Daily Archives: Sept. 9, 2009

Funny, then touching, moment at Sedgwick County commission meeting

Lt. Robert Burns with the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office will retire next month after 27 years.

At a presentation to honor him today, county commission chairman Kelly Parks began his remarks to Burns by calling him “Sergeant.”

That drew laughs across the room, especially from Burns’ family, but Parks didn’t know why at the time.

When it was his turn to talk, Burns quickly pointed out that it was unfortunate he was being demoted just as he was retiring. That also drew laughs.

Parks, the former police chief of Valley Center, apologized, explaining to Burns that he remembered working with him when he was, indeed, a sergeant.

Then the mood turned touching as Burns spoke about his nearly three decades with the department and about the people who gave him a chance when he didn’t weigh enough to become a law enforcement officer.

In tears, Burns called his wife, Sharon, to his side at the front of the room. “This is my partner,” he said, telling commissioners nothing in his career would have been possible without her.

That drew applause.

Wichita Greyhound Park submits plan to reopen — if it can have slots

Wichita Greyhound Park owner Phil Ruffin has submitted a plan to reopen the park to the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission.

But re-opening would depend on two things, Ruffin said in a letter to the commission: State lawmakers would have to amend the expanded gambling law to allow tracks to keep more of the revenue from slot machines. And voters in Sedgwick County would have to approve slots for the Wichita park.

Ruffin’s letter said he could submit race dates within 60 days of a successful ballot initiative in the county, and re-open the park within 255 days of the vote.

The commission will consider the plan Friday.

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Pompeo kicks off run for 4th District congressional seat

mugmikepompeoMike Pompeo rejected the Obama Administration’s healthcare reform efforts and other forms of government regulation this morning as he kicked off a three-day tour to announce his candidacy for the 4th Congressional District seat.

Pompeo said America needs to improve its healthcare system, but he lashed out at the government’s involvement.

“I’ve never seen something government gets involved in that reduced cost or made something more efficient,” he told about 75 people gathered in a hangar at Jabara Airport.

Pompeo, president of the oildfield supply company, Sentry International, is the former CEO of Thayer Aerospace. He gave his stump speech in front of a Cessna airplane and was introduced by Jack Pelton, chairman of the planemaking company.

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