Monthly Archives: March 2014

You don’t say

“It just felt so old to me. They felt so old, and of course, I’m so young.”

Sonia Greteman, whose Greteman Group is celebrating 25 years in business, laughing about when she was in her 20s and helping Quillen Elsea Janzen celebrate its 25th anniversary

Hallelujah, even SNL loves the Shockers

WICHITA — Wichita and Wichita State University have taken a bit of gentle razzing since the Shockers’ NCAA tournament loss.

There was Jimmy Fallon, who teased that the Shockers said they were able to focus on winning because, “We play in Wichita. Not many distractions here.”

Stephen Colbert joked, “March Madness comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lion who lost 10 grand betting on Wichita State.”

The city and the team have been shown a lot of love, too, especially in a funny Saturday Night Live skit over the weekend.

Actor Jay Pharoah reprised his role impersonating animated ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith.

“When this whole thing started, I picked Wichita State to win it all, and I’m still picking Wichita State,” Pharoah, as Smith, stated.

“Now a lot of experts will tell you that Wichita State was eliminated from the tournament but that their season is over.”

With each word, Pharoah then sounded more like a preacher.

“But I have a feeling, and mark my words, that Wichita State will come back to win the entire NCAA tournament and an NBA championship. Mark it down. Hallelujah!”

Charlie’s PizzaTaco owners test cellphone battery chargers at each table

batterytwoWICHITA — The Shockers’ season may be over, but an incident that happened during one of the games has inspired an invention that is in the test phase and soon will go national.

A few weeks ago, Charlie’s PizzaTaco co-owner Tim Holmes says he observed a dilemma a customer was having in his restaurant near Central and Tyler.

“One day there was a young man watching the Wichita State game, and he was obviously fighting with his girlfriend via text message.”

Holmes says the customer’s phone was about to die, but he didn’t want to leave the restaurant. Nor did he want to further upset his girlfriend.

“He was kind of torn,” Holmes says. “So he asked me, ‘Do you have a charger that I could borrow?’”

Holmes thought it would a great idea to have a charger at every table so no customer ever has to choose between lingering over a meal and leaving in order to charge a phone.

His partner, David Hoffman, happens to own a company that manufactures cellphone batteries and sells accessories for phones to retailers nationally.

“We do about everything for a phone,” he says of Celltronix, which is part of Hoffco Brands in Golden, Colo.

Hoffman says his company is building a prototype and has some temporary devices at Charlie’s.

“I said, ‘Just put these out there, and get a reaction for me,’” Hoffman says.

“Basically what we’re doing right now is just testing the theory out,” Holmes says.

He says the device is a simple battery pack, which makes it portable.

“You don’t have to rewire your entire restaurant to do this project,” Holmes says.

There are three plugs in one charger for iPhones and Droids. The devices are attached to napkin holders.

The prototype batteries will be enclosed to prevent theft.

“Since I put them in, people just use the heck out of ’em,” Holmes says.

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You don’t say

“The first things I thought about were what it would do for our budget and all the camera equipment we could buy. The first thing my students thought was a pizza party.”

Maize High School journalism teacher Dan Loving on a Wichita bank accidentally sending a more than $20,000 check to his students’ magazine

Haysville has its defenders just like Gridiron

WICHITA — Have You Heard? shared some of the Facebook comments poking fun at Haysville residents who don’t want to be poked fun of anymore at Gridiron, so it’s only fair to share some comments in support of Haysville, too.

Wichita resident Vaughn Fox said via e-mail that he plans to boycott Gridiron if Haysville jokes continue, and he says he’ll support Haysville monetarily in its effort to fight being ridiculed.

Derby resident Bob Cropp says he can’t help but notice the similarities between the Haysville situation and all the PR people’s complaints about PR News making fun of the Shockers.

“I think a common thread to all that is bullying,” Cropp says.

When there’s teasing of any sort, he says, it says a lot in how a person or group responds when someone says a comment hurts.

“A defensive posture means you weren’t kidding,” he says. “That’s bullying. That’s what this is all about.”

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Sleep Number to open at NewMarket Square

WICHITA — A new Sleep Number store is opening at NewMarket Square at 21st and Maize Road this summer.

The 2,500-square-foot store will open in the former Verizon Wireless space in the same center as Bella Luna Cafe.

