Category Archives: Featured

Glass playing at Wellington Regent this weekend

Playing at Wellington Regent this weekend: Glass.

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

Rated: PG-13.

Also playing:

A DOG’S WAY HOME: Friday at 2 p.m. and Monday at 2 p.m.

For 50 years, Cottrell was a teacher/coach at Douglass, Conway Springs; Tuesday he was honored

Fred Cottrell was honored at the Conway Springs- Douglass game Tuesday.

by James Jordan, Sumner Newscow — Fred Cottrell has been teaching for 50 years, and much of that teaching happened on the sidelines at various sporting events in Sumner County. Cottrell was inducted into the KSSHA hall of fame Tuesday night in Conway Springs.

Cottrell coached at Douglass before coming to Conway Springs where he spent most of his career. He coached 25 years at Douglass and the last 20 at Conway Springs. It was fitting that his induction happened at a game where Douglass was playing Conway Springs.

The high school association lets inductees choose where their ceremony will be, and Cottrell chose this game because he had coached at both schools.

He saw himself as a teacher first, and he taught government in the classroom. Outside the classroom he was still a teacher.

Current Conway Springs football coach and Athletic Director Matt Biehler said Cottrell always told him the best coaches are teachers first.

School board contemplates hiring new SRO with Interlocal 619

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Wellington USD 353 Student Resource Officer Jim Yunker is requesting another SRO which will be shared with Interlocal 619 if approved by the Wellington school board.

Yunker addressed the board Monday asking that a full-time SRO be hired that will be shared between USD 353 and the educational service that provides special education needs for five school districts in the county.

Wellington SRO officer Jim Yunker.

The board is expected to vote on the matter at its next regular meeting in March.

The full time officers will be funded 50 percent from 619, 25 percent with the school district, and 25 percent with the city of Wellington.

Yunker said having just one SRO will help alleviate the burden that is placed upon him. He estimates he gets calls from 619 at least three times a day. A new SRO will be housed at the middle school and be used by the school district twice a week, at 619 twice a week, and rotate every other Friday.

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The girl scout cookie question







Girl Scout cookies are now on sale. Got a favorite?

  • Thin mints (25%, 74 Votes)
  • Carmel deLites (24%, 72 Votes)
  • Peanut Butter Patties (20%, 58 Votes)
  • I'll pass. (19%, 56 Votes)
  • Shortbread (6%, 19 Votes)
  • Others (6%, 17 Votes)

Total Voters: 296

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5 sporting things: Talking WMS basketball, girls wrestling, boys wrestling, KBCA rankings and life

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Five sporting things including Wellington Middle School basketball, girls wrestling, boys wrestling, latest KBCA rankings and the meaning of life.


1. WMS Basketball

The Wellington Middle School has officially ended its regular basketball season and it has most certainly been a feast or famine kind of year. While both the boys and girls eighth grade teams are sitting at the top of the Patriot League standings, the seventh grade boys and girls are at the bottom.

Next Saturday, the season concludes with the girls tournament at Rose Hill Middle School and the boys are playing at Haysville West. Brackets should be out soon.

On Monday, Wellington teams battled Haysville West in the regular season finale. The scores are as follows:


7A: Haysville West 50 Wellington 26

7B: Haysville West 31 Wellington 20

8A: Wellington 40 Haysville West 35

8B” Haysville West 40 Wellington 23.


Wellington’s Ali Zeka named Big Cheese Athlete of the Week

Ali Zeka vs. Rose Hill.

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Ali Zeka, a 5-8 freshman for the Wellington girls basketball team, has been named Big Cheese Athlete of the Week.

The Wellington girls have been sensational against two very good teams, beating Augusta 48-47 a week ago and then knocking off rival Rose Hill 66-62 last Friday to help the Crusaders to an 11-5 record. Zeka played a key role in both victories. She scored six points against Augusta and was the key player in a third quarter comeback that saw Wellington overcome a 10-point deficit en route to an exciting win. Then against Rose Hill, Zeka scored a game-high 18 points to help Wellington split its regular season series with the Rockets.

