Category Archives: Featured

Sunday feature: Where are those #@$& officials?!

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — We love to boo the officials. They wear those funny black and white shirts and they always make calls for the other team… so we think. When we win, we win. When we lose, it’s always the officials’ fault.

But as much as we love to hate them, the officials are taken for granted for always being there in hopes of implementing an orderly game.

That may be changing. The Kansas State High School Activities Association is facing a crisis that not only is affecting football, but basketball, girls softball and baseball. The state can’t find enough officials to call the games.

Longtime football official Mike Wilmoth was at a Crusader Club meeting the other day, and hammered this point home.

“I was officiating the other night, and I was the second youngest ref on the five-man crew,” said Wilmoth, who is now 60-years-old.

Rains: VNA has met all the requirements for accepting the planning/zoning request

by Cletas Rains, letter to the editor — I would like to respond to Mr. Hisken’s letter to the editor concerning the proposed Verbio North America plant.  First, I understand the concerns raised by the folks who do not want the plant located in their area.  Most of these people are members of ours at Sumner-Cowley Electric Cooperative and I can sympathize with their perspective of “not in my backyard” position concerning the location.  However, that is not a legitimate reason for denying the permit and zoning change requested.  The developers of this project have met all the requirements set forth by regulation and the requirements of Sumner County, the State of Kansas, and the federal standards.

Mr. Hisken poses several questions about VNA and the financial aspects of the project.  First, he asks what benefit would this operation bring to Sumner County?  Even with a property tax abatement, which is given to nearly every new business, there is the potential of a significant financial gain by the operation of this facility.  If he is addressing tax subsidies, I would note there are a number of tax subsidies being enjoyed by quite a few in Sumner County today.

Beehive Creative Toys and Quilt Shop holds ribbon cutting and grand opening this weekend

The Beehive ribbon cutting was held Friday afternoon. (Click on photo for larger version)

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow —  Rarely has there been a ribbon cutting in downtown Wellington that has had so much fanfare as of late. Beehive Quilt Shop and Bee Creative Toys ribbon cutting held a ribbon cutting yesterday afternoon. Today, the business will be having their grand opening celebration until 4 p.m. If you missed the grand opening, don’t worry, there is plenty of opportunity to come by and see what’s happening at 112 n. Washington.

The ribbon cutting and grand opening culminates two years of work for a business that carries on the tradition of a building that once was the home of Gambrill’s Department Store and J.C.’s Penney.

While the store has been open for almost a year, the grand opening was delayed until now.

“We wanted to wait until we got the exterior signage, which is kind of the crown jewel of the store,” said Annarose White, the co-owner of the store. “We have been working closely with the Historical Society in making sure the signs are authentic.”

It’s Friday… What is the new CultureCow, Alex?

Commentary by Devin McCue, Sumner Newscow — Let’s start talking this weekend by talking about a fantastic development of joining two great American institutions: Streaming services like Netflix and Hulu and traditional game shows.  Both streaming services have become the go-to place for original content and the movies we all know and love, but they’ve been lacking in one crucial area: game shows.

Game shows are a great American tradition where anyone can go up on stage and try their absolute hardest to win fame in fortune, albeit for the vast majority, the opposite is ever more likely.  But that all changed last week when Netflix finally pulled the trigger and bought the rights to the very best gameshow of all time: Jeopardy!

Jeopardy is the ultimate test of trivia knowledge and the equivalent of the Olympics for nerds.  The only thing better than an episode of Jeopardy is an episode of Jeopardy where they make Alex Trebek (the host) read rap lyrics in one of their music categories. 

Bohemian Rhapsody playing at the Wellington Regent this weekend

Times: Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 2 and 7 p.m.

Catch the CultureCow review here. (He thinks Queen is the best rock band ever).

Redesign curriculum is getting the support of the Wellington school board

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow – Three Wellington parents came to the school board meeting to express their displeasure with the new Redesign curriculum using Summit software. But the majority of the Wellington school board appear to be pleased with the ongoing process.

Redesign is a new curriculum introduced this semester for freshman, sophomore and Kennedy Elementary students that emphasizes individual paced learning of the four core subjects of English, math, science and social students.

At Monday’s meeting, Kevin Dodds, a Wellington city councilman and parent, along with Charles Garver and Chris Smalley expressed their concerns with the new curriculum.

“I don’t like it one bit,” Dodds said. “My son has been in tears because of the program. He doesn’t want to go to school.”

VFW and Wellington Food Bank to hold Thanksgiving dinners

by Amber Countryman, Sumner Newscow — Many people don’t have a place to go to eat Thanksgiving dinner. In Wellington, the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post and Wellington Food Bank both offer a free holiday meal that is open to the public.

The annual VFW meal will be held this coming Sunday, Nov. 18 at 1 p.m. at the VFW Hall. The meal is free and open to the public and you don’t have to be a member of the post to partake in the meal. Those attending are more than welcome to bring a side dish or dessert.

