The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on June 6, 1998 · Page 1
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 1

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Saturday, June 6, 1998
Page 1
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Triple crown? Real Quiet could make a lot of noise today with winatBelmont/B1 SPORTS the Marquette man convicted in murder of Salina man / C1 GREAT PLAINS • RRfS l6Q8C]f: Issues younger Kennedy pursued still relevant / A4 ?: South Dakota town may not be revived after tornado / B5 INSIDE Salina Journal Rorwinn K'aneao ein/->a 1O71 ^^^^ Serving Kansas since 1871 High: 69 Low: 50 Becoming partly cloudy today; northwest winds shifting to southwest / B7 WEATHER Classified / C4 Comics / B8 Deaths / A9 Great Plains / C1 Money/A6 Religion / B6 Sports / B1 Viewpoints / C2 INDEX SATURDAY JUNE 6, 1998 SALINA, KANSAS 50 cents Y EMERGENCY AID-FOOD BANK Failed elevator may trip up food program Basement office won't be accessible to some served by Food Bank By SHARON MONTAGUE The Salina Journal It wasn't the best of worlds, but carting groceries into the elevator in the basement of Memorial Hall, exiting on the main floor and pushing the cart out to the car at least worked for clients of the Emergency Aid-Food Bank. But as of Thursday the elevator isn't working, and it's not expected to be working for three to five months. Food Bank administrator Kathy Jackson is worried both about how her clients are going to get food out of the basement office and how Project Salina workers will get donated food in the office. "I am very concerned," Jackson said. City officials have told Jackson that the elevator needs to be replaced, and the bidding process and construction could take three to five months. Memorial Hall is a city-owned building, and the Food Bank is provided space rent-free, Jackson said. The Food Bank is a nonprofit organization funded by local businesses, churches and private donations. Jackson said the elevator in Memorial Hall has gone out periodically in the past, but never for long. She's worried about how clients, who receive at least four sacks of food and sometimes many more sacks, will get the food to their vehicles. T SALINA INDUSTRY "We're going to have to carry the sacks of food up the two flights of stairs a sack at a time," she said. For elderly people and people with handicaps who aren't able to use the stairs — well, Jackson has no answer. "Maybe they could have a social worker or a helper come and get the food for them," Jackson said. "This is a really big issue for me, because a lot of the people we serve we aren't going to be able to serve because they can't get to us." Jackson also is concerned about the delivery, Wednesday and Thursday, of the Food Bank's share of food items donated through Project Salina, which ended May 31. Project Salina is an annual campaign in which businesses and their employees collect food items for distribution to five local charities; some 103,000 food items were collected this year. "We will need to hand carry it down the stairs, and we'll need a lot of help," Jackson said of the Food Bank's share of the donated food. Jackson already has called the Saline County Sheriffs Office to ask if jail trusties could help carry the food to the basement, but she won't know until Wednesday whether inmates are available or how many might help. Anyone who is able to help can call Jackson at 827-7111. She'd like advance notice of the number of volunteers expected so she can plan for lunches for the volunteers. Galvanizing plant shouldn't pose risk Zinc used in process doesn't pose much threat to environment By CHAD HAYWORTH The Salina Journal The nation's largest galvanizing plant — proposed for the city's northeast edge — will pose no significant health or environmental risks if built and operated correctly, state and federal regulators say. "The risks are extremely minimal," said Don Brown, spokesman for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment office in Topeka. "You can't go out and find a lot of instances where zinc has caused any problems. It's fairly stable and safe when used for industrial purposes." Brown said the plant would likely be required to monitor air and water emissions, as well as the air quality inside the plant. Most zinc contamination problems come from excessive amounts of zinc particles in water discharged from a plant or suspended in air that workers breathe. Members of the Paul Mai family last week announced plans to build a 156,000-square-foot galvanizing plant on 110 acres at the northeast corner of Pacific and Ohio streets. See PLANT, Page A9 Swing yer partner DAVIS TURNER / The Salina Journal .Don and Barb Smischny, 139 S. Skyline, rumba across the main arena of the Bicentennial Center Friday night during Impromptu Rounds of the 1998 Kansas State Square Dance Convention. The annual convention, which concludes this evening, will draw up to 2,000 square dancers and square dance callers from Kansas and the surrounding states. Spectators are welcome. T CONGRESS GOP pushes budget through House $101 billion in spending and tax cuts over five years drew opposition from moderates By The Associated Press WASHINGTON — Republican leaders put down a revolt by party moderates Friday and coaxed through the House a plan to cut $101 billion in both spending and taxes over the next five years, turning a potentially embarrassing election-year defeat into a surprisingly easy triumph. "We can kind of think of this as the nine- lives budget," House Budget Committee Chairman John Kasich, R-Ohio, said