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State senator wants to

help fight local crime

In reference to the article “Luetkemeyer lays out legislative priorities” in the Oct. 18 News-Press: He said he plans to address crime and our “catch-and-release” approach toward offenders.

He said that a slap on the wrist and back out on the streets system is not working. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I recently wrote a letter to Luetkemeyer and he responded. He is very aware of what is going on in St. Joseph with our crime and theft. He is listening. I would encourage other people to take the time to write him and voice your concerns.

Brigitte Berry

St. Joseph

Forget the alumni

rebellion over schools

The St. Joseph School District is in a position today to make a significant improvement in the school system.

The data is in: Student population is decreasing, more families are moving out of city to different school systems, annual reports shows some test scores falling below the state average, and three high schools will not be a reality in the future. No matter what decisions the school board makes, there will be an outcry of those faithful Cardinals, Fighting Irish and Indians.

So, forget the alumni rebellion. A quality school system is there to serve the students of today, not the wants of the parents of the past.

Close all three high schools and build a state of the art high school. Hire a high school administration that has proven experience in running a school with 3,000 students. Hire a principal from an existing 2,500-plus student population high school. The principal is the person solely responsible for meeting the educational needs of all the high school students. This person will be lucky to move into this new school.

St. Joseph will be noted as a leader in providing the most modern, up-to-date, progressive high school in the state.

The new high school will compete with any in the surrounding area. Be proud of our school system.

Dick Schott

St. Joseph

Railroads have ultimate right-of-way

I read the article in the Oct. 17 News-Press “Two killed in Kansas train, car crash.” It is tragic that at 11:59 p.m. (just one minute until midnight) on Oct. 16, a Union Pacific freight train struck an automobile stuck on the tracks for unknown reasons, killing two passengers of the car.

This area of Atchison County, Kansas, is very remote in terms of human population, yet it is on a busy line of the Union Pacific Railway.

It is surprising, after so many public service announcements have been made, many people still don’t comprehend that freight trains cannot stop on a dime. The railroads have the ultimate right-of-way.

I feel immense sympathy for the victims, but anyone who gets near any train tracks when a train is approaching is flirting with danger. I would hope that people would ultimately learn.

It is always best, to yield to a train and never let a car sit idly on the tracks. If people would follow those simple guidelines, many lives could be saved.

James A. Marples

Longview, Texas

(former Kansan)