Governor Kelly and DCF Announce Additional Child Care Benefit; Expand Hero Relief Program
Agency takes steps to address child care needs during delayed school openings
TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly and the Kansas Department for Children and Families today announced an additional benefit in September for those receiving child care assistance to support families as they adapt to delayed school openings across the state.
“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our state, and many families and child care providers are in need of additional resources,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “As parents and kids adjust to virtual, remote, and hybrid learning environments, DCF is providing the support Kansas families need right now.”
“We know a large number of districts have moved the beginning of the school year to September,” DCF Secretary Laura Howard said. “This means many families are needing child care during a time when their kids would normally be in school.”
DCF is supplementing September child care plans to equal the benefit issued in August. In a typical year, the benefit would be reduced in September to account for children being in school. Those families eligible for the extra benefit include those with existing child care plans with DCF that have school-aged children. Additionally, families who apply by September 30, 2020 also will receive these additional September benefits, prorated based on the date of application.
DCF also is expanding eligibility criteria for its Hero Relief Program. The program expands DCF’s child care assistance subsidies for families by making them available to essential workers who financially qualify. Effective Sept. 1, school personnel will be added to the list of eligible workers.
The expansion will include:
Educators and select other school personnel including teachers, para-professionals and their substitutes
Workers providing bus or other transportation services, food services, and custodial services for public and private schools, including those employed by contractors
Workers providing other essential services within public and private schools may be determined eligible with the approval of regional administrators
To qualify, families must have countable gross income at or below 250% of the federal poverty level. For an average family of four that equals a monthly income of $5,458. Families will receive the full DCF subsidy amount based on their family size, with no family-share deduction.
“We know teachers and other school personnel are dealing with difficult situations involving the care of their own children,” Howard said. “By expanding the Hero Relief Program, we hope to relieve some of the financial burden many of these families now face.”
For more information and for instructions on how to apply, visit ksherorelief.com.
Nevada Regional Medical Center (NRMC) is pleased to welcome family nurse practitioner, Katelyn (Triplett) Erwin to Primary Care Center, located at 627 S. Ash in Nevada and at NowCare Clinic at 345 S. Barrett as needed.
A graduate of Nevada High School, Erwin earned her Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Nursing at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Ks. In May of this year, she completed her Doctorate, also from PSU. For the past four years Erwin has worked part-time on the Medical/Surgical and Intensive Care Units at NRMC. Much of her clinical education hours were spent at NRMC alongside Dr. Amanda Turner, Dr. Jacqueline Youtsos, Sonja Albright, DNP, and Dr. Dan Barnes.
“In primary care you see people through the lifespan,” says Erwin. “That’s what I like – that there’s a little bit of everything. I’ll be seeing OB patients prior to delivery and then their babies for their well-child visits, helping manage chronic conditions and making sure my patients stay healthy and out of the hospital.”
Recently married, Katelyn is a new stepmother to three children. She enjoys spending time with her family, including traveling and outdoor activities. Her favorite hobbies include refinishing old furniture as well and reading, although she laughingly says, she would prefer it not be a textbook.
“Katelyn is a welcome addition to our clinics,” says Steve Branstetter, Chief Executive Officer at NRMC. “Having the extra health provider opens up possibilities for extending clinic hours which we know would benefit our community.”
To become an FNP, one must first pass the NCLEX-RN to become a licensed RN. During years spent as an RN, crucial experience is gained. From there, most FNP hopefuls will work toward a Master’s Degree in Nursing (MSN) with a concentration in family practice, a post graduate degree specific to FNP preparation, or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) as Erwin did.
FNPs have advanced clinical training and possess a graduate-level education, qualifying them to diagnose and treat complex health conditions. They can perform a wide variety of duties that include but are not limited to development of treatment plans, education, and guidance for disease prevention and healthy living, health examinations, performing diagnostic tests and screenings, and prescribing medicine.
To schedule an appointment with Katelyn Erwin, call Nevada Regional Primary Care Center at (417) 448-3600 or visit the Patient Portal at www.nrmchealth.com.
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About Nevada Regional Medical Center
Serving a six-county area since 1937, Nevada Regional Medical Center is a 71-bed acute, intensive and skilled care hospital. Nevada Regional Medical Center has earned recognition as a respected regional medical center for its comprehensive health care services, skilled and caring employees and state-of-the-art medical technology. Staff represent more than a dozen medical specialties, including family practice, women’s services, neurology, urology, psychiatry, orthopedics, wound care services, and general, vascular, thoracic and oncological surgery. Additionally, consultation clinics are held regularly by specialists in oncology, pulmonology, podiatry, ear, nose, and throat and cardiology.
Fort Scott High School Senior Ella Beth began a school project in her sophomore year that will benefit the school for years to come: a redesign of the high school’s courtyard.
The long-term project provided real-life business experience as well.
Fort Scott High School Courtyard Is Transformed
“I walked by the courtyard every day of my freshman year and was upset to learn that the space… was now used for nothing,” Beth said. “I decided that I wanted to bring the courtyard back to its former glory because I saw it as bursting with potential to be a place that promoted Tiger Pride and an opportunity for students to learn or relax outdoors.”
