Author: Gardner News

Orphan trains placed 200,000 homeless children during 19th Century

Mica Marriott [email protected] Imagine 30 to 50 children, ages ranging from infants to teenagers, on a train traveling with only one or two supervising adults. Picture these children having no idea of where they’re going or what life lies ahead. The only certainty in their future was traveling west to a new home. Many of those children had never been outside of New York City, and most all of them would never again have contact with relatives back east, if any were left alive. When the orphan train movement began in the 1850s, it was estimated that 30,000 abandoned or orphaned children were living on New York City streets. It has been estimated that 200,000 homeless children were placed across 47 states and Canada by the Orphan Train Movement between 1854 and 1929. It was the first ever documented foster care and adoption service in America. According to immigration records, between 1841 and 1860, America welcomed more than 4.3 million newcomers. Steamship companies and railroad companies attracted immigrants to the America with slogans such as “the land of opportunity” and “land of a second chance.” The goal was to bring laborers for the factories and homesteaders for the west. Often it caused a poor situation for families when housing became a problem. Port cities, like New York were overcrowded, thus housing and jobs were scarce. In a new country...

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OUR VIEW: Open records, closed doors

Kudos to the Gardner City Council for agreeing to make the city’s expenditure report available in the council packet on their website. Similar to a check register, the report indicates payments to city vendors, overall payroll, reimbursements and refunds. Gardner council members routinely received the report prior to council meetings, but Gardner taxpayers had to make a tedious, written open records request on a monthly basis to receive Gardner’s. This placed an unnecessary barrier between interested citizens and public information as well as taking valuable time away from an already overworked city staff who had to respond to individual requests. But with one step forward, the city took two steps backward when they entered closed door sessions July 14 to discuss, according to Councilman Larry Fotovich, a proposed salary ordinance change and pay raises for city employees as a result of a salary study. The council cited the Kansas Open Meetings Act “personnel” exemption; however, policy discussions regarding overall pay raises has always been an open record. This newspaper, as required by law, routinely publishes salary ordinances, and we have written articles about salary studies – which are fairly routine for governing bodies – on numerous occasions. In fact, some newspapers publish the salary of individual government employees, which is open record. The public has the right to know how tax money is spent, and particularly if, as alleged...

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Project to award $500,000 to park voted best in nation

TOPEKA — Every summer, families from around the nation visit Kansas state parks to camp, boat, fish, and just have a great time together. Parks are important for an active, healthy lifestyle. To encourage people to visit parks and also help their favorite park receive badly needed additional funding, Coca-Cola is sponsoring the second annual America Is Your Park campaign. Through Sept. 6, Kansas state park enthusiasts have the chance to support their favorite state park with just the click of a button. Visit LivePositively.com to vote for your favorite park, and the park with the most votes wins the title of “America’s Favorite Park,” along with a $100,000 recreation grant from the Coca-Cola Live Positively initiative. The second-place park wins a $50,000 grant, and the third-place park gets a $25,000 grant. Coca-Cola is providing these recreation grants to parks around the country to help restore, rebuild, or enhance activity areas in the park How to Vote From now through Sept. 6, visit LivePositively.com to vote for your chosen park to win big. Show your support by voting in the following ways: • vote online at LivePositively.com, or click on the Coca-Cola logo on the KDWPT website, www.kdwpt.state.ks.us to visit the Live Positively site; • upload photos from your favorite park to LivePositively.com; • check in through Facebook Places from your favorite park; and • upload videos of activities...

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Things to do

JULY Gardner Library Afternoon Book Group July 27, 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Join the Gardner Library on the last Wednesday of the month for its book discussion.  Everyone is welcome.  The July 27 discussion is about “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett.  The afternoon book group meets in the meeting room.  Registration is not required. “One World, Many Stories” Interactive Fun! Now thru July 24 Drop in Antioch, De Soto, Edgerton, Gardner, Spring Hill, Shawnee and Central Resource libraries any time for hands-on, child-directed activities. You never know what to expect-art projects, scavenger hunts, puzzles to test your brain power and more.  Activities will be changed every two weeks, so plan to come back again and again. Activities are designed for ages 6 to 11 and may be enjoyed by the whole family.  Registration is not required. ONGOING Gardner Veterans of Foreign Wars Gardner Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 11234 meetings are the fourth Thursday of each month at 7:30 p.m. meetings are held at the Conestoga Estates Club House.  Any United States Veteran is eligible to join the post.  For information on eligibility or other questions contact Mike Hutton at (913) 856-8007. Kiwanis “Young Children Priority One.” Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and community at a time.  Meetings are held the second and fourth Wednesday of the month at...

