Category Archives: Featured

Sumner Newscow poll: The forgiveness question








Is forgiveness something you are good for?

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Meeting goes without controversy; council takes no action on Lincoln Place building

Wellington City Council meeting report

By James Jordan, Sumner Newscow — In the first meeting since Wellington City Councilman Kip Etter’s return, the subject of his August departure was never broached and the proceedings went without a hitch Tuesday evening.

But the seating arrangement was changed. Etter, who had been sitting by Councilman Jim Valentine on the south side, was moved to the opposite north end. The sitting arrangement, according to sources, was prearranged allegedly by Mayor Shelley Hansel. She was absent from the meeting held Tuesday.

As for actual business is concerned, the Wellington City Council decided Tuesday to take no action regarding stabilizing the building at Lincoln and Washington

Street. The historic building has been closed for a couple of months and the city has put up barricades and blocked off the street. The fate of the building remains in limbo as the owners wait to hear from the insurance company.

The city has considered doing stabilization measures that could at least keep it from falling down, and there is some hope it can be saved.

Wellington’s De’Andre Washington is this week’s Big Cheese Athlete of the Week

Big Cheese athlete of the week
De'Andre Washington

De’Andre Washington

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — De’Andre Washington, a 150-pound sophomore for the Wellington High School football team, has been named the “Big Cheese Athlete of the Week.”

Wellington lost to Rose Hill Friday evening 7-6. But it wasn’t because of Washington, who had an outstanding night on the gridiron.

This was De'Andre Washington during a catch against Clearwater a couple weeks ago.

This was De’Andre Washington during a catch against Clearwater a couple weeks ago.

He had a fumble recovery in the first half and then made a huge interception in the left corner of the end zone in the second quarter that thwarted a Rocket scoring drive that would have put them up by two touchdowns.

WHS band receives “I” rating at Kansas State Fair; gigs start to come its way


band-drummer-1-ratingby Amber Schmitz, Sumner Newscow — The Wellington High School band, consisting of 37 ensemble members and four color guard, traveled to the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson and received a I rating recently.

“We normally do pretty well with that particular performance,” said Band Director Ben Olson, who is in his second teaching year here. “Last year we also received a I.”

The first performance was a parade competition, where the band marched down Main Street of Hutchinson for about six blocks and played the school fight song. They were judged on stepping, line spaces, drum line, drum majors and color guard.

“It was a great performance to see where we’re at and what we need to work on,” Olson said. “They did really well, but it was not a perfect performances. We will know our spot as we progress.”

This year, the band also performed a secondary performance, which included two songs from their marching band show, a melody of Queen songs and “Dream On” by Aerosmith.

Sunday Feature: Restoring the one-room school house

Sunday feature

These historical schools — Belleview (left) and Spring Creek (right) — were built in 1894 and 1904 respectively.

by James Jordan, Sumner Newscow — Mike and Valerie Brunhoeber have been restoring one-room schoolhouses on their farm north of Caldwell for a few years. It is a little remote, and to try to get more people out to see the place, they are planning a special event for Oct. 15 at their farm.

The program will feature the Belleview school, which has been restored to the late 1800s, and the Spring Creek school that was moved to their farm last April, and is a work in progress.

She will give a program of school type lessons in the Belleview School at a cost of $4 per person. She plans on having a silent auction in the Spring Creek school building, and is still seeking items to be sold. There will also be some vendors who will sell things like crafts on the day of the event.

Part of the reason for the event is also to raise some money for further restoration of the Spring Creek school. She plans on restoring it to the 1930s era.

Rose Hill ekes out victory over Wellington on final play

Crusader nights

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — In the end it came down to one play.

Wellington was sitting at the 3 with 1.7 seconds to play down 7-6. It was the equivalent of a two-point conversion. The Crusaders needed to reach the end zone to go home the victors. If they didn’t make it, and Rose Hill would get its first win in 11 tries.

The Crusaders would not attempt a field goal – something it hasn’t done in four years. A game-winning kick would have been the equivalent of a PAT. But Wellington has had trouble with PAT kicks all season. It was a risk, Wellington head coach Zane Aguilar was not going to make.

