The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 25, 1996 · Page 13
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 13

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Salina, Kansas
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Friday, October 25, 1996
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Page 13
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FRIDAY B OCTOBER 26, 1996 SAUNA JOURNAL Great Plains VIEWPOINTS / B2 ALMANAC / B3 FUN / B4 B BRIEFLY Man disguised suicide to look like murder • JUNCTION CITY —A man who drowned in Milford Lake in June committed suicide after arranging for his death to look like a murder, which would have allowed his family to collect life insurance money, an investigation found. ; Charles Hastings, 56, Wichita, bought a $300,000 insurance policy the day he died, Geary County Sheriff Bill Deppish said Thursday. ; No family members were implicated in the department's investigation. i' Hastings was reported missing June 26 when his houseboat was found adrift on the lake. ; His body was recovered three days later. An autopsy showed he drowned. '* Hastings, a jailer for the Sedg- jvick County Sheriffs Office, was depressed and suicidal in the 36 hours before his disappearance, tteppish said. i Hastings had been told by supe- Jriors two days earlier that he was being investigated because of sexual harassment complaints by his co-workers. Man is guilty of buying stamps with bad checks KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A man who prosecutors said admitted using bad checks to buy $104,000 worth of stamps at post offices in eight states pleaded guilty to a federal theft charge. • Ralph M. Barragan, 25, a former Los Angeles resident, pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of theft of federal property before U.S. District Judge Ortrie Smith. ' The U.S. attorney's office said Barragan had no permanent address and has used at least eight .aliases. ; Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Whitworth said he was arrested ' Sept. 18 at a Kansas City post office after buying or trying to buy Stamps at four other post offices in the area. ; Whitworth said investigators •were tipped to his presence in the Kansas City area early last month when a stamp dealer in Topeka reported a man had tried to sell •him 100 rolls of 32-cent stamps at 80 percent of their value. f 'Crews restore power after heavy snow ; TOPEKA —About 1,400 Topeka customers of KPL remained without power late Thursday, more Ithan two days after heavy, wet !snow downed thousands of tree Jlimbs and power .lines in the capi- |tal. i However, KPL officials said Ithey expected most of them to have their electricity back on Sometime Thursday night, except in isolated instances. • • Some residents in Lawrence and Olathe also still did not have power late Thursday. ; < KPL said it had brought in a dozen more line repair and tree trimming crews, bringing to about 140 the total number of crews that have been working in Topeka since the snowstorm struck on Tuesday. i KPL put the cost of damage and restoration of power at $2.5 million, but said it would not be ^dded to customers' bills because {he company annually sets aside money to cover storm damage and repair operations. : At the peak, KPL said, it has 75,000 customers without electric- Jty. No one wins jackpot |n Powerball lottery ; None of the tickets sold for the fowerball game Wednesday night matched all six numbers drawn, lottery officials said Thursday. ",. The numbers were 9,24,27,31 amd 34. The Powerball was 18. Players matching all five numbers and the Powerball would have won or shared the $47 million jackpot :. The prize goes to an estimated $56 million for Saturday. ' Tickets that match the first five numbers, but miss the Powerball, win $100,000 each, and there were nine of those. Indiana, Iowa and Rhode Island each had two. The others were sold in Washington D.C., Louisiana and Wisconsin. Kansas is part of the multistate Jottery. From Wire Service Reports IIH VJfJh»n you nwd to know. Tomorrow's Headlines 825-6OOO Category 6006 (Cell alter 7;30p.m.) Photos by DAVIS TURNER / The Salina Journal Cartoonist Walter Stroot exaggerates the features of Jake Lebahn, 12, a Meadowlark Elementary School student, as he draws his caricature. Stroot, whose work is represented In the Dole and Clinton drawings below, Is teaching students the art of cartooning. News Cartoons Cartoonist shows kids how to spoof politicians By DAN ENGLAND The Salina Journal W ayne Stroot drew a curve on the green chalkboard, then a couple of circles. A flick of the chalk scratched out some small, straight dashes. A few loops here, and couple of lines here, and Phil Gugler shouted "I got it!" "It's an old man!" said Gugler, 11, the son of Doug and Roz. , And it was. Stroot taught the art of editorial cartooning to a dozen students from Meadowlark, Schilling and Hawthorne elementary schools Thursday afternoon. All week, he has toured Salina schools for the