The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 2, 1996 · Page 9
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 9

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, October 2, 1996
Page 9
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WEDNESDAY THE SALINA JOURNAL Great Plains VIEWPOINTS / B2 ALMANAC / B3 FUN / B4 B V JUNCTION CITY MURDER TRIAL Widow testifies in trial over husband's murder In Geary County, jurors take field trip to see where jogger was ishot to death £ in 1992 By DAVID CLOUSTON The Salina Journal JUNCTION CITY — Judy Sheridan learned of her husband's brutal murder when on her drive home from work she met patrol cars with flashing lights parked at an intersection near her home. Geary County Sheriff Bill Deppish told her the devastating news, that Randall Sheridan had been gunned down on the side of the road by shotgun blasts. "I said I didn't know who did this, meaning I didn't know who pulled the trigger," Judy Sheridan testified in court Tuesday. "But I certainly knew who was responsible." Sheridan was referring to Salinans Dana Flynn and Mikel Dreiling. Jurors deciding the fate of the pair charged with killing Sheridan visited the crime scene south of Junction City Tuesday to view it firsthand. Sheridan's body was found near the intersection of Lyons Creek Road and Adams Road, less than a mile from his home. The jurors were accompanied by the judge in the case, Melvin Gradert, and an investigator for the Geary County Sheriffs Office. Before the jurors arrived, the attorneys and defendants visited the scene. With the aid of a tape measure and photographs, the attorneys and the sheriffs investigator marked the position of the body with small red traffic cones as Flynn and Dreiling stood by and watched. The defendants, brother and sister, are accused of killing Randall Sheridan on Dec. 22, 1992, over a bitter child custody dispute involving Sheridan and Flynn's daughter. The girl was born as the result of an affair while Sheridan was separated from his wife. The killing is alleged to have been part of a conspiracy hatched at the direction of Flynn's minister, Jerry Rollins. Authorities believe Flynn was involved in an affair with Rollins, leader of the Fountain of Life Church in Salina, at the time of Randall Sheridan's murder. A day before he died, Randall Sheridan saw his court hearing for permanent custody postponed, because Flynn did not show up in court. But Flynn's attorney and his attorney did make arrangements for Randall Sheridan and his wife to take the girl on a family skiing trip over part of the Christmas holiday. Judy Sheridan said her husband had planned to call her the afternoon of Dec. 22 after he went jogging, to finalize details of the trip. Except for a brief emotional pause and a sob as she described hearing the news of the murder, Judy Sheridan remained composed on the witness stand. But a prickly exchange ensued when Dreiling's attorney, Lee McMaster, cross-examined Sheridan about her recollection of events in the case. McMaster used Judy Sheridan's preliminary hearing testimony, in which she said she was to call her husband, to suggest her recollections were inaccurate. "Ma'am, do you have trouble understanding my questions?" asked McMaster. "You have trouble understanding my answers," replied Sheridan. "Yes ma'am, I do," McMaster answered. McMaster suggested also that the Sheridans had forged an invoice to make it look like Rollins had ordered sex products from a company and had them delivered to Dana Flynn's house. The invoice, which had been discovered by Rollins' wife, Lee, was not forged, said Judy Sheridan. The words "Praise the Lord," handwritten at the bottom of the invoice, was a joke made by her husband, who shared copies of the invoice with his friends. McMaster also alleged Judy Sheridan had made alterations to a 1992 calendar on which her husband kept notes about the custody case. Under questioning from Geary County Attorney Chris Biggs, Judy Sheridan said she crossed out the word bitch, where her husband had written "Depose the bitch," on Nov. 3. That was the day for court depositions of Rollins and Flynn in Salina. "I didn't think (the word) was appropriate for court," Judy Sheridan said. Also on Tuesday, Detective Sgt. Beth Gillmer-Jones of the Geary County Sheriffs Office answered a question from McMaster by saying no tire tracks at the crime scene matched the tires on Flynn's car. But Gillmer-Jones also said the tire tracks appeared to have been made before they were splattered by Sheridan's blood, supporting the state's theory they were made by another vehicle at an earlier time. County to trim trees, fix rural road signs Saline County commissioners Tuesday agreed to spend money ,to buy a tree trimmer and replace and repair signs in the county. Murphy Tractor and