Daily Archives: July 23, 2020

Wellington Superintendent Hatfield said school officials are currently working on reopening plan, no decision yet

Sumner Newscow report — The following is an open letter by Wellington Superintendent Adam Hatfield concerning the upcoming fall:

Dear USD 353 and Wellington Community,

Adam Hatfield

There have been many changes over the last few days regarding the reopening of schools. I know this has prompted many questions. As most of you are aware, Governor Kelly signed two Executive Orders, 20-58 and 20-59. Executive Order 20-58 mandated that school openings be delayed until after Labor Day. Executive Order 20-59 mandated that all students and staff wear masks, sanitize/wash hands hourly, and have temperature checks daily before entering the school. The detailed Executive Orders can be found ​here. The State Board of Education had to approve Executive Order 20-58. They voted on Wednesday and it was a 5-5 vote. This means the Executive Order was not affirmed. ​The decision is now in the hands of local school officials on when to start schools.

Here are the next steps for USD 353:

After lengthy hour-long debate with medical doctors, Wellington Council defeats mask mandate proposal for 2nd time (full story)

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — For the second consecutive time the Wellington City Council failed to pass an ordinance requiring the wearing of masks for the next month. It wasn’t due to a lack of trying by many of the local Wellington doctors.

By a 4-2 vote, Wellington council rejected a mask mandate proposal. Robert Hamilton, Kevin Dodds, Mike Westmoreland and Guy Leitch voted against the proposal. Joe Soria and Jennifer Heersche voted for a mask mandate. The hope for the mask proponents was to get a two-vote swing from a previous Sunday, July 12 vote (see story here) when an almost identical ordinance proposal was brought up the first time. That time the council failed to get a motion made by Soria due to a lack of a second.

Heersche changed her mind between the first vote and the second (see story here), but the other four stayed firm on not passing the mandate. Had they had one more vote, it would have been a 3-3 tie and it would have gone to Mayor Jim Valentine, who would have voted yes. Had it passed, the ordinance would have required people within the Wellington city limits to wear a mask in places where 6-foot distancing is impossible to maintain. All businesses, organizations and non-profit associations in the city would have also required employees, customers, visitors of the public to wear masks.

The ordinance would have lasted until August 18, 2020. The difference between the first ordinance and the second was the court costs were eliminated. 

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The delaying of school until after Labor Day question







Do you support the delay of school until after Labor Day?

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Wellington Police Notes: Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Wellington Police notes: Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Walter Edward Taylor III, 21, Wellington arrested with second-degree murder in U.S. 160 shooting case

Sumner Newscow report —  Walter Edward Taylor III, 21, of Wellington was arrested with second degree murder in a case related to a shooting on U.S. 160 yesterday.

Taylor was booked in Sumner County jail and has been held without bond. He was arrested at 1:41 p.m. and was booked in the county jail at 5:27 p.m.

The WPD had two suspects in custody after a shooting that occurred near a bridge at the 800 block of E. 16th near the Dollar General Store around 1:30 p.m. yesterday.

According to Wellington Police Chief Tracy Heath, two vehicles were going westbound. One was a maroon-colored passenger car and a second one was a Ford Ranger pickup truck when someone shot at the pickup, hitting the victim in the upper chest. A handgun was used in the incident, Heath said.

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