The metal sculptures of M.T Liggett at Mullenville have long been a favorite attraction on the way to Dodge City.

Many folks don\'t take the time to stop and really look at them, so here are a few pictures.

His artwork has long been recognized as some of most unique folk art in the nation and is now under the protection of a trust.

If he were still alive in today\'s political climate, just think of the new artwork he would come up with!


Suspected Tornado Rips Through Kiowa

Roof of swimming pool was ripped off and tossed across the street.

Football bleachers were blown across the field to the visitors side.


Kiowa has had its share of storms this year, beginning on Christmas Day with a severe wind event followed just a month ago, June 30, by an even stronger wind storm that did considerable damage throughout the area.

But nothing prepared the community for the storm that hit Saturday evening just around supper time. Witnesses report seeing as many as three funnel clouds dipping from the clouds, and the damage would seem to back up the belief that at least one of those funnels ripped across the northern part of the community.

The storm hit just around 6:00 p.m. with severe winds, torrential rains and hail. But suddenly, towards the end of the storm, the winds became stronger and shifted directions, and tore through town.

While just about every resident and business had damage, the worst was in the northern half of town where windows were blown out, buildings crushed by trees and roofs ripped off of homes.

The Kiowa Swimming Pool had its roof ripped off and dumped west across the street in the front yard of the Jerry Darger residence. South Barber High School had an air condition unit torn from the roof, and the large grandstand at the high school football field, which had just been completely renovated just a couple of years ago, was torn from the ground, concrete anchor posts and all, and thrown east across the field ending up on the visitor’s side.

Downtown businesses also took a big hit. Large windows were blown out at Kiowa Locker, Bogner, Inc., the antique store and others, while siding was torn off the Thurman Harvesting building and the Southern Baptist Church. Roofs and siding were also ripped off other buildings, particularly in the north part of town. With the heavy rains, street flooding was also a problem for a short time with city crews working diligently to clear sewer drains to let the water escape.

Electric power was lost during the storm, and when the extent of the damage to poles and lines was realized, City Administrator Lou Leone put out a call for mutual aid from area towns for electric crews and equipment.

The response was tremendous. Crews started arriving Saturday night and worked throughout the night. Sunday, many more streamed into Kiowa from all over Kansas and Oklahoma. Dozens of poles had to be replaced not only in town, but outside as well, and electric service lines reattached to homes and businesses. Their efforts paid off as Kiowa’s power came back on at 1:00 a.m. Monday morning.

The community once again really came together to help everyone get through the storm’s aftermath. The electric work was coordinated out of the ambulance shed, where a generator kept power going, while volunteers met at the Community Building and were recruited to go around town and help residents where they could.

Sandwiches were served at noon to any residents or workers that wanted a meal, and at suppertime, hamburgers and hot dogs cooked at the Hometown Market were served to anyone that was hungry.

The state’s Emergency Management unit was contacted and was expected to arrived in Kiowa sometime Monday to survey the damage and give an assessment of the cause of the damage.

Needless to say, a big Thank You goes out to all the city workers and electric crews who came through big in getting Kiowa back on its feet. And an even bigger thanks to the residents who came together in a time of need to help each other through what many say is the worst storm they have ever witnessed in our community.

The clean-up will continues for several more days and weeks.

An old quilt from Kiowa that was found by an Alva man while cleaning out his father’s house was donated to the Kiowa Historical Museum last week. Rod Murrow said he came upon the quilt and quickly realized that it was from the Kiowa CSW Club and had a date of 1940. He did some research on what old Kiowa News editions from the 1940’s he could find online and found the club mentioned a few times, but didn’t know what the initials “CSW” stood for. Rod called The Kiowa News with the request to donate the quilt, which is in excellent condition, and was put in touch with Buford Cloyd from the Historical Society. Friday morning Rod and his wife, Carolyn, drove from Alva to the Kiowa Historical Museum to donate the quilt. Pictured above (left to right) are historical society members Marsha Michel, Darlene Cloyd, Buford Cloyd and Nita Birdwell along with Carolyn and Rod Murrow. There are names on the individual quilt blocks with names, many familiar, of former club members who together made the quilt. The Historical Society invites anyone with information on the CSW Club to contact them.

Fatality Accident Tuesday Afternoon in Hazelton

Kiowa ambulance crew and many others help at the accident scene.

