Archive for Thursday, August 19, 2004

Also from August 19

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Competition among athletes crops up in conditioning circles, too
August 19, 2004
Burton isn’t the only Wildcat athlete camping out in the weight room during the summer. “Our attendance is getting better and better,” Scott said. “Each year we are getting an increase in numbers. The kids are working harder, and they’re getting faster and faster and stronger and stronger.”
Schoolyard woolies
Playground equipment used to provide lessons in survival
August 19, 2004
Recently, it came to my attention that the playground equipment in most schools and parks was brightly painted with primary colors. This, of course, isn’t a recent phenomenon, but just a sign of my indifference to that which does not hold my interest. And I haven’t been interested in schoolyard playthings since they were painted the same hue as my now-gray hair.
Coach hoping De Soto schools’ athletes will flip for gymnastics
August 19, 2004
As he approaches his 17th season of coaching gymnastics in the Olathe school district, Jay Roberts would like to expand his horizons a bit. Maybe it’s the spirit of the Olympics or just the desire to keep his sport alive, but the De Soto resident has a desire to bring gymnastics to his hometown.
Local control an empty promise Local control
August 19, 2004
Last week, a Kansas Appeals Court ruled that Johnson County’s sales tax that makes economic development grants available to county school districts was constitutional. The De Soto USD 232 Board of Education’s sole participation in that process is an annual vote to accept the grants from the tax that would be imposed regardless of any decision it makes. Earlier this month, the Board voted to approve the 2004-2005 budget. Although we don’t dismiss the work that goes into the district’s annual budget, to a large extent the process too was proscribed.
Radio flyers
RC plane enthusiasts surf the air waves around De Soto
August 19, 2004
Wells and Tuttle were among the 10 members of the radio-controlled airplane club who showed up Friday morning to fly their aircraft and enjoy a cook-out at the club’s four-month-old northeast De Soto home. The site gives the club what it wants — wide-open isolation.
City budget offers mill levy decrease, service upgrades
August 19, 2004
The De Soto City Council shouldn’t hear many objections during a public hearing Thursday on the proposed 2005 budget. The city’s $6.15 million budget maintains current utility rates, adds a new parks department employee, provides an additional $140,000 for routine street maintenance, and brings back a popular law enforcement presence — all while reducing the mill levy. “It’s a good feeling we can do some of these things and at the same time reduce the mill levy,” City Administrator Greg Johnson said.
District, teachers agree to 3.2-percent salary increase, return of salary schedule
August 19, 2004
The De Soto USD 232 Board of Education approved Monday a one-year teacher contract that will reinstate a salary schedule and give all returning teachers a salary increase for the 2004-2005 school year. Superintendent Sharon Zoellner said teachers voted to ratify the provisional contract last week. Following the Board’s approval, contracts will be readied for teachers to sign into effect this week. “We hope that teachers will have contracts in their hands Wednesday,” Zoellner said. Zoellner said the district’s budget for teacher salaries increased 3.2 percent from last year.
Answers elusive for Mize Middle School
De Soto USD 232 Board considers hard choices to address $6 million construction estimate shortfall
August 19, 2004
De Soto USD 232’s Mize Middle School update — which four weeks ago indicated a shortage of more than $6 million for the planned project — swelled into full-blown “bond issue reconfiguration” on the Board of Education agenda Monday night.
Staff driven to deliver students safely
August 19, 2004
Spanning about 36 bright yellow-orange feet, a typical school bus is trickier to maneuver than the family car — or even the family extra-long conversion van. But there’s a course for bus driver’s education, too. “That’s why we’re here,” said Frieda Wells, De Soto’s Laidlaw Transit manager. “By the time we get through with them, they can drive anything on the lot.” About 20 new bus drivers for De Soto USD 232 are completing training this week just in time to haul students to their first day of school on Thursday. Besides learning tricks of the trade for operating a bus, new drivers undergo background checks, mechanical quizzes and “student management” training.
Resurrecting the glory days
Upstart local youth football league looking for sponsorships
August 19, 2004
The whole community would benefit if the De Soto High School football team returned to its glory days of the early 1980s, say those organizing a new youth football league.