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V ol . 1 2 5 • I s s . 2 7 8 • 2 0 Pa g e s


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March 11, 2012

LEADER &TIMES Your daily news & views for 125 years



Liberal woman makes trip to Washington Former para DC to help fight dating, domestic violence resigns over

alleged abuse of autistic student


tudies show that approximately one billion women globally will be beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused by an intimate partner in the course of their lifetime. In the U.S., 12 million adults per year are victims of an intimate partner, and each minute in America, 24 people become the victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by a partner. These numbers reinforce the significance of the World Conference of Women’s Shelters in Washington D.C., and one Liberal woman had the privilege of attending the gathering recently. The conference is sponsored by the National Network to End Global Domestic Violence and the Global Network of Women’s Shelters. More than 1,500 people from 96 countries attended the conference including Diane Tillson of the Liberal Area Rape Crisis and Domestic Violence Services office, who said it was amazing to see all of the people there for one cause. “The attendees included leading international experts in health care and public policy, survivors and family members who’ve been struck by tragedy and frontline advocates such as myself doing lifesaving work every day,” she said. “There were 18 people from Kansas who got to go.” Tillson attended the conference thanks to a scholarship from the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, who sponsored two people from rural Kansas. “We would not have got to have this experience if it weren’t for that,” she said. There were 220 presenters from 35 different countries on hand in Washington D.C., and Tillson said she tried to go to the presentations from international people as well as those

School district administration verifies receiving complaint, assures public situation is under investigation By ROBERT PIERCE • Leader & Times

F o r m e r P r e s i d e n t B i l l C l i n to n s p e a k s d u r i n g o n e o f t h e p r e s e n t a t i o n s a t th e r e c e n t W o r l d C o n f e r e n c e o f W o m e n ’ s S h e l t e r s i n W a s h i n g to n D . C. Courtesy photo

L i b e r a l r e s i d e n t Di a n e T i l l s o n a p p l a u d s o n e o f t h e p r e s e n t e r s a t t h e r e c e n t W or ld C o n fe r e n c e of W om e n ’ s S h e l t e r s i n Wa shi ng t on D . C . Courtesy photo

L i b e r a l r e s i d e n t Di a n e T i l l s o n , f a r l e f t , m e e t s w i t h t h e r e s t o f t h e 1 8 p e o p l e r e p r e s e n t i n g t h e s t a t e o f K a n s a s a t t h e r e c e n t W o r l d C o n f e r e n c e o f W o m e n ’ s S h e l t e r s i n W a s h i n g to n D . C . T i l l s o n w a s o n e o f t w o p e o p l e t o r e ce i v e a sc ho la r sh ip f r om r ur a l Ka nsa s f r om t he Ka nsa s C o al it i on Ag a in st Se xua l a nd D om es ti c V io le nce . Courtesy photo from the U.S. in order to get an experience of what domestic violence is like in foreign nations. “One that I attended that was really powerful was about women who have went to prison for killing their husbands after years of abuse,” she

said. “On average, nationally, 4,500 women are in prison for killing their partners due to abuse. That’s a really staggering number.” Attendees got to share and learn from each others’ experiences at the conference.

Leader & Times story by Robert Pierce

“Globally, in shelters, we all have the same stories, the same struggles,” Tillson said. “I know it’s big and it’s everywhere, but to see that many people there and people that represent


A complaint has been filed against a teacher and a para in the Liberal school district for the alleged abuse of a special needs student. The complaint was formally made in writing at the request of the Shawna principal Evans, and USD No. 480 administrators shared the complaint with law enforcement for investigation according to Director of Human Resources and Communications Paul Larkin. The complaint was registered by a fellow para at MacArthur Elementary, who claimed to be a witness to the alleged abuse. The complaint stated that one of the students in the class who has autism was displaying behaviors that were hard to manage and deal with, according to the teacher in question – such as heavy and excessive breathing, grinding her teeth non-stop and pulling the hair of herself and others. The para who witnessed the incidents said the teacher and another para, who is also listed in the complaint, explained that when the student started in her classroom, traditional methods of dealing with the student’s behaviors were tried, but those methods did not work. The complaining para said the teacher said she has now turned to negative reinforcement to try to change the student’s behaviors. The para said she became concerned, but not having any professional training in methods of teaching autistic children, she chose to research known plausible methods. After researching data, she believed the teacher and her fellow para were crossing the line of good judgment in some cases and were being abusive in other cases. Not being able to watch this any longer, on Wednesday, the complaintant reported the actions to Evans and resigned. The para who resigned said the autistic student would pull the teacher’s hair, and the teacher and

& exclusive LT


Police refurbish old car to use for PR at special public events By JESSICA CRAWFORD • Leader & Times

