Category Archives: News

Despite the Coronavirus, Melanie Cox didn’t let Memorial Day go by without saluting the American soldiers

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The days of the Coronavirus pandemic has taken its toll, and Memorial Day has been no exception.

But Melanie Cox, for the 41st straight year, was there to play her silver trumpet at Prarie Lawn Cemetery playing the National Anthem and Taps. The Wellington American Legion #90 Rifling squad was also there to give the gun salute. And in the end those who were in attendance did what they always did – salute the American soldiers, who fought to make us free.

“People who have served our country, have paid the ultimate sacrifice and I can’t imagine not doing the service today,” Cox said. “It isn’t just those who lost their lives on the battlefield, but those who came back with the post-stress disorder.”

The service was abbreviated, without the featured speaker, the boy scouts raising of the flags, and the ringing of the bell to mark every American conflict. Prairie Lawn Cemetery was without the Avenue of the Flags for the first time since its inception.

Crusader Wall of Recognition seeking nominations

The Wellington Crusader Wall of Recognition is seeking nominations for the Crusader Wall of Recognition. The Crusader Wall of Recognition was established to honor a culture and tradition of excellence and high achievement by recognition of outstanding Wellington High School Alumni and contributors.

It also serves to inspire current and future Crusaders to lead their lives in a way that will perpetuate the standards of excellence and high achievement the honorees have set forth. The Crusader Wall of Recognition was implemented in 2012 with a total of 20 inductees to date.

It is easy to submit a nomination. Eligibility Requirements and the Nomination Form are available online here.


JP Buellesfeld is a 1983 Wellington High School graduate and in 2012 was inducted into the Crusader Wall of Recognition. JP received his bachelor’s degree from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas in 1984 at age 19.

City of Wellington Newsletter: May 22, 2020

Sumner Newscow report – The latest Wellington City Newsletter by City Manager Shane Shields can be found here

City of Wellington wants you to complete strategic plan survey online by June 1

Sumner Newscow report — The City of Wellington continues to work with the Public Policy and Management Center at WSU to complete its Strategic Plan.  Due to the ongoing restrictions on public meetings, we are moving the next phase of community engagement online.  Please take a few minutes to take our online survey and provide feedback on the working draft of the plan.

Once we have your input the Steering Committee will refine the plan before its final adoption.

The Strategic Plan Survey link is available on our website:  Just click on the Strategic Plan Survey under the News & Announcements section.  We encourage your participation and feedback, which is crucial to the success of this project.   The deadline to participate in the survey is noon on Monday, June 1. 

Sunday blog: Wellington needs to change its narrative

by James Jordan, Sumner Newscow — They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. For years, I have heard doom and gloom about Wellington, and as the saying goes, nothing much has changed. The complaints have not changed much either.

James Jordan

If you want change to happen you have to do something different. You can talk about the good old days all you want, but they are not coming back, and they may not have really been all that good. You can also gripe and moan about problems, but that has never solved anything either.

Wellington is not unique in its struggles. There are a lot of small towns in rural America with the same issues – health care, housing, employment – and they are usually the big issues. Wellington is not the most vibrant small rural town I have seen, but it is also far from the worst.

The city is working on a strategic plan and is seeking public input. One of the goals of the plan is to “change the narrative” about the city. You can access the survey and get more on the strategic plan here.

El Chile Verde has new hours

Updated: Wellington Churches are re-opening, here is the latest

By Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — As the economy slowly reopens during the Coronavirus pandemic shutdown, so go the churches. Here are what Wellington churches are doing as of May 23. If your church is not included on this list, send us information at or in the comment section below. 

First Christian Church

Worship in the sanctuary will resume on Sunday, June 7 according to pastor James Byer.

The first service begins at 9 a.m. to 9:45 p.m. The second service will follow from 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. There will be two services for June 7, 14, and 21. There will be no Sunday Schools but there will be a nursery during the service.

There are plenty of details on how the service will be conducted. Click here for more details about the service.

Church Ignited 

Church Ignited will not resume services until June 7.  Church officials have started a small group Bible study on Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. this week at the church.

