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Archive for Saturday, December 31, 2005

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Hall ballot based on stats for last time
December 31, 2005
commentary
Saints headed back home
Team hopes to play in Superdome
December 31, 2005
The New Orleans Saints will return to Louisiana in 2006, that much seems certain. Exactly when and where they will play games gets a little fuzzier. The owner says maybe as early as September in the hurricane-ravaged Superdome. The NFL commissioner says, “It’s too early to say … “
MU’s Smith shines in second half
December 31, 2005
As Brad Smith goes, so goes Missouri. South Carolina knew that, and the game plan of keeping Smith in check worked great - for a half, anyway. Then, the Missouri quarterback broke loose, rushing for three touchdowns - including a one-yarder in the final minutes - and passing for another to rally the Tigers for a 38-31 victory over the Gamecocks in the Independence Bowl on Friday.
Kids have no grasp of game
December 31, 2005
Pardon me for being fearful about the future of basketball. During the holidays, I’ve seen five groups of boys in the 12-16 age range hooping it up in driveways and on school grounds. The aberrant influence of highlight bites on television was gruesomely apparent; it’s obvious that coaches from junior highs on up face horrendous challenges.
Bahe back to cheer on buddies
Kansas basketball transfer enjoys watching Case, Vinson in action against New Orleans
December 31, 2005
Seated in the stands behind Kansas University’s basketball bench, Nick Bahe cheered loudly as two of his former “Red Team” teammates played a significant role in Thursday’s 73-56 rout of New Orleans at Allen Fieldhouse. Red-shirt sophomore Jeremy Case and senior Stephen Vinson combined for 18 points and five assists while logging 38 minutes, leading the Jayhawks to their seventh victory in 11 tries.
Thank heaven for No. 11
Late run allows KU to remain perfect
December 31, 2005
Destiny’s darlings? Maybe. Fortuitous females? Perhaps. Whatever, somebody up there seemed to be smiling on Kansas University’s women’s basketball team as it made history Friday night. The Jayhawks rallied from a seven-point hole in the last three-plus minutes to stagger upstart La Salle, 75-72, in Allen Fieldhouse.
Faith breifs
December 31, 2005
Debate surrounds border church that helps illegal immigrants
December 31, 2005
By Abe Levy -Associated Press Writer
Reward your child with independence
December 31, 2005
My 16-year-old son wants to go on a supervised, three-week outing in a nearby national forest. It scares me to think of him being out there somewhere beyond my ability to help him if he got in difficulty. Am I right to turn him down?
Consider following the magnetic power of the herd
December 31, 2005
A winter afternoon of soft gray light and then the snow comes, snowflakes descending through the cone of light from the streetlamp, a majestic stillness falling on the city, a lovely moment in life. Lighted windows of the big frame houses along the street and the shush of tires in the snow, and I put on my long black coat and a stocking cap and walk up the street to the neighborhood coffee shop.
Earl’ looks for good karma on Thursdays
December 31, 2005
The pending move of “My Name Is Earl” from Tuesday to Thursday nights won’t have much effect on the show’s creator, Greg Garcia. Which is to say, he’ll still be a wreck. “I wake up every morning and go to bed every night absolutely terrified that I’m not going to do a good episode of television,” Garcia says.
Best bets
December 31, 2005
All this and 2006, too
December 31, 2005
I’ve stumbled through so many New Year’s Eves that I’ve completely forgotten their purpose. Are we burying the old or welcoming the new? In either case, 2006 will arrive whether we are ready or not. And, as he has since at least the Cenozoic Era, Dick Clark will be playing host to “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve 2006” (9 p.m., ABC). Look for Ryan Seacrest of “American Idol” fame, too.
Ready for its close-up
Longtime Rose Parade getting major makeover
December 31, 2005
In the land of perennial youth and movie star beauty, most centenarians just can’t compete. That’s why the Rose Parade is getting a major makeover - for the first time in 117 years. With CBS having quietly decided after 45 years to drop its coverage, parade organizers, hoping to keep TV viewers and the remaining broadcasting outlets happy, have ratcheted up the rolling flowerfest’s entertainment quotient.
Series to offer fresh outlook for new year
December 31, 2005
Sunday we begin a weeklong series of stories to help those of you who plan to usher in the new year by reevaluating goals and reshuffling priorities.
