Garden City Telegram from Garden City, Kansas on August 3, 1976 · Page 1
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Garden City Telegram from Garden City, Kansas · Page 1

Garden City, Kansas
Issue Date:
Tuesday, August 3, 1976
Page 1
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Mysterious Malady Result Of Swine Flu? HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Medical researchers today sought to identify an unknown, flu-like disease which in the past four days has brought death to 16 persons who attended a state American Legion convention. Health officals said there was no cause for panic. Public health officials said the outbreak, which has sent at least 50 other people to the'hospital, may be the result of swine flu. They said that they could not now make a firm diagnosis, suggesting viral pneumonia as . another possible cause. ' The ages of the dead ranged from 39 to 82. At least one death has been recorded officially as pneumonia. Autopsies have been ordered in many of the deaths. All of the victims experienced the same symptoms: headaches, fever ranging to 107 degrees and chills. These were followed, in most cases, by chest pains, lung congestion and shortness of breath. "I've never seen anything like it," said state Health Secretary Leonard Bachman. Blood samples and throat swabbings from the victims were sent to state health laboratories in Philadelphia and flown to the federal Center for Disease Control in Atlanta for tests. It will take two to three days to grow cultures from the samples. These cultures could lead to identification of the disease. Cases of the illness were reported throughout the state. All the persons affected attended the 10-day Legion convention in Philadelphia that ended July 24. The first reports of illness came last Monday; the first death last Friday. It was the mounting death toll Monday that alarmed public health officials. Bachman was asked if it could be swine flu. "That's a possibility," he said. "We're trying to pin it down, but we don't know right now. But there's no reason to panic, everyone should realize that." Weather- *•—•• Sunrise 6:50 Sunset 8:49 Partly cloudy tonight. Widely scattered thunderstorms developing by thli evening and continuing Into tonight. Mostly sunny Wednetday. Lows tonight mid 60i. Hlghi Wednesday mid to upper M>. Probability of precipitation 20 per cent tonight. Temperatures for the 24- hour period ending at t a.m. Tuesday. Man. Mln. Prec. Dodge City 77 63 T Emporia B2 GARDEN CITY 76 Goodland 70 Hill City 86 Garden Citians Escape Big Thompson Flash Flood 'It Still Almost Seems Unreal' By RODNEY HOFFMAN "It still almost seems unreal," Mrs. Bernard Killer said this morning. "It makes me a little nervous to think ,about it." Mrs. Killer, 2001 Belmont, was describing her family's escape from a flash flood that all but destroyed the cabin they were renting last weekend on the banks of the Big Thompson River near Loveland, Colo. The Killers returned to Garden City unharmed Monday although their car remains on a mountain road in Colorado. They were evacuated early Sunday morning by Army helicopter. Mr. and Mrs. Killer, their children, Brad and Shawna, had traveled to the mountain resort on Friday with a former Garden City couple, Ruth and Jerry Whitledge. They had planned to drive home Sunday morning. The first word of the em- minent flood came about 9:30 Saturday evening, Mrs. Killer said. Their cabin was located less than 25 feet from the river bank. "A patrol car came by with * flashing lights and he was saying something on the loudspeaker. We couldn't hear because of the river noise," she said. The manager of the resort told the Kellers everyone had been warned about rising water but said the water had risen to the patio level several times before, "Really, the people didn't get overly excited. They didn't tell us to evacuate," she said. "In just a matter of minutes after the warning, we saw propane tanks, rafts and picnic tables coming down the river." "We put our clothes in the car and got out." Other tourists began moving to higher 1 ground, she said, but many remained unconcerned. "People seemed like they couldn't believe it until they saw it," she said. "We found a road that went to a cabin higher up. There were about 10 or 12 cars already there." They spent the remainder of the night just waiting for daylight. It seemed like an eternity, she said. "We felt that we were safe that night but we knew that .