Category Archives: Featured

Dr. Willis retires as a dentist after 38.5 years of serving the Wellington community


by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow – If you are one to have a big mouth in Wellington, chances are you might have seen Dr. Robert “Bob” Willis.

Dr. Robert "Bob" Willis

Dr. Robert “Bob” Willis

Willis had been a Wellington dentist for 38.5 years. But come last week, Willis has retired.

On Nov. 29, Willis closed his dentistry office on 204 E. Lincoln for good. All his patients are to be sent to Wellington Family Dentistry, owned by Dr. Gerald Phipps at 119 E. Lincoln, who bought the practice.

“There are several things that made me decide to retire,” Willis said. “For one thing, I’m 67 and I’m still in good health. I want to enjoy my retirement for as long as I can.”

He also said the timing was right. He leaves a dentistry profession that is becoming increasingly more corporate. Now was the time for his business to sell while it is still marketable.

“I’m not sure what the dentistry profession will be like in the future,” Willis said. “I anticipate it will be more insurance driven, dictating the treatment of the patients. That might be good for the patients, but not so much for the dentist.”

K-49 will remain closed until May, KDOT officials say


by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The Kansas Department of Transportation has confirmed that the K-49 bridge replacement project, six miles north of Caldwell, is still on schedule to reopen in May 2017.

For the past month, K-49, which links drivers going north of Caldwell to U.S. 160, has been closed as a new bridge is being constructed over the Chikaskia River Drainage about three miles south of the K-44/K-49 junction. Drivers, going north of Caldwell, have been detoured east on U.S. 81 through South Haven and Wellington.

King Construction Company Inc. from Hesston is the prime contractor for the $998,000 bridge project and is funded by T-WORKS, the transportation program passed by the Kansas Legislature.

Council accepts resignation of Brown; votes to sell Settler’s Creek lots to Miller; heard update on Lincoln Place

Wellington City Council meeting report

By James Jordan, Sumner Newscow – The Wellington City Council accepted the resignation of City Attorney Mike Brown at Tuesday’s meeting.

Michael Brown

Michael Brown

Brown submitted his resignation letter to the City of Wellington on Nov. 21 with a short notice:

“City attorneys come and go and after 12 years, it is time for me to move on. Therefore, would you please accept this letter of resignation effective January 1, 2017.”

Shawn DeJarnett

Shawn DeJarnett

The Council has decided to hire local attorney Shawn DeJarnett of DeJarnett Law Office LLC in Wellington contingent on a contract stipulations. 

Brown resigned after having held the position for 12 years.

Council members said they wanted to get someone who lives in town if possible. Mr. Brown lives in Derby.  Since it is a professional service, the city does not have to go through a bid process, and can hire a city attorney in any way it wishes, City Manager Shields told the council.   

“In my 12 years of serving you, I hope people realize what a wonderful city Wellington is.” Mr. Brown said.


Myles Miller

Myles Miller

After much discussion, the Wellington City Council decided to sell 15 lots in the Settler’s Creek subdivision to Myles Miller of Miller Management.

The deal was approved 3-2 after Miller agreed to try to work out a deal with one of the residents. Settler’s Creek is located in east Wellington near the new Wedgewood Apartment Complex. Council members Vince Wetta, Kip Etter and Bill Butts voted for the real estate transaction while Jan Korte and Jim Valentine voted no. Council member Kelly Hawley was not present.

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: the ‘what to do with current healthcare law’ question








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Wellington boys knock off Conway Springs in triple overtime in Roitman’s debut

It was the battle of the 32s all night: Ian King vs. Josh Dugan.

It was the battle of the 32s all night: Wellington’s Ian King vs. Conway Springs’ Josh Dugan.

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — It is hard to imagine a head coach having a more exciting debut.

But Rick Roitman opened his head coaching career in Wellington with a 52-50 triple overtime victory over Conway Springs in the first round of the Kingman Eagle Classic Tournament.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am with these guys,” Roitman said. “When you write this up, make sure you describe this as a ‘team’ win.”

