The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on August 20, 1994 · Page 3
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 3

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Saturday, August 20, 1994
Page 3
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^Tht Sallna Journal LOCAL/KANSAS Saturday, August 20,1994 3 BRIEFLY Plainville man die» in accident i ZURICH — A 23-year-old I Plainville man was found dead ! early Thursday morning one mile ,east and one mile south of ;Zuflch. ; The body of Lloyd "Eddie" '^raft Jr., Plainville, was found iabout 8 a.m. Thursday on a county road near Zurich. ; The car he was driving was ; traveling west when it rolled at 'least two times, and Kraft was iejected. ! The accident is under investigation by the Rooks County Sheriff's Department. No other details were avail; able. Fall registration on tap at Wesleyan ;, Registration for the fall semester at Kansas Wesleyan Universi- /Jy will be conducted Monday and " ."Tuesday, with classes beginning •, Wednesday. •£ New students and evening stu- '.,- dents will enroll Monday, and re* turning students register on ^Tuesday. Students are scheduled to reg- '* ister alphabetically by their last •-name, starting at 8 a.m. Evening : students may register from 4:30 ; to 6:30 p.m. Monday. For information, call Wesleyan 'at 827-5541. Country Club Road project continues Country Club Road between Kipp Road and the Dickinson County line will be closed for another week or two as work is completed. Jerry Fowler, Saline County public works director, said construction originally was supposed to be completed by this week, but the project is five to 10 days behind schedule. Workers are scheduled to begin laying asphalt on the road Tuesday, Fowler said, and should be -finished within 10 days. In the meantime, traffic will continue to detour. Also next week, county road crews will begin sealing some asphalt roads in the county. Fowler *said crews will start with ^Brookville Road and move east. *No roads will be closed as crews *will work on only one lane at a ;lime, but traffic may be slowed. Fort Riley soldier killed in accident l~ FORT RILEY — A 38-year-old soldier was killed and another soldier was seriously injured • when their armored personnel Carrier overturned during a = training exercise. '.":•• Staff Sgt. Rodolfo Beaufond, a ', fire direction chief from Brooklyn, N.Y., died in the accident about 10 a.m. Friday on the northeast Kansas base, the Army Said in a news release. • Spec. Braljeet Singh was in serious condition in the base hospital. Pfc. Shawn Thompson and jpvt. Robert Hicks were treated at the hospital and released. Inmate acquitted in beating death • LEAVENWORTH — A jury deliberated for one hour before acquitting an inmate of beating a Lansing Correctional Facility officer to death with weights and billiard balls. ; Aranaha Dale, who was charged with first-degree murder, threw his fists into the air when the verdict was read Thursday in Leavenworth County District Court. He was the first of a dozen inmates to be tried in the May 1993 attack in the prison's recreation building on officers Mark Avery, who was killed, and Michael Bidatsch, who was wounded. Dale, 24, of Wichita, has been iH prison since Aug. 19. He is serving between six and 20 years for rape, kidnapping, aggravated assault, burglary, attempted theft and criminal damage to property. Fire destroys co-op elevator in Wamego WAMEGO — A Farmers' Coop elevator was destroyed when fire raged through the building. No injuries were reported from Friday morning's fire, battled into the afternoon by more than 55 firefighters. The elevator was a total loss because firefighters had to dismantle the building to fully extinguish the fire, said Wamego City Fire Chief Richard Varnadore. • From Staff and Wire Reports TOMORROW'S HEADLINES Journal 825-eooo Category 6006 Judge set to rule on military refund case Lawyers seek $12 million of $60 million settlement By LKW MROUSON Th» Auotlatod Pr«i* TOPEKA — A judge will decide quickly whether a settlement between the state and military retirees it illegally taxed is proper and how much to pay lawyers who doggedly pursued a class-action lawsuit to recover the veterans' money. "I can get right to it. My goal is to get a decision to you in no more than 10 days," said Shawnee County District Court Judge Adrian Allen, who is now retired but has continued to handle the military pension refund case. With nearly everyone who testified during a three-day hearing agreeing the settlement is a good deal for the veterans and With the Legislature already having approved it, Allen's major decision is how much of the money to award to lawyers who represented the vets in five years of litiga- tion. "It's a most difficult decision to make when it comes to attorney fees," Allen said as he concluded the hearing on Friday. "I'm obviously not in a position to rule from the bench. I've got a lot to look at, a lot to consider." Allen said he will rule soon, because the