The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 3, 1985 · Page 3
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 3

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, April 3, 1985
Page 3
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Local/Kansas The Salina Journal Wednesday, April 3,1985 Page 3 Ringer says charges were 'politically motivated' From Staff and Wire Reports GOVE - Farm activist Darrell Ringer said Tuesday that criminal charges filed against him in connection with a shouting and shoving match at a Gove County farm foreclosure sale last month were "politically motivated." "It stinks. The odor smells of (Attorney General) Bob Stephen and his KGB," Ringer said, referring to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. Stephen, however, denied any involvement in the investigation. "County Attorney Phil Ringer Stover has considered this a .local matter from the beginning," Stephan said in a telephone interview from Wichita. He said he had not discussed the investigation or the nature of the charges with anyone. He also said his office does not direct the involvement of KBI agents in an investigation. Rather, he said, the agency assigns an agent when assistance is requested.. "Somebody's just got a pretty good imagination," Stephan said. Stover echoed the attorney general's comments. "I don't know where that fabrication came from," he said. "It sounds to me like someone is trying to create a smoke screen, a defense where there is none." Ringer, his wife Margaret, and two other farmers — Harvey Voth, Oakley, and C. David Jensen, Grinnell — face charges stemming from the Feb. 15 forced sale of 1,120 acres of land belonging to Jensen slnd his wife, Virginia. The sale was marked by chants of "no sale" and several minutes of shoving that forced Gove County Sheriff Dean Baum from the steps of the courthouse, where the sale was being conducted, to the inside of the building. About 200 people attended the auction. Ringer, a Quinter farmer who challenged U.S. Rep. Pat Roberts in 1984, is charged with robbery and incitement to riot, both felonies, and two counts of battery against a law enforcement officer, criminal destruction of property, battery and obstructing the legal process, all misdemeanors. Stover said Ringer took a bullhorn from Baum by force. Highway Patrol Capt. Mel Wedermyer said the.bullhorn was recovered and has been sent to a factory for repair. Margaret Ringer is charged with incitement to riot, obstruction of the legal process and misdemeanor theft. The theft charge is because of foreclosure and notice of sale papers that were torn from the sheriff's hands and thrown into the crowd, Stover said. Voth faces a charge of battery on a law enforcement officer. David Jensen is accused of battery on a law enforcement officer and criminal destruction of property. Stover said Jensen ripped the jacket of Oakley police officer Gary Shull. Jensen said Tuesday he learned about the charges while listening to a radio. "It seems strange, to say the least," Jensen said. "I think it's rather ridiculous. If things were so bad, Kansas Highway Patrol troopers were standing out there against their cars and they didn't move." Virginia Jensen compared the sale and charges stemming from it to an "old-time movie with the Keystone Cops." "I think the whole thing is he (Sheriff Baum) is so embarrassed and now he's trying to act like a tough guy," she said. Ringer also was angry. "Only a wimp would call the Gove County shuffle a riot," he said. "No one was assaulted. If they change the charges to obstruction of injustice, I'll accept that." Baum said he had mixed feelings about filing the charges, but said he thinks "it needs to be determined in court or by a jury whether it was right to file the charges." The charges will be handled through the use of summonses rather than arrest warrants, Stover said. The Ringers are to appear in court April 22, Voth is to appear April 23, and Jensen is to appear April 24. Baum said he plans to seek additional assistance at future farm sales, including one for the Jensens' son, David L., on April 26. "I'm not going to put up with illegal activities," Baum said. "Actions of this type are a hazard, not only to my people, but to those who attend to bid or observe the sale." The Feb. 15 sale was scheduled after the Federal Land Bank obtained judgment against the Jensens. Baum accepted a bid on the Jensens' land of $480,456 from Federal Land Bank attorney Paul Shepherd. Dump Dole doesn't take hold in Salina By DAVID BEVENS Staff Writer Only about two dozen people discouraged with the representation Senator Bob Dole is giving to agriculture met in Salina Tuesday night to discuss ways to bust the senator. It was the fifth such meeting for a group calling itself as the Committee to Dump Dole in 1986. The group met at the Labor Building Association, 2055 S. Ohio. The group's next meeting is set for 8 p.m. Monday at the Senior Citizen Center in Clifton. Members of the movement, which is centered mainly in north-central Kansas, are planning to spread the movement to Wichita, Hutchinson and Garden City in the near future, said Charles Hardenburger, committee chairman. Hardenburger, a farmer in Haddam, said that interest in the committee has spread across the border into Nebraska, and a Dump Dole group soon might be formed there. The low turnout Monday might be attributed to