NCCC ready for accreditation review
NCCC’s accreditation is up for review in September and I need your help to make sure we have the smoothest process possible. Accreditation only lasts about 10 years maximum and our last visit from the accreditors was about 10 years ago. Accreditation is extremely valuable to an institution. It determines whether or not that college can give federal financial aid. It determines if credits transfer from institution to institution. Basically, it...
Generations nourishing generations
In southeast Kansas, when asked where our food comes from, we think of the hard working farmers and ranchers who care for their livestock in all types of weather and who sit in a tractor all night to get the planting/harvesting done before a rain. But in many parts of America, “the grocery store” is the answer you will get.
“Generations Nourishing Generations” will be the underlying message for this year’s National Agriculture Day on March 1...
Welfare drug testing
On Friday the Kansas Legislature completed the first portion of the 2013 session with each chamber passing its own legislation to the other chamber. On Wednesday each body will take up the legislation sent to it from the other side of the capitol. Only one month remains of the regular legislative session. I list below some of the legislation of interest that was passed by the Senate.
At last SB 167 eliminates the statute of limitations for th...
Time for dormant oil application
I’m optimistic that spring might be within sight. Hopefully we will get some nice warm days here in February. And if we do, have your dormant oil sprays ready for application.
There are a number of dormant sprays used on fruit trees and other plants to control various diseases and insects. However, a dormant oil spray is designed to control scale insects, aphids and mites. Just like the name implies, dormant oils are applied before the tree ...
Put your tax refund to work
Not everyone gets one, but it’s always a welcome sight — a tax refund.¬† If you receive a refund this year, how can you best put it to work?
The answer depends, to a large extent, on the size of your refund. In 2012, the average tax refund was about $3,000, according to the IRS. Let’s look at a few possibilities for how you might use this amount:
• Help fund your IRA — In 2013, you can now put in up to $5,500 per year (up from $5,000 in 2012...
Taxes and spending
Clearly the main topic in last year’s state election season was the Governor’s tax cut bill which the 2012 legislature passed. Many asserted that the drastic cuts in income tax would cause huge cuts in our local school finances and in social service spending. This would necessitate associated gigantic increases in, the hated, PROPERTY TAX! Now that the legislature is in session, tax policy is indeed at the top of the action item list and we w...
Tips on choosing - and using - a tax preparer
When you first started out in your adult life, things were probably pretty simple: no house, no spouse, no kids, few investments. So, when it came time to do your taxes, you might have gotten along just fine by using Form 1040EZ - which, as the name suggests, is pretty darn easy to use. Fast forward a few years, however, and here you are today: family, mortgage, 401(k), IRA, stocks, bonds, debts, charitable contributions. Now, when you sit do...
‘Ready or NOT, KanCare is here’
“A melon forced off the vine will not be sweet.”¬†¬† -- Author Unknown
January 1, 2013 is a day that will live in infamy for thousands of Kansans with disabilities. On that day, the state of Kansas handed over one-third of its budget to three out of state, for-profit insurance companies. Come hell and high water, despite attempts to slow it down, KanCare started. No one was ready, including the managed care companies themselves. The only savi...
Celebrating successes in our community
Here it is February already and I know my New Year’s resolutions are not exactly holding firm! While resolutions are typically personal plans and goals, the start of 2013 also presents an opportunity for the Chamber to review the past and refine plans for the future. So, one of my resolutions for 2013 for the Chamber is to do even more to identify and celebrate the successes in our community.
By my unofficial count, Chanute had 26 businesses...
USD 413 ‘rocks’ include a vision
Opportunity abounds for educators in USD 413!¬†Indeed, it is an exciting time for teachers and learners in Chanute Public Schools!¬†Many changes are taking place in education at the national, state, and local levels.¬†¬† One such change is the adoption of the Kansas College and Career Readiness Standards (Common Core Standards).
Transitioning to the new standards is a challenging task. To assist in this process, our district recently held the...
Adventure Lover’s Open House on Feb. 9
On Saturday, Feb. 9 the Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum is hosting its annual Adventure Lover’s Open House. From 10-5 the museum will be open free-of-charge. Everyone is invited to tour museum exhibits including the special exhibit “Foreign Press: Advertising Adventure Abroad,” featuring foreign printed editions of the Johnsons’ books, movie posters, and marketing materials.
In preparation for Valentine’s Day the Safari Museum¬Æ is offer...
Getting bang out of your buck
Are you going to get out of it what you put in? This is part of my speech I give to all incoming freshmen at NCCC. I speak to all of the “First Year Seminar” class (formally called College Orientation) with the purpose of welcoming them to NCCC, but also warning them that the college experience is up to them. I compare college to a bank account – You get out of it exactly what you put into it, with interest. Those who sit in their rooms playi...
Southwind Extension District is for everyone
Previously Carla Nemecek, Southwind Extension district director, highlighted many of the services provided through your local Extension office that are geared more toward the agriculture side, but we also provide a multitude of services geared toward Family and Consumer Sciences. Together, the Southwind Extension District truly has something to offer everyone!
Was your garden overly abundant and you want to preserve some of the bounty? We can...
View from the sports desk: Won’t be going to Cooperstown
I am crossing the Baseball Hall of Fame off my list of dream travel destinations. When it was announced that the group of baseball writers who selects players for induction to the Hall of Fame announced that no one on the ballot was fit for inclusion this year, they sent the message to my generation that they didn’t want us to visit their museum
The Hall of Fame is a place that honors the great professional baseball players. In their youth, p...
Resolved, the process works
President of the Kansas Bar Association
The rule of law is about process. Lawyers work within the judicial process on a daily basis. We understand that a fair and even-handed process promotes a fair and even-handed result, typically the correct result.
Americans have faith in the checks and balances within our democracy. We elect our legislators to enact the statutes desired by the majority. We elect our gubernatorial and presi...
View from the sports desk:
Hail to Harwood Heaven
I took my first-ever trip to Lawrence’s fabled Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday to witness the game between the Kansas Jayhawks and their statistically insignificant opponents from American University. It seems like every major college football and basketball team these days annually puts a few inept teams that can be used for automatic easy wins on the schedule.¬†American University was there to serve that function for Kansas last weekend, and t...
Expertise, resources available through Extension
Kansas State University provides research-based information through many avenues. Locally, your contact is the Southwind Extension District in Erie, Fort Scott and Iola. Hundreds of publications and fact sheets, written by K-State researchers and specialists, are available through the university’s Publications Library, www.ksre.ksu.edu/library Another alternative is to research the information provided on the Southwind website, www.southwind....
Make some New Year’s
(financial) resolutions for 2013
Once again, it’s time to make some New Year’s resolutions. This year, in addition to promising yourself that you’ll hit the gym more often, learn a new language or take up a musical instrument — all worthy goals, of course — why not set some financial resolutions?
Consider these suggestions:
• Boost your retirement account contributions. If your income will rise this year, consider putting more money into your employer-sponsored retirement p...
‘Shame, shame, shame’
Do you ever get embarrassed by others actions? Whether it is your kids, spouse, friends, etc? I am embarrassed by our two Kansas Senators; Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts. In December, the U.S. Senate had the opportunity to join more than 120 nations in ratifying a treaty affirming the rights of people with disabilities.
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities aimed to “promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of...