artists-in-residency program, sponsored by the Salina Arts and Humanities, and will be in town until Nov. 1. He lives in Hastings, Neb. Stroot's work has appeared in Kansas, Nebraska and Wyoming newspapers. He also illustrates for several magazines and is starting a new sports cartoon strip for The Topeka-Capital Journal. He has toured schools since 1993. Stroot said it was important for the children to boil an idea Michael Murphy, 11, a sixth-grader at Schilling Elementary School, works on a drawing during class Thursday. Working alongside Michael are Anthony Miszkwltz, 11 (center), and Travis Haugh, 11. down. "You have six seconds," he said. "If the reader doesn't get it by then, you're washed up." Most of the hour-and-a-half session was spent drawing caricatures — the old man was one — and the students. Stroot asked the children to make faces. "Give me a really good mad face," he told one. The children scrunched their eyes, wrinkled their noses and pursed their lips to show the different emotions, and Stroot drew them on the chalkboard. Then he showed how to por- tray, say, anger in cartoons just by bending a character's eyelid or cutting the mouth in half. Jake Lebahn, 12, the son of Wendy and Trent Lebahn, was the first victim. Stroot reduced him to a boy with bug eyes, buck teeth, big ears and a pointy chin. "Hey!" Lebahn said and giggled. "I look like a nerd!" The children have to come up with their own cartoons by Saturday for a final session. Stroot, 41, began drawing for his school's newspaper when he was 14 and began drawing editorial cartoons when he was 18. Four years ago, he gave up his electrician's job for a full-time- cartooning one. "I had a family to support, but it came down to whether I would go for a position or give this a shot," he said. "I don't think I regret the decision at all. I'm a natural to be an editorial cartoonist. I'm a wise guy." Stroot said it was important for the children to "be true to themselves" as they shaped their ideas. "This gives us a chance to see the world through then: eyes," he said. "That's the neatest thing of all this." V KANSAS SUPREME COURT Attorneys argue over singles' tax rates Kansas man's suit claims that state's income tax rate is unfair to single taxpayers By The Associated Press TOPEKA — The state Supreme Court was told on Thursday that Kansas discriminates against single taxpayers by making them pay a higher income tax rate than married couples. The case could create a major budget problem for the Legislature when it convenes in January if the court requires the state to make refunds to single taxpayers. Timothy Dyk of Washington D.C., representing the state Department of Revenue, argued TTHEATER that there is a rational basis for the different tax rates, even if the policy is not perfect. "There's an imperfect fit between means and ends," he said. "A perfect fit is clearly not required." An attorney for Eric Peden, who brought the lawsuit, argued that the higher tax rates for single people, which includes both those who are divorced and widowed, said Kansas is the only state in the nation with such a policy. "It appears, your honors, this was done to gin up extra revenue," said Michael Waldeck of Kansas City, Mo. Under the law, single taxpayers pay 4.4 percent on the first $20,000 of taxable income, 7.5 percent on the next $10,000 and 7.75 percent on income above $30,000. Married couples filing jointly pay 3.5 percent on the first $30,000 of taxable income; 6.25 percent on the next $30,000 and 6.45 percent on income over $60,000. Peden, an attorney who formerly lived in Johnson County and now lives in Kansas City, Mo., filed a lawsuit in April 1993 alleging the different tax rates represent unconstitutional discrimination. The rates started in 1988. District Judge Matthew Dowd in September 1994 agreed with Peden, ruling that the state's income tax code violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. and state constitutions. Dowd also certified the case as a class action lawsuit, which means single taxpayers who filed an income return from 1988 through the present could conceivably receive a refund. V SHERIDAN MURDER Jurors hear of idle talk Ex-wife's comments at church may implicate her in man's murder By DAVID CLOUSTON The Salina Journal JUNCTION CITY — Jurors heard testimony Thursday that murder suspect Dana Flynn made statements about attempts to get custody of her children that authorities think foreshadowed Randall Sheridan's murder. A former member of the Fountain of Life Church, led by Flynn's pastor, Jerry Rollins, testified that Flynn spoke to her at a church service. "She said God would not allow her children to be taken from her," said the former church member, Jesie Dunlap of Salina. Dunlap also said Flynn described her ex-husband, Steve Flynn, as evil. "Was that the term she used?" asked Geary County attorney Chris Biggs. "Yes. She said he had the demon of lust," Dunlap said. Dunlap's testimony fit into a pattern of evidence the prosecution has presented, trying