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Around Town

Question: Does the Gardner Aquatic Center offer reduced cost or free admission days due to the extreme heat? Answer: No.  At this time the aquatic center does not offer any reduced rate or free days.  Adriana Holopirek, at Gardner Parks and Recreation said, it has never been brought up.  The city council is who determines the rates for the aquatic center, and  it is a decision the city council would have to make, she said.  The aquatic center is open from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Sunday until Aug. 14., after that the hours are 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday only through Sept....

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Local Racer earns spot at Motocross National Championship

HURRICANE MILLS, Tenn. – Edgerton’s Josh Miller just made his dream come true. The 14-year-old dirt bike racer has qualified for the largest amateur motocross race in the world, the 30th Annual Red Bull AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch. Miller took on over 20,000 hopefuls from across America to earn one of just 1,386 qualifying positions. “The Amateur Nationals at Loretta Lynn’s is the event every motocross racer in the country wants to compete in,” said Event Director Tim Cotter. “A win at the Amateur Nationals gives a rider instant national notoriety and can serve as a springboard to a lucrative professional motocross career.” Most of America’s top professional motocrossers, including James Stewart, Ricky Carmichael, Travis Pastrana and Jeremy McGrath, have won AMA Amateur National Championships at Loretta Lynn’s. The race is so prestigious that in 2009, teenage stars Dean Wilson, from California, and Eli Tomac, from Colorado, were awarded premier professional contracts for the 2010 season. Miller, who attends GEHS, has been riding since he was 10 years old. With the help of sponsors such as Miller Excavating inc., EVS, PR2 Suspension, No Toil, UFO Plastic, Tag Metals, Blur Optics, M concepts, Sunline, Bike Graphix, and dad who help pay his way to the races, Miller has had the opportunity to pursue his dreams. He has won many races in the last four years...

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Richard Mann hired from slate of 30 for new SH Police Chief

Richard Mann is sworn into office as Spring Hill police chief. Submitted photo Mark Taylor [email protected] Spring Hill has a new police chief. Richard Mann, who has worked for the department since 2008 and has served as interim police chief since late last year, was hired from a slate of 30 candidates for the job. “I am very honored,” Mann told The Gardner News. “I have achieved my lifetime goal for my career. That was the highest goal I had set for myself in my career. I am really pumped up, jazzed and excited to work diligently for the city of Spring Hill and for my officers.” Mann, who oversees a department of 12 full time officers, was born in Des Moines, Iowa and raised in Overland Park. He graduated from Blue Valley High School and started his law enforcement career in 1999 with the Oswego Police Department in Labette County in southeast Kansas. From there he joined the Labette County Sheriff’s Department in 2002. When a patrol job for the Spring Hill Police Department opened in 2008, Mann jumped at the chance to return home to the Kansas City area. “Spring Hill was hiring for patrol,” Mann said. “I knew Spring Hill from when I lived in Stanley, and I decided to try to move back to the area. I got hired in March of 2008.” Four-and-a-half months...

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Heat wave blankets area, residents urged to take precautions

Hundreds of children and adults escaped the 100 degree heat this week at the Gardner Aquatic Center. Staff photo by Mark Taylor Mark Taylor [email protected] Despite lingering triple-digit temperatures, no heat related illnesses have been reported in Southwest Johnson County, according to Rob Kirk, deputy chief for Johnson County Fire District 1. “That is a very good thing,” Kirk said. But residents should still take precautions for themselves, elderly family members and pets until the heat wave subsides as the heat wave is expected to extend for at least the remainder of the month. Kirk said “hydration is key” and that persons who work outdoors are advised to work earlier in the day before temperatures spike. Those without air conditioning can find relief at Johnson County Library branches in Gardner, Edgerton and Spring Hill. Each library branch has been designated a “cooling center” during times of extreme heat. The city of Edgerton is also opening the doors of city hall to those wanting to take a break from the dangerously high temperatures. “We are going to open the building up to people who need to cool off,” said Janeice Rawles, Edgerton city clerk.  “If the building is open all day and it is hot, why not? Our library is not open full time. We just thought we should offer our citizens another alternative during business hours. We take care...

