The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 22, 2001 · Page 9
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 9

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Salina, Kansas
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Sunday, April 22, 2001
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Page 9
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SUNDAY APRIL 22, 2001 THE SAUNA JOURNAL Great Plains A LOOK AHEAD / B2 DEATHS / B3 ALMANAC / B6 BRIEFLY Hoisington tornado damages hospital HOISINGTON — A tornado hit this central Kansas town Saturday evening, ripping the roof off a hospital and damaging several blocks of homes, authorities said. There were no confirmed reports of serious injuries or deaths as of 10:30 p.m. Saturday. A Barton County sheriff's dispatcher said the twister damaged several blocks in northern Hoisington and tore the roof off the Clara Barton Hospital. The town of about 3,000 people was without power and most telephone service after the tornado hit about 9:15 p.m.. T STATE BUDGET Modest tax increase part of plan Senate committee's newest proposal doesn't go far enough for Democrats By JOHN HANNA The Associated Press City commission to consider road project The Salina City Commission Monday will consider offering a $74,200 contract for engineering services associated with the South Marymount Road project. The project includes reconstructing three-fourths of a mile of Marymount from Mariposa Drive to Crawford Street so the road meets urban standards. Construction is slated to begin in the fall. A portion of the project's estimated $1.2 million cost will be paid by owners of 102 residential properties in areas that will benefit from the improvements. City staff is recommending Bucher, Willis and Ratliff, 609 W. North, be awarded the contract. Monday's regular meeting begins at 4 p.m. in Room 107 of the City-County Building; a study session, where miscellaneous city issues will be discussed, is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. in the same location. County commission has little on agenda The Saline County Commission will face a light agenda Tuesday at its formal meeting. The commission is slated to recognize National Volunteer Week, Victims' Rights Week and County Government Day and, as usual, time is set aside to address residents' concerns. The meeting will begin at 11 a.m. Tuesday in Room 107 of the City-County Building. Rolling Hills to observe Earth Day Rolling Hills Refuge Wildlife Conservation Center will have its first Earth Day celebration today Lori Hall, education director at the zoological park, said the day's activities will focus on stewardship, animal enrichment, composting, habitat improvement and recycling. The staff also has planned demonstrations on how materials can be reused to reduce waste. As a part of the celebration, visitors are encouraged to bring a bag of aluminum cans or plastic bottles to the park. In exchange, they will receive a 10 percent discount on the admission price. It costs $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and $5 for children ages 2 to 12. "By encouraging our visitors to bring recycling material, we are getting them to take a step towards solving an environmental problem — landfill overload," HaU said. The refuge, which opened in October 1999 and has more than 80 species on exhibit, is located six miles west of Salina off Interstate Highway 70. Severe weather hits In western Kansas TOPEKA — Strong winds swept into western Kansas Friday causing dust storms that cut visibility in some areas and touching off severe evening thunderstorms that included funnel clouds. In Ellsworth County the sheriff's department said a trained spotter saw a funnel cloud, but later in the evening the skies were clear From Staff and Wire Reports CORRECTIOIMS ••••• The Journal wants to set the record straight Advise us of errors by calling the Journal at (785) 823-6363, or toll free at 1-800827-6363. Corrections will run in this space as soon as possible. TOPEKA — The Senate Ways and Means Committee has endorsed a plan to close a hole in the state budget with a small tax increase on out-of-state insurance companies and a big dose of fiscal maneuvering. Approved 7-4 Friday after four days of work, the plan wiU be taken up by the entire Senate when legislators return to the Statehouse Wednesday to wrap up their business for the year. Legislators must close a $206 million gap between expected revenues and spending they have already approved for the fiscal year that begins July 1. Gov. BiU Graves declared this week that a tax increase is the best way to deal with the problem. The Senate committee's plan would raise taxes $10 million on out-of-state insurance companies. The measure