Wichita City Council revokes bar owner’s liquor license

In an emotional and contentious vote, Wichita City Council members today voted 4-3 to revoke liquor licenses from both Doobley’s bars — one at 767 N. West St., the other at 2415 W. 31st Street South.

Bar owner Robert Crandell said the move will likely kill his business. But his attorney, Jim Thompson, said he’ll file for a temporary injunction in district court that would allow the bar to stay open until the revocation is appealed in district court.

The revocation followed about two hours of testimony from police, city lawyers, Crandell and Thompson. The city argued that Crandell lied to police about what he knew after someone stomped on the head of an intoxicated patron in the Doobley’s parking lot on West Street in the early morning hours of June, 1, 2010. The victim barely survived. A suspect was charged with attempted homicide and later pleaded guilty to aggravated battery.

Crandell pleaded no contest to obstruction of justice in district court, but he said that was only because he couldn’t afford a legal battle and didn’t think it would lead to the revocation of his liquor license. Crandell said he did not provide false statements to police. Read More »

Kansans For Life’s response to Parkinson’s veto of provision blocking funds for Planned Parenthood

TOPEKA – Below is a written response by Kansans For Life Executive Director Mary Kay Culp.

Gov. Mark Parkinson, a Democrat, on Friday line-item vetoed from the wrap-up budget bill a provision aimed at blocking Planned Parenthood from receiving money for family planning services.

The money, a federal grant disseminated by the state, cannot be used for abortion services and helps fund Planned Parenthood’s clinics in Hays and Wichita.

Below is the response:

“Any hopes that Governor Parkinson was better than Sebelius on life issues just flew out the window with this veto in which he gives Planned Parenthood priority over public health clinics without him even having the guts to mention the nation’s single largest abortion provider, by name.

The Governor purposely gave the wrong impression when saying the budget went against the rules. This budget didn’t ban Planned Parenthood from getting one dime–they would remain on the list to receive funds. It simply re-prioritized the order of which entities got funds first.

When a private organization like Planned Parenthood gets tax dollars it frees up their private funds to pay lobbyists to troll for more tax funds, not to mention lobby against state abortion regulations. And even if the money goes to their clinics that don’t do abortions, again, it frees up the private money they have available for their clinics that do. In addition, even those clinics that don’t do abortions, refer for them.

By the Governor putting Planned Parenthood at the top, rather than the bottom of the list, he is saying he doesn’t care that they perform abortions, doesn’t care that they lobby to keep all abortions, even partial-birth abortions, legal, and doesn’t care that they are in trouble across the country for breaking state laws, including our own. But his veto does likely show that like Sebelius, Governor Parkinson appreciates that, unlike public health clinics, Planned Parenthood has a political arm that works to influence elections. .

There is no reason to give Planned Parenthood tax funding priority when the same services can be provided just as easily, and much less politically, by our public health clinics.”

Flu prompts Chinese delegation to postpone Wichita trip

A delegation from Wuxi, China, has postponed a trip to Wichita, citing travel concerns about the swine flu outbreak, the city of Wichita said in a news release today.

The group had been scheduled to arrive May 5 and tour local companies May 6. The visit was to include the signing of a letter of intent about an EcoPartnership between the two cities. The trip is expected to be rescheduled.

A separate group from Kaifent, China, still is scheduled to arrive in Wichita on Friday, the release said. The delegation from the Peoples Congress is set to visit public facilities and participate in River Festival.

New law allows alcohol at events like River Festival

WICHITA — It’s too late for this year, but next year revelers at the Wichita River Festival might be able to drink alcohol as they wander the festival.

A bill that allows special events to serve alcohol and wine within event boundaries will go into effect July 1 after it was signed into law Monday by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.

The city of Wichita pushed the idea as a way to enhance social events.

“I’m very pleased to see it going through,” said Mayor Carl Brewer.

The change will allow the city more flexibility in the events it hosts, he said, adding he hoped it would help Wichita attract various activities.

CityArts is already working to organize an event that will use the new law, he said.

Janet Wright, president and chief executive officer of Wichita Festivals Inc., which runs River Festival, said the group is still deciding what it wants to do under the law next year.

Right now, those who want to drink at the festival have to go to a cordoned-off beer garden.

“Everyone gathers in one particular spot to stand and drink because that is all you can do in that spot,” she said.

With the new law, beer drinkers could be allowed to wander the festival while quaffing their brews, she said.

“It’s not just about drinking — it is about the whole experiences,” she said, adding organizers would be careful not to damage the festival’s family-friendly atmosphere.

Special events drinking bill passes the House

TOPEKA – The House voted 110-13 for a bill that allows alcohol to be served at special events like Final Friday.

House Bill 2180 allows cities to issue temporary special permits for events that can then serve drinks such as wine, strong beer or mixed drinks. Currently, events such as the River Festival can have outdoor beer gardens serving 3.2 beer in a confined area.

Wichita has pushed the bill as a way to enhance the quality of life in the city and to attract more young people to build lives in the city.