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Archive By Author - Veronica Coons

USD 428 vocal music students visit seniors

Riley and Park elementary students brought their winter music programs on the road Wednesday morning, and visitors at the Great Bend Senior Center benefitted. Larissa Blackwell, Park's music teacher, led her students in popular movie songs from "Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang," "The Wizard of Oz," and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." Rachel McCaulley, Riley's music teacher, led students in selections from their musical production of "A Kid's Life," in which grandparents come to visit during a power outage, and help their grandchildren find non-electronic ways to entertain themselves.

November 19, 2014 | Veronica Coons | News

Community-funded hospital expansion a boon

In just two years, Clara Barton Hospital in Hoisington has seen a 17 percent increase in the need for physical therapy services, according to hospital foundation spokesperson Michelle Moshier. Two factors have driven this--the addition of orthopedic services and an aging population. Thursday, the hospital will hold an open house so the public can see their answer to this need.

November 19, 2014 | Veronica Coons | News


Friday afternoon, the Barton Community College Spirit Squad visited Riley Elementary. They were there to reinforce this year's motivational theme, "Learners Today, Leaders Tomorrow." Principal JoAnn Blevins worked with a group of hand-picked student leaders before students arrived in the lunchroom for the assembly, instructing them on how students would be seated. Then, as students arrived, class by class, her helpers jumped into action, making sure the kids stayed in straight lines with the proper amount of space between. The close quarters were necessary because the group would need plenty of room to perform.

November 17, 2014 | Veronica Coons | News

Eathquake damage worries homeowners

Wednesday afternoon, people reported feeling the ground shake as far north as Manhattan when a 4.8 magnitude earthquake occurred near Conway Springs, located between 80 and 90 miles from the Oklahoma border, west of Wichita.

November 16, 2014 | Veronica Coons | News

Out of the Morgue,November 13, 2014

Each week we'll take a step back into the history of Great Bend through the eyes of reporters past. We'll reacquaint you with what went into creating the Great Bend of today, and do our best to update you on what "the rest of the story" turned out to be.

November 13, 2014 | Veronica Coons | News

GBHS fall sports All-Conference athletes

Great Bend High School students who participated in six sports were recognized Monday night by the USD 428 board of education for their achievement which resulted in being designated All-Conference athletes. Activities Director David Meter introduced each coach who in turn introduced the members of their teams who made the list, as well as those who were given honorable mention. (Video links can be found with the story at

November 11, 2014 | Veronica Coons | News

District recognizes athletes, announces middle school WAC

Monday night, the USD 428 Board of Education was visited by several Great Bend High School students, some who were to be recognized by their coaches for their above-board efforts in fall sports, others who were there to thank the board for their support and to propose ways to increase contributions to the food bank.

November 11, 2014 | Veronica Coons | News


Representatives from the City of Great Bend, the Chamber of Commerce, and Overland Property Group assembled at the site where the first phase of the apartment complex, "The Reserves at Trail Ridge," will be built for a ceremonial ground breaking Wednesday afternoon.

November 05, 2014 | Veronica Coons | News

Supporters eager to meet candidate

Supporters of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Paul Davis waited Monday evening near the corner of Main and Lakin streets in Great Bend, "Davis and Docking" signs in hand, awaiting a brief visit by the man they hope will take up residence at One SW Cedar Crest Road in Topeka in January, 2015.

November 03, 2014 | Veronica Coons | News

Out of the Morgue

Each week we'll take a step back into the history of Great Bend through the eyes of reporters past. We'll reacquaint you with what went into creating the Great Bend of today, and do our best to update you on what "the rest of the story" turned out to be.

October 30, 2014 | Veronica Coons | News

School bus in fender bender

A vehicle ran a stop sign at 10th and Patton in Great Bend and hit a USD 428 school bus taking a group of preschoolers to school at around 11:45 a.m. Wednesday morning, according to Assistant Superintendent Khris Thexton. The bus received minor damages, and there were no injuries to the passengers. The bus was able to complete the trip to the Washington school.

October 29, 2014 | Veronica Coons | News

Many watch as old opera house falls

"I will definitely not forget this day," said Braydan Peak. He and mom Sheryl watched from an office window at First United Methodist Church as workers from Stone Sand Co. gingerly demolished Great Bend's old opera house at the intersection of Williams and Forest streets. As they watched, the history of the day was not lost on either of them.

October 28, 2014 | Veronica Coons | News

A Golden Honor

Friday morning, area veterans met at the Great Bend American Legion Hall for coffee and a chance to honor an old friend and one of the three known U.S. military Generals from Great Bend. Legion member Hugh "Bud" Steadman requested the Golden Plains Quilts of Valor present General Richard Wegner, a two-star General, retired, with the U.S. Army Air Force was a member of the Great Bend High School Class of 1943, and served his country during both World War II and the Korean Conflict, and he was a classmate of both Steadman and Virginia (Lonnon) Sharp, both ...

October 25, 2014 | Veronica Coons | News

Out of the Morgue

Each week we'll take a step back into the history of Great Bend through the eyes of reporters past. We'll reacquaint you with what went into creating the Great Bend of today, and do our best to update you on what "the rest of the story" turned out to be.

