The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 30, 1996 · Page 9
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 9

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, October 30, 1996
Page 9
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WEDNESDAY THE SALlMA JbURNAL Great Plains VIEWPOINTS / B2 ALMANAC / B3 FUN / B4 B V MARYMOUNT ADMINISTRATION BUILDING Owner has B&B dreams for Marymount ; Marrs will •r seek Landmark - designation for administration building By CHRIS KOGER The Salina Journal From the time it opened in June 1922 until its closing in 1989, Marymount College was a home for students seeking spiritual and educational enlightenment. Donnie Marrs hopes to allow alumni once again to stay on campus, in the rooms of the former administration building where bishops and Superior General Mother Marie Antoinette Cuff lived in the Marymount's early years. Marrs, who is requesting local Landmark designation for the building from the Salina Heritage Commission today, hopes to open a bed- and-breakfast on the second floor of the administration building soon. "It's an area that was used for boarding rooms. The original plans for the building show suites for Mother Antoinette (of the Sisters of St. Joseph), and a suite for the bishop," said Marrs, who bought the building from the Salina Catholic Diocese in 1993. After Marymount closed in 1989, Benedictine College classes were offered at the building. The rest of the buildings were sold to the state for the Kansas Highway Patrol Training Center and Marrs has rented part of the second floor to seven tenants, from attorneys to an engineering firm. Marrs also has his business, DMA Architect, in the building. Marrs and his family renovated space on the fourth and fifth floors for their living quarters. He plans to bring his bed-and- breakfast proposal to city commissioners Nov. 11 and Dec. 9. Although original plans are for two rooms, that will be expanded. The Marrs also plan to renovate space for apartments. "We're only using 20 percent of the space right now," Marrs said. "We would like to think (the bed and breakfast) will happen in the relatively near future. Whether that future is three months or six months depends on a number of things we're working on." Marrs will appear before the Heritage Commission to seek Landmark designation for the administration building, renamed Mariamonte at Marymount. The local designation will apply to the building exterior, requiring Marrs to apply for a certificate of appropriateness before altering it. Marrs said he has no intent to alter the outside, or the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception, which is surrounded by the former administration building. "We haven't changed the chapel and we don't have any intentions of changing it," Marrs said. "We want to keep it as a reflection of the past and the present. People still come by every day to pray and reflect. The building wouldn't be anything without the chapel." Marrs credited Antoinette, the Sisters of St. Joseph and local people, BRIEFLY Gusty winds knock out power for about 2,300 . Wind gusts of 40 to 50 mph downed power lines in parts of central Kansas Tuesday, knocking out power in more than 2,300 homes, said Chris Cole, KPL division manager for Salina. A power line that serves 1,900 customers in Tescott, Bennington and Delphos was knocked out around 7:30 p.m, and a power line serving 460 customers in Assaria was out for an hour when it was downed at 3 p.m. Salina had outages scattered around the town, Cole said, with about 10 transformers being lost. "Each one only had about four customers on it," he said. "So it was small." Cole said the number of customers who were without power was unusual, even on such a windy day. He blamed the losses not on the strength of the wind but its direction. "It's coming mostly from the west, which is a new angle on the trees," Cole said. "Usually we get it from the northwest or southwest, but the direct wind from the west is forcing the trees onto the Jines." The trees can cause the lines to "spark,".Cole said, or knock out the lines completely. Agra man is charged with attempted murder PHILLIPSBURG — An Agra man was charged with attempted first-degree murder Tuesday after shooting a man's ear off last week, authorities said. Forrest L. Kaim, Agra, 52, is being held in Phillips County Jail on a $300,000 bond. The victim, Mitch McCall, 37, Agra, was released from Hays Medical Center Monday. McCall had been shot in the head with a large-caliber weapon at 9:45 a.m. Thursday approximately 13 miles east of Phillipsburg. McCall will require reconstructive surgery. "Basically, what it did is take off his ear," said a dispatcher from the Phillips County Sheriffs Department. Kaim was taken into custody by the Phillips County Sheriffs Office about 20 minutes after the shooting. The dispatcher didn't know when the preliminary hearing would take place. United Way donations pass halfway mark The Salina Area United Way is more than half way to its goal of $1,019,000 and ahead of donations given by the same time last year. The 1996 campaign has raised $544,707.38, an increase of 3.6 percent of the amount raised by the same time last year. Money raised during the campaign will support 57 local agency programs, venture grants and community initiatives and partnerships. To help with the drive, "Daring Doug" Michaels, a disc jockey at 95.5 "The Rock" KQNS radio station, is staying aloft on a billboard on West Crawford at the Sunset Plaza to raise $3,500. The 16-week campaign is about halfway completed. If successful, the