Author: Gardner News

Sluggers place third at state baseball tourney

Coached by Jeff Paine, the Westside Sluggers 11 year old baseball team took third place at the state tournament last weekend. Submitted photo The Westside Sluggers 11 year old baseball team brought back a third place finish from the twenty team state tournament held last week at 3&2 stadium in Lenexa. After an opening 8-7 loss to the Topeka Storm, the Sluggers rebounded with a great team effort to turn back the Reapers of Tecumseh 18-2. Seeded seventh out of twenty teams, the Sluggers got a game winning hit by Bradyn Granger to defeat the Strike Zone Outlaws 5-4...

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Elk, deer hunting permits available online

The application deadline for limited elk and either-species deer firearm permits is July 14, 2017. Kansas residents are eligible to apply online for one of 12 Either-species Elk permits and 15 Antlerless-only Elk permits allocated for Unit 2a (Ft. Riley). And resident hunters who want to hunt mule deer with a firearm can apply for limited Either-species Deer permits valid in the East or West zone. A hunter who does not wish to hunt this year may purchase a preference point that will count toward a firearm Either-species/Either-sex Deer permit in a future drawing or a bonus point for...

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Armed robbery in Edgerton, KS

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. Additional information will be released as it becomes available. Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office at...

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Water, electric rates to be reviewed

Gardner is currently updating studies on electric and wastewater utilities. In 2015, City’s Growth Management Strategy was approved and includes growth south of I-35. As a result of this, the water and wastewater master plans were updated in 2017 and several capital improvement projects were identified related to capacity and infrastructure. “These studies are intended to determine if the current rate structure will assure adequate revenues for operations, debt service, capital improvements and bond covenant requirements to support the Growth Management Strategy.,” said Gonzalo Garcia, utilities director. The studies are funded by each utility division and the cost should...

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2016 Fireworks revenue nears $10,000

This year seven fireworks vendor permits were issued compared to five in 2016. Of the seven permits issued, one was to a Gardner vendor. The other six were: three to a Lake Lotawana, Mo., address; two to Perry, Kan., address; one each Wellsville, Edgerton and Paola addresses. The fireworks fee is Set by the original ordinance at $1,000.  This includes the application, the sign fee, the inspections fees and the administration of the process. Sales tax collected by the vendors is submitted to Kansas and then the city’s portion is remitted back to Gardner. Due to the lag at...

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WS 16U team places second in Hutch

A week after winning the Kansas 16 year old state title, the Westside Sluggers brought back a second place finish from the Hutchinson Wood Bat tournament last weekend. Coach Billy Hann guided his group to a 3-1 Pool A record, including wins over El Dorado, 22-3, Hutchinson Salthawks, 8-0, and the Wichita Aviators, 15-3. Their only loss in pool play went to a tough Buhler National team, 7-2. The Sluggers were defeated by the Arsenal Stars 8-0 in a tough fought title...

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Mah Jongg tournament for 50+ set for Aug. 4

Submitted photo Test your skills and have fun during a Mah Jongg Tournament being presented on Aug. 4 by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District. This Mah Jongg Sizzle’n Summer Tournament  will take place beginning at 9 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 4, at the Tomahawk Ridge Community Center, 11902 Lowell, Overland Park. Participants will compete against other Mah Jongg enthusiasts in the community. Summer snacks will be served, and players can register for door prizes. Mah Jongg is the popular Chinese tile collecting game which uses tiles with symbols on them. Some find...

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Think states like Illinois can’t default? Think again.

Natalia Castro Guest Columnist Illinois is breaking national records, but perhaps not for the best reasons; Illinois is the only state to have operated without a complete and balanced budget for over 700 days. For nearly two years, Illinois has been in fiscal freefall, and now the state is finally crashing. As potential bankruptcy looms in Illinois’ future, states across the nation must ensure their debt is secure, because as history makes clear, not even states are safe from default. Illinois leads the nation in state budget shortfalls, pension funding crises, and unpaid bills to public universities, schools, social services agencies and government vendors; causing the state to sit on a backlog of unpaid bills totaling $14.7 billion, according to Eric Pianin of Business Insider. However, as Pianin asserts, “Unlike city and county governments, states cannot legally declare bankruptcy as a means of shedding debt by forcing creditors, bondholders, and government retirees to absorb some of the loss.” But this is only partially true, and herein lies the root of the states’ problem. While a state might not be able to declare bankruptcy, it is still eminently possible for a state to default. Throughout U.S. history, this has been clear. In one of the first major compromises of Congress after the ratification of the Constitution and the first round of elections was the Funding Act of 1790, in which...

