The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 17, 1995 · Page 1
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 1

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Salina, Kansas
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Wednesday, May 17, 1995
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the Salina Journal OArtfirtx* I/n MA/•» A *tiv\**«% A Q^A ^^"^^ WEDNESDAY 63 HIGH ' Serving Kansas since 1871 Salina, Kansas May 17,1995 Downpour leaves Salinans stranded on streets Passengers submerged on Marymount rescued By DAVID EUGENE FRESE Th« Salina Journal Heavy rains flooded most of Salina's streets Tuesday, trapping passengers in cars and flooding residents' basements. A dispatcher with the Salina Police Department couldn't list the streets that the city closed off — there were too many. "All the streets in Salina are closed," she said. "Really." Water flooded the usual areas along Ninth and Crawford, but the rains also flooded areas like Iron and Ohio that normally don't see floods. Water spilled off the street and into the front yards of residents of the 100 block of West Iron, but many drivers kept on driving through the flooded streets. Passengers in a car were submerged on Marymount Road and were rescued by the Salina Fire Department, officials said. The dispatcher said she could not estimate the number of calls the department had received of stranded vehicles or other concerns during the storm that lasted roughly from 8 to 10 p.m. "There's two of us here, and 90 percent of the time all nine lines were busy," she said. "It's been hectic." The dispatcher said when the storm started in Brookville, the cars traveling there at times were submerged to the hood. "Officers said you couldn't even see the hood ornaments," she said. Within Salina, nearly all the major streets were flooded, said Frank Weinhold, director of general services for the city. Police asked people to stay off the roads for their own safety. "It just came so fast," Weinhold said. "The storm sewers couldn't take it in fast enough." The intake gates to the Smoky Hill River channel had been closed off all day, but city crews opened the middle gates of the channel near the Community Theatre to relieve some of the pressure. Water pressure popped off manhole covers on Ohio, Republic and Frost, creating more dangers for drivers, Weinhold said. "We had some calls from people in the area of Hancock and Wilson who said the cars were going by so fast the drivers were creating waves that spilled into their basements," Weinhold said. Weinhold said the storm sewers aren't equipped for a rain like the area saw Tuesday evening. "This happens maybe once in a hundred years," Weinhold said. "People just need to have patience. But by the same token, there were people out just driving around to see." Early reports indicated there were some power lines down in Salina, but Salina officials said those were cable television lines that had fallen. KSAL radio reported about 4 inches of rain in its rain gauge, located at 1510 E. Iron, by 10 p.m. Officials at the airport said hail stones that fell in the area measured about half an inch and rain totaled 1.97 inches by 10 p.m. Across the state Early in the evening, the south end of Dickinson County saw flooding in some low-lying areas. Most of the high water was on K-4 near the Carlton area and in and around Lyon Creek between the Woodbine and Herington area. Storms in Russell County didn't quite last 90 minutes, beginning around 7 p.m. and ending before 8:30. But the storms brought 40 to 50 mph winds and hail of golf-ball size or larger. A dispatcher with the Russell County Sheriff's Department said there had been no reports of damage other than some hail damage to cars belonging to Russell >» See TORNADO, Page AIT Chocolate junkies find heaven in Abilene Russell Stover is satisfying stop By GORDON D. FIEDLER JR. Th» Salina Journal The Russell Stover Candies sign on Interstate 70 at Abilene beckons chocolate junkies to another fix just as palm trees lure dry-lipped desert travelers to a watery oasis. One recent Tuesday, the sign worked on Betty and Ivan Brockmeier, West Virginia residents bound for California. The couple spent about 20 minutes browsing the aisles of the Russell Stover retail store, which is attached to the company's brand new, 300,000-square-foot manufacturing plant that, once under full steam, will ship 100,000 pounds of chocolate daily. Chocolate is a way of life for Betty Brockmeier, who is partial to Russell Stover's brand of chocolate, so when she saw the candymaker's highway advertisements, her husband was unable to keep the car on the interstate. "I tried to steer her clear, but she was driving ..." Betty Brockmeier holds the company in such high regard that she said she'd do without chocolate entirely if she couldn't have Russell Stover chocolate. "It's very smooth, very high quality," she said as she examined the myriad of boxed confections. What's her favorite? "Any of it. I like mint-filled milk chocolate, Pecan Delights — I like all of it," she said. Ardena Carlyon of nearby Junction City also is sold on Russell Stover. "Off-the-wall brands don't have the quality, the taste," Carlyon said during a recent visit to the new store. "When you want a box for a gift, you buy Russell Stover." Millions of customers such as Brockmeier and Carlyon have made Russell Stover Candies, based in Kansas City, Mo., the leader in the boxed chocolate business. In second place was Whitman Samplers, a company Russell Stover recently acquired. >• See RUSSELL, Page A9 Kelly Presnell/Salina Journal Erica Byrd, Junction City, casts a hopeful eye to her grandmother Pauline Byrd during Friday's grand opening of the plant. Plant is sweet deal for small town By GORDON D. FIEDLER JR. Th» Salina Journal Landing a Russell Stover Candies plant and its promise of 400 jobs is a sweet catch for any city. When the Kansas City, Mo.