also proposes to give revenues a one-time boost by stepping up the collection of delinquent taxes and forcing oil and natural gas producers to pay their severance taxes more quickly In addition, the bill cuts some spending and taps funds not normally used for general government expenditures, most notably $50 million in extra nursing home funds from the federal government. Graves had accused legislators of considering solutions that would only push the state's problems into its 2003 fiscal year, creating a disaster for lawmakers to deal with next year. Chairman Steve Morris, R-Hugoton, acknowledged Graves would not like much of the Senate committee's plan. "But we did the best we could," Morris said. Some committee members, particularly Democrats, disagreed. Sen. Jim Barone, D-Frontenac, said the plan "lacks fiscal integrity." Morris pushed his committee to finish its work Friday to give the Legislature's staff enough time to draft its plan as part of the last spending bill of the year. The House Appropriations Committee also has spent four days working on its own version of the same bill. It plans to meet again Monday to finish its work. The financial problems are in the state general fund, which holds most state revenues and is the largest source of money for Kansas government programs. Before they recessed April 6, legislators approved $4.66 billion in general fund appropriations for fiscal 20.02, about $230 million, or 5.2 percent more than in fiscal 2001. But the state expects to have enough revenue to increase general fund spending only about $25 million, or about 0.5 percent. In other action Friday, Graves signed a bill into law to create the KAN-ED Network to bring high-speed Internet and interactive video active to schools, colleges, libraries and hospitals across Kansas. North to Nebraska The Associated Press The northern lights glow over Nebraska in this time exposure photograph taken Tuesday in Grand Island, Neb. The Rev. Richard Karohl of Grand Island was out searching for stars when he witnessed and photographed the phenomena. T SEVERE WEATHER Hail, high winds rip through area South Salina pelted with large hail; farin suffers major damage By The Salina Journal Insurance agents were hearing many reports of hail damage to cars in Salina following Friday night's hail storm. Jeff Wells, an agent with American Family Insurance, said he's received more than 20 calls because of damage to cars T FOOT-AND-MOUTH DISEASE and windshields. "It all seems to be the south side of Salina," he said. That fits with the National Weather Service's report which indicated the heaviest hail hit south Salina and the airport industrial area. Police reported baseball-size hail in the vicinity of Wayne and Ohio streets. The haU tapered off farther north. Minor flooding and electrical outages also were reported in some areas. Waves of storms smashed north central and central Kansas Friday night. The most severe damage appeared to be in Phillips County where two horses were injured and a farmstead received about $100,000 in damage about 7 p.m. The sheriff's office called the damage, which happened four miles east and two miles south of Phillipsburg, "tornado damage," but the National Weather Service meteorologist Dave Gurney said the damage may have been caused just by straightline winds. A deck was torn off the farmouse and several outbuildings were destroyed, the sheriff's office said. She would not release the name of the homeowner There was potential for severe weather, including tornadoes and heavy rain, overnight Saturday and throughout Sunday in north central and central Kansas, Gurney said. He said today is expected to be windy with a high of about 70 degrees. KSU employee lends support to disease victims By The Associated Press MANHATTAN — A Kansas State University employee has thought of a way to help Kansans show they care about the plight of hundreds of British families affected by foot-and- mouth disease Charles Smith, a family life specialist at Kansas State, is ask- • CHEAPTHERAPY ing county extension agents to collect letters of condolence, sharing, inspiration and caring for farm families in England. Smith will take the letters with him when he visits England in early May, delivering them to ministers in the Cotswolds, an area of gentle hiUs and meUow stone houses west of London. The ministers will take the let­ ters to the families in greatest need. John Young, who farms about 1,300 acres of irrigated land in Sedgwick and Harvey counties, said he plans to write a letter to a British family even though he says his large operation of grain and livestock has little in common with the smaller famUy operations typical of the British countryside. "It's horrifying to realize how much these