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You are our   Visitor

 

The April 15, 2014 Edition

 

of

 

The Newsleaf

Vol. 11  Issue 15

QUOTES 

"It is necessary to watch people in Washington all the time to keep them from unnecessary expenditure of money. They have all lived off the national Government so long in that city that they are inclined to regard any sort of employment as a Christmas tree, and if we are not careful, they will run up a big expense bill on us."  The Real Calvin Coolidge p. 136

 

It should be the highest ambition of every American to extend his views beyond himself, and to bear in mind that his conduct will not only affect himself, his county, and his immediate posterity, but that its influence may be co-extensive with the world, and stamp political happiness or misery on ages yet unborn.  George Washington

 

Never did there devolve on any generation of men higher trusts than now devolve upon us, for the preservation of this Constitution and the harmony and peace of all who are destined to live under it. Let us make our generation one of the strongest and brightest links in that golden chain which is destined, I fondly believe, to grapple the people of all the States to this Constitution for ages to come." The Constitution and the Union by Daniel Webster March 07, 1850

 

War is when your government tells you who the enemy is.  Revolution is when you figure it out for yourself.

  

BETWEEN THE ISSUES:

 

 

FRONT PAGE

 

 

ACCHS PROM HELD ON RAINY NIGHT

The annual social event for the high school, namely the Junior-Senior Prom, was held this last Saturday evening in the Effingham Blue Building.  The revelers arrived in various modes of transportation and were greeted by a crowd of family and friends that came out to see the well dressed youngsters.  Shiny cars were the norm but one couple arrived in a 6X6 Army vehicle and yet another arrived on horseback.  Fortunately the looming storm waited until all the attendees had arrived.

Later in the evening the party moved to the ACCES Gym for the “After Prom” party.  This event is sponsored by the community with heavy participation of the parents of the Juniors and Seniors.

The Newsleaf was fortunate to have an opportunity to get some photos of each of the attendees.  Those have been posted to our web site for all to share.  Go to:  www.thenewsleaf.com. or  2014 ACCHS PROM PHOTOS

 

Atchison Co. Solid Waste Update-Effingham

The Atchison County Commission has decided to extend the current Martin's Trash Service contract that services the Effingham Transfer Station.  The Commission was in agreement with the Committee regarding the need for more time, information, and discussion before any substantial decisions about the Effingham Station can be made.  The approved addendum changes two items from the current contract: the termination date has been moved to December 31, 2014, and the Atchison County Lake portion of the service has been removed, effective upon the ratification of the addendum.  In light of these events, the Solid Waste Committee meeting that was scheduled for April 11th, was canceled. The next meeting will be tentatively scheduled for May.

 

SIGNING CEREMONY HELD

Taylor Vandeloo, ACCHS senior, signed her national letter of intent at 12:20 pm last Thursday in the JSH gymnasium to play basketball for Sterling College.  She is shown with family and coaches in the photo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW FIREFIGHTING TRAINING

Future firefighters were seen training in the proper methods of driving the fire trucks just west of town this last week.  Elijah Potts is behind the wheel and brother, Isaiah, is checking for obstacles.

 

THANKS

The Town and Country Center has finally received enough funds to pay for the paving project in the rear of their building.  The Effingham Lions Club donated enough to finish the project.  Everyone at the Center says thanks to the Lions for their generous support.

 

RSVP EXTENDS THANK YOU TO THE COMMUNITY

The Board of Directors of RSVP Inc. wants to thank the community for their support of our annual fundraiser held last month in Effingham.  The final accounting shows the event raised $3100 which will be used throughout the coming year to provide support and encouragement to our community members undergoing cancer treatment.

We want to give special recognition to the persons who made the event so successful.  They include the following businesses, clubs and individuals who donated items for the Silent Auction:

Effingham Community Club                      Armstrong Tires

Effingham Lions Club                               Caplingers, LLC

Union Church Mary Martha Circle             Coder Electric Inc

Exchange National Bank & Trust               Martin Construction

4-M Car Wash                                          Martin Trash Service

Hayleigh Diebolt (Thirty One)              Lisa Coder (Grace Adele)

Debbie Coder (Mary Kay Cosmetics)         Amy Cline (Hair Loft)

Adam Diebolt                                            Raphael/Bea Ray

Joanne Bodenhausen                                  Lois Monson

Dorothy McDermed                                   Mike/Kathleen Moses

Emma Royer                                             Larry/Dana Jordan

Joe/Deb Ryan                                            Austin/Pam Martin

Greg/Brandy Monson                                 Larry/Martha Coder

Our cooks, servers and kitchen help:

Chuck Hawk & Alan Dunster- The grill masters

Amy Coder, Becky Hawk, Pam Martin as well as Brandy and Martha- for all those cupcakes!

Courtney Coder, Lora Royer, Emma Royer, Megan Royer, Michelle Wessel, Janette Martin, Sue Richenburg for helping prepare the dinner and doing such an awesome job of serving.

Thanks also to Larry Coder, Greg Monson, Joe Ryan, Larry Jordan and Wes Lanter for their help before, after and during the event. A special thank you to Lois Monson for her work on the beautiful quilt.

We have only one other request of the community.  One of our uses for the funds raised is to send a VISA cash card to those from the area who are undergoing cancer treatment as a reminder of the community’s support and encouragement.

If you know of someone in this situation, we hope you will take the time to refer them for receipt of a card from RSVP.  Both you and the person receiving the card remain anonymous.  Information about making a referral is available at www.rsvpAtchisonCounty.org  or by contacting the organization by email at rsvp@verizon.net or phone (913)370-3295.  Martha Coder, President; Dana Jordan, Vice President; Deb Ryan Secretary-Treasurer; Brandy Monson–Board member.

 

ALL AROUND US

 

Ladies Night Out a Success

St. Ann's Knights of Columbus hosted the "'The Ladies Night Out" March 29th at St. Ann's Parish center.  One hundred ladies and their guests enjoyed a delicious barbecued meal served by the knights and a fun night playing Bunco.

 

St .Ann News

St Ann's Altar Society met April 7th at 7:00 p.m. in the Parish Center. President Monica Taliaferro opened the meeting with prayer. Eleven members answered roll call with "What are your Easter Plans."  Devotions were given by Alice Wessel. New business discussed was the upcoming Easter Bake sale to be held April 19th, in front of the City Building at 8:00 a.m. until sold out. Altar Society Officers are in charge of the bake sale. All parishioners are asked to bring a baked item to the City Building before 8 a.m. It was announced that there is a basket in the Narthex to make a donation for Easter flowers in memory of a loved one. Upcoming events, First Holy Communion and Mother's Day, were discussed. The meeting was closed with prayer. Refreshments were served by hostess, Dalon Stevens and Lisa Coder.

 

ANNUAL EASTER BAKE SALE

St. Ann’s Catholic Church Altar Society, Effingham, is holding its annual Easter bake sale, Saturday, April 19 on Main Street in front of the Effingham City Building.  It is from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. or on until sold out.  Items to be sold include cakes, pies, bread, cookies, homemade noodles, cookies.  Shop early to be sure to get what you want.

 

ACHESON TO ENTERTAIN CLUB

Eileen Acheson will entertain the Sunny Hill Thimble Club, Wednesday, April 30 at the Town and Country Senior Citizens Center in Effingham at 11:30.

The Sewing and Machine Embroidery Club will meet Wednesday, April 16 at Kentucky Fried Chicken in Atchison, Kansas.   If you would like to come for lunch we eat at 11:30-12:00.   The meeting will begin at 1:00.

Bring all the pretty things you have made since our last meeting.  We have some new people coming.  If you have any questions, call 9134-886-6527.

 

Lions Club 2014

Effingham Lions Club President Jon Allen welcomed all club members to the April 9th, 2014, meeting and opened with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Lion Secretary Chuck Hawk gave the Minutes of the last two meetings.  Lion Treasurer Paul Lundgren presented the treasurer’s report.  New business included a presentation by Lion Clarence Todd about the parking lot behind the Senior Center.  The Club voted to donate $2000 to the Effingham Town and Country Senior Citizens Center new reconditioned rear parking lot.  Also, $100 was donated to the David Bodenhausen memorial.  The upcoming ‘Pool Run’ was discussed and plans are being made for this June 7, 2014, event.  Posters and advertising information will soon be getting out to the public, Lion Lora Royer stated.

Past events were discussed as follows:  The Chili Cookoff 2014 winners were; 1st place Julie Baker, 2nd place Steve Farrell, 3rd place Deann Wehking, and 4th place Kate Oswald.  The Ticket Raffle winners were; $100 Todd Gigstad, $50 Cameron Cooper, and $25 Zachory Falk.  The Pancake Breakfast was a success with good food and fellowship.  Thanks to all attending these events to support fund raising for the Effingham Lions Club. 

The Effingham Lions Club recently lost a Charter Lions Club Member of 45 years; David Bodenhausen.  Dave was always an active member these 45 years, working Lions projects, recruiting new members and serving many offices, including President several times.  His attendance at District and State Lions Club conventions was evident in the fact others from around the District recognized his presence.  In the Effingham Lions Club, Dave was in charge of the Broom Sales fund raiser from it’s beginning; making many trips to KC where they were made to selling them at Lions events and out of his garage.  He organized the location of most local Lions events getting locations, times, and dates.  His smiling face and deep voice greeted people purchasing tickets at ACCHS athletic events;  this donated time gave the Lions Club credit points for building rent at USD 377.  Dave was also quite active in his Church and community, and known for his participation on the Effingham Tree Board.  He would get Lions Club members to help plant trees and kept his attention on the trees’ condition by watering and driving around with his watchful eye.  The Effingham Lions Club and the Effingham community will miss Dave and his ‘teal green’ pickup driving around town.

For more information about the Effingham Lions Club, contact President Jon Allen, 913-886 3958.  Lions Club motto:  “We Serve.”  The Effingham Lions club appreciates all the community support received at club projects and in turn donates to other community events.

 

USD 377 SCHOOL NEWS

School will be closed for Teacher Inservice on Thursday, April 17, and for Easter Break, Friday, April 18 and Monday, April 21. Vo-Tech will be in session on Monday, April 21.

Students in Mr. English's World History and Mr. Robberson's Language Arts II will hold their annual Exposition of the Multi-Genre Research Project on Monday, April 14, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the ACCJSHS Commons. This year's theme is Sustainability. Please join our students, family, and friends and see how this year's class proposes to address the problems that threaten a sustainable future.

Applications for the Talent Show Contest may be picked up in the office and are due May 1, 2014. Please return forms and entry fees to Mrs. Walters by that date. Anticipated date of the Talent Show is May 10 from 6:00-8:00 pm in the Auditorium. Entry fees are $3 per person, or $15 for groups larger than five people.

