Garden City Telegram, February 5, 2002

Garden City Telegram

February 05, 2002

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Issue date: Tuesday, February 5, 2002

Pages available: 32

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Location: Garden City, Kansas

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Garden City Telegram (Newspaper) - February 5, 2002, Garden City, Kansas Tuesday 50 Cents February 5, 2002 Volume 73. Number 30 Inside 16 Pages 2 Sections Projects County accepts consultant’s offer Budget A3 Bush’s plan receiving some criticism  A5 Majority agrees on freshman center Some think second high school inevitable in Garden City's future By JENNIFER CHICK Stair Writer The majority of those speaking at the Garden City School Board meeting Monday night were in favor of a ninth-grade center, still the issue remains a divisive one. About 15 people attended Monday’s meeting to give input on three options the board is considering to free up space in Garden City High School. All three options focus on a ninth-grade center, either converting Abe Hubert Middle Schol or Bernadine Sitts Intermediate Center or building a new, stand-alone freshman center. Of the eight peo pie who spoke on the issue, five expressed support for building a ninth-grade center. Bill Clifford still believes a second high school is inevitable in Garden City's future, and he said he applauds the board for considering a new ninth-grade center that would be a step in the right direction. He questioned whether anything would pass a bond election at this time, but encouraged the board to proceed with confidence in whatever decision it made. He urged the board to refrain from making the same mistake the hospital has made by choosing a location that would not lead to further development. In a variation on past public fo rums, the board invited public com ment before it chose a direction to proceed. Irv Stephens agreed with Fry, en couraging the board to make sure it builds a ninth grade center where there might the possibility for future expansion. "Garden City is going to build a second high school,” Stephens said. "Ifs just a matter of where and when.” Former board member Kevin Sterling said he doesn t think the board should hide the fact a new freshman center someday could be used as a second high school. “I don’t want you to be afraid as a board to say that this could eventually be used as a second high school,” Sterling said. Some weren’t so high on the idea of a ninth grade center, though. "I have never voted against any bond issue (with the schools), but I See USD 457, Page A5 Graham K. Johnson/Tatogram Members of the USD 457 Board of Education listen as James Tramill, an associate research professor at the University of Kansas School of Education, discusses the success of the Project Effort afterschool program during Monday night s meeting. The board also heard public comment on overcrowding issues at Garden City High School. KU keeps streak alive against KSU  Bl Market At ll a.m., the Dow -Jones average was 9,702.24. up 15.15 from this morning’s opening. Outside Local forecast SUNNY f HIGH 42 See Page AI far Complete Details " LOUW I 18 I | Kansas Tonight, mostly cloudy east with snow likely southeast, Mostly clear west. Lows from 15 to 20 west to the lipper 20s southeast. Wednesday, mostly cloudy southeast, mostly sunny west and north. Highs in the 40s except for some lower 50s northwest. Wednesday night, mostly clear. Lows in the mid-teens to mid-20s. Internet Local news, sports and editorials are available at The Telegram's Internet site. IBSZfli Ann Landers..............B7 Classified ............B4-B6 Comics..................B8 Horoscopes ..............B8 Hospitals................A2 Kansas..................A3 Markets..................A3 Nation...................A5 Obituaries................A2 Opinion..................A4 Sports...............B1-B4 Tax preparation........A6-A7 TV Listings...............B7 Washington ..............A5 Weather .................A2 72472 00050 Making 4m* WHEAT CROP the grade Leaders get taste of what students face on assessment tests By .JENNIFER CHICK _Staff    Writer_ Local community leaders were in the hot seat Monday when they were challenged to answer sample questions from the Kansas state assessment tests. As part of Take the Test day across the state, Garden City USD 457 invited community leaders to eat lunch at Kenneth Henderson Middle School and take sample portions of state assessment tests that students are required to take. The questions pertained to fifth grade reading, seventh grade science, lOth-grade mathematics and llth-grade social studies. School administration took the opportunity to briefly cover the history of state assessments and the needs for the assessments. State assessments began in 1991 with a pilot test for mathematics. In 2000, new state assessments were implemented that were realigned to the national standards. “For those people that say that kids aren’t learning like they used to, I think you'll find that we expect a lot more of them than when I was in school,” Superintendent Milt Pip-penger said to a group of about 15 that included county commissioners, media and local business own Prolonged drought I hurt winter wheat crop Crops in poor condition despite recent moisture WICHITA (AP) Recent snowfalls have brought needed moisture to winter wheat fields in Kansas, but the prolonged drought so stressed the crop that as much as 32 percent of it remains in poor to very poor condition, Kansas