Category Archives: Featured

Sumner Newscow turns 3…

Sumner Newscow turns 3 copy

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Sumner Newscow, the premiere news website in Sumner County, turns 3 to today.

Since its inception we have published 3,203 stories in our everlasting pursuit of recording the history of Sumner County since Aug. 28, 2011.

With that in mind, we are giving a free T-shirt to the first person who could tell us what was the first news event we ever covered as a Sumner Newscow operation. Just submit your answer in the comment section below or send us an e-mail at

Guardians of the Galaxy will be hitting Wellington Regent Theater this weekend

Guardians of the Galaxy

This week at the Regent Theater: “Guardians of the Galaxy” (Movie trailer is below).


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


Sneak Peak tonight!: Middle School Special Screening is Thursday at 7 p.m. Wear your Knights t-shirt and get in for only $6!


Rated: PG-13. Time: 2 hour and 1 minute


Movie Synopsis: From Marvel, the studio that brought you the global blockbuster franchises of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers, comes a new team-the Guardians of the Galaxy. An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe.

Public to get first view of athletes at annual Crusader Club Volleyball/Football Scrimmage

Take it to the public WHS seniors

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow —  Wellington sports enthusiasts will have an opportunity to get a sneak preview of both the WHS volleyball and football teams Thursday evening. The Wellington Crusader volleyball team will be holding a Gatorade Scrimmage at 5 p.m. at the high school gymnasium and the WHS football, the Wellington Middle School team, and the youth football teams will be showcased in the Crusader Club Scrimmage.

Here are a few things you will see:

•Wellington has 70 football players out this year including 20 seniors (see newly released roster below). Individual pictures of all the football players can be found here.

•Great manicured field thanks to new groundskeeper Steve Gill.

•Other amenities such as the new banner on the press box and the new decked out Crusader Grill by Impact Bank.

Here are a couple of things you will not see Thursday:

2014 Crusader tennis preview: 10 things you need to know…

10 things to know about the tennis team

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — 10 things you need to know about the 2014 Wellington High School tennis squad…


1. Where we last left off…

Wellington head girls tennis coach Brian Aufdengarten brings back five of the top six girls on the 2013 squad. Wellington had one doubles entry in the state tennis tournament in Topeka last October. Kelsey Whaley, who qualified with Peyton Adams, graduated with a 23-9 doubles record in 2013.

Peyton Adams

Peyton Adams


2. First the good news…

The good news is Peyton Adams returns for her fourth year in the program as a senior. She is a two-time state qualifier and one whale of a competitor. As part of the Wellington duo, she and her partner Whaley had a flare for the dramatic which included playing two marathon matches in the Wellington Regional last October in which it took five hours for them to play. Aufdengarten said he might use her in singles. Of course, that is in a perfect world. And we don’t live there.


3. Now the bad news …

Sumner County Court Docket: August 27, 2014 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. All citizens are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.


Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The Ferguson, Mo. question








In the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Mo., who do you blame?

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Post your FREE garage sale ads here

Garage sale templete use this one

By Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — It is a 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 selling and hunting!

Wellington City releases 2014 Fire Hydrant testing schedule

Fire hydrant testing

Submitted to Sumner Newscow — The following is the schedule for the 2014 Fire Hydrant testing.  The schedule will be followed as close as possible.  At times, due to unforeseen circumstances, changes to the schedule will be necessary.  Announcements for any changes will be made as soon as possible.  Hydrant testing will start on Sunday Sept.7 and will continue on weekdays only until all of the hydrants are tested.

Crews will be trying to keep the water as clear as possible.  Some “dirtying” of the water may occur in the area that is being tested.  The possibility exists for adjacent areas to receive some of the “dirty” water also.

Sept. 7th –Sept. 12th, 2014:  Downtown hydrants from 2nd to 9th on Washington

Sunday Blog: Five lists of 5 including Quinn

Five Cueball thoughts

Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Five lists of five for Aug. 24, 2014…


1. Five things that probably should go away soon…

Ice bucket challenge sweeps WellingtonIce Bucket Water Challenge - Yes, it goes without saying pouring ice water over one’s head is extremely funny and goes to a great cause, but after viewing 2,426,213 videos on Facebook and this site, it’s time to move on to something else.

Ferguson Mo. – I’m sure there are lessons to be learned here, but I can’t help but think if CNN and Fox News wasn’t there, rioting would have ended long ago.

Go away!

Go away!

Detroit Tigers – They are standing in the way of the Kansas City Royals making their first playoff performance in 30 years. It’s almost September and football is about to start, and yet I find myself nervous about baseball.

The summer heat - Oh, I shouldn’t complain because it has been a cool summer. But the 100 degree days which hit this week simultaneously with the start of the fall sports season has been a true bummer.

ISIS – Oh, them. International terrorism appears to be on the upswing. It just feels like something bad is going to happen soon. Maybe we are paying enough attention to prevent another 911 this time.

