All posts by Loretta George

Introducing the Candidates: Rob Hodgkinson

This part of a series on the candidates for the November 6 election.

Secretary of State (vote for one)                              

Brian “BAM” McClendon1200 Oread Avenue #703 Lawrence 66044 Democratic

Scott Schwab 14953 W 140th Terr. Olathe 66062 Republican

Rob Hodgkinson 7111 W 151st St #104 Overland Park 66223 Libertarian

Jordan Photography 913-814-7740 www.jordanphotography.com

Name:  Rob Hodgkinson

Age:  59

Candidate for the position of Kansas Secretary of State

Place of residence: Stilwell Kansas

Current occupation: Realtor

Community involvement: Immediate past State Chair for the Libertarian Party of Kansas

Party affiliation: Libertarian

1) What is the biggest issue, if elected, and how do you plan to address it?

Improve transparency of the office.

Making elections accessible, accountable and secure.

I see this in three parts for elections – voter registration, voter participation and numbers of candidates. Voter registration needs to be much simpler/easier than in the past. Voter participation needs to increase candidates: I love the fact we have five candidates in the governor’s race this year – I will work to have many candidates all the way through the ballot. When we have many candidates, rather than throwing mud and being negative, we get the chance to hear about issues.

Strengthen the new regulations for audits in elections (effective 1/2019). The current wording of the audit requirements leaves a lot of wiggle room as to how they will be done.

Ending Crosscheck, this program is faulty and not used by all 50 states making its intended purpose useless
.
Lobbying to have the election commissioner of the four big counties election offices locally elected rather than being appointed by the Secretary of State.

Updating the KSSoS website, today it is not mobile friendly, the navigation is awkward, and is hard to read due to too much legal language being used rather than plain tone it should use.

 

I believe the KSSoS can do a similar thing to what the State Treasurer does with the 529 college savings plans to help improve voter registrations and voter turnout, that is to make public announcements about voting: Here is how you register to vote, here are the important dates, remember that there is an early voting option that can be used, etc.

2)Give your views on food sales tax:

 

As Secretary of State, I cannot affect this issue

 

3) Give your views on legalizing marijuana:

 

As Secretary of State, I cannot affect this issue

 

4) Give your views on health care for our state, including Medicaid:

 

As Secretary of State, I cannot affect this issue

 

5) Give views on abortion and Planned Parenthood:

As Secretary of State, I cannot affect this issue

6). Why should voters consider you the most qualified candidate? What in your background most prepares you to serve in this office?

I have an IT background with experience being responsible for a company’s entire IT/IS enterprise. I also have small business experience and an exterior remodeling company I was a partner/owner in; tripled in size during the recession. I have election experience from a third party “Outsider” perspective. I will not be wearing the uniform of one of the 2 big political parties We need the KSSoS office to be fair in its election dispute settlements to Kansans, not parties.

From Linderhof’s Kitchen by Martha Meinsen Scott

 

When we were in the city, sometimes we’d stop at Mimi’s Cafe for I loved their bleu cheese dressing and their muffins and carrot bread.      They’ve been generous by publishing their recipes on line and I make the carrot bread — sometimes for a breakfast bread basket when I have company, sometimes because I like a little sweet bread for our breakfast, and sometimes to be eaten as a dessert or for tea.     But it’s really carrot cake minus the cream cheese frosting!     However, whether you call it bread or cake, it’s a good recipe!

 

MIMI’S CAFE CARROT RAISIN BREAD

 

1 ½ c. flour
1 t. Baking soda
2 t. Baking powder
2 t. Cinnamon
½ t. Salt
1 c. vegetable oil
1 ½ c. brown sugar, firmly packed
3 eggs
½ c. chopped pecans (or you can use walnuts)
½ c. canned crushed pineapple, drained
½ c. raisins
1 c. shredded carrots

 

Mix first five ingredients in a mixing bowl.

 

In another bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar and eggs

 

Stir the liquid mixture into the dry mixture and stir until combined.

