Author: Gardner News

Moonlight student working to raise awareness about psoriasis

Mark Taylor [email protected] Hannah Falkner, an 8-year-old student at Moonlight Elementary, has been named Youth Ambassador for the Walk to Cure Psoriasis. Hannah said she is looking forward to speaking to others and raising awareness about psoriasis, a chronic genetic disease of the immune system that makes her skin and scalp itch, crack and bleed. She said it was “awesome” to be selected as a Youth Ambassador. “It is so much fun to get to do a lot of things to help people,” Hannah said. Among her duties will be sharing about her experience with psoriasis, which she was diagnosed with last year. Hannah said she mainly wants people to understand that the condition is not contagious and not to fear those who have it. “I tell them that I have psoriasis, and that it is not contagious,” she said. “Your skin keeps growing and growing and will not stop, and it just itches very bad. “I tell my friends that over and over again.” Hannah was diagnosed with the disease in July, 2010 and wants people to know the disease is not contagious. Hannah’s mother, Carrie Falkner, added: “That’s what she wants to do – educate everybody, especially people her age.” The Walk to Cure Psoriasis takes place on Sept. 17 in Kansas City. Noe Baker, public relations manager for the National Psoriasis Foundation, said Hannah is one...

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OUR VIEW: Feel good laws not necessarily good government

“I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” Former President Ronald Reagan said those were the scariest words in the English language. We can think of five other words that are also frightening: “There ought to be a law.” Think carefully about what you wish for. “One size fits all” is no more true for clothing than for laws. A recent example is Missouri’s “Facebook” law, designed to restrict opportunities for sexual misconduct between students and teachers. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon signed the law; set to take effect on Aug. 28. Dubbed the “Facebook” law, the Amy Hestir Student Protection Act will place sanctions on social media communication between teachers and students in an effort to restrict opportunities for sexual misconduct. A teacher has already filed a lawsuit saying it violates both the First and Fourteenth amendments. The teachers’ union also questions the vague wording of the law which prohibits teachers from using work, or private, websites to communicate with students unless the administration and parents have access. Although we understand it’s politically fashionable to pass emotion-based laws that both appeal to voters and provide good copy for media outlets, it’s not necessarily good government. There are several problems with the “Facebook” law. The cost of litigating this law will cost taxpayers a good sum, which will probably go unreported in the media. It will hinder communication between...

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Edgerton Cemetery Association to petition county for taxing district

Mark Taylor [email protected] The Edgerton Cemetery Association is looking to form a cemetery district with taxing authority to help head off financial woes. Del Sawyer, chairman of the cemetery association, told the Edgerton City Council on Aug. 25 that the cemetery has been examining ways to generate revenue to continue maintenance and operations at the cemetery. He said the cemetery has a savings account of $38,000 that generates about 1.25 percent interest, but the majority of the association’s funds comes from the sale of grave sites. “Last year we sold two grave sites,” Sawyer said.  “And I think this year we’ve sold one…We’re running out of money.” The cemetery association recently contacted Rick Lind of the Johnson County Legal Department to explore its options. “We’re looking at avenues to raise funds for the cemetery, keep costs down for everyone, and keep the cemetery going,” Sawyer said. Lind added, “In a matter of 10-12 years, if we keep losing money at the rate we are going, we are going to go belly-up.” Lind said the cemetery association has three options. The first is to walk away. “If they just did nothing and walked away…after a one year period of time the attorney general could file a suit to declare the cemetery abandoned,” Lind said.  “It would probably end up with the county taking over maintenance and operations.” The second option...

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SH seeks to fill Board of Zoning Appeals, Green Board vacancies

There is a vacancy on the Spring Hill Board of Zoning Appeals for a city representative. City residents interested in serving and who are registered voters should stop by City Hall, 401 N. Madison, Spring Hill, for an application or visit www.springhillks.com.  The term expires June 2013.  The meetings are held at the call of the chair.  Applications must be received at City Hall, Attn: Glenda Gerrity, by Noon, Sept. 26.  For more information, (913) 592-3664. There are two vacancies on the Spring Hill Green Board.  Persons interested must be either a resident of the Spring Hill city limits or a resident of the Spring Hill School District.  The terms expire February 2013 and February 2014.  Green Board meetings are held at 7 p.m. on the third Monday.  Applications are available at City Hall, 401 N. Madison, Spring Hill or at www.springhillks.com.  Applications must be received at City Hall, Attn: Glenda Gerrity, by Noon, Sept. 26.  For more information, call (913)...

