BY SUSAN THACKER
Was yesterday a holiday or something? Many of my friends - even those in relationships - took some time out Monday to gripe about Valentine's Day.
Tuesday could only be described as a Snow Day.
Some animals at Great Bend's Brit Spaugh Zoo were able to bear this week's bitter cold spell in newly winterized quarters, thanks to two young men working on Eagle Scout projects. Bryce Divis and Nathan Brungardt, both Scouts in Troop 157, chose to build winter animals enclosures, Zoo Director Scott Gregory said.
A 26-year-old woman died and a 30-year-old man was seriously injured Wednesday night, after a car went off the 100 block of NW 40 Ave. in Barton County and hit a tree. The driver, who is suspected of driving under the influence of a controlled substance, fled the scene but later turned himself in, the Barton County Sheriff's Office reports.
Imagine a website where your friends could have instant access to your changes of mood, the picture of your newest big purchase or your thoughts on your job or school. Then imagine that access opening to friends of friends - and their friends, including people you've never heard of.
Once again, volunteers are available to help low- and moderate-income residents prepare their state and federal income tax returns, including the Kansas Homestead Claim for senior citizens who are homeowners.
They didn't exactly roll up the sidewalks, but even some of Great Bend's downtown stores closed Tuesday as snow whipped through the streets and temperatures plummeted.
OTIS - Students and teachers at Otis-Bison Elementary School learned over the weekend that 7-year-old Tanner Hlavaty had died Saturday in a farm accident.
Pioneers, cowgirls and basketball fans alike celebrated the 150th anniversary of Kansas becoming a state on Saturday, which was Kansas Day.
Nearly 40 years after leading raids on gambling in Great Bend, former Kansas Attorney General Vern Miller was back in town Saturday. Miller, 82, spoke at the Great Bend Public Library, where he and author Mike Danford signed copies of the biography "Vern Miller: Legendary Kansas Lawman."
To some, Vern Miller was the "Super Cop," who, as Kansas Attorney General, raided night clubs - including the Great Bend Petroleum Club - and confiscated cases of liquor from Amtrak trains. Others had a less charitable view of Miller, and took to spray painting the name "Vern" under the word "Stop" on stop signs in the 1970s.
Members of the Great Bend Noon Kiwanis got to see K-9 officer Rocco in action Wednesday, during a demonstration presented by the Barto County Sheriff's Office.
Kansas community colleges are supporting a proposed cost model for technical education, but advising legislators not to fund vocational schools at their expense.
The judge who ordered a mental competency evaluation for first-degree murder suspect Jeffrey Wade Chapman now wants to hear why the evaluation at Larned State Security Hospital took less than a day.
The jury trial for the Great Bend woman accused of stealing more than $100,000 in money earmarked to honor World War II veterans was scheduled to start this week, but is on hold, with no date scheduled as of Tuesday. LaVeta D. Miller's court-appointed attorney has requested the trial be rescheduled to November or December if possible.
Photos taken Sept. 13, 2014 at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center
Most Kansas festival planners are at the mercy of Mother Nature to some degree, especially when nature is the featured attraction. Saturday's weather, an early taste of fall, was perfect for most humans attending the Kansas Wetlands Education Center's annual fall Butterfly Festival. Those who wished they'd brought a jacket could sip coffee or hot chocolate indoors before heading outdoors in the 55-degree weather.
Larned State Hospital Superintendent Dr. Tom Kinlen praised Barton Community College staff Thursday for creating a program that will allow LSH employees to advance in their careers and better serve patients. A program for a Mental Health Technician certificate is expected to begin by the fall of 2015, college trustees were told at their monthly study session.
Gold Girls Club, a ministry of teenage girls, is sponsoring "A Reflection of Christ," a conference for women and teenage girls, featuring author Kris Goertzen from Hutchinson. It will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20, in the Perkins Party Room, 2920 10th St., Great Bend.
A youth sporting event turned into a brawl, this past Monday in Wichita. According to reports, a parent complained that his son wasn't getting enough playing time; then six men surrounded the coach and started hitting him. Police said one of the men had brass knuckles and one had a gun. Then the coach's wife pulled out a gun of her own and fired it into the air. The coach headed to his car to retrieve a gun, too.
TOPEKA - Kansas Supreme Court justices on Wednesday heard oral arguments in appeals to Adam Longoria's capital murder conviction. No decisions were made as the case was taken under advisement.
The iron lung exhibit from the Barton County Historical Society Museum is featured this week at the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson.
Larned State Hospital Superintendent Dr. Tom Kinlen will attend Thursday's study session with the Barton Community College Board of Trustees, set for 4 p.m. in the Seminar Room, F-30 on the lower level of the BCC Fine Arts Building. This is billed as a "linkage" meeting between the trustees and LSH. Other guests from Larned will be Holly Hertel, former director of nursing; and Julie Belt, interim director of nursing.
A Great Bend man was booked on charges that included kidnapping following an incident that occurred south of Great Bend last Friday. The alleged victim was also arrested on outstanding warrants.
M & N Screen Printing in Great Bend was awarded the contract to print T-shirts for the Great Bend Recreation Commission for the next year.
As a reminder that God hasn't been expelled from public schools, students plan to gather around school flagpoles later this month for prayer. But first, One Hope ministries in Great Bend will host a kick-off rally for See You At The Pole 2014. It will be held at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 21, in the Great Bend High School auditorium. Doors will open at 6 p.m.