Archives for December 2011

Jingle Bell Jog Participation Nearly Double Last Year’s

Organizers say this year’s Jingle Bell Jog nearly doubled participation over last year’s. Saturday morning’s event was the 14th annual Jingle Bell Jog, with 110 people taking part in the 5K run and 3K walk, sponsored by Thrive Allen County and the Iola High School leadership class.

The 110 participants were nearly twice as many as last year’s 59, when more frigid weather and a stiff breeze discouraged all but the hearty. Nine states were represented this year, accoridng to the Register. In addition to Kansas, entrants were from Missouri, California, Hawaii, Oklahoma, Texas, Georgia, New York and Wyoming. Entrants also came from area towns and others in Kansas, including Emporia and Kansas City.

Take a Suvery, Promote Leadership at Iola High School

Simply by filling out an online survey, parents at Iola High School can help ensure the programs meant to build leaders within the school continue into the future. The Link Crew and Leadership programs are presently funded with donations from Emprise Bank and an anonymous gift, whcih are running out. It costs $5-thosuand a year to run the programs, and USD 257 is pursuing a grant to guarantee long-term sustainability for them To qualify for a state grant providing financial support for programs that promote a safe and supportive environment, 20 percent of high students parents must fill out an online survey.

To take the survey, visit and enter numbers 1564 to access the Iola High survey. The deadline for parents to take the surveys is Jan 24.

Humboldt Senior Center Work Update

Work is continuing to shore up the Humboldt Senor Center. This week’s heavy rain actually helped the process. Only a few small leaks were found in the roof following the early week rains, and each structural support under the floor has been tested recently and either found to be of sufficient strength or has been replaced. Moisture problems in the basement soon would be solved by the installation of sump pumps. Officials anticipate the work to give the center five to ten years additional use.

Chanute Superintendent Cautious On Brownback Ed Plan

Another area school superintendent is signing in on Governor Sam Brownback’s proposed new education finance plan. Earlier this month, we heard USD 257 Superintendent Brian Pekarek saying the Governor has the right vision and is on the right track in certain areas, although expressing concern about placing much of the weight of school financing on local communities. Now, in Chanute, USD 413 Superintendent James Hardy is saying he’s concerned about the plan and its lack of so-called enrollment weighting. Hardy saying Brownback’s plan is also vague on vocational education, which Hardy says is increasingly important because that’s where many students get the training they need to find jobs. If the Brownback plan is passed, it would take effect during the 2013-14 school year and would give local school boards additional spending power and more power to increase local property taxes. In a new development today, a top aide says Gov. Brownback is willing to consider ideas from Kansas legislators for modifying his plan to overhaul how the state finances its public schools.

Body of Missing Neodesha Man Found

Services are scheduled tomorrow for a Neodesha man whose body was found over the weekend after being missing for more than two weeks. Wilson county officials say 44-year old Kennon Landry’s body was pulled from the Verdigris River. Lab results related to his autopsy won’t be back for several weeks. A team from Texas used sonar scanning to find his body about 100 yards from the location an oil field worker found his pickup truck on December 2nd. The truck had rolled near the river. At times, more that 250 people had been involved in the search. The KBI is involved in the investigation; no word yet on whether there’s anything investigators find suspicious about his death. The funeral service for Landry will be tomorrow afternoon at 1 at Christ Church in Neodesha.

EPA Adds Air Monitor Sites In Chanute

The Environmental Protection Agency is placing additional air monitors in Chanute as part of an ongoing effort to make sure local air quality meets federal standards. A recent review of several samples taken around the city revealed that the air you breathe in Chanute is generally within federal tolerances for hazardous substances. However, citizen complaints sparked those tests in the first place and regulators now say they want to collect more information over the next three to six months. To help in that effort, EPA technicians are placing two additional air particulate matter monitoring sites in city parks. In addition to the limited air screenings in Chanute, other samplings include surface water, sediment and fish tissue.

Adopt-A-Child Helps 280 Local Kids, 132 Families in 2011

More than 280 local children have benefitted from the generosity of Iolans this Christmas season. Adopt-A-Child organizers Barbie Daugharthy and Teresa Gribble say it’s the larges distribution in recent memory. The Register reports a flurry of last-minute donations – in the form of gifts or money – allowed organizers to fill the wish lists of every child who was enrolled. Enough money was donated that Daugharthy, Gribble and Cheryl Sparks were able to purchase gifts for the remaining 70 children who had not been “adopted” by other donors.

New Patrol Vehicles Coming

New patrol vehicles on the way for the Allen County Sheriff’s Department. County Supervisors have given the green light to buy two new Ford F-150 Super Cab four-by-four pickups, which will be completely fitted out as patrol vehicles. The Board approving purchase of the trucks for just under 24-thousand dollars apiece from a local dealer rather than a slightly less-expensive bid from a national seller of vehicles to government agencies. The Board exercising a buy-local option available to it in making the decision. The new patrol vehicles set to be acquired at the end of the month.

Two Arrested In Home Invasions

Two Parsons men are in jail following a series of home invasions in rural Labette County. A fugitive task force tracked the two men down in Kansas City. Now 19-year-old Brady Downing — also known as Brady Gage — and 19-year-old Malcom Odom face a number of charges including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. In one home invasion a couple was reportedly tied to chairs in their living room while the men robbed the house. The husband and wife were later able to free themselves and call police. A woman also being held for questioning in the incidents and two male suspects are still being sought.

Fire Alarm Evacuates Iola Middle School

A fire alarm at Iola Middle School this morning caused evacuation of the school while its cause was being investigated. Middle School students walked over to Iola High School while Iola fire, police and school officials investigated the source of the fire alarm. School personnel reported they smelled smoke about mid-morning. Fire investigators say a burned-out motor on a rooftop air handling unit was the cause and that there was never actually any fire. No injuries reported.