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!”

‘Til We Meet again obtains license to sell Vatican caskets, urns, grave markers and memorial products

WICHITA — If a business person would like to do business with the Vatican, is it as easy as calling up and asking?

Almost. At least that’s how it seemed to go for Nathan Smith and Traci Smith-Cone of ’Til We Meet Again, the casket store at Towne West Square that’s turning into a national chain.

The day after Thanksgiving, Smith says he and Smith-Cone signed a deal with the Vatican for Vatican-licensed merchandise.

“We are the only source for retail for all Vatican caskets, urns and memorial products throughout the United States,” Smith says. “It’s been something we’ve been working on for quite some time.”

Another company used to have the exclusive license, he says.

“That company that was doing that fell on some hard times and bad management and are no longer in existence,” Smith says.

When he heard that, he says he called the Vatican to inquire about the license.

“Through a lot of negotiations and talks, we thought it brought a lot of value to have that license from the Vatican,” Smith says. “It’s going to be a pretty big license for us.”

The company is in the process of working with the Vatican and several manufacturers on developing lines for caskets, urns, grave markers, jewelry and keepsakes.

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