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14 Gardner tracksters qualify for nationals

Fourteen Gardner Track Club members will compete at Nationals after posting qualifying marks in a USATF meet in Lawrence on July 9. The National Junior Olympic meet will be held in Wichita from July 26-30. “This is our largest number ever to qualify for Nationals,” said Kim Loring, club organizer. “We are real proud of the kids’ efforts.” Grabbing gold medals in Lawrence were Abby Buie (youth girls pole vault, 8’6″) and Connor McGuire (youth boys pole vault, 11’6″). Silver medals went to Karli Smith (youth girls pole vault, 7’0″); Kyle Stubler (youth boys pole vault, 11’6″); and Jake Hamm (intermediate boys pole vault, 13’6″). Third-place awards went to Hannah Rubin (young womens pole vault, 11’6″) and Tommy Brady (young mens pole vault, 15′). Earning fourth places were Jill Starling (intermediate girls javelin, 113’5″) and Ben Carpenter (intermediate boys pole vault, 13’0″). Travis Reed placed fifth in the young mens javelin with a throw of 138’8″ and Gaby Rhodes took fifth in the girls 15-16 discus with a toss of 88’9″. Ryan Weisenburger finished sixth in the young mens pole vault with a leap of 14′. Drake Sparks leaped 12’6″ to place 11th in the young mens vault. Ashlee Bilhimer punched her ticket to Wichita with a 132′ javelin throw at the World Youth Championship...

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Electric board hopes to prevent vandalism with high-tech security cameras

Mark Taylor [email protected] The Gardner Electric Utility Board is hoping to deter vandalism at its facilities with high tech security cameras. Bill Krawczyk, electric utility director, said the cameras are in response to a break-in at a Gardner substation in May that resulted in an hour-long power outage for 2,000 to 2,500 electric customers. Krawczyk said security cameras had long been a consideration, but “the vandalism put it on the front burner.” “We should be a whole lot better off certainly than we are now,” he said. The six cameras cost $3,000 each and are capable of recording for 15 to 17 days at a time and can be triggered by motion. The “smart” cameras can be programmed to distinguish human beings and vehicles and to notify authorities when someone is on the property after hours. The cost of monitoring is about $1,000 per year. “If you avoid some kind of vandalism or theft, that $1,000 is nothing,” Krawczyk said. Police are still looking for vandals who broke into Gardner’s Substation 2 at Main Street and Moonlight Road on May 29.The culprits cut a hole in the fence surrounding the property, cut locks on electrical boxes and damaged relays and switch gears, shutting off power for a third of Gardner’s electric customers in the process. The suspects fled the scene when police arrived. Police believe two persons were involved...

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Long distance ace

Kade Loring of the Gardner Track Club participates in the 1600 meter run earlier this summer at the Missouri Valley Invitational. Loring was a key contributor for the club this...

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Threat of lawsuit prompts sale of $4 million in temporary notes

Danedri Thompson [email protected] Potential litigation forced Gardner City Council members to authorize the sale of $4.04 million in temporary renewal notes on July 18 for a project city officials originally approved as a benefit district. Jim Hubbard, city attorney, explained the litigious history of the Kill Creek Sanitary Benefit District during a council meeting on Monday night. The Russell family owned approximately 800 acres of north of town when the city planned a new sewer plant at Kill Creek. City officials needed approximately 40 acres in order to build the sewer, Hubbard said. The property owners said the sewer construction would interrupt their plans for development. When the city and landowners couldn’t reach an agreement for the acreage, city officials condemned 40 acres. The owners sued and eventually the parties settled, Hubbard continued. As part of the settlement, (the property owners) wanted the city to agree to build a forced main sewer for their eventual development. Hubbard said when the Russell family requested that the sewer main be built, city officials told the owners  the timing was not optimal. The main would be built as a benefit district and eventually the property owners would be assessed special taxes over a period of years to pay for the project. “The city said now is not a good time,” Hubbard said. However, the property owners wanted the forced main constructed, and...

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Symbolic votes won’t trim $14 trillion deficit

Jim Cason Guest Columnist This summer, members of Congress are threatening to shut down the federal government or block efforts to raise the limit on how much the U.S. government can borrow unless lawmakers agree on tough action to cut federal spending. With the budget deficit expanding and total debt now estimated at more than $14 trillion, the House budget doesn’t even begin to make a dent. A serious debate about the federal government’s role is long overdue. We all need to assess what the government does well and what it does poorly. What kind of economy will be sustainable 50 years from now? And how do we expect our country will relate to the rest of the world? At our Quaker peace lobby, we believe these are moral choices about what type of society we want today and what type of country we want for our children tomorrow. Sadly, these kinds of questions are largely missing from discussions in Washington. Instead, the congressional schedule brims with symbolic votes about legislation that won’t ever become law and policy proposals that can’t possibly narrow the federal budget deficit. Threats to shut down the federal government or cap the nation’s borrowing are just the latest of these pointless proposals. Consider the House leadership’s threat to shut down the federal government, ostensibly as a way to focus attention on reducing the size...