They will be serving turkey, dressing, and all of the “fixins”. The meal is first come, first served, and will begin after the opening ceremonies and prayer.

The Wellington Food Bank’s annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner will be held on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22, at the Knights of Columbus Hall, promptly at noon. The meal is free and open to the public, but donations are accepted and appreciated. Anyone can attend the free dinner.

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The Bill Snyder stepping down question







Do you feel K-State football coach Bill Snyder's needs to be replaced?

  • Yes. All good things come to an end. (54%, 188 Votes)
  • No. He is a legend and should stay as long as he likes. (25%, 86 Votes)
  • Who cares? (17%, 59 Votes)
  • I'm a K-State hater. Whatever happens, hopefully the Cats do the wrong thing. (3%, 12 Votes)

Total Voters: 345

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Sumner County election breakdown: Precincts voting habits change little from election to election

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The Sumner County Clerk’s office released the official general election tallies for each precinct today. And when analyzing the data: little changed as far as how voters voted from 2018 to 2016 or 2014.

We have two versions on the precinct voting. Click here for the Excel version (must have Microsoft Word to view it)  11-6-2018 GENERAL Election Abstract Click here for a direct larger version of the tallies.

Sumner County voters are pretty consistent in their voting habits. The Republicans continue to hold a grip on the county, but the degree of its grip varies precinct to precinct. If you are a Democrat, Wellington seems to be your only salvation. And the county tends to vote more Republican the more rural you get. And if you are in Conway Springs, Democrats might just want to forget it. 

WHS band instructor Ben Olson has been placed on leave

Sumner Newscow report — Wellington High School band instructor Ben Olson has been placed on leave, the USD 353 administrative office has confirmed.

Wellington Chief of Police Tracy Heath has confirmed that the WPD is currently investigating an incident involving Olson. No details concerning the nature of the incident was provided by either USD 353 or the WPD.

Former Wellington band instructor David Brody has been named as an interim band instructor at this time. Wellington Superintendent Mark Whitener would not confirm whether this is temporary or a more permanent status for Brody. 

Conway Springs Daniel Becker and Zach Mercer named Big Cheese Athletes of the Week

Daniel Becker – Conway Springs.

Zach Mercer – Conway Springs.

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Conway Springs seniors Daniel Becker, a 6-3, 250 pound, offensive/defensive lineman and Zach Mercer, a 5-10, 165 pound free safety and running back have been named Big Cheese Athletes of the Week. They helped the Cardinals to a 10-1 record, losing the final game in a heart breaking sectional playoff game, 25-24 to top ranked Phillipsburg.

Becker, who was also named the Central Plains League defensive Most Valuable Player, had a team high 17 tackles for losses, five sacks for 52 yards, and 90 tackles throughout the season.

“He is very athletic, while pulling and leading the way for the team that rushed for 3,705 yards and adding another 500 passing yards,” said Matt Biehler, Conway Springs head football coach. On Friday, Becker had 6.5 tackles against Phillipsburg.

Mercer, who was a first team all-CTL free safety and second team flex player, led the team in tackles with 102. He had 10 pass breakups, two interceptions and two forced fumbles. He also rushed for 662 yards and had eight touchdowns in 2018. On Friday, he had eight solo tackles and rushed for 153 yards on 21 attempts.

For their efforts, Becker and Mercer, are each recipients of a large delicious pizza at Big Cheese at 324 N. Washington in Wellington. 

Wellington police weekend report: Friday, Nov. 9 – Monday, Nov. 12, 2018

Wellington Police notes for Veteran’s Day weekend are as follows:

Friday, November 9, 2018

Three Wellington girls softball players sign letters of intent to 3 colleges in mega-Monday ceremonial event

Brooke McCorkle signs with Mississippi Valley State. (Click photo for larger version).

Jacelyn Buck signs with Louisiana Monroe. (Click on photo for larger version).

Delaney Parkey signs with Bethel College. (Click on photo for larger version).

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — It was a party. Usually college athletic scholarship signings are a quaint affair that involves one athlete, the parents, a couple of friends and high school coaches.

On Monday, three Wellington High School girls softball teams simultaneously signed at the same time and it became a social event. There was cake, cookies, punch, family, extended family, lots of friends and the local media and VYPE Magazine.

Meanwhile, three girls are headed to their senior year for the Wellington Crusaders with scholarships in hand.

•Brooke McCorkle, the daughter of Mike and Amber McCorkle, signed with Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena, Miss.

•Jacelyn Buck, the daughter of T.D. and Sheila Buck, signed with softball power University of Louisiana-Monroe.

•Delaney Parkey, the daughter of Harold and Holly Parkey, signed with Bethel College in North Newton, Kans.

Wellington holds annual Veteran’s Day program

By Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Wellington held its annual Veteran’s Day program at the high school auditorium. Wellington’s Vietnam War Veteran Jim Valentine made the presentation in front of a packed crowd at the WHS auditorium.

Jim Valentine was the featured speaker at today’s program.

