The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 15, 2001 · Page 1
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 1

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Salina, Kansas
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Sunday, April 15, 2001
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Miller time PAGE CI the SUNDAY APRIL 15, 2001 SALINA, KANSAS Salina Journal Serving Kansas since 1871 $1.50 Grandma to all PAGE D1 For 46 years, lay pastor Helen Dent has been using her talents to feed a small Multitude Helen Dent, pastor at Culver Presbyterian Church, doubles as pianist during a recent Sunday worship service. Parishioners say her role goes well beyond that of pastor and pianist. By GARY DEMUTH The Salina Journal CULVER — The church is more than 100 years old and a little worse for wear with crumbling stone steps and cracked white paint cobweb- bing the pine walls. A small, weather-battered sign welcomes the faithful to Culver Presbyterian Church. Inside, the sanctuary is bright and inviting, with a high ceiling topped with a bell tower, a wooden floor, red-carpeted aisles and fold- up wooden chairs instead of traditional p6ws. On this Sunday morning, a small, frail-looking woman sits at a slightly battered upright piano at the front of the church and plays "The Old Rugged Cross." The congregation of 22 follows along in hymn books, enthusiastic voices echoing across the walls of the large chamber. After the song, the piano player stands and asks those in the congregation how they are, how their relatives are and if anyone is ailing and in need of a prayer. Then she leads them in a prayer, concluding by thanking the Lord for all his blessings. "Trust in God, and he'll always be there for you," the 82-year-old woman says, her authoritative voice a strong contrast to her frail frame. "Because God and man are always a majority" Then it's back to the piano to pound out rousing versions of "Lead Me Back to Calvary" and "Amazing Grace." After that, the piano player walks to the pulpit, stands up straight and transforms herself into a pastor See DENT, Page A4 Photos by JEFF COOPER / The Salina Journal Helen Dent delivers a Sunday sermon at Culver Presbyterian Church. IVIembers say she won't be satisfied unless you go out a happier person than when you came in. • HEALTH INSURANCE Some Salinans will pay more Hospital's rise in costs is unacceptable to WPPA officials By KARA RHODES The Salina Journal Different opinions over hospital reimbursement rates means many Salina Regional Health Center patients may face a dramatic jump in out-of- pocket costs starting Monday The two sides have been unable to agree on contract terms. The hospital blames WPPA, a Wichita-based network of physicians, hospitals, other medical service providers and insurance companies that arranges health insurance coverage, for the failure to reach an agreement. WPPA, which stands for Wichita Preferred Providers Association, blames the hospital. WPPA says the hospital's 40 percent increase of average daily costs over the past two years for WPPA groups is unacceptable. Hospital officials said more patients needing more complicated procedures and increasing numbers of open- T DOWNED SPY PLANE heart surgeries have led to higher expenses. "In 1999, we had 13 cases (whose costs) exceeded $20,000," said Rick Hertzenberg, the hospital's vice president of business development. "In 2000, we had 36 cases (involving WPPA patients)." Those numbers weren't available during negotiations, Hertzenber'g said. James Van Milligen, WPPA chief operating officer, said his records show a decrease in complicated care at the hospital. Hertzenberg, however, said open-heart surgeries at the hospital didn't begin until two years ago. "How can he claim severity is less?" he asked. Because WPPA and hospital officials have been unable to compromise, patients relying on WPPA will pay more, both sides agree. But WPPA officials said the added cost could spread over time to all patients if health insurance industry competition decreases. See HEALTH, Page A2 Spy plane crew welcomed home More than 7,000 gather at Naval air station in Washington By JANIE McCAULEY The Associated Press WHIDBEY ISLAND NAVAL AIR STATION, Wash. — Eventually, when the excitement of their son's return from China has wound down, Sandy and Mike Cecka will talk to him about their next code word. When David Cecka joined the Navy six years ago, his mother insisted the family choose a secret code word — pomegranate — they could use to signal if he ever was in danger. See CREW, Page A2 • Diplomats wondered who's in charge in China; Chinese officials give their version of incident to media / Page A8 The Associated Press U.S. Navy Lt. j.g. Jeffery Vignery of Goodland