The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on January 1, 1986 · Page 3
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 3

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Salina, Kansas
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Wednesday, January 1, 1986
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Page 3
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Local/Kansas The Salina Journal Wednesday, January 1,1986 Page 3 New phone system OK'd by county Saline County commissioners approved Tuesday the purchase of a new telephone system for county offices. The system will tie together general services, the treasurer, register of deeds, clerk, appraiser, county commissioners, health department and extension offices. The county will buy the system from American Telephone and Telegraph, which submitted the low bid. The system will cost more than. $41,000. The county extension office is to pay more than $4,000 of the cost and the remaining $36,721 is to come out of revenue sharing funds. Jeff Dykes, an account executive for AT&T, said the new system will pay for itself in 3 to 3% years. The county currently leases its telephone equipment. The system will allow transfer of outside calls to other county departments and intercom calling between offices so calls from one county office to another will not tie up an outside line, Dykes said. Other features include conference calling and a call-counting system that will check each department's telephone use. In other action Tuesday, the commissioners: • Approved the Road and Bridge Department trade of two tandem dump trucks for two 1986 model dump trucks to Stewart International Inc., the low bidder. The trade difference was $79,425. • Approved a request from Saline County Rural Fire Districts 1, 2, 3 and 5 to transfer funds from their general fund to their special equipment fund for equipment replacement. • Approved a transfer of funds by the county treasurer from the road and bridge fund to the special machinery fund. K-State to postpone MBA course A proposed master's in business administration program that could be offered in Salina by Kansas State University has been postponed until the summer or fall of 1986, a K-State official said Tuesday. Stan Fye, coordinator of graduate studies at K-State's School of Business, said 13 people had applied for admission and had met academic requirements for the Salina program, which was scheduled to start in January. . At least 20 people are needed to begin the master's course, Fye said. In June, Fye and other K-State officials met with people in Salina who were interested in taking business classes. The classes would be taught one or two nights a week at Kansas Technical Institute. About 50 people had indicated an interest in earning an MBA. They had been encouraged to send copies of their college transcripts and to take the Graduate Management Admissions Test, Fye said. • Prospective MBA students must Jhave a bachelor's degree, must have ."completed certain prerequisite courses and must score well on the •admissions test. ^ By this summer, at least seven "more people should have completed ;the entrance requirements and the •program can begin, Fye said. It would be the same 33-credit-hour : program offered at K-State, and '.would take three to six years to complete. It is the only off-campus MBA program K-State is trying to organize, because Salina is close to Manhattan. Tuition would be the same. Graduate tuition presently is $58 a credit hour. The idea for the MBA program in Salina began in October 1984, when members of the Salina Area Personnel Managers Association got in touch with the business school. Six measles cases found at Newton NEWTON (AP) — Six Newton children have been diagnosed as having measles, marking the first reports of the disease in Harvey County in 13 years, county health officials said Tuesday. A spokesman with the Kansas Department of Health said that only one other case of measles had been reported in the state during 1985. That case was reported in April in Wyandotte County, said Stephen Paige, the department's director of the Bureau of Disease Prevention and Control. Five cases of measles were reported in the state in 1984, Paige said. New year rings in six new state laws Horn? Jim Cromwell (pulling wires), Greg Krehbiel (on ladder) and Bob Krehbiel remove electrical connections after the fire at the Mid-Kansas Co-op Association, Moundridge. Cause being sought in fire that destroyed Moundridge feed mill TOPEKA (AP) — Companies that remove material containing asbestos from buildings across Kansas are required to be licensed by the state's health agency under provisions of one of six new laws that go into effect with the start of the new year. Another law that becomes effective today places tough new restrictions on the use of vehicle dealer license plates but also creates a new class of license plates, largely for cars dealers drive themselves. The asbestos law calls for the Secretary of Health and Environment to license businesses engaged in "the removal or encapsulation" of materials containing the fiberous flameproof mineral, which has been linked to lung diseases. The law also requires that all employees of asbestos- removal businesses be certified by the health agency. A business that uses its own employees to remove asbestos during renovations of company-owned buildings does not have to meet the licensing and certification requirements but will have to notify the Department of Health and Environment before starting the project. The law also sets out