Entries from blogs tagged with “Baldwin City”

Clothing store opening in Eudora; Baldwin City candidate forum scheduled; area Halloween celebrations planned

Elizabeth Knispel is delighted with the 704 Main St. storefront she and her husband, John, found for the women’s apparel shop they transplanted to Eudora.

“We love Main Street,” she said. “It’s an old building, and it’s perfect for our store concept. We’re happy to see Main Street grow.”

The name of the store is Twill Trade and could be found until Sept. 30 in Littleton, Colo., Knispel said. The couple kept the Colorado store open after they moved to Eudora a year ago when John Knispel got a job at the the University of Kansas' Edwards Campus. They decided it was time to relocate the Littleton store when their manager recently resigned, she said.

“We decided it was time to make a fresh start in Eudora, so we brought the store with us,” she said.

Ninety percent of what the store carries is new women’s clothing that she orders from a number of U.S. vendors, but customers will find some vintage jewelry and handbags, Knispel said.

“My father does a lot of auctions,” she said. “The vintage jewelry and accessories are mostly from estate sales and things like that.”

Knispel said Twill Trade will be open for customers as soon as she secures a last city permit. She does plan a grand opening for Saturday, Nov. 4, at which the store will give away gift certificates, provide refreshments and have children’s activities.

In one sense Twill Trade is already open with its online presence, shoptwilltrade.com and twilltrade.com, Knispel said. She’ll now run the online part of the business, which started in 2013, out of the 704 Main St. storefront.

Twill Trade’s hours will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday and by appointment on Monday and Tuesday.

The Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a candidate forum for the Baldwin City mayoral and City Council candidates Thursday at the Lumberyard Arts Center, 718 High St. The two candidates for mayor, incumbent Marilyn Pearse and Casey Simoneau, will discuss issues facing the city from 6 to 7 p.m., and candidates for the two council seats on the ballot will share their views from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Running for the City Council are Brian Cramer, Brian Messenger, Susan Pitts, Shane Starkey, Peter Sexton and A.J. Stevens. Refreshments will be provided at the forum.

The Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce monthly coffee and conversation with city officials will be from 8 to 9 a.m. Friday at the Baldwin Academy of Dance and Voice, 715 High St. City Administrator Glenn Rodden, City Financial Director Brad Smith and city electrical plant supervisor Rob Culley will talk about the city’s electrical generating and distribution system.

Eudora trick-or-treaters will have two early opportunities Saturday to model Halloween costumes. The Eudora Chamber of Commerce and Eudora Parks and Recreation are sponsoring a trunk or treat from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Saturday in downtown Eudora. For those young witches, Jedi knights and monsters needing more of a sugar high, the Eudora Parks and Recreation will have a Great Pumpkin Hunt from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday at Lucy Kaegi Park, 1638 Elm St. Candy and prizes will be scattered for children to find.

Baldwin City will have its annual downtown Halloween parade from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday. Participating downtown businesses will provide treats for trick-or-treaters, and the Lumberyard Arts Center and student volunteers from Baker Cares will have a trunk or treat at the arts center, 718 High St. There will also be a Star Wars-themed haunted house at the arts center.


Campaign to help railway raise repair funds; Eudorafest to introduce 5K

Midland Railroad has started an internet fundraising campaign to help with the $380,000 in track repairs needed as a result of the Aug. 22 flooding.

Mike Bosch, Midland board member, said the goal of the Go Fund Me drive is to raise $85,000 that would be used to make additional repairs on the northern half of the 11-mile Midland track from Baldwin City to Norwood north of Ottawa. Midland’s fundraising page is gofundme.com/midland-railway-track-repairs.The nonprofit tourist excursion line and the Kansas Belle Dinner Train, which uses Midland's track and locomotives, have been able to travel only from Baldwin City to the line’s midway point (called Nowhere) since the flooding, Bosch said.

Midland volunteers have made what repairs they can to the northern section, Bosch said. Additional work requires specialized equipment. To the south, bridge and culvert work will require the consultation of an engineer, which will further increase the repair bill, he said.

Donations would help with the repairs and the morale of the volunteers that keep Midland running, Bosch said. Meanwhile, Midland is searching for grants to help with the more extensive repairs, and is waiting to learn if Douglas and Franklin counties will qualify for FEMA emergency funding from the storm. The two counties made disaster declarations, which Gov. Sam Brownback signed. The federal government also must make a disaster finding before FEMA funds could be available. Bosch said, however, that he didn't know if FEMA would view funding for a tourist line as a priority.

Midland’s two-county operation is also complicating grant applications, as some money is available only for a single county, Bosch said.

The 21st annual Eudorafest is introducing a new feature, said Barbara Tuttle, committee chair of the fall festival that is held on the first Saturday of October.

“We’re excited to have the first Turtle Trot,” she said. “It’s a 5K run to benefit Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.”

The run will start about 9:10 a.m near the Eudora Public Safety Building at 10th and Main streets, Tuttle said. Participants can register for the race from 7:30 to 8:45 a.m. at the same location. The human 5K will precede an actual tortoise race scheduled for 12:30 p.m. at Eighth and Main streets.

Forty to 60 vendor booths will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the festival, Tuttle said. The Gary and Dani Show and Shotgun and Lace will provide live entertainment. Dani Thompkins, who will sing the national anthem at the opening ceremonies, has performed the song before Kansas City Chiefs games, she said.

Returning to the festival this year will be the car, truck and motorcycle show in the 700 block of Main Street, the tractor show at Ninth and Main streets, Lions Club kids games in CPA Park and the Kids Path to Pizza at the Eudora Fire Department, 10th and Main streets. All those activities start at 9 a.m.

A couple of longtime festival features will be absent this year. Tuttle said the talent show has been discontinued because of waning interest, and the pedal-tractor pull has also been canceled this year.

The Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce will have its monthly meeting from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Lumberyard Arts Center, 718 High St. The speakers will be local winery owners Tom Holland, of Haven Pointe Winery and Vineyard, and Doug Flitton, of the Vines Vineyard and Winery.


Eudora City Commission approves solar panel measure; innovative teaching grants awarded in Baldwin; Cardinal homecoming parade scheduled

Residents of the city of Eudora can now have solar panels on their homes connected to the city’s electrical distribution system.

After 10 months of review and a study that broke down the costs associated with the city delivering power to homes, the Eudora City Commission approved last week measures that put in place standards for the installation of solar panels.

The action also established an electrical rate charged to residences with solar panels of $0.1135 per kilowatt hour. Those customers will also be billed a monthly $26 service charge. It also allows customers with solar panels to be credited for the excess electrical power they deliver to the city distribution system. The credited rate will be 150 percent of the city’s actual cost to purchase power for the month.

There will be ukuleles in the Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center music room, a pottery wheel in the Baldwin High School art studio, and high school and primary center students trekking to local fields to collect flora samples as a result of annual Pawz Patrol grants handed out Friday in the Baldwin City school district.

The Baldwin Education Foundation awarded 30 grants totaling $18,660 this year, said Kathy Gerstner, BEF director. Members of the foundation and Superintendent Paul Dorathy visited classrooms Friday in all four district schools to hand out the awards. The grants are funded through BEF’s fundraising efforts and partnerships with local businesses.

The competitive grants are awarded each September to district teachers, who make applications for innovation projects that offer educational opportunities to classrooms beyond the required curriculum.

Gerstner said the foundation’s board was pleased with the number and quality of applications it received this year. Because a number of teachers submitted collaborative projects, 54 classrooms will directly benefit from the 30 grants, she said.

The Eudora High School 2017 homecoming parade will be at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. The parade route will be from Laws Field, 14th and Church streets, to the downtown CPA Park.

The Eudora Area Historical Society will present the program “History of the Haskell Indian Nation” at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Eudora Community Center, 1630 Elm St.

The Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce and city of Baldwin City will host a coffee and conversation on the topic of “What’s new on the horizon for the police building?” from 8 to 9 a.m. Friday at the Baldwin Academy of Dance and Voice, 715 High St. Baldwin City Police Chief Greg Neis, City Administrator Glenn Rodden and architect Jay Zimmerschied will talk about issues with the current police station and what would be needed in a possible replacement.

Reply 1 comment from Jays

Owners of new Baldwin City clinic want other businesses to benefit from customers; coaches to speak at chamber meeting; senior summit planned for Eudora

Peggy and Matt Keller want clients to think of appointments in their new Baldwin City clinic as destination visits.

The Kellers opened PK Therapy at 811 Grove St. earlier this month. The clinic offers occupational therapy in the former law office of Russell Cloon. The move came after the couple purchased an existing pediatric practice. The clientele from that practice is the core of a practice the Kellers plan to expand to serve all age groups.

The news site suits their needs very well, the Kellers said. It has several rooms they can modify for different therapies and another for an office. It does, however, require existing clients, many of whom are from Lawrence or Topeka, to drive about eight more miles for appointments.

“We’ve had a few say, ‘Where’s Baldwin?’, but most like the drive,” Peggy said.

Matt said he encourages clinics to look at the appointments as destination visits and take the time to explore Baldwin City and its downtown a half block to the east. They can have a cup of coffee, eat at a cafe, visit the Lumberyard Arts Center, check out the antique store or stroll the Baker University campus, he said.

Because most of the existing clients are still in school, the clinic’s busy hours are from 3 to 7 p.m., Peggy said. She intends to increase the scope the clinic’s clientele from pediatric to geriatric and everything in between, she said.

Peggy is a 1984 graduate of Baker University and received a master’s in occupational therapy in 1987 from the University of Kansas. She had a rural in-home practice that specialized in hippotherapy, or therapy on horseback, for the past 15 years.

The couple said Peggy handles the therapy side of PK Therapy. With his banking background, Matt will be in charge of “everything else.”

“I’m in charge of the maintenance, (seeing) that the bills get sent out on time and all the other things,” he said.

The Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce will have its monthly meeting from noon to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Lumberyard Arts Center, 718 High St. Baker University football coach Mike Grossner and Baldwin High School coach Doug Kerr will present the program. Homestead Bakery will cater the lunch.

–––– The Senior Resource Center of Douglas County will have a senior summit in Eudora from 1 to 3 p.m. Sept. 28 at the Eudora Community Center, 1630 Elm St. The summit will address services that seniors need in the community.

Those planning to attend the summit are asked to RSVP to the Senior Resource Center by sending an email by Sept. 16 to smacfarlane@YourSRC.org. with name, title, organization, phone number and number people attending.

Kathy Johnston's service to the Baldwin City Library will be marked with a celebration from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday at the library. Johnston retired in July has director of the library after more than 30 years of service in that position.


Owner hopes Baldwin City decor shop becomes part of something bigger; competitors wanted for Great Kaw Adventure Race; donations sought for memorial softball tournament

Sandy Narum wants her Papa’s Nest Egg store to be part of something bigger in Baldwin City.

Narun is now adding her touch to the used furniture that is to be part of the inventory of the store she and her husband, Bill, will open at 606 High St. in mid-September. On Wednesday, Narum was reconditioning a bookcase by applying a coat of paint that gives the piece a matte, aged look.

Her shop will offer furniture reconditioned for a vintage look, Narum said. Some pieces will be painted and others get a fresh stain. Home decor items will join the reconditioned furniture on the floor and shelves of the store, she said. She also plans to offer classes in vintage painting techniques, wreath-making and other home decor topics.

“I started painting my own furniture about six years ago,” she said. “I thought it would be fun to do it for other people.”

The retired medical office administrator said she got serious about that idea this summer.

“The whole thing started formulating in my mind in July,” Narum said. “It was just an idea, but lots of details opened up. We decided to take the opportunity to start something.”

Her store is ideally located to take advantage of Maple Leaf Festival traffic, and Narum said she was looking forward to festival weekend the month after the store opens. Her hope is Papa’s Nest Egg and a number of similar stores in the community will provide festival visitors the incentive to return to Baldwin City.

“I’m hoping we develop a reputation in Baldwin City of being kind of a vintage, antique type of destination,” she said. “Homestead Bakery carries vintage items and the In Full Bloom floral shop does a wonderful job with that. We have Antiques on the Prairie and Quilters’ Paradise.”

Planning for the third annual Great Kaw Adventure Race is going well. Leslie Herring, Eudora assistant to the city manager, said sponsors and volunteers are in place for the Sept. 30 race. What is needed now is enough two-person teams to fill the race’s 50-team slots. That’s almost double the 26 teams that competed last year, which more than doubled the number of teams in the race’s first year, she said.

Pre-registration is required, and organizers encourage competitors to register by Sept. 15. That will assure competitors will receive a T-shirt and other goodies to be handed out the day of the race, Herring said. Registration costs $75 per competitor or $150 per team. Competitors will find an online link to register at the Great Kaw Adventure Race’s Facebook page, she said. The first-place team will win two stand-up paddle boards. The second-place team will receive two hydration backpacks, and the third-place team will win gift certificates.

The basics of the race will be the same this year, Herring said. Competitors will be asked to complete a course that starts with a running leg in Eudora, a canoeing or kayaking leg from Eudora down the Kansas River to De Soto and a final leg of bicycling back to Eudora.

Herring said the running leg would be shorter this year, and the bicycling leg would include off-road biking, which competitors should keep in mind when choosing a bicycle for the race. Canoes would be provided, she said.

The race also requires competitors to complete 14 challenges, Herring said.

“Some of the challenges are physical, some are mental and others test endurance,” she said. “They will be very unconventional. We got creative this year.”

This year’s race will be an “orienteering” contest, in which competitors will have to find their way from checkpoint to checkpoint after they are given maps with minimal information, Herring said.

The race starts at 9 a.m. Sept. 30, and competitors will have six hours to complete the course. The day’s activities start at 7 a.m. on Ninth Street between Main and Maple streets. Early arrivals will find coffee offered by Alchemy Coffee and Bake House of Lawrence and can get a pre-race muscle warmup from Mateo Chiropractic of Eudora or a yoga session with Mary Kirkendoll of Eudora Yoga Center.

The noon to 5 p.m. post-race after party on the same Ninth Street location will feature food vendors and live music from the Hall of Famers, Herring said.

Organizers of the seventh annual Cainan T. Shutt Memorial Softball Tournament are seeking donations for the event, which will be Friday, Sept. 8 and Saturday, Sept. 9 in Babe Ruth Park, 1630 Elm St., in Eudora. Those who wish to donate cash, gift certificates, merchandise, water, food, soft drinks or other appropriate items are asked to call Elizabeth Rowland at 785-979-9717 or Waylon Ziesenis at 785-615-1226.

Games will start Friday, Sept. 8, but there will be special activities starting at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9. Those will include a visit from Kansas City Chiefs mascot KC Wolf, a bounce house, concessions and a silent auction.

Cainan Shutt, the son of Tommy Shutt and Alison Raboin, was killed at age 5 in an accident on Kansas Highway 10 when the vehicle he was riding in was struck by a vehicle that crossed the freeway’s median. Rowland said the annual softball tournament and the publicity it generated played an important role in the installation of median cables on K-10. The tournament has raised more than $5,000 for scholarships in recent years and provided funding for a new scoreboard on Eudora’s Babe Ruth Park.


Renovations for Edward Jones prove popular in Baldwin City; Eudora to review its downtown grant program

Those behind the extensive renovations of the storefront at the northwest corner of High and Eighth streets in downtown Baldwin City are finding rehabilitating has benefits for marketing and community goodwill.

