The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas on June 30, 2006 · Page 1
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The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas · Page 1

Hays, Kansas
Issue Date:
Friday, June 30, 2006
Page 1
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THE VOICE OF THE HIGH PLAINS Friday June 30,2006 Hays, Kansas 500 to try ag K purcli By MIKE CORN HAYS DAILY NEWS STEVEN HAUSLER / Hays Dally News Mike Hayden, secretary for the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, talks about the status of acquiring the Circle- K Ranch on Thursday in Scott City. SCOTT CITY — The purchase of the Circle K Ranch by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks has been on hold, but certainly not forgotten. At least not by Mike Hayden, who would like for the state to purchase the almost 7,000-acre Edwards County ranch from the cities of Hays and Russell. If and when ownership is transferred, irrigation on the ranch would ultimately cease and the land would be used for wildlife. Hayden, secretary of the state's wildlife agency, Thursday talked about plans to ask the 2007 Legislature for enough money to start the purchase process. For two years now, legislation has been passed that banned the wildlife agency from spending any money to purchase the ranch jointly owned by the city of Hays and Russell. Hayden said they are planning to move ahead with a request for $400,000 for the purchase. That's not what the ranch will sell for, but it will allow for financing the purchase. Hayden said he is planning on the federal government — through an excise tax on guns and rods and reels — reimbursing the state for 75 percent of the purchase price. Hayden shrugged off the purchase prohibition, saying only that it prevents movement between now and July 1. "We're still working with the city of Hays," he said. "We hope to bring a proposal to the 2007 Legislature." Hayden said the delay hasn't caused any problems because the city wanted to resolve issues it faced, such as reconfiguring its wellfield along the Smoky Hill River and advancing on a long-term solution for a water supply. A public hearing on the wellfield reconfiguration was conducted earlier this month and a study of available water supply at Lake Wilson is in the pipeline. The delay has also allowed time to talk with groups that have watched the progress of the discussion, including the Edwards County Commission. Hayden said commissioners have passed a resolution supporting the purchase. "We have been having some conversations with the Kansas Farm Bureau," he said. The KFB has been an ardent opponent to the purchase. Hayden said the state has not yet reached a purchase price. The city paid $4.2 million for the ranch, well above the market price at the time. A state-sponsored appraisal put the price at $3.2 million. "The money's really not the issue here," he said. "It's an issue of price, but it's not an issue of money. SEE RANCH, PAGE AB Razzle-dazzle of July 4 weekend begins '. • ' • J v 4J By MICAH MERTES HAYS DAILY NKWS AROUND THE AREA: List of regional fireworks shows. PAGE A2. The neighborhood children are lighting the street with sparklers, fountains and those snappy things you throw, and a series of area fireworks celebrations are on the horizon. Get ready for your four-day weekend; here comes Independence Day. On Thursday night on the sidewalks of 18th Street, Dawana Jennings and some of the neighborhood were enjoying the last few moments of total darkness before fireworks were no longer allowed for the evening — anyone can shoot off "safe and sane" fireworks from 8 a.m. to 10 p,m. today through Wednesday. On the Fourth of, July, 'fireworks can be shot off from 8 a.m. until midnight. "We're just out here having a good. • time," Jennings said. "The kids get really excited about this every year." While Jennings was saying this, she and a handful of the neighbor children were throwing lit Black Cats and Ground Blooms into the street. "You should have been here earlier," said one of the kids. "We had some big ones going off." This clan were not the only ones getting pumped up for the big weekend. Throughout town, the razzle, crackle and pop of all things fireworks related could be heard. Far off in the distance, an artillery shell soared into the-air and exploded — not only is this type of firework illegal in Ellis Coun- FRED HUNT / Hays Daily News Renee Briscoe, Heather Hempler, 16, Matt Hoernlcke and Mayzie Herreman, 8, watch as a fireworks fountain explodes into sparks Wednesday evening at Walnut and 27th in Hays. ty; it was shot off a shade later, at 10:02 p.m. After a weekend of smaller fireworks, the big ones will get pulled out. A total of 14 shows will take place between Satur- day and Tuesday, with 12 of them taking place on the holiday. The biggest celebration in the area will be Tuesday in Hays, with Wild West Festival activities sweeping from the Sternberg Museum of Natural History to Historic Fort Hays to the newly built RPM Speedway SEE FIREWORKS, PAGE A8 Mario Gutierrez, left, sings with members of the contemporary Christian band, Highway, as they rehearse for an upcoming performance Thursday evening