Archive for Thursday, September 6, 2001

Lawrence briefs

September 6, 2001


Preliminary hearing set for ex-used car dealer

A former Lawrence car dealer accused of selling a "lemon" Ferrari to a New York City investment banker and then failing to refund the $47,500 he received for the car will have a preliminary hearing in October.

Joel A. Ellena, 28, is charged in Douglas County District Court with one count of theft over $25,000. He made his first appearance Wednesday afternoon.

The felony theft charge stems from a January 2000 transaction between Ellena and 23-year-old Marc Salant of New Jersey, who found Ellena's 1991 Ferrari 348 TS advertised on eBay, the Internet auction service. Although Ellena assured Salant the car was in mint condition, Salant says he has spent more than $23,000 repairing it.

Ellena's preliminary hearing is set for 2 p.m. Oct. 2.

Ellena lives in Colorado, but when he was in Lawrence, he operated Carsmart Auto Center, 2300 W. 29th Terrace with his father, Jim Ellena. Joel Ellena is not affiliated with Jack Ellena Honda.

KU Hispanic heritage to be celebrated in parade

Two Kansas University administrators will lead the university's first Hispanic heritage parade next month.

Chancellor Robert Hemenway will serve as the parade's grand marshal. Janet Murguia, executive vice chancellor for university relations, will be deputy grand marshal.

The parade, scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Oct. 6, will travel down Jayhawk Boulevard. It is sponsored by the Hispanic American Leadership Organization (HALO) and the KU Hispanic Network.

National Hispanic Heritage month is Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. The universitywide Open House also will be Oct. 6.

In addition to students and faculty, parade organizers are asking schools, community organizations and businesses to participate in the parade.

Anyone wanting to participate can contact Laura Razo at, Anna Ancil at or 864-4540 or Elizabeth Mendoza at Deadline for entering is 4:30 p.m. Sept. 22.

Police investigate rape report

Lawrence Police are investigating the alleged rape of a 17-year-old girl.

The incident reportedly occurred sometime between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. Saturday at Days Inn, 2309 Iowa, Sgt. Mike Pattrick said.

The girl, from Lawrence, had relatives staying at the motel, Pattrick said. The girl did not report the rape to police until Tuesday.

"It's not unusual for (rape victims) not to report an incident right away," Pattrick said.

The suspect is described as a man in his 20s, 6 feet 4 inches tall and 300 pounds. Police declined to identify the suspect's race. They would not say if the girl was a Kansas University student.

The girl said she had seen the suspect earlier but did not know him, Pattrick said. Police are not saying exactly where at the motel the rape occurred, and no other details were being released.

City administrator of Tonganoxie resigning

After 13 months on the job, Tonganoxie's city administrator, Chris Clark, plans to resign.

The move is a "family decision," Clark said, and will take him back to Massachusetts, where he worked as assistant city administrator for Wellesley a city of 26,000 people with a budget of $65 million. Tonganoxie has about 3,000 people and a budget of $3 million.

Clark and his wife and two children originally were attracted to northeast Kansas because his wife has family in the area.

Clark has not secured a job in Massachusetts, but he plans to sell the family home in Tonganoxie and then give the 30 days' notice required in his contract with the city.

He intends to pursue a job in city government in Massachusetts.

KU sets final exams

Kansas University has announced the following final examinations:

Tracy Lynn Mitzner, psychology, "Age Difference in Eye Fixations During Reading: Effects of Stimilar Quality and Word Expectancy," 9:30 a.m. Sept. 13, 447 Fraser.

Ted Vaggalis, philosophy, "Hermeneuhis and the Horizon of Political Philosophy," 2:30 p.m. Sept. 14, 3097 Wescoe.

Ottawa event showcases antique tractors, engines

Ottawa's Power of the Past Antique Gas Engine and Tractor Show will have more space this year in anticipation for a larger crowd.

The annual antique engine and tractor show, which has been at Orliss Cox Field for several years, has moved to Forest Park, west of Main Street off Kansas Highway 68.

Some of the show's highlights include farm vehicles, old gas engines and events ranging from garden tractor pulls to a hog roast to wheat threshing demonstrations.

Breakfast is offered from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. every day, with events running from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $2, or $3 for all three days.

University to sponsor obesity conference

Health care professionals and others interested in curbing obesity will gather Sept. 14-15 at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Kansas University's third annual Conference on the Treatment and Prevention of Obesity will include presentations on the food industry's response to obesity, employers' plans to treat and prevent obesity and environmental factors influencing obesity.

The event ends with a town meeting geared toward the general public beginning at 8 a.m. Sept. 15. Registration for the town meeting is $10.

Registration for the entire event is $175 for physicians, $140 for other health professionals and $25 for full-time students.

To register, call Kim Johnson at 864-0797 or e-mail her at Registration ends Sept. 10.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.