Sophomores or juniors planning to take ANY college classes next year must fill out the "Highland Community College “ASSET Test" form sent to your SCHOOL E-MAIL. Deadline to sign up is April 24!

2013-14 Yearbooks are still for sale in the ACCJSHS Office. Cost is $50 for a regular or $55 for a personalized cover.

The City of Effingham is accepting applications for Lifeguard positions until 3:00 on April 15. Applicants must be 15 years old by May 1 and have current certifications or be pursuing certifications in Lifeguarding, CPR and First Aid. Pick up an application in the JSHS Office. Return completed applications to the City office at City of Effingham, PO Box 94, Effingham, KS 66023.

A small group of the Talking Tiger Forensics team competed at the Nemaha Valley HS forensics tournament on Saturday, April 12, 2014. Congratulations to Kendra Rodecap who placed 4th in Extemporaneous Speaking and 4th in Original Oration.

The one-act play, "The Surgery," also represented the Talking Tiger Forensics team at Regional Speech and Drama Festival at Mill Valley HS on Saturday, April 12, 2014. The cast, Connor Hulett, Andrew Miller and Caleb Miller, earned a "I" rating, qualifying them to compete at State Speech and Drama Festival.

The Talking Tigers will complete the 2014 season competing at the 3A State Championships and the State Speech and Drama Festival, both of which will be held at Wichita East HS May 3, 2014.

 

 

MUSCOTAH NEWS ~ CJ Hanson

 

Brrrrr!  What happened to that nice warm weather we were having?  Hope it returns soon and to STAY!

This is Easter week and there is a lot happening in Muscotah.  It is a time to gather together as believers, remembering and worshiping Christ for His death and resurrection.  On Wednesday, April 16th there will be a Holy Week Breakfast at 7 a.m. at the United Church. Then on Maundy Thursday, April 17th at 7:30 p.m. the Larkinburg Christian Church will come to Muscotah for a joint service.  Sunday, April 20th, Easter Sunday, there will be a sunrise service at 6:30 a.m. in the sanctuary of the United Church followed by breakfast at 7, Sunday school at 9:30, service at 10:30 and then an Easter Egg Hunt.  NOTE:  The scheduled Rose Festival meeting for Thursday the 17th is canceled and will meet on Thursday the 24th so it won’t interfere with the Maundy Thursday service.

The Muscotah Outreach will host its annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 19th at 2 p.m. in the city park.  Bring your kids and grandkids age 10 and under with their baskets in hand to hunt for hundreds of eggs.

There will be a Benefit/Consignment Auction June 21st with proceeds going to help with the new building expenses.  Donations are being accepted at the Mercantile Tuesday through Friday from 10 to 6 and Saturday 9 to 5.  For more info call the Mercantile at 785-872-5000 or Dolly at 785-872-0081.

If you have a chance to attend, check out the Open Air Fair in Atchison along the riverfront on April 26th.  It will feature homegrown art, food, and culture.

The Kansas Sampler Festival in Wamego is THE place to be May 3rd and 4th.  It is a sample of the Best of Kansas!  You can find out what to see, do, hear, taste, buy, and learn about Kansas.  The Mercantile will be closed May 2, 3, 4, & 5 in order to be a part of the Festival.

Thought for the week:  Your number one priority is to make certain that you are right with God.

 

 

JackNEW BEGINNINGS ~ Jack Albright

 EMPOWERED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT

If I speak with the tongues of men and angels but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” 1 Cor. 13 NIV.

The pulpits of the world are becoming powerless because the preachers have become silent in sermons and lessons about the only true source of spiritual power-the Holy Spirit. Silence from the pulpits has caused the message of the Holy Spirit to become a secret among churches. Sermons filled only with intellectual words minus the Holy Spirit’s power, amount to noisy gongs and clanging cymbals. Powerless preaching produces powerless Christians.

Dr. Billy Graham says, “It is proper to say that anyone who is not Spirit-filled is a defective Christian, for Paul commands the Ephesians to be filled with the Spirit. Since we are ordered to be filled with the Spirit, we are sinning if we are not filled.” If it is a sin for Christians not to be filled with the Spirit, how much greater is the sinfulness and consequences of pastors and Bible-teachers who do not preach it and teach it?

Paul previously told his readers that they have been sealed with the Holy Spirit, Eph. 1:13, and that they must not grieve the Holy Spirit, Eph. 4:30. Now he tells them to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

 How does a person know if they are filled with the Holy Spirit? When the tree you planted produces an apple you know that it is an apple tree. So when we are filled with the Holy Spirit we will gradually begin to produce the fruit of the Spirit as described in Galatians 5:22, 23. “The Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. If preachers or persons in the pew have not demonstrated by their life-style that they love others or bear any of the other eight fruit of the Spirit, then we can safely conclude that they are not filled with the Holy Spirit and possibly do not know the Spirit.

Jesus thought that personal knowledge of the Holy Spirit was so important that his teachings fill three chapters in John’s Gospel. John 14, 15, and 16. Non-Spiritual preachers may only give a slight nod of recognition to those precious teachings.

The disciples were confused when Jesus told them that he was leaving. He explained that he was leaving them in physical form so he could come back as their permanent spiritual comforter, advocate, friend and guide. Jesus himself returned in the form of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts chapter two.

Jesus is the Holy Spirit and when Paul tells Christians to be filled with the Holy Spirit, he is simply telling them to be filled with Jesus himself.

I read the sermon of a preacher whose uncle said to him: “Why have all you ministers lied to us all these years? You ministers have not told us about the Holy Spirit.”

What an indictment to any and all ministers who do not tell the whole truth about the Holy Spirit. How many ministers are guilty of sinning by keeping hidden the plain truth of the Spirit of God.

The shallow intellectual preaching that we hear today reminds me of the sermon preached by the late Dr. Robert Green Lee that he called, “The Menace of Mediocrity.” One of his favorite lines naming the cause of mediocrity was this: “We have a generation of preacherettes, preaching sermonettes, to Christianettes.”

Christian friends, begin your own spiritual journey to being filled with the Holy Spirit. Ask and you shall receive.

 

 

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

 

HB 2506 AWAITS GOVERNORS SIGNATURE

The legislature sent education bill HB 2506 to Governor Brownback that adds an additional $126.2 million to Kansas schools. The bill should fully satisfy the equity portion of the Gannon lawsuit. In addition to the new funding, which will benefit every school district in the state, the bill includes new education policy that will give districts more control and flexibility to offer the best possible education to Kansas students. While there has been little said about the funding portion of the bill, there seems to be much misinformation from the KNEA and some media outlets about the policy portion, especially the teacher tenure/due process aspects of the bill. I will address what I believe the bill does.

Teacher tenure/due process: Under current law, a teacher who is employed by a school district has a right to an administrative due process hearing if the school board decides not to renew or to terminate a contract of such teacher. To qualify for such rights:  (1) The teacher must have completed at least three consecutive years of employment and been offered a fourth contract in the school district in which the teacher is currently employed; (2) the teacher must have completed at least two consecutive years of employment and been offered a third contract in the school district in which the teacher is currently employed and, prior to such employment, completed at least three consecutive years in any school district; (3) the board of education of a school district provides the right to an administrative due process hearing to a teacher by waiving the length of employment needed to attain due process rights; or (4) a teacher claims that the nonrenewal of the teacher's contract occurred because the teacher was exercising a constitutionally protected right.

This bill would eliminate a teacher's right to an administrative due process hearing based only on the length of employment (points 1, 2 and 3). Teachers would still retain the ability to request a due process hearing if their contract nonrenewal was due to an exercise of their constitutional rights (point 4) or if a board of education of a school district contractually agreed to provide such rights.

This bill did not amend any statutes concerning collective bargaining.  Therefore, the topic of "termination and nonrenewal of contracts" is still a mandatorily negotiable topic between school boards and professional employees' organizations because it falls within the category of “terms and conditions of professional service” as defined by K.S.A. 72-5413(l).

This is a provision that has been long-sought by many school administrators, who often find their ability to remove a consistently underperforming teacher stymied by the fact that the teacher has been around for a long time. The districts are required to provide all their teachers with written notice of the protections provided to them under the Kansas Torts Claim Act.

Getting real-world experience into the classroom: The bill loosens teacher licensure requirements, which will allow those with experience in areas like science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to gain employment with school districts if they have a degree in that field and at least five years of experience. Alternately, a teacher with a license from another state will be able to come to Kansas and take the licensure test from the Kansas Department of Education to gain a Kansas teaching license. This will greatly increase the ability of districts to attract more teachers with diverse experience and backgrounds. Because of this, students will gain additional exposure to real-world experience in those sectors.

Increased opportunities for low-income students: As provided in the bill, corporations will be eligible for tax credits if they donate to a newly established scholarship fund that will pay for low-income students to attend private schools.

This will help even the playing field for low-income families who dream of providing their children a better education.

The scholarship granting organizations created in the bill to collect and disperse scholarship money will have oversight from the Kansas Department of Revenue.

Another provision of the bill will expand the number of school districts who can apply to become “innovative districts,” which, if approved by the Kansas Board of Education, loosens regulations to allow new and unique teaching methods.

This expansion of the innovative district bill signed into law last year is specifically targeted towards districts that have a high population of low-income students.

This again will help even the playing field for low-income students, who consistently score lower on standardized testing and often don’t have the same opportunities to catch up with their peers after they fall behind.

There is nothing better for the economy than a well-educated child, and these provisions will help make that possible regardless of family income.

Finance Portion: The bill appropriates another $126.2 million in addition to the $3.8 billion in state and federal funds already invested in Kansas K-12 education. It gives districts the flexibility to increase funding raised locally, the “local option budget” (LOB). This new money raised locally is required to be put directly in the classroom.

Under the local option budget, school districts are allowed to tax local property up to 30 percent of base state aid per pupil. Under HB 2506 that number is increased from $4,433 to $4,490. In addition, the bill allows some districts to vote by mail ballot to increase their LOB up to 33 percent, which will especially help districts who are already above 30 percent and do not have high property values in their area.

The bill fully funds the Local Option Budget and Capital Outlay, which makes school funding equitable across the state, as directed in the Gannon decision. By completely funding the Local Option Budget, the bill offers $81 million in tax relief for Kansas property owners. The bill also requires districts to publish a one page summary of the annual budget on their website and have it available at school board meetings, increasing transparency and accountability.

I hope this has helped you better understand HB 2506. There are some other issues addressed in the bill that I did not cover in this article. I would be happy to talk with you about this article or any other concern you may have. Until next time, may the blessings of God be yours.

Contact information: Randy Garber, 2424 Timberlane Terrace, Sabetha, KS 66534; randy.garber@house .ks.gov; 785-284-2472.

