Archives for April 2014

Anderson County ATV Crash

Highway patrol troopers say an ATV crash Sunday in Ansderson county sent two of the three people riding it to Allen County Regional Hospital. The crash happened Sunday afternoon in Colony at SW Jefferson and East County Road. Troopers say the driver 26-year old Breanna Brockman, was driving too fast and rolled the Arctic Cat ATV as she tried to make a sharp turn onto East COunty Road. Her riders, 12-year old Elizabeth Crawford and 9-year old Hanna Smith, both from Iola, were taken to the hospital.

Kansas, OK Tornadoes Rated

As we’re learning this morning of even more people dying in the South due to that massive weather complex that was just getting going when it dropped tornadoes in southeast Kansas and far northeast Oklahoma, we also learn the official ratings of those tornadoes close to home.  A damage assessment team yesterday determined the tornado that started in Quapaw, Oklahoma was on the ground for eight niles, ending about 2 miles northeast of Baxter Springs. As it passed through Baxter Springs the tornado damaged or destroyed several homes and buildings in downtown Baxter Springs. 25 people were injured, nine had to go to area hospitals. A second tornado was confirmed by a damage assessment team, bringing EF-1 damage to an earaa north of Hammond in Bourbon County, moving north into Linn County.

Storms Kill At Least 18

A round of violent weather that caused a lot of damage in the baxter springs, kansas area, has left at least 18 people dead… most of those were in arkansas… there also was a death in Oklahoma, and one in Iowa. a tornado touched down in linn county …  officials in baxter springs say 60 to 70 homes and up to 25 businesses were destroyed by the tornado… which hit at about 545 pm yesterday… there were reportedly around two dozen injuries… the cherokee county emergency manager jason allison estimated the tornado to be about three blocks wide… state officials say the bad weather also damaged six homes in hammond, about five miles north of fort scott, kansas… the storm downed a grain elevator. Bourbon county officials say there was widespread damage throughout the area.

Severe Storms, Injure, Kill People Near Us

While the Iola area escaped the brunt of a massive line of severe storms that at one point extended from central Iowa to East Texas, some of our neighbors weren’t so lucky. Damage assessment teams will be out today evaluating the tornadoes that hit Baxter Springs, KS and Quapaw, OK yesterday afternoon. The Baxter Springs storm, according to the latest official NWS reports, heavily damaged parts of town and injured 25 people. The Quapaw storm has two fatalities, according to the weather service. Especially here in the early hours and days after a nearby disaster, our instinct is to want to help; officials in the hard-hit areas won’t be able to manage donations yet. The best way you can help is to donate money to organizations such as the Red Cross, to be used to support their relief efforts.

Hands-On Program At Marmaton Valley To Expand

A program at Marmaton Valley school that has recently earned certification from the National Center for Construction Education and Research will be expanding. MVHS Construction teacher Samuel Jackson tells the Register 30 students participate in the program. The  course counts as 18 credits at Fort Scott Community College if a student follows the program from high school into the two-year college. Jackson is teaching two classes this year but plans to add another next year and one more the year after.

Summer At The Bowlus

Summer is coming, and the Bowlus Arts Center will host some events geared for kids. Susan Raines spoke with us yesterday about them: {Bowlus_Susan Raines 4-24}


Call the Bowlus to find out more.

Iola Sharrows

You may have noticed some new pavement markings on the streets of Iola and wondered just what they’re for. The image is of a bicyclist with a couple of arrows above the icon. It’s called a sharrow, and while it’s pretty new in Iola, they concept has been used around the country for many years, and is in several larger Kansas communities. They tell bicyclists where to position themselves in the traffic lane for the safest travel. In Iola, sharrows are on just over a mile of streets in and near downtown. They have been installed on Washington Avenue from Lincoln Avenue south to Vine Street, and on Vine west to connect with the Southwind Rail Trail. More are planned for West Street from downtown to the Prairie Spirit Trail.

Relay For Life Event Saturday

The Relay for Life Fishing for a Cure Tournament and Bark for Life events are planned Saturday at Santa Fe Park in Chanute. The fishing tournament is 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Two fishing classes for adults (one bass, one catfish). $15 entry fee. $5 extra for entry in the “biggest fish” contest. Two fishing classes for kids (14 and younger) from 9 a.m.-noon ($5). Kids under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. All fishing and boating regulations must be followed. The Bark For Life event is a mini event for dogs. Dog adoptions will also be available, and all doggies will receive a free gift.

In Or Out?

Is she in or out? For the moment, Peggy Mast is out of the District 76 House Race, according to the Register. The lead-up to this fall’s elections is almost more exciting than the election itself, with Bill Otto becoming an Independent so he can get on the ballot by petition, and Mast, the incumbent, dropping out because Jeff Freeman got in the race. But she re-filed in October, so he dropped out. Then he rejoined the race the end of February and Mast has dropped out of the race a second time. Teresa Briggs of Reading is the Democrat candidate for District 76.

Meanwhile, Otto says name-collecting is going well. He has to get 577 names on a petition to file as an independent. He was bumped from the district 9 seat in the last reapportionment by hard-line conservatives in the legislature.

USD 257 Delays Bond Election

Cloud or silver lining? Iola USSD 257 school board members see the recently-passed school finance bill as both — but in regards to the bond issue they decided in March to put before voters this summer, it appears to be more silver lining. That’s because they now have the opportunity to explore methods other than property tax to cover the costs of a bond project to build and update schools. The black cloud side of the picture: the new school finance regs take away a state funding match that would have added 1.2-million dollars to the available money for the project. On MOnday, the board unanimously decided to rescind the resolution they passed in March. This gives the board more time to explore their options. One possible method to pay for a bond would be a city sales tax. That’s the route taken recently in Liberal.