The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 24, 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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Tuesday, April 24, 2001
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Page 9
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TUESDAY APRIL 24, 2001 THE SALINA JOURNAL Great Plains A LOOK AHEAD / B2 DEATHS / B3 FUN /B4 BRIEFLY School board to look at bonds for project , The Salina School Board wUl consider approving today the financing of $38.8 million in bonds, the balance of the district's $99 million in bonds for school construction. The board meets at 5 p.m. in the district office, 1511 Gypsum. The board also will be asked to approve the refinancing of $13.4 miUion of the $60 miUion in bonds authorized in 1999. Lower interest rates mean the district might save between $350,000 and $400,000, district business director Mike Soetaert said. The board also will consider establishing a hearing May 8 to amend the district's budget to include an additional $343,800. An enrollment audit revealed 90 more full-time students for the 2000-2001 school year — 8,231 — than estimated in 2000. Traffic stop leads to drug bust in Salina Salina police arrested three people early Monday after police reportedly found 7 ounces of methamphetamine worth $28,000 in a car Salina police Lt. Joe Garman, a member of the I-135/I- 70 Drug Task Force, said an officer pulled over the car because of expired tags. Garman said the driver, Chad Bennett, 20, was found to be carrying a gun, which, because of a prior felony conviction, was illegal. A search of the car turned up scales and the meth, some apparently packaged to be sold, Garman said. Bennett and Jamie Bolinski, 18, were arrested on suspicion of possession of and intent to distribute methamphetamine. Passenger Jose Antonio-Ronquillo, 24, was arrested on possession of the illegal drug. KPL project to cut power temporarily A planned power outage will affect 783 KPL customers for about three hours beginning at midnight Thursday Tom Sydow, KPL's spokesman in Salina, said a new power line will be tied into the substation at Santa Fe and Harsh avenues, which means it will be much simpler and quicker to fix power problems, Sydow said. "It will give better service to the north end of town," he said. The affected areas will be between Fifth and 13th streets and Euclid and Pacific avenues. Also, a two-block area from Seventh Street to Santa Fe and Pacific Avenue to Grand Avenue will be affected. Demps resigns as KC superintendent KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In another stunning reversal for the embattled Kansas City public schools, Benjamin Demps Jr resigned Monday as superintendent — just four days after his surprise reinstatement to the job by a federal judge following his firing Wednesday Demps, with tears in his eyes, urged a state takeover of the schools: "The only efficient solution to this crisis lies with the state Legislature and also in my opinion, it is truly the district's last chance." Demps lasted only 20 months in the job, and was Kansas City's 19th superintendent in 30 years. I . The board, meeting in closed session after Demps' resignation, appointed Bernard Taylor, executive director of school leadership, as acting superintendent. From Staff and Wire Reports THOISINGTON TORNADO Donations pour in for tornado victims Red Cross to take donors to town to see where money goes By AMY SULLIVAN The Salina Journal People are opening up their wallets to help Hoisington residents recover from Saturday night's tornado that killed one person and injured 28 others. Donors have come in person and called the North Central Kansas Chapter of the American Red Cross in Salina, said Ruby Jones, development director A dollar estimate on the donations wasn't available Monday "I'm never surprised with ETC. the public. There has been more response than there has been with other disasters," because this disaster was large and close to home, Jones said. The F-4 tornado, with winds from 207 to 260 miles an hour, measured a quarter-mile wide and a half-mile long, said Joy Moser, spokeswoman with the Adjutant General's Department of the Kansas Air National Guard. The tornado hit a nine- by-nirte block area in the town of 2,900, 65 miles southwest of Salina in Barton County Gov Bill Graves declared the town a state of disaster emergency Kansas Army National Guard soldiers from Great Bend, Hutchinson and Topeka Monetary donations can be left at the American Red Cross office, 145 S. Santa Fe, or mailed to Tlie American Red Cross, RO. 60x1633, Salina 67402. To volunteer, call 8273644. will assist with security and traffic control, Moser said. Help still is needed, Jones said, and the best way to help is with money. Donations of clothes and home furnishings aren't being accepted. "If someone brings clothing or appliances, these people don't have a place to put them," Jones said. Jones suggests holding on to those items until the tornado victims have homes, and a service agency finds a way to distribute them. That could be a few months. Regular Red Cross donors will get a chance today, Wednesday and Thursday to see the agency in action. Jones said a van donated by Marshall Motor Co., 801 E. Crawford, will take about 20 donors to Hoisington. "We are going to go to where TOPEKA — Gov. Bill Graves and Attorney General Carla Stovall are expected to participate in a ceremony Wednesday to honor law enforcement officers who have died on duty The event is scheduled to begin at noon Wednesday on the north side of the Statehouse. CORBECTIOMS ••••• 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. HISTORIC FORT HAYS Photos by STEVEN HAUSLER / Hays Daily News Bob Wilhelm, director of Historic Fort Hays, taliis about the project to restore the fort's bloc[<house, one of the oldest buildings in western Kansas. SAS^G THE FORT Historians try to uncover fort's past during restoration By JUDY SHERARD