Category Archives: Featured

Toni Bowman of Wellington is winner of the Kansas Wheat Festival Grand Prize drawing

Kansas Wheat Festival news

By Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Toni Bowman of Wellington was the winner of the Grand Prize 2015 Kansas Wheat Festival drawing at the Wellington Area Chamber of Commerce office this morning.

Bowman is a nurse at Sumner Regional Medical Center. Wellington Area Chamber of Commerce Annarose White drew the winner of the Grand Prize this morning. Bowman will be a recipient of a $1,115 check, because it was the 115th Kansas Wheat Festival.

“Over the phone Toni was so thrilled to win the Grand Prize,” White said. “She has a daughter getting married in Wellington in nine months and will be using some of the cash for that.”

Wellington City Council and SRMC board meet 2 hours in executive session to discuss issues… Was it legal?


By James Jordan, Sumner Newscow — The Wellington City Council spent two hours in a private executive session at a joint work session meeting with the hospital board Monday evening.

The work session meeting was set to talk about financing the struggling hospital. Wellington Mayor Shelley Hansel said she wanted to have the meeting to make sure everyone is on the same page in the same room. She said everyone wants the hospital to survive, and thrive.

“Tonight is the first step to get us going in the right direction,” she said.

As the meeting was about to begin, city attorney Mike Brown suggested the executive session.

He cited attorney client privilege as a reason for the executive session.

House for sale at 904 14th St. South in Wellington

Cathy Sheets_August ad_904 E 14th South

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House boasts a two-car attached garage, plus an amazing steel-framed 60′ by 40′ shop with heated floors and an overhead door! Cathy Sheets_August ad_904 E 14th South

This home offers a lot of living space on the main floor and also in the basement. Main floor laundry, two dining areas, a craft/sewing room, double family rooms/offices, and a full wall of cabinetry in the basement.

Bar area in basement opens into the family room that has lots of storage cabinets. 85-gallon hot water tank. Central heat and air only three years old and the roof was new last year. Parking galore. Propane tank is rented and is for the shop only. Eco water softner is owned. Schedule your private showing TODAY! – See additional photos and make this your new home, Call…

As budget deadline looms, Wellington Superintendent Weiss said school district is still waiting for state to provide direction

School board meeting roundup

By Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The Wellington school district, like the 292 other school districts in the state of Kansas, are about to submit budgets to the state next month. But in order to submit a budget to the state, they need the state to provide them some figures.

“In my 39 years in public education I have never seen anything like it,” said Rick Weiss, Wellington School Superintendent. “Here we are in the middle of July, and we don’t know what money we are going to have to work with.”

As a result, the Wellington school board has decided to have a special meeting after the regularly scheduled Aug. 13 meeting to approve the budget. Normally, a budget is passed at the second Thursday of the month meeting. But Weiss warned the board that this year’s budget could be so hot off the press on August 13 that the board members would be looking at the budget just minutes before having to approve it.

Weiss said he is going to attend a workshop on Thursday which he hopes will outline the amount of revenue a school district should expect and how the school should budget. It is required by law that all government entities submit the budget by August 25.

Board member Jason Newberry said he would prefer to have some time to review the figures before making a vote and would like to see the budget at the Aug. 13 meeting and then approve (or vote against) the proposed special meeting sometime between Aug. 13 and Aug. 25.

Wellington Council directs clerk to produce 2016 budget with 3-mill increase

Wellington City budget

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The Wellington City Council has directed City Clerk Shane Shields to prepare a budget calling for a 3 mill increase from the previous year t0 city property tax owners.

The increase is expected to generate $120,000 in revenue to go into the city general fund and will offset possible increases in the electric rates which have yet to be addressed by the council.

The council is hoping to build back the utility reserve fund in hopes of not affecting the city bond rating (see story here). The council hopes to build the reserves from $5.5 million back to $8.5 million.

The directive was given to Shields at Wednesday afternoon’s work session at the council chambers. Earlier this year, the council increased the water and sewer rates.

Shields will now complete the preliminary hearing and will present the budget for a “Notice of hearing.” That will be sent to the legal publication two weeks before the budget is completed. The public hearing and the finalized budget vote will be held by the council at its August 18 meeting.

The 3-mill proposed increase will also include several cuts in the general fund. The proposals for the 2016 general fund budget is as follows:

200 images of the 2015 Kansas Wheat Festival that was!

Kansas wheat festival in pictures

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — From the Kinsey Sadler concert, to the parade, to the Logan Mize concert, to the Bakers Bonanza, to the SSB Wheat Run – 2e have the pictures! Are you part of the 200 images of the 2015 Kansas Wheat Festival featured here?

Here are eight of the 200 images we saw on Friday and Saturday. Sumner Newscow will have Wheat Festival results throughout the week.

