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You are our   Visitor


The January 17, 2017 Edition


The Newsleaf


Vol. 14  Issue 3



Jared Altic, the senior minister of the Wyandotte County Christian Church, Kansas City, KS, will be the guest speaker at a Men's Breakfast at the Cummings Christian Church, Saturday, January 21, at 8:00 am.  Jared is from Winchester, having participated in the Christian Church at Winchester when he lived there. All are welcome. We will be eating at about 8:00 am.













Larry Lee Smith, 75, Atchison, died Sunday, January 15, 2017 at Atchison Senior Village after a courageous battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease).

Funeral services will be 10:00 am on Thursday, January 19th, 2017 at the Becker-Dyer-Stanton Funeral Home with Abbot Barnabas Senecal, O.S.B. officiating. Burial will follow in St. Leo’s Cemetery, Horton, KS. The family will receive friends from 9:00 am until time of service on Thursday at the funeral home.  Memorial contributions are suggested to the Atchison Senior Village or to the ALS Foundation and may be sent in care of the funeral home.  Condolences and memories to the family may be left online at

 He was born August 28, 1941 at Horton, Kansas.  He was the son of Junius and Viola E. (Schuetz) Smith.  He attended St. Leo’s grade school in Horton, KS and was a member of St. Leo’s Catholic Church.  He graduated from Atchison County Community High School in Effingham, KS in 1959.  Larry attended Kansas State University and was a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity and graduated from Emporia State Teacher’s College with a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences in 1963 and a Master’s degree in Education in 1965.

He and Marjorie Ann Buttron, Lancaster, Kansas, were united in marriage on September 9, 1961 in Emporia, Kansas. 

He began his teaching career in Chase County Community High School in Cottonwood Falls, KS, and later moved to Atchison where he taught at USD #409, Maur Hill Prep School and Bert Nash.  Larry retired from Atchison High School in 1999 after 37 years of teaching.

Larry was a past member of the Atchison Jaycees, Atchison Elks, Knights of Columbus, Atchison Teacher’s Association, Pineview Country Club, and Bellevue Country Club.  After retiring from education, Larry worked part-time at the Bellevue Country Club on the course management staff for 14 years and enjoyed playing golf. 

Larry enjoyed playing all sports and was an assistant football coach at Atchison High School.  He was an official for basketball, football and volleyball for several years.  He loved playing softball and poker with the guys. 

Larry is survived by his wife, Marjorie Smith, of 55 years.  Three children:  Lynnette (Scott) Kracht, Marysville, KS, Lori (Rick) Bobki, Spring Hill, KS, and Scott (Susan) Smith, De Soto, KS.  Grandchildren:  Bryan (Ashley) Kracht, Alyssa (Andrew) Feldkamp, Andy and Mat Edwards, Madison and McKenzie Kracht, and Cody and Kyleigh Bobki.  Great grandchildren:  Jaxon Feldkamp, Clara Kracht and Jayden Feldkamp.  Brothers:  Ivan (Barbara) Smith, Lenexa, KS, and Daryl (Nadine) Smith, Whiting, KS.

He was preceded in death by:  his parents, and sister-in-law, Laura Smith. 






FOMA Holds Annual Meeting - Hansons Transfer Ownership Of Mercantile

Wednesday last, the Board of Directors of the Friends of Muscotah Association (FOMA) met at the Muscotah Mercantile with CJ and Jeff Hanson to execute some very important documents for the benefit of the organization and most especially the community.

It has been a couple years since the first meeting was held to discuss forming an organization that could be a catalyst for good in the community and provide a formal structure to facilitate the dreams of several members of the town. 

Initially a bit hidden in a neighborhood, the Mercantile was already in operation at that time but there were dreams of a new structure located on First St. that would house the existing operations and much more.  Many fund raising efforts were organized over that period of time and donations received to try and realize that goal. Thanks to the Hansons and many other folks in the area the rest of the funds needed were procured with financing from the Union State Bank.  The loan funded the remaining portion of what was needed to get the structure built and the Muscotah Mercantile moved into its new digs in 2016.  Now the Mercantile is prominently located  on First Street, offering a cafe, groceries and craft wares proudly.  Locals and visitors dine, shop and chat there.  

During the period of time of construction, the Friends of Muscotah Association was being formed.  In May of 2016, the organization received its official designation as a 501C3 Non-Profit Corporation.  In the organizational documents, its purpose is stated to develop activities and invest in projects to build the stature of the City of Muscotah which includes:  Developing positive community attitudes; improve economic activities and to stimulate the civic and spiritual life of Muscotah citizens.  The original officers and forming members of the new Non-Profit were: Mark Bodenhausen, President; Margaret Jacobs, VP; Chris Bodenhausen, Al Schirmacher, Dolly Wilson and Steve Caplinger, Sec/Treas.

The Mercantile has been in operation now for a good time and is going strong.  The debt has been reduced substantially by the present owner.  Now that it seems under control, CJ and Jeff wanted to transfer ownership and control of the real estate to FOMA. 

During the annual meeting of the organization, CJ and Jeff signed deeds transferring the real estate to FOMA and both parties entered into a lease agreement. 

Under the terms of the lease, CJ will continue to own and operate the business but is now going to take the position as a tenant in the building and FOMA will become the new landlord.  CJ will continue to pay rent and takes on the obligation of insurance and taxes for the real estate.  FOMA will continue to try and raise funds to complete the repayment of the debt with the help of the rent payments and further donations from the community.

The FOMA board hopes to reduce the debt as fast as possible so that future rent payments can be accumulated in the organization for the maintenance of the building and any future projects that will conform with the corporation's mission and purposes.

During the annual meeting, the members came to the realization that the organization activities were not well known and this wasn't their goal.  So they are going to try and be more inviting to everyone interested in seeing the town prosper. 

From the beginning the board has incorporated into its structure a mechanism for membership.  Basically, anyone who has an interest in the welfare of the City of Muscotah can become a member of the non-profit.  Annual membership dues are only $10.00 and lifetime memberships can be granted for $100.00.  Any member of the organization is eligible to vote at the annual meeting and be elected to the board of directors.  Annual meetings are held each second Wednesday of January.  Regular meetings will be called as the need arises.

The board is very aware of the financial significance this gift represents from CJ and Jeff.  They have put a lot of their own money into this structure, not to mention a lot of time, energy and worry.  This gift from the Hansons to Muscotah coupled with all of the prior donations to this effort from the community have resulted in Muscotah becoming a model for what a small town can do if they work together.  Hopefully this attitude and dedication will continue into the future.  They see this as the start of the renewal of Muscotah.  The board of FOMA wants to do all they can do to strengthen the organization and thus the town for the future citizens of Muscotah.

If you wish to become a member of FOMA, contact anyone of the members mentioned above and they will sign you up.  Anyone that can help FOMA financially is encouraged to contact the same members.  Any donation to the organization is tax deductible since FOMA is a 501C3.


Atchison County Community Schools Announces Wrestling Royalty

Atchison County Community Junior Senior High School is pleased to announce the candidates for 2017 King and Queen of Mats. Queen candidates are Trisha Fassnacht, daughter of Patrick and Amy Fassnacht; Karina Johnson, daughter of David and Patricia Johnson; and Kennedy Parnell, daughter of Jason Parnell and Kelli Parnell. King candidates are Dylan Birkinsha, son of Nelson and Karen Birkinsha; Hunter Ostertag, son of Corey and Alison Ostertag; and Karl Scholz, son of Troy and Angie Scholz. The crowning ceremony will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 17, 2017, in the ACCJSHS Gym, prior to the wrestling dual with Atchison HS.  They are shown in the photo L-R: Kennedy Parnell, Karl Scholz, Trisha Fassnacht, Dylan Birkinsha, Hunter Ostertag, and Karina Johnson.




The blood drive was a great success this last Monday in Effingham. Betty Tinker the representative of the Community Blood Center said, "We registered 66 donors. We collected 63 units of blood. This was the largest drive since 2011. WE THANK EVERYONE!" Good job folks.


St. Ann’s Altar Society

St. Ann’s Altar Society met on Monday, January 9, 2017 at 7:00 pm in the parish center.  Kristie Scholz opened the meeting with a prayer.  Nine members were present and answered roll call with “What is your New Year’s Resolution?”.  Communications report was given by Denny Cunningham, 18 cards were sent out in December and a total of 106 cards for 2016.

In new business Altar Society welcomed two new officers Julie Baker, President and Darla Lanter, Treasurer.  A funeral dinner for Leander Wessel was served.  Medals will be presented to Confirmation Students at Youth Mass on Sunday, January 22, 2017. World Day of Prayer will be hosted by St. Ann’s on Friday, March 3 and there will be a CCD Breakfast Fundraiser on Sunday, January 29.  Discussion was held regarding the possibility of adding garbage disposals to the two other sinks in the kitchen.

The next meeting will be February 6, 2017. Secretary, Lisa Gearhart




·                     Board of Education Appreciation Month - Mr. Wiseman recognized the Board for their leadership in public education and continuing service to the children of our community.

·                     NWEA MAP - Mr. Snyder presented on the recommendation to purchase NWEA MAP as the District’s Data Point #2 assessment tool. A brief update on how we plan to incorporate this into the spring testing cycle will be provided during the afternoon of the January 16 inservice


4.01             Minutes from December 12, 2016

4.02             Activity Reports, Bills & Claims and a revised Treasurer’s Report

4.03             Gifts & Grants

·                     $200 from Paul Courter for delinquent middle school lunch accounts

·                     $60.23 from the AJ Rice Estate for nurse/health supplies

·                     OPAA to ACCES - Beverages and 10oz bottles of water

·                     OPAA to ACCHS - Beverages, cinnamon rolls

·                     OPAA to CO - Cinnamon rolls

·                     KSDE Food Service Equipment Assistance Grant from KSDE for two convection ovens for the High School kitchen, total value $10,469.82

4.04             Keystone Correspondences

4.0401 Keystone Superintendents’ Council Agenda for 01/10/2017

4.0402 Keystone BOD Minutes from 12/14/2016 (unofficial)

4.05            Lifetouch Portrait Contracts for 2017-2018.

·                     Elementary School Contract

·                     JSH Contract

4.06         Non-resident applications for membership

·                     Aydriannah Price - currently attending, but recently moved out of district

·                     Kamerin Keil - currently attending, but recently moved out of district

4.07 Approval of Fundraiser requests

·                     ACCHS National Honor Society fundraiser – Donkey Basketball, March 16 at the JSH. Funds will be used for National Honor Society supplies for induction ceremony, and to have the ability to give back to the community.

·                     ACCHS Drama Club Free-will donation dessert bar at intermission of the play performances; parents provide desserts and man the table at intermission (March 21, April 1-2)

4.08    Correspondences

·                     Keystone KPERS Meeting Notice to Staff

Additional Consent Items approved

C-A.    ​Placement of two BC student teachers for the upcoming semester at the JSH

Mrs. Scherer is recommending the board approve a request from Benedictine College to place two student teachers in our JSH this spring.  Both of these potential student teachers have done field placements and observation in the past here at ACCJSH.  The two students and their requested placements are:

·                     Michael Mueller – English

·                     Sebastian Calvino – Social Studies

C-B.    Acceptance of the Keystone Parents as Teachers 1st Semester Report

·                     PAT Report        


Mrs. Gracey, Board Clerk

·                     Health Insurance Summary Report

·                     Current year health insurance costs - $840,529.70

·                     FY18 estimated health insurance costs - $892,809.96

·                     $52,280.26 increase or 6.22%

·                     Current participation rate - 87%

Mr. Snyder

·                     NWEA MAP Quote for spring of 2017

·                     District assessment plan 2016-17

Mr. Wallisch

·                     Uniform Rotation 2015-2020 report

·                     Uniform Rotation 2020-2025 report

·                     Reported on last Friday night’s reunion of the 2007 Girls Basketball team that finished 3rd in Class 3A

·                     Reported that IMAC is closing its doors, which may present an opportunity for the high school to be admitted into the NEKL.

Mrs. McMillan - January Report

Mrs. Scherer – January Report

Mr. Wiseman, Superintendent’s Report

·                     Negotiations Training Video online  - This online training tool is available to anyone serving as a negotiator; board or association member. Reminder:  State law requires that anyone involved with the negotiations process must go through negotiations training.

