News

Wed
30
Jan

Demand high for infant care

Finding the right preschool or daycare center is a problem facing today’s working parents.

But when the choices are limited, especially in rural communities, it only compounds the problem. But organizations like Child Care Aware of Kansas are hoping to make the search a little easier.

Based in Salina, the nonprofit oversees the statewide childcare resource and referral network. The group works to make sure families have access to affordable, high-quality child care, supports professional development events for childcare providers and advocates for children and families.

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Wed
30
Jan

Glaser is Citizen of Year

ALAN RUSCH/Ellsworth County Independent-Reporter

Ellsworth banker Curt Glaser, center, is shown flanked by employees of Ellsworth’s First Bank Kansas after being recognized as the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year.

ALAN RUSCH/ECI-R

Auctioneer J.L. Kasper reads a ball during the drawing for the $5,000 giveaway.

Surrounded by family and friends Saturday night, Ellsworth banker Curt Glaser was recognized as the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year.

Glaser was nominated by Stacie Schmidt on behalf of the Smoky Hill Development Corporation. Glaser has been a board member for more than 20 years.

“Curt has been an instrumental player in economic development, community development and creative planning efforts for the City of Ellsworth,” Schmidt wrote in her nomination letter.

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Wed
30
Jan

OPEN

Nearly 24 hours before the federal government shutdown ended Friday, Kansas Farm Service Agency officials announced county local offices would reopen.

USDA officials closed Farm Service Agency offices nationwide on Dec. 28, a decision affecting Ellsworth County farmers and ranchers unable to make loan payments or enroll in certain programs.

In mid-January, federal ag officials announced local offices would open during a three-day window to handle certain services for farmers.

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Wed
30
Jan

Wilson untouched by USD 112 decision

HOLYROOD — After several weeks of debate, the Central Plains USD 112 board of education made a decision during a special board meeting Monday in Holyrood on the building configuration for the 2019-20 school year.

By a vote of six to one, approval was given to a motion by Tony Zink, board vice president, to change the role of Central Plains Middle School in Bushton to an intermediate school for Central Plains students in grades four, five and six, and transfer Central Plains students in the seventh and eighth grades to Central Plains High School in Claflin. In addition, if at all possible, junior high sports and activities will remain in Bushton for as long as possible.

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Wed
23
Jan

Foundation opens 2019 grant season

The Smoky Hills Charitable Foundation is accepting online applications for spring grants through Friday, March 15.

More than $117,000 is available through the following funds:

• Smoky Hills Community Fund — Supports projects that improve quality of life for Ellsworth County residents.

• Smoky Hills Healthy Living Fund/Kansas Health Foundation Fund — Granted to projects that promote healthy lifestyles, behaviors and environments.

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Wed
23
Jan

Who will win $5,000?

When Tami McGreevy and members of the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce board started planning this year’s meeting, they knew they wanted something different, something outside of the box.

They wanted to shake things up beyond the same dinner/program format offered to chamber members year in and year out.

That’s when McGreevy, the chamber’s executive director, had an idea.

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Wed
23
Jan

Wilson Foods is open

ALAN RUSCH/ECI-R

Rick Weigel, owner of Wilson Foods, makes a point.

Wilson Foods is open for business — and plans to stay that way.

That was the message Rick Weigel and his family, owners of this town’s only grocery store, delivered Monday night to a crowd of 70 plus people packed into the tight confines of Wilson City Hall.

“We’re going to do everything we can for you,” Weigel said during the public meeting.“Hopefully that will bring customers back.”

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Wed
23
Jan

Keeping the memory alive

Courtesy Photo

Brooke Wallace and Sara Prochaska are shown in Abilene at Brooke’s crowning as 2019 Miss Rodeo Kansas.

Courtesy Photo

D.J. Prochaska is the inspiration for the business started by her mother, Sara.

As Sara Prochaska emerged from the grief of losing her 14-yearold daughter, D.J., in a tragic motor vehicle accident, she couldn’t help but think about a conversation they had in the weeks before her death.

At the time of the October 2002 accident, D.J. had recently won the Miss Congeniality title during the Miss Central Plains Rodeo Association competition. As part of her wardrobe, D.J. wore patriotic-themed western chaps designed and sewn by her mother.

“You know, you really should sew for other people,” D.J. said. “And you should call your business,‘Lazy P Creations.’”

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Fri
18
Jan

Comment period on Kanopolis feedlot application nears close

   Kansas Department of Health and Environment officials have temporarily rejected a permit request by a  local cattle operation to expand its facility. 

   Earlier this year, Ed Schneider with 4 S Feeders, of Kanopolis, asked state health officials to reissue a  modified permit, allowing the operation to expand its facility.

   According to the application, the permit  would be issued for a confined animal feeding operation for 3,999 head of cattle weighing more than  700 pounds - an increase in permitted number of cattle from the previous permit. Other modifications  included an additional 11.1 acres of pens, feed storage area, a settling basin and a second earthen  wastewater retention structure. 

   During a June 5 public hearing, several residents turned out to oppose the permit, and offered testimony.  Only one individual spoke in favor of Schneider’s request. 

Wed
16
Jan

USDA to reopen FSA offices for limited services

The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that many Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices will reopen temporarily in the coming days to perform certain limited services for farmers and ranchers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has recalled about 2,500 FSA employees to open offices on Thursday, Jan. 17 and Friday, Jan. 18, in addition to Tuesday, Jan. 22, during normal business hours. The offices will be closed for the federal Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on Monday, Jan. 21. 

In almost half of FSA locations, FSA staff will be available to assist agricultural producers with existing farm loans and to ensure the agency provides 1099 tax documents to borrowers by the Internal Revenue Service's deadline.

Additionally, as an intermittent incidental duty, staff may release proceeds from the sale of loan security by signing checks jointly payable to FSA that are brought to the county office by producers.

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