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mfagan (Mark Fagan)

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USDA to close Food Safety Inspection Service office in Lawrence

Eight people work in the Lawrence office, a USDA spokesman says, and all eight will be offered the opportunity to transfer within USDA.
- Mark Fagan,
Schools reporter

January 12, 2012 at 12:23 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

2nd Lecompton City Council member files for re-election

Your eyes are sharp, Number_1_Grandma.
Yesterday, the Douglas County clerk's office reported that the fee was $1. That was incorrect.
The fee is $5.
BTW: Jennifer Smith confirms that she did, in fact, pay the $5 fee.
- Mark Fagan,
Schools reporter

January 10, 2012 at 5:27 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

First Bell: Free State to auction old-time jerseys; Consolidation Working Group receives direction

Hello, TNPlates.
I used "several representatives" to indicate that they weren't talking to the entire working group. Not all of them showed up for Monday night's meeting, although their chosen representatives -- one from each school community represented on the working group -- were there, as were a few others.
The only part that was, essentially, an informal discussion was the part when Randy Masten was talking to about 10 working group folks out front, after the meeting. But the stuff he was saying really just expanded upon what he'd said during the actual meeting. It was all very consistent.
I thought I was being clear, above, when I used the phrase: "... board member Keith Diaz Moore said, addressing several representatives DURING Monday night’s meeting at district headquarters, 110 McDonald Drive." (that's not me screaming; I'm just trying to point you to the word I used to denote the time of the quote).
I tried to make all that clear, but I understand how that doesn't always get through. I'll keep that in mind for future stories...
Thanks for following along...
- Mark Fagan,
Schools reporter

January 10, 2012 at 3:39 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

USDA to close Food Safety Inspection Service office in Lawrence

Yes, those are excellent questions. Unfortunately, I couldn't ask them of folks in the office, or at USDA in Washington, because the information came out after business hours.
I also don't know yet whether there will be layoffs, or whether folks who work there will be offered transfers to other USDA offices or, potentially, other federal posts. Such information wasn't included in the information released Monday.
The stuff I saw noted that the overall plan, when fully implemented, would save $150 million annually -- "and eventually more based on future realignment of the workforce." We'll have to see what that means.
I'm also not sure where the services for Kansas and Missouri will be transferred. Some district offices slated to remain open include those in Des Moines, Iowa; Springdale, Ark.; Dallas; Denver; and Chicago.
Sorry I don't have all the answers. I wish I knew more. I also hope all the affected employees, and the people and businesses they serve, make it through all this OK.
I'll see what I can find out Tuesday.
- Mark Fagan,
Schools reporter

January 10, 2012 at 1:08 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Law enforcement officers receive gift of smiles from young shoppers

Most of the officers were doing this while off-duty. Some officers are community resource officers, etc., so this was part of their work.
- Mark Fagan,
Schools reporter

December 16, 2011 at 2:32 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Law enforcement officers receive gift of smiles from young shoppers

Not an assumption. I followed around a kid today whose parent is in prison.
- Mark Fagan,
Schools reporter

December 16, 2011 at 1:47 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

First Bell: Consolidation option would displace board president’s department; district officials await word on Gov. Brownback’s school-financing plan

Whoops. I'll need to change that. The "no surprise there" reference was intended to point out that the New York plan only had been out since earlier in the day, and that many folks had not yet seen it -- especially people who work all day, then show up to attend a board meeting at night.
I'll be taking that line out of there -- although I'm glad it offered a bit of a chuckle for you and perhaps others...
- Mark Fagan,
Schools reporter

December 14, 2011 at 9:30 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

School board backs standards-based grades

Hey there, beaujackson.
I would imagine someone could run, win, and then resign after two years, if time were a concern.
I sometimes hear about the financial side of it -- not from current board members, or even past ones, but from other folks. People wonder if other folks might run, if pay were involved.
Lawrence city commissioners are paid: $10,000 per year if you're Lawrence mayor, and $9,000 per year if you're a commissioner. Two commissioners have four-year terms, and the third has a two-year term.
Douglas County commissioners are paid more than $30,000 a year, as aI recall. They serve four-year terms.
Members of the school board? They are not paid, and serve four-year terms.
Any thought?
- Mark Fagan,
Schools reporter

December 13, 2011 at 11:51 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

First Bell: School board honors students; bomb threat means longer days ahead at Free State High School

I don't know why the district schedules so "tight," either. FYI: The district has one day built into the schedule for a snow day. During last night's board meeting, Rick Doll, district superintendent, noted that some other districts in the state set aside more, as in five or six.
Last year, as I recall, the Lawrence district had built two days into its schedule for inclement weather.
- Mark Fagan,
Schools reporter

December 13, 2011 at 10:26 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

First Bell: School board honors students; bomb threat means longer days ahead at Free State High School

Rick Doll, district superintendent, acknowledges this, and readily admits that this move -- adding a few minutes at the beginning or end of each day -- won't make much of a difference, if any, in terms of instruction. Administrators had considered bringing back all Free State students for an extra day of school, Doll said, but opted against it.
- Mark Fagan,
Schools reporter

December 13, 2011 at 10:18 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

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