Youths can win contest for reading 'Wizard of Oz'
"The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" by L. Frank Baum is the featured book for Read Across Lawrence 2004. In conjunction with the month of events, a youth writing contest is open to any homeschool student or student in a Douglas County school in first through 12th grades.
The contest includes two categories: creative writing and essay writing. Essays should be at least 800 but no more than 2,000 words in length. They may be handwritten or typed and should be turned in by Feb. 13, accompanied by an official entry form, to any school librarian or the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vt.
Six prizes will be awarded, one for the best entry in each category in each age group. Winners will receive a copy of "All Things Oz: The Wonder, Wit, and Wisdom of The Wizard of Oz" by Linda Sunshine.
State offering new way to get teaching certificate
The Kansas State Department of Education is searching for people willing to take an alternative route to earning a Kansas teaching certificate.
Under the federally funded Transition to Teaching program, financial aid is available to people with college degrees who agree to begin teaching in a high-need school district and start taking education courses online.
The first group of students in the program began the three-year process in July. A second class of students will start the program in July 2004. Openings remain for that class.
For more information, contact Martha Gage or Gordon Wiebe at the State Department of Education. The Web site is www.ksbe.state.ks.us.
Homeless man in jail
A homeless man who's spent much of the fall and winter wrapped in blankets outside the Replay Lounge, 946 Mass, is in jail.
Records show Robert "Simon" Gilmore, 46, was arrested Tuesday evening on a warrant issued last week after he failed to make a court-ordered appointment with a court service officer.
The order stemmed from Gilmore's being arrested four times last summer for criminal trespassing -- sleeping in the parking garage at 935 N.H. -- and disregarding officers' warnings not to return.
Gilmore, who's legally blind, is often seen downtown, wrapped in thrift-shop blankets and wearing socks on his hands. He's to appear in court Jan. 8.
A story in the Dec. 21 Journal-World reported a downtown resident's frustration with Gilmore's lifestyle and with failed efforts to move him off the street.