Category Archives: Government

Kansas Anti-Human Trafficking Manager Named

Secretary Meier-Hummel Announces Anti-Human Trafficking Program Manager

Kent Bauman brings wealth of experience to DCF

TOPEKA – Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) Secretary Gina Meier-Hummel is pleased to announce Kent Bauman as the Human Trafficking Program Manager. This is a new position created to help coordinate Anti-Human Trafficking efforts across the state.

Prior to serving the agency, Bauman served at the Wichita Police Department, where he had been employed since 1987. Most recently, he was assigned to the Exploited and Missing Children Unit (EMCU). While at the EMCU, he regularly partnered with DCF to investigate cases of missing children, runaways, human trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC). Since 2006, Bauman was involved in the investigation of more than 200 CSEC cases, and he was the first investigator to charge and convict a human trafficker in the state of Kansas.

“Kent has extensive knowledge about human trafficking and we are excited and grateful to have him at the agency,” said Secretary Meier-Hummel. “We purposefully created this position because we wanted to strengthen DCF’s approach to preventing human trafficking, and I believe Kent’s impressive background will serve him well as he leads DCF anti-human trafficking efforts across the state.”

In addition to serving as the Human Trafficking Program Manager, Bauman will also dually serve as the DCF Law Enforcement liaison, to help improve communication and collaboration between the agency and local law enforcement.

Bauman has a bachelor’s degree in Education from Southwest Baptist University.

“I look forward to working with law enforcement, local community partners and other state agencies to help improve DCF Anti-Human Trafficking efforts in Kansas,” said Bauman. “Trafficking survivors are some of our most vulnerable Kansans, and I am humbled to serve them in this new capacity at DCF. Secretary Meier-Hummel has made preventing human trafficking one of her top priorities, and I am excited to work alongside her in this effort.”

DCF partners with local law enforcement and other state agencies to address human trafficking in Kansas. DCF is statutorily required to conduct an initial assessment of children/youth whom law enforcement reasonably believes are victims of human trafficking to determine “safety, appropriate and timely placement and appropriate services to meet the immediate needs of the child.”

If you believe you are a victim of human trafficking or may have information about a possible trafficking situation:

  • Call 911 if there is risk of immediate harm
  • Contact the National Human Trafficking hotline: 1-888-373-7888 Or text “befree” at (233733)
  • If the possible human trafficking victim is a minor, also call the Kansas Protection Report Center (KPRC) at 1-800-922-5330.

 

Recommendations To Address Addiction

Substance Use Disorders Task Force Submits Recommendations

Governor Colyer receives 34 high-priority recommendations to address addiction

 

TOPEKA –  A task force established in March, by a Governor’s Executive Order has finalized and submitted a list of recommendations to address substance use, including opioid addiction. The recommendations were submitted to Governor Jeff Colyer ahead of the Sept. 1 deadline.

 

“I appreciate the time, effort and expertise the task force members brought to this important initiative,” Governor Colyer said. “The recommendations I have reviewed are clearly well thought out, thoroughly discussed and considered, and will be used going forward to shape discussions on substance use in Kansas.”

 

The Governor’s Task Force to Address Substance Use Disorders was led by Dr. Greg Lakin, State Medical Officer, Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). Membership on the task force included medical professionals, Cabinet-level Secretaries and various stakeholders.

 

“We each have a desire and duty to promote the health and well-being of Kansans, particularly those affected by addiction. I am thankful to be part of such an important task force, involving this urgent cause,” Dr. Lakin said. “The members all worked well collectively, putting together high-impact recommendations. I also appreciate the great work of the Opiate Prescription Abuse committee that contributed to the discussion.”

 

To address substance use issues across the state, the group was tasked with, among other things, to utilize existing resources to identify best practices and offer recommendations for a statewide response to the opioid crisis. The group focused on five specific areas: provider education; prevention; treatment and recovery; law enforcement; and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.

 

The task force received testimony from 86 individuals and organizations as it conducted its work, which involved regular meetings between April and August, at the Kansas Health Institute, Topeka.

 

A complete list of the recommendations can be found on the KDHE website. For more information about substance use in Kansas, visit http://www.preventoverdoseks.org/.

 

As has been previously reported, the vote to recommend Medicaid expansion was not unanimous. A breakdown of how each task member voted on this issue, can be found beginning on page 39.

