Category Archives: Area News

Student Scholarship Opportunity

Students invited to apply for leadership opportunities and scholarship

Heartland Rural Electric Cooperative’s strong tradition of promoting youth leadership will continue with $500 scholarships and entry into an exclusive in-person leadership conference this summer.

Two current high school sophomores or juniors who live in households served by Heartland will take part in an all-expenses-paid trip to the Kansas Electric Youth (KEY) Leadership Conference and will receive $500 scholarships to further their education.

The KEY Leadership Conference will be held in Topeka in early June and will provide leadership learning opportunities, engaging speakers, and team-building activities. Student-leaders from across the state will tour the Kansas State Capitol and other local attractions. Those selected for this experience also can apply for the Kansas seat on a national youth leadership council.

If you know of a student with strong leadership potential who is ready for new experiences, would like to network with other student leaders, and is willing to learn more about themselves and their communities, encourage them to apply for this incredible leadership opportunity.

The application form can be found at and must be completed and returned by Friday, Feb. 11.

For more information, contact Doug Graham at or (620) 724-5526.

CHC/SEK consolidates curbside COVID testing 


CHC/SEK will consolidate curbside testing for Coronavirus beginning Jan. 12. There will remain one curbside testing location in each county served by CHC/SEK.
Curbside COVID-19 testing will be temporarily suspended at Baxter Springs, Pittsburg South (1011 Mount Carmel Place), Arma, Fort Scott primary clinic, Independence, Mound City and La Cygne clinics.
CHC/SEK will shift resources and continue curbside testing by appointment at Pittsburg North (3011 N. Michigan), Pleasanton, Iola, Coffeyville, Parsons, Columbus, Miami and Fort Scott Walk-in Care. Some locations are scheduled out several days for testing appointments.
 “It is important to note that patients who are experiencing COVID symptoms are still be able to be seen by medical staff in all clinics and tested for Coronavirus as appropriate,” said Jason Wesco, President of the CHC/SEK health system.
The change comes after the health center experienced increasing demand for testing and staffing shortages caused by COVID-19, seasonal flu and other illnesses.
“Our staff have kept our communities safe through the pandemic, but we are experiencing levels of infection unlike we ever seen” he said. “To date, our staff have delivered almost 79,000 tests and almost 63,000 vaccinations. Staff are exhausted and this measure will help protect them while ensuring that we continue to test in every county we serve while continuing other critically needed healthcare services provided by CHC/SEK.”
If you receive word of a positive COVID-19 test, put on a mask immediately. Then isolate yourself as quickly as possible, even if you don’t have symptoms.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends isolating for at least five full days, followed by five days of wearing a mask around others, as long as you don’t have a fever and any other symptoms are improving. If you are seriously ill with COVID-19 or have a weakened immune system, the CDC recommends an isolation period of 10 to 20 days.
If you have a fever, the agency advises you to stay home until the fever resolves. If you are waiting for test results but have symptoms of Covid-19, the CDC recommends that you isolate anyway, regardless of vaccination status.

CHC/SEK said its best advice is still to get vaccinated and get boosted. Wear a mask, don’t touch your eyes or face and wash your hands frequently. Social distance as possible and most of all, absolutely stay home if you think you might be ill or potentially exposed.


Southeast Kansas Library Features New Books

The SEKnFind Newsletter
December 2021

This newsletter about new books is distributed to people who are registered adult users at a southeast Kansas library participating in the SEKnFind catalog. We hope you find it useful, but if you don’t wish to receive this anymore, you can click on the “Manage Subscriptions or Unsubscribe” link at the bottom.
All the books included in this newsletter are new additions in one or more SEKnFind libraries–and since the catalog is shared, that means they are available to you whether they are in your local library or not!  Just place a hold on the item(s) you want.  If you don’t know how, your librarian can show you.

New Fiction

Do I know you? : a novel of suspense
by Sarah Strohmeyer

A woman who can identify strangers by the slightest facial details believes she has found the person responsible for her sister’s disappearance and presumed death, and attempts to disrupt her upcoming celebrity wedding to publicly expose her. 20,000 first printing.

