Local/Kansas The Salina Journal Monday, January 20,1986 Page 3 Computer school has president but lacks state OK By DAVID CLOUSTON Staff Writer Construction of a proposed computer and electronics maintenance institute continues in Salina, although no opening date has been set. The Kurd Institute, being built at 1922 S. Ninth, does not have state approval to begin classes, but it does have a president: Chester Kurd, brother of Kurd Plaza developer Reginald Kurd. Chester Kurd, Columbus, only recently was named as the school's overseer. Kurd Institute is to be a two-year, for-profit school to teach repair and maintenance of electronics equipment. Reginald Kurd, 645 Magnolia, is building the school's two steel buildings that will encompass 5,000 square feet. But the school's operation will be in Chester Kurd's hands. Chester Kurd, 61, is a Kansas native who is a retired teacher and counselor from Fullerton (Calif.) Community College. He received his bachelor's degree in psychology from Pittsburg State University in 1954. For eight years he taught world history and band and was a guidance counselor at Columbus High School in southeast Kansas. For 21 years Chester Kurd was a counselor at Fullerton Community College, a two-year technical and liberal arts school near Los Angeles with an enrollment of about 20,000. The school offers associate degrees in more than 100 areas, including civil engineering technology, architectural technology, chemical engineering, telecommunications, electronics and electronics technology. Chester Kurd said he decided to help launch the Salina school with his brother, who had been a recruiter for several business colleges, because he grew restless after his retirement from Fullerton College in 1983. He and his wife decided to move back to Columbus to be closer to their son and his family. "I said, 'This isn't right, I can't just vegetate,' so I decided to get involved in some things," he said. "That actually led to the idea to begin Kurd Institute." Although he mostly counseled liberal arts and humanities majors at Fullerton Community College, Chester Kurd said he also counseled students in the technical fields. Kurd thinks he has enough educational, if not technical, experience to begin a technical school. "I have a very excellent background in that area (education)," he said. "I don't think that (electronics knowledge) is critical because I'm not going to teach courses." Chester Kurd said he initially will be responsible for the school's day-to-day operation. "Eventually there will be a full-time professional director of instruction on campus," he said. "Initially I will need to serve (in that role), but as soon as feasible there will be a full-time director." Hurd said is unsure whether he will move to Salina after the school opens. He said if a full- time director is hired his daily presence will not be necessary. Columbus is about 250 miles from Salina. Tuition at the Hurd Institute is expected to be $2,500 a year. The school, when fully established, is to offer 1,650 hours of coursework in the repair and maintenance of robotics, fiber optics, telecommunications, automated systems and other specialized areas of electronics. The school's budget for the first 12 months is estimated to be $490,000, including the $180,000 earmarked for 30 lab station's equipment, Hurd said. Two instructors and two lab assistants have been hired, although he declined to name them because they are under contract at another school, he said. He expects Hurd Institute to begin with 10 to 12 students, but projects an increase to about 40 or 50 students by the second year. "Once we get certified it will generate interest, hopefully among people who want to come and work at the institute," he said. Certification remains a point of contention in the effort to launch the school. The Kurds are awaiting Kansas Board of. Education approval of their application for certification. Glen Atherly, who oversees proprietary schools for the state board, said information about the proposed school is being reviewed. He would not say when the board will consider the application. Chester Kurd said he hopes to have state approval by February. The Kurds were unable to achieve their initial goal of obtaining state certification in time to begin classes at a temporary location in October. Chester Hurd said that goal turned out to be unrealistic because of the brothers' unfamiliarity with the lengthy state certification process. The school cannot operate without a state certificate. But schools found "potentially eligible" can obtain conditional approval from the state. The owner must pay a surety bond of $20,000 to assure that the school honors its commitment to the state to provide the education it promises. The bond also would provide some relief, in the form of refunded tuition, to students if the school were to close suddenly, said Dale Dennis, assistant state commissioner of education. The conditional certificate would be valid for one year, after which application could be made for another conditional certificate. At that time, according to laws governing proprietary schools, the state board would conduct an on-site inspection. At that time, applicants must supply a certificate of acc- reditation, or evidence of progress toward accreditation. Atherly said most requests for certification are granted. The state board can investigate any complaints it might receive after a school is certified and operating. To receive a certificate, the school must meet the minimum standards of the state board. In determining certification for an institution such as Hurd Institute, which would offer trade and technical training, the state board uses standards of the Accrediting Commission of the National Association of Trade and Technical Schools. Included in a list of items the school must submit to obtain certification are a financial statement of the corporation and financial statements of each officer, copies of school catalogs and sample copies of certificates awarded upon completion of each course. In a