Category Archives: Featured

Sunday blog: Living in Ark City, I can say I love the automated trash collection system

Commentary by James Jordan, Sumner Newscow — Arkansas City changed its trash collection to an automated system more than a year ago.

At the time I was as skeptical as anyone. For years I had taken my trash (after the wife reminded me three times) to the alley out back.  We usually just took plastic bags out there and hoped for the best. Sometimes a dog would get into it and make a mess, but usually it worked well.

James Jordan

Then they wanted us to take our trash to the street, and were even going to give us a big container to keep it in. I park on the street too, and that was my big objection.

But a year or so later, I’ll have to admit it is more convenient and parking on the street has never been an issue. Sometimes I park in front of the trash container, but that has never made a difference.

Having a big plastic container is also good. I’ve not had to pick up trash because a dog wanted a snack in a very long time.

Here is the rest of the story on those shameful attack Ads against Rep. Judd-Jenkins

Commentary by Larry Anderson, M.D. — Like many of you in the 80th District, our household just received the sixth glossy “attack ad” from the “Americans for Prosperity” group.  The first four and the sixth “attack ads” fault our Rep Anita Judd-Jenkins for voting to increase Kansas income tax rates but fails to admit that the income tax rates in 2018 will still be lower than what Kansans paid in the years from 1992-2012.  You may remember those 20 years as that time in Kansas history just prior to the “Brownback Experiment”.

A return to near previous income tax rates is essential if Kansas hopes to pull out of the downward financial spiral created by this “experiment”.  An “experiment/debacle” which led Standard and Poor’s to downgrade our Kansas credit rating in Aug 2014 and again in July 2016.

The Fitch Group and Moody’s also made similar downgrades due to what was seen as poor Kansas fiscal policy with inconsistent tax revenue, and especially worrisome was their finding that our elected KS officials were diverting appropriated funds, such as highway funds, and underfunding KPERS to supplement the state general fund balance.  More recently, during the waning days of our recent legislative session, Standard and Poor issued an “alert” as our legislators struggled to gather the bipartisan votes needed to override the Governor’s veto of a second budget.

Culture Cow: Finally… Taylor Swift releases her latest album

Happy Weekend! The whole world stopped turning, the lights went out, and the sirens rang out into the night… Taylor Swift finally dropped her new album, Reputation.  This album is her best to date and despite the frequent changes in style and producers, carries a singular narrative through every song.

Taylor shows her mastery of album structure and changes the listeners mood with a swift transition every song.  The unsung heroes of this album are undoubtedly the producers and co-writers.

Max Martin, Shellback, and Jack Antonoff made as much of this album as Queen T and I’ll commend them for their work track by track.  This album is ripe with double-entendres, hidden meanings, meta 4h  wall breaks, and so much more.  To help you navigate the subtle genius of Reputation, below there is a track by track breakdown of how Taylor Swift reasserted herself as the greatest pop artist on the planet.

Ready for it?

Garage Sales for this weekend…

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow— The following are the garage sales that we have for the weekend of November 17-19, 2017. If you still need a garage sale advertised just use the comment section below. Good luck with bargain hunting! 

This Thanksgiving people can eat Thanksgiving dinner at VFW and/or Wellington Food Bank

Veteran’s Day Thanksgiving dinner is this Sunday.

by Amber Schmitz, Sumner Newscow — Many people don’t have a place to go to eat Thanksgiving dinner. 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 Sunday, Nov. 19 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. Individuals attending are more than welcome to bring a side dish or dessert.

They will be serving 10 turkeys, several pans of dressing, and all of the “fixins.” The meal is first come, first served, and will begin after the opening ceremonies and prayer.

Veterans Ron Soria and Charles Lawless are happy to serve you this Sunday.

The Wellington Food Bank’s annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner will be held on Thanksgiving Day 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.