Agricultural Statistics Service said Monday The agency said in its crop weather report that another 41 percent of the wheat was in fair shape, with 27 percent in good to excellent condition. “That looks pretty depressing,” Bob Bowden, plant pathologist at Kansas State University, said of the crop update. Moderate temperatures and dry conditions continued during most of January Snow, sleet or freezing rain was received last week in most areas, with snowfall amounts of 6 inches or more in the northern tier of the state. While that helped, wheat remains drought stressed with poorly developed root systems. “A lot of wheat came up OK, but then the soil got very dry and it didn’t get a chance to establish a root system before winter,” Bowden said. “It is under a lot of stress right now.” Damage from wind is reported to be light on 22 percent of the acreage and moderate to severe on 9 percent, KASS said. Freeze damage has been light so far, with this latest report showing 7 percent of the acreage has moderate freeze damage and 25 percent light damage. But what worries plant pathologists like Bowden is the very long, warm fall without rain, made conditions ripe for the spread of barley yellow dwarf virus. The virus, which also affects wheat, has already been found in some of their tests, Bowden said. The virus can take as much as a third of the crop’s yield potential. “Even if we do get the rains, I am not sure that is going to allow us to fully recover from the kind of weather we have had in this cropping year,” Bowden said. Another thing that troubles Bowden — and he is the first to admit that as a plant pathologist he is a little pessimistic — is the incidences of leaf rust and stripped rust this winter in Texas. Spores can blow in the wind to Kansas, which saw its first ever stripped rust epidemic last year. That disease was blamed for reducing yields statewide by 7 percent last year. ers. USD 457 curriculum coordinator Ann Goodman said the purpose of inviting community leaders to participate was to ask for the community’s support and to develop awareness of the importance of the state assessments. As students begin testing at the end of February Goodman asked the community to provide moral support to the students. Test results are used for school accreditation and to assess students’ and schools’ strengths and weaknesses. The tests also provide a means of accountability for students and teachers. Graham K. Johnson/Telegram Finney County commissioner Alan Fankhauser looks over the questions on a sample Kansas assessment test Monday afternoon at Kenneth Henderson Middle School. Officials from USD 457 invited members of the community to take the test in order to see what kind of standards students are being held to. The activity was part of a state wide event deemed Take the Test Day designed to raise awareness about new the assessment standards that have been adopted. The district has worked diligently to align its curriculum with the state assessments. “We make sure it is taught to stu dents before they are tested on the state assessments,” Goodman said. The state assessments are becoming more skill-based rather than fact-based. Instead of simply regurgitating facts and figures, the See Standards, Page AS Livestock producers cutting back Drought, low prices forcing ranches to reduce herds across the state AGRICULTURE NEWS WICHITA (AP) — Faced with prolonged drought and low prices, Kansas livestock producers have reduced the numbers of cattle and sheep they are keeping down on the farm. In its annual livestock inventory, Kansas Agricultural Statistics Service reported the 6.6 million head of all cattle and calves on Kansas farms and ranches Jan. I was down I percent from a year ago. The beef cow inventory was estimated at 1.48 million, down 3 percent from last year. Milk cows, at 95,000 head, were down I percent from the same time a year ago. Don Hineman, a cow-calf operator in Dighton and past president of the Kansas Livestock Association, attributed much of the downturn to the cyclical ebb and flow of the cattle market. When prices are low, producers liquidate cattle and send more to slaughter than usual, he said Monday But the drought in the western United States has been another factor in the falling cattle numbers. “If we don’t get rain this spring, there will be a lot of cows for sale as farmers liquidate part of their herd,” he said. One of the numbers Hineman especially looks at in the annual cattle report is the beef replacement heifers, which gives him a good indication whether producers are rebuilding their herds. In Kansas, beef replacement heifers, at 230,000 head, were down 2 percent from the previous year. And milk replacement heifers, at 40,000 head, was down 43 percent from last year, KASS reported. “People expected by now we would be rebuilding herds, but we haven’t yet — and again it is due to low market prices and drought conditions in the western half of the country” he said. Nationwide, the number of all cattle and calves totaled 96.7 million head, down I percent from last year. Both beef and milk cows were down I percent from their numbers a year earlier. Kansas had 35,000 cattle farms — including 29,000 beef cow farms and 1,200 milk cow farms — operating in Kansas last year. “I would like to expand my numbers, but I am going to have to find more grass to rent to be able to do that,” Hineman said. “I think it is a good time to expand numbers. I think we are going to have prof itable times ahead of us in the next few years.” ;