Author: Gardner News

Sports Potpourri

Mac Stevenson The 95-79 shellacking that Kansas received from Villanova didn’t totally ruin what was otherwise a superb season, but it certainly scraped the icing off the cake. KU was soundly beaten by a far superior basketball team that had a great shooting night. Villanova hit 13 of 26 three-point shots in the first half opposed to two out of six by the Jayhawks. That tells the tale right there. Kansas was exposed for one fatal weakness that was disguised during the season by their exceptional offense: KU’s defense was mediocre at best. Bill Self showed what a remarkable coach he is by carrying Kansas as far as he did; the difficulties he faced throughout the season were too numerous to revisit. After the Villanova debacle, he said, “I’m really proud of our guys . . . we didn’t have the perfect roster in many ways to win 31 games and win the league in a great conference and win the conference tournament and get to the Final Four. And to be honest with you, it felt like today it kind of just caught up with us.” Kansas will have another talented team next season, but who leaves for the NBA and who stays will be a major factor. Self has one of the best recruiting classes in the nation coming to KU next season. In addition, he has...

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Easter Eggstravaganza

Staff photos by Rick Poppitz The Shaw cousins were among the many families that got together at the Easter Eggstravaganza at First Baptist Church on March...

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Courthouse depictions presented to Board of County Commissioners

Johnson County’s new 28-courtroom courthouse will be built across Santa Fe Street directlynorth of the existing courthouse building and directly west of Olathe City Hall in downtown Olathe. The courthouse will cost $182 million ($193 with inflation costs factored in) and will take four years to construct. Submitted graphics In November 2016 Johnson County voters approved a 10-year, quarter-cent sales tax increase to help fund the new courthouse, plus a $21 million medical examiner’s office. March 22, schematic design renderings of the new county courthouse were presented to the Board of County Commissioners. The designs were shown during a...

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D.C. hides behind military to get omnibus passed

Printus LeBlanc Guest Columnist If you haven’t heard, President Trump signed a horrendous $1.3 trillion omnibus bill on Friday. The bill funded the military, but that’s about all of President Trump’s priorities it funded. Leadership in the House and Senate used the military as a hostage to get the funding for their pet projects through and convince the President he must sign the bill if he wanted to fund the military. Did the GOP establishment and Democrat party sneak one by the President? Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer voiced his approval of the spending bill stating, “Overall, we Democrats are very happy with what we have been able to accomplish on a number of very important priorities.” He should be happy, he is getting the rest of the country to pay for the gateway project, a tunnel between New Jersey and New York that is likely to become the Big Dig 2.0. Schumer added, “we’re able to accomplish more in the minority than we were when we had the presidency or even were in the majority.” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also gloated about the spending bill, calling it, “a tremendous victory for the American people,” noting the bill doesn’t fund the promised border wall. She continued, “if you want to think you’re getting a wall, just think it, and sign the bill.” Dara Lind of the uber progressive...

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Homestead Rd, 207th St. project authorized

Rick Poppitz Special to The Gardner News Four business agenda items were considered at the Edgerton city council on March 22, and the council made two appointments. Pump Station lot annexation Council considered Ordinance No. 1078 Annexing Certain Land into Edgerton. Staff presentation was given by Katy Crow, development services director. NorthPoint Development, LLC on behalf of Edgerton Land Holding Company, LLC has submitted a Consent for Annexation for property they own, generally located north of 199th Street and east of Four Corners Road. This parcel was formerly owned by Water 7 and was used for a booster pump station. That pump has since been removed, and the parcel is now owned by Edgerton Land Holding Company, LLC. The property owner has filed the required petition for Consent for Annexation. The property surrounding this parcel was annexed into the city on March 27, 2014, through Ordinance 969. Ordinance No. 1078 was approved by 4-0 council vote. Homestead Lane/207th Street Council considered Authorization of Homestead Lane/207th Street Road Improvement Project. Beth Linn, city administrator, gave the staff presentation. This item was on the previous meeting’s agenda and was tabled. “On the 15th you did a clarification, or correction ordinance for the annexation, and we wanted that ordinance to be effective before this authorization gets considered,” said Linn. KDOT has committed to pay 80 percent of the construction costs of new...

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Vaccination Clinic

There was a strong response for Edgerton’s annual low-cost pet vaccination clinic on March 24. People and pets waiting in line were entertained with live music by Da Coots. The clinic was for both dogs and cats over six months of age and offered rabies, distemper vaccinations, city pet registration and microchip at low cost. Staff photo by Rick...

