The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on January 20, 1996 · Page 9
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 9

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Saturday, January 20, 1996
Page 9
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Great Plains VIEWPOINTS / B2 SEW SIMPLE / B3 MONEY/ B5 DOCTOR'S TRIAL First week wraps up with tale of farmer's death Hospital workers describe effort to revive 81 -year-old who doctor called brain dead By LINDA MOWERY-DENNING The Salina Journal ST. FRANCIS — Dr. L. Stan Naramore was at the county fair,with his family when he learned his patient, 81-year-old St. Francis fanner Chris Willt, had been rushed to the emergency room of the Cheyenne County Hospital. As the physician arrived at the hospital Aug. 5, 1992, he shouted at emergency medical technician Beth Gabel, "Out of my way! He's an uncontrolled diabetic!" Thus started a three-hour effort to save Willt, who was found slumped over a table at a St. Francis convenience store and died shortly after midnight. The cause of his death was in dispute Friday as witnesses took the stand in Cheyenne County District Court to tell about the events of that hot summer night. Prosecutors say Naramore administered a paralyzing drug that resulted in Willt's asphyxiation after the physician declared the patient brain dead and ordered his breathing aid stopped. Defense attorneys say Willt was in poor health and died from a stroke. Naramore is charged with first-degree murder in the farmer's death, and prosecutors have said they will ask for the "Hard 40" sentence if he is convicted. That sentence of 40 years would mean the 50-year-old former St. Francis physician would not be eligible for parole until he is almost 90 years old. Naramore also is charged with the attempted murder Aug. 2, 1992, of 78-year- old Ruth Leach, a terminally ill cancer patient. In his opening statement Wednesday, defense attorney Kurt Kerns of Wichita said he would use the prosecution's witnesses to justify the actions of his client. He started to deliver on that promise Friday as the trial entered its second full day. The day started with scientific testimony from Carl Selavka, a forensic chemist with a private laboratory. He tested syringes and other items taken from the hospital room of Ruth Leach the night Naramore allegedly tried to kill her with an overdose of pain medications. Selavka was followed by Gabel and other emergency personnel who helped with Willt. A nurse testified that another local physician called to the emergency room that night confirmed the farmer's death with a remark something like "It's kind of like beating a dead horse." A certified nurse's aide, on questioning from Kerns, said she earlier told investigators that she "never doubted Dr. Naramore." The case against Naramore, who-surrendered his license to practice medicine after his arrest about 18 months ago, is unusual because at issue is whether or not crimes were actually committed in 1992. Prosecutors John Bork and Jon Fleenor of the Kansas attorney general's office have hinted at euthanasia, but nothing definite has been said and, technically, the state does not have to provide a motive to prove its case. In his opening statement, Kerns said the evidence will show that his client was a small-town doctor who did the best he could with the tools he had. He also promised to call to the stand Dr. Bruce Alter, another former St. Francis physician, who is expected to testify that Dale White, administrator of the Cheyenne County Hospital at the time of the alleged crimes, also accused him of trying to kill a pa- tient. Alter left St. Francis after he refused to support the organization of a regional health care network. Prosecutors say White, a registered nurse who eventually became director of the network, saw Willt move after Naramore declared him brain dead. Through the week, the pudgy, bespectacled former physician sat at the defense table looking more like another attorney than a defendant. He scribbled notes and occasionally leaned over to whisper to his attorneys. His wife, Pam, a nurse who was in the emergency room the night Willt arrived, sat in the first spectator's bench behind him and also took notes. Their 11-year-old daughter wasn't in the courtroom Friday, but she had been earlier in the week. Naramore's mother, who lives in Vermont, also was in attendance. Testimony is to resume Monday. BRIEFLY Kwik Shops gather coats, mittens for poor A drive to collect coats and mittens for needy children is under way at Kwik Shop convenience stores in Salina and Abilene throughMan. 