The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 17, 2001 · Page 9
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 9

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Salina, Kansas
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Tuesday, April 17, 2001
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Page 9
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TUESDAY APRIL 17, 2001 THE SALINA JOURNAL Great Plains A LOOK AHEAD / B2 DEATHS / B3 FUN / B4 • SAUNA CITY COMMISSION 1 new face joins 4 veterans on commission Debbie Divine takes seat on commission; Seaton is new mayor By NATE JENKINS The Salina Journal A first-time commissioner, two re-elected commissioners and a second-term mayor swore to fulfill their duties during the Salina City Commission meeting Monday. Less than two weeks after placing third in the general election behind incumbent Commissioners Alan Jilka and Monte Shadwick, Deborah Divine took her first seat as an elected official. Her husband, John Divine, is a former city commissioner and mayor. BRIEFIY Salina teen reports rape attack in city A 17-year-old girl told police a man tried to rape her while she was walking to a friend's home in west Salina about 1 a.m. Saturday. She said the man called to her and, thinking he needed help, she crossed the street to talk to him. She said she kicked him and ran when he tried to kiss her, but he caught her and carried her to a fence near the railroad tracks and tried to assault hen She convinced him to take her to her house, saying no one was home. Instead she walked with him to her friend's home and, when they arrived, she ran inside and called police. Police haven't located the assailant, who was described as a black man between 20 and 25 years old with a muscular build and about 5-feet, 8-inches tall. He had three stud earrings in each ear and a diamond stud in his nose. City's first black mayor stepping down PARSONS — The first black mayor of Parsons is stepping down after 10 years on the city commission. Commissioner Marvin W. McKnight did not seek re-election. He will be succeeded by Tom Shaw, who was the top vote-getter in the April 3 general election. "I thought it was time to step down," said McKnight, 76. "It's been 10 years that I'll look back on with pleasure." Longtime commissioner Bob Bartelli, who sat next to McKnight for 10 of his 22 years as a commissioner, said he was sorry to see McKnight go. "We didn't always agree," Bartelli said, "but we could always agree to disagree." Colby man, 40, dies in automobile crash COLBY — A Colby man was killed Sunday evening when he was thrown from his car as it crashed into a ditch on Kansas Highway 25 south of Colby David L. Keller, 40, was driving a Chevrolet Corvette at 8:25 p.m. when a rear tire blew out, causing the car to go into the ditch and catch fire, the Kansas Highway Patrol said. KeUer, who was not wearing a seat belt, was dead at the scene. From Staff Reports Because of a Journal error, the date of the Salina Community Theatre Guild's flower sale was incorrect in Saturday's edition. The sale is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in the theater parking lot, 303 E. Iron. In case of rain, the sale will be at Mid-State Plaza. ••••• Because of misinformation provided to the Journal, a story in Saturday's edition about the sentencing of Jim Hocking, Brookville, convicted of hunting violations, was incorrect in Saturday's paper. Because of a plea agreement, Hocking will not have to serve 10 days in jail. ••••• 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. Both Jilka and Shadwick commenced another four-year term Monday — the second such term for each. Divine won a two-year term on the city commission by placing third in the election. She replaces Don Heath, who served four years and did not seek reelection. Heath, who brought a light heart and oftentimes a fistful of witticisms to commission meetings, said serving on other government boards is not part of his immediate plans. Jilka, who was replaced as mayor Monday by Commissioner Kristin Seaton, called Heath, "a model of dignity and integrity" Heath chose not to highlight accomplishments of the commission during his tenure and DIVINE HEATH SEATON kept his comments brief, primarily thanking his family for their support during his term in office. Jilka, on the other hand, reeled off several accomplishments made during his one- year term as mayor, beginning by saying, "Simply put, it's been quite a year" Jilka trumpeted the city's pledge to give dollars toward restoration of the Fox Theatre and the state's pledge to give JILKA more than $12 million for a railroad overpass near the intersection of Ohio and Pacific streets. On a couple of occasions, Jilka referred to his mayoral acceptance speech a year ago, during which he reached out to Salina's Hispanic community and said he would try to set a tone of community acceptance towards minorities. Jilka said he was proud of conversations about race over SHADWICK the past year he helped spur with Salinans. In accepting her second term as mayor, Seaton praised city government for giving residents an excellent value for their tax dollars and viewing city projects "as an opportunity to combine function with amenities." She gave as examples the new Salina Animal Shelter, 239 Second, which is adorned with a brick facade engraved with animal and forest scenes, and plans for integrating art and design with planned street improvements to South Ninth Street. Seaton, who brings a prag- Sending it to Uncie Sam JUSTIN HAYWORTH / The Salina Journal A man drops his tax return Monday in a specially marked mail box set up at the Salina Post Office. IVIonday was the deadline to file taxes, and a steady stream of taxpayers mailed their returns at the post office. T NATURE Professor all croeiked up about frogs Volunteers hit the roads at dusk to listen for the call of the wild By SARAH KESSINGER Harris News Service TOPEKA — University of Kansas herpetologist Joe Collins likes to spend spring nights on dark country roads. As director of the Kansas Amphibian Monitoring Project, he leads a statewide web of 85 volunteers who trek along eastern woody backroads or High Plains byways after spring showers. Each March through June, Collins and his troops have their ears tuned for frogs and toads calling for a mate. Now in its fourth year, the project is taking a gradual pulse of the state's environmental health. Participants are trained to recognize amphibious song then cut loose with notebooks