Wheat Festival Sadlery

Wheat Festival bulldog

Sunday blog: The economic multiplier, SRMC and the local economy

Guest editorial generic

SRMC economic impact

Editor’s Note — The following is a guest editorial by John Cook, who is a licensed pharmacist at Sumner Regional Medical Center.

Commentary by John Cook, R.Ph. MBA — Typically, rural community residents pay little attention to their local health care system until it is needed. Consequently, many rural people have little idea of the overall importance of the health care sector to their community’s economy, such as the number of jobs it currently provides and its potential to provide more jobs. To ensure that health care services remain available locally, rural communities need to understand these economic relationships.

The Economic Multiplier

The Economic Multiplier is the theory that says if an entity, be it government, business, school system, hospital etc. spends a dollar buying products or services, the money is transmitted through the economy many times over as each recipient purchases goods or services. The multiplier can be calculated and is used to evaluate how a given government policy or business decision will affect the local economy. The multiplier effect can be positive or negative.

According to the Sumner County Economic Development Commission, Sumner Regional Medical Center ranks ninth in the total number of employees in Sumner County at 130 FTE’s (Full time equivalents). Sumner Regional’s annual payroll is approximately $5.75 million. In 2012 the hospital delivered $581,924 in uncompensated care at a cost of $284,941.  In 2013, SRMC supplied $798,640 in uncompensated care at a cost of $471,666.  The cost of uncompensated care is not expected to decrease for 2014 and 2015.

Wow, what a show! Logan Mize hits the Wellington stage

Wellingotn entertainment feature

Logan Mize in Wellington

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Despite being under the weather and the threat of stormy weather, the Logan Mize concert went off without a hitch in downtown Wellington at the Thursday night concert at the 2015 Kansas Wheat Festival.

Estimates vary on the number of people in attendance, but it ranged anywhere from 1,000 to 2,500 people, who were either inside the paid ticket area or roaming outside the gate (pictures of the concert can be found here).

Logan Mize crowd above
As expected, Mize provided an epic show. The Clearwater native even brought his wife on stage for a song afterwards.Logan Mize and his wife

“I figured now that I got the kids to bed I can come on stage sing and have a few beers,” said Jill Martin, who is a mother of two and a country singer song writer as well.

The concert marked the end of the first half of the Wheat Festival, with more fun-filled activities in store for the next three days. That includes two more street dances including “The Banned” a rock group from Wichita, and Kinsey Sandler, a rising country star out of Oklahoma.

John’s Pit BBQ – a Wheat Festival staple…

John's ribs
John Washington barbecue feature

John Washington’s barbecue – a Wheat Festival tradition like no other.

by Amber Schmitz, Sumner Newscow — Everyone who knows John Washington, owner of John’s Pit BBQ, will be grabbing up ribs by the slabs during the Kansas Wheat Festival!

“A lot of times, there is a line clear around the block of people waiting for my barbecue,” Washington said. “The ribs sell quickly, and I run out a lot, and just start cooking again.”

Washington is set up for the Wheat Fest once again. He has cleaned his concession stand, got the smoker ready, and started cooking meats Tuesday.2015 Wheat Festival logo background use this one

“I have to be ready, or I’m in trouble,” Washington said. “Last year, someone wanted six slabs of ribs. I said I don’t have that many right now, and asked when he needed them. He said Saturday so I said come back Saturday and you can get them. Awhile back, I only took 14 slabs of ribs to an event, and in ten minutes, they were gone.”

He said that people enjoy his food and he enjoys fixing the food for them.

“I have no favorite part,” he said. “When I get to cooking, and people want ribs, I run out. Then I fix more, I just cook, cook, cook. I really enjoy cooking.”

2015 Kansas Wheat Festival Medallion Clue explanations

2015 Kansas Wheat MEDALLION explanation

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The following are 2015 Kansas Wheat Festival Medallion clues explanations…

1. We began this venture in 1996…

Who would have thought we’d still be here.

The hunt begins… in honor of Jerry Blunk who hid the Medallion for several years.

Clue #1 description: We invite you to hunt for the medallion and to honor someone who was, for years, instrumental in the medallion hunt success.

2. The court is now in session.

Clue #2 description: Tennis courts.

3. The battle begins here.

Hernandez: SRMC is doing better … Wellington Council: Then help us out

Wellington City Council Roundup

By James Jordan, Sumner Newscow — Sumner Regional Medical Center CEO Leonard Hernandez told the Wellington City Council his facility is making progress, and doing better in his monthly report at Tuesday’s regular scheduled meeting. But city officials are becoming impatient with the hospital.

The city forgave much of last year’s utility bills, and has not received payment for any more utilities in several months.

Roy Eckert

Roy Eckert

City Manager Roy Eckert expressed frustration at the meeting Tuesday with how the hospital is operating.