The Hays Daily News HAYS — Bob Wilhelm, director of Historic Fort Hays, is trying to solve a mystery more than a century old. The mystery involves the fort blockhouse. "We don't have a lot of information about the building. There are no blueprints. It's been a big mystery By exposing this, I hope it will clear it up," Wilhelm said of the inside of the building that has been nearly gutted for restoration and reinterpretation. "There are some plans of blockhouses in the National Archives, but they were all in the East," he said. "We want it to tell a story as much as we can, to peel back the changes and show how much it has changed over time. It's not a pure restoration. We don't know enough to do that. It's a big mystery It's one of my favorites," said Terry Marmet, director of historical sites for the Kansas State Historical Society. Historians know an engineer worked on the plans for the building, but the construction work was done with unskilled soldier labor. Construction worker Eric VanCampen wa\ks across the floor joists in the See FORT, Page B3 bloclthouse. The building was built in 1867 by unskilled soldiers. the Red Cross is actually set up so the donors can see them giving people drinks and sandwiches, and we'll go to the shelters," Jones said. Jones has wanted to put together donor trips, but disasters usually were too far away On Monday, more Red Cross volunteers from all over the country came to Hoisington, said Vicktoria Degand, director of the North Central Kansas Chapter The agency is operating two shelters and getting food to people who need it. • Reporter Amy Sullivan can be reached at 823-6464, Ext. 125, or by e-mail at sjasullivan@sal journal.com. T DON DIECKHOFF Salinan known for cars, charity Former car dealer's legacy is of helping others, making sales By TIM UNRUH The Salina Journal There was an empty seat Monday morning at the downtown Burger King where Don Dieckhoff had coffee with his pals. Christmas could be a bit less cheery for many in Salina who remember tugging on the big, funny man's fake white beard, and some might recall the movie-theater- quality popcorn he dispersed on mppifH^pp Halloween DIECKHOFF nights years ago from his yard in the 1000 block of East Jewell Avenue. Dieckhoff, the former owner of Waddell Cadillac-Oldsmobile-Toyota, 901 E. Crawford, died Monday He was 73. "He was a giver and a doer, extremely outgoing and friendly" said Keith Duckers, 147 Overhill, the president emeritus of St. John's Military School. Dieckhoff was a major supporter, a "Top Gun" among the "whip crackers" of the Muleskinner's Club. "Don recruited supporters," Duckers said of the Muleskinner's Club. "Almost every year, he won the award." T LEGISLATURE Panel OKs budget plan without tax hike But plan from House committee cuts funds promised to colleges By The Associated Press TOPEKA — The House Appropriations Committee produced a budget plan Monday night that would close a $206 million funding gap without raising taxes in the fiscal year that starts in July But the panel's plan relies on a $4.2 million reduction in a $20.8 million increase promised to universities and community colleges by legislators in 1999, when they reorganized the higher education system. The fuU $20.8 million was included in a $9.11 billion spending bill that legislators approved before they recessed April 6 — and that Gov BiU Graves signed into law Monday The differences will be worked out after the House and Senate return Wednesday The House committee's plan makes it unlikely that faculty at the six Regents universities will receive the 6.2 percent raises proposed by Graves. "It's not a painless budget," said Chairman Kenny Wilk, R- Lansing. "This budget has got a lot of hurt for everyone." The House plan contained dozens of other changes from the bill Graves signed, many of them cuts in general government spending. The committee met its goal of not proposing a tax increase, which leaders have insisted wouldn't win House approval anyway The committee's plan also would step up the collection of delinquent taxes and the Department of Transportation to issue more bonds for highway projects, so that it wouldn't have to spend tax revenues. "It's a responsible budget forged imder excruciatingly difficult fiscal times," said Rep. Rocky Nichols, Topeka, the committee's ranking Democrat. mi A lifelong Salinan A Salinan since he was 3 weeks old, Dieckhoff flourished in the automobile business, starting out in junior high by polishing cars for Davis Childs Motor Co. He went to work for Waddell Cadillac in 1952. In 1962, Dieckhoff became the owner of the dealership on east Crawford. By then, it also sold Oldsmobiles and Toyotas. Dieckhoff sold out to Conklin Cars in 1996, and this spring the dealership moved to South Ninth Street. "He was a wonderful man, a good competitor," said North McArthur, president of Long McArthur, the Ford dealership at 3450 S. Ninth. "He did a lot for the car business and the city of Salina in general, taking a dealership that Gerry Waddell and Stan Livengood buUt and kept it going into what it is today" Dieckhoff was a big man with a heart to match. Friends said he was involved in several aspects of community including Boy Scouts, St. John's, Elks, Masons, Shriners, banking and many boards and committees. He was called the "Cadillac of Santas" in a December 1986 Journal story He started his Santa career in 1966 when he filled in at an appearance at the Salina Country Club. A kid- lover, he turned the appearance into a volunteer career, charging families, corporations and companies for his Santa services. Proceeds went to charity A full obituary appears in today's edition on Page B3. • Reporter Tim Unruh can be reached at 823-6464, Ext. 137, or by e-mail at sJtunruh@saljour nal.com. SUGGESTIONS? CALL BEN WEARING, DEPUTY EDITOR, AT 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363 OR E-MAIL AT sjbwearingOsaljournaLcom

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