Thursday, December 7, 2017

Baker University to Add Two New Varsity Sports

Press Release: Tyler Price, Assistant Director of Athletics | Communications Baker University

BALDWIN CITY, Kansas – The Baker University athletics department is excited to announce the creation of two new varsity sports starting in the fall of 2018.

Baker will increase its varsity sports to 22 with the addition of women's wrestling and men's bowling programs.

The men's and women's wrestling programs will be led by current head wrestling coach Cody Garcia and his staff, while the men's and women's bowling programs will be continually led by head coach Cheryl Keslar.

"The opportunity for Coach Garcia to start our women's wrestling program is something we are excited about," said Baker Director of Athletics, Nate Houser. "We know he will take his success that he has already garnered for us on and off the mat and mold that same success into both of our programs."

Garcia is currently in his third year as the head men's wrestling coach at Baker and has produced two NAIA National Champions in his tenure with the 'Cats.

Baker previously sported a men's bowling program from 1963 until 1982. 2018 will mark the first time a collegiate bowler has competed for the BU men's bowling program in 36 years.

"It's very exciting to restart men's bowling," said Houser. "To have Coach Keslar move into a full-time position and become a bigger part of our athletic department will be a benefit to everyone. We look forward to growing her continued passion and success."

The sport of women's wrestling is an emerging sport within the NAIA. It currently isn't recognized as a varsity NAIA sport, as men's wrestling currently stands.

The Baker women's wrestling program will compete against fellow NAIA programs as well as NCAA institutions under the Women's Collegiate Wrestling Association (WCWA) umbrella.

"It is an honor to continue to lead the growth and impact of Baker Wrestling with the addition of the women's program," said Garcia. "As exciting as it is to see the surge of so many programs recently, I am even more encouraged and thankful to see it happening at a school that believes in the vision of the program, recognizes its value, and that understands the resources needed to develop champions. Our purpose, our brand, and the sport shouldn't be limited when the need is there for everyone to benefit from it." 

The wrestling team will compete inside the Collins Center on the Baldwin City campus and will practice in the wrestling room inside Mabee Hall.

"Women's wrestling at Baker University will serve as a tremendous opportunity for passionate student-athletes to chase their bold aspirations in an environment that cultivates and strengthens those expectations. This program will look to immediately align and match the prestige and standard of success associated with Baker University. We believe we can create an elite training center for high caliber wrestlers and prepare them for success on the mat as they first represent us in Baker orange in hopes of one-day donning the red, white, and blue. More importantly, though we can prepare them for their greater impact beyond the mats as they move on to the next phase in their lives."

The men's bowling team will compete alongside the women's program in its training facility at Royal Crest Lanes in Lawrence, Kansas.

Similar to women's bowling, men's bowling is an emerging NAIA sport and will compete in the same tournaments as the women's program. Keslar is in her seventh season leading the Wildcats.

"This is an exciting time for Baker Athletics!" said Keslar. "We have been waiting for this day and we couldn't be more thrilled to announce the creation of a men's bowling program!"

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

At the Rail - Good News or is it?