Many in the area may have noticed a rather ornate addition to the Liberal Police Department’s fleet. The black Ford Crown Victoria sporting blue flames and the LPD badge on the hood may appear to be a brand new car, but it’s not. The 2006 car is the pet project of LPD Capt. Jon Antrim – at absolutely no cost to the City of Liberal or its taxpayers. The idea was born when Antrim sat down with Tek Style owner Isaac Eatmon. “The car that we used was an old patrol car that had high mileage and we had taken it off the line,” Antrim said. “It would have been slated for a trade in. “Tek Style does all of our work as far as electronics are concerned for our emergency equipment,” he

explained. “Basically, it was kind of a brainstorming session with Isaac at Tek Style. He said, ‘Hey, let’s pimp out a patrol car.’ He asked me what I thought about the idea and I said, ‘I don’t know that I will ever get it done, but we will give it a shot.’” The more Antrim thought about the idea, the more he liked it. So, he took his idea to LPD Chief Al Sill and the project was off and running. “I went to Chief Sill and kind of promoted the idea of what I wanted to use the car for,” he said. “The car will be used for any public events – such as the Healthy Fun Fair, the Home Show, fairs, parades, car shows, recruiting trips and anything we do in the schools. We will use that car to bridge the gap with the children. They have really been receptive to this car as I have driven it around. When they see it, they

N See PR CAR/Page 7A


L P D C a p t . Jo n Ant r i m a nd st ud ent s f r o m th e Se w a r d C o u n t y C o m mu n i t y C ol l e g e / A r e a T e ch n ic al S ch o ol a u t ob o d y d e p ar t m e n t p r ou d ly d i s p l ay t h e i r w o r k r ec ent l y . The 2006 F o r d C r o w n V i c to r i a w a s f or m e r l y a p a t r ol c a r b u t t a k e n o ff t h e l in e d u e t o h i g h mi l e s a n d a g e . Th e w or k d on e o n t h e v e h i c le h a s b e e n s t r i ct l y d on a t e d , s o t h e p r o je c t w i ll b e c om p l e t e d at n o c o s t t o t h e C i ty o f Li ber a l o r t a xpa y er s. L&T photo/ Jessica Crawford

Publishing the legal publications for Seward County and the cities of Liberal and Kismet


Sunday, March 11, 2012 LEADER&TIMES


NEWS on the high plains

OK Kids Day Committee selling Blue & Gold Sausage Co. meats to raise funds

Organizers of Outdoor Kansas (OK Kids) are raising funds to help provide the numerous activities at the OK Kids Day, which is scheduled for May 12 this spring at Meade Lake State Park. Committee members are selling Blue & Gold Sausage Co. bacon in 3.5-pound packages, 2.5-pound orders of sausage and 5-pound chicken packs to raise funds.Those wishing to purchase some can call Zach Wester at 629-0498 or 624-9500. About 800 kids and 600 adults attended OK Kids Day last year.The focus of the event is to get kids in the great outdoors.Any businesses wishing to host a booth can also call Zach or the park office at 620-873-2572.


Risen Glory Church to present final special service by Steve Sampson

The community is invited to special services with author and teacher, Steve Sampson. Steve is the author of several books, including Confronting Jezebel; Discerning and Defeating the Ahab Spirit;You Can Hear The Voice of God. Steve travels extensively and is a proven prophetic voice to the body of Christ. The final service will be at 6 p.m. today at Risen Glory Church, 310 Virginia, in Liberal. No child care will be provided. For more information, contact Pastor Ann Holman at 626-4824.


Rec Department to offer Zumba fitness classes

The Liberal Recreation Dept. is offing a Zumba Fitness Classes now. The class will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays.The class time is from 6 to 7 p.m.The classes will be at the Mary Frame Building located 520 S. New York.The classes start on Tuesday, March 20, and go for 6 weeks.The cost is $30. For more information, contact the Recreation Office at 626-0133.


Complaint ...  Continued from Page 1A accused para would, in turn, pull the student’s hair. She said when the student would latch onto the hair, she would not let go. This would go on for several minutes and usually ended with the student in tears. The other para allegedly did the same thing as the teacher – also pulling the student’s hair. The para said other patterns involving the hair pulling would be having the student pulling the hair of her fellow students, at which point the other students would be encouraged by the teacher – and the para – to pull back. The situation allegedly was not broken up, and the other students were allowed to display aggressive behaviors. The para said there are also rigid rules for the student, including throwing her food tray away if she breathes too hard, eats too fast, reaches for her spoon when told not to, doesn’t approach her mouth with the spoon faced in the right direction and many other things. “Since I have been working here, there have been at least three days that I can recall that (the student) received no breakfast, no lunch and no snack resulting in being deprived of food all day long,” the para’s complaint read. “The majority of her days she does not receive more than a bite or two of her breakfast.” The para went on to describe other behavioral methods in her complaint. The Leader & Times contacted Evans Friday, and due to the nature of the complaint that involved a staff member and a student, Evans was limited on what information she could provide. “I can make no comments because I haven’t

