Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Baldwin City Council Decides Local Seat Belt Fines

Kevin Surbaugh

The July 19th council meeting of Baldwin City was called to order by Marilyn Pearse. After quickly approving the consent agenda the council turned attention to public comments. This week, Baldwin City resident, Mary McGreery, approached the podium to address the city council. Her concern was the now daily music in the downtown area. Her house is within ear shot of one of the speakers which are annoying to her.
Some on the council were under the impression that the Chamber originated the request for music every day. Jeannette Blackmar, Baldwin City Chamber Director, told the council the chamber did not request the music to be constantly played over the sound system. Blackmar, did say that they did request that the city utilizes Baldwin City Radio over the CD’s that they had been playing.
Brad Smith, City Finance Director and Rob Culley, Baldwin City Power Plant Superintendent said that the speaker closest to McGreery’s house would be turned off on Wednesday (July 19, 2017) morning, except for special events, like the Maple Leaf Festival.
The council then heard from Hank Booth with a report from Baldwin City Economic Development Council (E. D. C.) of the first half of 2017. Booth started off with a ten-year overview of the E. D. C.’s accomplishments.
  • BEEP – Baldwin Energy Efficiency Program
  • Home Shows
  • Website – Commercial Inventory
  • RV Park
  • Douglas State Lake Walking Trail
  • Downtown Concerts
  • Kansas Belle Dinner Train



He then highlighted just a few of the accomplishments from 2016 and 2017.
  • Promotion of Baldwin City First
  • Baker Summit
  • Car Show - $1,000 to market show
  • Lawrence Home Show (to promote Baldwin City)
  • Promoted new CPA
  • Maintain Douglas State Fishing Lake

  • Booth then listed some of the goals for 2018.
  • Promote and support a city business park
  • promote and support residential growth
  • promote and support Baker University – our single biggest asset
  • fill gaps – a new fuel/gas station
  • annual fall promotion of Midland Railway and Kansas Belle Dinner Train

Dave Hill, E. D. C. chairman joined Booth at the podium and said that when they look at the local area they look at the entire school district, because everyone who lives in the district calls Baldwin City home.
Hill said they look to continue the scholarship program for Baldwin High students attending Baker University. He also mentioned, that he would like to see Baker implement a graduate program in Banking. To conclude their E. D. C. update, they discussed growth in the area. Growth in the city itself has been stagnate, while the rural areas have seen a 2.8 percent growth.
The council then discussed the paving of First Street, Shane Starkey, serving as the spokesperson for the seven residents asked about resident access to their homes, when construction begins. City Administrator Glenn Rodden, replied that they didn’t know at this time, but as things got closer the county engineers would make that part of their plan.
Shane Starkey
Photographer Kevin Surbaugh
Discussion ensued about the early payoff option and whether it could be done at other times, besides at the beginning of the payment start. Hill told the council that it could be done and that people in other special benefit districts have done it. The reason, Hill explained, that you might want to pay it off early is if a resident was going to move in year twelve of a twenty year payoff plan. A prospective buyer might be fine with a $6,000 tax bill, but might bulk at $2,000 more in specials. Thus, the selling resident might want to payoff the remaining amount to make the house more palatable to the prospective buyer.
The council postponed a decision to creating the First Street Benefit District until the August 1, 2017 meeting.
Council members also took up seat belt fines. The council first learned at the last meeting that the state had updated the fines for seat belt violations. As a result the city is mandated to update their ordinances. Until action is taken the city will lose money on each ticket they write. Under the new state laws, the fines go from $10 to $30 for drivers and from $10 to $60 for passengers. That means each ticket wrote before the city updates the ordinances, would result in the city sending the state $30 for the $10 it collects for a drivers infraction and $60 for the $10 it collects for each passenger infraction.
Voting under emergency authority the council passed ordinance 1376 (Uniform Public Offense Code) and ordinance 1377 (Standard Traffic Ordinance) on votes of four to one. Citing concern of transparency Council-Member David Simmons was the lone dissenting vote on both ordinances that were affected by the states updates to state law.
In Other business:
Approved, on a vote of 3-2, ordinance 1374 that rezones a plot of land owned by Casey Simoneau. Council-Member Kathy Gerstner and Christi Darnell cast the dissenting votes.
Unanimously approved the publication of the 2018 Budget hearing.

USD 348 Board of Education Discusses Capital Outlay and Inter-Local Agreement

Kevin Surbaugh

Baldwin USD 348 School Board convened it’s regular meeting on July 17, 2017, with a look at the capital outlay. The board spent most of the time looking at bus camera upgrades. Russ Harding, director of transportation said half the buses have cameras. The camera system can’t be upgraded. He cannot justify the replacing them all at once, so the plan is to replace part of them, and have two separate systems until all cameras have been replaced in a few years. The camera’s will not be replaced until the bus is coming out of service. The board unanimously approved the capital outlay fund be approved with Board-Members Sandy Chapman moved and Chad Christie seconded.