Martin Hawver

There are times that news is good…but so little good that it really isn’t worth even Tweeting your friends about.
And that’s what happened last week when the Kansas Department of Revenue announced that the state took in $458 million in tax revenue for the month of November—$8.3 million more than predicted. That’s about 1.85% more than revenue experts had envisioned; if you left a 1.85% tip at the coffee shop, you’d never get a refill, would you?
So, good news, but really not worth crowding out those cats wearing red holiday hats on your friends’ phones.
Yet, for state government, it’s a start, and that’s $8.3 million that the state didn’t expect to have.
The issue is that the November windfall and another $108 million in additional revenue predicted for this fiscal year by the state’s Consensus Revenue Estimating Group of budget and economic experts still likely aren’t enough to constitutionally finance the state’s aid to public K-12 schools.
Remember, the Kansas Supreme Court has ruled that the new school finance formula passed by lawmakers last spring didn’t meet constitutional requirements to make sure that there is “adequate” revenue to schools to provide each child across the state access to a good education.
The court didn’t say how much more money the state needs to spend on schools—just more.
Chances are slim that November’s $8.3 million atop the $108 million predicted boost in revenue to be received by June 30 when this fiscal year ends will be enough to satisfy the court.
So, good news, but not enough good fiscal news to allow the state to avoid another tax increase to adequately finance schools or to cut spending on something else and transfer the money to schools or to figure out some way to overturn or emasculate the Supreme Court’s decision that the school finance plan in place now is unconstitutional.
New taxes on things that are exempt from taxation now? That’s going to be a tough one for lawmakers—especially House members who stand for re-election next year. It means not only finding new things to tax—and fighting with lobbyists who represent those untaxed businesses—but doing it quickly so the money starts rolling in by early spring.
Raising existing taxes? Well, last year it was income taxes that were boosted, and the year before that it was raising sales taxes. That doesn’t sound like a starter, does it?
Of course, there are still seven months left in this fiscal year, and it might turn out that the state has underestimated just how much money the retroactive income tax increase will raise and whether those limited liability companies and self-employed workers will pony up more money than expected after a four-year break from paying state income taxes.
But month-by-month as the Legislature meets to craft a new school aid proposal and a budget for everything else the state does with your tax dollars, the time clock ticks on that Supreme Court decision.
Back when lawmakers thought they had the school finance issue settled for this year and next, they hoped the upcoming session would be short, low-cost and generally agreeable to Kansans who will vote for their reelection next November.
Doesn’t look like that anymore. Nope, it’s looking like the little revenue boost the state enjoyed last month isn’t near what is going to be required and lawmakers are going to have to raise more money from somewhere…which means you.
Unless…and you gotta hope…that state revenues are going to unexpectedly climb to dig out of the budget hole facing the state.
Syndicated by Hawver News Company LLC of Topeka; Martin Hawver is publisher of Hawver's Capitol Report—to learn more about this nonpartisan statewide political news service, visit the website at

Monday, December 4, 2017

Baldwin City Council Agenda - Decenber 5, 2017

Council Agenda for Baldwin City, KS

Location: Baldwin City Public Library
800 7th Street
Baldwin City, KS 66006
Date: TUESDAY December 5, 2017
Tme: 7:00 PM

A. Call to Order- Mayor Marilyn Pearse
B. Approval of the Agenda
C. Consent Agenda
1. Minutes of the November 21, 2017 Regular Meeting
2. Tobacco licenses a. Baldwin City Market
 b. Kwik Shop
 c. Payless Tobacco
D. Public Comment: Members of the public are welcome to comment on items relating to City business not listed on this Agenda.
Please stand and wait to be recognized by the Mayor. As a general practice, the comments may or may not be acted upon by the Council during the meeting, or Council may refer the items to staff for follow up. If you wish to comment on an item listed on the Agenda, a sign-up s h e e t is provided for you to sign in and provide your address. You will be called on when the Agenda item of interest is under discussion by the Council. 

E. Special Reports or Presentations 1. Building Permits - Ken Hayes
F. Old Business
1. Charter Ordinance 27, appointments
2. Ordinance 1380, code 1-301 amendment
3. Capital Improvement Plan
G. New Business 1. Eaton Corporation contract for SCADA
H. Committee and/or Commission Reports
1. Budget and Finance/Kathy Gerstner, David Simmons
2. Community Development Committee/A.J. Stevens, Tony Brown
3. Public Health and Safety Committee/David Simmons, Kathy Gerstner
4. Public Works Committee/Christi Darnell, A.J. Stevens
5. Utilities Committee/Tony Brown, Christi Darnell
I. City Administrator and Staff comments
1. KMEA asset report- Chris Croucher
2. Financial Reports - Brad Smith
 a. Vendor report
 b. Summary report J. Council & Mayor Comments
K. Executive Session L. Adjourn

Area Communities Welcome Christmastime

Kevin Surbaugh

Lauren McCart visits with Santa during the annual
Pancakes with Breakfast
Bringing in the Christmas season is an event in every community around the country.  Baldwin City is no different. This year the Baldwin City happenings once again began with the Annual Pancakes with Santa Breakfast at the Intermediate Center.  There was a good turnout of families enjoyed the pancakes and sausages, once again provided by Chris Cakes. Each was given a number when they paid for their tickets at the entrance.  The numbers allowed them to visit Santa and get their picture taken with him, on a first come first serve basis.
While Lawerence, has their horse-drawn Christmas parade at 11 A.M., Baldwin City has a day full of activities for people of all ages.  Such events included the Santa Claus Express with runs at 9:30 A.M. and 1 P.M., an open house and bazaar at Vintage Park until 1 P.M and that is just a beginning. Other activities throughout the day included a holiday homes tour, a couple of gingerbread house making events, a day-long art show referred to as a "Holiday Art Affair," and the annual Holiday Soup Supper held at the First United Methodist Church.

