Monthly Archives: May 2020

Gerald ‘Jerry’ Bales, 95, Wellington: June 20, 1924 – May 27, 2020

Gerry Bales

Gerald “Jerry” A. Bales, 95, of Wellington, died Wednesday, May 27, 2020, at Wellington Health and Rehab in Wellington.

Mass of Christian Burial will be private for the family. Visitation will be Sunday, May 31, 2020, from 12 until 5 p.m. at the Shelley Family Funeral Home in Wellington. No family reception is planned. A Memorial has been established with the St. Anthony/St. Rose Restoration Project for the Bells, and Chisholm Trail Museum. Donations may be left with Shelley Family Funeral Home, PO Box 555, Wellington, KS 67152. To leave an online condolence please visit

Gerald Aldon Bales was born June 20, 1924, the son of Everett and Texas Ola Mae (Fenn) Bales in Americus, KS. He grew up in Clovis, New Mexico. After the family moved to Kansas, he graduated from Herington High School and attended Kansas State University before joining the United States Army. While serving his country during World War II, Jerry was struck by a phosphorous shell outside his foxhole in Saarbrucken, Germany. He was flown to England and then transferred to Valley Forge hospital in Ohio where he spent almost two years convalescing and receiving 13 pioneering graft surgeries.

Sunday Blog: You and I may be over the pandemic, but is it over?

Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — I don’t know if we have flattened the curve, made a dent on the spread of COVID-19 or if we have built up some natural immunity to this virus, but I do know one thing. We are over it.

Friday, the Sumner County Commissioners approved the emergency order from Health Officer Laura Rettig that opens up gatherings as high as 60 people (see story here). In 19 days, it will be a free-for-all, unless the COVID-19 numbers spike.

From the people I have talked to, they are over it. Judging from the many adversarial posts on social media, a large bulk of you are certainly over it.

Honestly, I’m over it, and I’m a social distancing kind of guy.

I went to church last week and enjoyed the experience. I still didn’t listen to the sermon, but it is better than not listening online (joking, pastor). I have enjoyed eating out and getting food not served on styrofoam.

I would like to go to a sporting event soon and take a picture of a swim-team champion. Please, please, please have a football season. I know that is selfish of me, but I love it so.

Sumner County Commissioners issue Emergency Order today with less restrictions and allowance of all business activity

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — This morning right before noon after a 53-minute meeting at the commissioner chambers that included 40 minutes of it in executive session, the Sumner County Commissioners issued an Emergency Order through Local Health Officer Laura Rettig.

The new order, begins with the Phase 3 guidelines starting May 29 (today). The estimated duration of the order is 19 days.

The following criteria for phase 3 is as follows:


Time Period

•Earliest implementation is May 29, 2020.

•Estimated duration is 19 days.

General Principals

•Mass gatherings of more than 60 individuals are prohibited. Mass gatherings are defined as instances in which individuals are in one location and are unable to maintain six feet of distance between individuals (not including individuals who reside together) with only infrequent or incidental moments of closer proximity.

•Businesses or functions that are already in operation pursuant to the Kansas Essential Functions Framework (KEFF) (attached) may continue to function while, if possible, avoiding gatherings of more than 60 individuals where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

•Any federal or state restrictions imposed and still in effect must be followed.

Guidance for Individuals

•Masks: Individuals may choose to wear cloth masks in public settings.

•Outdoor Activities: When in public (e.g., parks, outdoor recreation areas, shopping areas), individuals (not including individuals who reside together) should maintain 6 feet of distance from others with only infrequent or incidental moments of closer proximity.

•Social Gatherings: Avoid socializing in person with groups of more than 60 individuals in both indoor and outdoor settings, especially in circumstances that do not allow for a physical distance of 6 feet or more between individuals or groups with only infrequent or incidental moments of closer proximity (e.g., receptions, trade shows).

Library plans to re-open with curbside service beginning June 1

by Amber Countryman, Sumner Newscow — With the COVID-19 health pandemic, the library has been closed and unable to offer patron services for the past couple of months. With the recent re-opening of the state in safe phases, the library will begin offering curbside service June 1, with limited services available.

Every library is handling patron services differently, depending on the needs of their community, number of staff members, and various other factors. 

