Monthly Archives: November 2015

Law Enforcement to Hose Fun Day at Local Grade Schools

MEDICINE LODGE, KS – The Barber County Attorney’s Office, the Barber County Sheriff’s Office, the Medicine Lodge Police Department, and the Kiowa Police Department have teamed up to host “Fun Day” on Thursday, December 17th.

With cooperation from local school districts, grade school students (K-6) are invited to the grade school gymnasium to have fun, participate in games, inflatable jump stations, win prizes, have snacks, and take home a gift bag.

Fun Day for South Barber Elementary School will be from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM. Fun Day for Medicine Lodge Elementary School will be from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM.

Fun Day is one of several projects provided by the Barber County Public Assistance Fund. The Barber County Public Assistance Fund is administered by the Barber County Attorney and is funded solely through donations and generosities.


Earthquake Felt Thursday Morning

The Kiowa area is used to earthquakes…most are small and not even noticed.

But just about everyone noticed the 4.7 quake that struck near Cherokee at 1:42 a.m. Thursday morning.

“Earthquake!” exclaimed Diann Zimmerman, wife of Kiowa News publisher Rex Zimmerman, early Thursday morning as the area shook for quite some time after the quake, which was also felt in Wichita, Tulsa and even as far north as Kansas City.

Community Thanksgiving Service Nov. 22

The South Barber County Ministerial Alliance will have a combined Thanksgiving service on November 22 at 7:00 p.m. at the Kiowa United Methodist Church. The main preacher for the night will be Rev. Ken Bowden, pastor of the Kiowa Southern Baptist Church. A collection will be taken up for the Food Bank here in Kiowa. The entire community is invited.


School Board Hears Technology Report, Accepts Resignation


U.S.D. 255 School Board members got a technology update and took care of several other items of business at its November 9 meeting. Board members present were Mark Pollock, Deb Helfrich, Mike Anderson and Melissa Simpson, along with board president Steve Allen.

In opening action, the board approved previous minutes and the agenda, and paid bills totaling $430,457.81.

Technology in Our Schools

The board heard a report from Luke MacKinney, Director of Technology and Information Services, who reported on current and planned technology improvements for the district.

Mr. MacKinney said the district has 150 Windows computers, both desktop and laptop, and 224 Chromebooks, which are primarily used by the students individually. He said that number will soon be 249, which will allow all 4th, 5th and 6th graders to now have Chromebooks. The are also 44 older model iPads.

The district is also getting 33 new computers for teachers and now has 18 new wireless access points throughout the buildings.He added that summer projects include new network cable lines throughout the district if the funds can be found.

Principal Reports

Both high school principal Brent Shaffer and elementary principal Marcia Cantrell were not at the meeting due to a basketball game that evening, but Superintendent Dr. Andi Williams presented their reports.

The high school report focused on athletic achievements during the fall semester, and the recent honor roll that had 34 high school and 12 middle school students listed.

Several FFA students attended the National Convention in Louisville, and the FFA Work Auction raised over $25,000. Work is beginning on the Ag Farm, and the Poland Angus judging team of Trenton Jahay, Kacee Hostetler and Dale Hoch placed third.

FFA PAL’S has started with about 30 little PAL’S. At their last meeting they made ears of corn out of popcorn.

Four students made it to the KCDA Honor Choir this year – Savannah Hughbanks, Haylie Drake, Taylor Pollock and Georgiana Wilhelm. They were part of the 220 students accepted out of 540 that auditioned. They will perform at Century II in Wichita on Friday, Feb. 26, at 5:00 p.m.

Marcia Cantrell’s report for the PreK-6 building noted that Cheryl Washburn, Diana Albright and Deb Hitchcock had recently undergone Crisis Intervention Training.

The following teachers received $100 grants from South Central Community Foundation: Katt Scheck for supplies, Diana Albright for test tubes, Samantha Nicholes for books and Deb Hitchcock for an XBox 60 wireless controller.

