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KCAC tourney hits it out of the park
new deh city update kcac pic
A Bethany College baseball player makes a grab during the Swedes opening game of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Baseball and Softball Tournament last week. Participants said the event was a success. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

The Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Baseball and Softball Tournament wrapped up this past Saturday at the Great Bend Sports Complex. Participants left feeling the city had hit a home run.
“What a first-class operation. Great work, excellent setting and facilities,” one of the Bethany College coaches tweeted. The coach complimented the KCAC organization and the City of Great Bend.
“The whole tournament went very smooth and the City of Great Bend would like to give a huge thank you to the Great Bend Recreation Commission staff for steering us to success for this tournament,” City Administrator Howard Partington said. “I want to express appreciation to all of the people who helped make the recent KCAC tournament a success.”
He said there were many organizations that deserved credit. Among them were Unified School District 428 for rescheduling games and practices to make the dates available, the community volunteers who served as KCAC ambassadors and hosted to the teams and all of the other volunteers who helped.
Rec Commission Director Diann Henderson and Sports Director Chris Umphres “went above and beyond,” Partington said. As did Great Bend Park Superintendent Scott Keeler and his staff who put in “countless hours of preparation and support.”
He also recognized city Human Resource Director Terry Hoff and Community Coordinator Christina Hayes who “provided leadership and hard work throughout the tournament.”
Last, but not least, he thanked the Great Bend residents “for support in making a mark statewide for our community.”
Partington’s remarks were part of his update on city departmental activities presented at Monday night’s City Council meeting. Other highlights included:

Public Works
• All sections worked on Great Bend High School Community Service Day.
• Set up for Walk a Mile in Her Shoes and Cinco de Mayo.
• Sanitarian: 409 year to date complaints, 43 new complaints (16 by citizens and 27 by staff), 41 complaints completed by citizens, three abatement notices sent and 17 cars into compliance.

• Students from America’s Promise went to the Hutchinson Cosmosphere. Closing ceremony was held at the Great Bend Recreation Commission building.
• Officer Jefferson Davis completed a Vulnerability Assessment with Farmer’s Bank & Trust.
• Davis and K-9 officer Deputy Richard Allen from the Barton County Sheriff’s Office conducted a sweep for narcotics at the Great Bend Middle School.

Public Lands
• New flag poles have been installed at the ball complex. This is made possible with funding from the Thelma Faye Harms Trust. 
• Staff assisted with several recent events, including Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, the MoPar Car Show, Cinco de Mayo celebration, field preparation for high school softball games at the Vet’s Complex, the GBHS Community Service Day, a Hap Dumont baseball tournament and a large wedding at the Convention Center.
• Staff is beginning preparations for the opening of the Wetlands at Great Bend scheduled for May 24.

• Hayes said the community service day was held April 23. For the most part city projects went well, and she said they had several students helping. But, they are evaluating how to do it better in the future should the project continue.
• Hayes took Chris Battin and the GBHS marketing students around to help with June Jaunt promotions. They helped record radio commercials and did television interviews with some of the highlighted June Jaunt events.
• Walk A Mile event took place on May 1, and the event continues to grow and is a staple for the Family Crisis Center. Many comments came back to us that if they want to close Main Street, they will have to close all the way to Broadway because big trucks cannot get down Forest Avenue.
• A tentative preliminary 2015 Annual Budget Calendar was discussed. Activities include a tour of facilities later this month, a presentation by outside agencies that get city funding in June, and a goal-setting session and work session in July. The budget hearing will take place immediately prior to the second meeting in August.