Stacy Carrington is the longtime owner of the building at 723 Eighth St. She owned and ran the dance studio there before selling it to Courtney and Brian Williams, who eventually relocated the studio to a new home at 711 High St., about a half-block to the east.

The ground floor of Carrington’s building was empty after that move, but she said she was determined it would not remain a black hole on Baldwin City’s prime downtown intersection. With that in mind, she went shopping for a bank loan to make renovations needed to attract a tenant. It turned out to be very fortuitous timing as Peter Carr was looking for a Baldwin City location for his Edward Jones office.

Together, Carrington and Carr undertook extensive renovations to the interior and exterior of the building. As passersby have likely noticed, the south exterior wall got a coating of black paint, and the Eighth Street-facing facade was redone. Gone from the facade is the shingled awning that covered a high row of windows, which Carrington said she didn’t know existed. Those now provide more sunlight to the storefront’s entry lobby and Carrington’s desk.

Yes, Carrington has a desk in the lobby of the offices she leases to Carr. The partnership the landlord and tenant forged in renovating the building continues through a business arrangement that has Carrington working as executive assistant for Carr’s financial investment franchise. The renovations delayed Carr’s hoped-for January opening about six months, but everyone seems pleased with the labor-intensive results. The lobby’s brick outer walls and preserved wood floors complement the use of metal ceiling tiles used as an interior wall.

The renovations have proven a nice marketing tool as people stop in to share with Carr and Carrington their impressions of the century-old storefront older community residents knew as a pharmacy.

“They are so excited about with what we’ve done inside and the facade upgrade,” Carrington said. “They like the mix of old and new. I’ve had members of the community stop in to see the building I would not have seen otherwise."

The interior renovations didn’t extend to the rear of the building. Carrington said she was storing items in the space, but storage would not be its end use.

“I’m going to utilize it, I just don’t how,” she said. “I can’t have empty space and not utilize it.”

The city of Eudora recognizes the worth of investment in its historic downtown buildings with a grant program that makes money available to upgrade buildings in downtown. For six years, grants have been available to businesses located along a Main Street corridor from Seventh to 10th streets, and a 10th Street corridor from a half-block east of Walnut Street east to a half-block east of Ash Street.

Earlier this month, the Eudora City Commission approved Mary Kirkendoll’s request for a $5,000 grant to remodel the storefront at 706 Main St. With the upgrades, the building will continue to serve as the home of the Eudora Chamber of Commerce, but will also become the site of her Eudora Yoga Center. Kirkendoll’s grant was 1 of 15, totaling $44,950, funded through the program since it was introduced.

On Monday, the Eudora City Commission will have a work session on what is called a “reboot” of the grant program. Commissioners will discuss a proposal that would increase the amount of grant money available to a project from $5,000 to $7,500; enlarge the geographic area by extending the Main Street corridor north to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad tracks; and consider a change that would allow business owners to apply for the grant more than once if they have not been awarded a grant in the previous three years.

To ensure grants are being awarded to viable businesses, applicants in business less than five years must present a letter of endorsement from the University of Kansas Small Business Development Center. Among the other new suggested conditions are a requirement that the grant make capital improvements to the property, and that any improvements of facades enhance the surrounding area and complement the historic character of the district.

Commissioners will discuss the proposal Monday. Staff will bring back a formal ordinance reflecting changes developed from commissioners' comments.

Reply 1 comment from Ameliestanley

SLT may be stimulating housing; a taxing library question; a restaurant update; and an art walk with karaoke

Sean Reid, director of the Douglas County Zoning and Codes Department, has been very busy and one of the reasons for that is a sharp increase in housing starts in the rural part of the county.

In the 12 months from Aug. 16, 2016, to Aug. 15, 2017, the county issued permits for construction of 50 new homes and the placement of two modular dwellings, Reid said. That compares with 43 permits for single-family dwellings in the 12 months of Aug. 15, 2014, to Aug. 15, 2015, and Aug. 16, 2015, to Aug. 15, 2016, he said.

“We have had a percentage increase of very nearly 21 percent in the last year,” he said. “We have another three single-family homes in plan review now, so we’ll have several more getting ready to go soon.”

Reid said a stronger economy probably contributed to the increase in new rural housing starts, but he suspects the completion of the South Lawrence Trafficway also played a part.

“I think anytime you improve transportation infrastructure, you encourage development,” he said. “You can look at U.S. history and see that concept validated. Without doing a detailed analysis, my sense is there is a relationship between the SLT and increased development south of Lawrence.”

Another sign the rural housing development spike will continue is the planned Hunter Crossing development 3 miles south of the Kansas Highway 10 intersection with Haskell Avenue. The development, which is still in the planning process, would add 11 homes, Reid said.

The city of Eudora, Eudora Township and the Eudora Township Library Board are addressing an oversight, which dates to 2011 when Eudora transitioned from a city of the third class to a city of the second class, said Eudora City Manager Barack Matite. With that change, the township lost authority to tax within the Eudora city limits, but a 4-mill annual township levy continued to be assessed in the city for the Eudora Township Library.

The 2011 change in city government didn’t release the city from its commitment to support the maintenance and operation of the library. That commitment of both the city and the township was established in the late 1960s through the language of a bond issue referendum that city and township voters approved to build the library. That language also dictated the five-member library board would have three city residents and two township residents. Matite said the city, library board and township were working on an interlocal agreement that maintains the spirit of the financial and representational guidelines spelled out in the referendum’s language and used for the past four decades.

The interlocal agreement is just one of several steps needed to completely resolve the matter, Matite said. The end solution would probably require the involvement of Eudora’s representatives in the Kansas Legislature, who would be called on to create the statutory means to address all future considerations, Matite said. The end result would simplify any bond referendum needed to fund the new library building, he said. There is an ongoing fundraising campaign to raise money for the new library.

Jo Ann Arnold conceded Wednesday that her goal of opening her Wooden Spoke Restaurant at its new Baldwin City location of 309 Ames St. by this weekend wasn’t going to happen. She’s now hoping everything will be ready for a Tuesday opening.

When it does open, customers will find no changes from the menu offered at the Wooden Spoke’s old site at 203 First St., Arnold said. It will continue to offer lunches and dinners of traditional American fare and a full bar. The popular prime rib dinners will still be the special on Friday and Saturday evenings, she said.

The Wooden Spoke has been at its former site for 16 years, with Arnold leasing the site for her restaurant the last nine years. She is relocating because she owns the former convenience store at 309 Ames St. but has not had a tenant in the building the past two years, Arnold said.

The new location isn’t as spacious and will seat 35 fewer customers. Arnold said she is considering extending Friday and Saturday dinner hours to make up for the loss of seating.

For her part, Arnold welcomes the smaller setting.

“I’m looking to downsize,” she said. “I’m ready to move into a smaller building.”

The Lumberyard Arts Center will have its Third Friday Art Walk from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Arts Center, 718 High St. The featured event will be community karaoke. The “Just Pencil” photorealism of Baldwin City artist Melinda Hipple will continue to be featured in the Lumberyard gallery.


Senior meal program available at Baldwin City’s Dance Cafe; forums on health assessments coming to Baldwin, Eudora

The Baldwin Academy of Dance and Voice has become a downtown intergenerational lunchtime hot spot. The academy’s restaurant, the Dance Cafe, stepped up in April to fill the void when the Baker University cafeteria decided to no longer be a site for the Choosing Healthy Appetizing Meal Plan Solutions for Seniors program.

The Dance Cafe, 711 High St., offers the meals from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday, said Courtney Williams, owner of the Baldwin Academy of Dance and Voice.

The Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging decided in 2015 to close congregate meal sites, such as the one offered for years at the Baldwin City Senior Center in the basement of Baldwin Healthcare and Rehabilitation, in favor of the CHAMPSS program. The program kicked off in January 2016 at the Baker cafeteria, but that site always presented parking issues for seniors and wasn’t open during the summer or other periods when the college was closed.

