FRIDAY, JUNE 30,2006 REGION AND STATE THE HAYS DAILY NEWS A3 New safety seat law set to begin By MICAH MERTES HAYS DAILY NEWS Andrea Crees always makes her daughter buckle up, but she Isn't too sure that Madison, 7, is going to be happy about going back into the booster seat. "We took her out of it awhile back," Crees said. "I don't think she's going to like it much. But it's for safety, and she's going to do it." Crees is dusting off the booster seat she is glad to have kept because Saturday a new law takes effect and puts a tighter set of rules on seat belt safety Currently, Kansas law says children younger than 1 must be put in a rear-facing car seat; children younger than 4 must be in a forward-facing car seat; children Phone lines accidentally severed By PHYLLIS J. ZORN HAYS DAILY NEWS An underground telephone cable cut by a contractor Tuesday interrupted telephone and Internet service for a portion of Hays. Don Brown, AT&T spokesman, said the company replaced cable Wednesday and Thursday and believes the service now is restored. "We're at the point now where everyone who has reported to us that they had a service outage, we have checked their individual lines and they are working," Brown said late this morning. He said about 300 AT&T customers were affected by the outage. Brown confirmed that the cable was cut by a contractor but said he didn't yet know the particulars of which contractor or where the digging was being done. '•'•••' •'"' •'' lt '"° ,., "As a result, we had to replace that cable yesterday," Brown said. Brown said that any customers who still have service problems should call the service number listed on their telephone bill. Besides AT&T customers, about 25 Nex-Tech customers are served by the severed cable, the chief operating officer for Nex- Tech said. "Our understanding is that yes, there was a contractor that did cut some AT&T cable on Tuesday," Jeff Wick said. Wick said Nex-Tech has been working diligently with AT&T since Tuesday to get service restored. The company thought customers were back in service Thursday evening, Wick said. "We understood that they were resolved about 6 p.m. last night, but this morning there were a few issues that came up," Wick said. Wick added that he didn't know why it was taking AT&T so long to get repairs made. "We feel for our customers and we're doing everything we can to resolve the issues," Wick said. "We're very sorry to our customers." Reporter Phyllis Zorn can be reached at (70S) 628-1081, ext. 137, or by e-mail at phylz9dallynewa.net. younger than 14 must be buckled up. Today, Madison can ride in the car with just a seat belt. However, not only will the new law continue to enforce these requirements. It also stipulates that children from 4 to 7 must be in a booster seat, unless the child weighs more than 80 pounds or is taller than 4-feet, 9-inches. For the first year, no citations will be issued. "Until July '07, it's educational," said Hays Police Department Assistant Chief Phil Hartsfield. "We won't be giving you a ticket, but we will be educating you on the seat belt issues." However, as always, if a child under the age of 14 isn't buckled up, a ticket will be issued. The new booster seat law came about because for children of a certain height who are just buckled up, the seat belt hits them in the wrong place. It can cut into their necks in the middle of an accident or an abrupt stop. The booster seat raises them a bit higher, so that the belt stretches across their chest. "Some children have had pretty significant bruising because of seat belts being too high on them," Hartsfield said. "The booster seats will take care of that." But Hartsfield said some Hays residents have enough trouble buckling up their kids period. "I believe they could put a lot more emphasis on it," he said. "I think some people are great at it, and I think some people don't give it the thought they need to. It could be better. And when we issue the tickets, it's not for the purpose of giving out a ticket; we just want it to be a safer community." For Joshua Johnson, 7, and Jacob Johnson, 5, Saturday's new law will bring about no changes in their transportation lives. Joshua's still in his booster seat, and Jacob wants to move up to a booster, but is still small enough to be in his safety seat. "They don't seem to mind it too much," said Mark Johnson, the boys' father. "They like being up a little higher, being able to see out the windows. I guess Saturday won't be any different for us." Reporter Micah Mertes can be reached at (785) 628-1801, ext. 139, or by e-mail at mmertes 9 dallynewa.net. FRED HUNT / Hays Daily News Paul Malleck, of AM Electric, Victoria, removes light fixtures Thursday afternoon from the canopy of the Five Star Amoco at the corner of 13th and Vine in Hays. OUT OF GAS ProbTefnsTn gas industry cause Five Star Amoco to change focus By PHYLLIS J. ZORN HAYS DAILY NEWS The gasoline pumps are empty and will soon be removed from a longtime Hays service station. Five Star Amoco, 1300 Vine, has sold fuel at the corner of Vine and 13th for 15 years. Now the business is being restructured. The gasoline and diesel fuel, along with the convenience store, are being eliminated. Greg Werth, who bought out his brothers' and father's interests in the business a couple of weeks ago as part of the restructuring, will locate his Car Zone used car dealership onto the property. Greg and his wife, Shannon, opened Car Zone on Eighth Street about three years ago. Later it was moved to Five Star Amoco's address, with cars displayed behind