Mac lethal
December 31, 2005
Lawrence’s premier MCs play host to this sure-to-be-sold-out New Year’s party. Headliner Mac Lethal is a Scribble Jam freestyle champ who recently inked a deal with Rhymesayers Entertainment to release his long-in-the-making album “11:11.”
Faith Forum
How do you define the word ‘evangelical’?
December 31, 2005
How do you define the word ‘evangelical’?
Tangled web of faith
Lawrence author’s ‘God Doesn’t Have Bad Hair Days’ embraces different take on spirituality and peace
December 31, 2005
Pam Grout wants to unlock the chains of traditional religion and open up doors to new spirituality. She’s grown tired of the negative preaching of religious fundamentalists and wants to shift the focus to a God - or maybe a universal energy - that has your best interest at heart.
Topeka mayor seeks to overturn ban on snowballs
December 31, 2005
The leader of Kansas’ capital city told an Illinois high-schooler he was chagrined to learn he had violated a city ordinance this month when he tossed a snowball at a tree. Topeka Mayor Bill Bunten admitted the fastball missed the tree located about 30 feet away. But he said that didn’t make his crime any less serious under the city ordinance he is seeking to overturn …
Lawrence datebook
December 31, 2005
Investigation leads to Wichita porn bust
December 31, 2005
Law enforcement officers in two states used high-tech tools to crack what they said they believe is the largest child porn case in Wichita history. Steven Craig Perrine, 52, was charged this week with possession and distribution of child pornography after investigators said they searched his home and found more than 16,000 sexually explicit images involving children.
Judge: church property subject to settlement
December 31, 2005
A bankruptcy judge ruled Friday that the Archdiocese of Portland, not its parishes, owns church assets, dealing a major blow to its efforts to protect church property from lawsuits filed by alleged victims of priest sex abuse.
Firefighters fight new blazes
December 31, 2005
Firefighters on Friday contained many of the wildfires that raced through Texas and Oklahoma and killed four people, but officials worried that forecasts for more warm, dry and windy weather could set the stage for additional blazes. Oklahoma and much of Texas remained under burning bans, particularly for fireworks, because authorities believe the fires were mostly set by people ignoring fire bans and burning trash, shooting fireworks or throwing out cigarettes.
People and Places
December 31, 2005
 
No. 19 N.C. State hands GW first loss
December 31, 2005
The moment came when the outcome already was decided, yet that hardly mattered to North Carolina State’s Ilian Evtimov. Looking over at the players for No. 12 George Washington, he saw the body language of an opponent that knew it was beaten. “That’s such a good feeling to get when you’re on the court, and you’re doing that to the other team,” Evtimov said.
Buckman returns, sparks Longhorns to 72-point rout
December 31, 2005
Brad Buckman returned after missing two games because of an injury and scored a season-high 20 points to lead No. 15 Texas to a 110-38 victory over Prairie View A&M on Friday night.
Cavs upend Gophers
Mason loses what might be UM finale
December 31, 2005
Virginia had a distracting December with four coaches departing for new jobs. Marques Hagans and his fellow Cavaliers got their focus back in the Music City Bowl. Connor Hughes kicked a 39-yard field goal with 1:08 left, and Hagans threw for a career-high 358 yards in helping Virginia overcome a 14-point deficit to beat Minnesota, 34-31, Friday.
Nets’ streak hits eight
Vaughn, Carter propel New Jersey
December 31, 2005
The New Jersey Nets have six days off to savor their current eight-game winning streak. In a scheduling quirk, the Nets don’t play again until they entertain Orlando on Jan. 6. Vince Carter scored 37 points, and reserve guard Jacque Vaughn had six late in the fourth quarter to give the Nets a 99-91 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night.
Three evacuees die in apparent murder-suicide
December 31, 2005
A family of three Hurricane Katrina evacuees facing eviction was found dead Friday in their Texas apartment in what appears to be a double murder-suicide, authorities said. Police were called by the apartment complex to assist in the eviction and discovered the bodies, said police Sgt. Todd Dearing in Grapevine, near Dallas.
Feds: 2,000 Katrina evacuees are sex offenders
December 31, 2005
Governors in states that accepted Katrina evacuees are being urged to locate about 2,000 registered sex offenders who fled the Gulf region during the hurricane’s mayhem and may have vanished from legally required tracking. “When sex offenders know they’re being watched, when they know they’re being monitored, they are less likely to offend again,” said Wade Horn, assistant secretary for children and families at the Health and Human Services Department.