Kansas Revenue Up

August revenue receipts exceed previous year

TOPEKA—Fiscal year tax collections exceeded previous year’s totals by $79.49 million according to data from the latest revenue report released Tuesday.

 

Fiscal year 2019 collections so far total $993.36 million.

 

August tax collections were up $33.99 million, or 7.38 percent over last year.

 

Individual income tax collections totaled $220.78 million which is $25.09 million or 12.82 percent above the same time last year. August sales tax collections exceeded last August’s collections by $537,427.

 

Prior Minutes of the Fort Scott City Commission, August 21

CITY OF FORT SCOTT

CITY COMMISSION MEETING

Minutes of August 21, 2018, Regular Meeting #16

The regular meeting of the Fort Scott City Commission was held August 21st, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. in the City Commission Room, 123 S. Main, Fort Scott, Kansas.

ROLL CALL:

Commissioners Bartelsmeyer, Nichols, and Parker were present with Mayor Mitchell presiding. Commissioner Adamson was absent.

INVOCATION: Pastor Paul Rooks, Grace Baptist Tabernacle, said a prayer asking God for guidance for the City and all government and City officials.

AUDIENCE IN ATTENDANCE: Janet Braun, Travis Shelton, Rhonda Dunn, Paul Ballou, Jean Tucker, Janet Davis, Paul Rooks, Patience Richwine, Miriam Mix, Dave Bruner, Michael Mix, Emma Mix, Jordyn McGhee, Angela Mix, Jerry Witt, Larry Gazaway, and Clayton Miller, and representing the press, Jason Silvers, Fort Scott Tribune.

PROCLAMATIONS/RECOGNITIONS:

APPROVAL OF MINUTES AND APPROPRIATIONS/CONSENT AGENDA:

  1. Approval of minutes of the regular meeting of August 7th, 2018.

  1. Approval of Appropriation Ordinance 1221-A totaling $273,230.48.

Commissioner Bartelsmeyer asked about the minutes in reference to the Conditional Use Permit and if they should read the Witt family instead of Jerry and Judy Witt.

Commissioner Parker said that was her intent.

City Attorney informed them that the Conditional Use Permit is just a draft for them to review. He mentioned discussing Item #4 at this time.

Approval of Conditional Use Permit – 9 N. Main – Witt Family Rentals, LLC – Rhonda Dunn, Community Development Director, informed the Commission that the Conditional Use Permit is a draft based on the minutes from the previous meeting. She researched the International Zoning Code and explained to the Commissioners how the permit works. The Conditional Use Permit is not activated until the building permit is issued. If the conditions are not complied with, the permit can be revoked. Rhonda went over the general terms of the permit which are as follows:

  1. This permit is issued to Jerry & Judy Witt, as the Managers of the Witt Family Rentals, LLC with the specific stipulation that the exterior plans approved by the City Commission at its meeting on August 7, 2018, be complied with. These plans have been approved by the City Commission and the Design Review Board.

  2. The Conditional Use Permit will allow Jerry and Judy Witt to live in the above-referenced building as their residence. The property is to be used exclusively for the residence of Jerry and Judy Witt and cannot be used for any other uses nor can it be rented to anyone.

  3. This permit will extend to and during the lifetime of the survivor of Jerry Witt or Judy Witt and cannot be transferred to anyone else. Upon the death of the last survivor of Jerry Witt and Judy Witt, the permit will be revoked. Any additional permits for that location must be applied for through the City of Fort Scott, Kansas.

City Manager stated that Jerry Witt wants his family included in this permit and the ability for his heirs to live there.

City Attorney remarked that the permit needs to be limited as far as children and grandchildren.

Commissioner Nichols shared his views regarding if the City wanted a filled commercial building versus a residential building. If the downtown starts to boom that building could be used for commercial retail purposes. We need to allow the commercial district to develop to its fullest.

Commissioner Bartelsmeyer suggested hearing from Jerry Witt on his thoughts on the draft of the Conditional Use Permit.

Jerry Witt said that he doubted if his children would want to come back before the Design Review Board and City Commission to get the permit in their names after he or his wife’s death.

City Manager stated that we just can’t predict what the market will do in the coming years in the downtown area.

Jerry Witt stated that he would like to see the Conditional Use Permit with his sons listed on it as well so they would not have to come and ask for a Conditional Use Permit upon their deaths.

