SUNDAY, JULY 2,2006 REGION AND STATE THE HAYS DAILY NEWS A3 mws Board chairman in charge after shakeup at hospital HILL CITY — There's been a shakeup in administration at the Graham County Hospital. Hospital Board of Directors Chairman Don Paxson, Penokee, would not offer details, but said he was in charge of the hospital right now. "I can't comment until we have a full grasp on this whole thing," Paxson said. Fred Meis, Hill City, had been the hospital administrator. Meis could not be reached for comment. The hospital is not searching for a new administrator right now, said Milissa Metcalf, hospital human resources director. "We are completely full right now," Metcalf said. "We haven't advertised anything." Friday morning accident kills 2 in Rush County ALBERT — An accident involving three vehicles led to two fatalities Friday morning on Kansas Highway 96. According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, a 2004 Ford pickup driven by Calvin E. Brady, 90, Albert, was southbound on the Otis Blacktop at about 9 a.m. Brady failed to yield the right of way at the intersection with K-96, pulling into the path of a 1994 Dodge driven by Garry Wayne Smiley, 51, Sylvia. The accident forced Smiley's vehicle into the eastbound lane, where it was struck by a 2005 Ford Taurus. Smiley died at the scene. A passenger, Gail Sue Smiley, 46, Sylvia, was taken to the Central Kansas Medical Center, Great Bend, and later died from her injuries. Another passenger, Xavier Alvarez, 8 months, Sylvia, was injured and transported to Wesley Medical Center. Brady was taken to the Central Kansas Medical Center for possible injuries. The driver of the Taurus, Joyce A. Musselman, 47, Wichita, was injured and taken to Central Kansas Medical Center. School finance critic originally gave approval wei infant was in a safety seat, ac- ....., cording to the KHP. Brady was not wearing a seat belt. Passengers taken to hospital after rollover accident GRINNELL — A tire blow-out led to an accident Saturday on Interstate 70, a mile west of Grinnell. A 2002 Chevy Trailblazer was heading westbound on Interstate 70 when one of the tires blew out. The driver lost control, entered the median and rolled twice. Kurt D. Eskilson, 48, and Melissa Eskilson, 47, both of Berryton, received no injuries. Other occupants, Brooke Eskilson, 22, Blake Eskilson, 17, and Alek Eskilson, 12, all of Berry- ton, were taken to the Oakley Hospital for possible injuries. Ellis County Commission to discuss 2007 budgets The Ellis County Commissioners will meet Wednesday at the courthouse, 1204 Fort. Items on the agenda include: • 9 to.9:30 a.m., Public Works Administrator Mike Graf will discuss road and bridge, solid waste, noxious weed and environmental matters • 9:30 to 10 a.m., Ellis County Counselor Bill Jeter will discuss union negotiations. • 10 to 10:15 a.m., Emergency Medical Services Director Kerry McCue will discuss generator installation at Station 1 and also consideration for cardiac monitor. • 10:15 a.m. to noon, Discus proposed 2007 budgets. Reno County inmates sue over conditions HUTCHINSON (AP) — Reno County Jail inmates have filed a lawsuit in charging "unconstitu-;- tional conditions of confinement" at the jail. The plaintiffs, six men who are current or former jail prisoners, claim they are or were unlawfully confined, and lists some of the same building shortcomings — such as poor ventilation and plumbing — that county leaders cite in their campaign for a new jail, which comes up for voter approval Aug. 1. Besides complaints about the plumbing, heating and cooling, the lawsuit alleges that there was not time or equipment for exercising and prices at the jail commissary were too high. Kansas .does not have jail standards, but the American Corrections Association standards are considered the guide. TOPEKA (AP) — As an Emporia school board member in 1998, Jim Barnett voted to support a lawsuit challenging the state's funding of elementary and secondary education. Now, as a member of the Kansas Senate — and a candidate for governor in the Aug. 1 primary — Barnett is a leading critic of the state Supreme Court's ruling in the case.. Barnett, R-Emporia, contends the court ex- Barnett ceeded its authority last year in ordering the Legislature to spend more for public schools. "Had I any idea the Kansas Supreme Court would step far beyond the constitutional boundaries and set policies for the appropriation of money, I would not have been in favor of entering the suit," he said. To a leading legislative Democrat, Barnett's revised view is "the height of irony, if not hypocrisy." "Barnett, when he was a member of the school board, thought they ought to sue the state because of the adequacy and equity of the finance system," said Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D- Topeka. "He, you might say, created this hostage situation." Attorneys Alan Rupe and John Robb were hired in 1998 to pursue the lawsuit, in which Salina and Dodge City schools were the lead plaintiffs. Before the lawsuit was filed in 1999, a group of districts sought help from others in paying for the litigation. Rupe and Robb made presentations to local school boards throughout Kansas about the fairness of the state's school finance formula. Their efforts focused on schools that are middle-sized with large numbers of minority and low-income students. They made their pitch to the Emporia school board on Dec. 15,1998. After 45 minutes in executive session, the board voted 5-1 to join the lawsuit, pledging $4 per student per year to the cause, or about $19,000 at the time. Barnett, who had been on the board since 1991, made the motion. "It was during a time when Emporia was seeing a very large influx of Hispanic students we were under mandate to educate," he said. "My interest in that case came from the standpoint of meeting mandates to educate immigrant students." Added Rupe: "Emporia always has been really significant to this litigation, because Emporia has such a significant at- risk population." Today, Barnett, who