For the second meeting in a row the board heard about the Neighborhood Revitalization Program(NRP). At the last meeting Glenn Rodden, City Administrator of Baldwin City, addressed the board to see if the board would enter into an inter-local agreement to encourage growth in new construction. At the last meeting Rodden said that it would affect new residential and commercial construction inside the city limits. It however, would not affect any tax-exempt organization such as not-for-profits or government buildings.
Rodden was present again, to answer any questions the board might have.
Board-Member Sandy Chapman wondered if some in the district would feel that this agreement was favoring city residents over those outside city limits.
Board President Nick Harris, who was absent last month, said that he would like to get another month to mull over the idea, perhaps to sit down with Rodden at City Hall to learn a little more about the program.

In other business Board...

  • unanimously re-elected Nick Harris and Chard Christie as Board President and Vice-President respectfully.

  • unanimously agreed to retain Christie and Sandy Chapman as representatives to the negotiations board.
  • unanimously 
  • Monday, July 17, 2017

    University of Wyoming Spring Semester Dean's and Dean’s Freshman Honor Rolls: Kansas




    July 10, 2017 -- The University of Wyoming lists seven students from Kansas on the 2017 spring semester academic Dean's and Dean's Freshman Honor Rolls.
    signature
    The honor rolls consist of regularly enrolled undergraduates above freshman standing who earned a 3.4 or better grade-point average, and freshmen who have earned a 3.25 or better grade-point average.
    To be eligible, students must have been enrolled for a minimum of 12 credit hours taken for letter grades.

    Kansas Students are:
    Baldwin City
    Stephanie Minor
    Bonner Springs
    Katherine Xochitl Kasckow
    Lenexa 
    Marleah J. Campbell
    Maize  
    Megan L. Carpenter
    Overland Park
    Kelsey A. Hendricks
    Wichita
    Allegra Maya Carson
    Skyler Snodgrass

    Baldwin City Senior Wheels Hosts Biscuits and Gravy Fundraiser

    Kevin Surbaugh

    Bill Clemen, Baldwin City, serves the cinnamon rolls during
    the fundraiser.
    Photographer Kevin Surbaugh





    Gail Kingley, Wellsville; Oke Potter, Baldwin City;
    Pat Potter, Baldwin City and
    Anne Hivley, Ankeny, Iowa enjoyed the hot breakfast.
    Photographer Kevin Surbaugh



    Baldwin City Senior Wheels held it's annual fundraiser on Saturday July 15, 2017.   Proceeds from the breakfast fundraiser to help fund the program that provides rides to doctors.

    Sunday, July 16, 2017

    Habitat for Humanity update on President Jimmy Carter

    PR Newswire

    Photograph courtesy of  Habitat for Humanity International
    WINNIPEG, Manitoba - Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter returned to the Habitat for Humanity build site in Winnipeg this morning. They attended the daily morning devotional at 8 a.m. kicking off the last day of Habitat's 34th Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project.
    President Carter was discharged from St. Boniface General Hospital early this morning after being admitted briefly for rehydration.
    From July 9-14, President and Mrs. Carter joined thousands of volunteers for Habitat's Carter Work Project to build 150 homes across Canada in celebration of the country's 150th anniversary.

    Baldwin City Council Agenda - July 18, 2017

    Baldwin City Council Meeting Agenda

    Baldwin City Public Library
    800 7th Street
    Baldwin City, KS 66006

    TUESDAY
    July 18, 2017
    7:00 PM
    A. Call to Order- Mayor Marilyn Pearse
    B. Consent Agenda
    1. Minutes of the July 05, 2017 Regular Meeting
    2. Special Event - Baldwin City Living Magazine Launch Party
    C. 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 sheet 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.
    D. Special Reports or Presentations
    1. Council retreat follow-up- John Divine
    2. Hank Booth - Yearly report
    3. Jeannette Blackmar- Chamber Report
    E. Old Business
    1. Resolution 2017-12 - Improvement District discussion
    2. Ordinance 1374 - Simoneau rezoning
    F. New Business
    1. Ordinance 1376 - Uniform Public Offense Code
    2. Ordinance 1377 - Standard Traffic Ordinance
    3. Ordinance 1375 - Amending Ordinance 1350 seat belts
    4. 2018 Budget Hearing publication
    G. 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
    H. City Administrator and Staff comments
    1. Brad Smith - Audit report
    2. Chris Croucher - dangerous meters
    I. Council & Mayor Comments
    J. Executive Session
    K. Adjourn

    Area Happenings - Week of July 16, 2017

    Here are the upcoming events that the Gazette has been made aware of as of  July 15, 2017.  To submit an item to the community events calendar, please email it to press@baldwingazette.com.


    July 17, 2017

    Baldwin Board of Education
    7 P.M. (public meeting)
    Baldwin Elementary Primary School 
    500 Lawrence St 
    Baldwin City, KS 

    July 18, 2017

    Baldwin City Council Meeting
    7 P.M.
    Baldwin City Library

    July 19, 2017
     Community Blood Drive

    9 A.M. - 4 P.M.

    Baldwin Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center 
    (in the Basement)
    1223 Orchard Lane

    To make an appointment: 
    Call Kaitlynn Flowers 785-594-6492
    -or-
    visit:
     www.redcrossblood.org (use Sponsor Code: Baldwin)
    -or-
    Call: 1-800-Red-Cross


    July 22, 2017

    Triple Tri Triathlon
    New Name, Same Triathlon!

    Seventh annual Triathlon in Baldwin City.
    Offering three different races depending on age and ability.