A Hazelton man died Tuesday, July 25, after colliding with a semi truck in Hazelton. Allen B. Babb, 59, died at Kiowa District Hospital after being rushed by ambulance from the scene of the accident. According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, Babb was traveling southwest on K2 highway at approximately 2:10 p.m. and made a left turn towards 1st Avenue in Hazelton when he collided with a 2002 Peterbilt truck driven by William L. Pelzl , 68, of Medicine Lodge  which was traveling northeast on K2 highway. According to the report, Mr. Pelzl was unable to avoid the collision and both vehicles came to rest northeast of the intersection. He was not injured in the accident.

Both drivers were wearing safety restraints, the report said.

Welcome to the Barber County Fair!


The 97th annual Barber County Fair will feature something for everybody in the family as it gets underway this week. The fair will be held Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 27-30, at the fair grounds in Hardtner.

Fair activities actually got underway last week with the 4-H Fashion Revue and 4-H Perishable Foods Judging, both held at Medicine Lodge, and the Dog Show held Saturday, July 22, at Hardtner.

The annual Fair clean-up will be held Tuesday, July 25, at 6:00 p.m.

Thursday kicks off a weekend of activities with the annual Hamburger Feed at 6:00 p.m. The Open Class and 4-H Buildings will be open for early entries from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., and the Merchants Building will be open for setup from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

The 4-H Horse Show will be held Thursday at 7:00 p.m.

Friday, July 28, begins early with entries and exhibits being entered and judged. The 4-H Food Sale will be held at 10:00 a.m. at the 4-H Building. Bucket Calf showing will start at 2:00 p.m. and the Pee Wee, 4-H and FFA Sheep Showing and Judging begins at 3:00 p.m. Goat judging will kick off at 4:00 p.m.

S&S Amusements will have their carnival rides set up Friday and Saturday afternoon and evening.

The first evening of the Barber County Rodeo gets underway Friday night at 8:00 p.m. featuring the toughest contestants from Kansas and Oklahoma both nights. JC Rodeo Company is providing the stock and Ty Allison from Alva will be the “funny man”.

There will be $1,000 added per event, including Lady Breakaway, and a Kid’s Money Scramble will be held both Friday and Saturday night.

An ATV Barrel Race will also be held both nights for contestants ages 14 (with parent’s consent) and older. An entry fee of $30 will be charged with eight entries allowed each night. Friday night will be dirt bikes and 4-wheelers on Saturday night. It will be a tournament style contest with winner takes all. Call 620-825-6130 to enter.

Following the Rodeo on Saturday night, a concert will be presented by William Clark Green. Admission is free with a rodeo ticket.

A busy Saturday begins at 8:00 a.m. with swine judging and showmanship, and the FCS Scavenger Hunt will also get underway at 10:00 a.m. The Pedal Tractor Pull starts at 11:30 a.m. followed by the 4-H and Open Pet Show at 12:30 p.m. and Poultry and Rabbit Judging at 1:00 p.m.

Beef and Dairy Cattle will also be shown and judged in the afternoon. The final night of the Rodeo will start at 8:00 p.m. followed by the concert.

Sunday’s activities begin with Cowboy Church at 10:00 a.m. and all buildings will be open for final viewing of exhibits. Presentation of Open Class Building Special Awards will be held at 3:00 p.m. followed by a Free Watermelon Feed sponsored by Corona Hoch and Farm Bureau Financial Services.

The 4-H and FFA Premium Sale gets going at 4:00 p.m. All entries will be released at 5:30 p.m. as the fair comes to a close.

County Fair Events Kick Off This Week


Barber County Extension Agent

THE 2017 Barber County Fair will kick off with the Fashion Revue on July 21 at 7:00 P.M. at the Community Bible Fellowship Church in Medicine Lodge. Everybody is welcome to come see the styles that girls and boys are constructing and purchasing today. This fashion show will include 39 outfits modeled by 4-H members age 7 to 18. Several of these outfits were constructed by the 4-H members themselves.

During the Fashion Show, 4-H Members will perform talent acts that showcase their musical skills. A special addition this year will be a brief presentation from Bianca Lewis from the Sunflower 4-H Club. She recently attended Citizenship Washington Focus which is a 2 week trip to Washington D.C. on a bus.

Results from the Perishable Foods Contest will be announced at the end of the Fashion Show. The Perishable Foods Contest is for recipes made by 4-H Members that must be served hot or cold. This contest is held before the Fair so that items can be judged at the appropriate temperatures.

Anybody interested in exhibiting at the Fair can get an exhibitor number by calling the Extension Office at 886-3971. Entry cards are available at the Extension Office or can be picked up when entering at the Fair either on July 27th between 6 P.M. and 8 P.M. or July 28th between 7:30 A.M. and 11:00 A.M.


City Council Talks Electricity, Welcomes New Clerk, Passes Ordinances at July Meeting

Kiowa’s second electric generator was installed last week.


