Category Archives: Area News

Nevada Hospital Earns High Rating

NRMC Earns 5-Star Rating

Nevada Regional Medical Center recently earned a 5-star quality rating
from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the highest rating a hospital can achieve. The overall star rating is based on 48 quality measures in five different categories.

To earn a 5-star rating, NRMC met or exceeded the national benchmark in all 5 categories, which include:
mortality, safety of care, readmission, patient experience, and timely and
effective care.

“We are most pleased with the recent news that NRMC has been

designated a 5-Star Hospital,” says Jason Anglin, NRMC’s Chief Executive
Officer. “This has certainly been a team effort, as everyone has pulled together to consistently provide our patients with excellent care and quality services. Nationwide, only about 14% of hospitals achieve a 5-Star Rating.”

Nevada Regional Medical Center believes that their continued commitment
to “Caring with P.R.I.D.E.” (Professionalism, Responsibility, Integrity, Dedication, and Excellence) has helped them earn this prestigious 5-star rating.

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, 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.

Kansas Gas Service: Environment, Social, Governance Report


New ONE Gas ESG Report Highlights Kansas Gas Service’s Community Involvement and Sustainability Progress in Kansas


ONE Gas, the parent company of Kansas Gas Service, has released its 2022 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report, which outlines the company’s commitment to safe operations, responsible environmental stewardship and an inclusive and diverse work culture.


“Natural gas plays an essential role in Kansas’ transition to a carbon-neutral energy future, and we are actively working toward that future,” said Sean Postlethwait, vice president of Operations for Kansas Gas Service. “This report highlights our commitment to provide safe, reliable and affordable natural gas service to our customers, now and into the future.”


Some highlights from Kansas in the report include:


  • Energy-Efficient Hutchinson South Service Center
    In 2021, the company completed construction on the Hutchinson South Service Center using new energy-efficient building standards including:

    • Automated lighting system and brightness sensors.
    • Automated thermostat control and more efficient HVACs.
    • Stormwater capture to aerate low-impact landscaping.
  • Low Income Support
    The Kansas Gas Service Customer Service team offered in-person workshops around the state to guide customers through the Low Income Energy Assistance Program application process.
  • Community Giving

The ONE Gas Foundation donated more than $400,000 across the state of Kansas to        support community enrichment and development.


“Our ESG report outlines the vision and progress toward a more sustainable future for all the communities we serve,” Postlethwait said.


The full ONE Gas ESG report is available at


About ONE Gas

ONE Gas, Inc. (NYSE: OGS) is a 100-percent regulated natural gas utility, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “OGS.” ONE Gas is included in the S&P MidCap 400 Index and is one of the largest natural gas utilities in the United States.

Headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, ONE Gas provides a reliable and affordable energy choice to more than 2.3 million customers in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Its divisions include Kansas Gas Service, the largest natural gas distributor in Kansas; Oklahoma Natural Gas, the largest in Oklahoma; and Texas Gas Service, the third largest in Texas, in terms of customers.

For more information and the latest news about ONE Gas, visit and follow its social channels: @ONEGas, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.


New Pig Farm Being Located Near Bourbon County Line: Help Needed

All photos submitted.

A swine farm is being constructed along the county line next to Bourbon County

The company, Monarch Sow Farm, is owned by Perdue Premium Meat Company, headquartered in Salisbury, MD, and is located in Neosho County.  Their harvest facility is in Sioux Center, Iowa.

“The property is on the county lines of Neosho, Allen, and Bourbon; but in Neosho County,” said Jim Magolski, PHD, Perdue’s Senior Director of Hog Quality and Protocols. “The property is south of Alabama/250th Road, west of York/10th Road, and north of 39.”

The 240 acres of land was purchased in March 2021, and construction began February 2022.  The site will be completed in August of 2022, according to Magolski.

“We birth (farrow) and raise baby pigs until they are old enough to be weaned from their mothers,” said Magolski.

“The farm, when fully populated, will house 1600 sows across five barns, three barns comprised of large pens bedded with straw for gestation and two barns of individual birthing pens for the moms and piglets that is also bedded with straw and wood shavings; all raised in accordance to production protocols that exceed industry standards,” he said.  “Our program is part of a farming system that helps support new and young farmers, independent family farmers and generational farmers that are looking to grow sustainably, humanely raised pigs.”

“This farm is on the Bourbon County line, but is actually in Neosho County,” he said.  “As an antibiotic free production system, biosecurity and the distance to other swine is a key component of this type of production model’s success.  The combination of low pig density, an ideal climate for our open air barns, quality work force, ample access to bedding (straw), and close proximity to our network of independent family farms made this area an ideal location to expand our business while investing in a community we look forward to being a valued member of.”

