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Valley Falls , Kansas
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July 19, 2012     The Oskaloosa Independent
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P. 6 THURSDAY, JULY 19, 2012 THE OSKALOOSA INDEPENDENT News Annual MeridenThreshing Bee open this weekend Communities strive to by Holly Davis The Meriden Antique Engine and Threshers Association is hosting the 36th annual threshing show July 20, 21, and 22 at Cottonwood Station near Meriden. Admission is $6 for all three days and children under 12 get in free. Events include parades, tractor pulls, entertainment, and a Sunday church service. Although steam engines are no longer allowed at the show due to operational dangers, some of the greatest attractions include the most complete working blacksmith shop in the Midwest, the Thick 'n' Thin sawmill, one-cylinder gasoline engines, and a fully operational flour mill just to name a few. Country music will be provided by Just Friends Friday night and Daren and Randy Live Saturday night. While all the festivities go on and bellies become empty or mouths become dry, the grounds will be pro- viding breakfast, lunch, dinner, and everything in between. Because of the extreme heat that will most likely hit on the weekend, visitors can rest at ease knowing that the general store and church are air conditioned. Second year president of the as- sociation and former secretary, Jess Noll, remembers when the general store and print shop were in the making. He was first introduced to the grounds when his dad, a former association president, made him a member at age 12. Noll and other volunteer workers have already started preparing the grounds for the upcoming show. "We've already got wheat put up in the barn," he said. Although volunteers have worked hard to keep the progress going, set- backs have cost the association a "pretty penny" and slowed down the process a bit. The Meriden grounds endured the theft of copper last winter that affected the camping grounds. This loss, however, has been replaced and renewed with 26 camping sites and six vending electrical outlets with aluminum wiring to make it theft- proof. Improvements were made to the restrooms at Cottonwood Station last year. When it comes to future plans, Jess hopes the next big project is to update the kitchen and finish work on the inside of the church. With improvements, setbacks, and preparations, volunteers are a necessity, Noll said. Anyone is eligible to become a member and the cost is $5. Anyone who is interested can fill out an ap- plication that will be reviewed by the association committee. "The reason it's so cheap is be- cause we get it out of you later," Noll said. To be an active member, he says it's very labor intensive. He usually spends a weekend at the grounds all year round. Jess Noll, president of the Threshers Association, and other volunteers have done a lot of work preparing for the show this weekend. else, but at the Meriden threshing grounds. The ceremony took place in front of the log cabin and a barn dance followed. "She puts up with it," he laughed. "She let's me come play." Noll and other members have put many hours into preparing for the big show. Jess hopes that the people will enjoy the fun-filled weekend with family. "For six dollars a head, I think this is the best family entertainment you can find; and I want to stress the family part. You can bring the kids up for a while and come and go when you please," he said. "We try to tell members to do what they can. We understand that family comes first. We don't force anything," he said. Noll feels that there is a "youth shortage" when it comes to the future threshing generation, but hopes that the tradition will continue on for as long as it can. The president said he'll probably be here when he's 80. With the dedication and passion Jess has for the show, it isn't surpris- ing that his wife has a part in all of it too. He and his wife, the former Stacey Farrar, recently got married in June. The wedding was where Kansas 2012 duck populations are at record highs wetland declines in western South Dakota and Montana resulted in mostly poor to fair habitat condi- tions. The annual survey guides US- FWS waterfowl conservation pro- grams under authority of the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The USFWS works in partnership with state biologists from the four flyways - the Atlantic, Mississippi, Central and Pacific- to establish regulatory frameworks for waterfowl hunting season lengths, dates, and bag limits, derived in part from the data gath- ered through this annual survey. Using these frameworks as guides, the Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tour- ism