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.
Saturday, Sept. 14, marks the 25th anniversary of the Dominican Sisters of Peace opening of Heartland Farm west of Great Bend. What started as a testament to the value of small, privately owned farms and an experiment with organic farming has evolved over a quarter century to become an example of what agri-tourism in the local economy can look like.
Sister Terry Wassinger sits on the swing near the circular driveway at Heartland Farm. Beside her sit Lily and Lennie, brother and sister farm dogs. It is her favorite place to sit and rest. But soon, she will be say goodbye to the farm that has been her home for 21 years. She's heading to Kentucky on Sunday, Sept. 15, the day after Heartland Farm celebrates its 25th anniversary.
Sister Amata Pantel, 95, died Aug. 24, at the Dominican Sisters' convent infirmary, in Great Bend. Born April 25, 1918, in Wakefield, as Josephine Pantel, Sister Amata was the daughter of the late Joseph and Stella Bower Pantel. She entered the Dominican Sisters' Community Aug. 28, 1934, and pronounced her first vows on Aug. 12, 1937. She celebrated 75 years of religious profession in 2012. Sister Amata gave much of her ministerial life to domestic work in the sisters' missions, laundries, kitchens and sewing rooms. Later she served as a teacher aide, gardener at the motherhouse, and in home health ...
"Imagination to the Nation", the new album by Great Bend's John Keenan, is now available on iTunes for digital download, or on CD at Perks. The Tribune met with Keenan on Thursday to talk about the direction his music is taking him as he continues exploring today's independent music scene.
Monday and Tuesday afternoons this week, Great Bend Police Sgt. Rod Weber arrived at Great Bend Middle School well before the 3:10 p.m. dismissal bell rang. He was there to remind parents that some common practices from years past are no longer allowed. They include double parking and stopping in the road to drop-off or pick up. Those transporting kids to and from school must legally park before anyone may exit the car, Weber told driver after driver.
This month, social workers and volunteers who help with the homeless across Kansas finally get to see what a picture, taken eight months ago, has developed into. But some significant data is missing from the picture.
Monday night, USD 428 School Board approved a request by the Great Bend Recreation Center to ask for a mill levy increase from 5.000 to 7.000. However, the request is being contested by a local private busniess owner, Caron Zager of Club 1 Fitness. The issues presented are complicated, with both entities providing the community a valuable service.
The evidence of the aftermath of rural school closures is as close as a fifteen minute drive west of Great Bend. Alumni of Pawnee Rock High School, which was closed in 1972, against the wishes of the patrons, came together Saturday in Great Bend for an all-class reunion. While most have moved away, they recalled fond memories of the town they grew up and went to school in. For many, like Steve Crosby, coming home and seeing how their hometown has fared since the school closed and their lives have carried them off to points elsewhere was sobering.
After a morning field trip to Carol Long Pottery Gallery in St. John, participants and passersby began filtering into the Barton County Arts Council Gallery Saturday afternoon for live poetry readings by local and imported poets. Soon, every seat in the performance space was filled, and it was standing room only for the 25th anniversary of the Poets Rendezvous, organized in part by Michael Hathaway of St. John. The gatherings started in August 1988 at the Great Bend Public Library, and later evolved into a writers group, ending up as an organic event with a life of its own, he ...
The evidence of the aftermath of rural school closures is as close as a 15-minute drive west of Great Bend. Alumni of Pawnee Rock High School, which was closed in 1972, against the wishes of the patrons, came together Saturday in Great Bend for an all-class reunion. While most have moved away, they recalled fond memories of the town they grew up and went to school in. For many, coming home and seeing how their hometown has fared since the school closed and their lives have carried them off to points elsewhere was sobering.
Tuesday evening, I worked with volunteers clearing out a muddy basement in Ellinwood. Flooding from last weekend's rain filled it with both mud and water. With more rain expected throughout the week, we realized the top priority had to be removing items, rather than shoveling mud.