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Liberal man dies in rig accident PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 28 December 2009 13:06

AMES, Okla. (AP) — Authorities say an oil rig collapse in northwestern Oklahoma has killed a Kansas man and injured another.

Emergency officials responded to the accident about a half-mile east of Ames about 7:35 a.m. Saturday. Major County Sheriff’s Deputy Nick Holdeman says 31-year-old Gabriel Ovalle Tellez of Liberal, Kan., died.

Holdeman says David Gonzalez of Hugoton, Kan., suffered a broken leg and other injuries. Gonzalez was taken to an Enid hospital.

Holdeman says members of the Tomcat Drilling crew told authorities the rig collapsed a little after 6 a.m. He says the Oklahoma Occupational and Safety Health Administration will investigate the collapse.

Tomcat Drilling is based in Wichita.

Army rethinks how it teaches ethics to soldiers

FORT LEAVENWORTH (AP) — Army leaders who’ve been prompted to rethink tactics and war-fighting doctrines because of Iraq and Afghanistan also see a need to re-examine how they educate soldiers about ethics.

Some of the interest in ethics is tied to the wars: the black eye of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, concerns that stress from unconventional conflict leads to bad decisions, and, for at least one retired general, the sense that the military lost the public’s trust in Iraq. But some leaders also say the Army has worried for a while that it hasn’t been doing a good enough job of instilling strong ethics.

Officials at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., and at Fort Leavenworth, home to the Army’s Command and General Staff College, are still in the early stages of developing the material they’ll blend into handbooks, papers, online presentations and videos they use to train soldiers. Officers involved in the effort say that eventually a soldier’s grounding in ethics — strong or weak — will become a factor in promotions.

The Army’s efforts to rethink its training on ethics received a boost this fall, when Texas billionaire and two-time presidential candidate Ross Perot pledged $6.1 million to a private foundation supporting programs at Fort Leavenworth’s command college. One result is a new chairmanship in ethics — the kind of post universities set up for academic areas they deem important.

“It can’t be, ‘Today we’ll do ethics training and that will do for the year,’” said Brig. Gen. Ed Cardon, deputy commandant of the Fort Leavenworth college. “It has to be ingrained in everything we do, on and off duty.”

Much of the discussion among Army leaders remains general, with few details yet about exactly how their desire for better ethics training will translate into day-to-day operations.

Kan. weeklies avoid struggles of big-city dailies

TOPEKA (AP) — Nondaily newspapers appear to be avoiding some of the struggles the bigger dailies are facing.

From 2000 to 2009, the number of daily papers in the state dropped from 47 to 35, said Kansas Press Association executive director Doug Anstaett. During that same period, the number of nondaily papers increased from 197 to 200.

Experts attribute the success of the weekly papers and other nondailies to a loyal advertising base, less debt and a readership that is less reliant on the Internet.

“Typically, the larger companies who have expanded and taken on debt have run into the proverbial buzzsaw of the market dropping out below them,” Anstaett said of the big-city newspapers owned by larger chains.

Jon Brake is publisher of the Blue Rapids Free Press, a new nondaily. He has little sympathy for the budget bleed of bigger publications.

“I can’t understand how a newspaper making $40 million a year goes bankrupt,” he said.

Wichita prepares for arena’s debut

WICHITA (AP) — Wichita is gearing up for the grand opening of the Intrust Bank Arena.

An open house for the $184.5 million arena is planned for Saturday.

The city has been working hard to spruce up the area around the arena with new street lights, sidewalks, parking lots and electronic signs.

City Council member Lavonta Williams says that by the grand opening the city will have as many things done as possible in the time available.

And more improvements are expected in the area as a downtown revitalization plan takes shape.

Primary seat belt law touted as money-maker

WICHITA (AP) — Traffic safety officials have 11.2 million reasons for passing a primary seat belt law.

They want to remind people that’s how many extra federal dollars Kansas would get to spend on highways if the Legislature passed a primary seat belt law.

Currently, state law only permits officers to ticket someone for not wearing a seat belt if they are stopped for another violation such as speeding.

A primary seat belt law would allow officers to stop drivers simply for not wearing their seat belts.

The issues has come up in past years.

Supporters of the bill say its a safety issue. Opponents say people ought to be allowed to decide for themselves whether to wear a seat belt.

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About The High Plains Daily Leader

The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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