Daily Archives: July 28, 2010

Moran, Tiahrt combine to spend nearly $2 million in two weeks

In the hotly contested race for the U.S. Senate in Kansas,  congressmen Jerry Moran and Todd Tiahrt combined to spend nearly $2 million on their campaigns during the first two weeks of July.

Moran spent nearly $1.5 million and Tiahrt a little over $466,000, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Since their campaigns began, the two candidates have spent more than $6.7 million  through July 14 _ $4.5 million for Moran and $2.2 million for Tiahrt .

As of July 14, Tiahrt had  about $93,500 more cash on hand than Moran. Tiahrt had $889,000, Moran had $795,000.

Tiahrt raised nearly $50,000 more than Moran during the first 14 days of July. Tiahrt received almost $72,000 in contributions and Moran $22,000.

For the life of their campaigns, they have combined to raise nearly $5 million — $2.9 million for Moran and $2.1 million for Tiahrt.

Moran started the campaign with more money. He carried over $2.4 million from his congressional races and Tiahrt carried over $1 million.

Congressional candidates in Kansas were required to file a pre-primary report by July 22. The primary is Tuesday.

Sheriff not impressed with commissioner’s ideas for jail

Sedgwick County Sheriff Robert Hinshaw said a plan that commissioner Gwen Welshimer unveiled today about the jail lacks innovation and new ideas.

Hinshaw also expressed concern that Welshimer did not talk to him about her ideas for the future of the jail.

“I would think since I’m charged by law to run the jail she would also want to have my input,” Hinshaw told The Eagle this afternoon.

Hinshaw also is chairman of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, a group charged with coming up with solutions to jail overcrowding. Welshimer serves on the council, as do judges, prosecutors, Wichita Police Chief Norman Williams and others involved in the criminal justice system.

Hinshaw said he asked Welshimer last week if the CJCC could assist her with her plan, and she declined help.

Welshimer said she was not surprised by the sheriff’s reaction to her plan.

Welshimer told her fellow board members that she has worked on the plan for a few months. It includes:

–Expanded pre-trial services and drug and mental health courts.

–Remote booking stations, which would reduce the number of people waiting in the booking section of the jail.

–Expanding mental health treatment. But Welshimer said the jail should not be a provider of psychiatric care.

–Adding a jail liaison who would work for commissioners.

–Using jail fees to operate expanded mental health services.

Read more about the issue in Thursday’s Eagle.

Commissioners vote to sell land at Washington and Waterman

072710lotforsale_bcThe northwest corner of Washington and Waterman will go up for sale by Sedgwick County, commissioners agreed this morning.

The board voted 3 to 1 — with Kelly Parks voting against — to put the property up for sale by sealed bid.

Parks said the property could be used for downtown and arena parking.

The county bought the land in 2007 to make intersection improvements before the opening of Intrust Bank Arena. It didn’t need all of the land, and about 43,000 square feet is available. The land includes one 4,130-square-foot building.

The county has ordered an appraisal of the land, which it bought for just less than $1 million.

Read more about the property in Thursday’s Eagle.

Advance voting going well for next week’s primary

vote 2010 headerSedgwick County’s elections office has mailed out 13,000 advance ballots for next week’s primary, and voters have returned about half those, elections commissioner Bill Gale told commissioners this morning.

During the 2008 primary, the office sent out 10,000 advance ballots, Gale said.

Early voting in person opened last week at the elections office at the historic courthouse, and about 750 have voted there so far, Gale said. That’s about 33 percent more than at this time for the 2008 primary, he said.

The county’s 15 satellite voting centers open Thursday.

Today is the last day voters can request an advance ballot. Friday will be the last day the office mails them out. Advance ballots must be returned by 7 p.m. on election day, Aug. 3.

Gale is anticipating a 20 percent turnout for the primary compared with 15 percent in 2008 and 16 percent in 2006.

Commissioner’s jail plan will go to criminal justice group

Sedgwick County commissioners voted this morning to forward board member Gwen Welshimer’s ideas to manage the jail to a group devoted to criminal justice issues.

The board will give Welshimer’s plan to the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, of which Sheriff Robert Hinshaw is chairman.

Stay tuned to Kansas.com for more details.

Commissioner unveils her ideas for Sedgwick County Jail

Sedgwick County commissioner Gwen Welshimer this morning unveiled several ideas for what she called long-term solutions to jail overcrowding at the jail.

Welshimer, who is running for re-election, calls for:

–Expanded pre-trial services and drug and mental health courts.

–Remote booking stations, which would reduce the number of people waiting in the booking section of the jail.

–Expanding mental health treatment. But Welshimer said the jail should not be a provider of psychiatric care.

–Adding a jail liaison who would work for commissioners.

–Using jail fees to operate expanded mental health services.

Stay tuned to Kansas.com for more details.

Park City resident fights for green-friendly grass

A Park City resident asked Sedgwick County commissioners this morning to consider banning homeowner associations from requiring certain type of grasses, such as fescue, that demand a lot of watering.

Tim Null said watering lawns uses a lot of the city and county’s water supply. He advocates that local government press for native grasses such as buffalo grass that require less watering.

Commissioner Kelly Parks said he has pushed for the county to plant native grasses at its buildings such as the National Center for Aviation Training.

The board did not take any action today. Commissioner Karl Peterjohn suggested Null continue to work with local cities, which Peterjohn said have more home rule power.