Archive for Friday, January 1, 1999

NEWSMAKERS BUSY IN KANSAS IN 1998

January 1, 1999

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— A chronology of the top news events in 1998 in Kansas:

January

18. Wilt Chamberlain's Kansas basketball jersey is retired in his first visit to Allen Fieldhouse since the 1958 season.

22-24. Two prison escapees hold a couple hostage in their rural Lawrence home. The escapees eventually surrender without resistance; the couple is not hurt.

26. The last eight patients leave Winfield State Hospital and Training Center, more than two years after a commission recommended closing the institution for the developmentally disabled.

28. A couple abducts a newborn girl from the Kansas University Medical Center. The baby is found unharmed in Missouri the next day. The couple is sentenced to federal prison in September .

February

3. The Legislature approves a bill that restricts abortions at the Kansas University Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan. The bill also turned the medical center's hospital over to a private authority.

14. Fire in Manhattan does extensive damage to Aggieville.

24. The Finney County Commission rescinds a 1994 resolution that authorized corporate hog farming. Seaboard Farms has proposed a $110 million hog farm near Garden City.

March

2. A rural Milford woman is sentenced to 12 years in prison after her three Rottweilers kill an 11-year-old boy. Her husband is later sentenced to probation.

11. Gary Kleypas becomes the first person in nearly 33 years to be sentenced to death in Kansas, for killing a Pittsburg State student in 1996.

15. Kansas basketball team loses to Rhode Island in NCAA tournament.

April

2. All-American Paul Pierce announces he will skip senior season at Kansas to join the NBA.

6. Multimillionaire brothers Bill, Frederick, Charles and David Koch go to trial in a dispute that divided one of the nation's richest families. On June 19, a jury sides with Charles and David Koch, saying they did not cheat their brothers in a 1983 stock sale.

6. Cherokee County Sheriff Pat Collins is kicked out of office and sentenced to 30 days in jail after pleading guilty to misusing public funds and an income tax violation. He is acquitted of charges that he abused prisoners.

7. Gov. Bill Graves proposes a package of sales, income and property tax cuts worth $247 million. The Legislature passes it the next day, ending weeks of stalemate.

8. Federal judge rejects Woodlands racetrack plan to add a casino to help recover from bankruptcy.

10. Alan Eugene White pleads guilty to killing three people in Salina in July 1996. Sentenced to life in prison.

24. After months of controversy and competition, Seaboard Farms announces plans to build huge hog processing plant in Barton County.

27. Gov. Graves signs into law a bill restricting late-term abortions, surprising advocates on both sides.

May

1-3. Workers at Damark International catalog center in Junction City are sickened twice by unknown source.

4. Federal judge fines NCAA $67 million for restricting salaries of assistant coaches.

15. Robert J. Dole U.S. Courthouse is dedicated in Kansas City, Kan.

21. Gov. Graves signs into law the omnibus appropriations act, the last piece of an $8.5 billion budget for the state's 1999 fiscal year which begins July 1.

June

3. Dr. George Tiller of Wichita files a lawsuit with the state Supreme Court against a new Kansas law restricting late-term abortions.

7. Kansas farmers begin harvesting the second largest wheat crop on record, pegged at 494.9 million bushels.

8. Explosion at DeBruce grain elevator in Haysville kills seven people and injures 10 others.

13. Tornado devastates downtown Sabetha.

18. Dillard's Department Stores apologizes for "improper actions" in dealing with minority shoppers after a series of complaints and lawsuits.

July

4. Seven people, including four children, died in traffic accident near Horton.

16. Owner of carriage horse operation on the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Mo., is found guilty of plot to kill a competitor, her stepfather and a boyfriend. M.J. L'Donna later sentenced to 10 years in prison.

17. Dr. George Tiller of Wichita says he found a way to legally perform "partial-birth abortions,'' which legislators and Gov. Graves thought they had outlawed.

30. Shareholders of Western Resources and Kansas City Power & Light approve merger of two utilities.

August

4. Gov. Graves easily defeats conservative challenger David Miller in Republican gubernatorial primary. Graves receives 73 percent of the vote.

12. A federal judge rules the Derby School District was within its rights to suspend a student who drew a Confederate flag in class, violating school policy. The ruling is appealed to the federal appeals court in Denver.

17. Two high school football players, a 15-year-old boy in Towanda and a 17-year-old boy in Wichita, collapse during the first day of practice and die the next day.

September

2. A derailment of a train carrying hazardous chemicals forces the evacuation of about 200 people from Hazelton and surrounding areas.

22. A Virginia man confesses to a 1979 Johnson County murder that authorities say would never have been solved.

30. Former Kansas City Royals reliever Dan Quisenberry dies of brain cancer.

30. The state Board of Healing Arts ends its investigation of Dr. George Tiller over whether he violated a new state law restricting late-term abortions, without any disciplinary action.

October

1. Abilene family of five dead in murder-suicide.

2. Kansas and Taiwanese agricultural officials sign an agreement under which the Republic of China will buy 750,000 to 850,000 metric tons of U.S. wheat.

8. Murphy Family Farms announces that it is putting on hold its plans to build large hog farms in Hodgeman and Lane counties. It cites low farm prices for the decision.

22. A 16-month-old Council Grove boy dies and his mother's boyfriend, Scotty R. Adam, is later charged with first-degree murder. The toddler's death raises questions about the state's handling of foster care for abused and neglected children.

November

2-3. Floods swamp parts of south-central Kansas, killing one woman and causing nearly $38 million in damage.

3. Gov. Graves wins re-election with 73 percent of the vote, the largest percentage of any gubernatorial candidate in Kansas history.

3. U.S. Rep. Vince Snowbarger, a conservative Republican, is upset by Democrat Dennis Moore, the first Democrat to win in the 3rd District since it was drawn to its current configuration in 1962.

6. Longtime Kansas State basketball coach Jack Hartman dies.

12. The Kansas Highway Patrol's management and rank-and-file troopers reach agreement on a two-year contract, ending 18 months of rancor.

14. Undefeated Kansas State football team beats Nebraska for the first time since 1968.

29. U.S. District Judge Earl O'Connor and his wife are found dead in their Mission, Kan., home.

December

5. Kansas State football team loses to Texas A&M in the Big 12 championship game, costing the Wildcats a shot at national championship and dropping them out of a BCS bowl game.

7. A Kansas highway patrol trooper shoots and kills a man aboard a Greyhound bus in Salina. The man is later identified as a suspect in a homicide in Oregon.

7. OSHA announces a $1.7 million fine imposed on DeBruce Grain Inc., the operator of a Haysville grain elevator where an explosion killed seven workers in June. DeBruce says it will appeal.

11. Gov. Graves protests Interior Department decision to allow an Indian gambling parlor to operate in Miami County, saying it would establish a dangerous precedent.

15. The Topeka shiner, a once abundant fish, is placed on the federal endangered species list.

19. The Kansas congressional delegation votes to impeach President Clinton.

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