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Dogs as companions

Science has proven dogs experience emotions – happiness, sadness, fear, loneliness, grief, and pain are a few.

Dogs depend on us to provide adequate sustenance (nutritious food, fresh water), adequate health care (flea/tick/mosquito/worm preventive, vaccinations, grooming), trust us, love us unconditionally.

Dogs can sense our emotion, provide loving companionship; protect us, add stability to our lives, help us overcome/deal with physical and mental health issues, teach us what love is, and responsibility. They crave our touch, attention, gentle words, approval. Dogs see us as family, and we should see them as family members.

Dogs are not yard art. Imagine being outside in the heat in a fur coat. Shade does little to cool us, same for dogs. Dogs cool themselves by panting but cannot provide much relief on hot days. When panting is obstructed there is less cooling effect. Dogs outside in summer need shaded areas. A child’s pool of cool water is helpful. A dog’s coat can provide some warmth in winter, but they need more in colder months. In situations where dogs can’t be inside, make sure their outside environment is as comfortable as possible and spend plenty of time with them.

Dogs need exercise, whether it is being taken for walks or playing in the yard. They long to be with us. When walking your dog, make sure the sidewalks aren’t too hot to burn their paws. Different breeds have different exercise requirements so research what your type of dog requires. Never leave dogs unattended in the car. In warmer months temps rise quickly, even if parked in shade. On a 75 degree day the temp can raise to 118 in 10 minutes.

If a dog acts out, there is a reason - provocation, lack of training, lack of exercise, or loneliness. Some breeds require more personal care, companionship, or a job to do. Dogs can adapt to less than ideal situations, it is our obligation to provide proper care. If we see a dog treated poorly or being abused, speak up.

Ms. Troy Lynn Eckart
September 02, 2014

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Classified Live

Dear Editor,

I wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed the article about rower Liz Scherer. My daughter is a rower at Kansas State and the great words she said about rowing, I could have heard out of Mary Rose's mouth. My husband and I just laughed and said HOW TRUE!! The only thing Liz missed, was to let you know that when rowing in a 2K OR 5K, the rowers have to ROW to the starting point!! They are NOT left off there. So....before they even begin the race, they have already rowed the equivalent of that race just getting to the starting line.

Thank you for writing about a local D1 athlete that worked very hard in her sport.


Mary Rose Eakes

(I didn't know how to write the letter to Editor for the paper, so I sent this way. I hope that's ok.)

Mary Rose Eakes
August 09, 2014

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4th of July

My son-in-law runs the Youth Group Fireworks stand each year so we came to Wamego to celebrate the 4th with our family. What a great day we had! We enjoyed meeting many wonderful folks, the carnival, the parade and the best fireworks we've ever seen. Congratulations Wamego! Way to go!

Maureen Suprenant
July 05, 2014

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Flag Ceremony

Dear Editor,

Several of hours of planning have gone into play to organize laying to rest American Flags. Flags have been gathered from several different towns including, Hays, Blue Valley/Randolph, Wamego, Belvue, St. Marys, Louisville, Manhattan, Topeka, Ogden, Silver Lake, Westmoreland, and even Denver, Colorado.

Beginning back in May, thinking I wasn't even going to reach my goal of 500 American Flags, has almost tripled. Right now, I have 1,382 old, tattered, destroyed flags that need to be laid to rest. On July 2nd, I would like invite the public to First Baptist Church to be apart of this opportunity. This ceremony will begin promptly at 11am. The ceremony will begin with an opening of the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem. A brief description of the American Flag will also be given.

The ceremony has been dedicated to 5 Men who have served our Great Nation. A donation table will also be set-up to donate towards the Wamego Veteran Memorial that will be established in the City Park. Donations can be brought to the event or even sent to the Wamego Community Foundation, Memo: WAVM Donation, PO Box 245, Wamego, KS, 66547.

I would like to thank all those who have donated flags and have helped make this event possible. Thank you to those who have donated water and snacks including, Gene's Heartland Food, Hy-Vee in Manhattan and WalMart in Manhattan. As well, as First Baptist Church for allowing this ceremony to be taken place at their facility.

Cody Filbert, Flag Ceremony Coordinator
June 26, 2014

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What is Westy Housing Authority Inc?

Westy Housing Authority, Inc is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to providing comfortable independent living for senior and handicapped citizens. We are located in Westmoreland.

