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Archive for Friday, July 18, 2003

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July 18, 2003

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Topeka

Sebelius appoints relative to wildlife commission

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius has appointed three new members to the Wildlife and Parks Commission, including her brother-in-law.

Kelly Johnston, Shari Wilson and Doug Sebelius were named to the commission Thursday. The appointments run through June 30, 2007.

The commission works with the Department of Wildlife and Parks to conserve and enhance Kansas wildlife and provide public opportunities among the state's natural resources.

Johnston, of Wichita, is president and managing partner of the Johnston Law Offices. He is a member of the Kansas Trial Lawyers Assn., NAACP, Sierra Club and Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

Doug Sebelius is a Norton attorney and is director of the Norton County Community Foundation and the Keith G. Sebelius Foundation. He is the brother of the governor's husband, Gary. Doug Sebelius ran for the Kansas House in 2002 but lost in the primary.

Wilson, of Kansas City, Kan., is a special projects coordinator for the Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education.

Topeka

Mayor fined $7,500 for campaign violations

Mayor Butch Felker admitted to three violations of campaign regulations Thursday and was fined $7,500 by the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission.

Felker, who was elected in 2001 to a four-year term, admitted during an afternoon hearing to one count of violating campaign contribution limitations and two counts of fraudulently reporting campaign receipts. Two other charges of fraudulent reporting were dropped. Felker must pay the fine within 60 days.

Felker could have faced fines up $60,000 if found guilty on all counts.

The Ethics Commission will forward results of Thursday's hearing to the state attorney general and the Shawnee County district attorney to determine if criminal charges should be filed.

Fort Scott

Capital murder charges filed in rape, slaying case

Prosecutors have upgraded charges filed against a 24-year-old man in the death of a Fort Scott woman to capital murder.

The charges against Uriah Neal Beckman, of Fort Scott, were amended Thursday from first-degree murder. He is charged in the death of Kathryn A. Goddard, 72. Beckman also is charged with rape and aggravated burglary.

Beckman was already in the Bourbon County Jail for unrelated probation violations when he was charged. The capital charges were filed by the state Attorney General's Office, which will assist Bourbon County Dist. Atty. Terri Johnson with the case.

A motion hearing is set for July 25 and a preliminary hearing is set for Sept. 11. Beckman remains in custody on $2 million bond.

EMPORIA

1930s filling station going way of Edsel

Emporia city commissioners have decided not to save a filling station that dates to the 1930s.

Commissioners decided Wednesday that the old station near the All Veterans Memorial must be removed by the end of July. The building is not considered a historic site, but its removal had to be reviewed because it is within 500 feet of a historic site, a bridge over the Cottonwood River.

The city had discussed keeping the station in place, attempting to restore it or moving it. But commissioners feared it would be too fragile to move and too expensive to restore.

City Manager Steve Commons said he didn't think there was enough historic value to make a case to the Kansas Historical Society for its preservation.

The Heins family, which owned the station for years, will have right of first refusal on the building. If the family doesn't take it by July 26, anyone else may contact the city about moving the building before July 31.

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