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Archive for Wednesday, July 11, 2001

Area briefs

July 11, 2001

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Driver thrown from pickup remains in critical condition

A 44-year-old St. George man remained in critical condition Tuesday night at Overland Park Regional Medical Center after he was thrown from his vehicle in an accident Monday afternoon.

Gary L. Hall was southbound on U.S. Highway 59 in a 1994 two-ton Ford pickup when his right rear tire blew, causing the other right rear tire to blow, a Kansas Highway Patrol accident report said.

The vehicle went onto the right shoulder, Hall lost control, and his truck rolled and slid across the road, coming to rest in the east ditch. Hall was thrown from the truck, which was loaded with road oil, and landed in the east ditch.

The accident occurred at 4 p.m., three miles north of Ottawa.

ECM evacuated after gas line broken

Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical on Tuesday morning evacuated people from Ecumenical Christian Ministries for an hour after a natural gas line break.

A contractor digging with a backhoe on the southeast corner of 12th and Oread streets ruptured a 2-inch, high-pressure natural gas line at 8:47 a.m., Battalion Chief Bill Stark said.

Natural gas leaked for an hour before the gas company secured the line, Stark said.

He wasn't sure how many people were evacuated.

"There were no explosive levels in the building," Stark said. "It was more precautionary."

Twelfth and Oread streets were blocked off until the leak was brought under control about 9:44 a.m.

Stark didn't know who the contractor was.

Former superintendent maintains innocence

Wichita Former Haysville Supt. H. Lynn Stevens pleaded innocent Tuesday to a felony charge of misuse of public funds, and was bound over for trial.

Stevens waived his right to a preliminary hearing. Sedgwick County District Court Judge Clark Owens found probable cause and set a jury trial for Oct. 1.

Stevens, who was fired by the Haysville school board in April, was superintendent for 13 years.

The charge stems from thousands of dollars in questionable expenses on his district-issued credit card.

Board members began questioning Stevens' spending habits in March after 18-year-old Seth Konkel requested documents that showed Stevens charged as much as $16,083 a month buying flowers, chocolates, car washes, airline tickets and meals. Records show he also used the card at casinos in Mayetta and Kansas City, Mo., as well as hotels in Las Vegas.

Konkel was elected to the school board in April. Three of four board members who had approved Stevens' monthly bills were voted off the board.

Stevens now lives in Enid, Okla.

Baker University hires new university relations official

Baker University has hired a new vice president for university relations.

Bill McCollum, currently assistant dean for administration at Baker's School of Professional and Graduate Studies in Overland Park, will serve as the department's vice president. He replaces Jerry Weakley who becomes vice president for endowment and planned giving, a new position at the Baldwin liberal arts college.

McCollum will be responsible for alumni services and fund raising and will be a member of Baker President Daniel Lambert's administrative council.

Lambert said Weakley's new responsibilities reflect Baker's commitment to serve its constituency. Weakley previously served as the school's alumni director for 10 years before taking the university relations position in 1991.

Cholesterol screenings offered at LMH

Lawrence Memorial Hospital will conduct cholesterol screenings from 9:20 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. today.

The screenings will be available for $5 per person. No appointment is necessary, and fasting is not required. The process only takes about five minutes, hospital officials said.

The screenings will be in the HealthSource Room, located near the visitor's entrance to the hospital at 325 Maine St. Heart disease is still the No. 1 killer of adults in the U.S., hospital officials said.

KU to have Special Olympics camp for state athletes

Summer is here and more than 150 Special Olympics athletes from across the state are heading off to camp.

The 2001 Sports Camp will be Thursday through Saturday on the Kansas University campus.

Athletes will have the opportunity to learn more about sports and improve their existing skills. KU coaches, KU recreation services staff and Special Olympics volunteers will lead the athletes through the clinics, including athletics, aquatics, basketball, bocce, bowling, cheerleading, cycling, golf, power-lifting, softball and volleyball.

On Thursday evening, there will be a swimming social at the Lawrence Aquatic Center, Seventh and Kentucky streets. Friday night there will be a talent show and dance at McCollum Hall.

Special Olympics is an international year-round program of sports training, education and athletic competition for individuals with developmental disabilities.

County announces road closings

Douglas County residents can expect some new road closings during this summer's construction season.

Starting today, Wakarusa Township will be resurfacing one mile of East 1500 Road, from North 900 Road to County Road 458. The township also will be working on North 900 Road, from East 1500 Road to East 1600 Road, and a small section of East 1600 Road that connects with County Road 1055 just north of North 900 Road. The roads will be closed through Friday and then again on Monday and Tuesday next week.

Baldwin's construction project on Sixth Street has closed new intersections. Now, the street is closed from Indiana Street to U.S. Highway 56 while the intersections of High and Dearborn streets and the highway have opened to cross traffic. A detour is provided in town.

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