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Archive for Monday, August 19, 2002

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August 19, 2002

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District sees increase in reduced-lunch sign-up

The number of economically disadvantaged children in the Lawrence school district entering the free- and reduced-lunch program has increased dramatically.

Supt. Randy Weseman said 565 students, from 265 families, had been added to the district's program for the 2002-2003 school year, pushing the number of participants above 3,000.

"That's up considerably," he said. "Of course, we expect this to continue to go up as we move into September."

The district usually has about 2,500 students qualify for the federal school lunch program. Eligibility is based on family income.

Weseman said the school board's adoption of $850,000 in new student fees and the state's stagnant economy probably motivated more families to get involved in the program.

Waivers of school district fees are available for students in the federal lunch program.

Law enforcement: County gets mixed rating for illegal underage sales

Douglas County is doing well at deterring underage drinking but could use some improvement in complying with tobacco sales laws, according to new state statistics.

Overall, Kansas compliance rates for liquor and tobacco sales to underage people were up for the third year in a row, according to Kansas Department of Revenue officials.

In Douglas County, the liquor law compliance rate was 82 percent. Other counties' rates include Johnson, 77 percent; Wyandotte, 95 percent; and Shawnee, 88 percent.

Tobacco law compliance in Douglas County was 38 percent. The ratings for other counties include Johnson, 86 percent; Wyandotte, 94 percent; and Shawnee, 81 percent.

The compliance rates are based on Alcoholic Beverage Control investigations.

Education: Lawrence schools extend contract with U.S. Bank

The Lawrence school district will continue to trust U.S. Bank with millions of dollars in deposits.

Kathy Johnson, the district's budget director, said a competitive bidding process led to the decision to remain with U.S. Bank.

U.S. Bank, which has five locations in Lawrence, offered the district the highest interest rate on deposits and a waiver of all banking fees, she said.

She said U.S. Bank also was expected to provide the district with improved online banking services within a year.

Johnson said the district sent bid requests to 11 banks and received replies from four banks.

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