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Claflin to open new and improved history museum

Five years ago, Claflin, a northern Barton County city, received a couple blows.  First, it’s elementary school was closed when the district consolidated with Bushton, Holyrood, and Wilson.  Second, its history museum had to close unexpectedly when the building, one of Claflin’s original structures, had severe structural problems.  

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Posted: apr. 16, 2015 6:54 p.m. | 0 Comments
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Project taking root

Saturday afternoon, community volunteers from several organizations met at the Brit Spaugh zoo to plant the seeds of a project that years from now will bear fruit for the city – literally.  

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Posted: apr. 16, 2015 6:51 p.m. | 0 Comments
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Tech support scam hits area

 In this computer-reliant age, it is upsetting to receive an unexpected phone call claiming that one’s PC has been infected with viruses.

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Posted: apr. 15, 2015 3:14 p.m. | 0 Comments

Library reopens with little fanfare

A handful of patrons were waiting Wednesday morning when circulation clerk Maggie McQuade unlocked the front doors of the Great Bend Public Library.

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Posted: apr. 15, 2015 8:38 p.m. | 0 Comments
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Walk KS teams celebrate midpoint of 'journey'

On March 15, hundreds of teams set off on journeys to “walk across Kansas,” at least symbolically. Now half-way through the eight-week Walk Kansas fitness challenge, Barton County teams met Wednesday for a pep rally in the courthouse square.

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Posted: apr. 15, 2015 8:35 p.m. | 0 Comments
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Budget cuts raise questions about BCC programs

Two instructors at Barton Community College who would normally expect to see their contracts renewed this month are facing the possibility of being “non-renewed,” raising questions about the future of theater and journalism programs at the college.

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Posted: apr. 15, 2015 8:23 p.m. | 0 Comments
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BCC Orchestra to perform in the Shafer Art Gallery

The Barton Community College Orchestra will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 23 in the Shafer Art Gallery.

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Posted: apr. 15, 2015 9:36 a.m. | 0 Comments
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Question of quality

School sports is an important part of education, both for students and parents.  Showing up to the game, cheering from the stands, they gain a sense of pride watching their children reach new milestones like making a critical play.  And sharing those moments with friends and family sends a message to teens that they are supported.

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Posted: apr. 14, 2015 2:04 p.m. | 0 Comments
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Taxpayers beware, notices may not be in the mail

 When it comes to taxes, Barton County residents may have to rely on their memories, County Treasurer Kevin Wondra said.

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Posted: apr. 14, 2015 4:27 p.m. | 0 Comments

SPREADING THE WORD

 The Golden Belt Veterans Memorial is slowly taking shape. But Barton County officials said Monday they hope to re-energize the long-running project aimed at paying tribute to those from the county who have served their nation.

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Posted: apr. 14, 2015 10:49 a.m. | 0 Comments
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Cancer foundation expands to Russell Co.

Special to

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Posted: apr. 14, 2015 10:20 a.m. | 0 Comments
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Board wrestles with picture-perfect compromise

Before the USD 428 Board of Education dove into their business meeting Monday evening, President Kevin Mauler recognized retired teacher Jean Cavanaugh as A Friend of Education.  Former superintendent, Tom Vernon, came to offer his support.  

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Posted: apr. 13, 2015 9:03 p.m. | 0 Comments
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​GBRC Program Director reports

Megan Hammeke said bowling continues to be popular with the special needs clients, who participated 229 times in March. They also had a spring dance, craft classes and an Easy Cooking class on potatoes. This month’s cooking ingredient is cheese.

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Posted: apr. 13, 2015 7:16 p.m. | 0 Comments

Rec awarding fewer 'participant' medals

Monday’s decision to award fewer ‘participant’ medals this summer wasn’t about money, Great Bend Recreation Commission board members said. The consensus was that once kids are old enough to play on teams that keep score, they don’t care much about non-championship medals.

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Posted: apr. 13, 2015 7:15 p.m. | 0 Comments

Tractors pull generations closer

Antique tractors mixed with modern, ranging in size from full-sized beasts of the field all the way down to lawn tractors at the Hoisington tractor pull Saturday afternoon. From all over Kansas and surrounding states, participants had come to compete.  John Deere verses Massey-Harris and Massey-Ferguson, Cub-Cadet versus International Harvester.  Some stock, some custom, some using diesel and others nitro.  

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Posted: apr. 13, 2015 4:32 p.m. | 0 Comments
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National Public-Safety Telecommunications Week observed

 Barton County Commissioners Monday morning approved a proclamation denoting this as National Public Safety Telecommunications Week at the request of 911 Director Doug Hubbard. In part, the proclamation honors public safety communications officers for their “vital role in protecting the life and property of Barton County citizens.” 

