An earthquake shook South Central Kansas just after 5 a.m. on Tuesday. The quake measured a magnitude 2.9, according to the U.S. Geological Survey and was centered approximately 2 miles west, southwest of Hutchinson. There were no reports of damage early Tuesday, according to Officials with the Reno County Emergency Management.
Archives for January 2017
Yet another scam is being reported in our area…an Arkansas City resident received a call from an individual claiming to be a Publishers Clearing House representative. Mary Bartlett, of Ark City, received the call Monday morning. What was odd about the call is that she received it on her cell phone. The caller informed Bartlett she had won a major prize in the well-known contest, and was calling to award that prize. The call was not legitimate. Bartlett reported the call to local authorities. Ashley Thorp, administrative assistant at the Ark City police department, said she hasn’t heard reports of any other Publishers Clearing House calls in the area. Thorp advised citizens to avoid giving any personal or financial details over the phone and hang up on callers asking for this information.
The Arkansas City Beautification and Tree Advisory Board met last week, and elected new officers during its annual reorganization meeting. Richard Humphrey was appointed chair and Jill Wineinger vice chair in unanimous motions. Public Information Officer Andrew Lawson, a nonvoting member, was designated as the board’s secretary.
The board also reviewed and approved the meeting schedule for 2017. It will meet on the last Thursday of each month, but the April, May, November and December meetings might be moved or canceled for special considerations. Announcements of any changes will be made the previous month. Also discussed, were ideas for the 2017 Arbor Day celebration. The tentative plan is to tie in the Arbor Day event on April 28 with a movie night at the Wilson Park rotunda and possibly plant one or more new trees in the park as part of the Wilson Park master plan.
Kansas state treasurer Ron Estes has thrown his politcal hat into the ring and entered the race for the 4th Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. A special election will be held April 11 to replace former Rep. Mike Pompeo, a Republican, who was appointed by President Donald Trump to direct the Central Intelligence Agency. Estes, a Republican, was elected state treasurer in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. When asked why he is running for the 4th District seat, Estes told the Courier Traveler that things in Washington are out of control and change is needed. Both the Democrat and Republican parties will hold district conventions to select their nominees for the seat. Third-party and independent candidates can get on the ballot if they collect 17,000 signatures within the first 25 days after the election is called.
Kansas is now experiencing widespread influenza activity, with increased influenza cases seen in most regions of the state. Reports of outbreaks in long-term care facilities, schools and day cares have been made to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). Five outbreaks have been identified during the 2016-17 season. Nationally, this season’s influenza vaccine appears to be a very good match to the circulating influenza viruses.
A lawsuit filed by a former Arkansas City Recreation Center employee against the center has been settled out of court. The employee, Steve Jennings, filed the claim in federal court in May requesting $7,500 for overtime hours he said he was not compensated for while working there. That amount would have also covered legal fees. Jennings also alleged that he was let go because of his objections over the rec center’s overtime pay policies. The two parties agreed to settle the case with a payment of $4,500 to compensate Jennings and pay legal fees, according to court documents. Court documents also state that the agreement is not an admission of wrongdoing on behalf of the rec center and the Ark City Recreation Commission. Jennings will not be able to seek future employment with the rec center. Jennings claimed he was terminated — in February 2016 — because of his repeated objections about illegal pay practices and policies.
In a rather strange turn of events, an email was received by all Winfield High School students at 2:44 p.m. Friday. In it, a former student wrote “Thank you to all the hateful people of Winfield High School. I have now become a very good person and am looking forward to seeing all you students very, very soon.” The email was delivered simultaneously via the school-wide system, to all students. Parents then got a message from school administrators, in which they were informed that they should speak with their kids about the email. School officials say that although there was no direct threat made in the email, some students did consider it threatening and even disturbing. Winfield police are looking into it, and additional security measures have been implemented.
Passenger traffic at Wichita Eisenhower National Airport increased 1.97% over 2015, making it the second busiest year on record with 1,602,311 total passengers, according to a media release. The growth in traffic is due in part to the addition of three new, nonstop destinations, St. Louis, Phoenix, and Orlando-Sanford, plus, the convenient and modern new terminal continues to draw passengers. In 2016, June, September and October set new monthly records in passenger traffic.
Low-income senior housing near Veteran’s Lake came one step closer to reality on Thursday. Ark City Commissioners yesterday… in a special meeting…. unanimously approved a real estate agreement with a Missouri based developer to proceed with the housing development. Red-Wood Development, of Joplin, Mo., plans to build a 48-unit apartment complex for seniors on the east side of Veterans Lake, on property that is currently used for city storage. The developers needed yesterday’s agreement so that they could apply for federal tax credits. The deadline to have an agreement approved was today. If the agreement was not reached, therefore preventing the developer from being able to secure the tax credits, chances are the project would have never gotten off the ground. As part of yesterday’s agreement, the developer will extend the sewer lines, build a public restroom and complete the unpaved portion of the hike/bike trail at the lake, at an estimated cost of between $60,000 to $70,000. In return for that, the city is transferring the land at no cost. But if the project is not completed within three years, the developer would have to pay the city for the appraised value of the land, and after 10 years, the property would go back on the tax rolls. When finished, the new project will include 36 income-based rental units and 12 market-share units.
The Kansas Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating three fires that broke out in Saline and Ottawa counties Wednesday afternoon. Investigators believe that someone set the grass fires that burned about 230 total acres. Rural Fire District 3 took charge following a fire call that came in shortly after 2 p.m. Firefighters were sent to the intersection of Humbarger Road and House Road. High winds pushed two of the western fires together, burning around 150 acres. The eastern fire burned around 80 acres. No structures were damaged in the blazes but three landowners were affected. The estimated cost of the damage was around $3,000 as landowners will need to replace fence posts in the burned area.