Author: Gardner News

OUR VIEW: Johnson County Fair is “Barn in the USA”

Since its inception in 1939, the Johnson County Fair has been “Barn in the USA.” This year’s fair runs July 30 thru Aug. 5, and there is something for everyone including livestock exhibits, 4-H, carnival and parade. Volunteers work year round making the fair happen – organizing, cleaning and preparing for the upcoming fair. It’s a process so well-oiled, the fair almost seems to function on its own. 4-H clubs work each year to meet, plan and prepare projects to exhibit. The Gardner Edgerton Chamber takes entries and sponsors the parade. Year round, fair board members meet, prepare and plan. The fair grounds are kept in repair, schedules set and events planned. By the time fair week arrives, it’s as if by magic vendorl and food stands appear, and the buildings fill with livestock and 4-H entries. The midway opens. The buildings are slowly fill with the fur and feathers of 4-H animals. The arena is spiffed up and ready for ropers and wranglers to take center stage all throughout the week. Flat track races and the demo derby entertain hundreds, if not thousands of fairgoers. Most attendees are focused on the sounds of laughter and aroma of funnel cakes and fail to notice the purposeful work of volunteers who, with a smile and nod, take tickets, judge entries or clean the grounds. Fair board members and volunteers rarely...

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VFW sponsors 2017 candidate forum

A candidate forum will be held at 7 p.m. July 21 at the Gardner Grange building on the Johnson County Fairgrounds. The forum is being sponsored by the VFW Post 11234. According to the Johnson County Election website, a primary election will be held Aug. 1 for Gardner City Council candidates. Voters are asked to vote for two or fewer. Candidates are: Mark Baldwin; 31115 West 172nd Terrace, Gardner Michael Blanchard; 360 West Madison Street, Gardner Terrence J. Flowers; 607 North Poplar, Gardner Randy Gregorcyk; 620 East Hawthorn Street, Gardner Shirley Baker Harley; 29609 West 184th Street, Gardner Jonathan T. Pelkey; 625 West Santa Fe Street, Gardner Scott Smith; 813 South Cedar Street, Gardner Winners of the primary will move forward to the November general...

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Dollar General Store

Photo courtesy of Rick Poppitz Developers have filed final site plan applications with Edgerton to build a 7,500 square foot Dollar General store that would be located off US 56 Hwy west of Dee’s Mini Mart. The final site plan and final plat applications are under current consideration of the planning commission. Final site development plan will be presented soon, and if approved by the commission, would go to city council for final...

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Investigation into KOMA violations underway

A complaint filed with the Johnson County District Attorneys office regarding possible violations of the Kansas Open Meetings Act have been assigned for investigation, according to Dana E. Gouge, chief investigator. The complaint, filed by The Gardner News, concerns two meetings: Resolution 1963 The KOMA complaint concerned circumstances surrounding Resolution 1963 presented and approved March, 6, 2017. Council members came out of closed session with a change to personnel regulations already prepared and approved it, with no prior public discussion. A review of e mail obtained under KORA indicated Steve Shute, council president, prepared Resolution 1963 prior to the meeting, and...

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Tips sought in Edgerton robbery

At approximately 5 a.m. July 13, an armed robbery occurred at Dee’s Mini Mart in Edgerton. There is one known suspect at this time, identified as a white male armed with a black semi-automatic handgun. There were no injuries and the suspect remains at large. The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office is handling the ongoing investigation. “Investigators are still looking for information/tips,” said Claire.Canaan, deputy, Johnson County Sheriff’s Department. Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at...

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GCPA students tour detention facility

Members of this year’s Citizens Police Academy are; ( Left to Right) is Eric Olson, Larry Byers, Samuel Beers, Rachel Groff, Kiva Simmons-Lee, Carrie Wilson, Preston Moore, Amanda Moore, Alan Drake, Juana Rodriguez-Maldonado, Jacob Carter, and Larry Smith. Not pictured are: Randy Gregoryck and Kara Pine. Photo courtesy Gardner Police Department The Gardner Citizens Police Academy has been offered for six seasons. The most recent session ran ten weeks, meeting each Thursday for three hours. To date, there have been 83 citizen graduates. “The primary goal of the CPA is to increase the positive interaction with the public,” said...