Possible kidnapping sentence upsets victim
December 31, 2005
A Dodge City man who escaped a trio of kidnappers almost three years ago isn’t happy the only surviving one could get as little as 10 years in prison for her crimes. “I think she needs to spend more time behind bars for that,” said Randy Wormington, after learning that Ford County prosecutors have worked out a plea deal with Carrie Travis …
Overhaul sought for drug unit
December 31, 2005
Required drug testing for all officers and merging the drug units at the police department and Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office topped the list of suggestions from a city-appointed task force. Led by former Kansas Bureau of Investigation Deputy Director Terry Knowles, the task force was asked to review policies and procedures of the police department’s drug unit …
Attorneys: H&R Block customers misled
Kansas City tax preparer denies accusations about class-action rights
December 31, 2005
Tax preparer H&R Block Inc. has tried to encourage thousands of customers to unwittingly sign away their right to participate in a class-action lawsuit over the company’s use of refund anticipation loans, plaintiffs’ attorneys said this week. In documents filed Thursday with the U.S. District Court of Northern Illinois, the lawyers said H&R Block has included language in more recent applications for the refund loans to say customers agree to resolve all disagreements in arbitration, as opposed to court.
Florida teenager leaves Iraq after risky journey
December 31, 2005
A 16-year-old from Florida who traveled to one of the world’s most dangerous places without telling his parents left Baghdad on Friday to begin his journey home, the U.S. Embassy said, drawing to a close an adventure that could have cost him his life. The mother of Farris Hassan, the prep school junior whom U.S. officials took custody of in Baghdad this week, said she was “grateful” he was headed back.
Fuel crisis hits Iraq
December 31, 2005
Two more U.S. soldiers were killed in Iraq as the year wound down Friday, putting the American military death toll at 841 so far - just five short of 2004’s lost lives despite political progress and dogged efforts to quash the insurgency. In Baghdad, hundreds of cars lined up at gas stations as word spread that Iraq’s largest oil refinery shut down two weeks ago because of threats of insurgent attacks.
Donors should not have been turned away, Goodwill says
December 31, 2005
Wait, come back. Some people who’ve tried to donate clothing to the Goodwill store were turned away recently after being told the store was full. “That should never happen,” said Cathy Nolan, spokeswoman for the Helping Hand of Goodwill Industries regional office in Kansas City, Mo.
Early-morning fire destroys feed mill in De Soto
December 31, 2005
A fire destroyed a feed mill early Friday morning at De Soto Feed and Grain. As the building’s remains smoldered behind him late Friday morning, De Soto Feed and Grain manager Dean Heise said the mill would be rebuilt. The feed mill, built in the 1910s on Hadley Street near the Kansas River, housed the business’ custom feed mixing operation, he said.
Dada support
December 31, 2005
Where does the Journal-World get off opining as it did on Dec. 27 how the mayor’s proclamation of International Dadaism Month “seems to cross the line into foolishness … is disrespectful to the city’s entire proclamation process,” and then go on to suggest, “the time could be better spent”? Isn’t Lawrence the “City of the Arts”?
KU prof tapped as one of top historians
December 31, 2005
The History News Network has named Kansas University history professor Jonathan Earle as one of the nation’s eight top young historians. “When I looked at it, the other people they chose, aside from me, are pretty darn impressive,” Earle said. He made the list along with three Yale professors, two from Harvard, one from the University of South Carolina and one from McGill University.
Confusing plan
December 31, 2005
In a recent speech, our president said he wanted to set an agenda that “everyone could understand.” I immediately thought of Medicare Plan D, which is still bombarding us seniors on TV, in our mailboxes, and in local programs by interest organizations.
New York hotel prices reaching record highs
December 31, 2005
Hotel prices set wallet-busting records in New York City in 2005 after a long, slow recovery from the 2001 terrorist attacks. The average daily price of a room in the city hit $292 in November, according to the hospitality industry analysis firm PKF Consulting. Figures for December weren’t yet available, but the city is a lock to break its previous record yearlong average of $237 per night, set in 2000.