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Public Records

Marriage Licenses Issued Eyal Mier Bareli, 44, Overland Park and Tonya Doraine Craighead, 33, Overland Park Robert Martin Bartholow, 63, Overland Park and Catherine Ann Penechar, 52, Shawnee Franklin Robert Behrens, 33, Lenexa and Amanda Lee Armstrong, 30, Lenexa Joseph Daniel Hendrigsman, 37, Horizon, TX and Amy Lynn Demarest, 29, Grandview, MO Brett Douglas Kidd, 26, Prairie Village and Melody Margaret Bower, 24, Overland Park Stephen Douglas Malley, 47, Fairway and Jennyfer Lyan Aycock, 35, Prairie Village Angel Alejandro Molina-Dzib, 25, Overland Park and Shannon Nicole Trosper, 23, Overland Park Christopher Shane Pierson, 38, Olathe and Cortney Marie Bullock, 30, Olathe Scott Howard Strickland, 47, Blue Springs, MO and Patricia Kay Garringer, 45, Prairie Village Marshall Joseph Thompson, 52, Edgerton and Michelle Ann Webster, 51, Edgerton Mark Joseph Turner, 27, Overland Park and Meghan Cathleen Walsh, 22, Overland Park Kyle Bradley Williamson, 20, Bonner Springs and Lauren Katherine Silvey, 21, Bonner Springs Matthew David Young, 28, Camendton, MO and Jessica Lauren Knott, 27, Overland Park Divorces Filed Deborah Dunivan vs. Patrick Dunivan Jennifer Fatajo vs. Abdoulie Fatajo Ryan Patricia Greer vs. Daniel Greer Julie E. Horner vs. Michael J. Horner Sheila Ann Neal vs. Napoleon Neal Deborah L. Hamilton vs. John Palacio Sara E. Schebler vs. Peter J. Schebler Christopher Murei vs. Tionnya Wallace Divorces Finalized Amanda Marzen Parks vs. Justin Matthew Parks Rebecca L. Schroeder vs. Tyson W....

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Public Records

Marriage Licenses Issued Britton Matthew Asbell, 22, Desoto and Sarah Leanne Jokisch, 24, Broken Arrow, OK Joseph Adam Bartlett, 24, Prairie Village and Christina Lynn Fogleman, 23, Olathe Giancarlo Direnzo, 25, Clearview City and Heather Nicole Bandy, 21, Clearview City Richard Duane Holt, 63, Overland Park and Patricia Ann Powers, 60, Overland Park Nicholas James Jones, 19, Camp Pendleton, CA and Cheri-jean Marie Howe, 18, Olathe Nicholas Bryan Lamb, 33, Overland Park and Andrea Kim Yoder, 28, Overland Park Thomas Jeffrey Rothwell, 30, Overland Park and Cynthia Anne Reed, 35, Overland Park Marcel Antwuan Smith, 21, Lenexa and Kristen D’shay Diaz, 18, Lenexa Warren Alexander Smith, 25, Whiteman Afb, MO and Adrienne Leigh Cope, 28, Overland Park Timothy Alan Squires, 25, Olathe and Ashly Ann Wallace, 24, Olathe Zachary Robert Woydziak, 31, Lawrence and Jennifer Ann Scruggs, 26, Overland Park Divorces Filed Jeanine Herman vs. Gabriel Aquilar Jane Whitley Caswell vs. Richard Berry Caswell Roberta Diane Diaz vs. Angelo Diaz, Jr Lisa Anne Dunbar vs. David Earl Dunbar Jeanna Espinosa vs. Mauricio Espinosa Whitney Gerlach vs. Dustin Gerlach Deborah S. Gonzalez vs. Luis Gonzalez Karen L. Hutchison vs. Steven L. Hutchison Michelle Keenan vs. Chad Keenan Dawn Engels vs. Robert Mckim Lori Sue Nicholas vs. Robert Gene Nicholas Angelene Louise Norman vs. Bradley Curtis Norman Christina Helen Steinhibel vs. James Steven Steinhibel Janis Lynn Vock vs. Dennis Duane Vock...

