Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas to move to New Leaf Plaza

UPDATED — The Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas is turning over a New Leaf, so to speak, and moving to the shopping center of the same name at 21st and Amidon.

“It is very accessible and very visible for the public,” says Keith Lawing, president and CEO of the agency that connects workers with employers.

“I really think it’s going to be a perfect location for their new home, although some would have liked for it to stay downtown, I suppose,” says City Council member Jeff Longwell.

“They are at least for a little bit going to keep some of the administration stuff down in the Garvey building,” he says.

The Workforce Alliance had been at the former Commerce Bank building at First and Main downtown and had to scramble to find new space along with other tenants there when building issues, such as a broken elevator and suspended gas service, forced them to go elsewhere.

A site a few blocks down from First and Washington is where the Workforce Alliance temporarily is until the new space is ready.

Lawing says parking had become an issue where the Workforce Alliance was at First and Main.

“We definitely looked downtown,” he says seeking new space. “If we could have found a place that would have been adjacent to a parking garage … it would have been great.”

He says no such place could be found.

Longwell says that initially the Workforce Alliance will take about 26,000 square feet at New Leaf, which is on the southwest corner of the intersection and is home to a Walmart Neighborhood Market.

He says it “is going to be a really nice space.”

“It’s a good location, easily accessible, on a bus route,” Longwell says. “I really like that whole area. It’s kind of coming back a little bit.”

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You don’t say: Our favorites from 2013

Some were newsy, some were shocking, but most were simply fun or funny. Here are some of our favorite “You don’t say” quotes from 2013.

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“I said, ‘You must know a lot of angry people.’ (They) said, ‘I work at Spirit.’”

Best of Times owner Nancy Robinson on a person who bought 10 Dammit Dolls, the soft dolls angry people can safely slam on any surface to blow off steam on bad days

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“My first place that I am not going to get married at is the Grand Chapel.”

– Sedgwick County Chairman Jim Skelton, whose upcoming marriage to Stacy Luke won’t take place at the facility he sued over his daughter’s wedding

“That’s correct, he’s not.”

– Grand Chapel owner Dennis Wilkie, who says Skelton is “a troublemaker, and I just don’t want to deal with troublemakers.”

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“Women pilots don’t land at the wrong airport. We ask for directions!”

– A tweet from Seattle-based pilot Karlene Petitt (‏@KarlenePetitt) about the Dreamlifter incident at Colonel James Jabara Airport

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“Be aware, Boeing, ‘this route has tolls.’ Bring some change.”

– An NPR story that acknowledged a stranded Dreamlifter likely couldn’t be towed from Colonel James Jabara Airport to McConnell Air Force Base but offered a Google map and driving directions anyway

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“I thought I’d get in line right behind him.”

– Outgoing Chamber chairwoman Debbie Gann, who “about choked” at the group’s annual dinner Tuesday when possible mayoral candidate Jeff Turner suggested she would make a great mayor

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“I’m going to drop off a baked bean can and a string tomorrow … so we can chat later in the day.”

Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers co-owner Scott Redler teasing City Council member Pete Meitzner about his antiquated BlackBerry

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“With all the crying and whining in Washington, I’m feeling ready to be a new father come November.”

– Expectant father U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder speaking Friday at the 2013 Congressional Summit at the Hotel at Old Town

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“We know you’re a Democrat.”

– Park City administrator Jack Whitson, teasing the city’s chamber president, registered Republican Dean Frankenbery, about a misprint that said Rep. Mike Pompom, not Pompeo, would be the group’s next speaker

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“I know you are all wondering if that beautiful new red car parked over there is a door prize. It’s not. It’s the speaker’s gift.”

Delta Dental of Kansas vice president of human resources Kara Hunt, speaking at the Chamber’s Sunrise Scrambler about a car that Davis-Moore had at the event

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“I thought that Davis-Moore . . . has been hurting so bad that they needed a sale, so I thought I’d help them out.”

– Car dealer Brandon Steven, joking about why he bought a Viper at his competitor’s dealership

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“I think it’s awesome that he bought himself a nice car.”

– Davis-Moore’s Dawson Grimsley, retorting with a teasing implication that Steven couldn’t find a nice car at his own lot

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“The @WichitaOrpheum could use a little Jesus after @RealTracyMorgan’s performance there. #itwaspurefilth”

— A tweet from comedian Ron Shively, aka @FunnyMrBiggs, after hearing City Life Church is going to rent the Orpheum Theatre every Sunday morning for services

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“Puppies and people all over town are sad today.”

