This fact may affect funding for needed community services, Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lindsay Madison said, at the recent Jan. 28 downtown meeting.
Roads, highways, schools, health clinics, and fire departments: the census can shape many aspects of a community.
Census results help determine how billions of dollars in federal funding flow into states and communities each year, according to the census website.
The results also determine how many seats in Congress each state gets, according to the website.
It’s important to promote the census, Madison said at the recent meeting.
“Starting in mid-March, homes across the country will begin receiving an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census,” according to the census website. “The best way to avoid a visit from a census taker is to fill out the 2020 Census questionnaire online, by phone, or by mail as soon as you receive your invitation to participate.”
“It will be online first, then postcards sent, then individual home visit,” Madison said.
The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting to fill hundreds of thousands of temporary positions across the country to assist with the 2020 Census count, according to the census website.
Governor Laura Kelly appointed Dr. James E. Williams to the Kansas Complete Count Committee, according to a Kelly press release.
“The committee was established through an executive order issued by Governor Kelly and serves to coordinate efforts to promote the 2020 Census and encourage a high rate of participation.
“’Getting the 2020 Census count right is a major priority,’” Kelly said. ‘“James’ addition to the committee is an essential step to getting this count as accurate as possible.’”
Williams, Emporia, is the vice president for student affairs at Emporia State University. He will replace Reggie Robinson as the Kansas Board of Regents representative on the committee,” quoting from the press release.
WICHITA – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Governor’s Council on Fitness (GCOF) presented the 2020 Kansas Health Champion Awards during a luncheon at the Community Health Promotion Summit today, Thursday, January 30.
The Health Champion Award was developed by the Governor’s Council on Fitness to recognize and promote exemplary contributions to fitness in Kansas. Those recognized include an individual and organization, as well as honorable mentions in each category.
Individual Health Champion: Andy Fry, Topeka
Organizational Health Champion: Redemption Plus, Lenexa
Individual Honorable Mention: Jim Blackwell, Hoisington
Organizational Honorable Mention: West Bourbon Elementary School, Uniontown
“Eligible nominees include volunteers, schools, communities, employers, media organizations and policy makers that put forth exceptional efforts to model, encourage and promote fitness in Kansas,” said Candice McField, GCOF Awards Chair. “The winners were selected from the nominations of several worthy candidates in each category.”
This is the seventh year for these awards.
“Congratulations to these individuals and organizations for being exceptional in their efforts to model, encourage and promote fitness in Kansas,” said KDHE Secretary Dr. Lee Norman.
Andy Fry of Topeka serves in a volunteer capacity as the President of the Topeka Community Cycle Projects. Andy has planned events around cycling and has written and received several thousands of dollars’ worth of grants and additional monies through fundraising to support local bike and pedestrian activities. He has led different community groups and boards and is one of the most vocal advocates on the city and state level for bike and pedestrian-related issues. These are just a few of the many accomplishments over the last 10 years.
Jenny Kramer, State Bike and Pedestrian Coordinator at Kansas Department of Transportation, who nominated Fry said, “The work Andy does will continue to have ripple and long-lasting effects. Andy and his like-minded friends, and the decision-makers he has influenced, have made Topeka a place that people want to live and work.”
Redemption Plus a merchandising company in Lenexa, is described as a “a one-of-a-kind organization where enthusiastic, caring people can lead full lives by bridging their professional and personal worlds.” Through their Wellness Platform, employees can participate in education as well as personal, group and company-wide challenges. They offer daily healthy meals, stretching and meditation plus a variety of workout options throughout the week with special classes. They even let their vendors know they are a health and wellness-oriented company and ask that they not send unhealthy treats.
Julie Annett, Wellness Crusader (Director) of Redemption Plus, says one employee who joined them from another company has been positively impacted by the organizational efforts around health and wellness after losing 30 pounds and gaining higher levels of job satisfaction. Brittany Stucky, Culture Champion for the business, adds “it’s about serving customers to the best of my ability while also being able to be committed to myself and my family.”
Jim Blackwell of Hoisington understands that where a person lives and works influences their health. Jim is a proponent of healthy living, is very visible in the community and always models and participates in the policies and programs that support health and fitness. Jim’s approach to improve health disparities is to find innovative ways to shrink the gaps. He supports efforts to build a safe and walkable environment. Most recently he led an initiative to fill a sidewalk gap around the high school which created another community walking loop and provides easy access to the grocery store.
“Jim’s desire for these projects comes from wanting to cultivate health and wellness not only for the hospital staff but for the entire community,” said Karla Crissman who nominated Jim. “His strong commitment to health and wellness has changed the trajectory of health in our community for generations to come.”
West Bourbon Elementary School in Uniontown is challenging students to be healthy movers for life. Faculty in the school help make physical activity become something more than just a class. Activities throughout the school include morning fitness activities, brain breaks and fitness equipment. In September, 98 parents took part in an event called Take Your Parent to PE Week, the third year of the program. Through this program, students are taught about healthy habits, including development of a personal fitness plan.
Jackie Hall, Physical Education teacher at the school, in her nomination shared, “I am very proud how our school and district are committed to helping our students, as well as the community, maintain and create healthy habits for life.”
