Sunset during wildfires in western Barber County in March.
Jr. High runners racing to the finish are (L-R) Caden Rathgeber, Dane Coggins and Tyler Schupbach.
Andraia McKitrick, Miss South Barber Emily Rugg, Anna Perez
Tanner Cloyd will compete in singles at the State Tennis Tournament in Wichita on Friday and Saturday.
Grant Cantrell, left, and Spencer Kimmell will compete in doubles play at this weekend\\\\\\\'s 3-2-1A State Tennis Tournament in Wichita.
Congratulations to the SBHS Class of 2016!
By REX ZIMMERMAN
The U.S.D. 255 Board of Education held two special meetings Thursday evening, May 19, to hear a report on the high school “Master Plan” and also to approve hiring of coaches for next season.
Board members were present were Melissa Simpson, Mark Pollock, Deb Helfrich, Mariah Doherty and Mike Miller, along with board president Steve Allen.
The board first heard a report from P1 Group’s Dana Dunn, who presented the “90% Review” plan for the high school building. He began by noting that the plan is designed to be implemented over a five-year period, so estimated costs with the various projects vary from the low end (if they are done in the near future) to the high end (if they are done four or five years from now). It is up to the school board to decide what projects they would like to take on and the timeline for each project.
Mr. Dunn began by outlining each area of concern at the high school. First on the list was the security and intercom systems. P1 suggests more, higher quality security cameras with better resolution and an upgraded intercom system at an estimated cost of $18,000 to $23,000. They felt this was a high priority item.
Better locking systems for the interior doors at the high school was also a big issue as teachers now carry around large amounts of keys for the various locked doors. Cost for an upgraded key lock system was $32,000-$40,000.
Lighting was a “big deal” in the survey P1 conducted with teachers, students and community leaders. P1 recommends switching to LED lighting, which would provide a more natural and better quality of lighting for learning. The cost is high – an estimated $300,000 – but there should be considerable energy savings with LED lighting.
Another option for lighting was to install “solar tube” natural lighting which would use domes installed on top of the building to distribute natural sunlight through tubes to each room and hallway. Estimated cost is $30,000-$40,000.
The electrical system was also an issue, but not unexpected for a building that is over 40 years old and with the large increase in electric loads due to computers and other technology. P1 suggests doing an electric load study first at an estimated cost of $4,000 to $6,000. Installing additional outlets in each school room and offices would cost an estimated $65,000-$82,000.
When conducting their survey, P1 said the heating, cooling and ventilation (HVAC) was another big complaint. He said drafts that were thought to be coming from the windows were actually coming from the HVAC system. Mr. Dunn said that currently there is no outside air circulating in the building and what the building needs is a new ducting system, similar to what was done at the elementary school, to provide proper air flow, along with a better control system for the HVAC system. Total cost was estimated at $2 to $2.7 million. Mr. Dunn noted that is this project was not done, there still should be an effort to get more fresh air into the classrooms.
A couple of “high priority” items came next, including replacing the gas piping on the roof that goes to the current HVAC units, which is corroding due to roof coating being sprayed over it. That cost was estimated at $25,000 -$31,000.
Another important item was replacement of the exhaust fan in the school kitchen, which currently does not work, Mr. Dunn said. Cost was estimated at $26,000 – $32,000.
Plumbing was next on the list, with Mr. Dunn pointing out that most of the fixtures in the bathrooms, showers, etc. were original to the building and had reached the end of their useful life. The basic plumbing seems fine, he said, but the fixtures need replaced. He suggested a plan to replace the fixtures over five or six years at an estimated cost of $170,000 – $215,000.
Replacing windows and carpet at the school (some of which is also original to the building) was also discussed with a price tag of $665,000 – $819,000. A top priority item, however, was replacement of the soffits around the building, which have deteriorated badly, to keep outside air from leaking into the building and keep “varmints” from getting under them and into the roof area.
wo more “high priority” items were identified by P1 Group. A new walk-in freezer for the kitchen is needed at an estimated cost of $65,000 – $81,000 and storm shelters for the high school and elementary school buildings. Cost estimates for she shelters are around $250,000 each for FEMA style, or less for non-FEMA.
