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Archive By Author - Susan Thacker


Sheriff diagnosed with cancer; promotes screening

Three months after being diagnosed with colon cancer, Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir is joining efforts to bring awareness to the disease.

March 21, 2015 | Susan Thacker | News


TOT SPOT

Two groups rasing money for toddler-appropriate playground equipment in Brit Spaugh Park hope to have the "Tot Spot" ordered by May 1, said Rachel Mawhirter from the Barton County Young Professionals.

March 21, 2015 | Susan Thacker | News


It's not mandatory

President Obama told an audience this week that mandatory voting might not be a bad idea. "It would be transformative if everybody voted - that would counteract money more than anything," he said Wednesday at a town hall-style event in Cleveland, Ohio.

March 19, 2015 | Susan Thacker | Viewpoint


Wetlands center prepares for spring

There were still snow geese at Cheyenne Bottoms this past week, but Curtis Wolf, site manager of Fort Hays State University's Kansas Wetlands Education Center, said they will be heading out any day.

March 13, 2015 | Susan Thacker | News


No excuse

University of Oklahoma students in fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon were videotaped on a bus clapping, pumping their fists and laughing as they chanted, "There will never be a ni**** SAE. You can hang him from a tree, but he can never sign with me. There will never be a ni**** SAE."

March 12, 2015 | Susan Thacker | Viewpoint


​Burned pickup believed to be stolen

A 2004 Ford F-350 diesel pickup was destroyed by fire early Wednesday, along with about 10 acres of grass near the Cheyenne Creek in rural Ellinwood. Undersheriff Bruce Green said it appeared to be a vehicle that was stolen from Russell County sometime between last Friday evening and Monday morning.

March 11, 2015 | Susan Thacker | News


Softball, baseball rules approved

The Great Bend Recreation Commission is preparing for spring and summer activities. On Monday, the GBRC board of directors approved youth baseball and softball rules. Sports Director Chris Umphres said they did not change this year.

March 09, 2015 | Susan Thacker | News


​LaVeta Miller found guilty of 2 counts theft by deception

LaVeta Diane Miller has been found guilty of two counts of theft by deception in amounts greater than $25,000 but less than $100,000. The jury in Barton County District Court began deliberations at 9 a.m. Monday, and reached a verdict shortly before 3:30 p.m. Sentencing was set for 1 p.m. on May 8. This will allow time for the state to conduct a pre-sentencing investigation (PSI) with review of any criminal history Miller may have. District Judge Ron Svaty ordered the PSI.

March 09, 2015 | Susan Thacker | News


Zoo News: Arctic foxes pose for national magazine

Note: A version of this story that appeared inthe March 5 Great Bend Tribune had the wrong name for the acting director of the Great Bend Brit Spaugh Zoo. Nicole Benz is the zoo curator and acting director.

March 07, 2015 | Susan Thacker | Local News


​LaVeta Miller jury to take up deliberations Monday

The jury in the trial of LaVeta D. Miller will begin deliberations when it reconvenes at 8:45 a.m. on Monday.

March 06, 2015 | Susan Thacker | News


Miller takes the witness stand

After the state presented its final witness Thursday in Barton County District Court, defendant LaVeta Miller stepped to the witness stand to testify. Charged with two counts of theft by deception, the Great Bend woman began to explain her work as former director of Central Prairie RC&D and its most prominent program, Central Prairie Honor Flights.

March 05, 2015 | Susan Thacker | News


Good call

A judge went above federal guidelines last Friday to give a Kansas City, Kansas, man nine years in prison to protect the elderly people he preyed upon, the Associated Press reported.

March 05, 2015 | Susan Thacker | Viewpoint


​KBI agent testifies Miller deposited checks for fictitious invoices

Kansas Bureau of Investigation Agent Clint Hawkins said checks that Central Prairie Honor Flights members thought were written to businesses wound up instead in the banking account of the nonprofit organization's director, LaVeta Miller. Hawkins testified Wednesday in Barton County District Court, where Miller is on trial for two counts of theft by deception, each greater than $25,000 but less than $100,000.

March 04, 2015 | Susan Thacker | News


Former Honor Flight secretary reviews checks

The former treasurer of Central Prairie Honor Flights spent nearly four hours on the witness stand Tuesday, reviewing dozens of checks - including some deposited into the personal checking account of LaVeta Miller.

