Archive for Saturday, October 21, 2000

Lawrence Briefs

October 21, 2000


State employees not barred from accepting all meals

For state employees in Kansas, there is again such a thing as a free lunch.

The Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission rescinded an earlier opinion that required state employees to pay for their own meals at any function, even one at which they were speaking as part of their job.

The commission announced Thursday that the approximately 27,000 state employees could accept meals at functions in which they were giving out information, not receiving it. Free meals at functions such as seminars in which employees are possibly being influenced is still prohibited, said Carol Williams, Ethics Commission executive director.

The rescinded opinion applies to a law put in effect July 1 that prohibits all state employees from accepting meals, tickets, discounts or any other gifts.

Williams said the change was prompted because of numerous calls daily inquiring about receiving meals when the state employee is a speaker.

Cold Weather Rule to go into effect Nov. 1


The Kansas Corporation Commission's Cold Weather Rule, which ensures consumers the ability to maintain or establish utility service during the winter, will go into effect Nov. 1.

The Cold Weather Rule is designed to protect Kansans from the winter chill by preventing utility cutoffs due to nonpayment.

The guidelines prohibit the disconnection of utility services during temperatures of 35 degrees or under until the rule expires March 31.

The rule also provides a 24-month payment plan for past or current bills to keep service maintained. Under the rule, customers must pay 1/12 of the total amount owed to the utility company, and the remaining amount will be evenly divided among the next 11 months' payments.

To qualify for the Cold Weather Rule, consumers must pass the KCC's Good Faith Test under which they inform the utility company they cannot pay the entire bill.

For more information, call your local utility company or the KCC Office of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection at 1-800-662-0027.

Census committee plans celebration


The Douglas County Complete County Committee will sponsor a communitywide celebration from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday at Swarthout Recital Hall at Kansas University's Murphy Hall.

Douglas County reached its census mail-back goal set by the U.S. Census Bureau. County residents returned 72 percent of their forms by mail, compared to just 55 percent in 1990.

Parking in the campus garage west of Murphy Hall will be free for the event.

Herpetological society to have annual meeting

The Kansas Herpetological Society will have its 27th annual meeting today and Sunday at the Adam's Mark Hotel, Kansas City, Mo.

The meeting is being conducted jointly with the Missouri Herpetological Assn. and the Kansas City Herpetological Society.

A live exhibit of native Kansas and Missouri amphibians, turtles and reptiles will be on display. There will be many speakers, with topics ranging from the herpetofauna of the Gulf Islands to neotropical boas.

Registration is $10 for students and $25 for others, and the evening banquet is $23.50 per person.

For more information, contact Joseph T. Collins at 749-3467.

Families sought for visit during Thanksgiving

Each year during Thanksgiving, international students join area families for a visit through the Betty Grimwood Thanksgiving Homestay Program at Kansas University.

KU's Office of International Student Services is seeking area families and international students to participate in a homestay visit this Thanksgiving.

Families wishing to be a homestay host and international students wishing to participate should call Moussa Sissoko, program coordinator, in international student services by Nov. 1 at (785) 864-3617.

KU researcher elected president of group

A distinguished Kansas University researcher in pharmaceutical chemistry has been elected president of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists.

Ronald T. Borchardt, Summerfield distinguished professor of pharmaceutical chemistry at KU, takes office in January 2001.

"It reflects positively on KU, his department and our school," said Jack Fincham, dean of pharmacy at KU. "It really speaks highly of his leadership attributes as well as his scientific expertise."

Last spring, Borchardt was one of 21 scientists chosen worldwide for the Millennial Award by the Millennial World Congress.

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