Author: Gardner News

Edgerton gets answer on flood aid; considers phone system, Dollar Store

Rick Poppitz Special to The Gardner News Edgerton city council met on Sept. 14 and considered a new phone system and service provider for the city, bond financing for a new warehouse at LPKC and expansion of another, and agreements with developers of a new Dollar Store. New phone system Council considered a quote and terms of service from Net2Phone to provide a new city wide telephone system. Staff and their new IT provider, Strategy, LLC, began researching phone system upgrades and service providers in 2016. In January 2017 staff recommended a contract with Net2Phone, subject to contract approval by the city attorney. However, the previous city attorney and Net2Phone were unable to reach agreement on the contract. A second vendor also declined the contract changes proposed by the city attorney. In July 2017, Lee Hendricks, the new city attorney, reviewed the proposed phone contracts and said it is typical for this type of service and nothing appeared to be outside the norm for this type of contract. He described the contract as “beyond one sided” but said that was not rare and was typical for this type of service. “This contract has language in it that says that Net2Phone can modify the terms at any time without notice, and it’s immediately applicable,”Hendricks advised council, later adding, “But you have the ability to get out anytime you please, so...

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Whimsical Woods returns to Ernie Miller Park

Submitted  photo There’s nothing scary about a Halloween special event being offered at the Johnson County Park & Recreation District’s Ernie Miller Park in early October. The program is called Whimsical Woods and is for ages 11 and younger accompanied by a parent or guardian. Participants will enjoy a walk on the park’s trail with the award-winning staff of the Ernie Miller Nature Center. Costumed storybook characters will delight and entertain audiences of all ages. This program consists of a short trail walk with stations featuring interpreters who interact with participants. Participants will meet the Good Fairy and Forest...

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OUR VIEW: Gardner city council meets

Very often the wheels of government move slowly – like a well oiled, cumbersome machine The wheels sputter and spark, lurching forward in a tiresome way, but they slowly push the people’s business forward. Month after month the school board, Edgerton council, fire district, airport, planning commission and a dozen other committees – manned primarily by volunteers – meet, discuss, disagree, and come together with a unified front. Thank you. Don’t think you go unnoticed. But it’s true the squeaky wheel gets all the attention, and so it has been with the Gardner City Council. Mired down in personalities and petty politics, all to often they’ve put egos before taxpayer business. It happened most recently when three council members – Lee Moore, Rich Melton and Steve Shute – dramatically announced they wouldn’t attend a meeting due to a possible pending harassment complaint by an unknown employee against unknown council members. Anyone who’s set on a board, or been in business, knows harassment complaints are not that uncommon, and there is a procedure to handle them. However, instead of following the professional path, this trio publicly declared they would not attend meetings until they were provided more information. They alluded to conspiracies, fear of their safety and possible personal liability. These declarations were intoned dramatically on social media — we could almost hear the drum roll. Their walk out seemed...

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No federal assistance given for Edgerton flood losses

Edgerton was recently notified there would be no additional state or federal funds to help overcome losses from the Aug. 21, 2017, flood, which reached the 500 year level and temporarily covered roads blocking access to the city. Beth Linn, city administrator, told council members Sept. 14 that the city’s uninsured losses were just below the threshold required by the state to declare disaster. “We were notified last Friday that we did not meet the threshold,” she said. “Long story short for that is there will not be additional assistance from federal for uninsured loss. We continue to work with our insurance companies on the claims side,” said Linn. Edgerton experienced catastrophic flooding during the early morning hours of Aug. 22. “The Public Works facility in particular experienced nearly 14 feet of water submerging much of our vehicle and equipment fleet. We are currently working approximately 40 individual claims related to the vehicles and equipment,” Linn said. Following the incident, the Edgerton staff met with representatives from Johnson County Emergency Management and Kansas Department of Emergency Management (KDEM). During those meetings, Edgerton was asked to develop and submit a preliminary estimate of uninsured loss from the event. To qualify for submittal of a request to the State of Kansas for declaration of disaster, the uninsured loss from Johnson County had to be at least $1.9 MM. If that was...

