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Archive for Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Lead stories

12:00 a.m.
Members of the city's Solid Waste Task Force follow a trash truck on Villo Woods Court, Tuesday, May 17, 2011. The task force took a tour of Lawrence's trash and recycling processes to learn more about solid waste operations. Automation, recycling still on Solid Waste Task Force’s working list while trash options being sorted
December 13, 2011 in print edition on 1A
Bit by bit, a city-appointed task force is getting closer to making recommendations that will change much about trash in Lawrence, from how residents must set it out at the curb to the number of city employees needed to collect it.
6:00 a.m.
Gov. Sam Brownback on Tuesday said he will push to reduce the state's personal income tax rate. Speaking to reporters and editors at the Lawrence Journal-World, Brownback said growing the economy was his primary goal as he prepares for the 2012 legislative session that starts next month. Brownback says he will push for reducing state personal income tax rate
12:20 p.m., December 13, 2011 Updated 4:04 p.m. in print edition on 1A
Brownback warned that the state budget would suffer from a “federal storm” of budget cuts. Whoever the next president is, he said, “is going to cut.”
10:00 a.m.
The Kansas student section goes wild after Tyshawn Taylor converted a bucket after being fouled by Long Beach State during the second half on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas Athletics Inc. has collected nearly $500,000 toward defraying at least $2 million in losses from a scheme in which employees stole football and basketball tickets for redistribution through brokers and others. As of this week, the department thus far had recovered a total of $496,952 lost in the scheme. An internal investigation conducted for Kansas University determined that thefts involved more than 17,000 tickets for regular-season basketball games and at least 2,000 tickets for football games. Kansas Athletics Inc. has recovered almost $500K from tickets scandal
December 13, 2011 in print edition on 3A
Kansas Athletics Inc. has collected nearly $500,000 toward defraying at least $2 million in losses from a scheme in which employees stole football and basketball tickets for redistribution through brokers and others.
2:00 p.m.
Tonganoxie football coach Mark Elston resigned in the wake of an incident with a player in August. District officials never fully established whether the incident indicated a case of bullying or a simple act of outright aggression. Thin line can separate coaching and bullying in schools
December 14, 2011 in print edition on 1A
“The old adage ‘Boys will be boys’? That doesn’t work anymore,” said Mike Hill, the Free State Firebirds’ athletic director. “That’s just absolutely not acceptable anymore.”
6:00 p.m.
The Zarco 66 Environmentally Friendly Fuels station, located on the southeast corner of Ninth and Iowa streets, opened in early 2008. City interested in switching to vehicles that run on natural gas
December 14, 2011 in print edition on 1A
City leaders on Tuesday were told that there is a big difference between gasoline and gas these days. At a luncheon hosted by Black Hills Energy, the city’s natural gas utility, city commissioners were told that compressed natural gas currently is selling for about 40 percent less than a gallon of gasoline or diesel fuel.
7:43 p.m.
Shawnee Police Officer Nick Shurmantine talks about finding twin brothers, possibly minutes from death, trying to commit suicide on their birthday by funneling carbon monoxide into their car. Shurmantine, who came across the car Tuesday night, said he was glad he interrupted the men's suicide attempt but that he wished he knew more about what drove them to make the decision. Shawnee police officer interrupts twins’ apparent birthday suicide pact
December 14, 2011 in print edition on 1A
Shawnee police officer Nick Shurmantine thought he was stopping copper thieves when we shined his flashlight into a car in a Shawnee neighborhood Tuesday night. What he found was a pair of twins who had made an apparent birthday suicide pact. He saved their lives. “It went from being, ‘I’m going to catch some criminals in the act,’ to saving someone,” he said. “It’s an instant switch.”

All stories

County grants OK for museum addition
December 14, 2011 in print edition on A1
The Clinton Lake Historical Society doesn’t need to hire a consultant or compile a master plan or seek out ways to generate grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities or anyone else.
KU names first recipients of honorary degrees
December 14, 2011 in print edition on A3
The first honorary degree recipients to be named by Kansas University are former U.S. Sen. Robert Dole, Ford Motor Co. chief executive officer Alan Mulally, former chairwoman of the FDIC Sheila Bair, and Kirke Mechem, a noted choral composer.