“We are in the process of investigating it immediately. I think it was about 11 o’clock (Friday morning) that I received the phone call. I gave some directions, and the proper procedures are being handled LARKIN to conduct investigations and so forth. I did notify law enforcement. I gave them information so they could investigate as well.” talked to Central Office, and I’m just doing my investigations right now,” she said. “I’m going to have to do my own investigation before I can comment.” Larkin verified he was contacted Friday morning about a report of an alleged issue of questionable mistreatment and questionable disciplinary acts regarding a special needs student at MacArthur. “We are in the process of investigating it immediately,” he said. “I think it was about 11 o’clock (Friday morning) that I received the phone call. I gave some directions, and the proper procedures are being handled to conduct investigations and so forth. I did notify law enforcement. I gave them information so they could investigate as well.” Larkin said the para’s complaint was written at the direction of Evans. “I think a verbal complaint was initially brought to Mrs. Evans, and she requested that

the para put that in writing,” Larkin said. Larkin added that because the issue concerns personnel and a student, it is highly confidential. “At this point, we have not done anything,” he said. “I haven’t had a chance to look at all the documents. I haven’t had a chance to talk to the investigating officer.” When Larkin received the information, Liberal’s schools were in the first day of Spring Break, and there was no contact between the student and the accused teacher and para. Larkin said no timeline has been set as to when the investigation would be finished. “I cannot speculate on that,” he said. “I would think that we would have our information gathered from our means today (Friday), but I cannot speculate on the behalf of law enforcement.” An attempt to verify the complaint with the Liberal Police Department was unsuccessful as of late Friday afternoon.

Avoid scams in the wake of storm damage • Special to the Leader & Times

TOPEKA – Attorney General Derek Schmidt recently warned Kansans to be aware of scam artists who frequent storm-damaged areas looking to take advantage of those in need. “Kansans are resilient people,” Schmidt said. “Time and again, we see neighbors pitching in to help during times of disaster. Unfortunately, we also know scam artists will try to exploit disaster victims for financial gain.” In the aftermath of a storm, scam artists will often pose as contractors, approaching owners of storm-damaged homes and offering to do repairs. They will

sometimes ask for cash in advance to purchase supplies and then never return to do the work. To avoid becoming a victim of this type of scam, the Attorney General’s Office recommends the following:  Ask for recommendations and references from contractors;  Get at least three written estimates from different contractors;  Make sure the contractor meets all licensing and permitting requirements, and is properly insured;  Get all contracts in writing and don’t make a final payment until you are satisfied all work has been properly completed; and

 If possible, do business with trusted contractors with whom you had a relationship prior to the disaster. Consumers should be especially cautious of contractors who come door-to-door, offer discounted “leftover” materials, drive unmarked vehicles or have temporary magnetic signs or quote a price that is out of line with other estimates. Kansans should also use caution when donating to charities purporting to raise money for storm victims. Only donate to known, reputable charities. You can verify the status of a charity by visiting or by calling 785-296-4564.

SCHMIDT Consumers can report scams or file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office by calling toll-free 1-800-432-2310 or visiting

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Put your store in the mall for no charge! Email or call her at 626-0840 to find out how to become a part of the Leader & Times online store!

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Redskins dominate in 5State Relays


Your daily news & views for 125 years



April 6, 2012

Vol . 1 2 5 • I s s . 3 0 1 1 4 Pa g e s



USD 480 waiting for police report on Judge allegations of abuse against autistic student sentences Seitter to 8 months plus probation, REDSKIN LEGENDS N restitution By ROBERT PIERCE • Leader &Times

Kenny Wilson, Carlos Alsup, Marcus James and Chris McCann return to Liberal during the 5-State relays and discuss the days when they wore the red and black before moving on to college and professional careers.

Resources and Communication Paul Larkin said the district has shared some information about the case with the Liberal Police Department, but what may come of the analysis is still up in the air. “I know that they had requested some documents related to the student towards the end of the week,” he said. “I

Police are still investigating a complaint made be a former para at Liberal’s MacArthur Elementary regarding alleged abuse of a special needs student. USD No. 480 Director of Human

believe we provided that to the police department, but I still haven’t gotten any idea when the timeframe might be.” That means, for now, what happens to the fellow para and teacher against whom the complaint was registered remains a mystery. See REPORT/Page 3A

By JESSICA CRAWFORD • Leader & Times




A n a r t i s t ’ s d r a w i n g d e p i c t s w h a t th e r e m od e li n g w il l s oo n lo ok l i k e at Kea t ing Tr a c to r . Courtesy drawing

Keating Tractor getting major facelift By KEELEY MOREE • Leader & Times

Faith Tabernacle to offer ‘Secret Church live simulcast with David Platt’

Faith Tabernacle Church will be offering a Secret Church Simulcast with David Platt today. Supper will start at 5:45 p.m. today with the live simlucast from Alabama starting at 6:30 p.m. Last year, thousands of churhes and small groups all over the world participated in Secret Church via LifeWay simulcast, and the impact was phenominal. People will have another chance to participate in Secret Church this Good Friday. After the simlucast, there will be a break at 8 p.m. with another teaching session at 8:15 and an area highlight on Egypt at 9:15 p.m. Everyone is invited to attend the entire evening.


