The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 15, 2001 · Page 9
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 9

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, April 15, 2001
Page 9
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SUNDAY APRIL 15; 2001 THE SALINA JOURNAL Great Plains A LOOK AHEAD / B2 DEATHS / B3 BBIEFIY City to consider line-painting bid The Salina City Commission Monday will consider awarding a contract for painting lines on approximately 76 miles of city streets. The low bidder for the project is Twin Traffic Marking Corp., Riverside, Mo., whose bid was $16,400. The city engineer's estimate for the project was $18,146. The line-painting will be done in May Monday's meeting will begin at 4 p.m. in Room 107 of the City-County Building. County to iook at vehicle replacement The Saline County Commission Tuesday will consider replacing five vehicles for the Saline County Sheriff's Office. Sheriff Glen Kochanowski is requesting commissioners approve, with trade in of old vehicles, and the purchase of the new vehicles from Long McArthur, 3450 S. Ninth, for $145,656. That price includes the purchase of some equipment and is $15,656 more than authorized in the 2001 equipment fund. Interim County Administrator Rita Deister is recommending commissioners approve the purchase of the vehicles.with­ out some of the requested equipment at a cost of $129,078, slightly below the $130,000 authorized for vehicle purchases. She recommended the remaining equipment be purchased at the end of the year if Kochanowski has enough surplus in his office's budget. Tuesday's meeting begins at 11 a.m. in Room 107 of the City-County Building. Youth leader faces molestation charge LAWRENCE — A Tonganoxie church youth group leader has pleaded guilty to charges of molesting four teen-age boys who were members of his church. Daniel Walter Peterson, 33, of Lawrence, was a youth group leader at the Tonganoxie United Methodist Church. He pleaded guilty Friday in Douglas County District Court to committing criminal sodomy and three counts of indecent liberties with a child. The offenses became known after a boy at the church told the minister that sexual crimes had been committed at Petersen's Lawrence home. The minister contacted Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services officials, who then called police. Authorities said the boys were from 13 to 15 years old at the time of the incidents, which occurred between 1997 and 2000. Peterson had been charged with eight counts of aggravated indecent liberties against a child, two counts of criminal sodomy and one count of aggravated sexual battery Those charges were reduced in the final complaint. Douglas County District Judge Michael Malone said Peterson could face nearly six years in prison on the criminal sodomy charge alone. On the three other charges, Peterson could be sentenced to an additional two years and 10 months each, Malone said. Wichita woman confesses to forgery WICHITA — A Wichita woman has pleaded guilty to forging checks to herself to launder $567,238 from the trucking company she worked for Deanna J. Stroud, 55, entered the plea in U.S. District Court in Wichita Thursday Stroud admitted to eight counts of check forgery and three counts of money laundering. She committed the crimes while working as a bookkeeper for Metro Express 'in Wichita. From Staff and Wire 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 1-800827-6363. Corrections will run In this space as soon as possible. • LOBBYIST LAW Lobby law has legislators gun-shy Added accountability leads to 22 percent decrease in perks for lawmakers By JOHN HANNA The Associated Press TOPEKA — Many legislators have experienced buyers' remorse for months, and their discomfort may yet change the state's lobbyist disclosure laws. Last year, lawmakers approved and Gov Bill Graves signed a proposal to strengthen those laws. The changes took effect July 1 and required lobbyists to report the names of legislators and legislative staff who receive their gifts and meals, and the value. But in January, before the law was in effect seven months, many legislators began planning to change it. They viewed it as too burdensome and said it focused too much attention on trivial in­ teractions of daily legislative life. The House approved a proposal to lessen the disclosure requirements, and the Senate Elections and Local Government Committee drafted its own alternative. The committee's plan will be awaiting debate when the Legislature reconvenes April 25. GOP leaders haven't yet scheduled that debate, and some senators have misgivings about tinkering with lobbying laws. However, even those who think the Legislature should wait to consider changes believe their colleagues still desire change. "I think the same concerns are there that members always had," said Sen. Derek Schmidt, R-Independence. Last year, supporters of increased lobbyist disclosure, including Graves, said the new law would give Kansans more information about how special interests are trying to influence policy making. While that has happened, there's strong evidence the changes have led to less hospitality from lobbyists for legislators. According to figures compiled by the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission, lobbyists reported spending almost $492,000 in 2000, most of it on meals, snacks and drinks for legislators, their spouses, their staffs and other officials. That's about $139,000, or 22 percent below 1999's total reported spending of nearly $631,000. It also was the lowest figure since 1988, when lobbyists spent about $450,000. Spending from May 1 through Dec. 31 was $69,349 — about 36 percent of the more than $188,000 spent during those same eight months in 1999. Also, lobbyist spending for January and February of this year was about $262,000, almost $10,000, or 4 percent, behind last year's total of $272,000 for the same two months. "There are a lot of legislators who are nervous about having meals reported," said Rep. Tony Powell, R-Wichita, chairman of the House Ethics and Elections Committee. "In turn, lobbyists know legislators are reticent and aren't offering to take them out as much." The House's proposal on lobbying would change the law so that lobbyists would not have to itemize the meals they provide to individual legislators if those meals are worth less than $25. Small gifts under $15 also wouldn't have to be reported. In both cases, lobbyists stiU would have to report their total spending on gifts and food and beverage. The House plan