The Kiowa City Council discussed electricity and passed ordinances at it’s June 10 monthly meeting. Council members present were Bill Watson, Tom Wells, R.L. Simpson, Russ Molz and Brian Hill. In the absence of Mayor Brandon Farney, board president Watson conducted the meeting.

After approval of the agenda, previous minutes and bills for payment, council heard a budget report from City Administrator Lou Leone. He said that the finances are “doing good” with nearly all funds at or slightly below the 50% level midway through the budget year.

Patrol Car Donated

Council next gave a big “thank you” to Jeff Bryan, owner of Bryan Chevrolet-Buick of Kiowa, for the donation of a 2011 Chevrolet Impala for use as a patrol vehicle by the Police Department. The vehicle has 73,000 miles on it and had previously been used as a parol car by the Hays Police Department. It will be outfitted with new lights and decals and replace the present patrol car, which will be used for the reserve unit.

New Clerk Welcomed

Kiowa’s new city clerk, Trisha Brewer, was welcomed by the council. Board president Bill Watson declined to appoint her as City Clerk, however, as he felt that was the duty of the mayor. Mrs. Brewer was appointed, however, to serve as the city’s KMEA No. 2 director.

In a related item, both she and another recently hired employee, John Duvall, were approved to be put on the city’s insurance policy as of July first, without the normal 90 day waiting period.

Special Request

Council heard a special request from a citizens concerning tree roots in their sewer line leading to their residence. While sympathetic, council noted that service lines to private property was the owner’s responsibility, not that of the city. They stressed, however, that they welcomed citizens to relay their concerns on any city issue with council members or the city office staff.

Water Plan Complete

The city administrator advised council that the Water Conservation Plan for 2017 has been completed and has been sent to the Kansas Rural Water Assn. for approval. The plan needs to be updated every year, he noted.

Ordinances Approved

Next on the agenda was yearly approval of the Uniform Public Offense Code and Standard Traffic Ordinance, which were passed as Ordinances No. 442 and 443. They are published elsewhere in this week’s newspaper.

Staff Reports

Police Chief Steven Johnson reported an a credit card scam by an out-of-state source that has been reported in town and advised citizens to be wary of any phone requests for credit or any other personal information.

The city superintendent report noted that several poles were purchased from Southern Pioneer Electric when the wind storm struck on June 30, and that the city will now keep poles of several sizes on hand for future use. Councilman Wells gave the city crew a “job well done” on its work to get power lines back up and running and limbs cleaned up throughout town following the storm.

Council also approved plans for chip and seal of several streets throughout town later this summer.

Lou Leone noted in his report that the city has received a grant of $13,300 to help purchase a diesel generator for use at the Community Building in times of emergency. Total cost of the generator with hookups is $24,000.

He also said the new generator is arriving this week. The control room building is also set to arrive soon and when installed between the two generators will allow control of either or both of the units, which will double the city’s ability to provide its own electricity when needed.

Mr. Leone reported on the KMEA Conference he recently attended and said that the group has offered to sponsor the city’s membership in the KMU. Council voted to join KMU and spread costs of the membership out over the budget year.

The city administrator noted that it was KMEA who he contacted to have power crews sent for mutual aid when the city’s power lines were damaged. He said their main question was “how many do you need?” and he acknowledged how much those out of town crews helped restore the city’s electricity.

Upgrades to the electric grid were also discussed, especially an automatic reclosure system that would automatically close the breaker on a circuit when it is interrupted by a bird or squirrel in the system. It would then reopen when possible. It would save the city considerable overtime expenses for crews to come out and do the work.

Staff has contacted Southern Pioneer Electric to take the “next steps” regarding connecting the city to their transmission line. It was also reported that since Southern Pioneer is connected to poles along 14th Street that were damaged in the wind storm, the company will pay one-third of the costs to restore those poles.

City Attorney Laurel McClellan noted in his report that Mr. Paul Tilley had missed his date to file an appeal in his legal case, but action is moving along on another case involving costs associated with the demolition of the old bowling alley building. Mr. McClellan said they should have an opinion from the judge in the case on August 9.

After more discussion, council held a short executive session at the request of Councilman Watson, then adjourned.

Sen. Jerry Moran Statement on Health Bill Decision

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) issued the following statement regarding the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA):

“There are serious problems with Obamacare, and my goal remains what it has been for a long time: to repeal and replace it. This closed-door process has yielded the BCRA, which fails to repeal the Affordable Care Act or address healthcare’s rising costs. For the same reasons I could not support the previous version of this bill, I cannot support this one.

