The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on June 2, 1998 · Page 3
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 3

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Tuesday, June 2, 1998
Page 3
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THE SALINA JOURNAL Great Plains TUESDAY, JUNE 2, 1998 A3 BRIEFLY T SALINA SCHOOL DISTRICT Lack of staff halts night hours at Denny's j 1 Temporary staffing problems [have forced Denny's, a round-the- iclock restaurant at 633 W. Diamond, to close at 10 p.m. Curtis Johnson, a manager at the restaurant, said he doesn't have enough employees to keep the restaurant running 24 hours a day. "It's a little unusual," he said, for a Denny's restaurant to close down at night. ;He said the restaurant will open .at 6 a.m. each day. Johnson said he hopes staff will be hired in the next week or so, so the restaurant can resume its normal hours. County OKs contracts for bridge inspections Faced with a Friday deadline, Saline County commissioners Monday approved a contract with the..Kansas Department of Transportation for underwater inspections of two Saline County bridges. Under the contract, the state will pay 80 percent of the inspection cost, and the county will pay 20 percent, or about $1,400. The bridges, both over the Saline River, are at North Hedville Road and North Simpson Road. Jerry Fowler, public works director, said underwater inspections are mandated to ensure that water hasn't eroded the bridge piers. Sheriff lands on his feet, can't go to work COLBY — Thomas County Sheriff Tom Jones was home Monday after having surgery to repair the damage from a fall two weeks ago that crushed one heel and broke three bones in his other heel. ^"He's doing all right. He's just tired and wore out," said Under- sheriff Michael Baughn, who has charge of the department during the sheriffs absence. He said Jones is expected to re- 'Cover fully from his injuries, but the process could take some time, poctors have ordered the sheriff to stay off his feet for two months. * Baughn said it's possible that in another two weeks or so Jones yj\Q. be able to visit his office in a wheelchair for a few hours a day. * Jones was in Garden City working on a garage roof with his brother when the sheriff appar- fently lost his balance in the wind Jind fell, landing on the back of •his feet. He was taken to a local ihospital and sent home. He re- Jurned to Garden City this past week for surgery. Salina teen arrested after house burglary * An 18-year old Salina man was arrested early Sunday in connection with a burglary that same 'hiorning at 152 N. Tenth. ;. Salina police said a man broke into the home and stole $40. When •he was confronted by a woman in She" house, Kimberly Yoder, the inan left. *IPolice arrested Albert Whitaker tfr.; 18,700 N. Third, at a residence *3 : fhe 1000 block of west Ash •Street. Whitaker has been charged h aggravated residential bur- and misdemeanor theft. Teachers may get paid training days Salina teachers would work more and be paid more to catch up on training needs By CAROL LICHTI The Salina Journal Teachers in the Salina School District would be paid more and work more days to receive training under a "revolutionary" proposal presented Monday at a negotiation session of teachers and school board officials. The idea first alarmed teachers on the negotiating team, who were concerned how their co-workers would react to learning this summer their contracts for next fall would be extended by two work days. But later they said they supported the idea. No action on the proposal was made. "We're going to get a lot of heat about this," said Trula Harris, president-elect of the Salina chapter of the National Education Association, a union for teachers. "Some will not question it at all, but there will be those who will." Under the proposal, teachers' contracts would be extended 10 days over the next five years, beginning with a two-day extension next term. The extra days would be used for teacher training in areas such as technology. The cost of teachers working the two extra days would be $220,000. That money would come from a limited local-option budget available to the district under the school finance law. Training sessions would be during the summer, and teachers would have several scheduling options. Harris said that with school out, it will be hard to communicate with teachers about the proposal. "I would feel uncomfortable approving it without hearing more from the ranks," she said. School administrators and board representatives were taken aback by the teachers' hesitation. The need for more teacher training has been identi- fied both in a survey of employees and in a community study of district needs. "If we would do this, we would be one of the first districts in the U.S. to give teachers' 10 days of meaningful teacher training and staff development, and have teachers paid a fair salary for it," Superintendent Gary Norris said. Anne Nettleton, an