District's building options, even in the $136 million complete plan, Salina School District Superintendent Gary Norris told a group of 65 people Tuesday. The meeting at Heusner Elementary School, where parents served cookies, attracted the largest crowd of any so far in a series of town meetings on the district's building plans, ranging from $50 million to $136 million. The meetings are to present information and hear comments so one plan could be placed on a ballot sometime this fall. Someone in the crowd wanted to know what part of the plans should be eliminated to help the measure pass so students don't miss a chance for better schools. "That's what we're trying to find right now," Salina School Board president Doug Mull said. "These meetings are to find out what will fly." Officials haven't heard strong comments about what the community is willing to support. Another meeting is set for 7 p.m. Thursday at the Presbyterian Manor, 2601 E. Crawford. Tips sought on theft of Godfather's safe Salina police are asking for the public's help in solving a burglary at Godfather's Pizza, 600 S. Broadway. Between 10:30 p.m. Feb. 17 and 8:35 a.m. Feb. 18, someone forced open the back door and took a tan Sentry combination floor safe containing about $1,218 in cash and checks. Loss is estimated at $2,118. Anyone with information about the burglary can call Crimestop- pers, 825-TIPS. Callers aren't required to give their names and CQuld be eligible for rewards of up to $1,000. Thacker's retiring after year as police chief HERINGTON — Herington Police Chief Barry Thacker announced his retirement after spending one year as chief. Thacker has decided to retire under the Kansas police and fire retirement program. The program lets those with 25 years of service retire when they turn 50. Thacker will turn 50 on Aug. 1, but he had a lot of vacation time coming to him, so he has decided to retire now, said John Carder, Herington city manager. Thacker had almost 25 years of service with the Herington Police Department before being named chief. Carder named Assistant Police Chief Bob Shinn as interim chief until he decides what he will do to replace Thacker. From Staff Reports Play in clay DAVIS TURNER / The Salina Journal Paige Mauch, 5, waits for her art teacher Helen Weaver to finish trimming a fresh piece of clay for her on Tuesday. "Play In Clay" is a program sponsored by the Salina Parks and Recreation Department at the Carver Center. Weaver teaches on a continuum of six classes, In which her philosophy is, "Give them the tools and skills and get out of the way." Paige is the daughter of Sallnans Marsha and Bill Mauch. TYWCA V SALINE COUNTY COMMISSION County delays Schilling ditch plan Proposal would give city ownership and responsibility for maintenance on 200 acres By SHARON MONTAGUE The Salina Journal Concerns about 200 acres of land that would be deeded to Salina under a proposed city- county agreement led Saline County commissioners Tuesday to table action on the issue. The issue will again be up for approval at 11 a.m. Tuesday. Under the proposed city-county agreement, ownership of the entire Schilling Road drainage ditch and a section of Schilling Road would be transferred from the county to the V COURTS city. Only the portion of Schilling Road between the Union Pacific railroad tracks and Ohio Street would be transferred. Through annexation, the city would assume full responsibility for maintenance and law enforcement on the stretch of Schilling Road and the drainage ditch. The county would act on the city's behalf in managing the 200 acres of farmable ground in the drainage ditch right-of- way. Commissioner Mike White questioned whether the county could sell the 200 acres of right-of-way, leading to a Monday discussion with Mike Montoya, county counselor. White said all of his questions about the possible sale weren't answered, which is why he requested that action on the item be delayed. Montoya noted at the Monday meeting that both the city and the county helped pay for upgrading Schilling Road and building the drainage ditch. Federal grants also were used. Therefore, if the land were to be sold, research would have to be done to determine, how much of the money each entity should receive. Also, Montoya was concerned that if the land were sold, the city and county would have little control over how the owner farmed the land, and might not have any recourse if something were done to the land that would compromise the effectiveness of the drainage ditch. Also Tuesday, commissioners held a public hearing on proposed minimum road construction standards and reappointed Herbert Monroe and Kenneth Will to three-year terms on the Saline County Board of Zoning Appeals. Trial opens for sheriff accused of abuse The Associated Press Sheriff Pat Collins (left) leafs through juror questionnaires Tuesday at his trial. Did sheriff go too far in handling of inmates or was he doing his job? By The Associated Press