Red crush Nebraska shuts down K-State offense in win / D1 SPORTS With new owner, RV factory in Minneapolis picks up steam / C1 MONHY: •;!/•••••••: • last Chance: Israel and Palestine resume tense peace talks today / A9 • Fine light: county looks at changes in rural fire district / A10 ' INSIDE - High: 77 Low. 50 Partly cloudy today with a 20 pecent chance of rain; winds shitting north / B7 WEATHER Classified / C3 Crossword / B8 Deaths/A11 Great Plains / A3 Life/B1 Money /C1 Sports/ D1 Viewpoints / A4 INDEX Salina Journal SUNDAY OCTOBERS, 1996 SALINA, KANSAS $1.50 T CAMPAIGN '96 Dole needs to gain points in debate But just staying close could be enough as perception is the key By SCOTT SHEPARD Cox News Service HARTFORD, Conn. — There is no way to exaggerate how important it is for Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole to perform well in the first of two debates with President Clinton. No presidential candidate in modern history has overcome the gap in the polls Dole faces with little more than four weeks left in the campaign. But if Dole is going to make history, it has to begin with a better- than-expected performance in Bushnell Memorial Hall here T HOSPITAL MERGER Hospital merger reported as smooth , r Though some feelings remain ruffled, officials pleased with first year By GORDON D. FIEDLER JR. The Salina Journal Sitting outside what for them will always be Asbury Hospital, Barbara Turner and Geraldine Lane lamented the consolidation a year ago of Salina's two hospitals. Asbury-Salina Regional Medical Center and St. John's Regional Health Center ceased to exist at midnight Oct. 1, 1995, becoming, respectively, the Santa Fe and Penn campuses of Salina Regional Health Center. Almost all of the inpatient services went to the Santa Fe campus, which increased its daily business and, according to Turner and Lane, reduced convenience. "I was in the waiting room (in intensive care) and someone came up and asked if there was any vacancies in 1C. All the beds were filled," said Lane, a former Sail- nan now living in Wichita. Turner was concerned for the health center's older patients and visitors who must negotiate a more congested parking lot. "With two (hospitals), they would carry the same traffic," said Turner, who lives near the former St. John's and where she frequently eats lunch. "St. John's is almost dead. The parking lot was always full. Now you might see only seven cars in the lot." In a waiting room inside the health center, Norma Jean Yarger of Goodland expressed what administrators hope is the prevailing attitude among the community, patients and staff regarding the consolidation, which, they say, after a year has met and exceeded its goals. "I know from seeing other hospitals it had gotten to the point they had to do something feasible to operate (without) duplication, especially in a town of this size," said Yarger, a retired nurse. That something, for Asbury and St. John's, was to pen a nonbind- ing memorandum of understanding in October 1994 to consolidate and become one hospital. 'Six months later, the proposal cleared federal antitrust hurdles. At midnight Oct. 1, 1995, Asbury and St. John's officially were no more. A quick marriage Just two years before, a merger or consolidation was too remote for discussion. Both hospitals nearly consolidated in 1986, but St. John's owners nixed the plan in the llth hour. • ' See HOSPITAL, Page A10 CLINTON DOLE tonight for the first of two face-to- face showdowns with Clinton. "Bob Dole has to swing for a home run," said Robert Fenton, a political communications expert at Virginia Tech hi Blacksburg, Va. In many ways, presidential debates are a game of performance expectations, rather than a demonstration of command over the facts that jam the thick brief- ing books candidates use to prepare. "The general rule is always to lower expectations," said former Republican Party chairman Frank AP/T. Durand Fahrenkopf, co-chair of the Commission on Presidential Debates. "Whether you're a good debater or a bad debater, you always want to build up your opponent." Consequently, Dole and his advisers have spent weeks portraying Clinton as the most skilled of debaters — "smooth talking," Dole called him, "someone who can charm the birds out of the trees," adviser Carroll Campbell said of the president. And they have apparently been effective. A recent Pew Research Center for The People and The Press poll shows that while 70 percent of Americans expect Clinton to win the debate, only 20 percent expect Dole to win. What's more, the huge gap has also translated into a meager 43 percent of those people polled saying that they planned to watch the debate — down from 67 percent in 1992. Despite Dole trailing badly in the