For her effort, Zeka is the recipient of a FREE large delicious pizza at Big Cheese Pizza at 324 N. Washington in Wellington. 

More than 65 parents attend Monday’s school board meeting, Brand speaks against Summit, no action taken

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Approximately 65 parents and other concerned individuals attended Monday’s school board meeting to vocalize their objection with the Redesign Summit Program implemented for freshmen, sophomores and Kennedy Elementary students at USD 353.

The board did not take action on the item, nor discussed the subject at the meeting.

John Brand

There was an overflowing crowd that spilled over into the hallways. If the board meeting was a concert, it would be Woodstock.

As promised, parent John Brand was the featured speaker during the audience portion of the meeting. A student Jody Lyne also spoke. The two were the only ones to speak during the meeting that specifically addressed Redesign and Summit.

The Wellington board then heard a presentation from Eisenhower Elementary Principal Cherity Elder and fourth grade instructor Vanessa Sawyer.

Brand used an analogy concerning the marketing fiasco of New Coke implemented during a summer in the 1980s with the current Summit situation.

Wellington Police weekend report: Friday, Feb. 8 to Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019

Wellington Police weekend report for Friday, Feb. 8 to Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019:

Friday, February 8, 2019

Sunday feature: A new curriculum, a growing protest, and a struggle to define our children’s education

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — It was a year ago almost to this day, when an article on this site appeared with the following quote: “Come next fall, WHS freshmen, sophomores and Kennedy Elementary students will be learning a new way to, well.. learn.”

The promise was a Wellington student body educational transition from a traditional classroom setting to an individual personalized learning process. Wellington was one of seven schools chosen in August 8, 2017 by the Kansas Department of Education out of 29 applicants. The “Kansas Can” stated how the schools were selected:

To be considered for the project, districts had to designate one elementary school and one secondary school to be redesigned around the five outcomes established by the Kansas State Board of Education, the five elements identified as defining a successful Kansas high school graduate, and what Kansans said they want their schools to look like in the future. Each district also had to have support of their local school board, their faculty and their local Kansas National Education Association or other professional organizations.

USD 353 had designated the freshman and sophomore class and Kennedy Elementary school for this grand experiment. The administration and board then selected a computer-based “Summit Learning” platform to implement this individual based process. Wellington would be one of 380 districts and charter schools nationwide to use this Summit.

Throughout the next year in 2017-18, school administrators worked hard setting this up. They traveled to places like Tulsa and Salt Lake City to see Redesign implemented. And teachers in the two high school classes and Kennedy spent a week in Kansas City over the summer, going through the training. The program was set to start in August 2018-19 school year.

Optimism was high – and this new process was touted as a solution for Wellington’s traditional poor showing on ACTs and state assessment scores.

Wellington Superintendent Mark Whitener told Sumner Newscow last summer:

“I wish you could have gone with us to the Salt Lake City School and see this plan in action. This is a poverty stricken school with 90 percent poverty. Yet they have higher test scores and have not had any expulsions and suspensions in five years.”

So now let’s fast forward to the present in February, 2019.

How are things going with this Redesign curriculum?

Funny, you ask.

Wellington girls improve to 11-5 with high scoring win over rival Rose Hill 66-62

Ali Zeka scores 18 points against Rose Hill.

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — It may be a little too late, but the Wellington girls have an outside chance of hosting a sub-state, after a huge 66-62 victory at Rose Hill Friday night.

The scenario is still a long shot in the Class 4A-West post season standings (see here), but Wellington, now 11-5, can sweep its final three games (final game against Andale does not count) giving it a 14-5 record. Wellington, now seeded No. 6 in the 18-team bracket, must hope for a couple of losses from Ulysses (13-4) and Pratt (11-5).

