The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 16, 1995 · Page 1
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 1

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Tuesday, May 16, 1995
Page 1
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the Salina Journal Gnrwinn l/onooc oin/->Q 1 O71 ^^^^ V TUESDAY 87 HIGH Serving Kansas since 1871 Salina, Kansas May 16,1995 Escape suspect alleges jail problems in letter Sheriff defends security of county's new jail By SHARON MONTAGUE The Salina Journal In a letter written to the Salina Journal less than a week after he escaped from the new Saline County Jail, Micheal Bolin alleges the jail is "nice, but it is to (sic) 'Open' for any inmate with half a heart to excape (sic)." But Sheriff Darrell Wilson said Bolin had found the jail's vulnerable spot — a window in the maximum-security day room that had regular thermal glass instead of unbreakable glass. Since the escape, security consultants and the jail's architect have toured the building and assured Wilson that there are no more trouble spots. "I'm not concerned about escapes at all," Wilson said. Bolin escaped from the maximum-security area May 6. Authorities said Bolin, 16, was able to unscrew the frame of a window in a door with his fingers because the screws hadn't been tightened. He allegedly removed a piece of heavy iron mould- ing, then stood on the shoulders of a fellow inmate and used the moulding to break out a 12-foot-high window. He escaped through the broken window but was captured shortly after he jumped 20 feet to the ground. "So naturally, I tryed (lie) the windows out. (The Jailer) was right, and the window broke." — Micheal Bolin, jail escaper Administrative hearings were conducted after the escape for Bolin and Rick Feenstra, the inmate on whose shoulders Bolin allegedly stood. As a disciplinary measure, Bolin was placed in an isolation cell for 70 days, and Feenstra was placed in an isolation cell for 40 days, Wilson said. Bolin is in jail awaiting trial on kidnapping and aggravated assault charges. Feenstra is awaiting trial on aggravated battery charges. The two also face criminal charges in connection with the escape. In the letter, which authorities confirmed was mailed from the Saline County Jail and with handwriting resembling Bolin's, that his escape wasn't Bolin wrote planned. He wrote that after he removed the screws from a door, he remembered a corrections officer saying that windows were vulnerable areas in jails. "So naturally, I tryed (sic) the windows out," Bolin wrote. "(The jailer) was right, and the window broke." Tom Dorsey/Salina Journal Sunset Elementary School sixth-graders square dance as part of their performance of "Boot Scootin' To Salina," a musical program about Sauna's history. Young Salinans act out past By CAROL LICHTI Th» Salina Journal Sunset Elementary School sixth- grader Shawn Benjamin lifted an imaginary sledge hammer and swung with the force needed to drive the stake that would start the building of the city of Salina. Shawn, coming momentarily out of character as a town founder, then gave a thumbs-up sign to a friendly face in the audience of students at his school. "The new frontier sounded like a great opportunity," said Shawn, back in character as James Muir. "I began busting up sod to plant corn. Those fields would be a major part of our survival and Salina's future." Shawn and the other sixth-grade students of Sunset sang, danced and acted their way Monday, through Salina's history in three performances for the school and parents. The production, "Boot Scootin' to Salina," was researched and written by sixth-graders in Debra Webb's class, with editing by sixth-grade teachers Webb, Larry Hays and Rachel Loersch. The show started as a two-week project for Webb's class. But it grew through the help of music teacher Janice Krause and the other sixth-grade classes into a full-scale production with music, dance and a gymnastic routine. Webb said the work that went into the project included a tour of Salina's original boundaries. They scouted out the locations of the first dugout and mill and visited the cemetery to see early graves. "I am a native of Salina," Webb said. "But being involved in this project has given a whole new aspect of what Salina means to me." Now when students cross the Elm Street bridge, they know that was the site of the first dugout in Salina. They know the roots of St. John's Lutheran Church that was started by the area's first settlers, Gotthart and John Schippel. And they know why South and North streets run east and west. The streets represent what once was the north and south boundaries of the city. "Everyone has worked their hearts out," Webb said. In the play, the students explained that the name Salina is tied to Zebulon Pike, who in his travels tasted the water of the Saline River. "I quickly spat it out," said Sunset student James Axtell in the role of Pike. "Yuk, it was awful. It tasted just like salt." Thus Pike referred to the area as the "Salena" River country and the name stuck. But later when Muir and other Salina founders, A.C. Spilman, William Phillips and Alexander Campbell, were trying to decide on a name for the town, they thought "Salena" might give people the wrong impression that the water was unsuitable. Thus the name became Salina, with a long "i." The show traced Salina's roots through the milling industry and other business such as H.D. Lee's company, which grew into Lee jeans, to the city the students know today. Wilson said windows and doors are security concerns in any jail, but the window Bolin allegedly broke was the only one accessible to inmates that wasn't made of unbreakable security glass. Security glass has since been installed, and a wire mesh was placed on the inside