Category Archives: Featured

Jared Stewart, 1999 WHS graduate, who hails in Texas, wins Newscow-The Dore Bowl Contest

2015 college bowl contest winner

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Jared Stewart, a 1999 Wellington High School, lives in New Braunfels, Texas, and was home for Christmas break.

Jared Stewart

Jared Stewart

While at The Dore he picked up a Sumner Newscow-The Dore College Bowl Contest entry form, filled it out, left, went home to Texas and two weeks later is $100 richer for it. He is the winner of the fourth annual bowl contest.

Provided he comes back home to Wellington that is.

His twin brother, Jeremy Stewart of Wellington, picked up the winnings Wednesday from Dore owner Kip Etter and said he’s keeping it until Jared returns.

The second and third place winners were:

•Jill DeJarnett or Wellington won second place and receives a $50 gift certificate to the Dore. 

Roger Stallbaumer announces he will not be running for reelection as Wellington mayor

School bond election 2015

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Wellington Mayor Roger Stallbaumer has announced that he will not be running for re-election.

“I have enjoyed my time as Mayor,” Stallbaumer said. “But it’s time for new blood.”

Roger Stallbaumer

Roger Stallbaumer

Stallbaumer was elected mayor in 2007. He was reelected in 2009 to a two-year term and 2011 to a four-year term.

In the new city council restructuring, the bylaws stipulate a mayor and council member can only serve for two four-year terms. But the two two-year terms he served were grandfathered. Thus, his 2011 term would have counted for the first term and if he were to be elected in 2015 it would count for the second.

But it is all for naught, after Stallbaumer announced he would not run this morning. 

Dr. Joe Baker involved in plane crash near Dodge City

Breaking News

Sumner Newscow report — Dr. Joseph Baker, a physician for the former Wellington Family Practice Clinic, has been hospitalized after a plane accident near Dodge City.

Sumner Regional Medical Center Director Leonard Hernandez reports that Baker has broken ribs and a collapsed lung and was staying at Western Plains Medical Complex in Dodge City.

“He said thankfully and luckily, he will be fine,” Hernandez said.

Baker has been a longtime general practitioner in Wellington and reportedly plans to open a clinic at SRMC soon.

The Kansas Highway Patrol reports that all three people onboard a small plane crashed in the Dodge City area and suffered minor injuries. KHP says it received a call from Ford County Communications shortly after 9 a.m. on Wednesday, according to the Hays Post website.

The three-seater plane from Wellington had gone down in the area of Lariat Road and 114 Road. Three people were on the plane – two men and one woman. The other two passengers were not from Wellington. The plane was headed to Dodge City for business.

Board approves Ag Day move from Memorial Auditorium to the high school with stipulations

School board meeting roundup

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Shelley Hansel, Wellington Area Chamber of Commerce Director; Vince Wetta, Wellington City Council member; and Larry Steckline, owner of KWLS 107.9 radio and the popular program “The Steckline Report” approached the USD 353 School Board last week asking that the Kansas Wheat Festival Ag Day festivities be moved from downtown to the WHS campus.

The two-day statewide agriculture event coincides with the Kansas Wheat Festival. The event, to be held Friday and Saturday, has occurred for the past two consecutive years at Memorial Auditorium. A large implement exhibition was also featured out front on Washington Avenue.

However, because of the soaring temperatures during that time of year and Memorial not having air conditioning, Ag Day representatives are hoping of moving the festivities out to the high school. This will also open up Washington thus allowing the parade to return to its traditional route and including other festivities downtown. 

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The what you want to watch question








What did you enjoy watching more this past week?

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Caldwell boys take lead in SCBL with eight-point win over Udall

CALDWELL shooting to the top
Caldwell Kyler Bruey with the shot in battle against Udall. Sam Wencel shooting in picture above.

Caldwell Kyler Bruey with the shot in battle against Udall. Sam Wencel shooting in picture above.

