The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on January 30, 1996 · Page 5
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 5

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Tuesday, January 30, 1996
Page 5
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THE SALINA JOURNAL KANSAS TUESDAY, JANUARY 30. 1996 AS T LEGISLATURE Presidential primary could be discarded Panel endorses bill to cancel primary in April and perhaps beyond By MATT TRUELL The Associated Press Photos by The Associated Press Gov. Bill Graves signs autographs for young students in the Capitol rotunda Monday in Topeka. Cake was served in the Capitol to observe Kansas Day. BIRTHDAY Kansas marks 135th anniversary of statehood By The Associated Press TOPEKA — To screams of "Bill, cut the cake," Gov. Bill Graves sliced his way through the first of a dozen cakes Monday before a pint-sized party of hungry school kids at an annual Kansas Day celebration. Elsewhere across the state, there were celebrations in schools, museums and elsewhere. In Topeka, the winner among the freshly frosted sheets of sugar was a tree-lined scene out of the Wizard of Oz. The cake was replete with Dorothy and the crew skipping down a yellow brick road. Graves, and one of the dozens of school children salivating over the table of desserts on the first floor Statehouse rotunda, made the choice from the cakes baked* by the Topeka Cake Arts Club. The club has been donating the cakes — and the governor has cut the first slice — for the last quarter-century to commemorate the state's entry into the Union on Jan. 29,1861. Graves told everybody to "enjoy the cake," before he weaved his way through the crowd to sign autographs and shake hands as the youngsters fed their faces with the white and chocolate confections. TOPEKA — A legislative paneli seeing little point in a presidential preference primary in April, endorsed a measure Monday that would cancel such an election forever — or at least until the Legislature says otherwise. The Senate Elections Committee took up two bills, one that would cancel only this year's primary and another that would cancel it permanently. Sen. Janice Hardenburger, R- Haddam,. the committee chairwoman, introduced the bill to repeal the primary. Under-her bill, the $1.4 million in state money earmarked for the primary would be used to implement the National Voter Registration Act. The committee endorsed her measure. It went to the Ways and Means Committee, which must endorse it before it goes to the Senate for debate. Hardenburger said the primary would be meaningless because party delegates are not bound by the results. The Legislature cannot pass a law compelling delegates to national political conventions to vote according to the results of a primary. Only the par- T LEGISLATURE .ties can do that, she said. She also predicted there might be a Midwest primary, something akin to Super Tuesday, which involves mostly Southern states. She said it would be important for Kansas to participate in such a regional primary, but in the meantime, the Legislature should "clean out the statute books." Sen. Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, who introduced a bill that would repeal this year's primary but not ones in future years, said there is no point in one this year. President Clinton has no opposition within the Democratic Party and Kansas Sen. Bob Dole is assumed to be the runaway winner in the Republican primary. "In my opinion, it's a foregone conclusion as to who would win in a primary in Kansas on both sides," Hensley said. Hensley said he does not feel comfortable eliminating the presidential preference primary altogether. In 2000, the political picture in Kansas will be different, and voters will need a primary, he said. Sen. Pat Ranson, R-Wichita, said it doesn't make any difference whether the Legislature eliminates the primary for this year or forever because it can always change its mind. "We're a fickle group," she said. "Forever is when the next Legislature acts." Brandon Smith, a kindergartner at Belle Plaine Elementary School, watches a wheat weaver during the school's annual Kansas Day events. Plan for campus buildings panned T REPUBLICAN POLITICS GOP platform disappoints Kassebaum Senator says statement fails to recognize differences of opinion among party members By CURT ANDERSON The Associated Press WASHINGTON — Sen. Nancy Kassebaum said Monday she was disappointed in the Kansas Republican Party platform adopted over the weekend and warned against using the document as a litmus test for GOP candidates. Although she did not cite specific objections, aides said Kassebaum was particularly KASSEBAUM unhappy about the language backing the anti- abortion point of view and supporting a repeal of the assault weapons ban. "I am disappointed but not surprised that the Republican state committee's platform ignores legitimate differences of opinion among Republicans on several issues," Kassebaum said in a statement read by her press secretary, Mike Horak. Kassebaum said the committee — now dominated by conservatives whose social agenda includes abortion, gun control and school prayer — laid out its views in "stark terms." But in her view, the language could only cause problems if it is used to grade whether Republican candidates are fit to run. "Whether this language will further divide the party or be dismissed as an exercise in rhetoric will depend on how the platform is used by party leaders and our candidates," she said. "This should not be a litmus test for membership in the Kansas Republican Party." The platform adopted by the state GOP affirms support for a human life amendment to the Constitution and adds: "We oppose using public revenues for abortion and will not fund organizations which advocate it." Kassebaum, who is pro-choice, was asked by state Republican Party