2. Five things that made Max Bretches cool…

Updated: Roger Watermiller, 54, of Milton identified in motorcycle fatality north of Argonia

Motorcycle fatality feature

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Roger Watermiller, 54, of Milton was killed in a motorcycle fatality at the intersection of Argonia Road and 90th Ave. about eight miles north of Argonia and three miles south of Milton this morning.

At 11:10 a.m., Saturday, Watermiller was driving a 2007 Harley Davidson motorcycle southbound when he failed to negotiate the curve in the road. He entered the west ditch, struck a sign, before being ejected, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol accident report. Watermiller was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, the report said.

According to the Kansas Highway Patrolman working the scene, there were no eye witnesses to the accident. A passing motorist discovered the accident about five minutes later at 11:15 a.m.

Thaddeus Myers of Wellington, facing 8 felony charges for alleged drug sale activity, is missing

Thaddeus Myers at large

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Thaddeus Myers, born in 1973, of Wellington who is facing eight felony charges, including seven drug felonies, is currently at large and being sought by the Sumner County Sheriff’s office, according to Sumner County Attorney Kerwin Spencer.

Myers failed to show up for Sumner County District Court Thursday for an unrelated misdemeanor charge after being hospitalized for an emergency appendectomy. The district court judge had dismissed the drug felony charges “without prejudice” on Aug. 6 because he had been taken to an undisclosed Wichita hospital for the removal of his appendix and would not be able to face the charges levied against him in court. Spencer said the intention was to reissue the drug charges once he recovered from the appendectomy and left the hospital.

He was scheduled to return to court this Thursday to face a Class A misdemeanor charge for criminal deprivation of property for an incident that occurred on April 17, 2014 that had nothing to do with the felony charges.

But because he failed to show Thursday, Myers has forfeited his bond and must surrender himself within 30 days or face additional charges.

Spencer said his whereabouts are currently unknown.

Myers has been charged with: 

Wellington City Council approves 2015 budget: No mill levy increase; changes in budget explained; why 3 new Fire/EMT employees …

Wellington City budget

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The Wellington City Council unanimously approved a 51.526 mill levy for the 2015 Budget at Tuesday’s meeting which is the same levy as it is in 2014.

Buoyed by an estimated increased assessed valuation of $41,980,876 for the community, the council was afforded some flexibility without raising taxes. In 2014, the valuation is $41.4 million and in 2013 it was $41.7 million. See budget figures here:Notice of Budget Hearing 2014

The overall budget included a general fund levy decrease of 3.406 mills. The ambulance and fire department remained the same at 2.0. Bond and Interest increased 2.85 and library increased .556.

Interim City Manager Shane Shields said the bond and interest increase was necessary to meet the existing bond principle and interest payment from the 2013 Lincoln Ave. improvements. 

Wellington Council to send sales tax referendum to voters to help fund SRMC

Sales tax SRMC refendum

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow —A sales tax referendum to help Sumner Regional Medical Center will be placed on the ballot this November.

By a 6-0 vote, the Wellington City Council approved an ordinance Tuesday asking city voters to approve an additional half-cent sales tax to help with expenses at the Wellington hospital. On the ballot it will state “one-cent sales tax,” but it will technically only be for a half cent. That’s because the current half-cent sales tax would sunset in April 2015 instead of July 2015 as originally intended. The full cent would start thereafter and be in effect for 10 years from April 2015 to April 2025.

The additional half cent sales tax if approved will raise $1.2 million annually, said Sumner Regional Medical Center Administrator Leonard Hernandez.

2008 WHS Graduate Matt Stalcup hurls three-hit shutout for Beloit, Vermont

Crusaders around the world

Editor’s Note: The following is an article written in by Matt Emery that was featured Aug. 20. It can also be found here. Stalcup is a 2008 Wellington High School graduate. He played two seasons for the Pittsburg Kans. Gorillas before  getting drafted by the Oakland A’s in 2013. — Matt Stalcup didn’t only go the distance Tuesday, he set career highs in innings and strikeouts in the process.

Matt Stalcup in Beloit, Vermont.

Matt Stalcup in Beloit, Vermont.

The left-handed Oakland prospect went all nine frames in Class A Beloit’s 3-0 win at Peoria, scattering three hits and racking up eight strikeouts without issuing a walk. He hadn’t pitched more than six innings in a pro outing and bested his single-game strikeout mark by one.

Deadlocked Wellington City Council fails to pass ordinance to put fluoridation issue on November ballot

Fluoridation not on ballot

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Wellington City voters will not be voting this November whether or not to continue the fluoridation of municipal water.

The council did not have a majority required to pass an ordinance which would have placed fluoridation as a referendum during the Nov. 4 general election.

The vote ended in a 3-3 deadlock with Mayor Roger Stallbaumer declining to cast the needed fourth vote to pass the ordinance. Those voting “yes” for an election vote were John Tracy, Jim Valentine and Jan Korte. Those voting “no” against putting it on the ballot was Vince Wetta, John Brand and Kelly Green.