Armed robbery near Mayfield, suspects remain at large

Sumner Newscow report — On Nov. 14 at 6 p.m., the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office responded to an armed robbery in the 900 block of West 20th Street South near Mayfield.

The victims reported two suspects entered the residence without permission.

One of the suspects, brandished a handgun and demanded the victims wallet, jewelry, cell phones and other property. The suspects told the victims to wait a period of time before looking outside. They then left in an unknown direction.

There was evidence collected from the scene and the investigation is still ongoing.

Scoular-Wellington Elevator continues to smolder as situation won’t be rectified any time soon

The elevator fire broke into huge flames Wednesday evening, alarming several neighbors. But officials say this is part of the clean-up process. (Photo by Kirstie Clements)

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The Scoular-Wellington Elevator fire has reached Day 12 since its Nov. 4 eruption, and it appears complete extinguishment is still days away.

Both Wellington Fire Department and Scoular, Inc officials are saying the situation is being handled methodically, and precautionary measures are being taken for everyone’s safety.

That may be true, but many local residents were alarmed to see bellowing orange flames that could be seen across east Wellington and miles down U.S. 160 Wednesday evening.

Assistant Wellington Fire Chief Vic Sandell says this is part of the process of removing burnt grain that continues to smolder inside the two concrete bins at the elevator once known as Wilcott and Lincoln. Sandell said the fire will continue to reignite any time the conditions are right for more oxygen connecting with the smoldering grain fire.

“I’m not sure how long it will continue,” Sandell said. “It could be another 10 days.”

A Bad Moms Christmas at Wellington Regent

This week at the Regent Theater: “A Bad Mom’s Christmas”

Schedule: Thursday at 7 p.m. Friday at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday 2 and 7 p.m.

Featured “Geostorm” film rating: R.

Movie Synopsis: A BAD MOMS CHRISTMAS follows the three under-appreciated and over-burdened women as they rebel against the challenges and expectations of the Super Bowl for moms: Christmas. And if creating a more perfect holiday for their families wasn’t hard enough, they have to do all of that while hosting and entertaining their own mothers.

By the end of the journey, our moms will redefine how to make the holidays special for all and discover a closer relationship with their mothers.

Jason Boyd Band concert will benefit Memorial Auditorium air conditioning project

by Amber Schmitz, Sumner Newscow — Sumner County’s own Jason Boyd always had a love for music.

“My dad, Kenny, taught me to play the drums early in my life and I was playing in his band at age 12,” Boyd said. “I guess it is second nature to me.”

Today, with a new album set to be released, The Jason Boyd Band has never been busier. And on Saturday, area music fans can see the band in concert, featuring John Goolsby, perform at the Memorial Auditorium from 7 to 11 p.m. A portion of the proceeds will go toward the venue’s air conditioning project. Tickets are $10 at the door.

Boyd was born and raised in Wellington, and is a 2001 graduate of South Haven High School. Once out of school, Boyd had a couple of bands, including Line Change for about four years. After that, the Jason Boyd Band, with a genre of country, really took off in 2007.

“In 2016, I came up with the bright idea to start touring regionally, and put a song on the Top 40 Texas charts,” Boyd said. “We toured seven states and played 70 shows last year, and really covered a lot of ground.”

Sumner Court Docket: Nov. 15, 2017 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.


Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The Roy Moore question







Do you believe Roy Moore should continue to run for U.S. Senate in Alabama?

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Sumner County veteran Eldon Gracy is recognized for World War II experience at K-State football game

Eldon Gracy of Caldwell was recognized for his years of service during World War II.

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Each home football game, the Kansas State University athletic department does a “Fan of the Game.” On Saturday, when K-State hosted West Virginia, Sumner County resident and U.S. Veteran Eldon Gracy was recognized for his achievement in front of a capacity crowd at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

It was quite an honor this Veteran’s Day weekend for a man who has served his country in World War II, and his county here in Sumner.

