Kansas Champion visits El Dorado

On Saturday, June 15th Miss Frontier, Bailey Smith, Miss Teen El Dorado, Naomi Galindo, and Mini Miss Frontier Janessa Knapp joined Miss Augusta Sierra Marie Bonn and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ Kansas Champion Vinny along with “Flat Vinny” to help Walmart raise awareness and funds for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH) in Kansas.

Back row, left to right, Miss Augusta Sierra Marie Bonn, Miss Teen El Dorado Naomi Galindo, Miss Frontier Bailey Smith. Front row, left to right, Vinny, “Flat Vinny” and Mini Miss Frontier Janessa Knapp.

The month-long fundraising event was celebrated with a kickoff party that included hotdogs, popcorn, cake and a coloring contest.  Vinny was on hand to judge the contest which features a “Flat Vinny” designed by Vinny. His flat version is traveling the state and Internet with the hashtag #flatvinny.  Vinny and his parents will be able to log on and see all the people and places “Flat Vinny” has visited. Each week one drawing will be selected and the winner will receive a Walmart gift card.

Vinny, with his flat version “Flat Vinny” and Miss Augusta Sierra Marie Bonn.  Sierra has taken “Flat Vinny” across the state with her as she competed for the title of Miss Kansas raising awareness for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Vinny and the girls will be back at Walmart, again, on Saturday, June 22nd from 12-2p to continue raising awareness and funds.  All funds raised will go to our local CMNH Hospital to help sick and injured kids.


3 Local Girls to Miss Kansas

The Miss Kansas Scholarship Competition is being held in Pratt, Kansas, this week. Three local girls are participating in it and vying for the job of a lifetime – Miss Kansas 2019.

Bailey Smith, Miss Frontier; Sierra Marie Bonn, Miss Augusta; and Suzannah Bowden, Miss Emerald City have each had the honor of serving their community and raising awareness of issues important to them.  We asked them a couple of questions as they were preparing for this week.

Bailey Smith, Miss Frontier
Sierra Marie Bonn, Miss Augusta
Suzannah Bowden, Miss Emerald City

What was the first pageant you entered and why did you decide to enter it?

Bailey: The first pageant I entered in was the Miss Frontier pageant in El Dorado, Kansas. When I was in 6th grade I went to watch the pageant and after it was done I looked to my grandma and told her I want to dress up and look like a princess! So the next year I competed and have competed ever since. I have grown to love pageants because it has benefited me in so many ways! It’s has helped me to get out of my comfort zone and speak in front of people, I have also been able to find my confidence, I have been able to raise awareness for Improving Mental Health for Newly Diagnosed Diabetics, and finally I have been able to create an amazing sisterhood with most of the girls and you can find that sisterhood anywhere else!

Sierra: The first pageant I entered was the Miss Frontier Pageant as a Teen contestant.  I decided to compete for the scholarships but most importantly, I wanted to serve my community.

Suzannah: My first pageant was Miss Frontier in 2017. I truly entered it because I wanted to say I had done a pageant. I also wanted to gain some sort of confidence and elegance from it. Oh boy did I gain more! I have completely strayed from stage fright, found my voice, and grown into the woman I am today. I found my elegance and confidence and that is why I continue to compete. Pageantry is a great platform to stand on to empower all women to find their elegance.

What is your social initiative?

Bailey: Improving Mental Health for Newly Diagnosed Diabetics: Don’t Sugar Coat It, Rise Above it.

Sierra: “Let’s Go Full STEAM Ahead!” is an initiative to promote STEAM education, engagement, and empowerment for young women. As an engineer I recognize the gender disparity in STEAM fields and want to make a positive difference.

Suzannah: My social initiative is RISE. Radiate. Inspire. Serve. Engage. This platform promotes the personal growth and progression of others throughout their community engagement.

What has been the highlight of your year?

Bailey: My highlight of the year was going to visit the CMN Hospital and getting to learning and see all of the amazing things they do for the kids

Sierra: I have been able to go into classrooms, camps, and college campuses across the country sharing “Let’s Go Full STEAM Ahead!”  and have had the privilege of representing Augusta in its historic 150th year and I am so excited to make Augusta proud on the Miss Kansas stage!