“The piglets from this farm will be sold to farmers in the region to raise on their land as part of our weaned pig program,” he said. “This program has helped farmers find a way to make a living in agriculture, particularly young farmers who do not have the time to dedicate to farrowing.  Today we have over 600 producers in our network across the Midwest, including over 30 producers in eastern Kansas.”

Employees are needed for the farm.

“We’re hiring!” he said.  “We pay well above minimum wage and have many growth opportunities within a larger company. Ultimately we will have 12 employees at the location.”

For more information go to and search “Kansas”.






2022 Friends of Tri-Valley Foundation Cruise Night Raises $12,000

Dave Petersen during the live auction portion of the evening. Submitted photo.

A crowd of 170 people attended the 2022 Friends of Tri-Valley Foundation Cruise Night Fundraiser on Tuesday, June 14th.  This evening was the Foundation’s first in-person Cruise Night since 2019 Cruise Night was held at Central Park Pavilion in Chanute and began at 6 pm.

Approximately $12,000 was raised during the evening from stretch, silent and live auctions.


Attendees were treated to a delicious three course meal furnished by Dalton’s Back 9.  Members of the Neosho Valley Busy Bee’s 4H Club were servers for the evening.  Door prizes were courtesy of Tri-Valley’s Fort Scott Greenhouse.

Jeff Ports holds one of the two door prizes given out during the evening. Submitted photo.


As in year’s past, the live auction was the highlight of the evening.  For 2022, we had a new item courtesy of Monarch Cement Company; Wichita Thunder Hockey Tickets and use of Monarch’s 12-person suite at INTRUST Bank Arena.  Other items auctioned off include:  a Breckenridge CO vacation package courtesy of Home Savings Bank; a Branson MO vacation package courtesy of Community National Bank; a full-size recliner courtesy of Ruddick’s Furniture in Fort Scott; Dinner for 10 courtesy of Brenda Harrison; and a seven day Cruise from Holland America courtesy of Monarch Cement Company.


All money raised from the evening will go towards the Friends of Tri-Valley Foundation projects.  Since 2001, the Foundation has built six homes and acquired six additional homes and a duplex.  The houses are located in our communities of Chanute, Fort Scott, Humboldt, Iola, Moline, and Neodesha.  These houses are home to sixty-four of our neighbors with intellectual and developmental disabilities served by Tri-Valley Developmental Services.  The Foundation is currently remodeling homes in Humboldt and Neodesha.


“The evening was fantastic”, said Bill Fiscus, CEO. “The food, drawings and conversation were phenomenal.  Thank you to everyone who attended.  We hope you had an enjoyable evening and look forward to seeing you all in 2023.”

A big thank you goes to the evening’s sponsors.  Lido Level:  Community National Bank; Home Savings Bank; Monarch Cement Company; Newkirk, Dennis & Buckles; and Steve Faulkner Ford.

Promenade Level: Ash Grove Cement Company; Heartland Homecare; Hofer & Hofer & Associates; and IMA

Mezzanine Level: Ashley Clinic; Landmark National Bank; Neosho County Community College;

Neodesha Family Dentistry; and Sonic Drive Ins of Chanute and Iola.

Riviera Level:  Donald Davis CPA; Hi-Lo Industries; Cheney Witt Chapel; and H & H Agency of Bourbon & Linn Counties.

Special thanks go to Dave Petersen who served as Emcee; Larry Holman for photography; and John Graham for sound and lighting.



Evergy Will Recover 2021 Winter Storm Costs

KCC approves agreement allowing Evergy to recover 2021 winter storm costs from Central customers and credit Metro customers for sales

TOPEKA – The Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) has approved a non-unanimous settlement agreement allowing Evergy to recover extraordinary costs incurred during the February 2021 winter storm from Kansas Central customers (formerly Westar) and credit Kansas Metro customers (formerly KCP&L) for the sale of excess power back to the Southwest Power Pool during that same time. The Central and Metro divisions are owned by the same parent company, Energy, Inc., but operate separately.

Under the settlement agreement approved today, the average Evergy Central residential customer’s monthly bill is expected to increase by $2.82 for two years beginning in April 2023. The average Evergy Metro residential customer will see a $6.60 monthly credit for one year.

