The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 2, 1997 · Page 1
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 1

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Thursday, October 2, 1997
Page 1
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Homebound Medicate rules put quadriplegic woman inCatch-22/C1 HEALTH ' Boy selling candy door to door found slain in nearby woods / C3 • rOOO COPS! U.S. may crack down on food safety at home and abroad / A3 I! Sacred Heart drops to 1A classification / D1 ^.,-^^ INSIDE ••:-••••• :y Ugh: 91 Low: 62 Partly cloudy today with south winds blowing 15to20mph /B3 WEATHER •,"••.' ' •' the Salina Journal Classified 7C4 Comics / B4 Deaths/AS Gteat Plains /B1 Health/C1 Money / A4 Sports /D1 Viewpoints / B2 INDEX Serving Kansas since 1871 THURSDAY OCTOBER 2, 1997 SALINA, KANSAS 50 cents V LARGE-SCALE HOG FARMS Methods shared on cutting hog smell Murphy Farms says it would heat and burn waste to yield fertilizer By CRISTINA JANNEY The Salina Journal New systems for controlling manure would be used at hog-raising facilities Murphy Family Farms hopes to develop in north-central Kansas and other areas of the state. Company spokeswoman Kay Stinson said in Salina Wednesday that the huge North Carolina- based company is looking to develop a hog-finishing operation somewhere north of Interstate 70 ' between Concor- dia and Asian a an City> market ooens The com P an y *&• mar ^ °P. e " s so has been work- opportunities ing to develop a for U.S. pork con fi ne d hog oper: producers / a ti on in Hodgeman PageA6 County in south~~ west Kansas, but that work has been mired in controversy. Stinson was among Murphy representatives in Salina to discuss their plans with Kansas legislators and Salina-area hog producers. The meeting at the Bicentennial Center, billed as an environmental summit, was closed to the public, including journalists. Stinson said Murphy Farms was drawn to Kansas thinking hogs could provide small rural communities with opportunities for economic growth. *" Hog operations provide not only direct jobs in caring for hogs but also secondary jobs linked to the grain industry. In Oklahoma, for instance, farmers are considering increased corn production to feed the company's hog operation. •••. Interviewed outside the meeting, Murphy representatives said the guests were told how the company has found new ways to reduce odor from manure and protect water quality. *• In Kansas, Murphy hopes to implement a "digester" system to deal with hog manure. The manure slurry would flow to specially lined and covered lagoons, where it would be heated to increase the rate at which bacteria breaks down solids. « Methane gas, a cause of the foul odor of pig manure, would be burned, and the end product could be used as a crop fertilizer. . .Laura McClure, D-Osborne and member of the House Environment Committee, said the success of such systems comes down to three words: "If handled properly." < ;^~ See HOG, Page AS T CHILDHOOD TAUNTING TOM DORSEY / The Salina Journal The apple;trees at Eunice Gunzelman's home were planted more than 40 years ago. Many apples are rotting on the ground. ' A 1 ' -i -•,'-','•,- '• ' ' ' ' ' .•'*••. '• ' Abundance Ideal weather nurtures crop that overwhelms growers By DAN ENGLAND The Salina Journal A sign so small that it is barely legible from the road says a lot about this year's apple crop. The sign is attached to a little metal cart, which is parked next to a bulging apple tree in Beulah Nordlund's front yard. There are apples scattered on the ground, a few in the road and some placed neatly in the cart. The sign states, "Apples. You pick, 15 cents a pound." It's been about five years since Nordlund, 133 E. Jewell, has had apples from the tree she planted 20 years ago. But this year she has more than she knows what to do with. She's never sold them before, but she can only eat so many apples — even when they're baked in a microwave with a little cinnamon and sugar. "It's just been a few here and there in the past," Nordlund said of the apples. "But this year, this is the most apples "It's astonishing. And it's not just that there's a lot of them. The apples have been great, too." Dan Kuhn owner, Market Depot orchard In Courtland I've ever seen." It's the most apples many Kansas orchard owners have seen. Down in Courtland at the Market Depot, a 23-acre orchard, owner Dan Kuhn picked 1,800 bushels last year, about 1,200 short of what can be called an average year of apple production, which fluctuates wildly. This year the orchard yielded 6,000 bushels. "It's astonishing," Kuhn said. "This is a vintage crop. And it's not just that there's a lot of them. The apples have been great, too." The reason for the whopping harvest is the same reason for almost every bountiful harvest: ideal weather, Kuhn said. "The trick is to not have big swings of high and low temperatures," Kuhn said. "If you have days of up to 60 degrees and then you go to 20 below in a matter of 12 hours, then it can cause damage to the buds." The only weather-induced worrying came in mid-April, when a late snowstorm hit the Salina area. But by that time the buds were "asleep," as Kuhn put it. "It was just right on the border of being bad," he said. "The buds weren't blooming, and it just didn't get quite cold enough to hurt them." Apple prices have fallen because of the abundant supply, but it's hard to say just how much. College professors, local extension agents and wholesale food suppliers didn't know. All they knew is that the prices were definitely lower because the national apple crop is big as well. "That's certainly a problem," Kuhn said. "Everyone who has a tree in their yard has a big crop on them, and they are all over the state. But that's good. It's just plain good that we , have more volume to sell. It's a different set of problems, but it's a better set of problems." But it is a problem for Eunice Gunzelman, 469 E. Water Well. Her orchard, once 80 acres, is now just a single acre but, nonetheless, she's up to her knees in apples. "It's just sad, they just lay on the ground and rot because no one wants them," Gunzelman said. "I'll bet you couldn't even give them to charity." She'll give you a bucket full of apples if you ask. Gunzelman has a huge refrigerator and plans on filling it. "You never know," she said with a chuckle. "This winter, we might just want an apple." Bullyirig about her weight ends in girl's suicide 'Bubbly, charming' 