KU Stops Tootin' Own Horn

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) _ The University of Kansas has shut down its "tooter,'' a steam whistle that has signaled the end of classes for almost a century.

The university made the decision to save the $3,000 yearly cost to sound the high-pressure whistle that sits on the roof of a power plant. School officials said the money could be better spent elsewhere.

Kansas vice provost Don Steeples said that the cost of blowing steam into the air every day prevents the university from spending money on necessities to keep the campus running. He estimated that $3,000 would cover the cost of painting a dozen classrooms.

A whistle first blew on campus in 1899 and started signaling the end of classes in 1912. After high pressure blew the whistle off the roof in 2003, a Kansas alum paid for a new one.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)