    Encouraging everyone to challenge themselves!
    All participants receive an event T-shirt and a Participation medal.

    Prize for the overall Male and Female winners.
    Medals are given to the various age group winners.
    Ribbons will be given for 2nd and 3rd place age group winners.


    Entry Fees:
    $50 Individual
     $100 Team Relay
     $25 Youth
     if registered by July 14
    All fees increase after July 14.
    Registration is available the day of the race
    The three races are:
    SPRINT COURSE - ages 12 & up - 300m swim, 12 mile bike, and 5k run - starts at 7:00 am -
    SHORT COURSE - ages 12 & up - 100m swim, 4 mile bike, and 1 mile run - starts at 7:00 am
    YOUTH COURSE - ages 3 & up (under 5 w/parent) - 50m swim, 1.5 mile bike, and .5 mile run - starts at 10:00 am
    There is a TEAM (of 2-3) Relay for the Sprint Course


    July 24-27, 2017

    Vacation Bible School
    9 A.M. - 11 A.M.
    for children ages 5-12
    Register online at 
     
    Family Night: July 27 at 7 P.M. 
     
    Lighthouse Baptist
    700 Chapel Street 
    Baldwin City, KS

    785-594-4101

    July 27, 2017

    Thankful Thursday Free Community Meal
    Serving 6 to 7 pm
    Ives Chapel UMC
    1018 Miami
    Baldwin City
    Free community meals are the last Thursday of each month



    August 20, 2017

    Battlefield Tours Led by John Brown

    As part of the Civil War on the Western Frontier activities commemorating the 154th anniversary of Quantrill's Raid on Lawrence, Kansas, there will be a special tour of the Black Jack Battlefield. It will be conducted by Kerry Altenbernd as John Brown, assisted by members of the 13th Kansas Infantry Reg. reenactor group serving as his civilian Free State militia. Maybe a few pro-slavery men will be there too.  
    The reenactors will be camping on site, so come out early and visit with them.

    Time: Saturday, June 3 at 4 PM - 5 PM
    Free Admission

    Location: Black Jack Battlefield and Nature Park
    163 E 2000th Rd
    Wellsville, Kansas 66092

    More Information:
    (785) 380-9156
    info@blackjackbattlefield.org

    August 25, 2017

    COME AND ENJOY OUR
    COMMUNITY DINNER  & FELLOWSHIP
              TO BE HELD  AT 6:00  to ?
         

        

     
    HOST
    VINLAND UNITED CHURCH
    1724 N 692 RD
    BALDWIN CITY, KS 6600



     October 21-22, 2017

    Maple Leaf Festival
         
     
     
    Downtown Baldwin City



     October 28, 2017

    COME AND ENJOY OUR
    COMMUNITY DINNER  & FELLOWSHIP
              TO BE HELD  AT 6:00  to ?
         
     
     
    HOST
    VINLAND UNITED CHURCH
    1724 N 692 RD
    BALDWIN CITY, KS 6600




     December 29, 2017

    COME AND ENJOY OUR
    COMMUNITY DINNER  & FELLOWSHIP
              TO BE HELD  AT 6:00  to ?

     
    HOST
    VINLAND UNITED CHURCH
    1724 N 692 RD
    BALDWIN CITY, KS 6600


    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!



    Shark Tank Superstar Daymond John Urges ASI’s Chicago Audience To “Keep Swimming”

