The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on January 16, 1986 · Page 3
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 3

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Thursday, January 16, 1986
Page 3
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Local/Kansas The Salina Journal Thursday, January 16,1986 Page 3 Panel rejects sending sales tax bill to House floor TOPEKA (AP) - A House committee Wednesday blocked a rush to judgment on Gov. John Carlin's proposed 1-cent increase in the statewide sales tax by voting to delay action indefinitely on the proposal. Before voting to table the bill, the House Committee on Assessment and Taxation rejected a motion to send the sales tax measure to the House floor without a recommendation. The eight Democrats on the panel joined with two Republicans in a 10-7 vote against moving the bill out of the committee. The action followed a daylong hearing, in which five members of the Carlin administration and the chairman of the state Board of Education urged support for the sales tax increase. State budget director Alden Shields said that about three-fourths of the $190.7 million raised by increasing the sales tax from 3 percent to 4 percent would go to pay for Carlin's so-called "investment budget." Rep. Ed. Rolfs, R-Junction City, said he had hoped to conduct a quick hearing on matter and, in an unusual move for the third day of legislative session, send the bill on to the floor for consideration. After the committee decided on a voice vote to delay action on the proposal, Rolfs said the panel would not consider other revenue-raising measures until a majority of committee members vote to forward the sales tax bill to the floor. "Until the decision is made on the governor's package, I would think it's premature to consider any alternatives," Rolfs said. Rolfs said he did not understand why Democrats voted unanimously against referring the bill out of the committee. But Rep. Bill Reardon, D-Kansas City, offered a clue during discussion on the proposal before the vote. Reardon said he thinks House Speaker Mike Hayden, R-Atwood, wants to "deny Carlin his last hurrah" by killing the sales tax measure. Reardon said he thinks that part of Hayden's strategy to kill the bill was to conduct a fast hearing on the matter and quickly pass it on to the floor. Reardon said that Hayden — a gubernatorial candidate — promised on Jan. 6 during a series of statewide news conferences to dispose of Carlin's sales tax proposal. "It just so happens that the statement was made on the day he de- clared for governor," Reardon said. "I have a feeling that's what it's all about." Rep. Dennis Spaniel, R-Wichita, led efforts to table the measure and said he opposed sending the bill out of the committee because he thinks the Legislature should determine the state's financial needs before deciding how much to spend. "I don't think it would be responsible to take action on a revenue measure of this size without knowing what our needs are," Spaniol said. During the committee's hearing on the bill, Shields said that without the sales tax increase, the state would Craig Chamfer Consultants Paul Katsompes (in doorway) and Marie McTavish (left) listen to Lt. Merle James (right) and Sheriff Darrell Wilson. Jail gets high marks from consultant By JIM BOLE Staff Writer The Saline County Jail is barely passing state inspections and eventually will have to be replaced, but local officials are "doing the best with what they've got," an independent jail consultant said Wednesday. Paul Katsompes, a consultant sponsored by the National Institute of Corrections, Boulder, Colo., said the sheriff's department has done a good job keeping the jail adequate for current needs, and other public officials are making good long-term plans. "It's unusual to find this kind of effort in a community," Katsompes said. Katsompes and the other member of a consulting team, Marie McTavish, Wednesday inspected the jail and interviewed people involved in the criminal justice system. Today they will conduct a seminar for community leaders on legal issues in corrections programs and planning and paying for jails. The team's visit is part of Sheriff Darrell Wilson's effort to keep ahead of changes in corrections programs, especially jail standards, Wilson said. Wilson agrees with other Kansas sheriffs who are upset that too many changes are being made in jail standards set annually by the Kansas Department of Corrections, but said he hopes to keep Salina's jail up to any standards. The consulting team, which is a free service of the institute, was pleased with the jail's staff, operating procedures and cleanliness, and gave poor marks for its size of cells and food service, Katsompes said. In June 1985, the jail passed its annual inspection by the Department of Corrections, but some areas that could be improved were noted. Some cells and hallways were a few inches smaller than 1985 standards and the need for an exercise area were two main areas for improvement. Increasing the size of cells and hallways would require a new building, which is something that might be needed in four or five years, Wilson said. A new, larger exercise yard was built in 1985, in addition to new plumbing and fluorescent lighting. Some changes that might be made in the near future include more natural lighting, an expanded exercise program and more individual cells, Wilson said. Sheriffs disturbed by changing standards By FRED JOHNSON Harris News Service County sheriffs across Kansas are finding themselves trapped by state regulations as unyielding as the steel bars of their jail cells. From Labette County Southeast Kansas to First in a series. in Finney and Trego counties in the west, sheriffs are being told then- jails, many of them in new or recently remodeled buildings, do not meet the standards expected by the state Department of Corrections. The corrections department adopts jail standards to be used uniformly across the state and annually inspects each jail. Many of the state's