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Fireworks complaints drop in 2017

In 2016, the first year fireworks could legally be discharged in Gardner, the Gardner Police Department handled 45 complaints. This year, complaints dropped to 39. “From July 1st through July 4th, the PD received 39 fireworks complaints in the city,” said Lt. Jay Belcher, administration lieutenant, Gardner Police Department. “There were no citations issued based off those complaints.“ Under city ordinance, violations may be considered an unclassified misdemeanor, punishable by a fine in an amount not to exceed $500 and/or confinement in the county jail for a period not to exceed one month. “Overall, it was a safe holiday...

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Area students participate in Masonic band camp

The Kansas Masonic Foundation, Inc. will present the 34th annual Kansas Masonic All-State High School Marching Band and corresponding band camp at Butler Community College from July 25 July 29, 2017. Approximately 175 high school musicians will attend this year’s camp, directed by BCC’s Brett Martinez and his staff. Local Students participating in the band camp are: Breena Crawford,Gardner Edgerton High School,Gardner, Alto Saxophone; Kinsey McCormick, Gardner Edgerton High School, Spring Hill, Clarinet; Emery Mignot,Wellsville HIgh School,Wellsville,Clarinet; Spencer Strickling,Gardner Edgerton High School,Gardner,Trombone; Kelsey Williams, Spring Hill High School, Spring Hill, Clarinet. The five-day camp ends with performances at the Shrine Bowl parade, as well as pre-game and halftime performances during the Kansas East-West Shrine Bowl Football Game on July 29 at BCC’s BG Products Veterans Sports Complex. The Kansas Masonic All-State High School Marching Band first appeared at the East-West Shrine Bowl in 1984. “The idea for the marching band and camp was actually borne out of necessity,” said Robert Shively, executive director for the Kansas Masonic Foundation. “Because of the summer break, high school bands are not readily available so we created our own. The entertainment provided by the marching band is a perfect complement to the atmosphere of the East-West Shrine Bowl.” Band Camp participants have the opportunity to win one of three prestigious awards presented annually: The Outstanding Musician Award: the Kansas Masonic All-State Marching Band...

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City to host open house for Main Street Corridor Planning

The City of Gardner will host an open house as part of the continued development of the Gardner Main Street Corridor Plan on Thursday, July 13. The event will start with a brief presentation at 5 p.m., followed by the open house where the public will be able to view multiple visual planning scenarios and provide feedback for development and improvements to areas adjacent to the corridor. The open house will run until 8 p.m. at the Johnson County Open Class Fairgrounds building, 136 E. Washington St., Gardner, Kansas. (The building located closest to Cornerstone Park.) Attendees may leave...

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New adult improv troupe to begin Aug. 1

If you’re an on-the-spot comedian who wants to expand your skills and take on a new challenge, the Johnson County Park & Recreation District has a new program just for you. This new Improv Troupe is for ages 18 and older. Through mock auditions, games, and public performances, participants will learn comedy in a unique and challenging format through this one-of-a-kind Improv Troupe! No experience is required, just humor. A performance date for family and friends will be announced during the class. To find this program in the My JCPRD Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under adult and then under fine & performing arts. In the printed catalog and when using the website’s advanced search,  look for the keyword theater. Improv Troupe is offered at two times, both of which meet on Tuesdays beginning on Aug. 1. One program starts at 5 p.m., while the other begins at 7 p.m. Both classes take place at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center in the former King Louie Building, 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park. For either time, the cost for four 90-minute sessions is $50 for Johnson County residents or $55 for nonresidents. To register for these programs by phone, call (913) 831-3359. The My JCPRD Activities catalog, with information and a registration form, is available for pickup at all Johnson County Library...

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Double rainbow

An enormous double rainbow arched across the sky to the east of Gardner after a shower had moved through on the evening of June 26. The brilliant colors of the inner ring could not be missed. The outer ring is lighter and a bit hard to see in these photos, but to the eye, the entire arch of both rings both could be seen. It was an impressive sight, surely seen by hundreds of Gardner residents. Photos courtesy of Rick Poppitz...

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Eagle project benefits historic Ensor property

Assisted by family members and fellow Scouts, would-be Eagle Scout Matthew Clark (second from the Right on the Front row), a member of Boy Scout Troop 83 in Olathe, recently refurbished a flower garden at Ensor Park and Museum south of Olathe in carrying out his Eagle Scout Service Project. A senior-to-be at Olathe Northwest High School, Matthew used a computer-aided design program to create the layout he followed in adding two butterfly houses to the garden and planting milkweed, phlox, spirea and vinca there to complement the existing irises. Located at 18995 W. 183rd, Ensor Park and Museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has as its focal point the picturesque two-story house amateur radio pioneers Marshal and Loretta Ensor were raised in. Also pictured here with Matthew are: Front row – Left to Right: Aidan Clark, Luke Gwartney and Pierce Gwartney; Middle row – Left to Right: Holly Clark and Rhonda Gwartney; and Back row – Left to Right: patrol adviser Dave Devlin and John Clark. Photo courtesy of Rick Nichols...

