Nothing is wrong with the economy in the central Kansas town of Ellsworth.
Manufacturing and other businesses are expanding or locating in the town, which has about 2,800 residents.
New projects will bring more than 200 jobs to the Ellsworth County town by 2015.
City officials attribute much of the growth to the town’s location. It is a 15-minute drive from Interstate 70. And it is on K-156 highway, which has become a major route from Garden City to northeast Kansas.
The next time a thunderstorm is bearing down on Reno County, residents will have the option of getting a phone call alerting them to the severe weather.
The CodeRED Weather Warning system was launched over the past week by both Reno County and the city of Hutchinson, and on Thursday afternoon, the system was tested when an introductory message from Reno County Emergency Management Director Bill Guy was sent to residents.
Anyone can sign up to receive the CodeRED alerts by visiting the Hutchinson Police Department’s webpage or the Reno County Emergency Management’s webpage, clicking on the CodeRED logo and entering their contact information.
Manhattan has seen incredible growth over the last three decades, and Bill Frost, long-time city attorney, has been involved much of it.
In accordance with Executive Order 10-12, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff from sun-up to sun-down on Wednesday, June 6th in honor of Private First Class Cale Clyde Miller, a Kansas native who died of wounds suffered from enemy action on Thursday, May 24th while serving in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan.
“On behalf of a grateful state, Lt. Governor Colyer and I offer our prayers and deepest condolences to the family of Private Miller during this difficult time. Cale’s bravery and sacrifice forever enshrines him in our memory as a true Kansas hero,” said Governor Brownback.
Private Miller will be laid to rest at Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery on June 6th.
Private First Class Miller, 23, was a member of the 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division based out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. He was a 2007 graduate of Olathe Northwest High School and joined the Army in February of 2011.
WICHITA — Crews are working in several Kansas communities to restore power, remove broken trees and repair minor damage from hail and high winds that smacked the state.
The most serious damage from Wednesday night’s weather was reported near the town of Silver Lake, northwest of Topeka. Shawnee County’s emergency management director said straight-line winds destroyed a Baptist church under construction.
In Wichita, the city-owned Sim Park Golf Course was closed Thursday while crews replaced hundreds of divots created by hailstones.
Candidates for local offices in Kansas have until Friday to file for the August primary.
Their races aren’t affected by the current controversy over political boundaries.
The maps for Kansas legislative seats, four U.S. House seats and the State Board of Education are up to a three-judge panel in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan. The judges are considering two days of testimony that ended Wednesday before they decide where the new districts should be placed.
Get out your golf clubs.
The sale of Ellis Country Club is complete.
Equity Bank sold a portion of the course, where the clubhouse is located, to the city of Ellis for $104,600 Tuesday afternoon. Later that same day, the city sold that land for the same purchase price to Ellis Golf Club LLC, a group that will run the course. The transaction had to be completed by Friday, or the deal with the bank would be off.
After a meeting that lasted approximately three hours Wednesday night, Ellis Golf Club LLC President Don Younger said the course will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday with volunteer help. There is a list of applicants for a manager, who will be hired soon.
Also with the sale by the city to Ellis Golf Club LLC, a 99-year lease for the remainder of the course was replaced with a 25-year lease at $100 per year.
“I think it’s great now; our community can use their golf course again,” said City Attorney Olavee Raub.
(Read more at http://www.hdnews.net/Story/Ellisgolfcourse053112)Details
Lenexa’s visionary plan a decade ago to create the New Urbanism-style downtown appears to be foundering
Lenexa’s visionary plan a decade ago to create the New Urbanism-style downtown appears to be foundering.
But city officials say they still have confidence in the proposal, called Lenexa City Center, for a retail-office-residential project covering 200 acres at the intersection of 87th Street Parkway and Renner Boulevard.
In fact, they hope to have some pieces of good news to announce soon.
They concede, though, that no one should expect City Center to be complete for at least 25 to 40 years.
“When you try to do something on a scale like what we are trying to do at City Center, it is not a project,” said Eric Wade, Lenexa city administrator. “It is a place where multiple projects are going to be done over time.”
Still, City Center has endured some recent setbacks. Apartments have gone into the area, and the parking garage was considered a big component of the plan — an easy place for workers and shoppers to park. With its impending demolition, City Center lost one of its first major tenants. And city officials have discovered that a huge truss that was to go up over the entryway is broken.
The city still doesn’t have an anchor store or corporate partner to give City Center a big boost, and the dozens of thriving retail stores and offices that the area needs to be financially robust are missing.