-based company selected Abilene for its 300,000-square-foot plant, the town of 7,000 felt blessed. "This is a dream come true for most towns the size of Abilene," said Jim Jackson, Abilene's community development director. Once at full strength, the Russell Stover candy factory will be Abilene's largest employer, inching past longtime leader Alco-Duckwall's 375 workers. Russell Stover's selection of Abilene came at the end of a two- to three-year process during which the company concentrated its site-selection energy on Kansas. It had asked the Department Commerce and Housing to pass along locations that met its needs, such as sufficient Kelly Presnell/Salina Journal A full complement of chocolates will be made in Abilene. of acreage, utilities, availability of work force and transportation. "We were contacted (by the commerce department) to submit site data," Jackson said. "We didn't know who we were dealing with." • The city learned in October 1992 who the prospect was, although it wasn't a done deal at that point. "We didn't sense we were the only town," Jackson said, but "we certainly perked up when we found out who we were dealing with." The choice was difficult, said Robinn Weber, vice president of human resources for Russell Stover. "Anytime you have good locations, it's a tough decision," Weber said. Abilene offered as its principal incentive 60 acres of undeveloped ground next to Interstate 70, a $90,000 value, Jackson said. It sweetened the deal with a mouth-watering 10-year, 100 percent abate- See ABILENE, Page A9 State faces another water case Colorado ruling may have effect By LINDA MOWERY-DENNING Th« Salina Journal This week's ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on the Arkansas River might help Kansas avoid another costly and time-consuming lawsuit — this one over the Republican River in northwest and north-central Kansas. By a 9-0 vote Monday, justices upheld an earlier decision that Colorado has deprived Kansas of water from the Arkansas River by allowing hundreds of wells to be drilled — thus draining water that rightfully belongs to Kansas. In recent years, a similar situation has developed along the Republican River, which enters Kansas from Nebraska. Kansas officials claim Nebraska's failure to regulate groundwater has slowed the flow of water to irrigators and other users in the northern part of the state. State officials, working through the river compact between Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado, have tried without success to resolve the issue. The Arkansas River decision — which could lead to the plugging of more than 1,000 wells in Colorado and monetary damages of more than $10 million, said Kansas Attorney General Carla Stovall — might convince Nebraska officials that they'd be on the losing side if the battle over the Republican goes to court. David Pope, chief engineer of the Kansas Department of Agriculture's Division of Water Resources, said Nebraska took note in July 1994, when a special master recommended that the court find Colorado in violation of the Arkansas River Compact, an agreement reached by Kansas and Colorado in 1949 to divide the waters of the Arkansas equitably. He suspects Nebraska also took note of this week's decision, which re-enforces Kansas argument in such cases. "I think there is a lot more confidence in our ability to pursue these matters," Pope said. Compact administrators from Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado >• See NEBRASKA, Page All Big 12 women may be goin' to Kansas City Plan calls for both tournaments there By HAROLD BECHARD Th* Salina Journal It's not official, and it may not be for another few months, but Salina's hold on the Big Eight Women's Basketball Tournament may be coming to an end. When the Big Eight Conference merges with Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Baylor next year to form the Big 12, there's strong sentiment among coaches and administrators that the women's tourney should join the men in Kansas City. The tentative plan, which has been formulated during Big 12 meetings this week in Keystone, Colo., would have two 12-team tournaments over a six-day span in Kansas City. The men would continue to play in Kemper Arena and possibly all but the women's title game would be scheduled for Municipal Auditorium. That would Hancock leave Salina without the Big Eight women's tournament for the first time in a decade. It has been played in the Bicentennial Center since 1987 and is scheduled for there in '96 before the current contract expires. Big Eight assistant commissioner Dru Hancock said Tuesday from Colorado that no timetable has been set for bids to be entered for the 1997 tournament and beyond, but thought it would have to be soon. "I suspect it will be in the next three months," she said. "I don't think the window of opportunity will be that large. We've been talking about the possibility of having everything back by Oct. 1, but the deadline will have to be established by the new commissioner (Steve Hatchell)." Although Salina, Topeka and Oklahoma City are expected to join Kansas City in bidding for the first-ever Big 12 women's tournament, Kansas City seems to be the frontrunner. "I'd say there's a remarkably strong sentiment to try and get this done," Hancock said. "We want to start with a flair the first year and go from there. Some of the athletic directors in the conference have called in a basketball bonanza." The Kansas City plan calls for the women's tournament to begin on Tuesday with the bottom eight seeds. The winners of those four games would meet the top four teams on Wednesday and the semifinals would be held Thursday. The women would take Friday off and then play the championship game »» See SALINA, Page All A work in progress The Associated Press A bridge spanning the Tennessee River near Clifton, Term., collapsed Tuesday. See story, Page 11. 'V . »,*'** -r* JSj^gSBjft^a»ip«^i»vt» i *^ i *^*''^*»"'*^ * t-^i**.-.• INDEX Almanac . . B12 Classified . B7 Encore Friday Lottery numbers A11 Scoreboard B4 Includes events, movie listings, Comics B11 Llfesports Thursday Money B10 Sports B3 horoscopes, TV log, weatherandon Crossword B11 Lifestyles B1 Obituaries A11 TV Week Saturday Sunday, the crossword puzzle Editorials A4 Local/Kansas A3 Religion Saturday USA Weekend Sunday LETTUCE REJOICE AT ALL THE LEAFY ALTERNATIVES... PAGE B1 ORLANDO DEFEATS CHICAGO IN NBA PLAYOFFS... PAGE B3

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