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Category Archives: Featured

Wellington Police Department will be implementing ‘Click it or Ticket’ campaign on May 23

Click it or ticket in Wellington

Submitted to Sumner Newscow — Beginning on Monday, May 23, and continuing through Sunday, June 5, drivers can expect increased police presence on Wellington city streets as the Wellington Police Department joins almost 150 other law enforcement agencies in aggressively enforcing Kansas occupant restraint and other traffic laws as part of the 2016 Kansas Click It or Ticket campaign.  This activity is supported by a grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation.  Enforcement will occur around the clock.  Officers will be especially vigilant at night because the likelihood of seatbelt use at night is much lower than during the day and the percentage of unrestrained crash deaths soars much higher at night.

Drivers can expect strict enforcement of both the Safety Belt Use Act and the Child Passenger Safety Act.  These acts require that all vehicle occupants must be appropriately restrained.  Law enforcement officers can stop vehicles and issue tickets when they observe front seat occupants, teens in any position, or children under the age of 14, riding without being properly restrained.  Occupants, ages 14 and over, are cited individually.  In the event that a passenger under the age of 14 is observed to be unrestrained the driver will be cited.  The fine for an adult violation is $10 (plus the time out for the traffic stop, during which the driver’s license number will likely be called in to dispatch).  The fine for a youth (14-17) violation is $60 (no court costs), while the driver’s fine for a child (0-13) restraint violation is $60 + a court cost charge of at least $98.

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 May 6-8, 2016. If you still need a garage sale advertised just use the comment section below. Good luck with bargain hunting! 

Eisenhower Elementary raises a little over $20,000 during Color Run fundraiser

Eisenhower color run feature

Eisenhower Color Run #1

by Amber Schmitz, Sumner Newscow — Eisenhower Elementary raised a little over $20,000 during their Color Run fundraiser. After paying for prizes and materials, the school will keep $16,000, which will go toward the purchase of 30 Google Chromebooks.

The fundraisers would also like to purchase playground equipment and other technology equipment. Top student collectors were Ellie Hays, Kendall Janzen and Thalia Garcia, who were awarded a Kindle Fire, Fit Bit and Academy Sports gift card. Elizabeth Vaughn’s Wellington High School business class designed the sponsor signs for the event.

For more pictures of the event click here

Jungle Book is coming to Wellington Regent this weekend

Wellington Regent - Jungle book

This week at the Regent Theater: The Jungle Book (see trailer below).

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

Rated: PG (for some sequences of scary action and peril). Time: 1 hour 51 minutes.

Movie Synopsis: In this reimagining of the classic collection of stories by Rudyard Kipling, director Jon Favreau uses visually stunning CGI to create the community of animals surrounding Mowgli (Neel Sethi), a human boy adopted by a pack of wolves. The appearance of a villainous tiger named Shere Khan (voiced byIdris Elba) forces Mowgli’s guardian, the panther Bagheera (Ben Kingsley), to shepherd the child to safety in the “man village.”

Hundreds of storm chasers descended on Sumner County last week – and were no help

Hazardous storm chaser
Sumner County Director James Fair at emergency center

Sumner County Emergency Management Director James Fair


by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow
— Twenty years ago, Hollywood released “Twister” — a silly movie starring Helen Hunt glorifying tornados and storm chasing. A few years later, came the storm chasing reality shows. Soon there were the storm chasing websites. And then lately there’s Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook – social media sites making storm chasing all that more instantaneous.

Today, storm chasing is a phenomenon.

Quote James FairAnd that is much to the chagrin of Sumner County Emergency Management Director James Fair, who said storm chasers are not only a nuisance but are hindering the efforts of trained professionals, who are in the business of protecting the public.

A week ago on Tuesday, Sumner County was in a middle of a complex super cell storm system that had the potential of producing large killer tornados and other wacky weather events.

Sumner County also became a hot tourist destination for seasoned and amateur storm chasers.

“I would say we had a couple hundred in the county… at least,” Fair said about the April 26 storms. “It’s a phenomenon that seems to be growing each and every year. They come from everywhere.”

Council learns quickly: cleaning up the town may be easier said than done

Wellington City Council Roundup

by James Jordan, Sumner Newscow — Using the advice of an outside consultant, the Wellington City Council is hoping to make the community a little bit cleaner. However, already there is a snag.

