Power of One

KAY Unit Conference held in El Dorado

El Dorado High School KAY Club hosted their annual Kansas Association of Youth (KAY) Unit Conference at the USD 490 Performing Arts Center on Wednesday, January 19th.  Students from schools across the region attended the conference which had the theme “The Power of One.”

Each of the El Dorado High School KAY Club members involved with hosting the conference wore t-shirts with a quote by President John F. Kennedy.

“The half-day conference gives students the opportunity to share project and program ideas, to develop leadership skills and to ‘put the spotlight’ on youth in the community where the conference is held,” states the Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA).

El Dorado High School KAY Club members and sponsor Heather Fangmann posed with a photo with Guest Speakers Mayor Bill Young, Chase Locke and Sierra Marie Bonn. 

According to their stated purpose, the conferences are held during the winter months, and designed to focus on club leadership on the local level. 

“Two years ago (prior to COVID), EHS volunteered to host a unit conference,” said Heather Fangmann, the El Dorado High School KAY Club sponsor.  

“We were supposed to host it last January, but due to the pandemic, all conferences were canceled,” said Fangmann. 

Students were divided into small groups to participate in activities designed to highlight the “Power of One”

The El Dorado High School KAY Club members selected local speakers to present and share their passion for volunteerism and leadership.

Those guest speakers were Mayor Bill Young, Chase Locke and Sierra Marie Bonn.  Mayor Young gave a presentation titled “C.A.M.P.”  Locke’s presentation was titled “Tomorrow is Here!” and Bonn’s presentation was  “My Favorite Number.”

Mayor Bill Young shared his presentation on “C.A.M.P.” encouraging the students to pursue curiosity, autonomy, mastery and purpose.
Chase Locke shared wisdom with students during his presentation “Tomorrow is Here!”
Sierra Marie Bonn shared her favorite impact number with the students during her presentation “My Favorite Number”

Search for New El Dorado Police Chief

On Thursday, January 13th, the public was invited to meet and greet the final four candidates for the job of El Dorado Police Chief. 

The current Police Chief, Curt Zieman, retires on March 23, 2022. 

Craig Holloway, Kevin Kichler, Mike Holton and Dirk Budd are the final candidates for the position.

El Dorado City Manager David Dillner introduced each of the candidates during the Meet & Greet. From left to right: Dillner, Dirk Budd, Kevin Kichler, Craig Holloway and Mike Holton.

Throughout the day Thursday, each of them interviewed with city staff, met community members and youth, and participated in activities which enabled them to display the skills and talents they would bring as the next police chief.

“We appreciate everyone’s participation in the day’s activities and the feedback that will help the City Manager to make the best decision on the next police chief,” said Julie Clements Municipal Information Officer. 

David Dillner, El Dorado City Manager, will review all the  information from the day’s events before making a final decision. 

“We hope to make a decision in the next couple of weeks,” said Clements.

COVID-19 Cases Rising

According to Butler County Health Department Director, Jamie Downs, COVID-19 cases are once again on the rise and local resources are beyond capacity.  Officials are requesting citizens to follow guidelines to help combat further increases.

Individuals, ages five years and older should get a COVID-19 vaccination. Those who have received notification of a positive COVID-19 test, please isolate for 5-10 days. 

Persons who have tested positive are asked to inform those they have been in recent contact with and instruct them to quarantine for 5-10 days. 

Those living in a home with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, should quarantine for another 5-10 days once the positive person is released from isolation.

Individuals who have been notified they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, should quarantine for 5-10 days. Please follow the updated Isolation and Quarantine guidance issued by the CDC and KDHE. 

Individuals experiencing symptoms are requested to consult with their health care provider for evaluation and to determine if testing is recommended.

“For general COVID-19 questions, please contact 211,” said Downs.

She advises citizens to be aware that services at the Butler County Health Department may be limited during this time.

“Remember to stay at home when you are sick, wash hands, wear masks, social distance and get vaccinated and boosted,” said Downs.

“The steps we take as a community are for our community,” said Downs. “The only ones to benefit are ourselves.” 

Government Day in Butler County

Through a cooperative effort by the Butler County Administration, American Legion Posts and Auxiliary Units in Butler County, students from schools throughout the county convened in front of the Butler County Courthouse on Tuesday, November 16th to learn about the various functions of our county government and where tax dollars are invested.