At the same time the project is costing taxpayers millions of dollars for roads and infrastructure and the tab will continue to grow until businesses do come.
Read more here: http://joco913.com/news/a-languishing-dreamDetails
Electric saws and nail guns are setting the beats of progress in Ellsworth, where businesses are expanding or locating. Projects and plans since 2008 and continuing until 2015 will result in more than 200 jobs, representing a fortune in investment in the town of 2,817 people.
Nestled into the growth is the Ellsworth Childcare and Learning Center, which opens Monday.
The $575,000 center is sorely needed, said Mark Parsons, president of the nonprofit Smoky Hill Childcare Foundation, which owns the 10,000-square-foot building.
Manufacturing and other industry is picking up in town, said Carol Kratzer, executive director of the Ellsworth-Kanopolis Area Chamber of Commerce.
“We’re the place to be,” she said.
Location has been a contributing factor for the city, Kratzer said.
Situated at the intersection of Kansas highways 140 and 156, Ellsworth is a 15-minute drive from Interstate Highway 70.
K-156, a diagonal highway from Garden City to the northeast, “has become a major route through Kansas,” she said.
The town is also situated in the hub of two wind farms — Post Rock Wind Farm, the latest, is about to go into operation.
New York City plans to enact a far-reaching ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, movie theaters and street carts, in the most ambitious effort yet by the Bloomberg administration to combat rising obesity.
The proposed ban would affect virtually the entire menu of popular sugary drinks found in delis, fast-food franchises and even sports arenas, from energy drinks to pre-sweetened iced teas. The sale of any cup or bottle of sweetened drink larger than 16 fluid ounces — about the size of a medium coffee, and smaller than a common soda bottle — would be prohibited under the first-in-the-nation plan, which could take effect as soon as next March.
Midland Railway volunteers have been spending weekends preparing the historic Baldwin City station to share with children the magic of Thomas and Friends’ Day Out.
Thomas, a replica locomotive of the Thomas the Tank Engine of PBS fame, will return to Baldwin City this weekend. Rides will be available on the Midland Railway route Friday, Saturday and Sunday as well as June 8, 9 and 10.
While it might have seemed to be a losing battle, the tractors scooping up mounds of debris at curbsides Tuesday in La Crosse were making progress.
What was troubling for La Crosse City Manager Duane Moeder, however, is the debris gave an even clearer picture of the extent of damage caused by a Friday night tornado — one of several reported that night.
(Read more at http://www.hdnews.net/Story/LAXcleanup053012)Details
Tampa residents will celebrate the 125th anniversary of their city’s founding in 1887. The celebration will be Aug. 25 with a theme of “125 Years on the Trail.” The day will include a fun run, baseball, three-on-three basketball, horseshoe pitching, old-fashioned kids’ games, tractor rodeo and show, wedding dress review, food, arts and crafts, music, a parade, and more.
Summer reading isn’t just for kids anymore at the Basehor Community Library.
For the first time —or at least the first time that adult services librarian Laura Carroll is aware — the library this summer is offering a reading program for adults to accompany the usual ones for children and teens.
Clint Meinig approached the Paola City Council last week with concerns about pricing at the Paola Family Pool, and it didn’t take long for the council members to take action.
Meinig spoke during the public comment portion of the May 22 meeting, and he expressed concerns that council members said they’ve also heard from several other residents. With about a dozen supporters seated in the audience behind him, Meinig talked about how he and his wife planned to get a family pass to use the Paola Family Pool during the summer.
Meinig soon discovered that Paola did not offer such a pass, and he would have to pay the $60 season pass price for himself, his wife and two children. His third child is young enough to use the pool for free. The total price for the family would have been $240.
Meinig said the fee is much more than neighboring communities. He mentioned Spring Hill, which offers a family pass for $115 for residents, and Gardner, which offers a family pass for $140 for residents.
Mayor Artie Stuteville said the city of Paola once offered a family pass, but it was abused by residents, and the city had no way of controlling families that suddenly grew from two to 10 or more. The city decided to do away with it entirely and stick with the $60 season pass for everyone except seniors 62 and older, who pay $30.
The council members decided to tackle the issue later in the meeting, when Paola City Clerk Dan Droste proposed an alternative. Droste said he previously called Louisburg City Clerk Traci Storey to see what type of passes are offered at the Louisburg Aquatic Center.
Louisburg offers a family pass in which an adult can get a season pass for $45, and other family members can be added to the pass at a cost of $35 each. The Paola City Council members liked the idea and approved a similar policy for the Paola Family Pool. Droste said the new offering is called an adult-child pass, and it costs $45 for the adult and $35 for each family member added, with a maximum of six total people per pass.
