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Category Archives: Commentary/Polls

Five Quinn’s thoughts for May 24, 2015

Quinn McCue

Quinn McCue

By Quinn McCue, Sumner Newscow — Five Quinn’s thoughts for May 24, 2015…

1. Schools out! Personally I thought it would be more exiting. Then I realized I have literally nothing planned for the entire summer.

2.My eyes burn.

Sunday blog: Perhaps its time to officially make SRMC a municipal hospital

Sumner Newscow editorial

Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Can anyone tell me the difference between the Sumner Regional Medical Center and, say, the Wellington Fire and Police Departments?

Yeah, yeah. I know the fire department is there to put out fires and deliver sick people. The police department is in charge of throwing bad guys in jail. The hospital is there to fix our boo-boos and keep us from dying.

But essentially, all three institutions do the same thing— provide a community service unlike any other city department whether its utilities, the park department, etc.

So why not make SRMC a municipal hospital and stop this us vs. them mentality?

At Tuesday’s Wellington City Council meeting, SRMC was getting hammered over not paying for city utilities. In a nutshell, it was one government institution hammering another governmental institution about the amount of taxpayers money they were not receiving from the other.(see story here). It is obvious this system of billing SRMC for utilities isn’t working.

Utility non-payments are nothing new for SRMC. I remember writing a Wellington Daily News article in the late 1990s or early 2000s when the hospital was not even 10 years old, about the city abating utilities for the hospital. As outlined by Wellington City Clerk Shane Shields Tuesday, SRMC has had utility abatements for 27 of the last 60 months and hasn’t made a payment since Oct. 2013.

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The Click it or Ticket question

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What's your opinion of the Wellington Police Department's "Click it or Ticket" program?

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Sunday Blog: Talking WHA, Tracy resignation, Valedictorians, new football format and Deflategate

Five Cueball thoughts

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Five Cueball thoughts for May 17, 2015…

1. Not quite yet

Wheat Capital ManorThe Wellington Housing Authority board made significant steps May 7 when it called in independent auditor Cynthia Warren for a special meeting to issue a report in hopes of resolving the six-month controversy at Wheat Capital Manor. What was significant about the meeting is it brought some perimeters to the controversy, and provided the general public, including myself, some clue to what the fuss has been all about.

WHA administrator and Manor overseer Melissa Hamlin was absolved of all wrong doing except for not withdrawing $6,755 in 2014 from her and another employee’s paycheck to cover their spouses in the company healthcare plan (see story here).

The question the board must answer is whether there was malice.

Melissa Hamlin

Melissa Hamlin

Did Hamlin intentionally not withdraw money in defiance to the board’s instructions, or was this simply a misunderstanding and/or an accounting error? Considering the turmoil of the past six months within the board and who knows how much longer before, it might be a question too difficult to resolve. Perhaps, the best thing to do is make a plan for the two employees to repay the money, enact new policy and move on.

While it appears closure to this overblown controversy is nearing, two things still bother me. 

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The Tom Brady suspension question

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The NFL recently handed down a four-game suspension of New England Quarterback Tom Brady, plus the Patriots lose a first round draft pick in 2016 and a fourth round draft pick in 2017 for the particulars in “Deflategate.” What is your opinion of the punishment?

 

What do you think of Brady's punishment.

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Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The state budget dealing question

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What would be your preference for filling the Kansas state budget deficit?

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Sunday blog: Talking riots, electricity outage, your special day and Quinn

Five Cueball thoughts

Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Five thoughts by Cueball and Quinn for May 3, 2015…

1. Baltimore riots…

City police riots are hardly anything new. I can’t remember a time when we didn’t have them. The Rodney King Los Angeles riots in 1992 were particularly disturbing.

A man stands in front of a line of police officer in riot gear last week in Baltimore. (AP News photo).

A man stands in front of a line of police officer in riot gear last week in Baltimore. (AP News photo).

I was way too young to remember the civil rights riots of the 1960s.

Maybe I’m becoming more cynical these days, but today’s riots seem a bit more manufactured than the riots of years past. You wonder for some if it is an excuse for people to loot, and are tailor-made spectacles for cable TV news networks like CNN and Fox News, eager for a night of high ratings.

Obviously, I am neither African-American nor live in the inner-city so I don’t understand what it is to live in poverty or to be discriminated against based on the color of my skin.

But burning down a city doesn’t seem like a solution. And I also fail to understand how neutering a police force helps overcome whatever it is people need to overcome.

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The concealed weapon without permit question

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Do you favor or oppose allowing legal gun owners in Kansas to carry concealed weapons in public without a license or certification of formal training?

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Sunday blog: Talking 1995, used-up controversies, babysitting Bryant, surveillance videos and Quinn

Five Cueball thoughts

Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Five Cueball thoughts for April 19, 2015…

1. Baseball reunion

1995 Wellington High School baseball team and Class 4A State Champions.

1995 Wellington High School baseball team and Class 4A State Champions.

Former Wellington High School head baseball coach Mike Wilmoth is organizing a 20-year reunion for the 1995 WHS varsity baseball players who won the Class 4A State Championship in Manhattan. The ceremony will be held May 7 at Hibbs-Hooten Field in between the Wellington-Clearwater doubleheader.