Neither of those issues is a problem at the Dance Cafe, which provides what the Jayhawk AAA is looking for in a CHAMPSS site, said Beth Kinnan, nutrition coordinator for Jayhawk AAA.

“When we’re looking for a CHAMPSS site, we’re looking for a place the general public goes and where those 60 years of age or older can go and not be segregated or isolated in any way,” she said. “We’re looking for a public restaurant, cafe or grocery store that has hot food.”

Williams said the Dance Cafe serves sandwiches and salads for CHAMPSS meals.

“We have some CHAMPSS customers every day,” she said. “There’s some days we get a whole crowd.”

CHAMPSS is not meant to be a home-delivered meal program because it emphasizes the social aspects of seniors getting out into their communities, Kinnan said. Home-delivered meals in Baldwin City are available through the Senior Resource Center for Douglas County. However, the Dance Cafe will deliver its CHAMPSS meals with the other lunchtime meals it deliveries daily, Williams said.

The Jayhawk AAA will have a CHAMPSS orientation meeting and sign-up opportunity at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Baldwin City Library, 800 Seventh St. Kinnan said those 60 and older would be able to sign up for a CHAMPSS card at the meeting. A $3-per-meal donation is requested for the cards, and seniors can get cards with as few as four or as many as 12 meals. Seniors are required to get their first cards in person, but they can be refilled online.

Kinnan said she was still hoping to work with a Eudora restaurant to start a CHAMPSS site in that city.

“I haven’t found anyone willing to do it,” she said. “I would love to have a restaurant in Eudora, but no one I’ve contacted has made an effort to get more information.”

Baldwin City and Eudora residents are asked to provide feedback on health assessments developed through a partnership of a number of county agencies. Findings from the Douglas County Community Health Assessment will be presented at a forum from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Baldwin City Library, 800 Seventh St., and from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 23 at the Eudora Community Recreation Center, 1630 Elm St.

The assessment includes a survey of 2,000 county residents; newly analyzed data about life expectancy, leading causes of death and other health concerns in the county; and a PhotoVoice project in which area youth used photography to identify health concerns and strengths.

Food and beverages will be available at the forums.

The Eudora Chamber of Commerce summer social will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Kaw Valley State Bank, 739 Main St.


Midland Railway brings back steam locomotive; area Smithsonian exhibit set to end this weekend; Eudora schools plan for eclipse

For the next two weekends, coal, rather than diesel, will be the fuel source of Midland Railways’ excursion trips from the Baldwin City Santa Fe Depot, 1515 High St.

Allen Kinsley, treasurer of Midland Railway, said the railway is bringing back a steam locomotive for the first time in four years to celebrated the 30th anniversary of the excursion line's purchase of the railroad tracks that it operates upon.

“It’s quite costly to get here,” he said. “We have to get the coal out of Oklahoma, and it’s expensive to bring the locomotive in by flatbed.”

For the price of a ticket, railway enthusiasts can catch a ride behind the locomotive, stoke the steam engine with coal from its cab or actually operate the throttle controls, Kinsley said. Those wanting to purchase a $150 at-the-throttle ticket should hurry, because they are quickly selling out, he said.

The locomotive will make a 3:30 p.m. Saturday trip to “nowhere,” a site between Baldwin City and Ottawa that was the original terminus of Midland rides when it started 30 years ago, Kinsley said. Rides will be offered at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Sunday and Aug. 12 and 13

The locomotive is named Sadie, but don’t confuse it as some cute pastel facsimile like the Thomas the Tank Train that visits Baldwin City at the start of each summer. Sadie’s the real thing, a squat powerful steam engine that Kinsley said pulled coal cars for the Lehigh Valley Coal Company after leaving the Vulcan Iron Works production line in the 1930s.

“There’s just something about riding behind a steam locomotive with the chug, chug, chug of the engine," Kinsley said. “If you’ve never had that opportunity, here’s the chance.”

For more ticket information visit midlandrailway.org.

This weekend is the final opportunity to view the traveling Smithsonian exhibit “Water/Ways” at the Eudora Area Historical Society. Ben Terwilliger, executive director of the Eudora Area Historical Society, said the exhibit will end on Sunday its six-week stay at the Eudora Community Historical Museum, 720 Main St.

The exhibit, which explores relationships between people and water, has drawn about 1,000 visitors to the museum and he is hoping for a couple hundred more on the final weekend, Terwilliger said.

“That’s very good for a museum our size,” he said.

The museum will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Eudora High School students will have the opportunity to checkout laptops for the coming school year from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday. Laptop informational meetings for freshmen and students new to the district will be at 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. The Eudora district last year introduced its 1-on-1 laptop initiative at the high school.

Eudora schools are planning to take advantage of a rare educational opportunity with the near total solar eclipse Aug. 21. Rather than carry on normal classes in the dark, the district is planning to allow students outside starting at about 1 p.m. when the moon starts moving in front of the sun. The Eudora Schools Foundation and Eudora PTO have purchased special sunglasses for all students from first-grade through high school and staff. The glasses are designed to make it safe to watch the eclipse. Parents with concerns about their child’s safety should contact the student’s building principal before the eclipse.

Reply 1 comment from Fred Whitehead Jr.

Baldwin City Public Library gets first new director in three decades; Eudora trail project to get underway; Eudora City Center to be closed for maintenance

The Baldwin City Public Library has its first new director in three decades. Kathy Johnston has retired from the position she held for 30 years, and Cheryl Sylvester took over as director on July 13.

Sylvester has worked at community libraries since she took a position as children’s librarian in 1990 at her hometown Ottawa library. She later held similar positions with the Atchison and Leavenworth libraries. Her career took a different path when she started getting interested in the budgetary and administrative sides of libraries. After earning a master’s degree from Emporia State University’s library science program, Sylvester took a job as the director of the Winchester Public Library.

Sylvester said she always admired the Baldwin City community while growing up. Her admiration grew when her daughter went to Baker University, she said. That admiration played a big role in her decision to take the Baldwin City job, she said. Other factors were the library's strong and active friends group, and her commitment to libraries in rural communities, Sylvester said.

She hasn’t had a lot of time to think about changes, Sylvester said. Any that she might recommend would have to be a fit for the library and community, she said.

“I’m just getting my feet wet,” she said. “I have been visiting with people about things that have been done and what could be done as we move forward. One of the things I’ve learned is they would like a writers’ group here. I have a special love for children, so we might expand children’s programing.”

Earlier this month, Eudora Parks and Recreation celebrated a partnership with Hamm Inc. and CFS Engineers to repave the asphalt pathways in Blue Jacket Park. Recently, the city took action to get another trail project underway.

The Eudora City Commission voted this month to award a contract to Kansas Heavy Construction LLC to construct the second phase of the Eudora South Trail. Kansas Heavy Construction was the low bidder for the project.

The project is being completed through a Kansas Department of Transportation enhancement grant approved in April 2016. With the approval of the bid, the city’s share for the project will be $170,481. KDOT indicates the trail will be completed by Christmas.

The 10-foot-wide, 3,500-foot long trail, which is part of the city’s parks master plan, will run along County Road 1061 from Kansas Highway 10 to Shadow Ridge Park southeast of Eudora Middle School. Other sections of the trail will connect Shadow Ridge Park and the Eudora Middle School to two access points in the Shadow Ridge subdivision.

The Eudora Community Center will be closed Aug. 7 through Aug. 13 for maintenance and improvements. The closure includes the fitness room, gym, meeting room and common areas. The swimming pool and restrooms will remain open.

The Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce will have its next coffee and conversation session from 8 to 9 a.m. Friday at the Baldwin City Academy of Dance and Voice, 1715 High St. Brad Smith, the chief financial officer for Baldwin City, will speak on city budgeting.