sheriffs, however, think the standards addressing structural and space requirements change too frequently and have become too rigid. A manual called the Kansas Advisory Jail Standards was updated in late 1984 and used during jail inspections in 1985. Standards call for 70 square feet of floor space for each prisoner in one-and two-man cells, without access to a dayroom, and 60 square feet of floor space in one- and two-man cells with access to a dayroom. It also calls for 50 square feet of floor space per prisoner in cells designed for three or more people. Other sections of the manual require corridors to be at least five feet wide and all cell walls at least seven feet apart. The Russell County jail was remodeled in 1983 at a cost of about $300,000 to meet current standards. The project was the state before the corrections department changed its jail standards, which the remodeled building does not meet. During an August 1985 inspection, the jail was cited for several deficiencies related to structural design. State inspectors told Sheriff Tom Keys his jail corridors were too narrow, many of the cells were too small and some areas failed to meet a requirement for natural light. Keys says the building is too small to accommodate the recommended changes even if the community had the money and inclination to remodel again. Similar stories abound. The Trego County Sheriff's Department moved into a new law enforcement center, funded by a local bond issue, in 1980. Last year, Sheriff J. Dean Ochs was told two of his cells fell three square feet short of the floor space requirement. The Labette County Sheriff's Department opened a new $1.1 million jail, funded through a special sales tax, in October 1983. Jail plans there were approved by the corrections department, which last year told Sheriff Tom Bringle two of his cells lacked adequate floor space. Finney County spent $2.5 million on a law enforcement center that opened in March 1983. Sheriff Grover Craig says the county was careful to build according to standards. After an inspection last year, Craig was told his 10-man dormitory cell had adequate floor space for only eight prisoners. So many sheriffs have reported similar stories to the Kansas Sheriffs Association that the organization has sought a meeting with corrections department officials to discuss the standards used during the 1985 inspections. Pratt County Sheriff Ray McGuire, who also serves as president of the sheriffs association, says the state's sheriffs support humane treatment of prisoners but cannot ask taxpayers to remodel or build a new jail every time the standards change. The sheriffs, McGuire said, want some kind of agreement that jails remodeled or constructed under one set of standards will not be cited for deficiencies if the standards change. Many sheriffs fear a bad report card by the corrections department could be used against them in court if a prisoner were to claim inhumane treatment and file a suit based on overcrowding, McGuire says. Others, such as Labette County's Bringle, are concerned voters will see the discrepancies as a sign the county has wasted their tax dollars. have to temporarily borrow $30 million to $50 million at various times during the next fiscal year. Shields also outlined the governor's proposed $144.5 million investment budget, which would include an additional $30 million for an economic development highway program, $21.9 million more for public schools, $18.4 million for various state university programs and $8 million to reduce reappraisal costs for counties. Shields said the remainder of the sales tax increase would help bolster ending balances in the state general fund. Haggard expected to testify today By CAROL LICHTI Staff Writer The fate of a Salina man accused of raping and robbing a woman will be in the hands of a jury today after he testifies in Saline County District Court. Nathan L. Haggard, 25, 1227 N. Ninth, is expected to testify in the case charging him with aggravated burglary, rape, aggravated sodomy and robbery. Testimony in the trial began Wednesday before District Judge David Knudson. The woman, who was on the witness stand for about an hour Wednesday, testified that she awoke at 2:45 a.m. Sept. 6 because of a knock on the door. She said she did not answer the door, but instead went to check on her 22-month-old daughter who was sleeping in another room. "I saw someone coming in my window," she said. She said she screamed when the man, whom she later identified as Haggard, saw her. He choked her and told her not to scream, she said. During the four hours he was in her apartment, she said Haggard raped her, had her perform oral sex, threatened her and her daughter and robbed her of $12, her driver's license and a personal letter. The woman also testified that during those hours she tried to befriend Haggard to learn details about him. "I wanted him to think I liked it and I liked him," she said. "I didn't want him to hurt me or my child. I talked to him about his life and he asked me questions about mine." She said at one point she went through his clothes to determine if he had a weapon and asked him to pull her hair to see if he would still hurt her. She testified she also gave him a glass of water, hoping that his fingerprints would be left on the glass. But no prints were obtained. Under cross examination she said she was angry when he left with her money and the personal letter, but that she did not concoct the rape story out of anger. "This is not a story. This is fact," she said. "I was frightened for my life and my child's life." She said she invited Haggard to come back the next night so that she could have the police there to apprehend him. Salina Police Detectives Ron Downing and Tom Payne both testified that the woman made a composite sketch of Haggard and identified two photographs of the defendant from police mug shot files. The two detectives who went to arrest Haggard said he told them the rape accusation was not true. Haggard gave the detectives the clothes he was wearing that