The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 4, 2001 · 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, May 4, 2001
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Page 13
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FRIDAY MAY 4, 2001 THE SAUNA JOURNAL Great Plains A LOOK AHEAD / B2 DEATHS / B3 FUN / B4 BBIEFUr Man robs Zaies of two diamond rings He arrived, shortly before the Zales Jewelers store in Central Mall was scheduled to close Wednesday and inquired about diamond rings — those of more than 1 carat in size. Staff stayed late to accommodate the shopper, who lingered for an hour before trying on two rings and announcing: "I'll take these." With that he ran from the store. Salina police Lt. Mike Sweeney said no arrests have been made. Witnesses described the man as black, 32 to -35 years old, 5 feet 9 inches tall, thin with short, curly hair and a goatee. He was seen getting into a red Pontiac Sunbird convertible with a black top and gold rims. The car had Oklahoma tags. The rings were described as a 1.05-carat diamond, and a 1.01-carat diamond. Together, . they are valued at $16,940. If you have information about the crime, call Crimestoppers at 825-TIPS. You might receive a cash reward of up to $1,000, and you are not required to give your name. l\/lan allegedly tries to murder ex-girlfriend , A man allegedly attempted to murder his ex-girlfriend . Wednesday afternoon by choking and smothering her before he overdosed on Tylenol. The man ran away after the 20-year-old woman escaped from her apartment and ran to a nearby church for help, Salina police Lt. Mike Sweeney said. Later that evening, the man, 19, returned to the woman's apartment in the 100 block of South Eighth later after he had overdosed. He was in the intensive care unit at Salina Regional Health Center Thursday afternoon. Because he hadn't been arrested, Salina police did not reveal his name. Letter carriers to collect food May 12 Letter carriers will be picking up more than the mail May 12. They will pick up canned goods people leave at their mailboxes. It's all part of the annual national Letter Carrier Food Drive. United Way volunteers will pick up the food letter carriers bring to the post office. The canned items will be sorted, counted and boxed for distribution to six agencies that are beneficiaries of the annual Project Salina food drive, now underway. Those agencies are the Salina Rescue Mission, the Salvation Army, Emergency Aid/Food Bank, Ashby House, Focus on the Future and Salina Youth Care Home Foundation. The United Way is looking for volunteers to help with the effort. To lend a hand, call Laura Robertson at 827-1312. From Staff Reports CORRECTIONS ••••• 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. Salina's lowest gasoline price found yesterday by the Journal. Call us at 823-6363, Ext. 150, if you find a lower fuel price in town. • HOISINGTON TORNADO Decision on school is a priority Board may decide money from insurance would be better spent on new school By SHARON MONTAGUE The Salina Journal HOISINGTON — Before a tornado tore through the city, the Hoisington School Board was making plans to construct a city activity center and an addition to the high school with a voter-approved $4 million bond issue. But in its wake, the tornado left a trail of tinder, tearing the roof from the high school auditorium, sending a waU of the high school art room teetering outward and shattering windows in district schools. Now,: the school board has different considerations: Should plans continue for the sepiarate activity center and an addition to the high school, or would Total, North Ninth and Euclid "We're on a fast pace. We need to make that decision (about the school) soon." Randy Evans Hoisington School District superintendent taxpayer and insurance money be better spent on construction of a new high school adjacent to the activity center? "We're on a fast pace," Superintendent Randy Evans said. "We need to make that decision soon." Elsewhere in the city, homeowners and renters are making decisions about their property, too. Federal Emergency Management Agency officials say the April 21 twister,' which packed winds of about 200 mph, caused an estimated $43 million in damage in the city. It was estimated 230 homes were destroyed, and another 335 were damaged. Representatives of FEMA, Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Seventh Day Adventists and other organizations remain in the city, offering what assistance they can. Evans said the school district has insurance that will cover the replacement cost of buildings and equipment damaged or destroyed in the tornado. Some homeowners and renters aren't so fortunate. Vicktoria Degand, executive director of the Salina Chapter of the American Red Cross, said 240 homeowners had applied to the Red Cross for assistance as of Wednesday, and about 4 percent of those homeowners did not have insurance. Another 70 people who rented homes applied for assistance — most of whom had no insurance. Tom Moore, a FEMA representative who is working out of Great Bend, said at the end of the day Wednesday, the federal agency had provided about $27,000 in temporary housing assistance to 29 people who did not have insurance to cover the cost; another $17,000 was given to nine people to make emergency home repairs not covered by insurance. A total of 274 Hoisington residents had applied for FEMA assistance as of Wednesday, according to Joe Klocek, a FEMA spokesman. Most didn't receive immediate aid because they had some sort of insurance. Because a federal law prohibits agencies from duplicating benefits provided by another agency, Klocek said anyone with insurance is initially denied FEMA assistance. "We tell them to file their insurance claim, then send us the policy and a copy of the claim notice," Klocek said. "Depending on what insurance covered, we See SCHOOL, Page B3 T LANDON LECTURE Zedillo defends free trade Former IVIexican leader wants more international trade By SARAH KESSINGER Harris News Service MANHATTAN — Free global markets wUl help the poor cross "the exclusion line" through better jobs and education, Mexico's former President Ernesto Zedillo said Thursday at Kansas State University _ "Faced with the threat of rising poverty, disease, environmental degradation and conflict, we must grab the promise of freer trade and make it a reality," Zedillo told a crowd of 700 in his first public speech since his term ended in December. Zedillo said lifting trade barriers is critical to global stability in a world where half the population lives on less than $2 a day-He contended theresult wiU be more vibrant economies with less poverty "A vital part of the solution consists of promoting among the peoples and the nations of the world more interdependence, or as they say now, more globalization," he said. Lashing out at protesters at last month's Summit of the Americas, Zedillo said free market opponents, or "globapho- bics," push an isolationist agenda that stagnates economic growth in countries such as Mexico. Eased trade barriers through the North American Free Trade Agreement benefit workers in the United States, Canada and Mexico, he said. Mexico is now the second largest market for American exports. • "But the most meaningful story is not in the figures. It is in the people — who thanks to Mexico's participation in the global economy now have better jobs to support their families," See TRADE, Page B2 The Associated Press Former Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo gives a Landon Lecture Thursday at Kansas State University. It was Zedillo's first public speech since leaving office in December. T LEGISLATURE School finance plans collapse Supporters unable to construct a proposal with enough votes By JOHN MILBURN Vie Associated Press TOPEKA — Supporters of a tax increase for public education gave up on cobbling together one last proposal Thursday, failing to find a plan that could pass the House and Senate. Meanwhile, a conference committee abruptly shut down its work on reconciling differences over a bill authorizing $67 million in new-spending for schools that legislators already approved. Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley said a six-member group that had been meeting privately for two days agreed to a package, but not on how to finance it. "I think the plan is in a state of collapse at this point," said Hensley, D-Topeka. The group was at "loggerheads" over revenue sources, he said. The sticking point was legalizing slot machines and video lottery terminals. The package also included $20 million for social services, $10 million for higher education and $2 million for public safety officers. The goal was to garner enough votes to support a plan to give elementary and secondary schools $60 million more than legislators already approved for fiscal 2002, which begins July 1. Senate Majority Leader Lana Oleen said because of the problems with the state budget, the See COLLAPSE, Page B3 T BY GEORGE They need light to show them the way Representatives are waiting for ypu to push them in the right direction "They can be a great people. They truly wish to be. They only lack the light to show them the way." — Jor-El By the time you read this, it may no longer make a difference. That's how fast things change, or dissolve, during the wrap-lip session of the Kansas Legislature. But I am reliably informed that two members of the Saline County legislative delegation — Reps. Deena Horst and Carol Beggs — have been listed as two votes teetering on the brink of Doing the Right Thing. It is just a matter of whether voters will pick up the phone, or fire up the email, and demand their elected representatives do their constituents the honor of thinking of us as responsible, humane people who know the state has responsibilities to meet and bills to pay The list I'm referring to — one of hundreds being kept by busy Statehouse lobbyists — is compiled by those who are seeking more help for people who need the most help. • We have programs in this state that hire people to take care of the developmentally disabled, the severely retarded, the victims of head injuries and the like. * Any civilized society does. The goal is to make such human beings as independent, functional and happy as possible. Properly done, it not only reduces human suffering but saves the taxpayers a few bucks in the long run by helping people who otherwise would be institutionalized to live on their own, improving their level of functioning instead of wasting away, even becoming taxpaying citizens. • But those agencies are underfunded. The stress of providing these services is substantial for the few individuals saintly enough to do it, and their pay is so low that most cannot justify doing it for very long. Staff shortages and turnover all but knock the legs out from under these GEORGE B. PYLE TIte Salina Journal programs, and leave many on waiting lists so long that, when they do get services, they are so far behind that much of the opportunity for rehabilitation has been lost forever. Most Kansans, salt of the Earth that we are, support doing thosfe things and doing them right. That means we are willing to pay for them. But that's seldom what lawmakers hear. And, apparently, our lawmakers have such a low opinion of us they think we would rather save a buck a week in taxes than provide for the needs of the most dependent human beings. One wonders if people who think so little of us deserve the title "representative." Of course, the perceived pressure on Beggs, Horst and most members of the Legislature is to take the easy, irresponsible way out, to fail to keep the state's promises, meet its obligations or pay our bills. But lawmakers hear from that crowd all the time. There are always plenty of voices who are just so crazy about tax cuts and so mad at any collective effort to meet the needs of Kansans that they can be counted on to spout the mindless tax-revolt drivel we all know so well. It's just the background noise of representative government. Kansans, of course, are generally more responsible than that. We don't like paying taxes any more than anyone else, but we are not deadbeats. We know what Gov Bill Graves and other constructive moderate leaders of our power structure know. A decent life in the modern world costs money Laws don't enforce themselves. We need police and prisons. Children don't educate themselves. We need schools and universities. Roads don't build themselves, although they are perfectly capable of creating some really amazing potholes. Anyway, word is that some of our lawmakers would really like to do the right thing. They just need a little push. Call the Legislative Hotline: 1-800432-3924, or send some e-mail. Legislative e-mail addresses look like this: lastname@house.state.ks.us or last- name@senate.state.ks.us. Representatives are standing by. • Journal columnist George B. Pyle can be reached at 823-6464. Ext. 101, or by e-mail at gpyle@saljournal.com. SUGGESTIONS? CALL BEN WEARING, DEPUTY EDITOR, AT 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363 OR E-MAIL AT sjbwearing@saljournal.com

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