I am concerned with what the future of Westmoreland is. I attended Thurs. April 10th’s City Council meeting as a concerned citizen and previous councilmember and was given information from USD 323’s Superintendent Dr. Darrel Stufflebeam and Jon Srna, President of the school board. They provided the enrollment history for USD 323 Rock Creek for the years of 2005 to present which breaks down Westmoreland Elementary and St. George Elementary and the numbers don’t lie, Westmoreland is on a slippery slope with declining numbers nearly every year. In 2005 there was 39 more children enrolled in Westmoreland Elementary than there was in 2013 and they are projecting an additional decline in 2014 enrollment of approx. 11 students to put the 2014 enrollment at 125 children. Not to go into too much detail and its obvious St. George has done a complete opposite but I understand with the increasing growth on and around the Highway 24 Corridor we can’t compete and we shouldn’t try. I am just worried that if there is a continued decrease in the numbers of enrollment at Westmoreland Elementary the school board will look at the possibility of closing the school and if that happens the town of Westmoreland will dwindle and eventually die off.
I feel strongly the Westmoreland councilmembers, Planning and Zoning, and the chamber need to work together to make sure this town grows and expands. It’s also up to us the citizens of Westmoreland to push and encourage growth in your community. There is a confrontational idea in mind that would allow for this town to grow with new housing but there are individuals that don’t want to see it happen, or don’t want the work involved in proceeding but if you love this town and want to see it succeed then it is time to move forward instead of living in the past. I would suggest that the city pursue any and all avenues to encourage growth, let’s put our money, and time where it needs to be right now and be proactive in getting growth in our community before it is too late.
The town needs growth in all areas not just in housing but also business in order to attract young people to our town. I know that by bringing in new people and new business it can create difficulties and bumps in the road but we can overcome those and be a better community for all of us. Thank for allowing me to vent my frustrations and please as a community lets work together to build a stronger and better town for future generations to enjoy. I encourage each and everyone to attend meetings, talk to your councilmembers and do your part today for a better future!
Last week on Sunday evening the legislature finished work for the regular session. We will be off for three weeks, reconvening on April 30 for several days to wrap up the 2014 legislative session. We worked over the weekend putting together the school finance plan as directed by the Kansas Supreme Court.
The final bill was HB 2506 which was passed in somewhat different versions by the House and Senate was finally agreed upon by the conference committee and then passed both Houses on Sunday. I voted for the bill as it fully complies with the equity additional funding of 126 million dollars and meet or exceeds the court directive and included important policy changes to the school system. The bill provides for the most tax relief for school districts with lower valuations and the additional LOB allowed was a tradeoff for the wealthier districts and to obtain the necessary coalition of votes to pass the bill. (more…)
On Tuesday, March 25th, 2014 just after 9:30 a.m. the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office received a call that a communication tower had collapsed. The location of the tower was reported to be at Highway 16 and Rock Creek Rd. near Blaine KS. Sheriff’s Deputies, EMS, Fire / Rescue, Kansas Department of Transportation and Kansas Highway Patrol responded to the scene. Upon arrival it was discovered that two towers had collapsed, one recently built and one that was older. Two workers had been on the older tower working when it went down. One worker was pronounced dead at the scene, and the other was transported to a local hospital where he also passed away. The workers had been at the site and were in the process of dismantling the older tower. Both workers were reported to be at a height greater than 250 feet when the towers collapsed.
PHOTOS PROVIDED BY JAMES BRADLEY OF WESTMORELAND.
press release from
On Wednesday March 19, 2014, at 10:15 a.m. the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call about a roll-over injury accident approximately 2 miles East of the Duluth Church on Duluth Road, Duluth KS, Sheriff Deputies as well as EMS and Fire were dispatched and responded to the location. Emergency units when arriving discovered a single vehicle roll-over accident and saw that the driver was lying outside of the vehicle, near to it. The driver who was believed to be the only occupant of the vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver was identified as 45 year old Ronald L. Shelton of 20920 Duluth Road, Duluth Kansas. Shelton appears to have been ejected from the vehicle and was not wearing a seat belt. The accident is believed to have happened earlier in the night. (more…)
For Immediate Release: Manhattan, KS March 5, 2014
Kansas Forest Service to Host Wildland Fire Training Event
On the heels of Kansas Wildfire Awareness Week, Kansas Forest Service employees will once again host a 6 day hands-on hazard fuel reduction internship and training event that has come to be called the Mitigation Project. It is slated to take place March 23 – 29th. This year, there will be more than 30 Hutchinson Community College Fire Science students and 40 wildland firefighters; from 19 different agencies and at least 7 different states. The Project will be run by an Incident Management Team (IMT) in the same manner as a large wildland fire incident. Now in its 10th year, this project is larger and more complex than it has ever been. (more…)
ONAGA, Kan The Onaga Police Department is asking for assistance locating 67 year old Melvin Robert Potter.
Melvin has onset of dementia and has a history of going missing. In the past he has traveled several states and not known how or why he was there. he also suffers from high blood pressure and does not have his medication with him.
Melvin was last seen on Friday, March 14, 2014 at approximately 10:00 A.M. when he left to run a short errand. He was wearing blue jeans and a red flannel shirt that has brown patches on the sleeves, brown boots and a brown leather belt. The belt buckle says “Oklahoma” and Melvin walks with a limp.
Melvin was last seen driving a red and silver 1996 Dodge truck with Kansas license plate of 385DPQ.
