The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 22, 2001 · Page 1
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 1

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Salina, Kansas
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Sunday, April 22, 2001
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Page 1
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NFL draft PAGE CI GOVERNMENT the J SUNDAY APRIL 22, 2001 SALINA, KANSAS Salina Journal Serving Kansas since 1871 $1.50 Weighing in PAGE D1 Credit kept in dieck Local governments spread oversight of credit card purclnases By SHARON MONTAGUE The Salina Journal Sharese Moser, accountant for the Salina School District, recalls hearing of a Head Start teacher who tried to use her district purchasing card to buy supplies at Hobby Lobby at Mid-State Plaza. The card was rejected. "She had gone to the register in the framing department, and it wouldn't accept the card because the district won't pay for framing," Moser said. "She had to go to the front register" The purchasing cards, implemented two years ago, are the local school district's attempt to limit the use of credit and reduce the chance of theft of public funds. In the wake of recent allegations of misuse of credit cards by the Haysville school superintendent, the topic of how and when credit cards are used and how that use is monitored has surfaced across the state. All governmental entities in Saline County — all three school districts, the city and the county — use credit cards to a certain extent. But all said safeguards are in place, from the use of receipts to verify expenditures to the assigning of several people to open and pay bills and reconcile bank statements, providing a system of checks. A cursory check of credit card statements from those agencies showed most charges were detailed in receipts — though some receipts were not filed with the card statement — and seemed to be proper governmental expenditures. Dave Ahlvers, a Salina certified public accountant who audits the books of five area school districts and a small city, said the most important thing a governmental entity can do to guard against misuse of funds is to separate bookkeeping functions, assigning a different person to each task. See CREDIT Page A4 • LEGISLATIVE UPDATE School finance targeted in update School administrators, teachers and parents turn out for meeting JEFF COOPER / The Salina Journal Saline County planners hope to limit rural residential growth to four areas, such as this zone in the northern portion of the county along Old Highway 81. A LINE IN THE SOIL County planners aim to keep growth focused around Salina By NATE JENKINS The Salina Journal Journal photo The homes along East Country Club Road stand in one of four rural residential areas where the county wants to encourage construction be limited to one house for every two acres. On tracts zoned agricultural, construction would be limited to two homes for every 80 acres. A high school boys basketball game was under way; the parking lot. was jammed with cars. The ticket lady near the front door was talking with a friend and selling tickets at a furious pace. Inside, the Southeast of Saline boys were losing badly Still, the mass of people outside the gym was feeding off a wholesome, warmhearted buzz. It seemed to be generated not by the sweaty scrambling on the basketball court, but a collective sense the event held high importance, if only for the social hobnobbing the assembly offered. Around a couple of corners and down a quiet hall. Saline County Planning Director James Holland led a meeting focused on a topic he knows may not perk the senses as a ball game does — and seems downright dry to many — but he believes has a practical, fundamental impor- • Map of comprehensive plan / Page A3 tance to all of Saline County The area around Southeast of Saline school, with its pastures and farmland and the small town of Gypsum nearby, is one place where people might be keenly interested in Holland's topic — the 20-year comprehensive plan for the county. The plan has been in the works for more than a year and will be considered by the Saline County Commission in a couple of weeks. While the plan holds no force of law, it does set a course for future development in the county It encourages growth in some areas, discourages it in others and calls for some road improvements among a plethora of other things. The plan has been the focus of considerable debate among members of the Saline County Planning and Zoning Commission. Implementation will take more coordination between city and county governments than longtime staff members can remember occurring. See PLAN, Page A2 By KARA RHODES The Salina Journal While their tone was controlled, their words belied their growing frustration. "Why aren't we treated with respect when we advocate on behalf of our kids?" Salina school board member Linda