Soon, it may be illegal for USD 428 to continue to make payroll deductions of Kansas National Education Association dues and political action support by teachers in Great Bend. That's if House Bill 2023 is enacted into law. The bill was passed by the State House of Representatives in a 68 to 56 vote on Thursday, Jan. 31. This week, it is being heard by the Senate, and if passed there, will go on to be signed by Governor Sam Brownback, and will go into effect immediately. It has spurred local teachers to seek alternative ways to protect their ...
Recently, I was moving photos and pictures around on my walls. My favorites are two shadow boxes, one with a photo of my great grandmother and great grandfather, their daughters and a photo of their house on the farm. The farm is in Kackley, a tiny almost-ghost town in North Central Kansas. In the other box is a set of hand painted knobs my mother created 20 years ago, which adorned her kitchen cabinets for years until she remodeled. One of them has a miniature painting of the barn from the old farm.
On Saturday, Jan. 26, a long time Scout leader from Great Bend, Kenton Abbott, was awarded the Silver Beaver Award at the 2013 Council Recognition Dinner and Annual Meeting in Wichita. The award is the highest designation a registered adult leader can receive. Abbott began serving in 1999 and in 2013, became the Kanza District Commissioner of the Quivira Council. All three of Abbott's sons have been active in scouting. Both Michael and Luke acheived the rank of Eagle Scout, and son Daniel is now a Weeblo Scout in Pack 184, which Abbott leads.
Editor's note: This is the second two stories about Central Kansas CASA. While part one cast a spotlight on the organization, the people it helps, and the upcoming CASA Chocolate Auction, today we look at one longtime volunteer. Donna Staab has served CASA for more than two decades.
Saturday evening, the chocolate fountain will be flowing at Central Kansas CASA's 8th Annual Chocolate Auction which starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Great Bend Knights of Columbus.
The USD Board of Education heard a proposal by the GBHS student council Tuesday at the monthly noon meeting at Jefferson Elementary School. Representatives from the Great Bend High School student council asked for approval for an all-student community service project. The students hope to organize the student body to take on several cleaning and maintenance projects at the school and around town from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 24. "The aim of the project is to foster a sense of community responsibility and giving back," said senior class president Chon Chavez.
The meeting room at Barton County College's Fine Arts building was filled to capacity by concerned constituents eager to interact with "Big First" U.S. House Representative Tim Huelskamp Tuesday morning. It was one of several town hall meetings organized by Huelskamp staffers taking place during a brief congressional break.
"Stalking isn't just what you see on television, where some fan is obsessed with a celebrity," said Laura Patzner, director of the Family Crisis Center. " It's a very prevalent kind of crime."
January is a heavy month. It's cold, you have to start working on taxes, people get colds and flu, and its dark. Luckily, its not as dark as it was in December. At least when I've left work, I've been able to spy bits of Kansas sunset through the branches of slumbering trees and around the rooftops of the houses on these city streets.
"Now, the Star-Belly Sneetches had bellies with stars.
When I was growing up, my mom made a point of going to the grocery store by herself, rather than dragging us along. There were several reasons, but mostly because she didn't like listening to all the pleading to get snacks that weren't on the list.
For many homeowners, now is the time to plan improvements to the landscape. Spring is only a few months away. Members of the Great Bend Tree Board are already looking toward 2013 for encouraging even more residents to take advantage of the city's initiative to improve the condition and variety of tree species contained in Great Bend.
Saturday, Barton County Habitat for Humanity will host the fourth annual Barton County's Got Talent show at 7 p.m. at Grace Community Church, 210 McKinley. Director Rachel Mawhirter said this is the all volunteer organization's main fundraiser for the year, and the outcome will help determine how soon the next build will happen. It will also help kick off a new service for Habitat applicants who are struggling to maintain their homes.
Two weeks into the new year, and many have already forgotten their resolutions for 2013. But many have not, and Barton County Extension FCS agent Donna Krug offered suggestions for how to take the first step towards meeting these goals Wednesday. Over the noon hour, she presented a talk, "An action plan for healthy living," at the Great Bend Recreation Center. Each person in attendance left with a plan to take one simple step which could be achieved in the next week.
January is School Board Recognition Month, and the administration, faculty and staff of USD 428 made a point of doing just that at Monday night's school board meeting. Each board member received a gift of a pie.
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.
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.
Ellinwood USD 355 Superintendent Ben Jacobs confirmed the district will eliminate 8th grade algebra next year.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hoisington was in the spotlight last weekend as two dedicated EMS personnel were honored by their peers in Topeka.