Guidance center to present ‘Mental Health First Aid’ course

Southwest Guidance Center will present a “Mental Health First Aid” course from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on four consecutive days: April 10, 17, 24 and May 1, at the SWGC Robin King Center at Second and Pershing in Liberal. The cost is $30 per person, and payment is due at registration. The course will earn participants 12 continuing education units available for nursing staff via the hospital. The presenters are Jim Karlan and Leslie Bissell of SWGC, and the course is aimed at every community member who wants to learn how to help a friend, co-worker or neighbor who is experienceing a mental health emergency. To register, contact Karla at 624-8171.


Keating Tractor and Equipment has come a long way since its humble beginnings at the intersection of Second Street and Main in Liberal. After serving the Liberal area for more than 50 years, the business is in the process of an expansion and makeover. The John Deere franchise has been owned and operated by the Keating

family since the late James Keating established it in 1958. Keating’s daughter, Julie Parsons, remembers her childhood at the dealership and has watched the John Deere brand grow throughout her lifetime. “I think they did parts and service and wholegoods when they first started,” Parsons said. “Deere didn’t do the toy lines and all the mowers in that day.” The business now employs nearly 50



Responders douse ceiling fire at National Beef Cause still under investigation • L&T staff report

Earlier today, the Liberal Fire Department responded to a report of a fire on the “kill” floor at National Beef Packing Company. The fire was determined to be coming from a heating unit on the roof, however, the cause is still under investigation. Liberal Fire Chief Kelly Kirk said the call came out just before 2 a.m. “At 1:56 a.m. Friday morning, the Liberal Fire Department responded to a report of fire in the ‘kill’ floor area at National Beef Packing Company at 1501 E. 8th Street,” Kirk noted in a press release. “First fire units arrived at 2 a.m. and were informed that the fire was in a heating unit on the roof of the ‘kill’ floor and had extended into duct work inside the building.

Kirk said National Beef maintenance and safety personnel aided firefighters in process of securing the gas source fueling the fire. “With coordinated effort between firefighters and National Beef maintenance and safety personnel, the gas supply to the unit was secured,” he noted. “Once the source of the gas feeding the fire was controlled, it was extinguished both on the rooftop and inside the building with portable extinguishers and hand lines.” Kirk added the cause of the fire is not yet known. “The exact cause of the fire remains under investigation and damage estimates are unavailable at this time,” he noted. “The fire was declared out at 2:58 a.m. The Liberal

N See FIRE/Page 3A

Results of Tyrone, Okla., school bond election Bond would make $400,000 available to help with new facilities at the school, including a band room, weight room and locker room. Voters went to the polls Tuesday to decide the fate of the bond.

Yes – 92 votes No – 13 votes SOURCE: Texas County Election Board


people, with the descendants of James Keating teaming together to operate the growing business. Parsons’ brother, Russ Keating, owns most of the company along with his mother Marlene. Julie serves as Finance Executive and her son, Alex, now works as the service manager. Their mission is simple – to provide

Lyle Seitter, a Liberal driving school owner and instructor, pleaded guilty to several felony charges stemming from a Dec. 29 arrest. Following a March 21 sentencing hearing, Seitter was SEITTER ordered to spend less than one year in prison, with two further conditions. Seward County District Attorney Don Scott said along with prison sentence, Seitter was given probation and restitution orders by District Judge Clint Peterson. “Lyle Seitter was sentenced to eight months in prison and placed on probation for 12 months with restitution orders,” Scott said. Seitter was arrested in a sting operation on Dec. 29 for allegedly taking payments for passing grades and CDL certificates. Don Scott said Seitter bonded

CO R ON ADO OF F ER S N E W EX HI BI T A n e x h i b i t ti t l e d “ W i t h o u t W a t e r W e H a v e N o t h i n g ” i s c u r r e n t l y o n d i s p l a y a t th e C o r o n a d o M u s e u m. D e s i g n e d b y L i d i a G r a y , t h i s e x h i b i t f o cu s e s o n t h e im pa ct o f wa t er i n S ewa r d C o unt y and pr om o te s t he ef fi ci ent use of wa te r to p r o t e c t t h i s p r e c i o u s r e s o u r c e . T h i s p h o t o s h o w s a w a te r p u m p o n l o a n f r o m J i mi W a l t e r s a t W a l te r s I r r i g a ti o n i n L i b e r a l . A p u m p l i k e t h i s ca n p u mp u p t o 2 , 0 0 0 ga l l o n s o f w a t e r p e r m i n u t e i f e n o u g h i s a v a i l a b l e . “ T h e w a t e r t h e m e w e n t w it h ou r r e c e n t m e m b e r s h i p d r i v e an d s p e ak e r ,” G r ay e x p l ai n e d . “I h a d a l o t o f f u n p u t ti n g i t t o g e th e r to s h o w h o w i m p o r t a n t w a t e r i s to o u r a r e a . ” L&T photo/Keeley Moree