No matter how you slice it, Wellington picked up a huge win over Rose Hill. It was a nice statement game, especially since Rose Hill dominated Wellington on its home court 58-33 in December.

In the other game, Wellington boys were dominated by Rose Hill 49-32. 

Neives’ Mexican Restaurant to close their doors in Winfield

by Shane Farley and Brady Bauman, — Neives’ Mexican Restaurant, a long-time Winfield eating establishment, will permanently close its doors this month, owner Tudy McCreary told KSOK-NewsCow Friday morning.

The restaurant will close Feb. 23, but will remain in operation as a banquet hall. The food truck will also continue operation.

McCreary says she will continue to do Mexican or American food for special occasions and other events. She added she may be open for a short period of time during the Walnut Valley Festival in September. The restaurant will also continue to participate in fundraising activities.

Electrical generator blamed for Saturday’s fire at 1309 North B Street in Wellington

Wellington Fire Department responds to fire that caused $10,500 damage.

Sumner Newscow report — An electrical generator being too close to combustibles is listed as the reason for a structure fire at 1309 North B Street in Wellington, Saturday morning.

Guadalupe Gaitan and a female escaped unharmed after a fire started near the occupant’s carport at 6:56 a.m. on February 2. The fire caused $10,500 worth of damage, and ended the life of a pet dog.

“The fire was started by an electric generator running in the carport to supply electric to the house,” said Wellington Fire Chief Tim Hay. “Nearby combustibles were then ignited and the fire spread to the structure.”

When the WFD arrived on the scene, they found a fully involved carport with fire extending inside the residence. Both occupants were safely outside with one dog, but the second one was still inside.

Wellington City Council members express concern with school’s redesign curriculum

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — There was a lot to talk about at the Wellington City Council Tuesday meeting – including talking about Wellington School Board.

Wellington Mayor Shelley Hansel said she was concerned with rumors around town that people are going to move away because of the new Summit Redesign curriculum being implemented at the school district.

“I heard a disturbing thing that there are several families who are considering of moving from Wellington because they don’t like the way our school district is going,” Hansel said in the audience participation portion of the meeting. “I am just wondering as a district partner, should we call for a meeting to have a joint work session?… When I hear that people are considering moving away from Wellington, I feel it becomes a community issue.”

Wellington City Council member Jim Valentine said people tend to walk away from things they are afraid of or don’t understand. He felt a town hall meeting was in order and total transparency be mandatory. Council member Joe Soria said he’s seeing his granddaughter struggling with academics and is baffled that there isn’t better communication with the school board.

VNA President Greg Northrup makes presentation at Wellington City Council meeting

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Greg Northrup, President and CEO of Verbio North America, returned to Sumner County, specifically Wellington, to propose the construction of a $100 million biofuel facility.

If this were a Broadway musical, Tuesday night’s city council meeting would be considered the start of Act 2. VNA first proposed building a plant west of Belle Plaine, but eventually abandoned this proposal after an adversarial reaction from neighbors. The company pulled out its request for the location in December. A new location in Sumner County was proposed – this time three miles east of Wellington. 

Greg Northrup

“Despite what some people may think, I’m happy to be back in Sumner County. I also love to do ribbon cutting ceremonies,” Northrup joked.  

VERBIO North America is proposing to build a renewable natural gas production facility on a 145-acre tract on the southwest corner of a section at U.S. 160 and Seneca owned by Charter Equities II, a company of local investors. Northrup said the proposed plant will be the first of its kind in North America.

VNA is a subsidiary of VERBIO – a leading German biofuel producer and technology company. It hopes to build a plant that will inject natural gas transmission system fuels for use at CNG or LNG filling stations. This transportation fuel is to be used by fleets of various municipal and commercial operations. Northup said the company hopes to eventually hire 75 full-time employees and create 150 jobs indirectly. 

Before that happens, though, several local governmental steps need to be met. Wellington City Manager Shane Shields outlined the timeline of important dates ahead:

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The ‘what did you watch last night?’ question







What did you watch last night?

