News

Wed
26
Dec

USD 112 works to catch up on funds

When Central Plains USD 112 Superintendent Greg Clark started in his administrative role five years ago, the school district would soon be feeling the brunt of the state’s newly adopted finance formula.

At the time, Central Plains, like other public school districts across Kansas, had already budgeted for the current school year using a 23-year-old state finance formula allocating money on a per-pupil basis. Instead, a block grant formula conceived by former Gov. Sam Brownback replaced the traditional finance formula, reducing funding those districts expected for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years. For Central Plains, that meant losing $500,000 over the two-year period despite an enrollment increase.

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Wed
19
Dec

Elementary school project about a month behind

BILL BECKMEYER/Ellsworth County Independent-Reporter

Construction continues on the new addition at Ellsworth Elementary School. The project is behind schedule but should be finished in May. Concrete has been poured for the floor in the new cafeteria and several cinder block walls are up.

The construction project at Ellsworth Elementary School is about a month behind schedule. But Superintendent Dale Brungardt told members of the Ellsworth-Kanopolis-Geneseo School board at their Dec. 10 meeting the delay shouldn’t be a problem. The project is expected to be finished in May instead of April.

Brungardt said the floor for the school’s new cafeteria has been poured and several walls are up.

In other business, the board shared information about possible capital outlay projects, including the projected purchase of vehicles. The district is considering the purchase of a Ford Transit van, as it holds two more people than a Suburban and could transport most of the tennis team and its coaches.

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Wed
19
Dec

Trash will cost more to collect

Ellsworth residents will soon be paying more for their twice-a- week trash service.

At the Dec. 11 meeting of the Ellsworth City Council, approval was given to a request by Mike Slechta of Slechta Enterprises to increase the rate from $14.10 to $14.25 — a 1 percent (15-cent) increase, effective Jan. 1.

Slechta requested the increase because of the higher cost of annual operations and maintenance in order to maintain the current level of service.

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Wed
19
Dec

Carrying on the Tradition

LINDA MOWERY-DENNING/Ellsworth County Independent-Reporter

Deanna and Rick Soukup continue the Soukup family’s retail history in downtown Ellsworth.

LINDA MOWERY-DENNING/Ellsworth County I-R

This is one of Deanna’s favorite designs.

The night before Jacob Palmer’s funeral, Edie Grogg of the Ellsworth Service Center called Rick and Deanna Soukup for help.

Dozens of tow truck drivers planned to honor their Salina colleague with a procession to the memorial service at the First Church of the Nazarene. The 32-year-old Palmer was killed in early November when his wrecker rolled into a ditch on the Kansas Turnpike.

Unfortunately, organizers needed two 3-by-5-feet black and yellow banners and a casket cover as part of the tribute and they didn’t have them.

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Wed
12
Dec

Hold the Presses

Photo Courtesy of Ellsworth High School Journalism Class

Members of the Ellsworth High School yearbook staff are: Front row — Courtney Wise, Kelsey Ashbaugh and Taylor Holecek and back row — Parker McGowan.

Ellsworth Junior-Senior High School yearbook staff members have won the Kansas Scholastic Press Association’s (KSPA) All-Kansas award for the 2018 issue of the Elkan.

The award is the highest award given in the organization’s yearly yearbook critique service. Students on the staff were co-editors Taylor Holecek and Courtney Wise, Kelsey Ashbaugh, Kylie Ashbaugh, Mena Blanding, Parker McGowan and Kourtney McKinney. The yearbook advisor is Dawnae Bunch, journalist teacher.

In the Nov. 4 notification by KSPA, the staff was praised for a well-written, attractive design book.

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Wed
12
Dec

Developer plans more than 20 family homes across county

These are an artist’s conception of the singlefamily homes Missouri developer Pete Ramsel plans to build in Ellsworth County, starting in 2019.

If all goes as planned, Missouri developer Pete Ramsel hopes to break ground in the spring of 2019 on a group of single-family homes that has the potential to affect every town in Ellsworth County.

Ramsel visited Ellsworth County Monday, Dec. 3, to meet with officials in Ellsworth, Holyrood, Lorraine, Kanopolis and Wilson and determine the availability of lots.

Discussion in each of the communities centered on “workforce” housing for families in search of moderate income, affordable homes.

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Wed
12
Dec

A Very Czech Christmas

ALAN RUSCH/Ellsworth County Independent-Reporter

Colton Covieo and his brother, Casey, visit with Santa Claus Saturday during a visit to the Iron Lion in Wilson as part of the Wilson Chamber of Commerce’ Santa Day. Santa was accompanied by, back row from left, Jessica Wonderlich, 2018 Miss Kansas Czech-Slovak Queen second runner-up; Emma Carlin, the 2018 Miss Kansas Czech-Slovak Queen; and Haley Piroutek, 2018 Miss Kansas Czech-Slovak Queen first runner-up.

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Wed
12
Dec

Childcare officials field questions, ideas

More than 50 parents, board members and others attended a meeting Dec. 5 at the Ellsworth Childcare and Learning Center to offer suggestions on ways to move the financially-troubled non-profit service forward.

The center, which opened in 2012, serves 49 families and 75 children in Ellsworth, Rice, Lincoln and Saline counties.

The center’s president-elect, Sarah Kueser, and other board members also fielded audience questions, most of which targeted funding issues.

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Wed
05
Dec

Tariffs continue to shrink farmers’ pocketbooks

For John Thaemert and other Kansas farmers, the most recent round of newly negotiated U.S. trade agreements has more questions than answers.

Like most small, independent producers, Thaemert, who farms more than 1,000 acres of wheat, milo and soybean crops near Sylvan Grove, has the same hope each year as he drills seed — that what springs forth results in good yields at a fair price.

But trade tariffs imposed this year have affected market prices, which, in turn, hurt farmers like Thaemert just trying to make a profit.

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Wed
05
Dec

Ho, Ho, Ho Jolly Old Elf visits Kanopolis

At left, Carinne Halfhill smiles as she eats the Christmas cookie she decorated Saturday during an Afternoon with Santa at the Fort Harker Commanding Officers Quarters in Kanopolis.

ALAN RUSCH/Ellsworth County Independent-Reporter

Malle Schwerdtfeger wears a Santa hat while visiting with the Jolly Old Elf himself Saturday during the Kanopolis Recreation Commission’s annual Afternoon with Santa at Fort Harker in Kanopolis.

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