·                     Council of Superintendents Agenda for Jan 11, 2017 - Mr. Wiseman will be attending the Council of Superintendents meeting Wednesday afternoon. He will be leaving the district at approximately 1:45 pm

·                     KSDE Food Service Letter of Excess Line Item Funds - Due to the bill back system used to pay food service labor costs, the district has accumulated what the state considers to be excess reserve funds (more than 3 months of actual costs). Mr. Wiseman submitted a plan to use the excess funding to buy equipment and pay down food service costs in 2017-18. The plan includes calling for a new Food Service Management RFP for the 2017-2018 school year. Mr. Wiseman will be working with the state on the development of an RFP for soliciting food service management bids.

·                     Civil Rights Data Collection Notification Letter - The Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) for the 2015-16 school year will open for data submissions beginning on February 6, 2017, for public school districts and other local educational agencies (LEAs).  Every public school district in the nation is required to participate in this survey from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

·                     New Robotics Kits purchased at the State Surplus sale for the Keystone Gifted and Talented program at the very low price of $25 per kit (normally $200 new).

·                     House Bill 2008 would require seat belts on school buses purchased after 2018

·                     Estimated additional cost when purchasing a new bus - $8,000 to $10,000.

·                     Estimated cost to retrofit and used bus - $25,000.

·                     State Budget Update - The state is down $340 million in the current fiscal year. The governor has until July 1, to find a fix. Revenue estimates indicate that the problem will be even more significant next fiscal year - estimated deficit of $580 million. The legislature has depleted KDOT funds by $1.2 billion over the past three years - that well is pretty much dry.

·                     Juvenile Justice update - SB 367 was enacted last year and takes effect on July 1, 2017. Its goal is to reduce the number of juveniles in state detention facilities by keeping many offenders in their home communities, where they are supposed to receive treatment. Concerns have arisen, however, that community resources will not be available. The law requires school districts to develop a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with local judicial and law enforcement to help accomplish the state’s goal.  

·                     School personnel must be trained eight (8) different areas.

·                     Greenbush will make training videos available at the end of January to its member districts

·                     Law enforcement officials are required by law to be trained on the new Juvenile Justice laws.

·                     Deadline is July 1st.

·                     Early retirement/resignation notification incentives available to teachers.   Article V, Section K of the Negotiated Agreement encourages teachers to notify the Board as soon as possible of their intention to resign or retire. The Board will pay employees according to the following schedule if their notice of resignation or retirement is received early:

·                     Notice received January 1 through January 31.............$500 stipend

·                     Notice received February 1 through February 29...............$200 stipend

·                     Notice received March 1 through March 31 ..............................$100 stipend

·                     Payment will be made no later than the last regular pay date for the employee.

·                     KESA Update - Quarter 3 training. Mrs. Scherer, Mrs. McMillan, Mr. Snyder, and Mr. Wiseman will attend KESA Q3 training in Eudora on Thursday, January 19, from 9:00 AM - 11:30  AM

·                     Greenbush Perkins Professional Development Funds - March 1 Reimbursement Deadline

·                     Each school in the Greenbush Perkins Consortium is allocated $1,300 to support CTE related Professional Development activities.  March 1 is the deadline to either submit reimbursement paperwork for our PD expenses, or notify GB how we plan to spend our PD money.  FY17 Perkins PD funds may only support activities that take place during the grant year (July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017).  After March 1, any unused professional development funds will be split equally amongst all member districts who requested funds in excess of the $1,300/building allocation.

Mrs. Dillon - reported on the Service Learning policy recommendation and the progress of the high school’s Job Shadowing program.


·                     Approved the AM Trust America Loss Control Policy Recommendations

·                     Policy Recommendations page

·                     Approved the JSH Service Learning proposal that will go into effect starting with the start of the 2017-18 school year. Beginning next year, students will be required to obtain 40 hours of community service in order to graduate. This policy will be phased in at the rate of 10 service learning credit hours per year.

·                     Service Learning Proposal

·                     Approved the proposal to contract with NWEA MAP Data to provide nationally norm-referenced assessment tools and data reporting software beginning in the spring. This proposal aligns with the state’s new accreditation model under the fifth R - Results. The cost will be $5,146.25.  Of the cost, $1,000 is an initial one time setup fee.

·                     Link to cost breakdown

·                     Approved the following personnel recommendations:

·                     Sub custodian pay rates

·                     Randy Heineken - $9.00 per hour

·                     Rhonda Thorpe - $9.00 per hour

·                     Amend Richard Drennon’s custodial contract from eight hours per day to nine hours per day, with no change in hourly rate. Note - Overtime rates will apply for work over 40 hours per week.

·                     Extend a Nurse’s contract to Carla Forbes for the remainder of the 2016-17 school year. Compensation to be set at $28 per hour, plus benefits.

·                     Student trips approved:

·                     Feb 3 G3 Field trip to Sheffel Theater Clinic to learn about performing arts in Topeka.

·                     Feb 7 Atchison County Spelling Bee G5-G8

·                     Feb 8 HS Science Club to Washburn University Department of Physics and Astronomy.

·                     May 9 G4 to Live Animal Education Program at Topeka Zoo

·                     Approved CBIZ as the District’s insurance broker for the purpose of bidding out general liability and worker’s compensation insurance policies.

·                     Move the February meeting from the 13th to the 20th, same time and location. 


MUSCOTAH NEWS ~ Susan Higley

BINGO!!! Saturday, January 21st will be the next Cancer Support Bingo from 2 to 4 p.m. at the community building weather permitting. Everyone is welcome to come and enjoy the afternoon with refreshments and a variety of prizes. Half of the proceeds from the day will go to help cancer patients with expenses and the other half will go towards Relay for Life. Everyone is welcome. Bring a friend and enjoy the afternoon.

We did get a little ice on Sunday, but not as bad as predicted. We are thankful for that. People were rushing out to get food and other necessary items before the storm hit. Sounds like the bread racks at local stores were either low or completely empty. There was also a big run on generators.  Almost all church services were cancelled along with meetings. There were even some businesses closing.  Hope everyone was safe.

If you have anything for the news items, please call me at 872-3245.

JackNEW BEGINNINGS ~ Jack Albright


The purpose of this article is to share thoughts that will help readers who are involved in family estrangements.

Estrangement in families is not a twenty-first-century phenomenon. Henry Burr, in 1903, wrote a song titled “Oh Where Is My Wandering Boy Tonight.” Could Mr. Burr have based this song on the Prodigal Son story Jesus told in Luke chapter fifteen?

Here are some words from his song:

Verse 1. “Where is my wandering boy tonight, The boy of my tend’rest care, The boy that was once my joy and light,

The child of my love and pray’r?

Refrain: “O where is my boy tonight? O where is my boy tonight? My heart o’erflows, for I love him, he knows; O where is my boy tonight?”

Verse 2. “Go for my wand’ring boy tonight; Go search for him where you will; But bring him to me with all his blight, And tell him I love him still.”

What is your first feeling as you read these words? Does your sympathy go out to the parent or the son? Is the parent the mother or the father? Is the parent free of any wrongdoing that caused the boy to desert them?

The estranged “prodigal” may not be on some far distant continent. Estrangement may exist between people living in the same house. They may exchange words regularly and never communicate with each other. Neither person actually hears and accepts the words that the other is saying. Have you ever heard (or said):” I talk to him/her till my face turns blue and it is like pouring water on a duck’s back. They just don’t listen.”

It is likely true that they don’t listen to us. Is it also likely true that we don’t listen to them? We may have our loud speaker turned up full volume–but have our receiver turned off.

Many conversations are shouting matches where neither person even tries to understand what the other person is saying. Both are totally engaged in defending their position and winning the argument. No one will win, but both will painfully lose.

Is it possible to change this into a win-win situation? The answer is yes but it is difficult.

Mr. Burr’s song gives us at least two clues as to what to do…or not to do.

First, the song silently leaves the assumption that the parent is faultless and had given the boy no reason for leaving home. The parent idolized the boy and nurtured him with tenderest care, love and prayer…while he was a totally dependent child. When the boy matured did he leave home in order to become free of the parent’s domination or abuse?   

What choices do we have?

We can raise our volume, cry, and scream and call them names. They may respond by blocking our channel.

Mr. Burrs ordered someone else to force the boy home. This enlarged the problem.

Questions: Are those who oppose me narrow minded and self-centered? Do they ignore my feelings? Do they falsely judge me?

Question: Are my opinions of them only a mirrored reflection of my feelings and attitude toward them? Would I like myself if I looked at me through their eyes?

Scottish poet Robert Burns prayed: “O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!” (O would some power give us the ability to see ourselves as others see us.)

Who is responsible to begin healing in your family estrangement?


FROM PASTOR AL ~ Al Schirmacher

Christian friends,

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

Galatians 5:1 NIV

Visitation is an important part of ministry, including jails and prisons.

One time, after completing a visit, I was unable to leave.  One door hadn't closed correctly, which wouldn't allow the next to open.

A voice came over the speakers, assuring me I would be out soon (thought I heard a mild chuckle).

Nevertheless, the feeling wasn't pleasant.  I was not free to go.

I can only guess at the prisoner's feelings as he returned to his confinement, but he appeared to be used to it.

I wonder if there is not a parallel in our Christian experience.

We have been set free by the Lord, from our past, from our sins and habits.  Sometimes we don't experience this truth.  Other times we return to our past confinement far too easily and willingly.

We are like Christian in Pilgrim's Progress, unaware that the heaviest chains have been broken, and the prison doors only appear locked. 

Be free, brothers and sisters.

Al Schirmacher


 “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.”

Luke 15:7, 10, 22-24 NIV

Jesus tells three stories in Luke 15:

·        Shepherd finding the lost sheep

·        Woman finding her lost money

·        Father "finding" his returning prodigal son.

And what is consistent about each story?



God the Father's joy and celebration.

Do you serve a joy-filled God?

Or does your God frown all the time, looking to stomp out any little joy that might bubble up?

We serve an emotional God who shows the full spectrum in scriptures and experience.

And certainly there is time for sobriety and sorrow, particularly over our own and others' sin and circumstances.

But let us share His joy.

 “For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”

Psalm 30:5 NIV

Al Schirmacher 


empty religious duty

simply chills our souls

so we leave it behind

creating deeper holes


we scream hypocrisy

content to be right

striving for our freedom

but losing the fight


we've forgotten

duty is less than half

such must be twinned

with compassion's path


come let us return

loving our Father with all

but loving our neighbor as well

obeying His twinned call


“Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for people to humble themselves? Is it only for bowing one's head like a reed and for lying in sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord? 

"Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? 

Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? 

Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.”

Isaiah 58:5-8 NIV

Al Schirmacher 



The Kansas Budget ~ Budget Director Shawn Sullivan

Governor Brownback promised a structurally balanced budget Tuesday night in his State of the State Address. Today, he delivered on that promise.

This budget is balanced. It reconciles spending with available revenue, supports core functions of state government, and finds common sense efficiencies. This proposal provides for a structurally balanced budget while addressing the current shortfall.

The Governor's budget does not rely on large cuts to any core services of state government. It also does not introduce massive tax increases on the income of middle class Kansans. This budget, however, does address both sides of the fiscal ledger. It provides for both responsible expenditure reductions and reasonable revenue enhancements that are consistent with Governor Brownback's pro-growth strategy.

In order to ensure that Kansas has enough money to make ends meet this fiscal year, we have identified a funding source that can address the present shortfall. However, since such actions are not sustainable over the long term, the Governor has made long-term structural balance a top priority. This budget is structurally balanced. We share the people's desire for fiscal sustainability, and are proposing measures to achieve it.

In order to ensure fairness in taxation, this budget taxes the passive income of small business owners. This means that business income that is reinvested into the Kansas economy will remain free of burdensome income taxes, but income not actively invested in growing the economy will be taxed at the normal rate. Since income taxes are disproportionately damaging to economic growth, the Governor’s budget proposal focuses on consumption taxes as the primary means of raising new revenue. This keeps taxes off of both middle class families and job creators, while helping to ensure that the Kansas budget achieves structural balance.

Budgets are about priorities, and this budget sets several priorities for Governor Brownback's remaining years in office. It includes a teaching scholarship, TeachersKan, to ensure that children in rural Kansas receive the education that they deserve. It provides for a $15K bachelor's degree challenge that will work to keep college affordable for Kansas students. It provides funding to solve the chronic shortage of doctors and dentists in rural areas of the state. It also ensures that Kansas will continue to have a pro-growth tax system moving forward as we work to overcome the economic difficulties facing our agriculture, energy, and manufacturing sectors.

While legislators on both sides of the aisle may disagree with some of the particulars of this proposal, we look forward to working with them to pass and sign a balanced budget. Together, Governor Brownback and the legislature will continue in their shared goal of making Kansas the best state in America to raise a family and grow a business. This budget keeps that goal as its primary focus.