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Posted: apr. 13, 2015 4:18 p.m. | 0 Comments

BCC students to exhibit art in Shafer Gallery

Barton Community College art students will line the walls of the Shafer Art Gallery with their work during the “Barton Student Art Exhibit” juried art show from April 13 through May 2. The reception will be Friday, April 17 from 6-8 p.m.

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Posted: apr. 12, 2015 12:53 p.m. | 0 Comments
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Ending on a good note

 Mother Nature finally got it right.

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Posted: apr. 10, 2015 5:20 p.m. | 0 Comments
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BCC raising rates at Child Development Center

The Child Development Center at Barton Community College will raise its day-care rates by $2 per child per day, effective July 1. That follows a $1 increase imposed on Feb. 1.

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Posted: apr. 10, 2015 5:00 p.m. | 0 Comments

Topeka man charged in plot to explode car bomb at Ft. Riley

 KANSAS CITY, Kan. – A Topeka man has been charged in federal court in Topeka with attempting to detonate a vehicle bomb at the Fort Riley military base near Manhattan, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom, District of Kansas, and Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin announced today. The defendant was arrested as part of an FBI investigation, and the device used by the defendant was, in fact, inert.

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Posted: apr. 10, 2015 1:41 p.m. | 0 Comments

Larned State Hospital stops voluntary admissions due to overcrowding

A policy change at Larned State Hospital means the mental health facility is no longer accepting voluntary admissions, according to Douglas W. McNett, executive director of The Center for Counseling and Consultation, based in Great Bend.

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Posted: apr. 10, 2015 1:01 p.m. | 0 Comments

Block by block

 As the spring weather waivers back and worth, trying to decide what do do, the Great Bend Sanitarian Department is unwavering in it’s commitment to continue to implement strategies to ensure compliance with City Property Ordinances, City Sanitarian Gregg Vannoster said.  

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Posted: apr. 10, 2015 9:33 a.m. | 0 Comments
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​BCC may cut staff this month

This story has been modified on April 12, 2015, removing references to contracts for Barton Community College instructors at Fort Riley and Fort Leavenworth. Additional comments from the college staff have been added to the "Related content" box.

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Posted: apr. 09, 2015 8:03 p.m. | 1 Comment

Ag talk

Those who visited the Great Bend Farm & Ranch Expo on Thursday could attend free programs by experts in the commodity markets. There was also a drawing for a $5,000 drone, complete with training, just for attending the KBUF Risk Management and Market Forum. Larry Brown from Scott City was the winner.

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Posted: apr. 09, 2015 7:17 p.m. | 0 Comments
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​Victim says burglar came in through window

The Barton County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an aggravated burglary that was reported Wednesday night at All Seasons Mobile Home Park. Sheriff Brian Bellendir announced that two suspects were arrested.

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Posted: apr. 09, 2015 11:47 a.m. | 0 Comments

Let the algae battle begin

 Great Bend City personnel anticipate beginning the introduction of algae-battling alum into Veterans Memorial Lake starting next week, weather permitting, City Administrator Howard Partington told the City Council Monday night. The effort will take about three weeks.

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Posted: apr. 09, 2015 10:05 a.m. | 0 Comments
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Chapman sentenced to 'Hard 25' for murder


Damon L. Galyardt, 25, had everything to live for – including the future birth of his daughter – when his life was cut short the night of Nov. 11, 2011. On Thursday Galyardt’s killer, Jeffrey Wade Chapman, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for at least 25 years.

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Posted: apr. 09, 2015 11:05 a.m. | 0 Comments

EXPO TIME

Wednesday morning, Great Bend Chamber of Commerce officers and ambassadors were on hand at the Great Bend Expo Complex to open the 2015 Great Bend Farm & Ranch Expo.  President Jan Peters welcomed the many farmers, ranchers, and members of the community who stopped in first thing in the morning to check out the vendors while a cool mist slowly burned off.  It was better than in years past, she noted, and the forecast for the next two days the show will run is predicted to be mild also.  

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Posted: apr. 08, 2015 6:01 p.m. | 0 Comments
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Budding artists' works displayed

What do SpongeBob SquarePants and Leonardo da Vinci have in common?

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Posted: apr. 08, 2015 5:08 p.m. | 0 Comments
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Training continues at GBFD

Great Bend firefighters spent Wednesday morning putting out fires in the “Burn Building,” a training area located behind Fire Station No. 2.

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Posted: apr. 08, 2015 5:02 p.m. | 0 Comments
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County offices to get panic buttons

 Sadly, we live in a time when incidents of violence in workplaces is common. Action taken by the Barton County Commission Monday morning will help make county employees safer.