So Wellington lined up at the 3 with one chance to get into the end zone.

Wellington quarterback Cade Phelps took the snap, rolled right. He faked a pass, and eluded a pursuing defensive lineman wishing to make a sack. He started a sprint to the corner of the end zone. But two Rose Hill defenders were there for the waiting. He was tackled one yard short.

Sumner County Court Docket: Sept. 15, 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.


For Brad Ewing, it has been 40 years of being a Rec Center deejay


by Amber Schmitz, Sumner Newscow — When Brad Ewing was in high school, his father needed someone to be a deejay for his 43rd class reunion dance.

“I really enjoyed music, and my father needed someone to play the dance,” Ewing said.

After that, Ewing started playing music for 4-H dances, other events, and eventually, landed the job as the deejay for the Wellington Recreation Center. This year, he celebrates his 40th year of playing music for Rec Center dances.

“I started at the Rec Center my senior year, for the last dance of the season,” Ewing said. “Kenny Everhart was the director then, and he asked me to come play for the last dance, because he heard I was playing for dances.”

Ewing said that over the last 20 years, dances have increased from two to four per year to at least one a month during the school year.

“I’m on my fourth generation of junior high kids at the Rec Center,” he said.

He started out with just a single turn table and reel to reel.

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The Walnut Valley Festival question








How would you describe your participation in the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield?

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Former SSB employee Richard Lara charged with fraud, misapplication of bank funds

Breaking News

Sumner Newscow report — Richard A. Lara, 47, Wichita, is charged with five counts of bank fraud and 12 counts of misapplication of bank funds. The crimes are alleged to have occurred from 2009 to 2014 in Sumner County, Kan., while Lara was an employee of Security State Bank of Wellington.

 The indictment alleges Lara received unemployment benefits to which he was not entitled.

 If convicted, he faces up to 30 years and a fine up to $1 million on each of the counts. The FBI investigated. Assistant U./S. Attorney Welch is prosecuting.

Around 75 attend Cowley College Sumner Campus meeting this morning


Print Image

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — More than 75 people attended the Cowley College Sumner Campus kickoff breakfast this morning at the Raymond Frye Complex in Wellington.

It was also the first event that featured drawings of the proposed campus.

Cowley College is proposing to build a Sumner campus in Wellington providing the half-cent sales tax question is approved by voters. The question will be on the November 8 general election ballot.

If passed, Dr. Dennis Rittle, President of Cowley College, said the money will go toward the construction of the campus and the operation cost sustainability of the campus over a 10-year period. By that time the voters will need to decide the funding mechanism thereafter.

There was still no commitment of the exact location of the campus, nor a dollar figure presented. But the digital renderings did show that the campus will be a newly built facility that will require some space. There are no plans to build dorms.

Much of what was presented, had been spoken about before concerning the benefits of having the campus here. This time, though, it included testimonies from various people of the community.

Colten Ward of Caldwell named Big Cheese Athlete of the Week

Big Cheese athlete of the week
Colten Ward accumulates 324 yards against Argonia-Attica. Dakota Volavka, above, also accumulates 105 yards.

Colten Ward is named Big Cheese Athlete of the Week.

Colten Ward

Colten Ward

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Colten Ward, a senior quarterback for the Caldwell High School football team, has been named “Big Cheese Athlete of the Week.”

To say Ward had an outstanding game in Caldwell’s 90-48 victory over Argonia-Attica on Saturday is an understatement.

Ward was 6 of 7 passing for 128 yards and three touchdowns. On the rushing front, Ward ran for 342 yards on 24 attempts and six touchdowns. All told Ward had nine touchdowns and 470 yards in total offense as the Bluejays improved to 2-0.

For his efforts, Ward has been awarded a large pizza at Big Cheese Pizza at 304 N. Washington in Wellington. Caldwell Coach Sean Blosser said he is OK with Ward winning the pizza as long as he shares it with his offensive line!

Bryce Day is doing better; Foundation continues to raise funds for funeral expense purposes

Bryce Day Foundation Legacy

by Amber Schmitz, Sumner Newscow — While Bryce Day continues his fight against terminal pancreatic cancer, the Bryce Day Memorial Foundation continues to make great strides on the fundraising front to help families with funeral expenses.