Kansas is a great state. This budget keeps Kansas on a long-term path towards hope, prosperity, and a brighter future.




Unapproved Minutes of the Monday, January 9 Meeting of the Atchison County Commission

Pursuant to the law, the board met in Regular Session at 10:00 am on the 1st floor of the courthouse with Chairman Bill Pohl calling meeting to order with Commissioners Eric Noll and Commissioner Jeff Schuele present for the meeting, County Clerk Michelle Phillips recorded the minutes with County Counselor Pat Henderson present.

Board recited the pledge of allegiance at the start of the meeting.

Terry Knopke of The United Way appeared before the board with a short video about how the United Way helps the citizens of Atchison County.  She left a flyer to be sent to the employees for pledges and explained that we would be able to do payroll deductions automatically for those employees who would choose to do so.

Minutes of January 3rd were reviewed. A correction was noted and corrected.    Commissioner Schuele made the motion to approve as read, Commissioner Noll seconded. Chairman Pohl called for a vote, all voted aye, motion carried, 3-0.

There were no committee reports.

Commissioner Noll clarified to the board that our current medical director for the health department, Dr. John Growney, will not be retiring as he initially heard, therefore we will not be needing to find a new health officer.

Corey Scott, Emergency Medical Director appeared with Lydia Ackmann, EMS Administrative Assistant. Lydia appeared with a form for the commissioners to fill out in regards to the Kansas Medical Assistance Program (KMAP).  This form is required for all providers participating in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Commissioner Schuele made the motion to have Commissioner Noll sign the KMAP Application, Pohl Seconded the motion. All voted aye, motion passed 3-0.

Lydia also presented three quotes for the billing software system that would need to be used for EMS. The bids were from: ImageTrend, TriTech, and MedaPoint. Wes Lanter, Emergency Management/IT Director, who sat through the demonstrations with Corey and Lydia mentioned that the MedaPoint would be the best system to use.  The fee included all training fees and clearing house fees. Commissioner Schuele made a motion to proceed with the MedaPoint at a cost of $8,130.

Wes Lanter also presented the board with the final bill for the CIC software in the amount of $67,953.45.  This will be the final installation of the software, however, we will still have yearly maintenance fee. Commissioner Schuele made a motion to approve the final payment, Noll seconded it. Pohl called for a vote, all voted aye. Motion passed 3-0.

Jody Scott, resident and business owner, appeared before the board with questions regarding the bridge replacement and if the road will be closed.  His concern is that closing the road would be a hardship on his business and other residents who live within the area. Seth Howard, Road and Bridge Superintendent, has been in touch with our engineer KDOT and the contractor are looking into possible changes with the permits to keep the road open, at least one lane, as long as possible. However, this will more than likely raise the cost anywhere up to $100,000 or more. He will keep the board up-to-date on any findings.

Seth presented the board with a purchase order for re-stocking the bridge planks of various sizes for a cost of $29,024.00 to Wheeler Lumber. Commissioner Noll made a motion to accept the bid, Schuele seconded the motion. Chairman Pohl called for a vote, all voted aye, motion carried 3-0.

Seth talked to the board in regards a couple bridges and problem areas that have been brought to the attention of the commissioners.  He will check into each of them.

Greg Gehring, Walnut Township Trustee, presented the board with a bill for $49.83 last week. This was for school bus stop ahead signs.  Seth originally gave the township the signs at a cost of $60-70, to put up so the bill was for post and additional materials needed. Pat Henderson, County Counselor, will draft up a letter to the Walnut Township Board in regards to payment not being made to Gehring from the county.  The township should be making the payment since it is a township road.

Pauline Lee appeared before the board in regards to the wages for Wes Lanter, Emergency Management/IT Director. The wage that was previously submitted was incorrect.  Commissioner Schuele made a motion to set Wes’s wages at $50,450. Noll seconded the motion. Chairman Pohl called for a vote, all voted aye. Motion carried 3-0. Pat Henderson noted that the minutes should be amended to reflect this change.

Pauline also appears with the 98th Annual Chamber Banquet invitation.  She had reserved 2 Navigator tables for the county at a cost of $500 each. This would be seating for 16 people. Chairman Pohl suggest new employees and department heads interested should be able to go. Michelle Phillips, County Clerk will forward an e-mail to the new department heads.  She will then get with the Chamber of Commerce with names of those attending.

Pauline had a phone call from Tyler Warner, biologist for KDWP, asking if the county ever decided to sale the county lake if they would please contact KDWP to see if they could have first chance to purchase it.  There has been no recent talk of selling the lake.

Commission Schuele made a motion to go into session to do the reorganization of the county. Noll seconded the motion with Chairman Pohl calling for a vote. All voted aye, motion carried 30.

Chairman Pohl made a motion to give the chairmanship position to Commissioner Eric Noll, Commissioner Schuele seconded the motion.  Commissioner Pohl called for a vote, all voted aye, motion carried 3-0. Commissioner Pohl made a motion to elect Commissioner Schuele to the Vice-Chairman position. Noll seconded the motion.  Pohl called for a vote, all voted aye. Motion carried 3-0.

Board reviewed committees, Commissioner Noll asked if someone else would be able to be on the Joint Communications committee. He is now on the Ambulance board which will meet monthly.  Commissioner Jeff Schuele agreed to be on it. Commissioner Pohl made a motion to approve all the appointments for the various committees for 2017, commissioner Schuele seconded. Pohl called for a vote, all voted aye. Motion carried 3-0.

Committee Boards assigned to Commissioners for 2017 Ambulance Chairman Eric Noll Area Agency on Aging Peggy House, Administrator of Atchison Senior Village Chamber Board Vice-Chair Jeff Schuele Community Corrections Advisory Board Vice-Chair Jeff Schuele County Health Chairman Eric Noll JJA Commissioner Bill Pohl Joint Communication Vice-Chair Jeff Schuele Mo-Kan Regional Council Vice-Chair Jeff Schuele NEK CAP Regional Board Chairman Eric Noll NEKES Chairman Eric Noll Project Concern Commissioner Bill Pohl Solid Waste Advisory Board Vice-Chair Jeff Schuele

Jamie Madison, HR Director, sent out a survey again this year to all county employees in regards to the holidays most requested. The board approved the following holiday schedule based from that list.

2017 County Holiday’s Martin Luther King, Jr Day Monday, January 16th President’s Day Monday, February 20th Memorial Day Monday, May 29th Independence Day Tuesday, July 4th Labor Day Monday, September 4th Veteran’s Day Friday, November 10th Thanksgiving Day Thursday, November 23rd Day After Thanksgiving Day Friday, November 24th Christmas Monday, December 25th New Year’s Monday, January 1st, 2018

Each full time employee will receive one personal floating holiday and part time will get half a day to be used any time during year.  They will have to take the full day or split it between two days of not less than four hours each day.

Board reviewed the Banks that are eligible depositories:  Exchange National Bank; Morrill and Janes, Bank of Atchison, UMB, Commissioner Schuele made the motion to keep the banks as we have in the past.  Commissioner Pohl second with Chairman Noll calling for a vote, all voted aye, motion carried. 3-0.

County Treasurer, Sheila Bilderback presented to the board her recommendation to stay with Exchange National Bank as the main depository for the county for 2017, Commissioner Pohl made the motion to accept the recommendation made by Bilderback to stay with Exchange National Bank as the main depository for the county for 2017, Commissioner Schuele second the motion with Chairman Noll calling for a vote, all voted aye, motion carried, 3-0.

The IRS mileage rate for 2017 is presently 53.5 cents per mile.  Commissioner Schuele made the motion to accept the recommendation of the IRS mileage for the 2017 year. Commissioner Pohl second the motion with Chairman Noll calling for a vote, all voted aye, motion carried, 3-0.

Meal Reimbursement- Policy that stands now is $15.00 per meal, total of $38.00 per day can use $30.00 from two meals to make up for one, receipts are required for each meal, if meals are included in registration of meeting you cannot include those in per meal cost, receipt needs to be included prior to payment, county will not pay for tips or alcoholic beverages.  Commissioner Pohl made the motion to stay with the current meal policy for 2017, Commissioner Schuele second with Chairman Noll calling for a vote, all voted aye, motion carried, 3-0.

Cell Phone Reimbursement – Decided to table this until we can get the policy from Jamie for the amounts paid out.

Commissioner Schuele was wondering if they should look at the different fees being charged by the offices.  It was mentioned to send an e-mail out to the department heads to get that information for the next meeting. Pauline Lee mentioned the cost for a moving fee.  This is for taxpayers bringing modular homes into and through the county. As of now the county only charges $1.00. County Counselor Henderson said he would put it out to the other counties to get their charge amounts.

Commissioner Pohl made a motion to come out of the reorganizational meeting at 11:55 pm with Commissioner Schuele second with Chairman Noll calling for a vote, all voted aye, motion carried 3-0.

The board was given a written request for the 1st quarter payment for the Management and Operating Reserve Fund for the maintenance of the ball fields located in Atchison and Effingham. Commissioner Pohl made a motion to accept the payment, Commissioner Schuele seconded the motion. Chairman Noll called for a vote, all voted aye. Motioned passed 3-0.

County Counselor, Pat Henderson, had a request for Proposal Concerning the Purchase of Kansas State Rehabilitation Tax Credit Certificate from Atchison County. He is needing a signature from the commissioner authorizing the sale of the tax credits. Commissioner Pohl made a motion to have Chairman Noll sign the document to authorize the sale. Commissioner Schuele seconded the motion. Chairman Noll called for a vote, all voted aye. Motion carried 3-0.

Michael Wilburn appeared with an application for solid waste landfill permit. This will be for C&D waste. They would handle less than 10,000 tons of C & D material per year. Wilburn did say that most of the material would be recycled. Per County Counselor Patrick Henderson advisement that the county has already made the findings that the proposed use is compatible for the surrounding area. Commissioner Pohl made a motion to approve the application for Solid Waste Landfill permit for Rubble Reprocessing. Commissioner Schuele seconded the motion.  Chairman Noll called for a vote, all voted aye. The motion carried 3-0.

Commissioner Pohl made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 12:15 with Commissioner Schuele second. Chairman Noll called for a vote, all voted aye.  Motion carried 3-0

Attest: Michelle Phillips, County Clerk


Incoming White House Chief to Sen. Moran: Ag Secretary is a Priority

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) this week contacted the incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus regarding the Trump transition team’s progress selecting a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary nominee:

 “Not only does the Secretary of Agriculture matter greatly to farmers and ranchers in Kansas and across the country, this individual will play an important role in overseeing the vast functions of the department including rural housing, food safety inspection, farm loan programs and agriculture research efforts,” Sen. Moran said. “I emphasized the importance of a nominee who will serve as the voice of rural America – not just at USDA, but throughout the administration – Mr. Priebus assured me this nomination is a priority for the transition team.”


Sen. Moran Joins Effort to Reduce Government Regulation and Increase Accountability

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) again sponsored the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, legislation introduced by U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) to increase accountability and transparency in the federal regulatory process. The REINS Act, S. 21, would require Congress to approve any “economically significant” regulation that would cost more than $100 million, lead to a major increase in consumer prices, or adversely affect employment, economic productivity, or the United States’ ability to compete with other countries.

“I have always believed that the federal government should be encouraging economic freedom, helping business owners innovate, and giving Kansas small businesses the freedom they need to bring jobs and growth to our state,” said Sen. Moran. “To that end, we must have commonsense policies in place to eliminate job-killing restrictions and ensure that any new ones are appropriate. As we work to grow our economy, the REINS Act puts in place the tools needed to give future Congresses the ability to make certain that regulations promote economic success rather than impede it.”

The U.S. House of Representatives passed their version of the bill in a 237-187 vote last week.

Sen. Moran has advocated for this legislation throughout his time in the Senate.

Click here to read the text of the bill.


Sen. Moran Reintroduces Legislation to Hold VA Senior Execs, Health Care Employees Accountable

WASHINGTON – Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Member U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) recently reintroduced the Increasing the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability to Veterans Act (S. 12) to make certain that senior Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) executives and health care employees convicted of a felony related to their position at the VA cannot receive the same benefits as those who honorably serve our nation’s veterans. The bipartisan bill unanimously passed the full Senate on December 10, 2016, but did not receive a vote in the House of Representatives before the close of the 114th Congress.

