The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 23, 1996 · Page 1
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 1

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, October 23, 1996
Page 1
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Lunch bunch How healthy are school lunches in Salina?/C1 FOOD Yankees win New York cuts into Atlanta's World Series advantage / D1 SPORTS • Scanner errors: wrong prices are occasionally charged at stores / A8 : Margaret Thatcher to help rededicate Kansas chapel / B1 INSIDE Mgh:61 Low: 87 Warmer today with west winds 10 to 15 mph. Party cloudy tonight / B3 WEATHER Classified/C6 Comics / B4 Deaths / A7 Food/C1 Great Plains/B1 Money / D4 Sports/D1 ._ Viewpoints / B2 / , • •v- : *W t 1 " 3 . *T*»iT .-4- W^_* . 1871-1996 Salina Journal WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 23, 1996 SALINA, KANSAS 50 cents Salina unemployment July August September Salina trims jobless rate Source: Kansas Department of Human Resources Analyst says 3.0 percent jobless rate considered to be full employment By ALF ABUHAJLEH The Salina Journal Salina's jobless rate continued to drop in September, trimming the number of people who are actively looking for a job to 764. According to the Kansas Department of Human Resources, the unemployment rate in Salina reached 3.0 percent last month, down from 3.2 percent in August and 3.5 percent a year ago. Fewer than 830 people filed for unemployment benefits in August. Kenneth Dreiling, research analyst for the department, said that a 3.0 percent jobless rate is considered to be full employment. • "The majority of the people RICHAE MORROWAThe Salina Journal who now are looking to be employed are in transition between jobs," he said. "They might have been fired or they quit their jobs, but they will probably not be out of work for long." Dreiling, who has followed wage trends in Salina for the past 25 years, said that although the jobless rate is low, it's likely to continue to fall throughout the year. "The strong local economy is going to create more jobs here," Dreiling said. "With the existing economical conditions in place, the unemployment rate can fall as low as 2.8 percent or 2.9 percent before January." Low inflation and low interest rates have fueled new investments and job creation, Dreiling said. About 525 new nonfarming jobs were created in Saline County in the past year. And although construction companies hire fewer workers during the winter, retail stores likely will fill the void as they hire staff for the Christmas season, he said. This year, Salina's unemployment rate has averaged 3.65 percent. Many local businesses, vigorously looking to hire more skilled workers, regard that number as low. Plus, they lament that many of the applicants that do come into their net are not qualified. Chris Davis, human resources manager of PKM Steel Services at 228 E. Avenue A, said the company is looking to hire about 15 workers before the end of the year, including welders, painters and machine operators. PKM Steel, however, has to turn down about 30 applicants every month because they don't have the necessary skills, Davis said. "With such a small labor pool there just aren't enough qualified workers," he said. Phyllis Anderson, spokeswoman for the Occupational Center of Central Kansas at 1710 W. Schilling, organizes the annual T WEATHER Snowfall sets records across state 'Wichita has earliest snow in city history; 8.inches fall in Pottawatomie County town By The Associated Press Wichita reported a new snowfall record when two-tenths of an inch of snow fell at Mid-Continent Airport, while up to 8 inches fell in.other parts of the state. The Tuesday morning snowfall was the earliest measured in the city's history, the National Weather Service said. ' The previous record for the earliest "measured snowfall came on Oct. 24, 1898, when 0.5 inch of snow was recorded. The weather service reported total 'snow accumulations of 3 to 6 inches in northeast and extreme eastern Kansas, with 8 inches at Elaine in Pottawatomie County. Most of Pottawatomie County received at least 4 to 5 inches, causing "more accidents than we can believe happened," a sheriffs dispatcher said. One person was killed when a car collided with a construction vehicle, but it was not immediately clear whether that was weather-related, the dispatcher said. Elsewhere in eastern Kansas, Topeka received more than 6 inches of snow by mid-evening Tuesday and Douglas County reported more than 4 inches with roads extremely slick and numerous power outages in Lawrence. A 22-year-old Tecumseh woman was killed when her car collided with a tractor- trailer on U.S. 40 in Douglas County just before noon, the Kansas Highway Patrol reported. A patrol dispatcher did not know whether that accident was weather related. University of Kansas students Patrick McFrlffert (from left) Alex Kaufman, Brian Ragman and John Euston In front of their fraternity house Tuesday In Lawrence. More than four Inches of snow fell In the Lawrence The Associated Press build a snowman area. CALIFORNIA FIRES Wind-blown fires torch Southern California Blazes have seriously hurt five firefighters; at least 92 homes have been destroyed By The Associated Press CARLSBAD, Calif. — Fleets of helicopters and airplanes roared through Southern California canyons Tuesday, dropping water on erratic, wind-blown wildfires that have burned 92 houses and seriously injured five firefighters. Helter-skelter Santa Ana winds turned dry brush and oil-rich eucalyptus trees into blowtorches, spreading flames across 