October 23, 2014 | Veronica Coons | News

Teacher achievements recognized

Fourth grade teacher Tammy Cale and physical education teacher Bryan Scott, both of Riley Elementary School, were given well-deserved recognition by the USD 428 Board of Education, led by Kevin Mauler, president, Monday night.

October 19, 2014 | Veronica Coons | Education

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Articles By Author - Veronica Coons

Ellinwood High School FBLA sponsors Ellinwood Chamber of Commerce coffee

On Friday, April 24, members of the Ellinwood Chamber of Commerce attended a weekly coffee hosted by the Ellinwood High School FBLA chapter. Sponsor Lorie Betts opened the program, asking each member to introduce themselves and talk about the projects they participated in at the state competition, and whether they would be attending the national competition to be held in Chicago during the summer. Nearly half the members appeared on stage at the state competition, something Betts noted was much better than hoped for.

April 24, 2015 | Veronica Coons | News

EDC Dancers Edge out the competion

Euphoria Dance Company's competition dance team attended the Edge Dance Competition held April 11 – 12 at the Century II Performing Arts Center in Wichita.

April 24, 2015 | Veronica Coons | Business

USD 355 changing math offerings

Ellinwood USD 355 Superintendent Ben Jacobs confirmed the district will eliminate 8th grade algebra next year.

April 23, 2015 | Veronica Coons | News

Taking out the trash

When it comes to landfills, Barton County is proof that NIMBY (not in my backyard) is not a universal concept. Here, our commissioners understand the value of having a landfill nearby, accessible to county residents. The news that our landfill's lifetime has been doubled to 60 years from it's previous 30 is fantastic news.

April 22, 2015 | Veronica Coons | Viewpoint

Out of the Morgue

Each week we'll take a step back into the history of Great Bend through the eyes of reporters past. We'll reacquaint you with what went into creating the Great Bend of today, and do our best to update you on what "the rest of the story" turned out to be.

April 22, 2015 | Veronica Coons | News

Waystations needed to save monarchs

With the Kansas Wetlands Education Center and Cheyenne Bottoms in its backyard, Barton County is no stranger to butterfly tagging, and the each year, butterfly enthusiasts take part in butterfly counts throughout the warmer months. These efforts have shown numbers have dropped to critical levels over the past few decades. Barbara Green, a representative of Monarch Watch, hopes more people will respond by creating monarch waystations.

April 19, 2015 | Veronica Coons | News

Claflin to open new and improved history museum

Five years ago, Claflin, a northern Barton County city, received a couple blows. First, it's elementary school was closed when the district consolidated with Bushton, Holyrood, and Wilson. Second, its history museum had to close unexpectedly when the building, one of Claflin's original structures, had severe structural problems.

April 16, 2015 | Veronica Coons | News

Project taking root

Saturday afternoon, community volunteers from several organizations met at the Brit Spaugh zoo to plant the seeds of a project that years from now will bear fruit for the city – literally.

April 16, 2015 | Veronica Coons | News

Playing politics

The Kansas legislature, through Senate Sub for HB2258, has made it harder to remain stuck in poverty. Not by providing more resources to the poor, but by taking more away.

April 16, 2015 | Veronica Coons | Viewpoint

Question of quality

School sports is an important part of education, both for students and parents. Showing up to the game, cheering from the stands, they gain a sense of pride watching their children reach new milestones like making a critical play. And sharing those moments with friends and family sends a message to teens that they are supported.

April 14, 2015 | Veronica Coons | News

Board wrestles with picture-perfect compromise

Before the USD 428 Board of Education dove into their business meeting Monday evening, President Kevin Mauler recognized retired teacher Jean Cavanaugh as A Friend of Education. Former superintendent, Tom Vernon, came to offer his support.

April 13, 2015 | Veronica Coons | News

Tractors pull generations closer

Antique tractors mixed with modern, ranging in size from full-sized beasts of the field all the way down to lawn tractors at the Hoisington tractor pull Saturday afternoon. From all over Kansas and surrounding states, participants had come to compete. John Deere verses Massey-Harris and Massey-Ferguson, Cub-Cadet versus International Harvester. Some stock, some custom, some using diesel and others nitro.

April 13, 2015 | Veronica Coons | News


Wednesday morning, Great Bend Chamber of Commerce officers and ambassadors were on hand at the Great Bend Expo Complex to open the 2015 Great Bend Farm & Ranch Expo. President Jan Peters welcomed the many farmers, ranchers, and members of the community who stopped in first thing in the morning to check out the vendors while a cool mist slowly burned off. It was better than in years past, she noted, and the forecast for the next two days the show will run is predicted to be mild also.

April 08, 2015 | Veronica Coons | News

New faces on USD 428 Board of Education

With four positions available and seven candidates, there is passion for education amongst patrons of USD 428 Great Bend. While board member Cheryl Rugan held onto her seat, she was joined by three new faces. The front-running winner of Tuesday's election, Susan Young, is a recently retired teacher for Lincoln Elementary School. Another newcomer to the Board of Education is Lori Reneaux, who has been the president of the Park Elementary School booster club for the past seven years. Chris Umphres, currently the sports director at the Great Bend Recreation Commission, has been a long time community supporter.

April 07, 2015 | Veronica Coons | News

Hoisington EMS team honored at KEMTA

Hoisington was in the spotlight last weekend as two dedicated EMS personnel were honored by their peers in Topeka.

April 05, 2015 | Veronica Coons | News

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