development unrelated to the school, Reginald Hurd has asked the Salina Board of Zoning Appeals for a conditional use permit to allow construction of two rental-storage warehouses at the Hurd Plaza Addition. Reginald Hurd, who was unavailable for comment, proposes to construct two self- storage warehouses. The proposal will be considered by zoning appeals members at their Feb. 16 meeting. Politics may reign when GOP gathers for annual activities TOPEKA (AP) - There will be politicking galore but apparently no candidates will announce thier intentions when Republicans gather this weekend in Topeka for their annual Kansas Day activities. Not only is it the party's biggest social bash, but this year's celebration is an observance of the 125th anniversary of the state's admission to the Union. It's also the party's official kickoff for an election year. That means 1986 state politics are sure to command most of the attention. More than a dozen declared and potential candidates for state offices • and Congress have receptions scheduled or will operate hospitality rooms during the festivities, which begin Thursday night and continue through Sunday morning at the Downtown Ramada Inn. But party officials said last week ; that none of the undeclared contend. ers plan to make an official an, nouncment during the activities. That won't prevent the backers of the possible candidates from flooding _ the big hotel complex in downtown : Topeka with campaign literature and signs. U.S. Sens. Bob Dole and Nancy • Kassebaum, as well as Kansas' three Republican members of the U.S. : House — Jan Meyers, Pat Roberts • and Bob Whittaker — will share top 1 billing during the three-day celebration. : Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Indiana, is ; the keynote speaker for the annual : Kansas Day dinner Saturday night. But it will be the declared and almost-declared candidates who will make the most noise. Dole has not formally declared his " intentions to run for a fourth six-year 1 term, but he will be running — with ' his eye also focused on the Re' publican presidential sweepstakes in ; 1988. Meyers, Roberts and Whittaker also are expected to seek re-election this year, although only Whittaker has made an official announcement. Eight declared and potential candidates for the party's nomination for governor have been invited to speak to a meeting pf the Republican State Committee Saturday afternoon, when the party's budget for the election year also will be set. Larry Jones, a Wichita business executive, and House Speaker Mike Hayden of Atwood are the two declared contenders for the gubernatorial nomination. Jones will have a hospitality room open all weekend and will act as host to a reception Saturday. Hayden will have a hospitality room open Saturday night. Former Gov. Robert Bennett, who had been expected to make up his mind by now about trying a comeback in the governor's race, will have a reception Friday. Bennett said he still is tallying results of a postcard poll he took among state Republicans to determine depth of his support before making his decision. He said he won't have an announcement over Kansas Day weekend and might even wait until the end of the legislative session to make up his mind. Four other potential candidates for the governor nomination will be hosts at receptions Friday evening: Senate President Robert Talkington of lola, Sen. Fred Kerr of Pratt, Pittsburg businessman Gene Bicknell and Barbara Pomeroy of Whitewater. Secretary of State Jack Brier, who also remains interested in the governor's race, will act as host for his annual "Brier's Brunch" Sunday morning. Talkington, Kerr and Brier have all said they plan to wait until April or May to make their decisions. Authorities try to sell home used by convict 1 FAIRWAY (AP) — If you're looking for a new real estate agent, perhaps the government might have what you want. - A government-sponsored open house Saturday provided potential buyers and the curious a look at a " Fairway home being sold for $155,000 . or more. Frank Emma, the deputy U.S. marshal overseeing the open house, said the sale marks the federal government's first foray into the local real estate market under a 1984 statute allowing the seizure of property obtained through illegal drug profits. House'hunters, curiosity seekers and young professionals came to inspect the open house in this Kansas City suburb. What they found inside, however, probably came as a big surprise. They found walls throughout the two-story, four-bedroom house, cracked and stripped of paper. Debris was strewn over hardwood floors, mirror panels from art deco ceilings were shattered or missing, light fixtures and heating ducts were exposed and a front hallway floor was severely buckled from water damage. "What in the world happened here?" one woman asked when she saw a large pile of flaked ceiling plaster adorning the foyer floor. "How long has it been since anyone's lived here?" 1-70 stabbing under investigation ABILENE — A stabbing Sunday evening along Interstate 70 was under investigation by the Dickinson County sheriff's officers late Sunday night. A Kansas Highway Patrol dispatcher said a highway patrol officer found a victim along 1-70 early Sunday evening near Abilene. But the dispatcher said he could not give further information because Dickinson County officers were working the case. Sheriff's investigators said the victim was a male, but wouldn't release any other information. Craig Chandler A host of model trains surround Colby resident Bill Van Horn, who has been interested hi them since childhood. Hobby keeps Colby man on track ByBRENTBATES Staff Writer COLBY — Bill Van Horn remembers his first train. "The first train I had was a wind-up train," Van Horn said. "I was three years old." Like many other children, Van Horn discarded the wind-up train as he grew up. He eventually became a field service man for Caterpillar and even though trains still interested him, he was too busy to mess with them. But that's all changed now. Van Horn retired from Caterpillar