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Archive for Saturday, August 9, 2003

Briefly

August 9, 2003

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Student reporter nominated for award

Lacey Hanson, a reporter for Oskaloosa High School's Oskaloosa Insider, made headlines of her own when she became the center of a censorship dispute with Principal Brad Reed. Now, the Kansas Press Assn. hopes she wins an award for her battle.

The controversy began when Hanson, above, wrote a story for the paper on plans to realign the OHS teaching staff. Reed said she would need to rewrite the story or drop it. Hanson stuck to her guns and took her case to the school board, eventually gaining Oskaloosa Supt. Loren Lutes' permission to publish a version similar to the original.

The recent OHS graduate is up for the 2003 Courage in Student Journalism Award, granted to a student who shows determination in the face of difficulty to exercise First Amendment rights. If Hanson wins the award, sponsored by the Student Press Law Center and National Scholastic Press Assn., she will receive a $5,000 prize.

Courts

Closed trials ordered in park beating cases

All four juvenile suspects in the beating of a 15-year-old with physical disabilities will see their cases go to trial behind closed doors.

One of the suspects in the attack on Josh Graves, 15-year-old Damian Dillon, appeared Friday in Douglas County District Court to schedule a trial. His bench trial was set for Sept. 10, a prosecutor said afterward.

Judge Pro Tem Peggy Kittel has ordered the boys' proceedings closed to the public, but case records are open under state law.

Each of the boys is charged with one count of aggravated battery. Their trial dates are as follows:

  • Chris Fannin, 14, Aug. 29.
  • Bradley Jamierson, 12, Sept. 10.
  • Marcus Spates, 13, Sept. 19.

Graves, who has cerebral palsy and epilepsy, said he was attacked May 21 in Clinton Park as he walked home from the public library. He said a group of boys ran up to him, asked him if he was "retarded," and began punching and kicking him.

Crime

Fight results in stabbing

A fight early Friday outside a Lawrence apartment complex sent a teenager to the hospital with multiple stab wounds.

Police said about 1 a.m., two Lawrence men -- an 18-year-old and a 19-year-old -- got into a fight outside an apartment in the 2400 block of West 24th Street. In an effort to stop the fight, police said, one of the men pulled a knife.

Police found the 19-year-old bleeding at a nearby apartment complex with at least six stab wounds. The man was taken by ambulance to Lawrence Memorial Hospital, where he was treated and released.

No one was arrested.

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