THE SALINA JOURNAL GREAT PLAINS TUESDAY, APRIL 17, 2001 A3 T CRASHES 2 arrested following 2 crashes No one injured in wrecks that stem from same incident By The Salina Journal One incident resulted in two separate crashes, two arrests for driving under the influence and one stolen car — but only minor injuries to those involved, Saline County Sheriff Glen Kochanowski said. It all started at 7:25 p.m.Sat- urday when a pickup driven by Gerald Coffman, 53, Solomon, tried to pass a car driven by Allen Streaker that was traveling east on Old Highway 40 one-half mile east of the Ohio Street intersection. Strecker's rural Saline County family including his wife and two children, ages 11 and 13, were in the car, Kochanowski said. While passing, Coffman lost control of his pickup, and it went into the ditch and rolled. A friend of Coffman's, Tony Penry, 28, Salina, was traveling behind Coffman in a minivan. Both Penry and Strecker slowed their vehicles as they watched the pickup crash. Penry, his attention diverted by the crashing pickup, drove into the ;rear of Strecker's car. I Investigators later arrested iPenry on suspicion of DUI, the 'sheriff said. I Kochanowski said Penry got but of his minivan to check on the Streckers and then helped Coffman, who suffered only minor injuries. I, Once freed, the sheriff said, poffman ran for Penry's mini- Jran and drove it away He was quickly apprehended by officers. Coffman faces several pharges, including DUI and deprivation of property for tak- '^ing the minivan. T NICODEMUS Town's booster comes back with paper strong ties to black town leads to woman creating newspaper By JOY LEIKER Hays Daily News BOGUE — Angela Bates- Tompkins is at it again. The 48-year-old Nicodemus descendant swore she'd never dig as deep as she had a few years ago. She had reached the bottom of the barrel, and admits she ran out of steam. "I was burnt out and burnt up," she said. But it wasn't until one of her closest friends visited that she realized how the "little things" in her life had taken over her entire life. Every nook and cranny of her small Graham County house was crammed with papers and boxes. Pictures and posters lined every spot on the wall. It was then that Bates-Tompkins said she took a look at what her friend was talking about. "There was barely a path to walk through," she said of her house. But the trouble was, all of those mementos, although not packed away in a nice and neat fashion, were reflections of a quiet, solace place that she has adored since her childhood. She didn't want to give up any of those things, but it was to the point she was not enjoying herself anymore. Afterall, she had spent the past 10 years obsessing about her hometown of Nicodemus — organizing events, including the annual summertime Homecoming celebration, as well as serving on the board of the town's historical society Over the years, she's written hundreds of articles about Nicodemus, the last surviving town west of the Mississippi River that was settled entirely by African Americans following the Civil War In its prime, during the late 19th century. Now, the community is home only to 20 residents. And thanks to Bates-Tompkins, the newspaper is back, too. The first edition of the Nicodemus Western Cyclone II rolled off the presses in January, and this past week, Bates-Tompkins finished work on the second edition. The publication is like most community newspapers. It includes news about its residents, and the results of projects from within the community But it also covers just as much of the community's history as it does the current happenings. Bates-Tompkins plans to publish the Cyclone II every three months. Annual subscriptions are $15 and can be sent to the Nicodemus Group, RO. Box 29, Bogue 67625. Taxes / Raises sought for state employees FROM PAGE A1 Raises for state employees — 1,5 percent July 1 and another 1.5 percent raise Jan. 1 — are another component, and Sherrer defended that increase. "They're good people," he said. "They've got families to raise, too, and for us to put the burden of the budget on their backs is absolutely wrong." A 1 percent spending increase could be possible without reducing the SRS medical caseload, Sherrer said, if the state were willing to kiU the entire highway program, eliminate pay raises for state employees and kiU aU additional funding for the universities, community colleges, vocational schools and K-12 public education. "We'd have a balanced budget," Sherrer said. "Are we going to be able to do that? I would think not." Sherrer said those who blame the budget crunch on growth in state government are wrong, saying most agencies have fewer employees now than they did in 1995 when he became lieutenant governor Sherrer also had criticism for Kansas House members for dismissing the governor's education plan as a "tax biU" the state can't afford, and insisting that the state shouldn't put more money into schools until the state changes the finance formula that allocates those funds. Sherrer said the governor's proposal had innovative measures, such as giving funding incentives to individual schools whose students' test scores showed success. "Most of our proposals were from outside the formula; they were in addition to the formula," Sherrer said. Sherrer said cuts in the property tax levy vehicle registration taxes and inheritance taxes have, over six years, totaled more than $3 bUlion. Brungardt said following Sherrer's address he thinks lawmakers need to make tax adjustments based on circumstances. "There's an element that absolutely will not or does not want to talk about any revenue enhancement," he said, referring to tax hikes. "I don't understand that. If you can cut taxes, you can raise them. If it's the decision you have to make it's going to have to be." Brungardt said he thinks the prospects of a tax increase are good, given growing sentiment to retain existing state programs and to pay the associated costs. He said he's drawn to raising state income taxes because the federal government is talking about cutting federal income taxes. He thinks the Legislature also will consider raising sales taxes and so-caUed "sin taxes" on tobacco and alcohol. State Board of Education member Bruce Wyatt, who was in Monday's audience along with Salina School District Superintendent Gary Norris, said he has confidence lawmakers will give public education a funding boost. Norris said an education spending increase in the neighborhood of $85 to $87 million would give Salina's public schools a 1.2 percent increase. But that increase would merely preserve the status quo in light of mounting utility bills and growing costs for special education programs. • Reporter David Clouston can- be reached at 823-6464, Ext. 131, or by e-mail at sjdclouston@saljour nal.com. YEN CUING Chinese Restsaurant DELIVERY 823-1685 Open 7 days a week Dine In & Carryout 540 S. Bfoadway • 823-2089 Vlorker's Special! $4.00 PER RIDE $3.50 Senior Citizens 785-819-1507 ILIPTCHAIRS B&K PRESCRIPTION SHOP People Helping People...Live Healthier Lives 827-4455 / 1-800-432-0224 601 E. Iron www.bkrx.com Salina, KS «B «iD «!a3 «Hi> «SD eo «D «50 CE) «D «aED eo ffiD CE) ROUNDTREE & YORKE KNIT SHIRT Lock stitch collar, will not curl after washing Cover stitching on shoulder and arm seams for strength and durability Our Comfortable & Durable Shirt At A Great Price! 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