The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas on December 21, 1976 · Page 2
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The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas · Page 2

Hays, Kansas
Issue Date:
Tuesday, December 21, 1976
Page 2
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December 21, 1976 PAGE 2 HAYS DAILY NEWS School Board Approves Requests For Equipment Dennis The Menace By J. MARTIN DOLAN Of The News Staff CATHERINE — The school board of USD 489 Monday night approved three capital outlay requests for new equipment. The board met at the Catherine Grade School. The new equipment approved by the board consists of a conduit pump for the boiler at Hays High School, a new card catalogue file for the library at Roosevelt and a snowblower for use at all district schools. The purnp, which returns water from the radiators to a boiler reserve tank, will cost $1,744. The card file will be constructed locally for $348. The snow-blower, an attachment for the district's garden tractor, will cost $527. The board also directed district business manager Roy Millings to secure bids on a new route bus. The action was taken despite discussion on the need for a new bus at this time. Billings said funds from last year's budget had been encumbered for the purchase of a route bus, but board member Steve Pratt questioned the purchase of a bus rather than several Suburban van-type vehicles. Pratt said the comparative use of the Suburbans was greater than that of a route bus. He added that for the estimated $16,000 cost of a route bus "four Suburbans could be bought." Billings said he brought the matter before the board now to a void possibly having to buy two route buses at the same time in the near future. He added that the route bus he would like to replace now will be 10 years old in 1978. Pratt then suggested the district get estimates on the trade-in value of the old bus as well as the price of a new bus. He also suggested that if the trade-in value is low, as he suspects it will be, the district keep the old bus as a spare. Superintendent of School Harvey Ludwick reported to the board on the current status of fire-code updates in the district. Ludwick said a list had been compiled outlining all responsibilities in correcting fire hazards in each building. Some could be handled by the building's staff, others would have to be corrected by the district or by contractors, he said. Each building administrator will report on progress. Ludwick said all repairs, to his knowledge, could be completed by the end of the summer. In other action, the board: —approved a negotiation agreement with the Service Employe's Union Local 513. The union is for cooks and custodians. —granted two requests to attend professional meetings for assistant principals and for music educator. —granted a request for free textbooks. —granted a seven-week maternity leave. —hired Mrs. Jane Nutt as a half-time art teacher, Mrs. Ella Dechant as a district cook and A.J. Pfannenstiel as a custodian. —accepted the resignation of Gerhard Leiker, a custodian at the high school. The board also met in closed session for an hour to discuss personnel negotiations. Woman Indicted For Child Abuse CAN i USE. YOUR DOUDSPgAKER?" Industry Eyeing Kansas IRA Planning Cease-Fire DUBLIN, Ireland (UPI) — The outlawed Irish Republican Army will halt "offensive actions" for three days over Christmas but will retaliate against any British Army pressure in Northern Ireland, IRA sources said Monday. The decision to ca'll a three- day, case-fire was discussed by the IRA council over the weekend and was expected to be announced shortly, the sources said. "There will be no question of our members not taking defensive action against any increase in British Army activity over Christmas," the sources said. "If there is any attempt to round up suspects or lean on Catholic areas, we will strike back," the sources said. The recent stepped-up violence in Northern Ireland with shootings, bombings and incendiary attacks was intended as a prelude to a short Christmas truce, the sources said. It was designed to put the IRA in a "position of strength" so that any cease- fire announcement would not be misunderstood. Theoretically, the IRA still maintains the cease-fire which it called Feb. 10, 1975, May the bright adornments of this meaningful season enhance the Spirit of your GUERCIO STUDIO Warm thanks CHRISTMAS TO ALL. Peg onol Charles 1303 Main Hays ByJOHNSCIIMIEDLEK SALINA (HNS) — The eyes of the nation's industry — particularly small and medium-sized industry — are on Kansas. More especially, the industrialists are watching the upcoming session of the Kansas Legislature. What happens, or doesn't happen, there is of paramount — some say overriding — importance. The issue is "product liability" and how to insure against the soaring awards granted iij lawsuits which allege injury, death or property damage as a result of failure of a manufactured product. The industrialists say their inability to contract for product liability insurance may drive' many firms out of business entirely. It's that serious, they say. • So the Kansas Association of Commerce and industry is backing House Bill 2007, which has been reported out of the House Interim Judiciary Committe and which would make it considerably more difficult to sue for damages under product liability claims. In the .other corner will be the Trial Lawyers association, which has expressed concern about any limitation on the right to seek redress. Here's some background: Mao Disappointed NEW YORK (UPI) — Julie Nixon Eisenhower says Chairman Mao Tse-tung was "disappointed" with China's youth, which he described as an "untested generation." The younger daughter of former President Richard Nixon met Mao while on a tour of China with her husband, David, in December 1975, nine months before the Chinese leader's death. 