    PRweb

    Chicago, IL -  Reality TV co-host and FUBU founder Daymond John delivered a rousing motivational keynote on Thursday at a trade show hosted by the Advertising Specialty Institute®, urging a standing-room-only audience of entrepreneurs to “just keep swimming.”
    Throughout his fast-paced presentation during ASI Show® Chicago at the McCormick Place convention center, John challenged suppliers and distributors in the $23 billion promotional products industry to follow his five “Shark Points” to achieve success in both life and business. But in the end, he said, “It all comes down to love.”
    John punctuated his talk – which was funny, poignant and jam-packed with inspiration – with videos, sound effects, funky music and personal photos of celebrity friends like Michael Jackson, Muhammad Ali and Prince. “Never forget that you are the brand,” he said, advising the audience to choose a handful of precise words to describe themselves, adding, “When you know that, then you can master the pitch. On Shark Tank, we do not invest in companies, we invest in people.”
    Raised by a single mom in Queens, New York, John got his entrepreneurial start selling hats, marketing his fledgling brand by spray-painting FUBU throughout the city. After achieving phenomenal success, he transitioned to TV, co-hosting the Emmy Award-winning Shark Tank, in which budding entrepreneurs compete for the chance to make their dreams reality.
    “The keynote with Daymond John was very inspirational and definitely gave me fuel to go back and kick my own brand to a new level,” said Brian Stout, of Go Earn It (asi/208849). “The biggest thing by far I got from him was that you need to represent the brand – you are the brand.”
    ASI Show Chicago, which opened Tuesday, was attended by 615 exhibitors and 3,776 distributors from 44 states and 13 countries, including 541 companies from Illinois, 242 women-owned companies and 215 minority-owned companies. All told, 19 distributors also chose ASI Chicago, the largest promotional products trade show of the summer, to host their sales meetings, 15 of which are Top 100 companies.
    Distributor Christine Marion, of Fully Promoted (asi/384000), raved about the show. “ASI Chicago is the one show I come to that the vendors want to take the time to share with you their great ideas, new products and, most importantly, how to use them and how to solve problems. Our group comes to shows like this to get ideas, learn how to use products differently, build relationships and network.”
    Supplier Carthage Barry, of Landway (asi/66238) said his company has exhibited at ASI Show Chicago for over 10 years because it’s the biggest show in the Midwest. “Attendance this year has been great,” said Barry. “I’ve had a lot of good conversations with distributors, some new, but also a lot of our existing customers. We’ve been around for a while and have established ourselves in the industry, so it’s great that our customers now make it a point to stop and see us.”
    Rita Ugianskis-Fishman, senior vice president and general manager of ASI Show, said she was thrilled with the encouraging response and was already looking forward to ASI’s 2018 shows in Orlando, Dallas and Chicago. Registration opens July 31.
    “ASI Show is proud of our long record of consistently delivering trade shows that offer great value for both attendees and exhibitors,” said Ugianskis-Fishman. “No matter how far we advance in terms of online gatherings, nothing will ever replace the value of face-to-face product sourcing, networking and relationship building.”
    Timothy M. Andrews, ASI president and chief executive officer, said he was particularly delighted with the strong attendance on Education Day and hoped all distributors continue to advance their sales and marketing skills by taking full advantage of ASI’s free online classes. “Education really is the key to success,” said Andrews.
    On Wednesday, at a prestigious black-tie event at the historic Morgan Manufacturing, ASI also announced winners of the 2017 Counselor® Awards, including Boundless CEO Henrik Johansson as Person of the Year and PFConcept CEO Ralf Oster as International Person of the Year.
    The awards, chosen by the editors of ASI’s award­-winning Counselor magazine, recognize outstanding individuals and companies in 11 categories.

    Wednesday, July 12, 2017

    Kansas First Lady Mary Brownback announces 7th annual Kansas Book Festival

    Press Release

    Topeka – Kansas First Lady Mary Brownback today announced the 7th annual Kansas Book Festival will take place 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, September 9, at the Kansas State Capitol. The festival will feature current authors and books and is focused on enforcing the importance of reading.

    “Our mission is to promote literacy and encourage a life-long love of reading. The festival is one of the key ways that we are able to live out our mission,” Brownback said. “We have a great lineup assembled of locally and nationally known authors and illustrators that everyone will enjoy. And as always, there is something for everyone.”

    Last year’s event drew an estimated 2,000 people at last year’s event. Headlining this year’s event will be children’s author Andrea Davis Pinkney (A Poem for Peter). Pinkney is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of numerous books for children and young adults, including picture books, novels, works of historical fiction and nonfiction. Among her list of accolades are multiple Coretta Scott King awards and American Library Association Notable Book citations.

    Thirty authors are set to speak, including Candice Millard (Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, A Daring Escape and the Making of Winston Churchill), Tom Clavin (Dodge City: Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson and the Wickedest Town in the American West) and Joshilyn Jackson (Almost Sisters and The Opposite of Everyone). Along with author presentations, there will also be additional authors featured as vendors, book sales and signings, entertainment, live music, appearances by storybook characters Clifford and Curious George and activities for children of all ages. This event is free and open to the public.

    For more details concerning the Kansas Book Festival and a full list of slated authors please visit www.kansasbookfestival.com or www.facebook.com/KansasBookFestival.

    Tuesday, July 11, 2017

    Survey Reveals Top Five Phone Scams People Fall Victim To In Kansas


    Press Release

    With 89% of people in Kansas receiving between 5 and 30 nuisance calls per week, telephone scams are still causing major problems for consumers. The issue has become so widespread that almost a fifth of Kansas adults admit they have been a victim of a telephone scam.

    The YouGov survey commissioned by CPR Call Blocker, makers of the best selling call blocking device in the US, also revealed the top five scams people are falling victim to in Kansas:  

    •   Internal Revenue scam
    • Credit/loan scam
    • Robocall/automated messages scam
    • Lottery/sweepstake scam
    • Missed call scam

    Many of these scams rely on the victim handing over personal and security details or asking the victim to pay a processing fee or call back on a premium rate line.

    While many of us are becoming increasingly savvy when it comes to spotting a scam, 17% of those questioned have lost money to scams in the last 12 months. Of those, 23% lost less than $100, 22% lost between $100 and $500, but 27% lost between $500 and $10,000, with 4% were scammed out of over $10,000.

    Bryony Hipkin at CPR Call Blocker, comments: "Scam and nuisance phone calls continue to be a major problem for consumers in Kansas and it's often the most vulnerable people in society who are falling victim to telephone scams. Scammers have a real knack of finding people when they are at their weakest and most vulnerable and they really exploit that. I want to encourage people to stay in touch with their senior loved ones. A lot of scammers are using the tactic of getting to know that person, becoming a friend to them and then on the fourth or fifth call they start making the request.

    "Our customer base tends to be those aged 55 and over who want to eliminate nuisance and scam calls for good. By being able to block nuisance phone numbers through the touch of a button, our customers have seen a 90%-100% reduction in the number of calls received depending on how they choose to use the product.