campaign will be the first for the local charity to break the $1 million level. From Staff Reports Whwi you noed to know. - Tomorrow's Headlines 825-6000 Category 6000 (Call alter7:30 p.m.) FOR RICHARD, WITH LOVE WOMAN SHARES STORY OF BROTHER'S LIFE WITH DOWN SYNDROME By CAROL LICHTI The Salina Journal I une Rae Wood shared with elementary school students Tuesday the real life story of her brother Richard, who had Down Syndrome and inspired her book "The Man Who Loved Clowns." "Did Richard really love clowns?" asked Cody Davis, a fourth-grader among the students at Bartlett School, 300 S. Ninth. "The honest truth is that he liked Elvis better," said Wood, Windsor, Mo. "He had Elvis posters and albums all over his room and he had a guitar." Cody, the son of Kelly McCall and Brad Davis, read Wood's book like other students from Whittier- Bartlett Elementary School who heard Wood talk Tuesday. The students also wrote compositions about the book and awards were given for the best work. The prize — an autographed copy of Wood's book — was provided by the school's PTA. The winners were fourth- graders Bradley Scott,-Amber Riggs, Laura Mickus and Charles Miller; fifth-graders Chris Shuler, Allison Morse and Angela Allen; and sixth-graders Sherry Thompson, Kandice Moxter, Emily Fox and Brian Versluys. Wood's book has won awards including the 1995 William Allen White Award, an award voted on by fourth- through eighth-graders in Kansas. She also spoke to students at Meadowlark Ridge and Heusner elementary schools and Salina South Middle School during a two-day visit to Salina. Wood grew up in Versailles, Mo., in a family of eight children, including Richard, who doctors said wouldn't live. He was so small he wore his sister's doll clothes and his father's handkerchief as diapers. "Richard had a lot of eccentricities," Wood said. "That's a big word that means a lot of unusual habits." He would eat only off a red. plastic plate and, despite admoni- TOM DORSEY/The Salina Journal June Rae Wood,,Windsor, Mo., speaks about her brother, Richard, Tuesday to students at Bartlett Elementary School. tions, threw his chicken bones behind the television when he was done. "We found it was easier just to pull out the TV to clean up the bones every few days," Wood said. Richard was never without his portable radio and a "microphone" to entertain his audience of empty chairs, stray dogs or plastic toy soldiers. The "microphone" at first was V HOUSE FIRE Fire didn't wait for new smoke detector who pushed for the campus' construction after it was sidelined during World War I. John Burger, an architectural historian for the Heritage Commission who works in the city's planning department, said it's unusual to see a building that size with Tudor Gothic style. Burger said it's likely the historic designation will be approved, based on the historical and architectural significance of the building. Marrs can continue with interior renovations, because the local landmark ordinance only limits changes to a building's exterior, Burger said. The Heritage Commission will hear Marrs' proposal at 4 p.m. today in Room 107 of the City-County Building. sticks Richard found in the yard. Later, his sisters gave him pencils, easily converted with a knob or the cap from toothpaste tubes into a "microphone." "He was always taking knobs off other people's things," Wood said. "I would frisk him before he left my home or else he'd leave with every knob in the house." Richard also loved crayons, but he didn't color. Instead, he would peel the paper off and break them. Wood showed the students a basket full of crayons, weighing 13 pounds. "This is his collection," Wood said. "They are all broken, but they are not all peeled. He was too weak the weeks before he died to peel them all off." Richard died 12 years ago. He was 36. At times during his life, she was frustrated and angry when other children laughed at him and embarrassed when he would attract attention when they were late to church. But for 36 years, Richard was the center of their lives. "We were left with a big hole right in the middle of our family," Wood said. "The grief was overwhelming." To deal with her grief, Wood wrote a short story about Richard that was published in a magazine and later republished in Reader's Digest. . Mail poured in. "But it was always from grown-ups," Wood said. "I wanted to write something that appealed to children." So she wrote "The Man Who Loved Clowns." "Now my letters are from kids," she said. The letters say "Punky," the character based on Richard, is cool. "Punky was not cool when I was a little girl," she said. Other letters are from children who say they'll never make fun of a handicapped person again. "That means a lot to me and my family," Wood said. T WEATHER Salina family had been shopping for smoke detector when blaze erupted By SHARON MONTAGUE Ttie Salina Journal Sunday morning, Patty Kiltz and her 14-year-old son, Eric, priced smoke detectors at Wai Mart. But, not able to afford a detector at the time, Kathy told Eric they'd pick one up after she received her paycheck from McDonald's/ That afternoon, a fire sparked by a heating pad or extension cord in Eric's bedroom caused about $30,000 damage to the family's rented home at 528 Russell, Fire Chief Tom Girard said. A smoke detector — its battery re- moved because the detector was malfunctioning and beeping constantly — was on the dining room table, Patty Kiltz said. "That's one of the first things we'll do when we get back in here, get a smoke detector," Kiltz said. "And we'll check into renters' insurance." The