“Those who violate the sacred trust of our nation’s veterans should not be rewarded with unjustly guaranteed benefits at taxpayer expense,” Sen. Moran said. “While the vast majority of VA employees honorably serve our veterans, the VA has routinely made excuses for the few who do not. This legislation would provide some measure of justice for veterans abused under the VA’s care. Its value is reflected in the unanimous support it received in the Senate last month, and I will work hard to see it enacted by the 115th Congress and made law.”

Reforms made by S. 12 include:

·        Holding VA leaders accountable for department mismanagement, hiring well-qualified people, and addressing employee performance;

·        Preventing employee conflicts of interest; and

·        Improving manager training.

To read the full text of the legislation, click here.


Sen. Moran Statement on Vote to Set Up Obamacare Repeal & Replace Process

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) released the following statement regarding his vote to support S. Con. Res. 3, which sets up the process to repeal the Affordable Care Act:

“Canceled policies, difficulties in identifying new plans, massive premium increases, sky-high deductibles and limited options for doctors – the new normal for many American families under Obamacare. This vote gives us the opportunity to begin repairing the damage. I will work with my colleagues – Republicans and Democrats alike – to swiftly come together, offer real reforms to lower costs and improve the quality of healthcare, and ensure there is no lapse in care. Americans deserve freedom of choice and should have access to truly affordable, quality healthcare.”

Sen. Moran has repeatedly offered policy recommendations during his time in Congress to improve our healthcare system. Click here to view his remarks on the Senate floor last week outlining his plan and/or here for written highlights of those remarks.

The Obamacare repeal resolution will now be taken up by the U.S. House of Representatives. Should it be passed, a future vote to repeal Obamacare altogether will succeed with a simple majority in both chambers.


Governor Proclaims January as From the Land of Kansas Month

MANHATTAN, Kan. — In recognition of From the Land of Kansas, the agricultural trademark program which is a visible and important link between producers and consumers of Kansas agricultural products, Governor Sam Brownback proclaimed January as From the Land of Kansas Month.

The Kansas Department of Agriculture strives to serve Kansas farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses and consumers by providing support and assistance to help Kansas businesses grow, which keeps money in Kansas communities, building stronger businesses and local economies. The From the Land of Kansas program at KDA provides agribusiness marketing opportunities to participating local businesses, and allows consumers to identify and choose to support products that contain Kansas ingredients or items processed in Kansas.

 “Agriculture businesses are a vibrant part of communities and contribute to the economic well-being and quality of life for Kansans," said Janelle Dobbins, program marketing manager.  “From the Land of Kansas supports more than 400 farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses from more than 80 percent of our counties.  We encourage all Kansans to learn more about Kansas products and support their friends and neighbors as we celebrate those who grow, produce, process or manufacture agriculture products in our state.”

Opportunities to purchase From the Land of Kansas products can be found at and in many stores around the state.

To become a member or to find out more information on the From the Land of Kansas program, please visit or contact Dobbins at or 785-564-6759.


KDA Offers Morel Mushroom Identification Session

MANHATTAN, Kan. — The Kansas Department of Agriculture, in partnership with K-State Research and Extension, Kaw Valley Mycological Society and the University of Kansas, is offering a session to help people earn the necessary approval to sell wild morel mushrooms. The session will take place on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017, from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. at the Sedgwick County Extension Education Center, 7001 W. 21st Street N. in Wichita. The session will be held as one of the breakout sessions of the Central Kansas Market Grower & Vendor Workshop which will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Feb 4.

The session is intended to help ensure that wild harvested mushrooms sold as morels in the state of Kansas are safe to consume. Current regulations under KDA’s food safety and lodging program require that mushrooms picked in the wild for sale must be individually inspected for safety by an approved mushroom identifier. Upon completion of this workshop, participants will be recognized as approved morel identifiers in order to meet this regulation. This is a three-year approval.

The morel mushroom identification session itself is free of charge and open to the public. However, if participants attend the rest of the market grower and vendor workshop, they will need to pay $20 for the entire workshop ($25 if registering after Jan. 27, 2017) which includes the cost of lunch. Pre-registration for the morel identification session is required.

To register for the session and/or the entire workshop visit and click on “Central Kansas Market Vendor & Grower Workshop” under “Events” on the right side.  For more information on the morel mushroom identification session, contact Londa Nwadike, KSU/MU extension food safety specialist, at (913) 307-7391 or

WHO: The Kansas Department of Agriculture, K-State Research and Extension, Kaw Valley Mycological Society and the University of Kansas

WHAT: Morel Mushroom Identification Session

WHEN: Feb. 4, 2017, 9:00 to 10:00 a.m.

WHERE: Sedgwick County Extension Education Center, 7001 W. 21st Street N., Wichita


KDA Seeks Participants for Agricultural Trade Mission to Mexico

MANHATTAN, Kan. — The Kansas Department of Agriculture is seeking individuals to participate in an agricultural trade mission to Mexico. This mission will send Kansans who have an interest in exporting corn, distillers grains and ethanol to Mexico in an effort to increase market opportunities for Kansas farmers and agribusinesses. Tentative travel dates are March 24-30, 2017.

Participants of this trade mission will interact with international agricultural representatives to promote the use of Kansas ethanol, corn and corn by-products. Kansas corn farmers and agribusinesses specializing in distillers grains and ethanol production are encouraged to apply.

Selected participants will be eligible for travel stipends for airfare and hotel and will receive a per diem for meals. Participants will be responsible for the cost of other incidental expenses.

In 2015, Mexico imported nearly $842 million in agriculture products from Kansas, making them our number one commodity trade partner. KDA strives to encourage and enhance economic growth of the agriculture industry and the Kansas economy by exploring and expanding both domestic and international marketing opportunities.

For more information on the trade mission to Mexico, including instructions on how to apply and application requirements, go to, or contact Suzanne Ryan-Numrich at or 785-564-6704. Deadline for submitting applications for consideration is Friday, Jan. 20, 2017.

This trade mission is funded in part by the State Trade Expansion Program grant. The STEP grant is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, and helps Kansas non-exporters to get started and existing exporters to export more.


KDA to Host Agribusiness Development Workshop in Emporia

MANHATTAN, Kan. ­­– The Kansas Department of Agriculture will host an Agribusiness Development Workshop on Feb. 2, 2017, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. in the Valu Net Fiber Smart room of the Trusler Business Center, 719 Commercial Street in Emporia. This workshop will provide Kansas farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses with resources, current business development and organizational contacts to assist with start-ups or expansions.

Featured speakers at the event will represent KDA; Lyon County economic development; USDA Rural Development; Kansas Department of Commerce; Network Kansas; Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism; Kansas Small Business Development Center; a local ag business; and a financial institution.

The KDA Division of Agriculture Marketing received a U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Business Development Grant to help fund the workshop. Established in the 2014 Farm Bill, USDA’s Rural Business Development Grant is a program intended to help with technical assistance, training and other activities to allow small businesses in rural areas to expand.

 “Agriculture is the largest industry, economic driver and employer in the state, contributing 43 percent of the state’s economy and 12 percent of the state’s workforce, including 28 percent of the entire workforce of Lyon County,” said Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Jackie McClaskey. “We are committed to economic growth, and these workshops will provide information and education to expand opportunities for small and rural agribusinesses across the state.”

KDA will also hold five additional workshops in the following areas: January 19 in Russell, February 9 in Winfield, February 16 in Liberal, February 23 in Norton and March 2 in Hutchinson.

KDA is committed to providing an environment that enhances and encourages economic growth of the agriculture industry and the Kansas economy. This workshop will provide support and assistance to help make Kansas businesses more successful.

A light meal will be available for those who register prior to January 30. To RSVP, email your name and workshop location to Contact Lynne Hinrichsen at or (785) 564-6757 with any questions.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer.


Wichita to Host Regional Farmers’ Market Vendor Workshop

MANHATTAN, Kan. ­­— The Kansas Department of Agriculture, K-State Research and Extension and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment will host a regional workshop in Wichita on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017, in conjunction with the Central Kansas Market Grower Vendor Workshop. This is the first of four regional workshops which are being hosted by KDA this year to assist farmers’ market vendors and managers.

Kansas farmers’ markets not only provide a fresh food source, but also stimulate the local economy. In 2016, 75 farmers’ markets were registered with KDA’s Central Registration of Farmers’ Markets. 

 “Selling food directly to consumers through farmers’ markets provides growers a chance to tell their farm’s story, but there are also legal, safety and financial parameters that farmers need to understand before choosing this marketing tool,” said Londa Nwadike, consumer food safety specialist with K-State Research and Extension and the University of Missouri.

Workshop topics will include:

·         Beginning High TunnelsHoffman

·         Morel Mushroom Identification Certification

·         Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program Training

·         K-State Variety Trial Results

·         Production of Uncommon Fruits

·         Resources for Farmers’ Markets

·         On-Farm Mobile Cooling Technology

·         Growing Mushrooms to Sell

·         Regulations for Selling Meat, Eggs and Poultry Direct to Consumer

·         Keynote: Building Healthy Systems for Profitability

·         Keynote: Pollinators and Organic Insect Management

KDA’s weights and measures program will also offer free scale certification at the workshop for attendees.

The workshop will be held at the KSRE Sedgwick County Extension Office, 7001 W. 21st Street N in Wichita. Onsite registration will open at 8:15 a.m. and the workshop will begin at 8:45 a.m. and conclude by 4 p.m.

Registration for this workshop is now open and is $20 per participant through Friday, January 27. Late registration is $25 after that date. Registration includes lunch.

Registration forms can be found at or at the Sedgwick County extension office website: Please return the completed form and payment to: KSU Sedgwick Co. Extension Office, c/o Rebecca McMahon, 7001 W. 21st Street N, Wichita, KS 67205.

For more information, please contact Rebecca McMahon, Sedgwick County Extension office, at (316) 660-0142 or

KDA is committed to providing an environment that enhances and encourages economic growth of the agriculture industry and the Kansas economy. These workshops will provide support and assistance to help make Kansas businesses more successful.


326 crime victims to receive support

TOPEKA – (January 13, 2017) – The Kansas Crime Victims Compensation Board yesterday awarded financial assistance to 326 victims of violent crime at its January meeting, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said.

Awards were made in 173 new cases. Additional expenses were paid in 153 previously submitted cases. The awards totaled $351,751.98.

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


AG Derek Schmidt, KBI recognize Amber Alert Awareness Day

TOPEKA – (January 13, 2017) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and KBI Director Kirk Thompson today reminded Kansans to stay alert when the public’s assistance is needed to help locate missing children. The reminder comes as National Amber Alert Awareness Day is observed today.

 “Kansans should always be mindful when an alert is issued,” Schmidt said. “When a child goes missing, getting detailed information about the incident out to the public as quickly as possible can be critical. The chances of finding an abducted child increase dramatically when more people in the search area are on the lookout – especially in the first few hours. The watchful eyes of Kansas citizens can help save a child’s life.”

Since its inception in 1996, this national program has successfully brought 857 children home safely. In Kansas, 40 children have been safely returned since 2002. During 2016, eight Amber Alerts were issued in Kansas, each resulting in the safe recovery of the abducted children.

 “The KBI appreciates the collaboration of our various public and private sector partners who assist in deploying Amber Alert information at the critical time of a child abduction. We are also grateful for the public’s attention and vigilance in helping to protect the most vulnerable among us - our children.” Thompson said.

The Kansas Amber Alert system is coordinated by the Kansas Attorney General’s Office and the KBI. When an alert is issued, the media are notified to begin broadcasting the details of the missing child and suspect. Last month, Schmidt asked Director Thompson to conduct a complete review of the program and report on steps that will be taken to ensure the reliability of future Amber Alerts.

The Amber Alert program, named for 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, is a voluntary partnership between law enforcement agencies, broadcasters, and transportation agencies to activate an urgent bulletin in the most serious child-abduction cases. Broadcasters use the Emergency Alert System (EAS) to air a description of the abducted child and suspected abductor. The goal of an Amber Alert is to instantly galvanize the entire community to assist in the search for and safe recovery of the child.

In addition to the Amber Alert program, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children maintains a list of all missing children from Kansas. That database can be accessed at  Anyone with information about the whereabouts of any of these missing persons should contact a law enforcement agency or call 1-800-KS-CRIME.

 More information can be found on the attorney general’s website at  and at , or on Twitter @ksamberalert.  


Launch of new campaign marks Human Trafficking Awareness Day

TOPEKA – (January 11, 2017) – Attorney General Derek Schmidt today announced a statewide campaign to raise awareness and encourage reporting of human trafficking.

The new campaign is being launched on national Human Trafficking Awareness Day, which is part of national Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Governor Brownback has proclaimed January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month in Kansas.