KCC Staff, the Citizens Utility Ratepayer Board (CURB), Evergy and the Kansas Electric Power Cooperative supported the settlement. Kansas Industrial Consumers, the Natural Gas Transportation Customer Coalition, and Coffeyville Resources Refining & Marketing, LLC opposed it, claiming it unjustly shifts costs from residential customers to industrial customers and fails to reward conservation efforts.  The Commission rejected those arguments, finding that within each customer class, some customers made efforts to conserve, while other customers did not.  Thus, there is no evidence to suggest reallocation on a class-wide basis would only reward customers who curtailed their energy usage.

“The Commission reiterates the unique nature of Winter Storm Uri and the extraordinary costs it produced.  As the Opponents of the Non-Unanimous Settlement acknowledge, Winter Storm Uri caused unprecedented financial harm throughout Kansas.  Likewise, the evidence demonstrates that some customers in all rate classes conserved electricity and assisted in avoiding a system-wide failure, like Texas experienced.”

“The evidence before the Commission suggests that, under the circumstances, the Non-Unanimous Settlement represents the lowest interest rate and the lowest customer impact of all Kansas utilities for Winter Storm Uri related costs.”

The order also states that any proceeds received by Evergy from ongoing federal or state investigations into market manipulation, price gouging or civil suits will be passed on to customers subject to winter storm recovery charges.

Today’s order can be viewed on the Commission’s website at Document Details (

A recording of today’s Business Meeting featuring comments by Commissioners on this order is available on the KCC YouTube channel.

U.S. 54 resurfaced between Yates Center and Iola


The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) has started a project to resurface U.S. 54 between Yates Center and Iola.


The contractor is working east from Yates Center. Flaggers and a pilot car will guide one-lane traffic through the work zone during daylight hours. Expect delays of 15 minutes or less. Weather permitting, the road work should be finished in about two months.


Shilling Construction of Manhattan is primary contractor on the $2.3 million project. Persons with questions may contact KDOT Area Engineer Troy Howard at (620) 901-6557 or Public Affairs Manager Priscilla Petersen, (620) 902-6433. Check KDOT’s updated traveler information website,, for more road condition and construction details.


KDHE Urges Kansans to Practice Water Safety over Memorial Day Weekend


TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) would like to encourage the public to exercise caution while enjoying streams, rivers and lakes over the Memorial Day weekend and through the summer. Prolonged rains in most parts of the state have contributed to an increased risk of unintentional injury and bacteria in open bodies of water.

Harmful bacteria, parasites and algae are common in surface water, and those who visit lakes in Kansas should be careful not to ingest the water. People should avoid recreational activities in streams and lakes after rainfall and runoff events while the water is cloudy or opaque to minimize the risk of exposure to germs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the germs found in the water and sand often come from human or animal feces. Water from the heavy rain picks up anything it comes in contact with, including feces from where animals live and can drain into swim areas. Water contaminated with these germs can make you sick if you swallow it or can cause an infection if you get into the water with an open wound.

Individuals should take precautions such as not swallowing the water, keeping sand away from their mouths and children’s mouths, taking frequent bathroom breaks and washing their hands before preparing or eating food.

Exposure to contaminated surface water can lead to Escherichia coli (E. coli) infection. Although most strains of E. coli are harmless, others such as Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli (STEC), can cause life-threatening illnesses. Last year there were 5 STEC cases among children associated with recreational activities at Eureka Lake. As a reminder, children are more likely to swallow water while swimming than adults. The symptoms of a STEC infection vary for each person. Symptoms often include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. Individuals may experience a fever, usually not very high (less than 101˚F/38.5˚C). Most people get better within five to seven days. For more information about STEC, including a complete list of symptoms, visit the CDC website. If individuals believe you are experiencing symptoms of STEC after swimming in a Kansas lake, please contact your health care provider.


Via Christi Adds Pediatric Echocardiogram Program

Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg has added a Pediatric Echocardiogram program, making quality diagnostic imaging services more accessible to families throughout southeast

“Over the last few years we have invested extensively in our imaging programs to bring new technology and innovations to our community,” says Travis Battagler, director of the Heart
Center and Imaging Operations. “We have worked to grow our diagnostic cardiology echo program, including our recent expansion of that service line to Fort Scott.”

The Pediatric Echocardiograms are being offered in Pittsburg, which is just 30 miles down the road from Fort Scott.

Being able to have an ultrasound of the heart performed in a familiar setting is less stressful for children and more convenient for their parents, which in the end may help to recognize life-threatening conditions faster.

“This is just one way we can better serve our community and the surrounding areas now and in the future,” says Tyler Matthews, lead echocardiography technologist.