The pass currently is available, and Droste said refunds have already been given for the season passes that have already been purchased by families this year.
The new pass will save the Meinig family $90.
Forty-nine candidates have applied to be Topeka’s next city manager, up from about 30 who sought the position in 2005.
Tallahassee, Fla.-based Bob Murray & Associates, the firm coordinating Topeka’s search for a permanent city manager, recently shared information about the number of applicants with the city council. city spokesman David Bevens said in a news release Wednesday.
The release quoted Deputy Mayor Larry Wolgast as saying, ‘I have been informed we have an excellent pool of candidates and am looking forward to the first steps in the process.”
Shawnee City Hall has released details of the process for filling a vacancy created by the May 24 resignation of Ward 2 City Councilman David Morris.
Mayor Jeff Meyers announced that the city is now accepting applications from individuals interested in filling the vacancy.
Interested residents should submit a resume, cover letter to the City Clerk’s Office or via email before 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 26. The applicants, who must be residents of Ward 2 and registered to vote, are also asked to submit completed Declaration of Intent and a Statement of Substantial Interest forms, which are available at City Hall and at cityofshawnee.org.
The council may vote on the appointment at conclusion of the July 9 meeting or may delay taking action. But according to city charter ordinance, if the council does not approve a successor within 60 days of a council member’s resignation, a special election must be called.
If the council appoints Morris’ successor, he or she will serve until the next general city election in April 2013.
The Gardner Police Department will participate in a special traffic enforcement program sponsored by the Kansas Department of Transportation.
The “Click It or Ticket” enforcement campaign runs through Sunday, June 3.
Gardner Police Department will have extra enforcement during this time period and will be concentrating primarily on adult, teen and child safety restraints. Gardner Police will have a zero tolerance for any safety restraint violations during this campaign.
Kansas legislators have made it a crime for drivers to refuse to take a blood alcohol test if they are pulled over by police.
Supporters say that the new law will make the state’s streets safer. According to the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office, nearly 30 percent of drivers pulled over under suspicion of drunk driving in 2012 had refused to take a blood alcohol test, leaving prosecutors with little or no evidence to use in court.
“Criminalizing the refusal to take a breath or blood alcohol test will hold the professional drunks accountable for their actions while creating a safer environment for Kansans,” said Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe in a statement.
Sixteen other states have similar laws making it a crime to refuse a blood alcohol test.
After viewing photographs of intermodal container storage lots in Argentine, the Edgerton City Council voted to have more stringent requirements for storage lots within its city limits.
All container storage facilities must have a minimum of 20 acres and a hard asphalt or concrete surface.
Beth Linn, city administrator, showed photos of the Argentine lots that were not hard surfaced.
There were visible pot holes, standing water, and trucks kicking up dust.
Linn said container storage facilities are sure to locate in Edgerton and Gardner.
“Neither the BNSF Intermodal Facility nor Logistics Park KC is meant for the storage of cargo containers of trucks for extended periods of time,” Linn said. “There are companies that specialize in the storage of cargo containers, truck trailers and truck chassis. Usually these companies prefer to locate in areas surrounding the intermodal facilities to reduce travel distances, which can equate to less pollution, wear on streets, decreased transportation costs, and possibly centralizes perceived negative impacts from these facilities on the surrounding community.”
The push to fluoridate Wichita’s water is on again with two groups launching campaigns to improve oral health.
Wichitans for Healthy Teeth, a coalition of doctors and dentists, and the Kansas Health Foundation say more fluoride in Wichita’s water would be less costly than treating tooth decay down the road.
The foundation’s campaign starts Wednesday; Wichitans for Healthy Teeth’s starts Friday. The second group plans to take the issue to the Wichita City Council in August. Efforts in the past to fluoridate the city’s water have failed.
The Oskaloosa City Council is standing behind a decision by City Attorney Mike Hayes to block an information request by the Independent.
Ealier this month the Independent requested the time cards for all of the Oskaloosa Police department for 2011 and this year.
The request was initially denied because the records were said to be private. After the initial denial the Independent refined the request to just include a date and time for clocking in and clocking out without any personal infomation included.
Hayes denied that request because he said the city does not have any specific report for what the Indepenent is asking for.The Independent disputed Hayes’ claim and told the council that a “report” was not requested, but rather a record the city has with the personal information redacted.
“You made a specific request for a record that does not exist,” Hayes said.
The Oskaloosa USD 341 said goodbye to more than 180 years of teaching experience at a party held on Monday.
The district has seven teachers retiring this year that were honored with a trophy presented by Superintendent Jon Pfau.