The corporation was organized in 1967 when the first four-unit (2 duplex buildings) was built. The second four-unit (1-4 plex building) was added a few years later. They are both located on Main Street and are called Cottonwood Apartments. The last apartment complex building contains 12 units and is named Oregon Trail Apartments. All of the units at the Oregon Trail open into a large atrium area. It allows for more contact among each of the tenants and socialization. It is located at 601 State Street. The large dining/kitchen area is open to use by all 20 apartment units.

The majority of our units are easily handicapped assessable. Rent is based on income and rental assistance is available on 12 of the units at a time. If none is available at the time you enter one of our units, you will be put on the list and will receive the assistance as one becomes available. We strive to make our units as cost effective, comfortable and sage as possible. Other than the rent you need to only pay your electric in most of the units. There is a utility allowance that is deducted from the rent to help defray this expense. We provide trash, water and sewer at no expense to each unit.

All of our apartments are one bedroom, one bath units with central heating/cooling. Included are kitchen appliances, off street parking and even a garden spot if you wish. Maintenance is part of the package and management/maintenance is available 24-7 in emergency situations. We are always a phone call away and strive to solve any issue as quickly as possible. All apartments are equipped with emergency pull cords and smoke detectors. If we are not available our local law enforcement is always available in an emergency needed time.

Westmoreland is located just a short distance from Frankfort, Onaga, Wamego and Manhattan. We have many of the needed services in our community. The apartments are close to downtown shopping which include churches, bank, grocery store, county health department, pharmacy, therapy services and a medical clinic. Available services in the proposed future will include dental and mental health services. We also have a county bus service located in our town (you will be picked up at your home), ambulance and fire department services, car repair shop (if needed) and a restaurant that will even deliver you meals.

Also located on Main Street and across form Cottonwood Apartments is our local care home. If you like volunteering they are always looking for volunteers as well as the local Historical Society. We have a great community in a rural setting with friendly people and a peaceful small town setting.

At present we have 4 units open in Oregon Trail and Cottonwood. An open house is being planned for June 22. Please watch for the ad in the upcoming paper. Come look at us! If you aren't qualified you may have a friend or relative that our apartments are perfect for. We will be here for them.

Natha Manges, Site Manager
June 02, 2014

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Please Slow Down in Town

As our community grows, families with children of all ages and pets have moved in. With the warmer weather, more children are playing outside, teens are staying out later, more people are walking their dogs and riding bikes, and more cats are wandering on their evening strolls. In some parts of town the speed limit is 20 mph, in others it is still 30 mph (too fast in my opinion). I live on a street that has several families with children and pets, a street that doesn't have stop signs or dips and a 30 mph speed limit. Vehicles carelessly zoom up and down our street at all hours. It is just a matter of time before someone, or someone's beloved pet, or wildlife gets hit. I've seen numerous dead squirrels on the roads already. Squirrels have very poor eyesight and they panic when they hear a car coming - they are not purposely running in front of a vehicle - they are frightened and panic. Baby birds will soon be learning how to fly, and some will land on the roads. Please slow down and be watchful for all. We all, people, pets, and wildlife, live in this community. Please slow down and be watchful for adults, children, teens, pets, and wildlife at all hours, and especially after dark. Please help to make our community safe for all living here.

Troy Lynn Eckart
May 19, 2014

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Wonderful Wamego

Thank you so much for hosting the Kansas Sampler Festival. We have attended the festival since it first started in Inman, Kansas. The community support and volunteers provided at this years festival in Wamego was past outstanding. All of your volunteers were friendly and wonderful ambassadors for your community. We adored our tent boss, Janette! Thank you Wonderful Wamego!

Cris Collier, President Great Bend Convention & Visitors Bureau
May 05, 2014

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Mental Health Month

Dear Editor:

On Thursday, April 24, 2014, Governor Sam Brownback signed a proclamation declaring May as Mental Health Month in Kansas. He released a statement saying, "We are here today to remind Kansans that mental illness is a common, painful experience for many people and their families. My administration is working to strengthen the community and institutional supports our state offers those in need of help."

Pawnee Mental Health Services has been providing community supports to people experiencing mental illness since November 19, 1956.

