Category Archives: Featured

Sunday features: From Ferguson to Wellington, police worry about their safety

Police on edge

by James Jordan, Sumner Newscow — Mass shootings across the nation, and accusations of police shooting innocent people, makes police officers nervous even in Wellington. There are advantages to small town living, and perhaps the lack of major violence is one of those advantages as shootings and mass demonstrations have not made their way to the city.

Tracy Heath

Tracy Heath

Police Chief Tracy Heath said he believes the police in Wellington have a good relationship with the community, but they are still keeping their eyes open.

“You never know,” Heath said. “I hope we never experience anything like that, but it does cause me to evaluate our training, review our equipment, and to remind our officers to always be alert and pay attention to their surroundings.”

He believes a lot of misinformation is spread by social media, and feels that is the driving force behind a lot of violence across the nation.

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Sunday guest editorial: The trouble with ‘lesser of 2 evils” is one is still evil

Guest editorial generic

Trump for column

by Jason Janoski, Sumner County Republican Party Chairman — On Thursday, Donald Trump officially became the Republican nominee for President of the United States of America.  I reflect now on the future of the Republican Party and the future of our Republic.

Our party has been a noble one.  The Republican Party was founded in 1854 by an anti-slavery Whigs.  Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican president.  Republicans led the charge to end slavery.  We resisted, though unsuccessfully, Franklin Roosevelt’s determination to quash individual and state rights and instead magnify the role of the federal government.  Republicans led the civil rights reforms of the 1950s and 1960s, enacting civil rights laws over Democrat objections. 

Jason Janoski

Jason Janoski

Republicans honor the Constitution and the Rule of Law.  We believe what the Declaration of Independence says – that God (not government) gives people inalienable natural rights and it is the purpose of government to preserve those rights.  By providence, our founding fathers wrote and ratified a Constitution which preserves those rights. 

We believe that the federal government may only exercise powers listed in the Constitution.  All other authority is reserved to the states and to the people.   

Because federal authority is enumerated, Republicans believe that the Constitution cannot prohibit states from protecting the lives of unborn babies.  We believe the Constitution cannot prohibit states from deciding that certain conduct or relationships are sexually immoral.  We believe that states are independent laboratories of justice and liberty, free to experiment according to the will of their people.

Sumner County District Court Docket: July 22, 2016 report

Sumner County Court docket use this one

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.


Garage Sales for this weekend…

Garage sale templete use this one

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The following are the garage sales that we have for the weekend of July 22-24, 2016. If you still need a garage sale advertised just use the comment section below. Good luck with bargain hunting! 

Second annual Herding Heroes will be part of the Sumner County Fair August 5

Herding Heroes feature
Contestants participating during the Sumner County Fair.

Contestants participating during the Sumner County Fair.

Submitted to Sumner Newscow — The second annual “Herding Heroes” Show will be held Friday, Aug. 5 at 6 p.m. at the Sumner County Fair in Caldwell. The goal of Herding Heroes is to allow contestants the chance to do something most are never given the opportunity to do.

Herding Heroes is a program that is held at various fairs across Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri. The Sumner County Fair board wants to involve more youth other than 4-H and FFA students and their families. Unless you grow up on a farm or have a family member that has one, chances are you will never show livestock for competition. You may be engaged in sports, but this is another avenue to be involved and experience the benefits of showing animals.

Medals awarded to Herding Heroes participants in 2015.

Medals awarded to Herding Heroes participants in 2015.

Herding Heroes are looking for students with disabilities who would enjoy learning about pigs, and wish to compete with them.

Nick Reedy to serve full 32-month sentence for April, 2015 assault

Reedy sentenced
Nick Reedy confers with his lawyer Sal Ignaanita during sentencing hearing.

Nick Reedy confers with his lawyer Sal Intagliata during sentencing hearing.


by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Nick Reedy, 33, of Caldwell, one of two accomplices in the April 22, 2015 assault in south rural Sumner County has been sentenced to 32 months in state prison without probation.