elementary teacher on the negotiating team, wondered if teachers could be given the option of participating. But Norris said that would defeat the purpose. "We want to reach those who don't volunteer," he said. Overall, the teachers said they favor the plan because most teachers want more training and want to be paid for it. "This is an opportunity to raise salaries while working a few extra days for staff training," said orchestra teacher Susan Higbee. Also Monday, Norris presented salary comparisons to show how Salina teachers fare with others in the state: • The base salary of $23,300 is ranked 274th out of 304 districts, with the highest being $33,520 in Maize and the lowest being $21,790 in Ellis; • The 20-year earning potential of Salina teachers ranks 132nd in the state, with Dodge City having the highest and Prairie Heights the least. • The average teacher's salary for Salina is $34,570, which ranks 157th in the state. The highest average is $44,429 in Prairie View and the lowest is $25,463 in Lenora. Adding more paid days to the teachers' contracts, as has been done in many other districts, would improve Salina's rankings, Norris said. The negotiating team will meet again at 4 p.m. June 8, June 16 and June 25 at district offices, 1511 Gypsum. The meetings are open to the public. A stand for children SALINA POLICE KBI looks into police scuffle; man hurt Car passenger lost consciousness Friday, remains in hospital By CHAD HAYWORTH The Salina Journal JEFF COOPER / The Salina Journal Derrick Dusin (left) watches Salina firefighter Brian Darnell put an oxygen mask on Luke Ernzen as part of Stand for Children Day '98. About 400 area children gathered Monday in Kenwood Park for the celebration of the day. Derrick is the son of Denise Dusin, Salina, and Luke is the son of Pat Ernzen, also of Salina. Salina police and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation are reviewing an incident in which a man blacked out and was hospitalized after a scuffle with police Friday night, Police Chief Jim Hill said in a written statement Monday. Hill said a Salina police officer — who was not identified — stopped a car on Elm Street near the Salina Public Library about 10:30 p.m. Friday after noticing the vehicle had an expired tag. Hill said the officer S saw the vehi- cie's passenger take an 5017160116 IS object — later identified as a injured whUe T SALINE COUNTY COMMISSION Salinan hopes to use tax advantage ^Several thrown from Ivan that rolls off 1-70 HAYS — Three people were being "held in fair or good condition at Hays Medical Center Monday jiight after being thrown from a inini-van early Monday morning. ; The driver, Vu Hoang, 20, Okla- $oma City, told the Kansas Highway ••Ratrol he swerved to avoid a deer on 'interstate 70 east of Hays about 3:20 ,'a.m. The van rolled. ' Four passengers without seat belts were thrown from the vehi- !'cle, according to a dispatcher with the Kansas Highway Patrol in •Norton. Sang Van Vo, 15, Truong &oang, 30, and Tina Bui, 27, all ijrom Oklahoma City, remained Jiospitalized Monday night. •• My Hoang, 15, the fourth passenger thrown from the van, was treat"ed and released from the hospital. Only the driver and a 2-month- .old baby were wearing seat belts. Body in creek is that of Manhattan man £ FORT RILEY — A body found £May 19 in a creek at Fort Riley :;jias been identified as a man from ^Manhattan. «' The body of David Wagner, 48, iwas discovered by Kansas State jjniversity students who were do- Jng a research project. <* The cause of death is being in- Iwestigated, said Deb Skidmore, a 2fort spokeswoman. IS n " From Staff and Wire Reports But appraiser doesn't think law on tax burden applies to Lanseair By SHARON MONTAGUE The Salina Journal When he heard a business competitor, Rep. Henry M. Helgerson Jr., D-Wichita, was taking advantage of a 1986 state law to lower his property tax burden, Jack Johannes of Salina's Lanseair decided to try the same thing. But Saline County officials aren't so sure the tax exemption — at least in Lanseair's case — is justified. At a Monday meeting, county commissioners directed Mike Montoya, county counselor, and Rod Broberg, county appraiser, to talk with Sedgwick County officials about why Helgerson was granted the exemption and to T FOX THEATRE gather more information about the issue. Helgerson couldn't be reached Monday afternoon for comment. Lanseair provides display tables, bunting, trees, decorations and other items for conventions, trade shows, expos and similar events, owner Johannes said. Johannes said Helgerson operates a similar business in Wichita, called Henry Helgerson Decorating Co. Broberg said Lanseair's latest personal property tax bill was about $685. Johannes is asking that only a portion of the property cpvered on that tax bill be exempted, Broberg said. The statute Johannes cited exempts from taxation personal property "held for sale or display at, and in connection with, a fair, exposition, trade