Suzannah: The highlight of my year was landing my original dream job! I work with Rise Up For Youth as their community outreach VISTA. I promote the achievements of the students we touch daily! Now I have bigger goals!

What are you look forward to during your week at Miss Kansas?

Bailey: I’m looking forward to getting to spend the whole week with all of the girls and getting to know them and creating friendships

Sierra: I have had the privilege of representing Augusta in its historic 150th year and I am so excited to make Augusta proud on the Miss Kansas stage!

Suzannah: I cannot wait to be in the community of Pratt, KS! They are so kind and welcoming with open arms! The sisterhood built during this week is another big thing that I am looking forward to! I am also, so excited to be able to grow more with this experience, but also show Kansas how much I have grown throughout my year!

Miss Kansas Competition will hold Preliminaries on Thursday and Friday evenings with the top 11 Finalists competing on Saturday night.  The top 10 are selected by the judges and one girl is selected as the “People’s Choice” through online voting. The final competition will be live-streamed online

Parking Lot Issue of Public Safety

Director of Facilities Management, Dan Ingalls, appeared before the Board to request that bids be sought for the demo and replacement of the concrete parking lot at Augusta Public Safety Building.

In 2015, the parking lot at the Augusta Public Safety Building started to show signs of aggregate displacement at the concrete joints.

Augusta Public Safety Parking Lot
Parking lot at the Augusta Public Safety Building

Aggregate displacement is what happens when salt and or other corrosive materials gets in the cracks or joints of concrete and starts to break down the concrete.  This deterioration of the parking lot will continue. Epoxy was used in an attempt to stop the process but it had zero results. The request was approved.

Darryl Lutz, Director of Public Works, presented a request for final action on the right-of-way acquisition of Little Walnut River Bridge on SE Chelsea (Cole Creek) Road.  The Little Walnut River Bridge Project has 4 tracts of permanent right-of-way and 1 tract of temporary easement. In order to alleviate a concern of the property owner about trespassing, a portion of the proposed right-of-way for channel improvements has been changed to permanent drainage easement. A permanent drainage easement will allow the County to have access for long term maintenance, but, does not allow for public access. Additionally, the County will build a new fence to replace the existing fence.  The purchase and dedication request was approved.

Brian Riley of Integrated Plastics Solutions (IPS)
Brian Riley updating the Commissioners on the clean up progress at IPS.

Mr. Riley from Integrated Plastics Solutions (IPS) appeared before the Board to give an update on the cleanup progress at the property.   “We are processing … materials, hauling materials out.” Riley stated. He informed the Commissioners that they have taken four trips to the landfill and have 7 rolloffs loaded to go.  He will be back on April 16th give share another update.

Vouchers, adds and abates were approved.

Other items of business discussed was the resignation of Rosalia Township Treasurer, David Johnson.  The Rosalia Board recommended Matt Dragoo as the replacement. His appointment was approved by the Board of Butler County Commissioners.

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 09, 2019 at 9:00 AM at the historic Butler County Courthouse, 205 W. Central Ave., on the 4th Floor.  It is open to the public.


Butler County Resolution: “Women in STEAM Week”

Sierra Marie Bonn, Miss Augusta 2019, is more than her title would suggest. In addition to representing the City of Augusta during its 150th year as a titleholder in the Miss Kansas Organization, she is a Biomedical Engineering student at Wichita State University and founder of the educational initiative, “Let’s Go Full STEAM Ahead!”

The combination of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math is recognized as STEAM education. “Let’s Go Full STEAM Ahead!” is the educational initiative she designed to share with classrooms, camps, and community partners which exposes girls and young women to their potential in STEAM fields.


Sierra shares, “The first computer programmer in the world was Ada Lovelace. Her story is remarkable not only because was she a woman, but because she was coding for a computer that wouldn’t even be invented for another 100 years.” Each October, Ada Lovelace is recognized around the world for her contributions to innovation and for her inspiring impact on the world as a woman in STEAM. Last October, the City of Augusta issued a Proclamation to honor her, and other inspiring women like her, during Women in STEAM Week, to be held the third week of October, every year.