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Morning Glory 4-H

Olivia Rogers Club Reporter Morning Glory 4-H Club held its annual project tour meeting on Aug 22. During this meeting, Morning Glory club members display their projects, trophies and ribbons from the fair. The annual project tour allows club members to see the accomplishments of their fellow 4-H’ers and to learn about all the different types of 4-H projects. Among the projects displayed this year were knitted scarves, table settings, rockets, entomology boxes, art, sheep, goats, rabbits, horseless horse, bucket calf, crop science, cake decorating, style review and leather...

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Broncos to host De Soto in football opener

Football A much improved Bronco football team hosts De Soto in its home opener Sept. 2, 7 p.m. at the district stadium. Led by running back Brady Donahue and wide receiver Carson King, Spring Hill hopes to improve on last year’s 2-7 record. The return of quarterback Jeff Lovetinsky, who returned from Indiana for his senior season, bolsters the squad. Top defensive play will come from Chris Terrazas (OL and DL) and Drew Ewing (linebacker). “We are very excited about this season and know we have to bring our ‘A’ game every week in the Frontier League,” said Coach Anthony Orrick. “We definitely look to improve from a season ago.” Tennis Head coach Thomas Sherron and assistant Amy Castle (a GEHS grad) welcomed 25 kids to camp Aug. 13 in preparation for the opener. Seniors Anna King, Layne Gilliland and Kjersti Anderson will provide leadership for a young team. “This is a great group of kids who remind me everyday how great it is to work with high school student athletes. Cross Country Veteran Head coach Rick O’Neil is preparing his squad for a Sept. 1 meet at Anderson County. Returning letter winners Ricardo Garcia, Makaela Willis, Macy Carbajo, Meghan Moody, Brooke Smith, and Michaela Gustafson will lead the squad. Volleyball Head coach Alicia Von Stein enters her 11th year with an experienced and talented group. Von Stein will...

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Blazer fall sports season begins with tennis at Topeka Hayden

Tennis An Aug. 25 quadrangular at Topeka Hayden started the Fall sports season for Gardner-Edgerton High School. The team returned home Aug. 29 to host its Annual Blazer quadrangular. New head coach Jackie O’Connor-Stahl is working with a very talented squad and has witnessed a good work ethic in pre-season drills. The team travels to the Spring Hill quadrangular Sept. 6. Football Head coach Marvin Diener has been busy preparing his squad for a Sept. 4 non-league game at East St. Louis. The defending EKL champs return six starters on both offense and defense. The defense will be much improved led by senior linebackers Brent Bovitz and Marcus Williams and junior Matt Plank. Offensively, sophomore Jared Hobby takes over at quarterback and will be joined by talented sophomore running back Traevohn Wrench. After a Sept. 9 game at Blue Valley North, GEHS finally comes home to play Bishop Miege. Cross Country Head coach Larry Ward enters his 33rd year with a young, but talented squad. “Both squads remain young with limited depth in the senior class,” said Ward. “The boys squad missed qualifying for state by one place but returns the entire team. Our girls placed fifth in 5A state and return four of their seven top runners.” On the girls side, GEHS lost two-time all-stater Dana Goodwin. She moved out of state. In her absence, the Lady Blazers...

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Gardner police recover grenade from residence

Mark Taylor [email protected] Gardner police found a live hand grenade on Aug. 24 after being called to a residence in the 18500 block of S. Sycamore Court. According to Ilena Spalding, public information officer for the police department, a person reported finding the grenade while moving property belonging to his father from one residence to another. Spalding said police found a live grenade – with the pin and spoon both missing – in a metal container. Sgt. James Belcher moved the explosive out of the house and into the back yard where the Olathe Bomb Squad removed the grenade, took it to a blasting range, and detonated it. The area surrounding the residence was cordoned off while the grenade was being removed. No one was injured during the...