Bright burning things : a novel
by Lisa Harding

Haunted by her failed career and lingering childhood trauma, a former stage performer turns to alcohol but is saved from the brink of the abyss by her son whose love redirects her towards rehabilitation and redemption. 100,000 first printing.

A history of wild places : a novel
by Shea Ernshaw

An expert at locating missing people is asked to find the vanished, well-known author of dark, macabre children’s books and is led to Pastoral, a reclusive community found in the 1970s that many believed to only be a legend.

Eight perfect hours : a novel
by Lia Louis

Two strangers who meet when their cars are both stuck in a blizzard spend a delightful eight hours together weathering the storm before parting ways believing they will never see each other again, but fate has other plans. Original.

Blame it on the mistletoe
by Beth Garrod

When Holly switches places with Elle, her favorite social media influencer, for Christmas, she finds the holiday filled with surprises, especially when she meets Elle’s handsome twin brother, while Elle gets more followers—and more than she bargained for. Original.

The winter guest
by Pam Jenoff

Raising their younger siblings in rural Poland under the shadow of Nazi occupation, 18-year-old Nowak twins Helena and Ruth find their lives endangered when Helena falls in love with a stranded American paratrooper that culminates into a singular act of betrayal. 10,000 first printing.

The cat who saved books
by Sōsuke Natsukawa

When a talking cat named Tiger demands that he help save books with him, high school student Rintaro Natsuki and Tiger embark on an amazing journey, liberating books from their neglectful owners and meeting a colorful cast of character along the way. 35,000 first printing.

The bone shard emperor
by Andrea Stewart

Taking the throne she won at so much cost, Lin Sukai must place her trust in the powerful magicians of legend who have returned to the Empire to help her defeat the rebels and restore peace among her people. 50,000 first printing.

The Apollo murders : a novel
by Chris Hadfield

In 1973, the crew of NASA’s Apollo 18 collide with Russian astronauts on the lunar surface far beyond the reach of law or rescue, in this high-stakes thriller unlike any other. 150,000 first printing.

Where they wait : a novel
by Scott Carson

Out-of-work war correspondent Nick Bishop takes a job writing a profile for a new mindfulness app called Clarity, which becomes more disturbing by the minute, especially when he discovers that no one with Clarity has any interest in his article—only in him. 60,000 first printing

Ridgeline : a novel
by Michael Punke

In 1866, a new war breaks out on the western frontier between a young ambitious nation and the Native tribes who have lived on the land for centuries, in this fascinating saga, based on real people and events, that grapples with essential questions of conquest and justice that still echo today. 100,000 first printing.

Assassin’s witness : a Great Western Detective League case
by Paul Colt

“Two powerful railroads clash in a dispute over the Royal Gorge right-of-way to serve a valuable silver strike in Colorado. A reclusive financier with substantial holdings in the Denver & Rio Grande commissions the Knights of Labor to foment labor unrestagainst rival Atkins Topeka & Southern to delay development of the Royal Gorge spur while the dispute is litigated. Stephen Atkins, owner of the AT&S, turns to Pinkerton for assistance in breaking the strike. Atkins learns financier Eli Chorus is responsible for his labor troubles. He calls on Don Victor Carnicero and his El Anillo crime syndicate to eliminate his Chorus problem. When Great Western Detective League operative Beau Longstreet breaks up the assassination attempt, killing the El Anillo assassin, he becomes the assassin’s witness. Don Victor vows vengeance. El Anillo operatives threaten Longstreet’s life and the life of his love. Assassin’s Witness careens from violent confrontation to diabolical treachery in a deadly hail of bullets shroudedin mystery and tainted in loss”

New Nonfiction

Abandoned Eastern Kansas : Skeletons of the Sunflower State
by Regina Daniel

Beyond the wheat fields and off the beaten path, these abandoned and forgotten places lay in wait to tell their stories of a more productive and useful time. From small towns to ghost towns and all the places in between, the vastness of Eastern Kansas can be seen as a curse that will slowly drain a place dry or an untapped resource. Even though these locations are far from the ever-growing city’s reach, they face the same fate when expansion is needed for improvements, or there isn’t enough demand to continue daily operations. However these stories play out, all that is left is a reminder of what used to be: abandoned relics of lives, dreams, and businesses scattered across the open heartland of Eastern Kansas.