Chairman David Miller to submit proposed language for the platform, Horak said. It was based on a Wyoming platform plank, which recognizes there are differences of opinion on abortion but welcomes people on both sides into the party. "The Kansas Republican party welcomes individuals on each side of the abortion issue, encourages their open discussion, solicits their active participation in the party and respects their positions and beliefs," Kassebaum's proposed language said. Regents' priorities for improvements greeted with skepticism By LEW FERGUSON Tlie Associated Press TOPEKA — The Kansas Board of Regents' proposed bonding program to rebuild its crumbling campuses was met with skepticism Monday in the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Senate Minority Leader Jerry Karr, D-Emporia, said he was concerned that a regents' priority list for major expansion or new construction projects conflicts with one developed by the Legislature three years ago. Sen. Marge Petty, D-Topeka, said she wanted a legal opinion as to whether a constitutional prohibition against dedicating tax revenue-to paying off bonds might invalidate the program. And, Sen. Dave Kerr, R-Hutchinson, asked how the regents would adjust to changing needs if it committed all of the proposed bond money to projects that might not might meet future needs. The panel heard the regents' presentation from Facilities Officer Warren Gorman. "We can have a certain amount of money right now, and it makes sense to start fixing things." Warren Corman regents spokesman By investing the bond proceeds before all the money is needed in the rebuilding program, the regents can generate another $12 million in interest for a total program of $163 million. Corman said the program works because interest rates are unusually low right now — in the 4-percent range — and construction costs are projected to increase from 6 percent to 10 percent in the next several years. That makes bonding attractive at this time. "I'm saying we can have a certain amount of money right now, and it makes sense to start fixing things," Corman said. "It won't meet all our needs, but we can do much of it now and save some money, or do it later, paying cash, and it will cost more. It's a good thing and we ought to do it." T ARSON-MURDER TRIAL Doctor tells about fight with wife before deadly fire Defense attorney raises possibility dead son was involved in blaze By TRACI CARL The Associated Press • OLATHE — A doctor testified Monday that he and his estranged wife fought on the telephone minutes before police arrived to find her house on fire with two of tkeir children trapped inside. Michael Farrar, 40, said he told his wife in one of four late-night phone conversations that he thought she was crazy and that he would try to take their children. Farrar testified in Johnson County District Court in the first day of the preliminary hearing for Debora Green, 44, who is charged with aggravated arson and two counts of. capital murder for the deaths of two of her children, 13- year-old Tim Farrar and 6-year- old Kelly Farrar. She is also charged with two counts of attempted capital murder — one dealing with a third child, 11-year-old Kate Farrar, who escaped the Oct. 24 fire by crawling out a window, and one stemming from the alleged poisoning of Farrar. Farrar, a cardiologist, testified that he received three pages and one telephone call from the house in the hour before the fire. He said the first two calls were made to his pager while he was having dinner at the home of a with whom he was having a romantic relationship. He said he received the third call to his pager while in his car and answered it when he got to his apartment. "I told her she needed to buckle up .and take care of the kids," he testified, adding that he told Green he thought she was crazy and needed professional help, that he knew she was trying to poison him and that he was going to try to take the children from her. Farrar described his marriage as "loveless and uncaring" and testified that he had been having an-affair with the widow of a doctor whose September death was ruled a suicide. Farrar acknowledged under cross-examination by defense at- torney Dennis Moore that the affair had started before the suicide. Farrar also testified he became convinced his wife was trying to poison him when he became ill and was hospitalized three times after eating meals at her house. After he found packages of poisonous castor beans in her purse, Farrar testified, she told him that she had planned to kill, herself. In his opening statement, Moore seemed to raise the possibility that one of Farrar's dead children, Tim, could have been involved in the fire. He said police had focused on his client but noted that Tim Farrar had once been caught trying to make a Molotov cocktail. Farrar acknowledged he once found his son playing with matches and that they had a violent relationship. He recalled once when the boy "was being particularly obnoxious" that he pushed him to the floor. On another occasion, Farrar said, he pushed the boy, breaking a hole in the wall. SMOKY HILL Family Practice Center will be providers for Principle HMO beginning February 1,1996. Smoky Hill Family Practice, 501 South Santa Fe, Suite 200, (913)825-7251. We can help reduce your postage cost. A family serving families for three generations... RYAN'S <s Member By Invitation National Selected Morticians. 137 N. Eighth 825-4242 Waynes Custom Vinyl Replacement Windows & Doors Featuring SYSTEM R -Insulating glass, argon gas filled, the ultimate in R value and sound control. • 10 year written warranty • Wood grain interior now available • Low E on both panes of glass Glass That Performs Replacement Windows & Remodeling Carl Strecker, Salesman -»,»., *..***•** Showroom At 190C S. 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