Author: Gardner News

8th grade varsity plays hard against Paola

The 8th grade varsity team played hard against Paola but Paola’s defense was just a bit too much for the Huskies. At halftime the Huskies were down just 5 but in the second half the Huskies struggled getting to the hoop.  The Huskies played hard, but the final score was 35 to 18. Billy Bottcher and Derek Toomey were the high scorers both with 7 points.  The Huskies were back in action on Feb. 3 against both Louisburg and...

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GEHS JV girls take on Leavenworth

Jan 30, the GEHS JV girls took on Leavenworth for their second match up this season. Both teams started out strong in the first half, with the score being 18-15 at half, GEHS in the lead. Blazer girls came out on fire in the second half, outscoring Leavenworth 29-8. GEHS defeated Leavenworth 47-23. Eight out of the 10 girls contributed on the offensive end, but leading scorers were Madison Beasley with 9 points and Kaylee Cox with 7...

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Baldwin resigns; UAC looks at sewer, water plant improvement projects

The Gardner Utility Advisory Commission in session on Feb. 1. Seated, from left: Andrew Krievens, Duane Waldman, Ryan Learned and Clint Barney. Standing – Gonzalo Garcia, utilities director. Staff photo by Rick Poppitz Rick Poppitz Special to The Gardner News The Gardner Utility Advisory Commission met on Feb. 1 to consider a contract for construction of a storage tank for the South Lift Station and a contract to rebuild three transfer pumps at the Hillsdale Water Treatment Plant. Baldwin resigns The five member commission now has a vacancy, as Mark Baldwin resigned his seat as chairman on Wednesday, due...

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OUR VIEW: Black history is American history

Black history is American history, yet not so long ago the history of non-European Americans was scarce in textbooks. It’s too late to wonder why the important contributions of African, Chinese and Hispanic populations were not originally highlighted in traditional textbooks. Maybe in the case of black history, it’s because it was an oral history — it was illegal for black Americans to learn to read or write, often under penalty of death. Whatever the reason, due to the underrepresentation of African American history, Black History Month began in 1926 with the founding of Negro History Week in February by historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. Beginning in the 1970s, presidents have issued annual national decrees proclaiming the month’s theme. Since the observation began, The United States’ history – the history of ALL Americans – has become more inclusive and rich with personalities, tradition and culture. Locally, Johnson County history has grown to acknowledge Merriam’s South Park School and Corinthian Nutter, whose walkout and consequent lawsuit predated the landmark Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education desegregation case by several years. There is also Jeremiah McCanse, who was a black businessman and school board member in the Spring Hill School District at the turn of the century. Also, the Exodusters, 9th US Calvary and Nick Chiles, black Topeka newspaper owner who...

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Opioid usage, preventative programs addressed in committee meeting

Peyton Kraus KU Statehouse Wire Service The House Social Services Committee held an informational briefing on the opioid problem Feb. 1, with a focus on the use of K-TRACS, Kansas’ drug monitoring program, to track the use of these drugs as the funding for the program begins to run low. Rep. Brenda Landwehr (R-Wichita) opened the meeting by stating “I didn’t see a crisis—yet,” referring to opioid overuse in Kansas. Testimonies came from The Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Kansas Board of Pharmacy, Kansas Hospital Association and Kansas Health Institute. Although Landwehr and others say opioid abuse is not at a crisis level in Kansas, opioid abuse is prevalent. According to the Kansas Health Institute, 1,500 Kansans died from drug poisoning between 2012 and 2016 with 45 percent of deaths related to the use of an opioid. However, testimonies Thursday assured the issue is not as severe as in other states across the country, although a reason was unclear. There is some evidence that Kansas’ pro-active approach to track opioid prescriptions through K-TRACS, which began in 2011, might have played a role in avoiding a crisis. Seventy-one percent of those who are prescribe controlled substances in Kansas are registered in K-TRACS, which oversees the amount of substances are being prescribed. As the opioid addiction and abuse has risen in other parts of the country, Landwehr said she hopes...

