Daily Archives: Sept. 29, 2010

Congress candidates Goyle and Pompeo duel over health care at Chamber debate

Goyle

Goyle

Pompeo

Pompeo

Congressional candidates Raj Goyle and Mike Pompeo clashed over health care at a debate this afternoon.

Goyle, a Democratic state representative from Wichita, argued for keeping some parts of the national health-care law passed earlier this year that he says help families and seniors, but supported repealing a tax provision he sees as onerous for businesses.

Pompeo, a Republican national commiteeman and oilfield services executive, said he wants to repeal the entire law and start over.

The two squared off at a luncheon of the Wichita Metro Area Chamber of Commerce at the Airport Hilton Hotel. Read More »

Parkinson endorses Six for state’s top attorney job

steve_sixGov. Mark Parkinson endorsed state Attorney General Steve Six on Wednesday in the race for the job of the state’s top prosecutor.

“In just three years, Attorney General Six has turned the Attorney General’s office around by focusing on the right priorities instead of political agendas,” said Parkinson,a Democrat, in a written statement.

Six, a Democrat, was appointed by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius in 2008 to serve the remainder of the term when former Attorney General Paul Morrison stepped down after admitting to an affair with a staffer.

Six is now running against Senate Republican Leader Derek Schmidt, of Independence, in November’s election.

“Working with Governor Parkinson, we’ve cut our own taxpayer funded budget almost in half while at the same time protecting vital funding that is being used to eliminate the DNA backlog and keep sexually violent predators off the streets and away from our children,” Six said.

Sedgwick County rejects only bid for property at Waterman and Washington

Sedgwick County received only one bid for a piece of property it owns at Waterman and Washington. Commissioners voted this morning to reject the $236,000 bid from Leslie Rudd Investments and Affiliates.

The county purchased the property to make improvements at that intersection before the opening of Intrust Bank Arena.

The county didn’t end up needing all of the property and put it up for sale using a sealed bid process.

What’s next for the property is unclear.

After receiving only one bid, the county contacted developers to determine why response was so limited. Some said they didn’t like the sealed bid process. Other said they were only interested in the property with the existing buildings on it.

Sedgwick County gives forgivable loan to Cargill

Cargill opened a new office building in 2007 for employees of the soybean oil and salad dressings department.

Cargill opened a new office building in 2007 for employees of the soybean oil and salad dressings department.

Sedgwick County commissioners this morning approved a $40,000 forgivable loan to Cargill Meat Solutions.

Cargill is building a new 70,000-square-foot facility between First and Second streets in downtown Wichita.

As part of an incentive package involving the state, county, city and the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition, Cargill has agreed to maintain 50 jobs and create 10 new jobs in the next five years with an average salary of $73,500.

Commissioner urges “Little Engine that Could” attitude about downtown development

Downtown renderingWhile some of his colleagues expressed concerns about the economy and availability of public funds for downtown development, Sedgwick County commissioner Tim Norton urged a positive outlook.

Commissioner Karl Peterjohn had noted that he had read books about downtown development in the mid-20th century and expressed concerns about investing public funds to revitalize Wichita’s central core.

Norton said he had read a book recently, too — “The Little Engine that Could.”

Their discussion illustrates a division among commissioners about downtown. Some believe the county has done enough for downtown and should focus on other parts of the area. Kelly Parks called downtown “a nice place to visit” but said he never would want to live there.

Others, such as Norton and commissioner Dave Unruh, see a vibrant downtown as crucial to the area’s success.

A master plan for downtown was unveiled Tuesday night. Commissioners talked about the plan but will not vote on it until later.

Commissioners recognize Mental Illness Awareness Week

mental healthMental health is an important part of a person’s overall health, county officials stressed this morning while recognizing Mental Illness Awareness Week.

Marilyn Cook, executive director of Comcare, which provides mental health services in the community, talked about stereotypes about people with mental illnesses and encouraged the public to arm themselves with information — not misinformation — about mental illnesses. She said two films, “A Beautiful Mind” and “The Soloist” are good primers because they show that people with mental illnesses can have positive lives and make a contribution to society.

She also urged people-first language about mental illnesses. Instead of saying someone is a schizophrenic, for example, Cook would say “a person with schizophrenia.” Using such language helps people not be defined by their mental illness, she explained. Read More »