Jobs is hiring temporary associates to work alongside some of the brightest in the industry! This is a temporary opportunity with the option to become a permanent JetHead! Come work hard and play hard with our purple team today!!! APPLY NOW!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

KCC Approves Westar/Kansas City Power and Light merger

Kevin Surbaugh

Kansas City, MO, and Topeka, KS -The Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) announced Thursday (May 24, 2018) that it had approved a settlement agreement giving Westar Energy and Great Plains Energy (the parent company of Kansas City Power and Light) approval to merge as equals. Under the agreement, the two companies will become wholly owned subsidiaries of a new parent company and serve more than 1.5 million customers in Kansas and Missouri.
Responding to questions from the Gazette, Gina Penzig, Westar spokesperson said the new name of the holding company will be, Evergy, Inc. (NYSE: EVRG) once the merger is complete in early June.  The two divisions will retain their individual names until sometime next year (2019) at which time they will be renamed under the Evergy name. Contact information, billing and account information, program enrollment and outage reporting will remain the same for customers of KCP&L and Westar.
Its principal business will be conducted by the operating companies known today as Westar and KCP&L.
“As neighbors, KCP&L and Westar have served customers in Kansas and Missouri for more than 100 years. This merger allows us to be even more efficient as we continue providing excellent customer service while maintaining competitive prices,” said Terry Bassham, chairman and chief executive officer of Great Plains Energy, who will be president and CEO of Evergy. “We appreciate that regulators and shareholders recognize the value in combining the companies.”
The utilities have guaranteed more than $100 million in customer bill credits with $29 million upfront for Missouri customers and $75 million for Kansas customers over the first five years after the merger closes. In addition, once currently pending rate reviews are resolved, the companies have agreed to fix their base rates for up to five years in Kansas as a result of the merger.
“Customers will benefit from bringing together two innovative teams of employees who are active in the communities we serve and take pride in providing excellent customer service. The increased scale and efficiency will deliver savings not possible without the merger,” Bassham said.

 In a statement from the two companies, they chose Evergy as the name to represent their combined identity. Evergy is a blend of “ever” and “energy,” capturing the history of its predecessors as reliable, enduring sources of energy for the communities they serve and its vision to continue far into the future.

Opinion: Value-added producers benefit from grants, according to report

by Cora Fox, Center for Rural Affairs

Businesses that receive Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG) are less likely to fail and are more likely to hire employees, according to a May 2018 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) report.
Cora Fox
The VAPG program, administered by the USDA, supports farmers and ranchers who want to access value-added markets by offering funds for business and marketing plan development; feasibility studies; and working capital for processing costs, advertising, and some inventory and salary expenses. Value-added goods can be fruit made into jam or milk made into cheese, which both fetch a higher price than the base ingredients.
Taking a look at 1,020 businesses, the USDA study found those supplemented with VAPG dollars were 89 percent less likely to fail within two years of receiving the grant, compared to nonrecipient businesses of the same age and characteristics.
Additionally, the research found VAPG-funded businesses are more likely to hire employees. Between one and five years post-award, grant recipients employed five to six additional employees, on average. Prior to receiving funds, no significant difference in employment levels was found.
Lastly, the study found the success of a business correlated to the amount of funding received. After two years, businesses awarded with more dollars were less likely to fail. The increase also corresponded with job creation, as those with higher funding allotments were more likely to employ more workers.
The results show VAPG is important. Businesses that receive funding invest in their communities, support rural economies, and create jobs.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Governor Jeff Colyer Signs Adoption Bill SB284 into Law

Press Release (from multiple press releases)