Final items on the P1 list of suggested improvements were:
- Remodeled locker rooms at an estimated cost of $166,000 – $208,000,
- Covered walkway from high school building to Vo-Ag building. An enclosed, sealed walkway is estimated at $295,000, but Mr. Dunn pointed out there are lots of options for the walkway project.
- New lighting, sound system and curtains for the auditorium at an estimated cost of $270,000 – $340,000.
- Permanent walls for some classrooms at an estimate of $8,000 – $10,000.
Total cost of doing all the projects is estimated at $4.9 to $6.1 million. Mr. Dunn stressed, however, that the board decides what projects they wish to do and when, and projects are proposed over a five or six year stretch.
The goal is to bring the building up to top shape and make it viable for another 20 to 25 years.
Financing options were also briefly discussed with Mr. Dunn reviewing several ways of securing funds for the project. Currently, the district is paying off bonds for the elementary school remodeling project done a couple of years ago with money from the Capital Outlay fund, which most likely would be used for the high school project as well.
Mr. Dunn suggested that the high priority items – gas piping, electric study and new outlets, exhaust fan, walk-in cooler and FEMA shelters – be considered for the first projects at an estimated cost of $736,000, with the storm shelters making up most of that cost.
The next step will be for P1 Group and Superintendent Dr. Andi Williams to present the final Master Plan to the board so they can pick the projects they feel are most important. Preliminary costs will also then be reviewed as well as a decision on how to finance the improvements.
After a short break, the board moved into its second special meeting. Funding proposals for the Special Education Cooperative were reviewed with costs going up. Dr. Williams pointed out, however, that the district is required to provide these services and would cost much more if each school in the Special Ed Coop were to try and provide them individually. No action was taken.
The board next gave an overview of the budget. Dr. Williams said that expects the mill levy to rise from the current 6.1 mills to 20.8 mills, where it was before the oil “boom” days. The district has the authority to increase the mill levy to that amount without a public vote. Dr. Williams also said the district would be asking the state again this year for extraordinary needs funding because of the large drop in valuation the district has experienced with the drop in oil and gas prices.
In final action, the board:
- Approved Tim Carey as head boys basketball coach.
- Approved Brenda Beecher as assistant girls basketball coach.
- Approved Katherine Hughes as head girls tennis coach.
City Council Votes to Cut Funding to County Economic Development, Approves Appointments at May Meeting
By REX ZIMMERMAN
The Kiowa City Council voted Tuesday evening, May 10, to take a bigger role in Kiowa’s economic development by reducing its annual payment to Barber County Economic Development and keeping those funds for possible projects in Kiowa.
City Administrator Lou Leone told council members that in 2012 the city paid $12,000 to BCED and $15,000 each of the following three years for a total of $57,500. Most council members felt the city wasn’t receiving much for their money, as most of the new businesses the county has gained have been in Medicine Lodge.
Since the $15,000 annual donation to BCED was already approved in this year’s budget, council voted to donate $1,500 to the group this year and review the item again next year. The remaining $13,500 from this year’s budgeted funds will be used for possible projects in Kiowa. Council hoped that by withholding most of its funding this year that it might “send a message” to BCED that they desire to see more local results for its money.
Council held considerable discussion on replacing the city’s old grader, skid loader and dump truck and finally decided on the purchase of a used 2000 Freightliner dump truck at a cost of $31,000. Council directed the city administrator to see if they could get some type of warranty on the truck, which is now located in Sioux City, IA. Purchase of another grader and skid loader were put off until more information could be gathered.
Mayor Brandon Farney made annual appointments to city positions with approval by members Tom Wells, R.L. Simpson, Bill Watson, Russ Molz and Brian Hill.
Rich Befort was appointed as Municipal Judge; Steven Johnson as Police Chief; Marlo Rugg as City Clerk; Laurel McClellan as City Attorney; and Rex Zimmerman as City Treasurer.
Lou Leone noted in his report that the City of Attica had signed a service pool agreement with Kiowa that will allow for the sharing of equipment and personnel for electrical service work, since Kiowa now has two certified linemen.