show, auction, bazaar, flea market or convention." Broberg said he believes the law refers to the inventory of transient merchants who display their wares for sale at such events. "Your property is primarily rented to those conducting events as mentioned in the statute," Broberg said in a letter to Johannes. "As such, I feel that it is no different than property held for rental by such companies as Barragree Rental or Waters Hardware." Before the law was passed, Broberg said, appraisers visited every such event, charging property tax on items sold or displayed at the shows. After the law passed, Broberg said, appraisers stopped taxing vendors at such events. Johannes said he believed his property would fall under the exemption because his company — unlike Barragree or Waters Hardware — does more than provide rental equipment. "We're involved in the events," Johannes said. Part of his service, he said, includes setting up and taking down tables, decorating with trees and bunting and flags. But Montoya noted that service businesses were taxed on business equipment. Service Master, which provides cleaning, would be taxed on equipment used to clean, Broberg said. Montoya said he still was concerned that if an exemption were approved for Lanseair, others renting equipment would ask that their equipment be exempt as well. Johannes noted that Helgerson was granted the exemption in Sedgwick County, but Montoya said appraisers in different counties often have different opinions about issues. Montoya agreed to get more information about the issue and report back to commissioners. City OKs brick plan to renovate Fox Engraved bricks are part of funding plan to restore theater By CRISTINA JANNEY The Salina Journal If you can't get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, maybe you can get a brick on the Fox-Watson Theatre walk of givers. The theater is teaming up with the Red Baron Ambucs club for a fundraiser in which the group plans to sell engraved bricks and coupon books. The Salina City Commission approved Monday the theater's plan for 4,000 engraved bricks to be placed in the sidewalk in front of the historic theater. For $50, donors will receive a coupon book good for discounts at How to help To donate money to help renovate the Fox-Watson Theatre, call the theater office at 827-1998. downtown businesses. Donors can receive a coupon book and an engraved brick for a $100 donation. A $200 donation will entitle the donor to three coupon books and a dedicated seat in the theater, or three coupon books and two engraved bricks. Donations qualify contributors for prizes, including a trip around the world, a $25,000 college fund and cash. The group hopes to sell 4,000 coupon books, and 1,100 of the theater's 1,300 seats will be available for dedication. The Ambucs club hopes to raise $200,000. They hope the coupon books will be available starting in late July. The Fox, which was opened in 1931 as a movie theater, was turned over last year to the nonprofit Fox Theatre Foundation. The foundation plans to restore the theater, closed since 1987, to its original grandeur. The group has yet to announce its overall fund-raising goal. bag of powder substance — packet a h nd CUStody... it fa put it in his policy tO mouth. when the request an 0 f f J A f r outside reached for . . „ the passen- investigation. ger, a struggle -ensued. Jim Hill During the Salina police chief scuffle, the car's passen- * ger lost consciousness. Officers called for medical assistance and started cardiopulmonary resuscitation, Hill said in the statement. Using a laryngoscope and forceps, emergency medical workers removed the bag of powder from the man's throat. He was taken to the hospital. Police arrested Larry Scott Heath, 40, 2640 W. Highway 40, whom they identified as the driver of the vehicle, for possession of drug paraphernalia. He later was released from the Saline County Jail. Ronald Lloyd Worley, 45, 241 N. Penn — whom police identify as the car's passenger — remained in Salina Regional Health Center with injuries resulting from the struggle and subsequent choking. Hill, who did not return calls seeking comment, said in his written statement that it appears officers on the scene Friday acted lawfully and professionally. "However, whenever someone is seriously injured while in police custody ... it is department policy to request that an outside, independent investigation into the matter be conducted," the statement said. Kyle Smith, an assistant attorney general assigned to the KBI, said it is not unusual for his office to look into incidents involving the use offeree by law officers. "We generally look to see if there are any legal issues," he said. "The public tends to be reassured when an outside investigation takes place, rather than an internal one." SUGGESTIONS? CALL BEN WEARING, DEPUTY EDITOR, AT (785) 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363 OR E-MAIL AT

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