2014: A look back at the top stories

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JANUARY
Concordia City Commission approved a $50,000 settlement agreement with Marilyn Blosser that gave the City sole ownership of Blosser Municipal Airport. . . . Incumbent Lyle Pounds was the first candidate to file for one of two open seats up for election on the Concordia City Commission. . . . Electrical work remained the main component to be finished at the new Cloud County Law Enforcement Center. . . . Mayor Tim Parker filed for re-election to the Concordia City Commission. . . . A Glasco couple was arrested in connection with a string of home invasions that had started in July 2013 in Glasco. Zachary R. and Skyi M. Melton were taken into custody and both admitted to the multiple burglaries, including several that had not been reported. Value of stolen property was estimated at $12,000. . . . World War II veteran Elmer Collins grandfather of Luke Collins, pinned Luke's sergeant stripes on at a ceremony at the National Guard Armory. Luke's father, Jerry Collins, Vietnam veteran was also present for the ceremony. . . . USD 333 accepted a proposal to purchase Lincoln School. Of two proposals, James and Becky Kindel, Concordia, had the highest proposal of $32,500. . . . John Lagemann, senior vice president, Sales and Marketing for the Agriculture an Turf Division of John Deere, was scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the annual CloudCorp luncheon in March. . . . Cloud County Health Center was restricting visitors because of an influenza outbreak. . . . Kaden Ranstead was the first baby born at Cloud County Health Center in 2014. He was born Jan. 22 to Caitlin Allen and Mitchell Ranstead. . . . Concordia Area Chamber of Commerce announced the hire of Sarah Isaacson as its new president. . . . Cloud County Community College board of trustees approved a three-year rolling contract for president Danette Toone. Her contract was extended t 2017 and included a 1 1/2 percent raise. . . . Winter Sports queen and king candidates were Autaumn Poley, Madeline Hoard, Michaela Hyman, Ashley Beaumont and Olivia Leif and Ryan Vignery, Jordan Mehl, Clay Boley, Grant Holmes and Christian Wetter.

FEBRUARY
Barry Segal of Play by Design, the New York company that designed Concordia's future destination playground in City Park was in Concordia to help the Park Project committee secure skilled and unskilled for Build Week scheduled for April 23-27. . . . Concordia received 5.6 inches of snow on Feb. 4 which turned one snow day into two for students in USD 333 school district. . . . Ashley Beaumont and Clay Boley were selected as the Concordia High School Winter Sports queen and king at Concordia High School. . . . Susan Sutton was elected president of Cloud County Democrats; Jim Buoy, vice president; R. Kent Anderson, secretary; and Luanne Miller, treasurer. . . . Cloud County board of commissioners chairman told entities at an intergovernmental meeting in Jamestown that the long-delayed Cloud County Law Enforcement Center might open in March. . . . Lavon Brosseau, Concordia, announced her support for the proposed trail in the South Development by contributing $20,000 to the project. . . . State Sen. Elaine Bowers and state representative Susan Concannon talked about current issues in the Kansas Legislature during a forum at Kristy's Restaurant. . . . 6th Street Fashions and Footwear was one of eight Kansas small businesses chosen for the 2014 Existing Businesses of the Year by the Kansas Small Business Development Center. . . . A bomb threat led to evacuation of Alstom Power Air & Preheater. No explosive devices were found after a thorough search of the property. . . . The Central Committee of the Cloud County Democrats accepted the resignation of Sheryl Williams as Cloud County treasurer at its Feb. 18 meeting. . . . Jody Cotton, contruction superintendent with Zahner Hansen Cosntruction Group told Cloud County commissioners he was shooting for a March 7 date for the project to be substantially completed. . . . Concordia and McPherson school districts were selected as the first members of the Kansas Coalition of Innovative School Districts.

MARCH
Alumni and friends of Cloud County Community College displayed their support for the College as they pledged more than $25,000 to the Foundation's general scholarship fund during the annual Alumni Telefund. . . . Concordia city commission approved paying $1,000 for an option to purchase the three easern most lots at 6th and Broadway from Doug and Kathy Funk. . . . John Lagemann, former Concordian and senior vice president for Agriculture and Turf Division of John Deere, told a sold out crowd at the CloudCorp annual meeting at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish Hall that for cotinued growth and prosperity, county leaders, along with CloudCorp should work to leverage the agricultural base of the community. . . . Two fires in less than 10 hours caused extensive damage to two houses in Concordia, located at 315 WEst 2nd Street and 824 East 5th Street. . . . After nearly six months of delays, Cloud County Sheriff Brian Marks received the keys to the new Cloud County Law Enforcement Center from Hans Hansen, superintendent with Zahner-Hansen Construction Group. Construction on the 80-bed jail and sheriff's offices began in the winter of 2012 and was originally to be completed on Sept. 17, 2013. . . . Cloudville was chosen as the name of the new destination playground was selected from 84 entries submitted by local school children with fourth grader Aidan Poore, submitting the winner. . . . Cloud County residents got a look at the new Law Enforcement Center during an open house and many walked away impressed with the $5.9 million facility.