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Posted: apr. 08, 2015 9:41 a.m. | 0 Comments

New faces on USD 428 Board of Education

With four positions available and seven candidates, there is passion for education amongst patrons of USD 428 Great Bend. While board member Cheryl Rugan held onto her seat, she was joined by three new faces. The front-running winner of Tuesday’s election, Susan Young, is a recently retired teacher for Lincoln Elementary School. Another newcomer to the Board of Education is Lori Reneaux, who has been the president of the Park Elementary School booster club for the past seven years. Chris Umphres, currently the sports director at the Great Bend Recreation Commission, has been a long time community supporter.

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Posted: apr. 07, 2015 10:19 p.m. | 0 Comments

Mead joins incumbents on BCC board


Mike Johnson and Mike Minton will return to the Barton Community College Board of Trustees for another term, and they will be joined by Bob Mead. All were winners in Tuesday’s election, according to the unofficial results released by the Barton County Clerk’s Office.

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Posted: apr. 07, 2015 10:06 p.m. | 0 Comments

DECISION MAKERS

The polls closed at 7 p.m. Tuesday for the myriad city council, school board and other elections in Barton County. The following results are from Election Officer Donna Zimmerman and her office. 

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Posted: apr. 07, 2015 9:57 p.m. | 0 Comments
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Henneke retains Ward 2 council seat

 By a vote of 395 to 144, Great Bend City Council Ward 2 Councilman Wayne Henneke held on to his seat, defeating political newcomer Matt Aycock in the county-wide general election Tuesday.

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Posted: apr. 07, 2015 9:55 p.m. | 0 Comments
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Larned approves $22M bond issue

LARNED — Fort Larned USD 495 voters passed a $22.2 million bond issue by a 2-to-1 margin Tuesday that will construct a new elementary school. The yes votes were 1,036 and the no votes were 517.

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Posted: apr. 07, 2015 9:28 p.m. | 0 Comments

Council OKs improvements to Brit Spaugh Park, zoo

 In an effort to return Brit Spaugh Park and the Great Bend Zoo to their former glory and to make them more walker friendly, the City Council Monday night approved a plan to relocate much of the fencing enclosing the facilities and make improvements to the walking paths.

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Posted: apr. 07, 2015 10:24 a.m. | 0 Comments
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What’s in a name?

 The Great Bend Convention Center will have a new identity. The City Council Monday night approved renaming the facility the Great Bend Events Center.

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Posted: apr. 06, 2015 9:29 p.m. | 0 Comments
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HISTORY LESSON

RUSSELL — The mystery of 112 years of history was unveiled before an overflow crowd Monday at the Russell County Courthouse.

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Posted: apr. 06, 2015 7:25 p.m. | 0 Comments
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State school board member decries ‘War on Public Education’

State Board of Education member Sally Cauble thought it was an April Fool’s joke when Deputy Commissioner Dale Dennis asked her to explain the purpose of postcards published by the board to “inform legislators and celebrate public education in Kansas.” Dennis, who is in the Kansas Board of Education’s Division of Fiscal and Administrative Services, also wanted to know what the budget was for these items, and he wanted to make sure they weren’t in violation of the law that prohibits state officers from lobbying in the state. He wasn’t kidding.

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Posted: apr. 06, 2015 6:55 p.m. | 0 Comments

​Veteran asks for strict sentencing in Miller case


A Kansas veteran is asking Barton County District Judge Ron Svaty to show no leniency when sentencing the woman convicted of stealing more than $100,000 from funds earmarked for honoring World War II veterans.

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Posted: apr. 06, 2015 5:12 p.m. | 0 Comments

Rollover accident reported

A Great Bend man was treated and released for injuries after a rollover accident Sunday afternoon in Barton County.

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Posted: apr. 06, 2015 4:29 p.m. | 0 Comments

Emergency work to close bridge, road

 The Barton County Commission Monday morning approved emergency repairs to county bridge 200, located 2.7 miles east of Great Bend on East Barton County road (the first bridge east of the Kiowa Kitchen restaurant). Work will likely begin today and will cause the road to be closed Wednesday through Friday.

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Posted: apr. 06, 2015 4:07 p.m. | 0 Comments
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Stolen vehicles, other property recovered

Stolen property was recovered from All Seasons Mobile Home Park, 4 NW 30 Road, at Area 9, Lot 12, Sheriff Brian Bellendir said. Deputies executed a search warrant at a residence there last Wednesday, April 1.