“This bothers me a lot,” Eckert said.  “We are paying utility bills, bond payments and taking services away from citizens to make sure the hospital stays open. We can’t keep doing that. We just don’t have the money. We are cutting budgets, slicing everything and we can’t afford to keep doing this.”

His words came after Hernandez told the council he had received a letter from Medicare saying payment was being withheld until the city sent in some information in the form of a letter.

Eckert said that could have been averted. He said he had asked for information from the hospital and did not receive what he needed.

Sumner Court Docket: July 7, 2015 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.


Bryar Moore of Wellington finds 2015 Kansas Wheat Festival Medallion today

Breaking News

Sumner Newscow report — Bryar Moore of Wellington has found the 2015 Kansas Wheat Festival Medallion this afternoon at Sellers Psrk. His button is unregistered and he will be the recipient of $100. We will have more details soon.Bryar Moore

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: Is this still the greatest country in the world?


With the Fourth of July holiday ending this week, we ask ourselves this important question…

Are we the greatest country in the world?

View Results

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Medallion Clue #7 – July 7, 2015

2015 Wheat Festival MEDALLION Your clue today

Today’s Clue:

Donne & Hemmingway have this in common.

Past Clues:

Clue #6

They have the need – the need for speed.

Clue #5 

The Birdman.

Clue #4

Thieving made legal.

Clue #3

KANSAS WHEAT FESTIVAL SCHEDULE – Tuesday, July 7 – Wednesday, July 8

2015 Wheat Festival Daily Schedule

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The 115th Kansas Wheat Festival schedules for Tuesday, July 7 and Wednesday, July 8 are listed below. For the full schedule click on the purple Kansas Wheat Festival ad on the right. Sumner Newscow will continue to have daily schedules throughout the week.

*Schedule is subject to change*


5 p.m.- 7 p.m.  The Downtown Art Exhibit and Festival Kick-Off Reception– Chamber members and sponsors are invited to this exclusive preview of Kansas artwork and the 2015 Kansas Wheat Festival. Invitation only. 108 S. Washington Ave (Edit. A Lifestyle Boutique),  (Sponsored the Wellington Community Arts Network). 

5 p.m. — Baby and Toddler Photo Contest Theme: Born in the USA at Wellington Health and Rehab (1600 W. 8th).

Baby Contest:

Rising star Logan Mize takes to the Wellington stage Thursday

Logan Mize coming to Wellington
Logan Mize at a recent performance in Colorado.

Logan Mize at a recent performance in Colorado.

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — For four years, Logan Mize, a 2003 Clearwater High School graduate, was a running back for the Indians. And every time his team played the Wellington Crusaders, he was on the losing end.

Come this Thursday, Mize returns not with a football helmet but a guitar. And he is on the cusp of being a major country music star.

Mize will be the featured performer this Thursday night at 9 p.m. at the Kansas Wheat Festival downtown street dance in Wellington. His performance will be part of what is arguably the best lineup of entertainers to ever perform at the Wheat Festival.

2015 Wheat Festival logo background use this oneJason Boyd opens for Mize at 8 p.m. on Thursday. Friday “The Banned” will be on the main stage in front of Memorial Auditorium at 9 p.m.

Then on Saturday, Kinsey Sandler, who is a country rocker from Oklahoma, will take to the downtown Wellington stage at 9 p.m.

The Mize concert has been a two-year deal in the making. He was originally set to perform on stage at Memorial Auditorium around Thanksgiving in 2014, but schedules were unable to mesh.

So Mize will instead be her Thursday, set to perform a slew of songs including his latest hit, “Can’t Get Away from a Good Time.”

Medallion Clue #6 – July 6, 2015

2015 Wheat Festival MEDALLION Your clue today

Today’s Clue:

They have the need – the need for speed.

Past Clues:

Clue #5 

The Birdman.

Clue #4

Thieving made legal.

Clue #3

The battle begins here.

Clue #2

Post your FREE Garage Sales Ads here..

Garage sale templete use this one

By Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — It is another 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!

Sunday blog: Talking Wheat Festival whining, Logan Mize, gay marriage, cray Kansas…

Five Cueball thoughts

Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Five Cueball thoughts for July 5, 2015…

1. A rant to not rant…

Wheat Festival crybaby

“I didn’t win this #$@*$ baby contest, mommy!

The other day someone called around 9 a.m. and yelled at me about the Medallion Hunt clue not being on the Newscow site. I tried to explain to her that we have the new clue up temporarily from 6:30 to 7 a.m. for the early bird hunters. It is then taken down temporarily, before going back up permanently at 10 a.m. She did not care. She wanted it on right now and hung up.

Dang, people. The Kansas Wheat Festival hasn’t even begun and we are already cranky.

There is no doubt people are angrier these days — not just Wellington but everywhere.

So I’m here to provide a community service and give everyone a little pre-Wheat Festival pep talk. You have to do just two things this year at the Wheat Festival:

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