February 11, 2016

2011 homecoming royalty

Submitted photo

Pictured are members of the Gardner Edgerton High School homecoming royalty court: Ryan Goetzmann, Emily Betthauser, Taylor Harlow, Ashlee Bilhimer, Zachary Hickman, Felicia Carlson, Tim Seymour, Tasha Grossnickle, Matthew Wakefield, and Ali Scott.


  1. Judith Rogers says:

    While we get ready for the Homecoming “Royalty” (not sure if parents did a wardrobe check that day) I want to give citizens an article about another school entity and how they too know how to go about the game of stonewalling……….they must have classes on how to go about having closed government. I will be watching closely to see how this lawsuit advances and probably should notify Clem he has lots of company and give him my experiences dealing with the city of Gardner and USD 231 School District on similiar matters. I am sure the political office of the Jo. Co. Dist. Attorney and the Attorney General’s office gave no help to Mr. Clem and others and they had to bring about a private lawsuit. In my opinion School Board members such as Repshire sure would not want an open record.


    Student journalist sues JCCC, alleging excessive charges for records

    Johnson County Community College is being sued by a student journalist who claims it tried to skirt the Kansas Open Records Law by requiring excessive charges for public documents.

    The student newspaper, the Campus Ledger, requested seven months of emails between a former JCCC employee, who had been abruptly let go, and the employee’s supervisor.

    Administrators responded that would require “a significant amount of time and expense,” and documents would be released once the newspaper paid $47,426.

    “That struck us as excessive,” said Christopher Grenz, Kansas City attorney for Marcus Clem, 21, of Stilwell as well as the Student Press Law Center, based near Washington, D.C.

    “The college never indicated that the records requested did not fall under the purview of the Kansas Open Records Act…”

    The lawsuit, filed Tuesday, contends “the college’s attempt to charge excessive fees … is an effort to chill the public’s access to information that should be readily available.”

    Joe Sopcich, JCCC’s executive vice president of administrative services, declined to discuss details of the suit but said, “There was no intent to do what the lawsuit contends we did.”

    When the college receives a records request, he said, “we do take it very serious and respond as accurately and as quickly as possible.

    “But this request was unusual in scope. It was of a very broad scope.”

    The Ledger, which is not a party in the suit, and the law center made several attempts to get the information at a “reasonable cost.” Eventually, the request was pared to emails between two people over one day.

    According to the suit, school officials said even that request for about 20 emails would cost nearly $10,000 because an outside firm would have to work 45 hours to retrieve those missives.

    Clem, whose semester working with the student paper ended in May, said he was shocked by the price tag.

    “I would like to know their motivation for ignoring their responsibility to state law to produce public documents at a reasonable cost…,” he said. “I was prepared to pay several hundred dollars.”

    Neither Clem nor the newspaper had uncovered any wrongdoing by JCCC involving the employee leaving the school.

    But Clem said, “There must be something in those emails that they are desperate to cover up …”

    There’s no coverup, responded Sopcich. “When you have to go back a bit in time for electronic information it becomes a bit more complicated.”

  2. Judith Rogers says:

    Called the attorney who filed this lawsuit and advised him of the experiences I have had with USD 231 School Dist. with respect to stonewalling/shakedown. Thought I would let citizens know the case no. of the lawsuit so you may follow how this progresses – I know I sure will be watching closely. The Case. No. is 11CV08440.

  3. Judith Rogers says:

    Clem who filed the lawsuit had the following to say which I agree with completely – good to see our youth are thinking independently and know terrible closed government when they see it.


    “Sunshine only burns the corrupt,” Clem said. “There’s no reason for them to do this unless they are hiding something they shouldn’t be hiding. Otherwise they should have no objection to providing information that’s requested.”

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