Archives for August 2013

hasan housed at fort leavenworth

The U-s military has only one maximum security prison – it’s fort leavenworth in kansas – and so that will be the home for the man sentenced to death for killing 13 people and injuring 30 others in a shooting rampage at fort hood texas in 2009. major nidal hasan was going to be brought to fort leavenworthon the first available miltiary flight. the prison houses inmates who are setnenced to at least a decade behind bars, or death. hasan is paralyzed from the waist down after he was shot in the back during the rampage, and the prison is compliant with the americans with disabilities act regulations.

is stegall qualified

The top democrat in the senate is wondering whether the governor’s choice to be on the state court of appeals is qualified for the job. Stegall is governor sam brownback’s chief counsel and has never been a judge. Senate minority leader anthony hensley said yesterday that stegall is not qualified to serve on the court of appeals if one or more district court judges also applied for the seat… the governor won’t disclose the other names of candidates for the court… and hensley says the public can’t compare stegall to other candidates. Stegall has gotten endorsement letters from both republcians and questions… brownback spokeswoman eileen hawley said hensley is the only person so far who has publickly questioned whether stegall is qualified.

chanute sirens

Chanute City officials have received around 20 complaints from citizens claiming they could not hear tornado sirens after the city replaced 14 tornado sirens with seven new sirens. City Utility Director Larry Gates said the current units emit a signal as loud as 85 decibels, or about as loud as a passing freight train, from as far as 6,000 feet, but said variables such as wind direction, surrounding trees or other above ground structures and the type of home could affect whether or not a Chanute resident can hear the siren. 

Commissioner Greg Woodyard said the commission should forego installing another tornado siren and instead invest in promoting its CodeRED system – an early warning system run by the Neosho County Sheriff’s Department that provides subscribers with phone calls, texts and emails in case of incoming, dangerous weather. Decisions on the siren system could come at the next commission meeting.

delaware road to become gravel

Four miles of Delaware Road, which is presently paved, will be converted to gravel. The change will occur starting five miles east of Humboldt at what popularly is known as the Zillah Curve. That is the first stage of rebuilding the road — scheduled for next year after large portions were damaged by heavy traffic and became safety hazards. Public Works Director Bill King says the four miles currently have a load limit of 15 tons, which will be lifted later this year, and speed is limited to 45 miles an hour, which will remain in effect until it is rebuilt. 

pipe arrives for new enbridge pipeline

The pipe is arriving near Humboldt as Enbridge crews get ready to plant it in the ground for their massive new pipeline. A steady stream of highway transports carried huge sections of 36-inch pipe into a storage yard at the north edge of Humboldt Wednesday.  The Register reports the pipe is manufactured in Canada and shipped  by rail to Chanute, then loaded on trucks for the trip to Humboldt. The pipe yard at Humboldt is one of several along the Flanagan Pipeline route that will cover 600 miles from Flanagan, Ill., to Cushing, Okla. Delivery of pipe to the yard, constructed earlier this year, is a visible precursor of construction due to hit high gear before long.

Kevin O’Connor, an Enbridge spokesman said he doubted any construction on the pipeline would occur in Allen County before late fall or early winter, other than a pump station that will be built about a mile southeast of Humboldt. The Flanagan Pipeline will parallel the Spearhead line, a 24-inch diameter pipeline that has carried crude oil through Allen County and eastern Kansas for about 60 years. The Spearhead line also originates in Flanagan and carries oil to the massive storage facility at Cushing.

MOMS, Kiwanis Park Proposal

With the good news comes challenges. Just over two months ago, the Iola Kiwanis, along with Mothers of Miracles, were awarded $25,000 to aid in the construction of a special needs access playground. Though the project has blossomed into more than they could’ve hoped for, challenges remain.

A $25-thousand dollar grant would buy a lot of playground equipment usually — but this is a special-needs playground, so the money doesn’t stretch nearly as far. The two groups have raised just over $60,000 through donations and grants, which is less than halfway to their goal of $155,000.

The Register reports both the MOMs and Kiwanis members are surprised at how quickly things have gotten off the ground.

Countdown to ACRH Opening

The next five to six weeks will see a “whirlwind of activity” at the new Allen County Regional Hospital as the countodwn to openin accelerates.

Tim Moore, the project engineer, says finishing touches are being applied to the surgery and emergency room areas, while grading of the landscape is in the final stages and some trees have been planted. Lines will soon be painted on the parking lot. “In the next two to three weeks we can start cleaning and polishing the outside of the building,” Moore told trustees, “which should provide a big change for the building’s aesthetics.”

The Register reports one setback is the disintegration of mortar between the smooth thin-set stone blocks on the building’s front facade. “ Different crews installed the two sets of stone and also used different mortar mixes, and the two stones were installed at different times of the year. Either way, the mortar is not sticking. The stone will be removed and reapplied.

mobile pantry in chanute soon

The next Neosho County/Chanute Mobile Pantry is scheduled 9 to 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 30 at the Chanute Recreation Center gym. Anyone in need of food assistance is eligible. Recipients will be asked how many people live in their household and their address. It is first come, first serve. Sponsors are Kansas Food Bank, Chanute Community Foundation and FireEscape Coffeehouse.

pipeline benefit: free mulch

There’s a side benefit to the pipeline construction — at least for those wanting some free mulch. Allen County Landfill has a growing pile of chopped wood mulch, free for the taking. It is from brush a crew is clearing in what will be the pathway for the new 36-inch Enbridge crude oil pipeline through Allen and adjoining counties. Limbs will be burned periodically, as will what mulch isn’t claimed by area residents. 

When pipeline construction reaches Allen County, Public Works Director Bill King will monitor cuts of rock roads and borings under hard-surfaced thoroughfares. Also, the pipeline will be taken under creeks and the Neosho River, just north of the U.S. 169 bridge north of Chanute. 

group says westar doesn’t need such big jump

A kansas consumer advocate agency says the largest utility in kansas can get by with a smallrate rate increase than it has requested – and still make necessary improvements to its power plants. Westar is seeking a 31-point-7-million-dollar rate increase from its customers… the utiltiy is asking for the increase to pay for 1-point-2-billion-dollars in environmental upgrades at its lacygne plant. David Springe, an attorney for the citizens utility ratepayers board, filed testimoney with the kansas corporation commission, saying westar could cut its rate increase by one million dollars and still do the improvemnets. CURB also argues against Westar’s plan to shift the burden of the increase away from large businesses to residential customers.