If you don’t think you’ll have a chance to vote April the 2nd on the school bond issue for Iola USD 257, there are a couple of different options available for you. Allen County Clerk Sherrie Riebel said she will keep her office open until 8 p.m. Thursday to give voters who wish to vote in advance the extra opportunity to do so. Advance voting already can be done at the courthouse during regular business hours, up until noon on April 1. Voters also can request a ballot be mailed to them, but those requests must be recieved in the clerk’s office by today. Mail-in ballots must be postmarked by April 2, and back in Riebel’s office by April 5, in order to be counted.
NuWa to close. NuWa Industries CEO Mike Mitchell notified employees Monday the company plans to downsize and vacate its main building in the Safari Industrial Park, which has been leased to another manufacturer starting June 1. At its peak, NuWa manufactured fifth-wheel RVs with more than 100 employees in Chanute.
The Board of Directors of Thrive Allen County has announced their new President and CEO. Lisse Regehr becomes the second President and CEO of Thrive Allen County, taking the reins from David Toland who led Thrive for 11 years. Toland resigned in January to become the Kansas Secretary of Commerce. Regehr, whose family is originally from Allen County, was brought onboard the Thrive team as lead Navigator. She helped build the program into a regional force that reduced the uninsured rate in Allen County from 21% in 2013 to 9% in 2018. That’s the second biggest drop in the state of Kansas. The Board of Directors of Thrive Allen County performed a national search for the President and CEO position and received interest from more than 25 candidates.
The Allen County Fair Association is asking county commissioners to increase their funding by $9,000. The Register reports that the county currently provides the fair association $11,000 per year. If the commission bumps that figure up to $20,000, improvements could be made. Things such as new picnic tables, a better food court, new parking, signage, and a cornhole tournament. Meanwhile, the group will continue to trim its budget and seek out new sponsorships.
The County Health Rankings were released this week and Allen County has improved 46 spots. Thrive Allen County points out in a Facebook post that the county is now ranked number 38 out of 105 counties in Kansas. That’s an improvement from number 84 last year. The group credits the improvement to creating a culture of health, including bringing down the uninsured rate, building trails, and creating better food access.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has expanded the previously issued boil water advisory for a portion of Allen County Rural Water District 10 to include the entire system. This advisory took effect on March 19 and will remain in effect until the conditions that placed the system at risk of bacterial contamination are resolved. We have a map of Allen County Rural Water District 10 on both our Twitter and Facebook pages.
Fire officials say no one was injured in an early morning fire in Chetopa. According to KOAM-TV, the ire started in a two-story downtown building around 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday. The Chetopa Fire Chief, Chief of Police and Mayor had a discussion and deemed the building unsafe following today’s fire. They had the building demolished. The cause of the fire is undetermined, but burning candles are suspected.