The County is hosting a visit from the Secretary of Commerce David Toland on Friday, January 31st, 2020. There may be a majority of City Commissioners present, but NO City business will be conducted. The public is welcome to attend his visit at Twister Trailers beginning at 9:00 a.m. at 400 N. National and then at Liberty Theater, 117 S. Main Street at 9:45 a.m.
There will be a private meeting held at Luther’s BBQ Restaurant, 3 W. Oak Street, at 10:15 a.m.
Kansas Corporation Commission opens dockets concerning investigation of earthquakes in Reno and Rooks counties
TOPEKA, KS — Following an update on seismicity investigations in two areas of the state, the Commission voted unanimously this morning to open general investigation dockets for both Reno County and Rooks County. The dockets will provide a publicly available place to share all information gathered by KCC staff. The dockets also provide a vehicle for the Commission to issue orders if appropriate.
“It is the Commission’s duty and responsibility to be transparent with the public and ensure data and research is available to Commissioners in a timely manner. This is a serious issue for everyone, especially those who have experienced the quakes and the resulting damage to their homes and businesses. The people of Kansas deserve answers,” said Commission Chair Susan Duffy.
The use of a general investigation docket is the same approach the Commission used in 2015 to address public safety concerns due to seismicity in south central Kansas. In that docket, the Commission issued two orders limiting injection volumes and required operators who had drilled to depths beyond the Arbuckle formation to plug back from well depths that permitted injection or disposal in basement rock. The result was a decrease in seismic activity.
KCC Conservation Division Director, Ryan Hoffman, provided today’s status report. He noted that the facts established in Reno and Rooks counties are quite different. In Reno County, there is a mix of Class I wells regulated by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), which are situated in close proximity to the earthquake epicenters. There are also Class II oil and gas wells regulated by the KCC.
Hoffman said in Rooks County, there are only Class II wells and some of those may be deeper than the Arbuckle formation. There is also a history of naturally occurring seismicity in the area.
In addition to leading the agency’s seismicity investigation, Hoffman is a participant in the Arbuckle Study Work Group recently formed at the direction of Governor Laura Kelly to bring stakeholders together to better understand the issues and impacts of fluids deposited into the Arbuckle formation. The Kansas Water Office, KDHE and the Kansas Geological Survey are also participants.
The dockets opened today will be available on the KCC’s website next week.
Apex Clean Energy today announced a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Evergy, Inc. for 155.1 MW of wind power from Apex’s Jayhawk Wind project in Crawford and Bourbon Counties, Kansas. Evergy shared the news of the PPA in a press release along with an announcement that it will reduce carbon output by 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050.
With this milestone for Jayhawk Wind, Kansas is one step closer toward its goal of sourcing 20% of power used in the state from alternative energy sources.
Simply stated, a PPA is a long-term agreement to buy the electricity generated by a project. PPAs benefit power purchasers like utilities and the communities in which they are located because:
It establishes the price of the power at the time of the agreement, therefore providing a hedge for the power buyer against future energy price fluctuations.
It provides stability for the Jayhawk Wind project and its host communities by ensuring the project has a long-term customer for the power the project generates.
Jayhawk Wind will connect into the existing Evergy 161 kV Marmaton to Litchfield transmission line that runs through the project area.
The power generated by Jayhawk Wind will in part supply commercial and industrial customers through Evergy’s green tariff program, Renewables Direct.
According to the Kansas Department of Commerce, the wind energy industry has created new opportunities across the state and particularly in rural communities by already:
Creating 12,000 Kansan jobs;
Bringing in $12 billion in capital investment; and
Generating $28 million in state and local tax payments.
Evergy announces plan to reduce carbon emissions 80 percent,
adds 660 megawatts of wind energy to its portfolio
New wind energy projects expand direct access to renewable energy for Evergy customers
TOPEKA, Kan., Jan. 30, 2020 – Evergy, Inc. (NYSE: EVRG) announced today with Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly that it will expand its wind energy portfolio by 660 megawatts, and reduce carbon output by 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050. Electricity from four new wind energy sites will be used to attract and retain large commercial and industrial customers.
Carbon Reduction Plan: More Sustainable and Cost-Effective for Customers
Evergy announced its commitment to achieve an 80 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions below 2005 levels from its fleet of power plants by 2050, which is a commitment consistent with the Paris Climate Accord. By the end of 2020, Evergy will have reached an estimated 40 percent reduction in emissions.
Evergy highlighted the key components of a plan to achieve this significant emissions reduction:
Retiring all coal power plants in the Evergy fleet at the end of their useful life, which is currently estimated to be between 2040-2050, with the exception of Iatan 2 in Missouri;
Continuing to make significant investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency;
Operating the Wolf Creek Nuclear Station until its license expires in 2045; and
Adding a small amount of natural gas generation, if additional carbon-free generation is not available within the plan’s timeframe.