Friday,April 6, 2012 LEADER&TIMES

on the high plains

C o n s tr u ct i o n i s a l r e a d y u n d e r w a y to p la c e a n e w b u il d i n g ad d it io n on t o p of th e e x i s t i n g s tr u ct u r e a t K e a t i n g T r a c to r an d E q u ip m e n t . T h e r e m od e l p r o je c t w i ll ad d n e w of fi c e an d s h o w r o om s p a ce t o th e cu r r e n t s i t e a t 1900 W . 2nd S t . Rd. in Li ber a l . L&T photo/Keeley Moree

LHS Booster Club to present country star Jamie O’Neal in concert

The top three country vocalists in the 2012 Counrty Showdown competition on April 27 will open up a concert for four-time Grammy nominee Jamie O’Neal right here in Liberal on April 28. Ticket prices for the concert will be $10 each, and once the artist and bills are paid, 100 percent of those proceeds will go to the LHS Booster Club. Fans interested in attending the Jamie O’Neal concert can pick up tickets during a special pre-sale event from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday at The Legend studios, KSCB.


LHS Booster Club seeking entrants for Country Showdown

Country performers from the five-state area are invited to compete in the Liberal High School Booster Club Country Showdown next month. Entries are being accepted now through April 13. Contestants in the showdown competition must fill out an entry form, submit a CD with one recorded track and pay a $10 entry fee.Anyone from Kansas, Oklahoma,Texas, Colorado or New Mexico is encouraged to enter. The top three country vocalists will open up a concert for four-time Grammy nominee Jamie O’Neal right here in Liberal on April 28. The deadline for entries in the Country Showdown is 4:30 p.m. on Friday,April 13. Entries can be turned in to The Legend studios at 1410 N.Western Ave. For more information, contact Joe Denoyer at (620) 624-3891 or visit to download an entry form.


Memorial Library to host Gardening Club meeting

The Liberal Memorial Library will be hosting a Gardening Club at 6:30 p.m.Tuesday. Join staff at the library to share tips and advice with fellow gardeners.Whether a newbie or a veteran to the world of gardening, it doesn’t matter. Come down and share experiences with others who share the passion. For more information, call the library at 6260180.


Lions to hear from Donna Nelson-Atkins

The Liberal Lions Club will meet at noon Monday at the Rock Island Depot with Pizza Hut sreving lunch. Donna Nelson-Atkins of Liberal Recreation Department will be sharing information on its athletic programs.


Plans set for ‘Spring Sing Bar-B-Que Thing’ at Stepping Stone

Stepping Stone Shelter will host its seventh annual “Spring Sing BarB-Que Thing” fundraiser from noon until 3 p.m. Sunday,April 29. Several new local individuals and groups are scheduled to sing and perform.There will also be a chance to win a 42-inch flat screen TV and a Kindle Fire.Tickets for the drawings will be one for a $10 donation or three tickets for $25. Meisenheimer BBQ will be catering the event, with a suggested donation of $10 per plate.


County makes announcements on upcoming events

I The Seward County Board of County Commissioners will meet for a work session at 6 p.m. Monday,April 9, in the commission chambers to discuss legal counsel matters.This discussion will take place in executive session. For more information, contact April Warden, county administrator, at 626-3330. I The Seward County Board of County Commissioners will be meeting with the rural fire board for a work session at 7 p.m. Tuesday,April 10, at the North Fire Station. For more information, contact April Warden, county administrator, at 626-3330.



Keating ... O Continued from Page 1A

great equipment and service to area farmers. The business looks to fulfill that goal by maintaining its long-term relationships with family farms. “You don’t see a lot of new people going into farming,” Parsons said. “So if you can establish a relationship, two or three generations down,

Report ... O Continued from Page 1A

“We’re waiting for the conclusion of the police investigation,” Larkin said.

Seitter ... O Continued from Page 1A

out of jail shortly after his arrest on a $5,000 cash surety bond. Kansas Department of Revenue agents arrested Lyle Seitter on Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011, after an undercover operation resulted in allegedly obtaining a fraudulent passing grade and certificate to bypass Kansas driver’s license skills testing at The Driving School of Liberal. Seitter allegedly failed to follow required standards, accepting cash in exchange for passing the school. Seitter was arrested on a total of 26 felony counts including nine counts of commercial bribery, nine counts of making false information and eight counts of driver license application fraud. Ultimately, Seitter pleaded guilty to a count of felony commercial bribery, a felony count of making a false writing and misdemeanor unlawful use of a driver’s license Driving schools in Kansas are required to provide standard classroom and driving instruction and are licensed by the Kansas Department of Education. With a driving school certificate, new drivers become eligible to apply for a Kansas driver’s license. “When a teacher fails to provide the required instruction, traffic safety is jeopardized,” said Director of Vehicles Donna Shelite. “Only drivers who have demonstrated the proper knowledge and driving proficiency should be certified.”