Daily magic : spells and rituals for making the whole year magical
by Judika Illes

The paraprofessional crisis counselor and author of The Encyclopedia of Spirits shares a year’s worth of spells and magic-oriented rituals for harnessing everyday power and honoring spiritually significant dates, from Midsummer’s Eve to Samhain. 25,000 first printing.

Our biggest experiment : an epic history of the climate crisis
by Alice R. Bell

Drawing from science, politics and technology, this illuminating book sheds new light on the little-known scientists throughout history who helped build our modern understanding of climate change.

Yellow Bird : oil, murder, and a woman’s search for justice in Indian country
by Sierra Crane Murdoch

“When Lissa Yellow Bird was released from prison in 2009, she found her home, the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota, transformed by the Bakken oil boom. In her absence, the landscape had been altered beyond recognition, her tribal government swayed by corporate interests, and her community burdened by a surge in violence and addiction. Three years later, when Lissa learned that a young white oil worker, Kristopher ‘KC’ Clarke, had disappeared from his reservation worksite, she became particularly concerned. No one knew where Clarke had gone, and no one but his mother was actively looking for him. Unfolding like a gritty mystery, Yellow Bird traces Lissa’s steps as she obsessively hunts for clues to Clarke’s disappearance. She navigates two worlds — that of her own tribe, changed by its newfound wealth, and that of the non-Native oil workers, down on their luck, who have come to find work on the heels of the economic recession. Her pursuit becomes an effort at redemption — an atonement for her own crimes and a reckoning with generations of trauma. Yellow Bird is both an exquisitely written, masterfully reported story about a search for justice and a remarkable portrait of a complex woman who is smart, funny, eloquent, compassionate, and — when it serves her cause — manipulative. Ultimately, it is a deep examination of the legacy of systematic violence inflicted on a tribal nation and a tale of extraordinary healing”

The least of us : true tales of America and hope in the time of fentanyl and meth
by Sam Quinones

From the best-selling author of Dreamland comes a searing follow-up that explores fentanyl and the quiet yet groundbreaking steps communities are taking to end the opioid crisis nationwide

Where the Wild Things Grow : A Forager’s Guide to the Landscape
by David Hamilton

Drawing on 25 years of foraging experience, David Hamilton show us how and where to hunt for the food that is hidden all around us. Along the way he delves into the forgotten histories and science of wild foods and their habitats and reveals his many foraging secrets, tips and recipes. You’ll discover where to find mallows, mustards and pennywort, as well as sumac, figs and mulberries. You’ll learn how to pick the sweetest berries, preserve mushrooms using only a radiator and prepare salads, risottos and puddings all with wild food.

A bake for all seasons : A Bake for All Seasons
by Paul Hollywood

Featuring judges recipes and favorites from the 2021 bakers, the newest cookbook from the hit television baking show includes recipes made on the broadcast, cook’s notes and measuring conversions from metric to imperial. 50,000 first printing. Illustrations.

The unofficial book of handmade Cricut crafts : creating personalized gifts with your electronic cutting machine
by Crystal Allen

“Crystal’s hope is that the techniques learned throughout the book, along with the (free!) included cut files, will inspire you to create designs of your own that you can not only gift, but also sell on creative marketplaces such as Etsy and even at craft fairs. With your Cricut cutting machine and this book, you’lll always be prepared with a handmade gift idea for any occasion including holidays, birthdays, graduations, baby showers, housewarmings, weddings, and more!”

Powers and thrones : a new history of the Middle Ages
by Dan Jones

This epic history of the medieval world, which was forged by the big forces that still occupy us today—climate change, pandemic disease, mass migration and technological revolutions, shows us how every sphere of human life and activity was transformed in the thousand years covered by this book.

Finding the Wild West : Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and the Dakotas the Great Plains : Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and the Dakotas
by Mike Cox

“From the famed Oregon Trail to the boardwalks of Dodge City to the great trading posts on the Missouri River to the battlefields of the nineteenth-century Indian Wars, there are places all over the American West where visitors can relive the great Western migration that helped shape our history and culture. This guide to the Great Plains states of Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and the Dakotas–one of the five-volume Finding the Wild West series–highlights the best-preserved historic sites as well as ghosttowns, reconstructions, museums, historical markers, statues, and works of public art that tell the story of the Old West. Use this book in planning your next trip and for a storytelling overview of America’s Wild West history”

Area Missionaries Home on Furlough From Haiti

Dr. Jim and Sandy Wilkins.

