Monthly Archives: August 2016

Welcome to Kiowa’s 77th Annual Labor Day Celebration

By REX ZIMMERMAN

Kiowa’s Labor Day Celebration is here! The Kiowa Chamber of Commerce has planned a weekend of fun, food, games and lots, lots more as it celebrates the 77th anniversary of a Kiowa tradition. There are activities all weekend long, including the Kiowa High School Class of 1966 50th reunion.

Saturday, Sept. 3

If you want to watch some fun entertainment, go watch the Duck Soup Invitational Softball Tournament that will be held Saturday to kick off weekend festivities. Action begins at 9:00 a.m. at the ball diamond just east of Progress Park.

The Kiowa Historical Museum and the School Museum will both be open on Saturday.

Sunday, September 4

A Sand Volleyball Tournament gets underway at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday at the park. Contact Sammi Inman (620-770-9101) for information.

The annual Kiowa Car Show will be held all day Sunday at Progress Park. Gates open at 8:00 a.m. and registration to show your car or truck is $15.00. There is no admission for the public.

There will be door prizes, food, and great music all day long.

Following the Car Show at around 4:00 p.m., the popular Burn Out Competition will be held at the intersection of 8th and Miller Streets, just a block south of downtown. For more information on the Car Show contact April Stewart (620-825-6252).

Monday Starts With 5K

The hugely popular Labor Day 5K Run and Fun Run, sponsored by the First State Bank, kicks off Monday’s activities beginning at 8:00 a.m. in front of the Community Building. The one-mile Fun Run will be held first followed by the 5K Run, which seems to get bigger and bigger. Last year there were 348 runners.

Awards will be presented immediately following the race in the Community Building.

Activities at the Park

A busy day at Progess Park begins at 8:00 a.m. with coffee and homemade rolls offered by the Kiowa Historical Society. The society will also have its popular Attic Treasures booth open with all kinds of items for sale. Proceeds go to help projects throughout the year.

The games at the park get underway at 11:00 a.m. with Cakewalk and Bingo sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce. All you good cooks out there are encouraged to bring a cake to donated to the Cakewalk event. Just bring them to the park Labor Day.

The kids can have a blast all day with Free Inflatable rides from 11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Square dancing will entertain the crowd beginning at 11:30 a.m.

The games will take a break at 12 Noon as the Free Ham & Bean Feed will feed the hungry crowd. The “beaners” will be cooking all day, so be sure and tell them thanks for their hard work.

There will also be other food choices available on Labor Day. The United Methodist Church will have sloppy joes, hot dogs, cakes and pies available at its booth, while the Congregational Church will offer homemade ice cream. St. John Catholic Church will also be selling tacos and drinks at their booth. The Barber County Shriners will also have roasted corn for sale.

The SBHS Cheerleaders will have a face painting booth and the South Barber FFA also plans to have a dunking booth for those who want some wet, fun entertainment.

And for those who just want to browse, there will be various vendors at booths throughout the park all day.

Historical Society Auction

At 1:00 p.m., the Kiowa Historical Society will hold an auction for a Farmers Tribute Edition rifle and a Hand-Stitched Quilt.

Lots of Afternoon Fun

A busy afternoon of activities begins at 12 noon with a musical program on the park stage presented by the Williams Family. The Horseshoe Pitching Contest starts at 1:00 p.m., in the northwest corner of the park, as does the 3-Point Basketball Shooting Contest to be held on the park basketball court.

The “Closest to the Pin Golf Contest” tees off at 2:30 p.m. on the baseball field.

At 2:00 p.m., the Chamber of Commerce Kid’s Games get underway with the Hay Scramble followed by a Scavenger Hunt at 3:00 p.m. At 3:30, a game of Musical Chairs will entertain the crowd on the park stage. The popular “Family Feud” event is back for another performance beginning at 4:00 p.m. on the park stage.

And if it’s a warm day, the Kiowa Fire Department will spray down the kids with a fire hose from 2:30 to 3:00 p.m. by the swimming pool. Bring a swim suit.