The awareness campaign has three parts.

First, the attorney general’s office is partnering with Ashby Street Outdoor and Lamar Advertising in a billboard campaign that encourages the public to report suspicious activity to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. The companies are donating space on several digital billboards and also leveraging traditional (printed) billboards to deliver the messages with high frequency. The billboard campaign is aimed at reaching trafficking victims who may be unaware that resources exist to help them, discouraging buyers of commercial sex, and alerting community members who can help identify suspicious activity. The billboard campaign initially will appear in the Topeka, Kansas City and Wichita markets and over the next 12 months elsewhere in the state.

Second, radio public service announcements bringing awareness to human trafficking will run in several media markets across the state.

Third, the attorney general’s office is partnering with state agencies to distribute awareness posters in department of motor vehicle offices, state-owned rest stops and healthcare facilities across Kansas. The Kansas Turnpike Authority will also feature human trafficking awareness information in their January online newsletter, Turnpike Times.  

 “We are grateful to all of our partners for helping educate Kansans about what to look for and how to report human trafficking,” Schmidt said. “The watchful eyes of Kansas citizens can help protect those who are vulnerable from this crime against human dignity. This awareness campaign is aimed at better equipping the public with information to assist in identifying and reporting human trafficking.”

The National Human Trafficking Hotline, operated by Polaris, is a confidential, toll-free lifeline for victims and survivors of human trafficking to reach out for help and for people to anonymously report tips of suspected human trafficking. People can call the hotline at 1-888-3737-888 or send a text to “BeFree” (233733) 24 hours-a-day, every day of the year. With a bilingual staff, the hotline is available in English or Spanish, and in more than 180 languages through the use of interpreters. 

In 2015, the national hotline received more than 24,000 calls, online tip reports and emails from all 50 states resulting in nearly 6,000 potential cases of human trafficking. The hotline received more than 125 calls referencing Kansas during 2015. Complete 2016 statistics are not yet available. The hotline provides referrals to local law enforcement and victim service agencies for follow up.

To request additional information about human trafficking or to learn more about potential signs of human trafficking, contact the attorney general’s Victim Services Division during regular business hours at 800-828-9745 or visit the website at Billboard artwork is also available to view on the website.


 AG Derek Schmidt asks Legislature to increase penalties for crimes against law enforcement officers

TOPEKA – (January 12, 2017) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt yesterday requested introduction of a bill to increase criminal penalties for crimes that target law enforcement officers.

“Crimes against law enforcement officers are more than an offense against the individual person,” Schmidt said. “They also are an offense against the legitimate authority to enforce law and order in our communities. At a time when too many around the country have leveled unfair criticism at the men and women serving in law enforcement, I hope Kansas will show its strong support by enacting this additional protection.”

Current law has enhanced penalties for specific crimes targeting officers, such as assault, battery or first degree premeditated murder. The new legislation, called the Law Enforcement Protection Act, would provide a broad rule that any crime targeting an officer is subject to enhanced penalties.

The bill, if enacted, would provide that when a prosecutor proves that a crime was committed against a law enforcement officer, either while the officer was on duty or because of the officer’s status as a law enforcement officer, the sentence for the crime would be enhanced by one severity level.

Schmidt said he has been encouraged by the supportive reaction the bill has received from lawmakers and is hopeful the Legislature will give the bill strong consideration.


AG Derek Schmidt statement on National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day

TOPEKA – (January 9, 2017) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt today issued the following statement in honor of National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, which is today:

“This annual recognition has particular meaning this year coming after 140 law enforcement officers nationwide, including three in Kansas, were killed last year in the line of duty. On this annual day of appreciation, I want to express my thanks and sincere gratitude to our Kansas law enforcement officers who choose to dedicate their lives to protecting our citizens and communities across the state. I am deeply grateful for the work police officers do and the sacrifices they and their families make to protect all Kansans. I am honored to work alongside these dedicated men and women in Kansas law enforcement, and I hope Kansans will join me today in thanking a police officer for his or her service and sacrifice.”

To show support for our law enforcement community, Concerns of Police Survivors suggests the following activities:

·        Change your profile picture on social media to the image provided at

·        Wear blue clothing in support of law enforcement.

·        Send a card of support to your local police department or state agency.

·        Share a positive story about a positive law enforcement experience on social media.

·        Ask children in your community to write letters in support of law enforcement.

·        Participate in Project Blue Light. Proudly display your blue light in support of law enforcement. Learn more at

Most importantly, if you see a police officer, thank a police office.


AG Derek Schmidt sues company for failing to protect customers’ personal information

TOPEKA – (January 12, 2016) – A national company that manages business documents violated Kansas law by repeatedly disposing of documents containing personal information by dumping them in public trash receptacles, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said in a lawsuit filed this week.

The attorney general’s filing in Shawnee County District Court alleges that Searchtec, Inc., and its employees frequently disposed of customers’ business records that contained personal information by dropping them in alley dumpsters rather than by shredding or otherwise destroying them. On one occasion, the company is accused of dumping documents in a trash receptacle inside the downtown Topeka post office.

 “The State alleges Defendants [violated consumer privacy laws] … by repeatedly disposing of records containing personal information by dumping them in various unsecured waste receptacles owned by other persons in and about the City of Topeka without rendering the personal information unreadable or undecipherable,” the lawsuit states.

 “Personal information” includes information such as a social security number, driver’s license number, financial account number or credit or debit card number that can be misused to commit identity theft or otherwise harm the person whose information is compromised. Under Kansas law, businesses that collect the personal information of others have a duty to safeguard it.

The lawsuit alleges a violation of the Kansas Consumer Protection Act and seeks civil penalties, costs and an injunction requiring the company to properly safeguard personal information entrusted to it.  District Judge Teresa Watson yesterday issued a temporary restraining order preventing further disposal of those records.

The case is State ex rel v. Searchtec, Inc., et al. A copy of the petition and temporary restraining order are available at


Kansans Deserve A Patient-Centered Healthcare System

House Republicans Take First Step In Repealing Obamacare

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins (KS-02) released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed S. Con. Res. 3, which paves the way to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a more patient-centered healthcare system:

“Today, I joined my House colleagues in taking the first step in repealing the President’s flawed healthcare law and transitioning to a patient-centered healthcare system. While we have many more steps ahead, I will continue to listen to Kansans and ensure their thoughts on a better healthcare system are heard in Congress – such as allowing dependents to stay on their parent's healthcare plan until the age of 26. Additionally, I believe it is important that we have a replacement plan that is concurrent with a repeal of Obamacare. I look forward to working with my colleagues to create a more patient-centered healthcare solution that puts the control of their own healthcare back in the hands of the American people.”

Note: If you are interested in looking at some of the Republican’s solutions to Obamacare, while strengthening the parts of the healthcare law that work, feel free to visit Better.GOP here:


KBI announces arrests of Harvey County triple homicide suspects

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, CA – The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) announced Friday that arrests were made in connection to three homicides which occurred October 30th in rural Moundridge, Kansas.

Shortly after 7:00 p.m. Thursday evening, January 12th, Mexican authorities arrested 35-year-old Jereme Lee Nelson and 31-year-old Myrta Rangel. The arrest warrants were executed without incident south of the United States border. Nelson and Rangel were then handed over to the U.S. Marshals Service and returned to the U.S.

The initial criminal investigation was conducted by the KBI and the Harvey County Sheriff’s Office. In November, arrest warrants out of Harvey County were issued for Nelson and Rangel for capital murder. The warrants allege the suspects committed the murders of 33-year-old Travis Street and 37-year-old Angela May Graevs, both of Moundridge, and 52-year-old Richard Prouty of Newton. At the scene of the murders, an 18-month-old child, belonging to Street and Graeves, was found unharmed inside the home.

Prior to the arrest warrants being issued, Nelson and Rangel fled Kansas. The KBI’s investigation then shifted its focus to working with Mexican authorities through the U.S. Marshals Service to identify the movements and location of the suspects within Mexico in an effort to apprehend them.

 “I’m proud of the hard work our agents undertook to get to this point in the investigation. We are pleased that the suspects will be brought back to Kansas and tried for these crimes,” KBI Director Kirk Thompson said.

The suspects were booked into the San Diego County Jail. Nelson and Rangel are expected to appear at an extradition hearing Friday in San Diego County, California court.





LINDSBORG, KAN., January 11, 2017 The Bethany College Theatre Department has announced the cast for the upcoming Spring Interterm Musical, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”

Two performances, Friday, February 3 and Saturday, February 4 at 7:30 p.m. at the Burnett Center of Performing Arts on the Bethany campus, are scheduled. The long one-act musical comedy first appeared on Broadway in 2005. The show centers on a fictional spelling bee featuring a quirky cast of characters.

An unusual aspect of the show is that four real audience members are invited on stage to compete in the spelling bee alongside the actors. There is some language and adult content and probably best for mature audiences, according to Greg LeGault, director and chair of the college’s theatre department.

The musical cast includes:

Vice-Principal Panch – Isaiah Fabrizius, Wakeeney, Kansas

William Barfee – Christian Cooper, Effingham, Kansas

Chip Tolentino – Mikey Baker, Minneapolis, Kansas

Leaf Coneybear (Carl Dad) – Noah Parks, Salina, Kansas

Olive Ostravsky – Annie Halterman, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Logainne Schwartzandgrubenniere – Allison Waymire, Baldwin City, Kansas

Marcy Park – Alyssa Wierman, Brownell, Kansas

Mitch Mahoney (Dan Dad, Olive’s Dad) – Landon Slipke, New Almelo, Kansas

Rona Lisa Perretti (Olive’s Mom) – Kayln Powers, Lindsborg, Kansas

Jesus – Freddie Loeffler, Hesston, Kansas

Crew: Stage manager – Sydney Johnson, Assaria, Kansas

Bethany College, established by Swedish Lutheran immigrants in 1881, is a college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The mission of Bethany College is to educate, develop and challenge individuals to reach for truth and excellence as they lead lives of faith, learning and service. Bethany College is on the Web at


Farm Service Agency Expands 'Bridges to Opportunity' Program Nationwide

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) today announced the expansion of a unique service for farmers and ranchers. FSA’s Bridges to Opportunity program provides a one-stop shop that connects producers with resources, programs, and educational services offered across the department, as well as from other USDA partner organizations. Bridges to Opportunity, which currently provides enhanced customer support to more than 150,000 customers in 20 states, will expand to serve customers across the country before the end of the month using fiscal year 2016 funds.

FSA’s presence in over 2,100 county offices in nearly every rural county puts the agency in a unique position to partner with non-governmental organizations to reach thousands of agricultural producers who can benefit from the programs and services.  Bridges to Opportunity allows FSA employees to search and obtain a list of all local, state, regional and national organizations that may be able assist local producers with their specific need. 

For example, FSA’s Houston County office in Texas partnered with many agricultural organizations to serve producers affected by severe drought.  When drought-stricken agricultural producers came to the county office looking for assistance, FSA employees were able to provide traditional FSA services such as the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) and Emergency loan program, but were also able to connect those farmers and ranchers with local, regional, and national organizations that provide drought assistance and education.

Bridges to Opportunity was developed by FSA to provide producers with a more comprehensive customer service experience by connecting them with other USDA agencies and nonfederal partners. Through Bridges to Opportunity, FSA county office employees have the tools to connect farmers, ranchers and anyone interested in agriculture with customized expertise on topics ranging including organic production, beginning farmer resources, integrated pest management, disaster assistance, conservation practices, agricultural educational courses, loans, grants and other financial assistance that can start, grow or benefit farming and ranching operations.

For more information about Bridges to Opportunity, please contact your local FSA county office. To locate your FSA county office, please see


Celebrate the New Year With 10 Free Flowering Trees from the Arbor Day Foundation

Residents in your state can ring in the New Year with 10 free flowering trees by joining the Arbor Day Foundation any time during January 2017. 

By becoming a part of the nonprofit Arbor Day Foundation, new members will receive two Sargent crabapples, three American redbuds, two Washington hawthorns, and three white flowering dogwoods.

“These beautiful trees will beautify your home with lovely flowers of pink, yellow and white colors,” said Matt Harris, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “These trees are perfect for large and small spaces, and they will provide food and habitat for songbirds.”

The free trees are part of the Foundation’s Trees for America campaign.

The trees will be shipped postpaid at the right time for planting, between February 1 and May 31, with enclosed planting instructions. The 6- to 12-inch tall trees are guaranteed to grow or they will be replaced free of charge. 