City Attorney said that the Conditional Use Permit can be drafted to include Jerry, Judy, and their five sons if the Commission desires.

Bartelsmeyer made a motion to revise the Conditional Use Permit on Section A, to include Jerry & Judy Witt and their five sons and that this permit will apply to the first generation only. Parker seconded. All voted aye.

Approved to revise the Conditional Use Permit on Section a, to include Jerry & Judy Witt and their five sons and that this permit will apply to the first generation only.

Bartelsmeyer moved to approve the Consent Agenda. Nichols seconded. All voted aye.

APPROVED CONSENT AGENDA.

APPEARANCE/COMMENTS/PUBLIC HEARING:

  1. Appearance:

Miriam Mix and Patience Richwine – FSHS Mentoring Program – These two young ladies presented a program to the Commissioners on the Fort Scott High School mentoring program which was put into place last year. Hunter Adamson was also involved in this project but was unable to attend due to school functions. Their program matches up Freshmen students with Junior students and Sophomore students with Senior students. They are encouraged to spend time with the younger classmates and hang out with them and help answer questions they may have. This is a voluntary program.

Commissioners thanked them for their great idea.

Kevin Wagner, 2018 Wreath Ride – Mr. Wagner was unable to attend.

B. CITIZEN COMMENTS (Concerning Items Not on Agenda – 3 minute

limit per citizen) – None

  1. PUBLIC HEARINGS:

Mitchell moved to open the Public Hearing at 6:46 p.m. Parker seconded. All voted aye.

Opened PUBLIC HEARING AT 6:46 P.M.

6:15 p.m. Update on alleged unsafe and dangerous structure located at 1914 E. Wall Street (On July 17th was continued for 30 days) – Rhonda Dunn, Community Development Director, informed the Commission that this property is an old 1940’s motor court. It is located at Wall and Brown Streets. She met with the owner and showed him all the improvements that needed to be made. He has boarded up one window in all he has done in 30 days. She shared pictures of the roof, the siding, the facia at the top and bottom of the house, all which are in disrepair. She recommended moving forward with the condemnation of this structure in the next 30 days.

Bartelsmeyer moved to approve Resolution No. 33-2018 authorizing this structure to be repaired or removed in 30 days. Parker seconded. All voted aye.

APPROVED RESOLUTION NO. 33-2018 DIRECTING THE REPAIR OR REMOVAL OF AN UNSAFE AND DANGEROUS STRUCTURE LOCATED AT 1914 E. WALL STREET. STRUCTURE MUST BE BROUGHT UP TO 2012 INTERNATIONAL BUILDING CODE BY SEPTEMBER 28TH, 2018 OR DEMOLITION PROCEEDINGS WILL BEGIN.

Bartelsmeyer moved to close the Public Hearing at 6:48 p.m. Nichols seconded. All voted aye.

CLOSED PUBLIC HEARING AT 6:48 P.M.

CONSIDERATION:

  1. Discussion of 13 N. Holbrook demolition – Rhonda Dunn, Community Development Director, informed the Commission that this property burned about two years ago. The property owner was going to pay Saker Demolition to clean up this debris. Now he has decided otherwise. She informed the Commission that she will award this already received bid to Saker Demolition and have them pick up the debris and bill the property owner.

  1. Consideration of fencing ordinances in the downtown historic district – Rhonda Dunn, Community Development Director, informed the Commission that the Design Review Board reviewed the fencing guidelines for the historic downtown district and came up with these guidelines. They will apply to the Commercial Zoning Regulations with Ordinance No. 3537 and Design Review Board guidelines with Ordinance No. 3538. Approval was recommended.

Nichols moved to approve Ordinances No. 3537 and 3538 in regards to fencing in the downtown historic district. Parker seconded. All voted aye.

APPROVED ORDINANCE NO. 3537 AMENDING ARTICLE 24 OF THE FORT SCOTT MUNICIPAL CODE ZONING REGULATIONS TO ADD SECTION 24-7, FENCING REGULATIONS, FOR THE HISTORIC CONSERVATION OVERLAY DISTRICT (HC-O) FOR THE CITY OF FORT SCOTT TO THE FORT SCOTT MUNICIPAL CODE.