is a medical doctor, is arguing the court overstepped its authority in the case. Many conservative Republicans have made the same argument. Barnett wants to change how Kansas Supreme Court justices are selected by requiring nominees for the court to undergo Senate confirmation. On his campaign Web site, Barnett says: "The court is attempting to raise the overall budget, and to appropriate tax dollars for one program over another, without regard for how money is raised or what it will cost taxpayers. I believe this is wrong and must stop." In Emporia, which remains part of the coalition of districts suing the state, some see Barnett's change of outlook as reflecting his move from local to state government. "I guess his perspective is more of a statewide one than it was at the time," school superintendent John Helm said. Former Emporia school board member Roger Hartsook, who was board president in 1998, agreed. Hartsook still supports the lawsuit but said Barnett's views easily could change in eight years, including six in the Legislature. "You have to look at what you were doing then and what you are doing now," said Hartsook, who encouraged Barnett to run for governor. "He was on the school board in Emporia, Kan., and saw it one way. And now he's in the Legislature." • * BO WEMPE / Hays Dally News Joan Wells, champion trick roper and Cowgirl Hall of Fame honoree, teaches Sophia Linenberger the art of trick roping — "It's all in the wrist," she said — Saturday morning in East Frontier Park at the Wild West Festival. Wells came from Lincoln, Neb., to perform for the festival audience. FESTIVAL: Speedway's parade entry delights crowd • . . • • "rH • '•':.;. ' CONTINUED FROM PAGE A1 V "It's all in the wrist," WeUs told Barker as she guided his hand. ;f>- Bailey and more than 1,000 attendee's had earlier lined Main Street to watch the' "Pride in The Red, White and Blue r Parade." About 50 different groups rode in the parade, on cars, horses, motorcycles and tractors. Especially noteworthy was the WaKeeney Speedway parade entry, a classic convertible with a fake, bull attached to the •> back. The vehicle had hydraulics going to fuU-effectf cMsifig^e-bull to shake up and down violently, and as CowboyiStan Gilbert hung on, the hordes of childrSn*WW^pek*" led with laughter. *v Back at the after-parade, activities were all over the place. Sleepy the Clown was making balloon animals for the children. Wells was schooling eager students in the art of roping. Animal petting zoos, inflatable slides, children everywhere. "There's almost too much to do," said Dawn Mermis, who was showing her nieces a good time. "It's amazing how much they put together." . All of the hustle and bustle of the morning barely compared to the crowds the carnival brought as the festival 'grounds opened in the evening. Screams came from rides such as the Kami Kaze, the Or biter, Cliff Hanger and Zero Carnival goers wait in line for the high-speed ride The Orbiter Friday night at the festival grounds. Gravity. Game-playing, ride-riding, funnel- cake-eating teenagers gathered in swarms. Fred Foley, who just had arrived, came to have a good time with his family, and play some games, but he wasn't too interested in riding anything too big. . As he looked up at the Kami Kaze, he had one simple observation; "Looks like a headache." Reporter Micah Merles can be reached at (785) 628-1801, ext. 139, or by e-mail at mirwrteaedallynews.net. Family picks up reins of trail ride By STACIE R. SANDALL HAYS DAILY NEWS McCRACKEN — McCracken KPRA Rodeo founder Jack Wilson might have passed on, but the rodeo trail ride he inaugurated five years ago will still live on. Wilson's son-in-law, Bryan Bergquist, and trail ride enthusiast Brenda Boese have decided to carry on the tradition with the McCracken Rodeo Trail Ride on Thursday. Wilson died of cancer Feb. 28. "His family hated to see it drop because he's gone," Boese said. "So many/requested we keep'it going so we decided to do that." Participants will'mount up on horses and wagons for the 8:30 a.m. departure. All ages are welcome. Registration begins at 8 a.m. at Boese's driveway. That location is 3 miles west, 3 miles south and 3M miles west of McCracken at the junction of Ness County roads DD and 190. From Bazine, it's 67 miles north and one-half mile east. From Kansas Highway 4, it's 7 miles south on Bazine Road and one-half mile east. "We always try to go a different direction each year," Boese said. "We'll cut across country, take in the scenery — farm ground, trees, whatever happens to be in the way." Water will be furnished on the trail. The ride will end up at the rodeo grounds at about 11:30 a.m. for a free-will donation barbecue lunch. Bergquist said reservations for the meal are requested to plan for the right amount of food. At least 30 people participate in the ride, said Boese, and more come each year. "It's just something Jack was pretty excited about," said Bergquist. Even when he was severely ill from his cancer, Wilson got up on his horse last year and did the trail ride. "He wouldn't have missed it for the world," Bergquist said. Bergquist will be on Wilson's horse, Gus, for this year's ride. Since this will be the first year without Wilson, Boese said, the event will be difficult for Wilson's wife, Verlene. "I'm sure the whole weekend will bring back memories for me, my wife, her mother, all the kids — everybody," Bergquist said. "Jack would want us to do it. He said on his death bed it would be a 'kick in the ass' if we let it go. He'll be there in spirit." More information on the trail ride can be obtained by calling Boese at (785) 398-2429 or Bergquist at (785) 743-2820. Reporter Stacie R. SandalLcan be reached at (785) 628-1081, ext. 136, or by e-mail at asandall&dailynews.nat. Corrections The Hays Daily News staff takes care with its reporting and writing. But 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 email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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