Members will also receive a subscription to the Foundation’s bimonthly publication, Arbor Day, and The Tree Book, which includes information about tree planting and care.

To become a member of the Foundation and to receive the free trees, send a $10 contribution to TEN FREE FLOWERING TREES, Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Avenue, Nebraska City, NE 68410, by January 31, 2017. Residents can also join online at


Fort Hays State again listed in top level in U.S. News & World Report’s online rankings

HAYS, Kan. -- Online bachelor’s degree programs from Fort Hays State University are ranked 15th in the nation and No. 1 in Kansas in the 2017 Best Online education programs from U.S. News and World Report.

The U.S. News and World Report listing was released early this morning. This is the sixth year that U.S. News has ranked online programs. Fort Hays State offers educational opportunities in four of the eight types of programs included in the U.S. News list. FHSU’s Virtual College has made the top 100 in each of the six years.

In addition to bachelor’s programs, FHSU’s graduate nursing program was No. 29 nationally; graduate programs in education were at No. 77, and MBA programs were at No. 100.

“US News examines multiple factors for the offering of online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs,” said Dr. Lorie Cook-Benjamin, interim executive director of faculty affairs and the Virtual College.

“It is because of the quality of our delivery, affordability, and the support offered to our students that all the FHSU Virtual College programs covered in the U.S. News list ranked within the top 100.”

“The continued growth in our rankings is truly a testament to the effort that our faculty put into working and building relationships with our online students to help them succeed in their courses,” said Dr. Graham Glynn, vice president for academic affairs and provost.

According to a recent report by the American Council on Education, the U.S. Department of Education counts approximately 4,200 colleges and universities.

The other four programs in the U.S. News list that are not offered by the FHSU Virtual College are graduate business, non-MBA; graduate engineering; graduate criminal justice; and graduate computer information technology.

The four programs offered by Fort Hays State are among a total of 51 degree programs offered through the FHSU Virtual College -- 31 undergraduate, 16 master’s, one doctorate, one specialist and two associate degrees. Many emphases are available across the range of programs.

U.S. News based its bachelor’s degree ratings on student engagement, faculty credentials and training, student services and technology, and peer reputation. Student engagement was given the most weight, at 40 percent. The other criteria were each given 20 percent.

For graduate education programs, student engagement again was given the most weight, 35 percent. In that category, student services and technology was given 20 percent, and admissions selectivity, faculty credentials and training, and peer reputation each received a 15-percent weighting.

For MBA programs, student engagement was weighted at 28 percent. Admissions selectivity and peer reputation were each rated at 25 percent; faculty credentials and training was weighted at 11 percent, as was student services and technology.

Graduate nursing programs were evaluated on the basis of faculty credentials and training, 25 percent; student engagement, 20 percent; admissions selectivity, 20 percent; peer reputation, 20 percent; and student services and technology, 15 percent.

Distance education at Fort Hays State began out of necessity in 1911 when faculty voted to offer correspondence courses free so that one-room school teachers across western Kansas could afford to gain the education required to teach. The Correspondence Department created then evolved continuously with changing technology and culture until, in 1997, the Department of Continuing Education and Instructional Technology became the FHSU Virtual College.


Kansas FSA January Newsletter

Selected Interest Rates for December 2016
Farm Operating Loans, Direct -- 2.375%
Farm Ownership Loans, Direct -- 3.625%
Farm Ownership Loans, Direct Down Payment, Beginning Farmer or Rancher -- 1.50%
Farm Storage Facility Loans (7 years) -- 2.25%
Commodity Loans 1996-Present -- 1.875%

Farm Service Agency Offers Text Alerts

Subscribers Can Receive Important Program Reminders and Updates

Whether producers are in the field, on a tractor or even on horseback, this service enables FSA customers and stakeholders to receive notifications while on the go. Subscribers will receive text messages regarding important program deadlines, reporting requirements, outreach events and updates.  

Self-subscribe to the text message alerts service by texting kscounty name (example: ksriley) to FSANOW (372669).  Expect to receive no more than two text messages from each FSA office per month, on average. Subscribing to your county office automatically subscribes you to state and national alerts as well.  Standard text messaging rates apply. Contact your wireless carrier for details associated with your particular data plan. Participants may unsubscribe at any time.

Loan Servicing Options Available

Farm Service Agency can assist loan customers under financial stress. If you are an FSA borrower who is struggling to make payments on a loan, contact your local FSA Farm Loan Manager to learn about the options available to you.

Register Now for the 2017 Women Managing the Farm Conference

 “Her AgriCULTURE Story: Change, Adapt, Grow” is the theme of the 2017 Women Managing the Farm Conference planned for February 9-10 in Manhattan, Kansas. Pre-conference workshops are offered February 8. 

The event will bring together women from many sectors and proficiencies in agriculture and provide them with insights for building their agricultural story and managing their farm investment. According to the 2012 Census of Agriculture, women are the principal operators of 6,783 farms in Kansas, and there are 25,611 total women farm operators in the state. With consideration for the many important roles women have in agriculture, leaders from various Kansas ag organizations, including FSA, established the Women Managing the Farm Conference as a place for women to  network and increase the knowledge and skills needed for success in a competitive agricultural environment. 

During the two-day conference, attendees choose from over 30 presentations covering many agricultural topics, including: farm finances, agricultural and estate law, production, marketing, management, relationships and health.  Register prior to January 20 for the reduced rate of $150 at or call 800-432-8222.  Limited scholarships are available.   

USDA Expands Microloans to Help Farmers Purchase Farmland and Improve Property

Producers, Including Beginning and Underserved Farmers, Have a New Option to Gain Access to Land

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is offering farm ownership microloans, creating a new financing avenue for farmers to buy and improve property. These microloans are especially helpful to beginning or underserved farmers, U.S. veterans looking for a career in farming, and those who have small and mid-sized farming operations. 

The microloan program, now in its fourth year, has been hugely successful, providing more than 16,800 low-interest loans, totaling over $373 million to producers across the country. Microloans have helped farmers and ranchers with operating costs, such as feed, fertilizer, tools, fencing, equipment, and living expenses since 2013. Seventy percent of loans have gone to new farmers. 

Now, microloans will be available to also help with farm land and building purchases, and soil and water conservation improvements. FSA designed the expanded program to simplify the application process, expand eligibility requirements and expedite smaller real estate loans to help farmers strengthen their operations. Microloans provide up to $50,000 to qualified producers, and can be issued to the applicant directly from the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA). 

This microloan announcement is another USDA resource for America’s farmers and ranchers to utilize, especially as new and beginning farmers and ranchers look for the assistance they need to get started. To learn more about the FSA microloan program visit, or contact your local FSA office.  

Loan Assistance for Beginning Farmers

FSA can assist beginning farmers with financing agricultural enterprises. Under these designated farm loan programs, FSA can provide financing to eligible applicants through either direct or guaranteed loans. FSA defines a beginning farmer as a person who: 

·        Has operated a farm for not more than 10 years

·        Will materially and substantially participate in the operation of the farm

·        Agrees to participate in a loan assessment, borrower training and financial management program sponsored by FSA

·        Does not own a farm in excess of 30 percent of the county’s average size farm

Additional program information, loan applications, and other materials are available at your local USDA Service Center.  You may also visit

New CRP SAFE Practice Available Soon in Western Kansas

Program Will Protect and Restore Playa Lakes, Increase Habitat for Migratory Birds

A newly-established Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) SAFE practice—the Migratory Bird, Butterfly, and Pollinator Habitat practice—will allow up to 10,000 new acres in Kansas to be offered into CRP.  Eligibility is strictly limited to landowners and ag producers who want to enhance existing playas or restore historic playas located in distinct priority areas established in the western one-third of Kansas. 

There are approximately 7500 playas eligible in these priority areas.  Research has shown that properly functioning playas are a primary source of recharge for the Ogallala Aquifer — contributing up to 95 percent of inflow to the aquifer and improving the quality of that water — and also provide critical habitat for migrating waterfowl, cranes and shorebirds.   

This SAFE practice, CP38B, is designed to provide private landowners a market-based financial incentive for restoring playas, the most common wetlands in the region.  An innovative market-based approach for sign-up will enable landowners to submit bids of up to $300 per acre.  Submitted bids are based upon landowner values in a competitive process.   While the program has been approved, an enrollment period has not yet been announced.  Details on signup dates and requirements will be provided in the near future.   

The program allows for a minimum playa size of 2 acres and up to a maximum tract size of 160 acres. Mid-contract management practices to keep the cover healthy will be required. This includes the option for managed harvesting of the acres and/or prescribed grazing.  Contracts will be for 10-15 years.  SAFE is a continuous CRP signup conservation practice, but offers will be ranked at intervals. Offers that don’t make the first cut-off date, or aren’t accepted during the first batch, will be carried over for consideration during the next round.   

The Migratory Bird SAFE is a grassroots, cooperative conservation effort that was jointly proposed by Playa Lakes Joint Venture and the Rainwater Basin Joint Venture, based in Nebraska. It involves several partners including FSA and NRCS, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, Ducks Unlimited, and Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams.  These agencies, along with Kansas Farm Service Agency, are all available to work with producers interested in enrolling in the Migratory Bird, Butterfly, and Pollinator Habitat SAFE.

USDA Climate Hub ‘Energy Generation and Efficiency’ Building Block

Through the Agricultural Act of 2014, USDA has several authorities that encourage the adoption of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.  The Energy Generation and Efficiency Building Block supports energy efficiency improvements in rural homes and on farm operations, for example, through EQIP’s National On-Farm Energy Initiative. This Building Block also provides opportunities to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from energy generation and use, for example, through the Rural Energy for America Program. To learn more about energy generation and efficiency opportunities from USDA click the following link:

For more information about the USDA Climate Hubs click here:

Organic Producers and Handlers May Apply for Certification Cost Share Reimbursements

Expanded Eligibility for Transition and State Certification Cost

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that starting March 20, 2017, organic producers and handlers will be able to visit over 2,100 USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices to apply for federal reimbursement to assist with the cost of receiving and maintaining organic or transitional certification.

USDA reimburses organic producers up to 75 percent of the cost of organic certification, but only about half of the nation’s organic operations currently participate in the program. Starting March 20, USDA will provide a uniform, streamlined process for organic producers and handlers to apply for organic cost share assistance either by mail or in person.

USDA is making changes to increase participation in the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program (NOCCSP) and the Agricultural Management Assistance Organic Certification Cost Share Program, and at the same time provide more opportunities for organic producers to access other USDA programs, such as disaster protection and loans for farms, facilities and marketing. Producers can also access information on nonfederal agricultural resources, and get referrals to local experts, including organic agriculture, through USDA’s Bridges to Opportunity service at the local FSA office.

Historically, many state departments of agriculture, including Kansas, have obtained grants to disburse reimbursements to those producers and handlers qualifying for cost share assistance. FSA will continue to partner with these states to administer the programs. For states that want to continue to directly administer the programs, applications will be due February 17, 2017.

Eligible producers include any certified producers or handlers who have paid organic or transitional certification fees to a USDA-accredited certifying agent. Application fees, inspection costs, fees related to equivalency agreement/ arrangement requirements, travel/per diem for inspectors, user fees, sales assessments and postage are all eligible for a cost share reimbursement from USDA.

Once certified, producers and handlers are eligible to receive reimbursement for up to 75 percent of certification costs each year up to a maximum of $750 per certification scope—crops, livestock, wild crops and handling.  Today’s announcement also adds transitional certification and state organic program fees as additional scopes.

To learn more about organic certification cost share, please visit or your local county office. 

New Program to "Bridge" Farmers to Additional Resources

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) today announced the expansion of a unique service for farmers and ranchers. FSA’s Bridges to Opportunity program provides a one-stop-shop that connects producers with resources, programs and educational services offered across the department, as well as from other USDA partner organizations. Bridges to Opportunity, which currently provides enhanced customer support to more than 150,000 customers in 20 states, will expand to serve customers in Kansas and across the country, before the end of the month, using fiscal year 2016 funds.  

FSA’s presence in over 2,100 county offices, in nearly every rural county, puts the agency in a unique position to partner with non-governmental organizations to reach thousands of agricultural producers who can benefit from the programs and services.  Bridges to Opportunity allows FSA employees to search and obtain a list of all local, state, regional and national organizations that may be able assist local producers with their specific need.  For example, FSA’s Houston County office in Texas partnered with many agricultural organizations to serve producers affected by severe drought.  When drought-stricken agricultural producers came to the county office looking for assistance, FSA employees were able to provide traditional services, such as the Livestock Forage Program and the Emergency loan program administered by FSA, as well as connect local farmers with local, regional, and national organizations that provide drought assistance and education. 

