The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 25, 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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Wednesday, April 25, 2001
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Page 13
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THE SALINA JOURNAL GREAT PLAINS WPDNESDAY. APRIL 25. 2001 B5 • ELEVATOR EXPLOSION Two men remain critical No information about cause of explosion has been released By TIM UNRUH The Salina Journal GREENLEAF — Into the third week since an apparent dust explosion here, two men are battling for their lives and investigators are searching for what caused the blaze. Farmers Co-op Elevator Association employees Max Hubbard, 52, and John Woltje, 42, remained in critical condition Tuesday afternoon at the Uni- {^ersity of Kansas Medical Center's burn unit. "Our first thoughts are with Max and John and their families," said Pat Breeding, general manager of the cooperative, where an explosion in a feed mill April 6 critically burned the two workers. Hubbard was inside the mill mixing feed when a flash fire about 2:30 p.m. damaged the concrete mill and steel warehouse that adjoins it. Woltje was loading a truck with the feed that was to be hauled to a farm. No reports were available Friday from the State Fire Marshal's Office in Topeka. Mike .Cameron, public information ibfficer, said investigations ;yary, and the agency is not ready to release any information that would explain what caused the explosion. "Nobody has wrapped up their work and given me any concrete evidence of what happened," Breeding said. The feed mill has not operated since the blast. The feed truck remained in the driveway It's being left that way he said, until the investigation is complete. "We have not had a structural engineer come in," Breeding said. "To the naked eye, the concrete looks to be OK." But at least half of the steel warehouse will be replaced after the explosion blew out the northwest wall. Neighboring cooperatives, from asfar west as Delphos and north into Nebraska, have helped the Greenleaf cooperative serve its customers. The Farmers Co-op Elevator Association is matching any contribution to the John Woltje and Max Hubbard fund at Citizens National Bank in Greenleaf "It's a very close-knit group of employees and a very close- knit town," Breeding said. "Everybody is pulling for Max and John." • Reporter Tim Unruh can be reached at 823-6464, Ext. 137. or by e-mail at sjtunruh@saljour nal.com. naro CloHiina 1.. 5 no S. SanU Fc • Downtown It's Wdilli The Trill "BIG & TALL" POOL SERVICE SPA SERVICE WATER CHEMISTRY Poors PIOS of Salina 823-POOL • 2501 Market Place T EDUCATION Kansas City schools turn to Taylor Interim leader faces system with legal, academic problems By The Associated Press KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The interim superintendent of Kansas City schools says his first order of business will be to focus students and educators on the state tests that determine whether the district regains accreditation. Students began taking the Missouri Assessment Program tests Monday the same day Benjamin Demps Jr. resigned as superintendent after 20 months on the job. In an emergency meeting, the school board voted to appoint Bernard Taylor, executive director of school leadership, as interim superintendent. Taylor, 41, said although he normally would be thrilled at such an appointment, "This is not a normal circumstance. "I am heartsick people had to leave." Six members of Demps' staff also resigned Monday Taylor, the district's 20th leader in 30 years, takes over a legally troubled and academically deficient system with nearly 30,000 students, 5,000 employees and a $275 million budget. The state stripped the district of its accreditation in May 2000 after the schools failed to show adequate improvement in meeting 11 educational criteria. The district has until June 2002 to regain accreditation before the state would assume control of the schools. The district also is trying to end court supervision of one of the nation's most expensive desegregation efforts — more than $2 billion over more than 20 years. Board members said they did not know when a search for Demps' permanent replacement would begin. Board member Elma Warrick said she hoped her colleagues would hold off until the state had decided Vifhether to reinstate the district's accreditation. Second time In charge It was the second time in less than a week Taylor has found himself running the district. The board appointed him to the job April 18 after firing Demps in an emergency meeting. Demps was returned to the job the next day by U.S. District Court Judge Dean Whipple, who has been overseeing the desegregation case and has control over many aspects of district operations. Board President Helen Rags- dale said Whipple approved Taylor's interim appointment on Monday In his announcement Monday, Demps took aim at the board: "Frankly, the only hope for this district at this crucial juncture, in my opinion, is the removal of the existing board governance model." Critics, led by legislators who support state control, have argued few, if any qualified leaders could work with a board they say is too politically motivated to lead. Concerns about low test scores, the district's revolving door of superintendents and squabbling between Demps and board members have fueled legislative proposals that would speed up the time frame for a state takeover. "We believe Demps was the last hope, and they've thrown in the towel on the last hope," said Senate President Pro Tem Peter Kinder, R-Cape Girardeau. Ragsdale, however, said legislators' concerns