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — In a battle for supremacy in the South-Central Border League and seeding for the SCBL tournament next week, the Caldwell boys picked up a huge win over Udall Tuesday night 60-52 at Bluejay Stadium.

Avenging an earlier 58-50 loss to Udall in December, the Bluejays would win by eight here.

With the victory, the Bluejays are 7-2 and dropped Udall to 6-2. As a result, Caldwell will probably be the No. 1 seed going into the SCBL tournament. Seeding for the tournament is expected to be out today.

Getting 21 points from Colten Ward and 16 from Sam Wencel, Caldwell staved off a Udall rally late into the fourth quarter. 

10 things to know about basketball: WMS scores, Oxford results, Sumner County previews, standings, rankings, schedules

10 things to know about Sumner County basketball season

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow— 10 things to know about basketball, basketball, basketball…

1. Wellington Middle School basketball scores (Thursday and Monday)

7th boys: 

Wellington A 50 El Dorado 19

Silas Popplewell 12, Blake Rausch 9, Gage Cunningham 8, Austing Soles 7, Zander Vargas 4, Tyler Brown 4, Isaac Hilt 4, John Long 2.

Wellington B 32 El Dorado 14

Zake Cornejo 9, Travese Love 9, Dominic Shore 8, Quentin Redford 3, Daunt’e Trumpower 2, Isaac Hilt 2.

Thursday – Wellington A 38 Winfield 14

Blake Rausch 10, Gage Cunningham 6, Silas Popplewell 6, Zander Vargas 4, Tyler Brown 4, Austin Soles 2, Cade Fairbanks 2, Isaac Hilt 2, Zane Cornejo 2.

8th boys: 

A gag order in Blansett case serves no purpose

Five Cueball thoughts

Commentary by Tracy McCue — Lindsey Nicole Blansett defense attorney Mike Brown has filed for a gag order in Sumner County District Court. The hearing is scheduled for Thursday at 1:30 p.m. at the courthouse.

Mike Brown

Mike Brown

A Sumner County judge will determine whether or not to issue a gag order and to what extent those attorneys, police detectives and others working the case can communicate with the media and the public at large. Blansett is a Wellington mom accused of murdering her 10 year old son at her home on Dec. 14, 2014.

Kerwin Spencer

Kerwin Spencer

Sumner County Attorney Kerwin Spencer said at a press conference Friday he is against the gag order motion.

I, too, am against the gag order for obvious reasons.

At its heart, this a First Amendment rights issue, and a gag order is a prevention of free speech and a direct violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Is one to say that an attorney does not have a right to speak on a subject that is of great public interest?

But there are other reasons why this gag order should not be issued.

It doesn’t really serve a purpose. 

Wellington loses but ESPN SportsCenter was in attendance

Wellington vs. Circle
ESPN Sportscenter makes appearance in Wellington Circle basketball game.

ESPN Sportscenter makes appearance in Wellington Circle basketball game.

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The Wellington Crusader basketball teams opened their 2015 home campaign with losses they might have thought could have been victories.

Wellington boys lost a close one to Circle 55-52 while the girls fell to the T-birds 58-51.

It was a raucous crowd tonight at Crusader gymnasium. A good home crowd came out with a large contingency of college kids spending their last weekend before going back to school. Circle brought down a vocal, cranky group, who spent the evening screaming at the refs.

But perhaps the stars of the evening were seated in the corner. The ESPN Sportscenter Crew made up of Connor “Baby Bull” Burnett, Jason “Peanut” Norris, Zach “Skip” Bodkin, and  Trey “Twey” Coulter, who were situated in the corner in a booth.

It was a fun evening on a cold winter night.

A list of Sumner County school boards, city council races for 2015 (updated with current filings)

School bond election 2015

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — School board and city council elections will be held throughout Sumner County on April 7, 2015. Some may have primary elections on March 3, depending on the stipulations of the school board or municipality. Registration for all local elections are Tuesday, Jan. 27.

Consult the Sumner County Clerk’s office for where you need to file for election.