Bridges to Opportunity was developed by FSA to provide producers with a more comprehensive customer service experience by connecting them with other USDA agencies and nonfederal partners. Through Bridges to Opportunity, FSA county office employees have the tools to connect farmers, ranchers and anyone interested in agriculture with customized expertise on topics ranging including organic production, beginning farmer resources, integrated pest management, disaster assistance, conservation practices, agricultural educational courses, loans, grants and other financial assistance that can start, grow or benefit farming and ranching operations. 

To learn more about Bridges to Opportunity and how it can help you, contact your FSA County Office or visit the Bridges to Opportunity website for more information. 

Report Livestock Losses Timely for Compensation

Livestock disaster programs were authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill as permanent programs through the 2018 program year. The Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) provides compensation to eligible livestock producers that have suffered livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to adverse weather including losses due to hurricanes, floods, blizzards, wildfires, extreme heat or extreme cold. Animals lost due to attacks by animals reintroduced into the wild by the federal government or protected by federal law are also covered. 

Producers who suffer livestock death losses are encouraged to record all pertinent information of natural disaster consequences, including documentation of the number and kind of livestock that have died, supplemented if possible by photographs or video records of ownership and losses, and dates of death supported by birth recordings or purchase receipts. 

Producers must submit a notice of loss within 30 days of when the loss is apparent.  Participants must also file a final application for payment and provide supporting documentation for 2016 losses by March 31, 2017.  Supporting documentation can include proof of death documentation, copy of growers contracts, and proof of normal mortality documentation. 

Kansas FSA State Committee has established normal mortality rates for each type and weight range of eligible livestock, i.e. Adult Beef Cow = 1.1% and Non-Adult Beef Cattle (less than 400 pounds) = 2.7%. These established percentages reflect losses that are considered expected or typical under “normal” conditions. Additional Information about LIP is available at your local FSA office or online at FSA’s LIP website.

USDA Makes it Easier to Transfer Land to the Next Generation of Farmers and Ranchers

Allows for Transfer of Certain Conservation Reserve Program Land to New Farmers; Provides Priority Enrollment in Working Lands Conservation Programs 

Beginning Jan. 9, 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will offer an early termination opportunity for certain Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contracts, making it easier to transfer property to the next generation of farmers and ranchers, including family members. The land that is eligible for the early termination is among the least environmentally sensitive land enrolled in CRP.

This change to the CRP program is just one of many that USDA has implemented based on recommendations from the Land Tenure Advisory Subcommittee formed by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in 2015.  

Normally if a landowner terminates a CRP contract early, they are required to repay all previous payments plus interest. The new policy waives this repayment if the land is transferred to a beginning farmer or rancher through a sale or lease with an option to buy. With CRP enrollment close to the Congressionally-mandated cap of 24 million acres, the early termination will also allow USDA to enroll other land with higher conservation value elsewhere. 

Acres terminated early from CRP under these land tenure provisions will be eligible for priority enrollment consideration into the CRP Grasslands, if eligible; or the Conservation Stewardship Program or Environmental Quality Incentives Program, as determined by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. 

According to the Tenure, Ownership and Transition of Agricultural Land survey, conducted by USDA in 2014, U.S. farmland owners expect to transfer 93 million acres to new ownership during 2015-2019. This represents 10 percent of all farmland across the nation. Details on the early termination opportunity will be available starting on Jan. 9, 2017, at local USDA service centers. For more information about CRP and to find out if your acreage is eligible for early contract termination, contact your local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office or go online at

2016 County Committee Elections In the Books

The annual county committee election process is over, ballots have been counted, and newly-elected committee members take office in January, based on approval by the Kansas State FSA Committee.  Thank you to all Kansas producers for participating in this election process, whether you were a nominee or took the time to vote and return your ballot.  County FSA committees are a valuable asset because they are comprised of local producers who participate in FSA programs themselves and have a direct connection to farmers and ranchers in the community.  

Elected county committee members serve a three-year term and are responsible for making decisions on FSA disaster, conservation, commodity, and price support programs, as well as other important federal farm program issues.  

For more information about your local county committee and the election process, please contact your local FSA Office or visit County Committee Elections.


Another 96-bushel Entry Tops Kansas Soybean Yield Contest

The best farming practices, wisely selected seedstock varieties and a favorable growing season helped Kansas farmers produce high-yielding, valuable soybeans in 2016.

"The annual Kansas Soybean Yield and Value Contests recognize outstanding Kansas farmers and provide fun incentives for them to improve," said Doug Shoup, Ph.D., Parsons, K-State Research and Extension Southeast Area agronomist, who is completing his third year as the contests coordinator. "They also allow the Kansas Soybean Association, with checkoff funding from the Kansas Soybean Commission, to share what participants learned to benefit all Kansas soybean farmers."

The yield contest included 52 entries, down two from 2015. The 30 winners in 11 categories had verified yields averaging 81.01 bushels per acre, compared to the reported state average of 48 bushels per acre in 2016. The contest winners' average increased by 6.6 bushels per acre, while the state average increased 10 bushels per acre from 2015.

The value contest had 22 entries, four fewer than in the previous year. For their protein and oil contents, the top three entries averaged 77.6 cents (8 percent) in increased value over the $9.68 base cash price. In 2015, that average was 61 cents (7.1 percent) above an $8.66 cash price.

Ernest Schlatter, Lebanon, topped the dryland division with a no-till entry that made 95.95 bushels per acre. Calvin Yoder, Hutchinson, led the irrigated division with a conventional-tillage entry of 93.79 bushels per acre. Henry Farms, Robinson, won the value contest with 80.3 cents per bushel of increased value (8.3 percent over the cash price).

From north-northeastern Kansas, Jeschke Farms LLC, Highland, took first place in the district conventional-tillage, dryland competition with 85.78 bushels per acre. David Olson, Hiawatha, placed second with 84.16 bushels per acre and second in the Kansas Soybean Value Contest with 77.2 cents per bushel (8.0 percent) of increased value. Brad McCauley, White Cloud, won the district no-till, dryland competition with 90.78 bushels per acre. Grant Gladhart, Highland, took second place with 83.01 bushels per acre. Lar MAR Inc., Robinson, placed third with 78.86 bushels per acre.

In northeastern Kansas, Kenny Wilson, Horton, won the district conventional-tillage, dryland competition with 87.61 bushels per acre. Parallel Farms, Whiting, took second place with 85.03 bushels per acre. Chris Bodenhausen, Muscotah, placed third with 82.42 bushels per acre. Summit Farms, Morrill, won the district no-till, dryland competition with 83.69 bushels per acre. William (Alex) Noll, Winchester, placed second with 75.29 bushels per acre.

From north-central Kansas, Ryan Stewart, Washington, won the district no-till, dryland competition with 71.11 bushels per acre. Gregg Sexton, Abilene, took second place with 70.27 bushels per acre. Came Farms, Salina, placed third with 68.31 bushels per acre. Bob Wietharn, Clay Center, took second place in the statewide no-till, irrigated competition with 84.90 bushels per acre. Mark Pettijohn, Solomon, placed third in the Kansas Soybean Value Contest with 75.2 cents per bushel (7.8 percent) of increased value.

In east-central Kansas, Meats Farms, LeRoy, won the district no-till, dryland competition with 75.63 bushels per acre. Ryan Louia, LeRoy, took second place with 71.42 bushels per acre. Robert Litch, Melvern, placed third with 65.03 bushels per acre.

In southeastern Kansas, Cummings Farms, Yates Center, won the district conventional-tillage, dryland competition with 77.90 bushels per acre. Timmons Brothers Farms, Fredonia, took second place with 74.19 bushels per acre. Dustin Oehme, Pittsburg, placed third with 71.94 bushels per acre. Dennis Hill, Benton, won the district no-till, dryland competition with 87.33 bushels per acre. Oehme Farms, Pittsburg, took second place with 69.57 bushels per acre.

From south-central Kansas, behind Yoder (Hutchinson), Sam Miller, Haven, took second place in the statewide conventional-tillage, irrigated competition with 91.50 bushels per acre. Richard Seck, Hutchinson, won the statewide no-till, irrigated competition with 88.53 bushels per acre.

From northwestern Kansas, behind Schlatter (Lebanon), Mike McClellan and Cade Beesley of McClellan Farms, Palco, took second place in the district no-till, dryland competition with 91.49 bushels per acre. Carla Naasz Schlatter, Lebanon, placed third with 78.34 bushels per acre. Roger Johnson, Hoxie, placed third in the statewide conventional-tillage, irrigated competition with 83.83 bushels per acre. Harold Koster, Hoxie, placed third in the statewide no-till, irrigated competition with 81.18 bushels per acre.

The Kansas Soybean Association presented the state and district winners with plaques or certificates and monetary prizes from the Kansas Soybean Commission at the Kansas Soybean Expo, Jan. 11 in Topeka. The highest dryland and irrigated yields in the state each received a $1,000 award. In each district, first place won $300, second earned $200, and third received $100. The No-till on the Plains organization supplied additional prizes for the no-till categories.

Complete results and award photos are available via on the web.


Kansas Farm Bureau partners with Kansas FCCLA on community grant program

MANHATTAN – Kansas Farm Bureau (KFB) and Kansas Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) have partnered to promote personal growth and leadership development throughout the Sunflower State.

This new partnership will develop engaged community leaders, and at the same time, inform consumers about the safety, nutritional value and cost effectiveness of their food choices.

The two organizations plan to provide grants to FCCLA chapters who wish to conduct food and farming projects in Kansas schools or communities.

“Kansas Farm Bureau is excited to support the growth of Kansas FCCLA members while providing added value to communities across the state,” says Rich Felts, Montgomery County farmer who serves as Kansas Farm Bureau president.

The state’s largest farm organization will award up to $5,000 in grants to those FCCLA chapters who work with county Farm Bureau associations to plan, coordinate and enact agricultural education for children or farm-to-table events.

This collaboration will help family farm members and community leaders develop skills in creative and critical thinking, communications, practical knowledge and career preparation.

“We believe this partnership will provide information for community members about where their food comes from and how it’s grown,” says Pam Lamb, FCCLA state advisor. “FCCLA members will have an opportunity to visit local farms and work with farmers and ranchers to showcase food preparation, culinary arts and nutrition.”

To learn more and to apply, visit

Kansas Farm Bureau represents grassroots’ agriculture. Established in 1919, this non-profit advocacy organization supports farm and ranch families who earn a living in a changing industry. 



HAYS, Kan. -- The summer science camps started by David Levering three years ago have been a success, with more students each summer. Many of those students seek financial aid.

Levering, education director at Fort Hays State University’s Sternberg Museum of Natural History, wants to avoid prospective students not receiving financial aid to lack of funds, so he is reaching out for donors through a crowdfund page. He started the page Dec. 26, 2016, and contributions will be accepted for another six weeks. Levering hopes to raise $26,000 -- $13,000 for financial aid scholarships and $13,000 for equipment needs.

“I need to increase the amount of aid available to give away, otherwise there’s going to be a lot more disappointed students out there,” Levering said. “We’ve had increased requests for financial aid every year.”

Levering raised money through a crowdfund page when he first started the summer camps, which will be in their fourth year in 2017. He raised funds for basic equipment, and many of the contributors from that crowdfund campaign have become regular camp benefactors.

“As the camps program gets bigger, we need to increase the amount of funds,” Levering said. “Most of these funds have come from repeat donors. I’m trying to increase the number of return donors as well as a single big boost this year.”

The equipment upgrades have a purpose, too. Levering wants to teach the students how to use the equipment. The video and photos shot in the field will then be free to educators as classroom activities.

“My hope is to use the video and photos from the field programs to create classroom lessons that teachers can download from the museum’s website for free,” Levering said.

Following is the crowdfund link:  


KDWPT Biologists Discuss Bobwhites In New TV Series

PRATT – “Bobwhites on the Brink,” a five-part film series by the syndicated television conservation news magazine, This American Land, examines the reasons for the nationwide decline of the bobwhite quail and the efforts being made to reverse the trend on the American landscape. In the fourth segment (#604) of the series, viewers are brought to Kansas in large part due to the success of the state’s Conservation Reserve Program in providing species habitat. The segment explores how agricultural operations in the U.S. have morphed from small field/multi-farm set-ups, to giant corporate expanses of row crop acreage, and how Kansas is leading the country in demonstrating how bobwhite habitat can be successfully integrated on working lands.