Valley Center - Governor Jeff Colyer on Thursday (May 18, 2018) signed SB 284, the Adoption Protection Act in to law at a ceremony held at Youth Horizons Kinloch Price Boys Ranch in Valley Center, KS.
Kansas State Capitiol
Photographer Kevin Surbaugh
The new law protects child placement agencies by stating that no child placement agency shall be required to perform, assist, counsel, recommend, consent to, refer, or otherwise participate in any placement of a child for foster care or adoption when the proposed placement of such child violates such CPA’s sincerely held religious beliefs. As has been done in other states, this law allows faith-based adoption agencies to continue working in Kansas without threat of being shut down for adhering to their religious convictions.
 “By keeping faith-based adoption agencies in our state, we give more children the opportunity to be adopted,” said Governor Jeff Colyer. “We are grateful for the work done by these and other placement agencies who are working hard to bring families together.”
Representative Susan Humphries of the 99th District said,
 “Faith-filled Kansans have a long history of leadership and service in caring for the most vulnerable among us. This bill simply protects their place at the table while leaving many options open for the diverse population in Kansas. All Kansans will find a child placing agency suited to their needs.”
“The adoption option in a crisis pregnancy is a pro-Life, Kansas value. The Adoption Protection Act guarantees faith-based agencies the ability to serve their clients without the looming threat of litigation or closure. The most important beneficiaries of this new state law are pregnant mothers seeking help and the children they courageously bring into the world,” 
said Representative Chuck Weber of the 85th District, 
 “My sincere thanks to all involved—including members of the Kansas Truth Caucus--who helped support this important legislation.”   
Eric Teetsel, President of the Family Policy Alliance, showed appreciation for support of this bill becoming law,
 “The provisions of the Adoption Protection Act signed into law today provide critical protections for faith-based adoption and foster care service providers in Kansas. Thank you, Governor Colyer, for securing the ability of these agencies to partner with the state to help kids in need find their forever family.”
Michael Schuttloffel, Executive Director of the Kansas Catholic Conference, had this to say about the new law,
 “On behalf of the Kansas Catholic Conference I would like to thank the governor for signing this important legislation and for his administration’s great support throughout the process.  The Adoption Protection Act ensures that faith-based adoption providers will be able to continue serving children, birthmothers, and adoptive parents as they have for so long.”
In a statement following the signing, Gubnertorial candidateJim Barnett decried his opponents’ support of a bill that ensures religious adoption agencies can refuse placements to Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) couples.
“These gubernatorial candidates have shown they are continuing the Brownback
administration’s stance against anyone who is not lockstep with the ultraconservative right wing,” Barnett said.
 “Really, this seems to be Tweedledum and Tweedledee between these two as they apparently see who they can disenfranchise the most to gain favor with the far right," Barnett continued.
Additional changes were also made to the existing law to update the language regarding adoption so that it more closely mirrors current federal law. 

Caryn Tyson Urges Voters to Look at Results, Demand Clear Positions on Tax Reform

Press Release

Parker, KS - Caryn Tyson, a Kansas State Senator running for the Kansas 2nd Congressional District, released the following statement today regarding tax reform.

“Many Washington Democrats are arguing that the greatest problems facing America are under-taxation and under-spending. In other words, if Congress could only spend more money and take more of your hard earned money they’d be able to take care of your needs. Nothing could be further from the truth. We need less spending and lower taxes in order to keep our recovery going, and to keep you free,” Tyson said.

“I’m disappointed my likely opponent has not only failed to distance himself from this rhetoric but has aligned himself with Washington Democrats. I’ve made my position on tax reform and tax cuts very clear. In fact, just last weeks I led the fight to return windfall tax revenues from federal tax reform back to the people of Kansas. Not taking this step is a tax increase on individuals and businesses across the second district.

File Photo: Senator Caryn Tyson
“Tax reform shows how critical this election is for Kansas and our nation. The economy is finally turning around but Washington Democrats and my likely opponent refuse to embrace tax cuts for Kansans. It’s time to move forward, not backward, and create a future that works for Kansas,” Tyson said.

Caryn Tyson has degrees in mathematics and computer science from Kansas State and a master’s degree in engineering management from KU. After graduating she began working in the Information Technology industry and continued working in this field for more than 25 years. Caryn’s work included space shuttle support for NASA where she received awards for achievement and teamwork.

Caryn also served in the Kansas House and Senate and is presently the Chair of the Tax Committee, one of the most important committees in the Kansas Senate. As one of the leading freedom fighters in the Senate, Tyson earned a 100 percent rating from the American Conservative Union in 2016. 