the convenience store and on an empty lot across 13th Street. "We decided to move our car lot up here to the corner — something we enjoy doing," Greg Werth said. Five Star's repair business will continue to operate just as it always has. It will still be run by Kent Werth, Greg's brother. The tow truck will still be available for call out. Nunnery's Slammin' BBQ, operated by Tim Nunnery, will remain inside what is now the convenience store. The rest of the building will be converted into office space for Car Zone. Werth said the gas pumps, canopy and underground storage tanks will be removed as soon as the contractors can get there. "We're going to get started here the end of this week or the start of next week, depending on the contractors pulling the pumps and the tanks and removing the canopies," Werth said. The car wash, housed behind what is now the convenience store, will remain and will still be open to the public, Werth said. Werth said changes in the gasoline industry, as well as the changed landscape for small retailers, contributed to his decision to stop selling fuel. "I consider gas a waste of a good location," Werth said. High wholesale prices, coupled with low profit margins, are part of the scenario. So, Werth said, is the reduced level of refineries' support for small retailers. Refineries used to provide more support for the mom-and-pop gas stations at the retail end of the business. That's no longer the case, Werth said. As a result, big retailers are doing OK, but smaller ones are not, he said. Moving Car Zone's inventory to the area where the gas pumps are now will allow the dealership to increase its inventory, Werth said. Right now the inventory is about 20 to 30 cars. "We'll double the inventory to start up," Werth said. In order to move the fuel, Five Star's prices were dropped 15 cents per gallon Wednesday. Gasoline sold out the same day. Diesel fuel was still available Thursday "We're thankful for the business of our customers over the past 15 years," Werth said. BUt he added that he's looking forward to this evolution in the business. Reporter Phyllis Zom can be reached at (785) 628-1081, ext. 137, or by e-mail at phylz&dallynewa.net. Oops! •" ""MMsswassys BAKERY~oOTlf .:WHITE Workers pick up the broken glass today at the Old Home Bakery, 1240 Vine St. A woman accidentally drove her vehicle through the bakery window thle morning. There were no injuries. Estimated damage Is pending. BOWEMPE Hay* QfMy Ntw* Spirit, which bought Boeing division, going public WICHITA (AP) —Spirit AeroSystems, the company formed after the sale of Boeing Co.'s commercial aircraft division in Wichita, announced today that it is planning to go public. Spirit AeroSystems has filed a statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission saying it intends to make an initial public offering of its common stock, the company said. Spirit formed in June 2005 when Canada-based Onex Corp. bought Boeing Wichita's commercial aircraft division for $1.5 billion. Citing SEC restrictions, Spirit spokesman Fred Soils said he could not discuss the timeline for the public offering, or anything else about it, beyond the company's announcement. Spirit, which builds sections of ail Boeing commercial planes except the 717, is the world's largest aerostructures supplier. Richard Aboulafla, vice presi- Osborne county shuts down dump site By STACDE R. SANDALL HAYS DAILY NEWS OSBORNE — One bad apple spoiled the whole barrelful, said Osborne County Commissioner Bill Cady. The commissioners have voted to indefinitely close the tree and brush dumping site because it has been abused. "Some idiots insist on dumping stuff out there that's not supposed to be out there," Cady said. A state official from Topeka inspected the free tree and brush dumping site 5 miles north of Osborne earlier this month and found unauthorized items. The commissioners, who were unaware of the refuse, received a non-punitive letter June 19 stating the site was to be cleaned up be- . fore the second inspection. The county disposed of the refuse, but the site was noncompliant again before the end of the business day. The following Monday, the commissioners had the site cleaned up again and closed the site until a solution could be found. Illegal items found at the site were lumber, shingles, grass clippings and an air conditioner. Cady said he didn't know grass clippings weren't allowed at the site and can't find the logic to that rule. He's dumped clippings at the site himself. Lumber must be buried in the landfill. The inspector told the commissioners the wood might have lead paint and the lead particles could get in the air. dent of analysis at the Fairfax, VA- based Teal Group, said the timing of Spirit's announcement comes as Spirit's principal programs have had some very good news. He noted that Boeing 787 orders now number 155 and Boeing 777 orders are fast approaching 400. "Good for them. The only missing part of the information is whether the whole thing is being floated or just part of it. There is a big difference, of course," Aboulafla said. Spirit is tapping public cash at a time when investors feel good about the commercial airplane cycle, he said, making the offering a good move, for the company "It is not so much needing the cash. Initially their objective is to get other people's cash," Aboulafla said. "As an investment bank that is their job. Whether they do it by an outright sale or an IPO, their ultimate objective is to get cash for this." As for the air conditioner, Cady said people should know