Category Archives: Featured

Sub-state basketball starts tonight; cumulative week-long Sumner County calendar

Sumner County Sub-state basketball schedule this week:



Class 2A – Bluestem (9-11) at Oxford (11-9), 7  p.m.


Class 3A – Belle Plaine (0-20) at Caney Valley (18-2); 7 p.m. 

Class 3A – Conway Springs (14-6) at Cheney (15-4). 7 p.m.

Class 1A at Attica – Argonia (9-11) vs. South Haven (6-14), 6 p.m.



31-year-old Wellington woman named as possible link to Friday’s bomb threats

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Helen Leckrone, 31, of Wellington has been arrested and charged by the Wellington Police Department with two counts of aggravated criminal threat relating to the bomb threats at Wellington Eisenhower Elementary School and Triumph Accessories.

The Sumner County Attorney’s office is now awaiting the WPD detective report to determine whether or not to file formal charges. Kerwin Spencer, Sumner County Attorney, said if charges are filed they will be felonies.

Leckrone is currently in Sumner County jail and has been placed on $100,000 bond.

Sunday blog: Can we have a little more Darwinism for awhile?

Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — I was asked an interesting question the other day. Why do I write editorials?

Because I can, I guess.

The question comes at a time, when I haven’t really blazed the First Amendment trail as of late. The last editorial I wrote was more than a month ago when I wrote a snoozer about how private schools shouldn’t play with public schools in sports. That editorial aged me about 20 years just writing it.

Tracy “Cueball” McCue

My last “real” editorial came on Jan. 8 when I asked the city of Wellington to remove the Road Closed signs around that crumbling Lincoln Place. Boy, that editorial worked. It’s Feb. 24 and we still have those lovely orange signs on the corner of Lincoln and Washington. Maybe at this year’s Wheat Festival we can have a new contest, “Decorate the Road Closed signs” kind of like the Decorate Around the Poles contest during Christmas? Give the winner to the young lad who has the best Wheat Festival ornament.

One of the reasons I don’t write as many editorials these days, is simple:

Wellington’s Aaron Schoemann wins fifth place in Class 4A State Tournament

Aaron Schoemann (top) finishes fifth at state tournament in Salina.

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Aaron Schoemann, a Wellington High School junior, finished fifth in the 182 pound division of the Class 4A Kansas State Wrestling Tournament in Salina.

Schoemann would finish 4-2 over the two days, becoming the first WHS wrestler to place in state since 2016.

The Crusaders overall would finish 9 points and place 39th place. Schoemann accounted for all nine points. Wellington had three wrestlers in the big show. Both Kanden Young at 145 and Ian Groom at 195 finished 0-2 on Friday and were eliminated from the tournament.

Three Wellington wrestlers qualified for the state tournament including Kanden Young, Ian Groom and Aaron Schoemann.

Schoemann was the lone wrestlers still in the big show on Saturday after going 1-1 on Friday.

31-year-old Wellington woman has been charged with criminal threat for bomb threats

by Tracy Heath, Wellington Police Chief — On Friday, February 242017, Wellington Police responded to a reported bomb threat at Eisenhower Elementary school, located in the 900 Block North Plum.

Students were evacuated to a safe location and the Kansas Highway Patrol bomb detection dogs were called to the scene.  While investigating this report, a second bomb threat call was received at Triumph Accessories, located on north West Rd, north of Wellington.

Law Enforcement responded to this second location and implemented an evacuation plan.

During the course of the criminal investigation, a 31-year-old Wellington female has been taken into custody and booked into the Sumner County Jail charged with two counts of criminal threat. The bond is $100,000.  

2017 state wrestling live twitter feed…

South Haven school receives a bomb threat this morning; buildings now deemed safe

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The South Haven school district dismissed classes early when the school district received a bomb threat.

South Haven Superintendent Lynn Archer said she won’t divulge how the bomb threat occurred, only that emergency personnel were called in around 10 a.m. this morning. All students and faculty were dismissed and were transferred to a community church as a designated safe place.