 

 

Bad Policy, Hurts Kids

Legislature Forgoes Clean Funding Bill

Topeka­ Kansas public school students may notice teachers who look a little tired today after a long weekend fighting for the best interest of our students, but we are tireless. Our members, teachers, parents, administrators, school board members, and elected officials who support public education in Kansas “raised their hands” for public education even as some legislators saw fit to attack the profession. Kansas NEA wants to assure its members we will always support them as we move forward together to fight for Kansas students.

TO BE VERY CLEAR, KNEA has been unwavering in our desire for the Kansas Legislature to pass a CLEAN funding bill that would restore resources and funding to public schools. KNEA members and supporters appreciate the steps this bill takes towards meeting the Supreme Court mandated equity declaration for funding Kansas public schools.

Governor Brownback and the special interest groups he serves prevailed. For now. Those very groups who speak of government transparency and a support for Kansas children chose the wee hours of the night on a weekend to slip policy amendments into this bill. Under the cover of darkness, they thought Kansas teachers would simply “go quietly into that good night.” They didn’t. Over 500 teachers from throughout the state took up the cause and were joined by hundreds of other supporters in the statehouse. Hoffman

Many Kansas students spend more time with dedicated teachers in classrooms and schools throughout this state than any other adult in their life from week to week. This bill, Governor Brownback’s bill­ effectively seeks to silence those teachers and opens the classroom door to people without background or training on how to do what our teachers know best. Teach kids.

KNEA teachers proved this weekend that they will work tirelessly for their rights and their student rights. Regardless of efforts to diminish their voice and profession, public school teachers will not waiver. Nor, will we bend to special interests. As KNEA President, Karen Godfrey commented, “Regardless of efforts to diminish our ability to advocate for the best interest of our students, teachers will not waver in our support of kids or our profession. Caring about kids is what we do, it is who we are, it is in our DNA.”

Today, we are asking teachers and public education supporters throughout the state to do the following:

1. Email the Governor and your local representatives and tell them that you support a clean education funding bill and that this bill with policy amendments, hurts schools, hurts students, and hurts teachers.

2. Get active. Donate your time to a campaign to vote for pro­student, pro­public education candidates during this election cycle.

 

FARMLAND – ART IS LIFE ~ John Schlageck, Kansas Farm Bureau

As the lights dimmed and the images flickered on the screen, the movie audience stepped into the lives of young farmers and ranchers as they took on the tasks of running their families’ operations. No wannabe Bogarts or Bacalls, just honest-to-goodness people who work the land.

The opening scene wasn’t on a sprawling lot somewhere outside of Hollywood. Instead James Moll filmed Farmland on farms and ranches from California to Pennsylvania.

Props included live cattle, hogs, chickens and vegetables, and acres of corn as far as the eye could see. Nothing staged, just everyday events on typical working farms and ranches across the country.

The private screening of Farmland in Kansas City April 1 was a joint effort between the Kansas Farm Food Connection, Agricultural Business Council of Kansas City and U.S . Farmers & Ranchers Alliance.

After the film aired, one movie goer commented on its authenticity.

The film is real, she said. These people brought the audience into their lives and showed them how farmers and ranchers work at a job like everyone else, although it may not be your typical eight to five. In this case, the farmers and ranchers work 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Another viewer said Farmland addressed many of the issues consumers and the general public wants to know – the film hit on everything.

It included stories about genetically modified food, organic, natural and traditional farming, no-till farming, a one-woman, first-generation vegetable farmer, multi-generational farms, use of hormones in cattle and hogs and chicken in large-scale facilities.

The farmers and ranchers wanted viewers to know they offer any kind of food the public is looking for, Lynne Hinrichsen, a former urbanite from Detroit who now works in Topeka, said after the showing. They’re giving customers a choice.

 “I came away understanding these young producers are similar to the people who make cars where I grew up,” Hinrichsen said. “While auto workers make slightly different products with different designs, ultimately the vehicles they make are used for transportation. Farmers and ranchers provide us with our food. They’re all people.”

Osage County farmer/stockman Raylen Phelon called Farmland an inspirational movie that tells the truth about agriculture with no hype.

 “The farmers and ranchers in this movie were just like me when I started out 30 years ago,” Phelon says. “They’re down-to-earth people who shared their hopes, fears and dreams.”

Phelon said the film lets consumers know farmers and ranchers care about the land, the animals, the grain, fruits and vegetables they produce.

 “These young farm and ranch families knew what they were talking about and audiences will see this once they see their story,” he said.

In addition to the authenticity of Farmland, movie goers walked out of the theater with a sense of pride about the men, women and children who provide food for people of this state, country and world to eat.

Several viewers expressed the same feelings that coursed through my veins as Farmland unfolded before my eyes and ears:

 “These are my people, my roots; this is who I am and where I came from.”

If you would like to have the movie shown in your town, go to www.farmlandfilm.com.

John Schlageck is a leading commentator on agriculture and rural Kansas. Born and raised on a diversified farm in northwestern Kansas, his writing reflects a lifetime of experience, knowledge and passion.

 

Education is all about money and politics for UMEEA ~ Dave Trabert

Media reaction to the school finance legislation has been pretty predictable. It focuses almost exclusively on institutions and ignores the impact on students. As usual, it's all about money and politics.

Unions, media and their allies in the education establishment (UMEEA) oppose tax credit scholarships for low income students. They rail against taxpayer money going to private schools and how that might mean a little less money for public institutions but ignore the very real purpose and need for the program. (FYI, the scholarship program is capped at $10 million; schools are expected to spend almost $6 billion this year.)

Achievement gaps for low income students are large and getting worse, despite the fact that At Risk funding intended to improve outcomes increased seven-fold over the last eight years. So predictably, a program to give an alternative to low income students in the 99 lowest-performing schools is attacked by UMEEA as being unfair to institutions. Media and their establishment friends don't even make a token mention of the serious achievement problem. It's all about money and politics.

An ugly, inconvenient truth about low income achievement gaps emerges when the data is honestly examined. We compiled and published the information in our 2014 Public Education Fact Book, available on our web site. For example, only 45 percent of 4th grade low income students can read grade-appropriate material with full comprehension on the state assessment, versus 74 percent of those who are not low income. State assessment data also shows that 57 percent of low income students in private accredited Kansas schools can read grade-appropriate material with full comprehension. Tax credit scholarships offer a lifeline to low income students who want to try something else.

And before the attacks on the validity of the data begin, know that Education Commissioner Diane DeBacker and I participated in a discussion on the topic before the House and Senate Education committees recently; she could have objected or corrected me when I presented this KSDE achievement data. She did not. Instead, she said low income achievement gaps are large and getting worse.

Even the education establishment agrees that having effective teachers in classrooms is probably the most important element of improving outcomes, but of course money and politics take priority over students, so UMEEA attacks efforts to make it easier and faster to remove ineffective teachers. After all, the adults in the system are a higher priority than students.

And don't forget to throw in some clichés...efforts to help students are 'ideological' but prioritizing institutional demands is 'progressive' and 'pragmatic'. UMEEA likes to pretend that 'just spend more' and promoting institutional demands are not ideological positions.

Media is also spreading institutional notions that increasing the Local Option Budget (LOB) ceiling from 31 percent to 33 percent will create inequities among school districts, even though legislators just agreed to fully equalize the LOB. If school districts really believed that higher ceilings create inequity, they would be calling for the ceiling to be reduced. One must wonder if the real issue is that districts don't want to, or can't, justify the need for higher property taxes to local voters.

UMEEA will continue to attack legislators for combining policy reforms with the commitment to increase spending for equalization, but the simple reality is that that may have been the only real chance to get these student-focused initiatives passed. In that regard, spending more money finally made a difference for students.

 

OBITUARIES

 

Roger “ Keith” Vaughan, 66, of Effingham, KS died Friday, April 11, 2014 at the Medicalodge of Holton, Kansas.

Funeral services were held at 2:00 pm on Monday, April 14th with burial in the Pardee Cemetery. The family received friends from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 13th, 2014 at the Becker Chapel, Effingham, KS. Memorial contributions are suggested to the Cummings Christian Church and may be left in care of the funeral home. Condolences and memories to the family may be left online at www.beckerdyer.com.

Keith was born on March 22, 1948 in Atchison, KS the son of Everett and Leonora (Gilliland) Vaughan. He graduated from Atchison High School in 1966 and later attended the NEKS Area Vo-Technical School. Mr. Vaughan was a U.S. Army Veteran serving during the Vietnam War. He was an electrician working at Ft. Leavenworth for 20 years and was also a farmer and cattleman. He was a member of the Cummings Christian Church where he served as an Elder and also taught adult Sunday School class. He also served on the Kapioma Township as a trustee and was a member of the Jackson-County Farmers COOP Board. He also enjoyed fishing, raising Polled Hereford and Angus cattle. He was very conservation minded and

was proud of raising native grass on his farm.

He was married to Marcelline Higley on Sept. 1, 1968 at Cummings Christian Church. Mrs. Vaughan survives of the home. Additional survivors include a son, Brett D. Vaughan, Excelsior Springs, MO, a daughter, Dr. Michelle D. Vaughan, Akron, Ohio and one granddaughter, Jamie Vaughan, Pleasant Hill, MO. His parents, a brother, Allen “Krenning” Nelson, and a sister, Lila “Charlene” Ziegler preceded him in death.

 

Evelyn Earlene Nottingham Gore, 98, of Atchison, Kansas, passed away on April 7, 2014, at Vintage Park in Atchison.

Funeral Services were held Sunday, April 13, 2014, at 2:00 P.M. in the chapel of the Arensberg-Pruett Funeral Home, with Rev. Nancy J Kollhoff officiating. Visitation with the family was one hour prior to services. Memorial Contributions are suggested to the Atchison United Methodist Church, or the University of Kansas Cancer Center. The Arensberg-Pruett Funeral Home has been entrusted with the final arrangements. Online condolences may be left at www.arensbergpruett.com.

Evelyn is the daughter of Earl and Birdie (Geiger) Nottingham, born in Willis, Kansas, on January 2, 1916. She attended Maple Grove grade school, Everest High School and graduated in 1933, where she was the Valedictorian of her graduating class.

Evelyn was married to Mitchell Gore on January 4, 1935, and they were married 31 years. Mr. Gore died June 14, 1966.

Evelyn was the Post Mistress of the Monrovia Post Office and store until its closing in November 1955. She also worked as a Census taker and worked at Sears and Roebuck for 25 years. She enjoyed family, friends, playing cards, reading and board games. She was also actively involved in the Atchison area Business of Professional Women, Zonta Club, Hospital Auxiliary and was a member of the Atchison United Methodist Church.

Evelyn is survived by three daughters, Shirley (Daniel) Ernzen, Atchison, KS, Mary Jane (Bill) Ellerman, Atchison, KS, and Virginia (Rod) Blackman, Klamath Falls, OR, ten grandchildren and 19 great grandchildren.

