The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 13, 1997 · Page 8
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 8

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Salina, Kansas
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Tuesday, May 13, 1997
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Page 8
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AB TUESDAY, MAY 13, 1997 T WHEAT OUTLOOK GREAT PLAINS THE SALINA JOURNAL Wheat may be best since 1994 In northwest Kansas, cool days could stunt development of grain By LINDA MOWERY-DENNING The Snlina Journal Kansas Farm Bureau economist Mark Nelson thinks Monday's first official wheat estimate for the 1997 crop is "pretty much in line with conditions as of May 1," but he doesn't rule out the possibility the forecast could become less optimistic as the months pass. As always, it depends on the weather. "It's so hard to say anything for certain this year because it could go either way," Nelson said. "We could be very happy or we could be very disappointed." The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicted Monday that Kansas farmers will harvest an estimated 342.4 million bushels of hard red winter wheat this summer. That would be an increase of 34 percent over 1996's crop of T SALINE COUNTY 255.2 million bushels, when drought, wind and erosion plagued fields for much of the growing season. It would be the best crop since 1994. when farmers harvested 388.5 million bushels. The state's record crop of 472 million bushels was harvested in 1990. Monday's USDA estimate mirrored a prediction of 336.2 million bushels this past week made by agronomists, millers and other industry representatives on the Wheat Quality Council's annual wheat tour of Kansas. The group found especially good stands of wheat in north-central Kansas. Nelson, who participated in the three-day tour, said farmers in Saline and nearby counties can expect "some pretty decent wheat." The USDA forecast an average yield of 38 bushels an acre for the region, a two-bushel increase over 1996, and 34 bushels an acre for central Kansas, a three-bushel increase over 1996. Statewide, yields are expected average 32 bushels an acre, another increase over 1996 and its average yield of 29 bushels an acre. However, Nelson said there are still questions about this year's crop. In the northwest, unseasonably cool weather has slowed development of the wheat. As a result, normal June temperatures could limit the time the heads have to fill with kernels and lead to reduced yields and lighter test weights. The western third of the state also is dry. There could be damage if rain doesn't fall, said Nelson, who worked in Colby and Goodland before joining the Manhattan-based farm bureau. "We have more downside than upside. I think the crop will maybe go backwards a little bit," he predicted. The USDA said freeze damage from a week of frigid temperatures in early April was mostly limited to the southern part of the state. Nelson said there is wheat in the southwest that suffered as much as 85 percent damage. In parts of south-central, the crop is marginal. "The plants are progressing, but they're doing it on pretty weak legs," he said. Before the freeze, Nelson said Kansas had the potential for a 400- million-bushel crop. As for the economics of Monday's forecast, Kansas State University economist Bill Tierney, in an accompanying report, said there is "considerable" potential for market improvement, despite a six-cent drop in July wheat futures Monday at the Kansas City Board of Trade. He offered four reasons for his price optimism: • Tight wheat supplies in the United States and abroad. • Late planting of the U.S. spring wheat crop because of floods. • Continued uncertainty about the size of the U.S. winter wheat crops elsewhere in the world. • Threats to the wheat crop outside the United States. Nearly Me® Mastectomy Products MIGi^odn.v for more details. 1331 Armory Road, Snlina, 825-4400 or 1-800-572-6177 J " Have You Heard? "Fly Salina "For super convenience, reasonable rates and courteous service." Marty Hart* Undrtorn, K8 US AIRWAYS Call your local agent or USAirways/USAfrways Express at 825-7256 lor details, or visit our website at http://www.salair.org Old bridge on Lightville won't be replaced Parts from closed bridge will be used to shore up other bridges By SHARON MONTAGUE 77ie Salina Journal A 100-year-old bridge on Lightville Road about three- fourths of a mile south of McReynolds Road won't be repaired or replaced, Saline County commissioners decided Monday. Instead, its deck will be taken up, timber by timber, for use on other bridges. Commissioners had been debating repairing or replacing the little-used bridge since September, when it was closed after being hit by a truck driven by Joseph Arpad. The county tried to get the $28,500 needed for repairs from Arpad, but he was not insured, and the county has been unable to locate him. So it came down to leaving the bridge closed, spending county money to fix it or the money out of county funds to repair it, or spending about $172,000 to replace it. About 24 vehicles a day used the 16-foot-wide, 70-foot-long bridge before it was damaged. The bridge was posted to carry a maximum of 3 tons. Public Works Director Jerry Fowler had lobbied for replacement of the bridge, saying he didn't want to waste money on repairs because further repairs would be needed in the future. He also worried that repairs would actually cost more than $28,500 because of unforeseen problems. County Administrator David Criswell favored repair, saying the bridge isn't used much and the expense of replacement