In response to the rapid and severe decline of the lesser prairie-chicken, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in March announced the final listing of the species as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, as well as a special rule under the ESA that will limit regulatory impacts on landowners and businesses from this listing. Under the law, a "threatened" listing means the species is likely to become in danger of extinction within the foreseeable future; it is a step below "endangered" and allows for more flexibility in how the act's protections are implemented.
The wind was blowing seemingly from all directions on Monday, and it was exceedingly unpleasant in town. Highway conditions were dangerous and ten cars had crashed with multiple injuries. More travelers were in ditches.
At their meeting Monday morning, the Barton County commissioners approved three proclamations – one honoring their late colleague Don Cates who died in a agricultural plane crash last week, and two honoring Barton County high school students from Ellinwood, Great Bend and Central Plains high schools.
They are words one doesn't often hear in the same sentence – local government, federal government, state government and cooperation. However, they were strung together during the Barton County Commission meeting Monday morning.
Requests for help – from people needing food, or cash to pay their rent or utilities – are on the rise in our community, and Great Bend is not alone. Locally, we know that our Barton County Emergency Aid Association and Food Bank, Catholic Social Service and others have seen an increase in requests.