Archive for Thursday, October 23, 2003

Area briefs

October 23, 2003

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Police brutality protest conducted downtown

Carrying signs protesting police brutality, about 40 people Wednesday night marched down Massachusetts Street and then had a candlelight vigil outside the Douglas County Judicial & Law Enforcement Center.

Outside the west doors of the center, several individuals told stories about police brutality they said they had experienced or seen occur in Lawrence and elsewhere.

At least three groups were involved with organizing the protest, The Lawrence Anti-Imperialists, the Lawrence Coalition for Peace and Justice and the KU Greens, said Chantel Guidry, one of the protesters.

The group gathered in Buford M. Watson Jr. Park, Seventh and Kentucky streets, and then marched to the law enforcement center, accompanied by police escort.

Guidry said Oct. 22 had been recognized since 1996 as National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality.

Central to kick off annual fund-raiser

Central Junior High School students today launch the annual fund-raising campaign that culminates with the FunRun.

The kickoff celebration at 2:40 p.m. at Central, 1400 Mass., will mark the 20th anniversary of the event. The FunRun is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Oct. 31.

Students will work together to collect donations toward a goal of $14,000. That equals about $25 per student.

In the past, money from the drive has been used to help Central finance after-school activities, camp scholarships, uniforms and to support special projects.

Prizes will be awarded to individuals and teams for part of their fund-raising efforts.

Police receive report of beating, rape

Police are investigating a 24-year-old Lawrence man accused of kidnapping, beating, raping and sodomizing a 21-year-old woman. The incident was reported to have happened Aug. 30 at a house in the 400 block of Illinois Street.

The report became available Wednesday.

Lawrence Police said they were notified of the attack by a law enforcement agency outside Douglas County, but declined to specify which one. That agency had been contacted by a hospital where the victim was being treated.

Police said the victim and the suspect were acquaintances.

Officers armed with a search warrant interviewed the suspect, but no arrest was made, pending the outcome of lab tests.

Police have forwarded their investigation findings to the Douglas County District Attorney's Office for possible criminal charges in the case.

Illegal alien case has tie to Lawrence

Two men from Mexico were indicted Tuesday in federal court in Wichita for allegedly transporting undocumented people in Lawrence.

Facing six counts are Manuel Gomez-Giron, 32, and Esdras Avelirio Peres-Peres, 25. The crimes allegedly occurred Oct. 13.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Kansas released no additional details about the indictments. A spokeswoman said more information would be released as the court process continues.

The suspects are to have their first appearance in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan., on a date to be determined.

If convicted, the two could face a maximum of 10 years in prison without parole on each count.

'Minimum maintenance' label removed from road

Douglas County commissioners agreed Wednesday to upgrade the regulatory status of a gravel road, a move designed to permit construction just west of U.S. Highway 59.

A 1.25-mile section of North 200 Road, a mile south of U.S. Highway 56 in southern Douglas County, is now regarded as a regular Willow Springs Township road. The section is between East 1100 and what would be East 1225 roads, just west of U.S. 59.

Commissioners rescinded the road section's "minimum maintenance" designation at the request of the township's board, which has treated the section just as it does the rest of the gravel road: as one worthy of ongoing maintenance.

A "minimum maintenance" designation absolves townships of legal responsibilities from damages caused by bumps or other physical problems, said Michael Kelly, of the county's Public Works Department. Such roads are posted with "travel at your own risk" signs.

KU debate teams place in tourney's top 10

A Kansas University debate team took third place and another took ninth during a tournament that ended Monday in Washington, D.C.

Seniors Todd Jordan and Jordan Tinsley placed third among the 48 teams from 20 universities competing at Catholic University. They lost in the semifinals to Georgetown University.

The other team of sophomores Lindsey Simonsen and Matt Cormack took ninth.

St. Patrick's organizers looking for beneficiary

Organizers for the St. Patrick's Day Parade and related events are now taking applications from groups wanting to be the beneficiary of the fund-raising activities.

Since its inception, the parade has raised thousands of dollars for local charities for children. Previous beneficiaries have included the Ballard Center, the Ryan Gray Playground for All Children, and the Boys & Girls Club.

The applications will be taken from now until Nov. 3. They can be picked up at McDonald Chiropractic Clinic, 953 E. 23rd St.; KLWN/KLZR, 3125 W. Sixth St.; or by calling 749-6677.

Applications should be mailed to The St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee, P.O. Box 1702, Lawrence 66044.

This year's parade co-chairmen are Steve Cummings and Gene Shaughnessy.

KU Web site gets grant to expand offerings

The "This Week in KU History" Web site will expand early next year, thanks to a grant from the Historic Mount Oread Fund.

The fund recently donated $11,000 to the project for graduate students to write 10 new articles about aspects of campus architectural history, including the history of Pioneer Cemetery, Twente Hall, the Outlook and KU's "Red Roof Rule."

The grant also will allow for a redesign of the Historic Mount Oread Fund's Web site. When completed, the site will link to the "This Week in KU History" site at www.kuhistory.com.

Clark supporters plan debate watch party

People interested in issues faced by Democrats running for president, especially former Army Gen. Wesley Clark, can attend a debate party at a Lawrence restaurant.

Shaylisa Hurte, Douglas County coordinator of Clark for President, said the Lawrence4Clark Debate Watch Party will be 7 p.m. Sunday at Meat Market, 811 N.H.

"It's for Clark supporters or anyone who wants to learn more about him as a candidate," she said.

The televised debate from Detroit is sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus.

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