The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 7, 2001 · Page 5
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 5

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Salina, Kansas
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Monday, May 7, 2001
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Page 5
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THE SAUNA JOURNAL GREAT PLAINS MONDAY, MAY 7, 2001 A5 ; • COMMUNICATIONS Hams surf the waves of an old technology ;1 V With a worldwide reacli, |; hams are invaluable in times of emergency By MOLLIE GARDNER The Garden City Telegram GARDEN CITY ~ Somewhere i I' above the world's streets and highways, above the vast networks of fiber-optic cables and power lines, ;: there is another, hidden network of ; radio waves. ''•I' It is older than the Internet. Old- !L'.er, even, than television. In fact, S since the beginning of the 20th cen- :f'-tury, radio has '•I steadfastly trans- I ported messages across geographic boundaries, over impassable terrain ' and through .other I conditions that 1 ^would stop other I ^communication in i (»'its tracks. •'" And almost as old as radio itself is the ; tradition of ama- " teur radio — a hobby that has al, lowed individuals from all walks of !i "life to swap stories, increase their 1 „technibal knowledge and serve their I • communities in times of disaster. I - Thete are more than 2.5 million 'amateur radio operators — or hams, ; as many like to be called — in the ; world. Some of them participate ac' tively, in southwest Kansas, in the '. Sand Hills Amateur Radio Club. ! Drawn to the hobby for a variety ; of reasons, the local hams are a di; verse group. "I'm a gadget guru," said operator : Dale Urban, Garden City "If it's an electronic gadget, I'm interested in "I'm a gadget guru. If it's an electronic gadget, I'm interested in it" Dale Urban Garden City amateur radio operator it." A licensed operator for about 12 years, Urban was attracted by amateur radio's technical side. "When I was a kid in grade school and junior high, I would just take old radios, and tear them apart. I think that's what a lot of the ham stuff is, is just the fascination with the art of radio." Depending on the particular equipment they own, as well as on the class of license they have earned from the Federal Communications Commission, hams can communicate through a variety of means, such as Morse code, digital packets and FM or single sideband voice transmissions. Many rely on a mixture of these means to send and receive messages. Floyd Cook, Garden City, communicates primarily by talking over FM radio, whereas Jim Douglass, also of Garden City, enjoys sending and receiving messages through Morse code. Many of the local hams maintain an interest in long-distance communications via satellite. In fact, both Douglass and Marion Miller, Gar*den City, have held long distance conversations with operators in all 50 states. While neither has yet filed for the esteemed "Worked All States" recognition from the FCC, Douglass, who has chatted with people in Antarctica, Russia, Mongolia and France, was officially recognized for having "Worked All Continents." Urban has the record for long dis- BRAD NADING / Garden City Telegram Dale Urban, Garden City, tries to contact a fellow amateur radio enthusiast to call him home from a trip because of wind damage to his rural Finney County home. Urban also has his radio wired to his computer. tance communication via a special repeater launched in a gas balloon. On Jan. 13, he held his record-setting conversation with a man 530 miles away in Wyoming. Urban's wife, Nancy, is also a licensed operator. When she first obtained her license 10 years ago, she was primarily interested in talking to her husband over the air. Since then, she's developed a fascination with long distance communicatiori. "The distance part of it interests me," she said. She described a time when she tried communicating through a repeater in a gas balloon and was amazed "that I was talking to someone in Texas and I was nearly in Nebraska." Because of the unique capabilities of radio, hams have long played a role in serving their communities. Many of them volunteer as severe weather spotters. According to Douglass, the local hams were around to watch for tornadoes even before the Finney County Emergency Management Office existed. Hams have also relayed messages from soldiers in the military to their families. Some hams work at bike races, parades and marathons, relaying information along various points of the processions. All the help is free. The Federal Communications Commission rules prohibit compensation of any kind for services rendered by hams. HUTCHINSON GAS EXPLOSIONS prine-well plugging to begin in Hutch Geological Survey to train city workers to ;locate uncapped wells By The Associated Press HUTCHINSON — The Kansas 'Geological Survey will train city ^workers to find unplugged brine j:weUs like the ones that served as •conduits for a pair of natural gas explosions earlier this year. ^ Beginning Monday, the KGS ' will begin training two public works employees in the operation of a computerized electromagnetic device officials hope , will help locate as many of the :. wells — the estimate ranges up to 160 —as possible. City Manager Joe Palacioz said the identification and plugging of those brine wells is es- ••:sential to preventing a recur- f rence of the' Jan. 17 and 18 ex; -plosions that claimed two lives. It's also an estimated $9.6 million project — at $60,000 to plug each ^ell — that will require state and federal grants to complete, Palacioz said. "That tool, along with a micro-gravity surveying technique that we're looking at, present the most common-sense method, along with dollars, of searching for the wells," he said. The electromagnetic metal detector is a "4-foot-long thing that looks like a metal 2-by-4," survey director Lee Allison said. "We've tested it with city people earlier and we think it's