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Posted: apr. 06, 2015 3:06 p.m. | 0 Comments
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Commission honors those who lend a hand

  The efforts of organizations that help Barton County residents through volunteerism or in times of crisis were recognized by the County Commission Monday morning.“Some of the best people who live in this county are here this morning,” Commissioner Jennifer Schartz said. The first proclamation declared Tuesday as County Day of Recognition for National Service.“America’s counties turn to national service and volunteerism as a cost-effective strategy to meet local needs,” said Linn Hogg, Volunteers in Action/RSVP executive director. “In doing so, participants in national, state and local service organizations, such as the Volunteers in Action, Meals on ...

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Posted: apr. 06, 2015 3:59 p.m. | 0 Comments
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Grass fires reported Saturday

Great Bend Fire Department and other area departments were kept busy Saturday night with two grass fires, GBFD Chief Mike Napolitano said.

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Posted: apr. 06, 2015 11:14 a.m. | 0 Comments

Chapman sentencing set for Thursday

Jeffrey Wade Chapman’s sentencing hearing, schedule for 1 p.m. Monday, April 6, as been continued. It is now scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday, April 9.

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Posted: apr. 06, 2015 10:25 a.m. | 0 Comments

Hoisington EMS team honored at KEMTA

Hoisington was in the spotlight last weekend as two dedicated EMS personnel were honored by their peers in Topeka.

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Posted: apr. 03, 2015 10:19 a.m. | 0 Comments

Where do you go to vote?

 With voters heading to the polls Tuesday for local general elections, Barton County Election Officer Donna Zimmerman has some last–minute reminders.

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Posted: apr. 01, 2015 3:20 p.m. | 0 Comments

Area nurse honored for support of citizen soldier

 The Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve Patriot Award was presented to Jane Schepmann, vice president and chief nursing officer for Clara Barton Hospital, during a ceremony Friday afternoon at the Hoisington facility.

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Posted: apr. 03, 2015 2:55 p.m. | 0 Comments
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Dispatchers log path of storm

When a storm roared through Barton County Thursday night, dispatchers received reports of arcing power lines and blowing debris.

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Posted: apr. 03, 2015 2:34 p.m. | 0 Comments

Storms bring power outages

 Beginning at 11 p.m. Thursday, powerful thunder storms rolled through the Golden Belt and brought down over 300 power poles, Midwest Energy reported Friday morning. The areas impacted hardest were primarily South of K-96, from Jetmore in the west to just west of Hutchinson in the east. 

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Posted: apr. 03, 2015 11:12 a.m. | 0 Comments
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Out of the Morgue

Each week we’ll take a step back into the history of Great Bend through the eyes of reporters past. We’ll reacquaint you with what went into creating the Great Bend of today, and do our best to update you on what “the rest of the story” turned out to be.

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Posted: apr. 03, 2015 9:17 a.m. | 0 Comments
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Housing news looking up in Hoisington

Hoisington is finally on a builder’s radar.  

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Posted: apr. 03, 2015 9:11 a.m. | 0 Comments

Event recognizes local volunteers for their efforts

 Meals On Wheels volunteers gathered for an appreciation breakfast Thursday morning Great Bend Recreation Commission Burnside Room to help commemorate Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service which will take place Tuesday.

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Posted: apr. 03, 2015 8:47 a.m. | 0 Comments
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Easter tradition continues at Pawnee Rock

    PAWNEE ROCK — A sunrise pageant is planned for Easter morning at the Pawnee Rock State Historic Site, one-half mile north of U.S. 56 and the town of Pawnee Rock.  The pageant starts at 7 a.m. on Sunday, April 5.

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Posted: apr. 02, 2015 9:54 p.m. | 0 Comments
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Crisis City: GBFD sends 10 firefighters

SALINA — The training is intense at Crisis City, a hands-on All Hazards Emergency Response Training Center west of Salina. Great Bend Fire Department sent five firefighters for training on Tuesday, and five more on Wednesday, Capt. Travis Parmley said.

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Posted: apr. 02, 2015 8:51 p.m. | 0 Comments
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Great Bend sends firefighters to Crisis City

Participants from state, local and private organizations across Kansas took part in a two-day emergency response exercise at Crisis City, Tuesday, March 31 and Wednesday, April 1. Great Bend Fire Department sent several people.

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Posted: apr. 02, 2015 12:07 p.m. | 0 Comments
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Stafford County fire spreads to Barton County

By SUSAN THACKER

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Posted: apr. 01, 2015 6:04 p.m. | 0 Comments
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​Drivers arrested after pursuits

Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir said a pursuit Wednesday evening in Great Bend started after a deputy saw motorist run a red light.

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Posted: apr. 02, 2015 9:48 a.m. | 0 Comments
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