Smith asked Rep. Carol Beggs, R-Salina, at Saturday morning's legislative update. Smith said school funding has been "grossly inadequate," and that it "feels like nothing has been accomplished," despite aU the time and energy school officials have given Beggs and other local legislators over the past few years. After the meeting, sponsored by the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce, Beggs' words for Smith and others lobbying him to support an increase in school funding included "aggressive" and "demanding." "It's human nature if people don't get their own way they sometimes become aggressive in their response," he said, suggesting their arguments could be "presented in a civilized manner rather than coming out with bared fangs." Smith, a school board member for almost eight years, said she sometimes feels as if the information she and others have passed along to Beggs is ignored. "I feel like we get the cold shoulder," she said. Area legislators, including representatives Beggs, Deena Horst, R-Salina, Jerry Aday R- EUsworth, and State Sen. Peter Brungardt, R-Salina, are facing a vote on a school finance bill in this last week of the legislative session. They didn't seem surprised at the large number of school administrators, teachers and parents in the audience Saturday School finance has been the hottest topic of the session, and several plans have been proposed, including a Senate Education Committee bill that would raise per pupil spending by $90, increase special education funding and develop an See SPENDING, Page A2 T SMOKY HILL RIVER FESTIVAL Presents! Gifts program is born to celebrate 25th anniversary of river festival ' ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ " . TxrifVi iHoQC clio Qcl ^-or? if cVia By SHARON MONTAGUE The Salina Journal They talked of birthday cake, of candles, of the celebration that comes with birthdays and anniversaries. Then Salina Arts and Humanities Commission staff turned their thoughts to the best thing about birthdays — presents — and the Festival 25 Gifts program was born. "It brings together everything that is unique about the Smoky Hill River Festival — participation, accessibility, excellence and celebration," said Martha Rhea, director of the commission. "It goes with the idea of making original work available to a broad spectrum of the public who come to the festival. "And there's also the idea of giving back to the community" Ann Arkebauer, a Salina artist who has exhibited at the festival for many years and helped with it, was commissioned to create 25 original works. Those works, which will be signed and numbered, will be given away TOM DORSEY / The Salina Journal Salina artist Ann Arkebauer is reflected in a mirror she created along with other pieces of art to be given away as part of the 25th anniversary of the Smoky Hill River Festival. through a raffle — one every weekday from May 1 until the week of the June 7-10 festival. The works will be given to the winners during a ceremony on the last day of the festival. Decorated boxes are to be placed Monday at the Salina Public Library, Salina Family YMCA, Green Lantern at Ohio and Iron streets. Cen­ tral Mall information stand and Dillons at Sunset Plaza. People are asked to register only once and at only one location. Rhea said daily drawings will be rotated among the five locations, and winners will be notified by telephone. Originally Arkebauer was asked to create 25 different candles. But after about two weeks of trying to come up with ideas, she asked if she could simply create gifts. Instead of candles, she created five different wooden pieces for the giveaway including two kinds of mirrors, a table, a chalkboard and a tray There will be five variations on each design. "Every one is unique," Rhea said. "Ann's work is delightful and accessible and seemed something that was very appropriate." The tray is her favorite of the five designs. "I think a lot of women will be attracted to it and think of the kitchen," she said. "It's something they can use." Arkebauer said she tried to appeal to the masses without compromising her style, which she described as "a lot of color, a lot of design." "It's funky and whimsical but functional," she said." "I like to recycle things, use different materials on top of paint and paint on top of different materials." See FESTIVAL, Page A2 WEATHER High: 73 Low: 41 A 60 percent chance of thunderstorms or showers. Cloudy tonight. PAGE A6 Presidents and prime ministers try to address demonstrators' wildly varying grievances at the Summit of Americas Saturday. PAGE A8 A year after Elian Gonzalez was taken from his relatives' home in Miami, tourists still drive by and his relatives remember with sadness. INSIDE Classified / F1 Consumer / E4 Crossword / D6 Deaths / B3 Great Plains / B1 Life / D1 Money / E1 Sports / CI Weather / B6 Viewpoints / A7

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