It makes me happy to say that spring has arrived, on the calendar at least! After a seemingly endless winter, I think everyone is excited to know that spring is near. The frogs have been singing at my house and this is one of my favorite signs of spring! The other, I like to catch a whiff of smoke on the air from the burning that takes place in the spring. I know not everyone is a fan of this, but it is a necessary and useful tool that agricultural producers use.
It won’t be long and the lawn mowers will be pulled out of the garage preparing for the season ahead. As you survey your lawn in the next few weeks, you may be thinking to yourself that it looks a bit ragged. You might even consider buying some seed and throwing it out in the lawn in hopes of thickening it up. Before you do that, I would like to give a little advice….wait!
It is not recommended to seed cool-season grasses such as tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass in the spring. I know this seems strange because it would seem that spring would be the best time for seeding because the entire growing season is available for the grass to grow and establish. But there are a number of reasons why you should wait until fall to seed.
Summer is the hardest time of year for cool-season grasses – not the winter. Summertime is difficult because our cool-season grasses do not have the heat or moisture stress tolerance that our warm-season grasses such as buffalo, zoysia and Bermuda have. Therefore, they tend to become weakened in the summer which makes them more susceptible to disease and other stresses – especially heat. Young, newly planted seedlings struggle even more to survive the summer.
Soils are warmer in the fall. Warm soils mean less time required for germination and growth, so the grass becomes established more quickly.
In the spring, our major weed problems are annual grasses such as crabgrass. Since spring seeded turf is slow to mature, there are often thin areas that are easily invaded by these grassy weeds. If this happens, weeds are better adapted to our summer conditions than our cool-season grasses and so the weeds take over! Plus, the chemicals that can be used on young turf is limited.
Weeds are less of a problem in the fall. The major weed problems in the fall tend to be chickweed, henbit or dandelions. Turf seeded in early September is usually thick enough by the time these weeds germinate that often there is not much weed invasion
Spring seeding of cool-season grasses can be done, but it is more difficult to pull off than fall seeding. So my advice is to just tough it out this spring and summer if your yard is less than desirable. Come late July and August, get a game plan together for fall seeding. If your lawn needs a complete renovation, late summer is the time to do a complete kill-out of grass and work to get a good seed bed prepared.
If you have questions about lawn fertility, weed control or seeding, please don’t hesitate to contact me. A reminder, I am in Fort Scott every Thursday. Feel free to stop by the office and visit.
Krista Harding is a K-State Research and Extension Agricultural agent assigned to Southwind District. She may be reached at 620-244-3826 or email@example.com.
K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
Mike Reith, 54, is the recently hired Uniontown Junior/High School Principal.
His official start date is August 1, 2019.
Reith has 32 years experience teaching math. He taught four years at Indian Trail Junior High in Olathe; 28 years at McPherson High School – upper-level math such as AP Calculus, College Algebra and was math department chair at MHS for the past 15 years.
“Uniontown will be my first job as a building administrator,” Reith said.
Reith graduated from Girard High School in 1983, earned his Bachelor of Science Degree from Pittsburg State University in 1987, Master of Science Degree from Wichita State University in 2003 and will complete his Building Administration Licensure Degree from Emporia State University in May 2019.
Reith is a Southeast Kansas native.
“I grew up on a farm 3.5 miles southwest of Hepler, then went to school K-12 in Girard,” he said.
Reith was a student who enjoyed school.
“All throughout my K-12 school experience, I enjoyed school and also enjoyed success academically,” Reith said.” I particularly excelled in math throughout high school, and really enjoyed the challenge as I progressed through the upper-level math courses.”
Reith had a math teacher that was a great influence on him.
“I had an outstanding math teacher, Gary Starr, who influenced me greatly,” he said. “I was also a three-sport athlete in high school and desired to coach at the high school level. Partnering those facts with a substantial scholarship offer from the Pitt State education department led me to the conclusion that I should pursue a math degree with an emphasis in secondary education.”
“During my teaching career, I have truly enjoyed working with students in the classroom and working with athletes in coaching. I have coached multiple sports throughout my career, but primarily basketball and track, and have been a part of some very special moments and teams.”
“While I still enjoy teaching and coaching, I began to notice an increasingly apparent need for strong leadership at the administrative level,” Reith said. “It was something that I considered earlier in my career, but the timing just wasn’t right for a variety of reasons.”
“But, three years ago, I made the decision that it was the right time and the right situation in my life to pursue a building administration degree. I will complete the program in May and receive my building administration license.”
“I am thrilled for this opportunity at Uniontown and am very appreciative to Superintendent Bret Howard and the USD 235 BOE for their support for and confidence in me. My wife and I are excited to be back in Southeast Kansas, as this gets us closer to several of our family members.”
When asked what the best part of education was for him, he replied:
“While there are many things that come to mind, the primary one is the opportunity to have a positive, life-changing impact on students, families, and communities. I believe every young person should have the hope of a successful future, and they deserve the opportunity to experience the necessary preparation for that to become a reality. Quality education is the lifeblood of a civilized society, and it is a high calling but a tremendous privilege to be a part of it.”
“I would add that I have experienced a great working relationship with my colleagues in the math department and on the girls’ basketball staff at McPherson High School,” Reith said. “It is extremely rewarding when you get the opportunity to work with like-minded educators who love what they do and are in the profession for the right reasons.”