Department of Revenue needs to know how much of the $58.5 million appropriated by the Legislature to make refunds to the veterans will go to the lawyers and for expenses. What is left after those amounts are deducted will be prorated among the retirees. "I'm well aware that the first payment is due in December," Allen said. "I'm aware that you need a figure on attorney fees as soon as you can get it, because you can't make the calculations on the refunds until you have that." In closing summations Friday, a court- appointed attorney increased modestly the amount of money he is recommending the lawyers be paid, but it still wasn't enough to satisfy them. Jerry Palmer of Topeka, named guardian ad litem by the court to review the lawyers' application for $12 million in attorney fees, had recommended they be paid $6 million. Palmer modified that to make it a straight 10 percent of whatever the final refund amount is, plus about $415,000 in expenses. Michael Barbara of Topeka, the attorney for the lawyers, argued that Palmer had "minimized" the risk undertaken by the lawyers in handling the case, ignored other enhancement factors and insisted the $12 million being requested was reasonable and justified. If the settlement turns out to be more than the estimated $60 million, the lawyers .would get more than the $6 million flat fee Palmer had recommended. The Legislature appropriated $58,5 million to cover the refunds of income taxes the military veterans paid illegally to the state in 1984-91. However, the legislation stipulates the vets will be refunded everything they paid in taxes, plus 5 percent interest, and the exact total won't be known until the Depart- ment of Revenue completes calculations. There are about 21,000 retired military personnel in the class, and the average refund is expected to be about $3,400. The attorney fees and expenses will have to come out of the refunds, meaning the vets are likely to get somewhere between 80 percent and 90 percent of the taxes they paid over the eight-year period before Kansas quit taxing their military pensions. Under a 1989 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, states cannot tax veterans if they do not also tax the pensions of retired federal and state Civil Service employees. However, Allen and the Kansas Supreme Court both ruled that the Kansas veterans did not exhaust administrative remedies available to them so they were not entitled to any refunds. Both Palmer and the lawyers agree the base amount due to the attorneys for the work they put into the case since 1989 is $2 million. The difference in the total amount comes because Palmer recommended an enhancement factor of three and the lawyers want a factor of six. Cruisin' in style Kelly Presnell/Salina Journal Tom Spraclclin's 1932 Plymouth reflects in the finish of Bob Steniel's 1937 Chevrolet Coupe Thursday evening as several antique car owners made a run to Sonic Drive Inn. Board may be forced to close Brookville school By KAREN PARK The Salino Journal If voters in the Ell-Saline School District approve a $3.7 million bond issue hi November, Brookville Elementary School probably will be closed, said Maure Weigel, board of education president. Weigel said for the past year a facilities committee has studied ways to improve the quality of education in the district. "They were to try to find out what we need to do besides provide new rooms for our kids," Weigel said. "We looked at what kids need curriculum-wise without looking at buildings. "We didn't go into this to close the Brookville school or expand the high school or Happy Corner." But the Brookville Elementary School is on the National Register of Historic Places, so few improvements can be made to the building. That makes it difficult for the board to comply with guidelines included in the Americans with Disabilities Act which requires the school district make all buildings accessible. In one instance, Weigel said, the school district wanted to install more fluorescent lights in the Brookville school last year and was not allowed to because of rules set forth by the historical society. If the school is closed, which probably would not occur until the 1995-96 school year, fifth- and sixth-graders from Brookville Elementary School would attend Happy Corner Elementary School. First through fourth grades in Brookville were moved to Happy Corner about three years ago, and moving the other two grades to Happy Corner is the next logical step, Weigel said. The bond issue, design plans for remodeling Ell-Saline High School and Happy Corner Elementary School, and the Brookville Elementary School closure will be dis- cussed at a board meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday at Happy Corner, 1757 N. Halstead Road. The meeting is open to the public. Weigel knows the board will have difficulty persuading the public to approve the bond issue. "It bothers me we're talking about spending that much money, but the fact of the matter is, providing for the kids today