APPROVED ORDINANCE NO. 3538 AMENDING CHAPTER 17.08 OF THE FORT SCOTT MUNICIPAL CODE TO ADD SECTION 17.08.110, FENCING REGULATIONS, FOR THE HISTORIC DISTRICT FOR THE CITY OF FORT SCOTT TO THE FORT SCOTT MUNICIPAL CODE.

Rhonda also gave an update on the sale of the chairs in Memorial Hall. Bids will be accepted tomorrow for these floor seats.

She also gave an update on 310 N. Cleveland. The Next Steps program, as well as the Good Neighbor Action Team, are both assisting this homeowner. These groups have asked for more time to work with the property owner to make repairs.

  1. Selection of Voting and Alternate Delegates for League of Kansas Municipalities Annual Voting Meeting – 3 voting – 3 alternate – Diane Clay, City Clerk, informed the Commissioners of the staff that would be attending the League Annual Meeting. She said that voting and alternate delegates for the Annual League of Kansas Municipalities meeting need to be selected:

Voting Alternate

Dave Martin Rachel Pruitt

Diane Clay Rhonda Dunn

Rhonda Dunn Deb Needleman

Mitchell moved to approve the voting and alternate delegates. Parker seconded. All voted aye.

APPROVED VOTING AND ALTERNATE DELEGATES FOR THE ANNUAL LEAGUE OF KANSAS MUNICIPALITIES MEETING TO BE HELD OCTOBER 6-8, 2018.

  1. Item #4 was already discussed.

COMMISSION/STAFF:

  1. Director Updates: Larry Gazaway, Director of Tourism, shared with the Commission that the Convention and Visitors Bureau will be hosting a Veterans Day Weekend on November 9-11, 2018 in the City of Fort Scott. A reception will be held on Friday evening, a parade of Veterans will be held on Saturday, with the Grand Ball held on Saturday night at Memorial Hall. Community Christian Church is hosting a church service which will be followed by a ceremony at the National Cemetery and then a lunch at the VFW Post #1165. He has invited 55 marching bands to come for the parade and he has invited 217 American Legions and VFW organizations to attend. Peerless has donated $1,500 for the Friday evening reception. He also shared a display of the troop banner which is 30X60 and can be purchased for $200.00. There are 43 brackets in the downtown area to hang the banners. He would love to see National and East National lined with additional banners. These will be available for order very soon.

B. City Commission:

Adamson Not present.

Bartelsmeyer Nothing to report.

Nichols Nothing to report.

Parker – Asked for an update on 1601 E. Wall, the old Sugarfoot and Peaches restaurant.

Rhonda Dunn said that she talked to the property owner today. He has arranged with Kevin Allen to demolish the structure. Kevin has one other job ahead of this one and then will start to demolish this structure.

Commissioner Parker also thanked the two young ladies who presented their mentoring program tonight.

Commissioner Parker also asked if there were dog disposal bags in the downtown area for when residents walk their dogs.

Rhonda said that they are located in a tube on the side of the City’s trash cans.

Mitchell Nothing to report.

C. City Attorney: Remarked that he is proud of the City Commission and how they approached this tough issue in good fashion tonight.

  1. Director of Finance: Not present.

  1. City Manager: Stated that he appreciated the City Commission on looking at all options on this tough issue tonight.

ADJOURNMENT:

Bartelsmeyer moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:07 p.m. Parker seconded. All voted aye.

ADJOURNED MEETING AT 7:07 P.M.

The next regularly scheduled meeting is to be held on September 4th, 2018 at 6:00 p.m.

RECORDED BY:

____________________

DIANE K. CLAY

CITY CLERK

The Agenda for the Fort Scott City Commission Sept. 4

AGENDA

FORT SCOTT CITY COMMISSION

FORT SCOTT CITY HALL

COMMISSION ROOM

123 SOUTH MAIN

September 4, 2018

6:00 P.M.

I. ROLL CALL:

ADAMSON BARTELSMEYER NICHOLS PARKER MITCHELL

II. FLAG SALUTE:

III. INVOCATION: Michael Mix, Public Utilities Director

IV. PROCLAMATIONS/RECOGNITIONS:

V. CONSENT AGENDA:

  1. Approval of minutes of the regular meeting of August 21st, 2018.

  1. Approval of Appropriation Ordinance 1222-A totaling $1,650,284.63.

  1. Resolution 34-2018 – Notice of Hearing with Reference to Alleged Unsafe and Dangerous Structure and Accessory Structure located at 15 S. Crawford Street – Public Hearing Date – 10/16/2018 – 6:15 p.m.

