Category Archives: News

Dr. Andi Williams Resigns as School Superintendent

U.S.D. 255 Board of Education held a special meeting today (Wed.) to accept the resignation of Superintendent of Schools Dr. Andi Williams, effective June 30, 2018. Dr. Williams has accepted a position as Executive Director of Public Affairs and Special Projects for the Wichita Public Schools system. The board also passed a resolution to employ the Kansas Assn. of School Boards to assist in the search for a new school superintendent.

Pioneer Days Rescheduled for Weekend of May 5

Kiowa Chamber of Commerce co-president Janet Robison reports that the Pioneer Days activities scheduled for this weekend. They have been rescheduled for the weekend of May 5. She reported that John Miller had an issue securing livestock for his rodeo events that were planned for Saturday and Sunday afternoons. The weather forecast also calls for rains Friday evening and all day Saturday, which also played a major part in the decision to cancel the celebration. The May 5 weekend will also be the “Big Kansas Roadtrip” weekend, and May 5 will also have Kiowa hosting several Youth Soccer League games, with both events expected to bring many out of town visitors to the community.

5K Run Notice

The Kiowa Labor Day 5K Race is looking for another Race Co-director. Any person(s) interested in this position is asked to call Kent at 309-219-2626.


City Council Discusses New Office, Petitions at Special Meeting


UPDATED 4/4/18: The Kiowa City Council met in special session Monday morning at 8:00 a.m. to handle three items of business. All council members present were present- Bill Watson, R.L. Simpson, Russ Molz, Brian Hill and Tom Wells- along with Mayor Ron Rohr.

City to Join WEDA

In opening business, council approved joining the World Economic Development Alliance (WEDA) for a six month trial period at a cost of $2,900. The alliance, headquartered in Dallas, TX, has contacts throughout the country and world and is focused on promoting and working to find business possibilities for rural areas.

City Administrator Lou Leone said WEDA works as a “job/business broker”. He added that there are two areas he is already looking at- ammunition manufacturers and telemarketing. Councilman Wells said he has seen WEDA’s efforts in Dumas, TX and noted that it seemed to really work well for that community. The city has $14,000 budgeted for economic development since it no longer is a member of the county’s economic development group.

Mr. Leone also said that a new website program has been purchased out of capital improvements fund for the city that will present a better looking site for viewers, including prospective businesses, while making it easier for city staff to keep updated.

New City Office Update

Council visited with John Terwort about the new city office and plans for remodeling. Terwort, who sold the building to the city, said that the closing date on the purchase is April 18, but he requested that council allow him to begin remodeling work on the building immediately as he is scheduled to be gone beginning in mid-May. He hoped he could get as much work done as possible before turning the remainder of the project over to another contractor.

Council gave approval for Mr. Terwort to work with the city administrator on the project to get things rolling. Along with that information, Mr. Leone said that he has already contacted two banks that are interested in financing the purchase and remodeling of the new building as well as the repair and remodel of the present city office, and one more local bank has also shown interest. Council agreed to hold a special meeting on Monday, April 9, at 8:00 a.m. to review a final plan for the city office project.

Petitions Discussed

City Attorney Laurel McClellan next gave council an update on a pair of petitions that were presented to the city.

The first petition was in reference to Ordinance 18-450, which was passed by council in February. That ordinance officially put the hiring and firing of city personnel under  the . Previous to that, the mayor was allowed to hire or fire personnel at will.

Mr. McClellan said that since the ordinance passed by council was a regular ordinance, it was not allowed to be challenged by a public petition, as that method of requesting a public vote is reserved only for charter ordinances.

One charter ordinance that was challenged by petition, however, was Ordinance 18-018, which council also passed in February and does away with the term limit regulation for council and mayor positions.

The city attorney reported that the petition did not meet the proper language requirements. It was not known if another petition would be circulated that meets the requirements. The ordinance is scheduled to go into effect 61 days after its final publication in The Kiowa News, which was February 28.

The city administrator said that he could find no other city of Kiowa’s size (Class 3) that has term limits, and could find only six other cities in the entire state that still have term limits.

In final action, council was informed that health insurance would be a topic of discussion at the April 16 regular meeting, and that the city now controlled the vacant lot at the corner of 7th and Main where the former bowling alley was located, and that groups such as the Chamber of Commerce could now be allowed to use the property.

Easter Egg Hunt/Bike Races

The Kiowa Chamber of Commerce sponsored the annual Easter Egg Hunt and Bike/Trike Races Saturday afternoon in Progress Park.

Chieftains Take 3rd at State!

The South Barber Chieftain ended their season with an impressive 74-41 blowout over defending state champion Sharon Springs-Wallace County to bring home 3rd place honors at the Class 1A, Div. II State Basketball Tournament played at Dodge City last weekend. See this week’s newspaper for story and photos. 

