Too much paper work and the specter of increased costs for employees have sealed the decision of Neosho County Commissioners not to put the county into a state health insurance plan. Instead, the commission will be hearing proposals from private insurance providers and comparing costs of those plans. Under state plans, the county would be expected to cover 95 percent of premiums for employees — they currently cover it all — and only 55 percent for dependents — currently they cover 80-percent. The county would be locked into such an arrangement for three years if it had chosen the state plan. The decision came at a special meeting yesterday; commissioners tell the Chanute Tribune they should have an insurance provider chosen by their regular meeting the third week of October.
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has appointed the Coffey County Attorney to the open bench on the 4th District Court. Douglas Witteman will hear district court cases for Anderson, Coffey, Franklin, and Osage counties. He resides in LeRoy, Witteman received his law degree from Washburn University School of Law in 1991. In his current position, he handles criminal prosecution and juvenile offender prosecution, as well as “child in need of care” matters, “care and treatment” cases, and civil asset forfeitures.
An eight-week parenting course starts tomorrow night at Wesley United Methodist Church. The course, Boundaries With Kids will be taught by student family therapist Kari Miller. The Register reports Miller is a student therapist with a master of science degree in family therapy from Friends University. When she was a stay-at-home mom she dreamed of getting back into school. When her daughter started kindergarten at McKinley Elementary she began at Friends. The program is part of Miller’s internship.
There is a one-time $10 fee for the eight-week course. This also includes the meal, which starts at 5:15 p.m. Call the church if you’d like to know more.
A pair of projects to mill Highway 169 down by several inches an pave it again will get a start this week. KDOT announced Friday that the projects in Allen and Anderson counties will start late this week. The section of U.S. 169 covered by both projects begins at the U.S. 169/54 junction at Iola and extends north for 18½ miles to Welda.
The southern portion of the project, from U.S. 54 north to one mile north of the K-58 junction, consists of a 4-inch mill and 7-inch asphalt overlay. The northern portion, from one mile north of K-58 north to Welda, includes a 3-inch mill and 3-inch overlay plus guardrail installation at two locations. It’s a project that will cost nearly 9-million dollars…and now, they won’t be done before winter sets in. Work will start at the south end of the project, be suspended when it gets too cold, and continue its way north in the spring.
A neat exhibit in Moran, in spite of its somber meaning. A Photo display at the Moran American Legion includes several area men who died while deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. The display, put together by a Nebraska couple, is called “Remembering the Fallen.” You can see it between 7 in the morning and 7 at night through Sunday. The area men included in the exhibit are Ryan Jackman of Moran; Spc. John Wood, who had ties to Moran and Humboldt; Sgt. Michael Speer of Redfield; Cpl. Richard Bennett of Girard; Cpl. Daniel Cox of Parsons; Spc. David Hall from Uniontown; Spc. Joseph Lister of Pleasanton; and Sgt. Jeffrey Mersman from Parker.
At least two Allen County residents received calls yesterday from scammers claiming to be attempting to deliver a large cash prize. It was a pretty extensive attempt to separate her from her money, Kathleen Wood tells the Chaute Tribune. Wood says she spoke to several people on the phone, including people claiming to be representatives of Publisher’s Clearing House, a U.S. Government department and Lloyds Bank of London. But the bottom line was like so many other scam calls: they claimed she had won a big prize, but she had to send money to claim it — money that would supposedly be refunded. The Allen County Sheriff’s Department said late yesterday at least one other person had called them about the same scam.
The program that provides vouchers to help lower-income southeast Kansas residents get into reliable housing is currently accepting applications, but the window for submitting one is closing soon. The Southeast Kansas Community Action Program will close the waiting list for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program on September 30th. All eligible, complete applications received prior to the deadline will be reviewed and added to the waitlist.
The program helps qualifying individuals and families with rental subsidies, based on household income. Allen county and all the bordering counties are part of the service area for the agency. If you need an apllicaiton or would just like to find out more, call (620) 724-8204.
An open house is planned next month for the two new science labs being completed at Neosho County Community College. The $632-thousand dollar project came in $27,500 over budget because of unanticipated issues with airflow and above-ceiling clearance. Trustees approved the final change order last week, giving the contractor the go-ahead to make those changes. A grant funded about a quarter of the work; the rest of the money came from the college general fund, specifically from fund paid by out-of-county students who attend NCCC. Board members will host an open house on October 9th before the regular board meeting to show off the labs and work done to the college library.
It turns out Allen County isn’t the only place in southeast Kansas dealing with a revenue shortfall in the county wide ambulance service. Neosho County’s also seeing revenue issues with its EMS, which is run through Neosho Memorial Regional Medical Center. The revenue shortfall for the service is running about 400-thousand dollars — comparable with the projected shortfall in the City of Iola-run service. One of the Chanute ambulance crews is being cut to help keep the service within budget. Allen county is served with crews in Iola, Humboldt and Moran. A one-quarter penny sales tax is being considered to fund the Neosho county shortfall.
Allen county has a National Merit Scholar semi-finalist. Emily Boyd, who is a senior at Marmaton Valley is one of three semifinalists from southeast Kansas. If she becomes a finalist, she tells the Register her scholarship earnings for next year and beyond will essentially double. Emily is the daughter of Mark and Patti Boyd. She plans on attending the University of Kansas next fall. She has yet to decide a major. Her PSAT score ranked her in the top 1 percent of all students taking the test.