The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas on June 28, 2006 · Page 3
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The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas · Page 3

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006
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WEDNESDAY, JUNE 28,2006 REGION AND STATE THE HAYS DAILY NEWS A3 Ethanol plants efforts help keep city out of water emergency BV W'LLiIj TWANT.Y r1r\r»*» tirafnt* IICO fUaw ^flfl fWl cra11r»r\e nf tirafov nnr> rlaxr oot'taiMltr rlr\*i*f ttraM*- 4-r\ rtnt *•/-» 4-ltnt nJ-sirvsi " nr\ ttrilt Vni 4*tn4-*11*ir4 4*« fVtn Di«-r f *•*«•» 1* tir«_ By WILL MANLY HAYS DAILY NEWS RUSSELL — Voluntary conservation efforts are enough to compensate for low water levels. For now. Russell is in its "water warning" stage — the middle level — of its water conservation plan. The city has asked residents to limit outdoor water use, said public works director Arlyn Unrein. The main industrial water consumer, U.S. Energy Partners, also has agreed to limit its water usage. Unrein hopes these efforts will be enough to save the city from its "water emergency" stage, which would require a ban on all out- door water use. Unrein said residents are asked to follow an odd/even address lawn-watering system. Those with addresses ending with odd numbers are asked to water only on odd-numbered days; even numbered addresses are asked to water only on even-numbered days. Residents also are asked to water lawns no more than twice per week and to refill swimming pools no more than once per week. No outside water use should take place from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Unrein said. U.S. Energy Partners used about 700,000 gallons of water per day during May in ethanol production and wheat gluten processing operations. Currently U.S. Energy Partners consumes less than 500,000 gallons of water per day from Russell's water supply; another 100,000 gallons per day comes from the Post Rock Rural Water District. "Since the plan has gone into effect and we've asked them to voluntarily reduce their usage, they've lowered their consumption to about 492,000 gallons per day," Unrein said. Unrein said the reduction in consumption by the plant has helped Russell's water situation "tremendously." The plant could "either slow down and keep running, or keep running full bore and run out," Unrein said.'"The third stage (of the plan), or the water emergency stage, could possibly cause them to have to shut down their facility. And we certainly don't want to get to that stage." John Neufeld, chief operating officer at U.S. Energy Partners, said the plant's production has not decreased. Water-saving programs have allowed production to remain steady even with a decrease in resources. "We have actually invested a lot over the years in water-consumption reduction," Neufeld said. "We are doing some things right now that will be very expensive for us but at the same time they will let us meet our obligations. We've been able to meet the commitments that we've made with long-term contracts." The city plans more steps this summer to alleviate future water conservation issues. A $60,000 variable speed dri- ve will be installed in the Big Creek water pump in July, Unrein said. The current drive can run the pump at only one speed and when Big Creek is low the pump drains it too quickly, Unrein said. "In low flow times, it will pump the stream down and the stream won't be able to recharge fast enough," he said. "Hopefully with this pump we'll be able to slow down the flow." Test wells also will be drilled north of Russell along the Saline River. Wells for consumption could be drilled in this area in the next two or three years, Un« rein said, if favorable sites are found. Reporter Will Manly can be reached at (785) 628-1081, ext. 138, or by e-mail at wmanly@dallynews.net. i Hays punk band goes out in blaze of glory By MICAH MERTES HAYS DAILY NEWS Before anything else is explained about the band — how its members formed it more than two years ago, what its punk influences are, why it played its last show Tuesday night, one first must be filled in on the origin of the outfit's name — The A*** Blazers. For this article, the band's moniker will be abridged to The Blazers. To find out the group's full name, ask any punk fan between the ages of 15 and 20. "For a few weeks we were trying to choose a good name," said Josh Wasinger, singer, bassist and Hays High School senior. "I think we wrote out a list that was about two pages of names. I threw one in as a joke, and sure enough, it was the one we picked. It was dumb, it was punk. We finally just gave up and went with it." On Tuesday night under one of the shelters of Municipal Park, it was hard to believe that the trio started playing instruments only a few weeks before the band's inception. Wasinger attacked the bass and mic with intense precision. The band's drummer, Jason Swart — conveniently long-haired — yjolent- ^'iy blib'bed'nls' head up and'dpwn . ^>without missing a beat. ,.. "We started out in'/frue punk "'''' style in that we barely knew how to play our instruments," said Nick Packauskas, who plays guitar and shares singing duties with Wasinger. "A lot of punk bands, a lot of the great ones, picked up their instruments for the first time and played a show the next day. So it was a good genre of music to come into quickly." About a week from now, Pack- auskas is leaving for the University of Kansas to study math and classical languages. He will leave Wasinger and Swart behind for a final year of high school. The guitarist's departure made Tuesday evening's performance the band's last. "The past few years, we just played different shows and had fun with it," Swart said. "It was something to do; it kept us out of trouble." When they started the band, they just wanted to play punk, just