Believe it or not, the Christmas season is almost upon us

Sumner Newscow report — It is never too early to start thinking about Christmas and really it isn’t “too early” when you think about it.


Entry forms for the 2018 Christmas Decorating Contest for both business and residential are now available!  Come by the Chamber office or City Hall to pick them up.  They can also be found on the Chamber website and Facebook sites.  The theme is “Fairy Tale Christmas”.  All forms are due into the Chamber by Friday, November 30th and your decorations are due up the following day, on Saturday, December 1.


Letter to the editor: Urge the commissioners to vote ‘no’ on zoning changes

by Doug Hisken, letter to the editor — Now that we have the zoning and permit denial from the Planning and Zoning Commission, maybe it is time to ask these questions. What was the good that was supposed to come from this plant? How much financial benefit would the promoters expect to see?   Would the jobs and the straw purchase make a difference to our overall quality of life in Sumner County?

It looks like the nutrient replacement for the straw and the anticipated property tax abatement there would not be any real financial gain. We just have not heard anything in terms of the overall benefits of this plant and I just would like to know what they are if they actually exist.

There is no question the amount of money being brought into Sumner County is huge.  But what is the actual return on that investment for Sumner County?  What seems to come to the top of any explanation is that Mr. Northrup is only interested in his ability to make money.  If he can’t get the permit, water or concessions he needs, he is on down the road.  Numerous times, it has been stated, “If I can’t make money then I am not going to locate my plant here”. 

Sunday blog: Talking about you, Trimmer, gerrymandering and mail in ballots

Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — I found something interesting when I woke up Wednesday morning. I got out of bed, ignored the weight scale and proceeded to the shower, checked social media for inane messages, made myself some coffee, wrote a couple of Newscow stories, produced an ad, went out and got the mail and proceeded with the rest of the day.

And you know what? It’s basically the same morning I’ve had for the last 10 years. Yes, Laura Kelly became my Governor, and the Senate became more Republican and the Democrats wrestled away the U.S. House. But, what changed? I’m still paying taxes, doing laundry, driving the same car, writing the same stuff and dealing with the same ill mannered dogs.

Nothing changed. How did that happen? I thought if we elected Democrats we would be overrun by the caravan, or if we voted for the Republicans we would be put in a police state. I got many of phone calls and texts from “friends” telling me how to vote and to vote the right way because the country was on the brink of disaster. 

Missed PATs was Conway Springs demise in Phillipsburg win in Class 2A playoffs

Cardinal Chase Ast makes a catch during a critical drive.  

by James Jordan, Sumner Newscow — It was the difference in extra points. Phillipsburg converted its PATs, Conway Springs didn’t. And that allowed Phillipsburg to beat Conway Springs 25-24 in the state Class 2A quarterfinal playoffs Friday.

The game was considered the key Class 2A playoff game of the week in Conway Springs, pitting Phillipsburg at No. 1 in K-Preps and Conway Springs ranked No. 3. In the end, Phillipsburg proved its ranking while host Conway Springs season ends with a 10-1 record.

Conway Springs had four touchdowns, but was unable to convert any points after. Phillipsburg had three touchdowns with two PAT kicks, one PAT run, and a field goal to pick up the one-point win, (see game stats here).

Overall, Conway Springs outgained Phillipsburg 371 to 292 yards.

Conway Springs scored on its first possession and led for much of the game.

Featured story: Goddard ends Wellington’s glorious season with second half explosion

Wellington running back Grey Hatfield consoles with head coach Zane Aguilar after Wellington’s tough 28-14 loss.

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The “wheels coming off” may not have been an applicable description to what happened Friday night when Goddard defeated Wellington 28-14 in the sectional playoffs.

It was more like the wheels came off, the car veered off the road, went over the cliff, and exploded in a fiery inferno on the rocks below.

Wellington was leading 14-0 and had pretty much dictated the game up until that point.

When the teams came out the second half, Goddard immediately took the opening kickoff and ran it clear to the 26 yard line where Chi Barton made a touchdown saving tackle. Goddard switched out its quarterback and brought in senior Jared Mocaby, who ran twice in to score.

It was a startling change of events, since Wellington’s defense was again in the exact same position right before the half and stopped the Lions on four downs.

“They went to a Wildcat formation and started attacking our edges,” said Zane Aguilar, Wellington head football coach. “We just made a few mistakes and they were able to take advantage of it.”

‘Save the No. 7 Coffee House” fundraiser is being held Sunday which is facing foreclosure

by Amber Countryman, Sumner Newscow — When the No. 7 Coffee House made its debut in downtown Wellington in March of 2015, the community was quick to support its endeavors.

Now, the restaurant faces closure if it can’t pay state sales taxes in the amount of $18,000 by Nov. 16. They currently have $5,000 in the bank toward this goal.

“I felt so defeated and ashamed, and just wanted to crawl under a rock,” said owner, Kim Mraz.

She knew that she had to inform her customers of the news, especially since there are many who support the business on a daily basis.

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