At 11 a.m. on students were dismissed for the day.

Archer said since then the buildings were deemed safe and classes will resume as scheduled tomorrow.

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The elimination of income tax for small businesses question







Do you support HB 2178 which would have eliminated Brownback's net income tax exemption for small businesses?

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Larry Alley helps sustain Brownback veto of HB 2178 which would eliminate small business income tax status

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Gov. Sam Brownback veto of HB 2178 — which eliminates a tax exemptions on small businesses currently not paying income taxes — was preserved by three votes in the Kansas State Senate on Wednesday, thanks in part to State Sen. Larry Alley (R- Ark City) of the 32nd District that encompasses Sumner County.

Larry Alley

Alley voted to preserve the veto. The Senate needed 27 votes to override for a two-thirds majority. It would only get 24 of the 40 votes cast, short of the 66 percent requirement.

Meanwhile in the Kansas House, which voted to override the governor 85-40, Sumner County representatives were evenly split.

Anita Judd-Jenkins (R- 80th District) and Ed Trimmer (D- 79th District) voted for the override, while Hoffman (R-116th Dist.) and Pete Degraaf (D- 82nd Dist.) voted to preserve the district.

If passed, HB 2178 would have eliminated a tax exemption that allows more than 330,000 business owners to pay zero state tax on their income. It also would have increased income taxes for many taxpayers and created a third tax bracket.

Wellington police officers will be wearing body cameras thanks to council approval

by James Jordan, Sumner Newscow — Soon Wellington police officers will be wearing body cameras, and all vehicles will have cameras installed as well. The city council approved the purchase of the system at its meeting Tuesday. The cameras will cost $68,660, which is a little less than the $76,000 that was budgeted for the system.

Wellington Police chief Tracy Heath said they have had cameras in the cars for years, but this will be an integrated system that will make it more efficient. Everyone can shoot video now with their phones, and it is time for police to have the same technology, he said.

Heath said body cameras have been experimented with some with different levels of success. This equipment is designed for this use, so should work better.

Heath also said the cameras would provide more information for prosecutors when working a case.

Sub-state basketball pairings announced for 3 to 1A… We have the analysis

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The post-season sub-state basketball tournament brackets have been officially released by the Kansas State High School Activities Association today for Classifications 3A to 1A. The Class 6A-4A brackets will be released on Saturday.

The following are the brackets for all sub-states involving Sumner County teams and the analysis of what to expect ahead:

CLASS 3A GARDEN PLAIN – Conway Springs playing.  

Class 3A Garden Plain sub-state boys bracket can be found here.

Class 3A Garden Plain sub-state girls bracket can be found here.


Conway Springs boys (16-4)

Wellington wins one on the road, downing Clearwater in OT

Silas Popplewell, a freshman, was a key figure in Tuesday's win vs. Clearwater.

Grey Hatfield, a sophomore, was a key figure in Tuesday’s win vs. Clearwater.

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — It was Senior Night in Clearwater and the school was honoring long-time and well respected athletic director Bob Mellen. Yet, Wellington crashed the party. The boys beat the Indians 63-58 in yet another overtime game. Earlier in the evening, the Wellington girls won 48-19 in a snoozer (see story below).

The win Tuesday for the boys was significant in that it was their first road win of the season. Up to this point, Wellington had either won at home or in a tournament contest. Tuesday’s game was the first time the Dukes won in an opponent’s gym.

Secondly, Wellington is in a tussle with Mulvane for the top seed in next week’s Rose Hill sub-state. Both teams are 7-12 (more on that in a future story).

But Rick Roitman, Wellington head boys basketball coach, was less concerned about any of the previous fore mentions. He is just happy that the team is coming together.

The colorful history of the cannons at Memorial Auditorium

This plaque was recently erected next to Memorial Auditorium.