Wellington and Conway Springs have played some good ones over the years, but this one may have been the best. By the end of this game, Wellington had fouled out both A.J. Snipes and Ian King. Conway Springs was without its big gun Josh Dugan.

And it took senior Connor Burnett coming off the bench to hit a free throw, and a key banker to give Wellington a two-point win.

Despite cold shooting, Wellington girls get 46-39 win over Conway Springs


Lauryn Snipes vies for a loose ball amongst Conway Springs defenders Tuesday.

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Putting things in perspective, the Wellington girls beat Kingman by five points in the season opener in 2015 and went on to finish third place in the Class 4A Div. 1 state tournament.

Wellington defeated Conway Springs 46-39 in its season opener at the Kingman Eagle Classic Tournament Tuesday. It was a grind of a game that saw the Lady Dukes behind for the bulk of the contest. Wellington had to outscore Conway Springs 21-11 in the fourth quarter to stave off the upset.

“Am I happy? Well, let’s just say we have a lot of work to do,” said Eric Adams, Wellington head girls basketball coach. “I just told the girls to not get all freaked out over this game. We have a long season in front of us.”

Wellington was down 28-25 at the end of three quarters and didn’t take a lead in the second half until 6:54 in the fourth when Avery Rusk made a steal, layup and free throw thereafter to put the Lady Dukes in front 30-28.

Even then the Lady Dukes could not shake off the upset-minded Cardinals, who was holding a one-point lead with a little more than two minutes to play. But Wellington would go on an eight-point run and led 42-35 with a minute to play.

Christmas Calendar: Caldwell Lighted Christmas Parade… Logan Mize concert Thursday

Christmas Season Newscow calendar

(updated 11:30 a.m. Tuesday) by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The following is a cumulative Sumner County community calendar of the all the Christmas holiday events. If you have an event not listed below, provide it in the comment section below, provide us a Facebook message on our business page, or e-mail us at

Businesses can also advertise their special events by e-mailing us as well. We will publish an updated calendar with new events throughout the holiday until we no longer have Christmas events. 



Coat DRIVE – WRC – No later than Friday, Dec. 16. Click here for more details.

Food Drive – SRMC – Dec. 12-16. Click here for more details.

Toy Drive – No. 7 Coffee House- Donations no later than Dec. 10 until 2 p.m. Click here for more details.

Toy Drive – Lions Club/WHS Leadership Team, Operation Holiday – Dec. 14 deadline. Click here for more details.

Wednesday – December 7

  • Caldwell lighted Christmas Parade and Holiday Shopping, 7 p.m. Click here for details.

Thursday – December 8

  • logan-mizeLogan Mize Concert, Memorial Auditorium, 7 p.m. Proceeds go toward air conditioning at Wellington Memorial Auditorium. Click here for details.
  • Ribbon Cutting – Bravo’s Italian Bistro, 10:45 a.m.
  • its-a-wonderful-life“It’s a Wonderful Life” – Wellington Regent Theater, 7 p.m.

Saturday – December 10

Post your FREE Garage Sale ads here

Garage sale templete use this one

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow— It is another garage sale weekend. And the world needs to know you are having one. Go ahead and post your garage sale in the comment section below. We will remind the shopping troops on Friday about your sale.

Happy bargain hunting!

Two-car four-person fatality on Saturday leaves Wellington in state of mourning



by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The community of Wellington mourns the death of four of its citizens after a two-car fatality that occurred Saturday evening around 6:45 p.m., nine miles north of Wellington on U.S. 81.

Carl “Ray” Waugh Jr., 77, of Wellington, was driving a 2007 Chevrolet 300 northbound on U.S. 81 with his wife Marcia Waugh, 77, of Wellington. According to the Sumner County Sheriff accident report, Waugh approached the 9-mile corner intersection and attempted to cross over onto West Road, a small paved off-road that connects to the north with 90th St., a paved road running west-east.

Timothy Baumgartner, 60, of Wellington was driving a 2014 Chevrolet Cruze southbound with his wife Cheryl Baumgartner, 60, of Wellington at the same time.