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College system hurts both teachers, students

Jill Richardson Guest Columnist On Friday, January 26, I was in a good mood. I was about to start teaching for the spring semester on Monday. I had set everything up online, and my syllabus was ready. I’d even emailed my students to let them know which textbook to buy. Then I got a phone call from my boss: Two of my classes were canceled because too few students had signed up for them. Minutes later, I checked my email to find out that my third class was canceled too. Suddenly, I’m unemployed. You might think that getting a master’s degree or even a doctorate is a route to getting a good job. You might assume that college professors have cushy jobs and steady pay. Sadly, that’s not the case for many. Even as college tuitions have skyrocketed in recent years, colleges and universities have found a clever way to cut labor costs. I knew going into graduate school that I would spend years as a poorly paid teaching assistant while attending school. I thought once I had my degree, life would get better. Well, it hasn’t yet. Colleges and universities have two classes of professors: full-time permanent employees and part-time adjuncts. Full-timers get stable employment, good pay, and benefits. Not adjuncts. Full-timers can get tenure. Not adjuncts. Each semester, colleges count the number of classes they need taught,...

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Electioneering bill would handle disputes

Kalli Smith KU Statehouse Wire Service After instances of police being called to polling locations during election-day disputes last year, proponents of a new bill advocate to make amendments to the crime of electioneering to avoid such instances in the future. Debated by the House Committee of Ethics, Elections and Local Government on Wednesday, House Bill 2256 would amend electioneering law to include gathering signatures or circulating a petition of any kind within a 100-foot radius of a polling site on election day. Electioneering is when one attempts to influence voters to vote in favor of a particular candidate or issue. The new bill would exclude allowing people to wear, distribute or exhibit labels, signs, posters, stickers and other materials that clearly identify or support a candidate in the election. In the past, the bill included a 250-foot radius distance from a polling site, however, after multiple amendments the bill would change that to a 100-foot distance rule. The 100-feet radius would be applied in all cases of electioneering crime. Bryan Caskey, director of elections for the Kansas Secretary of State’s office, testified in support of the bill, saying the new bill would help avoid confusion that is being caused by the current bill. “We’ve had groups who have caused lots of discrepancies in recent years and a couple of instances law enforcement has been called,” Caskey said. “We’d...

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Public transit corridor would connect intermodal, Kansas City

Increasing public transit between downtown Kansas City and SW Johnson County was discussed by county commissioners last week at a work session. At the transit study session Feb. 1, commissioners heard a presentation regarding the RideKC Smartmoves Transit and Mobility Plan. The mobility plan would build on existing bus service to LPKC in Edgerton. According to the study, an additional $300,000 would be needed for the SW Johnson County Connector annual cost. The program currently costs $345,000, and the total estimated cost for Monday-Saturday service would be $764,000. The balance of $38,000 would be covered by fare revenue. Success...

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Lady Blazers win 59-18

After a 2 week layoff the Lady Blazer girls’ basketball C team returned to action Jan. 30 at home against Leavenworth and won 59-18. Lauren Havlik led the scoring with 22, Mara Smith 18, Trinity Taylor 11 and Alyx VanRheen added 5. “The effort was awesome and the girls played with great confidence,” according to Coach Windholz and Coach Gehrt. “It is wonderful to see the growth of these great girls and to be the coaches of high character individuals.” Next action for the girls is was Feb. 1 at Olathe South, tip 5:30 p.m. for the freshman and 7 p.m .for the C team. They are now 7-2 on the...

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Blazers take to the mat

The Blazers took to the mat Feb. 1 to take on their toughest duel competition of the year at Blue Valley Northwest on their senior night. The Huskies are currently ranked #9 in the state. After a dominating performance by the JV, the varsity came out of the gates hot and jumped to an early lead.  The Huskies battled back before our middle weights put us up again.  The upper middles lost some momentum but in the marquee matchup of the night #1 ranked Jackson Flowers bested the #2 ranked wrestler from BVNW to secure the win for the Blazers. This was by the far the best performance top to bottom the team has put together all year Big wins came from Kole Nhingsavath, Kye Humphrey, Brayden Ratcliffe, Taven Ewbank, Conner Greig, Jensen McDermott and Jackson...

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Drug offenders overwhelm prison system

Kevin Gray KU Statehouse Wire Service After running projections for Kansas’ prisons, sentencing commission executive director Scott Schultz realized drug offenders were going to overwhelm the system within five years. “What we’re seeing is drug offenders are a major percentage, as far as increase, of who those individuals are going to be,” Schultz said after the House’s Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee meetingJan. 30. “The commission is being proactive and trying to address what we can do for those individuals.” In 2017, the Senate passed a bill that created a treatment program for drug offenders. The program lasts 18 months and acts as a diversion from prison. Offenders are eligible for the program after conviction, and can only complete the program twice. Their third offense becomes a presumptive prison sentence. House Bill 2087 would allow those charged with felony drug possession to enter the diversion treatment program before trial. This would allow offenders to take and complete the program up to five times before a presumptive prison sentence. Schultz said the bill would help alleviate the space problem facing the state prison system. Of the 9,663 inmates in 2016, 1,370 were serving drug sentences, according to the Kansas Sentencing Commission. If the program had been available during their sentencing, Schultz said about 10 percent, or 137 inmates, would not have entered prison. This would resolve much of the overcrowding....

