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Archive for Thursday, March 27, 2003

State briefs

March 27, 2003

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War coverage delays KPR spring fund-raiser

The war with Iraq will postpone Kansas Public Radio's spring fund-raising drive for a month.

Janet Campbell, general manager of Kansas University's National Public Radio affiliate, said around-the-clock war coverage would push the on-air campaign back until April 25-May 2. The drive was scheduled to start Friday.

Campbell said the delay may hurt fund raising. On-air pledges typically bring in about half of the $200,000 raised during fund drives.

The other half comes from direct-mail solicitations. Campbell said the mailings had proceeded according to schedule, though they're about $30,000 short of the $100,000 goal. She attributed the dip to the economic recession.

Potawatomi council objects to SLT plans

The Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation has filed comments with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers objecting to the agency's proposed Final Environmental Impact Statement on the 32nd Street alignment of the South Lawrence Trafficway.

In its comments, the council included an affidavit claiming the existence of human remains in parts of the Baker Wetlands. The group also objected to the proposed route's adverse impact on the Wakarusa River.

Janie Cavitt, deputy district counsel with the corps' regional office in Kansas City, Mo., said the issues raised by the tribal council would be considered prior to the drafting of a "memo of agreement" on the project.

"We've heard from several groups and individuals on this," she said.

In January, the corps gave tentative approval to a 32nd Street alignment.

Reward offered to find probation violator

Douglas County law enforcement officers want to find Eric L. Clark, and they are asking the public's help to do so.

A Crime Stoppers reward of up to $1,000 is being offered for information leading to Clark's arrest. He is wanted for probation violation after being convicted of possession of methamphetamine.

Clark is a 24-year-old white male. He is 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs 150 pounds.

If you have information that would help officers find Clark, call the Crime Stoppers hot line at 843-TIPS (8477). Callers remain anonymous. The hot line doesn't have caller identification.

Sesquicentennial panel mails debate application

Lawrence's application for a 2004 presidential debate is in the mail.

Earlier this week, Clenece Hills, president of the Lawrence Sesquicentennial Commission, mailed three binders of information to the Commission on Presidential Debates. She said she expected to know by the end of May whether Lawrence was chosen for a visit by commissioners.

The debate application was one of several topics discussed during a Sesquicentennial Commission meeting Wednesday. The commission is planning a series of events related to Lawrence's 150th birthday, which is Sept. 18, 2004.

The commission's next meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. April 23 at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vt.

Bill advances that fights underage drinking

Topeka -- A bill increasing the penalties for underage drinking and cracking down on people who let minors drink alcohol in their homes cleared the Senate on Wednesday.

The measure, sent to the House on a 40-0 vote, would suspend the driver's license of a person who is under 21 and caught with liquor for 90 days upon a second conviction and one year upon a third conviction.

Current law imposes a license suspension of 30 days in all instances.

The bill also creates a new crime of sponsoring underage drinking, defined as "permitting a person's premises to be used in such a manner that results in the possession or consumption" of alcohol by people under 21. The crime would be punishable by a fine of at least $200 and up to six months in jail.

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