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Salina Journal (Newspaper) - May 24, 2003, Salina, Kansas Lucas art on wheels Page A3 the SATURDAY MAY 24, 2003 SAUNA, KANSAS Salina Journal Serving Kansas since 1871 50 cents New Trego sheriff. Page A5 Photos by RYAN SODERLIN / The Salina Journal Junior high school students at Delphos Attendance Center dance lUlay 9 on the school's stage during the last dance at the school, which closed Monday. Delphos residents hope to keep their school open by transferring to the Southern Cloud School District. Delphos Rocked School's closure hits hard in small town By TIM UNRUH The Salina Journal AREA DELPHOS - Workers were removing "heavy stuff" from the school Friday, leaving an embattled building to rest in peace. Students said their goodbyes Monday, the final day of classes. They will return this fall to facilities in Min- ^ %' ^ t'^ neapolis where teachers were moving in Friday "It wasn't good, but there are worse things in life," said Sheila Greer, secretary at the school that housed fifth- through eighth-grade students. She'll be working at Minneapolis Grade School this fall. Like it it or not, this is reality in Delphos, a town of roughly 500 people, many who are worried the closing of the Delphos school is a symptom of rigor mortis for the tiny town. "I think it was just a bummer," said Jim Klein, owner of Klein Oil, a service station in Delphos. Klein made regular trips to the school to fix a tire or change the oil on a vehicle owned by a school employee, and he sold diesel fuel to the school to keep buses running. "We're going to miss out on that," he said. His wife, Diana, is a part-time worker and substitute teacher for , ... ,, . . . . _ , . the district. She's also a part-time Marlene Walker, Mlltonvaie, a paraeducator at Delphos Atten-mail carrier and a mother of four, dance Center, rolis up a "School House Rock" poster Wednesday _ that adorned the halls of the school. Walker was saving the See DELPHOS, Page A6 poster so it could be used at IVIinneapolis High School next year. T KANSAS NATIONAL GUARD Speaker criticizes Guard Mays says Army Guard has kept soldiers on books after discharge; Sebelius denies it By JOHN HANNA The Associated Press SEBELIUS in Maj. Gen. TOPEKA - Gov Kathleen Sebelius said Friday she believes the Kansas Army National Guard is accurately reporting its strength, despite an allegation the guard has kept "ghost soldiers" on its payroll. That accusation came from House Speaker Doug Mays, who said he had internal documents showing the Guard has inflated its strength since at least 1996. He declined to produce records or identify his sources, saying to do so would "put some very good careers in jeopardy" Mays said that during the past seven years, 2,400 soldiers have remained on the payroll six months or longer after their discharges. Mays said he is not sure whether any of them have received pay after their discharges. Mays made his charges during a news conference he called the day after Sebelius said she remained confident Greg Gardner, the state adjutant general, despite two recent personnel controversies. The House speaker said the situation with discharged Guard members "shakes my faith in the adjutant general." "It's an outrage that we've had these ghost soldiers," said Mays, R-Topeka. Sebelius said the same allegations were brought to her, and she discussed them with Gardner She said she reviewed the Guard's numbers and federal reports. "I am disappointed that Speaker Mays chose to go to the press with these allegations before contacting me or General Gardner to get accurate information," she said in a statement. Mays called on Attorney General Phill Kline to investigate and determine whether funds were misappropriated or laws broken. "I don't think the adjutant general has to talk to me," he said. Mays thinks he should take such questions directly to Sebelius, the Guard's commander in chief, he said. Later, Mays talked briefly to Sebelius and stood by his allegations, calling the governor's comments "attacking the messenger." Said Mays, "Clearly, she was not happy with me. Sometimes, the only way to get questions answered about allegations like this is to ask them publicly" See GUARD, Page A2 (tart ^Uene library to sell its Sandzen painting ;Bids will be taken until July 1 on painting donated 50 years ago IBy AMY SULLIVAN [The Salina Journal I ABILENE - A Birger jSandzen signed painting the lAbilene Public Library re-fceived as a gift 50 years ago jnow will go to the highest bidder. < It's a decision the library board took 2V� years to make, Iwhich makes even dissenters pn the board comfortable ADCA with the deci- fllllJl ; Board presi- NEWS dent Judy Leyerzapf was one of |the two who voted against selling, but now she's working iwith the five who favored selling the painting to get it sold. �Bids will be accepted at the library until 2 p.m. July 1. "We didn't make a rash deci- "At this point, we hate to put a value on it It's worth as much as anyone wants to pay for it" Judy Leyerzapf Abilene Public Library board president sion that we would' regret later. Taking the time to think about it makes everybody feel better in the end," Leyerzapf said. Even former mayor John Zu-tavern, who had said he wanted to keep the painting, is on board. The painting, "Kansas Landscape," was donated to the library In 1950 by Elsie Allen in honor of her late husband, Henry Justin. ~~ See PAINTING, Page A8 -J T TRAFFIC FATALITY Family loses mom on Mother's Day Car crash leaves father to raise two daughters on his own By SHARON MONTAGUE The Salina Journal There were two reasons for the Geer family to celebrate that sunny Sunday - Moth-MMMMHHMi er's Day, and I flP'AI ^^^^^ LUufIL niversary of the birth of their older daughter, Jasmine. A party was planned, but first, duty called. Michael Geer, 23, was scheduled to work at TIANA . ' Salina's Super 8 motel, 120 E. Diamond, and his wife, Tiana Geei\ 19, had been called In to work at Best Inn, nearby at 429 W. Diamond. No problem. The celebra- ; V TOM DORSEY / The Salina Journal Michael Geer is left to rals^i his two daughters, Cheyenne, 15 months, and Jasmine, 3,;ailter his wife, liana, was killed in a car crash on Mother's Day. tion could be after work, the couple thought. But it wasn't tp be. Instead of celebrating, Michael found himself racing to Wichita that night to be with Tiana, who was critically injured in a car wreck he witnessed through his . pearview mirror. The next day, Tiana was pronounced dead, and Michael was left with two young daughters and no insurance to cover the medical or burial costs. "I learned that tomorrow never comes," Michael said, "and you have to do what you can when you can." Heading to work It was a little before noon on May 11, Mother's Day, when Michael jumped into his pickup truck with his younger daughter, Cheyenne, 15 months, and headed down West Lockard Road from his rural home. Tiana was just a few minutes behind, close enough that Michael could see the dust kicked up by her Oldsmobile Trofeo and could see the car itself when the hilly terrain allowed. ' He looked back once and she was on the crest of a hill. He looked back again and Tiapa was coming over another hill, losing control, the car was flipping, his heart was pounding. A quick U-turn. He raced back and jumped out of his pickup truck. See MOM, Page as WEATHER High: 67 Low: 52 .Showers aiid rain this jmpfnlng with light south wltli(ls,/B3 I PAGE B1 In one of many mixed messages from the government, Homeland Security officials are saying to relax for Memorial Day, but be on alert. TOMORROW One hundred years ago, the youthful city of .Salina nearly met its match in what came to be known as the Great Flood, the first big one to hit the city. INSIDE Classified/D1 Comics/B2 Deaths/A4 Lottery/A4 Money/C6 Mutuals/C7 Religion/B6 Sports/CI Weather/83 Viewpoints/A7 0682346363638
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