Author: Gardner News

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...

Read More

‘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...

Read More

Cinderella

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

Read More

Schrack named new Blazer baseball coach

Corey Schrack was recently selected as the new Blazer baseball head coach. He replaces Tiny Van Rheen who has been head of the program since 1994. Schrack has coached at the high school and collegiate levels and recently worked in the Olathe school...

Read More

Junior Broncos win MAYB basketball title

Winning five of seven games, the Spring Hill eighth-grade boys basketball squad recently captured first place in the Mid America Youth Basketball Tournament in Wichita. The team won the C bracket title. Sixty-four teams from 10 states competed in the tourney. “The championship completed a very successful first tournament,” said coach Duane Hodge. “I was real proud of the effort.” In C bracket play, Spring Hill won four straight games. First round action saw the Broncos defeat Little River 42-17 behind Tyus Heinrich’s nine points. Round two found Spring Hill winning by a lopsided 51-17 score versus Olpe. Danny Hodge had 20 points. In semi-final action, Spring Hill defeated Emporia 37-27 behind the eight points of Nick Reynolds. In the title game, Spring Hill won a re-match with Nebraska. Zach Mayhan led the way with 11 points and seven rebounds. “Mayhan’s key 12-footer late in the game secured the win,” Hodge added. Heinrich added seven points; Reynolds, four; Charles Elam, four; Conner Eckert, four; Michael Londene, four; Hodge, three; and Christian Esparza,...

Read More

Reaching new heights

Natalie Mitchell of the Gardner Track Club recently took third place at the Olathe Express Invitational. Mitchell is one of several tracksters improving their skills in area meets this...

Read More

WWII history comes alive at CAF Air Expo

Mark Taylor [email protected] New Century AirCenter was teeming with history during last weekend’s Commemorative Air Force Heart of America Wing Air Expo. Hundreds of visitors strolled the north end of the airfield where dozens of vintage WWII aircraft were on display, including “FIFI,” the only flyable B-29 Superfortress in existence. Also in attendance were several WWII veterans who visited with attendees, signed autographs and shared their experiences. Ray Everhart, originally from North Carolina and now a resident of Overland Park, served his country as a pilot in WWII, Korea, Bay of Pigs and other campaigns. He said he was pleased to see the number of people that turned out for the event which also included a big band concert. “I think it’s great,” he said of the gathering. Everhart said he primarily piloted C-54s but also spent time flying B-29s and other aircraft. Everhart’s daughter, Sheila Everhart Yaeger, said her father – who was close friends with astronaut Gus Grissom and who witnessed pilot Chuck Yeager breaking the speed of sound in 1947 – was once shot down over Sicily during WWII after dropping a cargo full of troops. Everhart was hiding in a barn with other pilots and soldiers who had been caught behind enemy lines when a German tank came through and blew up every building except the one they were hiding in. The next day British...

Read More

Public Records

Marriage Licenses Issued Darin Edward Allen, 29, Lenexa and Kay Lynn Peterson, 25, Lenexa Adam Elvir Bennett, 28, Overland Park and Holly Christine Pantelleria, 28, Overland Park Shawn Curtis Carter, 32, Gardner and Michelle Ann Rice, 35, Gardner Benjamin Bradley Cronk, 36, Overland Park and Kelli Alexis Kalberer, 36, Overland Park Nathan Paul Gilmore, 24, Overland Park and Kelsi Noel Powell, 23, Overland Park Victor Jeremy Gray, 24, Overland Park and Courtney Rose Biller, 26, Overland Park Rogelio Horta, 47, Overland Park and Marina Guadalupe Toledo, 48, Overland Park Aaron Joseph Kelly, 25, Olathe and Karina Stacy Jimenez, 22, Shawnee Peter Waiyaki Kinyanjui, 36, Overland Park and Caroline Njoki Mathu, 33, Overland Park Kurt Allen Lippisch, 45, Olathe and Bettina Susanne Lindner, 36, Olathe Ryan Alan Livezey, 27, Olathe and Candice Jean Stalhut, 25, Olathe Brett Richard Marsteller, 27, Lansing, MI and Jacquelin Danelle Brown, 25, Lansing, MI Jackson John Miller, 30, Overland Park and Erica Allyn Stief, 26, Overland Park Gabino Ortega Garcia, 0, Olathe and Luciana Vazquez, 29, Olathe Matthew Pete Parrish, 26, Gardner and Michelle Mae Berberick, 25, Gardner Nathan Kyle Rogg, 22, Wichita and Elizabeth Jean Erickson, 22, Wichita Conor Jeffrey Walline, 25, Valhalla, NY and Maria Christina Waters, 25, Valhalla, NY Andrew Leroy Ward, 45, Overland Park and Pamela Marie Crawford, 41, Overland Park Divorces Filed Teresa Marie Hughes vs. Randal Lee Hughes Victoria...