Beginning June 1, patrons should call ahead and reserve books, or go to the library’s website, and put books on hold by signing into your library account, or signing up for one. be on the library’s electronic sign, website and all social media outlets. Those wishing to participate in the free summer reading program online will need to download the free ReaderZone App (from the app store on your computer or handheld device) and use the code provided on the library’s website to join (1d0ab). Please use a current email address when registering and select the correct age group for the reader. Summer Reading is for everyone and the library has an age group for everyone! Summer reading materials can be picked up May 29-30 through the drive-thru area during curbside pickup times. 

Yes, Wellington swim team will be having a season… albeit an abbreviated one

Sumner Newscow report — Not every sport will have a summer season. But the Wellington Sailfish Swim Team will.

The first day of swim team practice is June 15.

The season will begin on July 7.  The full schedule is as follow: 

John Wingfield, 92, Wellington: June 1927 – May 28, 2020

John Wingfield

John G Wingfield was born in Norton, Kansas to Roy and Ona Wingfield. He grew up in Norton and met his future wife, Barbara Hubbard there. They were dance partners in high school competitions and performances. John played on the football, basketball, and track teams in school. He also worked as a linotype machine operator for the local paper after school. When he turned eighteen, in June of 1945, he enlisted in the Navy and served aboard the U.S.S Boston, a heavy cruiser, and the aircraft carrier Essex.

After the war, John studied at Kansas State University in Manhattan, majoring in chemical engineering. He worked in an oil field in Texas during one summer. He decided to change his major after that summer to grain science, where he majored in cereal chemistry. Upon graduation, John worked for several milling companies, including General Mills, and the Red Star Mill in Wichita. Most of his milling career was with Colorado Milling and Elevator in Denver, Colorado, where he and his wife Barbara, married in 1951, brought up their family. During his long milling career, John designed and oversaw the construction of several mills and production plants.

John served as president of the Association of Operative Millers during 1965-66.

What’s under the roof at Mill Creek? A plant sale, of course

Make sure fencing is around your personal pool

Sumner Newscow report — Springtime is here and people are setting up their pools for summer.  Just a reminder from the Building & Codes Department to ensure pools are as safe as possible:

All pools over 24-inches deep — or that hold over 5,000 gallons of water — require a fence constructed with approved fencing material and at least five feet high with a locking gate. Please contact the Building & Codes Office at (620)-326-3871 for information on approved materials.

In addition to the required fencing, the use of pool covers is encouraged. The pool cannot be within 10 ft. of an overhead power line, and if you run an electrical cord out to the pool for a pump, remember to have a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protector for it. This will reduce the risk of injury from shock or electrocution. 

Wellington Police Notes: Thursday, May 28, 2020

Wellington Police notes: Thursday, May 28, 2020

City of Wellington wants you to complete strategic plan survey online by June 1

Sumner Newscow report — The City of Wellington continues to work with the Public Policy and Management Center at WSU to complete its Strategic Plan.  Due to the ongoing restrictions on public meetings, we are moving the next phase of community engagement online.  Please take a few minutes to take our online survey and provide feedback on the working draft of the plan.

Once we have your input the Steering Committee will refine the plan before its final adoption.

The Strategic Plan Survey link is available on our website:  Just click on the Strategic Plan Survey under the News & Announcements section.  We encourage your participation and feedback, which is crucial to the success of this project.   The deadline to participate in the survey is noon on Monday, June 1. 

The City of Wellington to reopen the offices to the public on Monday

Sumner Newscow report — The Wellington City Administration Offices will reopen to the public on Monday, June 1.  The public is asked to continue to practice social distancing when conducting business in the offices.  City staff is greatly appreciative of the cooperation from citizens over the past weeks in dealing with the inconveniences related to the public health concerns from the COVID-19 pandemic, and for any steps that may be necessary for the future.  The primary concern is for the health and safety of citizens and city staff.

City playgrounds and structures, as well as restrooms, will begin to reopen on Monday, June 1.  As appropriate signage is posted at each location, it will be reopened for use.  For the playgrounds, citizens are asked to avoid group activities, practice social distancing, and wash hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer after use.  Restrooms and shower facilities at the Wellington Lake will also be open with signage posted.

The Recycle Center will open this Saturday, May 30, limited to receiving cardboard only.  A separate media release (see below) also disseminated today provides specific details on Recycle Center operations.  