Some of the challenges that Reith sees for future educators:
“Public-school funding in Kansas always seems to be at the forefront of challenging issues that face education.
“At the basic levels of daily instruction, educators are dealing with a growing number of issues students are dealing with,” resulting from a less-than-ideal home situation. I believe we need to take opportunities to work with families in this regard, to let them know we want to partner with them to help their student be as successful as possible. It is definitely a challenge to instruct students academically when they have significant issues that cause distractions.
“The Redesign Initiative implemented by the KSDE is now something that all schools and districts in Kansas must begin to address. I believe it is imperative for schools within districts to work as a cohesive unit so that the focus and goals are consistent and effective as a student moves through the grades and schools in the district.
“Social media presents challenges such as cyber-bullying, academic dishonesty, distractions, etc. Educators must be as proactive as possible to deal with this for the good of our students.
“We must not lose sight of the reason education exists. We can get bogged down and pulled in many directions; sometimes when we try to do too much, we’re not good at anything. Addressing the issues and concerns that will truly help students be more successful academically, while at the same time helping them develop good character traits, are what we should be focused on.”
Tiny houses are the rage on TV shows, and a local investment corporation has jumped on the band wagon.
Six tiny houses, ranging from 375 to 600 square feet, have been built on the former KOA Campground at 215th and Native Roads, just north of Hwy. 54.
“We have four (tiny house) floor plans, all have room for four people,” said Pat Wood, who is the contact person for Yellow Brick Road Investment, owners of the property.
“One-half (the tiny houses) will be long term (rentals), one-half will be Airbnb (vacation rentals),” he said.
“They are super efficient,” Wood said. “The electric bills have been about $40 per month since December. We will provide trash, lawn and housing maintenance. All are one-bedroom with lofts.”
“I think younger people will be interested in it,” he said. “It’s not an apartment, but a little more private.”
Wood has used local demolition contractor Johnny Walker for items that have been used on the tiny houses.
“We have reclaimed items…sliding doors, interior trim, kitchen backsplashes, shower surrounds, the majority of vanities and mirrors,” he said.
The name of the property is Crosslands Camping and Cabins.
“This property was neglected for many years before I got involved,” Wood said. “Little by little, we have been cleaning it up.”
“But we needed to generate some income,” he said.
“In 2016 I did a tiny house on wheels, Kevin (Stark) saw that,” Wood said. “It was his idea to build tiny houses out here. It’s a 50/50 partnership. Kevin owned the property for quite a while, I bought in two years ago.”
Wood is a member of the corporation called Yellow Brick Road Investment, with Kevin Stark as the president.
Wood can be reached at 620-224-7163.
Work began on the project in March 2018, and should be completed soon, Wood said.
There are also 54 sites for camping on the property, in a different area.
“Next, we plan to do some more work at the campground and get the clubhouse fixed up,” Wood said.
A pictorial view of a few of the tiny houses are below:
The Bourbon County County Attorney’s Office has moved.
The move took place following the departure of the old jail to the new jail facility last year. The Bourbon County Commissioners then reconfigured the courthouse, 210 S. National, moving most of the offices to the first floor of the facility.
The second floor was then designated as the county attorney’s office and the staff moved in October 2018.
Security is the main reason for the move.
“The second-floor office is for security,” said Judy Hood, senior legal secretary for Bourbon County Attorney Jacqui Spradling. “We had a KBI (Kansas Bureau of Investigation) agent come and talk with the county attorney. He jumped over the counter, to show how vulnerable they were.”
Both the second and third floor of the courthouse have restricted access since the reconfiguration of the building.
In addition, there is faster access to the district courtrooms on the third floor of the Bourbon County Courthouse for the attorneys, Hood said.
There are three attorneys and three secretaries in the Bourbon County Attorney’s Office.
Jacqie Spradling is the Bourbon County Attorney, Tiana McElroy and Steve Stockard are the assistant county attorneys.
The three secretaries are Hood, Angel Wilson, and Staci Haynes.
Saving at tax time may help you get started. Saving throughout the year can be tough. It may feel like every paycheck is spent before you get it. If that’s the case, you’re not alone.
Tax refunds may be the largest check you will receive all year, but used as unplanned bonuses. Refunds are an opportunity to commit saving a portion to improve your financial situation.
Get the Most Value from Your Tax Refund
Pay down your debt. Use your refund for some much-needed debt relief. Pay off your credit card balance. If you have an outstanding balance on more than one credit card, try to pay off the smaller, high-interest rate balances first. That will free up more funds to put toward larger balances. You can apply your refund toward other debts, like a car loan or a home equity loan.
Save for a rainy day. Why not give yourself an even bigger return on your tax refund by putting the money into a savings account, CD, or retirement fund? Your tax refund will continue to grow if you put it into savings or invest the money. It’s always helpful to have a savings account to draw from when a major car repair bill, medical emergency or other unexpected expense comes along. That way, you don’t have to borrow money and add to your debt-load.
Consider your financial goals. Trying to save for a house or car down payment? Hope to contribute to your child’s college tuition? Consider applying your tax refund toward these goals. If you don’t yet have a set of short-term and long-term financial goals, put one together. You’ll be more conscientious about how you spend your refund or any other extra money that comes your way.
Remember, you work hard for your money and you deserve to enjoy a healthy financial lifestyle. Put some thought into how you use your tax refund. Making smart financial decisions is not always easy, but it will definitely benefit you and your family over the long term.