The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 26, 1998 · Page 6
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 6

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Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Tuesday, May 26, 1998
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Page 6
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AS TUESDAY. MAY 26, 1998 NATION THE SAUNA JOURNAL V SCHOOL SHOOTING Somber return Oregon students go back to scene of shooting that left 2 dead By JEFF BARNARD The Associated Press S PRINGFIELD, Ore. — Hundreds of students walked in the rain past a fence packed with flowers Monday, down a hallway once flecked with blood and into a cafeteria still fresh with memories of a shooting rampage that left two classmates dead. Though the blood had been scrubbed away, the bullet holes spackled and painted over, students could not hide their grief or their pain. "It felt like sheer terror, like you were going through it again, like the shooting had started again," said 15-year-old Stacy Compton, who was in the cafeteria when shots rang out Thursday. "It was the same way I felt when it first started." For three hours, Thurston High School was open so the 1,400 students could look around and talk to counselors before returning to class Tuesday. As small groups filed in, accompanied by parents and teachers, a bagpiper played "Amazing Grace." Inside, they went back to the seats where they had been at the time of the shooting and scribbled their feelings on a long sheet of butcher paper. "It looked like it was haunted in there. It was dead silent," said 18-year-old Brandon Mainard. Principal Larry Bentz said that when he first went in, "I sat in a corner and probably cried for 45 minutes." Memorial Day was a somber time for this city of 51,000, a day to begin taking their lives back and burying the first of the dead — 16-year-old Ben Walker, who suffered a gunshot wound to the head. "If you joke about guns in an airport, you're history. Why do we treat young people differently?" Mayor Bill Morrisette told about 500 mourners at the Springfield Faith Center. "We owe it to Ben and we owe it to Ben's family to make sure something is done. This can be a living memorial to Ben Walker." Boy's organs donated Morrisette noted that Walker's organs were donated to 12 people. "Ben will live on through other people and in that sense his life was not in vain," he said. The road to the church was lined with signs in front of businesses and churches: "Our prayers are with the families of Thurston." Trees and lightposts along the way were wrapped in baby-blue ribbons, part of a campaign called, "Let it End Here." The Associated Press A graduation gown dedicated "to those who lost the chance to graduate" hangs Monday from a fence near the entrance of Thurston High School in Springfield, Ore. Students were to get out of class early Tuesday for the funeral of the second student killed, Mikael Nickolauson. At the school, thousands of roses, daisies, carnations, rhododendrons and lilies crammed the chain-link fence for more than 200 yards. It was dotted with pictures of Je- sus, teddy bears and numerous signs, one with a child's scrawl reading: "I wish there never was a gun shot." Said student Nichole Buckholtz: "School is supposed to be this one place that is supposed to be safe. ... It's like a tomb now — a memorial." Parents of accused 'did all they could' Friend says accused killer's mom thought they had 'turned a corner' with troubled son By BILL BISHOP Eugene Register-Guard EUGENE, Ore. — On a hike a month ago in the hills above the McKenzie River, Faith Kinkel told a friend that she and her husband felt their troubled son, Kip, was starting to overcome his demons. "She said, 'I think we've turned a corner with his therapy. We're out of the woods.' You could see this relief and hope in her face," said Kathy Gunson, the school nurse at Springfield High School, where Faith Kinkel had worked as a Spanish teacher the past eight years. Gunson and others who knew Kinkel as an avid hiker and inventive language teacher said Sunday that Kinkel didn't talk much about her family problems. Gunson, for example, knew only that Kinkel's teen-age son was depressed and sui- cidal. And that Faith Kinkel and her husband, Bill, were deeply worried about him and doing all they could to help the boy. In the days since the shootings at Thurston High School, police and others who knew the 15-year-old have said he was obsessed with firearms, explosives and violence — and that he had talked about torturing animals. In a search at his home, police found five "relatively sophisticated" bombs and materials to make more. Kip Kinkel faces four counts of aggravated murder after the shooting rampage Thursday at Thurston that left two students dead and 22 others injured. He is accused of killing his parents at their upscale Deerhorn-area home, apparently the day before the incident at the school. Gunson said she's been appalled to hear people blame the boy's parents. "It really hurts me to hear people say, 'Boy, those parents. If they did their job ..." Well, they did do their job. I think they did everything they could," Gunson said. "I feel like they probably were never going to have a chance to raise a socially healthy young man because of the way he perceives the world around him, the people in it, and his needs and his wants." Kip Kinkel had gone through counseling, and his parents provided a highly structured home life to help him deal with his behavior problems, people who knew them said. Violence was the antithesis of Faith Kinkel's approach to life, her friends said. She taught cultural understanding through education, communication and travel. She promoted her school's sponsorship of a Brazilian student's education, helping raise $1,600 to pay for a 7-year-old street kid to go to school in a country where education isn't available to the poor. Two days before her death, Kinkel was selected for recognition as one of the outstanding teachers of the year in the Springfield School District. "Faith would have been a top candidate for that award in any year," said Tom Roberts, chairman of the Springfield High