The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 3, 1997 · Page 1
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 1

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Salina, Kansas
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Friday, October 3, 1997
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Family ties Brothers Thane and Tyson Douglas star for Southeast of Saline/C1 Still PDllin' Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan back with strong albums / D1 • Racial hanmony: ciinton points to Virginia community as model / A4 4 Water pollirtlon: Most Kansas watersheds have quality problems / A8 INSIDE Ugh: 87 Low; 58 Partly cloudy today with windsat5to15mph. Mostly clear tonight / B3 WEATHER Classified / C6 Comics/B4 Deaths/A9 Encore! / D1 Great Plains/B1 Money / C5 Sports / C1 Viewpoints / B2 INDEX the Salina Journal Serving Kansas since 1871 FRIDAY OCTOBERS, 1997 SALINA, KANSAS 50 cents T BEATING Victim's husband mourns Man visits beaten wife in nursing home on 1st wedding anniversary By SHARON MONTAGUE Tlie Saltna Journal They met at the Airliner Motel one soggy night, he taking refuge after being caught in the downpour on his motorcycle, she working her shift as a clerk. 'They talked, then later she wrote him a letter, asking if he'd like to go out sometime. Both were in their mid-30s, neither had been married before. So when Carol and Bruce Marihugh married a year ago Sept. 28 — after many a night playing cards, watching television, riding the motorcycle or just talking — it was something special and sweet. "When we did get married," Bruce said recently, "it was forever. It was for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health. • "I'd just hoped that maybe that part wouldn't come so soon." The couple were together for their anniversary Sunday, but not as they would have wished. Bruce, 39, visited Carol, 40, in an Abilene nursing home. She was left blind and in a vegetative state., as the result of a severe beating July 2. Jarrod Robert Hanchett, 18, 738 N. Second, was arrested Tuesday and has been charged with attempted first-degree murder and aggravated robbery in the attack. Officials won't say what they believe led to the attack, but said Carol's purse, a small amount of cash and some prescription medication were taken. Three months after the attack, Bruce said he still had more questions than answers. "It's frustrating to not know why, not know who, not even know that person who did this," Bruce said. Wife attacked in July The day of the attack, Carol was in Salina, where she'd used a debit card to buy groceries for a friend, Bruce said. She called Bruce about 6 p.m., telling him she'd be home by midnight. Bruce, knowing he had to be at work the next morning, went to bed. "The next thing I knew it was 6 in the morning, and the police called," Bruce said. Lt. Mike,Sweeney said Salina police found Carol about 5 a.m. July 2, sprawled on a concrete porch stoop at 700 N. Second. They'd been called by a neighbor, who heard a woman screaming for help. Carol's mother, Carole Anderson, said Carol suffered a severe blow to the back of her head, leaving her blind. Her front teeth were knocked out, and her lip was slashed open. ~ See VICTIM, Page A9 T STARVATION T WATER LINE EXCAVATION TOM DORSEY/The Salina Jouma Saline County Sheriff's Deputy Mike Smith videotapes the excavation of a possible Illegal tap on a city water line Thursday on North Street west oflroadway, . water tap? :,:• Workers dig up water line on North Street By The Journal Staff Saline County sheriffs deputies spent the day Thursday watching as workers on a backhoe and with shovels dug up what appeared to be a water line on property on North Street west of Broadway Boulevard. Sheriff Glen Kochanowski refused to say why the workers were digging or what they hoped to find, saying he'd have no comment until the investigation was completed, He said the crews will be working today, and he did not know when they would be finished. But other sources said authorities were investigating whether someone illegally tapped into a city water line that serves the United Parcel Service package distribution center on North Street. The violation was reportedly discovered when water from the recently opened Mario's Tavern was sent for analysis and found to contain purifying chemicals. The .tavern building is served with water from a private well, which should not contain water treatment chemicals. UPS officials did not return a phone call Thursday. The Mario's Tavern property, on the north side of North Street, is owned by Ben Prick, a businessman and frequent candidate for city and county offices, according to records in the Saline County appraiser's office. Through his wife, LaVelle, Frick issued the following comment: "They can dig all over my property and they will not find where my pri- vate water systejn> is hooked up to anything having to do with UPS." ',:••'• Frick said, through LaVelle, that he had taken pictures of the pipes uncovered Thursday, and they were pipes that had been installed to serve UPS. "They were not connected in any way to any of ours," Frick said. "The only thing they will find illegal is someone's private water and sewer lines installed on my private property without a utility easement or my permission." Workers were at the site throughout the day, digging from the street north toward Concrete and Supply, 1332 W. North, which is owned by Frick. Several sheriffs deputies watched the work and videotaped the workers. T REPUBLICAN RIVER DISPUTE Stovall pushes for river lawsuit Kansas attorney general gets endorsement to sue Nebraska for river depletion By JOHN HANNA The Associated Press TOPEKA — Attorney General Carla Stovall wants to sue Nebraska over depletion of the Republican River, and her proposal received an important legislative endorsement Thursday. Stovall said she plans to file a lawsuit against Nebraska with the U.S. Supreme Court if the Legislature adopts a resolution expressing support. The interim study Committee on Energy and Natural Resources agreed Thursday to sponsor the resolution, and recommend the Legislature appropriate $1.2 million for the suit. Estimates are it will cost $1 million a year to litigate the suit. Legislators would consider the resolution STOVALL during their 1998 session, which convenes in January. The attorney general could sue without legislative approval. However, Stovall said she does not want to fight with legislators over appropriating money for legal bills. Kansas officials contend Nebraska does not keep enough water hi the Republican after it crosses the border into :, nortltcentral Kansas. The two states entered into a compact over the river in 1943. "I think we need to get their attention," said Sen. Dave Corbin, R-Towanda, the committee's chairman. "Something is going to have to change." Kansas officials have complained about the Republican River for a dozen years on behalf of farmers and other north-central Kansas residents. They T TEEN CRIME 4 Kansas winning victories in lawsuit against Colorado over Arkansas River / Page A9 believe some farmers' crops yield half of what they should because of a lack of water. The committee's sponsorship of the resolution is significant because it indicates legislators who are influential on natural resources issues support a lawsuit. The committee has studied water quality issues the past three months. The lawsuit would be filed with the U.S. Supreme Court, because the federal constitution gives it jurisdiction to settle legal disputes between states. :, "I think we have to do it," said Rep: Steve Lloyd, R-Palmer, who is chairman of the House Environment Committee. One Nebraska negotiator, Terry Woollen, told the Kansas committee that officials in his state are trying to resolve the dispute. Woollen, a farmer who serves on the board of a district that regulates ground water use, acknowledged he, too, is frustrated with the relatively slow progress of negotiations. Kansas walked put of those negotiations earlier this year. Committee members did not seem likely to give Nebraska more time. "It's 10 years too late," said Rep. Laura McClure, D-Osborne. McClure said the Republican River issue isn't just about farmers in Republic and Clay counties. "This is a statewide issue," she said. The Republican joins the Smoky Hill, flows into the Kansas River and eventually into the Missouri River as it leaves the east part of the state, affecting about two-thirds of the state, McClure said. "The economy of the state without water is nothing," McClure said. "It is important for us to do this as a state." Staff writer Carol Lichti contributed to this story. Violent offenses by teens plunge again By The Associated Press WASHINGTON — Arrests of teenagers for violent crimes plunged 9.2 percent last year, and Attorney General Janet Reno said the second straight annual drop was not "a blip" but a real trend away from the juvenile crime wave that rose steadily from 19$7 through 1994. At her weekly news conference Thursday, Reno called on Congress to allocate more money for after-school programs "to make it stick." The Republicans who control Congress are writing bills that focus on trying more teen-agers as adults. "This drop, I think, is real now," Reno said. "I don't think we can talk about it as a blip." The drop during 1995 was 2.9 percent, and Reno said she had "worried since that it might be a blip. But now ... we are making real progress." The FBI data also showed that arrests of teen-agers for murder dropped 10.7 Teen arrest rates Percent changes in the arrest rate for juveniles, ages 10 through 17, for violent crimes, from FBI data: 1988 , +5.2% 1989 .... +16.8% 1990 ............+12.1 % 1991 +7.6 % 1992 . .. +4.6 % 1993 +4.6 % 1994 +4.4 % 1995 -2.9% . 1996 ., -9.2 % percent in 1996, the third straight annual decline after a 169 percent increase between 1984 and 1993, when the juvenile murder rate peaked. But Reno was not ready to declare victory in her top priority. Police: Toddler Kentucky father said family ha'd nowhere to turn after he- recently lost his job to death while parents paid for insurance ByTEDBRIDIS The Associated Press PADUCAH, Ky. — Police investigating the !death of 2-year-old Jeffrey Mitchell walked through the living room of the family's home. Nice furniture. VCR. Stereo. Golf clubs. TJien they looked in the kitchen and found little more than a bottle of cooking oil, a spice rack and trays of ice cubes. Jeffrey had died of starvation, and his gaunt parents are charged with murder Susan and Silly Gene "Mitchell are shown In police photos taken Sept. 30. and wanton endangerment. "You saw his distended stomach and bones and that was it," said Tim Kaltenbach, the county prosecutor. "It was like something out of the Third World." Investigators say the family went days at a time without eating, yet had enough money to keep op paying the premiums on their children's life insurance and lived in an immaculate apartment in one of the better neighborhoods of this western Kentucky city of 27,000. Investigators were at a loss to explain why it happened. They were investigating the father's claim that he had lost his job and had fallen into debt. "I've never seen anything like it," said Detective Bruce Watson, an 18-year veteran and father of three sons. "We had a lot of grown men crying after what they had seen. This kind of thing is not supposed to happen in the United States." Billy Gene Mitchell, 45, and his wife, Susan R. Mitchell, 37, pleaded not guilty Wednesday. Bail was set at more than $1 million apiece. The couple, both unemployed, said they couldn't afford lawyers. Inside the couple's apartment, disgusted detectives found two surviving siblings — ages 3 and 6 — also suffering from malnutrition. Jeffrey's 3-year-old sister, Melanie, weighed less than 17 pounds and couldn't hold her head up without help. Detectives said the family's kitchen was empty, with only a jar of water and two trays of ice cubes in the refrigerator. It appears the family went days without eating and fed the children nothing but water for the last week, police said. The Associated Press Police say the apartment on the far right Is where 2-year-old Jeffrey Mitchell died of starvation.

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