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Archive for Tuesday, March 1, 2005

Local briefs

March 1, 2005

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Longtime Free State educator retiring

Free State High School Assistant Principal Steve Grant will retire at the end of the year, but he will continue to work as the school's athletic director, he said Tuesday.

"My 32 years in the classroom have been fantastic," Grant said. "It has been my good fortune to work with many outstanding educators and students over the years."

His wife, Mary Grant, also plans to retire in June after 21 years in Lawrence schools. She teaches second grade at Pinckney School.

Steve Grant graduated from Kansas University with bachelor's and master's degrees and then taught four years in Topeka before coming to the Lawrence district in 1977. He was a sixth-grade teacher at Pinckney School for three years and then taught social studies, history, English and math at West Junior High School for 17 years. From 1997 to the present he split his time between teaching social studies and athletic director. This year he also was assistant principal.

Courts

City ordered to pay developers' legal fees

The city of Lawrence will be required to pay $27,600 in legal fees to a development group seeking to build a Wal-Mart, restaurant and other projects at Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive.

Douglas County District Court Judge Michael Malone ruled the city was liable for legal fees racked up by Lawrence-based 6Wak Land Investments as it fought a decision by the city to deny a building permit for a restaurant on the site. Malone had ruled in July 2003 that the city had not followed its building permit process and was liable for the legal fees, but the two sides disagreed on how much the fees actually were.

Officials with 6Wak claimed their fees totaled $91,408. City officials contended those included services not related to the case and said a more appropriate amount was $24,600. In his written ruling, Malone said he found the city's argument to be more persuasive.

The main issue of the case is still awaiting a ruling by Malone. Malone is set to decide whether city officials improperly denied a permit.

Stolen van leads patrol on I-70 chase

A Topeka man was taken to the Douglas County Jail on Tuesday evening after he allegedly stole a van in Lawrence and led the Kansas Highway Patrol on a chase on Interstate Highway 70.

The 39-year-old suspect took a 2000 Chevrolet van from a Lawrence convenience store and drove east on the Kansas Turnpike to the Eastern Terminal, according to the Kansas Turnpike Authority.

At the terminal, the man told a toll-taker he didn't have the money to pay his toll, turned the van around and headed back west, turnpike authorities said.

A Highway Patrol trooper caught up with the van and attempted to stop it, chasing it past the Lawrence and Lecompton exit gates. Lawrence Police had set up at the Lawrence terminals and were prepared to use spiked "stop sticks" if the van had taken those exits.

Highway Patrol troopers, however, did slow the van down with stop sticks tossed onto the interstate near Lawrence. The van went into the ditch about 8 miles west of Lawrence.

Museum holds court on Jayhawk lore

Children ages 5 to 10 have the opportunity to learn more about the Jayhawk and the nationally recognized Kansas University basketball team.

Staff members at the Watkins Community Museum of History will provide children with information about the Jayhawk and the tradition of KU basketball.

The children also will be able to create their own Jayhawk autograph book at the event, which will be from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. March 9 at the museum, 1047 Mass.

For more information or to pre-register, call 841-4109. The class will cost $8 for members of the Douglas County Historical Society; $10 for nonmembers; and $5 for members of the Boys & Girls Club.

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