Regents want universities to put together policy on reporting sex abuse
December 14, 2011 in print edition on A6
The Kansas Board of Regents on Wednesday told the leaders of the state’s public universities to put together proposed policies on mandatory reporting of sexual abuse to law authorities.
Kansas leaders approve $45.4M in bonds for National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility
December 14, 2011 in print edition on A6
Kansas officials authorized issuing $45.4 million in bonds on Wednesday for the next phase of construction on the $650 million National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan.
Euro under pressure as EU summit optimism fades
December 14, 2011 in print edition on A7
Investors have soured on the latest attempt to resolve the European debt crisis.
Shawnee police officer interrupts twins’ apparent birthday suicide pact
December 14, 2011 in print edition on A1
Shawnee police officer Nick Shurmantine thought he was stopping copper thieves when we shined his flashlight into a car in a Shawnee neighborhood Tuesday night. What he found was a pair of twins who had made an apparent birthday suicide pact. He saved their lives. “It went from being, ‘I’m going to catch some criminals in the act,’ to saving someone,” he said. “It’s an instant switch.”
Regents want KU to raise admission standards
December 14, 2011 in print edition on A1
State higher education officials on Wednesday called on Kansas University to change its student admission standards so it can improve its national academic rankings and maintain membership in the Association of American Universities.
Lawrence commissioners considering renaming street after former KU football coach Don Fambrough
December 14, 2011 in print edition on A3
Presumably Missouri motorists would still be allowed, but Lawrence city commissioners will soon consider renaming a city street after former Kansas University football coach Don Fambrough.
Kansas to pay $350K to settle lawsuit against former Attorney General Phill Kline
05:33 p.m., December 14, 2011 Updated 11:36 p.m. in print edition on A4
Kansas will pay $350,000 to a woman fired by former Attorney General Phill Kline to settle the sex discrimination lawsuit she later filed against him, Gov. Sam Brownback and top legislative leaders decided Wednesday.
Curbside recyclers in Lawrence working around closure of 12th and Haskell center
December 14, 2011 in print edition on A4
Several curbside recycling companies continued to operate in Lawrence on Wednesday despite a sudden decision by the 12th and Haskell Recycling Center to stop accepting many materials following a dispute with City Hall.
White House says no veto of defense bill
December 14, 2011
The White House on Wednesday abandoned its threat that President Barack Obama would veto a defense bill over provisions on how to handle suspected terrorists as Congress raced to finish the legislation.
KU expert on distracted driving supports National Transportation Safety Board’s recommendation to ban cellphone use
December 14, 2011 in print edition on A3
A Kansas University professor who has studied distracted driving praised the National Transportation Safety Board’s recommendation this week to ban cellphone use while driving.
Feds urge states to ban texting, talking on roads
December 14, 2011
The National Transportation Safety Board declared Tuesday that texting, emailing or chatting while driving is simply too dangerous to be allowed anywhere in the United States.
Journey with Taliban shows militants’ resilience
December 14, 2011
Associated Press reporter, photographer and videographer Ishtiaq Mahsud spent six days with fighters from the Pakistani Taliban close to the Afghan border. His account of their travels through South Waziristan offers a look at an area that the Pakistani military claimed had been brought under control after an army offensive two years ago.
Military rules guide hearing in WikiLeaks case
December 14, 2011
The case of an Army intelligence analyst suspected of passing government secrets to WikiLeaks goes to court this week, but the military proceedings won’t look familiar to most Americans raised on TV courtroom dramas, or to Pfc. Bradley Manning’s many overseas supporters, either.
Thousands of birds make crash landing at Utah Walmart
December 14, 2011
Thousands of migratory birds were killed or injured after apparently mistaking a Walmart parking lot, football fields and other snow-covered areas of southern Utah for bodies of water and plummeting to the ground in what one state wildlife expert called the worst mass bird crash she’d ever seen.