criminal penalties and gives the health agency power to levy fines for violations. The new license plate law increases the required fee for the first tag a dealer purchases from $10 to $250 and provides that all fees for additional tags be equal to the amount required to register most cars. The law also says that beginning in January 1987, no more than one dealer tag will be issued to a business that sells fewer than five vehicles a year. Another of the law's numerous provisions calls for discontinuation of the previous practice of issuing dealer tags to the dealership's cor- porate officers. However, the law also establishes a new type of dealer plate called a "full-privilege" tag, which can be used in lieu of a regular registration and license tag. The new "full- privilege" tags cost $350 a year and can be assigned to a dealer's family members, dealership corporate officers and any employee. Other new laws that go into effect today will: • Separate legal provisions governing the Kansas Corporation Commission's authority over electric utilities, gas utilities, telephone companies and common carriers to eliminate confusion over which provisions apply to what types of companies. The law also mandates that utility owners of the Wolf Creek nuclear power plant submit plans to decommission the plant within one year of the time the plant began commercial operation. • Remove companies that provide mobile telephone service from the KCC's jurisdiction until Dec. 31,1987. However, the law gives the corporation commission power to resume regulating the so-called radio common carriers whenever it becomes necessary to protect public interests. • Increase the amount of state vehicle registration fees a county treasurer can keep to compensate for handling expenses. The law allows the treasurers to keep $360 for every 1,000 vehicle registrations their offices process, compared with the previous $240 per 1,000 registrations. • Simplify probate procedures for estates. The law provides for only one comprehensive notice of assets to interested parties and one court appearance for approval of the property disposition plan. The new probate procedure can be used regardless of whether a will is involved. Rural land becoming a more attractive buy By JILL CASEY Staff Writer MOUNDRIDGE — No cause was determined Tuesday for a fire that consumed a feed mill at the Mid- Kansas Co-op Association at Moundridge late Monday night. Co-op employees and fire officials began sifting through the remains Tuesday, but were hindered by burned floor joists that made the job dangerous, said McPherson County fire investigator Dean Krell. Krell said no dollar estimate had yet been made, but co-op employee Tom Brown said the feed mill was destroyed. "We're trying to sort things out," Brown said. "But it's going to take some time to get everything picked up. And we'll be doing that until we find out what we've still got and what we don't." Officials believe the fire started about 10 p.m. Monday in the upper level of the building, where the feed is mixed. Moundridge and McPherson firefighters battled the blaze until about 4 a.m., Krell said. Krell said because firefighters responded quickly, other buildings were saved. "You have to take into consideration that the feed mill is attached to a warehouse, and that's attached to an office," he said. The co-op's grain storage elevators on the property were not damaged, Krell said. More finely ground grain — other than feed grain — tends to be highly combustible, he said. The construction of the feed mill also hindered the investigation. "One problem is that in the feed mill there are pipes to mix the various kinds of feed, and all of those have to be taken down," Krell said. Brown said no Moundridge-area farmers suffered losses because the grain stored in the feed mill had been sold to the co-op. WICHITA (AP) — Rural real estate is becoming more attractive to farmers and investors who believe the downward slide in farm land prices nearly is over. "We know this thing runs in cycles. Always has. We have the valleys and the peaks. Right now we've been in a deeper valley than usual and it's making for some good buys," said Doug Wildin of Doug Wildin and Associates Ranch Brokers, a 20-year- old Hutchinson company. For Wildin, who deals mostly in 10,000-acre or larger ranches, the rebound already may have started. This has been his best year. Ralph Trail, senior vice president of Oppenheimer Industries of Kansas City, Mo., one of the largest farm and ranch management companies in the nation, said he is encouraging investors to look at top-quality agricultural land. "From a buyer's perspective, prices are down about as far as they're going to go," Trail said. "If we're not at the bottom, there's not much left in them." Prices peaked in 1981 after rising an average of 10 percent a year during the 1970s. They have steadily dropped since then. Prices generally are down an average of 29 percent in Kansas, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics. Prices have dropped an average of 39 percent in Missouri. Bill Deniston, a salesman with Davis Realty at Holly, Colo., on the Kansas border, said there has been some upswing in western Kansas land prices, but it is in its infancy. "You'd almost have to measure that rebound with a micrometer," Deniston said. Trail cautions that land purchases shouldn't be considered a tax-shelter or quick speculation. He forecasts investors will have to hold onto the land for five to seven years before being able to sell it at a profit. He believes near-peak 1979-1980 land prices