Archives for August 2012

Conservation Plea Achieves Goal

Water use and conservation…the topic on all our minds for the past few weeks. Mayor Bill Shirly said yesterday the Stage 2 water restrictions, whcih have us watering lawns on an odd-even schedule and doing other things to conserve, are meeting thier goal of water use reduction:

Monthly Jobless Numbers Posted

In our area, here’s how the numbers break out:

Allen County is up from 6.9-percent in June to 7-point-3 percent in July. That’s half a percentage point below last July’s 8.7-percent.

Anderson county also was up from June to July. posting a 7.3-percent rate in July compared to 6.5-percent in June. Last July’s unemployment rate in Anderson county Anderson County was a full percentage point higher than this year.

In Bourbon county, employment remained the most stable in the region, moving from 7.2-percent in June to 7.6-percent in July. A year ago, Bourbon county has 7.5-percent unemployment.

Employment was also relatively stable in Neosho County — 7.6-percent last month, compared to 7.3-percent in June and 7.8-percent a year ago.

Wilson county continued to have the worst unemployment in the region, going back above 10-percent. Last month 10.4-percent of Wilson county residents were unemployed, compared with 9.5-percent in June and 10.6-percent in July 2011.

Woodson County posted a rate slightly worse than last year, but following the area’s month-to month trend. July unemployment was 7.3-percent, while June’s was 6.8-percent. A year ago it was 7.2-percent

Garnet Ethanol Plant to Stop Production Oct. 1

More details today on something we told you about yesterday morning. East Kansas Agri-Energy in Garnett yesterday confirmed a report they planned to temporarily suspend production operations beginning October 1st. In a prepared statement, company officials said the prolonged drought conditions are having a negative impact on availability of corn and rising feedstock prices. Additionally, the demand for gasoline is down resulting in surplus ethanol stocks. The plant has been running at a 20-percent reduction in capacity since April, due to the same factors.

Board Chair Bill Pracht said, “We have studied the situation extensively and with the challenging economic conditions the Board of Directors has determined that it is in the best interest of the company and its shareholders to halt production at this time. We will monitor the situation with the hope to resume production of the facility as soon as market conditions allow”.

In the release, the company does not indicate how many of the 35 employees will be impacted, saying only that a portion of the staff will experience the impact.

Primary Election Results

Voters in Iola have cast Kendall Callahan and Ken Rowe out of office. Sheriff Tom Williams is on the way to a new job, while his Undersheriff takes a step closer to filling his boss’ seat. Here are the races by the numbers:

Kendall Callahan was ousted by a vote of 170 to 139 (55 to 45 percent), while Ken Rowe was voted out by a vote of 175 to 98 (64 to 36 percent). Undersheriff Bryan Murphy defeated Jared Froggatte (62 percent to 38 percent) for Allen County Sheriff. Murphy will face Skyler Clark (independent) in November. Outgoing Sheriff Tom Williams defeated Rob Frances 66 percent to 34 percent for County Commission District 2. That makes Williams the de-facto winner of the seat, as he does not face a challenger in November.

Jim Talkington defeated Don Bauer 55 percent to 45 percent for County Commission District 3. He also moves directly to the Commission, as he lacks an opponent in November.

Looking at district-wide results for State House and Senate: Caryn Tyson had a slightly higher margin of victory in the district than she did in Allen county. Locally, Tyson beat John Coen 54-to-46 percent, while her margin of victory in the 12th Senate District as a whole was 56-to-44 percent. For House District 8, Ed Bideau handily defeated Judy Brigham and Bud Sifers in the district, while the margin was narrower locally. District wide, the tally was 56-percent for Bideau, 26-percent for Sifers and 19-percent for Brigham. In Allen County, the gap between Bideau and Sifers was eight votes, Bideau still winning, while Judy Brigham received 29-percent of the votes.

Crop Report: Conditions Worsening

A new crop report says overall conditions continue to get worse despite some rain in Kansas and the cooler temperatures of the past few days. Topsoil moisture levels improved slightly to 69% very short, percent short, 6 percent adequate. The condition of the corn crop declined to 37 percent very poor, 32 percent poor, 22 percent fair, 8 percent good, and 1 percent excellent. This continues to be the worst corn condition since the current data series began in 1985. The condition of the soybean crop declined to 31 percent very poor, 36 percent poor, 27 percent fair, 5 percent good, and 1 percent rated as excellent. This is now the worst soybean condition since the current data series began in 1985.

Election Day

Polls are open 7 to 7 today for the primary elections. For Iola voters in Wards 1 and 4, regardless of party, there is a measure on the ballot that would recall one of your commission members. Local election officials say that by Friday afternoon more than 350 people had voted in the county clerk’s office or had acquired advance ballots. If you got an advanced ballot, don’t forget to return it by the time polls close at 7pm. For those voting in person today, remember to take your driver’s license or other form of photo ID, as this is the first statewide election since the anti-fraud measure pushed by Chris Kobach was approved.