There is something for everyone at this year’s Labor Day Celebration, so grab the family and enjoy the weekend in Kiowa!

Kiowa Preparing to Hold 77th Annual Labor Day Celebration

By REX ZIMMERMAN

Fun, food, games and lots, lots more are in store as the Kiowa Chamber of Commerce finalizes plans for its 77th annual Labor Day Celebration. There are activities all weekend long, including several Kiowa and South Barber high school class reunions.

Car Show Sunday

The annual Kiowa Car Show will be held all day Sunday, Sept. 4, at Progress Park. Gates open at 8:00 a.m. and registration to show your car or truck is $15.00. There is no admission for the public.

There will be door prizes, food, and great music all day long.

The popular Burn Out Competition will be held that afternoon at the intersection of 8th and Miller Streets, just a block south of downtown. For more information on the Car Show contact Clint Stewart (620-213-1834) or April Stewart (620-825-6252).

There is also a volleyball tournament and other events scheduled for the weekend.

Monday Starts With 5K

The hugely popular Labor Day 5K Run and Fun Run, sponsored by the First State Bank, kicks off Monday’s activities beginning at 8:00 a.m. in front of the Community Building. The one-mile Fun Run will be held first followed by the 5K Run, which seems to get bigger and bigger. Last year there were 352 runners.

Awards will be presented immediately following the race in the Community Building.

Activities at the Park

A busy day at Progess Park begins at 8:00 a.m. with coffee and homemade rolls offered by the Kiowa Historical Society. The society will also have its popular Attic Treasures booth open with all kinds of items for sale. Proceeds go to help projects throughout the year.

The games at the park get underway at 11:00 a.m. with Cakewalk and Bingo sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce. All you good cooks out there are encouraged to bring a cake to donated to the Cakewalk event. Just bring them to the park Labor Day.

The games will take a break at 12 Noon as the Free Ham & Bean Feed will feed the hungry crowd. The “beaners” will be cooking all day, so be sure and tell them thanks for their hard work.

At 2:00 p.m., the Chamber of Commerce Kid’s Games get underway, and the popular “Family Feud” event is back for another performance on the park stage.

Watch next week’s newspaper for a complete list of Labor Day Weekend activities.

HARDTNER MAN SENTENCED TO 74 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR NARCOTICS VIOLATIONS

MEDICINE LODGE, KANSAS James Dakota Griffin, 23, of Hardtner, Kansas appeared in Barber County District Court on August 10, 2016. Griffin was found guilty of three (3) illegal narcotics violations, including Distribution or Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine, Distribution or Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana, and Unlawful Possession of Certain Drug Precursors and Drug Paraphernalia.

District Judge Frank Meisenheimer sentenced Griffin to serve seventy-four (74) months in prison for his crimes. Griffin was not granted probation. After Griffin completes his prison sentence, he will be on Post-Release Supervision for thirty-six (36) months and will be required to register with the Sheriff’s Office as a Registered Offender for fifteen (15) years.

This case represents the largest seizure of illegal narcotics on record in Barber County, Kansas. Sheriff Justin Rugg commented, “The deputies and I are very proud of the fact that these large amounts of marijuana and meth did not make it on to the streets of Barber County.” The investigation was conducted by the Barber County Sheriff’s Office with assistance provided by the Alva Police Department. The criminal case was prosecuted by Barber County Attorney Gaten Wood.

Helmley Honored by National Weather Service for 20 Years as Local Observer

Mike Helmley

From the NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE

Mike Helmley, pictured above at left, cooperative weather observer for Kiowa KS, was presented with a 20 year length of service award on Wednesday, August 3rd, by Jesse Lee, Observing Program Leader for the National Weather Service in Dodge City. Jeff Hutton, Warning Coordination Meteorologist, was also in attendance.

The Kiowa station was started in November of 1891. There was a long break from 1895 until 1938 when there were no observations. The station was started up again in 1938 by Adolph Meixner.