One of the first people to run into this new cleaning project implemented by the city, made a compelling case at the city council meeting of the problems she is facing. The council has granted her an additional 90 days for a solution. City council members also wanted to find a way to help her.

Kristy DeBuhr said she recently inherited property on Haslet Street from her grandmother, and she doesn’t have the money or ability to clean up the hundreds of tires on the property.

She said she can’t just throw tires way. It costs $3 per tire to have someone come and get them, or she could have hauled them to Wichita and paid $1.75 each to have them legally disposed of.

“It is a mess. I won’t lie,” she said. “I just need more time.”

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The Trump nomination has been sown up question

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Sumner County graduations start as early as May 7 for Belle Plaine to as late as May 21 for Mulvane

Graduation Cap and Diploma on White with Soft Shadow.

by James Jordan, Sumner Newscow — The big day is nearly here for hundreds of seniors in Sumner County, which is graduation day. Wellington’s graduation is set 2 p.m., May 15 at the high school gym. Graduations are held at different times for area schools. The first one is at Belle Plaine on May 7, an the last one is at Mulvane on May 21.

Here is a list of Sumner County graduations as scheduled.

Crusader head logoWellington

May 12 is class night, 7 p.m. at the high school.

May 15, 2 p.m., High School Gym.

More important dates are here.

Valedictorians: Madison Adams, Ryleigh Buck, Addyson DeJarnett, Baylee DeJarnett, Dylan Jones, Jaylynn Luna, Allison McCue, Shelby McNamara, McKenna Oathout, Connor Phelps, Dietra Sober, Skyler Struble, Peyton Witham and Noelle Wright.

BluejaysCaldwell

May 14, 4 p.m. in the high school gym.

Valedictorian – Ross Kuehny

Salutatorian – Karlee Schmidt

Commencement speaker – Dan Goodman, 1985 Caldwell graduate.

Wellington teams finish off home regular season games; boys get swept, girls sweep

Baseball at Sellers
Brooke McCorkle pitches Wellington to victory in game two.

Brooke McCorkle pitches Wellington to victory in game two.

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — A four-game winning streak came to an abrupt end for the Wellington baseball team as No. 6 ranked Buhler swept the Dukes 14-2 and 5-1 during senior night at Sellers Park.

Meanwhile down the road at Worden Park, the Lady Crusaders had little trouble sweeping Buhler for the second consecutive time, 15-3 and 12-2. These were makeup games from a rainout two weeks ago.

Wellington baseball is 6-10 with four games left to play this week. The girls softball team is 14-4 and will finish the regular season at Clearwater Thursday.

On the boys side, Wellington came into the Buhler contest on a hot streak having swept both Circle and Winfield. But Buhler proved to be a tougher matchup, especially in game one where the opponent went on a 7-run rampage to start the second inning and added six more runs in the third.

Buhler would smack out eight hits, getting 14 runs on 22 at bats in game one. 

WHS graduate Brian Peck wins KCAC golf tournament as Moundbuilder

Crusaders around the world
Brian Peck swings the golf club at the KCAC Tournament in Garden City.

Brian Peck swings the golf club at the KCAC Tournament in Garden City. (Courtesy photo by Southwestern College)

Special to Sumner Newscow – The Southwestern College men’s golf team put a wrap on its 2015-16 campaign Tuesday afternoon. Junior Brian Peck, a 2013 Wellington High School graduate, claimed individual medalist honors, and the Moundbuilders finished second as a team at the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Men’s Golf Championship, which took place at Buffalo Dunes Golf Course in Garden City.

Brian Peck

Brian Peck

After opening the tournament with rounds of 72 (E) and 74 (+2), Peck carded a two-under-par round of 70 in Tuesday’s final round to force a tie atop the leaderboard with Oklahoma Wesleyan’s Austen Fuller. The two then paired up in a play-off to determine the KCAC Individual Champion. Both players missed the mark on their playoff tee shot. Peck’s fell into the left rough, while Fuller found the tall native grass, but both players laid up in the fairway on their second shots.