to record which • LEGISLATURE species they hear one evening each month. With nearly four years under the project's belt, one might expect some conclusions. "Really, we're just getting started," Collins said. "If you stop after five years, you only get a snapshot. In 20 years, you might begin to get an idea. I probably will not be alive by the time we have a good picture. But I'm hoping someone will carry this on." Volunteers fill out a data sheet with the time, temperature, wind speed, cloud cover and a rating for the frog chorus volume. They also identify which amphibian is performing that night. "Some take tape recorders along to play and get choruses started. You can fool them," Collins said. The Kansas project is one of the most active within the North American Amphibian Monitoring Project. Volunteers carry cards de- "Amphibians seem to be very good monitors of our environment" Ken Brunson Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks daring them "official amphibian call listeners" to show any law officers who might stop them and ask why they're wandering about after dusk. Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks sponsors the research to better understand threats to the state's water, wildlife and, ultimately, its people. If amphibian numbers take a dive, the project can pinpoint where and research why "Amphibians seem to be very good monitors of our environment," said Ken Brunson, wildlife diversity coordinator for the Department of Wildlife and Parks. "They're good miners' canaries." The state has a grasp of which frogs and toads are out there, but is unclear how many. "We have a good idea of their distribution, but not the numbers," Brunson said. "I think we'll see a pretty impressive survey of frogs and toads and that in most places they're doing quite well." Reintroducing a species One species has disappeared — the pickerel frog, which lived in caves of southeast Kansas several decades ago. No one is certain if environmental damage from mining or drought might have been the cause. One of Collins' graduate students recently reintroduced the pickerel in Cherokee County So far the new group has survived. Collins hopes all species survive. "It won't be a very nice place if they don't." matic, often no-nonsense approach to commission meetings, also praised Salina for "continuing to rank at the bottom in terms of tax burden." She praised city staff, saying it has "unparalleled competence." Bid awarded The commission Monday awarded a $16,400 contract to a Missouri company that will paint lines on about 76 miles of city streets. Twin Traffic Marking is scheduled to begin painting street lines May 1 and finish May 4. • Reporter Nate Jenkins can be reached at 823-6464, Ext. 139, or by e-mail at sjnjenkins® saljournal.com. T CRIME Two in hospital following attacks Salina man suffers Stroke in incident; teen also stabbed By KARA RHODES Tlie Salina Journal Three weekend fights, all resulting in people being hospitalized, are being investigated by the Salina Police Department. Lt. Mike Sweeney said two of the fights involved stabbings, and one ended with a 20-year- old suffering a stroke. Police are still looking for suspects in two of the cases. Sweeney provided these accounts of the incidents: A 20-year-old Salina man, Justin Moses, arrived at a party about 3 a.m. Saturday to help a friend retrieve a shoe and was choked in an attack. After returning home later in the morning, he found his speech was slurred and his mother noticed bruises around his neck and drooping on the left side of his face. Moses was taken to Salina Regional Health Center and later transferred to Via Christi Regional Medical Center, Wichita. His mother, Ardy Moses, said doctors determined he had suffered a stroke. "He was held in a stranglehold long enough to cut the oxygen supply off to the brain, causing the stroke," she said, adding the family is awaiting test results to see the extent of the damage. Speaking from his Wichita hospital room, Moses said he didn't know the man who attacked him. "Mainly it was just one guy with his hand around my throat," he said. "Everyone else was holding onto my other friend." Sweeney said the fight apparently began after Moses and a friend, Travis Atchinson, went to a party in the 2300 block of See CRIME, Page B3 Senate panel tackles school funding plan The Associated Press Sen. Janis Lee, D-Kensington, seeks ah answer to a tax question Monday in a Senate Education Committee meeting while Sen. Jean Schodorf, R-Wichita, looks on in the background. With time running out, committee tries to put together plan By JOHN MILBURN The Associated Press TOPEKA — Spring break was short for the Senate Education Committee, whose members returned Monday to the Statehouse with the unfinished business of drafting a school finance package. They were greeted with dismal state revenue estimates, a sobering history on tax cuts and a three-ring binder full of comments from 180 of the 304 school districts. The message to legislators was clear: Send more help. That message is understood. What isn't clear, legislators said, is what help can be provided. "It is still our duty this session to do something that is responsible — something that is responsible to the schools and administrators and responsible to the taxpayers," said Chairman Dwayne Umbarger, R- Thayen With 85 days of the 90-day session completed, the committee expects to spend Monday and today searching for the right combination of programs and revenue sources to augment the state's $2.26 billion commitment to elementary, junior high and high schools. The task comes in the wake of a $205 million shortfall in the state budget for the current year and fiscal 2002 beginning July 1. Before they recessed April 6, legislators approved a $9.11 billion budget, which they knew would have to be trimmed — or new revenue sources found — to make the books balance. Senate committee members were looking for a way to hold on to the $68 million increase Gov. Bill Graves recommended in January and the Legislature approved. Committee members also would like to find a few dollars more. Sen. Ruth Teichman, R- Stafford, said her school board is looking at ending a successful technology program and not buying new buses to have money available to meet next year's demands. See SENATE, Page B3 SUGGESTIONS? CALL BEN WEARING, DEPUTY EDITOR, AT 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363 OR E-MAIL AT sjbwearing@saljournal.com

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