better than that. "It's awful hard for us to police that because we don't have anybody on site to assist or restrict dumping," said Commissioner Gary Doane. "We can't afford to keep staff out there to monitor it. We just trust people to only dump trees and brush." Cady and Pruter voted to close the site, but Cady was against it. "I think it's ridiculous to close it," Cady said. "They're just going to dump it in the ditches. It's going to cause more problems than it solves, but it will get their attention." Doane said the site eventually would re-open, but the commissioners need to solve the illegal dumping problem first. Preventing unauthorized refuse could be done by putting up more signs, talking to the media and using a gate lock. Doane said he did not favor fining offenders. "If people are going to abuse it, we're not going to leave it open and not be in compliance with the state," Doane said. He added that residents should have enough pride in their county to dispose of refuse properly. "People don't want to pay to do it right, and that's kind of sad," said Doane. Reporter Stacie R. Sandal! can be reached at (785) 628-1081, ext. 136, or by e-mail at ssandall&dal- lynews.net. Hays commissioners begin budget hearings By WILL MANLY HAYS DAILY NEWS The Hays City Commission was generous with its pocketbook during a city budget work session Thursday. Commissioners said the city had extra money and they wanted to invest it in the community. Commissioner Henry Schwaller IV said budget-cutting and reducing the city staff over the last few years has saved enough money that commissioners can provide for economic development programs and contribute to the arts. "With this new city commission and new city staff, we're debating what to do with this excess money," Schwaller said. "It seems like we've been extravagant, but this is money we've saved by living within our means. Now we actually get to make meaningful contributions to make the city better." Not so long ago, city commissioners had to decide between purchasing copying machines for the city office or heavy machinery for street maintenance, Schwaller said. Now commissioners can decide which nonprofit organizations to contribute more money to. "Four years ago I would have been down on my knees saying 'please, please, please, please, please,' " said City Manager Randy Gustafson. "It's been quite a turn around." The city also received the proceeds from the sale of the Fox Theatre, which was auctioned for more than $100,000 earlier this year. Commissioners agreed in principle to give the Hays Arts Council and the Downtown Hays Development Corp. each a $39,000 bonus. The HAC usually receives about $5,000 from the city; the DHDC gets about $56,000. The HAC hopes to expand its premises for its 40th anniversary. The DHDC wants to use its extra money to help pay off about $101,000 in outstanding debt. "They're two good causes and we can afford to give them both some money," Commissioner Kent Steward said. An additional $50,000 was earmarked for economic development to create a business incubator, a project intended to help fledgling businesses get started through expense sharing. "They can come into this space and rent space, but they share the kind of clerical staff and equipment," said assistant city manager Toby Dougherty. "So that the business has access to that without having to pay for their own. The hopes are after a while they can afford to go out on their own and set up their own facilities, and somebody else can move in there." Another $20,000 will go toward creation of the Hays Has Jobs Committee, which hopes to bring people to the community by advertising a robust job market. Nothing was finalized at the work session; another meeting is scheduled for July 6. If budget questions can be resolved by then, the commission will schedule a public hearing on the budget. The commission might vote to finalize the budget at that public hearing, which could take place in late July. "My preference would be to have it set to where, when we get the hearing set, that it's pretty well where the budget ought to be," Gustafson said. Reporter Will Manly can be reached at (785) 628-1081, ext. 138, or by e-mail at email@example.com. Mats Person who hit patrol car turns himself in Thursday evening, the driver of the unknown vehicle that hit a parked patrol car earlier that morning turned himself in to the Hays Police Department, He was issued a hit and run citation. Because he is a Juvenile, his name cannot yet be released. Estimated damage of the Dodge Intrepid patrol car is about $6,000, not including damaged equipment in the vehicle. me Thursday evening, a vehicle struck a series of objects before being abandoned, , The hit and run took place at 9:46 p.m. as the vehicle was head- ing eastbound on 27th street and crossed left of the center onto Plum Street, hitting another vehicle. The first vehicle fled the scene and then struck a telephone pole on the corner of 25th and Ash. The car was abandoned near the intersection of 23rd and Plum. The driver has been identified but is yet to be arrested. . ' - ™sw .H. mpPJKUPW™ The Hays Daily News staff takes care with its reporting and writing. But if we make a mistake, we want to know about it so we can let readers know the correct information. We encourage readers who find an error to contact US at (785) 628-1081. Ask for Patrick Lowry, executive editor, or Mike Corn, managing editor, or e-mail the editors at plowry@4ttUyn9Ws.net or mcorn@daUynew8.Qet.
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