It should be a hoot. I was the sports editor at the Wellington Daily News and the memory of that tournament makes me smile. Not only was it the first state championship team I ever covered as a reporter, but it was also the first time I used a cell phone.

It had been raining all week, and the Class 4A state baseball tournament had been delayed a couple of times. It started on a Friday and was supposed to end on a Saturday. But the tournament was delayed way into next week. 

Sumner Newscow poll: The Wichita vote to lessen marijuana possession question

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Wichita voted to lessen penalties on marijuana possession. What's your opinion?

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Sunday blog: Talking Chicken little, utility reserves, city election, marijuana and garbage collectors

Five Cueball thoughts

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Five Cueball thoughts for April 12, 2015…

1. Chicken Little.

"Kansas, the tornado is coming!"

“Kansas, the tornado is coming!”

It may go down as one of the nuttier weeks I’ve had in awhile when you factor in the election, the website controversies, Easter, and the personal things going in my life. So Wednesday’s non-storm was an accurate metaphor for the week in general.

Wednesday, Chicken Little made a visit to Kansas to tell us the sky was falling. It wasn’t so much the weather information. We should all be informed of possible storms ahead. It was how the news was delivered.

I actually felt bad for that Channel 12 weather forecaster on my tube Wednesday evening. I knew his bosses were telling him to get on screen and babble about an approaching tornado-like storm that was obviously not materializing, knowing full well half the Kansas population was hating his guts because they were missing a critical episode of “Survivor.”

With all the hysteria, I thought at least we could get some rain out of the deal. No such luck. 

Guest Editorial: Health Care Authority Board appointments are the most important positions available

Guest editorial generic

EDITOR’S NOTE — The following is a guest editorial written by J.P. Buellesfeld, who is owner of Buellesfeld Financial Services Inc.

Recently, Steve Shelley and Kelli McComb resigned from the Health Care Authority Board which oversees Sumner Regional Medical Center. The city of Wellington is taking applications to feel the positions and people can do so at the city of Wellington offices at 317 S. Washington. 

By J.P. Buellesfeld

J.P. Buellesfeld

J.P. Buellesfeld

The Health Care Authority Board for the City of Wellington currently has two openings out of a five member board.  The Health Care Authority Board is the most important authority board in Sumner County as it is 100 percent in control of the governance of Sumner Regional Medical Center.

Sumner Regional Medical Center is one of the largest employers in Sumner County.  The Council of the City of Wellington had no applicants for the first (15) day application period that ended March 25, 2015.  The City Council is currently accepting applications in the second (15) day application period through April 13, 2015.  The City Council will then be appointing two new members to the Health Care Authority Board.  I believe now is a good time to explain how critically important this decision is.

In the case of Verret v. United States, a Texas federal district court upheld an Internal Revenue Service determination that the chairman of a non-profit hospital’s board of trustees was personally liable for the hospital’s non-payment of federal withholding taxes, Stephen Verret had been chairman of the board of Doctors Hospital in Groves, Texas. On appeal, the U.S. Federal Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision.

Letter to Editor: Wellington Health and Rehab is glad to be here

To the editor:

I’m writing to let you and the entire Wellington community know how excited we are to be managing and operating Wellington Health and Rehab (formerly Sumner County Care Center). It is a welcome addition to the Mission Health Communities family and we look forward to bringing a new brand of quality healthcare and rehabilitation to the area.

As a premier provider of Senior Living and Skilled Rehabilitation Communities in the southeast and midwest, Mission Health is committed to delivering on our promise of wellness and enrichment.

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The morning after question

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Now that the election is over, what best reflects your mood this morning?

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Sunday blog: If Wellington is Disneyland, then the mayor is Mickey Mouse

Five Cueball thoughts

Commentary by Tracy McCue — Five Cueball thoughts for April 5, 2015…

1. Election Tuesday

Tuesday, Sumner County voters will be going to the polls to elect local city/town council and school board members. These are traditionally the least attended elections of all elections. But in reality, a vote never counts more because you are electing your peers. You might think your one-in-a-billion vote for President of the United States is important, but it’s your ballot on these local issues that truly make the most difference.

Wellington has some really good races this year and some really good candidates especially for mayor and city council.

And this mayor race, is unbelievably important for Wellington.

Whoever gets elected will be:

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The Gregg Marshall question

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What best describes your feeling about WSU coach Gregg Marshall's decision to stay?

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Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The Sam Brownback being booed question

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Governor Brownback got booed at the KU-Wichita State game. What is your reaction?

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Cue’s blog: This win meant a lot more for WSU than it did the Jayhawks

Five Cueball thoughts

Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Forgive the lateness of the column. I’ve been a bit of a mess leading up to the Wichita State vs. Kansas game today.

Shocker victorySome people may ask why – especially you non-sports fan types. After all, it is only a game.

But for me, as well as thousands of other fans in the area, it seemed more than that.

Today was about redemption, or revenge, or putting big brother in his place. But most of all, it was about not letting opportunity escape.

And WSU won this third round NCAA matchup emphatically 78-65. WSU plays Notre Dame on Thursday at 6:15 p.m. in the Sweet 16.

I don’t hate KU.

Special Sumner Newscow poll: Who are you cheering for?

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The Kansas vs. Wichita State basketball game is now set. Who are you cheering for?

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Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The name change at Wichita Airport

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Do you like the name change of the Wichita airport to Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport?

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