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Mothers of fallen heroes find comfort, keep loved ones’ legacies alive

Mark Taylor [email protected] Debbie Austin has experienced what no mother ever should. Her 19-year-old son, Pvt. Shane Austin, Edgerton, was killed in action on Oct. 8, 2006 while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. But Debbie has found comfort in connecting with other mothers of deceased soldiers through American Gold Star Mothers (AGSM). AGSM is a national organization founded in the early 1900s linking families of fallen heroes, educating the public, and keeping their loved ones’ legacies alive. “Our mission is to help educate communities and schools and raise awareness of veterans past, present and future,” Debbie said. “And serve our veterans past, present and future.” To that end, AGSM is hosting local fund-raisers, including a Patriot Run on Sept. 11 at the Great Mall of the Great Plains and a Reach Across America event on Dec. 10. Money raised will go toward purchasing wreaths for veteran’s cemeteries. Organization members will have information about the fund-raisers at the Patriot Run booth at the Johnson County Fair, Aug. 9-13. “It’s rewarding,” Debbie said of the organization. “When I do the events like the Patriot Run or the Reach Across America, it’s kind of bittersweet emotion. I am part of that (organization) because I lost my child, and we represent lot of families that have lost children. But there is a lot of pride. It is a way to mingle with other...

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Shrine Bowl set for July 30 in Hays

The 38th Annual Kansas Shrine Bowl gets underway July 30 at Fort Hays State University. The game pits the top senior football players from across the state and benefits Shriner Hospitals for Children, which are non-profit pediatric care facilities. Gardner-Edgerton’s Lucas Powell will play his last high school football game as a member of the East...

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Brownback surprises skeptics with new Kansas Board of Regents appointments

Martin Hawver Guest Columnist Every now and again, not often of course, Gov. Sam Brownback surprises us Statehouse habitués. It happened last week when he named three new members to the State Board of Regents. We’d heard Brownback’s relentless mantra of creating jobs, of getting the state’s economy growing again, and well, cutting back on everything possible. The appointees: Former Kansas Republican Party State Chair Fred Logan of Leawood; Robba Moran, Hays, who is married to U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, and former legislator Kenny Wilk, of Lansing, are, of course, Republicans, but moderates. We’re talking Republicans of the ‘90s, the philosophical sort who, for example, would probably have voted for former U.S. Sen. Nancy Landon Kassebaum, who nowadays probably couldn’t make it through a Republican primary election… And that was the surprise. Most observers weren’t sure which way Brownback was going to go with his first appointees to the most prestigious of state panels. Now, that’s not to say that the new regents aren’t going to keep a close eye on the bottom line—Wilk remember, has chaired the House Appropriations and Tax committees, and he’s tight with a dollar…both state general fund dollars and parents’ tuition dollars. Moran specifically mentioned that she wants the regents she’s joining to make sure that the technical colleges are graduating top-flight students with the courses they need to excel in less-than-four-year degree programs...

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‘Kawnivore 100’ challenge runs 94 miles of Kansas River

MANHATTAN — Ever heard of the legendary canoe race on the Kansas River (commonly called the “Kaw”) from Manhattan to Lawrence? Called the “Kawnivore 100,” the race offers a challenge to intrepid river runners, as well as hospitality along the way, a one-quarter moon for light, a fantastic view of the stars, and at the finish line, a barbecue meal, beverages, and prize money. Some paddlers enter the race to compete; others just ride for the challenge, but all paddlers are welcome. The 94-mile race will start at Manhattan’s Linear Park boat ramp on Friday, July 22, at 5:30 p.m. for Heat 1 and at 6 p.m. for Heat 2. Racers may stage their boats at Lanier Park in Manhattan, which will be crowded, or they may go to the less-crowded Fairmont Park on the south side of the Kaw under the Highway 177 bridge. However, the Fairmont access will require a 1-mile paddle down the Kaw to the Blue River and up the Blue to the starting point at Lanier Park, so boaters using this route will need to allow at least an extra hour to reach Linear Park in time for the start. Boaters will line up for the start on the upstream side of the railroad bridge at Linear Park. Life jackets must be worn and lights are required on boats throughout the race. Stops will...

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Cinderella

Gardner Community Theatre’s version of Roger & Hammerstein’s Cinderella showcased local talent during a successful run this month. Submitted photos by Ernie...

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