The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 3, 2001 · Page 1
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 1

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Thursday, May 3, 2001
Page 1
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Planting plans PAGE CI THURSDAY the MAY 3, 2001 SALINA, KANSAS Serving Kansas since 1871 50 cents StyM with Jackie PAGE D1 T WEATHER Tornado damage often ine3q)licable Stories include a wlieat straw being embedded into a teleplione pole By SHARON MONTAGUE The Salina Journal At the National Weather Service office in Wichita, meteorolo- igists still talk about the tornado that tore the roof off a house, deposited hay bales inside, then put the roof back down. ' Joe Eagleman, a professor of atmospheric science at the University of Kansas who has done extensive research on tornadoes, will never forget the story of the tornado that struck near a car lot in Lubbock, Texas. "There were a couple hundred new cars on the lot, and all of their horns were blowing and their lights were flashing after the tornado went over," Eagleman said. "They kept going until the batteries ran down." Tornadoes are among nature's most awe-inspiring events, and after one touches down, stories abound — a house being destroyed while one next to it is barely touched, grass being embedded in the, pores of a person's skin and trees being stripped of their bark. The tornado that savaged Hoisington April 21 left behind plenty of strange stories, including the one about the cheese tray that remained untouched on a counter at the Dairy Queen while the building's walls were knocked down. Phil Hysell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Wichita, said some of the strange damage tornadoes leave behind can be explained by the fact there often are "suction vortices," or small twisters inside and around the main tornado. "The vortices are small areas with stronger wind speeds," Hy- seU said. One of those vortices can cause a significant amount of damage to one house but leave the next house untouched. Even a tornado with a diameter of half a mile or less can have several vortices inside, Eagleman said. The damage a tornado inflicts also depends on currents and eddies and the angle of the wind. The tornadic wind of 200 mph might strike down an exterior wall, but the current could shift and not damage the interior of the structure. "You've got a circulating wind, and it hits at different speeds and comes from different directions," Hysell said. "That leaves the chaotic damage pattern." As for the hay bales left in the house, Hysell said, "The angle had to be just right, and the motion of the winds and everything. It's unexplainable." Eagleman has studied tornadoes for years, beginning with damage surveys he and others conducted after a 1966 tornado wiped out part of Topeka. He has constructed models of homes and measured the atmospheric pressure as wind flowed over the walls and roofs. He also creates tornadoes in a room at the university He has published numerous articles and books, including "Severe and Unusual Weather," published by Tri Media Publications. See TORNADO, Page A2 National Oceanic & Atmosplieric Administration A tornado touches down May 31,1949, at Manhattan. Sentimental journey Former Methodist church of Wells relocates to Central Kansas Flywheels Museum By TANA THOMSON The Salina Journal The 100-year-old Methodist church lumbered down the road at about 15 mph when things were going smoothly But with stops every now and then so workers could push power lines out of the way of the bell tower, the 25-mile trip from Wells to Salina took more than five hours. 'The move ;0^^ Ottawa County , church to the Central Kansas Flywheels Museum, 1100 W. Diamond, is the culmination of almost two years of work done almost entirely by volunteers. Among them is Jack O'Neal, a Flywheels board member who has taken charge of the church project. As he and his wife, Neola, watched the church coming down the homestretch of Old U.S. Highway 81, O'Neal gave her a big hug while saying, "Two years. Two years." The church was donated in 1999 by the handful of congregation members left from the United Methodist Church. "I've found that people are very sentimental about churches," Neola O'Neal said. "So many people are just so happy that we got that church." Since then, Kansas Flywheels volunteers have solicited donations, moved pews and other items from the church, removed a 36- year-old addition from the church, removed five feet from the top of the bell tower and, finally, loaded the building onto a truck for transport. Restoration plans There aren't any plans-to restore the addition, but Jack O'Neal said he would like to restore the bell tower. "Hopefully, somebody will donate a church bell and we will put that back into the bell tower," he said. The plan is to restore the church and move in all the original pews, benchtes, podiums, some of the church's original songbooks, the communion dishes and other items. Then, Jack O'Neal said, it will be there