Floral, decor shop opens in Baldwin City; Beach House restaurant coming to Eudora; BC art walk Friday

Christy Carlisle is returning to her Baldwin City business roots.

Before she took a position as the Baldwin High School art instructor, Carlisle had the floral and gift shop at 215 N. Sixth St. Now retired from teaching, Carlisle opened July 5 the In Full Bloom at the Cranberry Market at 519 Ames St. The opening signaled Carlisle’s purchase with her husband, Paul, of the Cranberry Market from Kara Cole and moving the business across Sixth Street. In Full Bloom store manager Heather Courtney said the name also signifies that In Full Bloom will be just one of the businesses in the relocated Cranberry Market. Space will be available for other vendors, and there will be a beauty salon in the building, she said.

Those familiar with Carlisle’s former business should not be surprised that In Full Bloom is a floral shop offering arrangements for weddings, funerals, anniversaries, birthdays and other occasions. The store will also offer a variety of home decor. The store will soon have fudge for those with a sweet tooth, as well as coffee and cold drinks, and it will strive for a relaxing atmosphere, Courtney said.

“We are looking to be an ‘ah’ experience,” she said.

The business will make use of the building’s porch facing Sixth Street to display seasonal items, such as mums in the fall and Christmas trees in winter, Courtney said.

The store will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday. Hours on Saturday will be extended during busy seasons, Courtney said.

Eudora residents may have noticed the makeover that the restaurant at 2229 North 1400 Road is receiving. The building, which has been the home of a number of restaurants through the years, is being painted with an eye-popping mix of bright blue, yellow and mauve with white trim.

It’s all to create a festive atmosphere for the Aug. 1 opening of a restaurant called Beach House, said Rex White, who is partnering in the venture with the building’s owner, Larry Sinks.

The restaurant will have a dinner menu of steaks, pork cuts, seafood and chicken dishes and a lunch menu of burgers and sandwiches, plus appetizers. Sprinkled in both the lunch and dinner menus will be a number of Jamaican jerk dishes.

White said he has owned 14 restaurants in Missouri and owns T-Bones in Lake Lotawana. White anticipates many of those eating at Beach House will be from Johnson County and Lawrence, although he expects Eudora residents will also be customers.

One feature of Beach House does seem focused on Eudora customers.

“We’ll have breakfast,” White said. “My other restaurant doesn’t have breakfast. The reason we’ll do it here is there’s nowhere to get breakfast for at least 8 miles.”

The second of the Lumberyard Arts Center’s summer Third Friday Art Walks will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. July 21 at the art center, 718 High St. The event will include a reception and opening of the show “Just Pencil: Photorealism in Black and White” by Baldwin City artist Melinda Hipple from 6 to 8 p.m. The theme of the art walk is fabric art.

The Baldwin City Recreation Commission’s midsummer triathlon will be Saturday, July 22. The event’s name has been changed from the Maple Leaf City Sprint Triathlon to the Triple Tri. Its structure remains the same with a youth triathlon, short-course race and the featured triathlon of a 300-yard swim, 12-mile bike ride and 5K race. Online registration is available at https://enter2run.com/Search/event.aspx?id=39828. Events get underway at 7 a.m.


Hamm, CFS Engineers to provide $125,000 donation for Eudora trail; New council member named in Baldwin City; Baldwin Senior Mix to return

The Eudora Parks and Recreation Department had a good turnout Saturday for the community picnic it hosted in Bluejacket Park and gave those in attendance news that there soon would be more reason to return to the park at 12th and Cedar streets.

It was announced at the picnic that Hamm Inc. and CFS Engineers are partnering with the city to replace the deteriorated paving on Bluejacket Trail that winds through the park. Eudora Assistant to the City Manager Leslie Herring said the city unsuccessfully made a grant application to replace the asphalt pathways in the nearly 20-year-old trail.

CFS Engineers, a Midwest firm with an office in Lawrence, will provide the design and engineering for the project, and Hamm, of Perry, will provide the materials and labor, said Justin Eddings, president of the Eudora Parks and Recreation Foundation. The two companies’ in-kind contributions are estimated to total $125,000, he said. Although dependent on the weather, the project should be done this summer, Eddings said.

Baldwin City has a new city councilman. On Wednesday, the City Council approved Mayor Marilyn Pearse’s nomination of A.J. Stevens to fill the unexpired term of Steve Bauer. The seat has been open since Bauer and his wife, Alison, were killed in a May automobile accident in Anderson County. Bauer was elected to serve on the Council until December 2019.

Pearse nominated Stevens after she announced Shane Starkey had withdrawn from consideration for the appointment. The mayor's nomination of Starkey at the City Council’s June 10 meeting was tabled when council members said they wanted more time to gauge community response to the nomination.

Starkey and Stevens were among the six candidates to file for the two City Council seats that will be on the Nov. 7 ballot. Stevens is the assistant athletic director of Ottawa University. He told the Journal-World when he filed for the City Council in May that he and his wife decided to move to Baldwin City when he took his position with OU because they liked the schools and community.

Both Starkey and Stevens remain on the Nov. 7 ballot. Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew told the Journal-World a state statute the Kansas Legislature passed in 2015 makes it very difficult withdraw from the ballot after the June 1 filing and withdrawal deadline. Should Stevens be one of the two candidates receiving the most votes in November, he would have to resign from that position or the seat he was appointed to on Wednesday

The Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce will have its monthly meeting from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Lumberyard Arts Center, 718 High St. Baldwin High School coach Mike Spielman, whose teams have won multiple 4A girls and boys cross country and boys state track titles, will speak on building a winning team. Maceli’s Banquet Hall and Catering will cater the luncheon.

The Baldwin City Community Senior Mix, which suspended its monthly activities last winter, will return with a reunion gathering Wednesday at Ives Chapel United Methodist Church, 1018 Miami St. Lunch will be served at noon and will be followed with musical entertainment from Gary Gourd and the Odds ’n Ends.

The Eudora Chamber of Commerce will have the first of two summer socials from 5 to 8 p.m Friday at the Sweet Acres Inn, 103 E. Seventh St. The second summer social will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Aug. 17 at the Kaw Valley Bank, 739 Main St.

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Fourth of July activities set for Baldwin City, Eudora; Parks announcement to be made at Eudora community picnic

The summer seems to fly by as fast as the corn grows. The season starts one week, and the next week fireworks stands start popping up in rural Douglas County, Baldwin City, Eudora and Lecompton. That’s a sign the Fourth of July is here and that summer is half over, at least as measured by school summer vacation.

Continuing a recent tradition, the Baldwin City Recreation Commission will have a free day at the municipal pool from 1 to 5 p.m. on July 4. BCRC director Steve Friend said the pool party would include free hot dogs and a DJ. In addition, a couple of inflatables will be set up on the lawn near the pool, he said.

The BCRC will have its annual Fourth of July fireworks show Tuesday at the Baldwin City Intermediate Center, 100 Bullpup Drive. Once again, the show will start with the onset of darkness. The show is free, but the BCRC will be accepting donations for next year’s show, Friend said.

By order of Baldwin City Fire Chief Terry Baker, private fireworks will not be allowed at the show, Friend said.

The Eudora Parks and Recreation Department will have that community’s annual fireworks show Tuesday at Eudora Middle School, 2635 Church St. Activities will start at 6:30 p.m. with the fireworks show to start at 8:45 p.m. The event this year is to benefit the Eudora Community Museum, which is now the host of the “Water/Ways” traveling Smithsonian exhibit. Those attending may purchase a $1 raffle ticket for prizes as a benefit to the museum.

Activities before the show will include music by the Wakarusa River Band and a patriotic dress-up contest for children 10 years of age and younger.