Hard-line Indonesian police shave punkers’ mohawks
December 14, 2011
Police in Indonesia’s most conservative province raided a punk-rock concert and detained 65 fans, buzzing off their spiky mohawks and stripping away body piercings because of the perceived threat to Islamic values.
Japan to declare nuclear plant in stable condition
December 14, 2011
Japan is poised to declare its crippled nuclear plant virtually stable nine months after a devastating tsunami, but the facility still leaks some radiation, remains vulnerable to earthquakes and shows no prospect for cleanup for decades.
Kansas Regents OK 2.5 percent in residence hall rates at KU
December 14, 2011 in print edition on A4
Kansas University students will pay more for room and board under an increase in student housing and food service that was approved Wednesday by the Kansas Board of Regents.
New Emporia State chief outlines keys to enrollment push
December 14, 2011
The newly appointed president of Emporia State University says persistence and shrewd use of social media helped raise enrollment at his former school.
Former KU, pro football player seeks review of decision to suspend driver’s license
December 14, 2011 in print edition on A5
A former Kansas University and NFL football player who faces a Douglas County DUI case alleges a sheriff’s officer did not have probable cause to arrest him.
Man put in hospital following beating after Chiefs-Jets game; police diffuse earlier reports, saying it ‘was not a Jets-Chiefs melee.’
December 14, 2011
State police have upgraded charges against a New Jersey man accused of beating a fan in the parking lot after the Jets defeated the Chiefs at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.
Historic Hays House closed after fire
December 14, 2011 in print edition on A10
The historic Hays House 1857 Restaurant and Tavern in Council Grove will be closed until further notice because of a fire.
Kansas leaders tout initiative to recruit and retain engineering students
December 14, 2011 in print edition on A6
State leaders on Wednesday announced the first funding — $1 million — for a program aimed at increasing the number of engineering graduates in Kansas.
Charlie Weis contract finalized
New KU football coach will make $2.5 million per year through 2016
December 14, 2011
The contract for newly named Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis has been finalized, and, like the one drawn up for former KU coach Turner Gill in 2009, it does not include a buyout for early termination.
Sandusky lawyer inadvertently touts gay sex line
December 14, 2011
A lawyer for a former Penn State assistant football coach accused of molesting boys said Tuesday he didn’t mean to refer to a gay sex phone line when he said anyone who believes university officials thought his client raped a 10-year-old boy and did little about it should call 1-800-REALITY.
New Kansas rules expected to impact catfish trade
December 14, 2011
Kansas anglers say new rules designed to protect the state’s waterways from invasive Asian carp and zebra mussels will have a big impact on how they go after catfish.
What lobbyists want
December 14, 2011
Kansans aren’t so naive as to be shocked — shocked! — that lobbying goes on at the Legislature. The shock is what a growing, recession-proof industry it’s proving to be, and that state law makes Kansans guess the motivation behind the wining and dining and the money behind the media campaigns.
Rewrite the Kansas school funding formula
December 14, 2011
Back when Kansas legislators were handing the last major revision of the state’s school funding formula over to Gov. Joan Finney, George H.W. Bush looked like a shoo-in for a second White House term and Americans were bemused, but not overly concerned, by the splintering of Yugoslavia. Things have changed a lot since 1992. But the state’s funding formula hasn’t, beyond a few tweaks and patches.
Time to release Brown audit
December 14, 2011
The ongoing debate between officials of the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site and the Brown Foundation is not casting either of those entities, or Topeka, in a very positive light.
$5,000 in sports cards, stamps taken from Salina storage unit
December 14, 2011
A break-in at a storage unit has proven costly to a Salina man who kept some valuable collections at the business.
KCK couple slain 4 months apart
December 14, 2011
A 23-year-old woman found shot to death over the weekend in Kansas City, Kan., has been identified as Ebony Turner, a recent graduate of a nursing assistant program.
Crop insurance rates skyrocket after summer floods
December 14, 2011
Midwestern farmers who saw their land swamped by summer flooding may be socked again with steep increases in their crop insurance premiums, the expensive result of the failure to fix broken levees before the winter snow and next spring’s rains.