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‘Thank you for your service’ is not just a phrase

Joan Dorsey Contributing columnist First of all, I want to say to all the veterans and active military in our towns. Thank you. Thank you for taking time out of your life, putting family, work, making money and sleeping in your own bed at night on hold for OUR COUNTRY. Your reasons for joining – or being drafted as was the case back in Vietnam – are your own personal story. You didn’t go to Canada to evade or anywhere else. You served. You knew you could be sent wherever you were needed and most likely you would be in harm’s way at some point. The pay wasn’t great, and I hear the food wasn’t either. There was no Skype way back, only letters from home. Sometimes it took a while for those to find you. So Thank you for your service. I often wonder when small children approach a veteran of one of our wars and utter those five words if they have been told what that service meant? I wonder if their parents know. We honor these men and women; we have parades for them – breakfasts, ceremonies – where we give those medals and coins as tokens of our appreciation. “Thank you for your service. “ “Can I help you with that?” “ Be assistance to you? “ Yet, when veterans come to a city council...

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City council plans 2 work sessions

Capital Improvement Plan April 2 A work session to discuss capital improvement plan scheduled for April 2 Citizens are invited to attend a public work session at 6 p.m. on April 2, regarding Gardner’s five-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). The CIP is a component of the budgeting process that highlights priority, large-scale projects that support the safety and vitality of a city. Citizens who attend the session will have an opportunity to hear a comprehensive presentation and discussion regarding the council’s direction on future projects. The meeting starts at 6 p.m., prior to the regularly scheduled city council meeting, and will be held in council chambers, 120 E. Main St. For those unable to attend the work session, an overview of the CIP will be presented at the May 22 Planning Commission meeting, starting at 7 p.m. Contact Matt Wolff, senior management analyst, at 913.856.0927 or [email protected] for more information. I-35/Gardne r Road Interchange Gardner will host an open house/public meeting for the I-35 & Gardner Road Interchange Project from 5:30 – 7 p.m. April 3 at the Gardner Library, 137 E. Shawnee St. The city is currently studying options to improve traffic flow and safety, and to prepare for future growth. At the upcoming open house, the city will share information about the most viable improvement options and be available to answer questions about the project. Public input...

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Building completed for new Big Bull Creek Park Police

Photo courtesy of Larry Beyers Recently completed at the northwest corner of 199th Street and Four Corners Road, southwest of Gardner, was this special purpose building that will be used by the maintenance department and the Johnson County Park Police for the new Big Bull Creek Park that will be opening early this summer. The parking lot adjacent to the building can also be used by visitors to a nearby disc golf course that will be established as part of the sprawling 1,980-acre future park. This park will be the fourth large regional park in Johnson County. It extends in...

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Key differences – General Obligation Bonds vs. Industrial Revenue Bonds

Rick Poppitz Special to The Gardner News Two types of bonds have been used in local projects in Gardner and Edgerton in recent years – General Obligation Bonds (GO) and Industrial Revenue Bonds (IRB’s). The key difference in the types of bonds is the source of the revenue used to make interest and principal payments. With one, the municipality is liable for repayment of the bonds, with the other it is not. General Obligation bonds General obligation bonds (GO) are debt instruments issued by states and local governments to raise funds for public works. GO bonds are commonly used to finance new public projects by cities, school districts, states, and other issuers. The bonds are backed by the full faith, credit, and taxing power of the issuer. The planned new Justice Center in Gardner is financed by voter approved General Obligation bonds. GO bonds do obligate the issuer with repayment of the debt, in full, by whatever means necessary. That means they may use revenues from any taxation power within their authority in order to meet repayment terms. With General Obligation bonds, the city is “on the hook” and fully responsible for repayment of funds. Industrial Revenue bonds Industrial Revenue bonds (IRB’s) are basically tax subsidies, that come in the form of property tax abatements, and can include sales tax exemptions and federal tax exempt interest on the IRB...

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Parks and Rec Committee hears presentation, updates on events

The Gardner Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee met at City Hall on Mar. 26. Staff photo by Rick Poppitz Rick Poppitz Special to The Gardner News In the Mar. 26 meeting, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee was updated on various parks programs getting underway in 2018 and Jason Bruce, parks and recreation director, gave a presentation on the National Fitness Campaign. National Fitness Campaign The National Fitness Campaign (NFC) has partial funding available for 100 communities that want to install a NFC “Fitness Court” in 2018. The Fitness Court is a system of exercise stations designed for adults...

