Author: Gardner News

4 families displaced in Pinewood fire; fund to assist established

Crews were called to a 2-alarm fire at the Pinewood Apartments near 56 Highway and Moonlight Road in the early morning hours on Feb. 14. A fund has been established to assist the families. Photo courtesy of Larry Beyers A total of 11 adults and four children were displaced by a fire Feb. 14 and are being assisted by various means, including a fund set up by the Gardner Edgerton Chamber. “This was a devastating fire for the four families as they lost everything. The out pouring of money and essential goods by our residents and businesses shows the...

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GE teachers of the year announced

Two educators have been selected to advance to the Kansas Teacher of the Year Regional Competition: Katie Gartenmayer, third grade teacher at Nike Elementary; and Ashley Gorney, Spanish teacher at Gardner Edgerton High School. Gartenmayer, USD 231’s elementary level honoree, holds a Master of Science in Teaching with an emphasis in Speakers of Other Languages from Pittsburg State University; and a Bachelor in Elementary Education from Benedictine College.  She has been in education for seven years and has taught third grade for all seven years.  Outside of her teaching day, Gartenmayer is a Mentor Teacher and participates in the USD 231 Leadership Team. She has also been a Cooperating Teacher with MidAmerica Nazarene University, Fort Hays State University, and Benedictine College. Katie has also facilitated various presentations to groups including “Learning Goals,” “7 Habits of Happy Kids,” “Growth vs. Fixed Mindset,” and “First Year Teachers – Family Communication.” Gartenmayer has been recognized for her teaching abilities from her colleagues by being nominated and selected as a USD 231 Shining Star, December 2016; Atchison Elementary School Teacher of the Month, February 2014; Atchison Elementary School Teacher of the Month, October 2014; and Kansas Teacher of Promise, 2009. “Miss Gartenmayer cannot truly be defined by words alone, but rather her actions,” said Lisa Thompson, Nike principal.  “She believes in all of the children and will find ways to help them be...

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Police reporting structure discussed in session

Rick Poppitz Special to The Gardner News Gardner city council held back to back meetings on Feb. 20 at Gardner city hall. A council work session was held at 5:30 p.m., followed by the regularly scheduled council meeting at 7p.m. Change governing  structure The topic of the work session was the police department reporting structure. Four professionals offered council their thoughts, followed by discussion. The four presenters were: Mike Press, local government consultant (who once served as interim city administrator for Gardner), Ken Sissom, mayor of Merriam and JoCo Regional Police Academy director, Terry Norwood, Midwest Public Risk president/CEO, and Benjamin Hart, vice president, assurance services – Allen Gibbs & Houlik. Frank Denning, retired Johnson County Sheriff was scheduled but was unable to attend. Press began by describing the system of governance known as Policy Governance. “It has been proven to be the most effective, efficient and accountable approach to government,” he said. Press read a quote from a policy governance book, that he said was adopted as a manual by many cities. “The city counci’ls official link to the operations of city government and staff is through, and solely through, the city administrator. All authority and accountability of staff, as it pertains to the council, is considered sole authority and accountability of the city administrator.” Sissom said all the department heads in Merriam report to the city administrator....

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Five Lady Blazers sign softball scholarships

LEFT: Cassidy Greer and Kennedy Meyer signed softball scholarships to play softball at Highland Community College. RIGHT: Cede Miller,Abby Cox and Mikala Galvin recently signed letters of intent to play softball at Ft. Scott Community college. Submitted photos Five Lady Blazers recently signed national letters of intent to play softball on the collegiate level this fall. Headed to Highland Community College will be Kennedy Meyer and Cassidy Greer. Cede Miller, Abby Cox and Mikala Galvin will play softball at Fort Scott Community College. In total, seven juniors return for Coach Joanne Calvin’s team this spring. The Lady Blazers have won two straight Regional titles and have made two straight 6A State appearances, losing in the first round. The seven seniors have started on the varsity level since their freshman...

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Water 7 extends boundaries; adds services

Water District #7 saw the completion of its 1 million gallon elevated storage tank, located along I-35 Highway, in the LPKC. This will provide fire suppression flows for many of the areas surrounding the LPKC, as well as into the district’s other service areas. Photo courtesy of Jason Downs Allan Soetaert Water District #7 Another busy year for Water District No. 7. The district serves urban and residential areas in southwest Johnson County, northwest Miami County, and areas along the Johnson/Douglas County line. The district continues to experience growth in its service area primarily within the Logistics Park Kansas...

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City council drops motion to censure

Rick Poppitz Special to The Gardner News At the Feb. 6 council meeting, Rich Melton, council member, introduced a motion to censure Chris Morrow, mayor, but it was tabled for legal review. The motion said Morrow “chronically and blatantly misrepresented facts,” and Melton cited a message he had sent to (former) Sheriff Frank Denning as proof. The message read, “Hello Sheriff, could you please give me a call on my cell phone(number). . . I have a question related to Gardner from a council person’s perspective.” The message is dated Oct. 28, 2016. Ryan Denk, city attorney, prepared a...