The courtyard is an open space enclosed by the high school academic classrooms.
It has been used for pep rallies, activity meetings and outdoor classes.
Project Because of Her Design Interest
The project idea came because Beth is interested in interior design.
She and a classmate, Dawna Hudiberg, wanted to design some project and then implement their ideas.
” We brainstormed and came up with the idea of renovating the courtyard,” Beth said. “Dawna eventually decided to take on another project, but I really wanted to have an area that allowed for some outdoor time and a possible way to promote Tiger Pride and unity in our school. Mrs. Kemmerer then helped me to get started on the project my sophomore year.”
“She presented her project proposal to the FSHS Principal and Superintendent for approval early last Fall 2019,” Angie Kemmerer, FSHS Independent Study Class teacher, said.
The goal was to have the project completed in time for the FSHS All-School Reunion in June 2020, but the COVID-19 Pandemic halted work.
Beth began in the spring of 2018 to design the project, her new deadline is May 2021, before she graduates.
” I encouraged Ella to develop a project plan with her ideas as a way for her to gain real-world experience in an area that she was interested in,” Kemmerer said. “She wanted to do something that would benefit others. When she first asked me about the possibility of remodeling the courtyard, my response was ‘why not’? She did her research, developed a plan, created a budget, identified community resources, wrote grants, networked, created community buy-in, discovered the importance of sweat equity and stepped outside of her comfort zone. She learned that things don’t always go the way you plan, but where there is a will there is away.”
“She started raising money, mostly through writing grants, and contacting local alumni-owned businesses to help with different parts of the project last year,” Kemmerer said. “She has networked with different FSHS programs to help with specific areas of her redesign plan and is currently trying to raise funds to finish the project.”
A Collaborative Effort
The project has been a collaborative effort.
“The turf and labor to install it was donated by FSHS alum Joe Kerr,” Kemmerer said.
“FSHS Physical Education and construction trades students helped move and spread the turf fill for the installation.”
“The funding for the concrete material came from the TIMKEN Community Grant and the labor was donated by RII Concrete Construction owned by FSHS alum Mike Rogers.”
“The eight tables and soon to be 45 benchtops are built by Mr. Lawerence’s construction trades students.”
“Legs for the 45 benches will be made by Mr. Parks ag program. The funding for the benches and tables came from the Fort Scott Area Community Foundation Grant and money set aside by USD234 for this project.”
The wall murals were designed by art students working under FSHS Art Teacher Ellen Kendrick.
“The aluminum panels for the murals were purchased with a grant from the Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas.”
Mr. Feagin’s, FSMS Technology Teacher Mr. Feagins will help Ella complete the design and application of the murals to the panels, Kemmerer said.
“Ella received funds from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Healthy pathways grant to purchase outdoor activities like giant Jenga, chess, checkers, ping pong and more for students to enjoy during free time,” Kemmerer said.
“Raised gardens will be installed for use by Mr. Hudiburg’s life science classes. The ground will be regraded to prep it for new sod and proper drainage. The old concrete will be cleaned, sealed and stained to match the new stamped concrete.”
“FSHS alum Gina Shelton has helped connect her to grant opportunities and support with connecting with additional alumni.”
“FSHS alum Matt Casner helped Ella create a Facebook page that links to a Go Fund Me page to help raise funds to complete the project. Unfortunately, shortly after its launch, a global pandemic hit and she has not been able to reach her ultimate goal.”
Sun Shades Still Need Funding
The last big expense, which she is seeking additional funding for, is the sun shades.
“The biggest expense left for the redesign project is the installation of sun shades at a cost of $22,000,” Kemmerer said. “This will be the last phase of the project, if funding allows. A donor wall will be created when the project is finished to recognize everyone who contributed along the way.”
Deadline Approaching for USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
Application Deadline is Sept. 11
WASHINGTON, Aug. 28, 2020 –U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) reminds farmers and ranchers that the deadline to apply for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) is Sept. 11, 2020. This program provides direct relief to producers who faced price declines and additional marketing costs due to COVID-19.
“FSA offers several options for farmers and ranchers to apply for CFAP, including a call center where employees can answer your questions and help you get started on your application,” said Richard Fordyce, Farm Service Agency administrator. “With only two weeks before the deadline, now is the time to check out the resources on our website and contact the call center or your local office for your last-minute questions.”
Over 160 commodities are eligible for CFAP, including certain non-specialty crops, livestock, dairy, wool, specialty crops, eggs, aquaculture, and nursery crops and cut flowers. All eligible commodities, payment rates, and calculations can be found on farmers.gov/cfap.
Customers seeking one-on-one support with the CFAP application process can call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer general assistance. This is a recommended first step before a producer engages the team at the FSA county office at their local USDA Service Center.
Producers have several options for applying to the CFAP program by the Sept. 11 deadline:
Using an online portal, accessible at farmers.gov/cfap. This allows producers with secure USDA login credentials, known as eAuthentication, to certify eligible commodities online, digitally sign applications, and submit directly to the local USDA Service Center.
