The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on January 28, 1986 · Page 1
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 1

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Salina, Kansas
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Tuesday, January 28, 1986
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Page 1
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"Journal Home Edition — 25 Cents Salina, Kansas TUESDAY January 28,1986 114th year —No. 28— 18 Pages City seeks alternative on alleys Options sought to closed alleys By GORDON D. FIEDLER Jr. Staff Writer The proposed closing of Salina's downtown alleys to vehicle traffic as part of the $6.5 million downtown renovation might not mean the end to backdoor deliveries for store owners. Merchants who depend on the alleys for shipments and other business will have a role in developing alternatives to the current situation that allows unrestricted traffic in alleys between the shops on Santa Fe and those on Seventh and Fifth streets. A committee established to work with store owners on the design of their stores also will help "hardship cases" work out problems alley closure could cause. "Our feeling is you have to have an extreme problem for us to provide a solution," City Manager RufusNyesaid. The closing of the alleys was recommended earlier this month by the board of advisers for the downtown Business Improvement District. They recommended that vehicle traffic be banned in the alleys of a six-block area between Mulberry and Ash. Downtown Redevelopment Director Ann Rnowles said Monday that she wants to hear from merchants who would be significantly affected by the proposal so that an alternative can be worked into the design. The proposal to close the alleys, recommended by the Business Improvement District, was part of a general discussion of the downtown progress among city commissioners during their informal meeting Monday. The improvement district reasoned that closing the alleys to cars and trucks, along with remodeling the back entrances to stores, would help stimulate more pedestrian traffic downtown. The final decision on closing the alleys will rest with commissioners. The more substantial alley work will involve burying the utility lines and moving transformers that hang between the buildings. An amended work schedule calls for the alley utility work to begin in March and to be finished in about five months. The final touches to the alleys, such as resurfacing, will begin about June and be finished by Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, work will start on Scott William. Willey Cherry delivers a package to School Specialty Supply in the alley between Santa Fe and Seventh Street. Downtown merchants are being asked for alternatives to a proposal that calls for the closing of downtown alleys. demolishing 14 buildings. After the buildings are razed, those sites will be used as parking lots or as open- air arcades to link the parking lots on Seventh and Fifth with Santa Fe. Nye said the demolition contract will require the removal of all the buildings by April. Work on the parking lots is set to begin in midsummer and be finished by November. The construction of the arcades tentatively is to start in Sep- tember. But because of possible interference with the start of the Christmas shopping season, the work probably will be continued until early 1987, project architect John Shaver said. The final phase of the public portion . of the project, the "streetscape," or overhaul of Santa Fe, Seventh and Fifth, will begin in February 1986 and, depending on the budget, be finished by July. Nye said the project should be completed by mid-summer 1987. Up to $1.5 million of the cost will be met by downtown property owners, as mandated by the public-private financing agreement set forth by commission action Sept. 10,1984. The city agreed to supply up to $5 in sales tax revenue for every $1 of private financingtfor the public portion of the project. Property owners will be responsible to renovate the interior and exterior of their stores. TOPEKA (AP) — The Senate Assessment and Taxation Committee Monday endorsed and sent to the Senate a bill that would exempt some transient merchants from paying state property taxes on the goods they bring into the state. Sen. Fred Kerr, R-Pratt, committee chairman, said the Senate could take action on the bill by the end of the week. The committee en- dorsed the bill by a voice vote after about 90 minutes of sometimes rancorous discussion. The bill would exempt merchants who sell or display their goods at trade shows, conventions, charity bazaars and at shows sponsored by convention or visitors bureaus. In all, the bill includes a dozen exemptions for transient merchants, some of which apply to merchants who display their goods 14 or fewer days a year. Some exemptions apply to merchants who display their goods for 14 or fewer days at a time. The bill is a response to a licensing law passed last session. In that law, transient merchants were required to show that they had paid their taxes to get the license they would need to sell goods in the state. That triggered the use of another, virtually ignored Court rejects $2.1 billion plea in Exxon appeal By The New York Times WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court Monday turned down the Exxon Corp.'s last appeal of a ruling requiring it to pay about $2.1 billion in refunds and interest to the government for overcharges to customers who bought crude oil from a Texas field in the 1970s. The money is to be distributed to the states, which will generally be required to spend the money on such conservation projects as insulating schools, reducing consumption of energy and aiding the poor with utility bills. It was the second-largest monetary award by a court in United States history, and the largest ever upheld on final appeal. The largest was the $10.53 billion, plus interest, awarded the Pennzoil Co. in its challenge of Texaco Inc.'s acquisition of the Getty Oil Co.; that award is in the appeals process. In the Exxon case, the court declined without comment to hear the company's appeal from lower-court rulings that Exxon argued had subjected it to unconstitutional, arbitrary and retroactive penalties for charging prices that seemed consistent with the complex price controls in effect at the time. The department still is pursuing hundreds of cases against oil producers involving violations of the elaborate system of price controls inspired by the oil crises of the 1970s. The controls were removed in January 1981, but billions of dollars remained at stake in the lawsuits. The government opposed Exxon's appeal, arguing that the company had clearly violated Energy De- partment regulations by selling output from the Hawkins Field near Tyler, Texas, that belonged in the category of "old oil" at the higher prices the regulations allowed for "new oil." In declining to hear the case, the court also turned down petitions for individual refunds by various refiners, airlines and assorted other oil purchasers claiming to be victims of the overcharges. Instead, the court let stand lower- court rulings that the money should be distributed by the federal government to the states to pay for energy conservation and