Arkansas City firefighters rushed out Wednesay afternoon to a pickup truck on fire on 12th Street. A black 2005 Ford Ranger, driven by Kyle Slane of Arkansas City, began malfunctioning, with the gas pedal stuck to the floor. Slane got out to open the hood and saw the engine on fire. He called the fire department, and they were there in minutes to put out the flames. Nobody was hurt, but the truck suffered severe damage. Ark City Police also were called in to control traffic.
Archives for September 2016
It’s been twelve years in the making, but after more than a decade of renovation work, the Burford Theatre in Arkansas City is finally ready to re-open. A special dedication ceremony will take place at 2PM on Thursday. Then, Thursday night at 7, the Music Theatre of Wichita, will present a live performance, “Burford Follies: A Salute to the Roaring Twenties,” to celebrate the theatre’s re-opening. The performance will be repeated on Saturday evening at 7 as well. The theatre was built back in 1924. Since then, it was gradually… over the years… converted to smaller individual theaters, and it was also allowed to deteriorate over time. Eventually it was shut down, the tenants left, and the building was turned into a center for the arts. Restoration began back in 2004, and finally…. twelve years later…. has been completed, thanks to a lot of fundraisers and several grants. It has cost a tremendous amount of money, and still, more work is necessary to complete the project. More work will be done, when more money is raised. The completion is estimated to run right around $750,000. For more details, call the theater at (620) 442-5896 or visit arkcityarts.com.
A teen girl is was sent to the hospital Friday afternoon, after the vehicle she was driving, left the road and ended up in a ditch on US-77 just north of the intersection with Kansas Highway 15, northeast of Udall. The driver, whose name has not yet been released, was rushed by ambulance to William Newton Hospital. There has been no updated information released pertaining to her condition. A LifeWatch helicopter was originally called out, but was not used to transport the crash victim. No reports of anyone else being injured. The cause of that crash remains under investigation.
During a board meeting that was held yesterday morning, officials discussed the availability of two sales taxes meant to fund the local hospital. Officials announced after Thursday’s meeting though, that both sales taxes to fund the financially ailing hospital are still on track. Ark City will begin collecting the scheduled total 1 1/2 percent sales tax October 1st. That means that as of the beginning of the new month, just about anything you buy in Arkansas City is going to cost an additional 9.25 percent above and beyond the asking price. City Manager Nick Hernandez… according to the local paper… announced that both taxes will be collected, unless the city is told otherwise.
The former director of operations and finance for Safe Homes has issued a public statement in response to the dismissal of charges filed against her. Margaret Riediger also issued a public comment on the current situation at the organization. The announcements come following the shutdown of Safe Homes in August… said to be due to financial issues, including problems with the organization’s financial management system. Riediger was employed at Safe Homes from 2010 until 2014, and had been charged with theft and computer crimes, allegedly in connection with her previous job. On August 24th, all charges against Riediger were dismissed “with prejudice” by Cowley County Attorney Chris Smith. That means they can’t be refiled at a later date. Safe Homes however, is reportedly still being investigated by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. According to a statement issued by her attorney, Riediger was a loyal employee of Safe Homes and committed no wrongdoing during her time at the organization. Her lawyer also says Riediger is in no way the subject of any other investigations that involve Safe Homes.
The Kansas Department of Transportation will host public transit workshops intended to educate existing providers and any agencies interested in applying for funding about what programs the KDOT Office of Public Transportation offers. Topics include Funding Opportunities and Program Expectations; Rural General Public and State Funding; Regional Business Models; BlackCat Application Process; and the KDOT Review Process. Visit the department of transportation website for details.
A gift of more than $2 million from the late University of Kansas alumnus John Bossi, of Arkansas City, will benefit the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at the school. The John V. Bossi Fund was established through KU Endowment to provide faculty-development support for the department, which was Bossi’s area of study. Bossi was born in Bolton Township, southeast of Ark City; he died in 2015. He graduated from Arkansas City High School in 1941 and served in World War II in the U.S. Army medical corps in France and Belgium. Jim Bossi, John’s brother, stated that John, who never married or had children, directed his estate gift to the university.
Kansas Gas Service is currently upgrading natural gas pipelines and meters throughout the city of Arkansas City, throughout the remainder of 2016, and continuing into 2017. The Courier Traveler reports a standard meter replacement requires interruption of a customer’s natural gas service for about 20 minutes and access inside homes or businesses to properly relight appliances. Company officials do not anticipate any major interruption to traffic flow. Customers affected by these projects will be notified by NPL, the contractor assisting Kansas Gas Service, or by notice left at their home or business. NPL will also provide a list of addresses that will be affected each week to the Arkansas City Public Works Office. The contractors performing the work will carry photo ID badges to indicate they are working on behalf of Kansas Gas Service.
Kansas has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the new federal overtime rule. Attorney General Derek Schmidt says that it was back in May, when… in response to an Order from President Barak Obama, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a new overtime rule revising the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime exemption for executive, administrative, and professional employees… the so-called “white collar” exemption. The new overtime rule doubled the salary-level threshold for executive, administrative, and professional employees to be exempt from overtime. After December 1st, all employees, including state and local government employees, will be entitled to overtime if they earn less than $47,476 annually regardless of whether they perform executive, administrative, or professional duties. Additionally, the new rule contains a ratcheting mechanism to automatically increase the salary-level every three years without going through the standard rule-making process required by federal law. Schmidt says it’s alarming, because what he calls “The cascade of unauthorized rules and regulations continuing to pour out of Washington in the final months of this presidential administration is truly breathtaking.” He said that the federal strategy appears to be throwing many new regulations at the wall so simply see what sticks. In addition to Kansas, other states joining this filing include: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.
The 2016 Taiwan Agricultural Youth Exchange Program is currently accepting applications from high school seniors or college freshmen who are passionate about agriculture and are interested in representing Kansas in a week-long exchange program in December 2016. Each year, a school in central Taiwan hosts students from the Midwest for this program. Selected students will tour agricultural facilities and businesses in Taiwan, and will learn about Taiwanese agriculture. The program will take place Dec. 5-10th. Three students will be selected to represent Kansas, and must meet the following requirements:
· Be a high school senior or college freshman;
· Be at least 18 years of age by the beginning of the trip;
· Have a strong Kansas agricultural background;
· Have a valid U.S. passport by time of exchange program selection; and
· Be able and willing to pay for airfare (approximately $1,400).
Applications must be submitted by October 14 for the student to be considered. Students interested in applying can find more information at agriculture.ks.gov