Retired teacher Delores Diel has received a grant for new stage curtains for the grade school, and her efforts are thanked and appreciated by the district.

Upcoming events include:

Nov. 20- PTO Paint Night at the Community Building at 7 p.m.

Nov. 23- CPR for elementary staff at 4 p.m.

Nov. 24- Jump for Heart, 4th-6th grades at 12:30 p.m.

Nov. 25-27- Thanksgiving Break.

Dec. 7- Elementary Music Program at 7 p.m.

Dec. 9- Vision checks.

Superintendent Williams said in her report that the district is still looking for a van, and new outside doors for the locker rooms and boiler room should be replaced over spring break. More bids will be sought for replacing the roof on the district office.

The Career Pathways program was also explained which will allow students to gain extra credits in various fields of interest by taking certain classes or a group of classes.

Policy Updates Approved

The board next approved Kansas Assn. of School Board policy updates pertaining to Emergency Safety Interventions, Graduation Requirements, Financial Literacy, Enrollment and Disruptive Acts at School or School Activites. They also did first reads on other KASB policies that will be acted on next month.

In other business, the board approved Jenny Cantrell as emergency substitute teacher.

Following several short executive sessions, the board:

  • Approved a facility use request by Mark Pollock for the South Barber Recreation Commission to use the gym for basketball practice and a couple of games;
  • Approved a request by Hometown Market to use the auditorium for its annual meeting November 30;
  • Approved a request from Barber County 4-H to use school facilities for its annual meeting;
  • Approved a request from Studio Pro to use school facilities for its Christmas program;
  • Accepted the resignation of first grade teacher Holly Cook, effective on February 19, 2016.

SBHS Fall Play This Friday, Sunday



Come enjoy the antics of the cast of “Aunt Maggity’s Dark and Stormy Night” by Edith Weiss which will be presented by the drama class in the South Barber High School auditorium. When three long-lost siblings reunite to hear the reading of their parents’ will, mayhem ensues. Cast members are (Above, L-R) in back: Kori Leech, Dale Hoch, Brandon Baysinger, Caitlin Jacobs, Grant Cantrell, Cameron Diel and Director Pat Noble, in front: Bryan Dotts, Ammorae Williams, Anastasia Wilhelm and Kylee Wright.

Performances of the one-act play will be on Friday, November 13 at 7:00 and Sunday, November 15 at 2:00. A matinee will be performed for the elementary and the public on Thursday, November 12 at 2:00 p.m. Admission will be $5.00 per person, ages 6 and up. Mrs. Meagan Henry, producer; Mrs. Pat Noble, director. Produced by special arrangement with Pioneer Drama Service, Inc., Englewood, Colorado. Kiowa News photo

Kiowa Welcomes Lou Leone as New City Administrator

New City Administrator Lou Leone

New City Administrator
Lou Leone


The Kiowa City Council welcomed new administrator Lou Leone at Monday night’s monthly meeting and took care of several other items of business. Leone, who comes to Kiowa from Broomfield, Colorado, is now living in Kiowa and arrived with his 6th grade age son, Nicholas. His wife and young daughter are expected to arrive in Kiowa later this week.

“I just want everyone to know my family feels very welcome here,” Mr. Leone said. And he wasted no time in jumping into city issues with the council members present – Russ Molz, R.L. Simpson, Brian Hill, Bill Watson and Mayor Brandon Farney.

Recycling/Forklift Update

Street Superintendent Gary Johnson said he was expecting information on fixing the city’s forklift on Tuesday. As directed last month, Johnson also got another quote from Bogner, Inc. on a 23-ft trailer with a foldup ramp for loading and unloading the city’s tractor and other equipment. Council approved the bid of $5,780 from Bogner, Inc.

Pumps Purchased

City Water Superintendent Nathan Lambert explained his needs for submersible water pumps for use by the city and council voted to approve purchase of a 3-inch hydraulic pump at a cost of $2,448 and a 12 volt pump at a cost of $1,135.