polls, Republican Party Chair- man Haley Barbour said Friday that the debates would be "the starting gun" of the campaign, finally focusing the attention of un-, decided voters. Clinton is, in fact, by all accounts, an extraordinary debater. But he also is susceptible to gaffes, — like his very unpresidential willingness to discuss his underwear and his lighthearted re-' sponse to a question about his youthful attempt to use marijuana. Barbour also said to expect Dole to raise questions about what the! RNC chairman described as "the; ethical sleaziness" of the Clinton; administration, particularly the! recent flap over the White House! obtaining FBI background files on; previous GOP administration offi-; cials. Photos by KELLY PRESNELL/The Salina Journal Zachary Short has a tough time getting on his sunflower even with the help of his mother, Lisa, before Saturday's parade In Assaria. The Shorts were on the Kids Yardstick Garden float during the 11 Oth anniversary celebration. A Strong Voice Growing community keeps pace with its 90-year-old 'Voice' By CHRIS KOGER The Salina Journal ASSARIA — Elvera Olson, just days shy of her 90th birthday, takes pride in knowing most of the people in Assaria. She visits locals when they're in the hospital and takes time to talk to people at the local hardware/convenience store. Only lately, Olson said, has she had trouble keeping up with the new faces as more and more families move to the Assaria area. "New families are moving in, and it's harder to keep up with who they all are. Most of them have had children, too," said Olson, who was grand marshal in Saturday's parade to celebrate the town's 110th anniversary. Community pride is still strong, as is participation in Assaria's PRIDE program. "A lot of them are in the PRIDE program, and they are all interested in the town,"- said Olson, who is known as the "Voice of Assaria" because of her columns in the Lindsborg News-Record. "Some of us still don't know all of the people, but we need to get together more. This is one way to do it." Hundreds of area residents gathered for the parade and oth- er activities Saturday, including a volleyball tournament, dance and music. Olson, sitting in a convertible with her black toy poodle, Cinder, listened as Assaria Mayor Rick Johnson told the crowd about Olson's involvement in the town, from the time she picked up an interest in photography to the countless sporting and other events in the town. "I imagine many in this crowd have at one time or another had their picture taken by Elvera," Johnson said. Assaria was named after the Assaria Lutheran Church, built in 1877. Assaria, a Biblical name, means "The Lord will help," said William Buschbom, pastor of the church. Nine years after the original church was built, the town was, incorporated. Eve Rundquist Boyle, whose family moved to Assaria five generations ago, said the town was primarily settled by Swedish immigrants, but Irish, English and Scottish people were also instrumental in founding the town. "I can remember it being very Swedish when we were kids," said Rundquist Boyle, Salina. "There was always a bench in front of the grocery with old Children along the Assaria parade route plead for entrants to toss them some candy. school. "We ended up talking English. I finished my confirmation class over here in both English and Swedish," she said. "My folks insisted on that." The parade was short by some men in overalls and hats who would sit and converse in Swedish. You don't hear that anymore; that's probably one of the biggest changes I've seen." Olson and her friends spoke only Swedish until they went to standards, lasting three blocks, but there wasn't any disappointment, especially from children laden with candy they scooped off the street. "I got a whole pocketful," said Joni Heimer, 8, who rode on the Little Tot Christian Preschool float. Her mother, Lori Heimer, teaches at the preschool. Like other towns, Assaria has weathered floods, but Olson said things have been better since the dam was built at Kanopolis Reservoir. "Years and years ago, we had a lot of flooding. It came clear up into the town of Assaria," said Olson, who was married to the late Emoch Olson, who ran a general merchandise store in town. Many people spent the day looking into Assaria's history, but Mayor Johnson is still looking ahead. The town, he said, has the best of four worlds: the convenience of Salina's services, the closeness of Lindsborg, an excellent school system with Southeast of Saline, and a rural setting. "I think we're well on our way to 200 years as a community," Johnson said. "We have a new housing development going up in eastern Assaria, with room for 10 to 15 houses."
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