Day Funeral Home founder Bryce Day has been battling terminal cancer since he was diagnosed last fall. When doctors gave him only six months to live, he decided to fight, and continues to win, following a tumor removal surgery in Kansas City last week.

Bryce Day logo“He is doing better,” said Andrea Day. “The surgery was successful and the tumor was removed.”

Thursday, he was released from the hospital, and friends and family will check on him several times a day.

“It was a long surgery, with a 3-4 month recovery period, so he still has a ways to go,” Andrea Day said.

Late last year, he started the Bryce Day Memorial Foundation to assist families in need with funeral expenses. Day also launched a website to help families who are faced with burying a loved one. The foundation stands with Wellington’s funeral homes, Cornejo/Day Funeral Home, Frank Funeral Home and Shelley Family Funeral Home to provide this service.

A four-person golf scramble tournament was sponsored this weekend. The results of the tournament are as follows: 

Despite the flood, 603 runners embark on Hargis Creek ‘Water’shed for home invite

Freshman Tyler Brown was Wellington's top placer in the varsity 5K race.

Freshman Tyler Brown was Wellington’s top placer in the varsity 5K race.

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow  It was Saturday morning, and Wellington Cross Country head coach Charles Wallace had a dilemma on his hands.

He had 720 cross country runners scheduled to arrive in Wellington. But the town just had more than five inches of rain in the past 48 hours and Hargis Creek Watershed was a muddy mess.

Since the north side of Hargis was pretty much under water, Wallace implemented an alternate south route at Hargis, getting the highest elevation possible for the runners. And it was just dry enough to pull off the race, although most runners finished the race in splattered mud.

In the end, 603 of the 720 middle school and high school runners  came to Wellingto and the event went on without a hitch. Only the Chaparral team was unable to attend. There were a lot of other absentees.

Wichita West would win the varsity boys with 44 points, outdistancing second place Arkansas City in the varsity race. Valley Center would win the girls.

(updated 9:45 a.m., Monday) Over 100 Sumner County homes affected from last week’s flooding

Belle Plaine Y has been re-opened but on Saturday it was far from being drivable.
K-55 flooding Saturday afternoon, west of Belle Plaine.

K-55 flooding Saturday afternoon, west of Belle Plaine.

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Sumner County Emergency Management Director James Fair estimates there are over 100 Sumner homes damaged from flooding from last week storms. Most of those homes are west and south of Belle Plaine.

The Ninnescah River, which starts at Cheney Lake and eventually cuts a swath through the northeast section of Sumner County, crested Saturday afternoon at an estimated 30.6 feet.

“I can’t tell you on a historical perspective of whether this was the highest the Ninnescah has been,” Fair said. “But people keep comparing this to the Halloween flood of 1998. Some think it is worse.”


(Video produced by 254 Productions, which worked in conjunction with the Sumner County Sheriff.) 

South-Central Kansas received anywhere from 6 to 14 inches of rainfall that started Thursday and lasted until Saturday morning. Most of the water flowing into Sumner County came from rainfall from Kingman and Sedgwick County.

As a result, water flooded the northeastern part of Sumner County, and made travel to Belle Plaine from the west and south impossible. Residents living in the town, originally built on the Arkansas River bed, were forced to go north if they wanted to leave the community up until Sunday.

K-55, the east-west highway going into Belle Plaine from the west, has periodically been flooded. But few people remember the Belle Plaine Y being as far under water. But by Sunday, the water rescinded and travel was normal again.

Letter to the editor: Sumner County Commission is totally out of touch with its citizens

Sumner Newscow letter to editor

The following letter was written by Ed Larson, a former member of the Sumner County Planning and Zoning Commission:

 To the editor:  The Sumner County Commission is totally out of touch with it’s citizens.  Their constant abuse of the “executive session” rule is the best example, along with their property tax record.  Executive session is a tool designed to protect the privacy of an employee.  It is to be used only when discussion of an individual employee or their pay package is to be discussed. 