APRIL
Luke Collins, welder at Alstom Power in Concordia, raised the flag he gave to Alstom to fly at its facility. Collins had served two tours of duty in Iraq and the flag was the one he flew over his living quarters while on his first tour of duty. . . . Sen. Elaine Bowers donated a replica of the Ad Astra statue to the Cloud County Community College Foundation scholarship auction. . . . Joyce Hood paid $3,900 for the Ad Astra statue created by Richard Bergen at the Cloud County Community College Foundation Scholarship Auction. The 34th annual auction generated more than $40,000 for college scholarships. . . . Longtime Concordia Concert volunteers who were recognized at the Everything Fitz concert at the Brown Grand Theatre were Everett Miller, Ken Palmquist, Wanda Davenport and Betty Samuelson. . . . Voting had begun for the "Best of Concordia" survey sponsored by Cloud County Convention and Tourism, The Blade-Empire and the Concordia Chamber of Commerce. . . . Tami Peltier and Kim Sprague created a mosaic for Cloudville which was to be placed at the entrance of the park during Build Week. . . . Cloud County Health Center Chief of Staff Dr. Justin Poore was awarded the Kansas Emergency Medical Technical Technicians Association's Medical Director of the Year Ward. . . . Susan Sutton, Cloud County Community College Dean of Humanities and longtime instructor and director of more than 150 plays, announced her plans for retirement. . . . "One of Our Own" the bronze statue in Concordia City Park that was damaged in an accident, had  been restored and returned to the same location it had occupied since 1949. . . . . Nine hundred volunteers turned out to make Cloudville a reality at Concordia city park. . . . Cloud County Community College board of trustees made the decision to discontinue women's soccer at the college.

MAY
After two years of being closed for repairs, the Brown Grand Theatre was celebrating its reopening with an open house. . . . Cloud County Community College board of trustees approved the appointment of Stefanie Perret, Jamestown, to the full-time position of instructor of nursing at the nine-month salary of $38,165 effective Aug. 11. . . . In an effort to protect Alstom Power Air and Preheater from flooding, Concordia city commission approved a contract with KLA Environmental Services. Fr $12,770 KLA engineers would complete an analysis of the area to see what would be done to protect the Alstom property from flooding, as well as getting it removed from the flood plain. . . .  State Sen. Elaine Bowers was selected to speak at Cloud County Community College commencement. . . . Cody Schmitz was Concordia HIgh School valedictorian and Katie Thompson was salutatorian. . . . Members of the Concordia High School baseball team piled on Jordan Mehl after he singled to drive in the winning run in the Class 4A Division II regional championship game at the Concordia Sports Complex.

JUNE
William R. Czapanskiy, Clyde, announced he would be challenging Johnita Crawford for the District 1 seat on the Cloud County board of commissioners. Both were seeking the Republican nomination for the position. . . . Two Cloud County men, Lyle Morgan, Clyde, and Harvey Olson, Concordia, were among 12 veterans who received Veterans; Honorary Associate Degrees during graduation ceremonies in Beloit. . . . Janet Lowell and Ashley McMillan, co-chairmen of the Concordia Park Project were awarded the Leon Gennette Community Service Volunteer of the Year award at the Concordia Area Chamber of Commerce's annual dinner at Valley Center Rental. . . . An estimated 125 people crowded under a big white tent at the proposed location of the Broadway Plaza to share ideas for the renovation of downtown Concordia. P.J. Novick, principal with Bowman Bowman Novick, Inc., gave the crowd recommendations. . . . Eleven people were "killed" in a live active shooter drill at Cloud County Community College. Shane Britt had the role of the active shooter. . . . Roger Brooks, Roger Brooks International, offered his community assessment of Concordia in a meeting at the Brown Grand Theatre.