Eudora Assistant to the City Manager Leslie Herring is teasing an announcement to be made during an afternoon of activities Saturday, July 8, at Bluejacket Park, 12th and Cedar streets. The park will be the site of a Eudora Parks and Recreation community picnic from noon to 2 p.m. with free hamburgers and drinks and family activities. There will be a disc golf tournament starting at 2 p.m., Herring said.

The 1 p.m. announcement will be a $125,000 donation by a number of corporate partners for the park project, Herring said. The names of the donors and the project to be funded with the donation will be revealed with the announcement, she said.


CPA Picnic returns to Eudora; Lumberyard Arts Center hires first employee

Sometimes communities celebrate history in ways other than denoting significant sites or remembering important people. Eudora will celebrate history today, Friday and Saturday by enjoying the 116th CPA Picnic. CPA is short for Cattleman’s Protection Association, a group of vigilant stockmen from the late 19th century who joined to protect their farms from thieves.

The celebration has lived on long after the need for mutual protection disappeared. Billy Langston, president of the nonprofit CPA Picnic the past three years, said organizers believe the picnic is the oldest continuous community celebration in the state, and they promote it with that distinction. It returns at the Ninth and Main street hub that has been its home for years with the carnival setting up on the empty lot to the east of Main Street, with food vendors, bands and other activities to the west in the aptly named CPA Park.

This year’s picnic started Thursday with Weee Entertainment Carnival back for its second year, Langston said. The carnival opens at 6 p.m. all three evenings.

Friday's highlights include the kids parade at 7 p.m. along Main Street from Pella Park, Seventh and Main streets, to CPA Park. Registration starts at 6 p.m. at Pella Park. Another highlight will be live entertainment from the Armed and Crazy band at 8 p.m. in the CPA bandstand.

Saturday’s main event will be the picnic’s grand parade. Registration starts at 6 p.m. at Laws Field. The route will start at 15th and Church streets, swing by Medicalodge at 14th and Maple streets before traveling north on Main Street to downtown, Langston said. Kim and the Quake will provide live musical entertainment at 8 p.m. at the CPA Park bandstand.

After 14 years, the Lumberyard Arts Center has its first employee. Wendy Conover started this month as the LAC’s coordinator. Conover, who for five years has been a Lumberyard volunteer in charge of programming, said her new responsibilities in the part-time position include overseeing the center’s art education efforts, volunteer engagement, event planning and promotion and booking rentals of the center.

Sandy Cardens, LAC board member, said board members were pleased to be able to hire Conover because they took care of those duties in the past. She anticipates Conover will allow the Lumberyard to make progress on a number of goals.

The Lumberyard will have a reception to celebrate Conover’s hiring at 5 p.m. July 6 at the center, 718 Main, Cardens said.

Conover said her new position doesn’t change the need for continued volunteer support at the LAC.

“We’re still dependent on volunteers,” she said. “We’re really proud of where we got as a volunteer organization. We’re still a community team.”

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Eudora history museum renovations just in time for Smithsonian exhibit; library campaign ends first phase; mural to be unveiled

The Eudora Community Museum completed its $100,000 renovation and expansion with a day to spare. Ben Terwilliger, executive director of the Eudora Area Historical Society, said the final touches on the project of trimming out a utility closet were finished Thursday. Then on Friday morning, 20 crates containing the contents of the Smithsonian traveling exhibit “Water/Ways” were delivered to the museum, he said.

The renovation and expansion project was undertaken so that the museum could host the exhibit after the Kansas Humanities Council last year selected Eudora as the first community in the exhibit’s seven-city tour. It will be on display from June 24 through Aug. 6 in Eudora and is free to the public.

The museum’s upgrades benefited from a Douglas County Cultural and Natural Heritage Conservation Grant of $89,000. The project added an extension that provides room for a stairway and elevator from the bottom to top floor of the old storefront. The top floor previously could be reached only by a door that connected to a rear outside stairway. The project also renovated the second floor, which was not touched when the bottom floor was rebuilt before the museum’s opening in March 2015.

The delivery of the exhibit crates had Terwilliger scratching his head Friday morning. They were too big to transport to the upper floor by either the elevator or stairway, he said. He had requested use of a city forklift to help with the job via the rear doorway, but eventually determined that the elevator would do the trick.

The “Water/Ways” exhibit explores relationships between people and water, which is a natural in a community that sits on the confluence of the Wakarusa and Kansas rivers, Terwilliger said. The museum is planning a companion exhibit of Eudora’s experience with the 1951 flood, he said. It will include photos and first-person accounts.

Many local visitors to the exhibit will be just as interested in the renovations, Terwilliger said. He thinks they will be pleased with the work of volunteers Benny Dean and Bill Gordon. The two men installed new flooring in the upper level, painted and plastered walls, did the trim work and more, he said.

“We are very pleased and impressed with how it turned out,” he said. “We were able to preserve a lot of the 1870s features of the window, brick and woodwork. It definitely has a 1870s feel to it.”

The steering committee charged with raising funds for a new Eudora Township Public Library released the results Monday of phase 1 of its capital campaign. The goal of the campaign is to raise $1 million of the $3 million to $3.5 million dollars needed to build a new 12,000-square-foot building to replace the current 40-year-old 4,000-square-foot library.

Committee chairman Don Grosdidier said phase 1 raised $148,000 from “interfamily” donors, or those who are on the steering committee or library board.

"This is a start,” he said. “We were feeling pretty good about that. It is kind of startup money.”

Phase 2 of the fundraising campaign will seek to raise donations of $10,000 or more from businesses and individuals, Grosdidier said. It will also include a number of fundraising events. The final phase will seek to secure grants and explore such public financing options as tax credits.

The steering committee has also been busy completing the legal steps needed for the campaign, Grosdidier said.

“All donations (go) through the Douglas County Community Foundation,” he said. “We have it all planned out now. It’s just a matter of going to work on the donor list we have and creating awareness for the need for a new library.”

The Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce will have an official unveiling at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday of the mural painted last month at 608 High St. Chamber director Jeannette Blackmar said Ella Conover, Alaina Schiffelbein and Meagan Young, three artist apprentices who helped with the mural, will explain the story behind the mural’s design and the meaning of its features, including the large maple leaf pods that dominate the work.

After the unveiling, Blackmar will attend the 7 p.m. Baldwin City Council meeting at the Baldwin City Library to explain the importance of murals for community cultural enrichment and as stimulus for economic development. It’s the goal of the chamber that the mural will encourage other works in the community, she said.


Sales tax referendum canceled; yoga center moving; web page change; J-W editor to address chamber

The Baldwin City Council voted Tuesday to cancel a scheduled Aug. 1 referendum on a half-cent sales tax that if approved would have provided $202,000 annually for 25 years to finance part of a $3.95 million community center. The action came three weeks after the Baldwin City school board voted 6-0 to deny the Baldwin City Recreation Commission’s request for an additional 1 mill of taxing authority, which would have provided $75,000 a year for the center’s debt retirement.

Council members agreed, however, that the referendum, which now has been twice scheduled and twice canceled, could come back if BCRC director Steve Friend was successful in securing enough donations from private sources to offset the mill levy revenue. If that does happen, the referendum could be rescheduled for the Nov. 7 general election for city/school board elections.

Friend said he would know this month if the private money was available.

Those visiting downtown Eudora in the last month may have noticed a “for rent” sign in the 704 Main St. storefront that was home to Mary Kirkendoll’s Eudora Yoga Center. Kirkendoll said the sign does not announce the demise of the center but is part of her planned consolidation of the yoga center with the Eudora Chamber of Commerce offices that have been in the adjacent storefront she owns at 706 Main St.

Kirkendoll, who just returned from a yoga retreat to Italy, said the chamber office will be closed while the storefront is renovated for its combined yoga center and chamber functions. She hopes to have the center reopened Sept. 1, but that will depend on how the renovations go, she said.

