The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 20, 2001 · Page 13
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 13

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Salina, Kansas
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Friday, April 20, 2001
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Page 13
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FRIDAY APRIL20i 2G01 THE SAUNA JOURNAL Great Plains A LOOK AHEAD / B2 DEATHS / B3 FUN / B4 BRIEFLY Honor goes for 8th time to Salina schools The Salina School District has been awarded its eighth consecutive What Parents Want award, an honor for the top 15 percent of the nation's public school districts. The award is given out by SchoolMatch, a national school selection consulting firm. SchoolMatch chooses the top schools based on the compilation of more than 81,000 parent questionnaires that reveal what they look for in public schools. Parents said they look for solid academics, competitive academic test scores, accreditation, competitive teacher salaries, above-average expenditures on instruction and library services and small class sizes. Meth ingredients found by deputy A Saline County sheriff's deputy patrolling in the southeastern portion of the county Wednesday found ingredients used to manufacture metharn- phetamine. Undersheriff Carl Kiltz said Thursday Deputy Steve Garman found two 11-ounce cans of starter fluid and packages of the cold medicine Actifed on the north side of the 7100 block of East Tinkler Road, on the banks of a creek. Commencement speaker announced Motivational speaker PhU Coleman wiU be the guest speaker at Brown Mackie College's 109th commencement ceremony The graduation begins at 7 p.m. April 29 in the Holiday Hall of the Holiday Inn Holidome, 1616 W. Crawford. There are 115 candidates for graduation. Coleman, a professional sales and management consultant and owner of Champion Seminars, Salina, has presented personal and organizational growth seminars for 28 years. Fort Riley soldier dies during training FORT POLK, La. — A soldier was killed Thursday during a training accident at Fort Polk's Joint Readiness Training Center, the Army said. Details of the accident were not available Thursday evening and the name of the soldier from Fort Riley, Kan., , was not released pending notification of his family "We hope to be able to give out additional information tomorrow morning," Sgt. Don Wrenn said Thursday The incident happened at around 9:20 a.m. The soldier was flown to Bayne Jones Army Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at about 10:15 a.m. Two killed in crash on 1-70 when car rolls GRAINFIELD — Two people were killed Thursday morning in a roll-over crash on Interstate Highway 70 a mile east of Grainfield. Derrick W. Gorham, 19, Denver, was driving west at 11:15 a.m. ,when his car went into the median and rolled; Gorham and his passenger were thrown from the vehicle, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol. April Marie Boettcher, 20, Russell, and Gorham were pronounced dead at Gove County Medical Center. They were not wearing seat belts. Teens accused of conspiracy file lawsuit TOPEKA — Five teen-agers who were accused of plotting an attack at their high school in Altamont are suing the school board, city and county officials and law enforcement officials. The teens were accused ay a classmate in 1999. They were charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and spent two months in custody before the classmate recanted. From Staff and Wire Reports CORRECTIONS ••••• The Journal wants to set thie record straight. Advise us of errors by cailing the Journal at (785) 823-6363, or toll free at 1-800827-6363. Corrections will run in this space as soon as possible. • PROJECT SALINA Variety of agencies helped by project Effort begins May 1 to collect 100,000 food items for food bank and other agencies By SHARON MONTAGUE The Salina Journal The Salina woman, suffering from cancer, quit her part-time job because she was told that without that income, she could receive a medical card to help pay her expenses. She fell through the cracks, though, and could barely pay her $300-a-month medical expenses with disability pay The single woman with three young children walked from Cloud Street to the Emergency Aid-Food Bank on West Ash Street. Her husband was in jail, and though she worked part-time, her utility costs were so high during the winter she couldn't afford to buy food. The 18-year-old man, shuttled from foster home to foster home until he was adopted at age 11, was abandoned at Salina's Central Mall by his adoptive parents the day he turned 18. He lives at the Salina Rescue Mission and is completing high school. See PROJECT, Page B2 As the program that collects food for the needy enters its 12th campaign, the need for donations continues to increase. For example: • In 1990, the program's first year, 23 businesses participated, and 56,000 food items were collected. This year's goal is more than 100,000 food items. • That first year, the Salvation Army served 16,629 meals; in 2000, 36,174 meals were served. •• The Salina Rescue Mission, which aids homeless men, served more than 36,000 meals in 2000, provided 13,000 nights of shelter and served more than 700 different men. • The Emergency Aid-Food Bank distributed more than 139,000 food items in 2000 to about 8,000 people. T CAR CHASE Program prepares cities for disaster But Project Impact is not part of Bush's proposed budget By SARAH KESSINGER Harris News Service TOPEKA — A handful of Kansas counties and one town face a possible cut of a federal program that helped them prepare for tornadoes, floods and other natural disasters. T BY GEORGE Project Impact was touted as helping prevent serious damage in the recent Seattle earthquake. By teaching ways to prevent damage, the project has boosted efforts by Kansas communities such as Kinsley to ease the bane of flooding. President Bush's recent proposed budget to Congress did not renew the program. Kinsley in Edwards County has initiated about $750,000 in projects to lighten the burden of flooding on the flood-prone community Although the city did not receive any of that funding from Project Impact, they were able to set up flood-reducing plans through the px-o- ject. The