Seven years later, on October 31, 1963, President John F. Kennedy signed into law the Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Health Center Construction Act, laying a foundation of funding for community mental health centers and research facilities devoted to the research and treatment of mental illness and intellectual disabilities.

Nearly 50 years later, on January 10, 2013, Governor Brownback announced a mental health initiative in Kansas redirecting $10 million in community mental health funding to five regional recovery support centers to provide intensive services to some of the state's most difficult to treat mentally ill individuals. The Governor also announced the creation of a mental health task force to evaluate the functioning of the community mental health system.

The results of the Governor's Mental Health Task Force Report were released to the public on April 15. The report called for improved access to early mental health treatment, outcomes based approaches to treatment, and access to treatment for those with serious mental illness, regardless of their ability to pay. For a copy of the report, please visit www.kansasbehavioralhealthservices.org.

For more information on Pawnee Mental Health Services, please visit our website at www.pawnee.org or "like" us on Facebook.

Robbin Cole, Executive Director Pawnee Mental Health Services
May 02, 2014

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St. George Elementary Honor Choir

Here's to you ladies

I've just received the newspaper clipping, article and picture, titled "St. George Elementary Honor Choir performs at the Capitol". This was a rather emotional piece for me as I've had the pleasure of seeing the wonderful work of Janet Armstead and Debbie Edwards over the years while working as a substitute para in the district. The talent and dedication these ladies share with their students (and communities) is beyond compare....and I've seen enough teachers, in many schools, to recognize them this way. Congratulations, Janet and Debbie, on yet another fantastic experience with your students. I hope you are extremely proud of yourselves, I sure am proud of you!

Carol Thistlewaite, Glendale, Arizona
April 17, 2014

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Sunflower CASA Project, Inc.

We all have a role to play in ending child abuse

By the time you finish reading this article, more than 30 cases of child abuse will have been reported to authorities nationwide. By the end of today, that number will swell past 9,000. And four of those children will die at the hands of their abuser. All in a single day.

When we take stock of these sobering statistics during April – National Child Abuse Prevention Month – it's easy to be overwhelmed and to ask yourself, "What can I possibly do to make a difference?"

The answer is, you can do a lot. Everybody can play a role in preventing child abuse and neglect by becoming advocates for children.

For some of us, that advocacy comes in a formal role. Teachers, child care workers, health care providers and others who come into daily contact with children can be vigilant for signs of abuse and neglect. Their actions to report suspected abuse or to offer extra time and attention to fragile children can do more than make a difference. It can save lives.

CASA (court-appointed special advocate) volunteers stand up for abused and neglected children, giving them a voice in an overburdened child welfare system that is hard-pressed to meet their individual needs. A CASA volunteer's intense advocacy can break the cycle of abuse and neglect.

Children with CASA volunteers find safe, permanent homes more quickly, are half as likely to re-enter the foster care system, and do better in school. That's making a profound difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of abused and neglected children across the country – 134 right here in Riley, Clay, and Pottawatomie Counties. But there are far too many children who are left to fend for themselves.

Sunflower CASA Project is one of more than 900 CASA programs across the country committed to more than doubling our corps of volunteers by 2020 so that every child who needs a CASA volunteer has one.

CASA volunteers are people just like you – teachers, businesspeople, retirees, grandparents who are:

•Willing to participate in an in-depth training program

•Strong communicators

•Willing to commit to at least one year of service

•Able to pass a criminal and Child Protective Services background check

•Over age 21

Not everyone can be a CASA volunteer, but everyone can be an advocate. Here are some steps you can take to make our community safer for our children.

•Keep our state's toll-free child abuse hotline number close at hand, 1-800-922-5330. If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, you can report your suspicions confidentially.

•Donate or volunteer for a social service agency that helps children who have been abused or neglected.

•Educate yourself – and others – about the devastating toll that abuse and neglect take on children and our society as a whole.

Your advocacy for children will not only help end child abuse, it will improve our community for everyone who lives here. Children who are abused and do not get the support they need to heal are more likely than other kids to drop out of school, end up homeless, turn to crime, and rely as adults on social welfare programs. When we work together to protect vulnerable children, it saves lives while also saving tax dollars.

We all have a role to play. What will yours be?

Jayme Morris-Hardeman, Sunflower CASA Project Executive Director

Find out more at www.sunflowercasa.org.

Jayme Morris-Hardeman, Executive Director
April 09, 2014

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