night and the items he had taken from the woman. Downing said Haggard told him in a later interview that he was walking home when the woman called to nun from her apartment and invited him in. Haggard told the detective that he took the money, driver's license and letter to prove he would,come back to see her. Haggard's sister, Felicia Bowers, 1227 N. Ninth, testified as a defense witness that her brother had asked her that morning to babysit for the woman's daughter that night. HBO, Cinemax thwart satellite dish owners Sunflower announces layoffs to reduce costs HAYS (AP) — The financially troubled Sunflower Electric Cooperative announced Wednesday a series of cost-cutting measures — including some layoffs — that would result in savings of $550,000 a year. Mona Grimsley, a Sunflower spokeswoman, said a total of eight supervisory workers at the Hays headquarters and Holcomb generating plant would be laid off effective today. Cost-cutting measures relating to 24 other job positions also will take effect, she said, but the company refused to say how those jobs would be affected. The Hays-based cooperative, which provides electricity to eight rural electric co-ops that serve about 44,000 people in the western third of Kansas, had 251 employees before the layoffs. Sunflower General Manager Steve Thompson was in Washington Wednesday and unavailable for comment. But in a company statement, he said the reductions resulted from the cooperative's "commitment to scrutinize operations for efficiency." "We are hopeful that these reductions, in conjunction with other organizational and cost-reduction measures previously implemented, will result in more cost-effective operations, which will help hold down electric costs to Sunflower's members and western Kansas rate payers," Thompson said in the statement. For the past six months, Sunflower has been looking for ways to restructure its $650-million debt. The National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corp. in Washington, D.C., had spearheaded a debt restructur- ing plan to aid the ailing cooperative. But the restructuring plans collapsed when the Kansas Corporation Commission rejected a provision that would have allowed Sunflower to pass on to its customers any interest rate increases that occur on the utility's debt. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has given Sunflower until the end of January to make a payment on a federally guaranteed loan used to build the coal-fired generating plant at Holcomb in southwestern Kansas. By JILL CASEY Staff Writer As of Wednesday, the satellite dishes that have cropped up — mostly on the lawns of rural homes— no longer could harvest the signals from Home Box Office and Cinemax. Dish owners who tuned to those channels found a rolling, fuzzy picture. Full-time scrambling of the channels' satellite signals had begun in a war against pirating of pay television. HBO and Cinemax are the nation's premier movie and entertainment cable channels. From 700 to 800 satellite dishes have been installed in the Salina area, among 1.5 million nationwide. Owners of satellite dishes used to be able to view the pay television channels at no cost. Those who subscribe to the channels through cable television companies must pay a monthly rate. If dish owners living in areas without access to cable television wish to keep watching the movie channels, they must purchase a decoder at a cost of about $300. "We're going to miss them," said Linda Kinderknecht, Salina Rt. 2, of the channels. "We just bought our dish this summer and now we'll have to turn around and spend more money." Dishes cost from $1,800 to $2,000 and can receive 165 channels, said Charles Latham Sr. of Latham's TV and Satellite Sales and Service, 1819 S. Broadway. Latham said he believes the fiasco over pay television and satellites began when hotels purchased dishes and used "free movies" to lure guests. "It's legal to have a satellite (dish)," Latham said. "It's illegal to have a satellite (dish) and sell the services." More city dwellers with access to cable, he said, are purchasing dishes because they provide viewers with many more options than cable service. "We're just losing two pay channels," he said. "But if you pull a dandelion out of the front yard you'll find another one in the morning." The National Cable Association probably will be pulling more dandelions, or scrambling the signals of other channels, by the end of the year. Among them are CBN, CNN, Headline News and WTBS-Atlanta, the Disney Channel, MTV and its counterpart VH-1, the children's cable program service Nickelodeon, Showtime, the Movie Channel, the Playboy Channel, the ESPN sports cable, USA Network variety programming and New York City's WOR-TV. The channels left don't carry what is considered premium programming, such as current and uninterrupted movies and cable entertainment specials. The remaining channels will consist of foreign television, local access channels and some public television channels, according to the New York Times. Latham said he doesn't expect to see a drop in satellite dish sales, but he does think he'll have to be more informative in selling the positive aspects of dishes to customers. "The people I'm worried about are the people wanting to buy satellites who don't know quite what they're getting," he said. "We just need to show them how much they can get with a satellite." Caldwell honored in Topeka TOPEKA (AP) — Former state Rep. Robert Caldwell of Salina was presented the governor's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award Wednesday by Gov. John Carlin in ceremonies at theStatehouse. Caldwell, 415 E. Crawford, also is a former Salina city commissioner and mayor. "Let's continue to fight for that dream like Dr. Martin Luther King wanted us to do," Caldwell said in accepting the award. At the ceremony at the Statehouse rotunda, Carlin about 1,000 people to follow the dream of King, a minister and civil rights leader who was slain in 1968.

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