Category Archives: Featured

On Nov. 22, 1963, Wellington and the nation mourned the passing of a President

Kennedy 50 years ago

EDITOR’S NOTE — This article was written three years ago on Nov. 22, 2013. We have decided to republish it again. Please note that you can still post your experiences of what happened that day in the comment section below. 

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — One could argue on Nov. 22, 1963, Wellington was in its heyday as a burg.

Wal-Mart and Dillons hadn’t taken hold of the town yet. The downtown was thriving and several supermarkets and department stores were vying for the consumer’s attention.

As a result, the Wellington Daily News was a spirited and thriving six-day a week newspaper filled with all the national, state and local news any local reader would ever need.

And on that Friday afternoon edition, the WDN had one hell of a story to tell.

Draped across the top in bold 100-point font black, a headline screamed “PRESIDENT KENNEDY ASSASSINATED!” In less dramatic print was “Killed by sniper; governor wounded.”

This was a microfilm copy of the Wellington Daily News on Nov. 22, 1964.

This was a microfilm copy of the Wellington Daily News on Nov. 22, 1963.

The shooting occurred at 12:29 p.m. that day. Undoubtedly, the WDN editors were busy piecing the paper together on an approaching deadline when the news hit some 30 minutes later. As a result, the front page was a big schizophrenic. On the left side, the paper was filled with regular type news. The right side was the JFK assassination news. In the news business that is called digging a hole to get in a last second big news story.

Eddie Shaw, who wrote a popular column called “Reporting Mainstreet,” wrote that day about the arrival of the various local 1964 calendars and the Wellington junior high play at the time called “The Mouse that Roared.”

The paper captured the essence of the moment that the community of Wellington and millions of people everywhere were experiencing. In the middle of complete routine, the President of the United States was shot and killed.

Would there ever be a more collective shocking jolt to the American people then at that particular moment in time? It’s hard to imagine. After all, it was 1963. 

Wellington girls ranked No. 5 in preseason KBCA poll; Conway Springs girls, Caldwell boys also in top 10

Sumner County basketball news

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The Wellington girls basketball team has been ranked No. 5 in the preseason Class 4A Div. 1 girls poll released by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association (see full poll here) today.

Wellington, which finished third place last year in the state tournament, returns all but one starter from a team that finished 24-1 in 2015-16. The top 10 teams are as follows:

1. Bishop Miege

2. Paola

3. McPherson

4. Labette County

5. Wellington

6. Kansas City Piper

7. Andover Central

8. Abilene

9. Circle

10. Rose Hill.

Miege is the defending state champions. Wellington will be competing against Circle and Rose Hill in the Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League Div. IV.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will continue throughout this week at Regent at 7 p.m.


This week at the Regent Theater: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them continues nightly…

Schedule: The movie will be played at 7 p.m. nightly throughout the week.

Feature film rating: PG-13 (for some fantasy action violence).

Time: 2 hours 12 minutes.

Movie Synopsis: The magic of Harry Potter lives on in this Warner Bros. spin-off penned by {J.K. Rowling}, and intended as the first chapter in a whole new fantasy film franchise. 

Rotten Tomatoes rating (movie critics collective approval ratings): 76%. Audience review: 85% liked it. Critic’s consensus: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them draws on Harry Potter‘s rich mythology to deliver a spinoff that dazzles with franchise-building magic all its own.

Bravo’s Italian Bistro opens for business in Wellington this weekend

Antonio Pronto, a chef from Venice, Italy, opens the family owned business this weekend.

Antonio Pronto, a chef from Venice, Italy, opens the family owned business this weekend.

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Bravo’s Italian Bistro, located in the old Rocco’s building at 107 W. Harvey Ave. in Wellington , held a soft opening this weekend.

Using just word of mouth and the social media, Bravos opened to rave reviews from the locals. This will be the second business venture for Antonio Pronto, who opened a similar restaurant in El Dorado this February.

Antonio was born and raised in Venice, Italy. At the age of 19, he came to America and worked in the restaurant business in Kansas City for 17 years before striking out on his own.

“Cooking is an art, and always a passion of mine,” Antonio said. “I think the people here will see just how delicious authentic Italian food can be.”

Bravo’s will be open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. The business will offer freshly-made Italian food and assorted homemade bread. The only thing that will be pre-prepared is the tomato sauce, Antonio said. 