VI. APPEARANCE/COMMENTS/PUBLIC HEARING:

  1. APPEARANCE:

B. CITIZEN COMMENTS (Concerning Items Not on Agenda – 3 minute limit per citizen)

C. PUBLIC HEARINGS/COMMENTS: None

VII. CONSIDERATION:

  1. Review of Water Plant KDHE Inspection

  1. Letter of Conditions – USDA – River Intake Structure Grant

VIII. COMMENTS:

  1. Director Updates: Paul Ballou & Dave Bruner
  1. Commission:
  1. City Attorney:
  1. Director of Finance:
  1. City Manager:

EXECUTIVE SESSION:

I MOVE THAT THE CITY COMMISSION RECESS INTO EXECUTIVE

SESSION FOR ________________________________ IN ORDER TO

(see below justification)

DISCUSS ______________________________________. THE

EXECUTIVE SESSION WILL BE ___________ MINUTES AND THE OPEN

MEETING TO RESUME AT ________________.

Justifications for Executive Sessions:

  • Personnel matters of non-elected personnel

  • Consultation with an attorney for the body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship

  • Matters relating to employer-employee negotiations whether or not in consultation with the representative or representatives of the body or agency

  • Confidential data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trusts and individual proprietorships

  • Preliminary discussions relating to the acquisition of real property

X. MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT: ROLL CALL

Bourbon County Commission Agenda for Sept. 4

Agenda

Bourbon County Commission Room

2nd Floor, County Courthouse

210 S. National Avenue

Fort Scott, KS 66701

Tuesdays starting at 9:00

Date: September 4th, 2018

1st District-Lynne Oharah Minutes: Approved: _______________

2nd District-Jeff Fischer Corrected: _______________

3rd District-Nick Ruhl Adjourned at: _______________

County Clerk-Kendell Mason

10:00-12:00-Jail Update Meeting at the Jail

Justifications for Executive Session:

          Personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel

          Consultation with an attorney for the body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship

          Matters relating to employer-employee negotiations whether or not in consultation with the representative(s) of the body or agency

          Confidential data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trusts and individual proprietorships

          Preliminary discussions relating to the acquisition of real property

          Matters relating to the security of a public body or agency, public building or facility or the information system of a public body or agency, if the discussion of such matters at an open meeting would jeopardize the security of such public body, agency, building, facility or information system

Openings on Library Board

Two openings (Must be a City resident) for the Fort Scott Library Board.

The function of the Fort Scott Library Board is to review requests in reference to the library. This Board meets monthly at 5:00 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month.

If you have a desire to serve on this board and meet the above requirements, please submit a letter of interest to the City Clerk, Diane Clay, 123 S. Main, Fort Scott, Kansas 66701. She will then submit your letter of interest for consideration to the City Commission. All of the boards and commissions serve on a volunteer basis and are not compensated. If you would like more information on this board, please contact Diane Clay, City Clerk at 620-223-0550 or dclay@fscity.org. Please submit your letter of interest by September 14th, 2018.

Protect Your Dog from Harmful Algae

Harmful algae bloom.

 

TOPEKA –  Officials with the Kansas Departments of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism (KDWPT) and Health and Environment (KDHE) want dog owners to be aware how dangerous harmful algae blooms (HABs) can be to their dogs.

A HAB is an abnormally high population of blue-green algae in a body of water. Whether you hunt with your dog near water or just take it out for a walk, there are things you can do to protect your four-legged partner.

HABs can occur in lakes, ponds, wetlands, creeks or drainage areas, generally coinciding with warm water temperatures and often flourishing in nutrient-laden waters.

Dogs can become seriously ill or die if they swim in, drink or retrieve a bird from water affected by a HAB.

They can even be sickened if they lick their fur after exposure or eat dried algae along the shore or floating in the water.

A HAB may look like foam, scum or paint floating on the water and be colored blue, bright green, brown or red.

There may also be a very strong musty odor or the smell of sewage or petroleum.

This season, if the water appears or smells suspicious or if there are decaying algae on the shore, do not let your furry friend drink, swim or retrieve birds in the water.

Blue-green algae are really a type of bacteria called “cyanobacteria,” which occurs naturally in all waters around the globe.

