The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 10, 1996 · Page 5
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 5

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Salina, Kansas
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Thursday, October 10, 1996
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THURSDAY obtasgft 10, i§96 THE SALINA JOURNAL BRIEFLY Salina police released a surveillance camera photograph of the suspect In Wednesday's early- morning Kwlk Shop robbery. Suspect sought in Kwik Shop robbery Salina police are searching for a man who held up a Kwik Shop convenience store with a whip or piece of rope just before 1 a.m. Wednesday. The robber took about $80 in cash from the store at 657 Fairdale. The suspect was described as a black man in his early 20s, 5-fobt- 3-inches to 5-feet-6 inches, with a slender build. The man walked into the Kwik Shop at 12:51 a.m. Wednesday with a bull whip or black rope, said Lt. Mike. Sweeney of the Salina Police Department. The robber was wearing a red bandana wrapped around his head and another covering the lower portion of his face. The robber approached the 60- year-old male clerk, handed the clerk a small paper bag and demanded money, Sweeney said. The robber ran north away from the building after the robbery, Sweeney said. The clerk "was not injured, and no customers were in the store. Los Angeles woman injured in 1-70 crash GOODLAND — A Los Angeles woman was in stable condition after being involved in a one-car crash at 8:15 a.m. Wednesday about two miles west of the Sherman-Thomas County line, said the Kansas Highway Patrol. Esperanza L. Cordero, 25, was eastbound on Interstate 70 when she apparently fell asleep, the patrol said. The car drifted off the road and smashed into a guardrail. She was taken to the Citizen's Medical Center in Colby arid transferred to Columbia Presbyterian Sti Luke's Hospital in Denver. The Goodland Fire and Rescue squad had to cut the top of her vehicle open to get her out. She was wearing her seat belt. Kansas has first death sentence in decades WICHITA — A 23-year-old Winfield man Wednesday became the first person in the state to be sentenced to death since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976. After a weeklong hearing in U.S. District Court, a federal jury announced it had decided that Bountaem Chanthadara should be sentenced to death — not life in. prison. Jurors began deliberations Tuesday evening and announced a verdict around 11 a.m. Wednesday. Chanthadara was convicted Sept. 25 of shooting Barbara Sun, 38, to death during a 1994 robbery of her Wichita restaurant. Sun's husband and two daughters were in another room when she was killed. Shortly after he was sentenced to death, Chanthadara seemed upbeat, smiling and talking casually with his attorneys before U.S. District Judge Monti Belot ordered him taken to a temporary holding facility in Leavenworth. Chanthadara still needs to be sentenced by Belot on the charge of interfering with interstate commerce, but no sentencing date was scheduled by Wednesday. From Staff and Wire Reports line Whm you n«d to know. - Tomorrow's Headlines 825-6OOO Category 6006 (CM Mr 7:30 p.m.) Great Plains VIEWPOINTS / B2 ALMANAC / B3 FUN / B4 T MURDER TRIAL Jurors hear of couple's custody dispute Flynn had accused Sheridan of sexually abusing daughter, but SRS found no evidence By DAVID CLOUSTON The Salina Journal JUNCTION CITY — Jurors have already heard that accused murder suspect Dana Flynn once described her ex-lover Randall Sheridan as a "wicked and evil man." On Wednesday, the jury heard an Abilene police officer say Flynn once told her she "would do anything" to keep her daughter away from Sheridan. Three weeks into the trial of Flynn and her brother Mikel Dreiling, testimony Wednesday centered on Flynn's allegations that Sheridan was sexually abusing his daughter and about her relationship to Sheridan. Dreiling, 24, and Flynn, 34, both of Salina, are charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to commit perjury in connection with Sheridan's murder Dec. 22,1992. Dreiling is also charged with making a terroristic threat in connection with a threatening phone call placed to Sheridan's residence Dec. 12. Sheridan, 40, was gunned down by five shotgun blasts as he was jogging on a rural road near his home. Authorities allege a bitter custody battle over Flynn and Sheridan's daughter sparked the killing. They also think the pair were spurred on by the prophecies of Jerry Rollins, the third defendant in the case. Rollins, 57, leader of the Fountain of Life Church in Salina, is to be tried later. Cathy Brown, an officer of the Abilene Police Department, testified Wednesday that she and Flynn formerly attended the same Assembly of God Church in Abilene and another church in Junction City. Brown recalled a conversation with Flynn about her daughter Ashley in 1986 or 1987, after she observed Flynn crying at church. "She said Randy was trying to turn Ashley against the church and that she didn't like