JULY
Former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole made a stop on his homecoming tour at the Travel and Tourism and Cloud County Museum Annex in Concordia. . . . Dry conditions and a late cold snap stalled the development of much of wheat in North Central Kansas and harvest had become a long, drawn out process. . . . Karlie Blochlinger was selected as the 2014 Cloud County Fair Queen. . . . Lou Collins, 32-year employee and press operator at The Blade-Empire, retired. . . . Concordia city commission took final action to establish a Tax Increment Financing plan for the city's downtown redevelopment project. . . . 
AUGUST
Forty percent of Cloud County Republicans cast ballots in the primary election, sending Clyde-area farmer William Czapanskiy to a victory over incumbent Johnita Crawford for the First District seat on the Cloud County Commission. Alan LaPolice won Cloud County but was defeated by incumbent Tim Huelskamp in the U.S. House of Representatives First District race. . . . A plaque with an engraved poem written by Vietnam veteran, Karl Sallman, was installed on the limestone wall of the former Fidelity State Bank building in Concordia. . . . Concordia city commission approved the 2015 budget which called for a two mill increase. . . . Christina Brodie, volunteer director of Hands Across Our Community, was the Cloud County Relay for Life keynote speaker. . . . Cloud County Health Center announced the arrival of Dr. Daniel Garlow, who would provide family practice and obstetrics at the Family Care Center. . . . A proposed 2014-15 budget which reduced the tax rate by more than one mill was approved by the USD 333 board of education. . . . Contestants who competed for the title of Miss NCK CASA 2014 were Todd Robinson, Damon Warkentin, Shane Champlin, Derek Champlin and Roger Garrett. Robinson received the honor. . . . Gov. Sam Brownback participated in an activity with Concordia  High School students during a visit to the school. . . . Officers arrested a 27-year-old Concordia man, charging him with attempted second degree murder after an investigation into life-threatening injuries sustsained by a 16-month-old baby. . . . Cloud County Health Center employees took the ice bucket challenge.

SEPTEMBER
Almost 20 years after talk first began of replacing the 20th Street dam at the south edge of Concordia, bidding opened on the project with the low bid coming from Ebert Consruction in the amount of $1.4 million. . . . The mother of a 16-month-old girl who sustained life-threatening injuries, Regan Smith, was arrested on a Cloud County warrant and transported to the Cloud County Jail. . . . City employees installed new playground equipment at Hood Park. Total cost of the project was estimated at $56,664. . . . The President's Own Marine Band performed at Cloud County Community College. . . . Homecoming queen and king candidates at Concordia High School were Janae Champlin, Tristen Leiszler, Molly Adams, Stormie Hittle, Faith Balthazor, James McCabe, Braden Johnson, Jace Coppoc, Shea Crum and Drake Hake. . . . Janet Lowell and Ashley McMillan, organizers of the Concordia Park Project, were the grand marshals of Concordia's Fall Fest parade. . . . Janae Champlin and Braden Johnson were crowned Concordia High School Homecoming queen and king prior to the football game against Chapman. . . . Cloud County Democrats had a rally at the Brown Grand Theatre during Fall Fest which featured Jill Docking, Lt. Gov. candidate; Jim Sherow, First District Congressman candidate; Dennis Anderson, insurance commissioner candidate; and former governor, John Carlin. . . . Rebuilding of Bridge No. 67 10.82 miles from the Cloud/Mitchell County Line, was completed and Dean Holbert was the first to cross the completed bridge in a Model T Ford just as he had done 59 years ago when the bridge was first completed.

OCTOBER
Concordia disc golf enthusiasts Ty Gennette and Michael Walker succeeded in an effort to move the disc golf course to Airport Park. . . . Homes, cars and crops received extensive damage when a thunderstorm moved across North Central Kansas producing large hail and strong winds . . . . Cheri Waites was the lucky winner of the Grocery Grab sponsored by the Concordia Rotary Club and managed to grab $1,593.02 worth of groceries in five minutes at Rod's Food Store. . . . A car crashed through LeDuc Memorial Design building at 701 Lincoln Street in an accident involving vehicles driven by Betty Humes and Kathleen Rice, both of Concordia. . . . A documentary on the life of Marion Ellet premiered at Cook Theatre at Cloud County Community College. . . . A Hunger Banquet at Valley Rental Center offered lessons on hunger and poverty. More than 70 people attended.