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George August Rollheiser II

George August Rollheiser II of Gardner passed away March 18, 2018, while vacationing with his sons in Washington, DC.  Aware of his illness, a trip to DC was a dream come true and perfect for a veteran and history enthusiast. With George leading the charge from his wheelchair, they took in everything DC had offer.  The last night of the trip, as they packed their bags to return to Kansas City, George decided it was his time. With Justin and Caleb by his side, he passed on . . . . grinning from ear-to-ear as if to say, “Can you believe this?!” George earned his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from UMKC.  He served four years in the US Army, including one year in Vietnam.  George was interested in all things cosmic and natural; he was an avid fisherman and outdoorsman; and he was involved in the community as a Boy Scout leader and sports coach.  George had the heart of a teacher and the patience of Job. We were all influenced by these gifts. He was preceded in death by his mother Hazel, father George and wife Cindy.  He is survived by his sons Justin and Caleb, their wives Karise and Jamie, grandchildren Joviana, August and Cynthia, cousin Ralph Miller and “Sissy” Carolyn. Formal services will be held Friday, April 6, 2:30-3:00p.m. at Leavenworth National Cemetery (150 Muncie...

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SH residents object to LPKC growth

Rick Poppitz Special to The Gardner News During the public comments section of the March 22 Edgerton City Council meeting, several area residents spoke. Don Cooper, Gardner, came forward during public comments representing a Blackhawk Townhomes. He said that 26 homes face a vacant lot between the homes and LPKC that was not mowed or maintained last summer. Two of the homeowners were there and spoke as well. The uncontrolled weeds and grass on the lot led to people dumping trash there as well, he said. After discussing the lot with a representative of NorthPoint Development, Cooper said he was told that land was deeded to the city. The homeowners were asking Edgerton to take care of maintaining the lot this year. Later, Don Roberts, mayor, and Beth Linn, city administrator, explained that the land was not deeded to the city, only a utility easement was. “They did not deed the property. They dedicated an easement, which means that the land underneath is still the responsibility of NorthPoint to maintain,”said Linn. Roberts said that though the city doesn’t own the property, they do have some power to make sure that that the owner does mow and maintain the lot, and that they would. Pat Peer, Spring Hill, who lives near the newly annexed land that will be LPKC phase II, spoke to council for the second consecutive meeting. She...

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OUR VIEW: HB 2459 protects individual rights

Kansan’s are a step closer to protecting their private property from civil asset forfeiture laws if Governor Jeff Colyer signs HB 2459 into law. The bill has passed the House of Representatives and Senate. In 2016, the Legislative Post Audit Division indicated the state’s current program showed some law enforcement agencies were lax in following reporting requirement regarding drug seizures or were not following rules on the use of proceeds. In 2015 the Gardner Police Department’s Law Enforcement Trust fund stood at about $16,800; and a review at that time indicated GPD did follow proper procedures. Both chain of custody and notification were followed and proper reports with the state were filed. Still, Kansas statute has been considered one of the most liberal in the nation; an individual’s property can be seized even if there is no charge or conviction. HB 2459 would require authorities show that the assets were directly tied to a criminal activity. Because proceeds from asset forfeiture grew rapidly, in part, to help fund the “war on drugs,” this regulation is necessary to protect individual rights and to help avoid the potential for...

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Early Easter Fun

While visiting her grandmother for the weekend, three year old Liv Higginbotham of Wellsville displays her egg hunting skills at Edgerton’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt at Martin Creek Park on Mar. 24. Staff photos by Rick Poppitz The weather was overcast and chilly, but didn’t seem to affect the turnout, or the kids enthusiasm for Edgerton’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt at Martin Creek Park on Mar. 24. Four kids found “golden tickets” inside their eggs, worth $25. Family activities included a moonwalk, face painting and in person appearance by the Easter...

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What’s the point of satire anymore?

