The week that was

KU BASKETBALL JERSIES TO FEATURE BODY ARMOR IN '06: Kansas University sophomore basketball player Rodrick Stewart suffered a minor injury in a disturbance early Sunday morning at Abe and Jake's Landing, 8 E. Sixth St.

KU coach Bill Self said Stewart, a 6-4 guard from Seattle, was hit by some sort of "blunt instrument" - Lawrence Police Sgt. Michael Monroe identified it as a bottle - as he was leaving the bar and was taken to Lawrence Memorial Hospital where a doctor applied four staples to the top of his head.

"We are aware that last night at Abe and Jake's more than one fight broke out inside," Self said. "All reports we have received are that a fight broke out on a crowded set of stairs that Rodrick Stewart was using to exit the premises.

SORRY, WE'VE ALREADY DRAWN THE LINE AT TELEPHONE POLES, POWER LINES, RADIO AND CELL PHONE TOWERS, AND BILLBOARDS: Environmentalists are trading barbs in the debate over providing tax breaks to bolster the state's fledgling wind-power industry.

The fact that Kansas boasts only a handful of wind-power sites proves the state isn't doing enough to attract them, said Brent Blackwelder of president of Friends of the Earth and a wind-power advocate.

"Kansas has the potential to be the Saudi Arabia of wind power," Blackwelder said.

But opponents worry about the aesthetic and environmental effects of the large wind turbines. Alan Pollum, state director for the Nature Conservancy, said his group isn't opposed to expansion of wind power, just to some of the proposed locations.

He said efforts to expand wind power in the state's most western counties are hampered by Oklahoma and Nebraska's disinterest in buying and Colorado's grid's inability to carry electricity generated in Kansas.

"So the issue we keep coming back to is, 'OK, how can we get it over to Missouri?' and that brings us back to the Flint Hills," Pollum said. "We think it would be ill-advised to industrialize the Flint Hills," he said.

THIS IS WHY LAS VEGAS DECIDED TO BUILD ITS DEN OF INIQUITY ABOVE SEA LEVEL: With a Category 5 hurricane bearing down on his below-sea-level city, New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin made what pleas he could to his fellow residents to flee and then left it in the hands of a higher power.

"God bless us," a grim Nagin said Sunday as Hurricane Katrina's 160 mph winds swirled on a seemingly irreversible course toward the Big Easy.

Nagin ordered a mandatory evacuation for the city's 485,000 residents and opened the Superdome as a shelter of last resort, bluntly warning those who stayed that they would be at the mercy of Katrina's high winds, 28-foot storm surge and 15 inches of rain that threatened to overwhelm the city's protective levees.

SPLIT UP RAYFIELD: Split Lip Rayfield is forging on as a three-piece after the departure of founding mandolinist Wayne Gottstine. The popular local string band - known for their blazing fast bluegrass licks and occasionally sordid lyrics - has continued to book shows through December and plans to return to the studio early next year. The new-look Split Lip debuts in Lawrence Sept. 7 at Liberty Hall with Robert Earl Keen.

GOSH. WE FEEL KINDA SILLY ABOUT "FREEDOM FRIES" NOW. WAIT - THOSE WERE ALWAYS SILLY: As the going gets tougher for the U.S. military in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the region, one ally has stepped up despite a recent straining of ties: France.

Paris has significantly boosted its military presence in Central Asia and Afghanistan, plus in nearby seas, as both it and Washington nurture their budding rapprochement after a bitter falling out over the Iraq war.

French fighters have been flying sorties under U.S. command in Afghanistan since Aug. 16, and France also took command this month of an international naval task force on terrorism-related patrols in the seas between the Horn of Africa and Pakistan.

WE GOT A LITTLE CONCERNED WHEN WE SAW ANIMALS WALKING TWO-BY-TWO INTO AN ARK: Douglas County farmer Norman Leary's fields are so drenched it's difficult for him to check the progress of his soybean crop.

He must stand at the edge of the fields to gauge how the beans are doing.

"I can't get out to the field to see much. It's too muddy. I think we've had more rain the latter part of this August than I've ever seen," said Leary, who has been farming for 50 years.

As of Friday, Lawrence Municipal Airport had a rain total of 9.6 inches for August. That makes it the wettest August on record since 1895 when Lawrence got 12.3 inches, according to the National Weather Service.


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