embraces and kisses his wife, Julie, after disembarking from the plane Saturday atWhidbey Island Naval Air Station near Oak Harbor, Wash. • WATER QUALITY Graves signs water quality bill New law will impose different standards for different streams By JOHN HANNA The Associated Press TOPEKA — Gov Bill Graves signed water quality legislation that had the support of agriculture groups but drew criticism from the state's top environmental official. The new law, taking effect July 1, creates a process for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to reclassify streams and apply varying pollution control standards to them. Legislators and agriculture groups who supported the measure said it represented common-sense water policy and would direct the department to use its resources where they are needed most. "This is good water policy "This would be environmental policy ... of the polluters, by the polluters and for the polluters." Charles Benjamin lobbyist and attorney for Kansas chapter of the Sierra Club for Kansas, and I think a lot of states will mirror it," Sen. Robert Tyson, R-Parker, chairman of the Senate Natural Resources Committee, said Friday after Graves announced his action. Environmentalists had argued the legislation would weaken the regulation of water pollution. "If this is good environmental policy, why does every envi­ ronmental group in the state oppose it?" said Charles Benjamin, lobbyist and attorney for the Sierra Club's Kansas chapter KDHE Secretary Clyde Graeber had urged Graves to veto the bill, saying it would make the job of reclassifying streams more difficult. The state and the federal Envii;onmental Protection Agency reached an agreement last month that gives the state until May 17 to submit a plan for reclassifying streams. In an accompanying message to legislators, Graves said the new law will serve the state well and "continues Kansas' commitment to the protection of its water resources." His message also gave directions to KDHE on putting the new law into effect. See WATER, Page A2 • TAX CUTS Shot in the economy Money might come back from this year's tax check By CURT ANDERSON The Associated Press WASHINGTON — Writing the government a tax check this year? You might get some of it back. Despite partisan differences, President Bush and Congress are closer than ever to an agreement on tax cuts that would give millions of Americans a tax rebate this year and let them keep a greater share of their earnings over the next decade. Although the Senate voted earlier this month to trim Bush's 10-year tax cut from $1.6 trillion to $1.2 trillion, that is not the final word on its overall size. Even at the lower amount, everyone who pays income taxes could get a tax cut and the tax penalty for married couples could be eased. Sen. John Breaux, D-La., said Saturday in the Democrats' weekly radio address that the lower figure still would mean "the largest tax cut in a generation" while preserving enough budget surplus money for priorities such as education, debt reduction and defense. "While each of my 99 Senate colleagues and I want to add, cut, tweak, tinker and rework the budget agreement, the Senate reached a true compromise," said Breaux, who brokered the Senate deal with Majority Leader Trent Lott, R- Miss. With Monday's tax filing deadline almost at hand, the chances have improved for an immediate tax rebate as well. The Senate voted overwhelm-' ingly to return $85 billion to taxpayers in the fiscal year that- began Oct. 1 as a modest way of stimulating the economy The House is less enthusiastic, but there is momentum in both! parties to give something back as soon as possible. Under a plan by Sen. Ernest! Hollings, D-S.C, an estimated 120 million taxpayers who paid income taxes or payroll taxes this year would get checks of $500 each as early as July if the proposal wins final approval before then. A second way to return tax dollars is to adjust withholding from people's paychecks for part of the yean Bush continues to insist that any rebate be part of a longer- term tax cut. The House has passed the four main components of the president's plan and committed to the president's $1.6 trillion figure. WEATHER High: 67 Low: 35 Becoming mostly sunny today. Partly cloudy tonight. 1^ • PAGE A3 Follovtfing days of riots, angry crowds chant outside a funeral held for a black teen-ager shot to death by a vftiite police officer in Cincinnati. PAGE A6 A Kremlin-connected gas giant boots out jotimalists and wins control of Russia's lone independent nationwide television network Saturday INSIDE Classified / F1 Consumer / E4 Crossword / D6 Deaths / B3 Great Plains / B1 Ufe / D1 Money / E1 Sports / C1 Weather /B6 Viewpoints / A7

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