plans then helped the town attract other federal and state grants. City Manager Marsha Bagby said growth was strangled in her community by constant flood problems. "It has caused disasters to homes. We've lost businesses because of problems with being in a flood plain." With a flood-mitigation plan under way, the city has a brighter outlook and the potential to save taxpayers and homeowners thousands of dollars by avoiding catastrophes, she said. Project Impact helped foster the planning. See FLOOD PLAN, Page B2 Chase reaches 90mph Woman crashes car, goes to hospital for tests and disappears By The Salina Journal A Salina woman could face numerous charges after she allegedly led a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper on a high­ speed chase and crashed her car into a building. Trooper J.L. Riedel said he has filed an affidavit requesting that 24-year-old Elizabeth Becker be charged with fleeing and eluding and numerous traffic offenses. Riedel began following a car in the area of Ohio and Pacific streets about 7:05 a.m. Thursday, because the license plate had been damaged. "The last digit of the plate had been cut off," Riedel said. "Actually, the right two or three inches was missing." Riedel said he followed the car as it turned east from Ohio Street onto Prospect Street to a dead end, pulled a U-turn in a front yard, headed south on Ohio and then went west on North Street. "That's when I estimated the speed reached 90," Riedel said. As the driver attempted to turn north onto Santa Fe Avenue, the car crashed into the side of a stone building. "There was a little scuff on the building," Riedel said. "The car wasn't faring well." Taken to hospital Becker was taken by ambulance to Salina Regional Health Center. Riedel said he checked on her once after finishing his work at the crash scene but left when he learned she was undergoing X-rays and. other tests. By the time he returned to the hospital about 10:15 a.m., she had walked away without checking out. "She left her personal possessions — her shoes, her coat, her wallet," Riedel said. Becker couldn't be located later in the day, so Riedel requested a warrant for her arrest. Legislators only out to save themselves Unless they will meet our needs, the only fat in the budget is lawmakers' pay If your state representative looks you in the eye and tells you that plans to avoid a tax increase by cutting state funding to health care, corrections, education, substance abuse treatment and local government are saving you money, then you look him right back in the eye and call him a liar. Because he is. The headlines tell us we have a revenue problem. The politicians who have bumper stickers where their minds ought to be tell us we have a spending problem. What we really have in Topeka is a guts problem. There aren't any Except, maybe, in the governor's office, where poor Bill Graves is such a decent fellow that he has to be prodded with a stick and reminded that he is surrounded by nincompoops who are so spineless they make our mild- mannered chief executive look like Teddy Roosevelt charging San Juan Hill. The governor's measured temper went over the red line Thursday when he cut through all the political garbage that's been tossed out by risk- averse lawmakers and told the truth: These budget-cutting plans are bogus. "I clearly understand what they are trying to do," Graves said. "I just think the net result is going to be a disaster." He is right. Consider the cuts proposed by the House so-called leadership. Some of them — cutting out-of-state travel by state officials, for example — make sense in a tough budget year. But others — delaying payments to doctors, eliminating local substance abuse programs — are not belt- tightening. They are wrist-slashing. The whole point of the House plan is not to fix a single thing, only to delay problems into the next fiscal year, the next session of the Legislature, the next generation of lawmakers. Or to shove them down to local units of government, which will have lower GEORGE B. PYLE The Salina Journal revenues, higher costs and, most likely, higher property taxes as a direct — no, deliberate — result of what the House nonleadership is proposing. Lawmakers aren't bailing out the taxpayei-. They are bailing out their own pitiful political careers by avoiding the tax hike that was made necessary by five years of foolishly high tax cuts and by cutting programs that would, in the long run, ease both the taxpayer burden and human suffering if only they were given a chance. Delaying payments to doctors and hospitals that serve the poor, for example, only puts off the state's day of reckoning while increasing the pressure on small-town hospitals that are barely keeping their heads above water now. When a few more of those hospitals and clinics close, the cost to transport patients to other cities, or to relocate them to nursing homes in towns where there are hospitals, will cost the state millions. The proposal to eliminate funding for local substance abuse detox programs will not save us money in the long run. It will only mean that more people who should be in treatment will instead be occupying expensive, and counter-productive, jail cells. Not just once, but over and over. Eliminating two prison work-release centers doesn't reduce the number of prisoners by one soul. It just leaves them in more expensive higher-security facilities and increases the probability of a return to custody by making their adjustment to life on the outside more difficult. Asked about the other option — raising taxes — lawmakers of both parties, and in both houses, display a cowardice or ignorance most human beings would be eager to disguise. Sen. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, was quoted by the Associated Press as saying, "What I hear from the folks back home is, 'Hey, there are places you can cut some fat.' " But unless lawmakers are willing to do the right thing and tap the state's resources to meet the state's needs, the only fat in the Kansas budget is the money that pays the legislators' salaries. • Journal columnist George B. Pyle can be reached at 823-6464, Ext. 101, or by e-mail at gpyle@saljournal.com. 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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