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Kansas seat belt fine increased July 1

July 1, the fine for not wearing a seat belt in Kansas was raised to $30, from the $10 it has been since June of 2011. This change is for the fine for those 18 years and older who are not wearing their seat belt. There will be no court costs on the citations for violation of this law. This was just passed during the legislative session, as part of Senate Bill 89. (More on the bill visit: http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2017_18/measures/sb89/). Kansas has had a primary seatbelt law since June of 2010. Prior to 2010, it was a secondary violation for the drivers or front seat passengers to not be wearing their seat belt, meaning that they could not be pulled over for this. In 2010, the requirement was also added that adult passengers in the backseat of vehicles must be buckled, however that still remains a secondary...

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Gardner family faces challenges of life with Rett Syndrome

Two year old Macy Brandt is the first Gardner resident to be diagnosed with Rett Syndrome. A fundraiser was recently held for Rett Syndrome, but donations are still needed. Submitted Photo Rick Poppitz Special to The Gardner News Two year old Macy Brandt is the first Gardner resident to be diagnosed with Rett Syndrome. Imagine the symptoms of autism, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s, epilepsy and anxiety… all in one little girl. This is Rett Syndrome, a rare genetic mutation affecting brain development in girls. The U.S. National Library of Medicine says that the condition affects an estimated 1 in 8,500...

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OUR VIEW: Be nosey to ascertain drug abuse, misuse

To help prevent a surge in opioid usage, county officials recently had a panel discussion, and Gardner officers attended. Opioids are drugs derived from opium, including morphine and some semi-synthetic and synthetic drugs such as hydrocodone, oxycodone and fentanyl. In 2016, Gardner saw an increase in opioid usage – primarily prescription pills – but the usage has leveled off in 2017. Countywide, opioid court filings have been trending downward. Based on county data, opioid filings decreased by 37 percent from 2015 to 2016 while marijuana and stimulant filings increased, with methamphetamine accounting for 70 percent of all stimulant filings. Continued community collaboration is one key to preventing an opioid –or other – drug surge. To that end, officials and police departments work together to facilitate increased awareness. Continuing education regarding drug use, as well as enforcement of drug laws — is one way of preventing abuse. Local law enforcement also sponsors at least one drug disposal where unused/expired prescription medications can be safely discarded. Education and increased awareness are two ways parents can be aware of any drug use. GPD advises parents to be nosey, check social media and text messages, as that is where many drug deals are...

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Drug overdose deaths continue to increase

According to the Centers for Disease and Prevention, drug overdose deaths continue to increase in the United States, and the majority of drug overdose deaths (more than six out of 10) involve opioid misuse. CDC data indicate 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose (that includes prescription opioids and heroin). A panel discussion focusing on opioid abuse was held on June 29. Two officers from Gardner Police Department attended.  http://gardnernews.com/prescription-pill-abuse-increases-locally/ Submitted...

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Town Hall meeting on Gardner Justice Center

Robin Lewis, Gardner municipal court judge, on June 28, speaking at the city’s town hall event about the need for the proposed new Gardner Justice Center. Photo courtesy of Rick Poppitz Rick Poppitz Special to The Gardner News On June 28, the Gardner hosted a town hall event at the senior center to discuss the proposed Gardner Justice Center on 167th. The proposed building would be police headquarters and municipal court facilities. The proposed project would use General Obligation bonds to fund construction. An election will be held on Aug. 1, 2017, to determine if residents approve of the...

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Prescription pill abuse increases locally

Opioid misuse and addiction is an escalating public health crisis and was the focus of a county community event and panel discussion with local leaders June 29. “One lost life is too many,” said Tim DeWeese, director of the Johnson County Mental Health Center. “Individuals in Johnson County are dying from opioid misuse, and we have a responsibility to provide effective prevention and treatment services for the health and well-being of our community.” Jay Belcher, administration lieutenant, and Todd Pembleton, detective, Gardner Police Department attended. “In 2016 the department saw trends of an increase in opioid use,” Belcher said later. “In 2017, so far, there has not been a noticeable increase.” Rather than “street” drugs such as heroin, prescription pills have been the primary cause of the increase, Belcher said. “It appears that we have five cases of DUI that are suspected of narcotic use,” he continued. “Those cases have been sent to the lab pending analysis. Investigation of those cases call for a specialist called a DRE (Drug Recognition Expert). DRE are specially trained officers in the detection of narcotic use pertaining to DUI’s. Gardner has one certified DRE on staff.” The primary prescription drugs seen by GPD locally include: opiates (hydrocodones, oxycodones and morphine) and benzodiazepines (primarily Xanax), according to Belcher. The most common drugs abused locally include methamphetamine, highly concentrated THC extracts, prescription drugs and research...

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