Equip- ^ment Co., Topeka, was the only bidder for a carbide-tipped rotary disc tree and limb cutter. Commissioners agreed to buy the tool from Murphy for $15,500: Jerry Fowler, county public works director, said the cutter attaches to an excavator and is used to reach high limbs. Commissioners agreed to pay Hall Sign Co., Bloomington, Ind., $3,753.24 for repair and replacement of county street name signs. Money for the maintenance will come from the 75-cents-a-month 911 emergency surcharge paid by telephone users. Commissioners agreed to pay an additional $3,896.31 to Welborn Sales, 3288 S. Avenue C, for traffic sign maintenance. Money to repair the "Stop," "Yield," and other traffic signs will come from the county road and bridge budget: Prison lockdowns continue over food Lockdpwns were partially lifted Tuesday at state prisons in Lansing and Hutchinson after disturbances stemming from complaints over the new food service. Protests began last week at the prisons in Lansing, Hutchinson and Norton. The lockdowns ordered Monday at Lansing and Hutchinson came after protests escalated there, with prisoners breaking glass, throwing objects and setting fire to clothing, toilet tissue and bedding. The prisoners are unhappy with what they believe are smaller meals and a lack of condiments provided by Campus Canteen Corrections Services, a division of Campus Group USA, North Carolina. The company signed a contract in April to provide inmate meals at state prison facilities. News reports that officials locked down the Norton facility were erroneous, Miskell said. State privatizes adoption responsibility WICHITA — On Tuesday, Kansas became the first state to turn over to the private sector the responsibility of finding families for kids in state custody. Now it is up to Lutheran Social Service and 13 other private agencies to help find good homes for Kansas children who have been taken away from their birth parents. The change should help children find adoptive parents faster, officials said. Lutheran Social Service has subcontracted with other private agencies to form the Kansas Adoption Network, which will place children in permanent homes. The network receives $13,556 for each child it handles — about what the state would have spent to put the child in a permanent home. But by finding children homes faster, the network will save taxpayers money that would have been paid to foster homes, said Bernice Karstensen, executive director of Lutheran Social Service. From Staff and Wire Reports Tomorrow's Headlines 825-6OOO Category 6008 ((Motor 7:39pM.) Photo courtesy of Fort Hays State University Tomanek Hall at Fort Hays State University has been featured In Architectural Record magazine as one of five top science and laboratory buildings In the United States. Excellence in education Fort Hays science building praised for architectural design By DAVID CLOUSTON The Saltna Journal H AYS — Fort Hays State University's Tomanek Hall Physical Sciences Building has been recognized by an architecture magazine as one of five nationally recognized exemplary science and laboratory buildings. The building was recognized for design excellence in the July 1996 issue of Architectural Record magazine. It was chosen after photos of the building were submitted to the magazine by Horst, Terrill & Karst Architects P. A. of Topeka, the lead architectural firm on the project. "They immediately called us and said they wanted to use it," said Joe Terrill, president of the firm. Typically the magazine receives 300 such submissions monthly, and narrows those down to three or four buildings. Another publication, American School and University magazine, also is planning to feature Tomanek Hall in an upcoming issue, along with a Topeka elementary school designed by the architectural firm. Dedicated in August 1995, the $12 million building, named for former university president Gerald Tomanek, houses the departments of chemistry, geosciences and physics departments, as well as the campus computing center. It has 84,580 square feet of space and 125 rooms. The building is designed in the shape of a 45-degree triangle and has a distinctive northeast-facing sawtooth-shaped exterior glass wall. The design lets in daylight to departmental offices and nearly all laboratory spaces. The building also has three interactive teaching video lecture halls, with camera positions at the rear of the rooms and over benches where pro- fessors conduct experiments. This allows interactive video classes to be broadcast to locations in southwest and western Kansas, so students there can take college courses, said Bob Lowen, director of University Relations. Horst, Terrill & Karst worked on the design of the project with Stecklein & Brungardt Architects, Hays. Ground was broken on May 7, 1993, but planning started as early