  • I didn't watch either. (34%, 106 Votes)
  • The KU-K-State Basketball game. (31%, 97 Votes)
  • The State of the Union Speech. (26%, 81 Votes)
  • I watched some of both. (8%, 25 Votes)

Total Voters: 309

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Caldwell’s Jalen Risley named Big Cheese Athlete of the Week

Jalen Risley

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Jalen Risley, a Caldwell High School senior basketball player, has been named Big Cheese Athlete of the Week.

Risley became the seventh Caldwell boys basketball player in the South-Central Border League era to score his 1,000 career high point. Other Caldwell players included: 1994 – Michael Wade 1,050; 1984 – Leonard Schmitz 1,076; 1987 – Stuart Gill 1,247; 1999 – Jarrod Gracy 1,322; 1990 – Matthew Gill 1,324; 2017 – Colten Ward, 1,332.

In 2017-18 Risley leads the team with 210 points this season in 16 games played with the highest field goal percentage (53), free throw percentage (75) and rebounds (107), leading Caldwell to a 14-2 record. Last week, Caldwell defeated Argonia 61-19 and Flinthills 81-38.

For his effort, Risley is the recipient of a FREE large delicious Big Cheese Pizza at 324 N. Washington in Wellington. 

5 Sporting Things: Powerlifting meet results; B-team tourney tallies; new basketball rankings and more

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Five sporting things in Sumner County this week.

No. 1 – First powerlifting meet success

The First Powerlifting Meet in Wellington history is now in the books, and it was a huge success. There were 13 teams and 195 participants.

The Wellington girls finished second behind Goddard and Wellington boys placed third behind Kapaun Mount Carmel and Goddard. Conway Springs placed third for the girls and fifth for the boys.

The full results can be found here

Wellington Police weekend report: Friday, Feb. 1 – Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019

Wellington Police weekend report: Friday, Feb. 1 to Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019

Friday, February 1, 2019

The annual Sumner Newscow Best Super Bowl Commercial survey

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The Super Bowl is over, and we can all agree the whole evening was a bit of a dud. It would have been better with some Patrick Mahomes playing.

But as is tradition, Sumner Newscow is having our own Best Super Bowl Commercials contest. Below are the top five Super Bowl Commercials according to the USA Today ad meter (yours truly personally liked the Game of Thrones killing off the Bud Light Knight commercial). If you have a different one not listed in the survey, mention it in the comment section below.

What was your favorite Super Bowl commercial?

  • 100 year game - NFL. (55%, 113 Votes)
  • Some other commercial not listed. (18%, 38 Votes)
  • The Elevator - Hyundai. (9%, 18 Votes)
  • Not Everything Makes the Cut - Amazon Alexa. (8%, 17 Votes)
  • The Coach Who Wouldn't Be Here - Verizon. (6%, 13 Votes)
  • We All Win - Microsoft. (3%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 206

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100-year game – NFL

Not Everything Makes the Cut – Amazon Alexa

We All Win – Microsoft

The Elevator – Hyundai

The Coach Who Wouldn’t Be Here – Verizon

Wellington girls win 3rd consecutive 1-point victory with comeback against Augusta

Rylee Rusk scores 17 points to help Wellington score a huge win over Augusta.

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Stat or math nerds may be able to figure out the probability of winning three consecutive one-point ballgames, but the guess here it is extremely low.

The Wellington girls did just that when it defeated Augusta 48-47 Friday evening. In the other varsity game, Augusta boys beat Wellington 55-25.

The Lady Crusaders are now 10-5 with 1-point wins over Dodge City, Buhler and now Augusta. The Crusaders are headed back into league competition on Friday where it will play at Rose Hill in a rematch between two of the league’s biggest rivals.

Hard to not paint this one as the most gratifying of the three one-point wins. Augusta was just coming off a 19-point victory over Rose Hill, a team Wellington lost to quite convincingly in December.

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