New desks installed in district court office
Jewell County Commissioners Mark Fleming Steve Greene and Dwight
Frost met at 8:30 Monday morning.
The commissioners conducted office head meeting with Gail Bartley, noxious weed director, emergency preparedness director and 911 coordinator; Chris Petet, custodian; Nora Rhoades, district extension agent; Angela Murray, health nurse; Jim Vaughan, solid waste director; Chuck Latham, county appraiser; Anna Standley, register of deeds and Brenda Eakins, treasurer.
Vaughan reported the solid waste department has an open solid waste laborer position and he will place an advertisement.
Rhoades said the Walk Kansas program is March 15 through May 9 and the Jewell County Fair dates are July 12 through July 15.
Standley said they have been returning documents with incorrect fees.
Murray is working with four other counties on a grant request.
Chris Petet is correcting items found by the Department of Labor inspector.
Latham said he is working on 2015 values.
Eakins said they have been busy with heavy trucks and trailer tags. Those tags are to be purchased by the end of February.
The county clerk's office has sent out 1099s and W2s and finished several required abstracts and reports.
Frost will attend the planning commission and hospital board meetings this week.
Greene reported the county hosted a retirement reception honoring John Tucker and an employee Christmas appreciation dinner. He attended the juvenile detention center meeting and strategic planning meeting.
Fleming also attended the juvenile justice authority meeting and strategic planning meeting. The commissioners all noted that they were hosting the multi-county meeting at Esbon.
Gail Bartley, noxious weed director, reviewed the annual weed eradication progress report for 2014 which is to be submitted to the state. He also reviewed the Jewell County Weed Management Plan for 2015 and said there were no changes.
Joel Elkins, road and bridge general superintendent, discussed operations and equipment repairs. The commissioners reported road concerns and discussed bridge inspections.
Commissioners reviewed and signed the Pawnee Mental Health contract.
Commissioners and county clerk left at 11 a.m. to attend the multi-county meeting at the Esbon Senior Center. Other counties represented were Mitchell, Osborne and Smith. The group discussed bridge inspections, wage survey, KCAMP, county wide purchasing policy, providing veterans grave markers, interlocal agreement for road work, recycling and scrap iron dealers. Mitchell County was awarded a $600,000 grant for repairs on the causeway bridge. Sherry Koster, sanitarian, provided a semi annual report for waste systems.
Jewell County Commissioners also met last Tuesday. At that meeting, Dixie Dethloff, clerk of district court, thanked the commissioners for the new desks installed in her office.
Angela Murray, health nurse, asked about carpooling in the county car.
Commissioners approved Jim Reed's emergency vehicle permit application.
Joel Elkins, road and bridge general superintendent, discussed operations. Commissioners reported road concerns. Commissioners approved the service agreement with Pierce Electronics for the Jewell County radio communications tower.
Jonas McEntire, sheriff, said the recorder for the 9-1-1 system is not working and can not be repaired. A replacement will cost approximately $5,000. The purchase will be made with 9-1-1 funds.
Jenny Russell, representing Jewell County Economic Development, presented her annual review of projects. She also discussed current projects. She asked if the commissioners were interested in the NBHD Revitalization Program.
Chris Petet, custodian, reported some of the hallway tiles are breaking and coming loose.
Gail Bartley presented the LEPC committee roster and reported as emergency preparedness director he had visited all of the volunteer fire departments.
Darrell Miller, county attorney, discussed payments for legal defense. He reported talking to Joel Elkins about removal of some equipment.
Steve Greene discussed Larry Thornton's request for a letter of support. Miller said the request was not in the commissioners' jurisdiction.
Miller also discussed options for selling the former Kansas Minerals property.
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The Mankato Library has just added many new TV series to their DVD collection as well as a nice assortment of young adult books. In the display case this month is a collection of items from Russia.
The youngsters' section of the library is undergoing many changes. The walls have been painted bright colors and a Dr. Seuss theme will be the new motif. A rotating collection of activities that will include, Legos, drawing activities, geo cache and games has been added. Patrons are encouraged to visit the library and see the new things going on.
Kansas celebrates 154th birthday
By Kerma Crouse
Kansas became the 34th State on Jan. 29, 1861. Today marks the 154th anniversary of the state's birth. During those 154 years, Kansas has acquired several symbols. Many know Kansas has the symbolic nickname of "The Sunflower State" but there are other recognized symbols for the State of Kansas. You can probably quickly name the Western Meadowlark, Cottonwood Tree, Wild Native Sunflower, American Bison and maybe even the Ornate Boxed Turtle, the Barred Tiger Salamander, and the Western Honey Bee as Kansas symbols.
But also considered symbols are the State Seal, State Flag, State Banner, State Quarter, and the State Motto, Ad Astra per Aspera (To the stars through difficulties).
And who could forget the State Song, "Home on the Range?"
Kansas doesn't stop with just one musical piece; also has two state marches, "The Kansas March" and "Here's Kansas." Those involved in agriculture are well aware of the many kinds of soil and many types of grass on our prairies, so Kansas has Harney Silt Loam as the state Soil and Little Bluestem as the state grass.
Perhaps though, you aren't as familiar with the newest symbols of the State of Kansas. In 2014, Tylosaurus and Pteranodon became the sate fossils. The Tylosaurus was a large, up to 45 feet long, predatory mosasaur living in the seas of prehistoric Kansas and is our state marine fossil. A 30 feet specimen of lizard-like Tylosaurus is exhibited in the Sternberg Museum at Hays. Flying above the seas that were home to the Tylosaurus, was the Pteranodon. This extinct reptile had a wing span of some 20 feet and is the state flight fossil. Though neither were dinosaurs, they lived in the Cretaceous Period during the same time as the dinosaurs.
Tylosaurus and Pteranodon were selected as state fossils because Kansas geological deposits have yielded the world's largest and most complete specimens of both of these ancient creatures. Both of the state fossils may be viewed at the Sternberg Museum in Hays, and the Natural History Museum in Lawrence.
Mankato Council to continue Christmas lights for park
Members of the Mankato City Council met for their regular monthly
meeting Jan. 6 with Don Koester, mayor, presiding. Council members
present were Jim Ross, Dave Warne, Lyle Dauner and Sam Becker.
Council member Mac McCammon was absent. Darrell Miller, city attorney,
was also present.
Jenny Russell from the Jewell County Community Development Association presented the 2014 annual report from the association. She asked the city to continue the financial support to the association as in the past. The request was discussed but no action was taken.
Penny Surmeier reported on funds raised for decorative lighting at the park. It was the consensus of the council that the display should be continued next year. Surmeier will gather organizational information from lighting groups in the surrounding area and report her findings at the February meeting.
The appointment of Amy McDill to the Mankato Library Board was approved.
Information with regard to upcoming election was reviewed. The filing deadline was 12 noon Wednesday. Positions up for election include mayor, currently held by Donald Koester; and council positions currently held by Neil Becker and Harold (Mac) McCammon.
Joe Herz gave a presentation about the current electric generation and transmission issues in rural Kansas. His report was discussed with no action taken.
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