Category Archives: Featured

Les Dean is named new Sumner Regional Medical Center CEO; starts April 1

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — By a 5-0 vote this afternoon, the Sumner Regional Medical Center board of directors approved the hiring of Les Dean as the CEO for the county’s largest healthcare facility.

Les Dean is currently the laboratory manager at SRMC. He will be replacing Barry Harding on April 1. Harding was hired through the Community Hospital Corporation to be the interim CEO at SRMC since November 2015.

Les Dean

Les Dean

Dean has worked at SRMC since 20o6 as Director of Clinical Laboratory Operations overseeing the operation of all areas in the laboratory including complexity testing – blood banking, clinical chemistry, microbiology, hematology, phlebotomy, drug of abuse testing, proficiency testing, customer service, outreach marketing and personnel management. This will be his first experience as a hospital administrator.

SRMC logo.BMPSRMC Board President Fred Hinman said the board decided to hire within, listing several reasons for the move. He said Dean is considered a good manager with deep knowledge of the inner workings of SRMC and its financial situation. He is considered level headed and highly respected amongst his peers. He can start on the ground running. And, best of all, SRMC can afford him.

“When we announced this to the managers at SRMC, they erupted in applause,” Hinman said. “Les realizes that being administrator is not just a job, but that he is overseeing SRMC as an important part of the community.”

Dog’s Purpose playing at Wellington Regent; Also, Wayne’s World…

This week at the Regent Theater: “A Dog’s Purpose”

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

Wayne's WorldPlus: Wayne’s World, Thursday at 7 p.m. and Friday at 10 p.m.

“Dog’s Purpose” Feature film rating: PG (for thematic elements and some peril).

Time: 2 hours.

Movie Synopsis: “A Dog’s Purpose” shares the soulful and surprising story of one devoted dog who finds the meaning of his own existence through the lives of the humans he teaches to laugh and love.

Special delivery: Valengrams fill the Wellington air with music this Valentine’s Day

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — On Valentine’s Day, a group of Wellington High School students with singing voices took to the high school, the middle school, the elementary schools, the businesses, and a few homes in the community to deliver a Valengram.

A Valengram is a singing telegram and there were 65 of them delivered Tuesday by Crusader singers and the WHS Choir.

This marks the third year that WHS Choir instructor Jessica Coldwell has implemented the program where students go through the community delivering not flowers, not chocolate, but a song.

“It really has taken off,” Coldwell said. “The first two years I didn’t know that much about the community and we went to a few places. But now, it is a much bigger deal.”

Students started at 7 a.m. and sung to their heart’s content until around 3:30 p.m.

Sumner County legislators will have listening tour in Wellington, Argonia and Conway Springs on March 2

Submitted to Sumner Newscow — Sumner County Farm Bureau will be sponsoring a legislative listening tour on Thursday, March 2 at 9 a.m.

•Rep. Kyle Hoffman, Rep. Anita Judd-Jenkins, and Sen. Larry Alley will be at No. 7 Coffeehouse in Wellington, 115 S. Washington. Coffee and cinnamon rolls will be provided.

•At 11 a.m., Rep. Hoffman and Sen. Alley will be at the Argonia Community Building, 114 W. Walnut.

•At 1:30 p.m., Rep. Hoffman and Sen. Alley will be at Farm Bureau agent Molly Fisher’s office in Conway Springs, 202 W. Spring. 

The legislators will spend about an hour at each location.  They will give a brief update on events in Topeka and then visit/take questions with those in attendance. 

Rose Hill teams provide no Valentines for visiting Crusaders

Ian King's 12 points weren't enough as Rose Hill overpowers Wellington. Above, Shayland French sees slew of Rose Hill players in big loss to Rockets.

Ian King’s 12 points weren’t enough as Rose Hill overpowers Wellington. Above, Shayland French sees slew of Rose Hill players in big loss to Rockets.

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — If the Wellington girls are going to lose a game in Rose Hill this season, losing the one on Valentine’s Day would be preferable.

But Tuesday’s 49-33 loss to Rose Hill has to be concerning consider this is the same Rocket team Wellington has to get through if it wishes to return to state.

The same goes for the boys, who had an equally dispiriting loss to Rose Hill 62-55 in the nightcap.

One could say all the Valentine’s roses went to Rose Hill.