Randy's cussing and drinking," Brown said. "She said she would do anything to see to it that Ashley wouldn't have to — I can't remember if she said see him again or go back there." Brown was cross-examined by Flynn's attorney, Brent Lonker. "You don't take it that way now or then that she would commit murder?" he asked. Brown replied: "I didn't take it that way then." "And you don't take it that way now?" asked Lonker. "I don't know," Brown said. Brown's testimony was preceded by testimony from Geary County District Judge David Platt. Platt, as an attorney before his appointment to the bench, represented Sheridan at one stage in the custody case. He testified that the couple had reached many agreements in their custody battle. Other testimony revolved around Flynn's accusations that Sheridan was sexually abusing his daughter. She made such allegations in 1989 and 1992. Both were investi- gated by the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services and deemed unfounded. Biggs presented a witness who seemed to suggest the girl was coached by her mother to say she was sexually abused. The witness, Earl Robinson, an SRS employee and a friend of the Sheridans, was supervising a visit between Sheridan and his daughter in late summer or fall 1992. At one point Robinson and the 7-year-old girl were alone together and she said Randy sexually abused her, using those exact words, said Robinson. He asked her for details and she gave none, he said. Robinson said Ashley changed her demeanor later in the visit when the three of them visited the Central Mall. "She took her dad's hand and it seemed like a perfectly normal visit," Robinson said. Thus far about 20 witnesses have testified in the case. Biggs said previously he expects to take two months to call 120 to 150 witnesses. On The Home Front After Bosnian mission, Salinan readjusts to domestic tranquility By CHRIS KOGER The Salina Journal Preston Miller seems to be getting acquainted with his dad, even though Preston still points to the picture above the television when his mom asks him where Daddy is. David Miller returned to Salina this week after spending more than half a year in Bosnia as part of a peacekeeping mis- . sion. Since then, he's been spending time with his wife, Tara, and 13-month-old son, Preston, who couldn't walk or crawl before David was deployed to the war-torn region. When the KC-135 carrying the 30 members of Great Bend and Larned's Battery E (Target Acquisition) 161st Field Artillery unit landed in Great Bend on Sunday, Tara and Preston were there to greet him. "I think it's still sinking in a little bit, because I've been gone for pretty much half of his life," said Miller, when asked about Preston's acceptance of a father figure. "But I think it's going to be a quick adaption to everything," Miller said Wednesday as his son crawled on his lap. Miller, 723 Faith Drive, began his job as a Salina police officer just a month before being called to duty in February. Since then, he had seen his family only during an 11-day leave in August, which coincided with Preston's birthday. Weekly phone calls and videotapes kept the couple in contact. "(On) video is the first time I ' saw him crawl or walk. At least the videos helped me sort of be there," Miller said. Although Miller saw tracers in the Sarajevo night sky and heard the fire of AK-47s often, he said the soldiers at the base weren't in danger of being directly fired upon. Besides seeing family and friends, Miller said he is glad to have his freedom again. "One of the things (the Army is) doing now with their deployments is limiting soldiers' access to the outside communities," he said. "We had a couple of threats while we were over there, some car bomb threats and things like that. (The Army) wanted to lower the potential for KELLY PRESNELL / The Salina Journal David Miller returned this week to his wife, Tara, and 13-month-old son, Preston, after serving with the Army National Guard In Bosnia. something wrong to happen." Miller saw a different picture of the war while in Bosnia. "A lot of the things I heard about on CNN and other news sources were that the Serbs were the bad guys because of these atrocities," he said. "Once we got over there, we realized there wasn't any good or bad guys; everybody had been involved in atrocities and war crimes." The unit is still on active duty until Wednesday. After that, the Millers plan a trip to visit relatives in Minnesota or to Texas. David Miller will resum his job at the police department in November. "The nice thing about it is we don't have to do anything right now," Tara Miller said. "I think this is a real good beginning," David Miller said. "I know I'll appreciate everything a lot more, just the little things. The people there, they just don't have the amenities that we have. A lot of things, we take for granted." T BLOOD T FIREFIGHTER MEMORIAL Firefighter honored 29 years after fiery death He helped organize volunteer agency for rural Decatur County By LINDA MOWERY-DENNING The Salina Journal