The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 15, 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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Friday, May 15, 1998
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Page 11
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THE SAUNA JOURNAL Great Plains VIEWPOINTS / B2 ALMANAC / B3 FUN / B4 B BRIEFLY Teens face charges for alleged threats •. • HEDVILLE — A dispute over a •girlfriend Wednesday resulted in two teen-agers facing criminal charges for allegedly threatening a Hedville teen. '; Saline County Sheriffs deputies were called to the home ; of Sean Spell, 18, Hedville, at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. Spell said that Ronald Anthony Briscoe, 16, Wichita, and Jere Thomas, 15,2728 •Berschell, had come to his house after calling and threatening to kill him. The dispute was over a girlfriend of one of the suspects, .Sheriff Glen Kochanowski said Thursday. Thomas allegedly had a six- inch folding pocket knife with him; the knife was found later by deputies in Spell's front yard. The two suspects fled in a car after finding out the sheriffs department had been called. The car and the suspects later were located in Salina, Kochanowski said. Deputies also recovered a bottle of brandy that had been tossed from the car. Both boys were arrested and referred for prosecution in juvenile court for suspicion of consumption of alcohol by a minor. Briscoe also faces a charge of making a criminal threat and Thomas faces a charge of aggravated assault. Cattle rustler receives 30-day jail sentence ALBANY, Mo. — Walter "Babe" Miller, 61, will spend his next 13 weekends behind bars for cattle rustling at a Gallatin sale barn. The county courts near his Berlin home say Miller's name has come up in connection with other cattle thefts as well. Miller was twice acquitted by Gentry and Buchanan county juries of cattle thefts, court officials said. He pleaded guilty to the latest accusation, Gentry County Circuit Court officials said Wednesday. He was given a suspended :; three-year sentence and 30 days •;-"in the county jail, which he will -Serve on weekends. -*• Miller hustled the cattle out of t the Gallatin Livestock Market on r-Oct. 1. Four were seized by au; -thorities later that month when :- "Miller tried to sell them. The oth- ;- £rs already had been sold to a ";$ale barn in Atchison, Kan., court Tpfficials said. Brothers sentenced in cross-burning case KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A man convicted of burning a cross on a Rushville woman's lawn last August was sentenced to 12 years in prison Thursday and his brother, {also convicted of the crime, was sentenced to 37 months. Before he was sentenced, Dennis Pospisil continued to deny be- 'ing the leader of the group that burned the cross on Liza Costa's lawn. He told the court that he was caught up in an emotional moment and never intended to threaten the Costa family. U.S. Attorney Steve Hill said he was satisfied with the sentences of the Rushville men. Dennis Pospisil, 31, was convicted on one count of conspiracy, one count of depriving the housing rights of another individual and one count of carrying a firearm during a violent crime. He was sentenced to a mandatory five years in prison on the firearms charge and an additional seven years on the civil rights charges, without possibility of parole. Powerball jackpot to climb to $110 million DES MOINES, Iowa — None of :;.the tickets sold for the Powerball game Wednesday matched all six •numbers drawn, which were: 2-13-18-30-36. Powerball: 26. Players matching all five numbers and the Powerball would have won or shared the $85.6 million jackpot. The prize goes to an estimated $110 million for Saturday. • Tickets that match the first five numbers, but miss the Powerball, win $100,000 each, and there were 17 of those, including one in Kansas. ETC. TOM DORSEY / The Salina Journal T.J. Ihnken, a fifth-grade student at Coronado Elementary in Salina, says many of his peers also own laser pointers. Are they safe? Laser pointers are a red-hot item, but safety is a concern By DAN ENGLAND The Salina Journal T. J. Ihnken thought the device that was shaped like a cocktail weenie, can be carried like a keychain and shoots a thin laser beam at the push of a button looked like fun. So he followed the example of hundreds in Salina and bought one Sunday. "I know a lot of people my age who have them," said the 11-year-old fifth-grader at Coronado Elementary, 518 Neal. "You just push the button, and you can sign with it whenever you want. It's kinda neat." The laser pointers have been around for a few months now and are selling quickly in novelty and gift stores in town. But they carry a warning label: They can damage your eyes. The pointers release a thin laser that looks like the red beam used by snipers and professional assassins — at least in movies — to aim their guns before picking off an unsuspecting target. The beam tormented George on last week's "Seinfeld" episode. The device originally was used a few years ago for office presentations as a pointer, said Stephanie Garlett, assistant manager of Coach House Cards and Gifts in the Central Mall, before they became a toy for kids. "We've had them now for four weeks," Garlett said. "The second they were in they became very popular." They've been popular in all age groups, Garlett said. A lot of kids have bought them, but the device is popular among adults as well. They cost $19.99 at Coach House. A warning label on the devices sold at Coach House states that the beam will cause eye damage if the beam stays directly on the eye for an extended period of time, Garlett said. Sales associates also warn kids not to shine the device in other people's eyes. Damage depends on exposure time Just how much damage depends on the time of exposure to the laser beam, the power of the beam and the size of the laser. David Cooper, an optometrist with Drs. Cole and Cooper, 1000 E. Cloud, said the laser pointers, if they are the ones he is familiar with, won't cause damage if they are scanned across an eye by mistake. "When you're in a lecture, you don't want to be sweeping them across people's faces," Cooper said. "But if it hits a mirror and scans across someone's eye, the chances of that causing damage are almost zero. But you still want to be careful." Careful because the lasers used in the pointers generally are Helium Neon lasers, and literature states that any exposure beyond 0.25 seconds to that type of laser can cause damage. Cooper said he didn't know whether 0.25 seconds of exposure could cause damage, but any direct eye exposure longer than a few seconds certainly could. A manager for Radio