“You will all be thoroughly, thoroughly missed,” Pfau said.
Included in the seven are longtime teachers Ron Ellis and Pam Jones. Combined the two have 71 years of teaching at USD 341.Ellis in his written statement said he never imagined he would still be teaching in Oskaloosa after 37 years. During the party Ellis prided himself on the fact that Oskaloosa was the only place he ever taught despite not being from the area. Ellis grew up in southeast Kansas. He noted that his first students recently turned 50 years old.
Lawrence is one of about 200 communities across the country that has received a special designation for its “playful” nature.
The city of Lawrence has been named a “Playful City USA” for 2012, City Hall officials announced Tuesday.
Lawrence was one of 213 cities, out of 450 that applied, to receive the designation. The program recognizes communities that focus on developing parks and play spaces near schools, and also work to ensure safe environments for children to play.
The Lawrence school district could change the way it grades its teachers.
For the past three years, a committee has looked at ways to improve the evaluation process that teachers must go through every year. On Tuesday night, those proposed changes, which are part of ongoing negotiations between the school district and teachers union, were presented to the school board.
If adopted, all teachers would be observed in the classroom and evaluated based on their planning and preparation skills, classroom environment, instruction and professional responsibilities. Those who fail to meet proficient levels in each of those categories would be given suggestions for improvement.
Nathan McCommon oversees operations for the City of Tonganoxie as its newest administrator, but his experience in municipal government runs the gamut.
McCommon, who assumed duties May 14, worked for the City of Kissimmee, Fla., after graduating in 1986 from Jefferson West High School in Meriden and before enrolling at Kansas University.
In his first few weeks on the job, McCommon said the “welcome has been very warm.”
“It’s easy to see the love people have for their hometown,” McCommon said. “Even for those who have recently moved here.”
City, county and college approval means a new Neighborhood Revitalization Plan will be presented for state approval, despite the school district’s lack of support.
The NRP was proposed to eliminate the competitive disadvantage Andover builders had with Wichita, due to Wichita’s home incentive program.
A buyer of a new home in Wichita would currently pay 83 mills, versus 161 for an Andover new home, said Jennifer McCausland, assistant city administrator.
With the city, Butler Community College and Butler County’s exemptions of the mill levy effective June 1, a new Andover homeowner will pay 68.5 mills – 14.5 mills less than in Wichita.
To be eligible, a project must have a building permit issued between June 1, 2012 and May 31, 2013.
A Wichita State University study projects that most of the state will continue to lose population for decades.
The university’s Center for Economic Development and Business Research found that the population decline will continue at least through 2040.
The Hutchinson News reports (http://bit.ly/KLlI3k) the study projected that if migration was not considered, 37 counties would lose population in that time period. When migration is factored in, 83 counties would continue to lose population through 2040. Most of those counties are in western Kansas.
Saying “goodbye” to driving for 10, 20 or more miles for groceries need not be wishful thinking.The loss of local grocery stores adds time and transportation costs to feeding the family, but there’s more to it than that, said David Procter, spokesperson for an upcoming Kansas State University conference focusing on rural (and, in urban areas, neighborhood) grocery stores.
Procter … encourages interested parties to attend the K-State rural grocery summit: “Strengthening Our Stores. Strengthening Our Communities.”
The summit is scheduled June 5-6 at the Hilton Garden Inn Conference Center in Manhattan. It is recommended for rural and neighborhood grocery store owners and managers; local government officials such as city and county commissioners, community economic development agencies and volunteers, potential funders, grocery distributors and concerned citizens.
For more information and registration, go to: dce.k-state.edu/conf/ruralgrocery or call: 1-800-432-8222 or 785-532-5569 weekdays during regular business hours.
This Memorial Day, history is bringing together a family and the entire community of Ellinwood because of one man, Captain Thomas Edward Cooney.
Captain Cooney was born in Ellinwood in 1917. He was a marine who fought in WWII and in the Korean War. Cooney was killed in action in the Chosin Reservoir in 1950, near the Chinese-North Korean border.
His remains were never returned to America. Over the years, his wife and three young children lost touch with his side of the family.
“I really didn’t know he lived in Kansas,” said his daughter Martha Maynard. “I thought he lived in another state.”
“We had never heard about him before,” said Ellinwood Mayor Frank Koelsch. “There’s no family around here anymore.”
That all changed with a simple Internet search. An Ellinwood resident decided to do research on local veterans.
(Read more at http://www.ksn.com/s/5rkIfw6Q-E-_QQBZQr_uvQ.cspx)Details