several years ago. Although he and a friend sold guns from a shop north of Colby, the retiree still needed something else to do in his spare time. So he bought a train set. Van Horn's been buying them ever since. Now the guns are secondary. The rear fourth of his gun shop is packed with trains. "God almighty, I've got cars all over everywhere," Van Horn says, looking over the mess of trains that now occupy his time. The first train he bought was an "N gauge" set. The gauge indicates the distance between rails, with a letter designated for each width. An N gauge set uses cars that are about one inch tall and two or three inches long. • About three years ago, Van Horn got a big boost to his collection. The Thomas County National Bank took over a large train collection, and put it up for sale at an auction. Van Horn got the set for $1,000, narrowly outbidding a Denver train dealer. "There were 200 cars, engines, everything," hesaid. "I figured it was worth $5 a car." Some of the cars in his collection were made in the 1950s, with several older than that. He says his most valuable car is a locomotive that is worth about $180. Each month, Van Horn reads from cover to cover a model railroad magazine to get ideas for realistic layouts of train tracks and glean information about locomotives and railcars. In the shop, Van Horn has two trains, both 027 gauge trains — with cars about five inches high and about 12 inches long—that run on a circular track sitting on plywood and stuck to the walls about head high. Tacked to the walls behind the tracks are town scenes. He also has set up two other trains to run on tracks built on shelves along two walls, and another train set—with N gauge track, railroad cars and even buildings resembling a train station—is set up on a table. Stuck on shelves all over the end of the room are many other trains, most still in their original box. The collector is reluctant to guess what his collection is worth. "It's hard to say," Van Horn said. "I've probably got $10,000 inhere." Van Horn likes to play with his trains, occasionally going out to the shop just to run them around and around the track, just like a child would. "(But) these are not for little kids, I tell ya," Van Horn says. "They wouldn't have the patience to keep tiiem on the track." While some train collectors get carried away with details, making entire layouts exactly to scale, Van Horn isn't so particular. He just likes playing with trains. "It's just something to do besides watchin' the boob tube," Van Horn says with a chuckle. Teacher reaps benefits from agriculture class WICHITA (AP) — Chris Welty was skeptical when her teaching partner wanted to make agriculture the theme for this year's class lessons. Welty comes from an urban background and wasn't sure what farm- raised Melissa Pedersen had in mind for their 26 grade schoolers at Our Saviour Lutheran School in Kansas City, Kan. Last year, Pederson didn't know how to teach agriculture either. "I had these pictures, but I had a hard time explaining to the city kids what a cowboy does," Pedersen said. "I thought, "There has to be a way that we can make these kids understand what it is really like.' " During the summer, Pedersen attended a two-week course offered by the Kansas Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom at Kansas State University. She and 19 others got a view of how agriculture in Kansas works. This school year Pedersen is leading her class on field trips and has won Welty over. The teachers are learning along with the students. "We went to Concordia, Missouri, for a field trip and we broke the kids up into four different groups and visited four different farms," Welty said. "I visited a hog farm and that was something I'd never seen before." The children also have studied nutrition, agriculture as a business, Christmas tree farming, and raising crops such as wheat, corn and soybeans. Lessons are planned on raising and marketing livestock. ' 'I think it's an important thing that kids know where their food comes from and also what's in it," Pedersen said. The idea for a Kansas foundation to help teachers do what Pedersen and Welty are doing took hold after a U.S. Department of Agriculture project that got educators and agricultural leaders thinking about how to best acquaint young people with farming, ranching and agribusiness. Their intent was to better educate future consumers and agricultural policymakers about agriculture. Shirley Traxler, the USDA's director of agriculture in the classroom in Washington, D.C., said 35 states have programs and others are getting started. The administrator for the Kansas Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom, Fran Parmley, says the foundation's efforts are at the same place a crop of wheat might be in April. "It's just gotten out of the ground and it's green and the next month is going to be tremendous," she said. She and the foundation's 13- member board of directors have developed an agriculture guide in the classroom curriculum guide and created the two-week summer course Pedersen attended. The group's current' project is an in- service training videotape for teachers. "Just because you grow up in a rural area does not mean you understand anything at all about agriculture," Parmley said. "Agriculture has become so specialized that even people who are actively involved in one segment of agriculture often do not understand the other parts or how it all works together." The foundation spent about $25,000 last year and has a tentative budget of $50,000 for this year. Most of its financing has been through donations, but some state matching money has been received. Parmley is compiling a computer list of materials and resources available to teachers. She said her goal is to have an expansive reference source that also will allow the foundation to determine areas where it needs to write classroom materials. When it's complete, the library will allow Parmley to recommend materials by grade level or subject area.
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