Archive for Saturday, December 13, 2003

Lawrence briefs

December 13, 2003


Head-on collision lands four people in hospitals

Four people were flown by air ambulance to area hospitals after a head-on wreck Friday afternoon on Kansas Highway 16 in Leavenworth County.

The people hospitalized were James R. Collins, 48, McLouth, Cynthia R. Lynch, Tonganoxie, and two children in Lynch's vehicle, ages 9 and 3.

The names of the children were not released Friday. They were flown to Children's Mercy Hospital, Kansas City Mo., according to a report.

Collins' vehicle crossed the center lane of the highway about 3:33 p.m. Friday near 239th Street and struck Lynch's vehicle head-on.

Lynch was flown to St. Luke's Hospital, Kansas City, Mo., and Collins was flown to University of Kansas Hospital, Kansas City, Kan.

Condition reports were not available late Friday. The Leavenworth County Sheriff's Office didn't release any information about the type of vehicles Collins and Lynch were driving.

Suspect pleads guilty in N. Lawrence beating

All five defendants now have been convicted in connection with the March 10 robbery, beating and stabbing of a 21-year-old Mayetta man at the Jayhawk Motel, 1004 N. Third St.

Transient James A. Keezer, 21, unexpectedly pleaded guilty Thursday to all of the charges against him: attempted first-degree murder, aggravated robbery, aggravated kidnapping and conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery. His plea came during the third day of a jury trial in Douglas County District Court.

Keezer's attorney had admitted that his client stabbed Josh Greemore after a group beating in the motel room, but said Keezer didn't try to kill Greemore and was acting under compulsion from two co-defendants.

The four other defendants already have been sentenced and face punishments ranging from a six-month boot camp to nearly 60 years in prison. Keezer will be sentenced Jan . 16.

Mock disaster trains first-response team

A building at the Douglas County 4-H Fairgrounds became the site of a mock catastrophe on Friday.

A group of 15 residents entered the darkened building to find and assist live "victims," including a woman pretending to be in shock and a man pretending to have been crushed under a fallen wall.

The event was the culmination of an eight-session training course to certify the 15 people as members of the county's first Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT.

The goal of the nationwide CERT program -- overseen by the Federal Emergency Management Agency -- is to create teams of citizens qualified to help first responders in an emergency.

Checkpoint aimed at drunken drivers

Lawrence Police are poised to crack down on impaired drivers with a sobriety checkpoint.

Officers will operate the checkpoint starting from 11 p.m. Wednesday until 2 a.m. Thursday, stopping cars and looking for drunken drivers.

Police aren't releasing the exact location of the checkpoint.

Retired Ford executive to seek House seat

Tom Marsh, of Olathe, has announced his candidacy for the 38th District seat in the Kansas House. The district includes areas north and east of Lawrence, as well as Eudora, De Soto and parts of Lenexa, Shawnee and Olathe.

Marsh, 58, is a retired Ford Motor Co. executive. He currently serves on the Olathe Planning Commission and the Johnson County Transportation Advisory Board. He is active in the Olathe Rotary Club and the Volunteer Center of Johnson County.

Asked about his politics, Marsh, a Republican, replied: "I'm strong on business growth and public education, and I don't like debt."

Rep. Rob Boyer, R-Olathe, recently announced that he would not seek re-election in the 38th District and, instead, would challenge incumbent Kay O'Connor, R-Olathe, for the 9th Senate District seat.

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