Day: August 24, 2017

Peanut butter cookies a hit for all seasons, with option for secret ingredient

Christmas still might be several months away, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy the tastes of Christmas now. Given the unseasonably cooler weather we have been enjoying, it’s been quite easy to turn on the oven and bake. This recipe for peanut butter cookies is based on one that came from my great-grandmother’s book. However, it has been altered to incorporate a dark liquor option. Peanut butter cookie ingredients 1 cup softened butter 1 cup sugar 1 cup brown sugar 1 cup peanut butter, either crunchy or smooth honey, to taste (optional) 2 eggs 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon baking soda salt 3 cups flour 1 shot bourbon, rum or whiskey (optional) Instructions Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine butter, sugar and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl. Mix these ingredients thoroughly — the mixture will seem gritty because of the sugar. Add the eggs, vanilla and peanut butter — it can can contain honey, if so desired — to the mixture. If you want to make “drunken” peanut butter cookies, add one shot of your dark liquor of choice. Mix these ingredients together, then add baking powder and a pinch of salt. While mixing, add the flour. The mixture should end up being sticky, but firm. Roll mixture into half-inch balls and score them with a fork. Bake for 12 minutes or...

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Total mill levy for residents to increase by 3.5 mills in 2018; city, college flat

The four government entities that tax Arkansas City residents have announced their estimated mill levies for the 2018 fiscal year. The four entities that assess property taxes are the Arkansas City Public School District, the City of Arkansas City, Cowley College and Cowley County. In 2018, the overall mill levy will total 191.97 mills, which is an increase of about 3.5 mills from 2017 levels. The City Commission of Arkansas City voted to keep its mill levy below 70 mills again. Last year, commissioners approved a mill levy of 70.51 for 2017, but the final amount was 69.656 mills. For 2018, the commissioners have approved a budget of 69.999 mills, which includes a 2-percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for employees for the third straight year. Cowley College The Cowley College Board of Trustees voted to keep the college’s operating budget at 18.99 mills, which is flat from 2017. However, the college also has approved an additional mill levy for capital outlay. This mill levy is 1.25 mills and it will be on the books for the next five years. Within the operating budget, there is a 3-percent COLA for full-time college employees. Public schools Unified School District 470 saw a small increase in its approved budget. USD 470’s 2017 budget is 56.312 mills, which will rise slightly to 56.80 mills in 2018. The school district’s budget includes a COLA, as well,...

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RooJax brings fun, whimsical homemade items to downtown on Sept. 1

RooJax, a family-owned company, will celebrate its grand opening Sept. 1 in downtown Arkansas City. “My own grand opening is (Sept. 1) and (Sept. 2) we will be having free cupcakes, and giveaways of shirts and cups and door prizes,” said owner Shelly Gatton. The new storefront, located at 316 S. Summit St., is the first for RooJax — until recently, the company was located in Gatton’s home. Origin of RooJax name “It’s been just a garage business for several years,” Gatton said. “I just did a few outdoor markets and made things for personal friends. “All in all, RooJax has been a business or hobby for me for about eight years.” The company is named after her children. “My daughter — who attends Cowley Community College here — her name is Riley and we always called her ‘Roo,’” Gatton said. “My son, Jaxon, we called ‘Jax.’” Gatton’s husband, Monty, also gets in on the action. He does almost all of the woodwork in the store. RooJax product line RooJax carries products that are old, new and everything in between. From antiques to apparel, there are plenty of items available for sale. “I do custom T-shirts and personalization of items — if you can think it up, I can make it,” Gatton said. “We also are expanding and having a (Do It Yourself) room in the back for those...

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Pink Ladies help SCKMC Auxiliary by volunteering their time, talents, gifts

The “Pink Ladies” long have been a fixture at South Central Kansas Medical Center. “That’s what we’ve been called for years,” said SCKMC Auxiliary member and South Haven resident Leslie Sherman. Each Auxiliary member — dressed in coral pink smocks, white pants and white shoes — takes a turn staffing the front desk. The single mission of the group is simply to make SCKMC “the people’s choice for health care in the region.” Auxiliary members do much more than sit at the desk Mondays through Fridays, though. “Everything is done for the hospital,” Sherman said. SCKMC Auxiliary volunteers Auxiliary members all volunteer during the week, each working a minimum of four hours a month. There are approximately 50 members of the SCKMC Auxiliary. The youngest is 56 years old. Some of the ladies volunteer by creating items to sell in the gift shop, which is operated by the Auxiliary. “We make washcloths, baby blankets, baby bibs, tea towels and potato bags,” Sherman said. Another offering that can be found in the gift shop is miniature stuffed bears. These bears often are dressed and then given to sick children who are in the hospital. Each newborn receives one, as well. “We do not take any money (for this),” Sherman said. Bake sales and more Apart from the gift shop, the group conducts several bake sales during the year to raise...

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Mayo caught singing karaoke as part of ongoing community outreach effort

The Arkansas City Police Department has endeavored to strengthen its relationship with the citizens of Arkansas City as part of a larger public outreach effort. This effort can be seen not only in the department’s interaction with youth in our community, but also opportunities such as Coffee with a Cop, which now happens several times a year. Most recently, one ACPD officer was spotted singing karaoke at the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post. “We do bar checks at the bars, just to make an appearance and be seen,” explained Police Officer Matt Mayo. “Sometimes, it helps prevent problems before they start.” During one of those checks at VFW Post 1254, Mayo picked up the microphone. “I did it because I wanted to,” he said — although he did have a family member at the VFW egging him on. Mayo chose a Garth Brooks song and showcased his vocal skills to those in attendance. “You can never go wrong with Garth,” he said. Musical history of Mayo Mayo’s musical talents have been on display publicly before. “I’ve always been involved in music,” he said. He performed in both band and choir in school. In fact, Mayo had a vocal scholarship to Cowley College and was part of the Cowley College Singers. “(I) also did my own DJ stuff for a while and ran sound for the Whiskey River Band,...

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