The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 8, 2001 · Page 9
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 9

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Salina, Kansas
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Sunday, April 8, 2001
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Page 9
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SUNDAY APRIL 8, 2001 THE SAUNA JOURNAL Great Plains A LOOK AHEAD / B2 DEATHS / B3 ALMANAC / B6 BRIEFLY Salinan takes 5th at state spelling bee Kenya Gillespie, winner of the 2001 Saline County Spelling Bee, finished fifth at the state spelling bee Saturday in Topeka, making it into the 13th round of competition. GiUespie was eliminated by incorrectly spelling loke, a word describing a short narrow lane often coming to a dead end. "1 thought it would be loque or loke, but I couldn't decide," Gillespie, a seventh-grader at South Middle School, said Saturday He asked the judges whether the word was French or English in origin and they replied French. "He knew enough French to answer with a Q-U-E. Personally 1 thought he was right," said his father, Gerald Gillespie. "I think if he'd thought of it in Old English, he probably would have answered loke." GiUespie's finish improved upon his 1999 placing at the state spelling bee, when he finished sixth. With his fifth-place finish he came in ahead of the state spelling champions from 2000 and 1999 who also were competing this year An Allen County student won the competition by correctly spelling the word Calypso. Herlngton woman dies in car crash A crash between a van and a car south of Salina Friday afternoon claimed the life of a Herington woman and injured her 10-year-old son. The other driver, a 16-year-old girl, also was hospitalized. Information about the victims in the crash was released Saturday by the Saline County Sheriff's Office. Doris Barber, 35, Herington, died at the scene of the wreck, which occurred about 4:20 p.m. when the car she was driving was struck by a van driven by Amanda Brady 16, 238 S. 10th. Saline County Sheriff's Deputy Rick Heinrich said Brady who was driving east on Mentor Road, ran a stop sign and struck Barber's car, which was traveling north on Old Highway 81. Barber's 10-year-old son, Robert, told officers at the scene that he and his mother were on their way to Salina to the movies when the wreck happened, Heinrich said. Robert was released from Salina Regional Health Center Saturday Brady remained hospitalized Saturday in serious but stable condition. County to take up vehicle purchases The purchase of five vehicles for the Saline County Sheriff's Office will be considered this week by Saline County commissioners. Commissioners will discuss the issue during an informal session 10:15 a.m. Wednesday in the City-County Building, and the purchase could be voted upon at a formal meeting April 17. Sheriff Glen Kochanowski wants to replace three Ford Crown Victoria patrol cars and two Ford Explorers. Bid packets were sent to 18 vendors in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas, but Long McArthur, Salina, was the sole bidder Long McArthur bid $145,656 for two full-size sedans, two fuU- size pickups and a full-size sport utility vehicle fully equipped with light bars, radios, partitions and replacement seats. The company bid $129,078 for two sedans and a sport utility vehicle without the extra equipment and pickup trucks with equipment. The sheriff's office budgeted $130,000 for the purchase. Commissioners wiU meet formally at 11 a.m. Tuesday to receive public comments on the Kansas Department of Transportation's five-year construction plan, to discuss a grant, to award a bid for purchase of a copier and to make appointments to the county's planning commission and zoning appeals ^pard. From Staff Reports CORRECTIONS ••••• The Journal wants to set the record straight. Advise us of errors [by calling the Journal at (785) •823-6363, or toll free at 1-800•827-6363. Corrections will run In '•this space as soon as possible. KSU-SALINA OPEN HOUSE KSU-Salina open house is a great place for students whose futures are UP in the air / want to travel and see the world. Not many people have an opportunity to do it, and if you get paid to do it, why not? - Jared Stubblefield prospective KSU-Salina student By DAVID CLOUSTON The Salina Journal The Stubblefield family left its Marshall, Mo., home at 6 a.m. Saturday to drive to Salina so Jared, 16, could tour Kansas State University-Salina's aviation department. Jared was one of many high school students and their families