should be eased by the appointment of Taylor. "Once they see the credentials, 1 think they will be pleasantly surprised," she said. Since he came to Kansas City last August from the Pittsburgh public school system, Taylor has overseen principals in 26 of the system's 70 schools. His last job in Pittsburgh was as principal of an elementary school with an enrollment of about 400. He holds a doctorate in education from the University of Pittsburgh. "I found him to be a very hardworking young man," said Delphina Briscoe, Taylor's last boss in Pittsburgh. "Very sincere, highly organized, worked well with staff" Election / Hearing is today Pv A n FROM PAGE B1 ed as part of an investigation eluding the names of True and JL d,JL ^.JL M. ^ ^^^^V^^M. A court hearing is scheduled for today in the Smith County District Court to sort out the issue. Inappropriate, not Illegal? Bryan Caskey administrative assistant in the election division of the state Secretary of State office, said: "In our opinion, we don't think it (what Nichols said happened) crosses the line of electioneering, but we don't think it's appropriate." Fetters, who stirred statewide controversy in 1999 when he said first-time deer poachers in Smith County would be offered diversions from prosecution, said 11 written statements were gathered after Schamp complained. The statements were request­ ed as part of an investigation Smith County Sheriff 'Al Gaines said is ongoing. "I've decided there's no basis for filing criminal charges," Fetters said. "We can't find any evidence of election fraud. Election workers do a pretty damn good job." Fetters also said nowhere in the 11 statements his office received from the sheriff are there names of election workers who allegedly told Nichols and possibly other voters the names of write-in candidates. Nichols and Geraldine Brooks, Gaylord city clerk, dispute Fetters' claim. "I wrote two names" in the statement, Nichols said. "That's not right, and dummy me didn't keep a copy of the statement." "I put in my statement what Michelle (Nichols) told me," in­ cluding the names of True and Zabel, Brooks said. Underlying the situation, say Brooks and Schamp, is longstanding tension between Smith County law enforcement officials and the Schamp family "The Schamps brought the complaint, and anything that comes from them they won't have anything to do with... Randy (Dovie Schamp's husband) has given them some hell about some things," Brooks said. Randy Schamp said he believes Smith County officials are "playing a cover-up game." "1 grew up in this town," Brooks said. "1 know how unfair things can be." • Reporter Nate Jenkins can be reached at 823-6464, Ext. 139, or by e-mail at sjnjenkins@sal journal.com. Statehouse work to begin in the fall By The Associated Press TOPEKA — Crews will begin work on the "People's Building" this fall, starting an eight- year project to restore the Statehouse to its former luster and grandeur. The $133 million project is expected begin in September or October with construction of a 561-car parking garage beneath the north lawn. Secretary of Administration Dan Stanley said the $13 million garage was added by the Capital Restoration Commission to improve access and aesthetics of 134-year-old structure. "The grounds of the Capitol really look like a Kmart parking lot," Stanley said, referring to the parked cars that ring the building on a typical day. Licensed & Bonded For Your Protection. Midwest Security Systems, inc. 1006 E. Iron / Salina, KS 785-825-8157 / 800-732-7863 Alex Collazo Close by when H you need us. 401 West Iron, Salina / (785) 823-3456 The Salina Public Library's Second Annual NovelKansas Presents JIM & KATE LEHRER APRIL 28 • 7:30 - 9:00 RM. KANSAS WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY'S SAMS CHAPEL Come hear these engaging, award-winning authors speak about their experiences and their craft. A book signing will immediately follow. NovelKansas 2001 is sponsored by the Friends of the Salina Public Library, Smoky Hiils Public Television, EEC Radio, Cox Communicalions, Sunflower Bank, Renaissance Cafi, Exline Inc., Ryan Mortuary, Bennington Slate Bank, PKM Steel and Cowitry Inn & Suites. For more information, call the Ubrary at (785) 825-4624, stop by 301 W. Elm or check our web site at www.8alpublib.org. SALINA PUBLIC LJBMRY 3RD STREET FLOWERS 785-263-0440 105 N.W. 3rd / Abilene For all your Insurance Needs Dallas Dunn SOO E. Crawford / 825-1559 Home Loans / EquiLine Cnecking Accounts: SimplyFree Checking Better Than 40 Club Home Banking Club SimplyBusiness The Security Account Super Savers Account Personal Loans CD's IRA's Commercial Lending Interest Rat^are Now is the time to save money on your home financing. If you are interested in buying, refinancing, or using the equity in your existing home contact a loan officer at Security Savings Bank today - we can save you money. Where character and integrity come first. Security Savings Bank 317 S. Santa Fe, 1830 S. Ohio, Salina 785-825-8241 Statewide toll-free number 800-323-89.'i8. EQUAL HOUSING LENDER MEMBER FDIC With offices in Salina. Olathe. Garden City, and Wichiiii Train here for the biggest race of them all. The Human one. Sponsored by: (^bLholic ^hariUca •^Salina Journal RACISM National Day of Commitment to Eliminate Racism Friday, April 27, 11:30-1:00 YWCA Racism Study Circle and Luncheon Luncheon cost $5.00 per person. Call the YWCA for reservations at 825-4626. Race Against Racism Saturday, April 28 8:00 a.m. 5 Mile Competition Race 2 Mile March Bill Burke Park, Salina The Difference is in the " " 651 E. Prescott Salina, KS 67401 YWCA

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