2 Mama Burgers 2 Fries Product liability insurance has been a part of the industrial scene for many years. In recent years, however, the number of claims and the amount of awards granted for 1 damages of various kinds has soared. Insurance companies claim huge losses; policies are cancelled; businesses face destruction if they cannot buy insurance because the risk of a suit is great. Harold Westberg, president of Salina's Wyatt ( Manufacturing Co., explains: "Even though the cost of product liability insurance has gone up many thousands of percent in the past few years, we are unable to buy insurance at any price. "We cannot insure ourselves and without insurance the entire company is in jeopardy. "That could mean a loss of .180 jobs. "We've been making grain augers for 27 years. In that time the state of the art has advanced. For instance in 1972, the industry imposed voluntary standards of safety shielding. These standards have been accepted by agricultural engineers and even by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Act, the federal government safety policeman). "But there is no reasonable limitation on how long a product should be considered safe even though the standards accepted now were not in force years ago. If equipment 15 years old is involved in an injury, wef could be sued. "And the awards are skyrocketing. It's an emotional thing, bringing an injured person before a jury, a jury which may not understand the problems faced. "Insurance companies quite often will not fight hard against these awards; they'll just cancel the policy." While the proposed changes in Kansas law would make successful suit more difficult, the KACI wants it even tougher. Reg. $2.10 $ 1.49 Effective December 22-31st (Offer Void en Tuesdays) FAMILY RESTAURANT 740 EAST 8lh HAYS 0284241 It wants, for example, a state limitation on the age of a product after which time no award would be allowed. The proposed law says no award would be allowed if ."the injury was sustained a'fter the time period which a reasonable person would expect to be the ordinary useful life of such product." Westberg says that would be difficult, if not impossible, to define. The proposedibill also would bar damages if any alteration of the product was made by the buyer. It also provides for installment payments of any award. And it forbids punitive or exemplary damages unless the plaintiff proves "wiljful or wanton conduct beyond a reasonable doubt" on the part of the defendant. That's a significant point. The present law uses the term "weight of evidence", a far less rigid definition than "beyond a reasonable doubt", the criterion applied to criminal cases. The KACI also is expected to push for limits on claims and for approval of attorney fees by the court. "What do we do if we are unable to buy insurance — and we expect it to be at least four times more costly than we have already paid, if we are able to find it at all — and we are sued? It isn't just business that is affected, it's everyone who works for business. In our case, 180 jobs," says Westberg. He particularly wants a 6- year statute of limitation, forbidding suit for damages in accidents involving equipment older than that. "The 'useful life 1 clause is too difficult to define. Trade associations are examining the possibility of trade insurance groups. But such coverage would be limited, Westberg said. "This isn't a Kansas problem alone. It's throughout the country," he said, "and industry is looking to Kansas to produce a model law which might be extended to other stales." Sen. James Pearson of Kansas has taken note of the national character of the problem and some proposed law may be offered on the national level. "Ce/tainly we are not proposing that manufacturers should be allowed to sell dangerous or defective equipment without risk of suit," Westberg said. "But there needs to be some reasonable restraints. Right now, we feel we are protecting many irresponsible people from the consequences of their own carelessness." Debate on the proposed bill is expected to be the 1977 session of the Kansas Legislature, opening Jan. 10. HOUSTON (UPI) - A mother, accused of inducing illness in her 4-year-old daughter and withholding drugs prescribed to cure it was indicted Monday for child abuse. The indictment said Alice McKnight gave her only child, Kimberly, the drug bactrim July 15 to induce vomiting, diarrhea and fever and then refused to give curative drugd prescribed by a doctor. Investigators said the drug is normally used to treat urinary tract infections and speculated Mrs. McKnight might have had special access to it as a former medical assistant. Child welfare authorities said the child has been in at least 19 hospitals and seen more than 30 physicians in four years for various infections. One investigator said bacteria found in human feces once were found in her bloodstream and that, if the invasion occurred naturally, it would be one of six such cases in history. . "For