at the Celebration Community Church. Also pictured (from left to right) are vocalists Jill Blurton, Janell Nease and Leah Leiker. BO WEMPE Hays Dally News Taking the high road Christian group among local talent taking stage Sunday at festival By DIANE GASPER-O'BRIEN HAYS DAILY NEWS They say they like getting together because there's a restaurant owner in their group and they get fed well. But it's obvious that • when this group of musicians performs it EVENTS on means a lot more to them than enjoying a good meal together. Highway, a local Christian concert combo, will debut Sunday at the Wild West Festival in Hays as one of several groups of local talent featured that night. Several members of the seven- member group from Hays have played together before and decided earlier this year to reconnect. "Some of us were talking that we'd like to get back together," said Mario Gutierrez, lead guitarist and male vocalist. The group appointed | Gutierrez be the take- charge guy — he also is _ the owner of Gutierrez Restaurant in Hays, where the group frequents after practices. SEE FESTIVAL, PAGEAB page A2. New laws take effect Saturday By CARL MANNING ASSOCIATED PRESS TOPEKA — In a state where guns have been a part of life since frontier days, Kansas residents finally have a law allowing them to pack a pistol. The days of shootouts in cow- towns like Abilene and Dodge City are part of Old West history, but for many, owning a gun remained as much a right as owning land. Yet, until this year, Kansas was one of the few states banning citizens from carrying a hidden gun, although in some parts of the state, having a pistol stashed in the glove box or under the seat of a vehicle is fairly common. But come Saturday, Kansas becomes the 48th state to have a concealed gun law on the books, although permits won't be issued until Jan. 1. Illinois and Wisconsin are the only states that do not allow concealed carrying of guns in any way. It's among some 180 new laws taking effect Saturday, including tougher penalties for child molesters and imposing a minimum marriage age of 15. Rep. Gary Hayzlett, a longtime booster of concealed guns, said he has received numerous calls from Kansans wanting to know how they get permits and who does firearms training. He said he has heard of waiting lists for classes. "I just think it's the groundswell of people saying, 'It's our right,'" said Hayzlett, R- Lakin. "There's a freedom there." Hayzlett spent a decade pushing concealed guns. Some years, the idea faltered in the Legislature. Former Gov. Bill Graves vetoed it in 1997, as did Gov. Kathleen Sebelius in 2004 and again this year. But this year, legislators overrode her veto. She did, however, sign a bill closing from public scrutiny records of those getting concealed gun permits. That was folded into legislation, which also takes effect Saturday, addressing various shortcomings of the concealed guns law. SEE GUNS, PAGE A8 IN THE NEWS Spearvllle wild fan project H track fir fill startup SPEARVILLE (AP) — The first towers at the Spearville Wind Energy Facility rose over the countryside this week, and officials from Kansas City Power & Light said they could begin generating power soon. Phjj, project director for the utility provider, said workers' still need to mgke the connections to make the turbines, opera- tiojial at the plant, which wp inwflurfled June 16 by eta;e and, i«cjj efttcJflJa. Flye turbines ere alossdy itand- ing, and a down will be In- stalled by the end of next week. When complete, the $166 million facility will Include 67 turbines and produce 100.5 megawatts of power — enough to supply 33,000 homes annually. Much of the energy win be routed to Sprint NeJrtel'a corporate campus In Overland Park"We atiU hope to be finished by October,* Duncan said. "We, are planning a dedication, c$r§ragny lor the, entire lacMity • after au the turbines are Installed and In service." LIGHTER SIDE SAN MATEO, Calif. (AP) -Andrew Padilla first saw the monkey In the backyard of his Palo Alto home, hanging out by a fence. He thought It must be a squirrel. It turned out to be a marmoset — and one that was a long, long way from Its native home In the rain forests of South and Central America. • "I wanted to adopt him," Padilla said. "He was so cute and friendly." Padilla said he fed the stray men- Key bananas and crackers before calling the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA to report him, • "We thought, 'Sure, Whit have you been drinking?' But when our officer arrived, there he Wii.' saw S(fott Pelucehi, spokesman for the anjmal care agency. Officials dc^'t know where theanl- Mn&uary jgtt north cD Sari Antonio. COMING SUNDAY It's summer time, which means it's driver's education time in Hays and neighboring towns, INSIDE this & that A2 Kansas A3 Opinion A6 Faith AS Obituaries..., , A6 Financial AS Sports 01 Scoreboard ,82 Classifieds 04 Comics 07 Annie's Mailbox 07 Or. Donohue/ 07 THE ( PAULE.HACHMEISTER, NATOMA OUTSIDE Tonight, mostly clear. Lows in the upper 60s. South winds 10 to 15 mph. Gusts up to 20 mph early in the evening. Expanded weather, page B8. CONTACT u«: «afr1WlOfl( FAX: (7W) 63*81 W

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