Jim Hightower Guest Columnist Some might call the Trump administration a murderous mob. Specifically, they’ve been serial killers of the English language. The word “fact” was their first victim, assassinated last year by one of Trump’s mobsters who poisoned it with a toxic substance named: “Alternative Fact.” Their latest hit was a celebrated word from the literary world: “satire.” It embodies the artful use of sarcasm and ridicule to expose the vanity and vice of public figures. But Trump himself killed satire by starving it of any meaning. How can anyone satirize a presidency that is, in reality, nothing but a fully staged satire of vanity and vice? Satire involves exaggerating the flaws, mannerisms, etc. of various characters to convey how corrupt and contemptible they are — but it’s impossible to exaggerate the awfulness of an administration that gleefully flaunts its awfulness every day. Take Trump’s proposed budget. Delivered just in time for Valentine’s Day, it’s a stab to the heart of the people, intentionally increasing poverty and hunger across our country. It would slash programs providing essential food, housing, and even heating assistance for about 50 million Americans — mostly children, old folks, poverty-wage workers, and disabled people. Then there’s Medicare and Medicaid, which most working-class Americans count on at some point in their lives. Candidate Trump promised us that “there will be no cuts” in funding for...

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USD 231 announces last day of school

Gardner Edgerton School District has made necessary adjustments to the 2017-2018 school calendar due to snow days, the Madison Elementary flooding incident and high school construction. Based on the annual state-required in-school hours needed, the following will be the last days and times of school for 2018; assuming there are no future unforeseen circumstances causing school to be canceled. Grades K-4 (Not Including Madison Elementary) – Last Day, May 22, 2018 Early Release Time, 1 p.m. (Lunch will be served) Preschool (Not including Madison Elementary) – Last Day, May 21, 2018 Madison Elementary School – Last Day, May 25, 2018 Early Release Time, 1 p.m. (Lunch will be served) Preschool – Last Day, May 24, 2018 Grades 5-7 – Last Day, May 22, 2018 Early Release Time, 12:30 p.m. (Lunch will be served) Grade 8 – Last Day, May 21, 2018 Release Immediately after 8th Grade Festivities Grades 9-11 – Last Day, May 24, 2018 (May 22, 23, and 24 – Finals) Grade 12 – Last Day, May 17, 2018 GEHS will provide updated senior week schedule. Graduation is Saturday, May 19, 2018; 10 a.m., District Activities...

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Sports Potpourri

Mac Stevenson Once again, the Kansas basketball team is going to the Final Four in San Antonio after a thrilling 85-81 overtime win against Duke. No one can accuse KU of taking an easy road in their attempt to win another national championship; the Jayhawks play Villanova this Saturday, the only other number-one seed left in this year’s NCAA Tournament. Malik Newman is justifiably receiving most of the accolades directed at KU’s players, but Silvio De Sousa (6-9, 245) deserves great praise for the way he has come on and delivered just in the nick of time. De Sousa played well against Duke’s great frontline both before and after Udoka Azubuike fouled out; his outstanding play at just the right time has to be reassuring to Coach Bill Self. Kansas and Villanova are similar physically and in their respective styles of play; both play a tight man-to-man defense with exceptional outside shooting from their guards. And for once KU won’t be outmanned on the frontline. Azubuike and De Sousa are now alternating at center and both will be ready to go against Villanova. The Wildcats counter in the pivot with junior Eric Paschall (6-7, 250) and freshman Omari Spellman (6-10, 245); both are rugged rebounders who score well close to the basket. Azubuike (7-0, 280) has a size advantage and will be able to score frequently inside if he...

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Thanks Janeice!

Well wishers gathered to honor Janeice Rawles, Edgerton, at her retirement reception March 21, 2018, held at Edgerton City Hall. Rawles retires after 26 years with the city; most recently as city clerk. Her last day was March 23. Staff photo by Rick...

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Restore union transparency regarding funds

Richard McCarty Guest Columnist Union members deserve to know where their dues money is going. For too long, union members have been largely kept in the dark about their unions’ finances, which has allowed corrupt union bosses to line their pockets with their members’ money and get away with it for years. Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, who served during the George W. Bush Administration, sought to change that. Of course, union bosses were adamantly opposed to additional scrutiny and spent their members’ money trying to block some of Chao’s reforms in the courts; the courts ultimately sided with Chao. Unfortunately, after Obama won the presidency with the strong support of union bosses, his Labor Department was in no mood to demand much transparency from them; so the agency rolled back Chao’s reforms or simply refused to enforce the law. With Obama long gone, the Trump Labor Department needs to get to work reinstating these critical reforms immediately. Specifically, the Labor Department needs to reinstate Chao’s reforms of the following filings. LM-2 filings were supposed to include the full value of compensation packages, including things like free housing and deferred compensation; they were also supposed to include the names of buyers and sellers of union assets of $5,000 or more, and they were to include an itemized listing of receipts. T-1 filings were supposed to cover trusts such as strike...

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