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Category Archives: Featured

Four Wellington wrestlers go to state

2015 state qualifiers feature

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Four Wellington wrestlers will be going to state after an exciting emotional-packed two days at the Pratt Regional this weekend.

Andrew Pelkey at 152, Joey Haydon at 182, Skylar Brand at 220, and Miguel Lujan at heavyweight will be representing Wellington at the Class 4A state wrestling tournament in Salina on Friday, Feb. 27.

Joey Haydon

Joey Haydon

 

Migel Lujan

Migel Lujan

 

Andrew Pelkey

Andrew Pelkey

 

Skylar Brand

Skylar Brand

The brackets are set for next week (to see bracket log onto the kshaa.org website here).

For only the second time in the last 10 years, Wellington will be taking four wrestlers to the big show, one shy of the five who qualified in 2014. Outside last season, Wellington has not had four wrestlers since 2006.

Wellington finished fifth overall with 108 points. El Dorado finished with 149.5 points. Pratt, Augusta and Mulvane followed suit. The Crusaders topped Andale which had 98.5 points for sixth place.

“To score over 100 points is quite an accomplishment for this team, the best we’ve done all season,” said Wellington head wrestling coach Mitch McComb. “We were as healthy as we have ever been so that helped.

“But it wasn’t just that. As a team we wrestled very well.”

Andrew Pelkey wins in a hard fought 7-5 decision in regional championship.

Andrew Pelkey wins in a hard fought 7-5 decision in regional championship.

Wellington took 12 to the regional tournament with no wrestlers at 106 and 132. As with every regional there were surprises and disappointments. The biggest surprise was Lujan’s surprise third place finish at heavyweight. More on him in a related story. 

Council approves ‘disapproval’ of S.B. 171 – moving local elections to fall; Eckert warns bill could eliminate city managers

Wellington City Council Roundup

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — By a 6-0 vote, the Wellington City Council followed the lead of the school board and condemned S.B. 171 which would move all local city and school races to the fall and make them partisan.

If S.B. 171 becomes law, primary and general elections for city councils and school boards would be held congruently with county, state and federal election in August with winners advancing to the November general election. The local candidates would become partisan and must declare a specific party.

That in itself has caused concern amongst local officials, but Wellington City Manager Roy Eckert said the bill doesn’t stop there. If it passes it could eliminate city managers from the equation. 

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The one-man train crew question

poll

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you think Burlington Northern Santa Fe should be allowed to have 1-man crews on trains?

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Sumner Court Docket: Feb. 17, 2015 report (part 2)

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 County Court Docket: Feb. 17, 2015 report (part 1)

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.

•••••

Wellington school board officially objects to state bill moving local elections to fall; city council contemplates bill next

Sumner Newscow local news report

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The Wellington school board has passed a resolution expressing its opposition to Senate Bill 171 – which would move all municipal and school board elections to November and make them partisan. The Wellington City Council will discuss whether or not to do the same Tuesday night.

If S.B. 171 becomes law, primary elections for city councils and school boards would be held in August with winners advancing to the November general election. The local candidates would become partisan and must declare either as a Democrat or Republican.

At present, school board and municipal elections are decided in non-partisan contests with March primaries and April runoffs. The City of Wellington does not hold primaries. State and Federal elections are held in the fall.

The USD 353 school board had little trouble passing a resolution condemning the bill at its Thursday’s meeting. It passed 7-0. Local school boards and municipal government boards across the state have expressed their displeasure for the proposal and have passed resolutions condemning the bill. It is being opposed by the Kansas Association of School Boards and the League of Kansas Municipalities.

Wheat Capital Manor residents recommend Larry Schalk to serve on WHA Board

Sumner Newscow news report

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — In a letter sent by Melissa Hamlin, Executive Director of the Wellington Housing Authority, the residents of Wheat Capital Manor are recommending Larry Schalk to fill the vacancy left void when Alois Hutchison submitted her resignation last month.

Wheat Capital ManorThe Wellington City Council will now decide at its regular meeting this Tuesday at the council chambers whether to approve the appointment recommendation or go with someone else.

Hamlin in a letter sent to Wellington City Clerk Shane Shields said a vote was taken at Wheat Capitol Manor among its residents to see who will replace Hutchison, who abruptly resigned on Feb. 2 with a resignation letter to the city of Wellington. The office received over 60 votes in favor of appointing Schalk to the WHA board. 

Sunday blog: Talking Wellington resignations, school superintendent moves; more Brownback, and sweet Valentine messages

Five Cueball thoughts

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Five Cueball thoughts for Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015…

1. Change of leadership… 

Wellington leadership changeIt has been a significant week for leadership turnover in Wellington.