Sumner County District Judge Scott McQuin handed down the sentence this afternoon with a blistering reprimand of Reedy’s behavior that night. The sentence came during a 90 minute sentencing hearing at the Sumner County District Court in Wellington.

Reedy, dressed today in a black suit coat, black tie and black striped shirt, is expected to start serving his 32-month sentence in state prison immediately. He can be released 4.8 months early – or 15 percent of the sentence – for good behavior. Reedy has also been ordered to pay back $8,127 in restitution for medical expenses, not including dental expenses which were not available for the hearing.

Reedy and his counterpart, Sylvester Provencio, 22, of Caldwell have been found guilty in court for the assault of Gregory Schneider, 53, and Bryan Nispel 55, of Caldwell during what started as a good Samaritan act that turned into a melee and severely injury Schneider.

“The only reason you and Provencio stopped kicking (Schneider) is because Nispel tried to stop you by attempting to run you over with a truck,” McQuin said. “Had he not actively done so, this would have been a homicide instead of an aggravated battery offense.”

Wellington Sears to offer merchandise lower than any Sears store in south-central Kansas

Wellington 3-day flash exclusive store

Wellington Sears at 214 S. Washington is having a Premier Store event. 

“This is a special savings event that not very many stores get to have because they aren’t Premier stores,” said Jay Huston, Wellington Sears manager.  “Due to us meeting or exceeding goals in areas of sale, Wellington store has qualified for this event and will get to offer an extra 10 percent off almost everything store wide.

During this event, items will be 10 percent lower in our store than they will be in other south-central hometown stores, he said. It’s a great time to save.

3-day Sears off 7-20-16

Tarzan playing at Wellington Regent Theater this weekend

Tarzan at Regent

This week at the Regent Theater: Tarzan (see trailer below).

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

This Friday’s feature film: PG-13 (for sequences of action and violence, some sensuality and brief rude dialogue). Time: 1 hour 49 minutes.

Movie Synopsis: It has been years since the man once known as Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgård) left the jungles of Africa behind for a gentrified life as John Clayton III, Lord Greystoke, with his beloved wife, Jane (Margot Robbie) at his side.

All roads lead to the ‘Fiesta at the Fair’ – the 89th annual Sumner County Fair!

Fiesta at the Sumner County Fair 2016 feature

Submitted to Sumner Newscow — On August 4-7, 2016, all roads in Sumner County will be leading to the 89th Annual Sumner County Fair to be held in Caldwell.  FIESTA AT THE FAIR is the theme this year, and lots of new activities have been planned for the three day event.  Everyone is encouraged to mark their calendars and come to the fair!

Be sure to show your fair pride by purchasing and wearing a fair button.  There will be button drawings at the stage shows.  The annual Medallion Hunt will start on Thursday evening this year.  The grand prize drawing will be held on Saturday with five – $100 prizes being given away.

Several changes have been made in the schedule of events this year and several new events have been added.  One of the major changes is the time and venue for the Sumner County Fair Horse Show.  The horse show will be held on Saturday, July 30 at the rodeo arena just south of Argonia.  Brian Watts is the chairman for the event which has registration at 5:30 and the show at 6 p.m.  This is an open show so come join the fun.

Building at 107 W. Lincoln could be condemned in the near future

Wellington City Council Roundup

107 W. Lincoln building on Washington

by James Jordan, Sumner Newscow — The building at 107 W. Lincoln could be condemned in the near future, interim City Manager Shane Shields told the Wellington City Council at its meeting Tuesday.

Last week, the owner blocked off the building. Shields said the city has begun condemnation procedures and he said he understood it is a dangerous structure now. Spencer Furman, owner of Red Beard Barbershop, was forced to close and move elsewhere.

The owner of the building has not been available for comment.

Water issue

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The Cowley College in Wellington question








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Wellington Babe Ruth 16-18 year olds win State in Hesston; head to regional in Colorado

Babe Ruth All Star tournament roundup
Members of the Wellington Babe Ruth 16-18 All Stars.