 

Add pineapple, nuts, raisins and carrots and stir until it’s all incorporated

 

Grease and flour a 9 inch square pan and bake in a preheated 350 oven for about 40 minutes.
NOTE:   You can also bake this recipe in four mini-loaves — baking time for these is about 30 minutes, however.
Martha Meinsen Scott is a Fort Scott foodie who creates from her home, called Linderhof.

Introducing The Candidates: Patty Love

This is part of a series introducing the candidates in the November 6 election.

Patty Love does not have a challenger in the election.

Patty Love

Name:  Patricia (Patty) Love

Candidate for the position of  Bourbon County Treasurer

Place of residence:  Fort Scott, Kansas

Current occupation:  Bourbon County Treasurer

Community Involvement:  Mary Queen of Angels Catholic Church, Bourbon County Republican Committee, Kansas County Treasurers Association

Party affiliation:  Republican

What is the biggest issue, if elected, and do you plan to address it?

The biggest issue that Bourbon County currently faces is the high property and vehicle taxes.  It is my goal as county treasurer to make sure that tax collection and vehicle registrations are carried out in an accurate, courteous and efficient manner while keeping office expense within budget and cut expenses where possible.

Introducing the Candidates: Bryan Hoffman

This is part of a series on introducing the candidates for the November 6 election.

Kansas Senate, 13th District (vote for one)

Bryan Hoffman 370 N. 250th St. Mulberry 66756 Democratic

Richard Hilderbrand 10337 SE 107th Terr. Galena 66763 Republican

Sam Habjan 300 N Cherokee St. Frontenac 66763 Libertarian

Name: Bryan Hoffman


Age: 35


Candidate for the position of Kansas Senate District 13


Place of residence: Mulberry, KS


Current occupation: Job Superintendent – Construction of Roads and Bridges


Community involvement: I have coached little league and I am a member of the producers cooperative in Girard.


Party affiliation: Democrat

1) What is the biggest issue, if elected, and how do you plan to address it?

The biggest issue is expanding access to affordable healthcare with Medicaid expansion. Southeast Kansas needs a leader who will fight to provide Southeast Kansans with access to healthcare by protecting our community hospitals and clinics. We must ensure federal tax dollars paid by Kansas taxpayers are returned and invested right here at home.

2) Give your views on food sales tax:

Kansas has the highest food sales tax in the country, and that’s not okay. I am in favor of lowering the food sales tax rate in order to reduce the burden on hardworking Kansas families.

3) Give your views on legalizing marijuana:

I would be willing to consider legalizing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. I would not be in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana.

4) Give your views on health care for our state, including Medicaid:

Providing Southeast Kansans with access to affordable healthcare means a healthier and more productive workforce. I support expanding Medicaid. In addition to providing more Kansans with access to healthcare, it creates more good-paying jobs and stimulates our economy.

5) Give views on abortion and Planned Parenthood:

I am pro-life. However, abortion is a federal issue because Roe v. Wade is the law of the land.

Introduction To The Candidates: Richard Hilderbrand

This is part of a series  introducing the candidates for the November 6 election.

Kansas Senate, 13th District (vote for one)

