A2 TUESDAY, MAY 1, 2001 GREAT PLAINS THE SALINA JOURNAL Teach / More accountability T HOUSE FIRE FROM PAGE A1 Also Monday, Tompkins touched on these areas: • Tompkins said that nationally, Kansas has on^ of two "comprehensive" accountability systems. "Quality counts in our system," he said after the meeting. "In our system, we look at multiple measurements." Some lawmakers said they want more accountability from schools. Tompkins said the state wUl gladly try to answer any questions, but he doesn't understand what more people want in terms of accountability • Through the 1970s and 1980s, the achievement gap between whites and minorities continued to close, but no more. Since 1990, there's been a "flattening out" of that trend, he said. The key to closing the gap is increasing the literacy rate, he said. Schools do well with early childhood development programs such as Head Start, and some advocate all-day kindergarten and summer school programs. But Tompkins believes there needs to be more reading programs for high school kids. "We can't give up on these kids because we pay for these kids in two places — welfare and jail," Tompkins said. Investigation continues in city limits house fire TOM DORSEY / The Salina Journal Education Commissioner AndyTompltins speaks to members of a Saiina Rotary Club IVIonday about education issues. Andy Tompkins on education Andy Tompkins, the state's commissioner of education, presented these facts and more at an appearance Mondays in Saiina: • The state graduation rate is about 84 percent, up 4 percent from the previous year. • About 75 percent of Kansas graduates enroll in a post-;? secondary education. Only half of those get a degree. • Kansas school districts' enrollment ranges from 54 to 48,000 students. • Five percent of Kansas students are in English as a second language programs. • Public schools lose 30 percent of teachers who are in the first three years of their teaching career. Storm / Rivalries unimportant FROM PAGE A1 Kathleen Johnson, an Ellsworth senior who also helped Wednesday, said the photo probably was taken at the Ellsworth High School cross country meet this past year, going by the girls pictured in the background. "We thought it was pretty neat that he found it," Johnson said. Abby Ray, who was at a Career Day event in Saiina Wednesday and wasn't able to go to Hoisington with the 48 students and four sponsors, said the story of the photo quickly made the rounds. "Lots of people were talking about it," she said. It seemed to be fate — out of the hundreds of volunteers who flocked into Hoisington following the tornado, it was the Ellsworth students who were sent to that particular field on that particular day Helping with cleanup Ray, a junior at Ellsworth High, traveled to Hoisington with her father, Dan Ray, the next day, to help clean up and to witness for herself the devastation of the F-4 twister. The Ellsworth students identified with their peers in Hoisington. Ellsworth County was spared the brunt of the storm, with a tiny twister hitting just about six miles north of the city that Saturday night as students who were attending prom huddled in a high school hallway. Johnson said Ellsworth students didn't take the threat seriously "Nobody was really that scared," she said. In Hoisington, students left their prom that same night to find homes damaged and destroyed. "It's kind of scary, knowing something like that could happen," Johnson said. "All those people have to start all over again. I'm just so thankful it didn't hit EUsworth." Kanak runs on the Ellsworth High track and cross country teams, and she has competed against Hoisington. "In cross country and track, they're probably our biggest rivals," Kanak said. But at times like this, those rivalries don't seem all that important. "If this would have happened to us, they would have helped," Kanak said. INS / Thousands are hopeful FROM PAGE A1 INS spokeswoman Elaine Komis said the agency would not know for several weeks how many immigrants filed applications. But she said petitions from relatives hoping to sponsor immigrants suggest the applications are on a record pace. The prior record dates to 1998, just before the deadline for a similar law. Although many applicants admitted to procrastination, some said it simply took time and money to get their papers in order Henry Harrison, was waiting in Miami with his wife, Kimberly They said they had known about the deadline since Novem- YEN CUING Chinese Restsaurant DELIVERY 823-1685 Open 7 days a week Dine In & Carryout 540 S.Broadway • 823-2089 ber but needed time to raise the $1,000 application fee and $455 in additional costs. "There are a lot of people who want to lead good lives and they shouldn't be deprived of that chance," Kimberly Harrison said. Mario Russell, director of immigrant services for Catholic Charities in New York, said the agency counseled hundreds of applicants, extending the hours of its immigration hot line and adding eight new languages, including Polish, Turkish and Serbo-Croatian. "We expanded our staff, we expanded our hours, and we've Zi DICKINSON ^ THEATRES ^ 2 Convenient W^ys To GetShowtimesI • Call The Theatre Direct (listed below) OR • Visit us online at www.dtmovies.com been working nonstop on this for four months," Russell said. "Everybody's pretty tired." In Boston, the INS had accepted about 10 times the average daily number of applications by noon Monday Richmond Akesseh said he came to Boston from Ghana illegally about a year ago. "Even when I was little, I wanted to come and make a family here," he said. "I want to go to school and finish my courses." Confusion arose as to which jurisdiction the house was in By KARA RHODES The Saiina Journal City departments Monday were working to find out why the wrong fire