Members of the Wellington Babe Ruth 16-18 All Stars. (Photo by Eric Rinehart). 

Sumner Newscow report — The Wellington 16-18 year old Babe Ruth team won the state championship in Hesston Monday.

Wellington defeated Liberal 7-5 in extra innings to win it. The locals had earlier in the day beat Parsons.

The team will play at the 2016 Midwest Plains Babe Ruth Tournament in Holyoke, Colo. this Thursday.

Wellington will play the Minnesota state champion at 3:30 p.m. Thursday. Then on Friday, Wellington battles the Missouri state champion at 1:30 p.m. On Saturday at 2 p.m., Wellington will battle the Colorado State Champion.

The tournament is a round-robin tournament with four teams in each division. Wellington hopes to finish in the top two where it will play in a single elimination championship back on Sunday. The semifinal games would start at 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. with the championship slated at 2:30 p.m.

Wellington board hires Stephanie Smith as Kennedy Elementary Principal

USD school board meeting report

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The Wellington School Board held a short special meeting Monday afternoon. After a 10 minute executive session, the board hired Stephanie Smith as the new Kennedy Elementary Principal.

Smith is the wife of Luke Smith – the new USD 353 activities director. She has been a Wellington Middle School math teacher.

Smith replaces Randy Fox, who resigned to take a job in the Topeka area.

In other hirings:

•Mildred Lucagbo-Arrington was hired as a high school math teacher;

•Kathleen Maddox was hired as an Occupational Therapist.

Wellington is still looking for a high school chemistry teacher.


In other business, the board approved:

Wellington Middle School auxiliary gymnasium looks great; projects elsewhere are lagging as school start looms

New gymnasium

gymnasium inside

by Amber Schmitz, Sumner Newscow — With the new school year fast approaching, and construction still continuing at some of the schools, Wellington Middle School Principal Jamie Ybarra anticipates that his buildings will be ready by the first day of school, Aug. 23 – including the final touches of the new auxiliary gymnasium.

“In the next two weeks, they will install a new safe entrance to the building, and the new auxiliary gym should be finished,” Ybarra said.

Quote box constructionThe new auxiliary gym is getting rave reviews including from the new Superintendent Mark Whitener who said, “the gymnasium floor is as beautiful that any homeowner in Wellington would want it in their house.”

New LED lighting was installed in both the new and existing gymnasiums to make it brighter inside the buildings. The new gym will have seating available for up to 400 visitors on one side, and space for the teams and scoreboard on the other side.

Sauerwein Contruction Company out of Wichita is handling the construction and remodel job at the middle school.

“They have been working on it since about November, but they have been very diligent about keeping with it and getting it done on time,” Ybarra said. “They have been a pleasure to work with.”

Big baseball/softball weekend for Wellington’s Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken young

Babe Ruth All Star tournament roundup
Wellington 15-year-olds 7-18-16

The Wellington 15-year-olds romped through their district tournament. Matthew Rinehart at first catches the ball as DeAndre Washington, at right field, backs him up. The Wellington All Stars will play this weekend in Junction City.

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — It was a busy weekend for the young Wellington baseball and softball players as Babe Ruth Tournaments were being held across the state. Wellington hosted  a couple of Babe Ruth Tournament this weekend including the 10-year-old Cal Ripken Baseball Tournament at Worden Park and the 13-to-15-year-old district tournament at Sellers: Here is an update of tournaments that were played and special awards presented.


16-18 years olds:

Wellington did not have a district tournament, and automatically qualified for state in Hesston, played over the weekend. Liberal defeated Wellington 12-10 in game one in a round-robin tournament Saturday. Wellington then came back to win the second game against Abilene 6-5.

No information was available for Sunday’s game against Moundridge.

Players winning the MVP and WOW’s include:

Vs. Liberal – MVP: Chantz Daugherty, WOW: Chevy Nuss.

Vs. Clearwater – MVP: Adam Hilt, WOW: Tray Cary.


Wellington rolled through the District 3 Kansas Babe Ruth Tournament at Sellers Park this weekend. The locals will now head to Junction City this Friday.

