Barton County is fortunate in that our communities make an effort to invite legislators representing the constituents of our area to meet face to face. Likewise those representatives make an effort to attend events like legislative coffees like the one held Wednesday morning at Ellinwood.
State Treasurer Ron Estes presented the program at the Ellinwood Rotary Club Tuesday, April 19. He gave an informative talk about the state's efforts in returning unclaimed property to Kansans. Anything from payroll to the contents of safe deposit boxes are turned over to the state after five years if businesses are unable to find the owner and do so themselves, he said.
Since 2012, the Family Crisis Center Inc. has been working to raise awareness among the people in its service area to domestic and sexual violence through signature "Red Shoe" events leading up to the finale "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes." Many who have seen their male co-workers hobbling about in red high-heels as they raise funds for the cause have been persuaded to help, which has allowed the programs offered through the FCC to touch the lives of many, both locally and regionally.
Saturday morning, team members from both of Great Bend Middle School's soccer teams, the boys and the girls, gathered at the north end of Stone Lake to spend some quality time performing community service together. The original plan was to travel west on the Arkansas River levy bike path cleaning up trash, but with cold wind and cloudy skies threatening rain, they altered their plan and chose a shorter route. Starting at the parking lot and working their way around the lake to the entrance of the bike path, they would travel east to Fry St. on the path.
Several points of new business made for a long but informative Ellinwood City Council meeting Tuesday night. Mayor Irlan Fullbright congratulated returning council persons James McCormick and Kirk Clawson, as well as newly elected Ken Lebbin who will filled an open spot. Also-ran Kathy Hines was also in attendance at the meeting, and during visitor comments congratulated Lebbin for his success, before objecting to the decision to install Chris Komarek as the acting City Manager following Bud Newberry's resignation earlier in March.
The Heartland Center for Spirituality staff and advisory council is in the midst of planning and preparations for the second annual "Hero for Heartland" Afternoon Tea and Savory Delights. This event will take place on Sunday April 24 with a come and go Tea and Tours of the Great Bend Dominican Motherhouse from 1 – 4 p.m. Advisory council members Sr Jane Belanger, Carrie Buhler, Keith Funk, Danny Ginn, Dixie Heinrich, Ken Holderread, Pattie McGurk, Sclie Murray, Ken Moeder and Denise Wilkens along with committee members, Karen Axman, Mary Klinge and Judy Spangler have been instrumental in the planning stages.
The Hoisington City Council welcomed newly elected members and honored those retiring from service at Monday night's meeting. Nancy Farmer, Ward 1 and Jim Sekavec, Ward 2 both retired following last week's election. Both were presented plaques, recognizing their many years on the council.
Barton County business owners have noticed a surge in burglaries in recent years, and frustration is running high. In 2014, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's report on crimes known to law enforcement, Great Bend was number three in the state of Kansas for number of burglaries per 1,000 residents. Only Pittsburgh and Coffeyville were higher.
We've all heard the saying, "a little goes a long way." For 57 families in a six-city area, the saying rings true, says Vicky Dayton of Housing Opportunities Inc. The non-profit housing solutions company builds affordable housing through the use of federal and state grants. Since 1999, over $40 million in federal and state awards have been awarded, but it almost didn't happen, Dayton said.
Since its founding in 1872, Great Bend has held spring elections for local officials, and this year saw the last. In 1886, there was a particularly tight race for mayor, so in the spirit of honoring the past and saying goodbye to a long-standing election tradition, this week Out of the Morgue looks back at that election and the results.
A provisional ballot cast in Great Bend's Third Ward could change the outcome of one city council race. Unofficial results Tuesday showed Cory Zimmerman winning the seat with 16 votes, while Doug Keiswetter had 15 and needed one to tie. Thomas Boor was a close third with 12 votes. All three were write-in candidates.
In light of the criticism raised by conservative groups over Senator Jerry Moran's support of consideration of Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, it's time we all refresh our memory of what the term conservatism actually means.
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.