for the community's use, whether it be for weddings, meetings or occasional church services. But there is still a need for about $15,000 to pay the $25,000 moving costs and put the building on a foundation behind the museum. • RUSSELL ECONOMY Wheat gluten plant issues own pink slip 53 plant employees are given 60-day notice of layoffs By TIM UNRUH The Salina Journal See CHURCH, Page A4 TOM DORSEY / The Salina Journal The former Methodist church of Wells, built in 1901, moves south on North 1.80th Street north of Bennington Wednesday morning en route to the Central Kansas Flywheels Museum in Salina. RUSSELL — Gluten has lost its luster here because it didn't make enough dough. Heartland Wheat Growers managers gave the grim news to 53 employees Tuesday that the wheat gluten plant in Russell was closing after six years in the business. The company, owned by Farmland Industries and five Kansas agricultural cooperatives, announced Wednesday that an unfriendly global market, compounded by rising utility costs, gutted its profits. The sticky substance in a kernel of wheat, responsible for holding hot dog buns together, was also a glue for the local economy, pumping $1 million in salaries to the commerce of Russell County, said Jim Willits, plant manager. The big culprit was the European Union of countries that glutted the domestic gluten market, he said, cutting the price from highs of $1 a pound to 54 cents currently Plant workers were given a 60-day notice of layoffs. "It's a difficult situation," Willits said, adding that employees will be given severance pay "I see their faces. I know their families. It tears at you." An 'import problem' It had nothing to do with worker performance or plant efficiency, Willits said. "It's pretty hard to overcome that type of import problem." Domestic gluten producers clash with European countries that flood the U.S. market with their gluten, he said, because they mill wheat more for its starch content. In the U.S., 85 percent of the starch needs are mm Russell RUSSELL Gluten plant is closing met by corn, and the rest comes from wheat. Starch serves as a carbohydrate in food and also is used in making paper, wallboard and other nonfood products. Gluten is mostly the protein that goes into food. It is purchased by bakeries to produce consistent bread products. "It's the difference between a cracker and a slice of bread," Willits said. "Gluten's major use is in bread." The EU serves about the same population as Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, but that region of the globe produces five times as much gluten for the same number of people. "Their business is making starch," Willits said, because corn isn't in such an abundance there. "They make their money on starch, so whatever they make from gluten is OK, even if they sell it for half of what it costs to make it. "In the United States, we're milling wheat to produce gluten. It's our premium product," WiUits said. "We have to make money on gluten. To sell starch, we have to compete with corn." The Clinton Administration tried to limit the amount of gluten imports for a three-year period that ends in June. See WHEAT, Page A4 T WADDELL & REED FINANCIAL SERVICES Investment chief predicts higher stock returns By DAVID CLOUSTON Tlw Salina Journal Henry Herrmann Corporate earnings are poised to rebound, carrying with them higher returns on investments in stocks, the chief investment officer of Waddell & Reed Financial Services said Wednesday in Salina. Although Henry Herrmann doesn't expect stocks to soar to levels reached in the decade-long buU market of the 1990s, he is counseling his company's clients to remain fully invested. He noted that since 1926, the compound rate of return on stocks has been about 11 percent. Herrmann said he focuses more on corporate profits than the economy "Why do I have to know where we are in the economic cycle to make a good decision about financial assets? I don't," he said. "I do need to understand what's happening with corporate profits. "On a long-term basis it's undeniable," he said, "corporate profits are going up. Either that or you don't want to bet on the U.S. anymore." Herrmann, of Shawnee, who also is the president and chief executive officer of Kansas City-based Waddell & Reed, was in town to speak to about 1,000 Salina area customers who gathered Wednesday night at the Bicentennial Center. Herrmann oversees mutual fund managers and investment decisions for the company See RETURNS, Page A3 WEATHER High: 69 Low: 55 A 70 percent chance of thunderstorms today. PAGE B1 Some Kansas senators breathed new life into the school finance debate and are seeking more spending for elementary and secondary education. TOMORROW Last National Band, a popular Salina cover band, has a new lineup and is seeking national airplay for its new CD of original songs. INSIDE Classified / C2 Comics / B4 Crossword / B4 Deailis / B3 Great Plains / B1 Home / CI Money / A5 Sports / D1 Weather / C8 Viewpoints / A7

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