as 1989. The designers worked closely with professors to fix precise locations of equipment inside the rooms, such as lab tables and cabinets. In some cases designers actually had to create new pieces of equipment, such as custom computer cabinetry integrated into the lab tables where students and professors do experiments. Special see-through fume hoods also allow instructors to supervise students at work. "The ability to use comput- ers right at the laboratory tables is a big plus," said Larry Nicholson, chairman of the department of chemistry and the building supervisor. "That and the (interactive media) classrooms are a big advantage to teaching." Interactive media lets professors use different types of teaching aids — overhead projections, videotapes, CD-roms and video discs — from one location, Nicholson said. The labs are also much better ventilated, he said. Staff offices were built around the perimeter of the building allowing everyone to have a window. "In an office, that's a nice feature. Some people have smaller offices, but they're much more usable and nicer," said Nicholson. The building is Horst, Terrill & Karst's first to be published in a national magazine, which Terrill called "a big thrill for us." T TOP DOCTOR Doctors honor Goering McPherson native is top family physician despite Parkinson's By The Associated Press LENEXA — Donald Goering's hand may shake from time to time, but for 17 years it was just the. helping hand that residents of tiny Coldwater needed. For his long service in the tiny south-central Kansas town, Goering, 65, on Tuesday was named the state's family physician of the year by the Kansas Academy of Family Physicians. The award was made at the group's assembly in New Orleans. "I was flabbergasted," Goering said, when told of the honor. "I had trouble believing it because I'm just an ordinary guy." Residents of Coldwater disagree. What makes Goering more exceptional, they say, is that he has continued to work steadily despite suffering Parkinson's disease for 19 years. The illness is a degenerative neurological disease that causes tremors and makes movement difficult. Though his condition has worsened, Goering remains mobile. "I don't consider it a handicap. It's a thorn in my side," Goering said. "My patients knew it. They could see me shaking once in a while. It was not a big deal to my patients or myself." Quiet and self-effacing, Goering has a long history in Kansas. He was born in McPherson, graduated from the University of Kansas School of Medicine and practiced in Tribune and Salina. He became Coldwater's doctor in 1979. His work included delivering children, patching up cuts and bruises and standing watch over the sick and dying. Goering's care prompted more than 180 people in Coldwater, with a population of less than 1,000, to write letters nominating Goering for state family physician of the year. One couple wrote about Goering's patience as he attended to the frequent injuries — a sprained ankle, a broken hand, a dislocated shoulder — of their accident-prone son. "Who do we call if we become ill (in the middle of the night or on a weekend)?" another couple wrote. "Doc Goering. Who came out on a cold, foggy evening when my elderly mother-in-law fell ill and required stitches in her head? Doc Goering did." Goering teaches at KU Medical School. T FOSTER CARE SRS head defends efforts for kids When yw nwd K> know.. By The Associated Press TOPEKA — Secretary Rochelle Chronister Tuesday defended the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services' effort to improve the foster care program in Kansas. She expanded on the agency's written response to a state audit made public on Monday that concluded SRS had failed to meet seven requirements for protecting children contained in a 1989 settlement of a lawsuit. The state audit said SRS did not provide adequate protection to children during the last half of 1995, prompting an attorney who worked on the case to consider trying to reopen the case. It stemmed from multiple problems in the state's foster care program. Chronister said that in 40 areas being monitored under the agreement SRS met requirements and no longer needed to be monitored. Among those areas, she said, are reviews for children in custody, adoption and placement. "We are not standing still," Chronister said. "Along with other system improvements, such as privatization (of adoption services), we are using the information provided by both monitoring groups to improve the process." Sunshine swinger Nine-year-old Marcus Saunders swings from the rings Tuesday In a low evening sun at Oakdale Park. He's the son of Pam Saunders. KELLY PRESNELL The Salina Journal SUGGESTIONS? CALL BEN WEARING, DEPUTY EDITOR, AT (9J3) 923-6363 OR 1-800-827.6363

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