Town Talk: Commissioner wants to change name of 11th Street to honor Fambrough; homeless shelter plans to move by early summer; apartment plan creates tension, accusations
December 14, 2011
News and notes from around Lawrence and Douglas County.
Brownback unveils new school finance plan, focuses on local property taxes
09:02 a.m., December 14, 2011 Updated 12:57 p.m. in print edition on A1
“Our proposal is a modern formula that will provide districts the flexibility that is necessary to meet today’s challenges, prepare tomorrow’s opportunities, and excel in education,” Brownback said.
Lost homework leads to NY boy’s burglary arrest
December 14, 2011
A 12-year-old upstate New York boy may be wishing that his dog ate his homework.
Former POW Jessica Lynch finishing teaching degree
December 14, 2011
Jessica Lynch was just 19 when the world first saw her — a broken, blond soldier caught on combat video in Iraq, her face wearing something between a grimace and a grin. She’ll spend Thursday finishing her training as a student teacher at the same elementary school she attended in sparsely populated Wirt County. Then, on badly damaged legs and a right foot that still pains her, she’ll walk across a stage Friday evening and get her education degree from West Virginia University at Parkersburg.
Time names ‘The Protester’ as ‘Person of Year’
December 14, 2011
“The Protester” has been named Time’s “Person of the Year” for 2011.
Thin line can separate coaching and bullying in schools
December 14, 2011 in print edition on A1
“The old adage ‘Boys will be boys’? That doesn’t work anymore,” said Mike Hill, the Free State Firebirds’ athletic director. “That’s just absolutely not acceptable anymore.”
City sides with residents who say 12th and Haskell Recycling Center violates zoning laws
December 14, 2011 in print edition on A1
One of the city’s larger recycling centers is in jeopardy of being shut down by City Hall.
Report recommends ways for city to fight ‘peak oil’
December 14, 2011 in print edition on A6
The city of Lawrence now has a plan to deal with the problem of “peak oil.”
City interested in switching to vehicles that run on natural gas
December 14, 2011 in print edition on A1
City leaders on Tuesday were told that there is a big difference between gasoline and gas these days. At a luncheon hosted by Black Hills Energy, the city’s natural gas utility, city commissioners were told that compressed natural gas currently is selling for about 40 percent less than a gallon of gasoline or diesel fuel.
City rejects plans to expand Remington Square apartments
December 14, 2011 in print edition on A6
A controversial proposal to expand an apartment complex near Clinton Parkway and Crossgate Drive was struck down by Lawrence city commissioners Tuesday night.
Kansas Bioscience Authority board to consider investment in medical device company
December 14, 2011 in print edition on A2
A Kansas Bioscience Authority committee recommended on Tuesday that a $600,000 investment in a Lenexa medical device company be considered by the authority’s full board.
First Bell: Consolidation option would displace board president’s department; district officials await word on Gov. Brownback’s school-financing plan
December 14, 2011
Time for another edition of “First Bell,” a look at issues and items involving education in and around Lawrence.
Heard on the Hill: Brownback outlines higher education priorities; Wichita looking to add dental school; lots of people looking to calculate their GPA
December 14, 2011
Your daily dose of news, notes and links from around Kansas University.
25 years ago: Vacationers advised on burglar protection
December 14, 2011
Crime statistics indicated that thieves were often successful in Christmastime robberies.
40 years ago: Classic toys, games outsell modern rivals
December 14, 2011
Some toys just never go away.
Veritas girls stumble, 50-17
December 14, 2011 in print edition on B4
Both the girls and boys Veritas Christian School basketball teams showed their youth against Wichita Homeschool on Tuesday night.
Area high school basketball roundup: Tonganoxie boys notch first win, 49-37 against Kansas City Ward
December 14, 2011 in print edition on B4
Tonganoxie junior John Lean scored 10 points, sophomore Eric McPherson added nine and Tonganoxie (1-1) defeated Bishop Ward, 49-37.
Romeo Crennel interested in second shot at NFL head coaching job
December 14, 2011 in print edition on B4
Romeo Crennel wants another chance to be a head coach in the NFL. He may have the opportunity with the Kansas City Chiefs if he can hold together a franchise in disarray over the next three weeks.
