Category Archives: Featured

Veteran’s Day special: Six Vietnam buddies get reacquainted with one another 44 years later

War reunion feature

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Veteran’s Day means different things for different people. For Eldon Lawless of Wellington it is a reminder that you’re never too old to reunite with military friends.

Lawless served Vietnam for a year in 1970— partially in Saigon and six months at Phu Bai, South Vietnam at Firebase Sally. And 44 years later, thanks to the magic of Internet, he reunited with his friends, who were so much part of his life for more than six months.

After graduating from Kansas State University, Lawless enlisted in the military and would eventually become part of a battalion whose missions were aiming large guns at prearranged targets. While they weren’t in direct battle conflict much like those who crawled through rice patties or spent months in the wet humid jungle, they most certainly saw their fair share of warfare.

And in those six months, these six men would share the bunker, engage in battle together, eat together, go to sleep together, drink beer together. Their lives were intertwined 24-7.

Canvassing numbers reverses race gives Trimmer victory

Sumner County 2014 election

By Shane Farley, — Numbers from canvassing in Sumner and Cowley Counties show that incumbent Democrat Ed Trimmer has pulled ahead in the race for Kansas House of Rep. in the 79th Dist.

Ed Trimmer

Ed Trimmer

Trimmer, a Winfield Democrat, trailed by 6 votes when counting was finished on Election Day.

A final tally showed Trimmer with 3,341 votes to 3,324 for Larry Alley, his Republican challenger. Alley also is from Winfield. No word yet on possible recount issues regarding this race.

Sunday feature: From August to November, the WHS football team had little luck on its side

Strange season Wellington football

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — For the second consecutive season, the Wellington football team finished with a winning record. In many ways the 5-4 season of 2013 and 2014 were identical. Both teams started off strong and were at one point 4-1. Both teams lost to the same opponents: Andale, Wichita Collegiate and Mulvane.

And in the end after opening with a district opening win, the Crusaders would lose their final two games in frustrating fashion and miss the playoffs.

But the similarities end there. The circumstances surrounding the seasons were much different. The 2013 team lost its season based on off the field issues.

On the other hand, the 2014 team was a victim of bad luck.

WHS football team broke or tied 8 school records in 2014… and it could have been much more

Records and season ending stats

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — While it may have not been a season for the ages, it was a season for the record books for the 2014 Wellington High School football team.

Wellington broke or tied eight school records in 2014 and probably would have had a few more had injuries not played a factor down the season’s stretch.

It was a season in which Wellington accumulated 3,034 yards of offense (see offensive and defensive stats below), and scored 37 touchdowns. And the combination of the high yardage of 2013 with this year’s team, made for several record breaking performances by individuals.

Here’s a list of those school records broken in 2014: 

That smell you smelled last week was from Wellington City Sludge

Wellington smell

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — A week ago, about this time, there was a foul odor that was noticeable around Wellington. Interim City Manager Shane Shields said the odor was not caused by Elkhorn Valley beef packing plant, but was from sludge from the city of Wellington Wastewater Plant used for agricultural purposes.

At Tuesday’s city council meeting, Director of Water and Wastewater Gilbert Berryman confirmed that spreading of sludge on farm ground near the plant had just been completed late on Friday, Oct. 24. The farmer had not had time to work the ground and that resulted in the foul odor.

Berryman said the Wastewater Plant generates about 600,000 pounds of sludge a year. Sludge is a solid mass left over after wastewater goes through the treatment process. The liquid is run through a centrifuge that separates the solids from the water and is then stored in a holding barn for 30 days to kill any pathogens that are left over. 

Seussical – The Musical to be performed at Wellington High School Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Seussical feature

Sumner Newscow report — “Seussical – The Musical” will be performed by the Wellington High School Drama Department under the direction of Dorothea Kelly. The musical will be held on Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

The musical features all of the favorite Seuss stories woven into one musical extravaganza performed for three days at the Wellington High School Auditorium. Tickets may be reserved via e-mail at or   

‘Best of Me’ being shown in Wellington Regent Theater

Best of me at Regent

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

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

Rated: PG-13 Time: 1 hour and 59 minutes.

Movie Synopsis: Based on the bestselling novel by acclaimed author Nicholas Sparks, The Best of Me tells the story of Dawson and Amanda, two former high school sweethearts who find themselves reunited after 20 years apart, when they return to their small town for the funeral of a beloved friend.

Alice Anderson-Stiles of Caldwell accused of misappropriating $20,000 out of Corbin Water District fund for personal use

Stiles-Anderson use this one

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Alice Anderson-Stiles, 63, of Caldwell has been charged with two counts of theft, level 7 felonies, for racking up $28,970 of unauthorized charges to Sumner County Rural Water District No. 7 in Corbin for personal use. She is also accused of funneling about $20,000 of deposit money from the RWD#7 savings account for personal expenditures.