This plaque was recently erected next to Memorial Auditorium.

by Amber Schmitz, Sumner Newscow   The cannons that sit beside Memorial Auditorium have quite a colorful history. Recently, a plaque depicting that history was added to the display, thanks to many contributors.

“We started raising money for this in 2015 in the fall I believe, after we learned they had been in Wellington for so long,” said Annarose White, Wellington Chamber of Commerce Executive Director. “Yet, there was no identification or historical information at the site to share about the cannons.”

Information written by Jim Bales, as well as research done by Jim and Sunni Bales and Jeremy Jones, was use to develop the language for the cannon plaque.

“We ordered from the same company Caldwell used for all of their historical plaques,” White said. “We hope this is the first of many.”

Funds toward purchase of the plaque were raised through the weekly Chamber Coffee meetings that are held Thursday mornings at Daylight Donuts.

Post your FREE Garage Sale ads for this week here

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!

Wellington wrestler Ian Groom named Big Cheese Athlete of the Week

Ian Groom places second at Class 5A regional last weekend.

Ian Groom places second at Class 5A regional last weekend.

By Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Ian Groom, a Wellington High School wrestler, has been named Big Cheese Athlete of the Week.

Groom, a WHS junior, finished 3-1 in the Class 4A Regional in El Dorado to qualify for the state tournament for the first time. He will be performing in the 195 pound division at the state tournament in Salina against a wrestler from Basehor-Linwood.

Groom, who is currently 20-12 for the season, received a first-round bye, before defeating Nicholas Lehman of Andover Central 12-5 . He would go on to decision Garrett Gibson of Winfield 5-2. In the championship final, he wrestled undefeated and top-ranked Anthony Capul of Andale – losing 16-0.  Groom is one of three wrestlers in the state tournament representing Wellington. Aaron Schoemann and Kanden Young are the others.

For his effort, Groom receives a large delicious pizza from Big Cheese Pizza at 324 N. Washington Ave. 

Sumner County resident has connection with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

James Laue is shown in this picture in the background. Not sure the details of this picture but it was recently featured on the Today Show. Sally Lebeda of Caldwell made a screen shot photo.

James Laue is shown in this picture in the background. Not sure the details of this picture but it was recently featured on the Today Show. Sally Lebeda of Caldwell made a screen shot photo.

by Amber Schmitz, Sumner Newscow —  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has a connection with Sumner County – albeit indirectly. James Laue, father of Caldwell Public Library’s librarian Lisa Moreland, worked alongside Dr. King for eight years.

Black History monthBefore Moreland married her husband Matt Moreland and moved to a farm south of South Haven, she was a little girl of a father who worked closely with the civil rights leader. He was there on the night he was slain.

In 1968, Laue was staying in a room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn. next to Dr. King, on the night he was shot, and was also the first person to come to his aide afterwards.

“In April of 1968, I was not quite 3 years old, and I had a little brother who was almost 1,” Moreland said. “My family was living in Virginia at the time, and my father was working for the Department of Justice in the Community Relations Service, a position put into effect by the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”

This picture was taken at Martin Luther King's assassination. King is in the lower left picture with Laue circled.

This picture was taken at Martin Luther King’s assassination. King is in the lower left picture with Laue circled.

Laue grew up in River Falls, Wis., where he attended the University of Wisconsin. After an African American professor sparked his interest in the civil rights movement, he packed his belongings and headed on a train to Harvard, where he earned a Ph.D. After choosing the topic Direct Action with Desegregation, he found himself right in the middle of the civil rights movement.

Sunday blog: “The Donald” – is he a well man?

by Robert Escandon, Sumner Newscow columnist —  My observations, following, are not to be taken as political statements in any manner.  They are just personal observations of the two recent candidates, and their personalities, as individuals!

Being a Green Card holder (a.k.a. legal alien) I am not permitted to vote, so I have no political axe to grind.  To be clear, I did not lean towards either of the main party candidates and would have been unsure where to cast a vote, even I was allowed to do so—– which I am not.

