The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 15, 2001 · Page 29
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 29

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Salina, Kansas
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Sunday, April 15, 2001
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Page 29
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. SUNDAY At^RIL 1$, 2001 THE SAUNA JOURNAL KB TOYS / E2 REAL ESTATE WATCH / E3 CONSUMER / E4 SAUNA'S INTERNET SERVICE Cox promises faster Internet service Cox cable customers can buy Road Runner service for a $29.95 monthly fee By DAVID CLOUSTON The Salina Journal A new player in the race to deliver high-speed broadband Internet service to homes has arrived in Salina with a logo as familiar as Saturday morning cornflakes and cartoons. Road Runner Internet from Cox Communications cable television service promises connection speeds through home cable TV lines as quick as its cartoon namesake. Cable modems needed to connect with the service have been selling briskly since they went on sale earlier this month at Slappy's Electric Paradise, 2501 Market. Slappy's is partnering with Cox Communications to provide the hardware for the service while the cable company provides the connection. Cable modem service is competing in the home Internet business with DSL Internet access, an acronym for digital subscriber line. Several local Internet providers are offering DSL service through Southwestern Bell's local phone network. Cable modems and DSL offer Internet connectivity at speeds comparable to a Tl line, the kind of service most often used by businesses. Each is multiple times faster than a standard dial- up phone line or 28.8 or 56K computer modem. Cox offers Road Runner service to its existing cable customers for $29.95 a month. That doesn't include the cost of the cable modem, which can be purchased for $240 from Slappy's or $259 from the Cox cable office at 144 N. Seventh. Modem rental is available for $15 a month in addition to the monthly cost of service. Service is available to Road Runner Service Information about the service is available on the Internet at www.cox.com/kansas. Additional questions can be answered by calling the Road Runner customer service office in Wichita at 1-888-952- FAST non-Cox cable TV customers for an extra $10 a month. The installation cost ranges from $89.95 for a full installation by Cox that includes installing an Ethernet card in the customer's computer if it doesn't already have one, connecting the modem and configuring computer settings. Cable modem installation and activation alone is available for $29.95 and self-installation is available for $9.95, which covers the cost of activation. Service will be introduced throughout Salina in stages as the equipment in each area becomes ready, said Carolyn Chapman, high speed data marketing manager for Cox Communications in Wichita,. "By the end of the month, it should be available across the city Customers can preregister online, and as their node becomes ready, we'll e-mail them a reminder, and they can call us to sign up," Chapman said. Cable modem users can be on the Internet without tying up their telephone lines and while watching TV. Access is constant — no dial-up is necessary to log on to the Internet. The service also allows up to three computers in a home to be networked and connected to the Internet at the same time. Thus far, Cox has 25,000 Road Runner subscribers in Kansas, a small portion of its 307,000 cable customers. "We're attracting a variety of users — home businesses, families, gamers," Chapman said. "We're not just reaching the techies and early adopters. We're reaching mOre dial-up users." Slappy's has a computer on display at the front of its store to demonstrate the service to users. As an example of , the speed of the cable service, it usually takes one or two minutes to download an MP3 audio file of a song rather than a half-hour with a standard modem, Slappy's co-owner Brent Sadler said. Sadler said Salinans are getting a good deal from Cox on the cost of the service. In some areas of the country, cable Internet service costs $40 to $55 monthly, he said. • Reporter David Clouston can be reached at 823-6464, Ext. 131, or by email at sjdclouston@saljournal.com RUSSELL'S RESTAURANTS TOM DORSEY / The Salina Journal Joyce and Scott Russell have opened Russell's Neighborhood Grill at the Phoenix complex, Fifth and Iron. Rival Downtown grill to vie for customers with longtime west Salina restaurant By DAVID CLOUSTON The Salina Journal It's the old cliche: "What's in a name?" with a new twist. Two Salina restaurants — one long-established, the 'pther new but with a familiar name — are competing for the loyalty of customers hankering for home- style food. Scott Russell this month opened Russell's Neighborhood Grill at the Phoenix complex, Fifth and Iron. In doing so, he re-establishes the Russell family in the restaurant business, a tie that was broken when Russell's Restaurant, 649 Westport, was sold last year. Russell is the son of the late Keith Russell, who opened Russell's Restaurant in the early 1970s in west Salina near Interstate Highway 135. His father built the business into one of the better-known restaurants in Salina and the state, with a reputation for its luscious pies and baked goods. After Keith Russell died in 1985, his wife, Karen, managed the business until selling it to Bob Berthelson of Lincoln in February 2000. Berthelson, with 30 years in the restaurant business, owns Russell's and a restaurant in Reed Springs, Mo. His son runs a restaurant in Lincoln. "Keith was a wonderful operator I only hope I can get a portion of that back," Berthelson said. Following the