Day: March 6, 2017

Mid-session legislative forum sees four representatives talk Medicaid, taxes

Four local elected officials gathered March 3 at Sirloin Stockade in Arkansas City to participate in a public forum. Attendees passed in questions written on index cards for the officials to answer. Medicaid expansion, tax bills and revenue streams were among the issues covered during the 90-minute event. The participants were Sen. Larry Alley, R-Winfield; Rep. Doug Blex, R-Independence; Rep. Anita Judd-Jenkins, R-Arkansas City; and Rep. Ed Trimmer, D-Winfield. Opening statements Alley spoke first, thanking people for the opportunity to serve them in the Kansas Legislature. He spoke about recent adjustments in revenue estimates — estimates that have been exceeded for the last three months. Alley and Judd-Jenkins also worked together to have Cowley County designated as a Rural Opportunity Zone. The vote to accomplish that has not yet taken place, but should occur before the month is out, he said. Judd-Jenkins spoke next, addressing the processes and learning curve she has faced in her first term. “I’m a sponge for learning — always have been,” she said. Trimmer, the only incumbent in attendance, said every legislative session has a “different face to it.” “I have been encouraged, especially in the House,” he said. “We’ve done a lot of good bipartisan work.” Blex said he thinks taxes will have to be raised at some point to create financial stability, but it will not be easy to do fairly. Medicaid expansion...

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Letter to the Editor from Arkansas City Ministerial Alliance

The Ministerial Alliance would like to formally recognize and publicly thank the brave men and women who work in law enforcement and public safety in our city and Cowley County. As we have worked in our county, we have consistently noticed the respect these men and women have for those grieving their lost loved ones. Time after time, not only do our law enforcement officers work in and direct traffic through funeral processions, but we have noticed that these men and women show respect for the work they are doing and the difficult situations of those whom they are serving. We want to say thank you to each of you not only for your bravery in doing work many others will not do, but also for your compassion and face during times when such acts might go unnoticed. Your witness, character and caring do not go unnoticed by us. The following members of the Ministerial Alliance signed and approved this statement to be released: Larry Dale, of St. James Church of God in Christ; Jack Dickson, of Shepherd’s Grace Church; Sandy Durham, of Family Life Services; Tim Durham, of Family Life Services; Richard Harrison, of Harvest Fellowship; Joyce Irving, of Harvest Fellowship; Charles Jennings, of Great Grace Family Worship Center; Diane Maxwell, of Harvest Fellowship; Russell McAlister, of Mount Hope United Methodist Church; Tim Smith, of Blessing Heights Church...

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Sacred Heart’s Society of St. Vincent de Paul plans fundraiser drawing

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is holding a fundraiser — the proceeds of which will benefit those in need in the Arkansas City area. The nonprofit Catholic organization focuses on spirituality, fellowship and works of charity. It often collaborates with other organizations and people of goodwill in the community. Tickets for the drawing are on sale now for $5 each, or five tickets for $20. The tickets are available for sale after each Mass and at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church parish office. For additional tickets, call Jan MacLaughlin at (620) 506-8184. The drawing will take place after the Sacred Heart service on April 2. First prize is a quarter-side of beef that is both antibiotic- and hormone-free. Processing will be determined by the winner. Second prize is $100 in cash and third prize is $50. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new...

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Marble fudge offers plentiful range of variations for Christmas, other times

  This recipe for marble fudge has been kicked around in my family for years, but I am not entirely sure where it originated. I remember my grandfather making it every Christmas season for years. Every time he and my grandmother volunteered at Christmastime, he would take some of this fudge to share with other volunteers. It seems like not one single Christmas went by that this recipe was not used. Ingredients 1 cup sugar 1 cup light Karo syrup 1 cup peanut butter or marshmallow fluff three 12-ounce bags baking chips — any combination will work, including milk, dark, white or semi-sweet chocolate; peanut butter; butterscotch; mint; cherry; or salted caramel Graham crackers or Oreos Instructions Spray a 9- by 13-inch pan with Pam cooking spray and cover it with crumbled graham crackers (or Oreos) to 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Boil sugar and Karo syrup together until it is at a rolling boil. Stir the mixture constantly to prevent it from burning. Once the mixture is at a boil, remove the pan from heat and add peanut butter or marshmallow fluff. Return to heat and stir constantly until boiling. Watch diligently to ensure it does not burn. Pour the mixture over the cookie base. Pour chips over the top and use a spatula or spoon to pull the mixture over until all of the chips have melted,...

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Mid-legislative session update: Taxes, school funding, revenues, other bills

I write this letter to you on March 1, right in the middle of our “Turnaround” break. Turnaround is the midpoint of the session — where bills that were introduced in one chamber must pass out of that chamber in order to be considered by the other. There are exceptions — a few committees are “exempt,” which means bills within those committees are “blessed” and aren’t subject to the deadline — but for the most part, we are finished hearing Senate bills. On March 6, we begin hearing House bills, and we will be in session for another month before the April break. Due to this deadline, most of our time last week was spent on the Senate floor, debating and voting on a large array of bills that we had to pass prior to adjournment. The good news is we made pretty quick work, actually getting done on Feb. 23 around 11 a.m. I will list those bills in a moment. Taxes Of course, the primary focus by the media and others was on HB 2178, the tax bill, which was originally adopted (I voted No) by both chambers the previous week, but was vetoed by Gov. Sam Brownback on Feb. 21. This veto was not unexpected. Because the bill originated in the House, it then traveled back to the House for a potential override motion, which occurred. Some...

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