Read More

Starling picked 1st team All-USA

Gardner-Edgerton’s Bubba Starling was recently selected First Team All-USA by USA Today. Jim Halley of USA Today cited Starling’s .481 batting average and averaging a home run per every six at bats among reasons for Starling’s selection. Starling became the highest draft pick in Kansas City area history when the hometown Royals selected him No. 5 on June 6. Starling, who signed with Nebraska for football and baseball, has yet to sign with the Royals and reported to the Cornhusker training camp on July...

Read More

OUR VIEW: Budget deviates from DirectionFinder Survey results

At a cost to taxpayers of $25,000, the 2011 City of Gardner DirectionFinder Survey raises some interesting questions. Touted by city officials as being a necessary guide for Gardner’s future, we’re confused when we compare it to the city’s proposed budget. Traffic flow, street maintenance and utility costs are consistently mentioned as concerns. At 58 percent, traffic flow ranked as the highest concern of respondents, city street maintenance second and city utilities was third; although those statistics all lag behind the number one selection of the top three items: the number one response in some categories was “none chosen” at 20-30 percent. Those responses were excluded from final statistical data. Satisfaction with the city’s swimming pool, golf course and the recreation fees charged decreased between 2009 and 2011, with a significant 10 percent drop of satisfaction with utility rates. Yet the council’s proposed budget calls for utility increases over the next three years and little funding is available for street projects. The proposed budget appears prioritized towards staff and municipal awards: for example continued tree planting to earn Tree City certification and parking lot repair. Although we love trees, we’re curious if some of those funds wouldn’t be better spent towards snow removal or street repair. And while we believe in continuing education, if you removed all the conferences, workshops and association dues, the council might be able to...

Read More

Closed door session includes $61,000 salary impact to budget

Danedri Thompson [email protected] The salaries of public employees should never be discussed behind closed doors, according to Mike Merriam an attorney who consults on Kansas Open Meetings Act and Kansas Open Records Act issues for the Kansas Press Association. Yet, that has transpired on at least two occasions during the last few weeks, according to council member Larry Fotovich. “Salary issues can not be discussed in executive session,” Merriam said. “Here’s the general rule of thumb that applies in every issue: policy can not be discussed in executive session. If it’s a policy issue, it has to be discussed in a public session. Fiscal matters, salaries, anything that relates to the budget, that’s all policy.” At a council meeting July 14, Fotovich objected to having a private discussions. “The discussion of overall salary structure is not an issue for executive session and should be discussed in the open session,” Fotovich said during the meeting. The other four members of the council agreed to meet in executive sessions that lasted more than three hours — citing an exemption of KOMA to discuss non-elected personnel. Although he objected to holding the meeting in private, Fotovich did take part in the closed-door debate. During the closed-session meeting, Fotovich said council members discussed an ordinance that would raise the salary ranges for a number of positions in which the current salary is at...

Read More

Public Records

Marriage Licenses Issued Jarrett Nathaniel Bauerle, 24, Overland Park and Ashli Marta Kuntz, 24, Overland Park Michael Scott Fitzpatrick, 39, S.sioux City, NE and Heather Leigh Hayes, 34, S.sioux City, NE Timothy James Gillies, 54, Olathe and Cynthia Diane Walton, 52, Olathe Vinson Scott Goddard, 37, Phoenix, AZ and Kyra Mann Johnson, 28, Phoenix, AZ Michael Phillip Gripka, 28, Overland Park and Carissa Kay Venable, 26, Overland Park Dallas Dewayne Gutschenritter, 28, Kansas City and Jade Lauren Dailey, 24, Kansas City Edward Byron Hayes, 69, Olathe and Patricia Jean Allender, 63, Overland Park Robert Wayne Hedrick, 36, Overland Park and Geri Leyh Rounds, 38, Overland Park Robert Edward Howell, 42, Olathe and Kathryn Lefaivre Marie Gill, 31, Olathe Patrick David Jones, 24, Manhattan and Allison Marie Hastings, 23, Prairie Village Jonathan David Mercer, 35, Olathe and Rhonda Elaine Fry, 36, Olathe John Mark Molstad, 28, Hays and Jessica Mary Kirn, 27, Shawnee Antonio Moreno, 35, Shawnee and Erica Rachelle Flores, 23, Shawnee Steven Mark Philhour, 34, Overland Park and Casey Lauren Ostling, 20, Overland Park Carlos Humberto Porta, 25, Wichita Falls, TX and Tiffany Nicole Gholston, 28, Olathe Cody Craig Schraad, 18, Overland Park and Jessica Elizabeth Parisot, 19, Overland Park John Collin Thomas, 28, Olathe and Ashley Lynn Peters, 27, Olathe Robert Charles Voigts, 24, Gardner and Tisha Nicole Trusty, 27, Gardner Eric John Wendling, 32, Olathe and...

