Life On The High Plains By J. MARTIN DOLAN Good/and Mayor Keeps Things Lively ATHOL — It's too watery to burn and too gassy to drink. That's the dilemma facing Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Smith of Athol and their well water. Last week, the weU, "blew its top" for the second time in a year. The explosion lifted the lid off the well and did damage to the inside of it. It also splattered some gasoline around the yard, which burned for a while before being dosed by the snow. Smith, when he thought it safe, dipped out nearly 80 gallons of the fuel. Last November, the well blew for the first time. The Smiths hadn't used the well for some time before the first explosion because -of a "funny taste." A test at the time revealed that the liquid at the top of the well had an octane rating of 94.8 - just a shade from qualifying it as premium. A year ago the couple suspected the gasoline had leaked into their well from an underground tank a block away from their home. That tank, however, has since been emptied, but the problem persists. After the blast last year, the Smiths dug a new well, but also found it necessary to draw from the old one. Now they're not sure what they'll do. Mrs. Smith describes the situation as "sitting on a time bomb." Pooch Returned DENVER — A conscientious, animal lover helped to keep a bad situation from getting worse for a four-year-old Denver boy last week. The story started a few weeks ago when Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Hrabe of Plainville gave their grandson a puppy. The grandson then loaned the dog to a lonely four-year-old he knew, with the understanding that the pooch would be returned after Christmas. But last week, burglars broke into the boy's home and in the ensuing commotion, the dog took off. The heroine of the story was a college coed who lived next door to the little boy. She saved the pup from the clutches of the dog catcher and took it to her own home. There she noticed the dog's tags with the name of a Plainville veterinarian stamped on them. So, with not the slightest 'idea of where PJainviJJe was, she placed a call to Dr. A.D. Kelly. Kelly notified the Hrabes, who called Denver. Not long after that, the four-year-old and the pooch were united again. Cons/derate Officials LARNED — When the new magistrate court system is implemented statewide next month, the Larned police court may be left out in the cold. The new system will separate probate and county court matters from the more mundane police court cases. But it also means the city will have to find new quarters for police court and there are few choice sites available. One solution would be to hold court in the police station, but the Municipal League frowned on that. Another would be to locate on the second floor of an old bank building. Officials, however, aren't too keen on that idea because it would mean a stair climb for offenders. Waterless HOXIE — It wouldn't have been a good day to get thirsty in tloxie. Water department crews working December 2 to connect new lines to the system accidently ruptured a small pipe, necessitating a short shut-off of the city's water. That rupture was speedily repaired and the water was turned back on. But a valve in the system broke almost immediately and off went the water for the second time. After a four hour shut-down, service was restored. Named Postmaster RUSSELL — Russell has a new postmaster, Donald L. Kriley. Kriley, 31, is a 12-year veteran in the postal service. He began his career as a substitute carrier in Stockton and later performed the same duties in Plainville. Kriley became a full time carrier in 1974 and soon was promoted to supervisor of postal operations at the Plaiirville office. Before being named Russell postmaster, Kriley was supervisor at the Garden City post office. GOODLAND — The 6,000 residents of this community have become somewhat acddustomed to the unconventionality of their mayor, Russell Taylor. So it came as little surprise to most when Taylor offered to resign his position — if the council would hire him as the city manager. In itself, the offer Isn't so strange. But if you consider Taylor's vehement opposition to the city hiring anyone in that capacity during his tenure as mayor, the offer assumes a bizarre nature. Taylor had some other stipulations attached to his offer. As city manager, he would expect an annual salary of $27,500, plus expenses. He also wanted a new car. And to top it off, he wanted to keep the chair he bought for his use at council meetings. The purchase of the chair several years ago is but one of the flaps Taylor has been involved in over the last four years. When the council chamber was remodeled a few years ago, Taylor spent $189 — of the city's money — to buy an appropriate seat for the mayor. That raised a stink, primarily because some council members claimed they hadn't been consulted In the expensive outlay. Taylor, who also Is a policeman In Goodland, has been in other rubs with the council. At Taylor's request, the city purchased a motorcycle for the police. But the other 'officer's legs weren't strong enough to support the cycle Taylor claimed, and he bought it from the city. The council soon found fault with that, saying Taylor hadn't taken the red light and siren off the cycle. Taylor removed them and then sold the bike. When .Taylor made his offer of resignation, the council voted to table it. There was some doubt as to the seriousness of the 1 mayor. "It's just a gag, a goofy thing," said council member Ken Halbleib. "He'll do anything for a little publicity." Halbleib and Taylor have been at odds for several years. That may be an understatement. Halbleib publically has called for Taylor's resignation several times.Tdylor; contends Halbleib is after the mayor's Job. The blood is bad enough that Taylor even refuses to call Halbleib by name, referring to him "for the last five years", by Halbleib's occupation. To press his point about Halbleib's supposed thirst for his job, Taylor brought a bright red barber's chair to the council chamber when he offered to resign. He said if he quit, and took the $189 chair with him, the, barber's chair would be appropriate because Halbleib most likely would then become mayor. Halbleib is a barber. "Your're darned right I'm serious (about resigning)," Taylor said. "I'm more qualified (as city manager) than anyone they could get from outer space.'' Taylor had said in his two mayoral campaigns that he would never allow a city manager to be hired. Two previous managers have quit because of pressures from the mayor. "We need one (a city manager) like we need seven heads in this little town," Taylor said. "We're hicks out here and we're going to stay hicks. "I could get enough graft (in one year as manager) to retire for life." Taylor said the council could handle all the duties of a city manager and. thus save money. But the