Sunday blog: Trump’s Kansas politician gaze; Wellington City’s problematic policy with utility bill distribution


Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Kansas may be deemed a wasteland by the east and west coast elitists. But few can argue, when it comes to politics and building the new Trump cabinet, Kansas has been the center of attention.

It seems like every Kansas Republican except Bob Dole has been mentioned as a top prospect for a Trump cabinet post.

Our own fourth district U.S. Representative Mike Pompeo has just been named CIA Director.

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran was considered the leading candidate for the Secretary of Agriculture post as was outgoing U.S. Congressman Tim Huelskamp.

Mike Pompeo

Mike Pompeo

Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State, was up for the U.S. Attorney General’s job.

Why is this? It is apparent Trump, or make that Mike Pence, administration will have a hard conservative slant – and Kansas has a plethora of political leaders, who hold that agenda.

Pompeo has been a good representative for the fourth district. Yes, he is very conservative, but he has been sympathetic to populist causes as was the case with Boeing departure from Wichita, a few years back.

Will he make a good CIA Director? I haven’t a clue. But even the left-leaning NBC News website said this:

Denny Leak carving Eagle for Eisenhower Elementary

Sumner Newscow community event


By Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Denny Leak is doing it again. The man who carved out the wooden lion statue at Century Park, is currently in front at Eisenhower Elementary School carving out an Eagle.

Eisenhower Elementary’s mascot are the eagles. Thursday afternoon, Leak brought in a cedar tree stump from someplace else and began carving away. He even had a couple of students help him with the preservatives.

Today and maybe next week, he will work on the finer details and painting of the eagle, making it into a reality. 

Sumner County Court Docket: Nov. 17, 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.


Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The Trump Presidency ending question








How do you think the Trump Presidency ends?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Wellington Council upholds 30-day suspension of CMB license to Passtime Bar; water issue to go to court

Wellington City Council meeting report

by James Jordan, Sumner Newscow — By a 4-2 vote, the Wellington City Council upheld the suspension of a cereal malt beverage license by Wellington Police Chief Tracy Heath for Julie’s Passtime Bar at its meeting Tuesday. The owners, Thomas and Julie Crow, had asked that the suspension be reduced or put in place at a later time. The council agreed to wait until after next weekend so they could hold a pool tournament this coming weekend.

julies-passtime-barBack in August, Wellington police officers found gambling machines inside the bar, which were determined to be illegal (see story here).

Julie Crow said at the time she thought they were legal, and is trying to figure out a way to get some legal ones. She said without the machines it will be nearly impossible to keep the business open.

City officials said she can stay open, just not sell beer during the suspension period.

Police officers removed the machines and the money in them, and recommended the 30 day suspension, which was being appealed.

Kelly Hawley made the motion to uphold the suspension. She said there was no reason to question the police on this issue. She said rules need to be enforced.

Two-car accident occurs at Wal-Mart Tuesday afternoon

Police Report

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — A two-car accident occurred Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. on U.S. 160 in front of the Wal-Mart resulting in one person being airlifted to Wichita.

Cameron Sanchez, 18, of Belle Plaine and Nichole Thomason, 44, of Wellington were involved in an accident resulting  in serious injuries. The second patient was taken to Sumner Regional Medical Center.

There were seven emergency personnel on the scene.

Wellington board approves 1-to-1 Computer Initiative which will link 1 Chromebook to 1 student

USD school board meeting report

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The Wellington school board approved a One-to-one Computer Initiative at the middle school – giving each student a laptop computer to work with during the academic year.

Wellington Superintendent Mark Whitener said the program will start in the fall of 2017 with one middle school class. Additional classes would then be added periodically. The goal is to have all middle school students equipped with a Chromebook by Christmas of 2017. The high school student implementation will start in the fall of 2018.

“We talked about it, planned on it, and now we are about to execute it,” said Angie Ratcliff, Wellington board member. “I want to thank Mr. Whitener for having the vision to put this plan in place. It will be good for students and the community.”

The proposal was approved 6-0. Jason Newberry was not in attendance for the Nov. 10 meeting.


Resignations and hirings

Julie’s Passtime Bar faces 30-day CMB license suspension; appeal hearing slated for Tuesday’s council meeting


Julie Crow, owner of Julie’s Passtime Bar.

