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Fred Phelps a legal winner?
¢ Anti-gay preacher Fred Phelps and his congregation, Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, is the focus of a story in [USA Today] about laws aimed at stopping funeral protests. Steve McAllister, a KU law professor, is quoted about the legal ramifications of the issue.Steve McAllister, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Kansas, says the Supreme Court "has never really approved a buffer of any significance" for protesters. If the laws are thrown out, Phelps could be awarded attorneys' fees, he says. McAllister says Phelps' followers might actually win twin victories: "The government may end up paying these people ... and government attention to this issue has given the Phelpses more attention than they ever dreamed of."¢ Lawrence residents have been making the connection between the film "The Day After," which was filmed here and was about the aftermath of a nuclear attack, and "Jericho," the new CBS series about a similar attack. CBS used North Lawrence as a promotional site for the series. Now, a [Seattle Post-Intelligencer] columnist is making that same connection.When a mushroom cloud appears on the horizon outside of a small Kansas town, the people fear they may be isolated and struggle not to give into fear and chaos. But even as the situation brings out the best in the Green family, headed by Mayor Johnston Green (Gerald McRaney) and his recently returned son, Jake (Skeet Ulrich), others show their darker sides, and one relative stranger (Lennie James) seems to know more about what's going on than anyone else.¢ Filming of KU professor Kevin Willmott's latest movie, "Bunker Hill," made the news in Parsons. The [Parsons Sun] gives this account of filming in southeastern Kansas.Five masked riders on horseback, each carrying assault weapons, thunder out of a pasture and across K-102 toward a young Pakistani man sweeping the sidewalk in front of a convenience store. The men say they are taking over the store, but are confronted by an elderly man with a rifle. A struggle ensues, and one of the would-be hijackers ends up with a rifle shot to the gut. As the men ride off with their wounded comrade in tow, the leader turns and looks at the man who fired the shot. "You're going to die for that, old man," he says. "And cut," yells the director.¢ A columnist in the [Vail (Colo.) Trail] gives a humorous account of "frat boys wearing khaki from the nearby University of Kansas campus" at a Dave Matthews Band concert she attended.Dave Matthews Band fans don't dance. The jitter like bunny rabbits, or sway their heads like Axel Rose. Between songs they like to gush over the 15-minute version of "Dancing Nancies," as if it's a whole new song now that the band decided to incorporate a French horn and a marimba duet.¢ A Lawrence law firm is helping a Vietnam veteran in Wichita Falls, Texas, get his disability benefits, the [Wichita Falls Times Record News] reports.In a final push to see the claim accepted, the Kings decided to go through the appeals process and his case is now before the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals for Veterans. Required to choose one of 200 attorneys qualified to take cases before the court, he picked ABS Legal Services in Lawrence, Kan. His contact has been a legal assistant named Leann Haase. When contacted for comment on this story, ABS said the case had been shifted to another legal assistant who couldn't speak to reporters without King's consent and at 4:45 p.m., had left the office for the day. : http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-09-13-funeral-protests_x.htm : http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/tv/284959_tv14.html : http://www.parsonssun.com/news/articles/film091306.shtml : http://www.vailtrail.com/article/20060913/OPINION/60913003 : http://www.timesrecordnews.com/trn/local_news/article/0,1891,TRN_5784_4991279,00.html