A one-vehicle crash in McPherson County Friday night claimed the life of an Iola man. According to KSNW-TV, the accident occurred about three-and-one-half miles north of the town of Inman. The McPherson County Sheriff’s Office said a vehicle driven by 22-year-old Drew Faulhaber left the roadway and drove into the right ditch, then over-corrected, crossed the roadway into the other ditch and rolled several times. Fauhaber was ejected from the vehicle. The crash is still under investigation.
Scott Pruitt, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is due to be in Garnett at a special meeting with East Kansas Agri Energy on Tuesday morning. In a blog post, the publisher of The Anderson County Review sees the meeting as a bit of a mystery. Pruitt is scheduled to tour the ethanol plant and meet with its principals and investors. The Renewable Fuel Standard that requires oil refineries to blend ethanol into their gasoline could be one topic.
The steering committee investigating the future of Iola schools has narrowed its list of potential school sites. The Iola Register reports that after another meeting Tuesday, members were able to narrow the field from five scenarios to three. They settled on on all-new construction as opposed to part renovation/ part new construction for a single elementary school. The locations being considered are land abutting Oregon Road with Cottonwood Street extending to the north; 20 acres on Cottonwood Street just north of Allen Community College, and 20 acres at Kentucky and Monroe.
A group bicycle event is planned for Saturday to help celebrate the fifth anniversary of the opening of the Southwind Rail Trail. The Allen County Trails Celebration Ride will begin at 9 a.m. with a group ride starting on the south side of the Iola Square. The ride will cross the new King of Trails Bridge and then head south to Humboldt.
Allen County Commissioners were told at the week’s meeting that the proposal for opening a quarry on the south slope of Humboldt Hill has been withdrawn for now. Several people had gathered at the meeting to argue against it and planning board members had previously voted against permitting the quarry. Land owner David Gant told the Iola Register that he pulled his request to give him time to visit with adjacent and nearby landowners, most of whom object to the quarry.
Commissioners were also assured by Allen County Sheriff Bryan Murphy that anyone, regardless of origin or destination, could legally use the old 169 highway. His comment arose from a letter published in the Register last week. The author said he was stopped by a deputy and told through traffic was prohibited from using the old highway. Murphy said the deputy erred in that judgment but otherwise was courteous and polite. The sheriff had watched a body cam recording of the traffic stop.
The city of Moran is eight years into a 10-year contract to buy electricity from Westar and talks of a new contract are beginning. The Iola Register reports that City Council members were approached Monday by Bill Birnel of Westar. He said the new contract should provide substantial savings to the city. That’s because the previous contract, approved in 2010, was ratified under regulations that fixed the price at which Westar could offer its electricity. Council members asked for proposals for five- and seven-year contracts.
ACMAT would like to remind everyone about their upcoming Family Safety Night on Thursday, June 14th. The event will run from 5:30 to 7:30pm on the east side of the Iola square at the same time as the Farmers Market. There will be family fun such as inflatables, a Bike Rodeo, face painting, balloons and more. They will also have many free giveaways and drawings. Plus, over twenty of their partners will share safety tips with you.
Both Allen County Commission seats up for grabs this year will be decided in November. The Iola Register reports that’s because Iola resident Steven Henderson filed as a Democrat for the District 3 seat currently held by John Brocker. Henderson will go up against either Brocker or Bruce Symes, who will face off in the Republican primary. The other commission seat up for grabs this year is Jerry Daniels’ seat in District 1. Daniels will be opposed by Democrat Mike Bruner in November.
Meanwhile, voters in Neosho County will decide one county commission position in this year’s election cycle. According to The Chanute Tribune, the The District 1 commission seat, now held by Paul Westhoff, is the only one of the three to come up this year. Westhoff has filed unopposed for the Republican nomination and Steve Spielbusch, Thayer, has filed unopposed for the Democratic nomination. Also, Kansas Representative Kent Thompson has filed unopposed for re-election.
Allen County commissioners will decide this week what will happen with a piece of land near the summit of what’s commonly known as Humboldt Hill. The Iola Register reports that an area resident to use a portion of the land as a limestone rock quarry. Because the land is zoned agricultural, the county must approve a conditional use permit before crews can begin mining the rock. Allen County Planning board members voted to deny the request.
Neosho County Appraiser Bob McElroy gave county commissioners the preliminary valuation figures Friday morning. According to The Chanute Tribune, the budget forecast looks mixed. The overall taxable property is up $2.7 million, but that does not count the impact of the Neighborhood Revitalization Program and several other items. But those gains were offset by a $1.9 million drop in the oil and gas sector and a $783,00 decline in personal property.
Iola’s annual chip-seal street maintenance program will cover the southeast quadrant of town later this summer. The Iola Register reports that earlier this week the city council approved a bid from a Kansas City company for the special emulsion oil needed for the seal. The chip-seal allows city crews to do minor repairs to streets, including concrete patches, crack sealing and ditch cleaning along the roadways. It is done on a five-year rotation and crews will cover about 160 blocks this year.
The annual Allen County Relay for Life will take place this weekend on the courthouse square. The event begins at noon Saturday and continues until midnight. There will be a number of different activities including an auction at 5:45 featuring a variety of hand-crafted items. This is the second year the event starts during the day and ends at night. The time change made last year was well recieved by attendees.