Gracy was born at a farm home near Garber, Okla. on Jan. 16, 1926. He was drafted in the U.S. Army in March 1944 and trained as a “heavy mortar man” and was a member of the 87th Division of the 345th regiment. He was shipped overseas in Nov. 1944 after the U.S. and allies invaded western Europe.

“He made a beach head landing and was immediately sent to the front of the action,” said Michael Gracy, his son. “He fought many battles during December 1944 and into 1945.”

Eldon and his fellow soldiers were in action 100 miles north of the Battle of the Bulge line and they were called to reinforce the troops there in what is considered the coldest winter ever in Germany.

Service organizations are busy with the holiday season

Searchlight was on hand at Christmas Swap and will be fund raising throughout the holiday season.

by Amber Schmitz, Sumner Newscow — The Christmas season is quickly approaching, and many people are already thinking of decorating and gift ideas.

On Saturday, the first ever Christmas Swap was held at the Raymond Frye Complex, hosted by the Chamber of Commerce and Sumner County Moms. People were invited to buy, sell, or trade their Christmas items. If people had decorations, plates, ornaments, or other miscellaneous Christmas items to trade or get rid of, they did so in swap meet style. Those who handmade craft items also had booths set up to sell their goods.

There were also fundraising booths set up. Birthline was selling chili and baked goods; Friends of the Wellington Public Library was selling used books and Christmas crafts; St. Francis Services was selling raffle tickets; Sumner County Moms donated booth rental fees to Operation Holiday; there was a gift drop off booth for Operation Holiday; and Searchlight was collecting hats, gloves and care package items for the less fortunate.

Admission to browse the event was free.

After browsing the event, swap-goers could enjoy a choice of lunch from Birthline or Travelin’ Smoke BBQ, then grab a cupcake from Brown Box Bakery cupcake truck.

From 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Searchlight, Sumner County Rural Homelessness Taskforce, collected hats and gloves that were placed in winter care packages, as part of their “Warm Hands, Warm Hearts” drive.

“We are asking people donating hats and gloves to place a care package item in them,” said Kira Lake, Searchlight director.

Saluting the Sumner County athletes for a wonderful fall season…

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Congratulations to a great fall season for Sumner County athletes.

Wellington High School, perhaps, had the greatest fall season in its history from an overall perspective. The Crusader football team made the playoffs for the first time since 2010 and went 5-5 – after going winless the year before.

The WHS volleyball team placed third in the Class 4A Div. 1 state tournament in one of the most extraordinarily unexpected finishes for any athletic team in WHS history. The WHS girls tennis team placed fourth in the Class 4A State Tournament, missing placing by 1 point.

Around the county, the Conway Springs football team had an undefeated regular season and advanced to the second round – losing on a last-second field goal to Hesston. The Caldwell football team got to the second round of the playoffs, losing to defending state champion Hanover.

Special thanks to Big Cheese Pizza for sponsoring the Big Cheese Athlete of the Week. We will resume the weekly honor starting in December when the winter season starts. In the meantime, enjoy a delicious pizza or a luncheon buffet from Big Cheese Pizza in Wellington at 324 N. Washington. 

Wellington Police report for this weekend: Thursday, Nov. 9 – Sunday, Nov. 12

Wellington Police notes: Thursday, Nov. 9 – Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017:

Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017

Editorial: Switching local elections to the fall did not increase voter turnout; but that’s not what it is about

Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow – The lie that is the moving of city/school elections from the spring to the fall to increase voter participation, was exposed Tuesday evening.

While voter participation across the state was a mixed bag, including slight increased turnout in Sedgwick County (see story here), voter turnout in counties such as Sumner experienced a voter drop-off from previous city/school elections.