In Wellington, four Sumner County school board candidates are up for reelection to serve a four-year term. Those up for election include:

•Angie Ratcliff – District 1, Position 1;

•Jackie Berryman – District 2, Position 2;

•Bob White – District 3, Position 2;

•David Peck – At-large, Position 7.

A list of the school board elections from the other six Sumner County districts and the various city elections are as follows (editor’s note: If there is a different person now serving in an elected position then what we have below, please inform us in the comment section below). Also, the updated 2015 filings as of this Friday are listed below.  

Sumner Newscow weekend calendar: Jan. 9 – 11, 2015

Sumner Newscow Calendar

By Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The following is the calendar of various news and sporting events for this weekend Jan. 9-11, 2015.

Friday, Jan. 9, 2015:

Friday night basketball

WHS Basketball Circle, home
Varsity Girls 6 p.m.
Varsity Boys 7:30 p.m.
JV Girls 7:30 p.m.
JV Boys 6 p.m.
C Boys 4:15 p.m.
Belle Plaine Douglass away
Conway Springs Med. Lodge , home
Argonia West Elk , home
Caldwell Central , home
Oxford C-Vale/Dexter away
South Haven Open

Saturday, Jan. 10, 2014

Wellington Youth Basketball - Team pictures 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Rise and Shine Breakfast at the VFW, all you can eat, 7-10 a.m.

Barbeque Dinner Fundraiser for Clyde Jenkins at the Knights of Columbus, Noon to 3 p.m.

E-waste Recycling at the Wellington Recycle Center – 9 a.m.- noon.


Monday, January 12, 2015

CEO Leonard Hernandez said SRMC was erroneously listed in Medicare media report

Sumner Newscow news report

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Sumner Regional Medical Center CEO Leonard Hernandez said a media report that is circulating across state media news websites erroneously included SRMC on a list of medical facilities receiving a Medicare reimbursement penalty.

Leonard Hernandez

Leonard Hernandez

According to the report, 11 Kansas hospitals were supposedly among more than 700 nationwide that were being penalized for having high rates of infections patient injuries, leading to a 1 percent reduction in Medicare reimbursements since the current fiscal year which began in October. SRMC was one of the 11 hospitals on the list.

However, Hernandez sent out a press release to Sumner Newscow with the following message:

“This e-mail contains an article that is appearing in newspapers all across Kansas.  After reviewing the materials on Medicare.Gov, we have found that Sumner Regional Medical Center should not have been included in this list as they (Medicare) have the following quote attached to our facility for these measures.  “This measure does not apply to this hospital for this reporting period.” We will be requesting in writing that SRMC be removed from the list based on this information.”

(Updated) Blansett to receive mental competency evaluation; Brown requests gag order

State of Kansas vs. Lindsey Blansett

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Sumner County District Judge Scott McQuin has granted a mental competency evaluation request for Lindsey Nicole Blansett, 33, of Wellington, accused of the first degree murder of her 10-year-old son.

Blansett’s defense attorney Mike Brown asked the judge this afternoon if his client can have a mental competency evaluation to determine whether she is fit to stand trial and understand the nature of the proceedings. Sumner County Attorney Kerwin Spencer said typically an evaluation such as this lasts two weeks.  The hearing review of the evaluation will occur on Jan. 29, at 1:30 p.m. at the courthouse.

The scheduling hearing today was a continuation of a first appearance hearing held on Dec. 19. At the time, five days after the alleged murder, Brown said he did not have enough time to review the case or properly visit with his client. This afternoon, Blansett entered the courtroom for the second time since the crime took place in handcuffs and wearing an orange prison suit. The courthouse chambers was packed with reporters and witnesses. The proceeding lasted a mere five minutes. 

The Hobbit playing at the Wellington Regent this weekend…

The Hobbit at Wellington theater

This week at the Regent Theater: The Hobbit (Movie trailer is below).