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The Wellington City Council will be hearing an appeal from Julie Crow, owner of Julie’s Passtime Bar on 424 S. Washington, who has recently been served notice that the Cereal Malt Beverage License for the business could be suspended for 30 days.

Wellington Police Chief Tracy Heath submitted a letter of notification on Nov. 4, 2016 to Crow, stating the cereal malt beverage license at Passtime Bar would be suspended for 30 days after slot machines were discovered on the premises. Heath said in the letter that the suspension will last from Monday, Nov. 14 to Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016. Since then, Crow has appealed the suspension to the Wellington City Council which is scheduled to convene at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the council chambers. Heath said because the suspension is under appeal, Passtime can continue to serve 3.2 beer until the issue is resolved.

Crow said she has operated four slot machines at her pub/restaurant for five years now and was unaware she was breaking any law.

Heath said Crow has currently not been charged with anything. He is currently awaiting a report from the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission, before deciding his next step of legal action.

Heath also stated that if the suspension goes into effect, Passtime will still be able to serve food and remain open for business. The pub simply won’t be able to serve alcohol. Passtime can only serve 3.2 percent beer as an alcoholic beverage.

Sunday blog: Trump is our President – and all we should do now is chill

Five Cueball thoughts


Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Donald Trump is our President.

I am trying to pinpoint exactly how I feel about this fact this Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016.

I’ve experienced a myriad of emotions since Tuesday night. On election night I was giddy because I love upsets, chaos and watching people squirm like what those media types were doing on my television set.

Our reality...

Our reality…

Wednesday, I had that “did that really happen?” feeling. Thursday, I was about to come to terms with the whole Trump Presidency thing when I glanced over to my TV while walking by and saw him sitting there with President Obama.

I had to sit down for a second. This was reality. America just elected Trump.

So back to my original point. How do I feel at this specific time?

Well, let’s say hypothetically I have this daughter who is about to marry this guy I can’t really trust. There really isn’t anything I, the dad, could do but make things worse.

So I just pray for the best, and hope everything will come out just fine.

To me, Trump is that son-in-law I don’t want but now have.



While the election was astonishing, everything since then has been so predictable. I would have been surprised if some of those idiots in the inner cities didn’t protest. I was amused by this one girl writing on her forehead, “Not my President.” Well, honey. Yes he is. He got the most votes – so he won the Presidency. Therefore, Trump is your President. 

WHS Auditorium is packed to salute American Veterans

Above: Feature speaker Jim Valentine, and After School WMS singers performing "God Bless the U.S.A."

Above: Feature speaker Jim Valentine, and After School WMS singers performing “God Bless the U.S.A.”

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Featured Speaker Jim Valentine said it best. The flag is red, white and blue and these colors don’t run.

The annual Veteran’s Day Program was held at the Wellington High School auditorium, and few would argue this was the best one yet.

A full house was there to view the 1 hour and 14 minute program. Americans young and old joined together for a celebration of the Veteran, who has preserved the freedom of this great country.

No words can bring justice to the program. So we will feature pictures. For the full photo gallery click here.

Veteran's from all wars and those who serve all military branches were honored.

Veteran’s from all wars and those who serve all military branches were honored.


Sumner Historical Society Speaker: The U.S. was never gung-ho about getting into World War 1


by Amber Schmitz, Sumner Newscow — During this Veteran’s Day, it is important to remember those who served, and the wars we fought. On Saturday, Nov. 5, the Sumner County Historical Society held such a program at the Wellington Public Library.

Dr. Justin Quinn Olmstead, assistant professor in the University of Central Oklahoma Department of History, presented a program on World War I.

World War I began after Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, were shot to death June 28, 1914 in Serajavo, Bosnia, by Gavrilo Princip, a Serbian nationalist.

After threats escalated and mobilization orders followed the incident, this led to the outbreak of World War I, pitting Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire (Central Powers) against Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy and Japan (the Allied Powers).

Franz Ferdinand’s wife was not as high on the royalty scale as he was. When he first asked the Emperor for her hand in marriage, he was told no. After Ferdinand complained a lot, Olmstead said, he was allowed to marry Sophie, but told she would never be his equal.