South Barber Homecoming Royalty

Homecoming Royalty (left to right) in back are Emilio Perez, Eric Reimer, Dakota Vickers, Trae Rathgeber, Eric Paozin and Neal Gugelmeyer. Seated are Nora Gugelmeyer, Malayna McKitrick, Glenna Williams, Queen Kylee Wright, Kaleigh Velasquez and Haylie Drake. Kindergarten helpers in front are Carter Murrow, BaiLea Swonger, Mckenna Brattin and Julian Gutierrez.

City Council Fires Police Chief

In a late Monday night meeting, following lengthy executive sessions, the Kiowa City Council voted to terminate Police Chief Steven Johnson with cause. Council rejected an offer from Chief Johnson to resign prior to the firing. According to City Administrator Lou Leone, council offered a severance package to Chief Johnson, subject to his agreement to certain terms, due to his family’s medical situation. Watch next week for more on this story.

South Barber Homecoming Friday

QUEEN CANDIDATES- Kaylee Wright, Kaleigh Velasquez and Glenna Williams


South Barber celebrates 2018 Basketball Homecoming this Friday, Feb. 9, when they host the Central Christian Cougars and Lady Cougars.

Junior varsity games begin around 4:15 followed by the varsity girls and boys. Crowning of the Homecoming Queen will take place at halftime of the boy’s varsity contest.

Three seniors have been selected to serve as candidates for Homecoming Queen.

KALEIGH VELASQUEZ is the daughter of Johnny and Raquel Velasquez. She is senior class secretary, secretary and treasurer of the National Honor Society and has received scholastic honor pins and listed on the honor roll lists.

Kaleigh likes drawing, sports, exercising and traveling. Her classes this year include Band, English IV, American Government, Culinary Arts, Pre-Calculus and General Psychology. She has also earned All-League honorable mention honors in volleyball.

She attends Driftwood Christian Church and participates in youth groups at the United Methodist Church in Kiowa and First Baptist Church in Cherokee, OK.

She plans to attend Butler County Community College after graduation and later Wichita State University majoring in athletic training.

GLENNA WILLIAMS is the daughter of Nadia Williams and Ronnie McKitrick. She participates in Drama Class and is a member of the Turner Youth organization. She has also participated in vocal groups all four years of high school, and is the reigning Miss South Barber.

Glenna’s favorite things are to “hang out” with family and friends and ride horses. Classes this year include Web Design, English IV, American Government, Baking and Pastry I, Drama, Math and Career and Community Connections. She plans to attend college after graduation.

KYLEE WRIGHT is the daughter of Allen and Kristin Sciara. She has participated in the school play and attends Grace Bible Fellowship. Her hobbies include puzzles, coloring and helping her Mom at home.

Classes include Informal Math, English IV, Drama, Life Science, Government and Community Based Training.

Kylee plans to attend Sharon Life Skills Center to continue her education.

The queen candidates will be escorted by senior members of the basketball team and senior class.


Serving as attendants from the freshman class will be Nora Gugelmeyer and Emilio Perez and from the sophomore class, Malayna McKitrick and Eric Reimer. Junior class attendants are Haylie Drake and Neal Gugelmeyer.

Kindergarten helpers are BaiLea Swonger, daughter of Matthew and Jessica Swonger; Mckenna Brattin, daughter of Charlie and Nikki Brattin; Carter Murrow, son of Derek and Sarah Murrow; and Julian Gutierrez, son of Kelsie Eck and Ben Rose.

Students are also celebrating special themed days this week. Tuesday is “Make Yourself at Home” (wear PJ’s), Wednesday is “Homies Day” (dress to match your friends), Thursday is “Home Away From Home Day” (dress in tourist attire), and Friday is “There’s No Place Like Home Day” (wear black & gold).

Barber County Conservation District Annual Meeting Jan. 20 in Kiowa

The public is invited to attend the Barber County Conservation District 68th Annual Meeting on Saturday, January 20 at the Kiowa Community Building. A catered meal, courtesy of the Barber County banks, will be served at 6:00 P.M.

After dinner, there will be a short business meeting including an annual report of district activities and financial actions since the 2017 annual meeting. An election of two board supervisors will be conducted as the terms of Calvin Boyd and Georgi Dawson are expiring.

The 2017 Bankers Conservation Awards will be presented to Robert and Lois Lenkner for soil quality. The Grasslands Award will be presented to Keith and Eva Yearout for improvement and management of their grasslands.

The top three conservation poster contest winners in each age group will receive prizes for their entries. South Barber K-6 winners include Easton Molz, Jancey Goodno, Janda Goodno, Lauryn Cropp, Grace Leone, Aydan Bryan, and Arrington Allen. Great job kids!

Dinner reservations are due by noon on Monday, January 15, so be sure to make yours as soon as possible by calling the conservation office at 620-886-5311, ext. 3