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Archive for Saturday, August 16, 2003

Area briefs

August 16, 2003

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Attorney general opinion voids school bond vote

Topeka -- Atty. Gen. Phill Kline says a recent Winfield school district bond election is void because proper notice about the bond issue wasn't provided to voters.

"Issuing bonds based on a faulty election places Unified School District No. 465 under a legal cloud," Kline said in the opinion issued this week. "Furthermore, issuing bonds under a cloud of doubt can affect the aftermarket value of the bonds, incurring additional costs to the district."

The $24 million bond issue was approved by Winfield voters in June.

But Kline said the district failed to adhere to public notification requirements in state law. The official notices in the local newspaper must include specific information, and they must be published for two consecutive weeks -- with the first publication at least 21 days before the election.

In the Winfield election, the school district's notice was published just once, about 10 days before the election.

Kline said the Winfield board could call for another bond election this year.

Police

Investigation under way of death at oil pump jack

Investigators with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration were at the scene of an oil pump in southeast Douglas County on Friday trying to determine what caused the death of a 33-year-old Osawatomie man Thursday afternoon.

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office said Brent C. Hesse was pronounced dead at the scene of the pump jack in the 1900 block of North 250 Road, east of Baldwin.

Lt. Ken Massey said Hesse and three other employees of Town Oil Co. were performing maintenance on the oil pump when Hesse collapsed shortly before 2:30 p.m.

Those who called 911 told dispatchers Hesse had suffered an electrical shock.

Massey said the employees were replacing pipe casing on the pump, which required them to work on the pump jack's electrical system.

An autopsy was scheduled to be performed Friday afternoon but preliminary results were not available.

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