Fire ... O Continued from Page 1A

Fire Department responded with three units and 19 personnel. The Seward County Fire Department provided mutual aid with two units and four personnel at the scene. “Fire units remained on scene until 4:32 a.m. monitoring for hot spots and fire extension,” he continued. “All units were returned to service at 5:05 a.m. Also responding to assist with the incident were the Liberal Police Department and Seward County EMS.”

they’re still coming in. Customer service is what you’re selling.” Loyalty to Keating Tractor and the John Deere brand is what has brought on the need to expand. A full showroom has left little space to move about. Several remodeling efforts over the years have focused on the service shop, which has been added onto four times since moving to their current location at 1900 W. 2nd St. Rd. “We were laughing the other day trying to count how many times we’ve remodeled here,” Parsons said. “We were going to add on 10 years ago. We just need more offices so we’re going to add about 15 new offices and a lot more

The complaint stated that one of the students in the class at MacArthur who has autism was displaying behaviors that were hard to manage and deal with, according to the teacher in question. After trying and failing with traditional methods of dealing with behaviors, the student’s complaining para said the teacher

showroom.” The building plans call for an extended wing along with a new building being built on top of the original structure. Construction has just started at the business. Parsons said while there are some plans to offer more products, customers should expect the same quality customer service with a bit more wiggle room. The hope is that by expanding, the business will be able to operate for many years to come. “We hope to stay here for a while, as long as we can,” Parsons said. “The farmers are what make us – our customers keep us going.” she believed both the teacher and her fellow para had crossed the line of good judgment in some cases and were being abusive in other cases. Not being able to watch this any longer, on March 7, the complaintant reported the actions to MacArthur Principal Shawna Evans.

had turned to negative reinforcement to try to change the student’s behaviors. The para said she became concerned, but not having any professional training in methods of teaching autistic children, she chose to research known plausible methods. The complaining para later researched data, and after doing so,


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Library giving away free comic books Saturday morning

The Liberal Memorial Library will be celebrating Free Comic Book Day on Saturday. The library will be giving away comic books absolutely free to all patrons who come in from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. In addition to the comic books, there will be other prize giveaways. For more, contact the library at 626-0180.


Nuts and Bolts inviting public to Open House May 10

The organization Nuts and Bolts Inc is a nonprofit consumer-run organization that offers transportation and community outreach for persons diagnosed with mental disorders.The group and its staff are inviting the public to its Open House from 6 to 8 p.m.Thursday, May 10, at 405 W. Second St. to learn more about what the organization does for the community. Refresments will be served


Pizza Hut supporting Girl Scout Troop 60005 with ‘FUN’draiser

Girl Scout Troop No. 60005 will be having a “FUN”draiser – with help from Pizza Hut – to raise money for the Libreal Animal Shelter. Pizza Hut will be donating 10 percent of purchases between 5 and 8 p.m. Monday to the Troop when patrons have turned in a donation coupon to the servers at all Pizza Hut locations, including delivery. Coupons are available from Troop members or at any Pizza Hut.


County commission candidate to host ‘Meet the Candidate’ forum today

The Larry Phillips for Seward County Commission campaign will be hosting a “Meet the Candidate” forum at 5 p.m. today, at Billy’s Blue Duck BBQ in the Plaza Village in Liberal. Phillips (Republican) has filed to run for the District 1 seat on the county commission.


LEADER &TIMES Your daily news & views for 125 years


L&T WINS Paper’s advertising design, layout, messages voted best in Kansas


• L&T staff report Leader & Times Publisher Earl Watt and Managing Editor Larry Phillips travelled to Overland Park April 20 and 21 to attend the Kansas Press Association Awards of Excellence convention. The L&T and its staff wallked away with eight first-place plaques, 17 seconds and 12 third place finishes in the overall categories of advertising and editorial news. “It is fun to compete with other quality newspapers across the State of Kansas, but our real goal is to win the competition of satisfying our readers right here every day,” Watt said. Though the L&T came up a little short in points and finshed second in the editorial division to the Ottawa Herald, the paper took top honors in advertising. In the advertising division, the L&T – including the composing staff of Trevor Feldhausen, Tasha Booth; ad reps Nancy Davis and Mindy Lee; and publisher Earl Watt – was selected as the 2012 Sweepstakes Winner – the No 1 newspaper advertising in the state of Kansas in the small daily division. “The composing staff has continued to improve over the years, and I am very proud that our advertising is considered the best of any Division I daily in Kansas,” Watt said. “ It is always our goal to do the best work we can for our advertisers by producing ads that draw attention. I am happy that the judges agreed.” It’s also notable that all ads entered into the contest have to be designed and composed by newspaper staff. They can’t be predesigned ads that are built by customers. They took first in Best Fashion Ad, Best House Ad and Most Adaptable Promotion. Second places were garnered in the categories of Best Ad Series or Campaign, Best Agriculture Ad, Best Entertainment Ad, Best Fashion Ad, Best Furniture Ad, Best Grocery Ad, Best Healthcare Ad, Best Political Ad and Best Professional Service Ad. Third place honors were also won for Best Ad Series or Campaign, Best Furniture Ad and Best Political Ad. In the editorial division, the newspaper and staff won a total of 21 awards, including five first-place plaques.


