Heavy storms Monday afternoon in Arkansas City brought heavy rains and high winds. Some damage was reported in the southern part of the county, and perhaps even a tornado. Around 1:45pm Monday, a tornado warning was issued for southwestern Cowley County. It expired at 2:30. Several buildings west and south of Ark City were damaged, and a team from the National Weather Service in Wichita will be doing inspections to help determine if the damage was caused by a tornado or simply by the high winds. Roof damage was reported at four different homes. One outbuilding had doors torn off. There were broken utility poles and a number of downed trees and limbs. The National Weather Service in Wichita measured a 70 mph wind gust in Arkansas City around just after 2 yesterday afternoon. Arkansas City schools were made available for use as emergency shelters. As of late yesterday afternoon, more than 400 people in the Arkansas City area were without power at one time, according Westar.
Archives for July 2018
Arkansas City is continuing its annual fire hydrant flushing program, with work proceeding across north Arkansas City starting next week. The Environmental Services Division will begin flushing Sections 11 and 12 — which contain a total of 71 fire hydrants along and north of West Radio Lane and west of 15 th Street, to the City limits, as well as north and west of Highland Drive, extending east to the BNSF Railroad. The only area to be excluded is the Highland Drive neighborhood north of East Radio Lane and east of Summit Street, which is part of Section 8. This area already had been flushed earlier this summer. Flushing will continue in Sections 11 and 12 for several days. All flushing will be conducted between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays only. Water customers in this area might experience temporary discoloration or low water pressure during this fire hydrant flushing program. Most discoloration can be corrected by flushing a faucet for a few minutes, but if flushing does not correct the problem or if you continue to notice a pressure loss, call (620) 441-4480 or (620) 441-4492. The Public Works Department advises that you do not wash laundry if your water is discolored because that can stain the items. If laundry does become stained, please leave the items wet, call the Public Works Department, and a special detergent designed to remove the stains will be delivered to you.
An arrest Thursday by Arkansas City Police, of an Arkansas City, on suspicion of violating Cowley County District Court bond conditions. 33 year old Michael Shine was locked up behind bars in the Cowley County Jail in Winfield with no bond. Shine previously had been arrested back on June 19th, on charges involving battery and domestic violence. Part of his bond conditions in that case was that he was to have no contact with the alleged victim, a woman from Arkansas City. But yesterday, police found Shine in the 900 block of Wingate… in contact with the alleged female victim. He was taken into custody, and charged with violating the conditions of his bond.
On Thursday, the Arkansas City Chamber of Commerce announced that CEO, Kammy Downs has resigned in order to accept an art teacher position in Kansas City. Downs gave her two week notice to the Executive Board of Directors and said that she has truly enjoyed her time as the Chief Executive Officer but is looking forward to returning to the art teaching field. Kammy Downs served for almost two years at the Ark City Chamber since taking the position in September 2016. Prior to her position at the chamber, Downs had served two years as Arts Director at Ark City Arts and had acquired eighteen years experience as an art teacher in Kansas and California. Downs
said that she and her husband are planning to live closer to one of their daughters in Kansas City, but she said they plan to also return for visits to Arkansas City. The Executive Board of Directors
is planning a come and go reception to say farewell to Downs on her last day with the chamber on Tuesday from 3-5pm at the chamber office. All are invited to attend. The Arkansas City Chamber Executive Board are currently taking inquiries and resume’s from anyone interested in serving as the new Chief Executive Officer. Call the chamber for information on how to apply at 620-442-0230.
The City Commission of Arkansas City, which also serves as the South Central Kansas Medical Center Board of Trustees, will be host to its fifth town hall meeting on the Health Care Sales Tax proposal at 7 p.m. Thursday at Roosevelt Elementary School, in the school’s library/media center. The public is invited to attend and ask questions about the upcoming tax vote. Doors will open at 6. The deadline to register to vote is Aug. 7. Mail-in ballots will be mailed to registered voters living within the city limits of Ark City starting on or around Aug. 17. They are due back by noon Sept. 6. If the proposed one-cent general sales tax is approved by voters, it would replace the current one-cent and half-cent sales taxes that benefit the financially ailing local hospital, while reducing the current sales tax rate in Arkansas City from 9 percent to 8.5 percent, bringing Ark City more into line with the sales tax rates of many neighboring communities. Additional town hall meetings will be held… all at 7pm… on Aug. 2nd at Adams Elementary School; Aug. 16th at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1254; Aug. 23rd at Frances Willard Elementary School; and Aug. 30th at Arkansas City High School.
