Economic development was the hot topic at this week’s Iola City Council meeting. The Iola register reports that members heard from both Thrive Allen County and The Iola Area Chamber of Commerce. Both reporesentatives made their case relating to funding received from the city. They answered a number of questions from council members about economic impact and communication between the organizations and the city. The Council agreed to continue the discussions, including mapping out the city’s expectations from both.
Meanwhile, at the Iola USD 257 Board of Education meeting, the board learned that the Bowlus Fine Arts Center will be raising its rental rates. Director Daniel Kays said that the Bowlus rate structure hasn’t changed since 2013. Overall, the Bowlus hopes to recoup roughly $4,000 in rental fees each year, starting with the new fiscal year that begins in July.
This afternoon at 1:00, ABC Trails (Allen, Bourbon, and Crawford Counties) will be unveiling their active transportation plan that has been approved by each county’s commission. That event will occur in the Bourbon County Courthouse. Commissioners from each county will be in attendance. This is the first regional active transportation plan of its kind in Kansas.
The Chanute city commission will decide how to fill the seat vacated by Commissioner Randy Galemore at the next meeting. According to The Chanute Tribune, the commission has until March 29 to name a replacement for Galemore. He resigned after moving outside of the city limits. Galemore’s term expires in January, giving the interim replacement only about nine months to serve on the board. Without either an appointment or a different replacement procedure, the city would be required to hold a special election.
KBI and Iola Police respond to incident involving suicidal subject
ALLEN COUNTY – The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) and the Iola Police Department responded to an incident involving a suicidal subject Monday night in Iola.
The incident began on Feb. 4 just before 10 p.m. when the Iola Police Department received multiple calls reporting a suicidal female who lived in the 600 block of north 1st St. in Iola. Upon arriving at the residence, officers observed a 29-year-old female who was barricaded in the house with a gun. Also in the house were her three minor children.
The Iola Police Department requested assistance from the KBI around 10:30 p.m. The KBI High Risk Warrant Team responded. Negotiators made repeated attempts to convince the woman to come out of the house, and to allow her three children, who were situated in another area of the house, to leave. For most of the interaction, the subject held a gun to her head and threatened to shoot herself.
The standoff ended at approximately 1:25 a.m. Tuesday, when the woman shot herself. The High Risk Warrant Team immediately entered the house and quickly secured the children.
EMS rendered aid to the woman. She was taken to the Allen County Regional Hospital, and was later transferred to another medical facility, where she remains on life support.
No further information will be released at this time.
Allen County commissioners met this week with an architect based in Fort Scott about the construction of new ambulance stations in Humboldt and Moran. The Iola Register reports that advancement of the project has been on hold while the county conducted its search for suitable locations. Commissioners have now zeroed in on sites in each town, although final details are still being ironed out. The next move is to now get a proposal from the architect.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has rescinded a boil water advisory for the Rural Water District number 10 located in Allen County. The advisory was issued because of a line break resulting in a loss of pressure in the system. Laboratory testing samples collected indicate no evidence of contamination. All other conditions that placed the system at risk of contamination are deemed by KDHE officials to be resolved.
Allen County Regional Hospital chief executive officer Tony Thompson said ths week that the state of the hospital is very solid. The Iola Register reports that he made the remark before Iola City Council members Monday. Thompson compared the hospital’s construction in 2013 as starting a new business since its bank account started at zero after ending a previous lease. A half-cent city sales tax approved by Iola city commissioners helped to ensure the hospital had enough working capital to get off the ground. That is slated to sunset at the end of this year.
The city council also decided to hire the architectural firm advising USD 257 with its ongoing bond referendum to help map out repairs to the flood-damaged Recreation Community Building at Riverside Park. City officials are considering several options to replace the building’s flooring.
A Kansas City Chiefs player was arrested in Allen County on Saturday on suspicion of possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. The arrest of wide receiver De’Anthony Thomas was reported on the Allen County Sheriff’s Facebook page. Thomas has since been released on bond. A Chiefs spokesperson told the Kansas City Star that the team is aware of the incident but has no further comment. No further details of the arrest have been made available.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Governor’s Council on Fitness presented the 2019 Kansas Health Champion awards at a luncheon in Topeka on Friday. The Monarch Cement Company in Humboldt was among the honorees. Monarch was the winner of the Organizational Health Champion award for its onsite clinic for employees and dependents.
The Kansas Department of Commerce has announced that 23 communities will receive federal grants for a variety of community improvement projects. They will share federal grants totaling just over eleven million dollars. Community Development Block Grant recipients in southeast Kansas include The City of Chanute, The City of Girard and The City of Neodesha. Chanute will receive $700,000 to make wastewater system improvements. Girard will receive $600,000 to complete a street project and Neodesha will receive $600,000 to improve their gas distribution system.
The board of The Allen County Regional Hospital has a new look. The Register reports that Loren Korte is the new chairman, and new trustees John Brocker and Mona Hull took their seats. New county counselor Bob Johnson now advises the board on legal matters.