A former Girard medical doctor and his wife shared some of their experiences as medical missionaries to Haiti on Dec. 18 at Girard’s Public Library.

Dr. Jim and Sandy Wilkins have served in Haiti since 1999 and currently have approximately 35,000 patients in the area they serve west of the capital city, Port Au Prince. They are home visiting family for two weeks.

Haiti Health Ministries is located in Gressier.

Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and conditions have deteriorated even further since the assassination of the country’s president this year, Sandy said.

Haiti, taken from BIng.

The COVID Pandemic has curtailed the normal amount of volunteers that the ministry has seen in the past.

The current need is a maintenance person and other Christian mission-minded volunteers, Jim said.

To learn more about the ministry:



Some Evergy Customers Still Without Power

Evergy line men replace a rotted pole in Uniontown last year.

Power restored to more than 90% of Evergy customers affected by windstorm

Neighboring line crews arrive as around the clock restoration continues

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Dec. 16, 2021 – By Thursday evening, Evergy crews had restored power to more than 90 percent of customers impacted by extreme winds on Wednesday. Evergy crews were joined by more than 250 personnel from regional neighboring utilities to help restore power to Evergy customers in Kansas and Missouri.


Wednesday’s windstorm brought sustained high winds to the entirety of Evergy’s service area, with gusts up to 100 mph in some locations. Strong winds brought down power lines, broke poles and caused other damage to the power grid, interrupting service to 258,000 Evergy customers. Evergy crews made steady progress restoring power, and 62 percent of impacted customers were back on by Thursday morning. By about 8 p.m. Thursday, outage numbers had been reduced to about 20,000 customers. Evergy expects power to be restored to nearly all affected customers by Friday evening, but some outages will extend into the weekend.


Chuck Caisley talked about some challenges that made power restoration challenging in a Thursday afternoon news conference. Much of the initial damage assessment and restoration work was at night, and damage from the storm was spread across the Evergy service area. In many areas, the nature of the damage meant that each repair restores power to a small number of customers.


Crews from Ameren, Liberty Utilities and City of Springfield have joined Evergy crews and contractors to make repairs and restore power. Work continues in communities across Kansas and Missouri, as the damage from the storm was widespread. Crews will continue to work around the clock until power to all customers is restored.


As weather is cooler, customers are encouraged to assess personal safety of staying at home during extended power outages. Family members who are very young, elderly or have compromised health may need to seek alternative shelter. If you have family, friends or neighbors who are without power, please check on them.


Evergy crews may use road or sidewalk barricades and traffic cones to make work areas safe. Please do not bypass these safety measures, putting crews, yourself or others potentially in harm’s way.

Bourbon County Fair Association Received Heartland Grant

Heartland Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc. has announced the recipients of its 2021 Concern for Community grants.
“We had a great group of applicants this year and we’re excited to be able to support nine projects,” said Doug Graham, communication specialist.
The recipients are listed in alphabetical order below. Please see the attached press release for more information, and feel free to reach out if you have any questions.
  • Bourbon County Fair Association will receive $5,000 for a new furnace and roof repairs at the 4-H building in Fort Scott.   
  • Castaways Animal Shelter & Sanctuary east of Chanute will receive $200 for equipment to furnish its animal boarding area. 
  • The Learning Center, an alternative school program operated by Interlocal 637 and located in Girard, will receive $5,000 for a soft pour playground surface to help complete their playground renovation project. 
  • The Learning Tree Institute at Greenbush will receive $4,963 to build a ramp and pathways in the education service center’s simulated rainforest to make the environment and learning stations accessible to people of all abilities. 
  • Library District #2 of Linn County will receive $5,000 for a memory lab at the La Cygne library. The memory lab will include equipment for creating digital copies of physical media such as photos, VHS tapes, cassettes, and more.   
  • Neosho County Fair Association will receive $5,000 to go toward construction of a new rodeo arena at the Neosho County fairgrounds. 
  • Saint Paul Mission Township Fire Department Auxiliary, Inc., will receive $5,000 to purchase handheld radios to complete the fire department’s communications upgrades. 
  • Tri-Valley Developmental Services, Inc., will receive $1,300 for an automated external defibrillator at its Chanute service center.
  • Wesley United Methodist Church Iola will receive $5,000 to go toward construction of transitional housing for Allen County residents in need. 

