The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 1, 2001 · Page 7
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 7

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Salina, Kansas
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Tuesday, May 1, 2001
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Page 7
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TUESDAY MAY 1, 2001 THE SAUKTA JOURNAL Great Plains A LOOK AHEAD / B2 DEATHS / B3 FUN / B4 BRIEFLY Public can speak out on development plan The public will have one last chance May 8 to voice opinions about the proposed comprehensive plan for Saline County. The plan would guide future development of property in the county The Saline County Commission was given a synopsis of the plan Monday and unanimously agreed to formally consider the plan May 8. The plan would limit cluster developments in rural areas, set nfew standards for development on the fringes of Salina and set priorities for road improvements among other things. Commissioners, who are familiar with the plan that has been in the works for more than a year, had few questions Monday for county Planning Director James Holland. The plan has been approved by the Saline County Planning and Zoning Commission. Former Shawnee County sheriff pleads PAOLA — Former Shawnee County Sheriff Dave Meneley pleaded guilty Monday as jury selection neared in the case accusing him of stealing money from a sheriff's drug-buy fund. Meneley faces 12 months supervised probation after pleading to one count of deprivation of property and two counts of personal use of campaign funds. A judge suspended a six- month county jail sentence for the former sheriff. Besides probation, Meneley must pay court costs, fees and restitution to be determined later. His probation may be transferred to unsupervised, a Mianli County District Court official said. Sheriff's Off leer kills tiger on the loose OSKALOOSA — A Jefferson County sheriff's lieutenant shot and killed an escaped Siberian tiger after it crouched in an attack position. The tiger escaped Sunday while his owner, John Arnold of Leavenworth, was donating him to Gatekeepers Wildlife Sanctuary near Oskaioosa. The tiger then made his way to a field less than a mile east of Oskaioosa, where Lt. Robert Poppas shot him about an hour later. When the sheriff's department learned the tiger was loose, he already had gone after Oskaioosa veterinarian Dr. Jerry Robbins twice. Robbins shot the animal with a tranquilizer dart and wasn't injured. Poppas said. Poppas, the second officer to arrive at the field, said he used his duty shotgun to kill the tiger as it faced him down from about 30 yards away Acoustics a problem in classrooms LAWRENCE — The excessive noise and reverberations prevalent in classrooms across the country interfere with the ability of students to understand teachers, a University of Kansas professbr says. In a Marvin Hall classroom on the KU campus. Bob Cof- feenpointed out air conditioning equipment improperly placed on the ceiling, interior walls that caused voices to reverberate and vehicles passing under the windows. All those problems made it challenging, to hear his message. "It's an example of what you wouldn't do if you had a choice," said Coffeen, who assisted five KU students with an Acoustical Society of America publication on the subject. From Staff and Wire Reports CORRECTIOMS Because of a Journal error, the name of a Saline County employee who is being honored for 20 years of service was incorrect in Sunday's edition. Tim Dickenson will be recognized today by the county commission. ••••• Because of a Journal error, a graphic in Sunday's edition included an incorrect date for National Scrapbooking Day, which is Saturday ••••• 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. • LEGISLATURE School funding increase put on hold Some wonder if schools have been given cold shoulder By JOHN MILBURN The Associated Press TOPEKA — A bill authorizing a $67 million increase in public education spending is being held hostage until negotiators can reach a deal to close a gap in the budget. Legislators are searching for ways to fill a $206 million hole in the budget for fiscal year 2002, which begins July 1. A decision Monday to hold off negotiations on a $2.26 billion school finance bill left some legislators wondering whether the commitment to elementary and secondary schools was waning. "I hope that's not true," said House Minority Leader Jim Garner, D-Coffeyville. He said it wo.uld be "pathetic" if the Legislature did not fund education at the level already approved. Both chambers approved the appropriation before recessing for their spring break April 6. The Senate approved the bill, which contains the formula for distributing more than $2.26 billion in state aid. The bill increases base state aid per pupil by $50 to $3,870, adds $8 million for special education and calls • Negotiations continue over state budget / Page B3 for an efficiency audit of the 304 school districts. House Education Chairman Ralph Tanner, R-Baldwin City, agreed that the $67 million in the budget as originally proposed by Gov. BiU Graves must be maintained. "Right now we're waiting for the very heavy lifting to be done," Tanner said, referring to the budget negotiations. Tanner said the two chambers are close to agreement on the school finance bill following Saturday's negotiations. Differences remain over au­ thorization for two studies, renewing a statewide property tax levy for schools and increasing funds for a preschool program for students at risk of academic difficulty The biggest hurdle is the tax element. The House amended a bill that lowers the mill levy to 18 from 20 mills in 2003 and raises an exemption from residential property to the first $30,000 of value, from $20,000. The changes in the levy — which is $1 for every $1,000 of assessed value — would result in a loss of $13 million in revenue for schools in 2002 and $45.7 million in 2003. Garner and Senate Education Chairman Dwayne Umbarger are not willing to concede that more money above the $67 million already approved won't be put into the formula this session. As it stands, nearly 130 districts would see a decrease in revenue absent an increase in local property taxes. "I think we're at the crossroads right now and people are finding out what the cuts are going to be," said Umbarger. Members of the Senate Education Committee had abandoned their session-long quest to get a significant education package through the chamber. Most plans required tax increases and were as much as $60 million above the $67 million on the books. Creenhouse turns red ... •••'..7; is 0 .1. 