expands an exemption in the current law that doesn't require itemized reporting of meals when they are served at events to which all legislators or an entire Republican or Democratic caucus is invited. See LOBBY, Page B2 BARN-RAISING JEFF COOPER / The Salina Journal Kellie Goodell holds a ladder for one of the family members who is helping her build a pole barn on her property in southern Saline County. BuUding optimism Family gathers to help local woman with breast cancer By TANA THOMSON Tlie Salina Journal Kellie Goodell, 36, has been riding horses as long as she can remember. She's been showing horses since she was 5-years-old. Just brushing them is a comfort. And so it goes with the rest of her family — her mom, dad, brother and his wife and their daughter. Love of horses even reaches her cousins. And Dylan, her 3-year-old son, has the bug now, too. So, it is fitting Goodell's family took it upon themselves Friday and Saturday to build a simple barn to shelter Goodell's horses and their hay at Goodell's rural home just south of Salina. Her brother Kevin Watts, BrookviUe, served as barn- building foreman because he had experience building a couple of small pole barns. Everyone gathered out- 1 I JEFF COOPER / The Salina Journal The barn begins to take shape on the Goodell property Saturday morning. side for the second day of work with people climbing wind-shaken ladders and carrying and tacking up planks. Later, they would have an Easter feast. "This is something we wanted to do for her," said Goodell's mother, Joyce Watts, Bennington. So when her daughter said it was time to build the barn, Watts got on the horn and gath­ ered up the family With such busy family members, Joyce Watts said she told them, "It's (Easter) weekend, or else." Goodell's family has a special reason to pull together for the barn-raising as she was diagnosed with breast cancer last September. But Goodell said her family has always been close-knit. See BARN, Page B2 T KANSAS CITY lUIURDERS Cannibdism part of murder probe Kansas City man charged with three counts of murder By The Associated Press KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A man has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder in a case that investigators say involved "deviant cannibalistic tendencies." Marc V. Sappington, 21, was charged Friday with killing three men since April 7. He was being held on $2 million bond. His first court appearance was scheduled for Monday afternoon, and a lawyer was expected to be appointed to represent him. Wyandotte County District Attorney Nick Tomasic said late Friday that police also were investigating whether Sappington was -connected to another homicide about two weeks ago. Authorities would not detail any evidence of cannibalism, but Kansas City Kan., police Lt. Vince Davenport, commander of the homicide division, said "deviant cannibalistic tendencies" were the "primary motivation for committing these crimes." Police also said Sappington had a fascination with Jeffrey Dahmer, who was arrested in 1991 and admitted killing 17 young men and boys, mutilating the victims and cannibalizing some of them. Dahmer was serving 15 life terms in Wisconsin's Columbia Correctional Institution when he was beaten to death by an inmate Nov. 28, 1994. Police said the three homicides in which Sappington has been charged all took place within a mile and a half of the house where Sappington lived. They also said Sappington knew all of the victims. Sappington was taken into custody Thursday afternoon for questioning in the death of a 16-year-old Alton "Fred" TFIRE Police said Sappington had a fascination with Jeffrey Dahmer, who was arrested in 1991 and admitted killing 17 young men and hoys, mutilating the victims and cannibalizing some of them. Brown, whose dismembered body was found in Sappington's basement. Brown's body was found Tuesday night after Sappington's mother, who also lived in the house, noticed blood on the basement stairs and called police. Authorities said Brown had been shot to death, and his arms had been severed and his legs cut off at the knees. Sappington also was charged Friday with the slayings of Terry Green, 25, and Michael Weaver, 22. Police said Green was killed with a knife April 7 in the Kansas City, Kan., house where Sappington lived. Green's body was found Tuesday under a tarp in a car parked in a lot in Kansas City, Mo. Weaver was stabbed Tuesday in or near his Kansas City, Kan., home, police said. After he was stabbed, Weaver got into a car and drove a block, where he was found dead shortly before 10 a.m., police said. Sappington also is charged with kidnapping a 36-year-old woman Tuesday. Authorities say Sappington allegedly approached a woman with a pistol and stole her car. The woman was able to escape. Authorities think the kidnapping occurred between the killings of Weaver and Brown. Restaurant damage estimated at $25,000 Smoke and flames cause evacuation of customers at 4 p.m. The Salina Journal About 50 customers and employees had to be evacuated from Western Sizzlin Steak House when it caught fire Saturday at about 4 p.m. According to Western Sizzlin employees, the front part of the building, 1708 W. Crawford, was filled with smoke, and everyone was told to leave the building, but no one was hurt. The small fire at the southeast corner of the roof was put out within the hour. The cause of the fire was still under investigation, but Leonard "Dub" McElroy, owner of Western Sizzlin, said he thought it might be a neon sign on the front of the building. "I just thought it was the grill," said Susan Maybee, an employee who had just started work when she noticed the smoke. Crawford Street was closed between Choctaw Avenue and Willow Street for a little more than an hour while the fire was being doused. The amount of damage was still being investigated Saturday but McElroy said he wouldn't be surprised if the cleanup, loss of business, loss of food and damage repair costs would total at least $25,000. "It smoked for quite a while," McElroy said. Saturday evening he was fairly siure the restaurant would reopen this morning. Firefighters investigated the building's interior and used a thermal imaging camera to detect where the heat was, said Virg Augustine, division chief of the Salina Fire Department. Then firefighters broke through the underpart of the roof to get to the fire. SUGGESTIONS? CALL BEN WEARING, DEPUTY EDITOR, AT 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363 OR E-MAIL AT 8jbwearlng

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