Caryn and her husband, Tim – both fifth-generation Kansans – own and operate Tyson Ranch in Linn County, established in 1871 by Tim’s great-great-grandfather.

Area Happenings - Week of May 20, 2018

Here are the upcoming events that the Gazette has been made aware of as of  May 19, 2018.  To submit an item to the community events calendar, please email it to

May 20, 2018

Baker University Graduations

Undergraduate Degrees
College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Nursing
Location: George F. Collins, Jr. Sports & Convention Center
524 Sixth St.
Baldwin City, KS
Time: 1 p.m.

May 26, 2018

Time:  10 a.m.-2 p.m.

The Baldwin City Gravel Grind aka the "Cappuccino Ride"...
Gerard brings us another gravel classic out of Baldwin City, KS.

More info and course map soon.

Baldwin City

June 28, 2018

Time: 10 a.m.

American Legion Post 228 will hold a Memorial Day Service at Oakwood Cemetery on Monday, May 28th at 10:00 am if inclement weather the services will be moved to the legion post at 803 High St.

Location: Oakwood Cemetery

June 1, 2018

Eggs and Issues
A civic engagement program brought to you by the Baldwin City Chamber, Kansas State Bank, and the City of Baldwin City.

A conversation with Vernon Brown of the Anderson County Review

Topic: Come chat about current communications in Baldwin City and the possibility of having a print newspaper. Your input is needed.

Kansas State Bank
Baldwin City

Baldwin City, KS
7:30 A.M.

June 2, 2018

Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting of Dunn's Vista

Location: Dunn's Vista
424 Washington Street
Baldwin City, KS

Time: 12-3 P.M.

Join us on June 2nd from 12:00-3:00pm as we celebrate the Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting of our new home in Baldwin City, Dunn's Vista. We are excited to share this amazing home with our community!  

We will have hamburgers and hotdogs from 12-1pm, our ribbon cutting and special remarks at 1:30, and tours, petting zoo, enjoying the amazing views, activities for the kids and more throughout the event. This event is free and open to the public!  

PARKING: Please park in the Baldwin City High School parking lot and either take the shuttle or walk up the driveway. 

Morningstar Care Homes provides real care in real homes for residents with Alzheimer's, dementia and Parkinson's. Our staff becomes family with personalized care plans and the latest in memory care services located in real neighborhood homes. Dunn's Vista is our newest home developed for those with early stage memory loss providing a total life care experience. With sweeping views of Vinland Valley, walking paths, a fishing pond and barn filled with animals, Dunn's Vista is truly a one-of-a-kind home.

June 5, 2018

Join us as we celebrate
the Retirement of Steve Friend
from the Baldwin City Recreation Commission

Time: 5-8 p.m.
Remarks at 5:30 p.m.

Dance Cafe
711 High St.
Baldwin City, KS

and meet the new director, Matt McClure.

June 5, 2018

Baldwin City Council Meeting

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

June 6, 2018

Baldwin City Caregiver Support Group

Baldwin Junior HighFirst United Methodist Church
704 Eighth St
Baldwin City, KS

Time: 1 p.m.-2 p.m.

Guest Speaker:  Bath innovation walk-in bathtubs and remodeling

June 15, 2018

5-9 P.M.
Wine Fest

718 High St
Baldwin City, KS

Don't miss out! This summer, Winefest returns to Baldwin City with...
Wine. Food. Music.
...and the Lumberyard Art Center's 3rd Friday Artwork and shopping.

Tickets: $20 in advance, or $25 at the door. Online purchases will be $21.83 with fees.  Online or in the Chamber office at 718 High Street. Ticket price includes entry to the event, plus 2 samples from each winery present.

Save the date now, and more information on vendors and tickets will be available soon!

June 19, 2018

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

July 7, 2018

Time: 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

Baldwin City Car Show and Soc Hop

Location: Downtown Baldwin City
Baldwin City, KS

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 your 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!

Congressional Candidate Steve Watkins Issues Statement After House of Representatives Fails to Pass Farm Bill

File Photo Steve Watkins
Topeka, KS -- Steve Watkins, U.S. Army veteran, engineer, and Republican candidate for Kansas' 2nd Congressional District, today released the following statement after the House of Representatives failed to pass a Republican-led Farm Bill.

