News

Thu
09
Jan
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Council accepts $6 million water project bid

WASHINGTON CITY COUNCIL

A $6,131,421 bid for the city’s water improvement project was awarded Monday night to Orr Wyatt Streetscapes, Raytown, Mo., by the Washington City Council.

Present were Mayor Ryan Kern and council members Don Imhoff, Melanie Bryant, Kevin Elder, Theresa Herrs and Roxanne Schottel.

The award is contingent upon concurrence from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Kansas Department of Commerce’s Community Development Block Grant program.

The low base bid was $5,991,421. The council awarded contracts for four alternates at a total of $140,000 for rehabilitation of the clear well piping at the water plant, and rehabilitation of the wellhouse piping at the city wells northwest of town.

 

 

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Thu
09
Jan
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Clifton has wettest year on record

Clifton had the wettest year on record in 2019, according to data going back to 1931.

Clifton’s weather reporting location reported 51.72 inches of precipitation last year, according to Mary Knapp with the Kansas Weather Data Library. The previous record was 49.75 inches in 1993.

The other reporting stations in the county recorded anywhere from 40 to 45 inches of rain last year. The average amount of precipitation for the area is about 31.5 inches a year.

The station 4.8 miles southwest of Morrowville reported 45.45 inches in 2019 while the location 7.8 southeast of Greenleaf reported 45.58 inches.

 

 

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Thu
02
Jan
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Smithsonian to house artifacts of Haddam native

Smithsonian to house artifacts of Haddam native
Smithsonian to house artifacts of Haddam native

The Smithsonian in Washington D.C. selected clothing items and ribbons belonging to the late Blanche McKenney Hunter to display in a future exhibit. Those items include three of the ribbons pictured at left with the oldest being from 1895 and the riding habit.

Smithsonian to house artifacts of Haddam native

This jodhpur costume from Blanche McKenney Hunter’s costume trunk was one of several clothing items going on exhibit.

Smithsonian to house artifacts of Haddam native

The riding stirrups belonging to the Haddam native were also selected for the Smithsonian exhibit.

Smithsonian to house artifacts of Haddam native

The Roman Toga worn by Bill Harding, who performed with the Haddam native, will be displayed in the exhibit.

The Smithsonian in Washington D.C. will display clothing items and ribbons belonging to Haddam native Blanche McKenney Hunter. The items come from her years of performing on horseback. She was the champion long distance rider of the world in 1896 and rode with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show in 1900. In 1908 she and her husband, Lem, formed The Blanche McKenney Hunter Racing Combination.

The Smithsonian gathered the material for a rotating exhibit that is scheduled to open in 2021.

According to Fred Barber, of Smithville, Mo., whose grandfather, Bill Harding, performed in Blanche McKenney Hunter’s shows, the Harding family donated about three years ago most of Blanche McKenney Hunter’s costumes and horse memorabilia to the Buffalo Bill Museum of the West in Cody, Wyo.

 

 

Thu
02
Jan
Edgar's picture

Deer collisions on the increase in November and December

Deer collisions on the increase in November and December

Source: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

The number of vehicle collisions involving deer are on the rise in recent weeks thanks to hunting season, sunrise and sunset hours during peak driving times, and the deer mating season. Despite the increased number, though, the number of deer-related accidents is significantly down from recent years.

From Jan. 1 through November this year there have been 105 reported deer/ vehicle collisions in Washington County. That number is down significantly during the first 11 months of the year compared with the past 5 years. There were 136 reported deer accidents through November in 2018, 137 accidents through November in 2017, and 154 accidents through November in 2016.

 

 

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Thu
02
Jan
Edgar's picture

A journalist in the Middle East

A journalist in the Middle East

In the fall Holtmeier began covering the protests in Lebanon. Her coverage of the event as a freelancer for a magazine in Dubai has landed her a new job in a new country.

A journalist in the Middle East

Holtmeier has been exploring the Middle East, including the Roman ruins in Baalbek, Lebanon, since she arrived in 2018.

A journalist in the Middle East

Holtmeier interviewed women at a tutoring center near Beirut during some of her reporting over the past year.

A journalist in the Middle East

Holtmeier has interviewed several Syrian refugees during her college research, and later reporting for magazines in Beirut. Here she met with a refugee in the Sheikh Raja settlement outside of Chtaura, Lebanon.

For the past 15 months Washington County High School graduate Lauren Holtmeier “barely scraped by” while living in Beirut, Lebanon. The 25-year-old worked as many as four jobs as she lived in what she described as one of the most beautiful places she has been. She went to Beirut for research but has spent much of the past year tutoring and writing for magazines. The budding journalist who has spent the past few months covering Beirut’s protests will move to Dubai in January pending paperwork approval to continue her journalism career.

Holtmeier lost her job at business publication Executive Magazine at the end of October after working there for about 10 months.