Kansas Municipal Energy Agency (KMEA), which now supplies electricity to the city, has informed the city of an error in what the city is being charged for electricity, which will result in a credit of several thousand dollars back to the city. A capital credits check for $56,652.24 has also been received by the city from Alfalfa Electric Cooperative.
Mr. Leone said he is continuing work on the 2017 budget and has requested priority items from department heads and also council members.
City cell phones have all been placed under one provider, Verizon, to lower the monthly charge by $25. A survey of South Barber students was also held to get their opinions on what the city might need for future growth and keeping students in the community.
Thanks for Donations
The city and Kiowa Fire Department gave a big “Thank You” to the Molz Family and Kiowa General Store for their contributions towards the purchase of much needed radios for the department. The city administrator also said he conducted a walk-through with Fire Dept. personnel to access equipment needs and possible ways to fund future purchases. He has been in contact with other cities and fire departments to get information on grants and other means of acquiring equipment.
Smoke testing of sewer lines is completed and businesses that had problems were notified of the results.
Angela Cunningham has been hired as assistant manager this summer at the Kiowa Swimming Pool, which will open on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30.
The city’s electric rate has also been certified and council authorized the mayor to sign the required paperwork.
In other action, council”
- Approved the annual insurance contract for 2016-2017 at a cost of $53,998, which is less than a one percent increase over last year. The premiums cover the city’s liability, property, vehicles and worker’s compensation, among other items.
- Received the monthly report for the Police Department from Chief Steven Johnson, who reported that it was “a slow month, but we’ll take it.”
- Voted to donate the Community Building to the Kiowa District Hospital Foundation on October 22 for a “beer and wine tasting: fundraiser.
- Heard comments from council members concerning pit bull breed dogs still in town, boats and vehicles parked in yards, and various properties that need mowed and cleaned up. The city clerk will also make a list of street lights that are out or having problems that need replaced.
- Approved a burn period in the city from May 11 through May 23.
KIOWA, Kansas (May 2, 2016) – Miranda Allen, a South Central Kansas Businesswoman, today announced that she is running for Congress as an Independent in Kansas’ 4th Congressional District. “Our current system is broken. Partisan bickering has replaced hard work and problem solving. Special interest money has further corrupted our democracy. I’m running to represent the people of the 4th Congressional District, not the special interests that keep today’s incumbent politicians in office.”
“Kansas is at a crossroads,” she said. “We need a leader that will be a strong voice for our district, not a rubber stamp for the special interests.”
Allen is a mom, breast cancer survivor, wife, and a successful business owner. She is a sixth-generation Kansan with a family ranch and farm in Barber County. Allen is a graduate of South Barber High School, has a B.A. from Northwestern Oklahoma State University and an MBA from the University of Colorado. Allen and her husband, Stephen, an Air Force Veteran, returned to settle in Kiowa after his tours of duty in Korea and Colorado, to raise their four children.
Allen is currently the CEO of Radiofrequency Safety International (RSI), a company that she has grown into one of South Barber County’s largest private sector employers. Additionally, her leadership as President of the Barber County Economic Development Inc. brought more than 500 energy-related jobs into the district and represents over $1 billion in investment for Kansas. We need that kind of forward-looking leadership and background in Congress representing the 4th District. Visit www.allenforkansas.com for more information and to join us in bringing back common ground to Kansas.
In an effort to help those affected by the wildfires in southern Kansas the Kansas Legislature passed Sub. SB 149. Sub. SB 149 will allow producers and ranchers to purchase materials needed to replace fencing tax free. This tax exemption status will be for those affected in Comanche and Barber counties who were hit by the largest wildfires in Kansas history this past spring.
Senator Steve Abrams (R- Arkansas City) said, “I am happy to support this legislation that will bring some monetary relief to those affected by the horrific wildfires. SB 149 will help repair the miles and miles of fencing that was destroyed.”
Representative Kyle Hoffman (R-Coldwater) said, “Producers that were affected by the wildfires are looking at great expense in replacing the hundreds of miles of fence that were destroyed. I am pleased that the Legislature was able to pass the sales tax exemption for Comanche and Barber County, which will provide some much needed relief.”