"Career politicians in Congress failed to deliver on a Republican-led farm bill that addressed critical issues impacting Kansas farmers — issues like work requirements for SNAP recipients and long overdue welfare reform," said Steve Watkins. "Halting farm assistance programs will have detrimental effects on Kansan farms and rural communities. Clearly, that doesn't matter to the partisans on Capitol Hill. This is why I am running for Congress. Kansas' hard-working agricultural producers and ranchers deserve better servant-leaders in Washington."

Friday, May 18, 2018

Area student(s) announced for Northeast Community College commencement

Norfolk, Nebraska - The 45th Commencement of Northeast Community College took place on Saturday, May 12, at 10 a.m. in the Cox Activities Center on the Norfolk campus.
As of Thursday, May 3rd, some 894 students earned 980 degrees; 37 students earned two degrees, 21 earned three degrees, one earned four degrees, and one earned five degrees.
Rebecka Mackling, Emerson, gave the student address. She received a diploma in Practical Nursing during the ceremony. Terry Nelson, speech instructor, gave the faculty address.
A Touch of Brass, under the direction of Keith Krueger, provided the musical prelude, processional, and recessional. Dr. Linda Boullion, adjunct instructor, sang the National Anthem, accompanied by Margaret Schultz, Northeast music instructor.
The Spring 2018 graduation candidates as of Thursday, May 3rd, are listed below by degree and program followed by hometown and name. Included in the list are tentative Spring 2018 candidates and the 253 graduates who completed their studies this past summer and fall.

 Baldwin City graduates are:

Associate of Applied Science Degree in Utility Line  
Baldwin City, KS - Taylor Peters

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Baldwin City Council Discusses Business Registration

Kevin Surbaugh

Mayor Casey Simoneau listens to thoughts on a
business registration.
Photographer Kevin Surbaugh
In its regular second meeting of May, the Baldwin City council made quick work of the agenda. A meeting in which the council, meet for just a little over a half hour before adjourning into an executive session to discuss personnel matters.
During the brief meeting the council unanimously approved a resolution that would give the council time more time to request a bond to finance recent purchases, should it decide to. The resolution does not obligate the council one way or the other. Rather it sets a sixty-day window for a bond proposal should they decide to go that route.
 The biggest discussion of the night was regarding a proposal for a business registration. Something that previous councils have discussed in passing, but have not taken it any further. It is also something that the Baldwin City Chamber has requested. There was no ordinance on the table but was on the agenda to get the councils thoughts. Mayor Casey Simoneau suggested a ten or fifteen dollar registration fee. Such a registration would better assist the city in its "buy local" policy so that they know what businesses are in the local area. Simoneau said that this may not get every business, but it would help the city to be better aware of local businesses. He asked business owner Mike Bosch who was in the attendance at the meeting his thoughts. Bosch said, that he was a big fan of the "buy local" policy and that a ten dollar registration fee was "no big deal." He concurred that it would give the city an idea of who is local in town.
The council; mostly supportive of the idea, will move forward with instructing staff to draft an ordinance for the next council meeting, which will be June 5. 