Wellington Recycle Center to re-open on Saturday

Sumner Newscow report — The Wellington Recycle Center will be reopening with some modifications for a short period of time.  Due to the two-month closure, city officials anticipate stockpiles of materials and volumes of traffic that will exceed our ability to handle under normal operating conditions.  In an effort to prevent long waiting lines outside the facility, we ask citizens to follow the guidance below to assist us in getting caught up and back to normal operations over the next two-three weeks.

The Recycle Center will be open this Saturday, May 30 from 9 a.m. to noon for cardboard only. No other materials will be accepted on this day.

The following Saturday, June 6, the city will be accepting the regular recycling items between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., under the following schedule. Individuals with last names beginning A-J, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and individuals with last names beginning K-Z from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.  The hope is this reduces excessive wait times and traffic impact around the facility. This schedule may not work for everyone, but if people have the ability to go at the recommended time, please do so for everyone’s benefit.

Wellington Regent is back with 7 movies over the next week!



Beetlejuice: Rated P.G. All seats are only $5!



Wizard of Oz: Rated G. All seats are only $5!



Outlaw Josey Wells: Unrated. All seats $5 or $8 for both movies. This one starts at 2 p.m. 

Pale Rider: Unrated. All seats $5 or $8 for both movies. This one starts at 7 p.m.



Angel and the Badman: All seats $5 or $8 for both movies on Sunday. This one starts at 2 p.m.

Rainbow Valley: All seats $5 or $8 for both movies on Sunday. This one starts at 7 p.m.






Wellington High School Class Night was held virtually last night, here are the senior winners

Sumner Newscow report — Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the annual Wellington High School Class Night was held virtually Wednesday night for the Class of 2020. The video, produced by Steve Sturgis — the webmaster of, can be found here.

The virtual video lasted for 53 minutes for what was usually is a three-to-four hour ceremony. May we suggest that not everything about this pandemic has been terrible?

The graduation ceremony is tentatively set for July 12.

The following are a list of scholarship winners and other leadership awards announced at the Class Night:

THE LOOFBOURROW EDUCATIONAL TRUST – Austin Fink, Mason Lough and Caleb Starnes. 

Kanden Young, Kylie Aufdengarten named Outstanding WHS Male and Female Athlete for 2019-20

Sumner Newscow report — Kanden Young and Kylie Aufdengarten were named Outstanding Wellington High School Male and Female Athlete for the 2019-20 school year. The presentation was made during a virtual presentation of the 2020 Class Night. To see the full video of the event, click here. Other award winners will be featured soon. 

“This was one of the closest votes we had,” said Luke Smith, Wellington Activities Director.

The outstanding senior athlete award is given to the recipient who not only excels in their sport but is a multi-sport athlete and is an exceptional student.

The biographies of Young and Aufdengarten are as follows: 

Oxford Saw and Mower is having a Grasshopper Mower sale!

The Kansas Wheat Festival Medallion Hunt is on for the summer of 2020

Sumner Newscow report — The Kansas Wheat Festival may have been canceled as a whole, but the festival has always been a sum of many parts. The Medallion Hunt is still on!

The Kansas Wheat Festival Medallion Hunt will begin in late June in its customary time. The winner will be getting $1,000 provided they have a Wheat Festival button ($100 if you don’t).

Buttons are ready and available at the Chamber office, Bank of Commerce, Impact Bank, Panhandle Federal Credit Union, RCB Bank and Security State Bank. The buttons will need to be registered at the Chamber for the medallion hunt. Rules for the Medallion Hunt will be released in the coming weeks.

Click to enlarge.

Wellington Police Notes: Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Wellington Police notes: Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Sumner County Commissioner will conduct special meeting on Friday, May 29, 2020

Sumner Newscow report — The Sumner County Board of County Commissioners will conduct a special meeting on Friday, May 29, 2020, at 11 a.m., in the Sumner County Board Chambers, to discuss COVID-19 issues.

Please be reminded to maintain social distancing.

“We can allow a limited number of persons in Chambers,” said Sumner County Clerk Debbie Norris. 

Thomas Welch, 76, Wellington: June 25, 1943 – May 16, 2020

Thomas Welch, 76, of Wellington died Saturday, May 16, 2020, at Wellington Health and Rehab.

Cremation has taken place and no services are scheduled at this time. To leave an online condolence please visit

Thomas A. Welch was born June 25, 1943, the son of Don and Lila Welch in Wellington, Kansas. He graduated from Wellington High School and joined the U.S. Navy. Thomas was united in marriage to Ellen (Sandberg) Welch. He was a truck driver.

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