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Homestead interchange construction to start in spring

Mark Taylor [email protected] Construction work on a new interchange at Interstate 35 and Homestead Road is expected to begin as soon as February. The Edgerton City Council gave its authorization for the construction of a new divergent diamond interchange to serve the intermodal logistics park on Aug 25. The council passed a resolution authorizing an agreement with the Kansas Department of Transportation to proceed with construction. City Administrator Beth Linn said the interchange will be bundled with two other major road construction projects and bid around the third week of December. Bids are expected to be opened during the third week of January. “We would hope that construction would be well on its way by February or March,” Linn said. Construction is currently underway at the intermodal logistics park, which is expected to open in late 2013. Linn said KDOT selected the Homestead location after studying other alternatives based on its location between existing interchanges at Gardner and Sunflower roads, because it created the least impact on the surrounding areas, and because it was the least expensive option. The state will fund the construction. Linn added that while the agreement only addresses the interchange, a new section of Homestead Lane is also expected to constructed as a paved road between 199th Street and 191st Street as part of the project. “I think their hope is to let them as...

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Rural Kansas photography contest seeking submissions

WICHITA—Kansas shutterbugs are called to submit their photos for a Rural Kansas Photography Contest, now taking online submissions through September 19. The contest will award prizes to first and second place winners in four categories: • Rural Landscape: a photograph depicting an expanse of scenery in rural Kansas; • Community: a photograph depicting Kansans participating in shared activities, from casual cookouts to town festivals; • Health Care: a photograph of anything health care related; and • Recreation: a photograph depicting how rural Kansans spend their free-time. “We started this contest in 2006 for Kansans to show the majestic beauty of our state and wonderful way of living rural Kansans are accustomed to,” said Joyce Grayson, director of Rural Health Education & Services, which promotes Kansas as a great place for health care providers to live, work and play. “Afterall, a picture is worth a thousand words.” Contest entries can be submitted online at ruralhealth.kumc.edu/photocontest, via email to [email protected] or to Chris Drake, Rural Health Education & Services, School of Medicine-Wichita, 1010 N. Kansas, Wichita, KS 67214-3199. The contest is open to Kansas residents and individuals who work in Kansas ages 18 and older. Winners will receive a KU tote bag filled with KU and Kansas memorabilia and will have their winning photo published in Kansas Connections and on the Rural Health Education & Services Web site. More information about...

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Successful season for Spring Hill Red Dawgs

Another successful season has ended for Coach Bill Winebold and his Spring Hill 11-12 recreation boys baseball team. Winebold worked with a group that competed versus Gardner, Wellsville, Eudora, Baldwin and other teams from Spring Hill. “Throughout the season the boys competed hard, never quit, played every inning,” said Winebold, whose team had a 7-6 record. “This team improved with each game and improved their fundamental skills. I was real proud of the effort.” Winebold and assistants Keenan Powell and Dave Hodge worked with a roster that included Cody Brewer, Kyle Calton, Michael Dowd, Ryan Forkell, Cort Frohardt, Jake Hodge, Keenan Powell, Matt Smith, Jake Vandaele, Jake Vogelmeyer, Bryce Warner, and Caleb Winebold. “I appreciated the opportunity to work with assistant coaches Powell and Hodge and some great parents,” added...

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Councilman Fotovich frustrated by search process

Larry Fotovitch Gardner city councilman One of my earliest duties as a newly elected council member was to list the qualities I valued in our next city administrator, so our recruiter could begin his search. I provided my input, but based on the selection process I’ve observed so far, if the best man wins, it will be by sheer luck. Even on that first night, as we were advised by our recruiter that we should consider raising our salary range, I knew something was up.   Fortunately, one council member asked our human resource manager to provide a salary comparison of similar-sized cities, and at a later meeting, we all agreed that the salary the city of Gardner was offering was competitive. In June, however, the question came up again.  This time, Mayor Drovetta sent each council member an e-mail asking us if we would be willing to increase our salary range for a “very experienced” candidate who would consider a lateral move for an “opportunity for growth in Gardner.” I declined to answer, but I learned that only one other council member did not approve his request. The next time we met, our recruiter gave each of us a one-inch-thick binder full of resumes, cover letters, statements from anonymous references and the answers to initial screening questions.  He gave us only 45 minutes to narrow the list to six...