Opinion: Print or Digital

Kevin Surbaugh

© Kovaleff | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images
Edited by Kevin Surbaugh
Recently the Baldwin City Chamber has made overtures towards trying to get a print newspaper in Baldwin City. Something that as a journalist I would love, but there are some realities that cannot be ignored in this process.
First and foremost print papers around the country (and even the world) are closing down. Primarily because the readership is dwindling as the readership moves to broadcast and digital formats for their news.  There are those that don't have access to the internet, that still depends on print. However, the cost of print is rising.  Especially since the first of the year, that is when the United States Department of Commerce started imposing steep tariffs of up to 32 percent on newsprint imported from Canada. This additional cost on an industry that has seen subscriptions falling for several years is costly. In a report entitled, "Newspaper Industry Lost Half Its Workforce Since 2001 Due to Digital Media Rise," we see what appears to be a bleak picture for the print industry.   According to the article which predicts that the digital platform will grow by 9.8% annually and the non-digital platform will experience a fall of three percent during the current period of time (2015-2020).  The same article continued to say,
"The number of U.S. newspaper employees fell from 412,000 in January 2001 to 174,000 in September 2016 as per the data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the other hand, the number of jobs in the Internet publishing and portal segment increased from 67,000 in 2007 to 206,000 in 2016. This reflects the transition from the print to the digital media sector causing several job cuts in the newspaper industry.
The same report confirmed that the number of newspaper industry businesses declined about 18%, from 9,310 in 2001 to 7,623 in 2016. Meanwhile, the number of Internet publishing and web search portals increased 150% from 2007 to 13,924 in 2016. Even magazines, book publishing, and radio broadcasting showed a decline, whereas the television industry jobs have been stable since 2001. The number of periodicals declined from 9,232 in 2008 to 7,566 in 2016."
Which segues into the second fact declining ad dollars is another factor in the decline of print media.   In the same article mentioned earlier, the writer said,
"Many publications have closed as print-advertising revenue went down 80% since 2005. The New York Times Co (NYSE:NYT) alone spent $72.0 million, about five percent of its operating cost in 2017. It had also affected hundreds of smaller papers having limited financial resources."
 That pretty much sums it up, without the advertising dollars, especially for a free publication, whether it be print or digital, the newspaper cannot survive. No advertising dollars means no community support. It doesn't matter how many readers the publication has, if it doesn't have the advertisers, it cannot continue.  That is the primary reason the community is losing Baldwin City Radio.  The Gazette itself needs to have at least 100 classified ads every week, along with business advertisers, who will place the banner ads in the pages.  Without that level of support, the writer cannot derive a salary to keep the digital paper going. Without a salary, even a one-person staff cannot cover the community the way it needs to be, due to outside work priorities. The level of advertising commitment is higher for a print paper due to the cost of the paper, printing, distribution, and mailing.  Again, I would love to publish a print paper, but the community does need to step up and support whatever form of paper that the community has.

So what is the future? With digital, the paper isn't limited to the printed words. Other mediums such as video content can be brought in to help tell the story.  In an article published by CNBC,  the CEO of the New York Times, Mark Thompson is quoted as saying that newspaper presses may only have ten years before they are obsolete.  I am not sure that I completely agree with that bleak picture.  In my mind, I believe that there will always be some form of the print media, but digital will be a big part of the future.
Another thought that I have read and heard about is that in the future newspapers will be transformed in a similar manner that what we now know as National Public Radio (NPR) did for radio. That being that newspapers will be non-profit.  Supported by a mix of free will donations and advertisers.  Perhaps each of these futuristic views could be in our future.  What does it mean for Baldwin City?  Only time will tell, but let us all work as a community and see what happens. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Number 2 Corban (Ore.) Ends Number 3 Baker’s Historic Season

Press Release

BALDWIN CITY, Kansas – The number three Baker University softball team ended its most successful season in program-history on Tuesday afternoon, as it fell to number two Corban (Ore.), 2-0, in an elimination game in the 2018 NAIA National Championship Opening Round in the Bowling Green Bracket #1 in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Baker ends its season with a school-record for wins with its 41-16 overall record and its win over Corban on Monday, 2-1, is the first-ever win in program history in the NAIA National Championship Tournament.

Corban advances to face number one Marian (Ind.) in the Opening Round Championship later in the afternoon.

The Warriors plated a run each in the second and third innings off of BU ace Olivia Brees and the Corban pitching staff allowed five hits to the BU offense.

Baker’s five hits came from five different players including Lydia Konrade, Hannah Flynn, Eva Gonzalez, Rachel Wheeler and Riley Swickard. Konrade and Wheeler each had a double.

Brees allowed just two hits in the game and struck out six batters while walking two. Sabrina Boyd earned the win and Kaylee Graney-Patterson collected the save.

Brees ends the season with a school-record 331 strikeouts and a program shattering 29 victories.

Team1234567 RHE
Corban (Ore.)0110000
Baker (Kan.)0000000
NAIA Softball Box Score
Opening Round Bowling Green Bracket