after lawmakers voted 216-204 for a $1.72 trillion budget for 1999, bearing the reductions. House leaders spent tension-filled days pleading for votes, and their lobbying paid off. Only nine Republicans ended up opposing the measure, partly offset by "yes" votes from three Democrats. The winning roll call produced bear hugs from colleagues for Kasich, who many believe hopes to ride the budget's call for federal frugality to a 2000 presidential candidacy. It also put a How they voted Here is how the Kansas delegation voted on the budget bill approved Friday by the U.S. House: • Jerry Moran, Republican, Yes. • Jim Ryun, Republican, Yes• Vince Snowbarger, Republican, Yes. • Todd Tiahrt, Republican, Yes. wide grin on the face of House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., another potential White House hopeful who lobbied hard for the measure. With its vote, the House declared it was continuing the GOP's drive to pare taxes and domestic programs, despite the annual budget surpluses that are virtually certain to begin this year. The savings and tax cuts would go beyond those in last summer's budget-balancing deal between President Clinton and Republicans — a statement House GOP leaders were eager to make to the party's core conservative voters. The budget did not specify where most spending cuts would fall, but they would be split roughly 50-50 between benefits, like Med- icaid, and annually approved general government programs. To ease political pain, all but about $15 billion in the reductions would occur in 2001 and beyond, and the package does not say where the $24 billion in savings would be found to pay for recently approved highway and farm legislation. It also contained a call to erase the so-called • marriage penalty, the extra income tax millions of couples pay that they would not owe if single — a high priority of Republican-allied • pro-family groups. While overall federal spending would continue to grow annually, some programs would grow more slowly than otherwise planned. Oth- • ers would receive actual reductions. And while tax collections would grow each year too, the annual increase in revenues would be slowed. Tacitly acknowledging the divisions within his party, Gingrich called the package "a historic effort to keep us on offense. A lot of people wanted us to quit. A lot of people wanted us to coast the next couple of years." Ahead lie potentially tumultuous negotia?;*, tions with the Senate, which approved a more* modest spending plan two months ago that; mapped out $30 billion in tax cuts and none of' the additional spending cuts. Mike Ash, a law student from Cincinnati, appears to be protecting himself from the tears of a distraught baby as he walks to class Wednesday In Columbus, Ohio. The Associated Press TIRS IRS apologizes for breaking the law •flh —_ — Federal agency admits error in forcing taxpayers to extend payment schedules By The Associated Press WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service plans to send apologies and maybe even refunds to some 20,000 taxpayers after finding it tried to change repayment schedules in violation of federal law. The issue involves people who were repaying taxes for years prior to 1990 under installment agreements, the IRS said Friday. About 20,000 of these taxpayers were improperly asked by the IRS to extend their existing installment agreements beyond the 10-year legal time limit when collections normally would expire. The IRS said only a "small percentage" of taxpayers have such installment agreements, a common device the IRS uses to obtain payment of back taxes. In fiscal 1996, 2.67 million taxpayers had such agreements. "We sincerely regret our errors with these taxpayers," said Lee Monks, IRS taxpayer advocate. The agency will act quickly "to ensure we correct each account and make whatever refunds the law allows." Letters of apology will be sent to "potentially affected" taxpayers, perhaps as early as this weekend, which will contain a claim form and a special toll-free number to protect their right to a refund. Senate Finance Chairman William Roth Jr., R-Del., applauded the action and said it shows that "our hearings and our work on IRS reform legislation are having an impact." Roth's committee had a series of hearings in April exploring IRS abuses. The IRS can negotiate with taxpayers to extend the collection period beyond the 10-year statute of limitations as a condition of entering into an installment agreement. But the IRS cannot legally request that taxpayers extend the collection period after such an agreement was set. In "a small fraction" of cases, taxpayers who didn't agree to extend the collection period had their installment agreements canceled. They were told to imme- • diately repay the full amount due. "We may have been acting improperly in seeking to extend the installment agreements," Monks said. Monks said he couldn't estimate the amount of money that would be refunded. The IRS has set up a special team of employees at its Philadelphia Service Center to handle inquiries. Terms of installment agreements vary widely since few taxpayer situations are alike. In some cases, taxpayers have entered into installment agreements in which the tax debt isn't fully repaid within the 10-year statute of limitations because of their inability to pay more. One tax expert, Joseph Lane of the National Association of Enrolled Agents, accused the IRS of abusing its power by extending installment agreement deadlines. "We've been screaming about that for years," Lane said.

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