Month: September 2017

Benton creates deeply moving historical fiction novel in Many Sparrows

When settler Clare Inglesby is widowed on a mountain crossing and her young son, Jacob, is captured by Shawnees, she’ll do everything in her power to get him back, including cross the Ohio River and march straight into the presence of her enemies deep in Indian country. A frontiersman and adopted Shawnee, Jeremiah Ring, promises to guide Clare through the wilderness and help her to recover Jacob. Once they reach the Shawnees and discover Jeremiah’s own Shawnee sister, Rain Crow, has taken custody of Jacob — and renamed him Many Sparrows — keeping his promise becomes far more complicated, and the consequences more wrenching, than Jeremiah could have foreseen. EPCA and Christy Award-winning author Lori Benton has created another deeply moving historical fiction novel with her recently released Many Sparrows. The characters who people Benton’s worlds are complex, flawed and engaging. In particular, Clare was a strong character who was wonderful to read about. The extremes to which she was willing to go for her family really make you admire her strength and love. Jeremiah’s character was dealing with so much, trying to straddle two worlds and be true to his faith. There were so many characters whose struggles really make you care about what was going to happen to them. Benton also does a marvelous job of detailing the historical world, painting it in vivid detail. What I...

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SCKMC, city officials have discussion; Public Building Commission meets

South Central Kansas Medical Center administrators fielded serious questions from Arkansas City Mayor Dan Jurkovich and City Manager Nick Hernandez during the Sept. 28 meeting of the SCKMC Board of Trustees. The questions came on the heels of SCKMC’s announced intention to scale back a project that had showed significant profit in its first six months. To date in 2017, this program — a lab outreach effort that crossed several state lines — has generated more than $1 million of revenue for the hospital. During the last City Commission meeting, held Sept. 19, SCKMC Chief Executive Officer Virgil Watson said the program was not really working for the hospital. “That’s probably not something we’re going to do going forward,” he said. Immediately after this meeting, the Arkansas City Public Building Commission — which includes the five city commissioners and holds the bonds used to construct the new hospital — met in a series of executive sessions at noon Sept. 28 at City Hall to discuss personnel productivity matters related to the medical center. Hospital officials in attendance for at least one of the sessions included Watson, SCKMC Chief Financial Officer Holly Harper and Carol Hearne, chair of the SCKMC Board of Trustees. No details are available about the discussions, which were closed to the public. Back and forth Many of the questions related to financial projections if the lab...

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Beautification board making final preparations for Oct. 14 Fall Cleanup Day

The Arkansas City Beautification and Tree Advisory Board is preparing for Fall Cleanup Week. This effort to tidy up streets, homes and businesses in Arkansas City is scheduled for two weeks before Arkalalah, running from Oct. 9 to Oct. 13. During that week, sanitation crews will pick up extra loads and even some unusual items. Leaves still need to be taken to the F Street burn pit, however. On Oct. 14, groups of people will volunteer their time to help people clean up their properties on Fall Cleanup Day. There are many different facets to the cleanup effort, including mowing, trash and debris pickup, and potentially even some painting. Several key areas have been targeted in central and southern Ark City, given their proximity to Arkalalah Festival activities. “The board really wants to get the town looking as nice as possible for our biggest festival of the year, especially with this year’s special dedication of the Wilson Park train engine,” said Public Information Officer Andrew Lawson. For more information or to volunteer for Fall Cleanup Day, call Lawson at (620) 441-4415 or email him at Planning meeting Board members spent most of their Sept. 28 regular meeting discussing plans and details for the citywide cleanup effort. Combination Inspector Brian Williams said several properties located adjacent to alleys downtown need to be attacked with weed whackers. Additionally, homes that...

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Chamber Advocates plan first-ever Family Fun Picnic at Quail Valley farm

WINFIELD — The Arkansas City Area Chamber of Commerce is partnering this fall to bring a Family Fun Picnic to all chamber members and their employees. All chamber members and their families are welcomed to attend the event, which will begin at noon Oct. 7 and last until 1:30 p.m. The event will be held at The Farm at Quail Valley, located at 9315 194th Drive, just south of Winfield on Greens Farm Road (85th Road). There will be a game of cornhole, as well as food and fellowship with other chamber members. The event’s sponsors include Creekstone Farms Premium Beef, Walmart and The Farm at Quail Valley. Registration is required by Monday. Call the chamber office at (620) 442-0230 to register for this event. All who register for this free event will be entered into a drawing for four tickets to the pumpkin patch at The Farm at Quail Valley, which is a $32 value. The pumpkin patch will be in full swing during the picnic, and will remain open every Saturday and Sunday in October. Each family is asked to bring a side dish. Those with last names that start with A-G should bring a salad or vegetable dish, while those with H-M last names are asked to bring chips or a potato dish. N-Z last names should supply dessert or fruit. Hamburgers, drinks and paper products...

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Good Grief of Kansas bringing suicide bereavement services to Ark City

Starting Oct. 2, Good Grief of Kansas will have a brand-new chapter in Arkansas City. Kathy Harbert will facilitate the group, which is intended to help those grieving the loss of loved ones due to suicide. “We recognize that while the death of a loved one always causes pain and loss, there is additional heartache when a loved one has taken (his or her) own life,” the Good Grief of Kansas website states. This group is based in Wichita, but has decided to offer its services in Cowley County as well, due to demand. Overcoming the stigma The very first meeting in Arkansas City is set for Oct. 2. Anyone who has suffered a loss to suicide is welcome to attend. The group is meant to accommodate any person older than 16. Harbert attended six months of training after experiencing the loss of her brother-in-law to suicide. “I’ve been through the emotions they’re going through,” she said of the people Good Grief of Kansas seeks to help. “(Loss to suicide) is not a normal, everyday grief. There is a stigma attached to suicide that makes long-term grief more difficult.” This group is not faith-based, but the event is free to those who attend. The first class will be held at 7 p.m. in the MidAmerican Credit Union community room, located at 1610 N. Summit St. The group will meet on...

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