Wellington Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Shelley Hansel announced her resignation to take a marketing job at Sterling House.

At USD 353, Wellington school administrators, Larry Roth and Dale Adams, both submitted their resignations to take Superintendent jobs elsewhere.

At the city of Wellington, Wes Bennett, city inspector for over 25 years, announced his retirement this week. Cliff Zens, Interim Director of Electric Distribution and Production, is retiring after 32 years of service. Both guys will have combined retirement receptions on Friday, March 20 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the council chambers. 

Larry Roth, Dale Adams resign at USD 353 to take superintendent jobs elsewhere

Sumner Newscow news report

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Two USD 353 administrators are on their way to Superintendent’s job elsewhere.

The Wellington school board made it official Thursday night and accepted the resignation of Larry Roth, assistant superintendent, and Dale Adams, Wellington Curriculum Director.

Dale Adams

Dale Adams

Larry Roth

Larry Roth

Roth has been hired to take over as Superintendent of the Sedgwick School District. Adams was hired to become Superintendent of the Attica School District.

For Roth, it ends a long tenured employment with the USD 353 School District that stretches back to the 1990s. Adams came here three years ago. He served as Wellington High School principal two years before transferring to curriculum director for the 2014-15 school year.

The two will remain in their current capacities at USD 353 until the new school year which begins officially on July 1, 2015. 

Held over for second consecutive week at Regent: American Sniper

American Sniper in Wellington

This week at the Regent Theater: American Sniper (Movie trailer is below).

Schedule: Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at 2 and 7 p.m. Monday at 7 p.m.

Rated: R. Time: 2 hours, 14 minutes

Movie Synopsis: From director Clint Eastwood comes “American Sniper,” starring Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history. But there was much more to this true American hero than his skill with a rifle. U.S. Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle is sent to Iraq with only one mission: to protect his brothers-in-arms.

Shelley Hansel resigns as Wellington Area Chamber of Commerce executive director

Sumner Newscow news report

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Shelley Hansel has resigned as Wellington Area Chamber of Commerce/Convention Visitor’s Bureau Executive Director. She tendered her resignation this week to the board of directors.

Shelley Hansel

Shelley Hansel

Hansel said in her Wellington Today segment on Channel 55, she will remain as a consultant for the WACC. She has accepted a marketing position for Brookdale Senior Living which owns Sterling House in Wellington at 500 N. Plum St.

Hansel has been executive director in two separate stints since 2004. She briefly resigned to take an administrative position at Sterling House before returning to the Chamber in 2009.

She recently filed as a mayor candidate this January and is running against four other candidates.

Lobbyist asks for Wellington Council’s support for two-man crew requirement legislation

2-people crews feature

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — A proposal by Burlington Northern-Santa Fe to reduce train crews from two to one-person operations has created resistance from its union worker. On Monday, Ty Draggo – a state lobbyist representative for the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, asked the Wellington City Council for its support for legislation which would outlaw such a practice.

In 2014, union workers rejected a proposed contract by the Fort Worth-based BNSF railroad, owned by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, that would operate most trains with a single engineer on lines protected by Positive Train Control, a collision avoidance system required by Congress in 2008 (see story here).

Draggo said at a Wellington council work session meeting Monday night if the BNSF is allowed to have one person crews it could lead to the elimination of two-thirds of its workforce, and affect 50,000 employees in the industry, (Editor’s note: In the original story it was incorrectly stated 50,000 worked for BNSF. It has 40,000). This would be a significant economic blow to a town such as Wellington where BNSF is a major employer.

Ty Draggo, state legislative representative of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, addressed the Wellington City Council Monday.

Ty Draggo, state legislative representative of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, addressed the Wellington City Council Monday.

Draggo said there is legislation being introduced in Kansas which would prevent BNSF and other railroad companies from being allowed to implement single person operations. Draggo said he hopes Senate Bill 187 will be heard in late February. In the meantime, Draggo is going to various towns for which railroads are an integral part of the local economy asking for formal support from city governing bodies. 

Wellington teams pick up 2 big ones against Winfield

Crusader sports news

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Tuesday night when so few were watching, the Wellington varsity basketball teams pulled off a couple of impressive basketball wins.

Tayland French shoots in game with Winfield.

Tayland French shoots in game with Winfield.

The Wellington girls beat Winfield 34-23 in a key game for sub-state positioning.

Later in the evening, Wellington boys broke out of their doldrums in a big kind of way with a 62-47 victory over Winfield.

Wellington girls win

The Crusaders improved to 9-6, winning their fifth straight, against Winfield at Ollie Thomas Gymnasium.

“After what we have gone through emotionally this season, even after what we heard on Monday, the girls deserved this win,” said Eric Adams, Wellington head girls basketball coach.