Kiltzes, who were looking for a house to rent while theirs is restored, haven't determined what can be salvaged from the blaze. Their living room furniture suffered only smoke damage, Patty Kiltz said, and her bedroom furniture might be worth restoring. But Eric Kiltz's bedroom was de- stroyed, along with his Star Trek memorabilia. "He collected Star Trek comic books, action figures, posters, models," Kiltz said. "They're all gone. He worked hard to collect all that stuff." Finding a home also has been difficult. Kiltz said most people want families to sign a lease of six months to a year, but she hopes to be back into her house within a couple of months. She has lived in the house for five years. "I like the house and I like the area," Kiltz said. "I want to come back. And my landlord (Phil Coleman) has been so wonderful and helpful." T SALINE COUNTY COMMISSION County commission OKs Schilling drainage project By The Journal Staff Work can now proceed on the Schilling Road drainage project in south Salina. Saline County commissioners, following action by city commissioners Monday, agreed Tuesday to hire Shears Inc., 1329 W. North, at almost half the cost predicted by engineers. The contract with Shears is for $1,294,678, or 42 percent less than the engineer's estimate of $2,236,353. County Engineer Jerry Fowler said the low bids were due to "hungry contractors" and good timing. The project includes work that can be completed in the winter months, Fowler said. And because Shears Construction is based in Salina, crews don't have to travel. "The bids were very good news," Fowler said. "We never expected the bids to be anywhere near this low." Fowler said the work is expected to be completed within about 10 months. Also Tuesday, commissioners: • Approved a 1997 work agreement between the county and the Saline County Association of Public Employees that calls for 2 percent salary increases and maternity leave for employees who adopt children. The agreement covers employees of the following departments: appraiser, clerk, community corrections, emergency management, general services, park/farm/weed, register of deeds, road and bridge and treasurer. • Approved a 1997 work agreement with sheriff's office employees which includes a 2 percent salary increase. • Approved the appointment of Marlene Hansmann, director of Hotline- Crisis Information and Referral, to the Community Corrections Advisory Board. She replaces former Hotline director Pat Ackley on the board. High wind raises roof in Colby High school students get out of school early when gym roof bubbles By LINDA MOWERY-DENNING The Salina Journal COLBY — This town's 400 high school students received an unexpected afternoon vacation from classes Tuesday after high winds caused a portion of the roof over the gymnasium to bubble. Students and staff members were sent home by 12:30 p.m. "We wanted everybody out of the building in case, something happened," Colby Superintendent Kirk Nielsen said. A decision was to have been made by 6 a.m. on today's classes. The winds were expected to calm today across Kansas to a more reasonable 10 mph in the Salina and Russell areas to 5 to 15 mph in the Colby and Goodland areas. In Salina, sustained winds of 3040 mph were recorded throughout the afternoon by the Journal's weather station. The day's top gust was 49 mph, recorded at 4 p.m. Weather observers at the National Weather Service in Wichita said those readings were typical of conditions across central Kansas. The real blow was in northwest Kansas, where a wind gust of 80 mph was reported at the Cheyenne County Airport near St. Francis during the morning. Colby recorded a wind gust of 50 mph at about noon. Nielsen said he was notified of the high school roof problem at about 11:30 a.m. He said the wind had gotten under the roofs top membrane to cause the bubble and aljow a small amount of insulation to escape. The superintendent said he could see the bubble as he drove toward the high school from the administration building, about a half-mile away. Another school patron described the damage this way: "The roof is flopping up and down in the wind to the tune of about four feet." The new high school, which opened this past March, has been the target of criticism, but Nielsen said Tuesday's problem was not the result of inadequate design — as some feared after word of the roof spread through the district. "There isn't any problem with any part of the building except the gym area. If we have school (today), we won't have anything going on in the gym," Nielsen said. Roofers were to start repairs as soon as weather permitted. The wind was blamed for other problems in Thomas County. Sheriff Tom Jones said two power poles snapped southeast of Colby and the lines fell on a passing pickup truck. The occupants were able to call for help from their cellular telephone and, with the assistance of authorities, escape their truck uninjured. Scattered power outages were reported across the county and signs and trees also took a beating. There were a few reports of dirt from blowing fields. "And it's still blowing like holy thunder out here," Jones said at midafternoon. Eric Martello, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Goodland, said northwest Kansas was under a high wind warning until 4 p.m. The wild weather was caused by an intense surface low pressure system in Nebraska that funneled winds from the Rocky Mountains into Kansas. SUGGESTIONS? CALL BEN WEARING, DEPUTY EDITOR, AT (913) 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363

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