The two vehicles collided almost in a head-on fashion in the southbound lanes of travel, the sheriff report said.

Upon arrival, Sumner Sheriff deputies found the victims deceased due to their injuries. There were no survivors.

Two car accident at 9-mile corner leaves 4 people dead, sheriff office reports

Breaking News
An unidentified worker cleans up after two-car fatality accident Saturday evening.

An unidentified worker cleans up after two-car fatality accident Saturday evening.

(Updated 12 a.m., Sunday) Sumner Newscow report — A two-car head-on collision automobile accident has left four people dead at the 9-mile corner on U.S. 81, about 10 miles north of Wellington tonight, according to the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff spokesperson Mike Westmoreland said a northbound car with two occupants hit a car going southbound who also had two occupants, just on the south-end curve of the intersection of U.S. 81 and 90th St., commonly known as 9-mile corner.

There were no survivors.

The Sumner County Sheriff Office is not releasing names at this time until family members are notified.

Westmoreland said the wreck occurred sometime between 6:30 and 6:45 p.m. The sheriff office received the call at 6:45 p.m. At 10 p.m., one car had been removed while a red Chevrolet Cruze sporting a Sumner County license plate was just about to be towed.

Sumner County Court Docket: Dec. 2, 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.


Varsity basketball season begins Friday; KSHSAA announces basketball sub-states

Sumner County basketball news

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The basketball season officially kicks off for six of the Sumner County schools. Wellington High School roundballers won’t start play until Tuesday in the Kingman Tournament (see information here).

Crusader head logo smallerThe Wellington wrestling squad will start its season Saturday at El Dorado for the varsity and at Winfield for the junior varsity.

Don’t forget Wellington Middle School basketball is tonight. The Sumner County sports schedule for Thursday through Saturday is below.


In other news, the Kansas State High School Activities Association announced the sub-state pairings for this year. (All the pairings are here).

Wellington will be playing in the Rose Hill sub-state which will contain the same teams as the year before.

Post your FREE Garage Sale ads for this week here…

Garage sale templete use this one

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow— It is another garage sale weekend. And the world needs to know you are having one. Go ahead and post your garage sale in the comment section below. We will remind the shopping troops on Friday about your sale.

Happy bargain hunting!

Beta Sigma Phi Sorority’s Christmas Around the Town Tour to include new Saturday evening stops


by Amber Schmitz, Sumner Newscow — Christmas is the time of year to be thankful for what you have and to help those in need. To assist with the local Christmas needs of children, the Beta Sigma Phi sorority is hosting the annual Christmas Around the Town Tour on Sunday, Dec. 11 from 1-4 p.m. This year it will also add a Toast and Tour on Saturday, Dec. 10.

“I love it. Just as a spectator, going in and seeing houses I walked by as a kid and to be able to go in and see them, it’s really neat, and lots of fun,” said Beta Sigma Phi Sorority member Cassity Brungardt.

This is Brungardt’s fifth year of heading the holiday home tour, which has been a Wellington tradition for about 20 years.

The Beta Sigma Phi sisters host this annual holiday home tour as a fundraiser for local childrens’ holiday needs. There will be light refreshments served at each home. The places on the tour include:

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The Christmas shopping question








How much of your Christmas shopping have you done?

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Bill Butts attributes Wellington’s golf course challenges key to national championship win at Pinehurst

Bill Butts (left) with his teammates: Charlie Ballard, Charlie Stevens and Tracy Chamberlain

Bill Butts (left) with his teammates Tracy Chamberlain, Charlie Ballard, and Charlie Stevens.

by James Jordan, Sumner Newscow — Bill Butts has been playing golf for a lot of years, and he has been a member of the Wellington Golf Club for many of those years. But he just recently had his biggest thrill in the game when he was part of the Sumner County Catbackers who won the Acura College Alumni Tournament in Pinehurt, North Carolina. They were representing Kansas State and competed with teams from around the nation made up of alumni of 62 colleges across the country.

“That was a bucket list item I didn’t even know about,” he said.