Wellington has been fluoridating its water supply since Jan. 3, 1980 when it was passed by an ordinance. For the past 34 years, Wellington has put in one part fluoride to a million parts water. 

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The new KU football uniform question

KU's new football uniform

KU’s new football uniform


So do you like the new KU football uniforms?

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Ice Bucket mania inflicts Sumner County… don’t forget to donate to ALS

Ice bucket challenge sweeps Wellington

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — If you are on social media, you can’t help but see it. People are taking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. It’s a quite simple game. You issue a challenge to three people on video that within 24 hours they must pour a bucket of ice water over their heads.  All to help donate or provide awareness for ALS. To learn how to donate click here.

It started as a lark.. then celebrities got into the act… then people on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. started pouring cold ice water over their head as a challenge.

Now, people in Sumner County especially in Wellington are getting into the act. Yours truly counted 24 different postings Monday night of people doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

While the rules say with the ALS ice bucket challenge is to either donate money OR get a bucket of ice water dumped on your head, others are saying people should donate AND get a bucket of ice water dumped on your head. Others can simply donate to the cause without getting water dumped on their head.

How you play the game is your business, but Sumner Newscow likes the option of charitable giving.

Here are a few things about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and how it got started:

Crusader football preview: 20 things you need to know about the 2014 Crusader football team….

20 things to know about Crusaders

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The Sumner County sports season officially begins Monday and that includes the Wellington Crusader football team. Here are 20 things you need to know about the 2014 Crusaders…

1. It starts today… The Wellington Crusaders, who have spent the summer in camps and PSQs, will “officially” start their season Monday. WHS head football coach Tyler Ryan is embarking on his third year at the helm and expects to have about 70 boys out there for the first day.   100 degrees

2. What to expect when you are expecting to play football… Well, typically, it will be no different than any other football player who has strapped on a Crusader uniform. Practice is 3:45 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. Monday through Friday for the first week leading to the first inner squad scrimmage on Saturday. The weather? Sumner County has had a pleasant cool summer, but today temperatures are expected to rise to triple digits and stay that way all week.

3. The best time to preview the team … Traditionally, there are two dates the public can get a quick preview – outside looking from the road from afar on any practice night. Some have found the Saturday morning inner-squad scrimmage from 8:30 to 11 a.m. at the high school practice field facility to be a more telling sign of what the Crusaders might have in the season ahead even though they have had just two days of pads. Hamburger football scrimmage 2013

The Crusader hamburger scrimmage is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 28 at Sellers Park. But for pure football is concerned, it tends to be more of an exhibition. Coaches tend to hold things back in case some Augusta or Andale coach might be in the stands looking to pick up a few pointers. 

Sunday guest editorial: Wellington Police to crack down on drunk driving.

Guest editorial generic

Sumner Newscow note — The following is a guest editorial written by Tracy Heath, Wellington Police Chief. If you wish to submit a guest editorial or letter to the editor for Sunday, send it to

By Tracy Heath, WPD Chief — You Drink. You Drive. You Lose.

If you or someone you know occasionally drives after drinking alcohol be warned that during the period, August 15 through Labor Day, September 2, there will be additional enforcement of Kansas drunk driving and other traffic laws as Wellington Police Department participates in a crackdown with almost 150 other local police agencies and the Kansas Highway Patrol to educate about impaired driving and remove impaired drivers from the roadways.  Known as You Drink. You Drive. You Lose., the crackdown is underwritten by a grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT).

It is not uncommon in Kansas for 61 persons to be injured and 3 persons killed every day on Kansas roads in alcohol-related crashes.  According to KDOT, if you are involved in such a crash – in any capacity – you are 2 1/2 times more likely to be injured and 4 1/2 times more likely to be seriously injured or killed than if you are involved in a crash in which alcohol is not determined to be a factor. The ratio of death to injury in alcohol-related crashes is almost four times higher than the death to injury ratio for non-alcohol related crashes.

I want this enforcement to remind drivers of several things:

USD 353 board knocks 11 mills off of next year’s budget; bond sale better than expected; more

School board meeting roundup

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Thanks to a Kansas State Supreme Court ruling forcing the Kansas State Legislature to provide more school funding, the Wellington school board approved a budget that will decrease USD 353’s tax levy by 11 mills compared to the year before.

The board unanimously approve a budget that calls for 52.417 mills for the fiscal 2014-15 school year. In 2013-14 the board had to increase the mills by .9 to 63.37 mills.

The decrease was due by the court ruling in May forcing the legislature to fund the state’s school district’s supplemental and capital outlay budgets.

But Wellington Superintendent Rick Weiss warned that this good news is temporary and this is likely to be the calm before the storm, as state revenue projections in the next couple years are expected to plummet statewide as the Brownback experiment comes to fruition. 

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