* * there were people in worse shape, than we were because of all the things we saw and because it all happened so quickly," she said. In the morning they were able to walk down to the cabin sites and salvage a few things including some food. Two bedrooms of the Killer cabin were gone and there were mud stains on some of the top cupboards in the kitchen, "A car behind the cabin was buried in mud. All you could see were the wheels. We had no way of knowing if there was someone in it," Mrs. Killer said. "The house across the highway was gone totally and the roof of their guest house was on the bridge," she said. On. Sunday morning, police asked the men to walk along the river bed looking for bodies. "We knew of no one in the immediate area who was hurt." , Helicopters came to evacuate the stranded persons. Killer's brother who lives in Loveland met the family by coincidence as the helecopter landed. He was beginning to help with rescue operations. Killer's brother had spent much of the night looking for the family at local rescue centers. He had no idea of their condition. Bernard borrowed his brother's car and drove the family back home on Monday. They have no idea when roads will be repaired so they can retrieve their car. "It was very hard for us to leave," Mrs. Killer said, "without knowing what happened to everyone there." A former Garden City family, the George Voths of Hutchinson, were thought to be in the disaster stricken area but it was learned this morning that they weren't near the Big Thompson Valley at the time of the flood. Voth is executive vice-president and general manager of Far-Mar- Co in Hutchinson. Garden City Telegram 15c a Copy Vol. 47 GARDEN CITY, KANSAS, TUESDAY, AUGUST 3, 1976 10 Pages -No. 232 200 Feared Dead in Colorado 58 63 60 Garden Sass Some folks, Gus Garden says, act like wise old owls; others just don't give a hoot. LOVELAND, Colo. (AP) Searchers switched from recovering the living to looking for the dead today in devastated Big Thompson Canyon, where officials said the death toll from a flash flood could climb far higher than the 77 known fatalities. Larimer County Sheriff Robert Watson said the death, figure could reach 200. "Who knows what's buried in all this silt? Some farmer will dig down in his corn patch some day and find a body," the sheriff said. Flying close to the craggy canyon walls, military helicopter pilots Monday evening ferried to safety all remaining survivors who wanted to leave. The popular Colorado Rockies vacation spot had been turned into a death trap by a torrential downpour Saturday night. "Some survivors refused to leave their mountain homes," Watson said. "They were in good shape and thought they could do more good where they were." Besides the 77 confirmed dead, authorities said 260 persons were injured, an estimated 559 were unaccounted for, and the search for the dead was just beginning. Officials said the 12-foot Donors Meet Request for Blood for Accident Victim Local response to a plea for blood donors for a critically-injured Oklahoma woman Monday was "tremendous," St. Catherine Hospital officials said today. The 20-year-old woman from Stillwater, Okla., is listed in critical condition today in the hospital's intensive care unit. Her name is being withheld because her parents, vacationing in Colorado, have yet to be notified of the traffic accident. Taken first to the Kearny County Hospital at Lakin, the woman later was transferred to St. Catherine Hospital here. Hospital officials were forced to sound a plea over local radio stations and through the Country Bumpkins Citizens Band Radio Club for donors of B-negative type blood. "The response was really tremendous," a hospital spokesman said this morning. She explained that because B- negative is a somewhat rare blood type, the hospital could not locate enough listed donors to fill the need. Now, because of local response, the list of donors with that type blood has been expanded for use, in future emergencies. The woman was injured about 3:30 (CDT) Monday afternoon in a one-car accident four miles west of Lakin on US50. She was westbound when the car she was driving went out of control, Kearny County Sheriff Joe Coyne said. The car first veered off onto the north shoulder of the highway and attempts to right its path sent the vehicle across the roadway into the eastbound lane of traffic, then back across the highway into the north ditch where it rolled several times. A passing motorist reported the accident via his CB radio, the sheriff said. _ . flood* was"so powerful that many of the dead were found with their bodies stripped of clothing. One body was found 15 miles downstream from the canyon mouth. "All the bodies will never be recovered," said Watson, who earlier had refused to estimate how high the death toll might reach, saying he feared public "panic and hysteria." 'President Ford declared the 2,700-square mile county a federal disaster area Monday, making local residents eligible for federal relief assistance. But Colorado Gov. Richard Lamm said it would take three years and $10 million just to rebuild U.S.- 34, the once- scenic route that wound 30 miles down the canyon from Estes Park east to Loveland, The road ran beside the Big Thompson River, and little remained of it. Monday's evacuation flights brought to 1,000 the number of persons lifted from the canyon since the airlift started early Sunday morning. More flights were planned as a precaution. Helicopter pilots said they were so busy dodging other helicopters in the canyon that they might have overlooked someone. As the survivors emerged from helicopters at a landing zone here, ground crews scurried in white jackets to meet them. They were taken by bus to an evacuation center at Loveland High School, where the personal tales unfolded. "Nina Ricci" only at Hoovers. — Adv. August Wallpaper Sale, 20-33 percent off. Harmon Sentry Hardware. — Adv. Not Merely