Commission will establish the 2012-2013 waterfowl seasons and bag limits at its August 23 meeting. The meeting will be conducted at the Kansas Wetland Education Center, 592 NE K-156 Highway, Great Bend, with the afternoon session beginning at 1:30 p.m. Waterfowl seasons will be discussed at the Public Hearing portion of the meeting, which will begin at 7 p.m. Although breeding habitat condi- tions have declined from previous years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's 2012 "Trends in Duck Breeding Populations" report esti- mates breeding waterfowl numbers in North America's duck factory is at a record high. This year's estimate of 48.6 million breeding ducks is significantly higher than the 45.6 million birds estimated last year and 43 percent above the long-term average. This annual report summarizes information about the status of duck populations and wetland habitats collected by wildlife biologists from the USFWS and the Canadian Wildlife Service for the "Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey." The survey samples more than 2 million square miles of wa- terfowl habitat across the United States and Canada. Highlights from the survey in the northcentral United States, southcentral and northern Canada, and Alaska include the following population abundance estimates: • mallard -- 10.6 million, a 15 percent increase over 2011 and a 39 percent increase over the long-term average of 7.6 million; • gadwall -- 10 percent above the 2011 estimate and 96 percent above the long-term average; • American wigeon -- 3 percent above 2011, but remains 17 percent below the long-term average; * green-winged and blue-winged teal -- 3.5 million and 9.2 million, re- spectively, 20 percent and 3 percent above 2011 numbers. Both species continue to remain well above long- term averages by 74 percent and 94 percent, respectively; • northern shovelers -- 5.0 million, 8 percent above 2011 and 111 per- cent above the long-term average; • northern pintail -- 3.5 million, 22 percent below the 2011 estimate and 14 percent below the long-term average; • redhead -- unchanged from last year but 89 percent above the long- term average; • canvasback -- 0.8 million, 10 percent above last year's estimate and 33 percent above the long-term average; and • lesser and greater scaup -- 5.2 million, 21 percent above the 2011 estimate and 4 percent above the long-term average. Habitat conditions observed across the survey areas during the 2012 Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey were character- ized by average to below-average moisture, especially in the southern portions, due primarily to a mild winter and an early spring. The 2012 survey's estimate of ponds for the northcentral U.S. was 1.7 million, 49 percent below the 2011 estimate of 3.2 million and similar to the long-term average. Significant decreases in wetland numbers and conditions occurred in the U.S. Prairies during 2012. Nearly all of the northcentral U.S. habitat was rated as good to ex- cellent in 2011; however, only the habitat in the coteau region of North and South Dakota was rated as good in 2012, and no areas were rated as excellent habitat this year. Severe KDWPT accepting applications for private land grants sensitive wildlife species; 2) res- toration or maintenance of areas supporting high densities of playa lakes surrounded by grasslands; and 3) restoration or enhancement of streams and associated riparian buffers. Applications are being accepted immediately with a deadline of Oct. 1. Those landowners receiving funding will be required to match a minimum of 25 percent of total project costs. This match can either be a cash contribution from a non- federal source or contributions of labor, materials, or equipment use. Applications will be accepted until available funds have been commit- ted. Program provides technical as- sistance and financial incentives to enhance wildlife habitat on private land; Oct. 1 application deadline The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism is now accepting applications for State Wildlife Grants (SWG), which are awarded to qualified private land- owners to enhance wildlife habitat on their land. Since its inception, the SWG Private Landowner Pro- gram has funded more than $1.4 million to complete 60 private land habitat projects. Projects include removing invasive woody plants from native mixed-grass prairie, constructing alternate watering $205,000 in SWG funds to further continue this private landowner habitat conservation work. To be eligible, applications must address issues and strategies iden- tified in the Kansas Comprehen- sive Wildlife Conservation Plan. Applications will be scored based on established criteria to ensure all applicants are considered fairly and that the highest-ranking proj- ects are selected. Proposals with potential to score highest will specifically address restoration and enhancement activities that will contribute to 1) development or maintenance of large grassland blocks capable of supporting area- cardiac care isn't just a passion ... it's an obsession. years, St. Francis bdng the people of Topeka the re available. In fact it's all we can focus It's why we're a in cardiac and vascular care, and why we're consistently ranked as havingthe best quality of care in the area.'More importantly, it's the kind of dedication that shows in everything we do.  