A Newkirk man has been arrested in connection with the murder of a woman Saturday afternoon in Newkirk. 36 year old Brock Wilkins is now facing a charge of first degree murder. Wilkins is accused of assaulting and killing 53 year old Michelle Gentry of Newkirk on Saturday. The Kay County Sheriff’s Office says Wilkins… who has an extensive criminal record… is now being held behind bars in the Kay County Detention Center, with bond set at $1 million. As for the connection between the victim and assailant… well, that is still not completely clear, as the investigation is ongoing.
A Newkirk woman who was assaulted in her home on Saturday afternoon, is now dead. It began around 3 Saturday afternoon, when 911 operators got a call about a woman who had fallen, and was said to have been bleeding and unresponsive on 11th Street in Newkirk. When EMS responded, they discovered that the woman was alone, and had apparently been assaulted. Newkirk Police and Kay County Sheriff’s deputies were then called in, and the woman… whose name has not yet been officially released… was pronounced dead at the scene. Foul play is suspected, however the exact cause of death remains undetermined. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is now looking into it, with local law enforcement assisting.
A new senior housing project is planned for Arkansas City. Red-Wood Development from Joplin, Missouri, has been approved for Low-Income Housing Tax Credits by the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation, which administers the federal program in Kansas. That clears the way for a 48-unit low-income senior housing development on Sixth St. in Arkansas City, just east of Veterans Memorial Lake. According to Red Wood, their plans include 36 rent-subsidized apartments, plus 12 more two-bedroom duplexes to be leased at market rental rates. Both sets of apartments will be a mix of one- and two-bedroom units, accompanied by a large community building. Unit sizes will be approximately 650 square feet for a one-bedroom unit, starting around $380 a month, and 995 square feet for two bedrooms, which would rent for up to $520 a month. Because the Lake View Estates project is income based, though, actual rent amounts may vary. Construction potentially could begin later this year, but should begin no later than in mid-2019. The developer also has pledged to complete the paving of the Veterans Memorial Lake walking trail on the west side of the property and construct one public restroom, with both men’s and women’s sides, directly west of the existing Lions Club pavilion — all at no cost to the City of Arkansas City. The new development will include an EF5-rated tornado shelter with a community gathering area; a dog park, barbecue area, gardening area and covered outdoor gathering area and more. The construction will be single-level entry, with no steps. For leasing information, contact Frankie Ginn with Bell Management at (417) 624-4144.
The Kansas Army National Guard, Pittsburg State University, and Cowley College recently signed an agreement that will provide new opportunities to students. The first two courses in Military Science have been approved by Cowley College’s Academic Affairs, and approved by the Kansas Board of Regents. Military Science and Leadership I will begin in the fall, with classes starting August 21st, while Military Science and Leadership II will be offered in the spring of 2019. Both are two credit hour courses and are open to students on the college level in either the freshman or sophomore year. Along with the linkage agreement, Cowley College is working to begin an Army ROTC program with Cadet Command, the Kansas Army National Guard, and Pittsburg State University. Both Military Science Leadership I and Military Science and Leadership II will be offered at Cowley College’s main campus in Arkansas City as well as its Mulvane Center. For more information or to enroll in one of these courses, call 620-441-5303.
The City Commission of Arkansas City, which also serves as the South Central Kansas Medical Center Board of Trustees, will be host to its fourth town hall meeting on the Health Care Sales Tax proposal, tonight at 7 at the City’s new Water Treatment Facility. The public is invited to attend and ask questions about the upcoming tax vote. Mail-in ballots will be mailed to registered voters living within the city limits of Ark City starting on or around Aug. 17. They are due back by noon Sept. 6. If the proposed one-cent general sales tax is approved by voters, it would replace the current one-cent and half-cent sales taxes that benefit SCKMC.
This would have the effect of reducing the current sales tax rate in Arkansas City from 9 percent to 8.5 percent, bringing Ark City more into line with the sales tax rates of many neighboring communities. Additional town hall meetings will be held, and we will keep you up to date on them as they approach. The next one is set for 7pm on July 26th at Roosevelt Elementary School. The tax is not intended to be permanent… State law does not allow the proposed sales tax to have a sunset date, but as part of a resolution they approved in June, the City Commission stated for the record that its intent is for the tax to be retired once hospital bonds are paid off.