May is National Bike Month, sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists and celebrated in communities from coast to coast. Established in 1956, National Bike Month is a chance to showcase the many benefits of bicycling - and encourage more folks to giving biking a try.
Wrapping up Saturday, the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference held its state baseball and softball tournament at the Great Bend Sports Complex. Athletes from across the state, as well as fans, and local spectators visited the complex, and local residents had the chance to experience outstanding college sports.
About a year ago, Great Bend planted a seed that should begin to bear fruit in a few years. Last week was the anniversary of the creation of the Great Bend Community Orchard. That's right--our community has an orchard of apple trees that someday we can picnic at, use for a photo backdrop, learn orcharding skills like pruning and grafting, harvest fruit from for community outreach projects or cooking classes through our Barton County Extension or Barton County Health Department.
For over 100 years, the Barton County Courthouse Square, portions of which are now commonly referred to as Jack Kilby Square, has been a focal point for Great Bend, a center of community events ranging from City Band concerts to Cinco de Mayo to June Jaunt.
Barton County is fortunate in that our communities make an effort to invite legislators representing the constituents of our area to meet face to face. Likewise those representatives make an effort to attend events like legislative coffees like the one held Wednesday morning at Ellinwood.
Bob Parrish told the Barton County Commission Monday morning that he was in the high school class of 1945, the last class to be a part of the World War II draft. He, along with many of his classmates, went ahead and enlisted.
On June 2, 2007, 18-year-old Kelsey Smith was abducted in broad daylight from an Overland Park department store and murdered. The abduction was captured on the store's security camera leaving little doubt of the emergency nature of the circumstances. Four days after she disappeared, authorities were able to locate Kelsey's body after her wireless provider released the "ping" or "call location" information from her cell phone.