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Johnson County Museum celebrates 50th anniversary

Submitted photo Happy Anniversary to the Johnson County Museum. Bring the whole family to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the museum during two special events for all ages being planned on Oct. 7. The events include a  Healthy Hip Hop presented by H3TV, followed by Family Day at the Johnson County Museum. Both will take place beginning at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, located in the former King Louie Building at 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park. The cost for either event is the regular museum admission rate, which is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors ages 60+, $3...

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Mustangs go to Wellsville; several place

The Wheatridge Middle School Mustangs traveled to Wellsville for their second meet of the season. The hot weather didn’t get them down, and they ran well against the other 18 schools. The seventh grade boys and girls ran their first two mile race of the season. Medal award finishers were Hannah Elliott who took fourth place (14:23), Natalie Claycamp who took twelfth place (15:36), Charli McGill who took twentieth place (15:51), and Natalie Yarbrough who took twenty fifth place (16:11). Olivia Hinck (16:35) and Taylor Dryden (18:09) had great races as well! The boys’ team fared well with Gage Graham (15:05), Jackson Elsey (15:25), Trevor Hamilton (18:08), Kyler Leadbetter (18:28), Tyler Utter (20:20), Will Korosec (20:28) and Sam McQueen (26:24). The eighth grade girls all ran medal-winning races. Jillian Velasquez took fifteenth place (15:24), Zoey Edwards took sixteenth place (15:26), and Sadie Helms took twenty fifth place (17:06). Shane Chambers represented the boys’ team with a run of 14:47 (PR). The runners are excited to run at Trail Ridge Middle School on Sept....

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Sports Potpourri

Mac Stevenson Kansas State lost more than a football game at Vanderbilt last Saturday. The Wildcats and their fans had lofty aspirations for K-State’s chance to be high in the national rankings and perhaps even making the national championship playoffs. Those dreams are kaput. K-State’s defense played admirably against Vanderbilt, but the highly touted offense sputtered and stalled throughout the ballgame. Coach Bill Snyder took responsibility for the 14-7 loss and said, “I didn’t have our football team as well prepared as they needed to be to win . . . there’s not the discipline that we need to have on our football team.” Senior QB Jesse Ertz has played sensational football for K-State in many meaningful games, but last Saturday wasn’t one of them. Ertz was the Wildcats’ only weapon in the rushing game; he gained 126 yards on 24 carries and scored K-State’s lone touchdown. But his passing was abysmal. Ertz completed just 10 of 28 passes for 76 yards and he threw two costly interceptions. The lack of a passing attack wasn’t all Ertz’s fault; the receiving corps had a terrible game with numerous drops that should have been completions. Despite the offensive shortcomings, the factor that was most costly to K-State came from the replay booth. After Kendall Adams returned a fumble for a TD, the replay official overturned the refs call on the field....

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City considers $38M industrial project; adopts capitol improvement planning

Scott Garrie, parks and rec director, and Chris Morrow, mayor, display a Proclamation by the Governor that recognizes the city of Gardner’s Smoke on the Trails event as an official State Barbecue Championship. The proclamation was presented at the Sept. 18 city council meeting. Photo courtesy by Rick Poppitz Rick Poppitz Special to The Gardner News All members of the Gardner city council were present for the Sept. 18 scheduled meeting and prior work session. The Sept. 8 meeting and work session had been cancelled due to lack of quorum when Lee Moore, Steve Shute and Rich melton declined...

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Voters approve funding for a new justice center

By fall 2019, citizens will see the brand-new  Gardner Justice Center at the location of 167th and Moonlight Road. The law enforcement center will house both the police department and the municipal court, accounting for nearly 50 employees. With 71 percent of the voters approving the funding to construct this facility, the city will build an approximately 30,000 square-feet structure. The size of the facility will address the current spacing issues and continual growth of the community as well as the police department, according to the 2015 space-needs study. Recently, the city staff finalized an agreement with architects who will immediately start design concepts based on input from city staff of various departments, including police, court, planning, public works, and information technology. At the Sept. 18 council meeting, the council authorized the city administrator to execute an agreement with TreanorHL for architectural professional services for the new Gardner Justice Center in the amount of $965,000 for basic services, $25,000 for FFE design and allowances of $61,500 for reimbursable expenses. TreanorHL has worked with the city in the past, including performing the Space Needs Study. The governing body had previously reached consensus that Treanor would continue as Architect, this action makes it official. ouncil approved with a 5-0 vote. The Gardner Public Works Department will provide oversight on the design and construction of the facility, and is currently working on...

