The Arkansas City Area Chamber of Commerce presented the Open Arms Award to The Arkalalah Committee last Tuesday… one week ago today, on October 24th, in the evening after the Train Dedication at Wilson Park. The Open Arms Award is given to a nonprofit for exemplary achievement in community aid advancement, development, expansion, involvement or other outstanding accomplishments. From the Ark City Area Chamber… Congratulations to the Arkalalah Committee for the great job they do year after year!
Archives for October 2017
The Service Learning Council at Southwestern College teamed with the American Red Cross and the Winfield Fire Department to install smoke alarms last Sunday. This was the council’s seventh annual Homecoming service project. According to the American Red Cross, the teams of students canvassed all of Winfield and installed 240 smoke alarms in 114 homes in just over two hours. More requests for smoke alarms are being received and sent to the Winfield Fire Department. It is estimated that 300 smoke alarms will be installed through this community effort. In addition to installing the alarms, the volunteers helped families create fire escape plans. Residents throughout Kansas can enquire about a free smoke alarm by registering online at www.getasmokealarm.org.
More than 200 local people showed up Tuesday evening for the unveiling of the Wilson Park 2542 locomotive in Arkansas City. The old engine had been on display in the park for more than 60 years, and it was showing its age… in need of major repairs if it was to continue to stay there. One big job involved the removal of lead paint. The repair and restoration efforts kicked off earlier this year… back in March. On Tuesday evening, everyone got to see the results of those efforts, when the old engine was unveiled. Special guests Tuesday, included two retired steam era railroaders… Wayne Rector and Verrill Barnes, who actually served as a fireman on the old locomotive before it was retired. City Manager Nick Hernandez said the train represents the spirit of Ark City, and would serve as a tribute to its hard-working citizens. The repairs came at a cost of about $60,000 and involved more than 1,500 man hours… most all of it from volunteers.
A man who was being hunted down by Arkansas City Police, after he escapted earlier this month from prison and followed a local child home, has been arrested. 34 year old Dustin Stalder according to police, followed the 10-year-old on October 4th, from the bus stop at Fillmore Avenue and B Street to his house a couple of blocks away. Stalder then asked the boy if he could come inside, but the child refused and locked the door to keep him out, and then took a picture of Stalder through the front window. Stalder was nabbed Tuesday by Wellington Police. He is now safely back behind bars, in the Sumner County Jail. Stalder is a registered as a sex offender in Sedgwick County, and he had an active warrant for his arrest through the Topeka Department of Corrections for a parole violation. He had been convicted in 2007 of attempted sexual assault of a child.
Law enforcement officers at locations across the state will be collecting unused leftover medications for safe disposal on Saturday. The collection events are part of a nationwide effort to safely dispose of leftover medications to prevent accidental or intentional misuse. Since the Drug Take-Back Day program began in 2010, more than 58 tons of unwanted medications have been collected and destroyed in Kansas alone. Medications will be accepted at drop-off sites across the state from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. To find a location, visit www.ag.ks.gov. National Drug Take-Back Day is coordinated by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, which collects and safely destroys the medications.
Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Nationwide, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates opioid overdoses kill 91 Americans every day. According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, pharmaceutical opioids are a leading cause of drug poisoning deaths in Kansas. The CDC says the number of opioid prescriptions has quadrupled since 1999.
The Arkansas City Police Department is still hunting for a man in connection with a robbery of a local restaurant that was reported late Saturday night. That suspect is Austin Ty Brownell. He is described as a white male in his mid-20s, wearing a hooded jacket. Police said Brownell last was seen Monday in Winfield. Brownell is considered armed and dangerous. If you see him, they say you should call 911 immediately. The armed robbery happened Saturday morning around 11 at the Sonic Drive-In on N. Summit Street, where police say Brownell came inside and demanded money. He obtained cash from the employees before leaving through the same door and taking off on foot. He was identifed by security camera footage. If you know where he may be, you can also call Ark City Police at (620) 441-4444, and if you wish to remain anonymous, contact Cowley County Crime Stoppers, which offers rewards of up to $2,000 for information leading to an arrest. Call (620) 442-7777 in Arkansas City or (620) 221-7777 in Winfield, or visit www.tipsubmit.com or accs.crimestoppersweb.com to make an anonymous report. An anonymous tip also can be submitted by texting ACTIPS to 847411.
The City of Arkansas City… according to a press release from Ark City Public Information Officer Andrew Lawson… will be host to a special Arkalalah kickoff event that features a train unveiling and rededication. It is set for Tuesday night at Wilson Park. The first step in the Wilson Park Master Plan, the restoration of the park’s famous train engine, has
been occurring under a covered structure since late March. But now that work is drawing to a close. The re-dedication event will begin at 5:30 p.m. tomorrow, at the small gazebo in the southeast corner of the park on North Summit St. Several speakers will address those gathered to kick things off. Around 6 p.m., there will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony and photo opportunity. The train’s new steam whistle will be sounded to commemorate the occasion and also to kick off the 2017 Arkalalah festivities. After the ceremony, the event will move west to the rotunda for a short video presentation showing parts of the restoration process. The Wilson Park Master Plan flythrough video also will be shown again. There will be a small reception following the video. Light hors d’oeuvres and punch will be served. The 2017 Arkalalah Festival will begin formally at 7 p.m. with the next installment of the Fall Family Movie Series — a special showing of the John Candy comedy classic, “The Great Outdoors,” sponsored by the Arkalalah Executive Committee in honor of this year’s Arkalalah theme of the same name.
Last night’s planned special meeting of the Building Trades Advisory Board in Arkansas City was canceled. The board’s next regular meeting will be at 5:15 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16 in the commission room at City Hall on W. Central Ave.
Ark City Chamber of Commerce has announced that it is sponsoring a CANDIDATE FORUM for Cowley College Board of Trustees on Monday, October 23rd from 6pm – 8pm in The Wright Room at Cowley County Community College. All candidates will be attending. There are 4 open positions and 7 candidates.
Arkansas City’s 2017 Fall Cleanup Day was a great success. An estimated 115 to 120 volunteers showed up last Saturday morning at the Wilson Park rotunda to pitch in with the grassroots cleanup event. The City provided free coffee, donuts and orange juice. City staff estimated 39 properties with open property maintenance cases were affected positively in
some way by the effort. Many of them will have their cases closed after compliance was achieved. In most cases, this consisted of mowing and cutting weeds, but some trash cleanup also occurred. The event was marketed as an opportunity for youth groups, civic clubs, churches, and other nonprofit organizations to lend a helping hand to their neighbors and friends in need of some assistance. Volunteers were assigned to one of six cleanup zones to help to clean up the downtown and main corridors of Arkansas City, as well as to assist property owners who requested help. They were supplied with trash bags, waiver forms, and maps and routes for their assigned areas. City staff also provided bottled water to volunteer groups throughout the warm autumn morning. At least six trailer loads of brush and limbs were disposed of. To volunteer for the next citywide cleanup event — likely in April 2018 — call Public Information Officer Andrew Lawson at (620) 441-4415.