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Stockton selected for Paul Harris Fellow Award

Michael Blanchard, Gardner Rotary president, and Tamela Stockton, recipient of Paul Harris Fellow Award. Submitted photo This year the Gardner Rotary Club presented Tamela Stockton with the Paul Harris Fellow. The award is a recognition of members who have made a significant contribution to the community. Tamela took over as the Clubs Youth Exchange Office in 2016 and has in the past along, with her husband Glenn, hosted several youth exchange students. Her contributions to her community go beyond her involvement with the local Rotary club, Tamela is involved with multiple organizations in Gardner and surrounding areas. Tamela helped...

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Successful season finale for Westside Sluggers baseball team

Photo courtesy of Coach Billy Hann It’s been quite a season for coach Billy Hann and his Westside Sluggers 16 year old baseball team. Highlights of the year came at 3&2 stadium in Lenexa with the team winning the state baseball title. In the title game, Westside defeated Manhattan 2-1 behind solid pitching and defense. “Our main three pitchers struck out 30 batters and we just had a real solid defensive effort,” said Hann. The team also took second at the Legends Series and the High School Summer Slam. The team finished third at the Blue Devil Showcase at...

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Spencer C. Duncan Make It Count 5K Run/Walk honors, assists veterans

The 6th Annual Spencer C. Duncan Make It Count 5K Run/Walk will be Aug. 5 at the New Century AirCenter in Gardner. This event, which begins at 7:30 a.m., will start and finish just north of the U.S. Army Reserve hangar, 221 Gardner Dr. Army Specialist Spencer C. Duncan, Olathe, was one of 30 U.S. servicemen who died Aug. 6, 2011 when their Chinook helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan. It remains the worst single-day loss of American life in the Afghan war. This annual event always occurs on the first Saturday in August. Each serviceman who died in the crash will be honored on the Boulevard of the Brave along the course. In addition, photographs of each of them will be on display nearby in a Chinook. This will be the last year people will be able to walk through the old Delta model Chinook because they are being retired. Spencer, who was 21 years old, was the son of Dale and Megan Duncan, Olathe. He was the oldest of their three sons. Spencer was a 2008 graduate of Olathe South High School. Shortly after Spencer’s death, his parents created the Spencer C. Duncan Make It Count Foundation to honor and assist veterans. The annual run/walk is the not-for-profit foundation’s primary fundraising event. The number of people who participate has grown each year. The highest turnout for the...

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AG Derek Schmidt: concealed carry applications drop to 5,100 in 2017

The attorney general’s office received more than 5,100 new applications for concealed carry licenses in the recently ended 2017 fiscal year, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said today. Between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017, the Concealed Carry Licensing Unit received 5,119 new applications. This was the lowest number of applications received in a fiscal year since the licensing program began in 2006. A legislative change in 2015 allows eligible Kansans to carry concealed without a license. While the number of new applications has waned, most Kansans who already have permits are choosing to keep their licenses active. The Concealed Carry Licensing Unit received more than 21,000 renewal applications during the 2017 fiscal year. Licenses are still required in most states, and Kansas licenses are currently recognized in 38 states. “Many Kansans continue to recognize the benefits of obtaining a license, including our reciprocity agreements with other states,”? Schmidt said. ?”We continue to work with other states to ensure Kansas licenses are recognized.” Schmidt also encouraged all Kansans who intend to carry firearms to pursue training opportunities. He reminded all Kansans who choose to carry firearms to comply with properly posted signage. Currently, more than 83,000 Kansans have active concealed carry licenses. More information on the concealed carry licensing program is available on the attorney general?s website at www.ag.ks.gov....

