Author: Jeni McGee

Cowley College president criticizes media during retreat for trustees

Cowley College officials indicated media coverage is one of the biggest challenges they face during the annual Cowley College Board of Trustees retreat Feb. 10 at the college. Cowley College President Dennis Rittle discussed the college’s image issues and his thoughts that the media are primarily responsible for them. He indicated that he believes area media entities are not reporting news so much as “proof-texting.” “Proof-texting means that I have an endgame, and that I go and look for information that’s going to support that, but I ignore everything else, instead of saying things in context,” Rittle said. He...

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Despite deviations, Hannibal television show promising, yet cut short

The very mention of the name “Hannibal” can incite fear or repulsion. For more than 30 years, Thomas Harris’ creation, Hannibal Lecter, has inspired strong emotions. Hannibal “The Cannibal” is much more than what is “seen” on the surface. His cannibalistic tendencies and murderous intentions left no one safe in Harris’ books — apart from two individuals for whom Lecter seemed to have affection, Will Graham and Clarice Starling. Even so, the Hannibal literature and movies are among my favorites. So imagine my excitement when I heard about the creation of a new “Hannibal” television show. Unfortunately, I waited too...

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Baby-chaperoned blind date success leads to bliss for Mark, April McCaslin

Blind dates don’t always have happy endings, but for one local couple, a blind date has led to a life of happiness. Mark and April McCaslin’s relationship began when they were set up on a blind date by mutual friends. “At that time, I was a freshman at Cowley College, just beginning my long college endeavors, and Mark was a very busy night lieutenant at the Ark City Police Department and a dad to three amazing kids,” said April McCaslin. Their friends, in an effort to make the blind date less awkward, helped the pair to exchange phone numbers...

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SCSEP program provides seniors with skills training to re-enter workforce

Seniors older than 55 in Cowley County who are trying to get back into the workplace might be eligible to participate in a government program through local nonprofits. A Kansas Workforce Center program, Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), provides opportunities to seniors to expand their work skills while searching for permanent jobs. “The program is a federally funded grant program that is given to the Kansas State Department of Labor,” said SCSEP Supervisor Gary Brown. Eligibility guidelines This program can provide any senior who qualifies with a temporary position in which they can learn new job skills. Participants can work up to 25 hours a week within the program. They must be at least 55, be unemployed and fall within 125 percent of the poverty line or below. “We always tell people: Don’t try to calculate it on your own,” Brown said. “There may be some income coming into the home that we only count a portion of.” The Department of Labor has formulas that help seniors to calculate whether their income level is within the range of eligibility. The benefits a senior currently has can affect whether he or she is able to participate in the program. “They’re the ones that have to monitor that,” Brown said. Married persons can both be eligible, so long as they fall within the guidelines. SCSEP training SCSEP training takes place...

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Chase and Krysta Hobart forged strong relationship in unlikely venue

Love can crop up in unusual places. This is especially true for one of Arkansas City’s finest. Arkansas City Master Police Officer Chase Hobart and his wife, Krysta, met in jail. “It’s not what you’re thinking!” said Chase Hobart. “Neither of us are criminals.” Hobart started his career at the Cowley County Jail. While he was employed at the jail, Krysta started working there, as well. “At the time we met, we both were going through the ends of previously bad marriages,” he said. “We began talking. Our friendship blossomed into a relationship after a while.” Hobart knew she...

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