a Sack Race ., It was billed merely as a sack race, one of many .wacky competitions scheduled during "Almost Anything Goes" at Telegram Photo Lakin Saturday night. But this was a sack race of a different color. Those who have tried hopping over a set course while the lower half of the body is encased in a gunny sack will tell you that it's hard enough with two people per sack—and three times as hard with six. But the teams gave it a try. . . . .Or An Ordinary Finish . . .and collaspsed in a. heap of mirth at the finish line. Contestants weren't the only ones collapsing with laughter during the evening of zany contests. An estimated crowd of 2,000 had plenty of fun too, and the evening was such a success that another "Almost Anything Goes" is in the planning stages for Kearny County youngsters. Telegram Photo Not Exactly the Way to Win a Popularity Contest ByCAROLCRUPPER Proposing school boundary lines will not win one any popularity awards. Ask Unified School District 457 administrators. "There is going to be someone displeased no matter where the line is drawn," says Charles Stones. As director of instruction, one of his duties is to work on attendance boundaries. About a month ago, Stones presented the board of education with several proposals for its consideration. Those proposals have made some people unhappy. Last night a delegation of parents from Indian Hills — in i f the northeast part of the city — came to the board meeting to protest the proposed busing of their children from the northeast part of town to Garfield Elementary, in the center. At the previous meeting, a group of Hutchison parents attended to express displeasure over the proposed removal of the fifth and sixth grade classroom from their school. The suggestion was to have those fifth and sixth grade students east of 2nd attend Alta Brown, and those west of 2nd attend Garfield. Four Hutchison parents also attended last night's meeting. Both groups were informed that no final decisions have been reached — and that none will be until after August 10 enrollment. Carol Rogers served as spokesman for the Indian Hills group. ''The main reason we're here tonight is because we are so against busing," she said. She said her family had lived in cities before where children had been bused, and they hadn't liked it. She said they thought in Garden City things would be different. Mrs. Rogers said one of the reasons her family purchased a home in Indian Hills was so their children could attend Jennie Wilson. "If we would have wanted our children to go to Garfield, we would have bought in the Garfield area," she said. Mrs. Rogers noted that 16 children from Indian Hills would be attending public elementary school this year, and eight of those had attended Jennie Wilson last year. This morning, Stones said the main reason the busing was proposed was because it appears as though Jennie Wilson is going to be overloaded, "We needed another location for the children," he said. He said that moving Jennie Wilson's west boundary line to the east would not be feasible because Georgia Matthews is "full and overloaded in some areas." Indian Hills, he said, offered a pocket of students that could be treated equally. Stones said he is concerned about what is best for student education. One of the goals of the district, he said, is to keep down classroom size. Busing the students would be expensive, one of the parents commented. Stones said that from the Indian Hills entrance to Garfield School measures 2.4 miles. Thus, he said, the first pickup for the bus would be 2.5 miles away from the school. He said the district is funded by the state for transportation provided 2.5 or more miles away from a school. "We're very much concerned about the quality of the education your children receive," said board president Vernon Schweer. "We don't want to overload the classrooms. We'd like to keep our classrooms at a level that is reasonable and acceptable to do good teaching." Yet, he said, the board has reached no decision on the matter and that the parent input is appreciated. Schweer said the district now is at a "wait and see" point. "No one will be transported if we can avoid it," Dr. Horace God, superintendent of schools, told the parents. Stones explained the complexities of drawing school boundaries — how in one area there may be a great number of fifth grade students and a relatively small number of second graders. Getting it all balanced out with reasonable class sizes is difficult, he said. The parents said they appreciated the problem, but wanted to let their feelings be known. Assisting Stones in working on the problem is each school principal and a parent representative from each attendance area. An invitation was extended to the Indian Hills contingent to have one of its members assist on the committee. The director of instruction says he's hoping for a 90 to 95 per cent enrollment on August 10. It will be much easier to draw the boundaries when all the students as properly located, he said. The day after enrollment, work will begin again on boundary lines and proposals and a decision should be reached afta- that.

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