Christmas season symbolism was epitomized Sunday afternoon at the Shafer Art Gallery's annual Holiday Open House, which featured more than a dozen Christmas trees, two electric train sets complete with miniature villages, live holiday music from Native American musician John Two-Hawks and the big man in red himself – Santa Claus.
The Great Bend High School Debate Team had two teams travel and compete at the Larned Debate Tournament on Dec. 1 and both teams placed in the Open Division. Jordan Otten and Paige VanSteenburgh placed fourth and Morgan Francis and Chase Pumford placed fifth. The team is currently getting ready for the 4 Speaker Regional Tournament at Salina Central on Dec. 15th.
The local chapter of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees will meet at noon Thursday poolside at the Highland Hotel. The program will be provided by the Great Bend High School Madrigal Pop Singers.
One section of Brit Spaugh Zoo that is seldom seen by the public is currently housing several birds of prey. The zoo is headquarters for the Great Bend Raptor Center, where injured birds are rehabilitated. This week the center is treating a Golden Eagle and a Bald Eagle, both suffering from gunshot wounds. Zookeeper Stacie Hayes said one of the eagles was shot in central Kansas, and one came from western Kansas. Shooting these birds is a crime and is being investigated by Fish and Wildlife officials.
The Barton Community College debate team members landed several top spots against stout competition on Dec. 1, when they traveled to Webster University in St. Louis, Mo., to compete in the 26th Annual Webster Classic. Featuring competitors from 11 universities, the tournament proved to be a difficult hurdle in the Cougars' season.
The Great Bend City Council will meet at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the City Office, 1209 Williams. The agenda includes the placing of flowers at Great Bend Cemetery, the Community Improvement District public hearing and ordinance for the new Holiday Inn Express and the Kansas Department of Transportation Federal Funds Exchange Program.
The Barton County Commission will meet at 9 a.m. Monday at the Barton County Courthouse, 1400 Main in Great Bend. The agenda includes an introduction of the new Great Bend Police Chief Cliff Couch, the purchase of a replacement Sheriff's Office patrol car and a report on city-wide clean-up efforts.