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GMOs douse the earth with toxic herbicides

Jill Richardson Guest Columnist For many years, genetically engineered crops were said to be environmentally responsible. Those crops have genes from different species implanted in them, giving them traits they normally wouldn’t have. Companies like Monsanto that produced such strains claimed they were good for the planet. One genetically engineered crop variety is specifically designed to withstand exposure to Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup, which Monsanto claimed broke down quickly in the soil. With these “Roundup Ready” crops, farmers can spray their entire fields with Roundup, trusting that their crops will live and the weeds will die. Monsanto said it was safe. Why? Because Roundup was safe. Some contest the claim that Roundup is actually safe. California lists it as a carcinogen, so maybe it isn’t. Another Monsanto product, Xtend, uses a different herbicide — dicamba — that inspires no such debate. It’s bad for you. A new form of genetically engineered crops — soybeans that can survive exposure to dicamba — means an increase of the use of dicamba. To rid a field of weeds, a farmer douses it in the herbicide. Only the soybeans live, while the weeds die. Yet dicamba is a reproductive toxin. And now it’s going to cover crops that will be sold as food. This is the first year farmers planted genetically engineered seeds that are made to use with dicamba. Over and above the...

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Several runners set personal best records

The Wheatridge Cross Country team ran at the Trail Ridge Middle School meet on Sept. 16. It was a hot and humid day, but the Mustangs all had great performances. The seventh grade girls’ team took second place overall, and many personal records were set. Hannah Elliott earned a medal with a sixth place finish (6:23 PR), Natalie Claycamp earned a medal with a twelfth place finish (6:46 PR), Olivia Hinck (6:55 PR), Charli McGill (6:55 PR), Natalie Yarbrough (7:14) and Taylor Dryden (7:36) all had great races. The seventh grade boys set many personal records during their one mile race as well. Jackson Elsey (6:36 PR), Gage Graham (6:36 PR), Trevor Hamilton (7:17 PR), Kyler Leadbetter (7:35), Tyler Utter (8:39), Will Korosec (8:53), and Sam McQueen (9:43 PR) had awesome third races of the season. The eighth grade girls’ team consisted of Jillian Velasquez who earned a medal with a tenth place time of 15:41, Zoey Edwards who earned a medal with an eleventh place time of 15:42, and Sadie Helms (16:44). Shane Chambers ran the last race of the day with a time of 15:27. The Mustangs travel to Spring Hill on Sept. 21 for their fourth meet of the...

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Civil War era trip planned for seniors

Submitted photo Experience what life was like in the Civil War era during an early October day trip being offered by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District. Eighteen Hundreds  is the name of this trip, which will take travelers to Nebraska City, Neb. Participants will watch a live Civil War reenactment followed by a tour of Nebraska’s first nationally-recognized Underground Railroad historic site, The Mayhew Cabin and the John Brown Cave. The group will dine at the Lied Lodge for lunch before going to the Arbor Lodge for a tour of J. Sterling...

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Spring Hill’s Jayci Dalton named Director of the Year for Kansas

Jayci Dalton, nutrition director, was named the 2016-17 Director of the Year for Kansas by the School Nutrition Association.  She was recognized at the National Conference in July of this year.  This award recognizes school nutrition directors for the contributions they have made throughout their school nutrition careers.  To be nominated for this award directors must: • Currently and for the past five years be a school nutrition director at the school district level; • Currently and for the past five years be a SNA member in the district director or major city director sections; • Currently hold a SNA certificate in school nutrition or the SNS credential; • Have served in at least one position on the state or national executive board OR as a member on a state or national committee. Dalton has served as the district director of nutrition for the past 16 years.  “Jayci Dalton does an excellent job keeping the district in compliance, providing nutritious meals for students, and taking the initiative to implement innovative ideas to make her department better,” says Dr. Wayne Burke, Superintendent....