Rowdie Bond; age 1, Ryder Bond; age 8,
Destiny Johnson; age 12 along with Tammy Johnson
enjoy their pancakes at their pancakes with Santa.
In the evening Baldwin City had Victorian Singers, who sang victorian age songs. Those in attendance enjoyed cookies and hot cider while listening to the singers and looking at the artwork on sale at the Lumberyard Arts Center. This year, the cider and cookie tables were moved outside, making them more accessible to everyone attending the parade, tree lighting and fireworks.
Others who were in a shopping mood could also their way across the street to the Baldwin Academy of Dance and Voice for holiday shopping.

The day-long events in Baldwin City began to wind up with the annual Festival of Lights Parade at 6 P.M., the annual tree lighting, and fireworks at 6:30 with more pictures with Santa at 6:45 P.M.

Kade Patton; age 3 and Kash Patton; age 1
along with their mom took the opportunity to make
crafts, during Pancakes with Santa
Cindy Gillman, the winner of the Baldwin City Recreation Commission Raffle took home a 50" television.

 In Eudora, they lit the Mayors Christmas Tree at 7 P.M. with several hundred residents coming downtown to welcome the holiday season.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Area Happenings - Week of December 3, 2017

Here are the upcoming events that the Gazette has been made aware of as of  December 2, 2017.  To submit an item to the community events calendar, please email it to

 December 3, 2017

Christmas Candlelight Vespers
2 and 5 P.M.
Rice Auditorium

December 5, 2017

Baldwin City Council Meeting
Location: Baldwin City Library
800 7th Street
Baldwin City, KS
7 P.M.

December 9, 2017

Clearfield German Christmas Celebration
Dinner:  4-6 P.M. 
Free Will Offering
Craft and Bake Sale Throughout the Evening
4:45 P.M.  Tree Lighting     
5 P.M. Carol Singing in the Sanctuary 
 5:30 P.M.  Tree Lighting Offering for Youthville/Ember Hope
5:45 P.M.  Thompson Sister Violin Duet 
6:30 P.M.  Tree Lighting Offering for Youthville/Ember Hope   
6:45 P.M.   Hands of Glory 
Clearfield UMC Meets 
Each Sunday @ 9 A.M.  
You are Welcome to Join Us 
597 E 2200 Rd
Eudora, KS

 December 10, 2017

Army Reserve Band
3 P.M.
Rice Auditorium

December 19, 2017

Baldwin City Council Meeting
Location: Baldwin City Library
800 7th Street
Baldwin City, KS
7 P.M.

December 29, 2017

          TO BE HELD  AT 6:00  to?

1724 N 692 RD

January 2, 2018

Baldwin City Council Meeting
Location: Baldwin City Library
800 7th Street
Baldwin City, KS
7 P.M.

January 16, 2018

Baldwin City Council Meeting
Location: Baldwin City Library
800 7th Street
Baldwin City, KS
7 P.M.

Third Friday Art Walk and Farmers Market

Downtown Baldwin City

Every 4th Thursday of the Month
10 A.M. - 11 A.M.
Mobile Food Bank
Baldwin City New Life Assembly of God
118 5th St  Baldwin City, KS
Stay in car, line up and drive through

Every Tuesday through October  
Eudora Local Gardening Farmer’s Market
4:30 pm – 6:30 pm Tuesdays
through October 2016
1402 Church Street
Eudora, KS.
In the parking lot of Gene’s Hartland Foods.
Local, fresh produce and foods offered by local growers and producers!

Every Wednesday through October
De Soto Farmer’s Market (Fresh Promise’s Market)
4:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Wednesdays through October 2016
at The Barn at Kill Creek Farm
9200 Kill Creek Road
De Soto, KS
Local, fresh produce and foods offered by local growers and producers!

Every Thursday through October 
Cottin's Hardware Farmer's Market on Thursdays from
4:00 pm - 6:30 pm
through September
at Cottin's Hardware & Rental back parking lot
1832 Massachusetts Street
Lawrence, KS
Local vendors offer a variety of goods including produce, baked items, hot foods, meats, eggs, soaps, jams, jellies, herbs, fudge and much more!;

Every Friday through October
Perry Lecompton Farmers' Market
Fridays from 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm
at Bernie's parking lot
24 Hwy and Ferguson Road
Perry, KS
Visit the market to find fresh vegetables, fruits, homemade jams and jellies, baked goods, honey, fresh cut flowers, farm fresh eggs, handmade crafts and more!