of the window, Wilson said. Bolin contended in the letter that the jail's electronic doors also are a problem. He wrote that the jail's power had failed three times, so the electronic doors couldn't be operated. When the power is on, Bolin wrote, corrections officers often push the wrong button and open a door that shouldn't be opened. Wilson said the power had, indeed, failed several times in the first couple of ^ $•• SHERIFF, Page A7 Ebola virus may be in capital city Death toll rises to 77; more cases diagnosed By KARIN DA VIES Th« Associated Press KINSHASA, Zaire — The death toll from the killer Ebola virus surged Monday as health officials hunted for a riverboat captain and a nurse who may have brought the epidemic to the Zairian capital of Kinshasa, a crowded city of 6 million. Authorities fear the two could frustrate their attempts to contain the virus to the region of Kikwit, the city 370 miles east of Kinshasa where the outbreak began in March. Seventeen new Ebola deaths were confirmed Monday along with four new cases of Ebola, all in Kikwit, the World Health Organization said. That brought the total of confirmed cases to 84. Of those, 77 have died, including a fourth nun who was caring for Ebola patients at Kik- wit General Hospital. There is no vaccine or cure for Ebola, which kills 80 percent of those who contract it, usually within days. Victims suffer from violent diarrhea and vomiting, and finally die with blood pouring from their eyes, ears and noses. "WHO experts expect a significant increase in cases during the next two to three weeks among people who are incubating the disease, having been exposed to it in the care of relatives or neighbors," said WHO spokesman Richard Leclair. Health workers were moving into the area around Kikwit to teach people how to avoid Ebola and to search for new victims. In addition to Kikwit, cases have been confirmed in the villages of Musango, Vanga, Yassa Bonga and Kenge, according to an international committee overseeing the response to the outbreak. Kikwit, a city of 600,000, was quarantined. Dr. Abdou Moudi, WHO's representative in Zaire, had only sketchy details on the two individuals who may have carried Ebola into Kinshasa. The riverboat captain was treated for bloody diarrhea at a Kinshasa hospital and released before doctors realized his symptoms were similar to those for Ebola, Moudi said. Dow Coming's filing may hurt women The Associated Press Breast implant plaintiffs Marilyn Sapp (from left), Katie Casey and Mary Williams are interviewed at their Houston lawyer's office Monday. Breast implant maker files for bankruptcy By The Associated Press BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Dow Corning Corp. filed for bankruptcy protection Monday in a move that could keep thousands of women waiting years to collect so much as a dime from a $4.25 billion , breast-implant settlement. The move jeopardizes the already shaky settlement, because Dow Corning — once the world's No. 1 maker of implants — is supposed to contribute half the money. The bankruptcy filing could also delay or reduce payments for women who are suing Dow Corning over health problems such as lupus and breast hardening. "The fact that the corporation will not be responsible for its mess is outrageous," said Joan Rice of INDEX Potomac, Md., who had her Dow Corning implants taken out. A leader of an advocacy group for implant recipients said she was flooded with scores of calls from women distressed at the thought of lengthy bankruptcy proceedings and more delays in payments for surgery to have implants removed. "There are women threatening suicide about this," said Gail Armstrong of the National Breast Implant Coalition in Dallas. Dow Corning, based in Midland, Mich., filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. bankruptcy code in Bay City, Mich., citing potentially astronomical expenses from liability lawsuits. Big companies in other major product liability cases have taken similar action, delaying payments to claimants for years. >• See CLAIM, Page A7 KU heart transplant program faces probes By The Associated Press KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The University of Kansas Medical Center's troubled heart transplant program will undergo a comprehensive review aided by independent doctors before it re-opens, the university said Monday. The university announced it would fully investigate allegations about the program at the hospital in Kansas City, Kan. The Kansas City Star reported May 6 that the hospital turned down every heart donation offered to it from May 1994 to March 1995 but continued admitting new transplant patients during that period. The university's investiga- tion is in cooperation with the Kansas Board of Regents, which announced its own investigation last week. The Star reported the medical center refused hearts 50 times over the 10-month period. Twelve of those refusals were because the program was "too busy" or surgeons and nurses weren't available, The Star said, citing documents obtained from the federal government. Another 26 refusals were for "administrative" or other reasons not detailed. The medical center closed its heart program in April after Jon Moran, the chief of cardio- thoracic surgery and the program director, left the hospital. Almanac B8 Classified B4 Encore Friday Lottery numbers A7 Scoreboard B2 Includes events, movie listings, Comics B7 Lifesports Thursday Money A6 Sports B1 horoscopes, TV log, weather and on Crossword B7 Lifestyles A5 Obituaries A7 TV Week Saturday Sunday, the crossword puzzle Editorials A4 Local/Kansas A3 Religion Saturday USA Weekend Sunday DRIVER PLEADS GUILTY IN 3 DEATHS ... PAGE A3 ROYALS FANS SHOW TEAM THEIR ANGER ... PAGE B1

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