Evelyn was preceded in death by her parents Earl and Birdie Nottingham, husband Mitchell Gore, brother Leslie Nottingham and a grandson Travis Kloepper.

 

GOVERNMENTAL NEWS

 

Bloomberg: ‘Case Closed' on Farm Inspection Policy Withdrawn by OSHA, Perez Tells Hearing

Senate Appropriations Committee Questions Labor Secretary Perez By Bruce Rolfsen | April 09, 2014 07:26PM ET

April 9 (BNA) — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's cancelled policy on inspecting small farms continued to draw fire from Republican lawmakers when Labor Secretary Thomas Perez testified April 9 before a Senate appropriations panel.

The Labor Department withdrew the policy on Feb. 10. However, at three recent budget hearings for OSHA, questions about the safety agency continued to focus on farm inspections (44 OSHR 146, 2/13/14).

On April 9, Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), ranking member of the Appropriations Committee's Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, reminded Perez that he was among the 43 senators who in December 2013 asked Perez to reverse OSHA's small farm inspection policy (44 OSHR 8, 1/2/14).

At the time, OSHA policy allowed compliance officers to inspect “non-farming operations,” such as grain storage facilities, on any farm, including those with 10 or fewer workers that Congress exempted from OSHA scrutiny.

 “My understanding is that you have taken a step back?” Moran asked Perez.

 ‘Case Closed.'

Perez responded that the department has withdrawn the OSHA policy memorandum and that the department takes Congress's budget rider prohibiting inspections of small farms “very, very seriously.”

 “We have instructed the team at OSHA that when you are in a circumstance where you discover that it is a family farm—case closed,” Perez said.

Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), who was the first senator in December to raise concerns about OSHA's policy, said the department had been attempting to get around the congressional restriction by classifying some parts of a farm's operations, such as grain storage, as not being part of the farm.

Perez told Johanns the department doesn't have any current plans to return to the old policy. The department is working with the Agriculture Department to draft a new policy.

 “What we're trying to do a better job of, is determining at the outset what are the operations we are seeking to go into,” Perez said. If the answer is a small farm, the inspection is shut down, the secretary added.

Perez cited examples of small farms that housed a tomato canning operation or stored grain for other farms as examples of cases that weren't clear-cut.

 “Sometimes the question of whether you are a family farm is easier said than done,” Perez told the lawmakers.

Johanns and committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) encouraged the department to work with the Future Farmers of America and farm bureaus on educating farm families about agriculture workplace hazards.

No other OSHA programs were brought up by the lawmakers.

Moran pointed out that the White House has proposed budget increases for Labor Department enforcement agencies such as OSHA, the Mine Safety and Health Administration and the Wage and Hour Division, while recommended funding for training programs remains flat.

 “Too often it seems to me the regulations are part of the problem in creating job opportunities for Americans,” Moran said.

 ‘Important Investments.'

The White House requested $11.8 billion for the Labor Department in fiscal 2015, including $565 million for OSHA, a 2.3 percent boost over 2014's enacted OSHA budget (44 OSHR 259, 3/20/14).

Harkin defended the budget's enforcement initiatives, such as a $41 million increase for Wage and Hour Division to hire 300 new investigators.

 “The department's budget proposes increases for protecting the rights of workers,” Harkin said. “These are important investments that build on key accomplishments of the this department and subcommittee.”

 

Retirement planning means preparing

for Baby Boomer set of financial challenges

TOPEKA, Kan. — Sandy Praeger, Kansas Commissioner of Insurance, is urging Kansans to take a look at the challenges that Baby Boomers face in planning a financially secure retirement.

“Each day about 10,000 Baby Boomers enter their retirement years,” Commissioner Praeger said. “They are members of a generation who are largely unsure of their financial future. According to recent research, Baby Boomers’ confidence in their financial preparations for retirement has been steadily dropping over the past four years, with only about a third optimistic about their situation.

“Through the course of their working years, a unique set of challenges has emerged, including changes in employee benefits, longer life spans, and uncertainty with Social Security and Medicare, as well as health care.”

Commissioner Praeger said National Retirement Planning Week, April 7-11, is a good time for Kansans to develop, review or revise retirement plans. Below are five tips from the National Retirement Planning Coalition that might help.

Review your finances, develop a budget and uncover savings

A first step toward planning for a financially secure retirement includes understanding your current financial state. Review your finances to learn what assets you have and to determine all of your financial commitments. Once you have a grasp on your personal balance sheet, you then can develop a household budget. Remember that the most important takeaway from budgeting is to ensure that you are not outspending your income.

Add savings to your retirement accounts

A great practice to start today is to make regular contributions to your retirement savings accounts. Employer-provided retirement savings plans, such as a 401(k)-style plan, are often tax-deferred accounts, meaning your contributions and the investment earnings within are not taxed until you withdraw them. Oftentimes these plans also feature a contribution match from your employer.

Determine a target retirement age

Establishing your target retirement age is a significant part of the goal-setting process for your retirement. Once you have your goal retirement age, you also can proceed to answer many other important questions related to your retirement. For instance, at what age do you intend to start collecting Social Security benefits? Collecting Social Security before your full retirement age can permanently reduce the size of your benefit, while delaying benefits can boost your Social Security income.

Calculate your income needs in retirement

The Insured Retirement Institute, which leads the National Retirement Planning Coalition, offers a suite of retirement planning calculators available on irionline.org and RetireOnYourTerms.org. The Ballpark Estimate by the American Savings and Educational Council, another coalition member, is another popular tool that can help you quickly identify how much savings you may need for a comfortable retirement. If you feel uncomfortable with your calculations, consider consulting a financial advisor who will have specialized expertise in helping clients prepare for retirement.

Monitor your progress and update your plan as necessary

Retirement planning is not a one-time task. Achieving a financially secure retirement requires monitoring your progress and adjusting your plan to meet changing conditions.

An additional tip: Check your insurance

“I would add a sixth tip,” Commissioner Praeger said, “and that would be to consult your insurance agent and financial adviser about your insurance needs. As we grow older, insurance needs change. Making a yearly appointment with your agent or planner about what kind and how much insurance you need, whether personal or property, is an excellent idea.”

 

March Online Annual Report Filings Set New Record

TOPEKA (April 7, 2014) – “A record number of businesses filed their annual reports online in March, more than in any single month since electronic filing began a decade ago,” announced Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

In March 2014, 27,519 annual reports were filed electronically. The second highest month was April 2011 with 25,933 and the third highest month was April 2013 with 23,913 annual reports filed online.

A new Kobach initiative caused the spike in online annual reports that set an all-time record.  For the first time ever, reminders were emailed to companies that filed online with fiscal years ending December 31st telling them that their annual reports are due April 15th. “That effort paid off, thanks to the diligent work of our leadership team, and it didn’t cost the taxpayer a dime,” Kobach said. “We are doing everything we can to help businesses in Kansas avoid delinquency status and possible forfeiture.”

Kathy Sachs, the deputy in charge of the business services division, has worked for the Office of the Secretary of State since 1985. She has been overseeing the initiative.  A follow-up reminder will be sent to companies that have not yet filed their annual reports, via email to those that have previously filed online and via postcard to those that have not.

Filing online has significant advantages, including saving time, saving money, immediate processing and confirmation, ability to print a copy for your records, and avoiding the risk and hassle of having a document returned for correction.  In addition to filing an annual report, other electronic services include searching name availability, performing a business entity search, filing formation documents and obtaining a certificate of good standing.

Visit www.sos.ks.gov and click on “File a Business” to use the online services.

“This is Secretary of State Kris Kobach reminding companies whose fiscal year ends December 31st that their annual reports are due April 15th.

It’s quick and easy to file an annual report online. Just go to sos.ks.gov and click on File a Business. You can use a credit card or checking account to pay the fee and get confirmation that the transaction was successful.

Online filers also receive email reminders of upcoming due dates to help avoid forfeiture. 

Call (785) 296-4564 with questions.”

 

Another record year for consumer protection

TOPEKA – (April 10, 2014) – For the second straight year, the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division has returned a record amount of money to Kansas consumers and taxpayers, Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced today.

In its annual report filed today with the governor and Kansas Legislature, Schmidt’s office reported $49.6 million in savings and recoveries to Kansas consumers and the state treasury in 2013. This topped the previous record of $49.3 million set in 2012.

 “Our office has worked diligently to return money to consumers when they have been wronged by a scam artist or deceptive business,” Schmidt said. “These numbers reflect the commitment of our dedicated team of attorneys, investigators and support staff who work hard every day to protect Kansas consumers throughout our state.”

Schmidt also reported that several legislative changes during 2013 helped increase the office’s capacity to protect Kansans. A new law in 2013 gave the attorney general increased jurisdiction in cases of identity theft, which is among the fastest growing crimes nationwide. Schmidt’s office was also charged with implementing the new Kansas Roofing Registration Act, which requires roofing contractors operating in the State of Kansas to register with the attorney general’s office.

The office also increased its efforts to educate Kansas consumers on ways to avoid scams. Schmidt and his staff made 92 presentations to more than 8,400 Kansans on topics such as identity theft and scam prevention. Schmidt also served as host for the 2013 National Association of Attorneys General Fall Consumer Protection Conference in Wichita last October, which brought consumer protection staff from 46 states and territories to learn about the latest consumer protection issues.

A new website launched in 2013, www.InYourCornerKansas.org, provides a user-friendly way for Kansas consumers to learn how to protect themselves and file complaints.Muscotah

The Consumer Protection Division is led by Deputy Attorney General Jim Welch. Its staff of investigators and litigators also includes former U.S. Attorney for Kansas Jackie Williams and Special Agent Marc McCune, former captain of the Capitol Police. Schmidt is a former assistant attorney general for consumer protection, a position he held during the administration of former Attorney General Carla Stovall. He currently serves as the national co-chair of the Consumer Protection Committee of the National Association of Attorneys General.

The 2013 Consumer Protection Annual Report is available online at http://1.usa.gov/1qymjHm.

 

Sen. Moran Honored for Critical Work in the Fight Against Alzheimer’s

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Ranking Member on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education and Related Agencies, received the Alzheimer’s Association Humanitarian Award at the Alzheimer’s Association National Dinner on Tuesday, April 8.

 “I commit to you that during my time in the U.S. Senate, I will be a relentless advocate to see that Alzheimer’s becomes a preventable, treatable and curable disease,” said Sen. Moran said at the dinner. “The reality is, spending money to cure a disease like Alzheimer’s, and to find treatment, means we will save money in the long run, for the benefit of our kids and our families. It’s easy to make the commitment, because, if we can’t find the cure and treatment for this disease, it will consume our budget in a way we cannot sustain.”