Homeless man jailed after traffic incident
December 31, 2005
Robert “Simon” Gilmore, a homeless man who’s often seen sleeping downtown in front of Weaver’s Department Store or the Replay Lounge, was arrested early Friday afternoon at the intersection of New Hampshire and Seventh streets.
School cost study delayed until Jan. 9
December 31, 2005
A school cost study, which is expected to dominate the 2006 legislative session, will not be released until Monday, Jan. 9 - the first day of the session.
Bakery gets more time to file financial reports
December 31, 2005
Interstate Bakeries Corp. said Friday its lenders have agreed to waive requirements that it file long-delayed financial reports by the end of the year until it solves a disagreement over its pension obligations.
New report to help with sewer decision
December 31, 2005
City officials now have new data to help them determine whether the sewer system in the northwest area of the community is overloaded. Debbie Van Saun, assistant city manager, said Friday that the city had received a report from Wade & Associates that measured the amount of flow traveling through various pipes.
Old Home Town
December 31, 2005
From the Lawrence Daily World of Dec. 31, 1905: “The Young Men’s Christian Assn. will dedicate its magnificent new home at Eighth and Vermont streets tomorrow afternoon. An open house will be held for the public to see this outstanding new structure that contains a swimming pool.
Numbers tell an unflattering story
December 31, 2005
‘Tis the season for taking stock, and nothing sums up our collective lives better than numbers. Here are three categories that tell us where we are as a nation and city. Economists might call them key indicators. I call them scary. Murder: The recent execution of Stanley “Tookie” Williams revived the death penalty debate, but little noticed was a chilling fact in one report: Since capital punishment was resumed in the United States in 1977, there have been more than 500,000 homicides in our fair land.
Westar complains about KCC order
Topeka utility says it was shorted on profits, wholesale sales
December 31, 2005
While state regulators sided with Westar Energy Inc. on some key issues in a recent rate-setting order, company officials said Friday that the utility was shorted on profits and wholesale power sales. Top Westar officials said they haven’t decided whether to ask the Kansas Corporation Commission to reconsider parts of its order, which increases the electric utility’s overall rates by $3 million.
Switching careers requires new resume, special approach
December 31, 2005
I have been working at my job for 26 years. I am contemplating retirement and would like to do something more fulfilling. My question is, how do I transition from graphic design to Child Protective Services? I have done volunteer work for several nonprofit agencies. How do I compile my resume?
Palestinian police storm Egyptian border crossing as chaos worsens
December 31, 2005
Palestinian policemen went on a rampage over the killing of a colleague and seized the Gaza-Egypt border crossing for several hours Friday, forcing European monitors to flee in the latest sign of growing mayhem in the coastal strip. Friday’s border takeover fed worries that chaos in Gaza may be spreading to outsiders brought in to help develop the area following Israel’s pullout.
Ambivalence part of exercising judgment
December 31, 2005
This is the week when wise men bearing gifts are replaced by wise guys bearing lists. The news is full of the Best and Worst, the Ins and Outs, the Screw-ups and Fess-ups of 2005, not to mention the Predictions for 2006. We have long followed the tradition by cleaning our slate of old mistakes in preparation for a fresh crop.
British hostages in Gaza freed
December 31, 2005
A British aid worker and her parents were released from captivity and brought to Israel early today, days after Palestinian gunmen seized the family in the southern Gaza Strip, officials said. Kate Burton, 25, a worker with the Al-Mezan human rights group in Gaza, was seized at gunpoint Wednesday with her parents, Hugh and Helen, in the southern town of Rafah.
Leap second to allow 2005 to linger a moment longer
December 31, 2005
If life is often a matter of split seconds - the train door that closes in your face, the chance encounter with the love of your life, the near-collision with an oncoming SUV - then the universe is about to bestow upon us a generous gift: the leap second. On Saturday, at exactly 6 p.m. Central Standard Time, one second will be added to our official record of time …
Pack of Chihuahuas attacks police officer
December 31, 2005
A pack of angry Chihuahuas attacked a police officer who was escorting a teenager home after a traffic stop, authorities said.
Two charged with dumping alligator in lake
December 31, 2005
A former police officer and another man were charged Thursday with dumping an alligator into an urban lake where it has thwarted would-be captors and gained a following.