Now elected officials have perverted this tool to cover their discussion and intent on all types of business.  Just look at the 2016 minutes of the Sumner County Commission.  Many of their meetings only say “went into executive session at 9:02 came out at 9:20 chairman reports no binding action was taken”.  This happens many times during one meeting! 

On Sept. 6, I am sure this is how the decision was arrived at on the Dollar General store in Conway Springs.  I was in the Commission chambers at 9 a.m. on Sept 6 they went into a 20 minute executive session to discuss the upcoming zoning change.  They then moved the meeting to the Raymond Frye for the zoning hearing.  I am sure they made the decision in the 9 a.m. executive session before the public made any comments. 

Sunday guest editorial: Cowley College campus will meet those workforce needs

Guest editorial generic

by Dr. Dennis Rittle, President of Cowley College — It’s official. We’re on the ballot!

With the recent approval by the County Commissioners of submitted ballot language, Sumner County voters will soon get to cast their vote in favor of a Cowley College campus located in Wellington.

Dr. Dennis Rittle

Dr. Dennis Rittle

The need is here. In a recent survey of area students, 86 percent of respondents said they wanted to continue their education close to home. Moreover, 70 percent of adult learners indicated they desire additional training and would take college courses if available in the county.

Since Cowley College began instruction in 1922, we’ve adapted our offerings in a variety of ways to continue to meet the emergent needs of a changing workplace. There’s no question, especially in Sumner County, of the need for a workforce skilled in agricultural, manufacturing, public safety, information technology, teaching, and other vocational trades.

The Cowley College campus in Sumner County will meet those workforce needs. Our goal is to provide area students with the opportunity to advance their education and acquire good-paying jobs close to home.

Caldwell makes statement, beats Argonia-Attica 90-48

Colten Ward accumulates 324 yards against Argonia-Attica. Dakota Volavka, above, also accumulates 105 yards.

Colten Ward accumulates 324 yards against Argonia-Attica. Dakota Volavka, above, also accumulates 105 yards.

A&A's Seth Hemberger gets wrapped up by Caldwell defense.

A&A’s Seth Hemberger gets wrapped up by Caldwell defense.

by James Jordan, Sumner Newscow — Caldwell scored early and often in a 90-48 win over Argonia-Attica Saturday in Argonia. The game was rained out Friday night, and Caldwell was none the worse for playing the game a day later.

Bluejay quarterback Colten Ward put on a show of offensive football, accounting for nine touchdowns as Caldwell scored on five of six first half possessions.  Caldwell also added a defensive touchdown, leading 22-0 after one quarter and 46-14 at halftime.

Ward had 324 yards rushing on 24 carries, with six touchdowns on the ground. He averaged 14.3 yards per carry. He also completed six of seven passes for 128 yards and three scores.

Wellington loses to El Dorado 34-18 in unusual Saturday afternoon game

Crusader sports news

By Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The Wellington football team produced 321 yards offensively Saturday afternoon. Trouble is, the defense gave up 380 yards. As a result, the Crusaders are 0-2 after losing to El Dorado 34-18 at B/G Stadium in El Dorado. It was the first afternoon game for Wellington since 2008.

Playing on a Saturday afternoon due to adverse weather on Friday night, Wellington was hoping to get into a victory column against a Wildcat team that was looking to do the same.

For awhile, it appeared to be anyone’s ballgame. But a frustrating sequence of plays in which Wellington failed to score on a first-and-go from the 1, kept the Dukes down 8-6 at the half.

El Dorado would open up the second half scoring on the opening drive, and Wellington was chasing its opponent the rest of the day. A 44 yard pass from Cade Morrow to Mason Holmes in the fourth quarter resulted in a 28-18 Wildcat lead and appeared to be a back breaker.

Wellington travels to Rose Hill Friday in what will be another chance for victory. But the murderous trifecta of Andale, Wichita Collegiate and Scott City is looming.

Jason Bourne playing at Wellington Regent this weekend


This week at the Regent Theater: Jason Bourne (see trailer below).

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

This Friday’s feature film: PG-13 (for intense sequences of violence and action, and brief strong language). Time: 2 hours 3 minutes.

Movie Synopsis: The next chapter of Universal Pictures’ Bourne franchise, which finds the CIA’s most lethal former operative drawn out of the shadows.

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