Bryan Hoffman 370 N. 250th St. Mulberry 66756 Democratic

Richard Hilderbrand 10337 SE 107th Terr. Galena 66763 Republican

Sam Habjan 300 N Cherokee St. Frontenac 66763 Libertarian

Name: Richard Hilderbrand
Age: 49
Candidate for the position of Kansas State Senate, District 13
Place of residence: Galena, KS
Current occupation: Small Business Owner
Community involvement: Local Business Owner, Economic Development, Lions Club, Masonic Lodge #71
Party affiliation: Republican
1) What is the biggest issue, if elected, and how do you plan to address it?
We need fiscal accountability in Topeka.
The biggest issue that we are facing in Kansas is the out of control spending and high taxes. I will continue to fight against the out of control spending budgets that increase spending by $1.1 billion; continue to rob $355 million from our employee’s retirement, and $580 million from our highway funding; cuts $114 million from education funding, and still out spends our revenue by $304 million over two years. I will continue to fight to lower taxes in the state of Kansas, especially our high property taxes, and sales tax.
2 )Give your views on food sales tax:
We are 1 of only 12 states that tax food sales. We have the second highest food sales tax in the nation. This is just down right embarrassing. We have to control our state spending so that we can lower this.
3) Give your views on legalizing marijuana:
I do no support it.
4) Give your views on health care for our state, including Medicaid:
Healthcare like everything else, is becoming more urbanized.
When Obamacare was passed, it cut reimbursement rates for our elderly and disabled by $1 trillion to set up Medicaid expansion to the able-bodied. We have to restore those cuts, so that we can give the most vulnerable the care that they need. We have to continue to cut regulations on hospitals so that they can offer more services in rural areas, such as telemedicine.
5) Give views on abortion and Planned Parenthood:
I am endorsed by Kansans For Life. I would vote in favor of any legislation that would ban, or make it more difficult to kill an innocent unborn child. I don’t have any positive views on Planned Parenthood.

New Fitness Center Opens at Uniontown

The ribbon cutting of the new USD 235 fitness center was led by Jake Steinfeld, Thursday morning, Oct. 11.

Jake Steinfeld, Chairman of the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils,  along with students and local dignitaries cut the ribbon on Uniontown’s new $100,000 DON’T QUIT! Fitness Center, during a ceremony in the West Bourbon Elementary School gym.

Fitness ambassador students get a run-through before the ribbon cutting with Don Payne, Equipment Director for TuffStuff Fitness Int.
Four students from each grade, 4th through 12th, were randomly selected to be student fitness ambassadors. They were given prior training in the weeks leading up to the official ribbon cutting.

During the opening speech before the students, teachers, and guests, Steinfeld said that exercise helps students stay focused and therefore improves student learning.

He encouraged the students to stay active their whole lives.

“When you have your health and you have hope, that’s what I believe the American dream is all about,” Steinfeld said.

The opening of the new USD 235 Fitness Center created excitement at the West Bourbon Elementary School Thursday morning, not only for students but the Uniontown community.

The reason: Community members will be using the equipment in the future, as well as students.

Last month USD 235 Superintendent Brett Howard was uncertain if the community would be able to use the equipment in addition to the students as originally planned, due to liability insurance issues.

The insurance issues were resolved at the board meeting this week, WBE Principal Vance Eden, said in an interview.

 

In a later email to fortscott.biz, Eden said community members will need to come to the office of WBE to pay and get their card for the fitness center from him.

The details of the public use of the fitness center will be worked on this week, and it will be open to the public next week, according to Howard in an interview.

The ceremony moved from the elementary school gym to the site of the new fitness center across the road at the junior high school, where the ribbon cutting took place. The center is housed in the former library of the school.

The Uniontown High School former library, pictured here, is the site of the new center.

 

Uniontown High School 2018

The USD 235 students starting at 4th grade will begin using the facility next week, Physical Education Teacher Jackie Hall said.

“We are so excited for our kids to have this opportunity,” she said.

Introduction To The Candidates: Ken Collins

This is part of a series of responses from candidates for the Nov. 6, 2018 election. There are two people running for 2nd District Representative.

State Representative, 2nd District (vote for one)

Adam J. Lusker Sr. 452 S. 210th St. Frontenac 66763 Democratic

Kenneth Collins 102 E. 1st Street Mulberry 66756 Republican

These are Ken Collins responses:

Ken Collins.

Name: Ken Collins

Age:55

Candidate for the position of: Second District Kansas State Representative

Place of residence: Mulberry, Kansas

Current occupation: Retired from AT&T and working to establish a convenience store business.

Community involvement: Adjutant of American Legion Post 176 in Mulberry.

Party affiliation: Republican

1) What is the biggest issue, if elected, and how do you plan to address it?

An important issue for me is economic growth in Southeast Kansas. I plan to advocate for continuing improvements on US Highway 69 and to look for ways to reduce taxes including sales, gasoline property and income taxes. We are in competition with neighboring states in several ways so we need to keep our tax rates as low as possible.