School social studies department. "She was very innovative." T JONBENET MURDER Clues sought in helicopter crash Investigators to push for grand jury in girl's death Experts will detail evidence and theories about JonBenet's death By KEVIN McCULLEN Scripps Howard News Service BOULDER, Colo. — Members of Boulder District Attorney Alex Hunter's "dream team" of experts will get their first comprehensive look next week at evidence in the JonBenet Ramsey murder case when police pitch their case for a grand jury investigation. Attorneys, criminologists, forensic scientists and prosecutors are scheduled to meet June 1-2 to hear JONBENET seven police detectives and an array of experts detail evidence and theories about the murder of the 6 year-old beauty queen. They will try to persuade Hunter that their evidence could lead to the child's killer with the help of a grand jury, which could offer investigators a chance to question John and Patsy Ramsey, who refused a police request for a second interview about their daughter's slaying. Pat Furman, the Ramseys' attorney, said the couple welcomes the change a grand jury could make in the investigation. "The lack of progress has been extremely frustrating for John and Patsy, and they're hopeful that this new phase of the investigation will get things back on track," he said. "We look forward to working with the new and old members of the district attorney's investigation." Furman wouldn't say whether the Ramseys would testify. The Ramseys, and other witnesses, could invoke Fifth Amendment protection against self incrimination and decline to testify. '. A grand jury investigation could take months, police and prosecutors said. Grand juries, which conduct their business in secret, have sweeping powers to subpoena records, documents and witnesses. A vote of nine of the 12 jurors is required to reach a con' elusion of a true bill, which would lead to a criminal indictment: ; Hunter said he hopes to decide^ whether to conduct a grand jury investigation within a month of the police presentation. '. JonBenet's body was found Dec! 26,1996, in a basement room of hef family's sprawling home in Boul;der. She had been strangled and beaten. A ransom note found on a stairway at the home claimed "the girl had been kidnapped by i group representing "a small for;- eign faction" and demanded $118,000 for her release. Police have steadfastly refused to name suspects, though police Detective Division Cmdr. Mark Beckner has said John and Patsy Ramsey remain under an "umbrella of suspicion." The Ramsey's deny any involvement in their daughter's slaying. ; Aldas Soaps, Candles and Friendship Gifts U $ E U M 2 11 West Iron Tues.-Sat 10-5, Sun, l-o , COPY CO MORE THAN JUST A COPY CENTER Self Serve Copies each 2346 PLANET AVE.- GALAXY CENTER- 823-2679 OR FAX 823-2552 Homemade Mexican Food In Three Small S3.50 • Medium $4.35 • Large S4 BO . .. For fresh, tastefully spicy Mexican food.; • Appetizers • *. Delicious Desserts • 15 combination Plates • Vegetarian Items • Kids Meals only $1.99 A sallna Tradition for Over 20 yrs. • Open 11 am Dally 641 S. Broadway Blvd. /Salina/823-7667\ By The Associated Press MONROE, N.C. — Investigators examined the wreckage Monday of a helicopter to determine why it was flying low enough to strike a power line, crashing on a highway and killing all five people on board. The helicopter should have been flying at about 500 feet, more than three times the height of the wire, said Butch Wilson, lead investigator for the National Transporta- tion Safety Board. "He could have been trying to make an emergency landing," he said. The helicopter missed traffic on U.S. 74, which is used by vacationers traveling between Charlotte and beaches in North Carolina and South Carolina. "It's a wonder that there was no motor vehicles involved. Cars were driving by while it was coming down on the highway," said Sheriff Frank McGuirt. Pilot John Thomas Elliott, 49, was transporting passengers to the Monroe Airport after Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 Winston Cup race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway about 30 miles away. The stock car race ended about two hours before the crash. The airport is a few miles from where the helicopter went down. The crash closed the highway in both directions for several hours. 'Godzilla' no blockbuster yet By The Associated Press • LOS ANGELES — Buckling un"der the strain of its own hype, ;"Godzilla" fell short of its awesome expectations, grossing $55.5 •million over the long Memorial ;Day weekend, the launch of the •summer movie season, according ^to early industry estimates Monday. "In a word, 'Godzilla' was a disappointment," said film industry analyst Arthur Rockwell of Drake Capital Securities. "We're not looking at a flop. It's just not the kind of blockbuster they were hoping for." Opening to mostly bad reviews and against stronger-than-expected competition from "Deep Impact" and "The Horse Whisperer," the lizard-breaks-Manhattan tale from the makers of "Independence Day" came nowhere near shattering the record opening for a four- day weekend of $90.2 million for "Lost World: Jurassic Park," which debuted the same weekend last year. Early returns, combined with the "Godzilla"-sized production cost of $120 million and an additional $50 million-plus for marketing was disheartening for Sony, which released the film, and raises questions about a sequel, all but promised in the film's closing moments. Studio brass were focusing on the bright side, namely that the movie still took in $74 million since its previews Tuesday and will probably more than make back its money when factoring in the revenues from overseas distribution, video sales and television rights. "You always want to make more money, but the $74 million is a super number for 6'/ 2 days," said Sony spokesman Ed Russell. Now Available... Glucosamlne Sulfate The supplemental glucosamine your joints need. Glucosamine Sulfate from PhytoPharmica is the ultimate glucosamine supplement. It's 98 percent absorbable, so more glucosamine gets to your joint structures. B&K PRESCRIPTIpN SHOP People Helping People 601 E. 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