Fuller faced a shot of approximately 180 yards from the middle of the fairway, while Peck lined up for his third shot from about 100 yards out. Fuller’s approach landed about 25 feet left of the pin for birdie, but Peck answered with an approach that stopped just over 25 feet from the pin. His birdie putt just missed, but Fuller’s did the same, leaving each player with a three-foot par putt. Fuller’s putt lipped out, and Peck’s putt dropped into the cup for the championship. Peck finished at 216 for the 54-hole tournament.

Sunday editorial: It is time for a frank discussion on education

Guest editorial generic

Commentary by Steve Abrams, State District 32nd District — I was recently the target of an editorial by Kyle Green, an accusatory, ill-informed interpretation of the “facts.”  Mr. Green’s attack piece illustrates why the education debate has raged in Kansas since the 1970’s, under governors and legislative majorities of both parties, with still no finality in sight.  Offering ideas that challenge the status quo, for even a modicum of discussion, is met with derision – particularly if there is even a mere suggestion that schools might 1) run more efficiently; 2) focus resources more intently on student achievement; or 3) try new methods of operation or instruction to keep pace with the modern needs of students, employers and our communities.

Steve Abrams

Steve Abrams

At various points over the past many decades of wrangling over this issue, the legislature has asked the education industry to put forth a dollar figure and expected outcomes to be achieved. The response remains a moving target.  The legislature has on multiple occasions increased funding, only to later be met with more litigation, and demands for even more money.  So, to Mr. Green and his industry attorneys, we must ask for a definitive and final answer to the question “Kansas families have finite resources, how much more of their wages do you require?”

But, even more imperative, we must also ask Mr. Green, why it is that his industry believes tax dollars are the only measure of an education, rather than employing a measure of what is actually being learned and how well students are prepared to either enter the workforce or pursue higher education?

Sumner Court Docket: April 28, 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.

•••••

Wellington Police Department receives S.A.F.E. award

Crusader nights
Wellington S.A.F.E. students.

Wellington S.A.F.E. students.

Click on picture for larger view of students.

by Amber Schmitz, Sumner Newscow — Seat belts save lives, and Wellington High School Resource Officer James Yunker and 62 Wellington High School students have been actively relaying this message as part of the “Seat belts Are For Everyone” program.

 The Wellington Police Department recently received an award at the S.A.F.E. conference in Topeka, for being the best law enforcement agency for a small agency in the state of Kansas.

“Wellington is the only school actively participating in the program in Sumner County,” Yunker said.

The S.A.F.E. program is offered to Kansas school districts as part of an educational program through the Kansas Traffic Safety Resource Office.

“The program starts at the beginning of the school year,” Yunker said. “The members of S.A.F.E., who are also S.A.D.D. members, do a pre-survey of who is wearing seat belts at the high school.”

Thirteen families near Mayfield will be getting bottled water from the city of Wellington

isolated image of  bottled water flowing

by James Jordan, Sumner Newscow — Beginning May 1, the 13 families near Mayfield will be getting bottled water from the city of Wellington, after the council approved an agreement between the city and KDHE at a special meeting Wednesday.

The city was told recently it had to stop letting people use untreated water from water lines, a practice that had been in place since the 1950s. Wellington has been pumping millions of gallons of water off these properties for the past 50 years, and part of the deal was, the people would get free water, though it was untreated.

The rule apparently came down from the federal government to the state, and the state has handed it down to the cities. Talks have been going on for some time, but nothing was done until the deadline neared.

The city council approved an agreement that Mayor Shelley Hansel had been given from KDHE earlier in the week. The council discussed this at its last meeting and passed a resolution saying it would not cut people’s water off until a solution could be reached.

It seems KDHE agreed to that — to some degree. The city will have to supply people with water or drinking and cooking, and the people can still use untreated water for other things, like bathing, washing clothes and outdoor use.

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The big financial concern question

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(Updated) Commerce City trucker strikes car, toll booth on turnpike this morning

Truck-Turnpike gate premiere

truck wreck at Turnpike Truck turnpike accident southside

Click here for larger view of wreckage.

Sumner Newscow report – Christopher Jay McGahey, 32, of Commerce City, Colo. driving a 2005 Peterbilt semi-truck struck a 2004 Mercury Monterey driven by George Britt, 50, of Wichita at the Kansas Turnpike at 2:42 a.m. Wednesday morning at the South Kansas Turnpike Toll Booth, southeast of Wellington.

The toll booth was knocked on its side.

According to the Kansas Turnpike accident report, there were only minor injuries.