    "If you're contacted out of the blue, be suspicious and never respond to an unsolicited call. Don't assume a caller is genuine because they have information about you such as your account details. Never give out personal information when answering an incoming call and if you're not convinced the call is genuine, hang up and call back using the official phone number of the organisation calling from their website or any paperwork you have such as statements."

    CPR Call Blocker's industry leading technology prevents nuisance and scam calls through a device attached to a customer's phone. When a nuisance call is received, customers press a button on the call blocker which permanently blocks incoming calls from that number. The device is already pre-programmed with up to 2,000 of the most notorious scam phone numbers and can store up to an additional 1,500 nuisance numbers.

    CPR Call Blocker is the bestselling and most trusted call blocker brand worldwide. The CPR suite of call blockers are available from CallBlockerUSA and Amazon.



    KCPL and Westar Energy Announce New Merger Plan

    BUSINESS WIRE


    KANSAS CITY, MO and TOPEKA, KS -- Westar Energy, Inc. (NYSE: WR) and Great Plains Energy Incorporated (NYSE: GXP) today announced that both companies’ boards of directors have unanimously approved a revised transaction that involves no premium paid or received with respect to either company, no transaction debt, no exchange of cash, and is a stock-for-stock merger of equals, creating a company with a combined equity value of approximately $14 billion. The new, combined company will provide electric utility service to approximately one million Kansas customers and nearly 600,000 customers in Missouri. The combined company will have a new name, yet to be established.
    “The logic of combining these two companies is compelling. We are confident we have addressed the regulatory concerns with our originally-proposed transaction. We appreciate the Commission welcoming a different way to combine these two companies, preserving the unique value available only through this particular business combination,” said Mark Ruelle, president and chief executive officer of Westar Energy. “This merger creates a stronger company for our customers and a much more valuable company for shareholders, with no additional acquisition debt, along with sustaining commitments to Topeka and Kansas. It is a win-win. For our shareholders, it means a large increase in their dividend. We also expect significant earnings accretion and a larger and stronger earnings growth platform than we could achieve on our own. The company and its utilities will continue to have strong investment grade credit ratings.”
    Westar Energy and Great Plains Energy will merge to form a new holding company, which will operate regulated electric utilities in Kansas and Missouri. Operating headquarters will be in both Topeka, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri. Corporate headquarters will be in Kansas City, Missouri.

    “We are pleased to announce a revised agreement with Westar Energy that we believe directly addresses regulatory concerns with our originally-proposed transaction, while increasing the long-term value and upside opportunity for our shareholders, customers, communities and employees,” 

     said Terry Bassham, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Great Plains Energy.

    “We power our communities – by generating energy, but also with the jobs we support, the value we create for shareholders, and the community support we provide. Combining Great Plains Energy and Westar Energy into one stronger, more diversified regulated utility has compelling strategic, operational and financial benefits. Together, we expect to deliver significantly more value to our shareholders than we can alone.” 


    Under the terms of the agreement, Westar Energy shareholders will exchange each share of Westar Energy common stock for a share in the new holding company. Great Plains Energy shareholders will receive .5981 shares of common stock in the new holding company for each Great Plains Energy share. The transaction has a total equity value of approximately $14 billion. It is structured to permit a tax-free exchange of shares. No transaction debt will be incurred. The exchange ratio reflects the agreed-upon ownership split between the two companies. Following completion of the merger, Westar Energy shareholders will own approximately 52.5 percent and Great Plains Energy shareholders will own approximately 47.5 percent of the combined company. The agreement provides that, upon closing, the new holding company expects to set its initial common dividend at a level which maintains the current dividend for Great Plains Energy shareholders. This will result in approximately a 15 percent dividend increase for Westar Energy shareholders.
    In connection with the agreement, Great Plains Energy will redeem all of the previously issued debt and convertible preferred stock it issued in contemplation of the previous plan to acquire Westar Energy. Due to the revised nature of this transaction, Great Plains Energy and the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) have agreed to terminate their preferred convertible equity commitment. After these financial transactions are completed, the companies anticipate that Great Plains Energy will have not less than $1.25 billion in cash on its balance sheet. After the closing of the merger, the combined company anticipates repurchasing common stock to return excess cash to shareholders and maintain a balanced consolidated capital structure.

    Upon closing, Ruelle will become the non-executive chairman of the new company board. Bassham will serve as president and chief executive officer of the new company and will also serve as a member of the board of directors. Senior management roles will be shared by executives from both companies. Among these are: Westar’s current senior vice president and chief financial officer (CFO), Tony Somma, will become executive vice president and CFO. Kevin Bryant, current Great Plains Energy senior vice president of finance and strategy and CFO will become executive vice president and chief operating officer. Greg Greenwood, Westar’s senior vice president of strategy, including regulatory affairs, will become the new company’s executive vice president of strategy and chief administrative officer, responsible for regulatory affairs and merger savings, among other responsibilities.
    The board of directors will consist of an equal number of directors nominated from each company, including Bassham from the Great Plains Energy board and Ruelle from the Westar Energy board. The lead independent director will be Charles Q. Chandler, IV, currently Westar Energy’s independent chairman of the board.