COLUMBUS — Prosecutors depicted Cherokee County Sheriff Pat Collins as a man who lost his temper and went too far. But the defense said Tuesday that Collins was simply doing his job in quelling angry criminals when he used Mace on inmates and kicked them. The southeast Kansas sheriff faces three felony counts of aggravated assault for threatening inmates with a gun and six misdemeanor counts of mistreating inmates for spraying them with pepper spray. Collins also is charged with misdemeanor counts of mistreatment of a confined person for kicking inmate Timothy Vance while Vance was restrained in a chair by handcuffs and leg irons and for stepping on and kicking inmate Roger Wells while Wells was handcuffed and lying face-down. The two separate incidents occurred after Wells led deputies on a chase and Vance escaped from jail. Wells died in a car accident Friday in Columbus. Defense lawyers filed a motion Tuesday to dismiss the charges involving Wells, but the judge decided to proceed with them and let the jury decide. In each case, prosecutor Gary Foiles said, the inmates or arrested suspects had been unruly, but were calm by the time they were allegedly abused by Collins. "He wasn't trying to quell any disturbance," Foiles said of Collins' use of Mace on inmates in their cells. "He went up there to get even." But defense attorney Kurt Kerns said the inmates were still banging on walls and making noise when the Mace was used. He also said Collins took his gun into the jail because a door was left open after an inmate hit a jailer with a sock filled with a bar of soap in an unsuccessful escape attempt. Kerns said Collins thought some of the inmates might have gotten out of their cells and into the kitchen, where knives were stored. "He did not commit a crime," Kerns said of Collins. "He did his job." Foiles said Collins kicked and stepped on Wells because he was angry, but Kerns said Collins was holding Wells in place because the suspect was spitting and fighting officers. Vance was being held in a small room and refused to move his legs when Collins walked by, so Collins ended up bumping Vance when he passed, Kerns said. MARTIN Martin tabbed to leadYWGA Membership and funds are up for Christian women's organization , By DAVID CLOUSTON The Salina Journal The Salina YWCA has turned to one of its own to be the organization's new executive director. Sherry Martin will start in the position April 15. : Martin, 41, was elected to the YWCA's board of directors in 1995. During her tenure on the board, she has served as development committee chairperson and first vice president. Martin assumes a position' vacant" || since Pat Kih- naird resigned in May. Martin becomes the third YWCA director in three years. "She has always had a warm spot in her heart for the YWCA, as a volunteer and board member," said Barbara Knight, YWCA president. "She has aspired to be the '• executive director of a mission- '. driven organization, and the YWCA is her preferred choice. "She's been on the board for three years. Now, as she makes the transition into management, we feel like she'll also have the same commitment." Martin has been at the front of efforts to put the YWCA back on sound financial footing after the organization faced some difficulties and declining membership in recent years. As chairperson of the YWCA Development Committee, Martin helped develop three major fund- raisers, the YWCA Charity Golf Scramble, the Homes for the Holidays Tour, and a 3-on-3 basketball tournament that featured an appearance by women's star Lynette Woodard. A youth basketball league begun by the YWCA also has been successful, drawing 131 girls and boys last season. "I am feeling good about our (financial) progress," Knight said. "Our membership has increased." The YWCA has about 1,400 members. More than 600 members were gained during a membership drive from Oct. 1 to Jan. 26. "We increased our membership and with these significant fund- raisers we've had, we've been able to do building improvements," Knight said. The YWCA received quite a few inquiries from people as far away as Denver interested in the executive director's post, she said. Martin said she did not initially intend to apply for the position, planning instead to stay home with her children. She changed her mind, in part, because of her desire to serve the community. Martin holds a bachelor's degree from Northwest Christian College, Eugene, Ore. Her work experience includes retail store management and advertising sales. "We still have a little ways to go in regards to attracting women in the Generation X and baby boom ages," she said. "Work also needs to be done to address child-care issues. Every community survey that's done lists a need to provide quality child care." SUGGESTIONS? CALL BEN WEARING, DEPUTY EDITOR, AT (795) 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363 OR E-MAIL AT 8Jbwearlng@8aliournal.com

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