2017 Festival of Lights in Pictures

Kevin Surbaugh 

Lauren McCart visits with Santa during the annual
Pancakes with Breakfast

Kade Patton; age 3 and Kash Patton; age 1
along with their mom took the opportunity to make
crafts, during Pancakes with Santa

Rowdie Bond; age 1, Ryder Bond; age 8,
Destiny Johnson; age 12 along with Tammy Johnson
enjoy their pancakes at their pancakes with Santa.
Gingerbread houses

Gingerbread houses

Gingerbread House designed after the Manhatten train station.
150 hours to create.

This unique gingerbread house was made to look like a guitar.

Victorian Singers singing around the piano.
One of several floats in the parade.

Santa closes out the parade with his grand entrance to
Baldwin City.
Recently lit Christmas tree with fireworks display against
the full moon.

Baker University mascot participates in the Christmas parade.

Recently lit Christmas tree with fireworks display against
the full moon.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Number 10 Baker Opens Heart Play with 68-61 Win over Avila

Press Release:Tyler Price, Assistant Director of Athletics | Communications, Baker University

BALDWIN CITY, Kansas – The number 10 ranked Baker University women’s basketball team opened up Heart of America Athletic Conference play with a 68-61 win over Avila University on Wednesday night inside the Collins Center.

The Wildcats move to 7-2 overall and 1-0 in the Heart, while Avila falls to 1-4 and 0-1.

Courtney Hoag had a big night in the paint for the ‘Cats with eight points and eight blocks, along with eight rebounds.

Jodi Adkins led Baker in scoring with 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field and Caitlin Modesett had a team-high four assists.

Also in double figures was Jessica Zweifel with her 15 points and she was a perfect 8-of-8 from the free-throw line and she hit a late three-point field goal with a minute to go in the game to ice the contest for BU.

Avila led 11-10 at the end of the first quarter, then Baker responded with a 26-12 second quarter.

After the break, Avila put together another strong effort in the third, outscoring BU, 21-15, before a 17-17 fourth quarter.

Defensively, Baker caused 13 turnovers and held the Eagles to just 36.5-percent shooting and 4-of-19 from three-point range, good for just 21.1-percent.

The Wildcats went 14-of-17 from the free-throw line and outrebounded Avila, 31-30. Eight of those were offensive rebounds for Baker, with four coming from Hoag.

The ‘Cats will next hit the road on Saturday to face Culver-Stockton at 2 p.m. in Canton, Missouri.

NAIA Women's Basketball Box Score
Avila (Mo.)1112211761
Baker (Kan.)1026151768

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Opinion: At the Rail - Kobach's Corruption Charges Challenged

  by Martin Hawver

Okay, would everyone who by now is getting tired of turkey sandwiches raise their hand?  And, while we’re at it, would everyone who is tired of those aimless charges of “government corruption” raise their hand?
Well, that second question has apparently got but one elected official in the state with a hand in the air.
Martin Hawver
And those elected officials, or at least those who manage the affairs of the Kansas Legislature, are tired of being referred to as corrupt in political speeches—primarily those made by Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who, after two terms in that office, is seeking the Republican nomination for governor next year.
Kobach uses the corruption phrase in most of his speeches and in campaign material, and lawmakers have had enough of it. The implication is that nearly everyone who isn’t Kobach is corrupt.
So…the Legislative Coordinating Council made up of the top leaders of the Kansas Senate and the Kansas House of Representative decided last June to write a stern letter to Kobach to tell him to either identify corrupt government leaders or quit using that phrase.
It’s literally a “put up or shut up” order to Kobach, and a stern letter to that point was delivered to Kobach’s office last week.
The idea: Legislative leaders don’t like corruption, either, and if Kobach is going to continue to toss around that politically charged term, they want him to identify the wrongdoings by the governor and his cabinet, the Legislature and lobbyists who Kobach considers corrupt.
They want the names, and the actions that Kobach believes are corrupt, or at least shaky enough that he can make specific assertions of corruption, not just toss around that word and encourage voters to believe that the government they elected and the people who run it are corrupt.
To get specific, if Kobach has a real assertion of corruption in the governor’s office, the legislative leaders want him to present those assertions to the attorney general; corruption in the Legislature to legislative leaders, and corruption in lobbying to the Governmental Ethics Commission.
Yes, it is a “put up or shut up” order, one that might make the upcoming election cycle a little politer, or, if Kobach does come up with specific allegations of corruption, then a little more exciting.
The problem for lawmakers and Kobach is that “corrupt” is a pretty broad term. Vote for a tax increase? That’s probably corrupt to everyone who has to pay more, or more than the rest of the people who pay more. Vote for a highway exit ramp in your House or Senate district? Probably corrupt if the adjoining House or Senate district residents want a convenient exit ramp and didn’t get it. Hire a relative or campaign contributor as an assistant or deputy secretary of something or other and that could be labeled corruption.
Yes, you can spread corruption to about any action that you don’t personally like, not just actions that are a violation of state law or some obscure rule or regulation that the state enforces.
Now, just how Kobach is going to respond to that personalized “quit saying corrupt unless you can prove it” missive is unknown. And does that apply to everyone running for public office and should candidates be watching their language, too?
Or, of course, Kobach could just quit saying “corrupt” and maybe just call the leaders and employees of state government something else. Short? Left-handed? Orange?  We’ll see, won’t we?