In another chamber change, internet searchers may have found the Eudora chamber’s growedudora.com is no longer an active domain name. Leslie Herring, assistant to the Eudora city manager, said the chamber’s domain name was changed to eudorakschamber.com because the older site name did not make clear it was the chamber’s home page.

Those visiting the page will learn the chamber’s June meeting will be from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday at City Hall. Marvel Williamson, executive director of the Senior Resource Center for Douglas County, will be the guest speaker. Torched Goodness will cater lunch.

The Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce’s monthly meeting will be from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Lumberyard Arts Center, 718 High St. Lawrence Journal-World editor Chad Lawhorn will speak on Douglas County issues and take questions from those present. The cost of the catered lunch from the Baldwin City Dance Cafe is $7.

The Douglas County Commission is seeking applications for the open position of Palmyra Township trustee to serve out the unexpired term of Sandy Eliott. There will be a special election for the position in November 2018.

Those wishing to apply for the position should mail their interest with a statement of qualifications to: Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew, 1100 Massachusetts St., Lawrence, KS, 66044; or email the same to jshew@douglas-county.com.

Applications must be received by 5 p.m. June 23. The Douglas County Commission will appoint the new trustee June 28.


Thomas the Tank Engine makes annual visit; citywide garage sale; free swim passes and family fun; farmers’ market opening; pharmacist retires

With permanent smiles, Thomas the Tank Engine and his friend Percy are patiently waiting at Baldwin City’s Santa Fe Depot for the arrival of fans.

The Midlland Railway’s Day Out with Thomas events annually draw about 20,000 to Baldwin City. Allen Kinsley, Midland Railway treasurer, said he was expecting the same kind of attendance for the event set for Friday, Saturday and Sunday and June 9-11. Advance ticket sales have been strong, if off slightly from last year because of uncertain weather, he said.

The trains will run hourly from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. all six days of the event from 1515 High St. Advance tickets can be purchased online through a [buy tickets][1] link at midland railway.org. In addition to the two trains, the event will include an appearance by Thomas’ co-star Sir Topham Hatt, a petting zoo, a magician and bounce houses, including one shaped like Thomas' friend Toby the Tram Engine, Kinsley said.

A number of improvements were made to the Santa Fe Depot grounds in the past two years through a Kansas Department of Transportation grant. Kinsley said because of those upgrades, all events and vendors can now set up on dry gravel instead of grass areas that frequently got muddy with spring rains. Vendors this year include Baldwin City Boy Scouts, the local Lions Club, Moose’s BBQ and Poppin Squeeze, a vendor of kettle corn and lemonade.

Signs on U.S. Highway 56 will direct visitors to park and ride lots, Kinsley said.

Adding to a busy Saturday in Baldwin City will be the 30th annual Friends of the Baldwin City Library Citywide Garage Sale. Maps can be purchased for $5 from the Baldwin City Public Library from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday and picked up for free from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

The Eudora Parks and Recreation Department’s family fun night will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Eudora Community Center, 1630 Elm St. The free event will include free food, a balloon entertainer, face painting, bounce houses and music from Fortunate Sons. Twenty passes to the Eudora municipal pool will be given away during the evening.

The Eudora Farmers' Market will open for the season Tuesday. Market manager Jamie Knabe said the market would be from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays through October in the Gene’s Heartland Foods parking lot in the 1400 block of Church Street.

The focus this year is to build the market back up after its move last year from the Nottingham Elementary School property and changing its date from Friday to Tuesday, Knabe said. The date was changed to one that didn’t conflict with other area markets and to make it more convenient for shoppers, Knabe said.

“It will allow shoppers to better get started on their weeks,” she said.

Although she hasn’t received confirmation from all her vendors, Knabe is expecting about eight vendors on Tuesday. Vendors will have available a lot of green vegetables, onions, radishes and baked goods. Knabe said she would have eggs, pork, chicken and beef at her booth, and she was expecting another vendor with meat. In addition, JB’s Taco Truck and Kona Ice will be at the market Tuesday and throughout the season, she said.

“Kona Ice will be donating 20 percent of their sales to the Eudora High School girls soccer team,” she said.

Baldwin City pharmacist Gary Roberts is retiring after 38 years of serving the community. His Roberts Drug Store in the Baldwin City Market has now closed.

Roberts said he first opened his pharmacy in 1979. For 22 years, his pharmacy was in two downtown locations in the 700 block of Eighth Street. He has been at the grocery store location about 16 years, he said.

“I want to thank all my customers through the years,” he said. “The big thing I’ll miss is helping the people I’ve gotten to know with their medications and needs.”


Area leaders seek re-election; input sought on museum plan; pools to open; American Legion holiday observance

Leaders of Douglas County’s three smaller communities have made clear their intentions of remaining in office.

The mayors of Eudora and Lecompton made their re-election bids official in the last week by filing with the Douglas County Clerk’s Office, while Baldwin City Mayor Marilyn Pearse said she, too, intended to seek another four years in office although she hasn’t made the trek to the courthouse to make her candidacy official.

“There are a lot of things that are in the works I’d like to see completed,” Pearse said. “I think we did get a lot of things done that I wanted, like getting gigabit fiber, the sewer line to the industrial park and buying back the right to supply power for the industrial park from KCP&L. There’s still things we need to get done. Quite frankly, Steve (Bauer) was going to be a part of that, and now he’s not going to be there at all. I don’t want to see what we’ve done overturned or for us to go backward.”

Councilman Bauer and his wife were killed in a car accident last weekend in Anderson County.

Eudora Mayor Tim Reazin announced in January his intention to run for re-election, saying he wanted to continue to work on such things as the redevelopment of the Nottingham property and city infrastructure improvements. Reazin didn’t actually file for mayor but for re-election to one of two Eudora City Commission seats to be on this year's ballot. Under Eudora’s commission-city manager form of government, the five commissioners annually elect one of their own to serve as mayor.

Lecompton Mayor Sandra Jacquot filed Wednesday for another two-year term. She said serving as mayor is a way to give back to a community she loves.

“I enjoy it,” she said. “I enjoy working with the council. I’m retired, and it seems like a way to give back. I was in public service my entire career.”

As of Thursday, Jacquot was the only candidate to file for the Lecompton mayoral position, and no one had officially filed for the Baldwin City mayor. Reazin was the lone official candidate for the Eudora City Commission. The filing deadline for this year's city/school board elections is noon June 1.

The Clinton Lake Historical Society has scheduled two public meetings to solicit public comment on its proposed update of its master plan for the property associated with the Wakarusa River Valley Heritage Museum at Clinton Lake’s Bloomington Park East. The meetings will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 4, at Kanwaka Township Hall, 776 Highway 40, and 1 p.m. Sunday, June 25, at Stull United Methodist Church, 1596 East 250 Road.

The property’s proposed master plan includes the existing Wakarusa River Valley Heritage Museum and the Freedom Rings sculpture and the proposed meeting house, parking lot, cabins, Kansas Avenue interpretive walk, log cabin and Bloomington interpretive center, agricultural museum, educational museum and Clinton Lake watchtower.

The municipal pools of Baldwin City and Eudora are scheduled to open this weekend.

The Eudora pool will open Saturday with regular hours of 1 to 7 p.m. The water may be a bit cool. Eudora Parks and Recreation Director Gary Scott said the pool’s water temperature was 65 on Monday and the sun hasn't warmed the pool much.

The Baldwin City pool will have two more days to warm up before it opens with regular hours from 1 to 7 p.m. Monday, Baldwin City Recreation Commission Director Steve Friend said. Admission will be free for the holiday opening, he said.

The Baldwin City American Legion will have its annual Memorial Day celebration at 10 a.m. Monday at Oakwood Cemetery in Baldwin City.

The observance will include short speeches from veterans, the traditional bell ringing in memory of departed veterans and a 21-gun salute. In the event of rain, the observance will be moved to the American Legion Post, 803 High St.


