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.
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.