The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 17, 1997 · Page 1
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 1

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Saturday, May 17, 1997
Page 1
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Jim dandies Entering women's domain, more men face up to makeup/A7 FASHION Two boys praised for coming to the aid of another child / A10 ORE AT PLAINS • MOlNItU OUti Zairian president gives up power, leaves capital / A5 • l. Saline County judge accused of racism / A9 INSIDE Mgb: 86 Low: 68 Partly cloudy today; south winds 5 to 15 mph. Storms possible tonight / B7 WEATHER '/;"•;-•:'; Classified / C6 the Salina Journal O A »•**••-**••« IX"»-» »-**•» n r> r*m/-*tl 1 Q7"1 ^^^^^ Comics / B6 Deaths / A9 Great Plains / B1 Money / B4 Religion / B6 Sports/ C1 Viewpoints / B2 Serving Kansas since 1871 SATURDAY MAY 17, 1997 SALINA, KANSAS 50 cents T GINGRICH ETHICS Gingrich may not borrow from Dole Speaker changes payment schedule at ethics panel's urging By The Associated Press ; WASHINGTON — Speaker Newt Gingrich changed the arrangement for paying a $300,000 penalty after the House ethics committee indicated it would not approve his original proposal, a House official said. Terms of Gingrich's loan with ex-Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan., were altered significantly after the committee expressed concerns that no payments were due on that loan until 2005, the House source said. Gingrich and his wife, Marianne, came up with the alterna- tiye accepted Thursday, said the Speaker's attorney and spokeswoman. The final version is much more painful financially for Gingrich than the original plan, letting him borrow a maximum of $150,000 from Dole rather than the entire $300,000 as originally proposed. He is paying the rest from his own pocket — beginning with a $50,000 down payment he made from personal funds Thursday. Several sources familiar with the negotiations said it's unlikely Gingrich, R-Ga., would have proposed the alternative if the committee had accepted his original plan. However, Gingrich's attorney, Randolph Evans Jr., contended the speaker did not propose the change "in response to any criticism or objections raised by anyone." The committee never formally rejected the original proposal, said the sources and Gingrich spokeswoman Christina Martin. Rather, committee Chairman James Hansen, R-Utah, and ranking member Howard Herman, D- T LOST AND FOUND DOLE GINGRICH Calif., kept negotiating with Evans until agreement was reached. The speaker said Friday that the committee's two leaders "feel that we worked this out in a way that is so far above any reasonable standard, and so far above any question of reproach, that we have done the right thing to set the right standard in the United States House of Representatives. That was my duty." "I feel very good about it," he said. However, later Friday in Macon, Ga., Gingrich said, "This is very hard to do and it's a little scary, but I think I have really committed my entire career to trying to find a way to re-establish a sense of honesty in government. This was the right way to do it." Gingrich's remaining restitution to the government will be made in payments of $50,000 each on June 1 and Nov. 30,1998, and a final payment of $150,000 will be made on Jan. 2, 1999. An interest penalty would be assessed if the payment schedule is not met. Gingrich left open the possibility he would not borrow anything. The speaker originally proposed to borrow the entire $300,000 from Dole, the 1996 GOP presidential nominee, to pay the unprecedented House penalty. The money was assessed for inaccurate statements Gingrich made to the committee last year, near the end of a two-year ethics case. SALINE COUNTY TOP SCHOLARS brightest bobby bearden carolyn chlpperfleld Southeast of Saline ginger brown Sacred Heart mellndaann griffin EH-Saline danlel d. dlvllblss Salina Central Saline County's top seniors ready to face challenges of the future By CAROL LICHTI The Salina Journal kelll I. deuth Salina South kartnen I. hannebaum Salina South nlchole r. hamel Salina South nlcole knlpp Sacred Heart Jennie klnsler Southeast of Saline krletlne marie Isaacson Ell-Saline mlchael e. schmltz Sacnd Heart sara J. martin Salina Central angela m. taylor Sacred Heart With the demands of high school behind them, the top students of Saline County's schools foresee the challenges of their future: Problems created by other generations they will inherit. A growing lack of respect and a decline of family values. Educational reform. Technological advances they can't even imagine. But these high school seniors — among the top 1 percent of graduating seniors in the state — say they are up to the challenge. This year, Saline County schools have 15 Kansas Governor's Scholars that the Salina Journal is recognizing as representative of Salina's best and brightest. They all plan to go to college and almost all within the state of Kansas. Their plans include becoming chemical engineers, doctors, teachers, physical therapists, a wildlife biologist, computer expert and a journalist. All have been immersed in school activities with most in athletics and leadership roles. The top scholars are: Ryan Ash, Nicole Knipp, Ginger Brown, Michael Schmitz and Angela Taylor, all of Sacred Heart High School; Bobby Bearden of St. See SCHOLARS, Page A9 • Profiles of Saline County scholars / Page A8 • Scholars from north-central and Northwest Kansas / Page A9 Purse unearthed two years after falling from heavens 8-year-old finds purse that had fallen from McPherson couple's plane in 1995 By GORDON D. FIEDLER JR. The Salina Journal Almost two years ago, Roger and Lynn Elliott of McPherson were flying home from a wedding anniversary trip to Frontier Days in Cheyenne, Wyo., when a back window in their private plane popped open and sucked out Lynn's small wheat- colored leather purse. In it were nearly $300 in travelers' checks, $80 in cash, credit cards and personal belongings, some irreplaceable. V DOGNAPPING The