SB 149 passed the Senate with a vote of 35-5 and passed the House with a vote of 100-21. The bill now awaits signature from the Governor. Those producers wanting to participate in the tax exemption status contact Kansas Department of Revenue.
By REX ZIMMERMAN
Just one cold shooting quarter. That’s all it took to dash the hopes of a state championship for the South Barber Lady Chieftains. South Barber dropped a tough 55-38 decision to Centralia on Thursday, March 10, at the Class 1A, Div. I State Tournament held at the Dodge City Civic Center.
The 6th seeded Lady Chiefs played 3rd seed Centralia dead even for three quarters in last week’s game, but were outscored 16-3 in a crucial second period that gave the Lady Panthers the margin they needed to win. Coach Steve Roberts and his squad end the season with an outstanding 18-6 record.
South Barber shouldn’t feel too bad, however. Centralia went on to defeat defending state champion Hoxie by 15 points in the semi-finals and clobbered Waverly by 18 points in the championship game to win the title.
The loss at State was the final game for senior point guard Nicole Blick. South Barber will return all its other players for what they anticipate will be another run through the tough Heart of the Plains League and chance for a third straight trip to State.
Stay Close Early
The Lady Chieftains got off to a slow start in Thursday’s opener at State, but a couple of buckets inside by sophomore center Idallis Shaffer and another basket by junior Madison Polson got the girls right back in the game. Junior guard Anna Perez then nailed a 3-pointer and senior Nicole Blick followed with another score to give South Barber an 11-10 lead with 20 seconds left in the opening quarter. But Centralia got a basket and foul shot to go ahead 13-10, and continued on a 16-3 run in the second eight minutes to take command 29-14 at halftime. The Lady Chiefs had good shots, but they just wouldn’t fall, while Centralia’s size helped bottle up any easy shots inside.
n the second half, both teams battled neck-and-neck, but South Barber just couldn’t whittle down the big Panther lead.
Idallis Shaffer scored 14 points and pulled down 5 rebounds to lead the Lady Chieftain attack with junior Sabrina Hughbanks adding 9 points as she was 3 of 4 shooting from beyond the arc. Junior Bailey Roberts added 5 points, Anna Perez 4 points and 3 assists, Madison Polson 4 points, and Nicole Blick 2 points and 3 rebounds. Also getting playing time were Morgan Polson, Kaleigh Velasquez, Bryn Rathgeber and Savannah Hughbanks.
Centralia was led by Katie Glatczak with 18 points and Chelsea Huerter with 12 points.
HOPL Well Represented
The Heart of the Plains League sent five teams to state tournaments this season. In 1A Div. I, both the Lady Chieftains and Pretty Prairie boys lost in the opening round. In the 1A Div. II tournament, also played in Dodge City, the Hutch-Central Christian boys lost in the opening round, while in a big surprise the top-seeded Norwich girls also were defeated in their tourney opener.
The Attica boys, however, rolled through their bracket to bring home a State Championship by defeating Hartford 54-52.
By REX ZIMMERMAN
South Barber’s Lady Chieftains rolled over South Haven 75-45 Saturday night to win the 1A Div. I Sub-state Tournament at Dexter and earn a trip to State for the second straight year and third time in the past 8 years.
Sixth seeded South Barber (18-5) will travel to the Dodge City Civic Center on Thursday, March 10, at 4:45 p.m. against 3rd seeded Centralia (22-1). A win would put them in the semifinals on Friday.
Several other HOPL members will join South Barber at Dodge City in both the 1A Div. I and Div. II tournaments. Pretty Prairie won the boy’s bracket at Dexter and will join the Lady Chiefs in the Div. I action at the Civic Center. The 1A Div. II State Tournament is being held again at the United Wireless Arena in Dodge City. Representing the HOPL will be Attica and Central Christian in the boy’s bracket and Norwich on the girl’s side.
Offense From Everywhere
Four Lady Chieftains scored in double figures as they rolled to a big lead and held off a third quarter rally to top South Haven by 30 points in Saturday night’s championship game.
The Lady Chiefs used their full court pressure defense and quickness on offense to jump off to a 21-9 lead after one quarter of play. It got even tougher for the Lady Cardinals in the second period as South Barber went on a 24-10 run for a commanding 45-19 lead at halftime.