13-year-old had told her parents she just couldn't take taunting anymore By EDITH M. LEDERER The Associated Press LONDON — For three years, Kelly Yeomans endured taunts of "fatty." Her teen-age tormentors threw salt in her school lunch and dumped her clothes in the garbage. Last week, they pelted her house, first with stones and finally with butter and eggs, the ingredients for cake. The chubby, sweet-faced 13-year-old told her parents she couldn't stand the abuse anymore. While they slept Sunday night, she took a fatal overdose of painkillers. Police have arrested four neighborhood boys and one girl, ranging in age from 13 to 17, and say more arrests are possible. However, the arrested youths were not charged with any crime and were released without bail. It was not clear what would happen to them since all are juveniles, authorities said. Even in a country where bullying is common, Kelly's death came as a shock, and the media have given wide coverage to the tragedy. "She was a bubbly, charming little angel who would do anything for anybody," said Ivan Yeomans, Kelly's father. "We were just an easy target and they are cowards, but I hope they can sleep at night after what has happened." Kelly IJved with her parents and 16-year-old sister Sarah in the working-class AUenton neighborhood of Derby, 130 miles northwest of London. She played the tambourine in the local Salvation Army band and visited elderly patrons at its Allenton center. But her sister said Kelly.was regularly teased about her weight and was abused at school and in her neighborhood. As a result, she always left her gym class after everyone else to avoid being seen in exercise clothes. "We tried to help her over the bullying she got," her best friend, 15-year-old Marie Porter, told The Guardian newspaper. "She didn't talk about it much, but they didn't let her alone." Neighbors said a gang of up to 15 youths gathered outside the family's house for several con- secutive nights last week. They attacked the home several times, throwing a block of margarine through the window, shouting abuse about lard and fat, and calling her "smelly." "It was after that Kelly told us, 'Mom and Dad, it's nothing to do with you but I can't stand it. I'm going to take an overdose, 1 " said her mother, Julie Yeomans. But, her mother said, she and her husband never thought Kelly would kill herself. They, knew only that she was depressed. Michael Shaw, head teacher at Merrill College, the high school that Kelly attended, said Wednesday that she had complained about bullying at school only once — after the salt incident in February 1996. Last week, she told a teacher her family was being tormented at home, and the teacher suggested they contact the police or a lawyer, he said. It was unclear whether they had done so. "We take bullying very seriously," Shaw said, "and all cases are dealt with swiftly, appropriately and thoroughly." He said those arrested were not schoolmates of Kelly's. V KANSAS GOVERNMENT Kansas reaps windfall From 3 sources, extra money's pouring in, and tax relief looks probable By LEW FERGUSON The Associated Press Undated file photo Kelly Yeomans was found dead by her father when he went to wake her for school. TOPEKA — The money tree is raining windfalls on Kansas government these days, and taxpayers likely will be the beneficiaries when the 1998 Legislature convenes in January. Gov. Bill Graves and Western Resources announced Wednesday that the big Topeka-based utility and security company is paying the state $66.6 million in extra taxes this year. The special one-time payment is the result of $1.5 billion in gross proceeds that Western Resources realized from its sale of common stock in Tyco International Ltd. Western sold the stock following its unsuccessful bid to acquire the security firm ADT Ltd., which wound up agreeing to be acquired by Tyco, a diversified manufacturer best known as a maker of fire extinguishers, alarms and related products. The Western tax windfall follows news that state revenues are running $64.6 million above the estimate for the first quarter of this fiscal year, and an 8 percent- plus increase in property appraisals this year means the 27- mill statewide school property tax will generate $20 million more revenue than expected. The net effect is the state will have $137 million more than anticipated when the fiscal year began July 1 after Western Resources completes its $66.6 million payment in December and the extra school property tax revenue comes in. Property taxes are paid in December and June. Western is making its payment in two installments, because of the timing of the sale of .its Tyco stock. It paid the Revenue Department $14.5 million on Sept. 15 and will pay another $52.1 million on Dec. 15. Push for tax relief "There is no doubt" that he will propose another package of tax relief to the '98 Legislature, Graves said during a news conference announcing the Western tax payment. The governor submitted a tax reduction package to the 1997 session, and it responded with tax cuts worth $119 million — primarily by reducing the statewide school property tax mill levy from 35 to 27. "There are at least 166 tax packages," Graves quipped, meaning all 165 legislators likely will have their own proposals. How much money goes for tax relief next year, Graves said, depends on the Legislature. "Every dime not appropriated by the Legislature is available for tax relief," he said. Graves also said there are some fixed costs of state government that might be paid to eliminate annual payments from the budget. He mentioned paying off bonds issued to build facilities at El Dorado and Ellsworth prisons in order to end debt service charges. The governor said the Revenue Department believes the $66.6 million tax payment of Western Resources is the largest single tax payment in state history. "This improves an already very positive (revenue) picture," he said. "But I hope everyone recognizes this for what it is: a one-time windfall." Budget Director Gloria Timmer said the bulging state treasury actually makes her task more difficult in helping Graves develop his budget recommendations. "When you have the money everyone comes out and says, 'We've waited and waited. Now it's our turn,' " Timmer said. Michel' Philipp, Western's spokeswoman, said the company had a pre-tax gain of $860 million on the Tyco transaction and will have about $500 million after taxes.

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