2)Give your views on food sales tax:

We need to try to find a way to lower sales tax, especially on groceries. Many states have reduced sales tax rates for food. A large percentage of Kansans live in close proximity to Missouri so we are losing business when consumers choose to cross the state line to shop. Missouri’s sales tax rate for groceries is 1.23% as compared to our basic rate of 6.5%. on all items including food.

3) Give your views on legalizing marijuana:

I haven’t seen any reliable information yet on how legalization has had an effect on states like Colorado so I haven’t come to a decision.

4) Give your views on health care for our state, including Medicaid:

We need to find some new ways to provide health care in rural areas. It is shocking news to everyone that Mercy Hospital of Fort Scott will soon be closing but hopefully solutions can be found to fill the gaps in service that will result. I’m generally leery of Medicaid Expansion, although the program would be federally subsidized it would still cost the Kansas taxpayers.

5) Give views on abortion and Planned Parenthood:

I am strongly pro-life and if elected I will vote in a manner to protect the unborn. I would not support any taxpayer subsidization of Planned Parenthood.

Chicken Shak Opens Nov. 3 In Bronson

Clint (Spanky)McKinnis, owner of the refurbished Chicken Shak in Bronson, at his cash register Oct. 7.

Even though he has a full-time job, Clint McKinnis took on the project of refurbishing a restaurant in Bronson.

The Chicken Shak has been in Bronson for over 55 years, with different owners, McKinnis said.

“I felt like I wanted to revive it,” he said. “The Good Lord told me to buy it and make it what it was before.”

His family still has a farm down the road from Bronson and they used to go to eat chicken at the restaurant after church.

“I want to give back to the community,” he said. “To have good fellowship and good chicken.”

He recently had a “soft opening” of the restaurant with friends and family only.

The building had been vacant for nine months before McKinnis purchased the restaurant in January 2018.

After 10 months of repairing and painting the building, the restaurant will open next month.

A giant fowl decorates the outside of the Chicken Shak in Bronson.

Something new, is a bar with two big screen TVs in the back dining room of the restaurant.

The backroom of the Chicken Shak includes a bar.

“The La Rue’s (previous owners) added a bar about three years ago,” he said.

The restaurant officially opens Saturday, Nov. 3 at 11 a.m. The hours will then be 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

The restaurant has 10 employees, including chief cook, Cheryl Blythe.

The phone number of the Chicken Shak is 620-228-5228.

About the owner

McKinnis is known by some as “Spanky”.

“I was nicknamed at 4-years-old by a friend of my dad’s,” he said. “He thought I looked like Spanky of Our Gang.”

He went to Uniontown schools for a period of time, then his family moved to Fort Scott where he graduated in 1997.

He now lives in Pittsburg where he works full-time at Performance Spine and Sports Rehabilitation Clinic.

The front dining room of the Chicken Shak.

Introduction to the Candidates: Brian McClendon

This is part of a series of responses from candidates for the Nov. 6, 2018 election. There are three people on the ballot for Kansas Secretary of State:

Secretary of State (vote for one)                              

Brian “BAM” McClendon1200 Oread Avenue #703 Lawrence 66044 Democratic

Scott Schwab 14953 W 140th Terr. Olathe 66062 Republican

Rob Hodgkinson 7111 W 151st St #104 Overland Park 66223 Libertarian

Here are Brian McClendon’s responses:

Brian McClendon

Name: Brian “BAM” McClendon

Age: 54

Candidate for the position of Kansas Secretary of State

Place of residence: Lawrence, KS

Current occupation: Research professor, University of Kansas

Party affiliation: Democrat

Community involvement:
● Helped found non-profit KSvotes to encourage non-partisan civic
engagement in Kansas and led the team that developed an online/mobile voter registration tool for Kansas
● With Beth Ellyn McClendon, established the McClendon Engineering Scholarship at the University of Kansas
● Pro bono STEM presentations at Kansas elementary, middle and high schools, colleges, and universities; and companies and organizations
● The University of Kansas Endowment, Trustee
● Member of Portola Valley Cable Committee for 8 years. Brought
broadband to small-town cable system against all odds
● Member, Consumer Technology Association Advisory Board (CES)
● Member, National Academy of Engineering
● University of Kansas School of Engineering Advisory Board
● University of Kansas EECS Advisory Board
● National Academy of Engineering
● United Nations “Champions of the Earth Laureate” award (the UN’s top environmental prize) for “harnessing the power of technology to support conservation and green economic development,” Entrepreneurial Vision 2013

