City may disband police to save money
The city is considering whether to disband its police force to save about $500,000, and cuts are also possible in other areas, including parks and street projects.
For now, the draft budget for 2004 calls for a $1.4 million increase in overall spending and includes money for police, City Clerk Tom Hicks said.
Hicks' budget also includes a property tax increase, which would raise about $166,000 but still leave city short by about $100,000.
If the City Council abolishes the Police Department and relies on the Stevens County Sheriff's Department for law enforcement, it will probably still have to budget money in 2004 to ease the new burden on the sheriff.
Historic town plans 125th homecoming
Deb Alexander-Wilson knows there is plenty of history in this northwest Kansas town. She hopes her Exploration Camp can convey that history to children.
Nicodemus, the only remaining western town established by blacks after the Civil War, will stage its 125th homecoming celebration this weekend, featuring a fashion and talent show, academic and political forum, parade and, for the first time, an Exploration Camp.
The camp, which Alexander-Wilson coordinated with Fort Hays State University geoscience professor John Heinrichs, is intended to entertain and educate children at the homecoming while parents take in the other activities.
Heinrichs and a team of historians have planned two full days of Exploration Camp activities. There will also be showings of Nicodemus documentaries and portrayals of historical characters, including Abraham Lincoln.
Police find replacement for dog that died in car
A handler whose police dog died of heat exposure after the air conditioning in his patrol car failed has started bonding with a new dog, a German shepherd from the Czech Republic.
The handler, Independence Police Sgt. John Bullard, left his previous dog, Hondo, in an air-conditioned police car last week for about an hour. The car's air conditioning and backup "hot dog" system malfunctioned. The system is designed to roll down windows, turn on a fan and blare a siren to alert the dog handler when temperatures in the vehicle approach an unsafe level.
Police introduced the new dog, Daro Zo Ziaru, on Wednesday. Bullard said there had been some initial communication problems because he doesn't speak Czech.
Suspect arrested in sobbing bandit cases
Police have arrested a 31-year-old man as a suspect in two cases in which the robber cried while committing crimes.
A Wichita Police spokeswoman said the man was arrested after a brief chase after his car was stopped early Wednesday. The arrest came about five minutes after a robber believed to be the same man demanded money at a motel.
A 32-year-old woman was also arrested.
Store clerks said the man started crying as he robbed them, and pleaded for them to let him get away so he could pay for his drug habit.