Monthly Archives: March 2013

You don’t say

“The days of the giant club are over, and it’s time to freshen things up. Stay tuned!”

– A Facebook post from Doc Howard’s Lounge owner Bryan Shapiro on the Old Town bar closing this weekend


Brett Harris may have a new radio home

WICHITA — No one involved is talking, but it looks like there’s a chance Brett Harris may soon have a new radio home.

According to an FCC filing, Wichitans Shane and Kianne Prill and their Air Capitol Media Group are taking over KANR, 99.7-FM. The station currently plays regional Mexican music.

Neither of the Prills returned calls for comment.

A KANR employee says a format switch is coming May 1. Station owner Dan Smith won’t comment.

“I don’t have anything to say,” he says.

Harris isn’t talking, either. He answered one call and said he’d call back but didn’t. Since then, he hasn’t answered several calls.

Shane Prill, who has S.J. Prill Financial and Investment Planning, used to do financial reports years ago on Harris’ show on KRBB, FM-97.9.

After 22 years at B98, Harris was told in July that Clear Channel Radio wanted “to take the morning show in a new direction.”

His morning co-host, Tracy Cassidy, remains at the station with Harris’ replacement, Adam “Lukas” Cox.

Harris was paid through December. At that point, his six-month noncompete began, so he’ll be available to be back on Wichita radio this summer.

American Advertising Federation of Wichita skips ADDYs, district awards them

WICHITA — This time of year traditionally has been when the Wichita advertising community gathers for its annual awards to honor some of the best work of the previous year.

This year, though, there’s no dinner, cocktail hour or gathering of any sort, and there almost weren’t any awards.

“It was a scare for the local club, and as a district we were happy to help out,” says Ryan Brown, ADDY awards chairman for District 9 of the American Advertising Federation.

“For some reason, it just slipped,” Brown says of the Wichita chapter doing the awards. “I’m not sure what the correct word would be. It wasn’t a high priority, I guess.”

The awards were mailed to winners this week.

“We as a district decided to have the (competition), so we went ahead and did it,” Brown says.

Wichita chapter president Ryan Schafer, who works for Koch Creative Group, says it was his fault the awards weren’t handled locally and that there’s no program this year.

“We passed off those responsibilities to the district because we didn’t really have the capabilities and the time to take care of it this year, so that’s kind of what happened,” he says. “I was busy with a lot of other organizations. … It does fall on me.”

Schafer says a small group of people put on the program last year.

There were 200 entries in 2012 and 64 this year.

“We really are kind of in a transition period,” Schafer says.

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You don’t say

“We’re really pretty friendly most of the time, contrary to popular belief.”

Claire Willenberg, chairwoman of the city’s Historic Preservation Board

Kumon Math and Reading Learning Center to open in Hampton Lakes Retail Center

WICHITA — Recent Wichita State University graduate Neeti Patel is now a teacher – and a business owner at age 22.

Patel, who has a business management degree, is opening a Kumon Math and Reading Learning Center in the Hampton Lakes Retail Center at 4041 N. Maize Road.

“I went to Kumon as a child,” Patel says. “The program is amazing. I really believe in it. … Education’s really important to me.”

She says Kumon is a Japanese learning enrichment program for students of all ages. It focuses on math and reading.

“It is the world’s largest enrichment program,” Patel says. “The children actually end up learning the concepts on their own.”

She says Kumon instructors make sure there are no gaps in what the students are learning.

“We start them at a place where they know everything, and we go up from there,” Patel says. “We call it the comfortable starting point.”

She says that’s to build confidence for the students and help them enjoy what they’re doing.

“They actually learn to love the material,” Patel says. “I loved the program. My parents loved the program.”

She says Kumon also is good to franchisees.

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Third Wichita PetSmart may open at One Kellogg Place at Kellogg and Greenwich

WICHITA — It looks like a third PetSmart is coming to Wichita.

Sources say the company is looking to build a more than 26,000-square-foot store at One Kellogg Place at Kellogg and Greenwich.

A company spokeswoman says she can’t comment until a lease is signed.

There are already PetSmart sites at 3615 N. Rock Road and at 533 S. Tracy.

Suede owner files Chapter 11 bankruptcy

WICHITA — Disc Heat LLC, which does business as Suede, has filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

“It’s a long story,” owner Ed Banda said when first contacted about the filing.

In a follow-up e-mail, Banda said he wanted to make only one statement:

“I was forced to take action due to pending litigations in order to protect suede and remain fully operational.”

Look for more details in the coming weeks.

You don’t say

“I’m just certain he felt terrible about it. That’s just a big brain fart right there in front of God and everybody.”

– Rep. Nile Dillmore, D-Wichita, on colleague Rep. Randy Garber, R-Sabetha, who voiced support of a resolution by mistakenly referring to actor James Earl Jones as James Earl Ray, Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassin

Statue removed from Ascension Cemetery for being tutu much for some tastes

WICHITA — There’s a striking display at the entrance of the Ascension Cemetery at 7200 E. 45th St. North, but the central statue in the display was removed Wednesday and will be replaced.

Since the statue of Jesus was placed there in the late 1990s, it’s been criticized – in part because it looks like Jesus is wearing a tutu.

“Some people do say that that’s the way he looks,” says Jim Sheldon, director of cemeteries for the Catholic Diocese of Wichita.

What appears to possibly be a tutu actually is supposed to be clouds.

Sheldon says it’s been the intention of the diocese to replace the statue for some time.

“People weren’t happy with the art,” he says. “Art’s in the eye of the beholder, and the majority of people – although not all – did not like the way it looks.”

The bronze from the statue will be used to make a new one.

“We had a donor come forward and offer to replace the statue,” Sheldon says. “We thought that we would do something more traditional than that one was.”

Hugs & Hissyfits owner to open Smallcakes, A Cupcakery, at the Shops at Tallgrass

WICHITA — Wichita finally is getting Smallcakes, A Cupcakery. It’s just coming three years after founder Jeff Martin planned, and he’s not the one bringing it.

Lexi Bruner is opening the cupcake business in the Shops at Tallgrass at 21st and Rock Road where her Hugs & Hissyfits also is located.

“I like to stay busy,” Bruner says of opening the second business.

“We have a big family, so it keeps lots of people in my family busy.”

When Martin first shared his hopes for opening in Wichita, he had only two Smallcakes sites in the Kansas City area and was a veteran of the Food Network’s first season of “Cupcake Wars.”

Since then, he’s franchised the business – there are 25 open now, and there should be 40 by the end of the year – and had more national television exposure.

“We went from, like, zero to 60 so fast,” Martin says. “I’m really busy now. … I couldn’t do any more stores myself.”

Bruner says she considered a few different franchises before selecting Smallcakes.

“The others were just very corporate,” she says. “They were nice, but we just liked Jeff’s personality. He cares, and he wants to be involved, and he’s still really excited about what he does.”

Martin says he started the business in 2008 in a tough economic climate.

“The way we did it was very simple, and we just kept it that way,” he says.

“It’s very cheap compared to … these other franchises. … You don’t have to sink a bunch of money into a Smallcakes.”

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