Historic Butler County Courthouse

Education is an important part of the mission of the American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary because a democracy depends largely on its people being informed.

The Government Day program is geared towards informing high school students enrolled in Government classes within Butler County.

Commission Chairman Jeff Masterson welcomes students.

Greeted by County Commission Chairman Jeff Masterson, the students were told how the day would unfold. They divided into several groups and rotated through stations throughout the day.

Those stations were composed of the different administrative, executive and legal offices within Butler County.

Group chaperones included members of the American Legion.

Students sat in the Board of County Commissioners meeting located on the fourth floor of the historic courthouse and heard from the County Commissioners and GIS Mapping Department’s Director Pam Dunham. She shared an abbreviated history of Butler County with the students in addition to quizzing them on some well-known, and some obscure, facts of the largest county in Kansas.

Commissioners welcomed students and shared about the roles in county government.
Students learning fun facts about Butler County.

At another station, students heard from Butler County Clerk, Tatum Stafford and her office.  Students who were of voting age and unregistered, were given the opportunity to register to vote.

Students learned about the voting process through a mock election.

Emergency Management Director, Keri Korthals shared why the need for emergency preparedness was the responsibility of all the people.

Butler County Emergency Management Director Keri Korthals speaks to students at her station.

And the Public Works Department was stationed in the parking lot and gave students an opportunity to learn what the department is responsible for as well as learning about the equipment they use on a daily basis.

Public Works equipment in the parking lot.
Students learned about the equipment used by the Public Works Department.

Students also visited the Judicial Building and the Butler County Detention Facility.

Butler County Judicial Building

For lunch, the students were treated to hamburgers and hot dogs at the Butler County Community Building. The lunch was hosted by the American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary, and prepared by the Red Devil Chefs.  

American Legion Auxiliary members hosted lunch.
Red Devil Chefs grilled hamburgers and hotdogs.
Lunch is served.

While there students heard from American Legion Post #81 Commander Steve Seymour, American Legion Auxiliary Unit #81 President Karen Hasting, District 5 Auxiliary President Tracy Kinnick and State of Kansas Department President Annette Scheaffer.  Each of the American Legion and Auxiliary members spoke on the programs, like Government Day, provided by the organizations.  One of the programs available to high school juniors is Boys and Girls State. 

American Legion Boys State and American Legion Auxiliary Girls State are summer leadership and citizenship programs for high school juniors, which focus on exploring the mechanics of American government and politics.

Concluding the program, Representative Will Carpenter shared why he entered public service and encouraged each of the students to get involved in local government.

Trick or Treat Down Main Street 

Pumpkins and decorations dotted the downtown and businesses lined the streets in El Dorado’s historic district on Main and Central lending a festive Halloween air for the annual Trick or Treat Down Main Street. 

The streets were lined with costumed characters out trick or treating down Main Street.

The event is organized each year by El Dorado Main Street. 

Miss Butler County 2022 Sierra Marie Bonn with El Dorado Main Street Executive Director Emily Connell enjoyed the view at Main and Central.

According to the El Dorado Main Street organization, the purpose of the non-profit is to “enhance our downtown identity and heritage, to foster a center of activity for both business and recreation and to ensure economic stability for the heart of El Dorado through concentrated efforts of design, promotion, organization and business enhancement.”

A family affair with dad dressed as Peter Pan, one child dressed as his shadow, mom as Wendy and the youngest dressed as Captain Hook being eaten by the crocodile.

By all indications, more than a thousand children, with parents in tow, paraded up and down the streets in costume from 4 – 6 p.m. Friday, October 29th all while collecting candy.  

Andrew Tipton of W Investments prepared to hand out over 450 bags of cotton candy.

In addition to candy, some businesses choose to offer other goodies.  W Investments handed out over 450 bags of cotton candy while SunGroup Real Estate grilled over 1,250 hot dogs.

Linda Baines helped SunGroup hand our 1,250 hot dogs.

Farmers Insurance Stephen Mills Agency had bike giveaways for two lucky winners, in partnership with Walmart.  In order to enter, they had to try and guess the correct number of candy corn filling a glass pumpkin. 

A costume contest for ages 0-12 was held at Intrust Bank and hosted along with Kelly’s Etc. and Trunk2Treasure. The children were divided into age categories 0-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12 with the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in each category receiving a bag filled with treats from Intrust Bank.

Ages 0-3
Ages 4-6
Ages 7-9
Ages 10-12