The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 2, 2001 · Page 1
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 1

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, May 2, 2001
Page 1
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WEDNESDAY MAY 2, 2001 SAUNA, KANSAS Salina Journal Serving Kansas since 1871 i^n rpnts • OKLAHOMA CITY BOMBING Victim's fatlier wants McVeigh alive After months of wanting vengeance for daughter's death, Welch changed By SHARON MONTAGUE The Sdlina Journal As Bud Welch sees it, every time he gives a speech or talks to the media about his opposition to capital punisfr ment, he's doing his daughter's work. His daughter, Julie, was 23 when she was killed six years ago when a bomb trucked from Kansas to Oklahoma City by Timothy McVeigh exploded outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. The blast, considered the worst act of domestic terrorism in the United States, killed 168 people. For the first five to 10 months after the death of his only daughter, Welch said he abandoned his longtime opposition to the death penalty and longed for the government-sanctified death of McVeigh and others involved in the bombing. "I was full of vengeance and rage," he said. But he got tired of the pain, he said, and he recognized "when they take Timothy McVeigh out of his cage to kill him, that's not part of my healing process. I recognized that was part of vengeance and rage, and that's why Julie and 167 other people were dead." So, Welch abandonedi the quest for vengeance arid became somewhat of a reluctant spokesman against the death penalty, traveling 190 days this past year and giving about 500 speeches. On May 10, he will be in Salina, teUing his story at 7 p.m. in the all- purpose room of St. Mary's Grade School, 230 E. Cloud. He'll be carrying a torch his daughter took up at the age of 16, when she helped to form a chapter of Amnesty International at her high school. "She was five feet tall and 103 pounds, and there was this little white flag she carried," Welch said. "She can no longer carry it. I'm going to carry it for her ratil the day I die.", In a telephone interview from his Oklahoma City home, Welch said he knew nothing about capital punishment five years ago. Now, he can list the results of public opinion polls, tell which states have capital punishment and which don't and list other facts and figures. As the national spokesman for Murder Victims' Families for Reconciliation, he's given speeches across the country, and he's granted too many media interviews to count. Another dead body The requests have become even more numerous since McVeigh abandoned his death penalty appeals and requested an execution date. Welch received 83 caUs from the media the day Attorney General John Ashcroft announced McVeigh's May 16 execution would be broadcast over closed-circuit television to Oklahoma City, so sur- viyors and family members of victims could watch. Welch describes executions as "staged events," and said McVeigh's execution will be the largest media event in American history. In allowing the execution to be broadcast over closed-circuit television, Welch said, Ashcroft acted as if he were doing a favor for family members of victims. "He's delivering a dead body to us," Welch said. "We've already had 168 of those. We don't need 169." What people maimed by the bombing need is money to live on, Welch said. "What he's delivering is vengeance." And that is what is being sought by people who favor McVeigh's execution. Welch said he has talked to people who have witnessed the executions of the people who killed their loved ones. See BOMBING, Page A6 JUSTIN HAYWORTH/The Salina Journal Keith and Beverly HIgglngs dig through the remains of the third floor of their house in Holsington the day after the town was struck by a devastating tornado April 21. About 200 homes were destroyed. Taking count Keeping a list of belongings can save time after a disaster By SHARON MONTAGUE The Salina Journal . So, how many pairs of jeans did you have in your dresser drawers? What kinds of knickknacks were on your buffet, and how much did they cost? Those are the kinds of questions facing Hoisington residents these days, as they meet with insurance adjusters trying to calculate the monetary loss experienced when a tornado ripped through the town April 21, destroying about 200 homes and damaging scores of others. When a home is destroyed in a natural disaster, it's relatively easy to settle on the value of the structure, said Kent Peterson, homeowner team manager for the Salina State Farm Fire & Casualty claims office. "There's a valued policy law in Kansas,". Peterson said. "It says if a building is deemed wholly destroyed — and that means three exterior walls are gone or the weight-bearing walls are so damaged the home can't be rebuilt — we owe the value of the policy" If the home was insured for $100,000, Peterson said, the homeowner is given a check for that amount on the spot, less a 15 percent reserve held in escrow by the city until debris is cleared. "That first day we were out there, we paid out three-quarters of a million dol­ lars'on the spot," Peterson said. Checks also were written to provide temporary housing to Hoisington policyholders, to pay for meals and utilities, to buy clothing and toiletries. "A lot of the people out there the morning after, all they had were the clothes on their backs," said Peterson, who arrived in Hoisington with 10 other Salina