—Accountant David Jabara on the death of Doggy Day Care owner Marilyn Walk

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Tenants at former Commerce Bank building are scrambling for new office space

WICHITA — Tenants at the former Commerce Bank building at First and Main downtown are scrambling to find new space.

“Monday, the gas was shut off in the building,” says Kevin Berube, who has run the Snack Attack deli in the building for 27 years.

“One elevator still works part of the time, but it’s no way to operate,” he says. “It’s very hard on everyone.”

The 10-story building is not quite a third occupied with about 10 tenants, the largest of which is the Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas.

“We don’t want to move,” says Keith Lawing, Alliance president and CEO. “It’s just untenable, though.”

Building owner Joe Moosally didn’t return two calls for comment on Wednesday.

“The building has just not been maintained,” Lawing says. “It’s that Minnesota boys hangover.”

The Real Development developers out of Minnesota once owned the building. Moosally, also out of Minnesota, had ties to the other developers but was not part of that company.

Delton Sandefer of Essential Property Management managed the building until the beginning of October.

“We were just trying to help him keep the building afloat,” he says. “I was managing the building for a little while and quit managing … because of lack of funds with the owners.”

Sandefer says Moosally was working on a deal to sell the building, but it apparently fell through.

He says when Moosally took back the property, he attempted to pay past bills associated with it.

“It was just overwhelming for Joe,” Sandefer says. “He didn’t realize that nothing had been paid for five months.”

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You don’t say

“I think he’s been in the kitchen all day.”

Chamber Honors Night emcee Jon Rolph on John Clevenger of Commerce Bank, which sponsored the dessert reception after the awards

Apricot Lane Boutique, a national chain, to open at Bradley Fair this spring

WICHITA — Along with tulips and daffodils popping up this spring, Wichita will have an apricot, too.

Apricot Lane Boutique, that is.

Wichitans Kami and Mark Murphy are opening a franchise of the California-based women’s boutique at Bradley Fair in March.

“The store is a fabulous women’s fashion boutique that is very unique,” says the chain’s founder and CEO Ken Petersen.

There are 82 Apricot Lanes in 30 states, and they’re known for having limited quantities– maybe only a couple of each size — of name-brand and nonbranded apparel.

“Customers love that,” Petersen says. He says they like knowing not everyone will be wearing what they’re wearing.

“Our product mix is fast, and it’s fresh, and it’s on trend, and it’s constantly changing,” he says.

Petersen calls the store a mother-daughter boutique that appeals to both age groups.

He says he’s found it to be even more than that.

“I can’t tell you how many times we’ve seen grandma, mom and daughter in the stores,” he says.

“I didn’t want to be a juniors retailer. We didn’t want to be a Talbots-type of retailer.”

There also will be shoes, jewelry, accessories and gifts in a variety of price points.

“We’re excited to bring something that’s so hip and also something that’s a little more affordable to Bradley Fair,” Kami Murphy says.

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Butler Community College inducts new members in Mid-America Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame

WICHITA — Butler Community College’s Mid-America Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame awards were at the Hyatt Regency Wichita Thursday night despite swirling dust storms outside.

“Our (weather) guys, they’re blaming it on Nebraska,” joked emcee Michael Schwanke of KWCH, Channel 12.

Former Butler baseball coach B.D. Parker introduced Rising Entrepreneur winner Justin McClure of Justin McClure Creative.

“I’m still scared of that man,” McClure said upon taking the stage.

A couple of Dustrol employees introduced Business Entrepreneur winners Ted and Barb Dankert, who founded what today is the largest in-place asphalt recycling company in the country.

“When I went to work for Ted in 1979, I didn’t have gray hair,” vice president Brian Hansen said. “I don’t know what that tells us.”

Ted Dankert said he’d hoped to have a couple of teleprompters to help him with his speech.

“I got to checking on it but found out they were all tied up till November 7.”

After his remarks, his wife teased him by saying, “I don’t know if you noticed or not, but Ted took up all our speaking time.”

She had some words of advice for the audience before she left the stage.

“Get in your cars, buy lots of gas and drive lots of miles, and wear out the asphalt as quick as you can, and Dustrol will have work to do next year.”

Perhaps the most intriguing comment of the night came from KT Wiedemann Foundation president Doug Pringle, who accepted the Social Entrepreneur award on behalf of the organization.

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