wanted to support the local music scene. In addition to playing punk, dressing punk and acting punk, they also practiced in a strictly punk fashion. i The three spontaneously held \ practices in the garages, basements ; and bedrooms that were available, ! pretty much wherever and whenev- ! er they felt like it. BO WEMPE / Hays Dally News Bassist Josh Wasinger, drummer Jason Swart and guitarist Nick Packauskas perform their final show Tuesday night in Municipal Park. <4" CONCERTS SHOW LOCAL MUSIC SCENE ON THE OP-SWING By MICAH MERTES HAYS DAILY NEWS The Blazers were only one of five bands that played Tuesday night at one of the increasingly popular Municipal Park concerts. Once or twice a month, local punk, metal and emo rockers can be found blasting out the intense lyrics and power chords that mark their genres. Mini moshpits crowd the front of the homemade stage. There's a distinct sweaty energy There are mohawks. The events have been going on for about two years. "The concerts are a good way for members of the local music scene to build an audience and have a good time," said Nick Schmidt, a drummer and singer for two local punk bands that performed, Tactical Defiance "We'd go three weeks without practicing and then just one day decide to play for a few hours," Pack- auskas said. "It was great." All three of The Blazers plan to continue playing music in some capacity or another, perhaps joining new bands, perhaps just playing on and Pro Choice. • ••" ' '' •• Schmidt built the stage the bands play on. It's a good way of showing how homespun the concerts can be, he said. For Tuesday's concert, a band from Iowa stopped in Hays while in the middle of a cross country tour. The AKAs describe themselves as "action rock" and like to get their audience riled up. "This has been pretty awesome," said Jordan Long, The AKAs lead singer. "A lot of the shows we go to, the kids like it but they just don't seem to show it during the performance. At this show tonight, you can see that everyone's having a good time, the audience gets a little wild up front. That makes our job a lot easier." During one of the final performances of the evening, when the their own for awhile. "It's hard not to play music," Wasinger said. "It's important that small towns like Hays have a good music scene." And they all say that this might not yet be the end of The Blazers. Wasinger said, "We'll continue to 'moshing had died down a bit, punk connoisseur Justin Stegman came to the front of the stage and said with mock anger, "You guys aren't moshing to The Misfits? What's wrong with you?" Nick Packauskas, who was in the middle of a set at the time, lifted his left hand from in front of his beloved five-string and announced half seriously, "Justin Stegman is the voice of a generation."' Perhaps. The fifth band to play at the performance was Fat Choy of Plainville. To see a full schedule of upcoming performances, go to my- space.com/themerkinmooking. Reporter Micah Merles can be reached at (785) 628-1801, ext. 139, or by e-mail at mmertes@dallynews.net. play after this..." "Somehow," Packauskas interjected. "Maybe we'll be back here 20 years from now for a full-blown reunion." Reporter Micah Merles can be reached at (785) 628-1801, ext. 139, or by e-mail at mmertes@dallynews.net. Friends again Library board, group find themselves on better ground from a year ago By KAREN MIKOLS HAYS DAILY Nnws After a tumultuous year, the Friends of the Hays Public Library are gearing up for its second used book sale. "At the book sale, anything goes," Friends President Ruth Firestone said. "That's why we sell them by the bag. There are people who come to all of the book sales and purchase an enormous number of books." A bag of books costs $5, with the second bag priced at $4 and any additional bags at $3. Thursday is the first day of the sale, which is open to Friends members only. "Anyone is welcome to come in and sign up at the door," Firestone said. Since the reorganization, membership soared, said Linda Pelzel, membership chairwoman for the Friends and volunteer coordinator for the bookstore. "Opening the bookstore helped, with the visibility it gave the Friends," Pelzel said. This week's book sale is coordinated with the Wild West Festival. "We hope we can tie in with what's going on downtown," Pelzel said. This is the Friends second sale post-reorganization. The December sale shed more than 2,500 books, raking in $1,066 from books and $567 from membership fees. It was a strong start for a revamped organization. The group pondered, disbanding about a year ago, after 'disagreement ara^g the fafpSi' offiq«rs.ubii-ir-ib The group met mid-July last year to discuss the organization's'future. After forming a nominating in. committee, voting on new"officers and revamping the bylaws, the group began to pick up the pieces. Books Etc., the group's bookstore within the library, reopened in January after a nine-month closure. Money the Friends raise is given to programs or other needs of the library. Janet Affentranger, liaison between the Hays Public Library Board and the Friends, said the relationship improved in the last year. "It's such a great group," Affentranger said. "They work so hard — you can tell they really love the library. They work so well with Melanie Miller and the library staff and board." So well, in fact, that Affentranger said several board members are volunteering to help with the book sale. The efforts are noticeable to the Friends as well. "We're not hearing all those negative comments that were going around," Pelzel said. "I think it's a spirit of cooperation right now." Firestone agrees the group is headed in the right direction. "We're all dedicated to keeping the Friends up and running and keeping it a friendly organization," Firestone said. "I think it could be that the Friends got into trouble before because they were so