Attendees are requested to wear a face mask and maintain appropriate social distance.  Additionally, Church Ignited is holding an ongoing Zoom Bible study at 7 p.m. on Wednesday evenings.  Contact Pastor Skinner for an invitation to the Zoom Bible study if people are interested.  Both studies are covering the same material.  Weekly message can be seen on Facebook at Church Ignited Kansas every Sunday after 9:30 a.m.  The pastor can be reached at

When Church Ignited services resume, people will be expected to wear face masks and appropriate social distancing as required by the state.

“Our church is not closed,” said Wendell Skinner, Church Ignited pastor. “Only the building.  We are just trying to be good neighbors.

St. John’s Lutheran Church

CultureCow: Without Arts and Humanities, a college is no longer a place of higher learning

By Devin McCue, Sumner Newscow —  Happy Friday. Over the past week, I had a sister graduate from college and within the next few months, I’ll have another sibling start his collegiate experience which calls for a time to reflect.  I earned my Bachelor’s degree in 2017 with a double-major in history and art history and the following year a Master’s degree in management, which means I got to see both sides of a decades-old ridiculous fight: the fight over what college is supposed to be “for.”

In undergrad, I heard over and over, “what are you going to do with that degree” and the answer I always had was “whatever I want.”  Because while a business degree ensures you can get any lower-tier job you want at a franchise somewhere, humanities degrees teach you much more valuable skills.

The reason I bring it up now is that schools like Missouri Western State University are taking hatchets to their budgets and the first thing to hit the cutting room floor was their entire humanities departments.  They cut 30 percent of their faculty, including the entire history, political science, sociology, economics, and music departments.  On the heels of that, Liberty University announced this week that they would no longer be offering philosophy as a major. 

Drury Park given new life, will re-open Saturday

Drury Dam

by Amber Countryman, Sumner Newscow —  Drury Park has been given new life, thanks to the new owner, Rick Conner. In 2018, Conner purchased the park and other lands in Drury, Kan.

Since that time, he has been working on updating the park. The outhouse has a new cement slab under it, new vent, and new door. The old metal rules sign and cofferdam once used to work on the dam, will be repurposed for a visitor center. Conner has also done a lot of dirt work in the park.

“The water standing in the park was almost like quicksand before we started the work,” Conner said.

A soft opening is planned this Saturday, May 23. Admission to fish will be free, but you must possess a Kansas state fishing license, and a waiver must be signed. Per the governor’s orders, due to COVID-19, campsites will not be open just yet.

2020 Kansas Wheat Festival has been cancelled

Submitted to Sumner Newscow — The following is a press release by Wellington Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Valerie Earl. 


“The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has affected us all and changed how we approach everyday life. The Wellington Area Chamber of Commerce/CVB regrets to announce the cancellation of the Kansas Wheat Festival for 2020. This decision was not entered into lightly but was deemed necessary in the interest of the safety of our community, staff and volunteers. The Board of directors and staff feel it is the right decision.

Factors discussed included:
-Recommendations on mass gatherings from the CDC and local health officials.

-Significant expenses that can not be recovered if the event does not take place

-Difficulty obtaining necessary infrastructure and supplies including public restrooms, etc.

Moving forward, the Chamber will explore different opportunities to celebrate during the normal Wheat Festival week with virtual, and smaller-scale events that comply with crowd restrictions. We will also explore how we can expand the Fall Festival to include some of the elements from the Wheat Festival.

Sumner County Court Docket: May 22 report

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The following are a list of criminal court complaints recently filed by the Sumner County Attorney’s office.

These are formal charges introduced into the Sumner County District Court system. The suspects listed in the complaint have not been tried by a judge or jury unless specified otherwise. All citizens are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.


Wellington Health and Rehab building at 1600 W. 8th St. is available as a tornado/storm shelter

Click to enlarge.

Sumner Newscow report — The Wellington Health and Rehabilitation located at 1600 W. 8th Street is once again available to the public as a tornado/storm shelter.  Marla Nispel, the administrator for the facility, informed the City that the building is open for use as a shelter.  The public should enter through the back or west door as in the past.  The conference room and women’s bathroom are available for visitors.  As before, pets in carriers are allowed. 