Shack, 1103 W. Crawford, declined comment but did say that sales of the devices are limited to people 18 or older. The rule was enacted after teachers complained about them. Radio Shack does allow kids accompanied by their parents to purchase a laser pointer. Melanie Terrill, public information officer for the Salina School District, said the laser pointers have created some, but not too many, problems. The city's two public high schools have different policies, but at both schools the pointers will be taken away if they're a disruption in class. "They pop up now and then, but once you make it clear that they will be taken away, you tend not to have problems," Terrill said. "They seemed to appear overnight, but they haven't been that bad." T EDUCATION Grandma finally gets degree At age 81, Mrs. Smith returns to high school and inspires classmates By The Associated Press KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Florine Smith prepared her cap and gown for her walk across the stage at the Schlagle High School graduation Thursday night. At the same time, she made plans to watch her granddaughter receive a master's degree at the University of Kansas. At age 81, Smith is fulfilling a dream that marriage and raising seven children had deferred for more than six decades — graduating from high school. "I wanted to be a public speaker. I loved English. I loved telling the kids stories," Smith said. But Smith instead found herself out of school and married. She was unskilled and uneducated and paying the price, she said. She worked a string of thankless jobs, from washing dishes to waiting tables and other low-paying chores in Fairview, Okla. "That's all I knew," Smith said. But she also knew that, by exam- The Associated Press Florine Smith was a model student, according to her principal at Schlagle High School. pie, she could inspire her own children to fulfill their potential. After her husband, Heyo, died in 1956, Smith moved to Kansas City, Kan., near her sister. Three of her children have since graduated from college. They say their mother, despite her lack of formal education, taught them lessons beyond those they have learned in school. Mrs. Smith, as she is respectfully known at Schlagle, has been passing those lessons on to her classmates as well. "All the students say they'll miss Mrs. Smith," Principal Bernadette Barber said. "She had a real impact on the students. They were amazed, encouraged and inspired by what someone at 81 could do." Smith's life experiences added another dimension to the curriculum as well, Barber said. "She was able to give as much input as any textbook." Smith enrolled in the program in September 1996 and has had near- perfect attendance in the evening school while attending class four nights a week. "Sometimes I thought to myself, 'What am I doing here?' " Smith said. "But I didn't quit. I don't know how to quit." Her next goal: Kansas City, Kan., Community College. 'Run for the Wall' cyclists to stop in Salina U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback is accepting nominations to U.S. service academies. Nominees must be single U.S. citizens between the ages of 17 and 21. To apply, call Brownback's office, (913) 492-6378, or write 11111 W. 95th, Suite 245, Overland Park, 66214. From Staff and Wire Reports By The Journal Staff The 10th anniversary of "Run for the Wall," a cross-country motorcycle trip to bring awareness to the Prisoners of War and Missing in Action in Vietnam, will make an overnight stop Sunday in Salina. More than 100 motorcycle riders are expected to arrive in the city, the halfway point of their 10-day trip from Ontario, Calif., to Washington, B.C. The group will join there with about 100,000 other motorcycle riders in another group, Rolling Thunder, for a Memorial Day weekend parade from the Pentagon to the Vietnam War Memorial — known as "The Wall." The riders are expected to arrive in Salina about 5 p.m. and will stay overnight at the Budget Host Inn, 217 S. Broadway. "They come from all walks of life. There are attorneys, doctors, all kinds of people," said Charlie Reeves, night clerk at Budget Host. "This is expected to be the biggest one ever because it's their 10th anniversary." "We love them dearly. They're just great people." Motorcyclists who want to ride with the group when they depart Salina, even if for a day or two, are welcome. Crash T FUND-RAISER Ambucs to help restore theater Discount books will be sold to raise funds for Fox-Watson Theatre By The Journal Staff The Red Baron Ambucs is looking to raise $200,000 through the sale of discount coupon books to help restore the historic Fox-Watson Theatre. Renovation of the 1,200-seat downtown theater, closed almost 11 years ago, is a project of the nonprofit Historic Fox Theater Foundation. The Ambucs club is asking downtown businesses to offer discounts for the coupon books, which will be sold for $50. The group hopes to sell 4,000 books. Besides the discounts, the books will include an entry to an October drawing. Among the prizes are a trip for two around the world, a $25,000 college fund and cash of up to $10,000. Judy Ewalt, a member of the theater's board of directors, called the Ambucs' fund-raiser "wonderful." "That's an example of the broad- based support we have in the community," she said. Ewalt said the theater's board will announce — perhaps in the next 30 days — its fund-raising goal. "The board has yet to approve a final project budget, so they can't release a fund-raising goal yet," she said. "We're very close." The group has other plans for raising money, including the sale of dedicated bricks for a sidewalk outside the theater. The theater project is a special one for the Ambucs, a civic group that has specialized in helping the disabled. It's assisted people in buying wheelchairs and prosthetics and recently donated funds to assist the city in building a handicap accessible playground in Bill Burke Park. The club has set a June 1 deadline for downtown businesses to join the program. The coupon books are scheduled to be available in mid- to late-July, said John Reynolds, Ambucs sponsorship chairman. Businesses can call Salina Downtown at 825-4535. Forms can be mailed to Red Baron Ambucs, Box 844, Salina 67402. DAVIS TURNER / The Salina Journal Salina police officer Russ Lamer checks damage to an abandoned car wash in the 1900 block of South Ninth Street after an OCCK transportation vehicle driven by Susan Schwerman hit the building Thursday. There were no reported injuries. SUGGESTIONS? CALL BEN WEARING, DEPUTY EDITOR, AT (785) 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363 OR E-MAIL AT sjbwearing@saljournal.com

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