Editor's note: This is the first of two stories about Thursday's candidates' forum, and features comments by candidates for the Legislature. Part II will appear in Sunday's Great Bend Tribune and will include remarks from candidates for Barton County sheriff, county treasurer and county commissioner.
The Barton Community College Board of Trustees on Thursday approved next year's operating budget and publication of a proposed budget. The estimated local tax would be 32.77 mills, similar to the last two years.
Editors note: This is part two of a series about the tradition of quinceaneras, a coming of age celebration for young women of Hispanic decent. Last week, the focus was on the religious elements, and today the focus is on the party and all the trimmings. Great Bend's population includes 20 percent people of hispanic decent, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. Quinceñeras are a popular custom celebrated often during the late spring through early fall months.
This article was updated Friday afternoon.
TOPEKA – The Great Bend-based Family Crisis Center was awarded a grant for its crime victim and witness program, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced Thursday.
PAWNEE ROCK - Barton County Sheriff's Office reports some property stolen from an unoccupied home in Pawnee Rock and from a church there was recovered Wednesday evening.
PAWNEE ROCK -- The Barton County Sheriff's Office was summoned to the 400 block of Pawnee Ave. at 10 p.m. Tuesday, when someone reported hearing sounds coming from an abandoned residence and saw a "blue-type truck" at the residence. Deputies checked the residence but found no signs of entry. This was the same block where a burglary of another unoccupied residence was reported on Monday.
Flooring installers at Great Bend Middle School are making headway on the project that will give a modern look to the hallways and classrooms of the school by the time enrollment begins on August 1. Installation of carpeting squares in classrooms and the library is complete, and work is underway in offices.
USD 428 school board members okayed a new wellness program at a Wednesday morning meeting July 18. The program was introduced at the regular monthly meeting July 12. It will be open to both current and retired employees. By taking part in the program, participants receive a maximum of $50 per-month reduction in the monthly premium for their health insurance.
ELLINWOOD - With sirens whistling and bikers and runners, Ellinwood greeted natives Joshwa McMullen and Ben Reser as they completed their bike ride from Pueblo, Colo. to Ellinwood on Wednesday morning just in time for the After Harvest Festival.
Barton Community College spring enrollment increased more than 9 percent in the past year, according to information from the Kansas Board of Regents. Fall enrollment grew by 5 percent, compared to the previous year.
PAWNEE ROCK - Burglars got away with the kitchen sink – and the counters and cabinets, as well as an entire bathroom and other items, the owners of a fully remodeled Pawnee Rock house reported Monday. In fact, Chris and Kristina Frost say the home they restored a few years ago was gutted while it sat unoccupied.
Taylor Latham, who will start her junior year at Great Bend High School next month, has spent her summer vacation on a mission.
The Kansas offices of Congressman Tim Huelskamp announced that district staff will host local office hours in 46 towns across Kansas' Big First.
At Monday night's Great Bend City Council meeting, City Administrator Howard Partington gave an update on the activities of various city departments in the past couple weeks. Below is a recap of some of the highlights.
Great Bend Fire/EMS
Riley Elementary School in Great Bend and Hoisington's elementary schools were among 15 schools in Kansas that launched a Walking School Bus program Oct. 1. On Tuesday, two weeks into the program, Robert Johnson, a consultant with PedNet, visited with volunteers of both districts, walked with students, and shot video footage for a documentary PedNet will produce to introduce schools to the program in the future.
HOISINGTON - Starting out the day with fresh air and exercise prepares energetic kids for learning and school. Hoisington now buzzes with activity in those early morning hours that once saw mostly vehicle traffic.
The Golden Belt Wood Carvers members are preparing for their annual open house Carve-n-Show, to be held Oct. 25-26 at the Great Bend Senior Center. Club member Barry Bowers said the public is invited to stop and view completed wood carvings, along with carvings in progress, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 25, and from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 26.
Animal expert Jack Hanna addresses a sold out crowd, Thursday at Barton Community College, while Barton's Vice President Dr. Penny Quinn holds a bearcat. The program was organized by the Great Bend Zoological Society, with the college as a sponsor. Several BCC staff prepared the Fine Arts Auditorium and helped throughout the show. Hanna noted that Great Bend's Brit Spaugh Zoo is deserving of community support. "I can count on one hand the number of free zoos in the United States," Hanna said.
When 500 high school students descended on Barton Community College, asking them to put away their cell phones would have been pointless. Instead, Tanna Cooper, director of admissions, invited them to get on their favorite social media and post selfies and tweets with #gobarton and #jksd.
HOISINGTON - The Hoisington City Offices will be closed from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 22. City employees will be in training.
CLAFLIN - "Two eyes on the road, two hands on the wheel" is a safe driving principle, and students in USD 112 are encouraged to make a commitment to do just that. There is an added bonus in that they are eligible to receive a grant for participation and votes.
More than three dozen area residents spent Wednesday learning about job opportunities first-hand. The event was Disability Mentoring Day, but participants focused on their abilities as they spent time with employers throughout the community.
Beware, deer have other things on their minds now besides watching for traffic.
It's official. The road to the Great Bend Compost Site is now Pat Keenan Memorial Road as Barton County Road and Bridge Department crews recently installed the large blue sign.
ELLINWOOD - High school students participating in the St. Joseph PSR will be having a breakfast/brunch fundraiser from 9 a.m. to noon on Oct. 19 at St. Joseph Parish Center in Ellinwood. Cost is a free will offering with proceeds going towards the PSR mission trip and local charities.
HOISINGTON - Ghouls, ghosts and goblins fill Hoisington's Haunted Heights Haunted House, and for those who want to shiver, shake and scream their way through this scary delight, the attraction opens at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17-18, 24-25, and 31-Nov. 1.
Jose Reza, Great Bend Fire Department's newest firefighter, visited students at Riley Elementary School Tuesday morning as part of a four-man team teaching fire safety. Reza attended school at Riley as a child, a fact Battalion Chief John Stettinger passed on to kids as they gathered around the young fireman to learn about the gear he uses in his job every day.