Verizon expanded to part of the University of Phoenix’s former space. That’s in the same building as Kay Jewelers and Scottrade.

Sleep Number is part of Select Comfort Corp. of Minneapolis.

April Reed of Slawson Cos. handled the deal.

Look for more information closer to the store’s opening.

Rita’s Italian Ice to offer free ice desserts Monday and Tuesday

WICHITA — It’s rare that “free” and “tasty” go together, but that’s what the new Rita’s Italian Ice will offer Monday and Tuesday when it opens next to the Five Guys Burgers and Fries near 29th and Rock Road.

“We are excited to turn people onto that product,” franchisee Jeff Miller says.

So he and Rita’s corporate will be offering free ice – not custard – both days.

Miller says people here are already familiar with custard.

“They’re not familiar with Italian ice,” he says.

Miller says customers tend to think Rita’s Italian Ice might be shaved ice or slushies before trying it.

“It’s not what they think it is,” he says.

“It’s just so much more than that. … We want people to try it and have the experience.”

You don’t say

“Short bursts of wind moving at high speeds are known as gusts…..or in Kansas, it’s known as Thursday.”

– A tweet from Winfield-based S and Y Industries senior vice president John Foust

Haysville leaders and residents are weary of being ‘portrayed as illiterate bumpkins’

The Gridiron cast usually makes Haysville jokes as an aside, not a full skit. Still, the city is not amused by them.

The Gridiron cast usually makes Haysville jokes as an aside, not a full skit. Still, the city is not amused by them.

UPDATED — The joke’s on them, and Haysville leaders and residents are not amused.

“We request that you remove all jokes about Haysville and other area communities from Gridiron,” said Haysville Mayor Bruce Armstrong in a Thursday e-mail to several people involved with the show.

Gridiron is an annual satirical production put on by the local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists to spoof the news and raise scholarship money for journalism students.

Armstrong said “compromising the well being of the citizens and businesses of Haysville with snide, hurtful and untrue remarks is not an acceptable means to securing the funds for those scholarships.”

Armstrong’s wife, Susan Armstrong of Armstrong Chamberlin Strategic Marketing, also wrote to “respectfully request that you reconsider any skits that portray an entire city–any city–as ignorant or toothless, or cheap. It’s the equivalent of bullying, and it shouldn’t be done.”

She said that “Haysville is growing weary of having our whole community portrayed as illiterate bumpkins. We are working hard to improve the awareness of all the wonderful qualities our city has to offer. Every time you mention Haysville at Gridiron, you hurt our efforts.”

John Burke, superintendent of schools for Haysville USD 261, wrote, “I find this counterproductive to our image campaign and am respectively requesting that you stop making fun of Haysville as part of your production.”

One resident wrote to invite those involved with Gridiron to visit Haysville for a tour – along with coming up with new material and giving Haysville a break.

Sedgwick County Commissioner Tim Norton, who regularly attends Gridiron and spars with the cast, says enough probably is enough.

“Well, I’ve always been a very, very good sport with the sarcasm, the innuendo, the poking and everything,” he says. Norton says, though, the joke is wearing thin.

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PR News apologizes to Wichita State University and the Shockers

WICHITA — It was a day late, but PR News has apologized for suggesting through an e-mail to PR executives nationally that they can “score big” in the industry if they “Don’t be like Wichita State.”

“On behalf of PR News, I wish to apologize to Wichita State University and its many basketball fans and supporters across the country for the reference to the university in our March 26 email solicitation,” wrote Diane Schwartz, senior vice president and group publisher for PR News in what appears to be an e-mail blast to the same people who received the initial e-mail on Wednesday.

“The subject line was inappropriate and reflected poor judgment on our part. We have taken steps to ensure such statements made in our email solicitations will not happen again,” Schwartz wrote. “Thank you for understanding that mistakes happen, even to those who serve the PR trade. We are humbled by the incident and appreciate your continued support.”

Late Wednesday evening, Schwartz also sent a note to Barth Hague, WSU’s associate vice president for university relations and chief marketing officer. She said, in part, “I and my team have the utmost respect for your university — and the Shockers –and please understand that we own up to this mistake in judgment.”

The mass apology was sent Thursday morning.

“I find it acceptable,” Hague says. “I know that others who have been talking to me from outside of the organization thought it was weak.”

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