Anderson-Stiles was the financial administrator for the Corbin water district. She is accused of misappropriating RWD#7 funds from Jan. 14, 2011 to March 3, 2014. RWD board member Nancy Zogleman gathered the figures in an Excel spreadsheet and turned it over to Sumner County Sheriff authorities in late April (see alleged expenditure list below).

According to the Sumner County District Court complaint:

  “During the three-year time frame, Anderson-Stiles took $20,000 of deposits in the RWD#7 savings account which originated to be a refundable deposits from new customers for meters and to be held in a trust until a motion is passed to extend service to the new customers and did so with intent to deprive RWD#7 and those making a deposit permanently of the possession.

Anderson-Stiles transferred funds out of the savings account with no legal authority to do so and contrary to board instructions so that by transferring the funds into the checking account, she could have more funds to make her private purchases with.”

Alice Anderson-Stiles

Alice Anderson-Stiles

According to the arrest affidavit, on April 11, 2014, Zogleman contacted the Sheriff Department stating the board — which consists of seven members including Alice’s husband Carl Stiles — was going to her home. At the time, the board discovered about $20,000 to $30,000 was missing from the the water district account and it suspected the long-time administrator had been using the accounts for personal use.

Zogleman told the Sheriff’s Department Anderson-Stiles did not want to give up the water district records and equipment when contacted by Zoglemann and another board member Amy Schoffner. Two sheriff deputies agreed to stand by the residence in case of a disturbance. The two board members entered and collected the records and equipment with no incident. One of the board members asked to borrow a deputy’s collar video to tape the entry. 

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The favorite campaign commercial ad question








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Analysis: Sumner County went overwhelming Republican; but not so much in Wellington itself

How Sumner County voted

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Political junkies know the ins and outs of politics. They know where the votes lie. They know the strong areas of red Republican and where the blue Democrats are.

But red and blue areas aren’t just for national and state races. Sometimes a county can offer some clues to its political makeup. And the 2014 General Election has proven that Sumner County can be as diverse as voters in Sedgwick or Johnson County (see precinct by precinct vote totals here: 2014 general results – by precinct copy

Tuesday was a mix bag for the county. Sumner County turned in a heavy vote cast for Republican U.S. Senator Pat Roberts by a 58 to 36 percent margin over Greg Orman, Independent. It also strongly supported Republican Sam Brownback 52 to 43 percent over Democrat challenger Paul Davis.

But when looking at the statewide map, Sumner County rates right in the middle as a Republican stronghold in Kansas. Check out this map here. The county wasn’t like Riley or Douglass Counties where the Democrats achieved their greatest success Tuesday. But Sumner voters didn’t vote in the Republican candidates by more than 70 percent like some counties in western Kansas did.

When you break down Tuesday’s Sumner County votes, there seems to be two kinds of voters: Those who live in Wellington and those who live elsewhere. 

Melody Brown charged with 2 felonies for obstruction of search for Thaddeus Myers

Sumner Newscow news report

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Melody Brown, 39, of Wellington has been charged in Sumner County District Court with obstruction apprehension or prosecution of a felon, a level 8 nonperson felony; and interference with law enforcement, a level 8 felony in a case involving Thaddeus Myers of Wellington, who was considered a fugitive from Aug. 21 to Sept. 19, 2014.

Melody Brown

Melody Brown

Brown is accused on Sept 2 through Sept 19 of knowingly “harboring, concealing and aiding” Myers, who was facing charges on eight Level 3 and 4 felonies stemming from the possession and distribution of marijuana and methamphetamine felonies (see story here).

Thaddeus Myers

Thaddeus Myers

According to the Sumner County Court Complaint, Brown and Myers have been living together for several years, and both were charged with conspiracy and sale of meth on April 11, 2014, and intent to distribute marijuana found inside their residence on July 19, 2014. A felony arrest warrant was issued to Myers on Aug. 20, 2014, and a Wellington Police Department detective had been trying to serve him since.

Allegedly, the WPD detective spoke with Brown on Sept. 2 asking her if she had knowledge of his whereabouts and she denied that she knew where Myers might be. On Sept. 11 the same detective asked Brown again and she told him she had heard Myers had left for Florida where he has some relatives, but she did not know where he was because she had not talked to him because he was mad at her at the time.

WHS Senior Mikala Bradbury represented Kansas at Constitution Day in Washington D.C.

Representing Kansas Bradbury

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The U.S. Constitution may rate as one of the most unique documents ever created by mankind. For one Wellington High School senior, she got to celebrate Constitutional Day in Washington D.C. as the lone representative from Kansas.

