There have been at least three examples of late of just how out of touch the Kansas Legislature is with rural parts of the state. All of these are issues being grappled with by Barton County officials.
Watching the Republican debates over the last few months has been a bit like watching episodes of The Apprentice, as each debate the playing field narrows, with the top rated candidates returning to meet ever more challenging questions.
At 11 p.m. Nov. 11, 1918, the guns fell silent across Europe as World War I came to an unofficial end with the signing of the armistice between the Allies and Germany. The Treaty of Versailles, was signed in 1919, which officially ended the "Great War."
Tomorrow night, the Great Bend High School Panthers will meet the Maize South Mavericks in their first play-off game in five years. It's thrilling to feel the excitement in the air and gratifying to have witnessed Coach Tony Crough turn around the attitudes of the players 180 percent in the past two years. He takes no credit, instead giving it back to the players and his staff, but the atmosphere he's created is clearly his handiwork.
There is finally a groundswell of support locally for increased biking and walking opportunities. The efforts of Be Well Barton County, Barton County and the cities of Claflin, Ellinwood, Great Bend and Hoisington are finally coming to fruition as a Bicycle-Pedestrian Master Plan is being developed.
Surely it is a relief to all parties that the City of Ellinwood earlier this week made the decision to accept an offer from Mark and Cassie Batchman to purchase their property at 104 N. Main, making way to complete the demolition of two blighted properties on the city's two-block business district without risk of damaging a successful business.
Two years ago, the city commissioned a housing needs study as part of its application for a Rural Housing Incentive District, a tax-credit program. The study quantified the need for housing at different levels and types. It also verified the shortage is expected to worsen if no incentives are put in place, and that the shortage is detrimental to the community's growth.
The Ladies of the Grand Old Republic are helping to restore a GAR commissioned statue, "The Rifleman," in the Barton County Courthouse Square. But Beverly Komarek, executive director of the Barton County Historical Society, wonders who will step up next time.