Melvin is believed to be in danger due to his medical conditions, dementia, and lack of medication. Authorities are are asking for public help locating him and returning him to his family.
Please call the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office dispatch center with any information at (785) 457-3353(785) 457-3353.
PRESS RELEASE CONTACT: Leah Ost
March 11, 2014 785-539-1947
Boys & Girls Club of Manhattan Teen Receives 2nd Place at State Youth of the Year Competition
[Manhattan, Kan.] — The Boys & Girls Club State Youth of the Year banquet was held Monday at the Maner Conference Center in Topeka. It was a heartfelt evening where nine Kansas Club finalists competed to be designated the Kansas Youth of the Year and given the opportunity to compete in the Southwest Regional Youth of the Year competition.
The nine youth were nominated from Clubs across the state for their outstanding leadership contributions to their families, schools, communities and Boys & Girls Clubs. Among these youth, was Kennedy Felice, a senior at Manhattan High School. Kennedy has been a volunteer and junior staff member at the Boys & Girls Club of Manhattan since 2010. She continuously is dedicating herself to serving the Club and her community while excelling at school and maintaining involvement in school-sponsored organizations. With a passion for the written word and the arts, Kennedy is an editor for her high school yearbook and newspaper, and involved in her school plays and musicals. She is interested in pursuing a career as a college drama professor.
We are proud to announce that Kennedy Felice was named runner-up for the Kansas Youth of the Year and received a $250 award for her outstanding efforts. Innocent Anavberokhai of Lawrence won this year’s Kansas youth of the Year award and Danielle Signmon of Fort Leavenworth won the Kansas Military Youth of the Year award.
This competition puts a youth from each Club in Kansas up against one another to compete in many categories such as speech, interviewing and leadership skills, poise, and volunteerism. “It is not about who wins but being able to showcase the amazing youth from Clubs across Kansas to Senators, Legislators, and other people from across the state to validate that what we do works! It’s an amazing process and learning experience for all youth and attendees involved. I am very proud of our youth, Kennedy Felice, who was named the runner-up. She made Manhattan proud!” said Boys & Girls Club of Manhattan Executive Director, Junnae Campbell.
This year was an extra special competition with all eyes on Kansas as we have produced two National Youth of the Year winners two years in a row. The 2012-13 National Youth of the Year was Trei Dudley from Lawrence, KS and the 2013-14 Youth of the Year was Kiana Knolland from Wichita, Kansas. Kiana was also the spokesperson for Monday’s State competition. Here’s hoping for a 3-peat in the future for Kansas!
Leah Ost: Development Coordinator, email@example.com
220 S. Fifth Street, Manhattan, KS 66502
The next meeting of the Pawnee Mental Health Services’ Board of Directors will be on Tuesday, March 25, at 4:30pm, in the Conference Room of Pawnee’s Clay Center office. The meeting is open to the public.
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 12, 2014
Contact: Clint Blaes
Minnesota man sentenced to 12 years for human trafficking in Kansas
OAKLEY – (March 12, 2014) – A Minnesota man convicted of aggravated human trafficking in Logan County was sentenced today to more than 12 years in prison, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said.
Preston Sanders, 28, of St. Paul, Minn., was sentenced to 147 months in the Kansas Department of Corrections by Judge Glenn D. Schiffner. A Logan County jury found Sanders guilty in October 2013 of transporting a person under 18 years of age knowing that person would be used for the sexual gratification of another. He also was found guilty of transporting an open container of alcohol, furnishing alcohol to a minor and driving on a suspended license.
The investigation began after a traffic stop on Interstate 70 involving the vehicle in which Sanders was traveling. The charges stemmed from an investigation by the Logan County Sheriff’s Office, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, the Kansas Highway Patrol, the Des Moines, Iowa, Police Department and the St. Paul, Minn., Police Department.
The case was prosecuted by Logan County Attorney Margaret P. Mahoney and Assistant Attorney General Christine Ladner of Schmidt’s office.
On Thursday March 6th, 2014 the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office was notified of the following incident; An 11 year old girl reported that she was walking in the city of St.Mary’s at approximately 3:30 p.m. March 6th. She had been walking in an alley when she saw a white van turn down the same alley she was walking in, driving towards her. She cut through a yard because the van was coming towards her. The girl who was now walking on Palmer Street watched the van emerge from the alley and come back on Palmer Street driving towards her again. She said the van stopped near her and the driver yelled “hey come here”. She said she ran from the van and was able run to her home. The girl described the van as a white Chevrolet van with three windows on each side. She believed the rear windows were tinted dark. She said the van had dents and scratches on the passenger side door. She believed the van had a blue colored license plate that said Nebraska. The driver was described as a male in his late twenties with a short brown goatee. He was wearing black sunglasses and a black baseball cap with no logo on it.
The Sheriff’s Office would like an opportunity speak with the individual who was driving the van involved in this incident. This incident occurred in the vicinity of Palmer and Lasley Streets, and 3 and 4th street. If you have information about the van, driver, or if you believe you may have witnessed this please contact the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office at 785-457-3353 or the St.Mary’s Police Department at 785-437-2311.
The identity of the deceased individual located on February 28th, in the water at the Tuttle Creek Lake has been identified as 56 year old Jane Peterson of rural St.George. Jane Peterson had been reported as a missing person by
family members on January 19th 2014. The Sheriff’s Office does not suspect foul play in this incident. The cause of death identified by the pathologist in this matter was drowning and hypothermia.