will return. One of the biggest single owners of Kansas farmland is the Federal Land Bank. The bank has 88,741 acres for sale in 362 tracts acquired because of borrower difficulties with 274 loans. The bank sold more than 180 farms in 1985. Discipline boards pulled into medical-legal fray TOPEKA (AP) —The war between doctors and attorneys over the issue of medical malpractice lawsuits and skyrocketing insurance rates is expanding and new combatants are being dragged into the fray: the disciplinary boards of the medical and legal professions. The malpractice debate has a twin focus: doctors seeking protection from seven-figure settlements blamed on a slip of the scalpel, and attorneys who want to be able to sue for lucrative awards when impaired or incompetent doctors injure, maun or kill a patient. Enter Don Strole, attorney for the Board of Healing Arts, and Arno Windscheffel, dis- ciplinary administrator for the Board of Discipline of Attorneys — the key players in the fuss over professional discipline. Strole says his board is unfairly criticized and compared to the attorneys', while Windscheffel proudly points to his record and vows no lawyer would ever escape punishment, as do, he said, some doctors. The numbers seem to support Windscheffel. Since 1980, there have been 192 disciplinary actions taken against lawyers in Kansas — including 29 public censures, 123 private admonishments, 27 indefinite suspensions and 13 surrendering of licenses or disbarments. Doctors have only suffered three private admonishments, no public censures, seven indefinite suspensions and 14 surrendering of licenses or revocations—a total of 24 actions. The number increases to 90 if 66 cases of stipulation with limitations are included. That is a process similar to plea-bargaining in which a doctor under investigation is asked to accept limits to his license, such as agreeing not to perform any more surgery. Strole says the comparison is unfair because of the nature of the professions. "Lawyers don't report lawyers unless it's a serious mistake," Strole said, explaining why physicians refuse to snitch on then- colleagues except in the most extreme cases. "Lawyers don't work with other lawyers the way doctors do. They rely upon each other, especially for referrals. "If doctors were forced into an adversarial position, the system would break down to the detriment of the patients. Doctors hate adversarial relationships." Complaints against physicians range from billing discrepancies to misuse of prescription drugs to mistakes in treatments, diagnosis and surgery. It's the duty of the Board of Healing Arts to sift out the legitimate complaints, determine negligence or incompetence, and take disciplinary action against offending physicians. Lagging taxes mirror economy TOPEKA (AP) — Income generated by state taxes fell $1.9 million short of expert predictions in December and Harley Duncan, secretary of revenue, said Tuesday it's an indication the Kansas economy is "just kind of muddling along." However, Duncan said it's not time to panic because tax receipts are within 1 percent of projections made in November when a panel of financial experts warned lawmakers would have $55 million less than expected to fund state government this fiscal year due to income shortfalls. "We're just kind of muddling along," Duncan said. "We've got slow sales growth; slow income growth; and no big changes in unemployment. There's not a lot of exciting things happening out there." Two major tax categories — corporate and individual income — performed much worse than expected in December but the sales tax and mineral severance tax exceeded expectations. The corporate tax produced $16.6 million, or $3 million less than predicted; the individual income tax brought in $47.3 million, or $3.6 million below estimates. The sales tax generated $46 million in income in December, about $3.5 million more than experts had forecast. And the state reaped $8.5 million from the severance tax on oil, natural gas, coal and salt production — about $300,000 more than projected. In explaining the excess collections from the sales tax, Duncan said about $10 million of the total was taken in during the final days of November but was not counted until the next month. He also said Christmas sales contributed to the sales tar haul. "I'd have to rely on what retailers said — that is that we had a pretty good Christmas season and we're seeing a marginal increase over last year," Duncan said. The decline in corporate income tax collections is a key sign, Duncan said, because it indicates a declining profit margin. Laundry's tax question cleaned up by Stephan TOPEKA (AP) — Personal property tax must be paid on business equipment and property in transit in tlie location of the company's home office or where the business transaction took place, Attorney General Robert Stephan said Tuesday. In a legal interpretation of the law, Stephan told state Rep. Ben Foster, R-Wichita, that an industrial laundry he is interested in must pay personal property tax on uniforms and other property at the point where they are ac- cumulated for repair, maintenance and cleaning. The laundry rents the uniforms to other firms throughout the state and Foster wanted to know if the company must pay tax on the uniforms in the towns where they are worn or at the site of its laundry plant, where cleaning takes place. "Under (state law), personal property in transit is required to be taxed at the place of the owner's residence," Stephan said in the opinion.

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