South Haven’s knew their only chance to get close was to shoot a lot of long shots – and when they hit a pair of 3-pointers and scored a quick 8 points to open the third quarter, Coach Steve Roberts challenged his squad to stop the rally and take control. The Lady Cards got within 13 points midway through the third, but a 3-pointer by junior Bailey Roberts and outstanding defense by senior Nicole Blick and junior Anna Perez got things turned around and South Barber ended the game on a 15-6 run to win going away.
Madison Polson proved to be just too much for South Haven to handle as she scored 20 points and grabbed 8 rebounds to go with 5 steals and 4 assists. Idallis Shaffer was also strong inside as she knocked in 12 points and also had 8 rebounds. Nicole Blick was a leader out front with 11 points and 4 steals while dishing out 8 assists. Anna Perez rounded out the double figure scores with 10 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists.
Bailey Roberts was 3 for 4 from beyond the arc for 9 points along with 4 rebounds. Junior Sabrina Hughbanks scored 7 points and pulled down 4 rebounds, freshman Morgan Polson added 4 points and 4 rebounds, and freshman ReAnna Dunlap scored 2 points. Also getting playing time were Savannah Hughbanks, Kaleigh Velasquez, Bryn Rathgeber and Taylor Pollock.
Easy Opening Win
South Barber opened Sub-state action Friday, March 4, with a 55-27 semifinal win over Pretty Prairie. The Lady Chieftains battled to a 15-8 lead after one quarter, then went on an 18-4 roll to finish the half with a 33-12 lead. South Barber had a 29 point lead heading into the final eight minutes and cruised to the win.
Madison Polson ripped the nets for 18 points and had 5 rebounds with Idallis Shaffer right behind with 14 points. Anna Perez scored 8 points and had 5 steals and Morgan Polson added 6 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Bailey Roberts hit for 6 points along with 5 assists. Sabrina Hughbanks had 2 points and Bryn Rathgeber 1 points to round out the scoring. Although she did not score, Nicole Blick was still very busy with 6 steals, 6 rebounds and 4 assists.
Chieftain Lead Gets Away
The Chieftain boys saw an early double-digit lead slip away in the second half as they lost a tough 61-51 battle with the home team Dexter-Cedar Vale Spartans.
Coach Jeff Lantz saw his squad get off to a good start with junior Spencer Kimmell scoring 6 first quarter points to lead his team to an 18-9 advantage after the opening period of play. South Barber had an 11 point lead early in the second period, but the Spartans fought for a 27-22 Chieftain lead at the half.
Dexter-Cedar Vale suddenly got hot from the outside and took a 38-36 lead heading into the fourth quarter. In a wild finishing stanza, the Spartans pulled away late for the 10 point win.
Grant Cantrell led the Chieftains with 21 points – 10 in that wild fourth quarter – with Spencer Kimmell also in double figures with 11 points. In his final game as a Chieftain, senior Trenton Jahay knocked in 5 points with junior Gavin Doherty also getting 5 points. Freshman Cole Coggins added 3 points while scoring 2 points each were junior Dale Hoch, sophomore Trae Rathgeber and freshman Neal Gugelmeyer. Also playing were Brian Farney, Kadin Banks and Brent Grismer.
By REX ZIMMERMAN
Republicans and Democrats in Barber County and throughout Kansas will head to their own Presidential preference caucuses on Saturday, March 5.
The Kansas Republican Party has announced that Barber County will cast ballots in Medicine Lodge in the Sunflower Room at The Peoples Bank, 121 S. Main. Voters will indicate their Presidential preferences and take care of other party business.
Voting will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and voting is free and open to all registered Republicans. A photo ID must be presented and voting will be by secret ballot.
The Kansas Democratic Party will also caucus on Saturday and for Senate District 32, which includes Barber County, the caucus will be held in Winfield at the First Christian Church, 904 Alexander Street.
Registration for Democrats will begin at 1:00 p.m. and participants must be in line by 3 p.m. to register and participate in the caucus. Voters must be a registered Democrat but a person is allowed to either register for the first time or change party affiliation on that day.