1) What is the biggest issue, if elected, and how do you plan to address it?
The focus of the Secretary of State is and should be on supporting elections and voting, business registration and support, and government transparency. Protecting our elections from foreign interference, protecting the private data of Kansas citizens, protecting the fundamental right of every eligible citizen to vote,
and increasing voter engagement are critical challenges that the Kansas Secretary of State should prioritize.
As a businessman, a former executive with Google, and an innovator, I have the skills to accomplish these goals.

My first tasks will be:
● To use my technology expertise to monitor the state’s voting systems in order to help ensure that every vote is counted and to guard against any outside interference. Additionally, I’ll continue to promote voter registration and advance ballots. Registering to vote and requesting advance ballots should be as easy for eligible voters as using Google Maps.
● The voter registration system at the Kansas Department of Motor Vehicle driver’s license bureaus needs immediate attention. There are reports that some new voter registrations through the DMV are not being recorded at the county level. As a result, voters who believed they were registered to vote are discovering they are not. This needs to be investigated and fixed.
● I will return non-partisan public service to the Secretary of State’s office. I will modernize the Secretary of State’s website by updating the technology, especially search and navigation, to make the site easier to use for all citizens and businesses. The Secretary of State’s website is the front door for Kansas businesses and the front door for citizens. I will make sure that the door is open.
● As a businessman, I’ve started companies, built companies and built teams that delivered products that met stringent requirements for security, efficiency, and ease of use. At Google, I lead a team that grew from 29 to 2000. I can make the Secretary of State’s office accessible, secure and efficient.
● As the administrator of the Crosscheck database, Kansas absorbs the cost and liability of securing data for citizens in multiple other states, but it’s riddled with problems including tens of thousands of false results creating hundreds of hours of work lost chasing down false matches. Crosscheck’s security protocols have also been widely criticized, and some personal data of Kansans has already been leaked. Viable options exist. Crosscheck must be reviewed and then fixed or replaced.

2)Give your views on food sales tax:
The Secretary of State is an administrative position, not legislative. The office has no direct engagement with or influence upon tax policy. The focus of the Secretary of State is and should be on supporting elections and voting, business registration and support, and government transparency.

That said, food sales is a regressive tax placing a disproportionate burden for financially supporting shared public services upon working and middle-class families. Over-relying on a food sales tax means the state is not fairly or effectively distributing the responsibility to fund shared public services.

3) Give your views on legalizing marijuana:
The Secretary of State is an administrative position, not legislative. The office has no direct engagement with or influence upon substance legalization or related policy. The focus of the Secretary of State is and should be on supporting elections and voting, business registration and support, and government transparency.

4) Give your views on health care for our state, including Medicaid:
The Secretary of State is an administrative position, not legislative. The office has no direct engagement with or influence upon public health policy. The focus of the Secretary of State is and should be on supporting elections and voting, business registration and support, and government transparency.

That said, Bourbon County has just experienced a hospital closure that is largely a result of conservative Kansas leaders refusing to expand Medicare/Medicaid coverage in our state. The partisan opposition to expanding those services, and the resulting negative impact upon health care access to rural and smaller communities, are clearly not working in the best interests of all Kansans.

5) Give views on abortion and Planned Parenthood:
The Secretary of State is an administrative position, not legislative. The office has no direct engagement with or influence upon women’s health policy. The focus of the Secretary of State is and should be on supporting elections and voting, business registration and support, and government transparency.

For more information:

Brian McClendon Bio logo_October2018 (1)

Strengthening communities: Grant writing workshop planned

Carla Nemecek is Southwind District Director and agent.

Do you know how that playground equipment at the park down the street was purchased? Or the new sign leading visitors to a local landmark? How about initial money for a festival? In any community, chances are that someone, or a group of individuals, wrote a grant proposal and received funding to help with the project.