The SEKnFind Newsletter October 2021

This newsletter about new books is distributed to people who are registered adult users at a southeast Kansas library participating in the SEKnFind catalog. We hope you find it useful, but if you don’t wish to receive this anymore, you can click on the “Manage Subscriptions or Unsubscribe” link at the bottom.
All the books included in this newsletter are new additions in one or more SEKnFind libraries–and since the catalog is shared, that means they are available to you whether they are in your local library or not!  Just place a hold on the item(s) you want.  If you don’t know how, your librarian can show you.

New Fiction

The Lincoln highway
by Amor Towles

In June of 1954, 18-year-old Emmett Watson, released after serving 15 months for involuntary manslaughter, discovers that two friends from the work farm have hidden themselves in the trunk of the warden’s car and have hatched a different plan for Emmett’s future.

by Jonathan Franzen

As Christmas 1971 approaches, the Hildebrand family of New Prospect, Illinois deals increasing points of crisis including a stale marriage, the draft and their son’s sexual orientation in the first novel in a new trilogy from the author of Purity

The gold in these hills : a novel
by Joanne Bischof

“Two second-chance love stories, hope across the centuries, and the legacy that binds them together”

Her perfect life
by Hank Phillippi Ryan

Lily Atwood, a beloved television reporter with fame, fortune, Emmy awards and a young daughter is spooked when the anonymous source who feeds her tips begins suddenly giving her inside information about her own life. 60,000 first printing.

Bewilderment : a novel
by Richard Powers

A widowed astrobiologist and single father to a troubled son contemplates an experimental neurofeedback treatment that trains the boy on the recorded patterns of his mother’s brain in the new novel from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Overstory

The mad women’s ball
by Victoria Mas

Under the cover of the Madwomen’s Ball—when the great and good come to gawk at the patients of the Salpetriere Asylum in Paris—19-year-old Eugenie, who can see spirits, is determined to escape and seek those who will believe in her. 40,000 first printing.

The wolf and the woodsman
by Ava Reid

Inspired by Hungarian history and Jewish mythology, a debut novel follows Évike, a young pagan woman, as she, rescued by Gáspár, the one-eyed captain of the Woodsmen—and a disgraced prince, makes a tenuous pact to stop his brother from instigating a violent reign. 100,000 first printing.

No gods, no monsters : a novel
by Cadwell Turnbull

When creatures from myth and legend come out of the shadows, setting off a chain of seemingly unrelated events, people start disappearing, suicides and hate crimes increase and protests erupt globally—until the world finds out what has frightened the monsters out of the dark.

Ronin : a Visions novel
by Emma Mieko Candon

This thrilling original novel is inspired by the upcoming Star Wars Visions animated anthology series

Empire of the vampire
by Jay Kristoff

The last living member of the Silver Order, a holy brotherhood dedicated to defending humanity from vampires, stands alone to fight and tell his story in a world where the sun hasn’t risen in 27 years. 100,000 first printing.

Late city : a novel
by Robert Olen Butler

A 115-year-old man lies on his deathbed as the 2016 election results arrive, and revisits his life in a story of love, fatherhood, and the American century from a Pulitzer Prize winner.

And the river ran red : a novel of the massacre at Bear River
by Rod Miller

“January 29, 1863. United States Army troops attack a Shoshoni village on the banks of the Bear River in what is now southeastern Idaho. Four hours later, the army abandons the field, leaving behind the dead bodies of some three hundred men, women, and children. This all-but-forgotten massacre stands today as the worst killing of Indians by the military in the history of the American West. In the pages of And the River Ran Red, four-time Spur Award-winning author Rod Miller puts human faces and feelings on this incomparable tragedy. Follow Shoshoni leaders Bear Hunter and Sagwitch, military officers Colonel Patrick Edward Connor and Major Edward F. McGarry, Mormon leader Brigham Young, and frontiersman Porter Rockwell in a tapestry of intrigue and violence leading up to the massacre, and its aftermath. Chilling in its detail, scrupulous in its portrayal of history, And the River Ran Red sheds light on a dark day that deserves to come out of the shadows and find its place in the history of the West”

New Nonfiction

Dirty work : essential jobs and the hidden toll of inequality in America
by Eyal Press

A groundbreaking, urgent report from the front lines of “dirty work”—the work that society considers essential but morally compromised. 50,000 first printing. Index.

