These items were taken from the Sun’s editions 20, 30 and 40 years ago.


June 21, 1979

In the previous three years, enrollment in Parsons USD 503 had dropped by 142 students, or 14%, S.J. Alioto, superintendent, told board members at a regular meeting. The decrease was not alarming in that it followed state and national trends, he said, but the district did have to look at enrollment and make adjustments accordingly. Following the suggestion of Alioto, board members voted to drop a fifth-grade position at Lincoln School. A teacher was added in the spring of 1975 to absorb enrollment gains from the two previous years, but since then, the school’s enrollment also had dropped about 14%, Alioto said, or by 41 students. Mike Adkins, fifth-grade teacher at Lincoln, already had requested a transfer and agreed to fill a vacancy as a fourth-grade teacher at Washington School.


June 21, 1989

Residents near a proposed Women’s Resource Center at 1410 Broadway said having a center in the neighborhood would reduce property values and add to existing traffic and parking problems. The residents spoke during a public hearing on a request to rezone the house and property from single-family residential to controlled office and professional use. The Parsons Planning Commission agreed to continue the hearing on July 18 to allow the center’s advisory board to supply additional information about parking needs.

Randy Mathews, police and courts reporter for the Parsons Sun, was set to begin July 3 as an administrative assistant for the city of Parsons, although the main focus of his job would be the recently renovated Municipal Auditorium. Mathews’ background in lighting, sound and stage management would be helpful on the new job, City Manager Dick Combs said. Mathews had been production manager, lighting director or technician for several touring rock bands such as Shooting Star and the Tommy Shaw Band and had operated a spotlight and helped set up staging, lighting and sound systems at Sandstone Amphitheater in Bonner Springs.


June 21, 1999

In the wake of increasing school violence, the U.S. House passed a proposal to give states permission to decide whether the Ten Commandments could be displayed in public facilities. The hope was it would deter more violence. If the bill made it through the Senate, the decision on whether schools were allowed to post the commandments would fall to the Kansas State Board of Education, according to Mike Matson, spokesman for Gov. Bill Graves. Reaction among local school officials included some doubts on the effect posting the commandments would have on students. Parsons USD 503 Superintendent John Benson said it would have a positive effect on some students and no effect on others, but he didn’t think it would have a negative effect. He said there was no way to predict whether posting of the commandments would disturb anyone in the community, but he said he didn’t think it would upset the Parsons community in general.

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