Wellington girls fell to 12-5 and kissed its league championship hopes good bye in a game that was dominated by Rose Hill from the start. The first two times these two teams played there was more than enough drama and they split exciting overtime, double overtime games. Tuesday night was all Rockets.

Rose Hill implemented a zone press and took a 17-6 first quarter lead, and expanded its lead to 31-16 at the half. Wellington played evenly with Rose Hill for most of the second half, but missed some very easy baskets. Still the Lady Dukes got within seven points midway through the fourth quarter, before Rose Hill closed out the game by scoring the final 9 points.

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The Valentine’s Day question







Do you care about Valentine's Day?

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Wellington school board names Adam Hatfield as assistant superintendent; talks about football locker room

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Adam Hatfield, the current Wellington High School principal, has been named assistant superintendent by the school board at its monthly meeting Monday.

Hatfield will replace Brad Morris, who is retiring on June 30, 2017.

Adam Hatfield

Adam Hatfield

Hatfield will remain in the WHS principal capacity until July 1 where he will officially switch positions to become the assistant superintendent for the 2017-18 academic school year.

He has been the high school principal since June of 2014 when he as an assistant principal replaced Dale Adams, the head principal at the time.

The motion came after three executive sessions for non-elected personnel that lasted 30, 15 and 15 minutes. It passed unanimously.

The board also renewed the contract of all other USD 353 school administrators for another year. Currently, only the high school principal position needs to be filled.


New football locker room

A Crusader Strong video: Wellington’s Eisenhower Elementary student’s Living Museum

Sumner Newscow report — Here is the latest Crusader Strong production from Samson Ledesma’s Salty Media House. This one is the living museum presented by students at Wellington’s Eisenhower Elementary last week:

Sylvester Provencio pleads guilty to aggravated indecent solicitation felony charge in rape case; sentencing in March

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Sylvester Provencio, 22, of Caldwell has pled guilty to “aggravated indecent solicitation of a child,” a level 5 felony.

The plea bargain was reached on Friday with the Sumner County Attorney’s office. Provencio is scheduled to be sentenced for the felony on Thursday, March 9 at 1:30 p.m. in Sumner County District Court.

The other five counts including the off-grid felony of rape and four misdemeanor counts of furnishing alcohol to a minor has been dismissed by the court.

Provencio is currently serving a 31-month prison sentence for reckless aggravated battery for an unrelated crime involving an attack of two Caldwell men in August, 2015.

Provencio was accused of raping a 13-year-old girl during a New Year’s Eve Party on Jan. 1, 2016 at the home of his parents. He originally pled not guilty during an arraignment in March.

Sunday feature: Character activities at Eisenhower help students to be better people

Eisenhower students participating in character driven assembly.

Eisenhower students participating in character driven assembly.

by Amber Schmitz, Sumner Newscow — Eisenhower Elementary wants to instill good character traits in their students. Within the last few years, the staff has started character building activities on a monthly basis, including having a guest speaker at a special assembly.

“Each month, we choose a character trait, such as fairness,” said Amy Jenkins, third grade teacher. “We have a day of assembly, and recognize the kids in each grade who have shown that character trait.”

This year, a fan tunnel was added, where members of the community come and high five the kids right before school. At the end of the day, a special speaker arrives for another assembly.

“We’ve always done the character count, and recognized kids for different traits, and we always had a guest speaker” Jenkins said. “This year, we added the fan tunnel, it’s a lot more motivating for kids, and we make it a whole day.”

Staff works with the students for a week and a half to give a lesson on the character trait of the month, then they sing a song, which is different every month.

Sunday blog: Nothing succeeds like success

Robert Escandon

Robert Escandon

Commentary by Robert Escandon, Sumner Newscow columnist – Some years ago, while still living in England, I co-owned an Engineering business.  My business partner and I decided to negotiate with our wives for one week’s leave of absence so we could go to Daytona, Fla. for the annual motorbike races and festivities.  Both wives duly advanced permission, so the two of us flew to Daytona.

We did the expected things:  walked up and down looking at all the beautiful Harley Davidson’s and chatting to their proud owners.  I recall one man who, I thought at the time, was going a tad too far with the worship of his glorious machine.  There he was with leather chaps, gang tattoos, grey beard and ample stomach looking every bit like a hard biker dude! Somewhat surprisingly, he had a pink feather duster and was lovingly using it to clean between the cooling fins of the engine.  Now, I like a clean bike,  BUT ——–!!!