Scott Pioli: ‘I need to do a better job’
December 14, 2011 in print edition on B4
Scott Pioli spoke quietly and carefully, not at all like his reputation might suggest.
David Stern now public enemy No. 1 in L.A.
December 14, 2011 in print edition on B2
Five days into this new NBA, there is already a new rivalry. The city of Los Angeles versus David Stern.
MLB deal includes extra replay
December 14, 2011 in print edition on B2
Baseball’s new labor contract includes more video replay, the chance for a longer All-Star break and a small, but likely welcome perk for players: the chance to get a private room instead of a roommate during spring training.
‘Tis the season: A guide to the 35 bowl games
December 14, 2011 in print edition on B5
Like it or not, the BCS championship game will be a rematch between LSU and Alabama.
Jared Sullinger still on sidelines for OSU
December 14, 2011 in print edition on B6
Ohio State coach Thad Matta still isn’t sure when injured star forward Jared Sullinger will play next.
J’Covan Brown leads Longhorns in rout of Nicholls St.
December 14, 2011 in print edition on B6
J’Covan Brown scored 23 points to lead Texas to a 93-40 victory against Nicholls State on Tuesday night.
Ex-LHS star Jared Vinoverski steps up at Pitt State
December 14, 2011 in print edition on B3
The ability to adapt is a critical aspect of every successful football player’s repertoire. For Jared Vinoverski, that quality has come in quite handy.
Free State boys fall to BVN, 75-49
December 14, 2011 in print edition on B1
With one of the top teams in the state coming to Free State High on Tuesday night, it would have taken four quarters of excellence for the Firebirds’ boys basketball team to knock off Blue Valley North.
Bill Self: Tyshawn Taylor criticisms unfair
December 14, 2011 in print edition on B1
Kansas coach Bill Self believes guard Tyshawn Taylor is taking more criticism this season than is warranted.
Legacy coach: First-year HINU coach Shane Flanagan is following in the footsteps of family, heritage
December 14, 2011 in print edition on B1
Once battling colon cancer became a full-time job for Phil Homeratha, he stepped down from his work as athletic director and women’s basketball coach at Haskell Indian Nations University in February.
Charlie Weis adds coaches to staff
December 14, 2011 in print edition on B1
When asked at his introductory news conference last week what he would do if his son wanted to coach defense, Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis painted a clear and comedic picture.
Horoscope for Dec. 14
December 14, 2011
For Wednesday, Dec. 14: Some years are easier than others. This year, you seem to flow more easily. You could have upsets, but the way you handle situations changes radically. If you are single, someone quite dashing, exciting and different whirls into your life. What you do with this person is your choice. If you are attached, you enter a very dynamic year together. Opt for a special, long-talked-about vacation. Leo brings out your enthusiasm.
Upcoming issues
A visit with the Kansas governor produced a few items of interest to Lawrence and the rest of the state.
December 14, 2011 in print edition on A8
While discussing a number of issues facing the state Tuesday, Gov. Sam Brownback provided several tidbits of information that will be of interest to local residents.
U.S., Israel must coordinate on Iran
December 14, 2011 in print edition on A8
Early this month, the top U.S. military officer was asked whether he thought Israel would alert the United States ahead of time if it attacked Iran’s nuclear program.
America once was a nation of ‘makers’
December 14, 2011 in print edition on A8
As regular readers of this column know, I have a passion for old books and American history. The other day I was in Topeka and had the opportunity to visit the used book shop owned by my friend Lloyd Zimmer. While looking through his shelves I came across I book that I knew I had to own: “Cincinnati in 1851” by Charles Cist. This small volume contains a study of the population, industry and architecture of the city of Cincinnati 160 years ago.
100 years ago: Lawrence Creamery branching out into mush production
December 14, 2011
“Who does not like fried mush? And what dish is cheaper or better?”
Wichita Homeschool boys 45, Veritas 36
December 14, 2011 in print edition on B4
The Veritas Christian School boys basketball team essentially played just three quarters of Tuesday’s 45-36 loss against Wichita Homeschool.