The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 28, 2001 · Page 9
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 9

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Saturday, April 28, 2001
Page 9
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SATURDAY APRIL 28, 2001 THE SALlNMtJOURNAL Great Plains A LOOK AHEAD / B2 DEATHS / B3 FUN / B4 BRIEFLY Salina man arrested on kidnapping cliarge A Salina man was arrested Thursday after his girlfriend told police she had been kidnapped and driven around the countryside. Salina police Lt. Mike Sweeney said Jennifer Weber, 17,1310 Indian Rock, called police at 12:49 p.m. Thursday from 685 Starlight, the home of her boyfriend, Jeremiah John Bastin, 18. Weber told the dispatcher someone was trying to take her child, but then she hung up. Dispatchers called Weber back, but no one answered the phone, and when officers arrived, no one was there. Officers found Weber and her 7-month-old son, Joshua, at their home later in the afternoon. She told police she had been at her boyfriend's house and the two argued. Weber told police Bastin threatened her and put her son in his car before dragging her outside and putting her in the car against her will, Sweeney said. Sweeney said the girl told officers Bastin drove on country roads at speeds of 70 to 80 mph, telling her he wanted to kill her and her son. He then ' dropped her and her son off at her house, he said. Bastin was arrested on charges of assault, battery, kidnapping and endangering a child. Disaster declaration for Hoisington issued WASHINGTON — President Bush declared a major disaster for the state of Kansas Friday, triggering release of federal funds for Hoisington after a tornado killed one man and injured 28 other people. Gov. Bill Graves had sought a formal disaster declaration for Barton County, citing damages from the April 21 storm of more than $43 million. U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback's office announced Friday afternoon that the White House authorized the declaration. Federal Emergency Management Agency funds will be available to families and individuals in Barton County and to state and local governments to fix or replace damaged structures there. FEMA also will offer funding to counties throughout Kansas for actions to prevent or reduce future storm damage. FEMA Director Joe Allbaugh toured tornado-damaged areas Thursday, stopping first at the destroyed Town & Country Supermarket, the only grocery store in the town of about 3,000 residents. Bill would excuse Hoisington students TOPEKA — A bill waiving the minimum-day requirement for students whose schools are damaged by disasters has gone to Gov Bill Graves. The proposal was filed in response to the tornado that heavily damaged Hoisington High School on April 21. Lawmakers approved a similar waiver when Andover was hit by a tornado in April 1991, but this year's version eliminates the need to pass a bill for each case. Under the bill, the State Board of Education may waive the requirement that students attend at least 186 days of school when a disaster makes following the law unreasonable. The bill's definition of disaster includes fire, flood, earthquake, tornado, wind, storm, epidemics, air contamination, blight, drought, infestation or explosion. The House passed the measure Friday, a day after it won unanimous Senate approval. From Staff and Wire Reports CORRECTIONS Because of a Journal error, the name of the winner of the girl's pole vault at the Wamego Invitational track meet was incorrect in Friday's edition. Salina South High School's Ashley Ferguson won the event with a meet record clearance of 8 feet, 6 inches. ••••• 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. T LEGISLATURE Farm loan amounts may increase Program requires borrowers to have outstanding loans on at least 40 percent of their assets By SARAH KESSINGER Harris News Service TOPEKA — A conference committee of lawmakers is waiting to see if budget negotiations will leave room for a $10 million increase to a $50 million farm loan program. Earlier this session, the Senate and House passed differing increases to the farm loan program: The Senate agreed to $5 million more and the House, $50 million. Now, late-session budget talks in the Senate have held up a final decision on whether to expand the program at all. "We're still waiting to see what the Senate will do," said House Agriculture Chairman Dan Johnson, R-Hays. "It's been frustrating," said bill advocate Rep. Sharon Schwartz, R-Washington. The loan money is provided from idle state funds that normally are invested by the state's Pooled Money Investment Board. When the loan program was started last year, all funds were exhausted within three days. About 450 farmers gained loans averaging about $115,700. Some were repaid quickly, allowing the money to be loaned out to other borrowers. The loans can extend up to eight years. Paul Johnson, a small farmer who lobbies for the Kansas Catholic Conference, said the loans appear to help farmers, although he would prefer to see the loans targeted to those with heavier debt loads. The program requires borrowers to have outstanding loans on at least 40 percent of their assets. Banks can access the state money at an interest rate that is two percentage points below the market rate. They then can loan the money for up to two percentage points above market rate. Schwartz contends an expanded program could help stabilize more struggling farmers and help the state's economy A drought last summer and fall along with soaring energy costs hit Kansas farms hard. Farmer income fell 7.7 percent from 1999 to 