“Reducing carbon emissions and increasing the amount of wind energy on our system benefits our customers by reducing operating costs and by making our operations more environmentally sustainable,” said Terry Bassham, Evergy president and chief executive officer. “This represents a significant investment in the state of Kansas, helping to create clean energy jobs, and bring additional income for rural communities and school districts. It will also make Kansas more competitive for future economic development and job creation.”
“Without question, we are uniquely positioned to be a regional and national leader in the development and expansion of renewable energy,” Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly said. “Renewable energy is about far more than a cleaner future – it’s about jobs. It’s about adapting to the economy. It’s about innovation and business growth. We need an energy market that is affordable, efficient and meets the needs of our businesses and communities. I’m pleased to see Evergy commit to more renewable energy and wind production. My administration will continue to work together with stakeholders, consumers, businesses and industries alike. Because at the end of the day, we all will benefit from forward-thinking energy initiatives.”
Additional Wind Energy: Creating One of the Largest Wind Fleets in the United States
Evergy will add 660 megawatts of wind to its generation portfolio. This addition will bring the total amount of wind serving Evergy customers to 4,535 megawatts, making Evergy one of the top five wind energy companies in the United States. The energy from these wind farms will be used to support and expand Evergy’s Direct Renewables Program, which allows Kansas companies to access clean wind energy to become more sustainable and reduce the overall cost of energy. Evergy plans to use the additional wind energy as an economic development tool to attract manufacturers and technology companies who are seeking cost-effective, sustainable and carbon-free energy.
“With the abundant wind energy in Kansas, Evergy is a natural partner for businesses that want to use affordable renewable energy. Our innovative wind energy programs attract businesses and boost the local economy,” said Bassham. “Our ongoing transformation to cleaner energy sources reduces carbon emissions and provides our customers sustainable, affordable, reliable electricity.”
Combined, the four new wind projects bring $180 million economic benefit to the region, including hundreds of construction jobs and dozens of permanent green energy jobs. The projects are:
Expedition Wind, a 199 MW project being developed by National Renewable Solutions in Marion County, Kan.
Flat Ridge 3, an additional 128 MW of wind generation being developed by AEP Renewables near Kingman, Kan.
Jayhawk Wind, a 193 MW wind project being developed by Apex Clean Energy in Crawford and Bourbon Counties, Kan., with Evergy purchasing power from 155 MW of the site.
Ponderosa Wind, from which Evergy will purchase 178 MW of wind energy from the site being developed by a subsidiary of NextEra Resources, LLC, south of Liberal, Kan., in Oklahoma.
“Evergy is a national leader in renewables. In fact, thanks in large part to our wind investments, Kansas now ranks Number One in the nation for per capita wind generation,” Bassham said. “We will continue to grow our renewable energy commitment and provide affordable options to help our customers’ meet their sustainability goals.”
Judges: 5. Will score each contestant on their prepared and assigned orations. A scoring matrix is provided for Judges to use.
Tabulators: 2. It will be their responsibility to review the judges’ scorecards to be certain they are fully tabulated and signed before they are submitted for final tabulation.
Timers: 2. It will be their responsibility to keep an accurate time record of each
contestant. Hold up cards to notify the orator when 8, 9 and 10 minutes have elapsed during the prepared oration. Hold up cards to notify the orator when 3, 4 and 5 minutes have elapsed during the assigned oration.
Escorts: 3. One will stay with the contestants during the oratorical contest. One will escort the next speaker to and from the speaking area. One will provide the contestant with the assigned topic five minutes before their speaking time.
Ushers: 2. Assist with seating guests and helping with any issues that might arise during the competition.
New businesses that have opened up downtown were highlighted at the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce Quarterly Downtown Meet and Greet on Jan. 28. The meeting took place at Papa Don’s Restaurant.
Luther’s BBQ Restaurant, Moe’s Bread bakery, Ascension Via Christi’s medical office, Modern Woodmen of America office, the Bolton Law Firm, Visage Skin Care Spa-were mentioned by Chamber Executive Director Lindsay Madison to the group.
Up Dog Yoga, a fitness center, opened up at 12B North Main in September.
Common Grounds Coffee Shop, 10 E. Wall, is tentatively slated to be completed in April, Madison said. They will move from their current site on Main Street to a larger building.
Additionally, Structure by Margo, a beauty salon, will open next month at 19 S. National Ave.
And the Unsung Heroes Park, between Wall and First Street on Main Street is slated for completion this year.
Mayco Ace Hardware was recently approved for a loan for rehabilitating it’s building, Fort Scott Economic Director Rachel Pruitt told the meet and greet attendees.
The historic building at First and Main Street, is back on track to be made into apartments as well.
“We are moving forward,” Tony Krsnich, CEO of Flint Hills Holdings Group, told FortScott.Biz. “A new contractor, Rau Construction, Overland Park, will be starting in the next few weeks.”
“It will be made into 25 apartments, rents that accommodate a wide range of rents, from $300 up,” Krsnich said. “They will be one and two-bedroom units.
On the Main Street first floor there will be a commons area and some apartments also, he said.
The tentative date for completion is Sept. 1, Krsnich said.
Madison stated January is the start of a new year for grants for businesses and that Fort Scott is an eCommunity which strives to encourage entrepreneurship.