Category Archives: Commentary/Polls

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The voting by mail question






What is your opinion concerning mail-in voting for the upcoming general election?

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CultureCow: Folklore is beautiful, but nobody tell Joe Alwyn

Commentary by Devin McCue, Sumner Newscow — Happy Friday. Taylor Swift emerged from her lavishly decorated cave last week to drop a surprise album Folklore on us without provocation and we were not ready.  Unlike previous iterations of Swift album releases, there was no lead single dropped months in advance that we all had to tolerate until the album came out.

There was no secret code hidden in an elaborate web of Instagram posts.  Instead, she just decided to come out of the blue and bestow us with one of the best works of her career (top three easily).  Folklore is the type of album I was expecting in 2017 when I wrote my review of Reputation (Swift’s best album) and listened to the final track New Year’s Day

Sumner Newscow straw polls: Sheriff and District 2 Commissioners

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The following is our pre-election straw polls for local races. These polls are completely unscientific. We will be having two local elections this next Tuesday: The Sumner County Sheriff’s race and the County Commissioners District 2. If you do not reside in the county or in the case of the county commissioners District 2 race don’t reside in that particular district, please refrain from voting.



Who will you be voting for in this Tuesday's primary for Sumner County Sheriff?

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Who will you be voting for in District 2 for Commissioner?

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Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The delaying of school until after Labor Day question







Do you support the delay of school until after Labor Day?

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Sunday Blog: The ‘Redskin’ name will go… It was time

Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — I remember waaaaaay back when I was a young strapping news reporter ready to change the world for the Grove (Okla.) Sun.

One of my first assignments was to interview local Native Americans about this new controversy concerning Indian mascots and whether or not it offended them. I think the Atlanta Braves had just made the World Series or something and suddenly people were having a cow over it.

I remember I couldn’t find any Native Americans in the area who were offended by the Braves, or the Indians, or the Redskins. Some were a bit perplexed when I called. This was still rather a new topic of discussion and they hadn’t been keeping up with the news. Others were rather adamant that it was horse manure and typical white men trying to tell the Indians how to think.

Only one woman said she could understand someone being offended, but the American Indian had bigger fish to fry.

So from that point forward, when it came to American Indian mascots, I figured then, if it didn’t matter to them, it didn’t matter to me.

That was 30 years ago. 

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The mask mandate question







Should the Wellington City Council and County Commissioners have passed mask mandates this week?

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Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The graduation ceremony question







Do you feel the Wellington High School should go ahead with the graduation ceremony on Sunday?

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Fourth of July blog: My top five favorite American conspiracies

Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — There are a lot of things America does well. There are a lot of things we don’t do well. But I can’t imagine any other country that can spread conspiracy theories quite like the U.S. of A.

Welcome to my fifth annual “Cueball Fourth of July” column –  where I celebrate 244 years of history,  by making a useless Internet list of all things American.

This year, in honor of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m going to list my top five favorite American conspiracies.

COVID-19 is a deadly virus that has spread quickly across the world. But COVID-19 hasn’t spread nearly as quickly as the conspiracy theories.

Why are we obsessed with conspiracies? I think it is because we love to gossip. It’s a great American pastime.

So let’s get started.

5. Paul is dead.

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: the wearing-masks-in-public order question







Is the governor doing the right thing by ordering us to wear masks in public?

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Letter: Sumner County Sheriff employees endorse Darren Chambers

Sumner Newscow report — The following is a letter to the editor from employees of the Sumner County Sheriff’s office:


As employees of the Sumner County Sheriffs Office, we feel strongly about having an opportunity to give residents of Sumner County some insight. In fact, we feel that it is our duty to let you know how we feel and what we have experienced since Darren Chambers took office in 2011. He has made significant improvements over time; pay increases, adequate staffing, budget improvements, increased training, and restored security within the Detention Facility.

In addition to these improvements, Darren is attentive to all aspects that make the office run smoothly. He has an exemplary relationship with multi jurisdictions, including all municipal police departments within the County, as well as each Sheriff within the state of Kansas. By building strong relationships, there is an ease and willingness to help each other with additional resources. In the last nine years, there has been a respectful mutual aid between multiple outside agencies. The rebirth of these solid relationships has been fundamental in benefiting the best interest of Sumner County.

CultureCow: A statue of racism is a statue worth tearing down

Commentary by Devin McCue, Sumner Newscow — Happy Friday. As protests continue around the world against racism and, in particular, police brutality there has been a new avenue of rebellion: tearing down statues. The first wave to come down focused on notable idiot explorer, slave driver, genocider, and man who never set foot on United States soil nor figured out he wasn’t actually in India: Christopher Columbus

American’s obsession with a man who never claimed to discover anything then was posthumously awarded the “honor” of having discovered a land where people were already living for thousands of years never sat right with me, but I’m glad we’re finally doing something about it.  As nice as it is that his monuments are coming down (or being beheaded as in some cases), the largest faction of toppling statues concerns the biggest losers in American history: confederate soldiers.