Mr. Helmley took over the station from the City of Kiowa in 1996 and has been recording temperature, precipitation and snowfall data since that time.

The National Weather Service’s Cooperative Weather Observer Program has given scientists and researchers continuous observational data since the program’s inception more than a century ago. Today, around 10,000 volunteer observers participate in the nationwide program to provide daily reports on temperature, precipitation and other weather factors such as snow depth, river levels and soil temperature.

Satellites, high-speed computers, mathematical models and other technological breakthroughs have brought great benefits to the nation in terms of better forecasts and warnings. But without the century-long accumulation of accurate weather observations taken by dedicated volunteer observers, scientists could not begin to adequately describe the climate of the United States.

Students, Teachers Back to School Next Week; Business Teacher Hired

By REX ZIMMERMAN

With the start of school just around the corner (August 25th), the U.S.D. 255 Board of Education met on Monday, August 8, to make final preparations, including hiring teachers and approving the 2017 budget for publication. Board members present were Deb Helfrich, Mariah Doherty, Mike Myers, Melissa Simpson and Mark Pollock, along with board president Steve Allen. Also present were grade principal Eric Stoddard, 7-12 principal Brent Shaffer and superintendent Dr. Andi Williams.

Boys Ranch Report

After approval of the agenda, previous minutes and bills for payment, the board heard from Michael Simpson, president of Freedom Gates Boys Ranch in Hazelton. Mr. Simpson informed the board that the boys ranch is becoming a “licensed” facility and hopes to be operating under the new regulations by October 1.

During the past few years, Freedom Gates Boys Ranch has been operating as a foster child operation, which meant that they really had no control over how long the boys at the ranch stayed. Moving from foster children to private placement will mean that boys coming to the ranch will spend a minimum of 18 months at the facility, giving them at least a couple of years in the local school system.

Mr. Simpson gave much praise to the local school system, especially 7-12 principal Brent Shaffer, for how well they have accepted the boys, with the goal of getting a high school diploma and moving on to college or trade school. He said as Freedom Gates moves into its new licensing phase, it should eventually result in more students attending South Barber schools.

Pl Group Final Master Plan

Dana Dunn with P1 Group gave the board a quick overview of the “final master plan” for renovations at the high school, noting the suggestion that the board look at the proposal over a five-year period.

Mr. Dunn said most of the improvements in the plan could come under the term of “deferred maintenance” including such items as new heating and air conditioning, lighting, carpet, new freezer for the high school kitchen, etc. He added that new plumbing fixtures were a “must” as they had long outlived their usefulness.

He also said that storm shelters recommended for both the high school and grade school building did not have be FEMA certified, which would reduce the costs. He also suggested that plans for a covered walkway between the high school and junior high buildings be turned into a storm shelter instead, allowing it to serve both needs.

Another items of urgent importance was the rotting gas line on the high school roof. In working on the project, however, Mr. Dunn said it was discovered that the gas meter to the high school was located 1,024 feet south of the high school building, with the district currently responsible for maintenance of the pipe from the meter to the building.

Mr. Dunn said in negotiations with Kansas Gas Service, the first figure for moving the meter up to the high school building was “in six figures”, but said they eventually came down to a cost of $8,000 for the project. Moving the meter must be done before the urgent work needed on the gas pipes on the high school roof, he said.

In comparison, Mr. Dunn pointed out that the 3 or 4 million dollars over five years does not compare to the estimated price of a new high school building, which would run around $19.6 million, he said. Financing was briefly discussed, with Mr. Dunn saying that the district looked to be a prime candidate for an “Energy Performance Contract” which would allow the district to pay off the costs with the savings from reduced utility costs following the improvements. Presently, the district is just a couple of years away from paying off the bonds for the remodeling done at the elementary school using a portion of its Capital Improvement funds each year.

Budget Notes

Dr. Andi Williams gave an update on the 2017 budget draft, which was published in last week’s Kiowa News. The budget increase is needed to keep district funds stable due to a loss in valuation from $62.7 million last year down to 39.5 million this year due to the large drop in oil and gas valuation.