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Fire district, city consolodate

The delivery of three new engines replaced the fleet at Fire District #1. Total fire and EMS calls ran for 2016 was 2,534,C this is an increase of 202 in 2015. City of Gardner, Edgerton and New Century made up 90 percent of calls with an average response time of 3:42 minutes. Photo courtesy Fire District #1 Rob Kirk, chief Fire District #1 During 2016 Fire District 1 was successful in accomplishing many things,and as the chief, I am very proud to be a part of the leadership team we have. Our continued driving force to improve our service...

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Development increases in 2016

Cheryl Harrison-Lee City Administrator The year 2016 was an extremely productive time for Gardner as our talented, hardworking staff consistently completed challenging projects to meet and exceed the needs of the community. The governing body guided the vision and set priorities aligned with the city’s strategic goals: Promote Economic Development, Improve Quality of Life, Increase Infrastructure and Asset Management, and Increase Fiscal Stewardship. We are excited to announce that our aggressive economic development efforts have started to take shape in Gardner. Residential developments are thriving, and we opened the doors to several new businesses. Last year, 98 housing units were built throughout the city, adding nearly $2 million in property valuation for Gardner. We expect to reap similar results in 2017. We also celebrated the opening of Orscheln Farm and Home, a new Subway, and several specialty businesses that provide the unique and diverse needs of our residents. We made significant progress on the CVS project, and the company plans to break ground later this year. From residential housing to new business developments and expansions, we received $18.5 million of private investments into our community. Economic development is in full swing, and we will keep that momentum going forward. Also in 2016, we launched our new brand identity, complete with a new website to serve as a resource to residents and visitors, and help promote the city. Currently our...

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Traiblazers lose to St. Thomas Aquinas

The Blazers set their offense in action at home against league leading St. Thomas Aquinas last week. The Blazers dropped to 8-9 on the season with a 58-44 loss to the Saints. Photo courtesy of Chrissy Hatton Falling behind early, the Blazer boys varsity basketball team dropped a 58-44 decision at home to St. Thomas Aquinas last week. The league leading Saints jumped to a 15-12 first quarter advantage and went up 29-21 at halftime. An 18-13 third quarter run sealed the verdict. “Overall, I was happy with our defensive effort on the night,” said Coach Jeff Langehr. “Their...

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Used car lot coming

Photo courtesy of by Rick Poppitz The old convenience store at 905 E Sante Fe (on the east side of Moonlight, south of the railroad crossing) is being converted for use as a used car sales lot by the owners of Olathe Kia. The business is expected to open in the fall, starting with used vehicles and potentially phasing in new car sales in the...

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Eleven Blazer wrestlers qualify for state

GEHS will be well represented in this weekend’s 6A State wrestling tournament in Park City. Eleven Blazer wrestlers qualified, which was the most in 6A, and helped GEHS to a third place Regional finish. “The team responded when they needed to most,” said Coach Tyler Cordts. “I was real proud of the effort.” Leading the way will be number one overall seed Jensen McDermott and runner-ups Jackson Flowers and Drake Taysom. Other qualifiers include Kyle Humphrey (7th), Carlos Gaeta (3rd), Alex Weber (4th), Taven Ewbank (3rd), Rodriguez (6th), Conner Greig (3rd), Tristen Martin (6th) and Ryan Shirley...

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Lady Blazers lose to St. Thomas Aquinas, 54-29

With the potential EKL title on the line, STA proved to be the dominant team handing GEHS a 54-29 home loss last week. “After a strong start, STA’s defense took control and we had a difficult time scoring,” said Coach Justin Mayer. The Blazers were led in scoring by Taylor Carpenter with nine points. Skylar Washington had eight, Kynli Nelson, five, Cassidy Androff, four, Madyson Beasley, two, and Kelby Wilson had one...

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2016 brings more jobs than residents for Edgerton

2016 marked the year Edgerton created more jobs than it has residents, said Don Roberts, mayor, at his third annual Edgerton State of the City address Feb. 16. The 22 minute speech highlighted accomplishments of 2016 and plans for 2017. He said the window of opportunity is now open for Edgerton. Photo courtesy of Rick Poppitz Rick Popitz Special to The Gardner News Don Roberts, mayor, delivered the third annual Edgerton State of the City address at city hall on Feb. 16. The 22 minute speech highlighted accomplishments of 2016 and plans for 2017. Roberts expressed appreciation for the...

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Poker for a cause

Photo courtesy of Rick Poppitz Gardner Rotary sponsored a poker tournament fundraiser on Feb. 10. Bill Weston won the first place prize of a week at Tahiti Village Resort in Las...