Rationality : what it is, why it seems scarce, why it matters
by Steven Pinker

Can reading a book make you more rational? Can it help us understand why there is so much irrationality in the world? The author of Enlightenment Now answers all the questions

Baby, unplugged : one mother’s search for balance, reason, and sanity in the digital age
by Sophie Brickman

“Combining a journalist’s investigative eye with her unborn second child as an experimental guinea pig, Baby, Unplugged draws on Sophie Brickman’s own experiences as a journalist and parent to try to discover what aspects of technology are actually helpful, which are making us crazy, and most importantly, how we might learn to trust ourselves and our instincts again when it comes to raising children”

Fuzz : when nature breaks the law
by Mary Roach

A best-selling author offers an investigation into the unpredictable world where wildlife and humans meet. Illustrations.

The sleeping beauties : and other stories of mystery illness
by Suzanne O’Sullivan

“A riveting exploration of the phenomenon of psychosomatic disorders, mass hysteria, and other culture-bound syndromes occurring around the world. In Sweden, hundreds of refugee children fall asleep for months and years at a time. In upstate New York, teenage girls develop involuntary twitches and seizures that spread like a contagion. In the US Embassy in Cuba, employees experience headaches and memory loss after hearing strange noises in the night. There are more than 200 officially listed culture-bound syndromes–specific sets of symptoms that exist in a particular culture–affecting people around the world. In The Sleeping Beauties, Dr. Suzanne O’Sullivan–a prize winning British neurologist–investigates psychosomatic disorders and mass hysteria, traveling the world to visit communities suffering from these so-called “mystery” illnesses. From a derelict post-Soviet mining town in Kazakhstan, to the Mosquito Coast of Nicaragua, to the heart of the Maria Mountains in Colombia, O’Sullivan records the remarkable stories of culture-bound syndromes related by an array of people from all walks of life. She presents these curious and often distressing case studies of seeming mass hysteria with compassion and humanity, persuasively arguing that psychologicalsuffering demands much greater respect and discussion than it’s given at present. In attempting to understand the complexity of psychogenic illness, O’Sullivan has given us a book of both fascination and serious concern as these syndromes continue to proliferate around the globe”

Garden allies : the insects, birds, & other animals that keep your garden beautiful and thriving
by Frédérique Lavoipierre

An illustrated guide to the animals and insects that live in our yards and gardens and act as helpful friends by pollinating and keeping pests in check and includes information on welcoming and nurturing these creatures. Original. 10,000 first printing. Illustrations.

Modern freezer meals : simple recipes to cook now and freeze for later
by Ali Rosen

“Modern Freezer Meals provides one hundred fresh recipes for frozen food–from healthy, vibrant grain bowls to proteins cooked straight from the freezer with tons of flavor still intact. Frozen food guru Ali Rosen offers proper packing and labeling techniques to shatter some of the myths around freezer meals. The days of freezer burn or giant blocks of unwieldy meals are replaced by dozens of dishes that stand up to the cold”

Major labels : a history of popular music in seven genres
by Kelefa Sanneh

“The entire history of popular music over the past fifty years refracted through the big genres that have defined and dominated it-including rock, country, punk, R&B, dance and hip-hop-woven together into a cosmic reckoning with music’s evolution as a popular art form, as a huge cultural and economic force, and as an essential component to our identities, from Black Sabbath to Black Flag to Beyoncé, and beyond”

True raiders : the untold story of the 1909 expedition to find the legendary Ark of the Covenant
by Brad Ricca

Told for the first time, this legendary story, which was the inspiration for the film Raiders of the Lost Ark follows a British rogue nobleman, who, after being dared to do so, headed a secret 1909 expedition to find the fabled Ark of the Covenant. 75,000 first printing. Illustrations.