 

 

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Thu
02
Jan
Edgar's picture

Tax rebate program to include 50-plus properties

Washington County’s Neighborhood Revitalization program has about 50 new participants since 2018. The program began in 2017 with 1 participant. The program allows a five-year graduated scale of tax rebates for properties enrolled in the program, which includes new construction and additions or significant remodels of residential, agriculture and commercial properties.

In 2017 the 1 property enrolled in the program received a rebate of $657.15.

In 2018 the 15 properties enrolled in the program received a collective rebate of $21,333.33.

 

 

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Thu
26
Dec
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Old lime kiln was important to construction in 1880s

Old lime kiln was important to construction in 1880s

A 140-plusyear-old stone arch is tucked away in a pasture along K-148 near Brantford. The stone arch provided storage for barrels of lime in the late 1880s when the lime kiln, which is located just behind the arch, was in full production. Exposed limestone can still be seen there.

Old lime kiln was important to construction in 1880s

This old, undated photo of the stone arch shows the structure’s original length. Lots of the stones have since fallen away, making the arch much shorter. The actual kiln was built behind the arch in the hill, pictured in the bottom right photo. The valley is now littered with stones.

Old lime kiln was important to construction in 1880s

A tree is growing out of what was once the chimney of the lime kiln.

Old lime kiln was important to construction in 1880s

Decades ago lots of initials could be seen scrached on the inside walls of the limestone arch, according to Dean Seifert.

Old lime kiln was important to construction in 1880s
Old lime kiln was important to construction in 1880s

When 94-year-old Dean Seifert was a school boy attending the long-gone Seifert School northeast of Brantford, his teacher would take the children on a field trip each spring. The group would walk nearly a mile to the south to an old lime kiln, which is located in the southwest quarter of Section 10 in a pasture along K-148.

The kiln was located in a valley between two hills. An arch was built over the valley with a roof tall enough that a team of horses could back under the storage area of the arch. Seifert said he remembered seeing many initials scratched into the stones of the arch that the kids admired during the field trips.

Andrew Erickson owned the pasture with the mine by the time Seifert was taking school trips.

 

 

Thu
26
Dec
Edgar's picture

Trash fees to increase in 2020

COUNTY COMMISSION

It will cost more to dump trash and construction materials at the county landfill/transfer station in the new year. On Monday the Board of County Commissioners voted to increase prices per the recommendation of Noxious Weed and Solid Waste director Duane Bruna. Bruna said the minimum gate fee will increase from $8 to $10, and fees for trash from in-county residents will increase $4 to $46 a ton while construction and demolition material will increase $10 to $45 a ton. Compost and brush will remain the same at $35 a ton.

Bruna said the new rates were decided by comparing rates of other area counties. He said rates were increased slightly in January 2017. Money from the increased prices will go toward a reserve to purchase land and equipment.

Bruna first told the commissioners of his proposed price increases last month.

 

Thu
26
Dec
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Local donors give to Salvation Army kettles

Local donors give to Salvation Army kettles

Members of the Farmington 4-H Club rang bells at the Salvation Army kettles during Santa’s Gifts and Goodies on Dec.

7. About $500 was donated in the kettles at the event.

Salvation Army bell ringers at this year’s Santa’s Gifts and Goodies in Washington helped bring in nearly $500 worth of donations. Randy Hubbard, who is in charge of the Salvation Army kettles in Washington County as well as the distribution of funds collected locally, said the two kettles at Washington’s craft show on Dec. 7 brought in just short of $500, which nearly matched last year’s $500 total. About $400 was collected from the kettles at the event in 2017. The funds are used to help people in need of assistance, including help with rent, utilities or prescriptions and to those who have had a house fire.

Both this year and in 2017 a $50 bill was put into one of the kettles at Santa’s Gifts and Goodies, and in 2018 there was a $100 bill.

Farmington 4-H Club members rang the bells at the kettles at Santa’s Gifts and Goodies this year.  

 

Thu
26
Dec
Edgar's picture

Decorated windows bring joy to Morrowville

Decorated windows bring joy to Morrowville

The south window on the Stanton building features a Nativity scene that Steve Talkington said he hopes to grow in the future.

Decorated windows bring joy to Morrowville

The Talkington family in Morrowville has decorated the windows of the Stanton building for Christmas. The east window features homemade gingerbread characters made from plywood.

About this time last year, Morrowville resident Steve Talkington looked in the big windows of the brick Stanton building in downtown Morrowville and was saddened at how dark they looked during the holiday season.

He saw potential in all that glass, he said.

He had recently started working for Stanton Farm Service, and he thought that by lighting up those windows he could add a little Christmas cheer to the community.

He and his wife, Jennifer, went to work decorating the windows last December with a Christmas tree and lights. He didn’t tell Bruce Stanton, of Fairbury, who owns the building and was born and raised in Morrowville, about the decorating ahead of time.

 

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