is expensive, and we need to educate the public about why we need these things," he said. "This (study) was done in a very responsible manner, and we hope it's at least considered. " Motley Crue promises unique ending to BiCenter perf ormance Call after 8 p.m. By GORDON FIEDLER JR. The Salina Journal Motley Crue brings its head- banging, heavy-metal show into the Bicentennial Center Sunday, and drummer Tommy Lee said the crowd will witness something special. Sunday's 7 p.m. concert is the last night for one of Crue's warmup groups, Type O Negative, which has been traveling with the group on its Anywhere There is Electricity Tour. The other group, Sing/Sing, from Kansas City, is performing for only one night. "Every show, when it's the band's last night, we let them have it on stage with a bunch of gags. (The audience) is in store for an eyeful," Lee said in a Friday telephone interview . Also, the band plans a unique close to the concert. "It's something we've never done, ever, in our career. At the end of the show, we do a really cool half-hour medley of the new and old stuff. It's done really cool, but I don't want to give it away." The group is wise to reach for the spectacular: Ticket sales are lagging. As of Friday afternoon, only 1,200 of the 6,300 available tickets had been sold. "People have told us 'Salina wants a rock concert,' but we want to know where those people are," said Karen Fallis, assistant Tommy Lee says his band will give heavy-metal fans a special treat Sunday night. Bicentennial Center manager. The reserved tickets cost $16.50 for all seats. This latest tour introduces the group's first album in about four years, "Motley Crue," and a new lead singer, John Corabi, who actually has been a Crue member since Vince Neil quit two years ago. Corabi auditioned while a member of the group Scream. "John's capable of singing anything and everything," Lee said. "That's why we chose him." Selecting a Neil successor was a frightening ordeal, Lee said. "You can change a drummer, a bass player, a guitar player and probably not a whole lot of people will freak out, but changing the main voice, that's pretty hairy," Lee said. Having a new singer doesn't mean fans won't hear any Vince Neil-era tunes. "John stays true to the songs, but does it John Corabi style," Lee said. Corabi has been winning over fans, Lee said. "I haven't met anybody who says John doesn't sing the old stuff very well. In fact, they come back and say that's the way it should have sounded, which is such a compliment," he said. The band's lyrics have always been written close to the bone, and the new album is no exception. Lee said the songs deal with a lot of important issues, some personal. "We've always based the lyrics on true, real experiences we've been through. There's been some fiction, but not much." In the early days, the group used lyrics more to get attention than to deliver a message. "We needed to get attention in the beginning by shocking people," Lee said. AMA: Best health bill hasn't been written yet By The A*tociat«d Pr«i* TOPEKA — Sen. Bob Dole's health care reform plan is thin, Dr. Daniel Johnson, a spokesman for the American Medical Association, said Friday. "Senator Dole seems to have difficulty dealing in a comfortable way with the issue of universal coverage," said Johnson, a diagnostic radiologist from Metairie, La. He is speaker of the AMA's policy-making House of Delegates. Johnson also said during an interview that President Clinton's plan is dead and would have done more damage to the health care delivery system. "I don't know of anyone who supports Clinton's plan anymore," Johnson said, adding that many people are talking about a plan developed by Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell of Maine. Johnson said no one knows what kind of health bill will be passed by Congress and sent to Clinton for his signature. "Whatever bill gets passed hasn't been written yet," Johnson said. Dole's plan would not allow insurance companies to deny coverage to anyone because of pre-existing medical conditions. It would also make health insurance more affordable for low-income Americans. "It's kind of ethereal," Johnson said of Dole's plan. He added that, in the long run, without universal coverage, insurance companies might go broke if they do not deny coverage to people with certain medical conditions. Universal coverage reduces the cost of insurance premiums, he added, because people who do not have health insurance presently receive medical care at emergency rooms, increasing overall medical costs. The AMA has proposed a health care reform plan that Johnson said has less bureaucracy and government involvement, and provides consumers with more choices. He said people are particularly concerned that the Clinton plan will not allow people to choose their own physicians. "We're not opposed to managed care," Johnson said. "We're opposed to only the choice of managed health care." if 1

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