Sierra is looking to increase the impact of her social initiative “Let’s Go Full STEAM Ahead!” by creating a similar Resolution for Butler County.  According to Sierra, “Providing an avenue for influential women in STEAM to be publicly recognized, creates the opportunity for young women to be exposed to numerous role models and empower them to pursue their interests.”


sierra in classroom
Sierra Marie Bonn raises a hand to bring awareness to her social initiative, Let’s Go Full STEAM Ahead!


Sierra believes young women should be empowered to accomplish whatever they dream, that they should be supported to become astronauts, artists, and even Miss America. By promoting STEAM education and engagement and showcasing their potential to thrive in STEAM careers, young women are empowered to achieve their dreams.

“In America, only one in five workers in research, architecture, engineering, and high-tech careers are women,” Sierra has identified. “How can young women aspire to reach their dreams if they have so few role models? How can they reach their dreams if they don’t know they are within their grasp?”

Technology journalist Emily Chang reported over half a million jobs in the tech industry are going unfilled, and by 2020, that number is expected to increase to one million. This leaves one million opportunities for innovation, discovery, and growth for the economy. Currently, there is a short supply of talented workers because the stereotypes of what makes a good engineer, scientist, programmer, and architect exclude half of the population and half of the talent we desperately need. By failing to empower our young women to pursue science, technology, engineering, arts, and math careers, our nation’s STEAM workforce will continue to decline. This results in a loss of the historical strength and competitive edge the American economy has in the fields of science and technology, according to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

As Miss Augusta 2019, Sierra is raising awareness of gender inequality in STEAM fields and promoting how young women can get involved.

  • As a LEGO robotics coach, she encourages young girls to be confident in their engineering and coding skills, which results in improved communication, problem-solving, and teamwork skills.
  • As a Girl Scout camp counselor, she watches girls light up with joy as they perform science experiments and explore nature.
  • As an engineering mentor, she has coached collegians to stay committed to their dreams, no matter how challenging or male-dominated a class may be — she has experienced first-hand how it feels to be a minority in science classes, math classes, and engineering classes. She wants young girls to know that they can be smart without sacrificing their identities.


Sierra Marie Bonn was crowned Miss Augusta 2019 during the City of Augusta’s 150th birthday.


Learn more about “Let’s Go Full STEAM Ahead!”  and find resources to share during “Women in STEAM Week” or any time of the year, by visiting Sierra’s website, www.letsgofullSTEAMahead.com

Miss Augusta speaks to Butler County Commissioners

While the United States Government may be experiencing a shutdown, the Board of Butler County Commissioners met one final time for the calendar year on Monday, December 31, 2018.  (Listen to the podcast)

After the opening prayer by Reverend Christine Gilpin, the minutes were approved and then the floor was opened for public comments.

Miss Augusta 2019, Sierra Marie Bonn, appeared before the Commissioners to officially introduce herself and her social initiative, “Let’s Go Full STEAM Ahead” to the Board of Butler County Commissioners.

“Let’s Go Full STEAM Ahead” was founded to promote science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) education and engagement inside classrooms, camps, college campuses, and with community partners.

Miss Bonn worked with the City of Augusta to establish “Women in STEAM Week,” a celebration held the third week in October that honors and highlights influential women who have made an impact in the STEAM fields. Now she is seeking to advance her cause through a Proclamation, which will extend the observation of “Women in STEAM Week” throughout Butler County.

Her 2019 goals include the implementation of “Women in STEAM Week” across the state and country.

To learn more about “Let’s Go Full STEAM Ahead” visit Sierra’s website: http://www.letsgofullSTEAMahead.com

To follow her journey to Miss Kansas, find her on Facebook at “Sierra Marie Bonn: Miss Augusta 2019”

On the agenda was a request for a homestead lot split for Paul and Jane Heide. After a brief discussion it was approved.

Next, Public Works Director, Darryl Lutz presented a request for the approval of a Landfill Compactor. The lowest bid, for a Bomag was submitted by Berry Tractor and Equipment Company of Wichita. After a few questions from the Commissioners, the Bomag, with the addition of the optional extended warranty for a total purchase price of $612,073 was approved. The Commission authorized staff to auction off the current compactor via an internet auction following delivery of the new compactor.

Finally, Mr. Lutz requested the annual authorization to solicit bids for the purchase of commodities, including uniforms for personnel and consumable materials needed by the various departments that are used in the course of business.

Vouchers were approved as were Adds & Abates.