Archive for Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Area briefs

December 10, 2002


Baldwin council OKs new police chief

Baldwin - Baldwin has a new police chief.

The Baldwin City Council unanimously picked Michael McKenna, 57, a retired Wichita Police officer, to take over the city's top cop position.

McKenna was one of four finalists picked by a search committee a few weeks ago. The final choice was made by City Administrator Larry Paine, who presented his choice to the council during Monday night's meeting. The council unanimously approved McKenna's appointment.

McKenna was a lieutenant who headed a detective unit that dealt with Wichita's more serious crimes, Paine said. McKenna has the skills for managing and building a team and organizing everyday affairs, Paine said.

McKenna takes over the chief's position left vacant earlier this year by the retirement of Steve Butell.

In a surprise move, George McCrary announced his resignation from the council position he has filled for about 18 months. McCrary said he wanted to spend more time with his family.

Mayor Ken Hayes will appoint a replacement for McCrary, subject to the council's approval. McCrary will attend next Monday's meeting before officially leaving the council.

Ottawa nursing home faces admissions ban

Ottawa - The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has fined an Ottawa nursing home $10,000 for violating state regulations.

Ottawa Retirement Plaza, 1042 W. 15th St., also has been under an admissions ban by the state since Nov. 25.

Inspectors toured the home Oct. 21-24 and found several violations, including inadequate paperwork to document patient care.

The inspectors returned Nov. 4-7 and reported the violations hadn't been corrected. That led to the admissions ban and fine.

A department spokeswoman said nursing home officials would notify the KDHE when they're ready for another inspection, which will determine whether the admissions ban can be lifted.

Vratil nominated Senate vice president

Sen. John Vratil, R-Leawood, was nominated Saturday to represent his majority party as vice president of the Kansas Senate.

A vote will be taken on the first day of the 2002 legislative session.

Vratil would replace Sandy Praeger of Lawrence, who last month was elected Kansas Insurance Commissioner. Vratil's nomination occurred during the Senate Republican caucus in Kansas City, Kan.

Vratil was appointed to represent the 11th District in 1998 and was re-elected in 2000. The district includes Leawood, Overland Park and other parts of Johnson County.

Free State senior up for national award

A senior at Free State High School has been nominated for a Principal's Leadership Award scholarship.

Alexis Anderson will be entered in a national competition in which 150 students will be selected this spring to each receive a $1,000 college scholarship.

She was treasurer of her sophomore class, president of her junior class and secretary of the student council as a senior. She volunteers with Youth United Way, Douglas County Health Improvement Project and Special Olympics.

"She is driven by a seemingly limitless energy to be a leader, someone who can make a difference and experience success in leadership roles," said Joe Snyder, Free State's principal.

Nominees were selected based on leadership skills, volunteer service, achievement in the arts and sciences, job experience and academic record. They also wrote essays.

The program is sponsored by National Association of Secondary School Principals.

University sets dates for final exams

Kansas University has announced the following final examinations:

Chad Christopher Edwards, communication studies, "Educational Beliefs as a Predictor of Communicative and Classroom Outcomes," 9 a.m. Thursday, 111 Bailey.

Kevin Kengingwiluya Skyat, anthropology, "The Search for Self Image in the Consumption Society of Shopping Malls in Baltimore," 10 a.m. Thursday, 633 Fraser.

Marian Hukle, mathematics, "Real and Topological Stable Rank," 11:30 a.m. Friday, 306 Snow.

Alicia Rodriguez-Hanley, psychology, "Acculturation, Family Cohesion and Eating Disturbances Among Cuban American and White American Women," 1 p.m. Dec. 17, 447 Fraser.

Mensa offers students scholarship awards

Mensa, a high IQ society, is offering scholarships for postsecondary students through its foundation.

Awards from $300 to $1,000 are available. Applicants must submit an essay of less than 550 words that describes their career, vocational or academic goal.

Applications are available at or To receive a form by mail, send a self-addressed, business-size envelope by Dec. 21 to Mensa Education and Research Foundation, 8218 Marty, Overland Park 66204.

Applications must be postmarked by Jan. 15, 2003.

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