30,000 acres. By Tuesday afternoon, the major fires were less than half contained and some flared up again as the devil wind shifted and gusted up to 41 mph. Four firefighters working a flareup in Malibu were seriously burned when their truck stalled and flames roared over them in Corral Canyon. "This is life threatening. These are very serious burns. We're looking at over 90 percent of their bodies," Glendale fire Marshal Dave Starr said. Another firefighter broke his neck in a traffic accident while rushing to a blaze, and another man suffered burns over 45 percent of his body. Thousands of people fled their homes, schools and businesses in four counties Monday as flames exploded, propelled through the canyons by winds.that gusted as high as 71 mph. Many were learning the worst Tuesday. "I saw the news and they were standing in the rubble of our home," said Lou Stark, who lost his Carlsbad home. His wife wasn't sure. "She said, 'Maybe it's not ours.' I said, 'Yes, it's ours.'" Carlsbad was the site of the worst fire, a fast-moving blaze that burned at least 60 houses and 10 other structures over 5,200 acres in the 65,700-resident suburb on northern San Diego County's seashore. Just east of Carlsbad, authorities ordered evacuations early Tuesday for parts of San Marcos, a 'retirement community of 42,800 people. In the celebrity seashore enclave of Malibu in Los Angeles County, at least 1,000 people had been evacuated as flames charred 13,000 acres and destroyed two houses and a mobile home. Actress Shirley MacLaine said defending her home has become routine in the disaster-prone city. "I do think they ought to change the area code, though, and make it 911," she quipped. A fire that hop-scotched through the exclusive Lemon Heights section of Orange County on Monday destroyed and damaged 29 homes. Marine volunteers were sent from Camp Pendleton to help the firefighters. Huge air tankers bombed the flames with water sucked from the ocean and reservoirs, joined by cargo-hauling helicopters fitted with big water tanks. Eleven aircraft made repeated flights near Malibu. Gov. Pete Wilson declared a state of emergency in San Diego County. A similar declaration, letting the state reimburse local governments for firefighting, was expected for Los Angeles County. The blazes started Monday as the seasonal Santa Ana wind whistled from the high desert down through Southern California's canyons. On Tuesday, the wind eased in places, although steady 25 mph winds were likely through Wednesday morning. The Associated Press Saundra Clma and her son Colin survey the rubble Tuesday that was once their home In Carlsbad, Calif. Employment Expo, which this year will be on the Kansas State University-Salina campus Nov. 2. Anderson said local companies were eager to take part in this year's Expo. "Employers are exploring a;ll kinds of avenues to reach a wider labor force," Anderson said. "And it's not only the larger corporations that need more workers. Small businesses are recruiting staff just as hard." The question is: Can this trend in the labor market continue? Kevin Boyd, an economist at Kansas Wesleyan University, said the low unemployment rate will hike wages and attract more workers to Salina. "The labor pool will eventually begin to grow as people move here from other parts of the state, and that will cause wages to stabilize," Boyd said. "The (jobless) rate that we now have is remarkably low and might have reached the bottom." T CAMPAIGN '96 Russell on Dole's agenda But Election Day plans of GOP presidential candidate not final BY LINDA MOWERY-DENNING The Salina Journal RUSSELL — Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole hopes to be in his hometown of Russell Nov. 5, but it could be a week or more before his Election Day plans are final. A spokeswoman in Dole's Washington, D.C., campaign office confirmed Tuesday that the former Kansas senator has tentatively scheduled a stop in Russell to vote. However, hometown folks are still waiting for confirmation of the visit. "We don't expect to get anything for another week," said Susan Ne- uPoth Cadoret, director of the Russell Area Chamber of Commerce. "I think we'll be lucky to get 48 hours (notice) on this one." She said Russell residents, as they have done so many times in the past, will "roll out the red carpet" when Dole arrives. What that will involve depends on "when he comes, if he comes and how long he will be here." The town has a network of volunteers ready to respond to a Dole visit. Cadoret said Dole's schedule probably will be dictated by the polls and where he can do the most good during the final hours of the election. "He may fly over and we'll all be standing on Main Street waving," she said. A Dole visit to Russell on Election Day has been talked about since he was in Wichita this past week to campaign for state Republican candidates. It was reported in the Salina Journal on Tuesday that Dole was sent an advance voting ballot, but Russell County Clerk and Election Officer Simone Ginther said Dole was only mailed forms to return for an advance voting ballot. ; The last time the presidential candidate visited Russell was in August, when he was en route to the Republican National Convention in San Diego. Russell residents staged a rally for Dole and his running mate, former New York Congressman Jack Kemp. • * Democrats fight complacency,^ turn to voter turnout / Page C5 : * Numerous glitches have stung Dole's campaign / Page C5 * Dole tells Midwest voters, "I'm going to win" / Page C5

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