department was dispatched Saturday to a house fire on the edge of the city lunits. City Manager Dennis Kissinger requested a full administrative review from both the city's police and fire departments foUpwmg the fire. He said he expects those results to be made public by the end of the week., "Preliminary indications are that it's the system that had a problem on the response — not an individual," Kissinger said. "Obviously something in the system didn't work as it should have." The home at 1500 S. Marymount is on the line separating city and county response, Kissinger said. The area there three years ago was annexed into the city "That's the very last house," Kissinger said. "The question, though, is not that the house is within the limits, but the question is whether we had accurate information. Clearly we had some confusion with 911 and how properties are identified." The home is'owned by Dave and DuAnn Petersoni One of their children was playing with fureworks in the garage and started the fire, Interim Fire Chief Steve Moody said Monday The fire destroyed the garage "and damaged the house, including the roof and the interior, which had extensive smoke and water damage. The loss was estimated at $125,000. Also damaged were two homes to the north of the Peterson home. Melvin Bergkamp's home at 1414 S. Maiymount had holes burned in his roof, and Phil Krug's home at 1318 S. Marymount had burned spots in the roof and the front-yard grass. On Monday DuAnn Peterson said only that "support had been overwhelming." When the furst 911 call came in to the dispatch center at the police station — which dispatches emergency vehicles countywide — the initial dispatch was for the Saline County Rural Fire District No. 5 to respond to the blaze. The dispatch computer system indicates the location of the call and the proper response. But until the internal investigation is completed, Saiina police Lt. Mike Sweeney said, the department would answer no questions about the incident and the dispatch center's response, including the time of the initial call and the time the city fire department was dispatched. AJso not commenting or releasing information Monday was Rural Fire District No. 5 Chief David Turner. He said he was still completing the fire report, Central Mall 8 2259 S. 9th St. (785) 825-9105 SALINA, KS Midstates 2 2450 S. 9th St. (785) 825-9105 SALINA, KS 50th Anniversary open House for Dennis & Marge McElroy Saturday, May 12th • 2:30-4:30p.m. Red Coach Inn, Saiina Please join us for a deli buffet at 5:30p.m. with dancing after at 6:30p. m. Couple requests no gifts. "rut QuMlUy A^ir JBacU In Ynnr Home** Time to Have Your Air Ducts Cleaned Ryan's Air System Cleaning, Inc. 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PACKAGE PRTCR Including round trip, non-stop flights from Kansas City on Midwest Express, 7-day cruise, ail port charges and taxes and round trip airport/ship transfers. $1,170.00 $1,050.00 CATEGORY 6B 186 sq. ft with large picture window CATEGORY 4B 186 sq.fL Inside Stateroom Prices are per person, based on double occupancy (Great savings for triple and quad occupancy.) Opoonal trip cancellation/interruption insurance (recommended at J99/adu)t.$59/diild 16 & under) PAYMENT SCHEDULE A deposit of «00.00 per person is due by May 9,2001. (Check or American Express, Visa, Mastereard or Discover). Final payment and optional insurance premium (if desired) is due b, July 15,2001. 1827 S. Niflth' Saiina, KS 67401«(785) 827-0496' Fax (785) 827-1976 and it would be available to the public today. Moody said the city's four fire stations don't hear any emergency radio traffic except for city fire or EMS calls. He said the department wasn't aware of the fire luitil the city fire station — less than a mile from the home — was dispatched. He said once firefighters were notified they were on the scene in less than two minutes. He said they arrived just before the rural fire department, which was operating with volunteer firefighters whose station was located five miles away He said lessons can be learned from Saturday's fire. "We would just as soon respond if there's any doubt whatsoever," Moody said. "It's important that we always err on the side of going." Like Kissinger, he said the issue may not revolve around a dispatcher problem but a system problem. "All we can expect from a dispatcher— a person with no fire or police training — is to foUow the procedure. We need to look at that procedure and make sure it's correct." • Reporter Kara Rhodes can be reached at 823-6464, Ext. 167, or by e-mail at sjkrhodes@saljournal. com ALL^^^EAT Saiina Journal Connecting ammumlm iMi Injbrmatlon SUBSCRIPTIONS E-matI: slclni «t Bnljournal coin • NO PAPER?: II yoi/r,i)ap6r' ddesn'f arrive by 6.-30 a.m.>WEekdays or 7 a.m. weekends iinei holidays, call the numtter above. In Saiina,'it you call by 11 a.m.; youf paper will bs delivered that day, Out-ot-towrt subscribers will receive missed papers the following day. • CIRCUUTION DEPARTMENT HOURS; Open at 5:30 a.m. dally Closes at 5:30 p.m. weekdays, 11 a.m. on weekends, 11 a.m. on holl- • CARRIER RATES: $15.00 plus tax for one month, $42.19 plus fax for three months. • • RATES BY MOTOR ROUTE: $15.94 plus tax for one'month, $47.82 plus fax for three months. • RATES BY MAIL (three months): In Kansas, $45.68 plus tax for dally paper, $37.12 plus lax for Monday through Saturday, $36.06 plus tax for Monday through Friday and $20.21 plus tax for Sunday Outside Kansas, $54.75 for daily paper, $44.25 for Monday through Saturday $49.50 for Monday through Friday and $25.95 for Sunday Aovmisiiiie . ^ .«. /. E-mall: s|adv9salJauirneit.com • CLASSIFIED AND DISPLAY AO HOURS: Between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. weekdays. 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