Sunday feature: A friendship and a Chevy Nova

Meslin-Bevan feature
Jason Meslin last week in the Kansas Wheat Festival parade.

Jason Meslin last week in the Kansas Wheat Festival parade.

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — There’s an old saying a man is lucky to have one true friend. While the definition of true friendship varies from person to person, Jason Meslin knows he had a true friend in Jeff Bevan.

So last weekend when Meslin put his newly refurbished 1972 Chevy Nova in the 2016 Kansas Wheat Festival parade — it was more than paying tribute to a long lost friend.

It was about finishing unfinished projects.

It was about closure.

It has been almost 18 years since Jason lost his best friend to a tragic car accident in Amarillo, Texas. But on a warm steamy Friday night during one of Wellington’s biggest parades ever, Jeff might as well have been sitting with him in the passenger seat.

Meslin, a 1993 Wellington High School graduate and now a sales director in Naperville, Ill., loaded a Nova on a trailer and hauled it from Michigan to Kansas. He then took the Nova to the Argonia Cemetery to visit Bevan’s grave, before driving that evening in the parade – showing off his bright silver J72. The Nova was then part of the Festival car show the next day. And then he and the Nova returned home.

“People ask me what am I going to do with the Nova now,” Meslin said. “And I tell them, ‘I really don’t know.’ This has always been about the journey.”

This was about finishing a project, Bevan never had the opportunity to finish himself.

Jeff and Jason hiking

Jeff Bevan (left) and Jason Meslin hiking the Grand Canyon during spring break in the spring of 1994.

A childhood friendship

For Jason and Jeff, one could say this was a storybook small-town friendship. The two were inseparable. They played together, they worked together, they spent time outdoors together, they partied together. For a stint, Bevan even lived with the Meslin family on Edgewood drive.

“Jeff always valued his friendships,” said Jerry Meslin, Jason’s dad, who still lives on Edgemore Drive in Wellington. “So he would go the distance to help you. He was more than a friend, he was part of our family.”

Wellington Police looking for suspect in Subway Restaurant break-in Saturday

Police Report

Subway robber

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Saturday, July 16, around 2 a.m. an unknown thief entered the Wellington Subway Restaurant, located at 715 North G Street, rifled through the safe and stole about $350.

The thief is described as a white male wearing at the time of the offense, blue jeans shorts, maroon hoodie, black shoes and a single black colored glove on the right hand.

The thief entered the restaurant by busting out of the front door glass.

Cowley County Community College is looking at satellite campus in Wellington

Cowley College in Wellington

by James Jordan, Sumner NewscowCowley County Community College would like to build a satellite campus in Wellington, but there is one big obstacle. Sumner County residents would have to pass a half-cent sales tax for 10 years to help support the facility.

It is a project the the city of Wellington and the chamber of commerce support. The Sumner County Commission would have to approve getting the matter on the ballot to let voters decide, and they have not yet decided whether to or not.

County Commissioner Jim Newell said he was open to seeing what people have to say and letting them vote on the sales tax.

“I feel like taxes are high enough. I am not sure I would vote for it but I would like to see what taxpayers say about it,” he said.

Commissioners are considering letting it be on the November ballot in this year’s election.

Red Beard’s Barbershop, landlord move out due to building structure concerns

Moving Out

Redbeard cutting

by James Jordan, Sumner Newscow – The building housing Red Beard’s Barbershop at Washington and Lincoln Streets in Wellington was shut down and roped off Thursday.

Rumor had it that the building had been determined not safe. City officials said the city code department had no contact with the owners and were not involved with the building in any way. They did say they had received a lot of calls Thursday morning about the building after it appeared roped off.

The owner Jan Spevak, was not available for comment. She lived on the top floor of the building. She has moved out as well according to sources.

Spencer Furman, who owns Red Beard’s Barber Shop on the ground floor, posted on his Facebook page that he was “as confused as everyone else,” but made it clear he had to move. He said he had been told the building was structurally unsafe because of earthquake damage.

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