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Archive for Friday, November 19, 2004

Area briefs

November 19, 2004

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Explosion victim dies

A rural Leavenworth County man who was burned Tuesday in an explosion and fire died about noon Thursday at University of Kansas Hospital, according to Sgt. Charlie Yates of the Leavenworth County Sheriff's Office.

Elmer "Bill" Lee, 39, was flown by air ambulance to the Kansas City, Kan., hospital after being severely burned in the explosion that occurred while he was welding a gasoline tank to a truck.

Lee was working on the truck in a barn behind his wife's parents' home at 18275 182nd St., which is about four miles east of Tonganoxie.

Education

KU senior interviews for Rhodes scholarship

A Kansas University senior has advanced to the final round of competition to receive a Rhodes scholarship.

Ruth Anne French, from Partridge, will compete at the regional level today and Saturday in St. Paul, Minn. The winners will be announced Saturday night.

The scholarship provides more than $50,000 for two years of graduate study at Oxford University. Thirty-two scholarships are awarded.

French is majoring in political science. She plans to study administrative and regulatory law with an emphasis on the environment.

Crime

Police seeking help in hotel robbery cases

Police are asking for the public's help solving two similar robberies this month at the Best Value Inn, 730 Iowa.

The most recent happened about 6:20 a.m. Thursday when a man with a handgun ordered a female employee to the floor and took an undisclosed amount of money from the register.

A previous robbery happened about 6 a.m. Nov. 2 when a man acting as if he had a gun in his pocket demanded money and then walked the same employee to the rest room before fleeing.

In each case, description of the suspect is similar: a tall, slender black man with medium to light skin tone.

In the latest robbery, the robber was described as wearing a gray and black pullover jacket, black pants and black tennis shoes. He had a black towel around the lower portion of his face.

In the earlier robbery, he was described as wearing a blue and white stocking cap and a blue and white polo shirt pulled over the lower portion of his face.

Lawrence Police are asking anyone with information to call detectives at 830-7430 or the Crime Stoppers hot line: 843-TIPS.

Community

Groceries needed for Thanksgiving meals

The Salvation Army needs turkeys and groceries for Thanksgiving.

The group accepted applications from 253 families needing help with holiday meals. Judy Forney with the Salvation Army said the group had about 20 turkeys and expected more to be delivered this weekend.

"But what we're also needing more than anything is groceries to put in the boxes we're putting together," Forney said.

She said they could use several items, such as canned vegetables, pumpkin pie filling, instant potatoes, butter and stuffing mix.

The Thanksgiving meal boxes will be put together Monday; families will pick them up Tuesday and Wednesday morning.

Shawnee County delays Extension decision

Shawnee County commissioners delayed action Thursday on a proposal to merge the K-State Research & Extension offices in Douglas and Shawnee counties.

No action was taken because Douglas County commissioners decided Wednesday they wanted to meet with their Shawnee County counterparts to discuss the plan.

Extension office staff and board members want the merger because they say it will allow them to provide better services to residents in both counties.

But the merger also would create a new taxing authority that would levy taxes, a concept that concerned Douglas County commissioners.

A date for the joint commission meeting hasn't been set.

Police still seek suspects in shooting

Lawrence Police said Thursday they'd determined the gunshots fired Wednesday night at a south Lawrence apartment complex happened after an argument between two men, whom they were still trying to find.

Spokesman Sgt. Dan Ward said officers thought the men had been in an altercation near Southpointe Apartments, 2166 W. 26th St. As one of the men ran from the area, the other fired three gunshots at him, Ward said.

Police hadn't identified the shooter. They identified the victim but were working to find him.

Ward said police thought the victim ran from an officer in the area Wednesday night because he had a warrant for his arrest.

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