Music lovers came from nine states this weekend for Polka Days. The music and dancing that started Friday evening with the Wes Windholz band continues through Sunday at the Great Bend Convention Center.
Ten years ago, Houston-based consultant Ted Eubanks helped create the nature-tourism strategy for Great Bend that culminated in the Wetlands and Wildlife National Scenic Byway designation and building the Kansas Wetlands Education Center on K-156. Now Eubanks, through his company Fermata Inc., has been hired to develop "interpretive plans" for each of the 11 Kansas scenic byways.
Technology that monitors mouse clicks and other information is being used to combat identity fraud on the Internet, the director of EduKan said. The e-college consortium formed by six community colleges, including Barton Community College, is using Biometric Signature Identification to stop students enrolled in online college courses from having someone else take their tests.
It's been a little over a year since the Great Bend City Council accepted a $500,000 gift to purchase the Convention Center that had been part of the Highland Hotel. The new hotel owner is settled in, and it's time for the city to move forward.
Great Bend Recreation Commission is wrapping up another busy summer and gearing up for fall programming, the board of commissioners learned Monday.
A two-year program on spiritual formation is starting this month at the Heartland Center for Spiritually in Great Bend.
Great Bend teachers are already back at school, and next Wednesday most of the students will be, too.
Farmers markets and community gardens are still supplying fresh produce, said Barton County Extension Agent Donna Krug. She recently presented a program on the benefits of "locally grown" food and its preservation.
Great Bend's Brit Spaugh Zoo has added a web-based backup for its records on animal care, Zoo Director Scott Gregory said.
Lt. Brian J. Bellendir bested incumbent Greg Armstrong and former Lt. Richard W. Unrein to win the Republican primary for Barton County Sheriff. His will be the only name on the ballot for that office in November. With votes from all 40 precincts counted for the unofficial total Tuesday night, Bellendir led with 2,262 votes, or 46.94 percent. Armstrong had 37.6 percent with 1,812 votes, and Unrein trailed with 15.46 percent, 745 votes.
Barton Community College employees showed visitors some of the latest improvements Thursday. During an open house for the fully renovated Student Union, the college also invited people to look inside the mobile training center for Barton's natural gas transmission and distribution program. The mobile unit is the first of its kind.
There were no changes to Barton Community College's proposed budget Thursday. It was approved by the BCC Board of Trustees after a public hearing at which no one came forward to comment.
Editor's Note: This is the second to two stories about campaign finance reports filed by area candidates.
In a little more than a month, Scott Gregory, director of Great Bend's Brit Spaugh Zoo, will know if the application for national accreditation was successful.
Editor's Note: This is the first of two stories on finance reports filed by candidates for office. Today's story is based on reports filed in the Barton County Clerk's Office. Part II will look at the reports filed in Topeka by candidates for the Kansas Senate District 33 and the House of Representatives District 112.
Starting Monday, Dec. 22, the Great Bend Public Library, 1409 Williams St., will begin lending portable WiFi Hotspot devices to library patrons wishing to expand the library's Internet access. Wifi Hotspot lending will be part of a pilot project initiated by the State Library of Kansas, in partnership with New York Public Library and the Knight Foundation.
Nine students from Great Bend's Seventh-day Adventist School took time out from an art project Friday and traveled to the Cherry Village nursing home to present their Christmas music program. A room full of residents and guests listened to the 30-minute program.
The Great Bend Police Department and the Barton County Sheriff's Office both received reports this past week from people who were the intended victims of con artists. They reported getting phone calls from someone claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service.
The Golden Belt received 4 to 6 inches of snow overnight Wednesday, according to reports from the National Weather Service offices in Dodge City and Wichita.
A mixture of snow and sleet began falling in Barton County Wednesday evening, which led to a number of weather-related accidents. Kansas Highway Patrol responded to two injury accidents in Barton County and one in Ellsworth County, all between 7:28 and 10:22 a.m. on Thursday.
Kansas got an early taste of winter Wednesday night when 4-6 inches of snow fell on this part of the state.
Here are some photos taken Thursday morning in Great Bend. About 4 inches of snow fell overnight in Great Bend and Ellinwood, with Claflin receiving 5.5 inches. An observer in Larned reported 3.8 inches.
Kansas Highway Patrol responded to a head-on collision Thursday morning in Barton County, after a car slid on ice south of Great Bend and hit another car head-on. One driver was injured.
A Great Bend man told police he was hit by a car around 10 p.m. Wednesday. The driver never stopped, according to the victim, 20-year-old Noe Chavez.
The number of trees in Great Bend is nearly half what it was 40 years, according to a "tree census" taken in 2012 by the city's Tree Board. City Administrator Howard Partington has asked the board to implement an accelerated tree planting program.
Two vehicles collided at 7:35 a.m. Tuesday in Barton County. Injuries were minor but one driver, Cindy Aracely Esquivel-Dominguez, was arrested for driving without a license, a traffic infraction and no insurance.
When the Golden Belt Community Foundation introduced central Kansas to Giving Tuesday, the result was $127,245 raised for area communities, said Christy Tustin, director of the foundation.
A video record
After a Ferguson, Mo., police officer fatally shot Michael Brown on Aug. 9, and the subsequent rioting, the Obama administration suggested more body cameras for police officers. As it turns out, law enforcement agencies throughout the nation were already headed in that direction.
Some Kansas homeowners could see their property taxes go up next year, to make up for an expected reduction in tax revenue from oil.