OBERLIN — Volunteer firefighter Carol Ferguson was the 33- year-old father of four when his life was lost fighting a house fire in rural Decatur County. The date was June 19,1967. On Sunday, more than 29 years later, local firefighters will dedicate a plaque to Ferguson during a public ceremony at the fire station in Oberlin. "It's pretty inexcusable we have gone so long without doing this," said Steven Hirsch, Decatur County attorney and assistant city fire chief. "I guess I can only resort to the cliche that it's better late than never." The noon ceremony, on national Fallen Firefighter Memorial Day, will follow Fire Prevention Week, which started Sunday and ends Saturday. A short prayer will be given and fire sirens will sound in Oberlin "to remember these brave men and women who gave their lives to protect us," Hirsch said. Ferguson died two years after helping two of his neighbors es- tablish the Decatur County Rural Fire Department in 1965. The three were called to an afternoon fire 17 miles northeast of Oberlin. The farmhouse was engulfed in flames when they arrived. There was no one home. "There was a chimney in the middle of the house. They were trying to put the rest of the fire out and the chimney fell and got him. Three volunteers went out to the fire, and two came back," Hirsch said. Ferguson managed the meat market at the local grocery store. His family stayed in Oberlin and the children grew up to be hard workers, "the kind of people you should read about in the newspapers instead of some of the other stuff and don't," Hirsch said. "That's kind of the rest of the story." Hirsch, who has researched the records of the city and rural departments, said it appears Ferguson was the only local firefighter ever to lose his life in the line of duty. The city department dates back to 1889. Both volunteer departments are housed in Oberlin, but the rural fire department also has stations at Norcatur and Jennings. There are nine volunteers on the city department and 33 on the rural department. They share a fire chief. Blood donors needed While north-central Kansas donations good, Type O in short supply By DAVID CLOUSTON The Salina Journal The need for blood donors is ais crucial in Kansas as the rest of the country, as the nation's blood bank supply dwindles. Blood drives in the past few years have met or exceeded goals in the 10-county area served,by the North Central Kansas Chapter of the American Red Cross that in : eludes Salina. But within the region the North Central Kansas Chapter belongs to, which includes most of Kansas and parts of Oklahoma, there is a critical shortage for Type 0 positive and O negative blood. Type O blood is the most sought after because it can be transfused into anyone with positive blood types, some 86 percent of population. That means some of the 115 hospitals in the region might have to defer or cancel elective surgeries until the supply.of blood improves, said Kalen Larson, public relations manager for the Central Plains Region of the American Red Cross, Wichita. Nationally, a recent survey of blood banks found donations dropping by almost 1,000 pints since 1982. Within the Central Plains Region, the Red Cross needs to collect 1,700 units minimum each week to supply the hospitals with what they need, Larson said. A unit of blood measures two tablespoons less than a pint. Within the Central Plains region, officials try and maintain an emergency cushion of blood, but in the past few weeks it's had to use part of that cushion, Larson said. "The next step could be shorting deliveries, which could cause some hospitals to cancel elective surgeries," Larson said. The Central Kansas Region covers 88 counties in Kansas and nine counties in northern Oklahoma. In 1994-95, the region collected 81,470 units. For fiscal 1995-96, ending June 30, the region collected 84,438 units, an increase of 3.64 percent. "But also on July 1, our region grew to include three counties in southeast Kansas along the Missouri border, that used to be served by the Springfield (Mo.) region. And there are four hospitals in that three-county area," Larson said. "Right there, our need for collections increased." The North Central Kansas Chapter of the Red Cross, based in Salina, has six blood drives in Salina annually, said Margie Bruner, blood coordinator. The average for those drives is between 375 and 400 units, and most times those goals are met or exceeded. Within the nine other counties blood collections also meet goals, generally. To raise interest, the chapter tries different incentives in connection with its blood drives. For instance, one drive was a father's day promotion, where fathers with adult children were encouraged to donate along with the kids. Another promotion features a contest among Salina area radio stations. The station getting the most blood donations receives a traveling trophy. SUGGESTIONS? CALL BEN WEARING, DEPUTY EDITOR, AT (913) 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363

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