Where the deer and the antelope play : the pastoral observations of one ignorant American who loves to walk outside
by Nick Offerman

In July 2019, Nick took a hiking trip to Glacier National Park with his friends Jeff Tweedy and George Saunders. The trip, and the conversations between the three men, began a study and exploration of both the American West and its National Parks that addresses so many of the important issues that affect America today. This book both maps out the group’s travels and dives deeply into subjects such as: the history and geology of the National Parks of the West; farming, animal life, and conservation; the importance of outdoor recreation, including hunting and fishing.

Even more reading suggestions

NextReads Sneak Peek<

680th Avenue to close east of U.S. 69

680th Avenue to close east of U.S. 69


According to the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT), 680th Avenue in Crawford County will close east of U.S. 69 the week of Nov. 1.

The road will be closed for six to eight weeks for the reconstruction of the intersection with U.S. 69.

Drivers should use alternate routes until the road is reopened.

680th Avenue will remain open west of U.S. 69.

Sweets Featured in New Roving Food Truck


People line up at the Crumble and Cream food truck on Thursday afternoon on the Tractor Supply Company parking lot.

A new food truck business visited Fort Scott on Oct. 21.

The Crumble and Cream food truck was positioned in the parking lot of Tractor Supply Company, Scooters Coffee House, and Hibbets Sports Store on South Main Street, for its debut in Fort Scott.

Specials of the day for Crumble and Cream food truck are listed on signs in front of the truck.

“We specialize in deep dish cookies,” Joshua Scott, operations manager, said. “They are soft and gooey on the inside and slightly crusty on the outside.” They also have ice cream and sundaes.

Joshua Scott, operations manager of Crumble and Cream food truck.

The Crumble and Cream business is headquartered in Wichita and is owned by Rachel Marlow. Marlow started the venture four months ago, Scott said.

The food truck gets daily shipments of fresh cookies to replenish supplies.

“The home office in Wichita is where the bakery is,” Scott said. “We are entirely mobile, on the road.”

“We are visiting many towns really quick, going to places a second time in maybe six weeks,” Scott said.

The hours were from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The price of the cookies is $5 each or six cookies for $25.

Cara Guthries pays the food truck assistant Tandi Jackson, Pittsburg, for sundaes.

“Facebook is our huge (marketing) type of notifying people of when we will be in town,” he said. On Oct. 20 they were in Chanute, yesterday in Fort Scott, and today in Iola, he said.

Blaze Burns smiles after just receiving his Monster Sundae on Thursday afternoon at the Crumble and Cream food truck.

He stays in a hotel each night in between cities.

“Going to small towns, we are having success,” he said. “We also do corporate events.”

Corporate events,  such as an apartment landlord providing the truck for a few hours for tenants, or Scholfield Honda and Home Depot paying a flat fee and serving all their employees to show appreciation, Scott said.

To find out more,  follow them on their Crumble and Cream Facebook page.

A cinnamon roll cookie.



Evergy seeks to add more wind energy


Midwest projects of 50 MW or larger requested


KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Oct. 18, 2021 – Evergy (NYSE: EVRG) today issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for wind energy to supply the needs of its customers.


The RFP solicits bids for Evergy’s purchase of wind resources of up to 1,000 megawatts (MW) that will be in service by 2026. Projects that achieve commercial operation by mid-2024 and year-end 2025 will be given preference. Wind resources must be a minimum of 50 MW and interconnect to the Southwest Power Pool (SPP). Siting preference will be given to projects located in Kansas.


Proposals are due by Nov. 23, 2021. Response and contact information are available online at Proposals selected from the RFPs are subject to appropriate regulatory approvals.


Evergy has outlined its plan to expand ownership of renewable energy and to retire fossil-fueled generation as the company works toward its 2045 target for net zero carbon emissions. These wind projects would fulfill the plan to add up to 1,000 MW of wind energy by 2026 with projects that benefit from production tax credits.


About Evergy, Inc.