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Department of Revenue recommends no changes to Charitable Gaming Act

Mac Moore KU Statehouse Wire Service The Department of Revenue recommended to the House Committee on Federal and State Affairs on Thursday that no alterations be made to the 2014 Charitable Gaming Act. The Charitable Gaming Act regulates charitable raffle and bingo events. The Federal and State Affairs Committee passed the bill after Kansas voters approved a ballot measure in 2014 which legalized charitable raffles for nonprofits. Patsy Congrove, the revenue department’s charitable gaming administrator, reported that 55 charitable raffle licenses were issued since July 2016, compared to 52 through the same time the previous year. Nonprofits raised more than $2 million from charitable donations through these programs in the past fiscal year. Congrove said the law was intended to insure honesty and integrity without hindering fundraising efforts. “Legislators made it very clear they did not want a lot of statutes to hinder the spirit of volunteerism,” Congrove said. In an effort to limit the level of regulation, the Department of Revenue created a tier system for charitable raffle licensing. Nonprofits with more than $25,000 in gross sales receipts for raffles are required to purchase a raffle license. The lowest price is $25 but increases up to $100 for organizations making more than $100,000 in raffle sales. The Department of Revenue generated more than $300,000 in licensing fees. Despite the fees, Congrove said the charitable raffle licenses have steadily...

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Bocce time!

Photo courtesy of Rick Poppitz On Sunday Feb. 12, the Kansas Unified Sports Bocce Metro Tournament was held at Wheatridge Middle School. The event was  hosted by the local Special Olympics team and Unified Blazers Team.  Twenty-two teams and their fans from around the metro came to Gardner to participate.  Gardner had a blue team and a white team. Pictured here is Gardner’s Blue Team – from left; Norm Gustafson, Megan Boers, Janae Gustafson, Kaleigh Demaline, Caitlin Demarest, and Mark Flora-Swick. Both Blazer teams finished with a 1 – 1 record. Members of the Gardner white team were: David...

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Who will be my ‘first to contact’ person?

Joan Dorsey Contributing columnist I remember going out to eat with my folks as a kid. Remember, I am the youngest and was basically an only child after my brother and sisters left home. I hated the Sunday ritual of getting dressed up and going out to a restaurant to eat lunch. I am sure after the years of feeding a family and cooking three meals a day my mom was just done with it. One day a week someone could prepare and serve her food for her. I understand this. I tried to give up the cooking thing a few years ago. It worked pretty well for me. That is until you are told by your family physician the cholesterol is a little high, and you notice the extra pounds that eating out brings you. Anyway, on Sunday we would humor Mom and go out to eat. Earlier times would find us in Ottawa. I don’t remember the name of the place, but the food was good. From there we went to a buffet style place down in Leawood. Buffets made everyone happy. Get what you like and no hassle. We went to Putsch’s Cafeteria down on the Plaza and later to the one at Metcalf South shopping center. As the 70’s wound on, we found our usual hang out for lunch was Joe’s Barn in Stanley. All...

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Troutner resigns from Edgerton council

Charlie Troutner resigned from the Edgerton city council on Feb. 8, 2017. This photo of Troutner is from the October 2013 opening ceremony for the Edgerton Community Museum, for which he will continue to serve as president. File photo Rick Poppitz Special to the Gardner News Janeice Rawles, city clerk, was recognized for 25 years of service at the Feb. 9 Edgerton city council meeting. There was also a resignation, a removal, an appointment of an alternate, as well as discussion of new Kansas election laws, and whether splitting duplex lots should be allowed. Resignation, removal, appointment Don Roberts,...

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Blazer wrestlers place fifth at EKL league

The Blazer varsity wrestlers brought back a fifth place finish from the EKL league meet at St. Thomas Aquinas last week. Leading the way was Conner Greig and Drake Taysom with second place finishes. Third place awards went to Carlos Gaeta, Taven Ewbank, Jensen McDermott and Jackson Flowers. Ryan Shirley took fourth place. “Overall, it was a pretty good day,” said Coach Tyler Cordts. “We won some big matches to get us set up for regionals.” Regional competition takes place at Blue Valley this...

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Blazers snap losing streak with win at MV

The Blazer boys’ varsity basketball team snapped a two game losing streak with a 57-42 win at Mill Valley last week. Both teams played to a 4-4 first quarter tie before the Blazers took an 18-12 halftime lead. Bryson Rohr’s conventional three pointer gave GEHS a 33-20 lead after three quarters. From there, GEHS held on for its eighth win of the season. “We needed to put an end to the losing streak,” said Coach Jeff Langehr. “Our kids responded to the challenge, played tough and worked our way to a much needed victory.” Rohr led a balanced attack with 13 points, while Blake Nichols added eleven points. Devan Toomey had eight, Conner Boyt, seven, Austyn Hatton and Luke Soza, six points, Anthony Reed, four points and Luke Jennings two...

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