a long time, no one could figure out what was going on," said Assistant District Attorney Michael Hinton. Authorities began investigating the case in October after a report of burns on the child's feet. Juvenile Court Judge Robert Lowery placed Kimberly in public custody Nov. 4. "Since then, Kimberly has had no infections of any kind," police investigator Carol McKinney said, and "is Well on the way to being healthy again." Mrs. McKnight, whose husband is a department store worker, was freed on $10,000 bond Monday. She faces possible maximum penalties of 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. "I hope I will never see anything like this again," said Ms. McKinney, calling the case for which no motive had been determined "the most' 'bizarre case of child abuse I've ever seen." Plans Made For More Juvenile Facilities TOPEKA, Kan. (UPI) — The governor Monday said plans are being made to increase bed space in correctional facilities for juvenile offenders, and those plans included a recommendation to the 1977 legislature. However, Gov. Robert Bennett would not specify just what his budget message would contain to deal with the problem of overcrowded juvenile facilities in the state correctional system. Lawrence Penny, superintendent of the Youth Center at Topeka, last week notified juvenile judges in the four urban counties that overcrowding at the institution has forced implementation of an emergency release policy in which one youth is released from the institution for every new juvenile confined. "What Mr. Penny was suggesting was that courts do have some local facilities available," Bennett said. "And since we do have that (emergency release) policy we thought they ought to be advised." Ann Landers Has An Answer Aching Wife Dear Ann Landers: PLEASE don't let us down now. Some poor woman (bless her) had the courage to write to-you about her husband who has ignored her for four years — hasn't so much as touched her arm. There are so many of us. Sometimes I ache just to have a man put his arms around me. Give us some concrete advice, Ann. What can we do? I'm in my early 60s, and my husband hasn't touched me in TEN years. I finally insisted that he go in for a physical. Although his hormone count is low, there is nothing physically wrong with him. He, too, is home every night. The doctor who saw him suggested psychiatric care, but my husband refuses to see a psychiatrist. I'm too old to get a job and we qan't maintain two homes on his salary. What can women in my position do? There are so many of us. — Ashamed Of My Name Dear Ashamed: I hope you won't think I'm copping out when I repeat the advice. If you can't afford'a private therapist, call your county or state Mental Health Department (look in the phone book). A therapist will listen to you and suggest alternatives. That is NO way to live. "Papillon" At 7:15 FRED ASTAIHE JAMES FBAICISCDS BARBARA EDEI At 3:00 Only ClgMd Chrlitmoi Iv« "The Student Body" I At 7:30 J Friday Matin** At 3:00 Only Ck>»d Chrlitmai Ev« * DOTY-DAYTON Pra**nt* Sat. It Sun. Mat. 1:30 Dear Ann: I am now 80 years old and your excellent booklet on alcoholism came 35 years too late for me. Although I was well aware that my wife had a terrible drinking problem, foolish pride and the "disgrace" of admitting I was married to an alcoholic woman kept my eyes closed and my mouth shut. I now firmly believe that after six years of living with a problem drinker, if no progress has been made, a divorce should be recommended by you or a doctor. It is not worth, the sacrifice for any sensible person to tolerate the hell of living with an alcoholic indefinitely. It would have been an easy thing for me to start a new life at 50 when I found gin in the hot-water bottle and dozens of bottles buried in the backyard. How I wish I had had the good sense and courage to end our miserable marriage then. I hope you feel this letter is good enough for your column. If just one person takes my advice, I will feel I have done some good in the world. — Oshkosh, Wis. Dear Oshkosh: Thank you for speaking out. I'm sure your letter will hit plenty of raw nerves. I hope the phones at Alcoholics Anonymous get a good workout today. .Dear Ann Landers: You helped settle one big family argument. Now will you do so again? No big deal, but there's been a lot of wrangling over this one. Supposing a woman was married for three years and then divorced. She did not remarry, but her former husband did. His second marriage lasted 35 years. He then had a second divorce. After this man dies, do either of his former wives have the right to refer to themselves as widows? It seems to me that the designation of "widow" should be reserved for a woman whose husband passes away while she is married to him. Am I right or wrong? — In Need Of An Unbiased Opinion Dear In Need: Technically, you are right; but if a woman whose former husband has died feels better calling herself a widow instead of a divorcee, who is she hurting? How to — and how much? Find out with Ann Landers's new booklet, "How, What, and When to Tell Your Child About Sex." For your copy, send 50 cents in coin along with a long, stamped, self-addressed envelope to Ann Landers, P.O. Box 1400, Elgin, Illinois 60120. COKE.r7-UP Your Choice CENTENNIAL PARTY MIX Open 9 to 11 Centennial Center r.oo * MO ItHntday At liOO-TiOO-liM ~^"^. MANN THEATRES m <>02 MAIN «5-95«7.

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