So what was the news Monday?

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The Brownback executive order question

poll

By Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Gov. Sam Brownback signed an executive order Tuesday rescinding a protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender state workers that was put into place by then-Gov. Kathleen Sebelius eight years ago.

 

What is your view on Brownback's latest action.

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Updated: Wellington 7th grade boys and girls reach Pioneer League Tournament Championships

Bracket busting WMS

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Two Wellington Middle School teams are playing for Pioneer League Division III Tournament basketball championships Thursday night after winning two exciting games Monday night in Clearwater (see Pioneer League brackets here).

The Wellington seventh grade boys beat Circle 31-30 on a buzzer beater. Silas Popplewell hit a three-pointer from the top of the arch as time expired to lift the Knights to victory. The Wellington boys will now play Mulvane in the tournament championship on Thursday at 8 p.m. in the Clearwater Middle School gymnasium.

The Wellington seventh grade girls were big winners over Winfield in a game almost as exciting. The Lady Knights won by one, 20-19. Wellington will play top seed Rose Hill Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. 

Sunday Blog: Brownback lies and other stuff

Five Cueball thoughts

Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Five Cueball thoughts for Feb. 8, 2015…

1. Sammy “Alfred E” Brownback… 

Those who are worried about their Second Amendment rights, don’t have anything to worry about – at least if you are living in Kansas.

Governor Sam Brownback needs a gun.

Alfred E. Brownback

Alfred E. Brownback: What, me worry?

The Pied Piper came to visit Kansas this week and Brownback is submitting a proposal to cut spending on public schools and state universities by $45 million. That’s not to mention cuts to the highway fund and the state’s pension proposal, and whatever rock he can snatch funding from under.

The next few weeks could get very interesting for those in Topeka these next few weeks.

I was at the Wellington basketball game Friday night and the usually tranquil group of teachers at the high school were all up in arms. Wellington head basketball coach Brian Buchanan was so cranky he got a technical foul during warmups (I actually made that last sentence up).

Wellington basketball teams split against Augusta on homecoming night

Crusader sports news

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Friday night’s homecoming was a bit of a mixed bag for the Crusader basketball teams. Wellington girls picked up a win over Augusta 47-30. The boys were not as fortunate losing 55-42.

Wellington girls continued their hot streak, winning their fourth straight and sixth out of seventh game. After getting off to a 2-5 start, the Lady Dukes are now 8-6.

“Augusta is the kind of team that will grind it out against you,” said Eric Adams, Wellington head girls basketball coach. “They are well coached and play great defense. Our girls were mad afterwards they didn’t play better, but I’ll take a 17-point win over that team anyday.” 

WHS student body gives Keith Finley a Happy Birthday party

Keith's birthday

By Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Keith Finley had a surprise birthday party.

Keith, who is no doubt Wellington’s No. 1 fan, recently turned 43.

And the Wellington student body gathered around to give him a quite a birthday party. You can see the photo gallery here.

Wellington High School Juniors McKenna Oatout and Jared Shields made a presentation after the basketball game and before the Duke crowning. 

Updated: Trey Coulter is crowned the Duke of Wellington

Trey named Duke of Wellington

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Trey Coulter, the son of Terry and Mary Ann Coulter, was crowned the 2014-15 Duke of Wellington.

Coulter was crowned with Skylar Brand, Austin Pfalzgraf, Colin Reichenberger, and Brenton Troutman as the candidates. Afterwards he received a ride on everyone’s shoulders around the gymnasium floor. Not sure if that has ever occurred before at a Wellington Duke ceremony.

The crowning took place after the Wellington basketball game Friday afternoon. The child attendants were Carlie, the daughter of Johan and Marcie Faust; Grant is the son of Candace and Albert Giefer. 

Sumner County Conservation District announces poster winners at annual meeting

Sumner County conservation poster winners

Submitted to Sumner Newscow — The Board of Supervisors of the Sumner County Conservation District is pleased to announce the winners of the 2015 Poster Contest.

With 149 posters entered, the panel of seven judges had a difficult time determining the first, second, third and honorable mention winners. Students from eight school campuses throughout the county submitted entries. The theme for the 2015 contest was “Local Heroes: Your Hardworking Pollinators” and students were asked to draw their individual interpretations of the theme.

“We are extremely pleased with the number of entries and the number of schools and teachers who chose to participate again this year,” said Laura Young, SCCD District Secretary and coordinator of the county contest. “We had some new schools and some new teachers this year. And we still have room to grow. The teachers and students are to be commended for their attention to bringing the importance of conservation to the forefront. I was amazed at the level of talent our Sumner County students possess.”

And the winners are:

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