Voter participation in city/local election
  Spring 2015 Fall 2017
Sumner County
Registered voters 13658 13930
Ballots Cast 3,330 2,518
% Voter turnout 24.18 18.08
Registered voters 5249 5489
Ballots Cast 1476 1041
% Voter turnout 28.12 19.15

Tracy “Cueball” McCue

Both Sumner County and Wellington saw a significant drop-off from the city/school general election held in the spring of 2015 to the fall of 2017.  Sumner County fell from 24.18 to 18.08 percent, while Wellington alone fell from 28.12 to 19.15 percent

There are those who argue that the 2017 election did not contain as interesting races as there were in 2015. There were several races throughout Sumner County that didn’t have enough candidates for positions available. Wellington’s city election did not have a mayor’s race in 2017 as it did in 2015.

I would contend that is horse manure.

Sunday blog: Not being fit, leads to a find?

Commentary by Robert Escandon, Sumner Newscow — I remember a comedian telling a joke that could have applied to me.  His line was “I don’t feel any less fit, now I am older, than I did when I was a young man!”  Pause for comedic effect, followed by the punch line “Of course, I was very unfit when I was young!”  This could have been me as I was mostly disinterested in sports while at school, mostly because I was not one of those heavily motor coordinated types.  I was more the academic nerd.

Robert Escandon

A few times in my life, I have attempted to achieve some suggestion of fitness but have never kept it up.  Endorphins never found me and I never found them either.  One evening this week I gave myself a pep-talk to the effect that “You can jog one mile if you go at an easy pace!”  With tee shirt, shorts and sneakers I set off to accomplish this goal figuring that a jog is little more than a fast walk.

At least, that was the personal argument I employed.  Since I am unfit and 68 years old it took only a few hundred yards before my decrepitude became apparent and I turned the first corner already wheezing like an old steam engine.

Caldwell’s season ends all too quickly with 58-12 loss to top ranked Hanover

Jalen Risley gets a huge interception in the first quarter and almost breaks it for 60 or so yards.

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — It was great for a half. Caldwell was trailing the defending champion Hanover team, from nearby Nebraska, 14-12 at the half. The two teams had played an evenly matched game up to that point.

They went to their respective halftime huddles and then came back for the second half.

Two plays later, Hanover scored to take a touchdown lead. Then the Wildcats would score five more times to throttle the Bluejays 58-12 putting an end to Caldwell’s successful season.

Hanover, which hasn’t lost since playing Spearville in the 8-man division 1 championship in 2015, marches on. Caldwell finishes the year at 9-2.

Corbin Rice pass here to Risley gave Caldwell a 6-0 lead in the first quarter.

For that first half though, Caldwell was ever bit the inhospitable host Friday night at Bluejay field. Caldwell struck first after creating a fumble. Using a combination of passing and running, the Bluejays reached the 1. Perhaps, in a sign of things to come, Hanover would not budge for three downs and it took a Jalen Risley pass to Corbin Rice in an isolation shovel pass to the flat on fourth down to get the Bluejays on the board first.

2017 U.S. Veteran’s Day Program paid tribute to Veterans, America

By Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — It was the biggest, highest attended Wellington Veteran’s Day program yet.

An overcapacity crowd at WHS auditorium paid tribute to soldiers of yesteryear and what privilege it is to be an American.


The program included much of what was in years past:

Playoff preview: Caldwell to host defending state champion Hanover Friday at 5:30 p.m.

By Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Somewhere about 10 miles south of the Nebraska border, lives an eight-man football program that is said to be pretty good. On Friday, Caldwell will be hosting this Wildcat team called Hanover, at 5:30 p.m.

Hanover (10-0) will be traveling four hours to play Caldwell (9-1). It will most certainly be the game of the season for the Bluejays.

“Well let’s see what does Hanover do well?” asked Sean Blosser, Caldwell head football coach hypothetically. “Everything. They have no weaknesses.”

Hanover is the defending Class Eight-man Div. II State Champions, and there is little indication that the Wildcats have tapered off. They haven’t lost since the state championship game in 2015 against Spearville. 

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