pretty effective in locating and identifying buried metals." The tool differs from a metal detector in its ability to gather underground data. Using varied frequencies, the tool produces data that can be turned by computers into a three-dimensional image. That image will tell investigators exactly where buried well casings can be found, Allison said. "It gives us the ability to verify in each case what we've found," he said. "We won't spend a lot of time digging for what we're not sure of." The testing in Hutchinson was so successful that KGS has purchased the $15,000 electromagnetic tool, Allison said, but he cautioned that the device will have to be used in combination with other techniques to identify all the wells. "Its great for going over the ground," he said. "Where we run into problems are the wells that might be under a house, underneath a concrete foundation. something like that." City officials also are looking at micro-gravity surveying, a more expensive operation that could lead investigators to the caverns created by the solution mining operations. Allison said the surveys are done with a gravitometer, a highly sensitive machine that measures very minor changes in the gravity such as dense rock "But it's costly," Palacioz said. "And we've been told that what we're wanting is a little on the high side of what that technique can do, so we need to determine whether this is what we want." Officials believe that plugging the brine wells will go a long way toward preventing any other natural gas-related problems, either from leaks or from nature. "We know and understand that every community has natural gas formations under it," Allison said. "We think it's a major, major thing to find the wells and get them sealed off," said Kansas Gas Service spokesman Conrad Koehler. "By doing that, we hope that closes the door to any possible recurrences in Hutchinson." Allison also said last week that a converted U-2 spy plane that circled Hutchinson and Reno County in late March turned up no large-scale evidence of unusual methane gas levels in the atmosphere. The flight was one of two aerial projects coordinated in March and AprU by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Kansas Geological Survey "The flight produced no bad news, but it didn't produce any definite^ good news, either," Allison said. "It's good news in the sense that we know were on the right track," said Palacioz. "I'm not disappointed in the results at all. I was really interested in what's out in the county because nobody's checked there. There are no leaks, and that's good news." The March mission covered a 50-mile-long, 15-mile-wide swath of Hutchinson and the surrounding area, Allison said. "This instrument isn't going to detect the small pockets of gas on the surface that might not dissipate," Allison said. "It wouldn't detect a single vent well, for example. Because it didn't detect anything doesn't necessarily mean that there isn't a small amount of gas around." Salina Area Diabetes Association Meeting Tuesday, May 8th, 7:30 p.m. SRHC • Penn Campus • Conference Room #1 "Safe Use of Herbs & Supplements for Diabetics." Dr. Lynn Wuthnow, D.D.S., Linda Radke, R.P.H. Questions? Call Jiuiice Fuller, 827-2895 Firms collect for storm victims By The Sallna Journal Coldwell Banker Antrim-Piper Wenger, Realtors, EBC Radio and :;the North Central Kansas Chapter •of the American Red Cross have teamed up to help children affected by the Hoisington tornado. Area residents can drop off new items at Coldwell Banker in Elmore Center between 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. through Tuesday Educational items being collected include pens and pencils, pencil sharpeners, erasers, crayons, washable markers, colored pencils, small rulers, small •notepads, postcards anql postage stamps. I Recreational items needed include yo-yos, tops, balls and jacks; barrettes and hair ribbons; harmonicas; small puzzles, cars and dolls; fmger puppets; bookmarks; key chains; hand-held games; card games; coloring books; crossword and dot-to-dot puzzles; and activity books. Sugarless chewing gum also is requested. People are asked not to send liquids such as shampoo, mouthwash, soap or lotion; candy or food items; items or books with religious, patriotic or war-like symbols; or clothing. YEN CHING Chinese Restsaurant DELIVERY 823-1685 Open 7 days a week Dine In & Carryout S40 S. Broadway • 823.2089 3450 S. Ninth. Salina, KS 823-2237 •800-874-6316 If) 1 Dine Inl I Carry Out! 1 Drive Tlirul You get: • Chicken Fried Steak with white gravy • Individual mashed potatoes and gravy • Individual cole slaw • Biscuit 430 S. Broadway Salina (785) 825-0322 11 BEHIND CLOSED DOORS ADULT NOVELTIES VIDEOS • LOTIONS • MAGAZINES 11 am • 9 pni Mon. - Sat • 1 pm - 5 pra Sun. 1901 W. Gnuid • Sdin. • (785) 823-1339 IHCKIN.SONTHKATRKS.v , All Keats S5.00 before 6.00 p.m. Central Mall :?D 9 S *J Si (785) 325-9105, Bridget Jonw'8 Diary (R) 5:10 7:20 The Mummy Returns (PG13) 5:00 7:30 5:30 8:00 One Night at McCool's (R) 5:10 7:10 Along Came a Spider (R) 5:10 7.80 Spy Kids (PG) 5:20 7:10 Town & Country (R) 5:00 7:20 Driven (PG1315:00 7:30 Midstales 2 Crocodile Dundee In Los Angeles (PG) 7 (785) 825-9105 Joe Dirt (PG13) 7:10 Thank you for being a hero for babies! Much \X4i Ik America Because you participated in WalkAmerica, the March of Dimes can continue to give babies born prematurely a fighting chance. Happy Mother's Day And Congratulations Graduates of 2001 from SCRAPBOOK FRIENDZY Buy a $50 gift certificate for $45 Or Buy a $25 gift certificate for $20 Offer Expires May 31, 2001 MOTHERS & GRANDMOTHERS Show us pictures of your kids or grandkids and receive 25% off all purchases on Mother's Day Graduates of 2001: Bring in your graduation announcement And receive 25% off all purchases on May 26,2001 HUTCHINSON MALL SAUNA CEt^lTRALMALL Scrapbook Friendzy Salina Central Mall / 785-493-0883 Hutchinson Mall / 316-662-6360

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