For more information about Ascension Via Christi in Pittsburg go to
About Ascension Via Christi
In Kansas, Ascension Via Christi operates seven hospitals and 75 other sites of care and employs nearly 6,400
associates. Across the state, Ascension Via Christi provided nearly $89 million in community benefit and care of
persons living in poverty in fiscal year 2021. Serving Kansas for more than 135 years, Ascension is a faith-based
healthcare organization committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to
persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. Ascension is the leading non-profit and Catholic health system in

KCC approves agreement lowering rates for Empire Electric customers



TOPEKA – Empire Electric customers will soon see a reduction in their monthly bills. A settlement agreement approved today by the Kansas Corporation Commission calls for a 3.8% rate decrease effective July 1, 2022.  This amounts to a bill reduction of $2.95 per month for residential customers with average usage.

The company, which serves 9688 customers in southeast Kansas, filed an application for a rate increase last May to recover costs related to building three new wind farms, retiring the Asbury coal plant and updating accumulated depreciation and deferred costs. The application called for an increase in rates totaling about $5.00 per month for residential customers.

The settlement, negotiated by KCC Staff, the Citizens Utility Ratepayer Board (CURB) and the company addressed all matters raised in the application except recovery of the wind farm costs. Questions were raised at the evidentiary hearing, held in March, regarding the need for the wind facilities and the cost. On May 6, Empire filed a motion to withdraw its request to recover the wind project costs in rates, with the option to seek recovery in a future general rate case. The Commission approved that motion as part of today’s order.

In issuing today’s order, the Commission found the agreement was supported by substantial competent evidence, will result in just and reasonable rates, and is in the public interest.

The order can be viewed here.

A recording of today’s Business Meeting featuring comments by Commissioners on this order is available on the KCC YouTube channel.

Forum For Professional Financial Advisors On June 23

Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas to Host Forum for Professional Advisors

The Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas (CFSEK) will host the 2022 Estate Planning Forum at Crestwood Country Club in Pittsburg starting at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 23.

The full-day Forum, hosted annually in partnership with Foulston Siefkin LLP of Wichita, is open to Southeast Kansas attorneys, CPAs, insurance professionals, and financial advisors.

Attendees will learn about new developments in the field of estate planning, earn up to six hours of continuing-education credit, and enjoy a free lunch courtesy of CFSEK.

This year’s Forum includes sessions on legal ethics; estate planning for clients with health concerns or disabilities; strategies for asset protection and to reduce income taxes; and an update on recent legislative, judicial, and regulatory developments at the state and federal levels. Sessions will be taught by Kathleen J. Selzler Lippert, JD, of the Office of the Disciplinary Administrator; and Foulston Siefkin’s Tim O’Sullivan, JD, LLM, and Corey Moomaw, JD, LLM.

The Forum has been approved for 6 hours of CLE credit (including one hour of ethics credit) and 5 hours of insurance CE credit. It also offers a recommended 5 hours of CPE credit for
accountants and 5 hours of PACE credit for qualifying financial advisors.

Space will be limited, so professional advisors who want to attend the 2022 Estate Planning Forum must register by completing the online form at,
emailing [email protected], or calling (620) 231-8897.

Join other Coalitions and Make Connections Across Kansas

On June 9, 2022



8901 E. Orme St.

Wichita KS 67207



June 9th, 2022

10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Breakfast and lunch provided


June’s PreventionWorKS meeting will be focused on equity and inclusion. Cultural competence is a key part of the SPF, but how do we ensure we are putting it into practice in our coalition? Hear from speakers who will share about creating inclusive spaces and connect with other coalitions working to make progress in their community. Let’s go beyond the buzzwords to create lasting change.


Register here by June 1.



Prevention is better together

and together we are stronger!


Dena Kemp, MSW, CPP

Southeast Kansas Community Support Specialist

Community Based Services Division

104 ½ W 9th Street, Suite 424

Winfield, KS 67156

620.670.2814 (Office)

620.218.2878 (Cell)


DCCCA Youth Leadership Workshops

DCCCA is offering Kansas high school students an opportunity to expand their leadership skills at FREE regional workshops coming this September. Reserve your space at one of our five regional workshops.   Students must be accompanied by at least one school representative sponsor. Sessions are scheduled from 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. and lunch will be provided.

Agenda and more information coming soon!


Prevention is better together

and together we are stronger!


Dena Kemp, MSW, CPP

Southeast Kansas Community Support Specialist

Community Based Services Division

104 ½ W 9th Street, Suite 424

Winfield, KS 67156

620.670.2814 (Office)

620.218.2878 (Cell)