National Sunshine Week begins today. This is the annual observance of open government, an event that hits close to home for us this year. With the Great Bend Tribune's stonewalled efforts to find out information about a fatal shooting and the unconstitutional efforts to slap a gag order on proceeding participants to prevent them from talking to the media, we have become more keenly aware of the need for openness.
There's a lot more to manners than simply saying please and thank you and it's never been more evident than in recent weeks that it's time for parents to step in and do a better job of instilling manners in their children.
Janel Rose, Barton County health educator and Be Well Barton County coalition member, was absolutely right when she addressed count commissioners Monday morning. She presented the coalition's Barton County Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, a document meant as a flexible road map to improve access to walking and biking opportunities.
As winter winds down and crumbling roadways emerge, a new study from AAA reveals that pothole damage has cost U.S. drivers $15 billion in vehicle repairs over the last five years, or approximately $3 billion annually. With two-thirds of Americans concerned about potholes on local roadways, AAA cautions drivers to remain alert to avoid pothole damage, and urged state and local governments to fully fund and prioritize road maintenance to reduce vehicle damage, repair costs and driver frustration.
There has been a dark cloud hanging over Great Bend High School, and by extension, the entire Unified School District 428 of late. Allegations of sexual assault against students by students on school buses have swirled in the media, creating a toxic mix of rumors mingled with few facts.
In 2015, according to Kansas Department of Transportation statistics, Kansas tragically lost 13 high school teens in motor vehicle crashes. Of those teens, nearly 40 percent were not properly restrained.
Criticism of administrators as well as students has been flying in the aftermath of an alleged incident that occurred on a Great Bend High School bus Feb. 6, 2016. In the days since, students from the high school have taken a stand by publicly protesting USD 428's handling of the disciplinary element of this alleged incident. And it is a big lesson for some in the way Democracy works in our country.
The actions, or inactions, of the Unified School District 428 administration regarding the alleged sexual battery of Great Bend High School swim team members have been appalling. The refusal to comment, offer comfort to those involved or take on these heinous allegations head-on shows a failure of leadership.