Local/Kansas The Salina Journal Thursday, January 23,1986 Page 3 SCOft WllllOIIM Carol Powell, Bennington, holds the button to "Fred," a machine that allows her to regulate her medication for pain. 'Fred'allows patients to control pain By JIM BOLE Staff Writer After surgery, one of Carol Powell's best friends was "Fred." Fred is not human. It is a small machine at the side of her bed that allows the Bennington woman to administer pain-relieving medication to herself at the touch of a button. Powell, who had surgery on Monday, said the machine was making her recovery less painful than other times she had underwent surgery. Asbury Hospital has been using six of the machines—called Patient Controlled Analgesia Infusers, or PCAs — for about 10 months, and patients' who have used them are as pleased as Powell, said Steve Romans, director of Asbury's pharmacy. When a patient presses a button, the machine pumps a small, premeasured dose of morphine or other pain-killing drug. The machine is de- signed to prevent a patient from taking too much medication, Roman said. Dr. Lawrence Stoskopf, a Salina anesthesiologist, said the patient-controlled device was a new scientific advancement, which hospitals began to use last year. Stoskopf and Dr. Steven Sebree were the first people to suggest using the machines locally, Stoskopf said. Patients recovering from surgery use the machines for a short time, usually one or two days, Stoskopf said. The main advantages of the machine are that patients receive pain-killing drugs in small doses and only when they need it. Stoskopf said. Without the machines, patients are injected with larger doses of medication, making them drowsy when they might not be in pain, and the medication might wear off before pain does strike, he said. "I used to have to get (medication) all at once and it really zapped me out," Powell said. She has been more alert while recovering from this week's surgery than during other recoveries, but she has not experienced any more pain, she said. Stoskopf said patients using the machines generally use less medication than those who receive injections. Besides getting pain killers only when needed, the psychological effect of being able to control one's own pain also causes patients to use less medication, he said. The basic idea for the machines is simple; the complex part was developing a machine that was fool-proof and dependable, he said. Asbury's machines have a locked compartment for the medication, and allow only a certain number of doses to be administered during a given time. City attorney investigates action by board By Harris News Service : MCPHERSON — At the request of the Kansas attorney general's office, McPherson City Attorney Phil Lacey is investigating a December action by the city's airport advisory board. Made up of volunteers, the board advises both the city and county commissions on matters pertaining to the McPherson City-County Airport. During a meeting in December, the board went into closed session to discuss whether it would recommend renewing the contract for Airport Manager Dennis Fisher, Lacey said. The board reportedly voted on the matter during its closed session, an action that would be a violation of the : Kansas Open Meetings Law, he said. Lacey said he received his infor- mation from McPherson County Counselor Gary Flory, who was informed by County Engineer Melvin Ferguson, a member of the advisory board. "They voted at the closed session to take such and such an action," Lacey said. "The law says no secret ballot should be taken." The city attorney said he has investigated the matter and prepared a report for the attorney general. But the report will not be sent to Topeka until Flory has had a chance to review it. Lacey said he hopes to brief Flory and get the report to Topeka before the end of the week. Until then, he will not comment on its contents, Lacey said. Several legal questions arise from the situation, he said. "The law says no binding action can be taken in executive session," Lacey said. "But the advisory board has no power to take binding action. I don't know what the attorney general will do." At the December meeting, the advisory board decided to recommend not to renew Fisher's contract and to award it to Mac Air, a corporation made up of McPherson businessmen John Britting and Lonnie Bartel. City and county officials agreed to the recommendation. Fisher, who has had the airport lease for eight years, said he was "railroaded" out of the position. The advisory board wouldn't tell him why it recommended Mac Air instead of Salinan convicted on drug charges By CAROL LICHTI Staff Writer A Salina man convicted Wednesday of selling marijuana three times to an undercover police officer is in jail facing new drug charges filed the day his trial began. Willie L. Bates, 32,154 N. Eighth, was found guilty by a Saline County jury that deliberated 2% hours Wednesday on three felony charges of sale of marijuana and misdemeanor charges of possession of marijunana and possession of drug paraphernalia. He is scheduled to be sentenced March 3. Before the trial began Tuesday, Bates was served with a warrant on a felony charge of possession of cocaine and misdemeanor possession of LSD. Those charges were filed after laboratory analyses of drugs found in his home were received by the Saline County Attorney's office. Bates was convicted of selling a quarter ounce of marijuana on two occasions on Aug. 6 and once on Aug. 8 to undercover