    Monday, July 10, 2017

    Baldwin City Car Show in Pictures

    Kevin Surbaugh

    This past Saturday, July 8, was the brand new car show. Under the new name of Baldwin City Bricks," the show attracted a number of car entries from all around.  According to the Joe Stutsman, Rusty Metal Productions, there was 83 entries that had arrived, however he expected a few stragglers might show up as the day progressed.
    Stutsman said that they put these shows on  to support the communities where they are being held. For example he said, that there were no food vendors, because they wanted visitors to utilize the Baldwin City restaurants.
    photographer Kevin Surbaugh

    photographer Kevin Surbaugh

    photographer Kevin Surbaugh

    photographer Kevin Surbaugh

    photographer Kevin Surbaugh

    Jay Wachs, Baldwin City Radio
    Photographer Kevin Surbaugh

    photographer Kevin Surbaugh

    photographer Kevin Surbaugh

    photographer Kevin Surbaugh

    photographer Kevin Surbaugh

    Soggy Weather Postpones Some Independence Day Celebrations

    Kevin Surbaugh

    Sharon Hafer (on grill), Abby Ogel and
    Maci Malee serve hotdogs
    during the Fourth of July Celebration at the
    public pool in Baldwin City. 
    photographer Kevin Surbaugh
    Baldwin City residents work up on the morning of July 4, 2017 to rain.  In fact one and quarter inches soaked the area.  Organizers at the Baldwin City Recreation Commission, decided to postpone the evenings Fireworks display, until the evening of July 8, 2017.
    However, the free pool events went on as planned. Luckily the rain cleared, so that residents could enjoy an afternoon of swimming, free hot dogs and games.
    Outside the pool area the blow up games were set up. In the back, was an obstacle course. Even though it is a blow up, kids run through it.  In the front was the infamous water slide. Both games seemed to have long lines of kids enjoying them.


    photo submitted by Tony Brown
    Inside the pool area an even larger crowd were enjoying the pool and the free hot dogs.  The swimming pools were packed. Kids and adults alike, were gathered around the hot dog grill and a group even sat at a table to see how fast one could eat three hot dogs. With an even larger group surrounding the table to watch and cheer on the contestants.


    That evening, even though the public fireworks had been postponed, there was plenty of private fireworks being shot off all over the city and county.

    Sunday, July 9, 2017

    Area Happenings - Week of July 9, 2017

    Here are the upcoming events that the Gazette has been made aware of as of  July 8, 2017.  To submit an item to the community events calendar, please email it to press@baldwingazette.com.





    July 5, 2017

    Baldwin City Council Meeting
    7 P.M.
    Baldwin City Library


    July 9-13, 2017

    Vacation Bible School

    KIDMinistry at Baldwin First United Methodist Church
    704 8th St
    Baldwin City, KS

    6:00-8:30 p.m.
     Ages 4 - completed 5th grade) 
    FREE event. Register online at www.baldwinfirst.org or register on site at the event.


    July 13, 2017

    Mural Design Team 
    meeting at Lumberyard Arts to begin planning the cities second mural



    July 14, 2017

     2017 Summer Picnic
    11:45 A.M.
     Vintage Park at Baldwin City
    Assisted Living Community
     Hamburgers and Hot Dogs
     side dishes, deserts and drinks

    Nostalgic Music by Rob McHenery
    Invite your friends and neighbors
    All are welcome




    July 14, 2017

    Ives Chapel United Methodist Church, 1018 Miami, will host an old fashioned Ice Cream Social Friday evening, July 14 beginning at 6:30 p.m. Donations from the Social are earmarked for the Baldwin City Community Food Pantry. Everyone is welcome to come and enjoy some homemade ice cream.



    July 15, 2017

    LMH Summer Spray 5K Toganoxie   

    Kids 12 and Under: $10
    Adult Preregistration (online at least 48 hours before event): $25
    preregister atwww.lmhendowment.org/summerspray
    Adult Registration (1 hour before event): $30
    For more information: 785-505-3318



    July 17, 2017

    Baldwin Board of Education
    7 P.M. (public meeting)
    Baldwin Elementary Primary School 
    500 Lawrence St 
    Baldwin City, KS 

    July 18, 2017

    Baldwin City Council Meeting
    7 P.M.
    Baldwin City Library

    July 19, 2017
     Community Blood Drive

    9 A.M. - 4 P.M.

    Baldwin Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center 
    (in the Basement)
    1223 Orchard Lane

    To make an appointment: 
    Call Kaitlynn Flowers 785-594-6492
    -or-
    visit:
     www.redcrossblood.org (use Sponsor Code: Baldwin)
    -or-
    Call: 1-800-Red-Cross


    July 22, 2017

    Triple Tri Triathlon
    New Name, Same Triathlon!

    Seventh annual Triathlon in Baldwin City.
    Offering three different races depending on age and ability.

    Encouraging everyone to challenge themselves!
    All participants receive an event T-shirt and a Participation medal.

    Prize for the overall Male and Female winners.
    Medals are given to the various age group winners.
    Ribbons will be given for 2nd and 3rd place age group winners.