Butts has been a member of the Wellington Country Club for 40 years, and has played at many courses around the country. The thrill of playing at Pinehurst was a thrill though. That is where the U.S. Open is played, and where Payne Stewart won it in 1999, just a few months before he was killed in a plane crash.

Butts had played the tournament the year before, but this year he had a different crew. This year’s team included Butts, Charlie Ballard, Charlie Stevens and Tracy Chamberlain. All three of those people live in Wichita, but are members of the Wellington course. They were all K-State alumni, so they made up the team. The other 60 or so teams were made up of alumni from various universities around the nation. The Big 12 had several teams, and has had teams win the title before.

Nothing beats the thrill of winning a national tournament at Pinehurst, but playing at Wellington offers its own unique challenges.

Butts said the Wellington course is known to be a difficult course, and that makes it a challenge for serious golfers. That is what draws people from Wichita and other areas.

Wellington Police Notes: Wednesday, Nov. 23 – Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016

Police Report

WPD Wellington police notes logoWellington Police notes: Wednesday, Nov. 23 – Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016:

Wellington Area Chamber of Commerce hosting annual Christmas decoration and Downtown Light Pole contests


By Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Wellington City residential and commercial customers can earn $300 by having the best Christmas display in town in the annual “Outdoor Christmas Decoration Contest” sponsored by the city of Wellington and the Wellington Area Chamber of Commerce.

Also, the Chamber is sponsoring the “2016 Adopt a Downtown Light Pole” contest in which all business, merchants, clubs, non-profits, families, church/youth groups, school groups and teams of all sorts can decorate a specific light pole based on the theme “Storybook Christmas.” The winner receives the traveling people’s choice award.

Deadline to enter the Christmas decorating contest is Wednesday, Nov. 30 at 5 p.m.

Deadline to enter the light pole decorating contest is Thursday, Dec. 1 at 5 p.m.

Christmas decoration contest

All entrants must be City of Wellington utilities customers. Decorations must be in place by Thursday, Dec. 1. Contestants will leave lights on until 9 p.m. from Dec. 2 through Dec. 25. Size or number of lights are not the primary criteria.

WHS grad Joel Leftwich to lead transition effort at Agriculture Department for Trump

Crusaders around the world

Sumner Newscow report —  Joel Leftwich, a 1996 Wellington High School graduate, and a Republican staff director for the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee, will lead President-elect Donald Trump’s transition effort at the Agriculture Department.


Joel Leftwich

Leftwich is the son of Robert and Mary Jane Leftwich of Wellington.

Leftwich has been a longtime adviser to Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan. He joined the committee staff in January 2015 from PepsiCo, where he was senior director for its public policy and government affairs team.

Leftwich previously served as deputy staff director for the Senate committee and also served Roberts as a legislative assistant covering agriculture, energy and transportation policy.

The transition operation will fund Leftwich’s salary while at USDA. 

(Updated with family picture) Cowley College – Sumner Campus becomes reality in Wellington thanks to 18-acre land donation by Short family

Marjorie Short addressing the crowd after announcing the donation of 18-acres of land to Cowley College.

Marjorie Short addressing the crowd after announcing the donation of 18-acres of land to Cowley College.

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Cowley County Community College President Dr. Dennis Rittle announced that thanks to the donation of 18 acres of land, the Sumner Campus will be built east of the Wellington Wal-Mart Super Center.

The Bill and Marjorie Short family, i.e. Short Land Company, LLC, announced it is donating 18 acres of land which will be located adjacently east of the Wal-Mart to be used for the construction of the Sumner Campus. Also, the college was rewarded a “first option to buy” on 10 more acres at a reasonable cost directly east in case of expansion.

Rittle has said he hopes to have the campus built by the fall of 2018.

The new facility will be called the “Short General Education Center.” Rittle said the donation of land is valued in excess of $1 million.

The announcement was made at the Cowley College Board of Trustees meeting held Monday at the Sumner County Economic Development office at 314 N. Washington. There were 80 people in attendance that was as close to a “Who’s Who” group as one could get in Sumner County.

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