As of Tuesday, June 18, the U.S. Drought monitor showed Barton County still firmly in the Extreme Drought category. However, a tiny sliver on the eastern edge had been pushed back to Severe Drought status. That's before more rain fell in the Great Bend area this week. It's enough to give homeowners hope for drought affected landscapes once more.
What a difference a year makes. This time last year, Barton County farmers were wrapping up the 2012 wheat harvest, and everyone, farmers and non-farmers alike, were praying for rain.
At the regular school board meeting in June, Superintendent Tom Vernon presented his annual report on drop-outs, something he's been doing since 2007. Back in 2008, 30 students dropped out, but the numbers went down in 2008 through 2010. In 2011, the numbers began to rise again, with 38 and 39 students dropping out in the 2011 and 2012 school years.
An oil well could be drilled 870 feet inside the Cheyenne Bottoms wetlands if a permit requested by H&C Oil Operating Inc., of Plainville is granted.
At around 2:30 p.m., the Great Bend Fire Department was called away from the Pawnee Rock fire to a hay bale fire at 251 NW 10th Ave. adjacent to Mid America Feeders. Five hundred large-sized hay bales with an estimated value of $80,000 were on fire, according to Great Bend Fire Chief Mike Napolitano. They were continuing to burn Saturday morning. "It's nearly impossible to put the fire out because the bales burn so deep within," he said.
If the turnout at the Great Bend Regional Hospital race pavilion Saturday morning is any indicator, color makes running more fun. Excitement over being doused with paint brought out more than 500 participants for the first ever Color Run. The event happened in conjunction with the third annual Human eMotion Charitable Run, Walk and Ride event sponsored by GBRH, with all proceeds going to support the Family Crisis Center in Great Bend.
At approximately 11 a.m. Friday morning, Great Bend Police apprehended Brandon Dannebohm. The fugitive was found sleeping in a vehicle within the city limits of Great Bend, according to Barton County Undersheriff Bruce Green He was arrested and is being held on a no-bond warrant from Stafford County. Barton County charges are pending for aggravated endangerment of a child, abandonment of a child, possession of narcotics, and other charges.
The USD 428 Board of Education welcomed Delores Baker and her family and friends Monday evening at the district office. Board president Dwight Young awarded her the R.O.S.E. (Recognizing Outstanding Support of Education ) certificate, recognizing her for her years of commitment to a Riley student through her 12 years of education in the district through the Youth Friends program.
For six years, Delores Baker, Great Bend, volunteered as a Youth Friends mentor for a Riley Elementary School student. For six more years, they nurtured their friendship through letters and lunch visits. This year, Baker had the great joy of seeing her friend graduate from Great Bend High School. And on Monday night, the USD 428 Board of Education will honor her with a R.O.S.E. (Recognizing Outstanding Support of Education) award at their regular June meeting.
Sixteen teams participated in the Rhonda Klug Memorial Volleyball Tournament held Sunday afternoon at Vets Park. It was only one of the activities planned for that day for the final day of the second June Jaunt festival in Great Bend that got residents out and about enjoying the attractions the city has to offer.
The American Legion Riders will once again lead the way in the opening ceremony as they have for several years. This year, the ride will have special meaning for J.P. Postlethwaite, who has been the lead rider. This year he will be the featured speaker for the opening ceremony.
Imagine the damage a small piece of concrete an inch in diameter can do if it's picked up in the blast of a jet engine. It can rip a hole in aircraft body panels, damage propellers, crack windshields, and even injure airport personnel on the ground.
Tuesday night, Great Bend experienced wind gusts of up to 52 mph, according to the National Weather Service. According to USD 428 assistant superintendent Dan Brungardt, the Great Bend Police Department notified district administration that a tree had blown over into another tree. They expressed concern that if the wind shifted or the other tree gave way, at least part of the original tree would fall into the Washington School building.
Last week, we ran part one of a series on aging out of foster care. We were introduced to Daniel Martin, a foster alumnus who now works with other fosters in an independent living program in Wichita. His generation of fosters is working to change the system to ensure future fosters are empowered and have a more successful outcome. But it will take a lot of work to turn the system around. Here are a few ways they are making a difference, and ideas they have for the future.
The Kansas Supreme Court announced Friday morning their decision on Gannon v. State of Kansas. The lawsuit was originally filed in 2010 by parents and school districts after the state cut funding to schools back to 2005 levels of funding. Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and Attorney General Derek Schmidt will hold a press conference at 2:30 p.m. Friday afternoon to discuss the Kansas Supreme Court's ruling on the Gannon vs. State of Kansas, The lawsuit asserted lack of adequate funding for education in the state was unconstitutional.
Thursday morning, American AgCredit held a ceremonial groundbreaking for its new facility to be built at the corner of 10th Street and Patton Road in Great Bend, in spite of the colder than expected temperature.
"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island," Walt Disney is quoted as having said. And soon, foster kids in Great Bend will be receiving some of that loot.
Before you could make a trip to your local department store and pick up a $5 throw rug for your entry, the bathroom or the kitchen, it was up to people to make their own. It was a common skill most women and some men learned before they married, said Heartland Farm's Sister Jane Belanger, O.P. She helped students attending Fiber Space 2014 workshops on weaving recapture those skills.
Thursday, the USD 428 Board of Education met at a noon meeting at Great Bend Middle School. Principal David Reiser and staff took the opportunity to update board members of committee efforts of the school's Professional Learning Communities model.
Murl Reidel, Director of Grants with the Kansas Humanities Council, felt the story of South Hoisington was a unique story that had not been heard before. So, when the Barton County Historical Society applied for a Heritage Grant to collect and preserve the oral histories of former residents of the now razed town, he was excited to make that partnership possible.
"Pheasants Forever does amazing things for the Wounded Warrior Project every year," said Troy Brien, the newly appointed alumni manager of the newest Wounded Warrior Project office expected to open in Kansas City in mid summer 2014. "We're excited they've chosen to give back in this way."
Friday evening, nine men, warriors of various conflicts that have spanned a decade and a half involving America, hopped in their vehicles and began driving mostly west. They traveled interstates, two-lane highways and paved roads that eventually turned into dirt roads flanked on both sides by fields and farm houses, until they finally arrived at a lone country church, Peace Lutheran, the landmark for the last turn west that would deliver them to Hidden Hollow Lodge at Albert.
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.
When the Great Bend High School Future Business Leaders of America team went to the annual State Leadership Conference in 2013, watching eight of her fellow classmates win a trip to the FBLA Nationals lit a fire under Selam Ball.
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