Arkansas City and Winfield both repor that they are starting to see positive results from the June 1st change in the shared recycling effort between the two cities. To maintain reduced contamination and costs, customer education regarding sorting and drop-off of materials at Strother Field is increasing, and Arkansas City no longer offers drop-off at its Central Shop. Annual city-shared materials costs rose from approximately $700 in 2017 to $225,000 in 2019. Since June 1st the two cities have seen a 95 percent “clean rate” in the corrugated cardboard stream and 70 percent in the mixed materials stream. Costs are down. Comparing June, July and August of 2020 to the same months in 2019, the two cities’ costs are reduced by about 75 percent.
Archives for August 2020
The bleeding at South Central Kansas Medical Center continues… at least financially. The hospital reported a year-to-date lost of $3.8 million compared to the same period last year. According to a report issued to the hospital board of directors on Thursday by CEO Jeff Bowman, the difficulties go deeper than just financial too. He says employees are under tremendous emotional stress during the coronavirus pandemic and they are not receiving community support. According to the local paper, Bowman said the financial deficit could be directly attributed to COVID-19 because of a big drop in patient receivables, not an increase in expenses. The $3.8 Million loss also does not include the grants and government loans that the hospital has received, including a $1.5 million federal loan to cover payroll. That amount could be forgiven, but that too is uncertain right now. If that were to happen, it would certainly help improve the financial picture. In addition to the hospital losses, during May and June, all three of SCKMC’s clinics reported a loss. The Ark City Clinic alone reported a loss of more than $200,000.
So far, details are limited, but we have learned that Winfield and Arkansas City firefighters were called out Thursday afternoon, to a fully-involved structure fire in the 10,000 block of 212th Road, east of Strother Field. According to reports, a large barn was burning, and there were power lines overhead when firefighters arrived, making the job all that much more difficult. The barn was completely destroyed. Firefighters fought to extinguish a spreading grass fire that threatened other nearby buildings. Smoke could be see for miles. No word of any injuries, and there also has been no word on whether any animals were in the barn at the time.
The K-55 bridge over the Arkansas River between Belle Plaine and Udall will be closed for a geological survey beginning Sept. 8. The bridge is expected to reopen Sept. 14, possibly sooner. There will be a signed detour on other state or U.S. highways. The detour will include U.S. 81, K-53 and K-15.
The man who was arrested for vandalism of a political billboard said Wednesday that it was mostly a spur of the moment decision. 19 year old Garrett Bogle… a Cowley College student from Winfield… said yesterday that he drives by the billboard going to classes and he just felt the urge to do something. Bogle was arrested Tuesday and charged with criminal damage to property. He would not comment on whether anyone else was involved. Bogle was taken into custody and jailed, but he later bonded out. According to the Cowley County Sheriff, the crime he is accused of carries a penalty up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. An investigation is ongoing to determine if anyone else was involved, and if so, they too will face charges. Bogle was arrested after a red and white billboard that stated Make America Great Again and Vote Republican was painted blue with the words Black Lives Matter and Resist written in yellow. The original sign has since been restored.
The Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health Department is issuing quarantine orders for current residents of nine Greek chapter houses at the University of Kansas. The move comes as the number of COVID-19 cases has increased in recent days. Health officials say even students who are asymptomatic need to comply with the order to keep the high-risk members of the community safe.
The state of Kansas’ COVID-19 infection rates are increasing. Officials say the state has seen 39-thousand-937 cases and 537 coronavirus-related deaths during the pandemic. Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Lee Norman says the state has the sixth-highest COVID-19 positive rate in the nation at 10-point-three-percent.
The Kansas State High School Activities Association is working to help high schools who have to cancel fall sports due to COVID-19 concerns. The association’s board of directors approved a motion yesterday that leaves the decision about an alternative high school sports schedule up to the board. An alternative plan could allow high schools who have canceled fall sports to compete in the spring. The board will vote on an alternative sports plan on Friday.
Cowley College and Wichita State University recently partnered on a 2+2 agreement in Anthropology to provide students a four-year coordinated program where they will receive an Associates of Arts degree at Cowley College in the first two years and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology degree from Wichita State University after two additional years. This agreement is for Cowley College students who have earned an Associates of Arts degree. They also must achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 and apply for admission to WSU. Learn more by contacting the WSU Financial Aid office at (316) 978-3430 or Cowley’s Anthropology Department at (620) 441-5336.
Arkansas City Police arrested an Ark City man after they say he brandished a knife outside a local store. 29 year old Eric Rogers is now facing felony charges including aggravated assault and battery. Police say it happened Saturday afternoon in the Walmart Parking Lot. Rogers was taken into custody and locked up in the Cowley County Jail. He has since posted $10,750 bond and been released.