rest of the council "keeps bringing this up," he said, so he made the offer. Although some council members think the matter was strictly in jest and will be dropped, Taylor said he definitely would bring it up again. If the council turns down his offer to trade the mayor's hat for the city . manager's, Taylor is planning to run for re-election in April. He already has filed, just in case. Taylor said he has done a good job as Goodland's mayor. He's even offered to pay the filing fee for anyone who thinks they can do a better job. As yet, no one has come forth. So there's a good chance that come this April, the council will still have Russell Taylor to kick around. Psychic's Vibes Place Dog In NWK If Mary Ann Erikson and her brother ever track down his German shepherd, it will mark an almost incredible.end to a month-long search that has involved people, including a psychic, in at least four states. The incredible part of the search is the fact that the dog was last seen in Wyoming, but is being sought in Northwest Kansas. Kind of wacky,.you say? Read on. The story unfolded a few months ago in Carmel, California, where Miss Erikson lives. Her brother, Curt Erikson decided one day to move to the tiny oil-field town of Wamsutter, Wyoming, in hopes of securing employment. He 'took along his faithful companion, a black and brown German shepherd named Shane. Soon after arriving in Wamsutter, Curt took ill. He returned to California for medical treatment, leaving Shane in the care of a friend. But Shane and the friend's dog didn't exactly hit it off • famously. They fought constantly when together and filially Shane had had his.fill — he took off. Northwest Kansas entered the picture last week in the form of a "lost and found" notice that was aired over a Hays radio station. The notice said the dog was in Topeka, but he was heading west. It also offered a substantial reward forthe return of Shane. In a phone call to Carmel, Miss Erikson explained the peculiar situation. "We think Shane gave up hope that my brother would ever come back," she said, "since he was gone such a Jong time. "The dog is pretty independent and he's a one-man dog for sure." . The search widened with the help of Miss Erikson's mother, who knew of a friend with supposed psychic powers. "So we showed her a picture of Shane and she got •vibrations'lhal he was in Topeka," Miss Krikson said. How the dog made it all the way to Topeka, which she hadn't even heard of, Miss Erikson is unsure. But she is very confident of the psychic's powers to see through the mists of the unknown. So far, though, there's been no word from Shane, or anybody else. "We called the pound in Topeka and left word," Miss Erikson saiil. And so the search continues lor Shane, who undoubtedly hasn't an inkling of the furor his independence and impatience has created. Topless This abandoned farmhouse apparently has opted to go topless for the winter, and summer, fall and spring as well. The windows, staring like vacant eyes, and the rattling sideboards add to th« eeriness of the scene. TheNor'Wester By J. MARTIN DOLAN Open Communications Goal Of KASB President UTICA - When his name was announced two weeks ago as the new president of the Kansas Association of School Boards, there were few more surprised than Merrill Alwell. "I was considerably surprised," Ihe 20 year member of'the Utica school board said. "I did no campaigning, but I did let some others submit my name." The new KASB president said his primary goal was to open channels of communication between the state's larger school districts and those not so large. "What we're after is equality of education," Atwell said. "When schools of different sizes can sit down and discuss their problems so that the small understand the large and vice-versa,' then we can arrive at a point where no one is hurt," or at least all are affected to the same degree. Atwell, a successful farmer and stockman, has had some executive experience. He is a long-time church and community leader and currently serves 'as president of the Ness County Fair Association. When he was elected at the annual KASB meeting in Wichita, many hailed it as a victory for the small school , districts of the state. Atwell is not so sure. He is quick to point out that his election was not a big school- small school fight. "I see (my election) as a sign of support from Western Kansas," he said, "not just the smaller districts. "I think it tells the KASB that there are a lot of inequities, especially in finance, special education and even in vocational education." Atwell said that as KASB president, he would be able to express the opposite view from those of the more populous metropolitan areas of Kansas. "The rural people need to get more involved in' school matters," he said. "We feel we've taken it on the chin several times before and we're afraid it'll just happen again. "But if we don't open up, how can we criticize what does happen?" Even in his short tenure as president so far, Atwell said he has gained greater insight to'the other end of the spectrum — the large school district. "After talking with some board members from Wichita, I think I already have a better understanding of how they see things," he said. And that, he says, is an important ficst step. Letters For Santo Hove Familiar Ring PLAINVILLE — From reading the Strouse children's letters to Santa, you get the idea,that the project was a joint effort. The children — Roni, Florence, Peggy and Laura — are the daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Strouse of Plainville. The four letters, which were printed last week in the Plainville Times, all start out with the standard "Dear Santa" fare. Most of the requested items are none too unusual, with the possible exception of Laura's desire for a Pepsi machine. But the endings might tip off old Santa to the fact that the letters were a team effort. They all close like this: "...also candy, nuts and gum. 1 have been good." Congratulations! \buVejustspent That's how much a college diploma can cost these clays. And it's a pretty heavy commitment for a parent to face. So how do you put away a butter that will insure your child has a chance at college? Simple. U.S. Savings Bonds. Buy them through the Payroll Savings Plan where you work. If you start now, you'll have a hefty stockpile of Bonds to draw on by the time your child's ready for school. And the day he graduates, you'll feel pretty proud. Of yourself. Now K Mmds pay \\% inUTt'Kt wln-n hvtil In maluril.v uf fi yrars i-l'.'S; llif first yt-jiri. Hunil-s art- ivplaivcl if Insl. stiilfii IT df.slroytil. Wlit-n m-t-<li*l, llu'.vran IK- cashul ut ynur hank: InltTfHl i.s nut Huhjrrl to stuti- ur lival ituunif laxrs. anil fttltTal tax may Itc (li'lt-nvd uiilil rttlt<in|ilina. Tfcke ^fc % V »^»^ - ^^9fi3 . stock . Join the Payroll Savings Plan.
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