visiting KSU-Salina during Saturday's Spring Open House. He was impressed with the campus and department facilities. "It's nice. Real nice," he said. With a private pilot's license already under his belt, Jared wants to be a commercial pilot someday, said his father, Jeff Stubblefield. Jared spends most of his time at the airport near his home in Marshall, where he is a member of the local civil air patrol. The family previously lived for five years in Manhattan. "We're big K-State fans," Jeff Stubblefield said. That purple connection, coupled with K-State aircraft and flight simulators on view Saturday, were turning the heads of potential students, including Jared. His choice likely will boil down to KSU-Salina or Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Arizona, he said. Why the desire to be a pilot? "1 want to travel and see the world," he said. "Not many people have an opportunity to do it, and if you get paid to do it, why not?" Visits by out-of-state high school students and their families is a good sign for KSU-Salina, said Roger Steinbrock, the school's director of public information. He expected 150 to 200 people to tour the campus during the event. "We've had students already from Oklahoma, Missouri and Iowa," Steinbrock said Saturday morning. "We're not just a regional open house anymore. That's the nice thing. We're growing this open house and having more student life stuff. That's nice." Student club members showcased their activities along with academic endeavors. The school's chapter of the Society of Automotive Engineers was showing mechanical engineering technology department visitors the chapter's mini baja race car The chapter has entered the car into the society's Mini Baja West competition coming up April 26-28 in Manhattan. JUSTIN HAYWORTH / The Salina Journal Adam Schneider, a freshman at Kansas State Unlverslty-Salina, hops out of a Cessna 150 after 12 people had piled Into the airplane as part of KSU-Sall- See AIR, Page B2 na's open house Saturday afternoon. T ELEVATOR EXPLOSION Source of blast unclear Two men injured in explosion remain in liospital burn unit By DAVID CLOUSTON Tlie Salina Journal GREENLEAF — Two grain elevator workers injured in an apparent dust explosion Friday remained hospitalized Saturday at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City Electricity has been restored to the Farmers Co-op Elevator Association office where the blast occurred. But operations at the elevator will be suspended for a few days until investigators finish their work, feed mill and elevator manager Mike Woerner said. "We have made arrangements with other elevators in the area to assist our feed customers," Woerner said. The explosion in the feed mill, which occurred about 2:30 p.m. Friday happened as John Woltje, 42, was loading a truck in the feed mill with ground, mixed feed. Max Hubbard, 52, was inside the mill, mixing feed. A nursing supervisor at the medical center said Saturday Woltje was in serious condition and Hubbard was in critical condition. Both are in the hospital's burn unit. Woerner said Saturday officials had not yet been able to speak with the injured workers to get their account of the blast. Woerner said inspectors from the state fire marshall's office and the elevator's insurance company were at the scene, but they have yet to determine what caused the explosion. Washington County Sheriff Bill Overbeck said Friday he believed the ignition point was somewhere in the concrete silo adjacent to the feed mill. However, Woerner said inspectors did not find any structural damage to the concrete silo. The tin-covered frame warehouse was heavily damaged and likely will be demolished before rebuilding can begin, he said. • Reporter David Clouston can be reached at 823-6464, Ext. 131, or by e-mail at sjdclouston @saljournal.com • KANSAS LEGISLATURE Something's up in Kansas, and it may be taxes Anti-tax leaders dropping hints that a tax increase could be coming after all By JOHN HANNA The Associated Press TOPEKA — Republican leaders have sent new signals about the chances the Legislature will increase taxes because of state government's financial problems. House Speaker Kent Glasscock and Senate President Dave Kerr, who have opposed raising taxes to raise money for public schools, said Friday they would not rule an increase out as part of a budget package. This week, state forecasters slashed their estimates of tax receipts for fiscal 2001 and 2002, predicting a $185 million gap between likely revenue and the spending approved in a compromise $9.11 billion spending bill sent