Everyone interested is urged to attend a caucus on Saturday.
The South Barber Forensics Team qualified three more students for State last Saturday, February 20, as they placed fourth overall at a meet hosted by Kiowa County High School in Greensburg.
Emily Rugg & Kacee Hostetler (placed 2nd in Duet: Group Scare-apy), Kacee Hostetler (placed 2nd in Informative: Farm Crisis of the 1980s), and Ana Wilhelm & Tyler Martin (placed first in Improvised Duet Act). They join Kolby Pavlu, who qualified for State Championships when he placed first at the Kingman Invitational tournament on Saturday, January 30. His piece, was titled “To This Day”. It’s a poem about a child who is bullied. He realizes that the bullying made him stronger and at the end he gives a positive message to others who are bullied by telling them that they aren’t worthless.
Students who medaled Saturday were: Ana Wilhelm – 5th in humorous solo; Dale Hoch – 6th in serious solo; Joseph Bowden – 6th in Extemp; Caitlin Jacobs – 5th in poetry; Tyler Martin & Ana Wilhelm – 1st in IDA; Grant Cantrell & Idallis Shaffer – 3rd in duet; Emily Rugg & Kacee Hostetler – 2nd in duet; Kacee Hostetler – 2nd in informative.
In earlier meets this season, Sabrina Hughbanks broke into finals at the Medicine Lodge Invitational tournament with almost perfect scores in her preliminary rounds. She placed fourth in Prose out of forty-nine entries. Due to the large pool of competition, more students qualified for the state tournament. Sabrina performed a humorous “Beauty and the Beast” fractured fairy tale by A.J. Jacobs.
Emily Rugg medalled in Duet Acting at the Pratt Invitational tournament and qualified for State in Humorous Solo Acting at Medicine Lodge with a hilarious piece about Marie Antoinette.
“We’re halfway through the season,” said Coach Meagan Henry, with upcoming meets at Oxford, Cheney, Fairfield, and South Central. The 1A State Championship tournament is held in Salina on Saturday, April 30.
THE KIOWA Historical Society met for its monthly meeting Wednesday February 17, at 7:00 p.m. at the Kiowa Museum with eleven members present.
All 2015 Historical Society officers were re-elected for 2016 with Bob Hays as President, Lou Stone as Vice-President, Darlene Cloyd as Secretary, and Buford Cloyd as Treasurer. Members of the Board of Directors are Sheri Hurley, Bob and Pam Cox, Jim and Bobbie Parker, Stan and Marcia Michel, Cindy Archuleta, and Gayla Reed.
Plans are now underway for the Pioneer Days celebration which has officially been set for April 23 and 24. This year the Kiowa Chamber of Commerce wants to promote and center the celebration around the Kiowa Museum with an open house and museum related activities taking place on Saturday April 23. There will again be the annual bake sale at the Chief Theater before the parade. The drawing for the Henry Golden Boy American Farmer Tribute Edition .22 lever action rifle will be held that same Saturday at 12:00 noon at the Kiowa Museum. Tickets are still available and will be until drawing time April 23, from any Historical Society member. You do not have to be present to win. All proceeds from the rifle raffle will go to the Museum Building Account at the Kiowa First State Bank.
Deb Roberts donated his tire spreader to the Kiowa Museum when he retired recently from the Kiowa O. K. Co Op Grain Co. December 31, 2015. Deb purchased the used tire spreader when he leased the Phillips 66 Station in 1963. The Historical Society congratulates and wishes Deb well on his retirement.
The Kiowa Historical Society greatly appreciates and thanks those families who have chosen the Historical Society as a designated memorial to honor their loved ones who have passed away. This is sometimes a difficult decision for the family in deciding what would best reflect the wishes and interests of their deceased loved ones.
What better way to honor the memory of a lifelong resident of Kiowa than providing through memorial donations the help needed to preserve the history of their hometown for generations to come. It is a lasting and continuing memorial. Please consider the Kiowa Historical Society.
We invite you to join us at the next Kiowa Historical Society meeting on March 16 at 7:00 p.m. at the Kiowa Museum.