Mikala Bradbury, the daughter of Lou and Tammy Bradbury of Wellington, represented not only Wellington High School but the state at Constitution Day in September. The WHS senior along with school teacher Mike Wilmoth flew to Washington D.C. for the one-day conference hosted by the Civics Renewal Network.

Bradbury earned the trip based on a civic project she conducted the year before with the Ugly Sweater 5K (see story here).

“Mr. Wilmoth proposed a trip to D.C. to my classmates,” Bradbury said. “Then I filled out an application and wrote an essay.” 

Post your FREE Garage Sale ads are 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!

The rules and list of precincts for the 2014 Kansas General Election Tuesday

Sumner County 2014 election

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The Kansas State General Election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 4. Sumner Newscow has featured four guest editorials on the various issues on the ballot ahead.

The general election voting will begin at 7 a.m. and end at 7 p.m. If you want to beat the crowd you can still vote in person at the Sumner County Clerk’s office at the courthouse until Monday until noon. Sumner Newscow will have a live twitter Tuesday night with local results.

If you want a preview of the election ballot that you personally will be voting in, click here: . The clerk’s office said there are 40 different ballots for this year’s election in Sumner County alone.

The following is a list of precincts in Sumner County:

Leonard Hernandez: Hospital sales tax vote is vital to the economic growth of Wellington

Guest editorial generic

by Leonard Hernandez, Sumner Regional Medical Center, C.E.O — I have had the opportunity to live all across Kansas over the last 25 years, but I chose to make my home here in Wellington. I did this because I believe in the power of our community to grow and the even greater community it aspires to become.

Leonard Hernandez

Leonard Hernandez

The sales tax initiative is a big step towards those goals. The idea of the sales tax was born many years ago out of the opinions that were expressed, by many community meetings, by listening to the growing concerns and support over the years for SRMC. The initiative we ask you to support, comes from us, represents us and is for us, those who choose to live here and want to see Wellington grow to its full potential.

Mary Lucas: Consider the ramifications of re-electing Brownback

Guest editorial generic

The following is a guest editorial written by Mary Lucas of Winfield, a reader of Sumner Newscow:

Mary and Reigner Lucas

Mary and Reigner Lucas

I’m writing this piece in the hopes of cutting through the political noise of the upcoming election. I have a story to tell and I believe it matters.

My name is Mary Lucas and I’m the proud mother of a six-year-old boy. We are the face of Governor Brownback’s experiment.

I’ve seen his ad featuring “Becky,” a young woman attesting to her belief Governor Brownback’s economic solutions are better for her and her family.

I passionately disagree. 

Republican legislators: Facts and myths surrounding the economic condition of Kansas

Guest editorial generic

The following is a guest editorial written by two Kansas State Legislators, requested to be published by State Representative Kyle Hoffman of the 116th District. “I completely endorse what they are saying,” Hoffman said. 

Kyle Hoffman

Kyle Hoffman

We have read with interest over the past few months as misinformation has been provided on the Governor and Legislature’s education and fiscal record.  As Chairs of the House and Senate Budget Committees, we would like to address a few of these false claims.


Claim: Governor Brownback made the “largest cut to schools in state history.”

Robert Miller: The problem with Brownback’s reckless experiment

Guest editorial generic

Guest Editorial by Robert Miller — As a lifelong Republican I believe in fiscally prudent and conservative philosophies, including living within my means, saving for emergencies, investing wisely, and working hard to support my family. That’s why I’ve been so dismayed by Gov. Sam Brownback’s reckless economic “experiment.”

Robert Miller

Robert Miller

· Increased Taxes: Brownback’s tax plan gave out huge tax breaks to wealthy special interests, while raising taxes on middle and lower income families. Local property taxes have gone up $300 million and sales taxes have increased $777 million. During my 26 years in the Legislature I heard hundreds of objections about property taxes and sales tax, and worked hard to enact changes to fix those problems.  I don’t recall ever hearing a complaint about the Kansas Income Tax.

Wellington ends season with 19-0 loss to Ulysses; finishes year at 5-4

Week #9 score

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — For the fourth year in a row, Wellington will be on the outside looking in of the Class 4A playoffs after losing to Ulysses 19-0 Friday night on cold windy night in western Kansas.

In a gutsy effort by a depleted Wellington roster, the Crusaders saw their playoff hopes fade away in the fourth quarter when Ulysses pieced together two touchdown drives.

The Crusaders, who sniffed the end zone all night but could not get in, would effectively end their season on a screen pass that fell short inside the 20 with a little more than two minutes to play.

If defense can’t win you a championship, it can bring you at least respectability. Ian Rudzik, who is getting offers from Kansas State, Oklahoma State and others, was held below 100 yards by the stingy Crusader defense. 

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!

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