Archive for Sunday, January 18, 2004

Area briefs

January 18, 2004

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Cowboy event celebrates crafts, lifestyle of West

Scott Johnson and Stacy Adams wanted to soak up some wild West atmosphere Saturday, so they drove to Lawrence from Kansas City, Mo., and sauntered into the Lawrence Holidome.

There they looked over the goods displayed by 56 Western vendors at the second annual Lawrence Cowboy Winter Gathering. Most vendors were from Kansas with a few from Missouri and one from New Mexico, said Rob Phillips, organizer of the event.

"There's really a lot of neat things here," said Johnson, 31.

"It's a lot of history," said Adams, 29, who was visiting from Dallas.

Saddles, bridles, cowboy hats and cowboy artwork were among the many items displayed and sold. Country-western musicians performed in an adjoining room.


Benefits

State program offers help with heating bills

A state program designed to help those with low incomes pay their heating bills is under way.

Bob Ivins shows Dalton Lesher, 4, of Lawrence, how to make rope
Saturday at the gathering. Ivins travels to similar shows
year-round.

Bob Ivins shows Dalton Lesher, 4, of Lawrence, how to make rope Saturday at the gathering. Ivins travels to similar shows year-round.

Applications for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program will be accepted Tuesday through March 31.

The state Social and Rehabilitation Services program already has mailed applications to households that received aid last year. Other households may request an application from their local SRS office and other helping agencies. To request a mailed application, call (800) 432-0043.

In 2003, LIEAP provided benefits to 38,342 households, with the average assistance check being $359.

Income eligibility guidelines are 130 percent of the federal poverty level.

Business

Financial services group to open center in Olathe

American International Group is expanding its Kansas City-area operations, perhaps by as many as 300 jobs.

The New York insurance and financial services firm on Friday confirmed the expansion but wouldn't discuss specifics.

AIG has an insurance claims-processing operation in the Corporate Woods complex in Johnson County. The company plans to open a 60,000-square-foot document-handling center in a technology park near 119th Street and Interstate 35 in Olathe, said Tim McKee of the Olathe Area Chamber of Commerce.

The center is set to open by April.

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