“We should not put our stamp of approval on bad policy. Furthermore, if we leave the federal government in control of everyday healthcare decisions, it is more likely that our healthcare system will devolve into a single-payer system, which would require a massive federal spending increase. We must now start fresh with an open legislative process to develop innovative solutions that provide greater personal choice, protections for pre-existing conditions, increased access and lower overall costs for Kansans.”

Mark Mathews Killed in Two Vehicle Accident

SHARON, Kan. (KSNW) – The Kansas Highway Patrol said a 62-year-old Sharon man was killed Tuesday afternoon from injuries he received during a truck collision.

It happened just after 4 p.m. at the intersection of Bluestem Road and Southeast Naron Road, one mile South of Sharon.

A 2014 Dodge Ram driven by a 33-year-old Cooper Kanngiesser of Attica was westbound on Naron Road when it collided in the middle of the intersection with a 2009 Chevy Silverado driven by 62-year-old Mark Mathews, which southbound on Bluestem Road.

Mathews was transported to Medicine Lodge Hospital where he died from his injuries.

Kanngiesser and a 19-year-old passenger in the Dodge Ram, Chance Barnes of Arkansas City, were not injured.

Barber County Fair Activities Get Underway Next Week

The 97th annual Barber County Fair is set for July 27-30 in Hardtner, but pre-fair activities kick off next week.

Pre-entries for 4-H and FFA members were due in the Extension Office in Medicine Lodge on Thursday, July 20.

On Thursday, July 20, the 4-H Fashion Revue judging will be held at 5:00 p.m. at the Community Bible Fellowship Church, 2853 NE Curry Lane, in Medicine Lodge.

Friday, July 21, the 4-H Perishable Foods judging will be held at 2:00 p.m. and the Public Fashion Revue will be held at 7:00 p.m., both at the Community Bible Fellowship Church.

Saturday, July 22, the Dog Show will be held beginning at 9:00 a.m. at the Merchant Building on the fairgrounds in Hardtner.

On Tuesday, July 25, the annual Fair Clean-up will be held beginning at 6:00 p.m. at the fairgrounds and campers are allowed to move in at that time.

Thursday, July 27, fair activities get underway with a Hamburger Feed at 6:00 p.m., and the Open Class and 4-H Buildings will be open for early entries.

The Merchants Building will also be open from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. for setting up booths and exhibits.

The 4-H Horse Show will begin at 7:00 p.m. on July 27.

Fair activities are in full swing on Friday, July 28, with judging of livestock and other entries.

Saturday, July 29, is another day full of activities with the fair wrapping up Sunday.

And don’t forget the Rodeo on Friday and Saturday evenings beginning at 8:00 p.m.

Amusement rides will also be featured during the evening every night of the fair. Watch next week for more information.


Area Hit by Severe Wind Storm June 30


Tornado force winds ripped through Kiowa early Friday morning, June 30, uprooting trees, ripping down limbs and knocking down power poles.

No official estimate has been given for the strength of the straight line winds that moved through the area with a line of thunderstorms just before 1:00 a.m. Friday, but old timers that have lived through many 70-80 mph. storms say this one was worse-much worse.

Kiowa City Administrator Lou Leone, who kept the community informed as well as he could through his Facebook post, reported that 24 power poles had to be replaced in town and on the transmission line heading south to the Burlington substation.

In addition, many electric service lines to individual homes were downed by tree limbs and had to be reconnected.

Power crews and equipment were asked for mutual aid from several surrounding communities to help the Kiowa city workers, and through their tireless efforts power was restored to the entire town by late Friday night. Mr. Leone had noted that without the help of these extra crews, power could have been off for up to five days.

Even the Kansas Dept. of Transportation (KDOT) wasn’t immune from the storm as crews were out Friday replacing broken highway signs and straightening others that had been twisted and bent in the wind.

But Friday’s storm wasn’t without a bit of a silver lining. All throughout Kiowa neighbors showed up to help cut up and haul away trees and limbs. There was a steady flow of trucks and trailers heading to the tree dump east of town, and city workers were on hand to keep it all orderly as the tree pile just grew larger and larger.

Riley Courson showed up in front of a home with a friend Friday afternoon wanting to haul away limbs that had been dragged to curbside. They had been out working all day long just wanting to “help out” in a time of community need. That scene was repeated all over town. Right in the middle of loading up the trailer, Randy Blunk showed up to offer everybody a bottle of cold water.

Churches and other groups got involved to help feed the work crews that arrived in town, and there were many, many other goods deeds done throughout the town. That’s just the way it works in a small, close-knit community.

Clean-up will no doubt continue throughout the week. Special thanks to the Kiowa City crew and all the out-of-town help that got the town back up and running.