Monthly Archives: July 2010

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 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 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.

Poll: Three-way tie in 1st District congressional race

vote 2010 headerThe Republican primary race for the open 1st Congressional District seat remains tight, according to results of a poll released today.

In a SurveyUSA poll conducted for KWCH, state Sens. Jim Barnett of Emporia and Tim Huelskamp of Fowler and Salina real estate agent Tracey Mann were tied at 24 percent. The margin of error was a plus or minus 4.4 percent.

About 10 days earlier, Barnett and Mann drew 25 percent with Huelskamp at 22 percent.

Other results from the most recent poll showed Rob Wasinger of Cottonwood Falls and former chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback receiving 12 percent. College teacher Sue Boldra of Hays was at 7 percent and attorney Marck Cobb of Galva at 2 percent. Seven percent were undecided.

The polling was conducted Saturday through Monday, surveying 526 registered voters who would be likely to vote in next Tuesday’s primary.

The GOP winner will face Democrat Alan Jilka, a former mayor of Salina, and Libertarian Jack Warner in November.

Gietzen’s campaign finance report

Candidates for the Kansas House of Representatives and statewide offices reported their financial activities for the last seven months on Monday.

One report that was missing when the Eagle hit deadline was Mark Gietzen’s. He is running in the Aug. 3 primary against Rep. Phil Hermanson, R-Wichita, for the 96th District.

A time stamp on his file shows it was faxed to the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission at 11:59 p.m. Monday. Candidates had until midnight to file their reports.

Gietzen had $380 available during the fundraising cycle, which started Jan. 1 and ended July 22. He spent $330, mostly on printing candidate brochures.

Hermanson had $12,516 available and spent $8,308 during the same time. The primary winner will face Democrat Brandon Whipple in the November election. Whipple had $16,944 available and spent $1,764.

Incumbent Kansas treasurer has big money lead

From The Associated Press

TOPEKA  — Democratic State Treasurer Dennis McKinney has a big fund-raising lead over his Republican opponent, Sedgwick County Treasurer Ron Estes.

McKinney filed a campaign finance report Monday that shows he had almost $175,000 in cash on hand at the end of last week.

McKinney has raised more than $227,000 for this year’s campaign since being appointed treasurer late in 2008 to fill a vacancy in the office.

Estes reported $5,400 in contributions from Jan. 1 through Thursday, including about $1,400 from his own pocket. He had about $1,300 in cash at the end of the period.

Both are running unopposed in their party primaries.

Commissioner Dave Unruh leads fund-raising in county races

Sedgwick County commissioner Dave Unruh, running to keep his District 1 seat on the board, had the most money available for the campaign finance period that ended July 22.

A Republican, Unruh had $51,033 available for his campaign and spent $14,649, records show.

Sharon Fearey had $36,441 available this filing period. A Democrat, Fearey is running for the District 4 seat in northern Sedgwick County.

Jim Skelton, a Republican who is running for District 5, had $19,517 available.

Republican Chuck Warren, running for District 5, had $17,633 available.

Commissioner Gwen Welshimer, a Democrat, had $17,373 available this period. She is seeking to continue representing District 5.

Lucy Burtnett, a Republican seeking the District 4 seat, had $12,752 available.

Republican Dion Avello, also running for District 5, had $7,950 available.

Richard Ranzau, a Republican running for District 4, had $6,453 available.

Oletha Faust-Goudeau, a Democrat running for District 4, had $4,429 available.

Betty Arnold, a Democrat seeking the District 1 seat, had $3,610 available.

A campaign report for District 1 candidate Juanita Blackmon, a Democrat, was not yet available.

Brownback amasses more than $1.1 million for campaign



From the Associated Press

Republican Sen. Sam Brownback has stockpiled more than $1.1 million for his fall campaign for Kansas governor.

A finance report filed Monday by Brownback’s campaign lists $1.18 million in cash on hand as of Thursday.

The report covered activities from Jan. 1 through Thursday. Brownback raised $519,000 during that period, bringing his total fundraising in his run for governor to more than $2 million.

Brownback’s opponent in the Aug. 3 GOP primary, Derby resident Joan Heffington, raised less than $2,600 and finished the period with a deficit of more than $11,000.

The only Democrat running for governor, state Sen. Tom Holland, of Baldwin City, was expected to file his report just before Monday’s late-afternoon deadline.

At least two apply to build Sumner County casino

012909casino_br05.JPGTwo applications to build and manage a casino in Sumner County have been submitted to the Kansas Lottery this morning.

Sally Lunsford, lottery spokesperson, wouldn’t reveal the names of the bidders or details of the bids.

Applicants have until 2 p.m. to submit bids to the lottery.

The deadline to turn them in to Sumner County is July 29.

County commissioners will hear presentations on the proposals at a public meeting Aug. 10 at the Raymond Frye Complex in Wellington.

Endorsements from local governments are required before applicants may sign contracts with the lottery.

Ultimately, a seven-member casino review board will select a winner.

Moran, Tiahrt join Tea Party Caucus

Both Rep. Jerry Moran and Rep. Todd Tiahrt, two of three Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate in Kansas, have joined the newly formed Tea Party Caucus.

Tiahrt’s congressional office issued a release on his decision late Tuesday. Nothing official immediately came from Moran’s camp. So this morning, Tiahrt’s Twitter account had several tweets implying Moran couldn’t make up his mind about joining. One read: “What to do? What to do? Snapshot of @moranforkansas typical indecision.”

But Dan Conston, Moran’s campaign spokesman, said in an e-mail that Moran had joined the caucus Tuesday “before any comments from Tiahrt.”

Conston said Moran’s congressional office hadn’t issued a release about Moran joining the caucus because Moran was attending his mother’s funeral this morning in Plainville. Madeline Moran, 93, died Saturday.

The caucus was formed July 15 by House Republicans, led by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.). The group’s goal is to “promote Americans’ call for fiscal responsibility, adherence to the Constitution and limited government,” Bachmann wrote in a letter to Rep. Robert Brady (D-Pa.), who chairs the House Administration Committee.