    Entry Fees:
    $50 Individual
     $100 Team Relay
     $25 Youth
     if registered by July 14
    All fees increase after July 14.
    Registration is available the day of the race
    The three races are:
    SPRINT COURSE - ages 12 & up - 300m swim, 12 mile bike, and 5k run - starts at 7:00 am -
    SHORT COURSE - ages 12 & up - 100m swim, 4 mile bike, and 1 mile run - starts at 7:00 am
    YOUTH COURSE - ages 3 & up (under 5 w/parent) - 50m swim, 1.5 mile bike, and .5 mile run - starts at 10:00 am
    There is a TEAM (of 2-3) Relay for the Sprint Course



    July 27, 2017

    Thankful Thursday Free Community Meal
    Serving 6 to 7 pm
    Ives Chapel UMC
    1018 Miami
    Baldwin City
    Free community meals are the last Thursday of each month



    August 20, 2017

    Battlefield Tours Led by John Brown

    As part of the Civil War on the Western Frontier activities commemorating the 154th anniversary of Quantrill's Raid on Lawrence, Kansas, there will be a special tour of the Black Jack Battlefield. It will be conducted by Kerry Altenbernd as John Brown, assisted by members of the 13th Kansas Infantry Reg. reenactor group serving as his civilian Free State militia. Maybe a few pro-slavery men will be there too.  
    The reenactors will be camping on site, so come out early and visit with them.

    Time: Saturday, June 3 at 4 PM - 5 PM
    Free Admission

    Location: Black Jack Battlefield and Nature Park
    163 E 2000th Rd
    Wellsville, Kansas 66092

    More Information:
    (785) 380-9156
    info@blackjackbattlefield.org

    August 25, 2017

    COME AND ENJOY OUR
    COMMUNITY DINNER  & FELLOWSHIP
              TO BE HELD  AT 6:00  to ?
         

        

     
    HOST
    VINLAND UNITED CHURCH
    1724 N 692 RD
    BALDWIN CITY, KS 6600



     October 21-22, 2017

    Maple Leaf Festival
         
     
     
    Downtown Baldwin City



     October 28, 2017

    COME AND ENJOY OUR
    COMMUNITY DINNER  & FELLOWSHIP
              TO BE HELD  AT 6:00  to ?
         
     
     
    HOST
    VINLAND UNITED CHURCH
    1724 N 692 RD
    BALDWIN CITY, KS 6600




     December 29, 2017

    COME AND ENJOY OUR
    COMMUNITY DINNER  & FELLOWSHIP
              TO BE HELD  AT 6:00  to ?

     
    HOST
    VINLAND UNITED CHURCH
    1724 N 692 RD
    BALDWIN CITY, KS 6600


    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!



    Thursday, July 6, 2017

    Council Fills Vacant Council Seat

    Kevin Surbaugh

    At the beginning of the July 5, 2017 Baldwin City council meeting, the council held a public hearing regarding the First Street improvements.  One of the several First Street residents to air  their concerns was Bill Braun, who had concerns about the numbers and percentages having changed from the initial proposals.
    He was referencing that the County was agreeing to pay ten percent more then their original proposal. Braun asked, if the city had done a benefit district before?  In response Glenn Rodden, City Administrator, said that typically the city does a benefit district when a new subdivision is built. This particular district is unique, because the subdivision was put in twenty-two years ago, so First Street is being done retroactively.
    Currently the half of the gravel road is considered in the city limits. The road is currently maintained by the Palmyra Township, after it is paved by the county, it will be maintained by the city, even though one side of the road is in the county rather then the city limits.

    During the regular portion of the meeting, the council heard a presentation of the First Impressions program.  A program provides an assessment and improvement of the community. Marlan Bates, K-State Research and Extension, said that representatives of Baldwin City will go to another city to assess that city. Likewise representatives from another city will come to Baldwin City to asses the community.  He likened it to the secret shopper program utilized by many retail establishments and restaurants.  The assessment will probably occur in October, Bates said.

    A. J. Stephens
    photographer Kevin Surbaugh
    Under old business, Mayor Marilyn Pearse announced that city council candidate Shane Starkey, had decided not to be considered to fill the unexpired term of Steve Bauer. Starkey, who is a candidate for city council, wanted to continue running for a four year term, rather then being appointed to serve two years.

    With that Pearse announced that she was appointing A.J. Stevens. Stevens, who was another of the six candidates that had filled to run for the council, agreed to accept the appointment.  Tony Brown made a motion to approve and Kathy Gerstner seconded. The council unanimously approved the appointment.

    In other business:
    • The council unanimously approved the consent agenda, which included special event permits for the Baldwin City Recreation Commission's Sprint Triathlon and the annual Baker Wildcat Welcome. 
    • Tabled draft resolution 2017-12 creating an Improvement District.
    • Unanimously agreed to purchase, through a lease/purchase agreement a crack sealer to fill the cracks in the cities streets, prolonging their life and saving the city money on road maintenance. Total cost will be $39,000-$42,000.
    • Unanimously approved the purchase of a street sweeper through a lease/purchase agreement at a total cost of $65,000. 
    • Unanimously approved the final plat plan of 1.7 acres on High Street .
    • Heard Ordinance 1374 rezoning a property owned by Casey Simoneau  from R1 to R2.  Because, it is an ordinance, there was no action taken unitl the next council meeting on July 17.

