Archive for Thursday, March 6, 2003

Area briefs

March 6, 2003


KU to honor its authors

The Hall Center for the Humanities today will honor 47 Kansas University faculty members in humanities, social sciences and fine arts who have published books in the last year.

The first-ever Celebration of Books will be from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Summerfield Room of the Adams Alumni Center.

Three faculty members will read from their books and take audience questions. The free event is open to the public.

Testimony continues in county murder trial

The sound of tearing paper filled the courtroom on Wednesday as Kansas Bureau of Investigation scientist Bruce Coffman opened a paper evidence bag.

Inside lay a tattered, dirt-covered Budweiser T-shirt. Detectives found the shirt in April 2001 below a bridge on Upper River Road in Lecompton, and they believe it's what Topeka resident Dale A. Miller was wearing when he was shot to death.

Wednesday was the third day of the murder trial of Michael W. Kesselring, 42, Topeka. Prosecutors allege Kesselring and three other men kidnapped Miller because they suspected him of stealing a stash of illegal drugs worth up to $250,000.

Coffman, a gunshot-residue expert, pointed out two holes in the shirt that he said were consistent with gunshots. Later in the day, KBI special agent Jeff Hupp described how he and other officers dug up Miller's decomposed body at a dump site about four miles from where they found the T-shirt.

The trial continues today.

Topeka air museum offers aviation course

Topeka -- The Combat Air Museum is offering an education academy from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. March 17-20 at the museum, hangar 602 of Forbes Field.

Topics include aviation history, principles of flight, aircraft structures, control systems, weather, FAA air traffic control and flight simulation. Students will visit aircraft operations at Forbes Field and fly radio-controlled aircraft.

The class fee is $30 per student. Call (785) 862-3303 to enroll.

No-call violation fines announced

Four companies entered settlement agreements with the state of Kansas for violating the Kansas No-Call Act. This is the first time civil penalties have been assessed since the law went into effect in July 2002.

The four companies are: Bankers Life and Casualty Co. of Chicago, fined $15,000 for 26 complaints; Grandvista Vacations L.L.C. of Branson, Mo., fined $10,000 for 11 complaints; SeniorsFirst Insurance L.L.C. of Dallas, fined $3,000 for six complaints; and U.S. Security Inc. of Oklahoma City, fined $2,000 for four complaints.

To register a complaint, collect as much information as possible about the telemarketer, such as the company's name, address, telephone number and the name of the caller. Then access the complaint form on the Attorney General's Web site,, or call the Consumer Protection Division at 785-296-3751 or 1-800-432-2310.

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