Archives for December 2013

Park Folo

The group seeking to install playground equipment in Riverside Park for special needs kids is nearing its fundraising goal.  Today Moms of Miracles has in hand $132,000, with a goal $153,000 in sight for its campaign.  MOMs was organized in 2011 so mothers of children with special needs could share concerns and triumphs, as well as have time to themselves.

EMS Merger About Done

Although EMS personnel from Iola and Allen County have been working together much of this month, there is still one remaining glitch in the process to merge the services. Whether the city should pay rent for the use of the county’s ambulance station in Iola remains unresolved, but everyone involved says that small thing is not going to stand in the way of the services being formally merged as of midnight Wednesday morning. 

Iola council members last week tabled until the new year the discussion of whether to pay rent to have access to the ambulance station, in the 400 block of North State Street. County commissioners have maintained that because the building wasn’t specifically included in the agreement the city has no right to use it without the commissioners’ blessings, and, as it unfolded at their behest, rent of $250 a month.  The city wants to incorporate the building as a place for storage, some office activities and as a training facility. It became a need when Iola’s fire station was reconfigured to make room for female ambulance personnel.

All-day K

While a five-year, $80 million plan to pay for full-day kindergarten has support from the State Board of Education, leaders of the Kansas House and Senate education committees aren’t backing it yet. Education Committee Chairwoman Kasha Kelley of Ark City said she wants to know how the added spending would affect other services and the state’s reserve fund. Gov. Sam Brownback’s proposal calls for spending $16 million a year for the next five years until all-day kindergarten is funded fully by the state.

Senate Education Committee Chairman Steve Abrams said he hadn’t seen the bill and noted that the research is mixed. Studies generally show children in all-day kindergarten programs make bigger academic gains than students in half-day programs, but research is inconclusive on how long the benefits persist.

Flu Spreading In Kansas

Kansas is one of ten states reporting widespread flu activity. That’s up from four last week. From Oct. 1 to now, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment reports two deaths directly linked to the flu. More Kansans are being treated for flu-like illness. The rate right now in Kansas health facilities is about three percent – double what it was the week before Christmas. It seems this year’s cases are primarily the H1N1 variety.

Neosho County Crash

Two people were injured in a crash at K-146 and US 59 near Erie. Highway patrol troopers report 17-year old Brandon Mistler of Wichita was westbound on K-146 Thursday afternoon and crossed Highway 59 in front of a northbound Neosho County Sheriff’s Office pickup. The pickup, driven by deputy Tracy Henderson of Erie, was unable to avoid hitting Mistler’s HHR on the driver’s side. The HHR was pushed into the northwest ditch of the intersection, but remained upright. Mistler and his passenger, 56-year old Lloyd Hazen of Erie, were airlifted to Freeman Hospital in Joplin, where each was reported in serious condition. Henderson was listed as uninjured; however another deputy took Henderson to Neosho County Memorial Regional Medical Center for evaluation. Troopers do not believe MIstler or Hazen were wearing seat belts.


Many of us will be helping out favorite charities over the next two days with last minute donations before the December 31st tax deadline, but experts urge caution before writing that check to make sure the funds truly do the most good.{rw-36570-1}

Middle School Plans

The Kansas State Board of Education is expected to tell state lawmakers next month whether it plans to require students in eighth through 12th grades to develop an Individual Plan of Study to help them choose classes they will need in high school and beyond to pursue their goals. The state board has been leaning in that direction since identifying a goal in 2010 of having those students develop such a plan. Some critics question whether all schools in Kansas should require the plans for their students. The plans are part of a new accreditation model the state Department of Education is developing for public schools.

Chanute Commission Choses Manager C

Following a nearly six-month search, the Chanute City Commission approved making a job offer for the vacant city manager position. During Monday’s meeting, city commissioners unanimously approved hiring candidate “C,” but did not provide any pertinent details regarding the candidate in order to maintain the candidate’s anonymity should he or she not accept the position.  A start date would be part of the negotiation that’s presently underway with the person.

The commission’s vote ends a six-month search for a new city manager that began after the resignation of former City Manager J.D. Lester, who ended his five-year tenure after announcing his resignation in June, following his acceptance of a utility general manager position for the Clarksville, Ark., Water and Light Commission. Following Lester’s departure, the commission approved naming Public Safety Director Sam Budreau as interim city manager.

Garnett Woman Found, Safe

A 51-year-old Garnett woman was found alive Saturday afternoon after she was found after being missing in one of the most rugged parts of the Flint Hills for three days. Searchers found Debra Johnston at an isolated rural Chase County farmstead. Chase County Sheriff Richard Dorneker told KVOE Radio in Emporia the search began after she abandoned her disabled car along the Kansas Turnpike about 25 miles southwest of Emporia and she struck out cross country last Wednesday.

Penwell-gabel Sells

Countryside Funeral Home of Fredonia has completed the transition at the three funeral homes in our area it recently purchased from Penwell-Gabel Funeral Homes. The two locations in Chanute and one in Humboldt are now known as Countryside Funeral Home, as well as the main branch in Fredonia and a branch in Howard. Penwell-Gabel owns several funeral homes throughout the state of Kansas. Countryside co-owner Rick Brock said other than the signs, you won’t notice many changes at the Chanute and Humboldt homes. Randy Robinson, Countryside business manager, said all services, prices and business hours for the Chanute and Humboldt branches will remain the same for the time being and no changes are planned. Robinson said Countryside offers traditional and nontraditional funerals as well as cremation.