Lawrence Journal World (Newspaper) - September 5, 2015, Lawrence, Kansas J ournal - W orld L A W R E N C E ® $ 1.00 LJWorld. com SATURDAY • SEPTEMBER 5 • 2015 USA TODAY GOP candidates decry “ religious rights” jailing. 1B Partly sunny Today’s forecast, page 10A High: 91 Low: 74 Business 2 A Classified 7 C- 12C Comics 6 A Deaths 2 A Events listings 10A, 2C Horoscope 7 A Opinion 9 A Puzzles 7 A Society 5 A Sports 1 C- 6C Television 10A, 2C USA Today 1B- 8B INSIDE Vol. 157/ No. 248 30 pages Join us at Facebook. com/ LJWorld and Twitter. com/ LJWorld A new report says some Kansas teachers may be earning retirement benefits for work that shouldn’t count toward pensions. Page 3A Teacher concerns Chad Lawhorn clawhorn@ ljworld. com Town Talk Staff Reports Carolyn “ Kay” Cromb Brada and Ray D. Evans are this year’s recipients of the Fred Ellsworth Medallion, bestowed by the Kansas University Alumni Association for extraordinary service to KU. The Alumni Association announced the two winners Friday and will honor them Sept. 11 during the fall meeting of the association’s national board of directors. Brada, of Lawrence, earned her bachelor’s degree from KU in liberal arts in 1961 and has since T he Kansas University football team received a surprise drop- in from one of country music’s biggest stars Thursday evening as the Jayhawks finalized preparations for today’s 11 a. m. season opener against South Dakota State at Memorial Stadium. As Jake Owen, of “ Barefoot Blue Jean Night” fame, was driving his way through Kansas en route to Colorado for today’s gig at the Colorado State Fair, the 34- yearold musician took to Twitter in search of a place to work out and stretch his legs. There’s no telling how many people responded to Owen, who has 1.7 million Twitter followers, but the Kansas Football account was one of them, and that led to a memorable day for Owen and the Jayhawks. After Owen Tweeted: “ Stopped off in Lawerence, KS today on my way to Colorado... I’m flying solo. Looking for a good place to workout. Any suggestions,” the KU account quickly chimed in and offered to share its setup in the Anderson Family Football Complex. Owen quickly accepted the offer and the meeting was on. In addition to getting his workout in — there was no word on how long he got after it or whether KU strength coach Je’Ney Jackson or any of his staff got a crack at him — the country music star watched some of KU’s practice and posed for a few photos with the Jayhawks and first- year head coach David Beaty, a country music fan. The whole thing lasted a couple of hours, but the memories for both parties figure to endure much longer. Thursday night, on the program’s official social media accounts, the photos were posted with the following quote from Owen. “ I’m proud to say that I am now a huge Jayhawk fan.” — Matt Tait Contributed Photo Country music star Jake Owen, left, poses Thursday with Kansas University head football coach David Beaty. Jayhawks hope country music star is new good- luck charm Game preview, 1C M aybe you are driving to see your mother- in- law this holiday weekend. If so, figure out how to drive through Topeka, and I’m not just recommending it so you can fill your nostrils with the beautiful smell of Kansas politics. Instead, fill your tank with cheap gas. Gas in Topeka is selling for an average of $ 2.16 a gallon, according to the Daily Fuel Gauge Report by AAA. In Lawrence, the average price per gallon is about $ 2.45, according to the same report. I don’t know what happens in the approximately 30 miles between Lawrence and Topeka that causes gas to be so much cheaper in the Capital City. Despite popular belief, perhaps the Statehouse isn’t sitting on a pocket of hot air, but rather cheap oil. I don’t know. Or maybe Topeka isn’t run by the governor but rather is secretly controlled by oil tycoon Jed Clampett. Again, I don’t know, but several readers have called to complain about the discrepancy in recent days. The fact that Topeka has cheaper gas than Lawrence isn’t anything new, but the discrepancy has grown a bit. Last year at this time, the average gasoline price was $ 3.37 a gallon in Lawrence, but $ 3.20 in Topeka — a difference of 17 cents or about 5 percent. Today, the difference in price is 32 Save on gas by driving west? Please see GAS, page 2A Richard Gwin/ Journal- World Photos DOUGLAS COUNTY DISTRICT JUDGE PAULA MARTIN on Friday sentenced Sarah Gonzales McLinn, 21, to a minimum of 50 years in prison without parole for the first- degree murder of Harold “ Hal” Sasko. 50 years for McLinn No parole in roommate’s murder Two honored with Ellsworth Medallion Brada Evans Please see MEDALLION, page 10A By Caitlin Doornbos Twitter: @ CaitlinDoornbos Sarah Gonzales McLinn will be nearly 70 years old when she gets her first chance to be released from prison, a judge ruled Friday. A jury in March decided that Mc- Linn, 21, murdered 52- yearold Harold “ Hal” Sasko, of Lawrence, in an “ especially heinous, atrocious or cruel manner.” They convicted her of first- degree murder with “ aggravating factors,” making her eligible for a “ Hard 50” sentence, which she received. Sasko was found nearly decapitated and sprawled on the living room floor of his Lawrence home on Jan. 17, 2014. His wrists and ankles were zip- tied, and his blood was smeared on a wall. In the smear, McLinn had scrawled MCLINN’S ATTORNEY, CARL CORNWELL, talks to McLinn’s family members before the sentencing began Friday. TOM SASKO, Harold Sasko’s brother, stands before the court to say a few words. Sasko Please see MCLINN, page 2A DOUGLAS COUNTY The chairman of Douglas County’s Board of Construction Codes Appeals, J. Stephen Lane, said he is confused about a disconnect between an upcoming review of the county’s building codes department and recent controversy involving a property owned by By Conrad Swanson Twitter: @ Conrad_ Swanson Kobach focus of review or not? —— Codes appeals board chairman, county administrator disagree on scope of issue COUNTY COMMISSION Please see REVIEW, page 2A HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL KICKS OFF | 1C IT’S ON !