police officer Jeff Koch. He also was convicted of possessing marijuana and drug paraphernalia on Sept. 12 when police searched his apartment at the end of a six-month undercover investigation. In closing statements, Bates' attorney, Terry Clark, argued that there was reasonable doubt of a positive identification of Bates as the one who made the transactions because of discrepancies in Koch's police reports. "It is easy to identify him now when he is sitting at the counsel table," Clark said. Clark, noting that the investigation of Bates was based on an anonymous tip police received, asked: "Is that aU it takes to set off an investigation of a person in our society? " "I personally hope so," answered Assistant Saline County Attorney Julie McKenna during her closing remarks. She reminded the jury that Koch testified he had no doubt that Bates was the one who sold him the marijuana on all three occasions. Several witnesses Clark had intended to call to attempt discredit Koch's character and testimony were not allowed to testify Tuesday because District Judge Daniel Hebert ruled the testimony would be irrelevant or prejudicial. Those witnesses, some of whom are awaiting trial, had been charged as a result of Koch's undercover operation. A charge against Bates of felony theft for possessing stolen property was dismissed by the prosecution because Hebert earlier ruled stereo equipment, believed to be stolen and found in Bates' apartment, could not be used as evidence because it was obtained in a search for drugs and drug-related items. Bates is being held on $5,000 bond in connection with the new drug charges. Board OKs first aid class for employees him, he said. Because of that, Fisher called the attorney general's office and asked for an investigation of the advisory board's decision-making process, he said. McPherson Realtor Bill Adams, who was chairman of the advisory board in December, said there was good reason for going into closed session. "In a personnel matter, we were told we could use executive session," Adams said. "It could have been embarrassing (forFisher)." Although Fisher has alleged conflicts of interest and political favors influenced the board's decision, Adams said the choice was made with cold logic. By DAVID CLOUSTON Staff Writer A program to train elementary school employees in first aid techniques was approved Wednesday by the Salina School Board. The board also accepted the district's audit report for the 1984-85 school year and approved a contract for the 1985-86 audit. To promote first aid knowledge, the board agreed to offer "board credit" to elementary school employees who take an emergency-!irst aid class offered by the Red Cross. The goal of the class, "Emergency Care in the School Setting," is to teach one employee at each elementary school how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation and handle other medical emergencies. Board credit is similar to college credit in that it allows teachers to increase their salaries by advancing on a salary schedule that rewards academic achievement. The report of the 1984-85 school district audit, performed by Kennedy and Coe auditors, was accepted. Richard Stedry, assistant superintendent for business, said the audit revealed no violations of Kansas budget laws. Suggestions made by auditors for changing financial procedures will be accepted, Stedry said. They include having two people handle the payroll — one to process the payroll and the other to sign the checks — rather than having a single payroll clerk. The board approved a contract with Kennedy and Coe to perform the 1985-86 audit at a cost of $16,800 — an increase of $1,300 over the 1984-85 audit cost. They also gave approval for a required separate audit of the vo-tech school's Pell Grant program, to be performed by Kennedy and Coe at a cost of $2,600. Another matter board members previously had discussed — the formation of a non-profit corporation to accept contributions for scholarships and district aid, was approved. Board members approved articles of incorporation for the Salina Education Foundation. The articles now will be sent to the Internal Revenue Service for approval. The articles were changed to make all seven school board members foundation trustees. There will be from 10 to 15 trustees, with community members making up the rest of the board. The school board also requested that administrators provide them with more information about a statewide educational foundation, with headquarters in Wichita, that could be another source of scholarship funds or provide other aid. The Kansas Educational Endowment Program solicits funds from major national corporations and could provide the district with sizeable contributions. However, members of the foundation are required to pay a $120 membership fee and 20 percent of the money received by districts is withheld for administrative costs. The board also approved a date for a public meeting with parents of Bartlett Elementary School students to discuss the possible closure of that school or other options for Bartlett the board might consider. The meeting is to be at 7 p.m. Feb. 11 at Bartlett. Millers union wants to organize Abilene's Duckwall-ALCO By JUDITH WEBER Staff Writer ABILENE — Unionization has been a hot topic for the past few months among the employees at the Duckwall-ALCO distribution center at Abilene, and international representatives of the American Federation of Grain Millers have started a drive