The Alzheimer’s Association Humanitarian Award is given annually to public officials who have made significant policy contributions to advancements in research and enhanced care and support for people with Alzheimer’s disease. Sen. Moran led the charge to secure an increase of  $100 million in the fiscal year 2014 budget for Alzheimer’s research – the largest increase in Alzheimer’s research funding to date. Under his leadership, the Subcommittee recently held a hearing to discuss the economic impact of Alzheimer’s disease in America and the current state of biomedical research into prevention and treatment of the disease.

The Alzheimer’s Association National Dinner, co-chaired by Evan Thompson, Chairman, and Bob Thomas, Treasurer, of the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement brought together more than 950 attendees from all 50 states. Gathered in Washington D.C. for the 26th annual Alzheimer’s Association Advocacy Forum, advocates learned how to share and appeal to their elected officials for meaningful action on Alzheimer’s. The National Dinner addressed this rapidly growing health crisis, bringing together influential and respected political, business, philanthropic, entertainment, media, social and advocacy leaders and now the broader Alzheimer’s advocacy community, to rally around and inspire others to join the growing movement to end the disease.

According to Alzheimer’s Association 2014 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts & Figures, more than five million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease and that number is poised to grow to as many as 16 million by 2050. In addition to the human toll of the disease, care for Alzheimer’s, the country’s most expensive condition, will cost the nation $214 billion in 2014 with projections to reach $1.2 trillion by 2050. Nearly one in five dollars spent by Medicare is on someone with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.

 

Sen. Moran Statement on Alan Gross’ Hunger Strike

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), author of unanimously-passed Senate resolution (S. Res. 609) which called on Cuba to immediately and unconditionally release American citizen Alan Gross, released the following statement today regarding the announcement Mr. Gross began a hunger strike: 

 “I am saddened to learn that detained American Alan Gross is now in a state of even greater suffering as he continues to be held unjustly by the Cuban government,” Sen. Moran said. “The United States government must continue to push Cuba for the release of Mr. Gross. His return is long overdue, and it is extremely disappointing that it requires life-threatening action to draw attention to his plight. We must do everything possible to return Alan to the United States and bring his family’s terrible nightmare to an end.”

Alan Gross was arrested on December 3, 2009, and after a two-day trial, was given a 15-year prison sentence by Cuban authorities for facilitating communications between Cuba’s Jewish community and the rest of the world. Mr. Gross was in Cuba working as a sub-contractor for the United States Agency for International Development, helping a small, peaceful, non-dissident community. He was doing the type of work he had done his whole career in international development – helping others in need.

A 64-year-old husband and father, Mr. Gross has already lost more than 100 pounds since his arrest and suffers from severe degenerative arthritis that affects his mobility, as well as other health problems. Members of his family have also faced serious illnesses during this time.

 

Congresswoman Jenkins Votes To Refer Lois Lerner To DOJ For Criminal Prosecution

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Today, the House Committee on Ways and Means voted to formally refer former IRS employee Lois Lerner to the Department of Justice (DOJ) on criminal charges. The Committee marked up the criminal referral letter to Attorney General Eric Holder regarding the actions taken by Lerner. Congresswoman Jenkins (KS-02) released the following statement after the hearing:

 “The action taken by the Committee today finally debunks the Administration-created myth that the IRS targeting scandal originated with low-level employees in Cincinnati. Based on the documents, emails, and interviews conducted over the course of our nearly year-long investigation, the evidence shows that the selective targeting of conservative organizations was orchestrated from IRS officials in Washington D.C.  As importantly, our action today allows the public the opportunity to know the sad and alarming details that have been uncovered so far. The Department of Justice now has what it needs to pursue Ms. Lerner and has the responsibility to act. We will continue our investigation to ensure that Americans constitutional rights are not violated by those seeking to silence groups based on their political views.”   

The letter to the DOJ can be read here.

From the Ways and Means Committee: The Committee uncovered three specific acts undertaken by Lerner that may have violated one or more criminal statutes documented in the letter:

Lerner used her position to improperly influence agency action against only conservative organizations, denying these groups due process and equal protection rights under the law.  She showed extreme bias and prejudice towards conservative groups.  The letter lays out evidence on how Lerner targeted conservative organization Crossroads GPS as well as other right-leaning groups, while turning a blind eye to similarly-organized liberal groups, like Priorities USA.

Lerner impeded official investigations by providing misleading statements in response to questions from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

Lerner risked exposing, and may actually have disclosed, confidential taxpayer information, in apparent violation of Internal Revenue Code section 6103 by using her personal email to conduct official business.

For a timeline of Lois Lerner’s targeting of conservative groups, click here.

 

“One ring” scam hits phone bills with unwanted charges By Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt

That missed-call alert on your cell phone may be from a scammer trying to ding your wallet.

In Kansas and across the country, consumers are reporting an increase in the “one ring” telephone scam. This scam uses automatic phone-dialing computers to place thousands of calls to consumers, only to hang up the call after one ring. The idea is to get you to notice that missed call and call them back. But calling back can result in connecting you to an overseas adult entertainment line that charges by the minute, on top of the charge for an international phone call.

The Federal Trade Commission reports that these calls are most often coming from Caribbean phone numbers, which appear to be domestic phone numbers. The area codes most often reported include: 268, 284, 473, 664, 649, 767, 809, 829, 849 and 876.

If you get a phone call from a number you do not recognize, your best bet is not to answer the call. If the phone call is from a legitimate person who needs to speak to you, chances are they will leave a message for you to call them back. At the very least, check out the phone number using an online search before calling it back to find out where the call came from.

Finally, be sure to closely review your phone bill each month and report any suspicious charges to your service provider.

For more information on protecting yourself from scams, or to file a complaint, visit our consumer protection website at www.InYourCornerKansas.org.

 

182 crime victims to receive support

TOPEKA – (April 11, 2014) – The Kansas Crime Victims Compensation Board yesterday awarded financial assistance to 182 victims of violent crime at its April meeting, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said.

Awards were made in 87 new cases. Additional expenses were paid in 95 previously submitted cases. The awards totaled $304,306.80.

The Division of Crime Victims Compensation in Schmidt’s office administers the Crime Victims Compensation program, which was established in 1978 to help victims of violent crime pay for their unexpected expenses such as medical treatment, mental health counseling, lost wages, dependent support and funeral expenses.

The state’s three-member Crime Victims Compensation Board determines claims that are eligible for payment and how much money will be awarded to each claimant. Awards are limited to a maximum total amount of $25,000 with limitations of $5,000 for funeral expense, $5,000 for outpatient mental health counseling, $10,000 for inpatient mental health treatment and $1,500 for grief counseling for family survivors of homicide victims.

A portion of assessed court costs and fines, inmate wages, parole fees and restitution paid by convicted offenders provides funding to the program.

For more information about the Crime Victims Compensation Program call (785) 296-2359 or visit the Attorney General’s website at www.ag.ks.gov.

 

Schmidt praises Legislature for strengthening Medicaid anti-fraud law

TOPEKA – (April 7, 2014) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt today praised the Legislature for unanimously approving legislation to strengthen the Medicaid Fraud Control Act.

Schmidt proposed the measure in January, and the Legislature sent a final version to the Governor on Saturday. Senate Bill 271 passed the Senate 40-0 and the House of Representatives 122-0.

The bill increases criminal penalties for defrauding the Medicaid program and also allows courts to sentence defendants to prison, not probation, if their fraud results in a Medicaid recipient being denied quality services to which he or she is entitled. The measure also strengthens the state’s ability to obtain civil fines against people who file false claims with the Medicaid program.

 “Protecting taxpayers by vigorously prosecuting Medicaid fraud is a priority for our office,” Schmidt said. “These new legal tools will strengthen our ability to hold accountable those who steal from the taxpayers and put Medicaid recipients’ health at risk by failing to provide needed services.”

During his first three years in office, Schmidt's Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Division recovered a record $90.4 million through Medicaid fraud enforcement and returned that money to the state and federal treasuries. Schmidt’s office also has obtained 53 criminal convictions for Medicaid fraud or abuse over its first three years.

To report suspected Medicaid fraud, contact the Medicaid fraud hotline at (866) 551-6328.

 

Rep. Lynn Jenkins Weekly Update

Putting America on a Path for Prosperity:

This week, we witnessed two very clear differences on how to solve America’s problems. Our friends on the other side of the aisle believe the best way to move the country forward is with $1.8 trillion in new taxes, increased spending, and to reduce our military to the smallest size in decades. Along with all our federal agencies, I too believe we need to look for savings at the Pentagon, but the level of cuts they are talking about to our fighting forces while growing virtually every other segment of government seems entirely irresponsible. They believe that government can best solve our problems if we just give the folks in Washington a little more control over our businesses, our schools, and our healthcare. The budget blueprint I supported this week lays out a different vision.

This week, I voted for a budget plan that seeks to get our nation’s finances in order, and stop spending more money than we take in. This plan would create jobs, cuts wasteful spending, and hold Washington more accountable. Kansans sent me to Washington to make tough decisions, and that includes necessary reforms to preserve and protect mandatory programs that are jeopardizing our children's' future. I voted for a budget I believe will get more people back to work and give hardworking Americans more take home pay so everyone has the opportunity to live the American dream.

Our budget plan reduces spending by $5.1 trillion over the next ten years, and puts us on a responsible path to balance the budget and eventually pay down our debts.

Unfortunately, while the President did propose a budget, it was not a serious document, thus it only received 2 votes in the entire House of Representatives.  Additionally, for the fourth time out of the last five years, the Senate has already announced their refusal to even debate a budget this year. The only budget passed in the Senate in the past five years occurred last year and they only passed that budget because of legislation that originated in the House that would have stopped their pay if they failed to pass a budget.  That is not leadership. That is just wrong.

Ways and Means Committee Refers Lois Lerner to DOJ for Criminal Prosecution:

The House Ways and Means Committee took action this week and voted to formally refer former IRS official Lois Lerner to the Department of Justice (DOJ) on criminal charges for her involvement in the IRS’ targeting scandal.

Our letter to the Department of Justice finally debunks the Administration-created myth that the IRS targeting scandal originated with low-level employees in Cincinnati. Based on the documents, emails, and interviews conducted over the past year-long investigation, the evidence shows the selective targeting of conservative organizations was orchestrated from IRS officials in Washington, D.C.

The public now has the opportunity to know the sad and alarming details we’ve uncovered so far. And the Department of Justice now has what it needs to pursue Ms. Lerner and has the responsibility to act. Our investigation is not over, we will continue our work to ensure that Americans’ constitutional rights are not violated by those seeking to silence groups based on their political views.

The Ways and Means Committee Letter to DOJ can be read, here.

You can view all of the documents related to the House’s investigation, here.