Read More

Johnson County Fair Parade

The Gardner Area Chamber of Commerce is facilitating the parade on Saturday, August 13, 2011. If you want to be a participant instead of a spectator, YOU can. Dress up your dog, decorate your bike, ride your horse, drive your car- tractor- truck, use your imagination. Businesses, clubs, or individuals are welcome and encouraged to join in the family fun. Applications are available on-line at http://www.jocokansasfair.com/Parade.htm or by calling the Chamber of Commerce office (913) 856-6464. The 2011 theme is Kick up your heels: Celebrate KS 150th...

Read More

1 act of community service can spark thousands more

Don’t tell Lisa Sellman that one person can’t make a difference. She knows better. Sellman, a community activist and lifelong volunteer, recently learned how one act of kindness can set off a chain reaction that can span the globe. “It just started out with me asking a regional pet food company for a donation of dog food for Red Lake Rosie’s in Minnesota,” said Sellman, a professional dog trainer and owner of a pet care business. “I called Solid Gold Northland, and one of the marketing managers there advised me that they were trying to increase the number of people who ‘liked’ them on Facebook, and that if I could get 40 new Facebook members to click on their ‘like’ button, they’d give me $200 worth of pet food.” So Sellman, who currently volunteers for six different community groups, sent a message out to all her Facebook friends inviting them to Solid Gold Northland’s fan page on Facebook. Somehow, the invite made it to the Facebook page of The Patrick Miracle, a page devoted to the story of a 2-year-old pit bull found by a janitor in a dumpster. Their Facebook page has charted over 109,000 “like” clicks from users. When the founders of the page posted Sellman’s invite, Solid Gold Northland received more than 2,000 new fans from all over the world in the course of about 48...

Read More

The verdict is in: Mothers do not kill their children

Jill Pertler Guest Columnist So, now what? The trial that dominated national headlines, office gossip and many a person’s brain time for months has reached its conclusion. The verdict was read over a week ago. The dust has settled, or at least it’s settling. Casey Anthony is free to move on with her life. Why can’t I? The reason is obvious. I’m a mother. There are some things a mother can’t put aside. A lost child is one of them. When you become a mother (or a parent for that matter) all children become your children. One lost is one too many. Caylee Marie Anthony has been lost, and it seems we will never officially know what happened or who hurt her. For a mother, that is gut-wrenching. Even though I tried not to pay attention, I watched the courtroom drama unfold. It drew me in and now the verdict won’t let go. I’d turn it off in my head if I could, but I can’t. Parenthood doesn’t come equipped with a mute button. First, my own confession: as a mother I mess up every day. I am not always patient: “Time for bed. Now.” I raise my voice, “Put the fish back inside the aquarium!” I ignore the food groups, “Waffles for supper?” I stifle their athleticism and creativity, “Stop wrestling in the living room and quit squirting glue in your brother’s shoes.” Because of...

Read More

Kansas lottery income streams will change, says new director

Gene Meyer KansasReporter TOPEKA, Kan. – Kansas lottery and gaming revenues, of which the state’s share rose 5 percent to $103.8 million in 2011, likely will go through some major changes in the next 12 months, the new Kansas Lottery Commission executive director said Wednesday. Lottery Commission executives currently project that the state’s share of gambling revenues a year from now will be in the same ballpark as now, but that the sources of the funds will change significantly, newly appointed executive director Dennis Wilson told Lottery commissioners at their July meeting. New revenues from the state’s Hollywood casino in Kansas City, expected to open in February, and the new Kansas Star casino opening soon after that near Mulvane are projected to replace a one-time $25 million payment that Kansas Star developers made in 2011 to bid for a state casino license. “The job of this commission and the lottery will be changing when all those casinos come on line,” Wilson said. Meantime, traditional lottery ticket sales, which generate about two-thirds of the gambling proceeds Kansas receives from Lottery operations slumped slightly in 2011 and remain plateaued below their pre-recession peak in 2007. Even with a 1.3 percent decline in total lottery ticket sales to $232.4 million during 2011, lottery officials were able to increase the state’s share of that money to $70 million, up $1 million from a year...