Update on Sewer Issue

Nathan Lambert and Mayor Farney have both viewed the video of the sewer main just south of Main Street, where there was a large amount of grease found in the line. City attorney Laurel McClellan presented a draft of a letter stating the city’s authority to have grease traps, etc. installed to protect others on the sewer system, but it was noted that before taking any action council felt they should talk to business owners where the problem may have originated to see if the problem could be handled that way first.

Mayor Signs Documents

The Kansas Municipal Energy Agency (KMEA) sent three documents that needed to be signed by Mayor Farney as part of the change in electric providers.The first document is to demonstrate to KCP&L that the Mayor of Kiowa has the authorization to enter into these agreements on behalf of the city. The second document, an agreement between KMEA and KCP&L, is requested for credit and payment purposes, and the third between KMEA and Kiowa states that KMEA is the seller of the electricity to Kiowa.

Council voted to give the Mayor authority to sign the agreements.

In a related item, Mayor Farney attended the first board of directors meeting of KMEA and said he was more encouraged than ever that the city is making the right decision. It was noted that Kiowa would still be receiving its electricity through Western Farmers, as they put power into the pool along with other producers, but the cost would be at a lower rate.

Mayor Farney also got approval from the council to allow the city administrator to begin advertising for a new electric lineman, as the one Kiowa shares with Alfalfa Electric Coop will not be available when his contract expires in February.

Change in City Elections

One of several changes made by the Kansas Legislature earlier this year was that all city elections will be moved to the November general election ballot. This means that council members, and the mayor, that have terms that were scheduled to expire next spring will have them extended until November.

Changes also need to be made in the city code, and city attorney Laurel McClellan presented a draft ordinances for council to consider. Council passed Charter Ordinance No. 15 and Ordinance No. 425 to make the necessary changes.

Audit Agreement

Council received a bid from present city auditors Busby Ford & Reimer LLC of Wichita. The cost of $9,150 is the same as last year.

Council voted to approve the bid and authorize the mayor to sign the legger of engagementt

New Municipal Judge

Judge Von Achen has submitted his resignation as Municipal Judge t take a job with Sedgwick County.

The city attorney said he has spoken with Richard Befort about taking over the job, and he has agreed to at a cost of $300 per month. Mayor Farney appointed Mr. Befort to the position with council’s approval.

Kiowa holds Municipal Court on the 4th Friday of every month.

Meals on Wheels

Kim Balding at Kiowa Manor is continuing to get “the ball rolling” on a Meals on Wheels program in Kiowa, according to City Clerk Marlo Rugg, and she will keep council informed of any new developments in the program.

The City of Kiowa will again sponsor the Christmas Lighting Contest with monetary prizes for top three winners in both residential and commercial categories.

Council also voted to waive the rental fee for the Kiowa Community Building for the Christmas Craft Show on December 6, and also agreed to allow the use of electricity in the downtown Centennial Park for a Christmas light display.

In final action, council voted to waive the waiting period for Blue Cross/Blue Shield for the new city administrator and held a short executive session.

Vets, Families Invited to Meal Nov. 11

The annual meal to honor our Veterans will be held on Wednesday, November 11, at 6 :30 p.m. in the Kiowa Community Building.

It is a potluck covered dish dinner. Bring your own table service and serving utensil. There will be entertainment.

All veterans and current service members and their families are invited to attend.


South Barber Veterans Program

South Barber will holds its annual Veterans Day observance on Wednesday, November 11, at 10:30 a.m. in the high school gymnasium.

The entire community is invited to attend, especially veterans, who will be recognized and honored by students. The program will feature patriotic music and speeches presented by South Barber students.

Veterans are also invited to stay after the program and visit and eat the noon meal with students and faculty. Please contact the high school by Friday, Nov. 6 if you plan to eat lunch.