Alleged abuse of autistic E S A C student? D E S O L C

By ROBERT PIERCE • Leader &Times

Leader & Times Publisher Earl Watt stands in front of the Doubletree Hilton April 21 in Overland Park displaying the Sweepstake plaque for the best advertising in a small daily newspaper in Kansas for 2012. L&T photo/Larry Phillips The L&T – as a newspaper – earned first place in the category of Best Front Pages and won first as the Best Newspaper Web site The paper’s Editorial Pages won second place in the state. The L&T was also chosen as the second best in the state in the caetgory of News and Writing Excellence, as well as seconds in Photo Packages and Sports Pages. The L&T won third place in the categories of Best Use of Photos and Photo Package – for the full front page of the construction on the Freedon Tower that’s replacing the World Trade Centers – “We will never forget.” Publisher Earl Watt captured first in the category of Government/Political Story with his article on “The New Face of Country Living.” He also took home a first-place plaque for Headline Writing. Watt won second in the category of Education Story with his coverage, “Facebook posting sparks

N See AWARDS/Page 3A

This front page design earned a third place for the Leader & Times in the category of Photo Package at the April 21 Kansas Press Association convention in Overland Park.

Law enforcement officials did not find enough evidence to proceed with a case against a USD No. 480 teacher and a para Special prosecutor for the Pete Olson alleged found no abuse of a special basis for needs prosecution student. and no need On for further March 9, investigation Liberal police officers responded to MacArthur Elementary, 950 South Holly, for a report of abuse of a child. In a press release Wednesday, Capt. Pat McClurg of the Liberal Police Department noted the complainant alleged staff was mistreating an autistic student. “An immediate investigation of the allegations commenced,” he added. McClurg said a report of the investigation findings was forwarded to the Seward County Attorney’s office for review. “Special prosecutor Pete Olson found no basis for prosecution and no need for further investigation,” McClurg noted. The complaintant was a fellow para at MacArthur, who stated that one of the students in the class who has autism was displaying behaviors that were hard to manage and deal with, according to the teacher in question. After trying and failing with traditional methods of dealing with students’ behaviors, the complaining para said the teacher had turned to negative reinforcement to try to change the student’s behaviors. The para said she become concerned, but not having any professional training in methods of teaching autistic children, she chose to research known plausible methods. The complaining para later researched data, and after doing so, she believed both the teacher and her fellow para had crossed the

N See CLOSED/Page 3A

Governor orders flags flown at half-staff Friday Event to honor Law Enforcement Memorial Day across state • Provided by the Governor’s office TOPEKA – In accordance with Executive Order 10-12, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has ordered


Vol . 1 2 6 • I s s . 1 2 1 2 Pa g e s

May 3, 2012

flags to be flown at half-staff from sunup to sun-down on Friday in honor of the Kansas Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Day. “The heroes on the memorial paid the ultimate price performing their duty to protect the people of Kansas. We should take this opportunity to remember their lives and honor their sacrifice. To their families, I offer my deepest thanks for their sacrifice and I offer my assurance that the people of

Kansas will not forget you and the price that you have also paid,” Brownback said. Since last year, Kansas has lost one law enforcement officer in the line of duty. On December 9, 2011, Atchison Police Department Sgt. David Enzbrenner was killed on duty while assisting city code enforcement officers who were serving a nuisance order. Sgt. Enzbrenner was 46 years old, and a 24year veteran of the Atchison Police

Department. Sgt. Enzbrenner leaves behind his wife, Kerri and three daughters, Avery, Abbi and Celia. The 30th Annual Kansas Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony will be conducted on Friday at noon on the south steps of the Statehouse grounds. Sgt. Enzbrenner’s name joins the names of 266 law enforcement officers already listed on the Kansas Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. on the

HAPPENINGS high plains

College to present its Spring Concert

The Music Department at Seward County Community College/Area Technical School will present its spring concert at 7 p.m., today in the SCCC/ATS Showcase Theater, featuring Concert Band and Singing Saints Concert Choir. Tickets are $3 and are available by calling 620-417-1451 or coming by the office in the Shank Humanities Building, 1801 N. Kansas, Liberal. Courtesy card holders and students are free with an ID. Money raised will go the SCCC/ATS Foundation for scholarships.


Red Cross to host its 5th annual fundraising golf tourney

The American Red Cross will be hosting its 5th annual Liberal Golf Tournament Saturday, May 12, at Willow Tree Golf Course. Tee times are available from 9 to 11 a.m. It will be a four-person scramble for 18 holes. Registration fee is $50 per player, which includes lunch at 11 a.m., and golf carts will be $24 for two players. There will be prize drawings and one player could win $10,000 for a hole-in-one or there are three other hole-in-one prizes, sponsored by C. Dean Riney Insurance. There will be team cash prizes for first, second and third places, plus hole prizes. To register teams, call 626-0175.