to show Flynn's attitude against her ex- husband, Flynn, and her ex-lover, Sheridan. The bitterness, authorities say, spurred her and her brother, Mikel Dreiling, to gun down Sheridan on a rural Geary County road on Dec. 22,1992. Flynn, Dreiling and Rollins all live in Salina. Both Dana Flynn and Dreiling are on trial in Geary County District Court for charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to commit perjury. Dreiling also is charged with making a terroristic threat in connection with a threatening phone call placed to Sheridan's residence Dec. 12. Rollins, who is charged with the same three offenses shared by Flynn and Dreiling, is to be tried later. Thursday marked the end of the fifth week of testimony in the murder case. Thus far, 70 witnesses have testified for the state. The jury was given today off, with testimony set to resume Monday. Dunlap attended the Fountain of Life Church from late 1988 to fall 1989. During that time, she said, Rollins would give prophecy, saying God had spoken directly to him. During cross-examination by Flynn's attorney, Brent Lonker, Dunlap said Rollins never identified anyone by name. Authorities think Rollins' prophecies were instrumental in the conspiracy to murder Sheridan. In a separate development, Flynn's mother, Shirley Dreiling, was arrested this week on a warrant for theft, said Saline County Un- dersheriff Calvin Johnson. The case involves welfare fraud, said Johnson. Dreiling was released on $1,000 bond. Shirley Dreiling and her husband Norman remain to be tried for perjury regarding statements made under oath connected with the Sheridan murder case. Ttoisted 'Sister' to be presented By GARY DEMUTH The Salina Journal ABILENE—It was France's equivalent of the O.J. Simpson trial. In 1933, two sisters became maids in the house of a woman and her daughter at a Chateau in Le Mans. The maids ended up murdering the mother and daughter, sparking one of the most.sensational trials in France's history. How the lives of these four women intertwined and led to murder is the subject of the play "My Sister In This House.". The play, produced by the Great Plains Theatre Festival, opens today at the Tietjens Center for the Performing Arts. It is a thriller reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock at his malevolent best, said Richard Esvang, artistic director of Great Plains and the director of the production. "It's an eerie and provocative psychological study of four women," Esvang said. The play con- tains adult themes and is being recommended for mature audiences. Esvang auditioned actresses throughout the country to pbrtray the multi-layered and complex roles. "These are great acting roles," Esvang said. "This play is part of our commitment to produce chal- lenging material, especially that which showcases women playwrights and actresses." The four women are portrayed by: Jennifer James Bradshaw, Kansas City; Alisha McKinney, a native Kansan living in New York; Samara Siskind, Florida; and Jan Rogge, Kansas City. Producing plays like "My Sister In This House" is a demonstration of the variety of material Esvang wants to present at the theater. "We're a professional theater, and it's not good to do the easy, commercial stuff all the time," Esvang said. "But you do want a good mix of the commercial and the more progressive material. You want to keep the audience coming." Esvang's dream is to open a second stage at the theater one day, in order to produce more new and challenging plays on the order of "My Sister In This House." "Great material like this is what helps us attract the best actors," Esvang said. T PHONE DIRECTORY Being on phone book leads to lots of calls By CHRIS KOGER The Salina Journal Kalina Arpke's not sure if she's ready for the fame as Salina's new covergirl. "I feel sort of popular an< of silly," said the na who, along wim her and two other children, tured on the Salina-area western Bell telephone ry being distributed this In the picture's foi Kalina and Kellan playing with clay at tl Art Center's recently renovated Discovery Area for children. "It's just that everybody knows about (the cover)," said Kalina, daughter of Tom and Beth Arpke, 512 W. Iron. "I've never been on the phone book, but my name has been in the paper. This is the first time I've been on something for the whole city." Beth Arpke said her children frequently visit the art center and often go there after school to do'crafts, pljky with clay and andw*fti;yideos. big gum ou can get ; guto for frpNJjgPICalina said. The Arfii)^ 1 - telephone has been ringittg'off foe hook. "I reaUy like a lot," said Kellan, 7, about the directory. "We've had like 10 people call us, to say 'You know, you're on the phone book.' " The photographer, Hank Young, lives in Lawrence and contracts with Southwestern Bell for photos across the state. SUGGESTIONS? CALL BEN WEARING, DEPUTY EDITOR, AT (913) 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363

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