Kansas Aviation Museum to try to capitalize on unexplained activity at the museum

kamWICHITA — As executive director of the Kansas Aviation Museum, Lon Smith often works late – and alone – at the 1934 building, which was Wichita’s first airport terminal.

One night at about 1 a.m., he says, “I heard a loud, loud screaming sound. Sounded like a female voice more than a male.”

He walked in the direction of the sound to the darkened atrium, which once was a waiting area for passengers. He turned on the lights and started to investigate.

“When things like that happen, I tend to look for explanations, like there’s wind blowing through a window jamb or something like that,” Smith says. “It wasn’t anything like that.”

So Smith says he returned to work.

“All of a sudden, there it was again,” he says. “It was really like a blood-curdling, chills-up-your-back, somebody’s-getting-hurt kind of sound. Like if it had been a real person, I would have thought I need to go save this person from some kind of untimely demise.”

Instead, he left the building.

“I hate to admit it, but I was a little frightened.”

After six years of working there and experiencing about 25 unexplained incidents such as this, Smith has decided to start sharing his experiences.

“For quite a long time, I did not share anything about these incidents because it was my belief that some people might be worried about visiting the museum,” he says.

Smith says he’s changed his mind on the counsel of a trusted adviser.

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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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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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You don’t say

“Too much #Shocker Spirit? Guilty!”

– A Facebook post from Subaru of Wichita, which has changed its response to a union “shame on” sign by putting up a new sign saying, “For excessive Shocker spirit”

You don’t say

“In an unrelated note, Gary Parrish today announced his candidacy for mayor of the city of Wichita.”

– Attorney Lyndon Vix’s Facebook post about the CBSSports.com commentator having WSU beat Creighton in the Final Four and then KU for the championship

You don’t say

“My business serves everyone. Except most Kansas legislators. Them, I reserve the right to spank and send home early.”

– A Facebook post by Pixel Time owner Skyler Lovelace, referencing three controversial (and failed) bills

You don’t say

“… at first I wanted to go tour it, but now I kinda just want to go live there.”

– A Facebook post from Delano Neighborhood Association president Karen Cravens, who was researching urban grocery co-ops and discovered Old North St. Louis, which she says is more than a decade ahead of Delano on revitalization

You don’t say

“I have a voice for newspaper.”

– Maize superintendent Doug Powers in a Facebook comment about how he’s glad it’s not his voice on the school’s recorded message about cancellations

You don’t say

“It is now clear that we could have easily kept Newman open from 8:00 to at least 8:45 before canceling because of the snow. I am deeply ashamed that I did not think to do this.”

Newman University provost Michael Austin’s sarcastic Facebook post about his “perilous on all sides” decision to cancel school today

You don’t say

“Good thing these guys aren’t in the amputation business.”

– County Manager Bill Buchanan in a Facebook post about his dentist’s office, which called after a Thursday root canal to say, “We did the wrong tooth.”