Russell's sale, Karen Russell and her stepson, Scott, each subsequently worked at the restaurant at the Red Coach Inn, 2110 W. Crawford, until Karen left to pursue other interests. Scott worked with other restaurant chains and in the wholesale grocery business until he decided to open a restaurant at the Phoenix. Scott Russell said he regrets his stepmother's decision to sell Rus­ sell's, which is why he's playing up his family name in advertising for the new restaurant. Meanwhile, Berthelson said he's rebuilding Russell's into a profitable operation. "I specialize in restaurants that have fallen on hard times or have had poor management," Berthelson said. "Russell's is a large restaurant, but it's ideal. In 1998, it did nearly $2 million in sales. Those are huge numbers for a privately owned restaurant. Karen and Scott should have been able to operate it and make $100,000 apiece and been happy See RUSSELL'S, Page E3 T K&O RAILROAD: OSBORNE TO SALINA Will rail service resurface? if so, Osborne area farmers would send more wheat to Salina By TIM UNRUH Tlie Salina Journal OSBORNE — Whether Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad officials upgrade an old line near here is anyone's guess, but the idea is encouraging to the local economy Denver-based OmniTRAX announced earlier this month it lias agreed to buy Central Kansas Railway, with 900 miles of track in western Kansas, including a line from Salina to Osborne. Only the railroad is not suited for heavy transport on the eight miles between tiny Corinth and Osborne. If the company fixed the stretch that was damaged by flooding in 1993, it would represent another market for area farmers. "They've not come into Osborne for several years," said Margaret VanScyoc, the town's economic development director "We'd like to have them come in, and now, maybe they can." There are terminal grain elevators and a flour mill in Salina, a destination for wheat produced in the Osborne area. The Phillipsburg-based Kyle Railroad serves eight of the Midway Co-op Association's 12 grain elevators. Three of its elevators have no railroad connection, and the other, in Corinth, is on the K&O. Some of the wheat it hauls from Osborne does make it to Salina, first going through Beloit, then around to Solomon east of Salina, said DeU Princ, the cooperative's general manager "Whether it's going to a terminal or to a mill, it's going to go down that track," he said. The new Kansas & Oklahoma line would serve as a more direct route to Salina from Osborne, with connections to the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe line, Princ said. "It gives us different marketing alternatives that can enhance the pricing of our grain," he said. Plenty would have to happen before rail cars loaded with products could travel on that line. See K&O, Page E3 4^ Osborne^t.,^ Corinth "It gives us different marketing alternatives that can enhance the — pricing of our grain." - Dell Princ Midway Co-op Association general manager Beloit Lincoln Railway purchase OmniTRAX Is purchasing Central Kansas Railway that includes a line from Salina to Osborne. Due to damage In 1993, the stretch between Osborne and Corinth isn't suited for heavy transport. • RETAIL SALES Easter a $2.8 billion holiday it's not Christmas, but it signals start of a new buying season By SAMANTHA THOMPSON Raleigh News & Observer Move over, Christmas. Easter's cashing in. And not only Easter bonnets and church suits get rung up at cash registers. Easter buying today is about gourmet jelly beans and cream- filled chocolate eggs, honey- baked hams, stuffed bunnies, Easter wreaths and greeting cards. Throw in a few lilies, some Easter eggs and decorating kits, and you'll find Easter has blossomed into a more than $2.8 billion holiday "It's one of the most important seasonal events in the spring season for us," said Steve Pernotto, a senior vice president at Belk, the Charlotte, N.C.-based department- store chain. The holiday probably is even bigger than $2.8 billion. The National Retail Federation can easily track sales of candy and Easter decorations. But when it comes to new Easter clothes, groceries for Sunday dinner and flowers sent to grandmother, specific sales are tougher to estimate. Still, U.S. consumers who celebrate Easter were expected to spend an average of $106.90 this year, according to the International Mass Retail Association. Shoppers surface The holiday isn't as big a spending event as Christmas, but it's important to retailers, in part because it signals the start of a new buying season. Easter gives shoppers a reason to be in stores, where they also might decide to buy garderiing items, summer clothes or swimsuits. "Easter has sort of become the entree into the spring season for retailers," said Sarah Scheuer, a spokeswoman for the National Retail Federation, a retail trade group based in Washington. "It kind of gets consumers into the springtime frame of mind." This holiday couldn't come at a better time for retailers, given drooping consumer confidence and slowing retail spending. Although sales growth in April isn't expected to be exactly sugary, some retailers will feel the effects in April of a country with a sweet tooth. Easter candy accounts for the biggest chunk of holiday sales. More than 15 billion jelly beans were bought last year, helping to pump $1.85 billion in candy sales nationwide into the economy This year, Easter candy sales are expected to hit $1.9 billion, second only to the total for Halloween, according to the National Confectioners Association. SUGGESTIONS? CALL BRAD CATT, MONEY EDITOR, AT 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363 OR E-MAIL AT sjbcatt@saljournal.com

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