Department investigating spying leak
December 31, 2005
The Justice Department has opened another investigation into leaks of classified information, this time to determine who divulged the existence of President Bush’s secret domestic spying program. The inquiry focuses on disclosures to The New York Times about warrantless surveillance conducted by the National Security Agency since the 9-11 terrorist attacks, officials said.
Judge grants Reagan assailant visits to parents
December 31, 2005
A federal judge Friday loosened the restrictions on John W. Hinckley Jr., allowing the hospitalized presidential assailant to spend seven overnight visits with his parents in Williamsburg, Va. Hinckley, who shot President Ronald Reagan in 1981, had been permitted to leave St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington for outings around the nation’s capital.
Dow ends year in red
Markets volatile in 2005
December 31, 2005
Investors marked the last trading day of 2005 Friday with the same conundrum they faced all year - trying to find a good reason to buy stocks and coming up short. Stocks fell to their December lows, and the Dow Jones industrials finished the year with a loss. With little news to spur buying, stocks fell as investors consolidated their meager profits on the year.
California prepares for more storms
December 31, 2005
Authorities on Friday urged homeowners with hillside houses to collect valuables and identify escape routes in case mudslides force them to evacuate as Northern California prepared for heavy weekend rain and flooding. Rainfall totals for areas north of the San Francisco Bay area averaged about 4 inches for the 24-hour period ending Friday evening, according to the National Weather Service.
New law to hit aggressive paparazzi in pocketbook
December 31, 2005
They lurk in bushes, camp out in cars and hover in helicopters. Some are brazen enough to openly brandish their cameras, like old Western gunslingers. They may be hated, but their work - candid pictures of celebs in unguarded moments - is coveted. They are the paparazzi, purveyors of pictures that are the lifeblood of the weekly star-tracking mags and tabs.
Blenders key ingredient for frozen drinks
Mixing concoctions on New Year’s Eve easier with latest gadgets
December 31, 2005
“It’s broken,” my wife said. “Broken? What do mean? How do you break a blender?” I was pretty surprised. But neither of us could remember how it might have happened. Too much ice? But there was no sense dwelling on the past. The clock was ticking down to today’s New Year’s Eve. And if frozen concoctions were to be part of the 2006 celebration, I needed to hunt down a new one.
Sheriff’s office marks 150th year
December 31, 2005
Douglas County Sheriff’s officers are heading into the new year by reflecting on their department’s rich history. The sheriff’s office is celebrating its 150th anniversary and officers are wearing new badges and shoulder patches to commemorate the occasion. They also are carrying a special commemorative coin as a reminder of the department’s commitment to public service.
Salvation Army kettles come up $41,051 short
December 31, 2005
It wasn’t the merriest of Christmases for The Salvation Army in Lawrence. The charity’s 2005 Red Kettle fundraising campaign fell $41,051 short of last year’s collection. “I don’t have a good explanation,” said Wes Dalberg, co-administrator at The Salvation Army, 946 N.H.
Party planning abounds
Public, private celebrations to ring in 2006
December 31, 2005
Across Lawrence tonight the ritual will begin. People will raise their glasses to toast the new year: 2006. Confetti will fly around those hugging and kissing as the chorus of “Auld Lang Syne” rings out. Many public and private celebrations are planned across the city tonight, and some have prepared all week to say goodbye to 2005 in style.
FCE News
December 31, 2005
Stull Family and Community Education unit will meet at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at the home of Ruth Ice. The lesson will be “Prepared for Natural Disaster.”
Perils in transit
Beware of road rage when you decide to show displeasure about the actions of other drivers.
December 31, 2005
The rise of “road rage” incidents is a further indication of how our society has deteriorated and how much worse it could become. In Milwaukee, a father of 12 recently was beaten to within an inch of his life when he simply honked the horn while trying to maneuver through a congested area. Details are sketchy, but it is estimated at least 15 young people engulfed his car, beat him senseless, showing shocking mob savagery in retaliation for the perceived insult.
2005 Year In Review
December 31, 2005
Somehow, 2005 in Lawrence seemed hectic.
Horoscopes
December 31, 2005
For Saturday, Dec. 31
People in the news
December 31, 2005
¢ Trump said to be considering run for New York governor ¢ PETA staffer changes name to KentuckyFriedCruelty.com ¢ Randy Jackson won’t spend New Year’s Eve tuned in ¢ more…
Society Calendar
December 31, 2005