Judge Saxton retires, Council makes appointments

Judge Thomas Saxton’s retirement was announced on April 19 in a letter to the Iola City Council
Saxton has been district magistrate judge and Iola Municipal Court judge for the past 27 years. The council members reluctantly accepted his resignation.
Meanwhile, Council members removed the interim designation from Gregg Hutton’s title as code enforcement officer. Hutton replaces outgoing Shonda Jefferis.
In other business, the Council appointed Alana Kinzle to the city’s tree board and reappointed Jessica Maness to the library board. Kinzle was appointed to the library board as well.

Funeral for Sharon Ann Miller

Funeral services have been announced for Sharon Ann Miller, age 74, of Garnett, Kansas, passed away on Sunday, April 24, 2016.
Funeral Mass for Sharon Ann Miller will be held at 10:30 AM, Friday, April 29, 2016, at Holy Angels Catholic Church, Garnett, Kansas. Sharon’s family will greet friends following the funeral mass at St. Rose School. A Rosary will be held at 7:00 PM, Thursday evening at the Church

K-39 bridge replacement a go, Iola plans probably not

Neosho County officials have been assured that the K-39 bridge replacement project will go on, despite cuts by the Kansas Department of Transportation.
County Commission Chairman David Bideau said Friday that he and Road and Bridge Director Mike Brown attended a KDOT meeting Thursday about plans to postpone 25 projects.
But Bideau said a proposal to reconstruct US-169 from Earlton to Iola could be put on hold. He said the highway will still receive maintenance repairs.

Intoxicating discussion at the Allen County Historical Society

An overflow crowd was in attendance at Saturday evening’s Allen County Historical Society spring meeting. Perhaps it was the intoxicating nature of the discussion.
Iolan Margaret Robb told stories of unwittingly breaking the law as a young girl by carrying bootleg whiskey to clients of her stepfather. Nich Lohman skipped to the other side of the fence and talked about how to make home-brewed beer, a perfectly legal enterprise in Kansas. He even brought along a dispenser that featured three different beers he’d made.
But Ms. Robb owned the night for drama and poignancy.
Before she was old enough to understand, bootlegging was her stepfather Snipe Thornton’s avocation. A stealth means of delivering whiskey had young Margaret tuck a bottle into the bib of the over-sized cover-alls she often wore for the occasion.
They were stories of the history and the present reality of the old home brew, and the attendants at the Historical Society drank it up.

LaHarpe PRIDE Committee donates Bat House

Floyd Thompson, his wife Sharlyn and other LaHarpe PRIDE Committee members are hoping to make the bats we see and hear at sunset feel right at home, as a means of pest control.
Becuase bats are natural mosquito predators. A single bat can consume up to 1,200 mosquitoes in an hour, without toxic pesticides spayed into the air.
The Thompsons recently donated a bat house to the city near LaHarpe’s sewage lagoon. The bats nest in the house, and when it’s time to leave, they simply go looking for the mosquitos we’re trying to avoid.

Little will change at Renee’s Bakery

Renee’s Bakery is under new management and ownership, But longtime owners Dan and Regina Cochran will still be around for a while.
Nikki Damron acquired the bakery April 1, and began working there last Monday. She will begin to assume full-time ownership on May 1.
Regina will remain in a support role through May, which is one of the bakery’s busiest times of the year due to graduations, Mother’s Day and related events.
Dan, who is 66 this year, is the source of Renee’s sweet confections since 1976 You won’t miss seeing him, because you may never have before. He revels in his anonymity.
While he’s been a mainstay at the bakery for nearly as long as his 65-year-old wife Regina, he’s done so under the cloak of early morning hours, and in the back kitchen area, where customers aren’t allowed.
With the new owner, little else will change at Renee’s.
Damron says she’ll keep the Renee’s name, the same hours, and even the same recipes for a vast array of doughnuts, cookies, cakes and other goodies.

Osawatomie Woman Sentenced For Embezzlement

A Kansas woman has been ordered to spend more than two years in prison for embezzling about $471,000 she now must repay to her employer. Kimberly Padgett of Osawatomie was sentenced Wednesday in federal court. Prosecutors say Padgett admitted embezzling the money from Reliant Financial Services in Kansas City, Missouri, from 2007 to 2015.


Chief Justice Lawton R. Nuss announced Thursday the Supreme Court has reappointed Judge A.J. Wachter to a two-year term as chief judge of the 11th judicial district. His term will end Dec. 31, 2017. The 11th Judicial District includes Labette, Cherokee and Crawford counties. Wachter has served as district judge in the 11th judicial district since 2002. Wachter is a native of Pittsburg and graduated from St. Mary’s High School, Kansas State College of Pittsburg and Washburn University School of Law.

water stuff

The LaHarpe City Council met this week, with the purpose of trying to figure out the future of its bulk water distribution tank. The city operated at a net loss from December through February, according to the Register, so the city must figure out whether to close the facility or raise the cost of the water. The council does plan to submit an incurance claim for damages to the tank from a January storm, which would cover about 25-hundred dollars.


Kansas lawmakers are considering a bill that would let the governor halt refugee resettlement in communities that don’t have the law enforcement or health care services to handle the newcomers. Supporters say the state needs to be cautious about potential threats of terrorism, but critics call the measure anti-Muslim. Under the bill, which got a hearing last week, a community could request a moratorium on resettlement from the Department for Children and Families and the governor if it were unable to provide services to those arriving.