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Archive for Friday, November 9, 2001

Local briefs

November 9, 2001

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Fighter pilot returns home for Marines' 226th birthday

A former Lawrence resident who is now a high-ranking military officer will be the featured speaker at a Marine Corps Birthday/Veteran's Day celebration this morning.

Marine Col. Jerry Durrant, a 1967 Lawrence High graduate and a former fighter pilot, will be the keynote speaker at an event commemorating the 226th birthday of the United States Marine Corps. The celebration will begin at 10 a.m. at the American Legion building, 3408 W. Sixth St. The event is open to the public.

Durrant is a regimental commander based out of Camp Lejeune, N.C.

The event will include a presentation on the Douglas County Memorial Fund and a display of a Marine Corps Humvee vehicle.

Thursday, Gunnery Sgt. Tony Harrison of the KU Marine Reserve Officer Training Corps, in above photo at left, and Capt. Bill Powell set up for the event.

Transportation: Harvard Road gets first of two traffic circles

Drivers on the western portion of Harvard Road should be prepared to navigate a new traffic-calming circle.

City crews Wednesday installed a temporary traffic-calming circle at the intersection of Harvard Road and Goldfield Street. City Traffic Engineer David Woosley said the device was installed at the request of the neighborhood in an effort to slow speeds and improve pedestrian safety.

If effective, the temporary traffic circle may be replaced with a permanent device. Woosley said in the next two weeks another temporary traffic circle will be installed one block to the west where Harvard Road intersects with Mulberry and Grove drives.

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Fund Raising: Sister Cities board hopes to raise $3,000 for fund

Lawrence Sister Cities Advisory Board members say money shouldn't be a hindrance for students who want to take part in sister cities exchanges.

"The goal of the board is to allow anyone to go who has the desire and the aptitude," said board chairman Bob Schumm.

The board kicked off a fund-raising drive Thursday that will place 100 coin banks in businesses across town. Board members hope patrons will fill the banks with enough spare change to generate at least $3,000 for a scholarship fund to help students pay for trips to Eutin, Germany, and Hiratsuka, Japan, Schumm said.

The fund will augment money the city already allocates for the program about $2,500 annually, Schumm said.

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Genetic Research: Stowers Institute adds two scientists to staff

The Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas City, Mo., is increasing its staff to 12 lead scientists, with two new researchers to start next year.

The institute has announced that Olivier Pourquie and Jennifer Gerton would join as lead scientists in June. Like other lead scientists, both Pourquie and Gerton will oversee independent laboratories.

Pourquie is currently at the Developmental Biology Institute of Marseille, France. Gerton studies what ensures cells have the proper number of chromosomes after they divide.

The Stowers Institute was founded by Jim and Virginia Stowers and is dedicated to studying complex genetic systems.

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America responds: INS to check visas of 400 people in area, chief says

Federal law enforcement agencies have their hands full as they continue to investigate the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington D.C., Lawrence Police Chief Ron Olin told about 200 Rotary Club members Thursday.

That investigation has expanded into numerous areas, including background checks on people who have entered the country on a variety of visas including those in the Lawrence area, Olin said.

There are about 400 people in the Lawrence area whose visa status needs to be checked, Olin said. It does not mean they are terrorists, he said.

Those checks are being made by the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

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