Olmstead said that Ferdinand not only loved, but adored, his wife, and went out of his way to spend time with her. At most public events, she was not allowed to be by his side, but had to stand right in front of the servants when entering. In government functions, however, such as visiting troops, she was allowed to attend, so he went to as many as possible.

Post-election analysis: Cowley College proposal got 54.58 percent county-wide vote; but Wellington passed it by more than 60%

Sumner County Election

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Political pundits and people working on campaigns have forever looked at post election data with intrigue. And how precincts vote says a lot about the county’s demographics.

Judging from this election, the county tends to vote more conservatively to the north in communities like Belle Plaine and Conway Springs. Wellington, on the other hand, tends to vote more Democratic than other parts of the county.

Sumner County Clerk Debbie Norris released the precinct vote for some of the major races in the 2016 General Election. (See precinct breakdown here. See full tally sheet here.

Perhaps, the most intriguing race was the Cowley County Community College Sumner Campus vote that raised a half-cent sales tax. The conventional wisdom amongst those who worked diligently on the campaign was the proposal needed to pass Wellington by a certain percentage to offset possible losses in some of the other smaller communities.

That proved to be the case.

The Cowley College vote passed 5,173 (54.58 percent) to 4,304 (45.42%).

In the two Wellington precincts, the proposal passed by a significantly higher percent. In Wellington 1 precinct, the eastern half of the town, voters approved the measure 669 to 345 or a 65.7 percent affirmative vote. In Wellington 2 precinct, the western half, the proposal passed by a similar large margin: 1,174 to 665 for a 63.8 percent affirmative vote.

Explosion outside power plant left town without electricity for about an hour

Breaking News

Video courtesy of Rachel Zoglmann Lansden…

(Updated 2:37 p.m.) by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — A fast moving squirrel that got himself caught up in the wiring of a transformer is being blamed for a citywide power outage that lasted almost two hours Thursday afternoon in Wellington.

Wellington Fire Chief Tim Hay, said the explosion which people around the area heard, was probably a result of a fire that started and got out of control quickly in the transformer adjacently north of the Wellington City Power Plant at 504 S. Blaine. The fire created the outage at 12:30 p.m. today. Electricity was restored to most of the area by 2:45 p.m.

Hay estimates the damage may be around $25,000.

No one was injured in the incident. The road was closed off as city emergency and electric workers worked feverishly to solve the problem.

Wellington City Manager Shane Shields confirmed that the cause of the power plant fire was due to a squirrel.

Sumner Newscow spoke to a couple of people who were close to the incident. 

Huckleberry’s Handmade Cowboy Gear and Western Collectables has ribbon cutting


by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow —  The Wellington Area Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting for Huckleberry’s at 1o7 S. Washington Thursday morning. The new downtown store features handmade Cowboy gear and western collectables.

“Everything here is geared toward the Cowboy and is homemade,” Brian Strange, owner of Huckleberry’s, told the crowd of about 50 this morning. “We make handmade spurs and silver, floral arrangements, oil paintings and photography.

He and his wife, Bethany, moved here with their four younger children last spring, and decided to find a brick and mortar building to go with his online silversmithing business, Huckleberry’s, located at 107 S. Washington. The couple also has three adult children who live on their own. Bethany is currently employed by U.S.D. 259.

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The anti-Hillary Clinton vote question


by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Only 22 percent of the Sumner County electorate voted for Hillary Clinton, the Democrat nominee. That is an astronomically low number for a major party candidate, regardless if she is Democrat or Republican.

While there is probably a myriad of reason why people voted against Hillary, we are asking Sumner County readers the No. 1 reason why they voted against Clinton with the list of selections below.

What was the No. 1 reason why you voted against Hillary Clinton?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Veteran’s Day Program is set for Friday at Wellington High School

U.S. Veteran's Day feature 2014

Sumner Newscow report — The U.S. Veteran’s Day Program was set for 10 a.m. Friday at the Wellington High School Auditorium.

The schedule for the event are as follows:

Welcome – Commander Jim Lockhart.

Post Colors – Color Guard led by Dan Lovell and David Carroll.

Star Spangled Banner – Wellington High School Band, Ben Olson, director.

Pledge of Allegiance – Commander Lockhart.

Opening Prayer – Wayne White, Chaplain American Legion.

Proclamation – Mayor Shelly Hansel. 

Powered by WordPress