to Gov Bill Graves. Kerr, R-Hutchinson, and Glasscock, R-Manhattan, said the new numbers were worse than expected. "This is a seriously deep hole for us to try to find our way out of," Kerr told reporters. Glasscock said: "1 think it's probably too early for people to come to grips with what the shortfall means." Kerr and Glasscock declared that no option is off the table. Earlier, House Appropriations Chairman Kenny Wilk had said he wasn't counting on legislators increasing taxes. "I don't sense a groundswell of support for a tax increase," said Wilk, R- Lansing. And Senate Ways and Means Chairman Steve Morris said he won't rule out a tax increase but that it would probably be small and limited to the state's "sin" taxes, on alcohol and tobacco. He said he doesn't see his colleagues approving a general tax increase, such as a sales tax hike. "Right now, we're going to have to bite the bullet," said Morris, R-Hugoton. Legislators began their annual spring break Friday and plan to reconvene April 25 to complete the year's business and consider one last budget bill. Both budget committees plan to draft their own versions of the last spending bill in meetings scheduled to begin April 17. Both chairmen have set aside six days. See TAXES, Page B2 T CHEAPTHERAPY The Smoky Hill Museum really, really wants me The hard part will be remembering exactly what it is they want Years ago, when the Earth's crust had cooled enough to support life, the southeast corner of the Iron Avenue and South Eighth Street intersection was prairie, which in time evolved into a U.S. Post Office. For millions of years, Salinans swam, slithered, crawled and finally walked erect into the imposing structure to mail letters and packages, buy stamps, rent mail boxes and perform other postal rituals. Hard-soled footwear clacked over the marble-like floor and echoed through the cavernous lobby much like that of a big-city train station. Eons passed and finally the post office outgrew its house and migrated farther east. Into the vacant shell moved the Smoky Hill Museum, which in an eerie coincidence, recently sent me a letter via the U.S. Postal Service. It was dated April 2 and arrived April 3, a mere nanosecond in geologic time. The envelope had the odor of solicitation about it, and the first sentence seemed to confirm my suspicions: "The Smoky Hill Museum is currently planning an exhibit titled "Landmarks, Legends and Lore." The next sentence, I knew, would contain the appeal for funds. It would, that is, if this were a perfect world where the universe isn't expanding and our sun isn't ticking off the millennia until it goes ka-boom and incinerates the Earth into a palm-size clinker of carbon. GORDON D. FIEDLER JR. Tlie Salina Journal « Instead, what the museum wanted was not my money but my brain. "As a local community member, your memories and experiences are valuable and could help us select the subjects and stories for this entertaining local exhibit." Even though a card-carrying AARP member, I still have enough synapses firing to know what this diplomatic passage really meant: "As a local geezer, your memories and experiences will soon be as worthless as drool, so drag your saggy butt in here before it's too late." All seriousness aside, I'm really flattered the museum thinks I am either a landmark, a legend or have enough valuable lore to share, although I'd always believed it would be my grandchildren who first would root through my gray matter like pigs in compost. "Grandpa, is it true utility bills were once less than $10,000 a month?" The museum's letter told me the interrogation, in the form of a roundtable discussion, would last about an hour, and, shrewdly aware that time is of the essence, offered me two convenient dates for the following week. I will oblige if I can remember. There are times when I can't recall what I just ate for lunch, although in those instances a G Willikers corned beef reuben sounds familiar. Fortunately, ancient recollections are the last to fade, and it is this long- term memory that the museum is after. So this week, when I am happily greeted by the museum staff ready to tap my well of local history I'll be able to reply with a slightly offensive sauerkraut breath: "I'm sorry I thought this was the post office." • Columnist Gordon D. Fiedler Jr. can be reached at 823-6363 Ext. 145 or by email at sjgfiedler@salJournal.com. SUGGESTIONS? CALL BEN WEARING, DEPUTY EDITOR, AT 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363 OR E-MAIL AT 8jbwearing@saijournal.eom

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