Some Kansans may have viewed the series on Smoky Hills Public Television and on the Kansas Topeka Washburn University PBS stations late last year, but for those who missed it, there’s still time to tune in. “Bobwhites on the Brink” will air on KTWU Channel 11, Topeka, Sundays at 3:30 p.m., beginning January 15. However, the last two shows of the series (#604 and #605) will air at 3:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. on February 5 in a 1-hour block. The series will also be available online on the This American Land website,; on NBCI’s YouTube channel,; and on the KDWPT website,

The National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI), in partnership with select states, worked over a period of several months to help develop the story. The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism worked directly with NBCI to demonstrate how the expansion of mechanized clean-farming techniques in row crop agriculture have effected bobwhite quail, among other grassland birds and wildlife species.

In addition to Kansas, film crews visited South Carolina, Texas, and Kentucky to document how a decline in active forest management and the conversion of livestock grazing operations from native grasses to exotic fescue across millions of acres, combined with changes in row-crop agriculture, have decimated habitat range-wide for bobwhites and related wildlife over time.


Buy Your Licenses Early and Save Big

PRATT – With a little advance planning, hunters and anglers can save big when buying their 2017 hunting and fishing licenses and turkey permits. If you buy your Hunting/Fishing Combo license before Feb. 1, you can save up to $10. Purchasing an Annual Hunting/Fishing Combo now will cost $42.50. After Jan. 31, the Hunting/Fishing Combo price will go up to $47.50. And buying Annual Hunting and Fishing licenses separately will cost $55.00.

Another great way to save is to purchase a five-year license. A Five-year Fishing or Five-year Hunting license is $102.50, which is a savings of $35 compared to buying five annual hunting or fishing licenses over the same period. A Five-year Hunting/Fishing Combo license is $182.50, which is a savings of $30 compared to purchasing five Early-buy Combos or $55 in savings compared to purchasing five regular combo licenses annually.

Spring turkey hunters can save by purchasing a Spring Turkey Permit Combo, which includes a Spring Turkey Permit and Spring Turkey Game tag, available only through March 31. A resident Spring Turkey Combo sells for $37.50. After March 31, you’ll spend $45 purchasing a Spring Turkey Permit and Turkey Game Tag separately.

Ensure you get the best deal by buying early. Licenses and permits can be purchased online at or at any of the 600 license vendors across the state.


Commission Permits To Fund Conservation Projects

PRATT – Seven lucky non-profit, conservation-based organizations will each receive a Kansas deer permit this year, courtesy of the Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) Commission Big Game Permit program. The organizations were drawn during KDWPT’s first public meeting of the year, held on Jan. 5 at the Flint Hills Technical College in Emporia. The permit program, which received 142 eligible applications in 2016, allows Kansas-based nonprofit organizations that actively promote wildlife conservation and the hunting and fishing heritage to apply for a permit. If drawn, the organizations can then use the permit to raise money for the organizations’ conservation efforts, with 15 percent of the sales going directly to the chapter and 85 percent going to KDWPT to be spent on mutually agreed-upon conservation projects. An organization is eligible to receive only one Commission big game permit in a three-year period.

The following organizations were drawn by the Commission to receive a 2017 Commission Big Game Permit:

National Wildlife Turkey Federation (NWTF) – Kansas City Spurs Chapter

NWTF – Decatur County Thunder Chickens Chapter

Ducks Unlimited – Maize Chapter #161

Pheasants Forever – Johnson County Chapter

Quail Forever – Lyon County Chapter #3224

Pheasants Forever – Ringneck Renegades Chapter #647

Quail Forever – Marion County Chapter #3064

Information on how and when each chapter plans to make their permit available to the public for purchase will be provided on at a later date.

For more information on the Commission Big Game Permit program, contact the Commission Secretary at (620) 672-5911 or visit  

HISTORY IS FUN ~ Robert D. Caplinger

Old news from the 1945 Issues of Effingham New Leaf

MORE BUS NEWS.  According to the Sept. 7, 1945 issue: "The bus drivers for ACCHS are Charles Bradley, Larkinburg; Charles Schrader, Cummings; Donald Wohlgemuth, Lancaster; Frank Fredrick, Horton; Clarence Walton, Muscotah; Donald Higley, Farmington."

"Frank L. Hunn, former Atchison County High School principal, has been appointed Special Agent for the Bankers Life Insurance Company of Nebraska,   Mr. Hunn did some work for the company years ago and has made a study of life Insurance and Annuities and is in a position to render efficient service to his many friends and policy holders in this area."

OBITUARY OF LEWIS HUBBARD HISTORY FROM.  "Lewis H. Hubbard, retired Muscotah farmer, died Sept. 5, 1945, in the Atchison Hospital.

"Mr. Hubbard was born March 13, 1868 in Cass County, Mo., and when a small boy moved with his parents to Illinois.  In 1874, the family moved from Peoria, Ill., to a farm south of Muscotah, and Mr. Hubbard spent the remainder of his life in that community.

"On December 22, 1897, Mr. Hubbard and Anna Mae Hinkston of the Muscotah community were united in marriage.  They resided on the Hubbard Home place for 11 years, and then bought their own farm near there where they lived for 35 years.

"Besides Mrs. Hubbard, he is survived by three children, Mrs. LaVerne Stucker, Atchison; S-Sgt Leslie Hubbard of Marseilles, France, and Mrs. Floyd Jones, of Los Angeles, Calif; two grandchildren, Beverly Jo and Stanley Hubbard of Brookfield, Mo; a sister, Mrs. Lillie Connor, of Muscotah; and a number of nieces and nephews.  One brother, W. E. Hubbard and a sister, Mrs. Cora Routh, preceded him in death."

HISTORY FROM THE OBITUARY OF PETE CAWLEY.  "A well known, practical and representative retired farmer passed away Sept. 6, 1945, at his home in Effingham.

"Mr. Cawley was born July 5, 1866, on a farm 5 miles northwest of Atchison in the Good Intent neighborhood.

"He was the son of John and Margaret Cawley and one of a family of six sons and one daughter.

"In 1867, the family moved from the Good Intent community to Farmington.  In 1882 they moved to Arrington.  Mr. Cawley purchased his first farm south of Arrington and started farming by himself.  He kept one housekeeper for 8 years.

"On April 19, 1904, he was united in marriage to miss Agnes Finnegan, of Atchison, at St. Louis Church.

"The young couple kept house on the bridegrooms farm and continued their abode there 6 years.  In 1910, they bought the Noll farm south of Effingham and later a farm northwest of Effingham where they lived until they bought their present home in Effingham.

"Mr. Cawley owned one of the largest farm acreages in Atchison county.

"He reached the 79th milestone in life, had lived an active, honorable life and won the respect that is ever accorded sterling worth.

"Mr. Cawley was a communicant of St. Ann's church and contributed liberally to its support.

"He is survived by his wife and a brother, Dr. B. M. Cawley, of Trinidad, Colo.  Both were at this bedside during the last illness."


"Chas Snyder, of the Seabees, has been discharged and is enroute home.  He is the son of Mrs. C. N. Snyder."

"Melvin Besancon has been discharged from the Army."

"Carl Billy Pyne, who is with the U. S. Naval Air Station, at San Diego, came home last week on a short furlough.  He expects to be sent overseas."

"Pvt. Jerry Figgs is on Luzon.  His brother Irvin is in France."

"James Turner is a member of the occupation forces in Berlin."

"The following is excerpts of a letter written by a Red Cross Nurse, for T-Sgt. Wilson Hawk, who was recently wounded:  "I am feeling better now.  Have a dislocated wrist, my arm is in a cast.  The doctors say it will be O.K.  I am having a Red Cross Nurse write this letter for me.  Having wonderful care, good doctors and nurses.  Have a good Red Cross set up here, and they are very good to the wounded and sick soldiers in the hospital.  It looks like our task in the Pacific is complete now.  I hope to be coming home soon.  Had a letter from Rae Shufflebarger.  He is in my neighborhood some place out there.  Don't worry for I will be O.K."

"Sgt. Glenn Neill who has been spending a 15 day furlough here with relatives and friends returned to Camp Eglin, Fla.  F 2-c Oliver Schiffbauer, who had not been heard from Since June wrote his parent he is now attending a fleet of mine sweepers.  His ship was attacked by three Jap suicide planes.  In one of these attacks, his buddy was killed, also many other men were killed and injured.  Oliver was not hurt."

"A three year vigil ended for Mrs. Fred Hall of Whiting when she received notice from the War Department that her son, Cpl. Clarence N. Martin was among Americans being freed from a Japanese prison camp near Mukden, Manchuria.

"The 27 year old Whiting soldier has been prisoner three years, being captured when besieged yank defenders gave up Corregidor island May 6, 1942."

"Johnnie Gerety, a pilot, the first Effingham boy to fly over Japan, doesn't care whether he ever sees another airplane or not."

"Corp. Orrin Snyder is on Lejima, the island where Ernie Pyle was killed.  His brother, Sgt. John Snyder is at Mannheim, Germany."

"Jimmie Candreia, who has been home on a furlough, will report to Fort Riley."

"Pfc. Samuel Jackson took a leave in France and went to Brookmoor, Ireland, to visit his uncle Ed Jackson, his cousin, Mrs. Ruby Robinson and family and also his mother's uncle and aunt."

"Francis Shufflebarger, of Lancaster, is home from the European theatre of war."

"Charles D. Armstrong, who reported to Leavenworth for his orders for army specialized training will attend the state college of South Dakota at Brookings.  Charles is a graduate of ACCHS."

"Louie Adams, of Springfield, Ill., has been awarded the Bronze Star.  He is a nephew of Mrs. R. B. McPhilimy and lived in Effingham several years ago."

"Last week a message was received by Mrs. George Snyder telling of the death of her nephew, Col. John Schock, 53, of Falls City, Neb.  Col Schock, chief of the army dental service in the Philippines at the beginning of the war, died Jan. 23, in a Japanese war prison camp."



 Help Wanted:  Custom Applicator position is available in the Agronomy Department of Jackson Farmers, Inc. in Holton. The applicant must be reliable and willing to work overtime plus have, or be able to obtain, a CDL and pass a drug screening. Benefits include health, dental, life and retirement. Please email your interest to the Agronomy Manager Dennis Holliday at or call at 785-364-2671 for more information.

 Help Wanted:  Full time Feed/Fertilizer Delivery Driver for Jackson Farmers in Holton. The applicant must be reliable and willing to work overtime plus have, or be able to obtain, a CDL and pass a drug screening. Benefits include health, dental, life and retirement. Please email your interest to the Agronomy Manager Dennis Holliday at or call 785-364-2671 for more information.

USD 377 Atchison County Community Schools is looking for a Driver's Ed teacher for the summer of 2017.  All applicants must complete an online application located at:


 WANT TO BE DEBT FREE? Learn how you can make it happen. Atchison United Methodist church will be starting our 13th Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Class January 24-March 21, 2017. Tuesdays at 6:00pm. Free Childcare. First lesson is Free to all. Register online at or contact Mike at or church office 913-367-1844. Customers of River Cities Community Credit Union, Exchange Bank and The Bank of Atchison will receive a 50% ($46.50) scholarship upon completion of the course. Don't miss out on the opportunity.


Can you identify the place, persons or year in this photo? Last issue was Joann Gigstad.







Help Wanted:  Custom Applicator position is available in the Agronomy Department of Jackson Farmers, Inc. in Holton. The applicant must be reliable and willing to work overtime plus have, or be able to obtain, a CDL and pass a drug screening. Benefits include health, dental, life and retirement. Please email your interest to the Agronomy Manager Dennis Holliday at or call at 785-364-2671 for more information.

Help Wanted:  Full time Feed/Fertilizer Delivery Driver for Jackson Farmers in Holton. The applicant must be reliable and willing to work overtime plus have, or be able to obtain, a CDL and pass a drug screening. Benefits include health, dental, life and retirement. Please email your interest to the Agronomy Manager Dennis Holliday at or call 785-364-2671 for more information.

USD 377 Atchison County Community Schools is looking for a Driver's Ed teacher for the summer of 2017.  All applicants must complete an online application located at:

WANT TO BE DEBT FREE? Learn how you can make it happen. Atchison United Methodist church will be starting our 13th Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Class January 24-March 21, 2017. Tuesdays at 6:00pm. Free Childcare. First lesson is Free to all. Register online at or contact Mike at or church office 913-367-1844. Customers of Exchange Bank and The Bank of Atchison will receive a 50% ($46.50) scholarship upon completion of the course. Don't miss out on the opportunity.


 Can you identify the place, persons or year in this photo?




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