couldn't be justified given other demands on county money. Fowler said only two families live north of the bridge on Lightville Road and are inconvenienced by the loss of the bridge. No one lives in the half mile south, Busing / Parents want open policy FROM PAGE A1 Salina School Superintendent Gary Norris said the board would consider the pros and cons of the request. "It's a different day and a different time than it was a few years ago," Norris said. Norris said he favors giving parents as many choices as possible, and he believes Salina's programs could be quite attractive to students in surrounding districts. "We have many new and innovative things that would make students in other districts interested in attending here," Norris said. A change for the high schools One such innovative program, the school-to-career program, will begin this fall at the district's two high schools if the board gives its approval today. The program is designed to relate school subjects to the workplace and to careers. The program would start with next fall's freshman class. A group of 24 to 30 educators and community representatives have worked for more than a year planning the program. Under the change, freshman will take a careers exploration course and take aptitude tests to determine their areas of interest. During their sophomore year, the students will enroll in an academy, a type of school within the high schools taught by a team of teachers. The six proposed academies would be: • Communications and fine arts. • Business technical, industrial manufacturing and engineering. • Health services. • Human services. • Agricultural, biological and environmental systems. • Career preparation for special students. Students would still be able to take elective courses and could switch from academy to academy if their interests change, Norris said. "Students in the academy would have the same teachers all three years," Norris said. Students will continue to learn science, math, English and social studies, but the courses will be tailored to the students' area of interest. For example, a math problem for a fine art student might be to figure the dimensions for building a set for a stage production. The high schools would still focus on college preparation, Norris said, but relating subjects to students' possible careers will help a larger number of them learn high- level skills. Students will be involved in internships, gaining valuable experience and helping them make a decision about their careers. If students' interests change, Norris said, they are better off learning about it during high school than during or after college. The program will cost about $500,000 annually, with more than $1 million used for equipment. And, Norris said, teachers will need training. Other business In other business Tuesday, the board will be asked to accept the resignation of the district's personnel director Tom Hedges, who is retiring. Hedges, 57, has been with the district for 10 years and has spent 34 years in education. Hedges said Monday that he would be leaving the district on good terms. He qualifies for retirement and was ready for a change, he said. Hedges plans to stay in Salina. he said. No citizens were at Monday's meeting at which commissioners discussed the issue. Fowler said the bridge also is a mile from Burma Road, which has good bridges with high weight limits. The county has been trying to repair bridges on every other mile of road in the county, so rural residents will have to go a maximum of a mile to find good bridges. "I don't see how we can afford to put that bridge in with the little usage it gets and within the confines of the every-other-mile consideration," said Commissioner Deane Allen. Commissioner Doug Forsberg said he could sympathize with the people who used the bridge, "but I can't justify building a new one." If the county could get 80 percent of the money needed for replacement through the Kansas Department of Transportation's bridge replacement program, he would agree to that, Forsberg said. But Fowler said the bridge couldn't be Graves to run 10K race in Atchison By The Associated Press ATCHISON — Gov. Bill Graves will compete in Saturday's Amelia Earhart Centennial Run, joining a field including U.S. Rep. Jim Ryun, the former world-class runner. The run is among events in observance of the 100th anniversary of the birth of aviator Earhart. Graves will run the 10K race. replaced through that program until 2003. White said he couldn't justify repair or replacement at this time. With the bridge closed, Fowler said his crews would begin taking off the deck timbers this fall and winter. The bridge had about 116 planks and about 80 stringers worth a total of about $8,000, Fowler said. The 16-foot planks will be stored and used, as needed, to replace planks on other bridges. "We can salvage them at about half the price we can buy them new for, and the quality is much better," Fowler said. ill Hail Damage: Let us help. Our body shop will repair your vehicle back to its original factory specifications. Full written warranty on repair and paint. Leaner vehicle provided while yours is being repaired. Bring It To Us ...You'll Be Glad You Did! MAURE WEIGH Auto - Home Insurance Phone 827-2906 115 East Iron INTERNET Per Month Some Qualifications Apply 913-825-1581 1911 S.Ohio Salina, KS MM $Ice Memmai Swuce A celebration of the lives of those who have died. May 18, 2 pm 1st Baptist Church at 843 Lewis Social and fellowship following the service. Open to the Community HOSPICE OF SAUNA, INC. your insurance carrier ttoir GritcAes? 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