    Wednesday, July 5, 2017

    City Council Agenda - July 5, 2017

    City Council Agenda

    City of Baldwin City
    PO Box 68
    Baldwin City, Kansas 66006


    Location:
    Council Meeting Agenda
    Baldwin City Public Library
    800 7th Street
    Baldwin City, KS 66006


    Time:
    TUESDAY
    July 05, 2017
    7:00 PM


    A. Call to Order- Mayor Marilyn Pearse
    Public Hearing: First Street Improvement
    B. Consent Agenda
        1. Minutes of the June 20, 2017 Regular Meeting
        2. BCRC Sprint Triathlon Special Event
        3. Baker Wildcat Welcome
    C. 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 sheet 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.
    D. Special Reports or Presentations
       1. K-State Research and Extension program, First Impressions - Jeannette Blackmar, Director of
    Chamber of Commerce
    E. Old Business
       1. Mayoral Appointment
       2. Resolution 2017-12 Improvement District Draft
    F. New Business
       1. Crack Sealer lease purchase
       2. Street Sweeper
       3. Crist Final Plat
       4. Ordinance 1374 Simoneau Rezoning
    G. Committee and/or Commission Reports
       1. Budget and Finance/Kathy Gerstner, David Simmons
       2. Community Development Committee/Tony Brown
       3. Public Health and Safety Committee/David Simmons, Kathy Gerstner
       4. Public Works Committee/Christi Darnell
       5. Utilities Committee/ Tony Brown, Christi Darnell
    H. City Administrator and Staff comments
      1. Monthly Financial Reports
    I. Council & Mayor Comments
    J. Executive Session
    K. Adjourn

    Monday, July 3, 2017

    Presidents Weekly Address - 4th of July Weekend


    Edward Jones Financial Advisor Wins Award for Outstanding Performance

    Gardner, KS - Pete Carr of Edward Jones recently won the firm's coveted Zeke McIntyre Pioneer Award, which recognizes new financial advisors who achieve high levels of success early in their careers with the financial services firm. Carr was one of only 318 of the firm's more than 15,000 financial advisors to receive the award.

    Carr received the award at the Edward Jones Region 36 regional meeting in Camdenton, Missouri.

    Jim Weddle, the firm's managing partner, said the award is a strong indicator of a financial advisor's future success.
    "We recruit and hire our financial advisors from among the best, so we expect them to do well," Weddle said. "But to achieve such success early in his career with Edward Jones is outstanding, and I commend Pete for his performance and dedication."


    The award is named after Edward Jones legend Zeke McIntyre, who opened the firm's first branch office in 1957 in Mexico, Mo.


    Carr is currently refurbishing an office space in downtown Baldwin City, where is expected to set up an Edward Jones office. 



    Edward Jones, a Fortune 500 company, provides financial services for individual investors in the United States and, through its affiliate, in Canada. Every aspect of the firm's business, from the types of investment options offered to the location of branch offices, is designed to cater to individual investors in the communities in which they live and work. The firm's 15,000-plus financial advisors work directly with more than 7 million clients. Edward Jones, which ranked No. 5 on Fortune magazine's 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2017, is headquartered in St. Louis. The Edward Jones website is located at www.edwardjones.com, and its recruiting website is www.careers.edwardjones.com. Member SIPC

    Sneak Peak at Baldwin City's Luxury Lofts

    Kevin Surbaugh

    photographer Kevin Surbaugh
     Work has been progressing on the old schoolhouse at 704 Chapel Street in Baldwin City. If you weren't aware the old building, next door to the current Lighthouse Baptist Church, is undergoing renovations to become the newest apartments in Baldwin City.  The apartments being developed by Flint Hills Management Group, are being billed as Luxury Lofts. While the cabinets are already installed, the counter-tops and appliances are not.  According to Jacqueline Rathbun, Director of Property Management, said that the units will have stainless steel appliances. The units all have high ceilings, with interior walls that only are about three quarters of the height. Ceiling fans help circulate the air throughout the apartment, with a ceiling fan in each bedroom and one in the living area.

    photographer Kevin Surbaugh
    This past Friday, June 30, 2017, the Schoolhouse Lofts held a sneak peak open house.  Those who stopped by to attend got a chance to see the apartments in a bare bones state.  At least those on the third (top) floor. The apartments or lofts will be one, two are three bedroom. Rathbun, told the Gazette that all of the two and three units are already rented. Amenities will include, Rathbun said, paid trash, water and sewer. The tenant will be responsible for the mandatory electric bill. Cable and internet services, if wanted will also be an option. As for cable or internet, Mediacom, CenturyLink and Direct TV are definite choices and RG Fiber may be a possibility.

    While the building isn't handicapped accessible from the entrance on Chapel, it is from what will be the main entrance on the parking lot side on Baker Street. That entrance will have a handicapped ramp so that residents and visitors can access units on the ground floor.

    Rathbun told the Gazette, that some of the apartments will meet affordable housing guidelines, with rent on a sliding scale. To qualify an applicants household income must below $29,000 and they cannot be full time students. The rent on one of the remaining one bedroom units will range from $310 to $510. There will also be a $20 application fee as well as a $300 refundable deposit.  Pets are welcome, according to Rathbun, however, there is an additional $200 non-refundable fee for up to two pets.

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