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Archive for Wednesday, April 6, 2005

Local briefs

April 6, 2005

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Fire destroys family's rural mobile home

A fire has left a rural Douglas County family homeless.

Area emergency officials responded about 4:30 p.m. to a mobile home fire at 949 E. 2400 Road, which is near the Douglas- Johnson County line.

"The homeowner was cooking on the stove in the kitchen, and he went outside to check on his kids," Eudora Township Fire Chief Barry Larson said. "A fire started, and it got out of hand."

The fire caused a total structure loss, said Larson.

The Eudora Township and Eudora fire departments responded to the fire. Douglas County Sheriff's deputies and a Lawrence-Douglas County Fire and Medical ambulance also were on the scene.

One adult was treated at the scene for breathing issues.

The Douglas County Chapter of the American Red Cross is providing the family with lodging at an area hotel, meal vouchers and some clothes.

Courts

Shooting suspect's trial date scheduled

A judge ruled Tuesday there was enough evidence for a Lawrence man to stand trial for attempted second-degree murder in connection with a Feb. 20 shooting at a local apartment complex.

Keith J. Mann, 44, originally was charged with attempted first-degree murder after his arrest, but the charges were reduced Tuesday after a preliminary hearing in Douglas County District Court.

Mann is charged with shooting another man in the ear after a scuffle at an apartment complex in the 1800 block of West 26th Street.

He also faces several drug charges.

Judge Stephen Six scheduled Mann's trial for June 22.

City improvements

Forum planned on water line projects

Area residents and business owners will have a chance to ask questions about impending water line replacement projects that will affect some downtown streets this summer.

City staff members and officials with BG Consultants will have a meeting at 9 a.m. Monday at City Hall, Sixth and Massachusetts streets.

Construction crews are expected to begin work replacing aging water lines downtown next week.

One project will focus on replacing a line along Sixth Street between Tennessee and Massachusetts streets. That project is expected to take 45 working days, which will include Saturdays.

After that project is completed, work will begin on replacing a water line along Massachusetts Street from Sixth to Seventh streets, and along Seventh Street from Massachusetts to New Hampshire streets. That project is expected to take 35 working days.

The entire project has an estimated cost of $650,000.

National board revokes fraternity's charter

A Kansas University fraternity has lost its charter over a party in February that violated university and national fraternity policies.

The national Phi Kappa Theta board voted to revoke the local chapter's charter over the weekend, said Kevin Lampe, a national board spokesman. The 35 fraternity members will be allowed to continue living in the house at 1111 W. 11th St. until the end of the school year, Lampe said.

The Interfraternity Council board at KU already had voted to expel the fraternity after determining Phi Kappa Theta violated policies during a Feb. 19 party that resulted in nine police citations for alcohol violations and the seizure of 16 kegs of beer.

Fraternity members can appeal to the full IFC general assembly but have not announced whether they will.

Commission advances sewer plant project

Lawrence city commissioners Tuesday night moved ahead on what is expected to be one of the city's larger construction projects, which residents already have started to pay for with higher sewer bills.

Commissioners unanimously agreed to request proposals from engineering firms to assist the city in finding a site along the Wakarusa River for a new sewer treatment plant.

The plant is expected to begin operating in 2011 and has an estimated cost of $76 million.

City officials are expected to choose an engineer for the project in May or June. The plant will allow the city to expand its sewer system.

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