Cam with a Soul" Center Dr.JohnJollff Cardiologist make home a better place facilities to help with native short- grass prairie management, conver- sion of cool season grass to native grass and forbs, and construction of perimeter fencing on expiring CRP fields to help maintain those fields in native grass. These projects will improve more than 20,346 acres of habitat that will benefit wildlife considered Species of Greatest Conservation Need in Kansas. In the past, KDWPT received $586,000 of SWG funds from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to aid in the protection and manage- ment of priority habitats for SGCG in Kansas. In June 2012, the de- partment received an additional innovativecarewithasoul,com 46-04-8tc by Nancy B. Peterson K-State Research and Extension News Media Services The report is in, and enough to generate a WOWt In 2011, Kansas PRIDE commu- nities reported contributing 94,263 volunteer hours toward community and economic development. "The estimated dollar value for the time is $1,677,800," said Dan Kahl, K-State Research and Exten- sion PRIDE Program coordinator, who cited The Independent Sector as a resource for his calculations. So, what is PRIDE? And, what do its volunteers have to show for their time? The Kansas PRIDE Program facilitates volunteer-driven com- munity and economic development by working with K-State Research and Extension and the Kansas De- partment of Commerce to guide self-assessment, help communities identify important projects for their future, establish priorities, and iden- tify resources to help them get the job done. The effort, which has a more than 40-year history of supporting com- munity improvement, has evolved with changing times, said Kahl, who explained that successful PRIDE communities were recently honored June 2 at PRIDE Day in Melvern, Kan. Communities cited for complet- ing projects that add capital improve- ments to their community included: • Alton, pop. 104, earned a top 2012 award (projects completed in 2011) for Built Capital by creat- ing a skateboard park. Third and fourth grade boys and their fathers approached the city council, which included PRIDE members, and were challenged to raise the funds and take responsibility for the project. With the help of Post Rock Exten- sion agent and PRIDE representative Nadine Sigle, the group applied for and was selected to receive a K-State Research and Extension Get It-Do It grant to support youth and adult partnerships in promoting physical activity, health and wellness. Community volunteers, including children, worked together to research equipment, make a budget, host com- munity events to raise money, and build a safe new park for youth. * Larned, pop. 3,340, earned a 2012 award for Built Capital for add- ing Splash Pad and Park. PRIDE volunteers surveyed the community, and picked up on a suggestion to revive an aging park and adding a Splash Pad. They sought community support favoring a $25,000 contribution from the city if volunteers could submit a success- ful Small Communities Improvement Program (SCIP) Grant for $125,000 from the Kansas Department of Com- merce. Community volunteers contribut- ed more than 6,000 hours to complete the Splash Pad and update the park with new play equipment, refinished tennis courts, and lighting. • Highland, pop. 933, earned a 2012 Financial Capital award for creative and persistent fundraising to replace their city's aging holiday decorations. PRIDE volunteers wanted to make Highland the "Snowflake Capital" of Kansas, and hosted com- munity dinners, worked food stands, recycled aluminum cans, sold books, and organized event after event to raise $6,000 toward the purchase of the decorations. • Lucas, pop. 407, earned a Cul- tural Capital award for creating a Main Street mural illustrating the history of the area, which includes Wilson, Kan., and the Czechoslova- kian immigrants who chose the area as their home. PRIDE volunteers collaborated with members of a Scenic Byway Committee and local artist Erika Nelson to replace and update a mural that