Under the right conditions, the algae can rapidly increase (bloom) and produce toxins. Although HABs typically begin in May, they can occur through October or later.

Algae can wash up on shorelines and in marshy areas and even after they are dead and dry, toxins that were produced can persist for long periods.

Dogs will still be at risk if they drink the HAB-affected water, walk on, roll in, eat decaying algae along the shore or retrieve a bird with algae on its feathers.

Just a small amount of blue-green algae can sicken or kill a dog.

The signs of illness in dogs usually occur within 30 minutes of exposure and include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, convulsions, difficulty breathing and general weakness.

If you suspect your dog has ingested algae or has any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately.

People may also become ill after contact with algae-produced toxins. Symptoms vary, depending upon the type of exposure (e.g. direct contact, ingestion, inhalation) but can include rash, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, sore throat, and headache.

If you or your dog come into contact with algae, immediately rinse the contact area with clean, fresh water.  If you or your dog show signs of illness, call your physician or veterinarian.

KDWPT and KDHE offer the following tips to help prevent HAB poisoning in dogs:

·         Carry potable water for yourself and your dog when hunting or going for walks along the shore.

·         Train dogs to come to you for a drink of water.

·         Rinse off your dog with potable water as quickly as possible if your dog swims in a HAB or walks through dried algae.

·         Do not let dogs eat dried algae along the shoreline. A bluish color along the shore indicates dying, toxic blue-green algae.

·         Do not let your dog lick their paws if they have walked through dried algae and remember that waterfowl in HAB-affected water may have toxic cells on their feathers.

 

KDHE samples publicly-accessible bodies of water for blue-green algae when the agency is alerted to a potential HAB.

When a HAB occurs, KDHE, in cooperation with KDWPT and other lake managers where appropriate, responds by informing the public of these conditions.

KDHE does not sample private bodies of water such as farm ponds or livestock watering tanks but has recommendations on what to look for, how to field test and who to contact for additional assistance on KDHE’s HAB website.

 

For the most up-to-date list of waters currently affected by HABs, or to report a suspected HAB not currently listed, visit www.kdheks.gov/algae-illness. Hunters and the public can also get current HAB-related lake conditions by calling 1-855-HAB-LAKE (1-855-422-5253).

Bourbon County Commission Agenda for August 28

Agenda

Bourbon County Commission Room

2nd Floor, County Courthouse

210 S. National Avenue

Fort Scott, KS 66701

Tuesdays starting at 9:00

Date: August 28th, 2018

1st District-Lynne Oharah Minutes: Approved: _______________

2nd District-Jeff Fischer Corrected: _______________

3rd District-Nick Ruhl Adjourned at: _______________

County Clerk-Kendell Mason

9:00-9:45-Jim Harris

10:00-10:15-Bill Martin-Overtime

11:00-12:00-Justin Meeks

Executive Session-Privileged in the attorney-client relationship-30 min.

Executive Session-Privileged in the attorney-client relationship-30 min.

NRP-5 min.

1:30-4:30-Commissioner to work on 2019 Budget

Justifications for Executive Session:

          Personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel

          Consultation with an attorney for the body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship

          Matters relating to employer-employee negotiations whether or not in consultation with the representative(s) of the body or agency

          Confidential data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trusts and individual proprietorships

          Preliminary discussions relating to the acquisition of real property

          Matters relating to the security of a public body or agency, public building or facility or the information system of a public body or agency, if the discussion of such matters at an open meeting would jeopardize the security of such public body, agency, building, facility or information system

Senator Moran at Ellis Center Aug. 31 at 7:30 a.m.

Join us this Friday, August 31st
from 7:30-8:30am
for a Town Hall meeting 
with U.S. Senator Jerry Moran
 
Ellis Fine Arts Center
on the campus of
Fort Scott Community College
2108 S. Horton
 
Click here for Sen. Moran’s website.
Click here for Sen. Moran’s Facebook.

Bats In The House?

 

Increase in Questions about Bats and Rabies, State Agencies Offer Guidance

Safety tips provided for coming in contact with bats and other animals

 

TOPEKA – The Kansas Departments of Health and Environment (KDHE) and Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism (KDWPT) have had an increase in the number of calls recently from residents who have questions about bats in their homes. Experts from the State agencies encourage Kansans to be aware of the rabies risk associated with exposure to bats.