adjusters about 8 a.m. the day after the tornado. Peterson said adjusters quickly niade contact with policyholders — going to their destroyed homes, instead of waiting for them to visit the State Farm office — to reassure them and help them get back on their feet. ^ See COLLECTING, Page A6 • GOODWILL STORE CONTROVERSY Goodwill to start building Company to begin on south Salina store despite legal fight By NATE JENKINS The Salina Journal Tired of waiting and knowing it is taking a risk. Goodwill Industries of Kansas — after almost two years of legal wrangling with a soon-to-be hptel neighbor — will begin building a south Salina store. The decision to build a 17,000- •square-fpot secondhand store was made even though the philanthropic organization is still embroiled in a legal battle with Belmont Hotels, which owns Candlewood Suites, 2650 Planet. Marie Mareda, president of Wichita-based Goodwill Industries of Kansas, concedes Goodwill is taking a risk by beginning construction before the courts sort out the issue, but, "We feel confident we'll win this case." , "This has cost us so much money, just standing around waiting," Mareda said Tuesday "The Goodwill board of directors decided it was costing too much money to wait and felt confident Goodwill would win." Mareda would not detail the organization's legal costs. Construction of the store, which will not have a job-training area as originally proposed, could begin in the next few Weeks, and Mareda said the building will be finished before the end of the year. Since 1999, when Goodwill first made public its plang and obtained city approval for a store adjacent to the hotel at 2640 Planet, the hotel has maintained the store would violate city zoning ordinances and private covenants on the land. Belmont Hotels appealed a 2000 Saline County District Court decision that upheld the Salina City Commission's approval of the store. The city commission, in giving its approval that allows construction, overturned a Salina Planning Commission decision. The court appeal, according to Dan Diederich, a Salina attorney and Candlewood investor who is representing the hotel, is still in its initial stages. Diederich said an injunction will not be sought to stop construction. He is banking on an eventual courtroom victory that would force Goodwill to sell the store. See STORE, Page AS Goodwill Industries construction Office Max 23,500 sq. ft. ... Goodwill Industries 17,000 sq.ft. Parking z < X z BELMONT T ELLSWORTH $1 million federal loan to fund most of medical clinic Clinic to be connected to hospital, include offices for four doctors and staff By TIM UNRUH Tlie Salina Journal ELLSWORTH — Paperwork and planning are ahead, but health-care leaders here have made a leap toward turning dirt for a new medical clinic. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development .Service is providing a $1 million loan to the Ellsworth County Health Care Foundation to help build the clinic. The foundation is adding $366,000 to the project that wiU include offices for four doctors and staff, a cardiac rehabilitation program, wellness/fitness center and living quarters. "I think it's a super deal," said Roger Pearson, administrator of Ellsworth County Medical Center. "The project has been on the front burner for some time now." The 25-year loan, at 4% percent interest, will pay the bulk of construction for the 11,500-square-foot clinic that will be connected to the hospital. Foundation president Mark Parsons guessed the goundbreaking would be in September "at the very earliest." "For us, it holds great promise that we can provide the kind of facility our physicians need," said David Stonebraker, president of the hospital board of directors. "We strongly endorse the program and hope it comes to fruition." The loan money comes from USDA's Community Facilities Program that helps rural communities keep pace with the changing needs of their resi­ dents, said William Kirk, state director for rural development service. "We've made an awful lot of use of this money in Kansas," he said, mentioning fire stations and rescue programs as examples of past community endeavors. The money is allocated from Congress yearly and it's doled out for eligible projects. Gary Smith, Rural Development services community and business programs director, said towns and nonprofit groups typically seek the loans for projects that local lenders don't want to undertake. "So far (this year), the demand has not exceeded funds," he said. "We'll keep funding projects until we run out of money" Ellsworth's three physicians are in two clinics across town from the hospital. The clinic would make health care more accessible for the 6,600 rural residents it serves and give doctors a quicker response time to the hospital. "Long term, it's going to be instrumental in the recruitment and retention of physicians," Pearson said. See ELLSWORTH, Page A6 WEATHER High: 64 Low: 55 Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of thunderstorms. PAGE A2 President Bush commits to building a defense against ballistic missile attack despite a Cold War-era arms treaty that could stand in the way. PAGE B1 Saline County Undersheriff Carl Kiltz is leaving Salina May 11 for Southern California. Dave Dunstan will take Kiltz's position. INSIDE Classified / C2 Comics / B4 Crossword / B4 Deaths / B3 Food / 01 Great Plains / B1 Money / B5 Sports / D1 Weadier / D6 Viewpoints / A7 . Hi'

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