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Groundhouse South offers the same quality, a bonus drive thru

Submitted photo What started as a minor conversation to add a coffee counter at Small Business Bank (formerly Gardner Bank) led to the opening of Groundhouse South. Groundhouse Coffee, owned by Steve and Beth Hines and Jason and Christa Schroeder, opened their original location at Main and Elm in 2012. “Our customers had been asking for a drive-thru from the day we first opened in 2012,” Steve Hines said. “Our Elm St. location would never be able to offer a drive thru.” The discussion on a coffee counter shifted to what it would take to offer drive thru convenience....

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First place

Photo courtesy of Thane Nonamaker Conner Gunderson cleared a personal best of 8′ and won first place in the 11-12 year old pole vault at the Sunflower state games in Topeka last...

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Kansas fiscal year end collections exceed estimates and previous year

Kansas exceeded predictions for total taxes as well as actual collection totals over last fiscal year, according to data from the June revenue report released Monday. Kansas collected $5.82 billion from all tax sources in Fiscal Year 2017. In comparison, the state collected $5.76 billion in taxes Fiscal Year 2016, which amounts to a $58.58 million difference fiscal year over fiscal year. Revised estimates predicted the state would bring in $5.74 billion in Fiscal Year 2017. The state collected $55.09 million more in individual income tax this fiscal year over last. “I am pleased to see such growth in...

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Jo Co Extension celebrates 100 years

In 1917 the Johnson County Cooperative Extension office opened its doors. This year, a centennial celebration will be held from 10 a.m. -3 p.m. Sept. 30 at the Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center, 8788 Metcalf, Overland park. The goal was to bring land grant university resources and knowledge directly to the citizens. Kansas State University Research and Extension has been in partnership with Johnson County government for a century providing unbiased scientific resources and serving as the bridge between university academic specialists and the public for the past 100 years. As the cooperative extension the mission is mission to serve in cooperation with citizens — working together to apply research-based solutions to your personal needs. The public is invited to help celebrate the past 100 years of providing top notch quality programs for our county The event is free and there will be fun, interactive stations for young and old to participate in, refreshments, demonstrations, and program spotlights all day long. Please join us in celebrating the past, present and future of Johnson County Extension.  ...

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AG Derek Schmidt to FCC: Let phone carriers block robocalls

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt this week asked the Federal Communications Commission to move forward with adopting regulations which would allow telephone providers to block illegal robocalls. Schmidt, along with a bipartisan coalition of 29 other state attorneys general, submitted a comment letter on the FCC’s proposed rules which would allow providers to block several types of ?”spoofed”? calls, in which a call appears to be coming from one number, but is actually coming from a different number. Scammers frequently use spoofed calls to hide their identity and to trick consumers into believing that their calls are legitimate. The use of these spoofed numbers is particularly prevalent in scams where the caller pretends to be calling from the Internal Revenue Service, law enforcement agencies or utility companies. Scammers who use these spoofed caller ID numbers are among the worst of the worst, Schmidt said. ?The technology to stop them from even reaching Kansas consumers is now available. It is common sense to change these outdated federal regulations that currently restrict the phone carriers from using this technology to protect consumers.? If the new rules are adopted, providers would be allowed to block calls coming from invalid numbers, unallocated numbers, and numbers whose owners have requested they be blocked. For example, phone providers would be able to block a scammer that is using a telephone number that clearly can’t exist...

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ACLU may sue over censorship of social media pages by elected officials