 

“Although only 3 percent of about 1,000 bats tested over the last five years were positive for rabies in Kansas, they remain an important cause of human rabies cases in the United States,” said Dr. Ingrid Garrison, State Public Health Veterinarian at KDHE. “Contact with bats is a concern because their teeth are so tiny that a bite may not be felt or even leave a noticeable mark. That is why it is important to speak with someone who can evaluate your situation for potential exposure to rabies,” said Dr. Garrison.

 

Rabies is a fatal viral disease in mammals, including people. Infection with the rabies virus can occur from a bite by a rabid animal or when saliva from a rabid animal comes into contact with the eyes, inside the mouth, or a fresh, open wound. In Kansas, skunks are the animal that most commonly tests positive for rabies.

 

“We see an increase in bat activity, usually in July and August, as baby bats learn to fly,” said Samantha Pounds, an ecologist with KDWPT. “Of the more than 1,000 species of bats around the world, 15 have been found in Kansas. Bats play a vital role in the Kansas ecosystem by consuming millions of insects each year, including agricultural pests and mosquitoes. They can eat one-half of their body weight in insects each night. However, some bats may also be infected with rabies. We want people to be aware of bats, but not afraid of them,” said Pounds.

 

It is best to exclude bats from your home in the early spring or fall when they are not roosting (giving birth and raising young). Young bats that are not able to fly can get trapped inside, which can lead to an upset mother bat or foul-smelling dead bat. Bats often enter homes through unsealed cracks, gaps or small holes, so filling in these entry points is one way to keep bats out of a home. Another method is to use an exclusion tube or small piece of mesh to create a one-way exit for bats living in an attic. Professional help to exclude or capture bats may be available in your area.

 

KDHE asks that you call your health care provider or local health department if you have had any contact with a bat if a bat is found in the room of a sleeping person, unattended child, or anyone who is unable to tell you about the encounter. If possible, the bat should be captured safely and not released. Tips for safely capturing a bat can be found on the Bat Conservation International website at www.batcon.org. If the bat is not available for rabies testing, the person who was exposed to the bat should seek medical care and receive rabies prevention shots.

KDHE and KDWPT offer the following tips about bats and other animals regarding rabies for your safety:

  • If you wake up in a room with a bat present, regardless if there is evidence of a bite or scratch, seek advice from your health care provider or local health department. If possible, trap the bat for testing. Do not release the bat.
  • If bitten by any animal, seek medical attention and report the bite to your local health department or animal control department immediately.
  • If your animal is bitten, contact your veterinarian for advice.
  • Do not handle or feed wild animals. Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home; it is both unsafe and illegal.
  • Do not try to nurse sick or injured wild animals back to health. Call animal control or an animal rescue agency for assistance.
  • Teach children to never handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly.
  • Have your veterinarian vaccinate all dogs, cats, ferrets, horses and valuable livestock (cattle and sheep) against rabies.

For more information on bats and rabies visit: https://www.cdc.gov/rabies/bats/education/index.html. For more information on excluding or removing of bats: http://www.batcon.org/resources/for-specific-issues/bats-in-buildings/faq.

 

A list of companies that are registered with the Kansas Nuisance Wildlife Damage Control Program (NADC Permit Holders) can be found on the KDWP&T website at https://ksoutdoors.com/Services/Wildlife-Damage-Control or by calling 620-672-5911. These companies may charge a fee for their services. For more information on rabies in Kansas: https://keap.kdhe.state.ks.us/Ephtm/PortalPages/ContentData?CID=109.

$142 million in Obamacare Fees Ordered Returned to Kansas

 

TOPEKA – A federal court in Texas ruled yesterday that money collected as part of Obamacare, known as the Health Insurance Provider fee, be returned to the states by the Federal government. Kansas and five other states were part of this legal action, in which $142-million was ordered to be returned to the state of Kansas.

“This is just another example of the monumental failure of Obamacare and the expensive toll it has taken on our state,” said Governor Jeff Colyer, “This fee has been illegally collected for far too long, and I am grateful to Attorney General Derek Schmidt for going to bat for Kansas and ensuring that a legal remedy was made for returning millions of dollars that should have never been taken from taxpayers in the first place.”

Attorney General Schmidt said in a statement earlier today that an appeal is likely, so the funds should not be counted just yet, but he feels confident in the strength of the case should it be appealed.