30. Sought are clean coats and mittens, and adult sizes will be accepted as well, said Cathy Curtis, Abilene store manager. The items will be distributed in the Saline and Dickinson county areas. Mom charged with capital murder OLATHE — Johnson County prosecutors on Friday filed capital murder charges against a Prairie Village doctor accused of setting a fire that killed two of her children. The move would allow prosecutors to seek the death penalty against Debora Green. District Attorney Paul Morrison said the action did not mean that prosecutors plan to seek Green's execution for the deaths of Kelly Farrar, 6, and Tim Farrar, 13. But he said the move preserves the option if prosecutors choose to take it later. Green, 44, is charged with two counts of capital murder, two counts of attempted capital murder and aggravated arson. She is being held in the Johnson County Jail on $3 million bond. Two deaths ruled murder-suicide MANHATTAN — A man and a woman were found dead in what authorities believe was murder- suicide. Charlie Johnson, 59, Wamego, and June Blenn, 56, Manhattan, were found dead in a mobile home at a Manhattan trailer park Thursday morning. Johnson owned Wamego Electric, a large electrical business. A suicide note and other evidence indicated Blenn shot Johnson and then herself, said Pottawatomie County Sheriff Tony Metcalf. She apparently was despondent over a failed relationship with Johnson. Police were called about 10:30 a.m. Thursday when someone found Johnson's truck idling outside Blenn's mobile home. 16-year-old pleads in girl's shooting OTTAWA — A 16-year-old boy has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the shooting death of a girl who was an innocent bystander during a feud between rival groups of adolescents. Nathan Earwood, Topeka, pleaded guilty Friday before Franklin County District Judge Thomas Sachse, who set sentencing for Feb. 16. Earwood was accused in the Sept. 24 slaying of Stephanie Perez, 14, who was shot to death outside the apartment where her family lived. According to testimony, Earwood and eight other youths intended to attack the girl's brother Steven. Stephanie Perez died of a single .gunshot wound to the chest. , Authorities dropped charges of conspiracy to commit aggravated battery and possession of a firearm against Earwood in exchange for his guilty plea. From Staff and Wire Reports Tomorrow's Headlines 825-6000 Category 6006 (Call alter 7:30 p.m.; Nature's kisses TOM DORSEY / The Salina Journal The combination of high winds and bitter cold created mounds of ice on branches and trees protruding from the waters of the lake at Lakewood Park. MUNICIPAL INVESTMENT POOL Legislator expects run on fund by local officials By The Associated Press TOPEKA — A legislative leader predicted Friday that the Municipal Investment Pool will collapse, while Gov. Bill Graves expressed support for stripping the state treasurer of much of her power. Graves said he is comfortable with proposals to make the Pooled Money Investment Board an independent state agency with its own staff, rather than have the state treasurer provide its staff and serve as its chairwoman. The treasurer's power has become an issue because the Municipal Investment Pool took a $20 million loss late in 1994, when State Treasurer Sally Thompson T GREAT PLAINS restructured its portfolio. The pool had $728 million in deposits at the end of December, but 58 percent of the money, or more than $421 million, was state funds. State law mandates that $249 million must be removed by July 1. Some Republicans speculate that as the deadline approaches, local governments will remove deposits, fearing lower earnings or getting stuck with a loss. Thompson believes no run will occur. House Speaker Tim Shallen- burger, R-Baxter Springs, accepts the scenario of a run. He opposed the pool's creation in 1992 and supports abolishing it. "There's going to be a run on the fund some day," Shallenburger said. V HELPING TROUBLED YOUTHS Detention officers unlock Keys New curriculum targets substance abuse and anti-social behavior By DAVID CLOUSTON The Salina Journal By the time renovations to the Saline County Juvenile Detention Center are completed, juvenile detention officers will have a new curriculum to follow. About 30 people, including detention officers and others from a host of social-service agencies, completed three days of training this week. The Keys to Innervi- sion program addresses drug abuse and other anti-social behavior. The program is funded through a $128,000 grant awarded to Salina from the federal Family Preservation and Support Service. Statewide, more than $510,000 was awarded to five communities. The others were Johnson County, Wichita, southeast Kansas and Reno County. Trainers Phyllis Antonelli and Christopher Kuhn, both of Scottsdale, Ariz., presented the concepts of the Keys program during workshops at the Saline County Sheriffs Office. The department will run the program along with a companion effort, Gang Resistance Education and Training. Antonelli is co-author of the Keys