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Lady Blazers take 9th victory with 43-26

Lady Blazer varsity girls were back on the court after a long weekend in El Dorado vs. the Leavenworth Pioneers. Maybe it was post-tournament sluggishness but didn’t come out of the gate very sharp.  The Pioneers jumped out the gate to take a 10-4 lead at the end of the first quarter. Skylar Washington would jump start the scoring in the second quarter as she scored 7 of the team’s 11 points and the Blazers, although still trailing by 3, were able to decrease their deficit.  Coming out of the locker room at half time, the Blazers made some adjustments, and the shooting picked up substantially as Kelby Wilson, Kynli Nelson, and Sofia Semon combined to knock down 4 three pointers en route to building an 8 point lead that would continue to grow in the fourth quarter. The Lady Blazers only allowed 9 total points to the Pioneers in the second half, propelling the way to their 9th victory of the season by a final of 43-26. Leading the team in scoring was Skylar Washington with 14, Sofia Semon with 11, Kynli Nelson with 10, Kelby Wilson had 4, while Taylor Carpenter and Madyson Beasley finished with 2 each. Next up for the Blazers was a familiar post season rival, Olathe South on Feb. 2 in...

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Varsity girls travel to Olathe South

The Varsity girls’ basketball team traveled to Olathe South on Feb. 2 to face the #8 ranked Falcons in a critical league game. Both teams played tense early and proved that these two teams are very evenly matched as the game went into half time tied 21-21. A strong third quarter showing fueled by Skylar Washington and Sofia Semon three point shots allowed us to grab a four point lead heading into the fourth quarter.  The lead would extend to as many as eight and the Lady Blazers were able to hold off the Falcons by a final score of 43-40. Skylar Washington led the way in scoring for the Blazers with 15 points.  Sofia Semon notched double digits for the second straight time with 10 points and a team high 7 rebounds.  Taylor Carpenter had 9 points and a couple of assists while Mia Vallery scored 7 points while going 3-4 at the free throw line.  Kynli Nelson rounded out the scoring with 2 to go along with 2 assists of her own as she battled some foul trouble early on. The win moves the Lady Blazers 10-4 overall and 5-2 in the Sunflower League.  Next up for the Lady Blazers is a tough road game against a scrappy Shawnee Mission West Viking...

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Bird watching contest winners announced

Kathy Carroll, Bonner Springs, identified 334 unique species of birds in the Sunflower State last year while participating in the fifth annual Kansas Birding Big Year contest that ended on Dec. 31, 2017. Her efforts won 1st place in the intermediate category and was the overall high among all entrants. The Kansas Birding Big Year contest is an annual competition among birders in Kansas to see who can spot the most species in a calendar year. Winners of the 2017 contest listed below competed against 62 total entrants. Adult Advanced 1st – Malcolm Gold, Overland Park, 332 species 2nd...

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GEHS cheer squad places in Dallas

The GEHS Competition Cheer squad traveled to Dallas, Texas, in January to participate in NCA Cheer Nationals. These ladies received the following awards: • Performance Division – 6th Place • Game Day Division • Fight Song – 6th Place • Time Out Cheer – 6th Place • Band Dance – 3rd Place This is only the third year that Kansas has allowed high schools to attend National Competitions, and GEHS has attended two of out of the three years...

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Trailblazer wrestling sends out seniors in style

Pete Logan Special to The Gardner News The Gardner-Edgerton High School wrestling team celebrated Senior Night Feb. 1 with a dominating 50-21 win over Santa Fe Trail, with five Blazer wrestlers winning with pins. The Senior Night was made extra special by the fact that it was the final home meet for three of the seniors who are ranked in the top 10 in the state in their respective weight classes. Conner Greig (ranked 3rd in the state at 152 pounds), Jensen McDermott (ranked 6th at 160 lbs), and Jackson Flowers (ranked 1st at 220) all said goodbye to the GEHS mat with pin victories. “This is a wonderful group of seniors,” said Tyler Cordt, head coach, immediately after the meet. “Our big three guys — Jackson, Jensen, and Conner — they’re just tremendous. Not only are they leaders in the room, they’re leaders on the mat. They’re some of the best kids in the state. They’re just great kids to have around. They’ll truly be missed.” Through the first three matches of Thursday night’s meet, the Blazers clung to a 9-6 lead. Then, Gardner-Edgerton’s Luke Huffman earned a win at 126 pounds, which began a run of six consecutive Trail Blazer victories, including the next five by pins. After Greig and McDermott earned pins in their respective divisions (Greig in the 1st round and McDermott in the 2nd),...

