MANKATO – A wooden train in the Mankato City Park has been restored so that children can play on it without getting splinters.
The train, which was donated to the city in 2005, was also sealed to prevent further weather damage.
BELLEVILLE – Food banks in four Northcentral Kansas counties, as well as flooded communities in Nebraska, received a total of 15,000 meals packaged by 150 Republic County High School students and school staff.
The Feb. 8 service project coordinated by the Republic County FFA and KAYS was planned to help fight food insecurity. The project was expanded to help flood victims in Nebraska when that need arose shortly after the meal packaging event.
The food items for the “Something to Eat” meals packaged in the Commercial Building at the NCK Fairgrounds were ordered from a company based in the Kansas City area.
A wide variety of arts and entertainment opportunities were provided for residents of nine Northwest Kansas counties through Western Plains Arts Association 2018-19 season programming.
The most popular program with children was Cirque Zuma Zuma, a show featuring acrobats from Africa. Children flocked to the stage to have their pictures taken with the performers following the February dance and acrobatics performance.
Fifteen public schools in the area as well as Colby Community College hosted school and public performances during the season.
A blizzard complicated plans for school and community performances featuring the true stories of immigrants who arrived in the United States through Ellis Island, but about 900 students and community members eventually got to experience the presentations by professional storyteller Pippa White.
After a community program in Sharon Springs, some of the adults attending shared stories about their own families with each other. Students who heard White perform in Colby were touched by the stories of hardship and uncertainty.
Staff members of Cheyenne County Hospital and Clinic in St. Francis are no longer having to respond to false alarms after the Mesa Lab cold chain storage monitoring system was installed in March.
Clinic manager Erica Zimbelman described the new system as a “total game-changer.” The old system had given false alerts of temperature changes in medication and vaccine storage areas in the middle of the night several nights a week, and each had to be checked out.
Mila Bandel, county health administrator, said the new system allows staff to monitor temperature, humidity and other conditions in food and medication storage areas, the physical therapy swimming pool and the blood bank.
The monitoring system, plus a new generator, allow the facility to provide medical services even during a weather or community crisis. Because of the new system, there were no concerns about maintaining reliable storage during rolling brown outs over several days as city crews repaired infrastructure following a recent storm.
Six Oakley high school students who created the Future Philanthropist Program painted more than 70 posts around their school as a community service project.
The group, which encourages youth to become philanthropists and community leaders, continues to fund raise to provide a college scholarship for a former member.
Members have learned how to write grants, determine amounts and recipients of grants through use of a rubric and make presentations to organizations about the Oakley Youth Grant.
LENORA – Aging desks, floor mats and computers in the Lenora Public Library have been replaced, which allowed Lenora to host a digital library workshop in March.
Northwest Kansas Library System staff used the new desktop computers to demonstrate their online library system, which would not have been possible on the slow computers the library replaced.
Teachers have noticed a rising interest in science after more than 500 elementary-aged Concordia students attended the Hillbilly Silly Science Spectacular April 5 at the Brown Grand Theatre.
The show’s father-and-son duo impressed the school audience, with many students taking pictures and getting the autograph of the son after the show. Many of the students and some of the adults that attended had never been to the theater before and were impressed with the facility.
Many students returned with family members for the evening performance.
SALINA – A new HVAC unit that controls temperature and humidity has allowed the Salina Family YMCA to expand summer programming in the gymnastics center for toddlers to high schoolers.
Grant funding also paid for the installation of a fire alarm system that adds to safety measures at the YMCA.
OSBORNE – More than 60 kindergarten through fifth-grade children snuggled into sleeping bags and found spots in the reading tent during Camp Read-A-Lot in the Osborne library.
Attendance during the first year of the reading program, which was designed to prevent a “summer slide” in reading skills, was more than double that anticipated. The program will have a space theme during June and July of this year.
The camp provides a twice-weekly reading opportunity with peers and mentors, writing opportunities, and fun activities.
WESKAN – A 30- by 60-foot steel-framed community pavilion is offering Weskan residents a new place to enjoy picnics in the park.
The grant-funded structure, which has a metal roof and sealed wood ceiling, was erected after a “Raise the Roof” fundraising campaign covered the expense of installation. The names of the 14 $1,000 donors who funded installation are displayed on plaques placed on each of the 14 pillars of the structure.