Completing the application form using our CFAP Application Generator and Payment Calculator found at farmers.gov/cfap. This Excel workbook allows customers to input information specific to their operation to determine estimated payments and populate the application form, which can be printed, then signed, and submitted to their local USDA Service Center.
Downloading the AD-3114 application form from farmers.gov/cfap and manually completing the form to submit to the local USDA Service Center by mail, electronically, or by hand delivery to an office drop box. In some limited cases, the office may be open for in-person business by appointment. Visit farmers.gov/coronavirus/service-center-status to check the status of your local office.
USDA Service Centers can also work with producers to complete and securely transmit digitally signed applications through two commercially available tools: Box and OneSpan. Producers who are interested in digitally signing their applications should notify their local service centers when calling to discuss the CFAP application process. You can learn more about these solutions at farmers.gov/mydocs.
All other eligibility forms, such as those related to adjusted gross income and payment information, can be downloaded from farmers.gov/cfap/apply. For existing FSA customers, these documents are likely already on file.
All USDA Service Centers are open for business, including some that are open to visitors to conduct business in person by appointment only. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service or any other Service Center agency should call ahead and schedule an appointment. Service Centers that are open for appointments will pre-screen visitors based on health concerns or recent travel, and visitors must adhere to social distancing guidelines. Visitors are also required to wear a face covering during their appointment. Our program delivery staff will be in the office, and they will be working with our producers in the office, by phone and using online tools. More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.
The City of Fort Scott Administrative Office will be closed on Monday, September 7th, 2020 in observance of the Labor Day holiday. The offices will reopen on Tuesday, September 8th, 2020.
The City’s tree and brush dump site located on North Hill will also be closed on Saturday, September 5th, 2020 for the Labor Day holiday. It will be open again on Tuesday, September 8th, 2020 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
This is a phrase everyone has heard, and you possibly heard it first on the playground. It’s interesting that even little kids don’t like to play with liars. I had a neighbor once and she was nicknamed “Liar Lori.“ I didn’t name her that, but another young girl did.
I witnessed a lie when I was in first grade. There were six of us sitting at our table and the teacher walked by, checking our work. When Mrs. Neil stopped at our table, she spoke to K in a not-happy tone, pointing to the floor and asked, “What is that?” I looked down and saw a yellowish liquid. K replied, “Milk.“ I thought that was a weird answer since milk is white. Obviously, poor K had wet her pants. I’m not sure, but I think the lie was more disturbing to Mrs. Neil that the mess on the floor. This incident happened in 1964 and I still remember the impact of lying.
Sometimes life gets messy and you’ll be tempted to lie to try to clean up the mess. But if you’re interested in living a life above reproach and bringing glory to your heavenly Father, you’ll choose the high road of honesty. You cannot be a person of integrity if you lie. Where I grew up we said, “I wouldn’t trust her any further than I could throw her.“ As always, the Word of God is our roadmap for following after truth. Lying is serious business and it is a sin. But certainly don’t take my word for it. Here are just a few scriptures about what God has to say about liars.
“There are six things the Lord hates — no, seven things He detests: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family (Proverbs 6:16-19 NLT).
“The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in those who tell the truth” (Proverbs 12:22 NLT).
“But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars — their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death” (Revelation 21:8 NLT).
Some believers think that a white lie is alright. It doesn’t matter what color it is, a lie is a lie and God hates it. We all need to be extremely careful about what comes out of our mouth. Think before you speak; consider how you should word your conversation in order for it to be appropriate, considerate, and honest.
The Key: If your pants are on fire, stop running from speaking the truth.
Prepare Kansasonline challenge offered to get yourself, family better prepared.
Prepare Kansas is a free, easy way to ensure you’re better equipped to handle emergencies.
Whether it’s reviewing insurance coverage or putting together a grab-and-go kit, preparing for any kind of disaster will make recovery easier. And Kansans know a thing or two about disasters. Flooded basements, fires, tornadoes or ice storms, we have them all and much more.
To help Kansans become as prepared as possible for emergencies, K-State Research and Extension is offering the Prepare Kansas Annual Preparedness Challenge. It’s a free weekly online challenge through September that includes activities individuals and families can accomplish each week. By the end of the month, participants will be better prepared to withstand and recover from emergencies.
Prepare Kansas aligns with National Preparedness Month, with a theme in September this year of “Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today.”
The weekly activities this year revolve around:
Making a plan – talking with others about being prepared, updating the family communications plan and reviewing plans for shelter and/or evacuation, including pets, taking COVID-19 into account.
Building a kit – build a kit of basic emergency supplies plus grab-and-go backpacks for family members and pets.
Preparing for disasters – know the difference between watches and warnings, sign up for emergency alerts and participate in an emergency drill.
Talk to your kids – seek information on preparedness.
Get financially prepared – set aside money for an emergency, review insurance coverage, build or maintain a financial grab-and-go box, and complete a home inventory.
For more information about the weekly challenges, go to the Prepare Kansas blog https://blogs.k-state.edu/preparekansas/ or on social media at #PrepareKS and #BeReady.Follow us on Facebook @southwindextensiondistrict or Instagram @southwind_ext. For more information, please contact Joy Miller at [email protected] or by calling 620-223-3720.