Britt was taking a toll ticket when the McGahey failed to stop, striking his Monterey in the rear-end.  Troopers do not know how fast the semi was going at the time of the collision.

The 2016 storm that wasn’t – no tornados, little hail and much needed moisture hits Sumner County

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0020.JPG

This video shot by Terrence Nichols of Wellington showed the rotating clouds west of Wellington yesterday afternoon.

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The great storm of 2016 passed through Sumner County, not coming close to its pre hype. However, there has been some slight flooding and Woods Park in Wellington is now closed until further notice the city of Wellington just announced.

Sumner County Emergency Management Director James Fair said two funnel clouds formed in the Mayfield-Perth area, but neither one would touch to the ground.

“Not that we know of,” Fair reiterated.

Fair said the funnel system formed just north and west of Perth, but lowered slightly never reaching the ground. The second funnel was located south of Mayfield, but it too did not touch ground. The tornado-like system traveled north and dissipated about two or three miles south of Anson.

As far as hail is concerned, that too would not match the hype. Fair said there was some quarter to half-dollar sized hail in the Conway Springs area. But the rest of Sumner County was spared of any hail damage.

The county did get some nice rain from the storm. Wellington received one inch of rain. Argonia had 2.5 inches. Belle Plaine had 1.34 inches and there was two inches in Peck.

“It varied greatly across the county,” Fair said.

Tornado shelters are located at Sumner Regional Medical Center and Wellington Health and Rehabilitation

If a tornado comes

Sumner Newscow report — The following is reprinted from the Wellington Fire/EMS newsletter concerning tornadoes.

The public should have a predesigned place in their home or business to take shelter. Many times there is little to no warning and driving to a public shelter would be dangerous. Public shelters are located at Sumner Regional Medical Center and the Wellington Health and Rehabilitation, located at 1600 W. 8th.

———

The City of Wellington maintains outdoor warning sirens located throughout the city, the airport and at the Wellington Lake. The sirens can be activated by Sumner Count 911 or by the fire and the police departments.

Sirens are only activated in the event the National Weather Service includes the city of Welington or lake in the tornado warning, or if a qualified spotter such as law enforcement or fire personnel observes a tornado or funnel.

Sumner Regional Medical Center stands to gain $850,000 a year with Medicaid expansion

Fighting for expansion

by James Jordan, Sumner Newscow — The Kansas State Hospital Association is kicking off an effort to get Medicaid expanded in Kansas, which would open the state to financial benefits of the Affordable Health Care Act, also known as Obamacare. A town hall meeting was held in Wellington at the Recreation Center meeting room.

Local hospital officials are also interested in the expansion. Wellington is struggling like many rural hospitals and stands to gain $850,000 per year if the state were to get on board with Obamacare.

The hospital association plans to hold meetings around the state to educate the public on the benefits of expanding medicaid.

They have a bill aimed at doing the expansion in a way that would not cost a lot of money, and answers the questions of those opposed, said Jessica Lucas, consultant for the Kansas Hospital Association.

Kansas governor Sam Brownback, along with the conservative Republican controlled legislature have opposed the move strongly and have refused to even give it a hearing. There are still 19 states that have not approved the expansion, while 31 have.

Sunday blog: How much is city water really worth?

Sumner Newscow editorial

Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The latest throw down at Wellington City Hall comes courtesy of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Water quality has become the hot topic since the unfortunate situation in Flint, Mich. The feds have mandated to KDHE that stiffer water regulations must apply.

As a result, KDHE has issued a warning to the city of Wellington that it will face stiff fines if it doesn’t stop supplying untreated water to those in the Mayfield area who have tapped in the water lines in turn allowing them to pump for much needed water on their private properties.

According to James Jordan story (see here), there has been a gentleman’s agreement since the 1950s in which the city can drill on the personal property of those living in rural Sumner County, east of Mayfield. In turn, these property owners could have access to city water near these wells – albeit it be untreated water.

Originally, there were 25 property owners who agreed to the deal. Earlier this year, the council attempted to contact these 25 owners, and 13 of them responded that they don’t want or need water; or could not be reached. That left 12 who responded and needed water. The city formed an agreement with seven property owners to be given $6,000 to help dig a well. The other five property owners have not taken the deal, including one who has refused saying $6,000 wasn’t enough.

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