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Sports Potpourri

Mac Stevenson Kansas had everything just where they wanted it going into last Saturday’s game with Oklahoma State in Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks were all alone in first place in the Big 12 race, leading Texas Tech and Oklahoma by one game. But KU couldn’t take advantage of the situation. O-State outrebounded, outhustled, and outplayed KU and beat the Jayhawks 84-79. This was a severe blow to KU’s opportunity to win their 14th consecutive Big 12 championship, which would be a national record. The Jayhawks are currently tied with UCLA at 13 in a row. Coach Bill Self succinctly summed up the O-State game, saying, “To think we had a chance to be in that game if we scored late was amazing to me because I thought we got whipped in pretty much every facet.” Coach Self’s Jayhawks were exposed by shortcomings on their frontline; unless KU shoots very well from the 3-point line, they can lose to anyone. Self’s team went from a good chance to win an undisputed Big 12 title to scratching for at least a first-place tie. Point guard Devonté Graham and off guard Lagerald Vick have been slumping badly on offense and it showed up against O-State. That points up another KU limitation; Self doesn’t have any quality depth on his perimeter. If one or two of the KU guards has a slump or...

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Restrictions on previous state officials taking lobbying positions introduced

Peyton Kraus KU Statehouse Wire Service A bill introduced in the Elections Committee Jan 29 would prohibit state officers and employees from accepting lobbying positions less than a year after leaving their public state position, which would mirror federal law and that of 26 other states. House Bill 2155 sponsor House Minority Leader Rep. Jim Ward (D-Wichita) said he hopes the bill will create a cooling off period for public officials to differentiate their time in office from their time as a lobbyist. “I’m not saying that those people can’t engage in lobbying activities,” Ward said. “I’m just saying you have to wait a year, so everybody’s brain has disconnected you from your former job and you can advocate based on the facts.” Ward said he worries relationships current officials have with these now-lobbyists will sway their opinion. He wants to keep the focus on the values of the issue and not include such a strong influence from colleagues of public officials. “Those are not good reasons to make policy, the facts and the merits of the idea (are),” Ward said. Gov. Sam Brownback’s former chief of staff, David Kensinger, left his position in April of 2012 and returned to the lobbying firm he founded in 2004. He started that firm after leaving his position as Brownback’s chief of staff in the U.S. Senate in 2004. Under federal rules,...

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Concerts make good memories for everyone

Joan Dorsey Contributing columnist Let’s talk entertainment. I am from a generation who loves live shows. The first one that comes to mind is Woodstock. I wasn’t old enough to attend, but those folks got lots of very good entertainment for their bucks. It was in a matter of fact – free. The artists played and sang through all sorts of weather. The audience stayed and listened. I have seen a huge, by my estimate, amount of live shows. From the big one’s called summer jams at the stadiums to the smaller indoor ones. Those stadium shows were all day affairs. You put on your halter tops, cut off jean shorts and went to fry in the sun. For your $20 some dollars you could see as many or as few bands as your sun burnt body would allow. People would pass out from the heat or dehydrate. Good times!!! The band you wanted to see usually came on at midnight or 1 a.m. Still. . . memories in the making. In all my 46 years of concert attendance, only two shows stick out as bad experiences. One was a Beach Boys concert where they came on drunk and forgot the words to the songs. Never mind most of the crowd was also drunk and probably don’t remember the ill fated show. The other was a Jimmy Buffet show...

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Fire District #1 holds second annual pinning ceremony

Chief Rob Kirk, FD#1, talks to the new recruits about the Maltese Cross and Badges as seen on the screen on the screen. Pictured are: from left to right, Assistant Chief Dennis Meyers, Chaplin Rick George, Division Chief Jerry Holly, Division Chief Kirk Keller, Battalion Chief Trig Morley, Battalion Chief Mike Hirschmann, Board Members Chairman Mark Burdolski, Keith ohnson, and Dr. Brian Cook. (not pictured Battalion Chief Ken Phelps). Submitted Photo The second annual Pinning Ceremony for Fire District #1 of Johnson County, was held Jan. 16. One firefighter was promoted to Captain, four recruits were promoted to Firefighter...

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