program. Keys attempts to raise each youth's self-esteem and convince them they can change their lives, said Sgt. Marilyn Shogren, detention center manager. "It gives them the ability to make choices," she said. "A lot of these kids don't believe they can change. They don't really think change is possible. It teaches them how to handle problems, and that they can be supported by other people." Juvenile offenders in detention are housed at the Tradewinds Motel on North Ninth Street until renovations to the detention center are finished, expected about March 1. Shogren said the program will start three to four weeks afterward. Seniors stir elementary interest in writing When you neod to know.. In tiny Tipton, high schoolers share their influence on youth through academics and sports TIPTON — They write of small animals, adventures and fantasy. But the best part is that the seniors in Joseph Diekmann's composition class at Tipton High School share their efforts with Sharon May's second-graders at the elementary school. "The little kids look up to * the high school students mainly because they see them dribbling a basketball or carrying a football. Here they can look up to them for an academic activity," Diekmann said. Added May: "I've seen a real turnaround in the interest of my students in writing. When the kids leave here, they love to write. They're excited about it." ^ For the past five years, "* the two veteran teachers have shared a project Diekmann started in order to find an outlet for the work of his student writers. "Too often, high school students become LINDA MOWERY- DENNING The Salina Journal so used to producing work for their teacher's eyes only, they begin to fall into routine patterns of expression," he said. The assignment — to develop a children's story — teaches them to write for a specific audience: May's second-graders. The students begin by analyzing published children's books and reading tips by professionals. Next comes the development of a story idea and the writing of a first draft, which is critiqued by Diekmann and class members. All the time the young authors must keep in mind they will eventually read their prose to the second-graders. This year, for instance, one student wrote about a pancake. There was concern the story might encourage the younger children to go into the kitchen unsupervised and attempt to cook. So the story was rewritten to underscore the danger of such activity. "It's often hard for the students to get past that initial spurt of inspiration and do the revisions. This project has really gotten them to take that part of the assignment more seriously," Diekmann said. The final step is the reading of stories to the elementary students. "When our kids come over here to read a story to a real audience, they're sometimes surprised at a reaction or where the reac- Students teaching students * Tipton MITCHELL tion comes," Diekmann said. "The little kids will let you know what they think and they will respond right away." The project has been so successful, the teachers decided to work it in reverse: May's second-graders wrote stories for Diekmann's senior composition students. "My class got a real kick out of reading the work of the grade schoolers and I think that's when they really realized their own efforts had a definite impact. They spent an entire class hour writing encouraging notes to accompany the stories when they were returned to Mrs. May's class," Diekmann said. Students in his class receive high school and college credit through an agreement with Cloud County Community College at Concordia. It's part of the town's emphasis on education. Tipton, a Mitchell County community of fewer than 300, has a unique situation. The elementary school, where May has taught for 16 years, is part of the Waconda School District, headquartered in Cawker City. The high school, where Diekmann has taught since he left St. Louis more than two decades ago, is a Catholic institution, but just about all the town's youngsters, despite their religion, attend classes there. There are 80 students in the grade school and 37 students in the high school. Parent involvement is high and. students are able to participate in any activity they choose. This year, for example, all the boys were recruited for the football team and all the girls had to play volleyball so the school could field a team. Diekmann, who is responsible for the high school's drama program, has staged productions with participation from the entire student body. "The real strength of the school system is the community," the teacher said. "All the things you hear about that are supposed to make a school work we have here." SUGGESTIONS? CALL BEN WEARING, DEPUTY EDITOR, AT (913) 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363

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