4S3 TOM DORSEY / The Salina Journal Michelle Beemer, Hope, tends to red geraniums Monday afternoon while worldng at Grigsby Greenhouse, 1715 E. North. Beemer is a horticulture student at Salina Area Technical School serving an internship at the greenhouse. T SAUNA PLANNING COMMISSION Caterpillar firm planning to move north City developing plan to take utilities to land near Ohio, 1-70 By NATE JENKINS The Salina Journal The promise of city utilities in a long-neglected but economically promising area just north of Salina has helped land new development plans from a Salina business. Wichita-based Foley Equipment Co., a Caterpillar machinery sales and service operation at 529 N. Broadway, is planning to build a new facility on 19 acres southwest of Ohio Street and Interstate Highway • MCPHERSON COUNTY 70. The tract is across from Flying J Travel Plaza, 2250 N. Ohio. Foley officials did not return phone calls seeking comment about the proposed facility The Salina Planning Commission today will consider a request for a zoning change, as well as a preliminary plat for the property Commissioners also wiU consider annexing the 19 acres into the city as it and adjacent areas likely will be served by city utilities. Interest develops For several years, there has been interest in the area near Ohio and 1-70 ~ considered prime development areas by city staff like other interstate inter­ changes — but the lack of water and sev/er service has thwarted development, said Dean Andrew, city planning director. "There's been a lot of interest' (from developers) over the years, but because of the water and sewer situation we've had to say no, or 'You as businesses will have to stand the cost of getting it out there,' " Andrew said. That was too expensive of a proposition for many businesses. Flying J is one business willing to pay the high cost for private utilities. City staff is working on a plan that could allow the area to be served by public utilities, with implementation possibly beginning in the fall. The cost is expected to be about $500,000, some of which would be recouped from businesses that move to the area and benefit from the utilities. "It is timely to invest in infrastructure in this area," City Manager Dennis Kissinger told the Salina City Commission recently "Interstate interchanges are rare and valuable to communities. "Ultimately," Kissinger said, "the developable area will pay its share of the costs," In the coming weeks, the city also will approach some area landowners about helping pay for the new utilities. Some of the cost likely will not be repaid, Andrew said, because the water and sewer lines would cross an area north and south of the intersection of Stimmel Road and North Ohio that can't be developed because it is prone to flooding. "There's not a whole lot of prospect that will be repaid because of the floodway," Andrew said. Andrew noted the interchange area could develop into a more appealing entryway to the city once a planned overpass is built over the railroad tracks near the intersection of Ohio and Pacific Avenue. Construction could begin in 2005. "That is a front door to the community and will be more so when the overpass is built," Andrew said. Flying into the past Program to look at county's aviation history By TIM UNRUH The Salina Journal McPHERSON — Riding on the highway, Keith Greenwood thinks of the sky "You wish you could just puU the wheel back and take off," said the retired McPherson postmaster and flight instructor who trained 250 people to fly There's a sense of freedom in the air, he said. "You make your own roads." Greenwood will lead a panel discussion at 2 p.m. Saturday during a program on aviation history in McPherson County The free event is in the city commission meeting room at the McPherson Municipal Center, 400 E. Kansas. Greenwood, 76, has spent almost an entire year in an airplane, having logged more than "Once you get flying in your blood, airports are tough to resist." Keith Greenwood retired flight instructor 8,000 hours of flight time. But a stroke in 1995 took away his wings and his driver's license. Greenwood said he ^njoys living under the flight paths of aircraft in Wichita. His wife of 53 years, Millie Greenwood, who has become the couple's driver, is accustomed to pulling over so they can marvel at the whir of propellers or the rush of jet planes. It never gets old. "Once you get flying in your blood," he said, "airports are tough to resist." About a month after graduating from McPherson High School in 1943, Greenwood reported to the U.S. Army Air Forces. He had enlisted early to avoid being drafted into the infantry Greenwood learned to fly on a Fairchild PT 19. After the war, he returned home, obtained a flight instructor's license and began teaching at Mcpherson's airport. Ex-servicemen could learn to fly under the C.I. Bfll. "After, World War II, we thought'everybody would have an airplane," Greenwood said, mentioning the flying clubs that formed in the area, including the Flying Farmers that was started at Hutchinson. See FLYING. Page B2 T CRIME Fake payroll checks cashed By The SaHna Journal Six counterfeit payroll checks, easily made on home computers and with color printers, have been passed in April in Salina, Salina police Lt. Mike Sweeney said Monday The first incidents occurred April 3 and 5 at Dillons grocery stores, which cash checks for less than $500 for a fee. The checks, all made out for just less' than the $500 cutoff, were made to look as if they were payroll checks for Office Max, Salina, and Russell Stover's, Abilene. On April 19, three checks that looked as if they were payroll checks from Cottonwood Racquet Club, Manhattan, were cashed at three different Sunflower Bank branches in Salina. Each check was made out for $1,995. The two incidents are not believed to be related, Sweeney said. Sweeney said clerks that cash checks should look at identification carefully An identification that has been recently issued may be one red flag. "If suspicious, a clerk should ask questions and get as much information about the person cashing the check as possible and surreptitiously try to obtain the tag number off the car," Sweeney said. He also suggested, if possible, to call the business and verify a check has been issued in that person's name. If people have suspicions or have questions about check-cashing procedures, they can call the Salina Police Department at 826-7210 or 911. SUGGESTIONS? CALL BEN WEARING, DEPUTY EDITOR, AT 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363 OR E-MAIL AT sibwearing@saljournal.com

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