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Archive for Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Area briefs

January 13, 2004

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Mobile home blaze blamed on wiring

Electrical wire failure caused the fire that heavily damaged a mobile home Saturday at 1900 W. 31st St., fire investigators said.

Two people who lived in the mobile home were not there when the fire started, and no one was hurt. Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical responded and brought the blaze under control after about 20 minutes, Deputy Chief Mark Bradford said.

Preliminary damage to the mobile home and its contents was estimated at $30,000.

Two sentenced for 2002 robbery at Lawrence inn

Topeka -- Two men were sentenced to federal prison recently for the May 29, 2002, robbery of the Hampton Inn in Lawrence.

During an appearance Thursday before U.S. District Judge Richard D. Rogers, Gwyndell B. Declerck, 35, Kansas City, Mo., was ordered to serve 10 years and five months in prison without parole. He will then serve three years of supervised release.

On Dec. 31, Rogers sentenced Andrew Louis Fluker, 37, Topeka, to seven years in prison without parole to be followed by three years of supervised release.

Declerck previously pleaded guilty to one count of robbery and one count of brandishing a firearm during the robbery. Fluker pleaded guilty to one count of brandishing a firearm during a robbery.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Declerck and Fluker threatened employees and stole money from the Hampton Inn, 2300 W. Sixth St. They fled the inn, led police on a car chase and rammed a police car before being caught, U.S. Atty. Eric Melgren said.

County to split cost of Eudora street study

Douglas County will help finance a study designed to reshape the future of Eudora's Main Street.

Douglas County commissioners agreed Monday to pay for half of the estimated $9,680 study, to be compiled by BG Consultants of Lawrence.

The study will suggest options for revamping a 4.5-block stretch of the street, north from 10th Street to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad tracks.

City officials want to soak up drainage problems at Ninth Street, where a fire station is threatened by flooding. Engineers also will address issues involving road appearance, surface materials and signs.

Engineers also will address how the road should cross the railroad tracks, or whether it should stop before reaching the tracks.

Sixth-grader earns donation for school

A Sunset Hill School sixth-grader was honored Monday for donating $1,000 to her school to buy library books and literature sets.

The gift from student Kajsa Mullenix, Lawrence, was matched by the Sunset Hill parent-teacher organization.

Kajsa was among 38 people ages 9 to 18 to receive the 2003 Very Best in Youth award sponsored by Nestle USA and Reading is Fundamental, a nonprofit literacy organization.

That entitled Kajsa to a five-day trip to Los Angeles and a $1,000 donation to a charity of her choice.

The Best in Youth program honors people who demonstrate a commitment to reading and academics, as well as to bettering the quality of life in their communities.

Kajsa is the daughter of Brian and Kristie Mullenix, Lawrence.

Judge to rule in lawsuit by landlords, tenants

A ruling in the federal lawsuit challenging the city's landlord registration rules could come next month.

In a scheduling order filed last week, U.S. Magistrate Judge James P. O'Hara said he could decide by mid-February whether to grant the city's motion to dismiss the lawsuit. He rescheduled a status conference in the case for March 16, pending the outcome of his decision.

A coalition of landlords and tenants, who filed the lawsuit in July, is challenging ordinances that limit unrelated roommates to three in single-family zoned rental houses, and ordering the owners of such rental houses to register with the city.

Landlords said the registration was costly and the inspections were violations of their rights to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Tenants said their privacy rights were being violated.

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