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L A W R E N C E JOURNAL-WORLD ® 75 CENTS SATURDAY • JULY 23 • 2011 Contracts, extensions may put new A.D. in tough spot By Jesse Newell and George Diepenbrock; Zenger Perkins A bit cooler High: 94 New Kansas University Athletic Director Sheahon Zenger may be limited in his ability to make certain coaching changes in the coming years because of contracts signed by former KU Athletic Director Lew Perkins. Perkins signed three multiyear deals and one extension in 2010, either before or around June 10, 2010, when he announced he would retire effective Sept. 4, 2011, according to documents obtained via a JournalWorld open records request of Kansas Athletics Inc. In his first six months on the job, Zenger has called KU’s last-place finish in the Big 12 last year in the allsport Director’s Cup standings “unacceptable,” but said he won’t be making any head coaching changes for next season to try to improve. “That’s the process we’re going through right now, a process of evaluation,” Zenger said Friday. “You Making medical progress right here Low: 76 Today’s forecast, page 8A INSIDE then address wherever (coaches) feel they need help, and you give them all the support you can. Then you watch and see if you feel that they have the ability to move the program in the proper direction.” Zenger on Friday said he expected when he took the job to have some Please see CONTRACTS, page 5A Theater says $5M mark passed —— Group still needs to raise $1.1M by end of September By Chad Lawhorn KU partnership Deciphera recently teamed up with Kansas University Cancer Center to open a clinical trial for one of its drugs — known as DCC-2036. It is for leukemia patients who have no other options and for whom standard treatments have failed. Dr. Kapil Bhalla, deputy director at KU Cancer Center, described the drug as very promising. “This drug works,” he said. “It’s a new drug that overcomes resistance against currently available drugs.” The drug first became available for humans in 2009 when it entered a Phase 1 clinical study. If we were at the theater, the lights now would be flickering to signal the start of the third and final act. Leaders with Theatre Lawrence announced Friday that their efforts to raise funds for a $6.2 million theater building have passed the $5 million mark. But the group also is warning that it has only until the end of September to secure pledges for the remaining $1.1 million. “It has been so wonderful how the entire community has gotten behind this,” said Mary Doveton, executive director of Doveton Theatre Lawrence. “Now, we just want to encourage everyone to help us take that last step to make this happen.” The project has received $1.5 million in out-of-state challenge grants. A condition of those grants is that the theater meet its fundraising goal by this fall. If the effort falls short, the theater will lose the $1.5 million in grants. Theater leaders received a major boost in recent weeks with a $300,000 donation from Bobby and Eleanor Patton of Lawrence. Theatre Lawrence — formerly known as Lawrence Community Theatre — also received a sizable donation from the Sunderland Family Foundation of Overland Park. Plans call for the theater to build a new 300-seat facility in the Bauer Farm development near Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive. The development group for Bauer Farm already has donated the property for the theater. Doveton said if fundraising concludes in September, construction could begin in the late winter or early spring. Construction is Please see COMPANY, page 2A Please see THEATER, page 2A KU hoops legend in town for grand opening Former Kansas University basketball guard Mario Chalmers, who now plays for the Miami Heat, visited Lawrence Memorial Hospital to open Mario’s Closet, a specialty shop for cancer patients. Page 3A “ QUOTABLE I love it to this day. But I knew that nobody was gonna recruit me. Heck, I wouldn’t have recruited me. I’ve been doing this a long time, and I know what I’m looking for. I ain’t coaching guys like me, I can tell you that right now.” Mike Yoder/Journal-World Photos DECIPHERA PHARMACEUTICALS CEO DANIEL FLYNN, from left standing, and Dr. Mark Berger, the company’s first chief medical officer, visit with scientist Ben Turner in the company’s labs. Deciphera, where two dozen scientists are developing drugs to fight cancer, is in downtown Lawrence at 643 Mass. BELOW: The company’s Massachusetts Street sign. Lawrence company partners with KU on promising cancer drug By Karrey Britt — Kansas University offensive line coach J.B. Grimes, talking about his playing days when he was undersized for his offensive line position. Grimes didn’t give