Eudora summer reading, meal programs start; volunteers sought for Thomas the Tank weekends; Baker historic walking tour

The Eudora Township Public Library and its partners plan to feed the minds and bellies of community children this summer while instilling in the youngsters the foundations of community service.

Lindsey Sanchez, children’s librarian, said the library’s summer reading program started Monday with the end of the school year. About 200 youngsters have signed up, but Sanchez expects those numbers to soon swell.

“Last year, we had 600 children,” she said. “We’re expecting the same this year.”

The theme for this year’s summer reading is “Build a Better World,” and Sanchez said youngsters will have a chance to join the Build a Better World Club to lend a hand in a number of community projects. Those include a Breakfast for Vets at 9 a.m. Monday at the Lodge on Main, 736 Main St. Other projects include collecting pet food for animal hospitals and shelters and performing random acts of kindness for community businesses.

Kids signing up for the summer reading program will get a bag with a reading log, stickers to mark progress and a program calendar, Sanchez said. Students have until July 20 to complete their age-appropriate goals, she said. Those wanting to learn more about the program may call Sanchez at 785-542-2496 or email her at storytimelindsey@gmail.com.

It was food not books that attracted 83 children Wednesday to the library for the second day of the 13-week Feeding Eudora free lunch for the community’s children, said Jeff Ingle, pastor of the Eudora Baptist Church and member of the Feeding Eudora steering committee.

The program, for people 18 and under, will provide the meals from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at the library, Ingle said. He expects more children to take part in the program as word about it spreads.

Planning for the program started in February, and food donated by civic groups and businesses is in place to last the summer, he said. Nonetheless, organizers would happily accept more as take-home food bags for weekends, he said. For information on how to donate, email feedingeudora@gmail.com.

Churches, businesses and civic groups have also volunteered to run the program for a week during its summerlong run, Ingle said.

“Each one is giving a little time to make this work,” he said. “There’s no prerequisite, except the prerequisite that you love kids.”

Two weeks before Thomas the Tank Train makes his annual appearance in Baldwin City, organizers with Midland Railways are scrambling to find the volunteers needed to help run the event. This is the 15th year a full-sized replica of the beloved TV character has visited Midland. This year, Thomas and friend Percy will visit the weekends of June 2-4 and June 9-11.

“We need about 80 volunteers per day,” said Midland event coordinator Jessica Ray. “I don’t have anywhere near that.”

Volunteers perform an array of duties to help maintain the flow and safety of the event, Ray said. Those include acting as car hosts in the train cars giving rides behind Thomas and Percy, operating a bounce house or working ticket booths, she said.

Midland depends on various civic organizations for volunteers to help with the event, offering them compensation packages for contributed time, Ray said.

Midland is now reaching out to other communities besides Baldwin City for civic organizations or church or school groups looking for a fundraiser opportunity.

“I don’t care where they come from,” she said. “We have ample opportunities for those wanting to get involved and help a historic railroad.”

The scarcity of volunteers is threatening the future of the Thomas the Tank Train visits, and that, in turn, could have severe consequences for the historic nonprofit railroad, which runs seasonal excursion trips from Baldwin City to Ottawa. The Thomas visit is Midland’s biggest fundraising event, and the money raised from the two weekends helps cover the railroad’s operational and maintenance costs, Ray said.

“We’re the main tourist attraction in Baldwin,” she said. “It’s tough we don’t get the support we need to keep it alive.”

Ray said those who would like to volunteer for the event may email her a jessicar@midlandrailway.org or call her at 913-449-2553.

Baker University and the Douglas County Heritage Conservation Council will offer a walking tour of historic buildings on the school’s Baldwin City campus from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday. The tour will start at the Old Castle Museum, 511 Sixth St., a three-story limestone building. Built in 1856 as the first home of Baker, the oldest university in Kansas, it is now a museum with items from early Kansas, Methodist and Baker history. The tour will then visit other historic buildings on campus, including Osborne Chapel. Originally constructed in Sproxton, England, the chapel was brought stone by stone to the Baker campus and dedicated in 1996 by Margaret Thatcher, whose father once was a pastor at the church.


Clearfield Farmhaus events; informational meeting on proposed community center; depot celebration

Eudora residents will have two opportunities in the coming week to become acquainted with a rural business near the Clearfield United Methodist Church.

Nedra Mitchell, who owns Clearfield Farmhaus with her husband, Craig, said they would be the host of the monthly Eudora Chamber of Commerce meeting from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday at the farm, 2222 North 600 Road. Those planning to attend should RSVP at info@eudorachamber.com by Monday. The farm will also welcome spring with a traditional German Mai Fest from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 20.

The chamber luncheon will feature speakers involved with promoting activities that the Mitchells are incorporating in their business. The featured guest will be Laurie Shuck, coordinator of the Kaw Valley Farm Tour, who will speak on agritourism. Mitchell said she expected Helen Schnoes, food systems coordinator for the Lawrence-Douglas County Sustainability Department, and Douglas County Extension agricultural agent Tom Buller to speak briefly at the meeting.

Mitchell said she and her husband bought the farm just east of the Clearfield United Methodist Church about two years ago. They were looking for a place in Douglas County because they shared the values of those in the local home produce movement, she said. They have started growing tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins and other vegetables that they sell at a number of local markets, including the Thursday Cottin’s Hardware market and, starting in June, the Eudora Farmers Market. They also plan to soon have their own market at the farm, Mitchell said.

The couple have completed extensive renovations on the farmhouse, but have kept its historic flavor, Mitchell said. It now as a licensed commercial kitchen that the couple are open to renting, as well as a gift shop, she said.

The Mai Fest event ties into the local German heritage that she and her husband have sought to connect with since buying the farm, Mitchell said. Activities include a Maipole, wagon rides, folk and square dances with music and tours of the nearby historic Clearfield school. The event is free. Food and drinks will be available for purchase.

Clearfield Farmhaus is available to rent for such events as baby showers, class reunions or family reunions, Mitchell said. For more information, email clearfieldfarmhaus@gmail.come or call 816-682-9330 or 913-568-2117.

The proposed Baldwin City community center has had a complex history since Baldwin City Recreation Commission board members and officials started advocating for the facility in November 2015. A referendum on a half-cent sales tax to help finance the project was scheduled, called off and then rescheduled for Aug 1. A hoped-for Baker University partnership never materialized. Conceptual plans have been revised and now envision a phased approach that would put off a proposed indoor swimming pool until a second round of construction. The revision cut the cost of the facility from $5 million to $3.95 million.

That downsizing also reduced from 2.75 mills to 1 mill the added taxing authority the BCRC board is requesting from the Baldwin City school board to help finance 25-year bonds for the center. The board will consider that request at its meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at the Baldwin Junior High School Performing Arts Center. The board has already agreed to provide property northwest of the Baldwin school district for the community center should it be built.

Baldwin City, Midland Railway, the Santa Fe Trail Association and the Kansas Belle Dinner Train will celebrate the completion of platform improvements at the city’s historic Santa Fe Depot from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. May 18 at the depot, 1515 High St. Homestead Bakery & Kitchen will provide appetizers and treats at the event, and the Kansas Belle Dinner Train will have drinks available for purchase.

Representatives from the city, Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce and Midland Railway will speak at 5:30 p.m., and drawings for tickets to the dinner train, Midland Railway excursions and Day Out with Thomas will be held at 6:15 p.m.

The work was done as part of a $143,000 Kansas Department of Transportation grant awarded in 2014. The city, Midland, the dinner train and the historical association provided a $70,000 local match.

Eudora High School students Sarah Case, Lindsey Fry and Vanessa Taylor are among the 175 band, choir and orchestra students selected to participate in this summer’s Kansas Ambassadors of Music European Tour. These students will perform in London, Paris, Switzerland, Austria, and Germany for 16 days in June.