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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


State school board member decries ‘War on Public Education’

State Board of Education member Sally Cauble thought it was an April Fool's joke when Deputy Commissioner Dale Dennis asked her to explain the purpose of postcards published by the board to "inform legislators and celebrate public education in Kansas." Dennis, who is in the Kansas Board of Education's Division of Fiscal and Administrative Services, also wanted to know what the budget was for these items, and he wanted to make sure they weren't in violation of the law that prohibits state officers from lobbying in the state. He wasn't kidding.

April 06, 2015 | Susan Thacker | News


​Veteran asks for strict sentencing in Miller case

A Kansas veteran is asking Barton County District Judge Ron Svaty to show no leniency when sentencing the woman convicted of stealing more than $100,000 from funds earmarked for honoring World War II veterans.

April 06, 2015 | Susan Thacker | News


Stolen vehicles, other property recovered

Stolen property was recovered from All Seasons Mobile Home Park, 4 NW 30 Road, at Area 9, Lot 12, Sheriff Brian Bellendir said. Deputies executed a search warrant at a residence there last Wednesday, April 1.

April 06, 2015 | Susan Thacker | News


Dispatchers log path of storm

When a storm roared through Barton County Thursday night, dispatchers received reports of arcing power lines and blowing debris.

April 03, 2015 | Susan Thacker | News


Easter tradition continues at Pawnee Rock

PAWNEE ROCK - A sunrise pageant is planned for Easter morning at the Pawnee Rock State Historic Site, one-half mile north of U.S. 56 and the town of Pawnee Rock. The pageant starts at 7 a.m. on Sunday, April 5.

April 02, 2015 | Susan Thacker | News


Misfire:'Constitutional Carry' legislation not needed

On Thursday, Governor Sam Brownback signed into law Senate Bill 45, the permitless concealed carry legislation, earning praise from the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legal Action and criticism from Everytown for Gun Safety and a related group, the Kansas chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

April 02, 2015 | Susan Thacker | Viewpoint


Crisis City: GBFD sends 10 firefighters

SALINA - The training is intense at Crisis City, a hands-on All Hazards Emergency Response Training Center west of Salina. Great Bend Fire Department sent five firefighters for training on Tuesday, and five more on Wednesday, Capt. Travis Parmley said.

April 02, 2015 | Susan Thacker | News


Great Bend sends firefighters to Crisis City

Participants from state, local and private organizations across Kansas took part in a two-day emergency response exercise at Crisis City, Tuesday, March 31 and Wednesday, April 1. Great Bend Fire Department sent several people.

April 02, 2015 | Susan Thacker | News


Stafford County fire spreads to Barton County

By SUSAN THACKER

April 02, 2015 | Susan Thacker | News


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