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

Rated: PG. Time: 1 hour, 32 minutes

Movie Synopsis: From Academy Award (R)-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” the third in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” brings to an epic conclusion the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield and the Company of Dwarves.

Wellington Council approves developers agreement for “Short Second Addition” – a duplex development south of Wal-Mart

Wellington City Council Roundup

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — By a 4-0 vote, the Wellington City Council approved five resolutions from paving to sewer to water that effectively moves the “Short Second Addition” development project on the fast track to reality.

The Short Land Company of Oxford are developing a 22-lot housing subdivision, directly south of the Wal-mart Super Center which include housing duplexes and single residential homes. Included in the resolutions is the contractor’s agreement between the Short family and the City of Wellington- which is listed as the “developer” of the project.

The projected cost of the project is $584,000 with the developer assuming $489,000. The City will pick up the other $86,000 that includes $55,000 for water and $30,000 for electrical upgrades.

The city will install streets, drainage systems, sanitary sewer laterals an waters lines with prepaid special assessments.

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The hunting question.








Do you hunt?

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Sumner County Court Docket updates: Blansett, Kitch, Anderson-Stiles, Myers, Peters

Sumner County Court Docket updates

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — 2014 is behind us, but there was plenty of criminal activity the past 12 months to keep those working at the Sumner County District Court busy.

Here are some court updates of news headline crimes from 2014:


Lindsey Nicole Blansett

Lindsey Nicole Blansett

Lindsey Nicole Blansett — The mother accused of murdering her 10-year-old boy Caleb on Dec. 14 in Wellington is scheduled to go before the court this Thursday, Jan. 8, at 1:30 p.m.

Sumner County Court Judge Scott McQuin will determine whether Blansett, charged with first degree murder, is fit to stand trial, or will be sent for a mental competency evaluation. Blansett is accused of striking her son multiple times with a rock and a knife.

Blansett first appeared in court on Friday, Dec. 19, but Judge William Mott rescheduled the scheduling hearing after her court-appointed attorney Mike Brown said he was still reviewing the case and had not had time to read all the reports to make a legal recommendation.


Charles Kitch

Charles Kitch

Charles E. Kitch, Jr. — The perpetrator of an attack on a prominent Wellington attorney at his home on Feb. 23, 2014 is scheduled to have a review hearing at the State Security Hospital in Larned on Thursday at 2 p.m. Kitch is accused of entering the premises of Jack Potucek at 1023 N. Washington in Wellington and entering a screened back porch, where he attacked Potucek’s head with a rock causing extensive bleeding and later internal bleeding. 

10 things to know about Wellington and the other Sumner County winter teams after the break

10 things to know about Sumner County basketball season

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Ten things to know about the Sumner County sports scene as things get back rolling after Christmas break…

1. Wellington boys basketball:

The good news: Wellington is 4-1. The team is healthy. Colin Reichenberger is back. And Wellington had perfect attendance during its Christmas break practices.

The bad news:

Wellington City Mayor and three council member positions up for election in April

School bond election 2015

Submitted to Sumner Newscow — The general election for the city of Wellington will be held on April 7, 2015. As per KSA-25-2109, the candidate filing is noon of the Tuesday preceding by 10 weeks the first Tuesday in April. The filing deadline for the 2015 Election is noon on Tuesday, Jan. 27.

Candidates must file with the city clerk.

The office of Mayor and offices of three council member positions will be open for election. Each office is a four-year term. Current office holders are the following:

Mayor – Roger Stallbaumer;

Sumner Newscow special polling: The Kansas Star Casino questions








Are you glad Sumner County has the Kansas Star Casino?

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How many times do you think you go to the Kansas Star Casino in a given year?

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When you go to the Kansas Star what do you primarily do?

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If you gamble regularly, where do you go?

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Since the Kansas Star been erected, have you gambled more?

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What kind of gambler are you at the Kansas Star?

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Do you think you spend more or less on other things since the Kansas Star has opened?

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Has the Kansas Star affected where you go for entertainment?

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