Individuals and community groups can learn more about writing successful grant proposals at a workshop planned in Humboldt, KS on Friday, November 9, 2018. The workshop is presented by Nancy Daniels, a community vitality specialist with K-State Research and Extension and the author of many grant proposals. The training will be at the Humboldt Public Library, 916 Bridge Street from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and includes lunch. The cost to attend is $10.

“This workshop is for everyone, whether they’ve never written a proposal before and have no idea where to start, to those who have experience but are looking for ways to improve their approach,” Daniels said. “The magic that happens in a local community when people find out they don’t have to wait to get something done, that they can do it themselves, is incredible.”

Participants also learn from each other, Daniels said, adding that even experienced grant writers pick up tips and are reenergized after coming together with peers in their communities.  Participants are encouraged to bring their grants or grant ideas to share.

Workshop topics include:

  • Sources of data for community needs (where do you find the numbers to back up your request?);
  • Where to find grants;
  • The five common elements of a great grant proposal;
  • Practicing the grant writing elements.

    More information and registration is available by contacting Carla Nemecek at the Southwind Extension District Iola Office, 620-365-2242 or email cnemecek@ksu.edu.

Beacon No Longer Accepts Clothing Donations

The Beacon, located at 525 E. 6th, Fort Scott.

A local helping agency will continue food and financial help but discontinue the distribution of clothing.

The Beacon Board of Directors voted last week to not accept clothing for distribution to its clients.

“While grateful for the years of generosity of Fort Scott citizens in their donations of clothing and household items, the Beacon Board of Directors has regretfully chosen to end receiving of donations of clothing and household items,” according to a press release from the Beacon.

“The board voted unanimously to continue offering only food service and financial services as it has in the past,” Carol MacArthur, president of the board told fortscott.biz.

“The Beacon will no longer distribute these (clothing) items effective November 1, 2018. This decision not made lightly and only after careful assessment.”

“Food and monetary donations are welcome and essential, as these needs are endless,” according to the press release.

“The Board would also like to thank all those who have worked in the Beacon for their tireless efforts in serving the community.”

At a recent Bourbon County Inter-Agency Coalition meeting, it was stated that these agencies still provide distribution of clothing in Fort Scott: Mother to Mother Ministry and Communities In Schools, with qualifiers.

A plaque inside the Beacon.

 

Introduction To The Candidates: Lynne Oharah

This is part of a series of responses from candidates for the Nov. 6, 2018 election.

County Commission District #1 (vote for one)                            

Clinton L. Walker 1999 105th St. Mapleton 66754 Democratic

Lynne D. Oharah 2120 95th St. Uniontown 66779 Republican

Here are the responses from incumbent Lynne Oharah:

Lynne Oharah

Name: Lynne Oharah

Age: 71

Candidate for the position of County Commissioner District 1

Place of residence: 2120 95th  St. Uniontown, Ks.

Current occupation: Semi-retired, Current County Commissioner District 1

Community involvement:  USA Navy Veteran, Past Kansas State Representative. Former USD235 School Board Member for 10 years. Current member of the Uniontown Ruritan club. Member of the Southeast Kansas Planning Committee.

Party affiliation: Republican

 

What is the biggest issue, if elected, and how do you plan to address it?

Growing the economy and reducing taxes. We have held the line on raising the mill levy and raising the mill levy in the future is not an option. We must make every effort to reduce taxes through economic growth which will increase our population and provide new avenues for growth and continue providing services needed and wanted by the public.

The programs that have been started are the Bourbon County Neighborhood Revitalization Program which is already starting to show results, the continuation of the partnership with CrawKan Telephone Company to provide broadband access to the highspeed internet, plans to promote a Data Center (server farm) in the old jail facility.

We must work with all business, existing and new, agriculture and not-agriculture, to promote growth.

 

Another extremely important issue to be addressed is dealing with the loss of Mercy Hospital. We must work together, county, cities, and communities, to address how we provide quality medical services to the population of Bourbon County.

I would be very involved in this process and be part of a team to that will work to ensure we do have the medical services we need.