Setting the Record Straight: Equal Pay for Equal Work:

I strongly support equal pay for equal work and I am proud that I live in a country where it’s illegal to discriminate in the workplace thanks to the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This week, at a press conference with Republican leaders I discussed the women’s issues I hear about most in honor of Equal Pay Day and highlighted what the House has been working on to provide all Americans greater opportunity.

When I talk to women in Kansas we discuss ways to build a healthy economy with more job opportunities, a good education system, lower healthcare costs, and lowering taxes to bring home more of their paycheck each month. These are the issues that I have solutions for—I have voted for and helped pass the Save American Workers Act, the SKILLS Act, the STEMS Jobs Act, the Working Families Flexibility Act and dozens of other jobs bills to help hardworking women and men succeed.

In 2009, the Obama administration’s Department of Labor conducted a study on the wage gap.  Part of the study finds, “the differences in compensation of men and women are the result of a multitude of factors and the raw wage gap should not be used as a basis to justify corrective action…”  Sadly, as recent as this week, the President continues to use the raw wage gap data and many of his administration’s policies seem less focused on gender equality than they are on gender warfare used to disguise the failures of his economic agenda.

Since President Obama took office, the poverty rate for women has increased to 16.3% from 14.4% and the median income for women fell by almost $800, according to the Census Bureau. If Democrats were serious about helping women, they would allow votes on the countless job-creating proposals that Republicans have offered and will continue to offer in the coming months.

Save the Date: Open Office Hours on Wednesday, April 16:

I will be holding open office hours at my Topeka office on Wednesday, April 16th at 9:00a.m.

Open office hours are private meetings where folks can come and speak with me directly about the issues most important to them. These meetings are on a first-come, first-serve basis.

To reserve a time, please contact Melissa Underwood in my Topeka office at 785-234-5966.

Upcoming Jobs Fair to Get Kansans Back to Work:

On Monday, May 5th from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., I will be hosting my 5th Annual Jobs Fair at the Topeka Expocentre Agriculture Hall.  I want to help connect Kansans looking for work with businesses that are hiring. The job fair is free, open to the public, and open to any businesses currently seeking employees.

If you are a business, and want to register to have a booth at the fair, click here.

If you are a job seeker and would like more information on how to attend, click here.

 

MISCELLANEOUS PRESS RELEASES

 

KANSAS 4-H FOUNDATION PRESIDENT ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT

Manhattan— Gordon Hibbard, president and chief executive officer of the Kansas 4-H Foundation, announced plans to retire from his position with the statewide non-profit organization.

In a statement released on Monday, Hibbard indicated that he intends to stay on in his current role through the end of 2014 to help with transitional issues.

“While I’m very grateful to the Foundation’s trustees and staff for their support, it is time for me to step aside,” Hibbard said.  “I want to pursue other interests and allow someone else the opportunity to provide leadership for the Foundation’s future.”

The Kansas 4-H Foundation provides private support and services benefiting the state’s 4-H program. The Foundation’s projects include Rock Springs 4-H Center – the nation’s largest privately owned and operated 4-H camp and conference facility – as well as support for awards, scholarships, publications and financial services.  The Foundation also owns the Clovia Scholarship House, a cooperative living facility at Kansas State University.

“It has been an honor to serve the youth of Kansas during my 15 years with the Kansas 4-H Foundation,” Hibbard said, adding, “I am humbled by the support that so many Kansans, especially our trustees, professionals and supporters, have provided our efforts.”

The Kansas 4-H Foundation is the nation’s largest state 4-H foundation.  It recently completed a $12.8 million capital campaign benefiting the 4-H program, facilities at Rock Springs 4-H Center and the Clovia scholarship house.  The campaign exceeded the foundation’s original goal by more than $2.8 million.

“The Foundation—and indeed, Kansas 4-H—benefited immensely from Gordon’s vision and leadership,” Lee Borck, chairman of the Foundation’s board of trustees said. “He accentuated the ‘to make the best better’ in the 4-H motto while leading the Foundation during his tenure, particularly in the recent successful Growing Kansas Leaders Campaign that generated $12.8 million for Kansas 4-H and exceeded the $10 million goal. We are grateful for the strong position he will leave the Kansas 4-H Foundation in upon his departure.”

According to Borck, the Kansas 4-H Foundation’s Board of Trustees will be discussing the process for selecting Hibbard’s successor during its annual meeting and strategic planning effort in late April.

Hibbard plans to remain in the Manhattan area.  Prior to his work with the Kansas 4-H Foundation, he worked 21 years with the Kansas Farm Bureau, including four years as the farm organization’s administrative vice president. 

 

Marlene Bosworth Receives Education Award

Marlene Bosworth, former Coordinator of the Delaware River Watershed Protection and Restoration Strategy (WRAPS) Program, received the prestigious “2014 Excellence in Conservation & Environmental Education” Award for Agriculture at the 2014 Excellence in Conservation and Environmental Education Awards Celebration on April 4, 2014 at Sunset Zoo in Manhattan. 

This honor was awarded to Mrs. Bosworth for accomplishments made during her eight years of service to the Delaware River WRAPS as the Water Quality Coordinator. Marlene provided the leadership in developing many environmental and conservation programs and events to educate and support landowners and producers to implement practices that help protect water quality. At the same time, she provided educational opportunities for the next generation of watershed residents to understand the importance of water quality by organizing teacher workshops, water festivals, and service learning projects for area students.

Mrs. Bosworth worked tirelessly to educate and engage area organizations, schools, and state and local agencies in fulfilling the vision of the WRAPS watershed program. Her many efforts over the years to include a variety of partners in the delivery of the WRAPS program has resulted in the Delaware River WRAPS being one of the strongest WRAPS programs in the state.

 

SCHOOLS FOR FAIR FUNDING: STATEMENT ON SCHOOL FUNDING BILL

 “Schools for Fair Funding is disappointed with provisions in the new school finance bill that continue to create inequity among school districts.  We have three primary concerns.

There is little new state money for schools. Instead lawmakers took money from some at-risk-of-failing student programs to help raise the $129 million dollars needed to satisfy the Supreme Court ruling on equity.

Policy makers also shifted some education funding from the state to local taxpayers by allowing wealthy districts to raise property taxes. Many other districts will not be able to raise additional tax revenue for schools. Increasing the local option budget widens the gap between rich and poor districts in a bill designed to cure inequity.

The corporate voucher/tax credit program diverts money away from public schools to private schools.

We are continuing to study whether the legislative school funding bill approved late Sunday will satisfy the KS Supreme Court’s order to equalize funding between school districts.  Our goal is to provide access to quality education for Kansas schoolchildren no matter where they live in the state.”

John Robb, General Counsel, Schools for Fair Funding

 

A Project of the Poet Laureate of Kansas ~ Wyatt Townley

It’s National Poetry Month. So we’re doubly excited to debut my Poet Laureate project, and to invite you to be a part of it, both as reader and writer. This is the second installment of HomeWords, a weekly column syndicated in newspapers around our great state.

Our subject is the concept of “home”—a long held Kansas value—from micro to macro: from the mobile home of the body, to the room or house we live in, to the land that anchors us, to the sky that envelops it all.

To explore these big themes, we’ll use a tiny form. The American Cinquain is a five-line poem whose lines comprise, in order, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 2 syllables. It’s a simple yet muscular form that both beginners and longtime poets can write successfully.

This week we’ll be looking at “home” as house, and this unusual cinquain comes to us from William Sheldon, longtime teacher at Hutchinson Community College. Here he explores impermanence, and I especially like his consideration of the place’s “ribs.”

This house

will fall—a fate

hungered for, if not sought—

coffin cutters turning its ribs

to dirt.

 

William Sheldon has published three books of poems, most recently Rain Comes Riding, and lives with his family in Hutchinson, which, as much as any place, he calls home.

Poets and poets-to-be of all ages from across the state are invited to submit to HomeWords. For guidelines, visit www.kansashumanities.org.

The Kansas Humanities Council is a nonprofit organization that supports community-based cultural programs and encourages Kansans to engage in the civic and cultural life of their communities.

 

WILDLIFE AND PARKS REPORTS

 

Interested applicants have until April 30 to apply

PRATT ­– The Willis Scholarship Foundation, in conjunction with the Governor’s One Shot Turkey Hunt, invites students currently enrolled in a Kansas regent’s institution pursuing a degree relating to wildlife, natural resources, and/or natural resource management to apply for a scholarship. The application period is open now through April 30, 2014 at 7 p.m. In a Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism news release dated April 3, the deadline was incorrectly listed as June 10.

Successful applicants can be awarded $500 - $1,250 per semester, based on grade point average and the following criteria:

     - Desire to pursue a career in wildlife or natural resources

     - Maintain at least a 2.5 GPA, pursuing a bachelor’s degree or higher

     - Commit to attending the Governor’s One Shot Turkey Hunt, providing assistance where necessary

For more information on the Willis Scholarship Foundation, Inc., and to receive an application, visit www.centralkansascf.org/non-profit-organizations/scholarships/.

 

WILLIS SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION DEADLINE CORRECTION

Interested applicants have until April 30 to apply

PRATT ­– The Willis Scholarship Foundation, in conjunction with the Governor’s One Shot Turkey Hunt, invites students currently enrolled in a Kansas regent’s institution pursuing a degree relating to wildlife, natural resources, and/or natural resource management to apply for a scholarship. The application period is open now through April 30, 2014 at 7 p.m. In a Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism news release dated April 3, the deadline was incorrectly listed as June 10.

Successful applicants can be awarded $500 - $1,250 per semester, based on grade point average and the following criteria:

     - Desire to pursue a career in wildlife or natural resources

     - Maintain at least a 2.5 GPA, pursuing a bachelor’s degree or higher

     - Commit to attending the Governor’s One Shot Turkey Hunt, providing assistance where necessary

For more information on the Willis Scholarship Foundation, Inc., and to receive an application, visit www.centralkansascf.org/non-profit-organizations/scholarships/.

 

PUBLIC INVITED TO KANSAS WILDLIFE, PARKS AND TOURISM COMMISSION MEETING APRIL 17

Upland bird regulations to be discussed due to recent threatened listing of the lesser prairie chicken

PRATT – The public is invited to attend an upcoming Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission meeting, April 17 at the Great Plains Nature Center, 6232 East 29th St. N., Wichita. The afternoon session will run from 1:00 p.m. to 5 p.m., and reconvene at 6:30 p.m. for the evening session, not 7 p.m. as printed in the initial meeting agenda that was sent out.

The afternoon session will begin with time for public comments on non-agenda items, followed by a general discussion period. Topics covered in the general discussion include: Secretary’s remarks regarding agency and state fiscal status and an update on the 2014 legislature, tourism division activities, current fishing and park regulations, late migratory bird seasons, and an update on the federal listing of the lesser prairie chicken.