Dr. Williams noted that the district has been granted $219,000 from the state in “extraordinary needs funds”, but the money slated to be used for this need has been “swept” by Governor Brownback into the general fund to help with the state’s severe budget shortfall. She said it will be included in the budget so it can be used if the funds are eventually released.

Seventeen teachers attended the Camp EdGE update, and the public is invited to “like” the school district on Facebook “South Barber USD 255”.

New teacher in-service is Friday, August 19, district in-service is Monday, Aug. 22 and building in-service is Wednesday, August 24. First day of school for students is Thursday, August 25.

In other action, the board:

  • Approved the cost of second helpings at $1.00 for the elementary school and $1.25 for the 7-12 building.
  • Appointed Deb Helfrich as Governmental Relations Network Alternate.
  • Approved Ben E. Keith as milk supplier and primary food service vendor for the school district for the 2016-2017 school year. Dr. Williams said they will provide milk six cents per carton cheaper then the current vendor, and she said the district hopes to save as much as $18,000 or more on food services.
  • Approved Pam Malone as high school business teacher, replacing Jeff Lantz. She comes to South Barber from Moundridge and has four years experience as business teacher.
  • Accepted the resignation of Karen Lambert as high school cook.
  • Voted to approved Kaley Stoner as kitchen cook.
  • Approved Jerydth Twymann as Online Program Facilitator, replacing Veda Holt.
  • Approved the resignation of Roy Henson as assistant high school football coach.
  • Accepted a $25,000 donation from the Verda Diel estate to be used for scholarships as instructed in her will.
  • Approved selling excess computer towers and monitors at a cost of $100 each. Teachers will be allowed first chance as a purchase with any extra being offered to the public.•
  • Was reminded by Principal Stoddard that the Elementary School will have an Open House on Wednesday, August 24, from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. He said students can bring their supplies to school and meet their teachers.

Kansas Corporation Commission expands area subject to saltwater injection limits

Topeka – Today the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) approved an order that puts additional limits on the amount of saltwater that oil producers may inject into the Arbuckle formation in south central Kansas.

In March 2015, the Commission’s original order limited injection in five areas of concern in parts of Harper and Sumner counties.  The reduced volume coincided with a reduction of 2.5 magnitude or larger earthquakes; however, data has shown an increase in smaller earthquakes outside of those areas.

As a result, today’s order puts a 16,000 barrel per day injection limit on the 2016 Specified Area which includes Harper and Sumner counties as well as parts of Kingman, Sedgewick and Barber counties . The 8,000 barrels per day limit on the 2015 Specified Area targeted in the original order remains in effect.  KCC staff will monitor the seismic activity in the area and report back to the Commission in the spring of 2017.KCC Commissioner Shari Feist Albrecht dissented in the order. The order, dissenting opinion, and maps of the relevant areas can be viewed at:http://estar.kcc.ks.gov/estar/ViewFile.aspx/20160809115614.pdf?Id=aeae22e8-feb8-4a69-9a0b-b8d65044963c

Barber County Primary Election Results

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS

SHERIFF

Lonnie Small 731

Justin Rugg 328

James C. Stevenson 181

Christina Ricke 57

CO. COMMISSION #3

Bill Smith 256

Charles E. Achenbach 114

KIOWA TWP TRUSTEE

Garrett Lohmann 204

Gilbert Colborn 117

MEDICINE LODGE TWP TRUSTEE

Darlene Joseph 245

Karen McClellan 141

Tom Fortune 182

VALLEY TWP TRUSTEE

Gary L. Balding 24

Ralph Dick 19

CO. COMMISSIONER #2

Paul Harbaugh 442

COUNTY ATTORNEY

Gaten T. Wood 1044

COUNTY CLERK

Debbie Wesley 1142

REGISTER OF DEEDS

Betty Jo Swayden 1154

COUNTY TREASURER

Sheri J. Weeks 1178