Wellington Council tells WRC to reopen pool on June 15

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The Wellington City Council gave the go-ahead to open the pool on June 15 at this week’s meeting at the council chambers.

As the state slowly reopens so is the council. This marked the first meeting in which all the council members were present in the same room since the pandemic hit in March. The members were lined up in two rows of tables six feet apart with City Manager Shane Shield and City Clerk Carol Mericle sitting at their customary side tables. No one else was allowed in the room.

After considerable discussion, the council decided by unanimous consent that the pool will reopen Monday, June 15 with social distancing guidelines. The council did not provide any specific directives leaving those details up to the Wellington Recreation Commission, which operates the pool during the summer.

Freewill Baptist Church giveaway helped over 100 families, next one is May 30

by Amber Countryman, Sumner Newscow — God works in mysterious ways, and sometimes he works through people. Annie Scott, a member of the Free Will Baptist Church, felt led by God to help people in the community during the COVID-19 health pandemic. Last Saturday, the church hosted a giveaway of clothing, toys, food, etc. and helped over 100 local families.

“I figured this would be a good time to bless people,” Scott said.

Another giveaway event will be held on Saturday, May 30 at the Free Will Baptist Church in Wellington.

“Just today, we received a donation of 1,500 brand new adult clothing items,” Scott said.

Kansas Star Casino to re-open to the public on Saturday at 11 a.m.

Sumner Newscow report — Kansas Star Casino Hotel Event Center today announced it will re-open to the public on Saturday, May 23, at 11 a.m. Central Time, subject to state and local regulatory approval.

Casino gaming will be temporarily limited to slot machines only, with table games and live poker remaining closed during the initial reopening phase.

“As we reopen our doors, the health and safety of our customers, our team members and the community will be our highest priority,” said Jeff Babinski, Vice President and General Manager of Kansas Star. “Throughout our property, we will implement comprehensive safety protocols approved by local, state and federal health officials. We are excited for the opportunity to reopen Kansas Star, and we look forward to offering our customers an enjoyable – and safe – entertainment experience.”

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The social distancing question in late May question






Are you social distancing as much as you were a month ago?

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Get ‘The Works’ at Raber Ford

City of Wellington outlines Good Faith Agreement option for delinquent utility accounts

Sumner Newscow report — The following is a press release issued through the City of Wellington regarding good faith payment agreements for delinquent utility accounts:


“The Executive Order issued by Governor Kelly on March 17, 2020, temporarily prohibiting utility and Internet disconnects has been extended through May 31, 2020. The order temporarily suspends the practice of disconnecting service for non-payment. The order covers all electrical, natural gas, water, and telecommunications utilities as well as Internet service providers who provide services to Kansas citizens.

The City had previously determined that the suspension of disconnecting service for non-payment would be extended through May 31, 2020. The City has also suspended late payment penalty fees since March 17 and will continue to do so through August 31, 2020.

Kelle Tire is open for business with pickup and drop off auto services

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Wellington School District announces Class of 2020 Cum Laude honorees

Sumner Newscow report — The Wellington School District announced its Cum Laude honorees for 2020. Six Wellington seniors were named as the top honorees of Summa Cum Laude. Four Wellington seniors were named Magna Cum Laude, and four Wellington seniors were named Cum Laude.

Summa Cum Laude winners – GPA 3.5 or better, ACT 29 or better, KS Scholar Curriculum Completers, 3 or more AP Classes: Tyler Brown, Austin Fink, Karsten Gill, Brody Groom, Mason Lough and Caleb Starnes.

Tyler Brown

Austin Fink

Karsten Gill

Brody Groom

Mason Lough

Caleb Starns

Magna Cum Laude winners – GPA 3.5 or better, ACT 26 or better, KS Scholar Curriculum Completers, 2 or more AP Classes: Rowan Catlett, Austin Harriger, John Long, and Quinn McCue.

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