Workshop topics for the afternoon session include items that were covered under general discussion during the March meeting. Workshop topics, which will be discussed for potential regulatory action at a future meeting, include upland bird regulations, public land regulations, the five-year review of the Kansas Threatened and Endangered Species List, webless migratory birds, and early migratory bird seasons.

The commission will recess at 5 p.m., then reconvene at 6:30 p.m. at the same location to discuss remaining workshop items and begin the public hearing. Workshop items open for discussion during the evening session include the Fort Riley deer seasons, the use of dogs to track dead or wounded deer, and hunting the same day a deer or turkey permit is purchased.

The public hearing will focus on antelope season, bag limit and permits.

Time will be available in both the afternoon and evening sessions for public comment on non-agenda items. If necessary, the commission will reconvene at the same location at 9 a.m., March 21, to complete any unfinished business.

A commercial-free version of live video and audio streaming of commission meetings will be broadcast through ksoutdoors.com.

If notified in advance, the department will have an interpreter available for the hearing impaired. To request an interpreter, call the Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing at 1-800-432-0698. Any individual with a disability may request other accommodations by contacting the Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission secretary at (620) 672-5911.

The next commission meeting is scheduled for June 19, 2014 at Lamplighter Inn & Suites meeting room, 4020 Parkview Dr., Pittsburg.

 

KDWPT TRACKS 2014 LEGISLATURE

Variety of bills could impact outdoor recreation

TOPEKA – On Sunday, April 6, the 2014 session of the Kansas Legislature adjourned until April 30. While school funding was a focus of debate prior to adjournment, throughout the session, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) followed a variety of bills that could impact wildlife and outdoor recreation. The following includes brief summaries of bills tracked closely by KDWPT. 

Senate Bill 272: This bill was introduced to remove the current limit on the percentage of acres within a Kansas county that may be enrolled in controlled shooting areas (CSA), commonly referred to as hunting preserves. Current law limits the number of CSA acres in a county to 3 percent of the county’s total acreage. The bill was amended, increasing the county cap to 5 percent. It passed the Senate on February 12, passed the House on March 12 and was signed by the Governor on April 4.

Senate Bill 276: This bill would enact the State Sovereignty Over Non-migratory Wildlife Act and was introduced in response to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's announcement that adding the lesser prairie chicken to the Threatened and Endangered Species List was warranted. It passed the Senate 30-10 on February 12. It was amended significantly by the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources and placed on House General Orders. KDWPT supports the House Committee version of the bill.

Senate Bill 281: This bill would remove the red belly snake and smooth earth snake from the state Threatened and Endangered Species List established under the Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act. This bill had a hearing on January 30 and was referred to the Senate Committee on Natural Resources where it remains. KDWPT opposed the bill.

Senate Bill 323: This bill would require that conservation easements, created on or after July 1, 2014, be terminated upon the death of the grantor or upon a specified term of years, prohibiting perpetual conservation easements. On April 4, this bill failed on Senate Emergency Final Action, 23-16. KDWPT opposed this bill.

Senate Bill 357: As introduced, this bill would have allowed a hunter who has not completed an approved hunter education course to purchase three separate deferrals (apprentice licenses), each valid for the license year during which it is purchased, before hunter education is required. Currently, a hunter may purchase a one-time deferral of hunter education completion. This bill passed 40-0 in the Senate. In the House committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources, this bill was amended to allow two separate deferrals, rather than the proposed three, and passed the House 97-26 and was placed in conference committee where it remains. KDWPT supported this bill.

Senate Bill 366: This bill would authorize KDWPT to purchase a parcel of land containing 397 acres in Cherokee County. Funding for the purchase would come from the Natural Resource Damage Assessment program of the Department of the Interior. This bill passed the Senate 28-12 and was introduced to the House and referred to the Committee on Appropriations, where it remains. KDWPT supports this bill. 

Senate Bill 370: This bill would authorize KDWPT to purchase a parcel of land containing 484 acres in Pottawatomie County. The land is bordered on two sides by the Tuttle Creek Wildlife Area and would provide better access to this public hunting land. Seventy-five percent of the funding for the purchase would come from the federal Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Fund. This bill passed the Senate, 27-13 and was introduced to the House and referred to the Committee on Appropriations, where it remains. KDWPT supports this bill.Atchfence

Senate Sub. For House Bill 2118: This bill proposed repealing the Kansas Nongame and Endangered Species Act. It was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources and the committee recommended the bill be passed. It was placed on Senate General Orders but was stricken from the calendar. KDWPT opposed this bill.

House Bill 2422: This bill cleans up the definition of watercraft for the purpose of taxation, which initially passed in 2013. The bill was amended to require county average tax rates be the levies used to calculate tax on watercraft. It passed the House as amended 118-0, passed the Senate 40-0 and was signed by the Governor on April 4.

House Bill2538: This bill would amend K.S.A. 32-703, which says that ownership of wildlife in the state, not held in private ownership, are hereby declared to be in the state, to give landowners first right of first refusal to all wildlife illegally hunted on such landowner's land. This bill passed the House 106-17 and has been referred to the Senate Committee on Natural Resources. KDWPT opposed this bill.

House Bill2595: This bill would name two state fossils; the tylosaurus and the pteranodon. The tylosaurus, a giant mosasaur, which inhabited the great inland sea that covered portions of Kansas during the cretaceous period of the mesozoic era would be designated the official marine fossil of the state of Kansas. The Pteranodon, a great winged pterosaur with a wingspread of more than 24 feet, which flew over Kansas during the cretaceous period of the mesozoic era would be designated the official flying fossil of the state of Kansas. This bill is passed the House as amended 96-27, passed the Senate 40-0 and was signed by the Governor on April 4. KDWPT supported this bill.

House Bill 2626: This bill would authorize KDWPT to allow persons issued valid hunting licenses and big game permits to use leashed tracking dogs to track and find dead, wounded or injured big game. This bill was referred to the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources. The bill was tabled in committee as a result of potential regulatory action by the KDWPT.

House Bill2627: This bill would remove the requirement of hunter education completion for those who hold concealed carry permits. This bill was referred to the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources. This bill had a hearing on March 17, 2014 and saw no further action. KDWPT opposed this bill.

House Bill 2694: This bill would make hunting on any private land without landowner written permission criminal hunting, removing current requirements that landowners post or mark land as requiring written permission. This bill was referred to the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources and had a hearing on February 19, 2014. KDWPT opposed the bill.

There is still the possibility action on bills that have passed at least one house during the veto session, which begins April 30.

 

NEW STATE RECORD RAINBOW TROUT TIPS SCALES AT 15.72 POUNDS

Angler Josh McCullough caught the behemoth trout from Kill Creek Park Lake in Johnson County

PRATT – In Kansas trout waters, it’s not uncommon to drop a lure and get a bite after a few minutes, but to drop a lure, get a bite, and reel in a 15.72-pound rainbow trout is almost unheard of. That’s what angler Josh McCullough of Spring Hill experienced on Feb. 23 earlier this year. Fishing at Kill Creek Park Lake in Johnson County, McCullough had no idea the hook he had just fitted with a piece of Berkeley Gulp corn bait would land him a fish for the books.

When McCullough’s catch surfaced, he knew this was no ordinary fish. As he landed the trout ashore, McCullough quickly realized that fish on the end of his hook could very well be a new record. McCullough grabbed his gear, snapped a few photos with a phone, and then did what any angler should do when potentially holding a new state record fish – he took it to a certified scale to get weighed.

The 28.5-inch long fish tipped the scale at 15.72 pounds, a mere .29 of a pound heavier than the former state record rainbow trout weighing in at 15.42 pounds caught by Nicole Wilson. Wilson made the books in 2012 with her catch from Lake Shawnee in Topeka.

Before a new state record can be accepted, the following steps must occur:

     -The fish must be identified and witnessed by a Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) district fisheries biologist or regional fisheries supervisor

     -The fish must be weighed before it is frozen

     -The angler must submit an official Kansas state record fish application, accompanied by a sharp, color photo of the fish

     -The angler must undergo a mandatory 30-day waiting period following application

Only species listed on the KDWPT state record list will be accepted. A tissue sample may also be required.

To view a complete list of current Kansas state record fish, visit ksoutdoors.com and click “Fishing / State Record Fish.”

2014 Bills

SB50 (KDWPT initiative) -- This bill would require anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1989 to complete an approved boater education course before operating a vessel without supervision. Current law exempts anyone 21 or older from education requirements. This bill was referred to the Senate Natural Resources Committee. 

SB94 --This bill deals with certain crimes and punishments and amends the definition of a firearm to exempt antique firearms including matchlock, flintlock and percussion cap muzzleloaders, making it consistent with the federal definition of firearms. This bill was referred to the Committee on Judiciary.

SB223 -- This bill would authorize use of a crossbow by all hunters during big game archery season. Referred to the Committee on Natural Resources. (Regulations now allow use of crossbows by all hunters during big game archery seasons.)

SB272 -- This bill would eliminate the limit of the number of acres allowed to be enrolled in controlled shooting areas per county, which is currently 3 percent. This bill had a hearing on Jan. 23, 2014, and was amended by the committee to retain the cap but increase it to 5 percent. This bill passed the Senate 39-0 on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. This bill was referred to the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources and had a hearing on March 12, 2014. This bill passed the House 123-0 and was signed by the Governor on April 4.

SB276 --This bill would enact the State Sovereignty Over Non-migratory Wildlife Act and was introduced in response to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's announcement that adding the lesser prairie chicken to the Threatened and Endangered Species List was warranted. This bill had a hearing on Jan. 23, and on Jan. 31 the committee recommended it favorably for passage. The bill passed the Senate 30-10 on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. This bill was referred to the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources and had a hearing on March 12, 2014. The bill was amended significantly and is on House General Orders.

SB281 -- This bill would remove the red belly snake and smooth earth snake from the state Threatened and Endangered Species List established under the Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act. This bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Natural Resources. This bill had a hearing on Jan. 30.

SB323 -- This bill would terminate conservation easements, created on or after July 1, 2014, upon the death of the grantor or upon a specified term of years, prohibiting perpetual conservation easements. The bill had a hearing on Feb. 14, 2014 and is on Senate General Orders, below the line. On April 4, 2014, this bill failed on Senate Emergency Final Action, 23-16.

SB357 -- This bill would allow a hunter who has not completed an approved hunter education course to purchase three separate deferrals (apprentice licenses), each valid for the license year during which it is  purchased, before hunter education is required. Currently, a hunter may purchase a one-time deferral of hunter education completion. The department supports this bill. This bill had a hearing on February 20, 2014. This bill passed 40-0 on Senate Final Action. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources and had a hearing on March 17, 2014. This bill was amended to allow two separate deferrals, rather than the proposed three, and passed favorably out of committee. This bill passed the House 97-26 and was placed in conference committee.