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Beer, wine festival planned for Sept. 29

The city invites the public to attend Gardner’s new fall event, Grand Slam Beer and Wine Festival, on Friday, Sept. 29, from 7 to 10 p.m. Local breweries and wineries will be located in the outfields of Celebration Park, 32501 W. 159th St., to share their creations of libations. Participants will receive a commemorative sample glass, a program describing all beers and wines on site, with a map of participating vendors so attendees can easily locate their favorites, and a punch card for 12 wine samples. Those in attendance will also enjoy free appetizers, live bands, and a variety of yard games. This is a ticketed event of $20.50 per person if purchased in advance, and is limited to the first 800 adults. Cost is $25 at the door. A small service fee will be accessed for credit card payments when purchasing tickets in advance and at the door. For more information or to pre-purchase a ticket for Grand Slam, visit gardnergrandslam.com....

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Homecoming Candidates

Submitted photo 2017 Homecoming candidates have been selected and are listed from left to right: Austin Bond & Erinn Billups, Jackson Flowers & Rylie Duncan, Parker Guffey & Lauren Highfill, Tavita Ploetz & Macy Koetters, and Cameron Schultz & Lauren Misse. Homecoming will be held on Sept. 22 at 7:00 p.m. with GEHS versus Blue Valley, at home....

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VFW sponsors 2 forums

VFW Gardner Post 11234 will have a second forum for city council candidates at 7 p.m. Sept. 21 at Gardner Grange Hall. VFW members will ask questions to the four candidates. Also, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. the VFW will have a forum for city mayor candidates at Gardner Grange Hall. For information, contact Mike Hutton...

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Bob Knabe wins state horseshoe tournament for second straight year

Bob Knabe, from Edgerton, has been pitching horseshoes in an Ottawa, league for ten years. The last two years he has been lucky enough to win first place in the state tournament. He won 2016 in Salina, and 2017 in Ottawa. He also placed 4th in St. George Utah this past July at The World Tournament. Staff...

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Locals aid with flood recovery efforts in TX

Rick Poppitz Special to The Gardner News The disastrous flooding in Texas from Hurricane Harvey prompted three local men to respond to a need for shallow water boats. Tim Berger, who lives in Edgerton and works for Century Link in Gardner, recruited a couple of his buddies – they all took time off work and loaded up in Berger’s truck with his boat in tow and hit the road south for Texas. Responding to the call On Sunday night, Berger had heard on news reports and social media that some Texas towns were in need of people with trucks and shallow water boats to assist in local rescue efforts. He said he thought to himself – “I have a truck and I have a boat. I should go.” He talked with his wife, and she was OK with it. The next day he told his supervisor at Century Link what he wanted to do and they said go for it. Berger knew this was definitely not a trip to be taken alone. A crew was needed, so Berger recruited a couple of friends, Josh Hamberg and Brian Elvis Britt, who also had to take time off work. He posted about his plan for the trip on Facebook and soon got inquiries from people wanting to help. One set up a fundraiser account to help pay fuel and expenses. Others...

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AFP-Kansas launches accountability campaign 

Kansas launched a six figure accountability effort to educate Kansans on legislators who voted to enact the historic, retroactive $1.2 billion tax hike. The campaign, which is slated to continue through 2018, will consist of mailers, digital ads, and other grassroots activities. The record tax hike emerged in response to the growing budget deficit after the legislature failed to keep spending in check following the 2012 tax cuts. A veto override in both legislative chambers enacted the billion-dollar tax hike. “The goal of this accountability effort is to make sure Kansans know which legislators thought it was a better idea to cut the Kansas family budget...

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September 11 has passed but not forgotten

Joan Dorsey Contributing columnist Sixteen years ago on Monday the 11th we all remember where we were. We remember going outside to look at the airplanes spinning giant vapor trail loops in the sky to get to the nearest airport. We remember friends telling us to get read the worst was yet to come. I remember driving to Oak Park Mall to give my son a ride from work when his car wouldn’t start. The streets and highways were empty. No cars for miles at a time. Everyone was hunkered down with family and friends. Being safe. The nation rallied around New York, the Pentagon and the location where plane number four went down in Pennsylvania. We were one nation standing together, for a while. But memories fade, so does the horror and the sadness. Children are born and then there are those who don’t remember that day. Sixteen years is a long time. But we stood together. Much like the people who lived through Pearl Harbor. As our pledge of Allegiance says “One nation……” But time makes us forget. We will forget about the folks in Texas who lost homes and property. They will be replaced by the people in Florida who also lost homes and property. We forget that there are people in Edgerton still coping with the flood that went through their town. As humans it...

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