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Do not prune trees and shrubs in the fall

By Dennis L. Patton OLATHE, Kan. — Each fall our office receives a number of calls about pruning. The callers are really not asking a question, but are rather seeking permission. For some reason, people feel the need to prune in the fall. Fall is not the time to prune trees I am not sure where people get the idea that it’s okay to prune in the fall. Let me explain why fall pruning is not recommended. Pruning is good for the overall health of the plant. We prune for a number of reasons, including: improved structure, flowering  and fruiting. Pruning is part of an overall plant health maintenance program. It is important to remember that a pruning cut does result in an injury to the plant. Just like in humans, cut tissue is wounded and time is needed for it to heal. Fall pruning creates an open wound for a longer period of time. Best time to prune trees is late winter Ideally, we would like for the cut wound to heal (seal over) as rapidly as possible. An open wound can be the entry path for insects, disease, rot and decay. For this reason, pruning trees is best done in late winter. At this time of the year, the cut wound is created just before the season of active growth and the plant can start the repair...

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City of champions football schedule announced

The Gardner Edgerton High School Football team is preparing to hit the road this weekend to participate in the City of Champions Foundation Football Tournament Labor Day Weekend in St. Louis. The GEHS Blazers will take on East St. Louis High School at 8 p.m. on Sept. 4 at Clyde C. Jordan Memorial. Due to the Fox Los Angeles office scheduling a college football game at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 4, (SMU vs.Texas A&M) the City of Champions competition will be aired at the times listed below on FoxSportsKC. Sept. 4 – 1:30 a.m. Sept. 8 – 12 p.m. Sept. 16 – 12 p.m. For a channel locator on Fox Sports Network, visit www.foxsportsmidwest.com. The all-expense paid trip to the City of Champions Classic is quite an honor for the program and communities of USD 231 due to the fact Gardner Edgerton was the only Kansas City metropolitan high school asked to participate in the tournament. All expenses for this invitation- only tournament (including transportation, lodging, and meals for all coaches and participants) is entirely funded by the City of Champions Foundation and/or GEHS Quarterback Club. The schedule for the Labor Day weekend matchup includes: Jefferson City vs. Simeon Career Academy, 2 p.m. Whitehaven vs. St. Rita, 5 p.m. Gardner Edgerton vs. East St. Louis, 8 p.m. For more information, contact Kent Glaser, GEHS athletic director at [email protected] or...

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School districts report enrollment increases following first week of school

Mark Taylor [email protected] The Gardner-Edgerton and Spring Hill School districts are posting increased enrollment numbers following headcounts taken during the first week of school. All Kansas school districts maintain first of the year student enrollment counts that, when combined with weighting factors, become the full time equivalent (FTE) numbers used by the state to determine the amount of funding each district receives. Headcounts taken during the first week of the school year typically continue to increasethrough September. Official FTE numbers are established on Sept. 20. The Gardner-Edgerton School District posted 218 new students as of Aug. 16. According to headcounts, the district currently has 5,089 students, compared with 4,871 at the same time the previous year. “That is kind of what we had anticipated,” Lana Gerber, director of human resources said. “We looking good as far as the numbers go.” Gardner Edgerton gained 60 students at the elementary level (grades K-4), 65 students at the middle school level (grades 5-8) and 93 at the high school level (grades 9-12). Headcounts at each school included Edgerton Elementary, 168; Gardner Elementary, 365; Madison Elementary, 442; Moonlight Elementary, 565; Nike Elementary, 351; Sunflower Elementary, 292; Pioneer Ridge Middle School, 730; Wheatridge Middle School, 819, and Gardner Edgerton High School, 1,357. The enrollment figures do not include pre-school or early childhood students. Special Services is currently conducting district wide screenings and  pre-school/early childhood...

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Fall lawn seeding

By Dennis L. Patton After a hot, dry summer, most of us have areas in our lawn that did not survive. Dead patches may be present throughout the lawn. Re-seeding may be necessary to bring your lawn back to top-notch standards. Best Time to Overseed Kansas City Lawns The ideal time to seed bluegrass and tall fescue lawns in the Kansas City area is early to mid-September. At this time of the year, the soil temperatures are still high, nighttime temperatures start to fall, and more rainfall is usually received. This combination makes almost perfect conditions for quick germination and establishment of turf from seed. Good Soil Preparation Key to Success • Verticutting Besides the correct timing, proper soil preparation is vital for success. The best method for preparing the soil for overseeding is by verticutting. A verticut slices grooves in the soil creating an area for the small grass seed to fall and wash when seeding. It is this contact with the soil that is so important. Simply spreading the seed on the crusted soil will result in poor germination and an uneven stand. • Core aeration Core aeration is also available for seedbed preparation. It is not as highly recommended for overseeding. Aeration is good for the overall health and maintenance of a lawn, but results in a less uniform stand of grass and lengthens the time...