Robert Escandon

Robert Escandon

Let’s look first at Hillary Clinton:  She represented more of the same with a future government locked-up in endless debate, arguing and achieving little that would be new.  She also illustrated how completely out of touch she was with ordinary working people.  For instance, when campaigning in Kentucky she stated that “Coal is dead.”

While this might be true — as society moves towards non-fossil fuel power sources— it was hardly the slogan to use when you wanted the votes of miners who have lost their jobs.  It’s no good telling middle-age miners that “we will retrain you for the coming technologies.”  Is some miner really going to drop his pick axe and go to College to learn coding?  Hillary simply displayed no empathy or understanding of a working class lifestyle. 

Wellington wrestlers get 3 in state at regional in El Dorado

Ian Groom goes 3-1 in Regional held in El Dorado.

Ian Groom goes 3-1 in Regional held in El Dorado.

by James Jordan, Sumner Newscow — Wellington wrestlers did not win many matches Saturday, but the Crusaders still managed to get three qualified for the state wrestling tournament to be held next week. On Saturday at the regional tournament in El Dorado,

Aaron Schoemann, at 182, and Ian Groom, at 195 were already qualified and were in the finals of their respective weight classes Saturday. Both lost in the finals and finished second in the region.

Aaron Schoemann finishes regional runner-up.

Aaron Schoemann finishes regional runner-up.

At the 145 weight class, Kanden Young of Wellington finished fourth and qualified. He won his consolation semifinal match earlier in the day over Lyric Gonsalves of Clearwater. Young was ahead 12-0 and dominated the match in the third round when Gonsalves went down with an apparent knee injury and was unable to continue. Young was declared the winner.

WHS grad Cle Ross named to the NCMC Athletic Hall of Fame

Cle Ross with his son.

Cle Ross with his son.

Submitted to Sumner Newscow — Cle Ross, a 1997 Wellington High School graduate, has been named to the North Central Missouri College Athletic Hall of Fame.

Ross will be one of three athletes selected for induction into the NCMC Athletic Hall of Fame. He along with Cassandra Hunt and Max Mothersbaugh represent a strong 2017 class.  The induction ceremony will be between the women’s and men’s basketball games on Saturday, February 18.  A reception for the Hall of Fame recipients will also be held in the Sugg Room of the Ketcham Community Center that day at 1 p.m., one hour prior to the women’s tipoff.

Ross competed for the NCMC Pirates baseball program during his sophomore year in 2000.  That year, Cle set the single season school record for stolen bases (43) and played well enough to earn a roster spot at NCAA Division I University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff for his final two collegiate seasons.  While there, he held school records for the highest single season batting average (.377) and career batting average (.359). He also earned First Team All Southwestern Conference honors and was voted team Player of the Year in 2002.  Following this success, Ross played one year of unaffiliated minor league baseball as well.

Regional preview: Wellington has 6 wrestlers competing in regional wrestling tourney

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — In the high school wrestling world, today is the NFL Playoffs. Next week’s state tournament is the Super Bowl.

Crusader head logoThe Wellington wrestling squad will be sending six wrestlers to the Class 4A Regional Wrestling Tournament today at El Dorado starting at 3 p.m. today. That’s a far cry from the full 14 member squad that many teams will bring. Of the six, there are no seniors.

“I can’t remember there ever being a year when Wellington had no seniors in a regional, not since I’ve been head coach at least,” said Mitch McComb, Wellington head wrestling coach. “The great thing is I’ll have all six of these wrestlers next year.”

Wellington bringing just six wrestlers of the 30 or so wrestlers that started the season is a colossal soap opera that takes way too much time to tell here.

Nevertheless, McComb says this year the quality of the wrestlers in El Dorado today may exceed the quantity. Two of the six are three seeds, projected to go to state. The other four, with a little luck, could vie for a Class 4A state tournament berth which will be held in Salina next week.

Those wrestling from Wellington today are:

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