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LAWRENCE JOURNAL-WORLD ● ● Friday, June 17, 2011 ● 3A

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Senate OKs repeal of ethanol tax credits The Senate voted Thursday to repeal tax credits for producing ethanol, a vote that budget cutters hope will demonstrate a growing appetite in Congress to end special interest tax breaks to help reduce government borrowing. The Senate voted 73-27 to repeal the $5 billion annual subsidy, just two days after rejecting an identical measure. The tax credit provides 45 cents a gallon to oil refiners who mix gasoline with ethanol, a renewable, liquid fuel additive that comes mainly from corn in the U.S. The measure will now be added to a bill renewing a federal economic development program. The prospects for the overall bill are uncertain, but Thursday’s vote clearly endangers the ethanol tax credit, which would expire at the end of the year anyway, unless Congress renews it. 1 | WASHINGTON, D.C.

Biden: Trade-offs ahead in budget talks Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday that negotiators for a plan to cut the federal deficit have completed a thorough review of the government’s budget and will turn to the difficult trade-offs needed to cut trillions of dollars over the coming decade. Biden said that both sides have signaled what they might be willing to accept as part of a larger agreement but that they haven’t tackled really tough decisions on health care or new revenues. He spoke to reporters after the eighth in a series of meetings aimed at producing an agreement on budget cuts that would accompany must-pass legislation to allow the government to keep borrowing to avoid a default on its obligations. Biden said that Democrats are willing to go along with changes to federal health care programs and domestic agency budgets if Republicans are willing to accept new revenues and curbs on the Pentagon budget.

Arts supporters brainstorm funding ideas By Andy Hyland

ONLINE: Watch the video at

Proponents for public funding of the arts in Kansas gathered in Lawrence on Thursday to discuss ways to react to Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s unprecedented veto of funding for the Kansas Arts Commission. Henry Schwaller IV, a former Arts Commission chairman from Hays, encouraged those present to host gatherings at their homes with friends to encourage them to support public funding for the arts.

place, but I don’t want to

Victimhood is a nice buy property there,” he place, but I don’t want said. Several current and forto buy property there.” —Richard Renner, a Lawrence artist He said the arts benefited communities both culturally and economically. Richard Renner, a Lawrence artist, said that when the news first broke, it was hard not to take it personally, and he became angry and felt like a victim. More recently, however, he said he was looking for ways to empower himself to effect change. “Victimhood is a nice

mer members of the Arts Commission attended the meeting, along with state Sen. Marci Francisco and Rep. Paul Davis, both Lawrence Democrats, and Rep. Barbara Bollier, a Republican from Mission Hills. Brownback vetoed the Legislature’s $689,000 funding of the Kansas Arts Commission last month, saying he wanted to save money and focus on core functions of government. He also appointed a new

Happy birthday! Woman turns 102



1 in 4 high schoolers drink soda daily A new study shows one in four high school students drink soda every day — a sign fewer teens are downing the sugary drinks. The study also found teens drink water, milk and fruit juices most often — a pleasant surprise, because researchers weren’t certain that was the case. “We were very pleased to see that,” said the study’s lead author, Nancy Bener of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Still, a quarter have at least one soda each day. And when other sugary drinks like Gatorade are also counted, the figure is closer to two-thirds of high school students drinking a sweetened beverage every day. 3 | CHICAGO

Playboy adds ’Runaway Bride’ sticker Playboy is making a last-minute addition to the cover of its July issue after founder Hugh Hefner’s fiancee called off their wedding. Chicago-based Playboy says it is affixing red and yellow stickers over the cover image of 24-year-old Crystal Harris. The stickers say, “Runaway Bride in this issue!” The 85-year-old Hefner announced Tuesday that the pair will not wed. The issue is due on newsstands today. Harris appears on the July cover wearing a sailor hat with the headline “America’s Princess introducing Mrs. Crystal Hefner.” The pair were to be married Saturday at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles.

Teachers make case for wage, benefit boost By Mark Fagan

Pentagon dreams of interstellar travel The Defense Department first proposed Star Wars. Now it wants Star Trek. DARPA, the Pentagon’s research agency that helped foster the Internet, wants someone to dream up a way to send people to a star. The winner will get half a million dollars for the idea. This month 150 competitors answered the federal government’s initial call for private sector cosmic ideas. Officials say some big names are among those interested. The plan is to make interstellar travel possible in about a century. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is spending a total of $1 million on the project. After presentations are made this fall at a conference in Orlando, Fla., DARPA will decide in November who gets the money.

Nick Krug/Journal-World Photo

ELLEN NEUFELD, OF INMAN, left, a Kansas Arts commissioner, and Michael Kaye, of Topeka, listen during a breakout session from a meeting of the Kansas Citizens for the Arts on Thursday at the Lawrence Arts Center. Attendees discussed how the importance of art could be re-established in Kansas communities despite Gov. Brownback’s elimination of funding for Please see ARTS, page 5A the Kansas Arts Commission.

that the bank put a lien on the farm and took the whole corn crop. “It wasn’t like nowadays. They would take your darn farm away from you if you can’t make your payment.” The family sold two cases of eggs a week. Five pounds of sugar cost a quarter. A buggy trip to Tonganoxie took all day.

Negotiators representing more than 900 educators in the Lawrence school district are pushing back against their administrative bosses, arguing that teachers and other licensed personnel deserve larger raises and better benefits than they’ve been offered. And the Lawrence Education Association representatives brought numbers to back them up, as they work to form a master agreement to determine compensation and working conditions for educators for 2011-12. Union negotiators on Thursday reiterated their stance that the district should boost wages for licensed educators by $1,500 a year, and that the boost should remain in place as years go by. District negotiators last week had offered to boost salaries by $500, in a one-time payment that would come in December but not remain on the books for future years. David Reber, the union’s lead negotiator, dismissed the district’s offer as unfair and offered up justification: According to data compiled by the Kansas National Education Association, using numbers reported by the Kansas State Department of Education, the “total compensation package” enjoyed by different employee groups in the district ranks: ● 75th statewide for teachers, averaging $51,089. ● 47th for administrators, averaging $87,574. ● 20th for the superintendent, averaging $158,269. Teachers understand, he said,

Please see BIRTHDAY, page 5A

Please see TEACHERS, page 5A

Richard Gwin/Journal-World Photos

AUDRIE HUMMELGAARD, of rural Linwood, turns 102 today. She grew up near Lone Star, helping do work on the family farm, and has remained active ever since.

Rural Leavenworth County resident keeping busy in old age TWO BIRTHDAY CARDS sent by relatives sit on Hummelgaard’s table. She plans to have a lowkey celebration for her birthday today.

By Paul Koepp Special to the Journal-World

ONLINE: Watch the video at

Happy birthday to Audrie Hummelgaard. She turns 102 today. After more than a century of roaming Kansas and beyond — she’s been to 46 states — she’s content to stay in her red-brick home in rural Leavenworth County north of Eudora. Last year, she was still cutting her grass with a riding mower. Now legally blind and mostly confined to a wheelchair, Hummelgaard spends her days washing clothes, cleaning the house and doing other chores. “Might not be as good as

some people want it,” she said as she swept the floor from her chair. “But when you get to 102, who cares?” She grew up with four sisters and six brothers on her parents’ farm near Lone Star, where she learned to milk cows and drive a combine with a team of horses. “It was pretty hard work,” she said, recalling one year

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