Read More

Database helps police find missing elderly man

Mark Taylor [email protected] A 77-year-old Gardner man who had wandered away from home last week was found safe and sound by police about 10 minutes after he was reported missing. Authorities credit their quick work to Take Me Home, a new database program by the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office intended to help police find persons who have difficulty communicating because of  developmental or cognitive disabilities. The program is specifically aimed at helping locate persons with autism, Down syndrome, dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. It includes a database available to law enforcement that includes a person’s disability information, photograph, physical description, and family contact information. Ilena Spalding, public information officer for the Gardner Police Department, said Willard Ruch was reported missing by his wife June just after 4 p.m. on July 7. He had been missing for about an hour when his wife called police. Within minutes, using information from the Take Me Home database, police found Ruch uninjured and within blocks of his home in the  600 block of North Mulberry Street. “He was in good condition,” Spalding said. Spalding said Ruch’s wife enrolled him in the Take Me Home program after he had wandered away from home on a previous occasion. “This program is fairly new,” Spalding said. “At least we found out about it earlier this year. We have referred some people to the program. Anybody who has...

Read More

Jo Co to dedicate Youth, Family Services Center

OLATHE — Johnson County’s new Youth and Family Services Center is ready to open in west Olathe as a beacon of hope for juvenile offenders to get back on the path to making positive choices. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held July 13 at the project site located near the intersection of North Marion and West Spruce streets, and north of the Johnson County Juvenile Detention Center. Featured speakers at the public ceremony  included: • David Lindstrom, vice Chairman of the Johnson County Board of Commissioners; • Betsy Gillespie, director of the Department of Corrections; • Joe Waters, director of the Facilities Department; • Dirk Schafer of JE Dunn Construction Company, Kansas City, Mo., construction manager of  the project; and, • Dan Rowe of Treanor Architects P.A., Topeka, designer of the new facility. County Manager Hannes Zacharias served as emcee for the event. “It’s more than bricks and mortar.” Chairman Ed Eilert said. “It’s about helping troubled kids to become productive members of our community.” Construction of the Youth and Family Services Center began in September...

Read More

Permanent memorial for skywalk tragedy long overdue

Corbin H. Crable [email protected] Thirty years is too long to wait for a permanent memorial to those who died in the Hyatt Hotel skywalk collapse. But this weekend’s planned activities to mark the disaster certainly are a start in the long, arduous healing process. Kansas Citians – and engineering students as well – are familiar with the tragedy that occurred during a tea dance at the hotel on July 17, 1981. Two walkways suspended high above the hotel’s atrium  came crashing down on hundreds of partygoers that night. It took crews and volunteers nearly 10 hours to sort through the rubble and pull out the injured, whose numbers exceeded 200, as well as the 114 who died. The incident remains one of the worst hotel disasters in U.S. history. Eventually, a team of investigative journalists from The Kansas City Star discovered that the accident was completely preventable, a case of an engineering firm that rubber-stamped last-minute changes to the walkways’ installation that proved to be a proverbial recipe for disaster. Now, after decades of attempts to heal both physical and emotional wounds for the survivors and responders, a memorial service will take place this weekend, on the 30th anniversary of the tragedy. This service, an acknowledgement that hopefully will give way to a permanent memorial, is obviously needed to offer some type of closure to those whose wounds have...

Read More

Kansas Board of Ed seeks $525 million to fund new programs

Gene Meyer KansasReporter TOPEKA, Kan. – Kansas State Board of Education members voted Tuesday to ask state legislators for at least $525 million in additonal money to help fund 10 state-required education programs to levels specified in state statutes. The move, which followed rejection of a motion to only request a more modest $67 million increase to keep up with inflation, also freezes or eliminates funding for eight other popular state programs that state law doesn’t specifically require. Board member Walt Chappell of Wichita predicted the approximately $1.4 billion request, which next will be forwarded to Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback for inclusion in his 2013 budget proposal, “will be dead on arrival.” “There is no way the (Kansas) Legislature will pass this bill,” said Chappell, who voted against both measures because he said they were out of line with fiscal reality in the state. Board member Sue Storm of Overland Park, who voted for the larger request but against the smaller one, also agreed that the request seemed largely symbolic because legislators currently are more focused on cutting state government costs rather than increasing them. Legislators have for at least three years been cutting education spending to below statutorially set targets to help balance state budgets as recession ravaged tax revenues have fallen. “But I believe that our role is to be advocates for the children of the state,”...

Read More

Weather Forecast

76° F
Partly Cloudy
Partly Cloudy

Archives

Categories