people are suffering," Young said. "And it is terrifying to think vjhat devastation it would cause if the disease got started here." Smith has felt a kinship with British farmers since he and his wife, Betsy visited the Cotswolds last year on vacation. • VOLUNTEERS HONORED Salinans make a difference Workers on local house project to be honored in publication By AMY SULLIVAN The Salina Journal The volunteers who in November scraped and primed Margaret Roudybush's house will be honored as local winners in today's USA Weekend supplement. The publication and the Salina Journal chose this project for recognition in today's edition, which is devoted to the 10th anniversary of Make a Difference Day. National, state and local winners will be listed. "Well, how about that!" Nancy Klostermeyer said when she heard news of the award. 60 people pitched in Klostermeyer is director of Volunteer Connection, the agency that organized the house project. About 60 people worked Nov. 4 to scrape and prime the house at 545 N. 12th. The work date was pushed back from Oct. 28 because of bad weather. People of all ages helped. "A project is valuable when adult volunteers work with youth volunteers," Klostermeyer said. "They can share their skills and interact together" The prep work was finished in one day, said Pat Goble, Salina housing rehabilitation coordinator He supervised the work while Volunteer Connection lined up the workers. "Everyone was so eager to help. It made the job easier," Goble said. Volunteers will paint the house in the next few months, Goble said. Make a Difference Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day are both big volunteering days in Salina, Klostermeyer said. Volunteer Connection matches volunteers with projects year- round. "There are always volunteer opportunities. We try to make a difference all year long," Klostermeyer said. • Reporter Amy Sullivan can be reached at 823-6464. Ext. 125, or by e-mail at sjasullivan @saljournal.com. The weather loves me, Atlanta tells me so We don't need windows anymore — we have The Weather Channel The afternoon south wind was brisk and warm under mostly cloudless blue. But to the west, storm clouds dark as slate metastasized across the sky From my high vantage, I watched the wind do its best to push the spreading darkness to the north. But the gale lacked the muscle. Within the hour the sun was gone behind a lid of gray Soon after the rain played its percussive concert on the windows. None of this was any surprise. I was forewarned by the weird science of meteorology and its well-coifed practitioners on The Weather Channel. They were even kind enough to show me pictures of the approaching storm, including its direction, size and rate of ^ travel. By their mystical calculations, the intense storm with possibly damaging winds would be short-lived. I could see this was so by the narrow band of festive greens, oranges and reds they assign to such weather Sure enough, the rain soon ceased its drumming, the wind died, the chicken house still stood, and I could go to bed reasonably assured I would not awake to a scene of maimed fowl littering the lawn. GORDON D. FIEDLER JR. The Salina Journal • Before The Weather Channel we had three-channel TV and radio to sound the alarm. Before that there was plain weather instinct. When skies darkened, people whose lives were weather-dependent were relatively certain what was coming based on what they'd witnessed before, not on the fancy cloud descriptions of blow-dried TV weather folk. Old-timers who would have thought cumulus congestus sounded more like a lung disease than a cloud type would know from experience that a cloud resembling meringue was not pie in the sky. It meant rain, and the pace of harvest kicked into high gear. In earlier centuries, when bad weather happened to good people, there was no window to the future. Not knowing if the storm would pass in a few hours or would reach the level of biblical prophecy victims hunkered down and waited. Hearing that the storm of Friday night would pass quickly, and seeing the colored blobs on TV, I felt my anxiousness ebb, and my complacency flow. So it is with other forms of technology that take our hands from the natural controls. With highly paid professionals watching our backs, we can become less vigilant and keep our heads down and go on about our business. But what if someday they are horribly wrong? Will we remember how to look up? • Columnist Gordon D. Fiedler Jr can be reached at 823-6363 Ext. 145 or by email at sjgfiedler@saljournal.com. SUGGESTIONS? CALL BEN WEARING, DEPUTY EDITOR, AT 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363 OR E-MAIL AT sjbwearing@saijournal.com

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