March 03, 2015 | Susan Thacker | News


​Jury selected for LaVeta Miller trial

A jury was selected Monday for LaVeta D. Miller's trial in Barton County District Court. Miller has entered a plea of not guilty to two counts of theft by deception.

March 02, 2015 | Susan Thacker | News


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Articles By Author - Susan Thacker


Meet Our Peeps

In the urban dictionary, "peeps" are people - usually friends. But for birdwatchers, the peeps are five species of North American sandpipers.

April 25, 2015 | Susan Thacker | News


Bullet dodged

There was no guarantee Thursday afternoon that the Barton Community College journalism teacher or the theater teacher would have their contracts renewed. Their names were on a list recommended for "non-renewal," even though their employers appeared to be happy with their work.

April 23, 2015 | Susan Thacker | Viewpoint


Faculty contracts renewed at BCC

After more than two hours of discussion behind closed doors on Thursday, the Barton Community College Board of Trustees voted to renew faculty contracts, including two contracts the administration had recommended for "non-renewal." The vote was 4-2, and trustees promptly returned to executive session to discuss personnel matters for another hour.

April 23, 2015 | Susan Thacker | News


A cup of Joe (and some cool old trucks)

"I didn't even know this was here."

April 22, 2015 | Susan Thacker | News


Downtown Art & Wine Walk announced

Sixteen businesses will take part in Great Bend's downtown Arts & Wine Walk, from 4-7 p.m. Friday, May 1.

April 21, 2015 | Susan Thacker | News


​Fair is fair: Care workers deserve OT

Prior to Jan. 1, 2015, many workers who provided home care assistance to elderly people and those with illnesses, injuries or disabilities were not entitled to receive federal minimum wage and overtime pay protections.

April 16, 2015 | Susan Thacker | Viewpoint


Library reopens with little fanfare

A handful of patrons were waiting Wednesday morning when circulation clerk Maggie McQuade unlocked the front doors of the Great Bend Public Library.

April 15, 2015 | Susan Thacker | News


Walk KS teams celebrate midpoint of 'journey'

On March 15, hundreds of teams set off on journeys to "walk across Kansas," at least symbolically. Now half-way through the eight-week Walk Kansas fitness challenge, Barton County teams met Wednesday for a pep rally in the courthouse square.

April 15, 2015 | Susan Thacker | News


Budget cuts raise questions about BCC programs

Two instructors at Barton Community College who would normally expect to see their contracts renewed this month are facing the possibility of being "non-renewed," raising questions about the future of theater and journalism programs at the college.

April 15, 2015 | Susan Thacker | News


​GBRC Program Director reports

Megan Hammeke said bowling continues to be popular with the special needs clients, who participated 229 times in March. They also had a spring dance, craft classes and an Easy Cooking class on potatoes. This month's cooking ingredient is cheese.

April 13, 2015 | Susan Thacker | News


Rec awarding fewer 'participant' medals

Monday's decision to award fewer 'participant' medals this summer wasn't about money, Great Bend Recreation Commission board members said. The consensus was that once kids are old enough to play on teams that keep score, they don't care much about non-championship medals.

April 13, 2015 | Susan Thacker | News


BCC raising rates at Child Development Center

The Child Development Center at Barton Community College will raise its day-care rates by $2 per child per day, effective July 1. That follows a $1 increase imposed on Feb. 1.

April 10, 2015 | Susan Thacker | News


Walk Kansas Pep Rally planned

The Great Bend Recreation Commission and the Barton County Extension Office will host a Walk Kansas Pep Rally from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, April 15, at the band shell in the courthouse square.

April 10, 2015 | Susan Thacker | Local News


​BCC may cut staff this month

This story has been modified on April 12, 2015, removing references to contracts for Barton Community College instructors at Fort Riley and Fort Leavenworth. Additional comments from the college staff have been added to the "Related content" box.

April 09, 2015 | Susan Thacker | News


Ag talk

Those who visited the Great Bend Farm & Ranch Expo on Thursday could attend free programs by experts in the commodity markets. There was also a drawing for a $5,000 drone, complete with training, just for attending the KBUF Risk Management and Market Forum. Larry Brown from Scott City was the winner.

April 09, 2015 | Susan Thacker | News


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