Tuesday, March 1, 2005
WE ARE NO. 1. ALL OTHERS ARE NO. 2 OR LOWER: KU ended its 3-game losing streak Sunday with a 81-79 victory at home over Oklahoma State, made possible by Simien's career-high 32 points. The win gave KU a one-game lead over OSU in the Big 12 race with two games to play.
WICHITA-AREA PURCHASES OF GUNS, ALARMS, PIT BULLS, AND WHISKEY ALREADY LEVELLING OUT TO PRE-'74 LEVELS: Dennis L. Rader, who was arrested on suspicion of being the BTK serial killer last week, has confessed to at least six slayings and might be responsible for as many as 13 - including one that could carry the death penalty. Self-named "Bind, torture, and kill," Rader terrorized the Wichita area between 1974-1991. "I never would have guessed in a million years," said a tearful Carole Nelson, a member of Christ Lutheran Church, where Rader was an usher and the president of the church council.
PEOPLE PROFITING FROM A SERIAL MURDERER IS JUST WRONG. THAT'S THE MEDIA'S JOB: When her dog Shooter's rabies shot expired, Melanie Dovak received a reminder letter from Park City compliance officer Dennis Rader. On Saturday, Dovak posted the letter on eBay for a starting price of $9.95. Other eBay members also were selling Rader letters, business cards and copies of Sunday's Wichita Eagle. The online auction pulled Dovak's listing -- and those of some others selling Dennis Rader-related items -- Saturday night, citing eBay rules for listings it deems inappropriate.
LOOKING AT THE LINE-UP, MAYBE SHOULD HAVE PICKED A FEW MORE LAWRENCE BANDS: The annual music festival in Austin, Texas, announced the schedule for its Mar. 16-20 shows last week. The bill includes Lawrence bands Kelley Hunt, Koufax and Ghosty as well as Kansas City's The Golden Republic, A. Graham and the Moment Band. Doris Henson and Rex Hobart & the Misery Boys. The full line-up is posted on sxsw.com.
TIMES WRITER FORGETS TO LIST SPRINGTIME ON CAMPUS, or 'BABE WATCH,' AS TOWN'S TOP TOURIST ATTRACTION: Lawrence - a city with a "lovely campus, many funky shops and a top-notch regional music scene" - was featured as a destination of choice in Friday's New York Times "Escapes" section. Times writer Seth Sherwood told readers how to spend 36 hours in the city, recommending a stroll down Massachusetts Street, breakfast at Milton's Coffee, barbecue at Gran-Daddy's - "next to a strip club and indifferent to decor" - and stops at the Lied Center, the Spencer Museum of Art and Allen Fieldhouse. Sherwood also recommended Lawrence as "perhaps the most vital music scene between Chicago and Denver," directing readers to the Replay Lounge, Jackpot Saloon, the Bottleneck and Granada Theater.
PROPHECY: THE STATE LEGISLATURE COMES UP WITH A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT EMANCIPATE LAWRENCE FROM STATE: A Lawrence ordinance that bans most discrimination against homosexuals won't be changed even if a statewide constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages is approved, eight of nine City Commission candidates vowed last week. At a forum hosted by NetworQ, a group representing the Douglas County gay and lesbian community, most candidates said they were strongly opposed to a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage. Voters will decide the issue during the April 5 general election.
BECAUSE THE KANSAS LEGISLATURE IS NOT A PLACE FOR SOLVING PROBLEMS: Mothers can breast-feed in public, under a bill advanced last week by the Kansas House. But they have to breast-feed "discreetly." That change made to House Bill 2284 on the House floor angered Lawrence breast-feeding advocates, who were instrumental in getting the issue before the Legislature. "It's very vague," said Tammy Gulotta, who breast-fed her two children and now promotes the practice to other mothers. "It could open problems where people say, 'She wasn't discreet enough, so we asked her to leave.' It goes against the point of the bill."
IF FLAGELLATION WASN'T A LITTLE TORTUROUS, HOW ARE PEOPLE TO KNOW THAT YOU'VE TRULY REPENTED? A Virginia man accused of plotting with al-Qaida to kill President Bush should be held indefinitely, federal prosecutors said last week in court filings that also rejected his contention that he was tortured while held in Saudi Arabia. At a court hearing a day earlier in Alexandria, Va., 23-year-old Ahmed Abu Ali offered to display scars on his back as proof that he was tortured by Saudi authorities. In their filing prosecutors said, "There is no credible evidence to support those claims.
RUMOR SUGGESTS PROSECUTION TO CALL GOD AS ITS FIRST WITNESS: Sometime this spring, three members of the Kansas Board of Education plan to hear testimony from proponents of evolution and intelligent design, in a trial-like hearing with a court reporter and cross-examination of witnesses. The result could change how science is taught in Kansas schools. "Nothing's on trial, except maybe evolution," said Kathy Martin, one of the three board members - all conservative - who will hear the evidence.
IT'S ACTUALLY A LITTLE MORE BIGOTED THAN YOU THINK: Some political-minded Lawrence residents are having a field day with the state's new advertising slogan, "Kansas: As big as you think." Concerned about the state's push toward a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, a Lawrence attorney this month printed and began distributing thousands of brown and yellow bumper stickers with the phrase "Kansas: As bigoted as you think." "I guess I just wanted both to have a voice in this and to provoke people to think, because I don't want to see discrimination written into the constitution of my home state," attorney Jennifer Newlin said.
THE "JUST SAY NO" COMMERCIALS HAVE BEEN REPLACED BY CHEECH AND CHONG: While today's parents were more likely to have used drugs than in previous generations, they see less risk in drug experimentation and are less likely to speak with their children about it, according to a survey released last week. The study of parental attitudes toward teen drug use, conducted by The Partnership for a Drug-Free America, found that barely half of the parents would be upset if their children experimented with marijuana.
ACTUALLY, IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH HIP-HOP AND EVERYTHING TO DO WITH KRISPY KREME BEING THE CHRONIC: Twice in the past three weeks, a mob of people has stormed into Zarco, 1500 E. 23rd St., after the bar's closing and stolen hundreds of dollars worth of beer, candy and snacks, police said. The most recent incident happened shortly before 2:30 a.m. Sunday. In both cases, police said, the crime coincided with the closing of Last Call, which usually closes later than other bars and can attract up to 500 people for its Saturday hip-hop night.
IT'S NOT LIKE WE HAVE TORNADOS IN KANSAS OR ANYTHING: Lawrence city commissioners tonight will consider an ordinance that would require storm shelters be built in all new homes. Opponents say it would make housing more expensive, and the Lawrence City Commission isn't expected to give approval. Jane Graves, who is pushing the proposal, is upset. "If a lot of people had been killed in the 2003 tornado, everybody would have been about this proposal," Graves said. "They would have said the money is no big deal. Unfortunately, for some people it takes a little bit more to happen before they get behind an idea when money is involved."
EVERYONE KNOWS ABOUT THE BIRD ... OF DEATH! The Earth may be on the brink of a worldwide epidemic from a bird flu virus that may mutate to become as deadly and infectious as viruses that killed millions during three influenza pandemics of the 20th century, a federal health official said Monday. Dr. Julie L. Gerberding, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said scientists expected a flu virus that has swept through chickens and other poultry in Asia would genetically change into a flu that could be transmitted from person to person.