Author: Press Release

V.J. Wilkins Foundation announces $500K Challenge Grant for Wilson Park

The V.J. Wilkins Memorial Foundation has generously announced a $500,000 Challenge Grant toward the advancement of the Wilson Park Master Plan. The grant is contingent on matching funds, but could result in up to $1 million being invested to kick off the plan if the full $500,000 can be matched. The City of Arkansas City’s goal is to raise $1 million. “We are extremely grateful to the V.J. Wilkins Foundation and Board of Trustees for their support of this important community project since the very beginning,” said City Manager Nick Hernandez. “This grant is both a gift and a challenge, but it is a challenge I am confident Arkansas City will rise to meet.” To generate inertia for the project and demonstrate that funds will be used as their donors intended, the City of Arkansas City has initiated the Friends of Wilson Park, a contribution fund residing with Legacy Regional Community Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Winfield. Legacy accepts cash, checks and credit or debit cards. Payments may be made online at or mailed to Legacy Foundation, P.O. Box 701, Arkansas City, KS 67005. Checks should be made payable to Legacy Foundation with “Friends of Wilson Park” indicated on the check’s memo line. Donations may be made to individual components of the Master Plan, if so desired. This also should be noted in the check’s memo...

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Keykhah cited for unlawful discharge of firearm in Town House Motel

The Arkansas City Police Department cited an Arkansas City man May 10 after he accidentally discharged a firearm inside a downtown Ark City motel. Reza Sassan Keykhah, 34, was cited for unlawful discharge of a firearm, which incurred a $100 fine. Police were dispatched at 12:14 a.m. May 10 for a report of a gunshot in one of the rooms at the Town House Motel, located at 426 S. Summit St. Officers located the occupants of the room where the gunshot originated. A short time later, they found the handgun after talking with the occupants. The discharged round had traveled through a wall into an adjacent room, which was occupied by another motel tenant. That person was not harmed by the bullet. No other injuries were reported, either. During the investigation, officers learned that Keykhah was displaying the weapon when it discharged unexpectedly. The weapon discharge was reported by all of the witnesses to be accidental. There was no disturbance or altercation, police learned while interviewing all involved in the incident. A defendant’s guilt or innocence is to be determined by a court of law. This information was provided by City of Arkansas City Public Information Officer and Special Projects Coordinator Andrew Lawson. 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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Arkansas City Soroptimists receive Lucy Keller Dreams in Action Award

Soroptimist International of Arkansas City was awarded the Lucy Keller Dreams in Action Award at the South Central Region Conference in April at Rockwell, Texas. The Dreams in Action Award recognizes an outstanding service project in each district of the region. This award was named in honor of Helen “Lucy” Keller, who served as region treasurer for three bienniums and was instrumental in investing region funds to make this award possible. The Soroptimists of Arkansas City received this award for their work on the Ark City Girl project in 2016. Ark City Girl is a one-day free event for second- to fifth-grade girls. The overall purpose of the event is to provide a free event to young girls in order to encourage their self-esteem and confidence, with last year’s focus on understanding the importance of making smart decisions. This event is a fun opportunity in a relaxed setting for young girls to visit with successful women while learning the importance of making wise choices. It was held April 2 at the Arkansas City Recreation Center, with 45 girls in attendance. The day was divided into 20-minute segments from 9 a.m. to noon. They included active sections, such as Zumba and yoga, alternating with guest speakers, snacks and craft activities. It was the chapter’s second year to hold this event and there are plans to continue it annually. The Soroptimists...

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Health recognition weeks overlap at South Central Kansas Medical Center

May is home to two of the nation’s largest health care recognition weeks, National Nurses Week and National Hospital Week. South Central Kansas Medical Center recently held events for both of these special occasions. National Nurses Week has been celebrated since 1954, although it was not recognized officially until President Richard Nixon issued a proclamation in 1974. Nurses Week begins each year on May 6 and ends on May 12, Florence Nightingale’s birthday. SCKMC celebrated the week with games, prizes, meals and activities for all nursing staff. This year’s National Hospital Week celebration was held from May 7 to May 13. National Hospital Week is considered to be the nation’s largest health care event, celebrating the efforts of the hospital team and the care they provide. SCKMC scheduled a full slate of activities for its staff in order to celebrate. Events included virtual bingo, a build-your-own-sundae bar, donuts delivered to the various departments by administration personnel, a picnic lunch and the annual “years of service” luncheon. SCKMC’s service luncheon is an invitation-only event held for individuals within the organization who are celebrating a milestone anniversary in 2017. The event is attended by honorees from all departments, as well as team leaders and hospital administrators. This year’s event was held May 10. SCKMC’s chief executive officer, Virgil Watson, addressed those in attendance. “We can’t say ‘thank you’ enough to all...

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Cowley College student works showcased at Life: Through Word and Lens

Individuals had an opportunity to view the outstanding work provided by Cowley College photography and writing students during the Life: Through Word and Lens event May 10 in the Earle N. Wright Community Room at the college’s Brown Center. The event featured 50 pieces of artwork from digital photography students, as well as portfolios from creative writing, poetry and fiction writing students. The photography students showcased were Kaden Alford, Sara Andres, Anna Solis, Katrina Stigers and Ashley Sutch. Meg Smith, digital photography instructor, said the students overcame many obstacles throughout the semester and earned their time on the wall. Smith also expressed her appreciation for the digital photography alumnae who, once again, provided finger foods and support for the class. “Special thanks to Bart and Heather Allen, Matt and Lindsey Allen, Brian and Liz Shepard, Jose and Marlys Cervantes, Sarah Bryant, and humanities administrative assistant Robin Graves,” she said. Each semester, the photography students select a theme. This year’s theme was “Elegance.” Freshmen students presenting portfolios were Brandy Batemon, Kelsey Boles, Grayson Gorday, Aryana Hess, John (J.C.) Pappan, Ashley Wells and Jocelyn Young. Graduating creative writing students presenting portfolios were Daltin Brock, Kaitlyn Cathey, Austin Crowe, Drew Keller, Allie Lawrence and Katie Rethmeier. “Writing students are some of the bravest individuals I know,” said Marlys Cervantes, humanities department chair and creative writing instructor. “The creativity put into their works is...

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