An ACLU letter sent to Kansas Senator Mary Pilcher-Cook, 10th District, has resonated with at least one Gardner resident. Wes Rains, Gardner, recently sent a letter to Lee Moore, Gardner councilman, requesting Moore “unblock” his ability to post to Moore’s official city councilman’s Facebook page. “Recently, a more famous public official (state Senator) has practiced the same form of censorship that you have, and she now has been asked by the ACLU to cease this behavior,” Rains said in his e-mail. “I believe this to be a similar situation, and am considering writing to the ACLU myself to appeal to your better nature and judgement, but before I do that, I am asking you myself as a Gardner citizen and constituent and voter.” Rains attached the American Civil Liberties Union July 5, 2017, letter to Sen. Pilcher Cook in his email to Moore. According to the ACLU’s letter, blocking opposing views violates citizens’ well established First Amendment rights to criticize elected officials and express opinions of public concern. Censoring a constituent’s viewpoint violates the First Amendment’s Speech Clause. According to Moore’s response received by Rains and supplied to The Gardner News, “I am not required by ordinance or by statute to maintain an official Facebook page.  Therefore, my social media activity, all of it, is a completely private endeavor.  In fact, all of the content I place on my...

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OUR VIEW: Bullying behavior should not be tolerated

We tell our children to not be bullied. And not to bully others. Maybe adults should look in the mirror and practice what they preach. Anti bullying campaigns are rampant on talk shows, schools, media and community programs. Bullying is not limited to physical force or threat, the definition encompasses many ways of intimidating , silencing and dominating others. Unfortunately, we’re seeing a lot of efforts to limit public discourse thru intimidation lately. Locally, the legalization of fireworks has become subject of an emotional debate that’s turned into bullying. Those on both sides of the issue are harassed for their opinions in ways that we would never tolerate on a school ground. When a group bullies, when people of a like mindset “pile on” someone with an opposing view, it’s called mobbing. Unfortunately social media is a ripe breeding ground for mobbing behavior. To small-minded people, it’s cheap entertainment. Most recently, a woman opposed to fireworks was harassed, and as a consequence removed herself, from a local social media page. Her name and an address were later posted online, and threats made. Were they real threats? Or just juvenile rhetoric? Whichever, the behavior is unacceptable and should not be tolerated. Social media has taken on a very definitive place in society. Efforts to silence opposing viewpoints – whether thru posted harassment or blocking comments, is bullying. And it’s counter...

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Retirement reception planned for Rick Miller

After 34 years of service (32 of them in Johnson County), Rick Miller is retiring as Agriculture and Natural Resources agent for K-State Research and Extension. A drop-in reception will be held in his honor 3-6:30 p.m. on July 24 at the Johnson County K-State Extension Office, Suite 1070, 11811 S Sunset, Olathe. Please join us as we celebrate his years of service and thank him for his dedication....

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Gardner Edgerton school district provides free summer meals

The Gardner Edgerton School District is providing its Summer Food Service Program to area youth. Over the past seven years, thousands of meals have been served to community children. Last summer, the participating Gardner Edgerton schools served more than 20,000 meals in seven weeks. “Unfortunately, nutritional needs for kids don’t stop when school is out. Our program helps parents and caregivers bridge the gap over summer break by providing healthy, fresh meals to our community’s children,” said Amy Droegemeier, director of Nutrition Services. “We want our school sites to continue to be a place where kids gather to see their friends and enjoy a meal together. This year, we’re extending the length of our program to ensure that we can help meet these needs virtually year round.” The Summer Food Service Program, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and administered by Kansas State Department of Education, provides nutritious meals to children during the summer. During the school year, nearly half of the children in Kansas qualify for reduced-price or free meals. The goal of the Summer Food Service program is to ensure children continue to receive nutritious meals during long school vacations when the low-cost or free school meals are no longer available. The program provides freemeals for all children 1 to 18 years of age. Persons over 18 years of age may also dine at any...

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Surprise marriage proposal delivered by boat at Gardner Lake

Miles Orscheln used this parade float in the annual Gardner Lake 4th of July Boat Parade to deliver a surprise wedding proposal to his sweetheart. Photo courtesy of Rick Poppitz Rick Poppitz Special to The Gardner News Miles Orscheln had decided to pop the question to his sweetheart, Allison Stanley, and he wanted to submit his proposal in a unique and memorable way. He also wanted it to be a surprise. The idea he came up with delivered the surprise proposal successfully, on the water, at the end of a parade of decorated pontoon boats, on the 4th of...

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