the meeting location, Hardenburger said. "I am wondering if the movement has associated itself more with the rural area," Hardenburger said. The other four meetings drew more than 50 people each, he said. Larry Matlack, a fanner arid member of the American Agriculture Movement, told those participating in Salina, mostly older farmers; that American agriculture is not* pricing itself out of the world market: He also said the ills of grain exports can't be attributed so- lely to the strong American dollar. Instead, Matlack said that the drop in exports is the result of the depressed world economy. According to the 1984 World Coarse Grain Export report, the 4.5 percent decline in United States grain exports since 1981 compared with an 11.5 percent export decline-, worldwide, he said. He said the cost of exports is being blamed by United States policy makers as the reason for the decrease in grain sales to foreign countries. However, he said figures do not prove that. He said that much of the sales are not based solely on cost. Rather, they are based on a number of factors, including the marketing of grain. Matlack said he gives Dole the benefit of the doubt, saying the Senate Majority Leader perhaps was not aware of the research results. But Matlack added that he does not believe Dole is doing a proper job. About 35 people discouraged with Dole's work were on hand at the March 25 Landon Lecture at Kansas State University, where Dole was the featured speaker, Hardenburger said. "I think we did it right," Hardenburger said, referring to the quiet protest. "I prefer that kind of protest, that kind of demonstration." Many of the protesters weren't recognized as wanting to oust the senator because there was a rule against having posters in the building where Dole_spoke, he said. Trustee hopes to sell grain HUTCHINSON — The trustee for the bankrupt Esbon Grain Co. said he planned Tuesday to ask the court's approval to sell grain remaining in the elevator. ^Robert E. Nugent III, a Hutchinson attorney, seeks permission to sell almost 70,000 bushels of grain in the elevator and about 9,000 bushels of grain that already have been shipped to terminal elevators. 'The Jewell County elevator was closed Feb. 22 by the Kansas Grain Inspection Department after a routine audit disclosed an apparent shortage of grain. On Feb. 28, the elevator's owner — Burdett Callaway, Esbon — filed for bankruptcy in Wichita. Marvin Webb, director of the grain inspection department, said the final audit revealed that 16,268.39 bushels of milo and 85,831.12 bushels of wheat were missing from the elevator. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is investigating, Webb said. Nugent said he would divide the proceeds from the sale of grain proportionally among the 190 to 200 depositors. State law gives him 120 days to sell the grain, he said. A $99,000 surety bond held by the elevator, and any other proceeds from the sale of elevator assests, also would be split among the depositors. He said he doubts that the company will be able to reimburse 100 percent of its liability, but he would not estimate how close it could come. "Obviously we'll do the best we can," Nugent said. Health and fitness fair set The sixth annual Salina Family Health and Fitness Fair will be April 13 and 14 in Heritage Hall of the Bicentennial Center. Highlights will ibe free health '"screenings for adults and children, health education displays, fitness demonstrations and cardiopulmonary resuscitation instruction. Richard Hicks of the University of Arizona will give two presentations: "Exercise: Do the Risks Outnumber the Benefits?" and "Exercise Training and Children: At What Point Does Coaching Become Abuse?" The fair is sponsored by the Salina-Saline County Health Department and the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce. The purpose is to acquaint area residents with health care services available in Salina. About 4,000 people attended the fair last year. •Some health services to be offered are tests for blood pressure, blood sugar Bevels, vision, hearing and strength. Height and weight measurements also will be offered. Information will be available about tests for cancer and self-examination methods for breast and testicular cancer. The YWCA and YMCA are sponsoring marathon and half-marathon races. For registration information, call 825-2151. The YWCA and YMCA also are offering free family swim times — from 1 to 2 p.m. April 13 at the YWCA and from 1:30 to 4 p.m. April 14 at the YMCA. Aerobics, jazzercise and exercise demonstrations will be conducted by the YMCA, YWCA, Leisure Years Center and the Salina Recreation Commission. Salina American Red Cross representatives will demonstrate first aid for choking. The Saline County Humane Association will show a film every half-hour on "Pets as Therapy." Fritz Mwidcll Since he took office in January, Saline County Sheriff Darrell Wilson has begun to shape the department in his image. Switch in jobs didn't change Wilson By LAURIE OSWALD Staff Writer After 22 years with the Salina Police Department, former assistant police chief Darrell Wilson gave up his police badge to gain another, the sheriff's. But Wilson said a change of badges does not change a person. Despite the transition from the city to the county side of the law enforcement building at 10th and Elm, Wilson brings years of experience to his new job. He