bizarre experience provided fodder for syndicated radio entertainer Paul Harvey in the summer of 1995. On Friday, Harvey had an update for his listeners. The purse had been found. Sharp-eyed Aaron Suelter discovered it Thursday night while the 8-year-old was "helping" his father, Roger, break in a new farm implement on their land northwest of Westfall hi southeast Lincoln County. "I was trying out a new planter, and he was kicking a pop can," Roger Suelter said. "It was 9 o'clock, 9:15. I had the lights on, and he just stumbled across it. I had worked (the field) up the day before. Maybe I drug it to the surface." The purse lay 10 to 15 feet off a county road and about 25 yards from the Suelter house. The weather had taken its toll on the purse. "The nylon lining was all rotted, and the zippers were stuck shut," Suelter said. He had to take pliers to the zippers to get it open and find some identification. The fact that it belonged to an out-of- county female at first chilled Suelter. "I thought somebody had taken a girl out there and offed her," he said. "We live on a creek; there's a gravel pit nearby. There're all kinds of places to hide things around here." The Lincoln County Sheriffs Office contacted McPherson County authorities, who in turn notified the Elliotts. They were delighted with the news. So was Suelter when he learned how the purse landed in his field. "I was surprised and relieved, both," he said. Jim Elliott said he tried to find the purse two years ago. He knew it had to be somewhere in southern Lincoln County, so he rented a smaller, slower plane than his Beech Bonanza and crisscrossed the suspected area. Below, a number of fields smoldered from after-harvest burning. "This is crazy," he remembered thinking to himself. "It's probably burned up." Or shredded from its free-fall from two miles high. Elliott said they were descending from 11,000 feet, approaching the Salina Airport from 20 to 30 miles out at more than 200 mph, when the plane hit a "bump" and the window suddenly popped open with a deafening roar. "We thought we'd been hit by a jet," Elliott said. "It scared us to death. When we got our wits about us, we shut the window and didn't think any more about it." They noticed the purse missing after! they landed. Lynn Elliott remembered laying it on top of one of two boxes behind the seats. Jim Elliott figures the turbulence knocked the top box against a button that allows the window to open about 6 inches. The boxes contained two dozen duck decoys the Elliotts purchased at Cabela's, an outdoor mail-order company with a store in Sidney, Neb. They were for Elliott's brother-in-law, Carl Snider of Salina. Tuckered-out mascot returned to her shelter home By DAN ENGLAND The Salina Journal KELLY Sierra waa happy to be •he could rest after all with har disappearance PRESNELL / Th« Salina Journal back home Friday where the attention that came two days ago. Rose Base held the frail, 5-month-old sheltie mix in her arms, grinning like a child who just received a new puppy, and squeezed her tight. Sierra, the mascot of the Saline County Animal Shelter, was returned Friday morning after apparently being dognapped Wednesday afternoon, and Base, the shelter coordinator, couldn't have been happier. Sierra, her eyes drooping more than her floppy ears, was tired but none the worse for wear. "We all are just so excited," Base said. "This is her home. She's just really tuckered out but happy to be home." Sierra was returned to the shelter after Sara Mortimer, 2137 Columbine Court, read about her in Friday's Salina Journal and called the shelter to say she had Sierra. "You guys did better than 'America's Most Wanted,' " Base told a Journal reporter and photographer. Sierra had a reason to be tired. She had been through awild couple of days. Base noticed the puppy was gone at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday. She believed the dog was taken by a couple who inquired about Sierra a half-hour earlier and were the last customers at the shelter before the dog disappeared. Base now is certain that Sierra was dog- napped. "She didn't have a collar on when we got her back, so that's a big clue that she was taken," Base said. Developer Dan Huehl, 745 Huehl, found the dog Wednesday evening wandering in the median near the Ramada Inn at the intersection of Interstate 70 and Ninth Street. He took Sierra to his girlfriend, Debi Cunningham, who cared for all sorts of stray dogs while she was growing up in the country. Cunningham quickly made friends with the dog. "She slept in bed with me that night," Cunningham said. "She is really, really cute. Everyone has fallen in love with her." Cunningham took Sierra to her mother's neighbor, Mortimer, because Mortimer had a fence and a friendly collie to act as a companion to Sierra. Cunningham and Mortimer began to work toward finding Sierra a home. However, Thursday evening rolled around, and both were too busy at work to make phone calls. Sierra stayed at Mortimer's for the night.; "I was getting ready to make some calls, and then I; saw her picture in the paper, and I said, 'Well, 1 think I found the owners,' " Mortimer said. The shelter has been Sierra's home since mid-February, when she was turned in at 7 weeks old, no bigger than a guinea pig. It had been two years since the shelter last had a mascot, which was a dog named Dini. Dini was the mascot for eight years before the shelter put her to sleep because of health problems. Dini is buried by a rose bush. Sierra now has a microchip that identifies her electronically, something called the HomeAgain device, which is no bigger than a grain of rice and injected between the animal's shoulder blades. Sierra still faithfully greeted people at the door and gladly accepted the love that was heaped upon her, but by midmorning Friday, the stress was too much, and she climbed into her little blue bed, curled into a ball and went to sleep. "Poor thing, you just go to sleep," Base cooed. "You're finally home now."

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