2000, according to Kansas Farm Management Association. CLEANUP PROJECT Salina students give back to community in five-park trash bash By TANA THOMSON The Salina Journal If while strolling through Lakewood Park people notice the Smoky Hill River is a little cleaner, they can thank Emmanuel Christian School and South Middle School seventh- and eighth- graders. About 275 middle school students, teachers and supervisors showed up for the Smoky Hill River Rescue Friday afternoon. It was a field trip geared, to show kids the importance of not littering and of giving back to the community by picking up trash along the old river channel. The students broke into small groups and spread out to Lakewood, Bill Burke, Indian Rock, Oakdale and Founders parks. Walking up and down the river, they picked up bottles, paper cups, plastic bags and pop can rings. As Ashley Matlack, 12, picked up an old sock covered in mud and leaves, her nose scrunched up. She was relieved that a plastic glove separated her hand from the nasty piece of clothing. "It's good to pick up the environment," said Matlack, a seventh-grader at South Middle School. "It makes (the parks) look clean, and it helps the animals." Getting to it haif tlie battle Matlack and her school friends slipped and climbed up and down the river banks. Getting to the trash was half the battle. TOM DORSEY / The Salina Journal Cody Brunner, 13, son of IViitzi and Robert Brunner, readies for litter found in Lakewood Park. About 275 students participated Friday afternoon in a cleanup project. "It would be better to throw all this away," said Taylor Aldrich, 13, a fellow South Middle School seventh-grader. "Or we'll just have to come back and pick it up again," Matlack chimed in. The girls got exactly the point Brian Underwood, di­ rector of natural resources at Lakewood Discovery Center, was hoping for See TRASH, Page B2 T CRIME Officers get crime two-fer Traffic stop leads to drug arrest, vantage point for break-in By The Salina Journal It started with a traffic stop, but before the night was over, Salina police officer Patrick Goss ended up finding drugs and cash in a central Salina apartment and nabbing two young men for allegedly trying to break into Grace Baptist Temple, 400 E. Crawford. According to police Lt. Mike Sweeney, it happened this way: Goss, one of the department's police dog handlers, stopped a car in the 400 block of South Seventh at 4:21 p.m. Thursday. The dog indicated the possibility of drugs in the vehicle, so it was searched and a small amount of metham- phetamine and items of drug paraphernalia were found. Kenneth Winter, 37, 904 N. 11th, was arrested. That stop led officers to get a warrant to search 659 S. Fifth, Apt. B, where officers reportedly found small amounts of methamphetamine and marijuana and $620 in cash. No arrests were made. Officer Chris Farris was outside of the apartment at 1:17 a.m.' Friday when he saw two people lurking on the southwest side of nearby Grace Baptist Temple, 400 E. Crawford. Suspicious, he called for more officers. As police cars converged, the two people ran — right into the path of Goss. Officers found a knife allegedly used to pry a door and window on the church. Sweeney said a sliding window on the southwest side of the building was open, and there were scratches on the window frame. Fresh pry marks also were found on the church's back door Arrested for the attempted break-in were Jacob Hamilton, 19, 921 S. Front, and Jason Wicks, 23, 523 S. Fifth. Girrs spirit liana Leepers, 5, Salina, dances on the soccer field at Bill Burke Park Thursday afternoon during halftime of the Manhattan-Salina Central soccer game. JUSTIN HAYWORTH The Salina Journal V WEATHER Colby man earns national environmental award By DAVID CLOUSTON The Salina Journal COLBY — Colby resident and longtime storm spotter Mike Albers isn't quite sure he deserves the title "Environmental Hero." He didn't even know such an award existed before being honored Thursday with the declaration by federal officials. But for his work with local amateur radio operators ensuring the safety of northwest Kansas residents, he deserves one of the 25 awards handed out nationally each year by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, meteorologists with the National Weather Service said. The National Weather Service is an agency of NOAA. Albers directs a network of amateur radio operators in Thomas County that report directly to the National Weather Service about severe weather The network, called Skywarn, relays real-time data about wind, hail and tornadoes to the National Weather Service. "The Skywarn network in Thomas County has provided the National Weather Service with critical data for many years," said meteorologist Scott rvientzer, who heads the National "He's just been a great volunteer.... He's had a very strong interest in weather and helped us meet our mission." Kevin Lynott warning coordination meteorologist Weather Service office in Goodland. "Mike's leadership of the Skywarn spotters has been essential in keeping the network activated." Albers, 43, who received his award in the form of a certificate and a letter from acting NOAA Administrator Scott Gudes at a luncheon in Colby Thursday, is technology director for the City of Colby He's been an amateur radio operator for 12 years. In 1977, he attended his first weather spotter's class as an officer with the Oakley Police Department. He's been to one every year since. See AWARD. Page B2 SUGGESTIONS? CALL BEN WEARING, DEPUTY EDITOR, AT 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363 OR E-MAIL AT

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