Basically, we had left our responsibilities at home and reverted to being two “grown-up little boys” for a week.    We also got a buzz from watching the Weather Channel and seeing the blizzards up north while we were basking in the Florida sunshine.

I took home memories of a fun and relaxing vacation.  However, there was one particular memory than stuck in my mind.

We heard on the news that the Space Shuttle was due for take-off the following morning at 6:30 a.m. and figured that this was an event we had to witness.  Unfortunately, Daytona is just too far from Cape Canaveral to view the launch directly — the horizon gets in the way.  But we reasoned that the shuttle would be visible, just a few seconds after take-off, if we stood on Daytona Beach and looked due south.

WHS grad Roby Robertson keeps the fairways and greens looking nice at the rowdy Phoenix Open

Crusaders around the world
by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow
— Sunday afternoon before the Super Bowl telecast, the Phoenix Open, considered the largest PGA tournament of its kind, was being broadcast on a different channel.

Roby Robertson

Roby Robertson

As PGA golfers took to the 36-hole TPC Scottsdale Golf Course for the Open’s final day of golf, sometime during the telecast, CBS announcer Jim Nance mentioned the great condition of the greens. He then gave a shoutout to Roby Robertson, the director of maintenance operations at TPC Scottsdale. “Row-be” as Nance called him, had done a great job with the course as his name flashed across the screen to the nationwide audience.

While Nance mispronounced his first name, it was a big moment for the 1986 Wellington High School graduate, who had the dutiful task of making sure the fairways and greens were at mint condition while hosting the largest and rowdiest crowd in PGA golf.

Golf aficionados are well aware that the Phoenix Open is the most unique of tournaments. It is a party and it brings out a crowd that you would associate with football and basketball. In 2016, there were 205,000 people attending the event on a given Saturday and 618,835 fans throughout the week. And a temporary 20,000 seat stadium is erected on the 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale, where fans can sit and drink plenty of adult beverages while cheer/jeering the biggest names in golf.

The all-you-need-to-know guide to Sumner County basketball teams and this year’s sub-states

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The next three weeks are what basketball coaches like to borrow a metaphor from baseball. We are in the home stretch.

The seven Sumner County schools have just two weeks of regular season basketball. Not only are they vying for league titles, but are looking for the best sub-state seedings.

Here’s a look at the sub-states that involve Sumner County teams going into Friday night. Also, updated league standings are below.

Mulvane 6-9 vs. Rose Hill
Wellington 5-10 1 vs. Andale
Rose Hill 4-11 2 at Mulvane
Winfield 2-13 4 at Augusta

Analysis: The Wellington boys have five games left, but none of them are more important than a home game with Mulvane on Friday, Feb. 17. If Wellington can pick up a game on Mulvane that would put them in a tie for the top seed in the Rose Hill Sub-State. The top seed means the difference between playing a very beatable Winfield team or having a huge first round test with Rose Hill. Wellington must also not lose to Rose Hill on its home court next Tuesday, or it could fall all the way to No. 3.

No. 5 Rose Hill 13-2 at Mulvane
No. 9 Wellington 11-4 2 vs. Andale
Winfield 7-8 6 at Augusta
Mulvane 5-10 8 Vs. Rose Hill

FAA reiterates to council: We aren’t paying for sewer extension in airport project

by James Jordan, Sumner Newscow — The Wellington City Council learned if the FAA doesn’t want to pay for something, it isn’t going to pay for it.

Despite a formal appeal made by the Wellington City Council, the FAA told the city of Wellington it will not pay for the extended sewer line at the airport runway extension project. Nevertheless, the council members agreed it is still a good deal.

Wellington is expanding the runway to a mile in hopes to lure more air traffic to the airport. Currently, the runway is too short for many of the mid-size private jets to land. The overall cost of the proposed project is more than $3 million total, and the FAA is paying 90 percent of the cost. The state has agreed to pay half of Wellington’s 10 percent match.

A.J. Snipes is named Big Cheese Athlete of the Week

A.J. Snipes 21 points helped lift Crusaders over El Dorado.

A.J. Snipes 21 points helped lift Crusaders over El Dorado.

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — In simultaneous weeks, the Snipes are recipients of a delicious large pizza from Big Cheese.

A.J. Snipes

A.J. Snipes

Wellington High School junior basketball player A.J. Snipes has been named Big Cheese Athlete of the Week. His sister, Lauryn was named the honor the week before.