at the warehouse. Some employees said that dissatisfaction with working conditions has been brewing for a long while and that attempts to make changes through company channels have failed. They complain of low pay, a poor working environment and unfair promotion practices. Union representatives said that company •officials have given employees inaccurate " information about the union and its drive. ! Duckwall-ALCO President Robert Soelter • would not comment about specific al- : legations, but said that because the company is the largest employer at Abilene it is a . logical target for unionization attempts. The drive organizers apparently are mak- • ing the issue public "because they've made little progress on an individual basis," he said. The last attempt to form a union was in 1978, and that attempt failed, Soelter said. "We've tripled the number of employees in the distribution center since that time, without a union. We think our (employees) recognize unions do not contribute to growth and "We go talk to them, and unfortunately nothing too much gets a c- complished." —Steve Dester in many cases they prevent growth." Soelter also said he thinks the employees "recognize the value of security and stability (and) have shown good judgement by not supporting the union in its organization." But some employees interested in the union said they have "quite a bit of support'' among their co-workers, but that the company was scaring many of them. The first meeting with union representatives was Nov. 24 and was attended by 12 to 15 employees, said Mike Taylor, Omaha, Neb., an international representative of the grain millers union. There have been two more meetings, at the Abilene Civic Center. "We never had a majority, but a sizeable number," Taylor said. Some Duckwall-ALCO employees have complained about low wages. Among them is Steve Dester, who said he has been a warehouse employee for more than six years and earns $5.58 an hour. Kathryn Griffiths, an employee for 2% years, said her hourly wage is $4.11. Employees at the warehouse start at the minimum wage of $3.35 an hour, she said. Griffiths said having three children prevents her from working two jobs, and many other jobs would not allow her to work the hours her children are in school, which makes the warehouse job convenient. The Duckwall-ALCO warehouse employs 255 workers, and there are more women employees than men, Griffiths said. Employees pack the merchandise that is sent to Duckwall-ALCO stores. Some of the goods can be moved on conveyors, but the work still involves heavy lifting, employees said, noting that television sets weigh about 60 pounds and cases of paint can weigh 52 pounds. Other employee complaints include the lack of air conditioning or sufficient fans in the warehouse and the use of old machinery. They also say favoritism often plays more of a role in promotions than job experience or knowledge. The employees said they had taken their concerns to management. "We go talk to them, and unfortunately nothing too much gets accomplished," Dester said. "They aren't feeling the problems we have," Griffiths said. Union representatives have passed out au- "We think our (omployeos) recognize unions do not contribute to growth and In many cases they prevent growth." —Robert Soelter thorization cards that employees may sign if they want to force a vote on unionization. Signatures from at least 30 percent of the employees are needed before the union can petition the National Labor Relations Board for a secret ballot election, said Howard Roe, Kansas City, vice president of the international grain millers' union. Some employees have been given incorrect information about the purpose of the authorization cards, he said. "The company has inferred that if they sign the card, they are automatically in the union," Roe said. That is not true, he said. Naomi Stuart, a field attorney for the National Labor Relations Board, Kansas City, said the cards "don't bind an employee to vote at an election. (The card) is not a vote and it is not a membership card. '' If an election is called and a majority of those voting ask for union representation, the union may begin a membership drive, Roe said. The union representatives said handbills printed by the company incorrectly said the authorization cards could provide a basis for the government to order the company to bargain with the union, and that the union could use the cards to demand they be recognized without an election. But Stuart, the labor board attorney, said there are only two ways a union can be organized without a secret-ballot election of employees. One is if the company voluntarily recognizes the union. The other is if the company conducts unfair labor practices — such as threatening employees — that are deemed by the National Labor Relations Board as making a fair election unlikely, she said. Company President Soelter said, "It's strange to us the attempt is being made by the grain millers union. "You have to examine the motives of the union. Are they interested in the welfare of employees or the survival of their union from dues collections from people in a totally different industry." The union representatives said the American Federation of Grain Millers has several chapters in Kansas, including Local 107 based in Salina. The union has 36,000 members nationally and represents members in a variety of occupations, including other warehouses.
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