The Confederate States of America was never a country in its own right and only lasted five years, which is shorter than the TV series Glee was on the air, which tells you anything about the success of their rebellion.  For a cause as deplorable as wanting to keep enslaving people, why are there so many monuments to famous losers?  Is it to honor history?  No.  Are they targets that everyone tries to hit with apples every day?  No.  They were always about intimidating Black people whenever there was a modicum of humanity from the government oppressing them. 

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The wearing a mask question







How often do you wear a mask in public these days?

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CultureCow: Celebrate Juneteenth with *sigh* the Perfect Movie for the Moment

by Devin McCue, Sumner Newscow — Happy Friday. And happy Juneteenth!  If you’re just now finding out about Juneteenth, I promise you that you aren’t alone, but I also promise you it’s not your job to tell everyone you know.  This has been a holiday for literally over 100 years and the reason it isn’t a federal holiday and celebrated nationally is due to systemic racism.  So, do your part and instead of telling everyone, you know about the “new” holiday you just found out about, donate to your local chapter of Black Lives Matter or a similar cause.

Just in time for the moment in history we’re all living through, one of the best American filmmakers of all time, Spike Lee, dropped his newest joint on Netflix this week called Da 5 Bloods.  Da 5 Bloods follows a group of Black Vietnam veterans as they return to the country for the first time since their deployment to recover the body of their fallen Sergeant (squad leader? Whatever arbitrary rank the Army gave him) with an ulterior plan set in motion all those years ago.  What follows is one of Spike’s best outings in character study since Malcolm X.  The plot is fairly straight-forward without ever being predictable, but what truly shines about this movie is amazing writing that manages to flesh out each member of the bloods, led by an Oscar-deserving performance by Delroy Lindo

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The Trump rally question







Will you be going to the Trump rally in Tulsa this Saturday?

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Sunday Blog: Talking Chicken Little, peaceful protest, Ivanka Trump and Elmer Fudd

Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Five years ago I wrote a column “Hey, Wellington. Perhaps we should send Chicken Little packing” (see column here).

I pulled that column up July 19, 2015, and had a good chuckle. In five years, not a dang thing has changed. People were all up in arms about the high utility rates, then-mayor Shelley Hansel and future mayor Jim Valentine were overreacting about something, and people were worried about the hospital possibly closing right then and there. Nothing ever changes.

My best line:

“I couldn’t get out of bed in fear someone might have a nervous breakdown because I was using the wrong toothpaste.”

The thing is, Chicken Little did not pack and instead has a thriving business going. Here are three subjects in particular where Chicken Little is the mob kingpin.

The peaceful protest

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The race relationship in America question







Do you believe race relations have worsen in just the past four years?

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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 Newscow weekly poll: The reopening Sumner County question







So should Sumner County fully re-open its economy this week?

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Sunday blog: Wellington needs to change its narrative

by James Jordan, Sumner Newscow — They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. For years, I have heard doom and gloom about Wellington, and as the saying goes, nothing much has changed. The complaints have not changed much either.

James Jordan

If you want change to happen you have to do something different. You can talk about the good old days all you want, but they are not coming back, and they may not have really been all that good. You can also gripe and moan about problems, but that has never solved anything either.

Wellington is not unique in its struggles. There are a lot of small towns in rural America with the same issues – health care, housing, employment – and they are usually the big issues. Wellington is not the most vibrant small rural town I have seen, but it is also far from the worst.

The city is working on a strategic plan and is seeking public input. One of the goals of the plan is to “change the narrative” about the city. You can access the survey and get more on the strategic plan here.

CultureCow: Without Arts and Humanities, a college is no longer a place of higher learning

By Devin McCue, Sumner Newscow —  Happy Friday. Over the past week, I had a sister graduate from college and within the next few months, I’ll have another sibling start his collegiate experience which calls for a time to reflect.  I earned my Bachelor’s degree in 2017 with a double-major in history and art history and the following year a Master’s degree in management, which means I got to see both sides of a decades-old ridiculous fight: the fight over what college is supposed to be “for.”

In undergrad, I heard over and over, “what are you going to do with that degree” and the answer I always had was “whatever I want.”  Because while a business degree ensures you can get any lower-tier job you want at a franchise somewhere, humanities degrees teach you much more valuable skills.

The reason I bring it up now is that schools like Missouri Western State University are taking hatchets to their budgets and the first thing to hit the cutting room floor was their entire humanities departments.  They cut 30 percent of their faculty, including the entire history, political science, sociology, economics, and music departments.  On the heels of that, Liberty University announced this week that they would no longer be offering philosophy as a major. 

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