up, and will be inducted into the Henderson State University Hall of Honor in September. Page 1B COMING SUNDAY We continue our 16 Things I Have Done series, this time with Kansas University astronomy professor Barbara Anthony-Twarog. FOLLOW US INDEX Business Classified Comics Deaths Events listings Faith Forum Horoscope Movies Opinion Poll Puzzles Sports Television Vol.153/No.204 6A 1C-6C 8C 2A 8A, 2B 8B 7C 5A 7A 2A 7C 1B-5B 5A, 2B, 7C 24 pages Energy smart: The Journal-World makes the most of renewable resources. In downtown Lawrence, in a lab above Massachusetts Street, about two dozen scientists are at work, about $1 million worth of protein. He developing drugs to fight cancer. mentions the drug-resistant cells They work for Deciphera Pharma- that are shipped in from around the ceuticals, housed on the second floor world. of a tall brick building just across There’s also an expensive system from Liberty Hall and a few doors that’s been installed to ensure that down from Starbucks. the quality of air that leaves the Their work to find a cure for a dis- building is as good, if not better, than ease that killed 570,000 people last when it came in, and meets Occupayear, including 5,300 tional Safety and Kansans, is done in Health AdministraThis drug works. It’s tion standards. two highly regulated giant labs that are just a new drug that He also talks about beyond the off ices. overcomes resistance how the company has Everyone wears a reached a turning white lab coat, green against currently point. gloves and protective available drugs.” Since its founding eyewear. Some of the eight years ago, most folks in the lab are — Dr. Kapil Bhalla, deputy director of the work has been looking at computers at KU Cancer Center done in labs. Now, the while others are mixcompany is beginning ing substances. Most to move its work into have earned PhDs in medical clinics where subjects such as chemistry, cellular it can potentially save lives. biology and pharmaceuticals. “Deciphera has matured its drug During a recent tour of Deci- pipeline to the point where human phera’s labs, CEO Daniel Flynn clinical trials are essential to underpoints out a freezer that’s kept at stand the potential of our drug canabout “minus 86 degrees” and stores didates,” he said. “ Panel begins ‘daunting task’ of studying KPERS shortfall By John Milburn Associated Press T O P E K A — A 13-member panel of Kansas legislators, lawyers and financial planners began work Friday on studying changes to the state’s pension plan and the solution for keeping it solvent. The panel was established by legislators this spring to address the long-term financial problems facing the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System. KPERS projects an $8.3 billion shortfall between revenues and the benefits promised to teachers and government workers through 2033. “It will be a daunting task, truly Morris challenging,” said Senate President Steve Morris, a Hugoton Republican, in remarks opening Friday’s discussion. KPERS Executive Director Glenn Deck said the system is still recognizing investment losses from the start of the Great Recession in 2008. KPERS averages losses and gains over five years, to lessen the year-toyear swings in the value of its assets. The new figure, released to KPERS trustees last week, is $587 million higher than the previous figure of almost $7.7 billion. The increase is about 8 percent. The figure represents the gap between anticipated revenues and benefits promised to teachers and other government workers through 2033. KPERS expects the figure to drop significantly when a pensions law enacted this year takes effect. There are 279,000 Kansans participating in the system. Deck said the KPERS board of directors recently voted to continue the assumption that investments will earn an average of 8 percent at least for the next year. The system experienced a 4.4 percent loss in investments in 2008 and a 19.6 percent drop in 2009. The fund rebounded in 2010 with a 14.9 percent gain, followed by a 22.2 percent one in 2011. “This is the most important assumption,” Deck said. The new law increases the state’s annual contributions to KPERS. It also requires most public employees to choose between paying a higher portion of their salaries toward their pensions or seeing their future retirement benefits cut. Those changes won’t take effect until the study commission reviews pension issues and makes recommendations to the Legislature, including creation of new 401(k)-style plan. “If there is a more important issue than KPERS I challenge what it is,” said Sen. Jeff King, an Independence Please see KPERS, page 2A

Lawrence Journal-World 07-23-11

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