NOVEMBER
Paul Davis, Democratic candidate for governor of Kansas, made a campaign stop at Jitter's Coffee House in Concordia where a large crowd was on hand to hear him. . . . Gerard Tank & Steel celebrated its expansion project which nearly doubled its footprint in Cloud County. . . . With 52 percent of registered voters casting ballots in the general election, William R. Czapanskiy was elected to the first district seat on the Cloud County Commission, defeating write-in candidate Johnita Crawford. . . . Concordia city commission approved an ordinance to proceed with using general obligation bonds to fund the construction of the Plum Road dam. . . . A proposal from Nex-Tech to upgrade the phone system throughout the Unified school district 333 was approved by the USD 3333 board of education. . . . A Concordia man, Thomas Jackman, was arrested in connection with a string of  burglaries over several weeks. . . . Four persons—Cassandra Grote, Joseph Zachare, Dakota Mendenhall and Jason Retherford were arrested in an alleged aggravated home invasion in the 500 block of East 16th. . . . City commissioners approved a six percent increase in water and sewer rates each year for the next three years. . . . Cloud County clerk Linda Bogart announced her plans to retire and Shella Thoman was selected  by the Republican party of Cloud County to take her place.

DECEMBER
Bidders donated more than $6,000 to local charities and went home with the 15 beautiful entries in the 2014 Christmas Tree Lane. . . .Cloud County commissioners approved allowing the chairman to sign a contract with Kansas Department of Corrections to house inmates at a rate of $30 per day until renegotiated. . . . Cloud County Community College employees Joan Robison, instructor in early childhood education, and Linda Peterson, college registrar, were denied early retirement requests by the CCCC board of trustees. . . . Concordia city commission approved the sale of $1.2 million to fund construction of the Plum Road and 21st Street dams. .  . . Bartenders at the Rock Quarry and American Legion announced they would have wristbands available for designated drivers, beginning at 9 p.m., Dec. 31, allowing the wearer free soft drinks throughout the evening. . . . Winners in the Concordia Christmas Lighting Contest were: Leroy Dickinson and Dan Wheatley, 719 W. 6th, first; Rickey and Bobbie McWhorter, 1122 Willow, second; and David Gomez, 529 W. 6th, third. The Christmas Spirit Award and Traveling Trophy were given to Shari Haug for 6th Street Fashions and Footwear and the Kids' Pick award to Shawn and Judy Starr, 908 East 7th St. . . . A new digital marquee had been installed on the south side of the Concordia Junior Senior High School building.

NEWS

Courthouse 1-30-15

District Court CIVIL Dismissed: The case of the State of Kansas, Cloud County Attorney Robert Walsh vs. 2003 Mitsubishi, VIN 4A3AC44G23E203843 Petition to Kansas Standard Asset Seizure and Forfeiture Act has been dismissed without prejudice. Plaintiff is exempt from costs. Filed:... [More]

For the record 1-30-15

Police Dept. Report Theft—Ron Regnier, Concordia, reported at 9 a.m., Jan. 29, a Theft which had occurred in the 500 block of East 9th. Under investigation. Betty Powell, Concordia, reported at 1 p.m., Jan. 29, a Theft which had occurred in the 600 block of 2nd Avenue.... [More]

Trustees approve funds for bleachers

 The renovation of Arley Bryant Gymnasium is moving forward after the Cloud County Community College board of trustees approved a $218,000 bid Tuesday night to replace the bleachers.  The replacement of the bleachers is part of a $450,000 gym renovation project. In... [More]

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SPORTS

Metro signs with Kansas Wesleyan

 Concordia High School senior Jera Metro has signed a letter of intent to play volleyball at Kansas Wesleyan University.  A 5-6 hitter, Metro had 208 kills to rank second on the Concordia team.  Metro had 253 digs and a 90.4 serving percentage. Concordia finished... [More]

Thomas delivers as T-Birds clip Cougars, 95-94

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 The ball was where the Cloud County Thunderbirds wanted it — in the hands of point guard Devon Thomas — and as he had all night, Thomas delivered.  With the T-Birds trailing 25th-ranked Barton Community College 94-93, Thomas took an inbounds pass with 4.6... [More]

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OPINIONS

Prairie Pondering

 There are no actual winners . . .  It was a long time ago. I was a transfer student, fresh from the hills, going into an auditorium because I wanted to hear a debate between two students, one a Jew and the other, as I recall, a Palestinian. Each obviously was passionate... [More]

Letter to the Editor 1-30-15

  Dear Editor,  On January 22nd, sixty-five adventurous people arrived at the Brown Grand Theatre to hear the first concert in a new classical music series offered by theater director Emily Krampe and her board. This was no high-brow event, but rather, a refreshing,... [More]

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