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Football moms

Spring Hill High School held a Mom’s Football Clinic on Aug. 20. About 60 mothers of SHHS football players participated in the event. The moms worked out with the football team, learned several plays and then ran offense. The moms had breakfast after the clinic while their sons scrimmaged in preparation of the season.  The team willl have a soap scrimmage at 7 p.m. on Aug. 26 in preparation for its home game against De Soto on Sept. 2. Photo courtesy of Christine Splichal/USD...

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DNA provides new way to research ancestors

Mica Marriott [email protected] The Kimball-Bryan Family Reunion was held Aug. 20 at the Gardner Grange Hall. Family members from all over Kansas and Missouri attended, and also members from Maryland, Kentucky and South Carolina. Bryan Family members from all over the world are participating in the research of their bloodlines through familytreedna.com. Linda Horton recently retired and picked up where her mother Marcia left off with the family ancestry research. Linda said, “Mom died about four years ago, and I decided to take over what Mom had started.” Horton has done extensive research on who her ancestors were and what they did. Her research has lead her to some new discoveries and also some questions that may only be answered by DNA. One of these questions is about her fifth great-grandfather, whether it is Morgan Bryan or his brother, William Bryan. Oldest sibling of the local Bryan children, Ross, has submitted a cheek swab of his own DNA to resolve and answer this question. Results from Ross Bryan’s test are not expected  for about three months. Male DNA can tell what the exact lineage from grandfather, to son, to grandson and so forth is. Female DNA can tell what ancient ethnicities in the family there are, including Spanish, Asian, etc. which can tell what migration took place on the planet to the different continents thousands of years ago. Linda...

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Scanlon in the running for administrator post

Mark Taylor [email protected] Mike Scanlon, current city administrator for the city of Mission, is one of three candidates being considered for the vacant Gardner administrator post. The council is expected to name a new administrator by Sept. 6. Three committees — including Gardner City Council members, city staff, and citizens — interviewed the top three candidates for the post on Aug. 22. The new hire is expected to start work in October. Mayor Dave Drovetta and Scanlon each confirmed to The Gardner News on Aug. 24 that Scanlon was a candidate for the job. Prior to that, two northern Johnson County websites posted that Scanlon was rumored to be a front-runner for Gardner’s top appointed post. Those sites included savemission.net, a citizen group’s website, and shawneemissiontimes.com, a news website published by former Johnson County Sheriff Currie Myers. The Gardner council has been searching for a new city administrator for since Stewart Fairburn left in March to take a job in Chickasha, Okla. The search was recently narrowed to three candidates. According to an e-mail provided to The Gardner News by Councilman Larry Fotovich, Drovetta contacted council members individually in June and asked if they would be willing to increase the  $110,000 salary cap for a certain person who might be “the right fit” for the job. “There is a candidate very interested in the position but is currently compensated...

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Legislator on the mend following stroke

Mike Kiegerl 43rd Dist. State Rep. I’m still getting questions on my health and how I’m doing after my stroke. I’m fairly well recovered, still a bit wobbly and with some difficulties standing and walking but I’m grateful to have recovered as much as I did, I can live with the residual disability. I recently had a consultation with a neurosurgeon and I am relieved that I will not need surgery; my chances for further improvement are still possible. A personal experience with physical and occupational therapy gave me an insight about our high health care cost. After discharge from the hospital I was ordered to go to out patient therapy. I discovered that the charge for two 45 minute sessions was $1,040 to Medicare. Outrageous! Occupational therapy consists of improving dexterity and hand/eye coordination. One exercise involves peas put on the table which you pick up with the affected fingers to put in a cup. Physical therapy requires riding a stationary bike and other activities. These exercises are certainly valuable and I completed them religiously in the rehab hospital, however I decided to save the government some money and quit out patient “rehab” after the first session. I am doing what I need on my own at home. The 2011 legislative summary …has been published and is available online at http://www.kslegislature.org/klrd. It gives a description of all new...

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