News

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.

Wed
16
Jan

Lawmakers play catchup with state programs

Wilborn

Johnson

The 2019 session of the Kansas Legislature started Monday, but Ellsworth County’s two representatives — Sen. Richard Wilborn and Rep. Steven Johnson — had already heard plenty by then.

A week before the session, it was impossible to leave a message on Johnson’s voice mail because it was full. Newspaper reporters. Fellow lawmakers. Constituents. They all wanted a moment of his time.

As for Wilborn, part of his pre-session time was spent responding to written questions from Eric Coonrod’s government class at Ellsworth High School.

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Wed
16
Jan

School meeting draws crowd

Brokes

Schiermeyer

WILSON — The Wilson School commons was filled to capacity Friday as young and old alike turned out for a community meeting to discuss possible cuts the Central Plains USD 112 board of education is considering for the 2019-20 school year.

Three school board members — Michelle Brokes of Wilson, Tony Zink of Claflin and Brad Schiermeyer of Wilson — attended. They tried to clarify a time frame for decisions.

At previous board meetings, members indicated they wanted to make a final decision on possible cuts no later than February. That, apparently, has changed.

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Wed
16
Jan

Wilson’s Grocery Store

ALAN RUSCH/Ellsworth County Independent-Reporter

Above, Rick Weigel, owner of Wilson Foods in downtown Wilson, checks his computer in his office at the grocery store. Inset photo, the outside of Wilson Foods serves as a landmark to area shoppers.

WILSON — Rick Weigel’s health was deteriorating. For months now, Weigel and his doctors couldn’t find the source of his illness, which was taking a toll on the local grocer, his family and his business, Wilson Foods.

But if his health issues weren’t enough, there were the stressors that go hand in hand with running a small business. Weigel couldn’t help but feel like he was being tugged back and forth between running a business he could be proud of, and conserving what little energy he had left.

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Wed
09
Jan

Wilson officials hear school concerns

Criswell

Wilson

WILSON — Get informed. That was the message Kenroy Wilson, Wilson School principal, and Wilson resident David Criswell had for the Wilson City Council Monday regarding possible cutbacks in the 2019-20 school year.

Wilson said a community meeting is planned for 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11, at the Wilson School Commons concerning proposals under consideration by the USD 112 board of education for saving money to help solve the district’s budgetary problems.

Wilson said Option 3 of the four options is significant for the community.

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Wed
09
Jan

Just Like Mom’s Cooking

Louis “Butch” Brown prepares his Mama Mia’s Cranberry Relish for the Ellsworth Community Thanksgiving Dinner. Brown prepares noon meals at the Ellsworth Senior Center.

As Louis “Butch” Brown, the most recent cook at the Ellsworth Senior Center, prepared his famous Mama Mia’s Cranberry Relish for the next day’s Community Thanksgiving Dinner, his thoughts turned to a special person — his mom, Leda Minarani.

She passed away in 2007, just a few days before Thanksgiving — and was buried the day after the holiday.

Brown prepared the relish in her memory for the more than 100 guests that attended the annual dinner at the center. He even used her old hand grinder to process several of the ingredients.

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Wed
09
Jan

Crowd seeks answers on schools

ALAN RUSCH/Ellsworth County I-R

Superintendent Greg Clark chats with patrons who attended this past week’s USD 112 special board meeting.

HOLYROOD — Nearly three quarters of the bleachers on the west side of the Central Plains Elementary School gym in Holyrood were filled as more than 135 patrons attended the Jan. 2 special meeting of the Central Plains USD 112 board of education.

Several patrons voiced concerns during the 101 minute-long meeting called to discuss possible cutbacks in the 2019-20 school year.

“Nobody wants to lose your school, and you know that,” said Sue Young, a retired Wilson Elementary School teacher.“It’s the heart of your community.”

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Wed
02
Jan

Water game plan vital to region’s future

When Ellsworth City Administrator Scott Moore plans for the future of his community, water always seems to be a part of the big picture.

It’s an issue he likes to keep in mind as he looks ahead, anticipating what the city might face 10, 20, even 50 years down the road.

And while the subject itself doesn’t always garner the same attention as issues like economic development, Moore knows that developing a game plan now will make a real difference later on.

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Wed
02
Jan

The beer could be stronger in April

Hoffman

In April, near beer — often referred to as 3.2 beer — could turn into the real thing, according to a new state law discussed by Ellsworth City Council members at their Dec. 26 meeting.

Acting city attorney Patrick Hoffman said the Kansas Legislature approved a bill that allows for an “enhanced” cereal malt beverage license in communities that revise their ordinances to accommodate the change.

His comments came as the council considered licenses for: National Drovers Hall of Fame, American Legion Post 174, Ellsworth Municipal Golf Course, El-Kan Western Riders, Coach & Four Bowling Lanes, Pizza Hut, Gene’s Heartland Foods, Kwik Shop, Ampride and Casey’s General Store.

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