A.J. Snipes was key to Wellington’s big 55-54 victory over El Dorado during homecoming night last Friday. He scored 21 points including the game-winning free throws.

Then on Tuesday he scored 23 points against Buhler on the road. Due to sickness within the program, Snipes played the whole contest.

For his effort, Snipes earns a free pizza at Big Cheese at 324 N. Washington Ave.

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The post Super Bowl questions

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — This is our annual post Super Bowl poll. Answer carefully. With all that is going on in the world, this is important stuff.





With much of this Super Bowl being a blowout, how much of the game did you watch?

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Did you like the Lady Gaga halftime show?

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These were the top 3 Super Bowl commercials according to the USA Today ad meter. What is your favorite? (Commercials are below)

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Kia – Hero’s Journey

Double victory! Wellington 7th and 8th grade girls win everything in El Dorado

Wellington girls celebrate after going 30-0 over middle school career.

Wellington girls celebrate after going 30-0 over middle school career.

A large Wellington fan base was on hand to cheer on the Knights.

A large Wellington fan base was on hand to cheer on the Knights.

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — El Dorado Middle School hosted the 2017 Pioneer League Girls Div. IV tournament, but it was the Wellington teams that were in the spotlight.

The Wellington eighth grade would beat the host Wildcats 47-32 to complete an undefeated season and go 30-0 over its middle school career. Earlier in the evening, the Wellington seventh grade would beat El Dorado 32-26.

It was a big evening for the Knight nation, especially for a group of eighth graders, who not only went undefeated but were rarely challenged.

Wellington 8th grade girls are Pioneer League champions.

Wellington 8th grade girls are Pioneer League champions.

“This is the sixth time (El Dorado) played us, and this was absolutely the hardest they played against us, and they play hard against us every time,” said Jeff Frazee, Wellington eighth grade girls basketball coach. “But no matter what an opponent throws at our girls, they respond.”

Wellington Police Notes: Friday, Feb. 3 – Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017

WPD Wellington police notes logoWellington Police notes: Friday, Feb. 3 – Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017:

Sunday commentary: What is this Common Core Math stuff?

Robert Escandon

Robert Escandon

by Robert Escandon, Sumner Newscow columnist — We’ve all seen media stories of our young children coming home from school with math assignments that make them cry with frustration.  Plus, we have parents who are equally frustrated because they can’t help their kids with homework as simple as multiplication and division, because the “new Common Core” methodology bears little or no resemblance to the simple rote methods by which they themselves were taught.

Early on, teachers were informed that the upcoming Common Core would focus on the understanding of ‘why’ a particular math method works because this would benefit them, intellectually  in later mathematics.  Basic rote-learning of a particular methodology for solving math problems would — it was argued — not help them to acquire new and necessary future math skills for our rapidly changing world.  I read one article which described the Common Core approach as “education,” versus the traditional rote methods, as “Skill Training.”  At the introduction of Common Core, teachers were inspired to teach in-depth and not just in–breadth.  That was the mantra.  I’m still unsure precisely how to accomplish that.

The actual school Common Core Curriculum is even difficult for some teachers (myself included) to understand.  It is not written as a straight listing of competences to be achieved, which is what a College lecturer is given.  Instead, much of it reads like a mathematics lawyer authored it.  Example:  “Students will apply and abstract concepts applicable to a range of scenarios etc. etc.”

Wellington teams go 5-0 over El Dorado on a big homecoming night of basketball

A.J. Snipes 21 points helped lift Crusaders over El Dorado.

A.J. Snipes 21 points helped lift Crusaders over El Dorado. (Photo by Eric Rinehart). 

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — With an expanded band, a full capacity crowd, and homecoming festivities throughout the evening, it was Wellington’s night to shine. The basketball teams did not disappoint.

The boys basketball team defeated El Dorado 55-54 in a wild affair to cap a successful Wellington evening. Earlier in the night, the Wellington girls rolled El Dorado 68-26.

Wellington swept all five basketball games for the evening.

Most definitely, the game of the night was the varsity boys one-point victory over El Dorado as the Gentlemen Dukes scored their third victory in a row.

“Only 10 years,” said Rick Roitman, Wellington head boys basketball coach when asked if the game aged him 15 years. “This game had so many peaks and valleys. I’m so proud how the boys fought through the adversity.”

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