Evergy, Inc. (NYSE: EVRG) serves approximately 1.6 million customers in Kansas and Missouri. We were formed in 2018 when long-term local energy providers KCP&L and Westar Energy merged. We generate nearly half the power we provide to homes and businesses with emission-free sources. We support our local communities where we live and work, and strive to meet the needs of customers through energy savings and innovative solutions.

What’s an alligator gar doing in the Neosho River

Alligator Gar Fish taken from Bing.

First-ever Alligator Gar Caught in Kansas

PRATT – When a lure drops below the water’s surface, it’s not always known what might rise to meet it. On a warm night late last month, one angler fishing the Neosho River east of Parsons caught something he probably never expected to see – a four and a half-foot, 39.5-pound Alligator Gar. The kicker? Alligator Gar aren’t native to Kansas and have never been documented here.

Though not always common, Alligator Gar are distributed from southwestern Ohio and southeastern Missouri and Illinois, south to the Gulf of Mexico, and a small portion of northeastern Mexico. A predatory fish, Alligator Gar are sometimes referred to as “living fossils” since fossil records trace them back nearly 100 million years. As the name implies, Alligator Gar are easily identified by their broad snouts that loosely resemble that of the American Alligator. Alligator Gar are the largest gar species with specimens weighing more than 300 pounds and measuring more than 8 feet long. Just three gar species are native to Kansas: Longnose, Shortnose, and Spotted Gar. Longnose Gar are the most common and largest gar species in Kansas. While the Longnose Gar are common in the state and reach lengths exceeding 5 feet, they are distinguished from the Alligator Gar by a narrow snout and smaller overall size, among other characteristics. So, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks Fisheries biologists must ask, “What’s an alligator gar doing in the Neosho River?”

It’s a good question, and one KDWP Fisheries biologists are attempting to answer.

“We’re confident the information from the angler is accurate and the fish was, in fact, caught from the Neosho River,” said KDWP Fisheries biologist Connor Ossowski. “However, that doesn’t mean the fish originated from the river.”

To determine the fish’s origins, KDWP biologists have several unique options.

Since all states involved in Alligator Gar reintroduction efforts for populations in decline have been tagging each hatchery-produced Alligator Gar, KDWP staff had the option of looking for a tag. After using a “wand” to detect any identification markers, KDWP staff are confident this catch was not part of a formal reintroduction effort.

“Because most populations of this species can be distinguished from one another with a sample of the fish’s fins, another option we’re considering is genetic identification,” said KDWP assistant director of Fisheries research, Jeff Koch. “This will tell us if the fish came from an existing population in another state.”

If genetic testing doesn’t pan out, not all hope is lost; KDWP Fisheries biologists would still have one more option.

“Microchemistry is another technique at our disposal,” Koch added.

Microchemistry is performed by measuring the elemental proportion of a bone on a given fish and comparing it to the elemental concentration of a surrounding water. If consistencies exist, the data may be able to help Fisheries biologists determine at least how long the fish had been in the Neosho River.

Of all the potential scenarios for how this giant came to be in the Neosho River, there’s one hypothesis that rings the truest – the possibility that the Kansas-caught Alligator Gar was released from an aquarium.

“It’s not unlikely that this fish was once somebody’s pet or purchased from a pet store, and simply released into the river once it became too large,” said Doug Nygren, KDWP Fisheries Division director. “These techniques should allow us to determine which mode of introduction occurred.”

Time will tell if the Neosho River Alligator Gar made its way to the Sunflower State by natural or assisted means. While it would be very difficult for this fish to have made its way to Kansas naturally, due to the distance to the nearest population and the series of dams along the river, KDWP Fisheries biologists won’t jump to conclusions; they’ll do as they always have, which is rely on verifiable data from proven research methods.

Once their research is complete, KDWP Fisheries biologists will publish the results of this catch on and on the Kansas Fisheries Division Facebook page at

In the meantime, it’s important to note that transporting and releasing fish or other species in public waters, whether native or non-native, is illegal in Kansas. Chris Steffen, KDWP Aquatic Nuisance Species coordinator, warns, “Transporting and releasing fish risks spreading other harmful species such as microscopic zebra mussels, fish diseases, or aquatic vegetation that might be present in the water used to transport the fish.”

To report a rare species find in Kansas, email and visit for more information.

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