Syndicated by Hawver News Company LLC of Topeka; Martin Hawver is publisher of Hawver's Capitol Report—to learn more about this nonpartisan statewide political news service, visit the website at

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Kansas National Guard Unit Assists Puerto Rico Recovery

Press Release

Soldiers of the Kansas National Guard’s 242nd Engineer Company have kept busy over the past several weeks assisting authorities in Puerto Rico with recovery operations from Hurricane Maria.
The unit’s first mission tasked 16 soldiers skilled in heavy hauling to support operations in Aguadilla on the western coast. Heavy rains during the hurricane caused water to overflow Guajataca Lake Dam and washed out the bottom of the earthen structure. Their mission, coordinated by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, moved rock from a nearby quarry to repair the dam and return its reservoir to service.
The remaining personnel began clearing the roadways in the mountainous region near Utuado and Aricebo. Rainfall and high winds caused mudslides, downed trees, and power lines, and undermined roads. The 242nd engineers used heavy equipment to push debris off roadways, remove dangerous overhangs, and clear passage for locals and agencies providing service to remote areas.
Engineers have been working on debris removal and improvement along Route 111, a major highway in the western half of the island, and along Route 123, which leads into Ponce on the island’s south-central coast. The operation along Route 111 is expected to be completed within the next 48 hours and reconnaissance is being conducted of Route 157 in the central and eastern part of the island to make improvements to this route. Recon missions are also being conducted on Routes 608 and 615.
The soldiers are also supporting local schools with cleanup and debris removal from playgrounds, as time permits.
“To see a child playing there again, that would make my day,” said Capt. Kevin Hubbard, company commander.
Approximately 60 soldiers of the 242nd Engineer Company, augmented by soldiers from other engineer units, departed Nov. 7 to relieve a National Guard unit from another state. They are expected to be in Puerto Rico for 30 days.
The mission was arranged by the Kansas Division of Emergency Management through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, a multistate, mutual aid agreement that facilitates interstate assistance in response and recovery operations during a disaster.

Meet Martin Hawver

Press Release

Tomorrow morning at 6:15 A.M. the first syndicated column will publish in the Baldwin City Gazette. Below is a prepared biographical profile of Martin Hawver:
There is a different culture in the Kansas Statehouse—the interactions among lawmakers, statewide leaders, political activists, and of course, the lobbyists and the clients they represent—that explains much of what happens and doesn’t happen in Kansas government.
Much of that culture forms at the Rail, the third-floor railing around the rotunda, halfway between the House and Senate chambers, where strategies are thought up, where lawmakers meet to chat and where you can get a feel for what’s happening.
Martin Hawver watches that Rail—knows the people who hang out there and the politics that develop. From committee hearings to Republican and Democratic national conventions to the state conventions, wherever there is news that will subtly change the face of Kansas, Hawver’s been at it since ponytail days to balding—since 1977, first for the Topeka Capital-Journal until 1993 and then for Hawver’s Capitol Report, a nonpartisan subscription news service, making him the dean of the Kansas Statehouse press corps. Hawver News Co LLC syndicates the At The Rail weekly column to Kansas newspapers, providing Martin Hawver’s take on what’s happening and what it means…in a building where no slight has ever been forgotten.
I have known Martin for nearly thirty years and I am glad to have his Kansas political column in the pages of the Gazette.  It is my hope that you will enjoy reading his weekly columns to.