received street experience as a patrolman and detective and administrative experience as a detective lieutenant, captain and assistant police chief. But along with the stability of experience, he said he brings another asset to the job — flexibility. ' "I felt I had something to offer, so I decided to give it a try," he said. He was elected in November and took over as sheriff Jan. 14. "I like change," Wilson said. "And even though I knew we had a good sheriff's department and good personnel, I always think there is room for improvement, innovation and change. "I am a man of ideas. I come up with a lot of ideas and do well at delegating others to carry those ideas out." But watching the skeleton of ideas form into a body of action is a slow process, Wilson said. The process includes becoming familiar with the department and communicating ideas to long-time personnel, he said. "There have been big adjustments, like learning the process over here and learning what I am responsible for," Wilson said. "There are a lot of competent people here, dealing with a tremendous amount of work." Wilson said his biggest surprise came when he realized the immensity of the department workload. The department executes civil process and criminal warrants and deals with taxes and county commissioners. Department personnel also are responsible for 40 to 50 inmates in the Saline County Jail. They also oversee the new juvenile center. Changes are being made. The police and sheriff departments are experimenting with a joint dispatching system to enhance the efficiency of both departments. The departments also have joined with the Kansas Highway Patrol to create a special force to patrol for drunk driving violations. The Salina Area Law Enforcement Chap- laincy Program also has been expanded this year to include the sheriff's department. Wilson hopes other changes can be made in the next four years. Those changes include the development of a victim assistance program. He also hopes a community corrections program can be established to provide an alternative to prison. County jail inmates, he said, might be able to benefit from a vocational training program. Wilson said he also is considering making physical changes at the jail, such as a new exercise area for inmates and new security doors. A renovation of the cell area has begun. Undersheriff Al Naes, whom Wilson replaced, said he welcomes these changes and plans. "There's the old saying, 'A new broom sweeps clean,' and I think that's right," Naes said. "I've been under three different sheriffs, and whenever a new sheriff comes in, he tries new things. We'll try them and see if they work." Sheriff Capt. Rick Hansmann, who is captain of records division, said the new dispatching procedures mean extra work for him, but the system works well. Wilson said, "I think people want the best sheriff's office in the state, and I want to try to give them that." Judge calk off Smoky Valley recall election By BRENT BATES Staff Writer McPHERSON - A district court judge Tuesday ordered the McPherson County clerk not to conduct a recall election against three Smoky Valley School District board members. Harvey County Associate District Court Judge Richard Walker granted an injunction against McPherson County Clerk Leah Ann Anderson, prohibiting her from proceeding with a recall election. The targets of the recall, Marvin Anderson, Carol Brown and Laurel Patrick, filed the suit March 6 in McPherson County District Court. The recall petitions were circulated in February by a group of Marquette residents who claimed the board members were incompetent. They were upset that the three "The statements they put in the petition were not a sufficient show of incompetence." —Richard Walker board members were among those who decided in January to establish a district-wide school in LJndsborg, spelling the end for a high school in Marquette. Clerk Leah Ann Anderson, wife of recall candidate Marvin Anderson, certified the petitions and scheduled a recall election for May 7. State law lists four reasons board members can be recalled: a felony conviction, misconduct in office, incompetence, and failure to perform official duties as prescribed by law. Walker ruled the petitions were not valid because they did not contain enough factual evidence to support the claim that the board members were incompetent. "The statements they put in the petition were not a sufficient show of incompetence," Walker said. "Essentially, an issue of school closing is a discretionary act. They (the petitioners) didn't show the discretion was abused." Brown said she was vindicated by the decision. She said she hoped people in the district could put their differences aside and work to improve education. "I feel good, very relieved," she said. "Now we need to move ahead and build, instead of standing still and bickering." A leader of the recall movement, Steve Piper, Marquette, said Marquette residents won't give up their fight for a high school in their town. The group's lawyer, Ron Svaty, Ellsworth, advised the recall group that it had three options: Let the charges drop, appeal the decision to a higher court, or refile a different petition with different charges. Piper said the recall movement probably won't die. "I don't think the people will give up," Piper said. "This won't satisfy anyone in town."

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