The week that was

THESE RECRUITS WILL STILL RAKE IN MILLIONS, JUST NOT INTO THEIR OWN POCKETS: The deadline for high school players and college underclassmen to declare for the 2005 NBA Draft was Saturday and incoming McDonald's All-Americans Mario Chalmers, Micah Downs and Julian Wright all remain committed to playing for the Jayhawks, not NBA teams during the 2005-06 season. Though that was consistent with what the players had told the media thus far, coach Bill Self said he was surprised by the number of players declaring for the draft - 76 high schoolers and/or underclassmen and foreign players had declared by Saturday. There are just 60 picks overall in the two-round draft, with dozens of seniors hoping to be taken. KU senior Wayne Simien, who has been mentioned as a possible lottery pick, currently is being mentioned as a player who will fall between Nos. 20 and 24 of round one. Keith Langford and Aaron Miles are considered possible second-round picks. The draft is June 28 in New York.

IF YOU DON'T THINK YOU CAN AFFORD RENTERS INSURANCE, YOUR CRAP PROBABLY ISN'T WORTH PROTECTING IN THE FIRST PLACE: Surveys show that between 55 percent and 70 percent of all renters lack insurance for their personal belongings. With tornado season in progress and burglary cases increasing with warm weather, the time is nigh to get insured. A typical policy to cover $20,000 in belongings runs about $135 a year at most agencies, putting the cost at less than $10 a month. Insurance experts suggest adding up the value of your belongings and photographing all items and storing copies of the photos in a safe, off-site location. Most policies protect furniture, appliances, clothing, and most other personal belongings, on or off your premises, including items stolen from a hotel room or a car, which automotive insurance typically does not cover. They're usually good for the replacement value of the items, not the depreciated value of the old items.

HEALTH-CONSCIOUS GUESTS NEED NOT WORRY - CALORIES CONSERVED DUE TO VALET PARKING WILL BE BURNED ON FRONT-DESK TREADMILL DURING SIGN-IN: The Eldridge Hotel reopens last week, fresh off a four-month makeover that cost more than $2 million. The hotel at 701 Mass. is making its grand re-opening as an upscale, 48-room boutique operation with refined decor, updated features and a restaurant and a bar. The hotel also will have valet parking, now that the ownership group has secured at least 60 private, off-street parking spaces.

IT WAS SO EMPTY DOWNTOWN FRIDAY, IT LOOKED LIKE TOPEKA: Whitney Sizemore is not a cycling aficionado, but the 2005 Collegiate Road National Championships in downtown Lawrence on Friday hooked her. "What's not to like about it?" Sizemore, a Lawrence resident, asked. "I love seeing the determined looks on their faces as they come by." The look on the face of Greg Guenther - owner of The Palace Cards and Gifts, 8 W. Eighth St., was not one of determination. More like resignation. "We're going to lose a lot of business today, if not all of our normal business," Guenther said shortly after the races began Friday morning. It was that type of day in downtown Lawrence. Some people loved the event, which required closing major portions of Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth and 10th streets from 8 a.m. to about 3:30 p.m. For other folks, love wasn't exactly the emotion running through them.

THE PARK HAS GONE TO THE DOGS, NUMBER OF BURIED BONES EXPECTED TO DROP DRASTICALLY: Dogs like trees - for numerous reasons. Now the city's canines have another off-leash dog park devoted just to them, and this one has plenty of trees and sights to see along the Kansas River. The city's Parks and Recreation Department on Friday opened the city's second off-leash dog park in the woodsy environment at Riverfront Park in North Lawrence, just west of the intersection of U.S. Highway 40 and North Second Street. The first off-leash park is Mutt Run, which is in the wide-open spaces below the Clinton Lake Dam, and officials say it has as many as 500 regular users.

IF KU TIGHTENS UP ITS ADMISSIONS STANDARDS, WILL ANY KANSAS STUDENT BE ALLOWED IN AFTER TAKING AN 'INTELLIGENT DESIGN' CLASS? A new report recommending accreditation for KU opens the door to online degrees and a more selective admissions policy. The report, from the 12-member committee that toured KU in January and February, recommends KU receive a 10-year renewal of its accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Universities. Mentioned several times in the report is the need for KU to become more selective in its admissions. Chancellor Robert Hemenway said more selective admissions would "raise the bar" for the university's academic performance. But he said a decision to pursue the policy would take much discussion on campus and with the Board of Regents and Legislature.

GIVE ME YOUR TIRED, YOUR POOR ... BUT THEY'D BETTER NOT ASK FOR A TUITION BREAK: Attorneys verbally sparred before a federal judge last week over a state law that allows certain illegal immigrants to pay the less expensive in-state tuition at Kansas public colleges. Michelle Prahl, a senior political science student at Kansas University, is one of a group of students and their parents challenging the law. "The state has a weak case," Prahl, a native of Bella Vista, Ark., said during a break in the arguments. "It's unfair for the state to determine one set of hardships is more deserving than another." But attorneys for the state and Hispanic organizations said the law was fair because it allowed immigrants, some of whom were brought to the United States as infants and have lived in Kansas for many years, access to a college education.

SEE, YOU NEVER FACE THE THREAT OF ETERNAL HELLFIRE FOR TEACHING HOME ECONOMICS PROPERLY: Intelligent design advocates are pushing to have the teaching of evolution downplayed in public schools. That may already be happening in Lawrence classrooms. Some students here say teachers shy from teaching evolution. And some teachers say as they teach evolution, they broach it gingerly. Timmia Hearn Feldman, a Central Junior High School student, said her father had to press school officials to teach evolution in her biology class. When it was covered, Hearn Feldman said much of the unit was passed over. "I feel like it wasn't covered sufficiently," she said. "I think a lot of teachers are afraid to teach evolution."


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