dedicated. It became an obsession with some of the members to run the thing their way and of course others became equally obsessed that they shouldn't do that. "I think now we've cooled it. We're dedicated and we want it to be a good organization, but I don't think anyone is obsessing over it." Reporter Karen Mikols can be reached at (785) 6281081, ext. 143, orbye-mailatkmlkols@dallynews.net. Cancer support group returns to HMC Briefs PHYLLIS J. ZORN MS DAILY NEWS i Cancer support groups at Hays Medical Center have been reorganized and will begin meeting ' 4gain next week. ' Cancer support groups ceased meeting more than a year ago Yrtien the facilitators found different jobs. In the interim, the program has been retooled and re- Designed for what the program coordinator and the new facilitator iope will be a winning combination of education and support for cancer patients and their families. ! Stephanie Bedore, cancer sup- fiort program coordinator, said the interim provided an opportu- ^ity to rethink the support group. « "We were hoping to create a wore structured support group," fiedore said. T The hospital's cancer team con- tocted Charlene Weigel, who draft& some ideas for the support $roup- Then they set about mak- fog the ideas come to life. T "I think we were just trying to get away froro the 'coffee house' Weigel said she likes a definition, of a support group used by the American Cancer Society. "A support group is a way in which people can use human relationships to work on problems common to the cancer experience," Weigel said that definition reads, citing the book, "Cancer Support Groups, a Guide For Facilitators. "Often times when people are diagnosed with cancer they do have the support of family and friends, but they can still feel alone," Weigel said. Weigel said that participating in a support group gives a cancer survivor a sense of belonging and a safe place where their feelings are accepted and understood. "When a person hears that they have cancer, my opinion is that they have just been dealt a life-altering diagnosis," Weigel said. That's why the support group play a significant role in cancer treatment, Weigel said. "Support groups are not just about telling people their sad stories, but rather it's an opportunity to share fears, worries, experiences and how they've successfully managed those circumstances in their lives," Weigel said. Weigel designed the support groups as blocks of nine sessions meeting over a span of 18 weeks. Each hour-and-a-half session will have a unique education component, with a speaker providing information about a specific topic. Topics will include education, nutrition, health and exercise, tender loving care, skin care, spiritual, survivor and caregiver, finances and insurance and community resources. "Then the remaining time we'll work with the support group," Weigel said. Weigel said participants are free to pick and choose which sessions they attend. The support group members are encouraged to bring one important person along with them, Weigel said. "I'm also encouraging support group members to bring one support person or care-giver," Weigel said. "It's not mandatory by any means." The support groups will meet from 7 to 8:30 p.m. every other Thursday evening, starting July 6, at the Center for Health Improvement. For more information, call Bedore at (785) 633-5151. Reporter Phyllis Horn can be reached at (785) 620-1081, ext. 137, or by e-mail at phyti&datlynows.nat. Midwest Energy drop box to remain in Ellis ELLIS — The Midwest Energy payment drop box in Ellis will remain in its current location in front of the former Ellis Main Street office for the time being. According to Bob Muirhead, director of economic and community development for Midwest Energy, the company is still looking at options for a permanent location for the payment drop box. However, Ellis customers can continue to drop off payments at the box and the payments will continue to be collected from the box daily, Muirhead said. When a permanent location is determined, an announcement will be made, Muirhead said. Ness City woman claims Super Kansas jackpot SPECIAL TO THE HAYS DAILY NEWS GREAT BEND — Harvesting wheat is a big, time-consuming job. It's no wonder that the $2 Super Kansas Cash ticket Shirley Weeks bought for the June 10 drawing stayed in her purse, right where she had put it, until Monday. "We have been cutting wheat, and I was so busy that I just forgot about the ticket after I got it," said Weeks. Weeks and her husband, Larry, farm near Brownell in Ness County. When Weeks discovered the Super Kansas Cash ticket in her purse, she checked her numbers against the win- ning numbers on the Lottery's Web site. "And I just couldn't believe it," Weeks said. "I had all six of the numbers." For matching all six numbers, Weeks won a $140,000 Super Kansas Cash jackpot. She claimed her winning ticket today at the Lottery's Great Bend office. "I'm just thrilled," Weeks says. "I still can't believe it's true." Weeks says she doesn't often buy a lottery ticket, but when she does, she plays Super Kansas Cash or Power- ball, and always buys a Quick Pick. On June 8, she went to Dillons, located at 1902 Vine in Hays, to buy tickets for the Wild West Festival in Hays. While there, she decided to pick up a Super Kansas Cash ticket, too. In addition to farming, Weeks is a former teacher. She retired two years ago after 25 years of teaching in WaKeeney, Jetmore, Ransom, and Ness City. Weeks and her husband have two grown children, both married. She says they haven't decided yet what they will do with their prize money. The $140,000 jackpot was one of two Super Kansas Cash jackpots that had not been claimed. A single ticket sold in south-central Kansas for the May 29 Super Kansas Cash drawing }s . worth $291,243 and remains unclaimed.

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