Thursday, May 3, 2012 LEADER&TIMES


Awards ... O Continued from Page 1A

confrontation” and a second in Sports Column Writing. Watt earned a third place in Colunm Writing. First place in Agriculture Story went to reporters Robert Pierce and Rachel Coleman, who teamed to produce combined articles about the extreme drought and how farmers watched for grassfires. Coleman also won third place awards for her Education Story, “Reaching Higher” and her Feature Story, “House a repository of local history.” Reporter Ananda Coleman won her first state award from the KPA with a third place in the category of Governement/Political Story with her article entitled “Tempers flare over iPad 2 tablets.” Managing Editor Larry Phillips took a second in the category of Headline Writing behind Watt. Phillips and Watt teamed up to take third place in the category of Feature Package with Phillips’ piece on “Country Schools” and Watt’s design and layout. Phillips’ coverage of Pancake Day in Olney, England, also earned him a third place for Series Writing. Reporter Jessica Crawford won a third place in the News Story category with her article, “City approves ordinance limiting garage sales.” Interestingly, that piece was picked up by The Associated Press wire service and published in newspapers across the state, as well as in neighboring states. “We did very well in editorial, as well, and it was very special to walk in and see the front page of the Leader & Times printed out

Leader & Times Managing Editor Larry Phillips stands next to a blowup of one of the three front pages submitted to the Kansas Press Association Awards convention. The L&T was voted as having the Best Front Pages in the small daily newspaper division April 21 in Overland Park. L&T photo/Earl Watt alongside the best front pages in the State of Kansas from newspapers of all sizes,” Watt said. “This newspaper is a reflection of our community, and we have a competitive community. Our readers have come to expect the best news and advertising, and that is exactly what we plan to continue to deliver. “I want to thank the businesses and our entire High Plains community for allowing us

to produce the work we do every day. We only receive recognition because we get to tell the best stories about the best people that live right here,” he added. This year’s entries were judged by the Colorado Press Association, which included publishers, editors, ad managers and photographers that work for Colorado newspapers.

Pay It Forward during storm season, donate blood • Provided by

Donate Blood with the American Red Cross

Organizers seeking entries for Billy’s annual Yellow Brick Road Car Show

Billy’s Yellow Brick Road Car Show events are scheduled for May 11 and 12 in the Village Plaza in Liberal. Preregistration fees are $20 per vehicle and must be registered by Friday, May 11. Registration on Saturday is $25 per vehicle and must be registered by 11 a.m. to be eligible for six $100 drawings. This year’s theme is a “Salute to Drag Racing,” and those preregistered (two meal tickets per registration) are invited to free barbecue at Billy’s Mexican Grill and Q at 5:30 p.m. Friday, with the band CALQL8RZ (CALCULATORS) playing from 7:30 to 11 p.m., sponsored by National Beef. At 1 p.m. Saturday, there will be a “Cackle Fest,” come hear the All American Dragsters. There will be dash plaques given away as well as a 50/50 pot. Proceeds to benefit local charities. Come join the fun, more than 300 vehicles were registered last year. For more information, call Bill Hill at 620-629-7505.


Rainbow Players seeking actors for summer musical

Rainbow Players announces auditions for its summer musical “Guys and Dolls.” Auditions will take place at 7 p.m. May 14 and 15 in the Seward County Community College/Area Technical School Showcase Theatre. The show dates for the musical are July 12, 13 and 14. For more information, call 417-1460.

MAY 14 AND 15

One never knows when disaster will strike. Who will it affect? Family, neighbors or the community? During times of distress, there’s one thing that remains constant – the need for help. People can help Pay It Forward by donating blood. Blood donors

affected by spring storms may be forced to cancel blood donation appointments and may not be available to reschedule in the near future. Plus, businesses and schools affected by spring storms may be unable to hold blood drives at their locations. Just as the need for help remains constant, so does the need for blood. Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs a blood transfusion. More than 44,000 units of blood are

needed each day to treat patients at U.S. hospitals. The Red Cross says, “Thank you for your willingness to Pay It Forward through blood donation.” Locally, citizens may give blood from noon to 6 p.m. Thursday, May 17, at the Western Ave Church of Christ located at 215 S. Western Ave. in Liberal. How to Donate Blood: Call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800733-2767) or visit for more information or

to make an appointment. All blood types are needed to ensure the Red Cross maintains an adequate blood supply. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Donors must be in general good health, weigh at least 110 pounds and be at least 17 years old (16 with completed Parental Consent Form). New height and weight restrictions apply to donors 18 and younger.

Closed ... O Continued from Page 1A

line of good judgment in some cases and were being abusive in other cases. Not being able to watch this any longer, on March 7, the complaintant reported the actions to MacArthur Principal Shawna Evans. USD 480 Director of Human Resources and Communication Paul Larkin praised law enforcement for their efforts in the investigation. “The district is pleased with the findings of the investigation and the notifications LARKIN we have received regarding no further issues,” he said. Larkin said the district is not looking to pursue any policy changes regarding dealing with autistic children.

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