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Some argue that Governor Brownback has not cut K-12 funding. While the following are not to the penny, let’s analyze the funding amounts for the Wamego school district for the past four years while the Governor has been in office and learn the truth.

Funding amounts change each year due to your weighted district enrollment, Base State Aid and the Local Option Budget which increase or decrease by action of the Legislature and the Governor. The base state aid cuts have been as low as $595 and as high as $653 per student during the past four years. Let’s average it at $625.

The weighted Full Time Equivalent number of students is 2,334.3 X $625 = $1,458,937.50 that your district has been shorted each year by the Governor and the Legislature in violation of State law. This number divided by your general fund of $8,959,043 is a cut of 16.28% per year. Over four years, the cut is $1,458,937.50 X 4 = $5,835,750.

Additionally, your district has been shorted $365,843 per year, or, $1,463,372 over the four year period by the LOB not being fully funded, again, in violation of State law.

Therefore, the annual cut has been (Base State Aid + LOB) $1,458,937.50 + $365,843 = $1,824,780.50. This amount divided by your general fund of $8,959,043 = a 20.36% annual cut that you have had to make up with staff cuts, program cuts, local property tax increases, increased fees to students and parents, drawing down reserves and deferred maintenance.

Any business or household experiencing an income cut of 20.36% would be seriously stressed to make ends meet. Governor Brownback has massively cut your K-12 education funding. The sun is not shining on the schools in Wamego, Kansas.

The idea of forced school consolidation is a topic of interest to many as the Legislature and their special committees continue to examine how to make public schools “more efficient”. The real plan by those who believe school funding is currently adequate or should be reduced even more is to “force school consolidation through starvation”. In other words, continue to under fund schools at such a level that many smaller districts cannot afford to operate the schools in their communities.

Kevin R. McWhorter is a nine year member of the Goddard Board of Education who advocates for all Kansas K-12 students by testifying before the Senate and House Education Committee’s regarding education issues when the Legislature is in session.

Kevin McWhorter
October 08, 2014

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Membership Drive

Dear Editor,

As a valued library patron and a member of the Wamego community, the Friends of the Wamego Public Library organization would like to invite you to become a member or to renew your membership.

The Friends of the Library raises money and support for services offered by the library, ensuring that the Wamego Public Library continues to be an important part of this community. We are also part of the state-wide organization, Friends of Kansas Libraries, whose mission is to support and advocate for superior library services.

The Friends of the Wamego Public Library organization raises funds from memberships, contributions and fundraisers. These funds help the library provide programs, books, materials and services to the community. Here are some of the activities and support we provided during 2013-2014:

• Partnered with Wamego High School Forensics Department & the Columbian Theatre to present ‘Books Come Alive’ family event and fundraiser

• Provided Halloween treats for Trick or Treat in Downtown Wamego

• Organized Annual Thanksgiving Pie Sale Fundraiser

• Hosted the Children’s Tent at the Kansas Sampler Festival in May and will be hosting the tent again in May 2015.

• Provided prize books for the Summer Reading Program

This year, our goal for our membership drive is to purchase new slat boards for the reading room, to display the magazines.

We hope that you will join our organization; your presence is important to us. If you would like to become a Friend, please fill out the included application form and return it to the library. We would love to see you at one of our meetings!


Friends of the Wamego Public Library

Amy Hecke, Secretary for the Friends of the Wamego Public Library
September 26, 2014

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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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