other programs benefiting consumers. Monday's action came in a case titled Exxon Corp. vs. United States and in the four related petitions by companies that sought the individual refunds. In July, the Temporary Emergency Court of Appeals, affirming a ruling by a U.S. District Court, ruled that Exxon had to pay the huge refund, and that the effect of the overcharges had been distributed throughout the economy and could not be traced to individual victims. An Exxon spokesman, Bill Smith, said Monday that he was not certain when the company would have to make the payment of $895.5 million plus accrued interest, which brings the total to about $2.1 billion. Clifford C. Garvin, Exxon's chairman, said Monday that "we are extremely disappointed" with the decision, saying the lower-court decisions "included major inequities" and had denied Exxon and other producers a chance "to present their complete case." Reagan aides disagree over tonight's speech Exemptions for transient merchants endorsed law that requires transient merchants to pay a full year of property taxes on their inventories. During hearings last week, convention hall executives and representatives of business groups testified that the licensing and tax laws were mistakes that drove convention business out of the state. Kerr recommended that the committee pass the bill. By The New York Times WASHINGTON — After a bitter debate within the White House staff, President Reagan has agreed to speak about family values as well as his domestic and foreign policy agenda in his State of the Union speech today, White House officials said Monday. The debate pitted Patrick J. Buchanan, the White House director of communications, against several key aides to Donald T. Regan, the White House chief of staff. Last week the president and Regan agreed to a revised version of the broad, thematic speech that had largely been shaped by Buchanan, a former columnist and television commentator with strong conservative views. The Regan aides are said to have wanted a stronger focus on domestic and economic proposals and less ideological content in the address, which is to be delivered to a joint session of Congress and will be televised at 8 p.m. CST today. Buchanan gained the upper hand after months of virtually open conflict over the president's speeches. On one side was Buchanan's speechwriting staff, who largely believe the president should hew to strong expressions of conservative ideology, and on the other the chief of staff's aides, who have reshaped and, in some cases, softened Reagan's rhetoric. One key White House official said "there was a lot of tugging and hauling and pushing and shoving" on the State of the Union. Another official said that at one point, Buchanan lost his temper with the chief of staff when he saw that the first draft of the address had been drastically revised by Regan aides. "Tempers were high," said one White House official. Privately, White House officials involved in the dispute speak combatively about each other. Officials said that the State of the Union speech will be unusually brief, about 20 minutes, and offer a broader vision of where the nation is heading than Reagan's previous four. Although the address is not expected to deal at length with specific legislative proposals, officials say Reagan will touch, nonetheless, on East-West relations and the need for tax overhaul and continuing the military buildup, and will discuss the looming budget battle as a choice between the needs of families and taxpayers as opposed to continued support for federal programs. Reagan is also expected to discuss the role of family and traditional values as a bulwark of American life. Today Inside Classified 14-16 Entertainment 18 Fun 17 Living Today 6,7 Local/Kansas 3,10 Markets 8 Nation/World 5 On the Record 9 Opinion 4 Sports 11-13 Weather 9 Weather KANSAS — Mostly sunny and warmer today, with highs of 60 in the western part of the state and 50 in the east. Clear tonight, with lows in the mid- 203 to low 30s. Nebraska towns treat abandoned body as 'our boy" HEBRON, Neb. (AP) — On a blustery winter morning, police pulled up at the bleak stretch of stubbled fields and dirt road where the pajama-clad body of a 55-pound boy lay in a ditch. The mystery began there Christmas Eve. One month later, investigators are still laboring to learn the name of the blond, freckle- faced child, where he came from and who abandoned him on this prairie. "We've got a victim but we don't have anyone who wants to claim him," said Sheriff Gary Young of Thayer County, a patchwork of small farm towns in southeastern Nebraska. Authorities are treating the case as a homicide, although they've not yet said how this boy — between 9 and 12 years old — died. They've checked more than 150 tips nationwide, distributed thousands of sketches of the boy's face to schools in Kansas and Nebraska, contacted TV stations and called in the FBI and missing children's agencies. Still no answers. No one who can — or will — call the boy their son. No one who even knows the child. The townspeople of Hebron and Chester, about a mile from where the boy was found, have decided to adopt the mystery child left on their doorstep and are planning his funeral. "As of now, he's our boy," Hebron jeweler Bob Thomas said. "They dumped him. We've got to bury him. If he's our boy, we're going to treat him like our boy. That's the answer.'' Lon Adams, a funeral director in Hebron, said he would arrange for pallbearers and a singer for the church service. An Iowa woman has donated $15 for a headstone, he added. "We don't want him to be buried on potter's row," Adams said. "If you had a young boy, wouldn't you want him taken care of ? " The boy will be buried in a plot in Chester with the service at the United Methodist Church, said pastor Jean Samuelson. "No one is anonymous in this little town," she said of the town of 435. "They feel this could be anybody's grandchild or child." The Rev. Russell Winkler hopes the service will ease some pain. Jeweler Bob Thomas (left) and the Rev. Russell Winkler plan a funeral for an abandoned boy found dead last month. "Even if he died without dignity, he's going to have dignity when he's buried," said Winkler, pastor of Hebron's First Christian Church. The grim fact, however, is these kind people must wait to hold the funeral while authorities, who have kept the body in cold storage, hunt for evidence. Hebron, the county seat of 1,910, is unaccustomed to such dilemmas. It is a peaceful place named after a biblical town in ancient Palestine, one of the cities of refuge for people who killed others accidentally or in self- defense. But in this Hebron, a place where people stop to chat when they meet along the brick streets, folks don't worry about locking their doors, much less about crime. The last murder in Thayer County occurred about a decade ago, and there's only about one violent crime a year in the 576-square mile area, Young said. Gas and tool thefts are more common. County Attorney Dan Werner, also the coroner, said he believes he knows the cause of the boy's death but isn't ready to release it. He said he's continuing to consult with pathologists. Werner has, however, ruled out stabbing, (See Towns, Page 9)

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