SB366 -- This bill would authorize the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism to purchase a parcel of land containing 397 acres in Cherokee County. This bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. This bill passed on Senate Final Action, 28-12 and was introduced to the House and referred to the Committee on Appropriations.

SB 370 --  This bill would authorize the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism to purchase a parcel of land containing 484 acres in Pottawatomie County. This bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. This bill passed on Senate Final Action, 27-13 and was introduced to the House and referred to the Committee on Appropriations.

SB447 -- This is a wide-ranging bill relating to the regulation of guns and knives. However, one amendment would allow forfeited firearms to be used the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism for education purposes. It was referred to the Senate Committee on Federal and State Affairs and had a hearing on March 24, 2014. This bill passed on Senate General Orders.

Senate Resolution 1711 -- This resolution opposes the black-footed ferret programmatic harbor agreement and environmental assessment drafted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which involves black-footed ferrets that were reintroduced into Logan County in 2007. This resolution was referred to the Senate Committee on Natural Resources. This resolution passed the Senate as amended 31-9.

HB2076 -- This bill would exempt any honorably discharged veteran who resides in Kansas and has a service connected disability equal to or greater than 30 percent from all hunting and fishing license/permit requirements and fees. The department opposes this bill.

Senate Sub. For HB2118 -- This bill proposed repealing the Kansas Nongame and Endangered Species Act. It was referred to Committee on Natural Sources and committee report recommended bill be passed. It was placed on Senate General Orders but was stricken from the calendar.

HB2362 -- This bill would amend provisions of the nongame and endangered species conservation act, specifically redefining critical habitat as it relates to a threatened and endangered species, as well as significantly changing how species are designated threatened or endangered in Kansas. The department opposes the bill, which was referred to the Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources.

HB2422 --  This bill cleans up the definition of watercraft for the purpose of taxation, which initially passed in 2013. This bill passed as amended 118-0 and was referred to the Senate Committee on Assessment and Taxation. The bill passed the Senate 40-0 and was signed by the Governor on April 4. 

HB2473 -- This is a large bill dealing with weapons, but there are provisions in it related to seized firearms and disposition to Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism. It was referred to the House Committee on Federal and State Affairs. This bill had a hearing on February 4, 2014. This bill is on House General Orders.

HB2538 -- This bill would amend K.S.A. 32-703, which says that ownership of wildlife in the state, not held in private ownership, are hereby declared to be in the state. The amendment would give landowners first right of first refusal to all antlers of deer illegally hunted on such landowner's land. This bill was referred to the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources. This bill came out of committee amended to include all wildlife illegally hunted on such landowner's land. It passed the House 106-17 and has been referred to the Senate Committee on Natural Resources. This bill had a hearing on Thursday, March 13, 2014.

HB2595 -- This bill would name two state fossils; the tylosaurus and the pteranodon. The tylosaurus, a giant mosasaur, which inhabited the great inland sea that covered portions of Kansas during the cretaceous period of the mesozoic era would be designated the official marine fossil of the state of Kansas. The Pteranodon, a great winged pterosaur with a wingspread of more than 24 feet, which flew over Kansas during the cretaceous period of the mesozoic era would be designated the official flying fossil of the state of Kansas. This bill had a hearing on February 19, 2014. The House Committee on Vision 2020 recommended bill be passed as amended. This bill is passed as amended 96-27 on House Final Action. The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on State and Federal Affairs. This bill had a hearing on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 and committee recommended bill be passed and placed on consent calendar. This bill passed the Senate 40-0 and is awaiting action by the Governor.

HB2626 -- This bill would authorize the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism to allow persons issued valid hunting licenses and big game permits to use leashed tracking dogs to track and find dead, wounded or injured big game. This bill was referred to the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources. This bill had a hearing on February 18, 2014. The bill was tabled in committee. 

HB2627 -- This bill would remove the requirement of hunter education completion for those who hold concealed carry permits. This bill was referred to the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources. This bill had a hearing on March 17, 2014.

HB2694 -- This bill would make hunting on any private land without landowner written permission criminal hunting, removing current requirements that landowners post or mark land as requiring written permission. This bill was referred to the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources. This bill had a hearing on February 19, 2014.

HB2737 -- This bill amends statutes concerning dangerous regulated animals; pertaining to the sale, slaughter and acquisition of such animals. The current statute defines dangerous animals as lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars, cheetahs, mountain lions, bears and all non-native, venomous snakes. This bill would add nonhuman primates and wolves to that list. This bill was referred to the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources.

2013 Bills passed and signed by the Governor

SB57 -- The department supports provisions of this bill related to domestic deer. Under statute, anyone possessing domesticated deer must be permitted under the Kansas Department of Agriculture. This bill would amend that statute to allow the Department of Agriculture to request assistance from the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism in implementing and enforcing laws governing domesticated deer. This bill had a hearing for opponents on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013. This bill had a hearing for proponents is on Feb. 13, and was scheduled for Committee Final Action on Feb. 25. This bill passed the Senate 40-0 and was referred to the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources. It had a hearing March 12. This bill passed the House 87-32. This bill was signed by the governor on April 16, 2013.

SB74 -- This bill would prohibit the Department of Corrections from producing modular homes, including KDWPT cabins. The bill had a hearing on Thursday, Feb. 7. KDWPT requested an exemption to allow DOC to produce the cabins being placed in state parks, state fishing lakes and wildlife areas. This bill was amended to protect the KDWPT cabin program and the department supports the bill as amended. The bill passed the Senate 36-4 and has been referred to the House Committee on Commerce, Labor and Economic Development. This bill passed the House 87-3 and was signed by the governor on April 10, 2013.

SB83 -- This bill deals with income, severance and sales tax issues and was amended to include provisions of HB2244 which reduces the percentage of value that watercraft are assessed at to 11.5 percent in 2014 and 5 percent in 2015 and thereafter. The bill was signed the governor on April 16, 2013.

HB2030 (KDWPT initiative)--This bill would allow the department to issue 10 "Wounded Warrior Deer Permits" to disabled veterans who sustained injuries in combat and have a service-connected disability of not less than 30 percent. This bill had a hearing Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013 at 3:30 p.m. Room 346-S. This bill passed as amended out of committee and pass the House 115-0. It has been referred to the Senate Committee on Natural Resources. This bill was signed by the governor on April 2, 2013.

HB2052 -- This bill creates the crime of unlawful discharge of a firearm within or into the corporate limits of any city. However, it allows the discharge of a firearm to lawfully take wildlife, including nuisance wildlife, if approved by the KDWPT and the governing body of the city. This bill had a hearing on Feb. 7. This bill passed the House as amended 121-2. It was referred to the Senate Committee on Federal and State Affairs and had a hearing. The bill was amended to include items from other firearm-related bills but still includes original provisions related to unlawful discharge. The amended version of this bill passed the Senate 35-5 and is in conference committee. This bill was signed by the governor on April 16, 2013.

HB2218 -- This bill now includes provisions from SB49, which was a boating under the influence bill. Current law makes it unlawful to operate a vessel with a blood or breath alcohol concentration of .08 at the time of or within two hours of operating a vessel. Provisions from SB49 would increase the time period from two hours to three hours after operation of a vessel, making it consistent with state DUI laws for motor vehicles. This bill was approved by the Governor May 22, 2013.

HB2244  (KDWPT initiative) -- This bill was introduced as a result of the ballot issue which passed in November 2012 allowing the state constitution to be amended and a change to the way watercraft are taxed in the state. This bill would gradually reduce the percentage of appraised value used to asses property tax on a watercraft to 20 percent in 2014, 10 percent in 2015, then exempting watercraft from taxation for tax year 2016 and thereafter. This bill had a hearing on February 18 and will be referred to a sub-committee for further discussion. This bill was discussed at a sub-committee meeting on March 19. A sub-committee report with possible substitute bill is scheduled to be presented on March 21 at 3:30 p.m., Room 582N. The amended bill would reduce the percentage of value that watercraft are assessed at to 11.5 percent in 2014 and 5 percent in 2015 and thereafter. The amended version passed the House on Emergency Final Action 107-15. It was received and introduced to the Senate on March 27.The provisions of this bill were incorporated into SB83, which was signed by the governor on April 16, 2013.

 

HISTORY IS FUN ~ Robert D. Caplinger

 

Have you ever heard about the “Professional Building” in Effingham?  An article in the Atchison Globe in April 1969 gives its history under an article entitled: “TOURING EFFINGHAM”.

“The ‘Professional’ building in Effingham has been razed.  For several years it was occupied by the late Tom Alderson’s feed store and many years ago it was the headquarters for Lott’s variety store.  When Alderson operated the feed store, senior citizens of the community gathered there frequently to discuss farm problems and visit.  It was referred to as the ‘Professional Building’ because of a large sign in front advertising Professional feeds….George Madden, Henry Gossman and Jess Coder were occupying  the seat of leisure in front of Jim’s Recreation the other afternoon.  Louis Kloepper and some of his friends were inside engaged in a game of dominoes….’There just aren’t many persons left around here,’ Madden said.  ‘The farm population is declining and that’s what we have around here.’  Madden said the decline is due to modern machinery and then recalled the first combine he knew about. ‘It was the one Sherm Wiley bought over near Muscotah.  Farmers from miles around came to watch the combine in operation and it wasn’t long until other farmers were buying them.’….Peck Benjamin, Walter Myers and Clark Harman are now called the top fisherman in Effingham.  Since the weather is warming up they expect Judge Morgan of Lancaster to be joining them….The old drug store building in Effingham is being razed.  Reed Cannon and his crew have been taking the insides out of the structure…. The area between the Alexander Lumber Co. office and its display building has been cleared for the new company warehouse, but construction work hadn’t started last week…. There are 889 farms signed up for the feed grain and wheat programs for 1969, it was reported at the ASCS office.  The number of farms is down from last year, but the diverted acres from crop production remains about the same…. The board of supervisors of the Atchison County Soil Conservation District at a meeting last week voted to contribute $75 toward sending the FFA land judging team to the pasture and land judging contests soon in Oklahoma City….The Northeast Kansas District Ayrshire show will be held Saturday in Effingham.”

 

 

 

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NEED A YARD MOWED??

The season is almost here.  If you need help with your yard call Dale at 913-833-9631

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Buzz's every Friday & Saturday night Rib eye Supper

Serving 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.  Includes:  12 oz. Rib eye, Loaded Baked Potato, House Salad,

Texas Toast, Ear of Corn, Deviled Eggs, Coffee or Tea & dessert $17.99   

 

"GUESS WHO"

 

Can you identify the subject and year of the photo? Last week’s photo was a young Leander Wessel.  Dick Coupe was first.

 

 

LAST WEEK

Problems with this web site contact cap@thenewsleaf.com Last updated 4-15-2014

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