had been painted in 1998. They sought funding from the Kansas Arts Commission, Russell County Convention and Visitors Bureau, area businesses, and indi- viduals, and invited high school art students and volunteers to help pre- pare the site and complete the new mural, which, as they say is "the talk of the town." • Spearville, pop. 827, earned a Social Capital Award for organizing a neighborhood watch program, with neighbors watching out for neigh- bors. PRIDE volunteers sought support from the local police chief in develop- ing a plan, and played an important role in convening organizations and residents to ensure a safer commu- nit),. They invited participation from the Ford County communications coordinator, medical and fire person- nel and school district, publicized the effort in a newspaper, staged a flyer-design contest with K-5th grad- ers, and collaborated with the Lions Club to co-host a meal to introduce the plan and unite the community in putting it to work. • Stafford, pop. 1,032, earned a 2012 award for Political Capital for conducting a community assessment and developing a vision statement to guide PRIDE community and eco- nomic development. Disappointment with participa- tion in previous surveys prompted PRIDE volunteers to invite Glenn Newdigger, K-State Research and Extension agent in Stafford County, to organize a visioning session with a goal of assessing where the com- munity is today, and where the public ' would like it to be in the future. The session drew participants from ages 10 to 80+, and is being used as a" planning tool for community develop- ment. • Washington, pop. 1,083, earned a Human CapitaIAward for seasonal holiday efforts in helping families through a "Christmas Compassion Project." In 2003, the Washington County Ministerial Association introduced an Angel Tree requesting holiday gifts for residents, and followed up by adding a seasonal food box. In 2010, the local PRIDE committee assumed responsibility for food gifts, and, in 2011, added a holiday dinner for 550 people, including recipients of 323 Angel Tree gifts and 155 PRIDE food boxes with enough food for eight meals. The project represented more than 2,000 volunteer hours and $20,000 in donations from businesses, individu- als and organizations, such as swine producers who donated 150 pounds of ham for meals. Top award recipients earn a plaque and are eligible to apply for Star or Community of Excellence Awards, and grants to fund future projects, Kahl said. Additional awards to community- based PRIDE groups earning honor- able mention in the Natural Capital category are: • Alden, pop. 154, which raised the money and contributed volun- teer hours to re-do a former flower garden near the post office. It turned an empty lot on Main Street into a colorful, inviting garden. • Potwin, pop. 434, collaborated with the local Lions Club, Scouts, Methodist and Christian churches and businesses and encouraged youth and adult partnerships (ages 2 to 90) to grow and contribute 1,470 pounds of fresh produce for distri- bution to the Salvation Army in Wichita, a shelter in El Dorado, and Food 4 Kids. About 70 Kansas communities participate in the Kansas PRIDE program annually, Kahl said. Partners a plus for successful communities Cooperation is key to success- ful community development, yet many volunteers work behind the scenes, and share facilities or other resources without fanfare. They're often perennial partners, and that's why Kansas' PRIDE communities choose to honor them with a Community Partner Award, said Dan Kahl, K-State Research and Extension PRIDE coordina- tor. Award recipients are nominated by their local PRIDE representa- tives, and are honored at PRIDE Day, which, this year, was held June 2 in Melvern, Kan. Recipients of 2012 PRIDE Com- munity Partner Awards are: • Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. (VFW) Post 11499 (nominated by Basehor PRIDE) was recognized for its willingness to allow com- munity groups to use its facility as a community center, as well as sponsoring - and hosting - such Roy l00vy Wvstvm iavitvs you to thv Cdvbmti0n of OF 000000i"CO00WSOT Saturday, &ly 28, zolz Cr0ssr0ads Cowboy Church. I-Iwy 24/59 £ IIS IIwy 76, Willimstowa Admission. $5, kids under 12 free * O0wb0y% O0wkids * Sile ap sad get o d0wn to te Cr0mxIs Cowboy Chh t0 aa eveaiag of eatrtaianma% eucato cud fun lebratiag o wer befitS. For mo information c0ntct tutor Terry Newll at 785-80-8165 or Jo Turner =t 785-23.-0579 or visit www.CrossroadsCowboyChuh.net events. • Jenny Manry (nominated by Larned PRIDE) was recognized for investing time as a grant-writer to raise funds for community devel- opment, and leading projects such as Camp Pawnee, a community garden, orchard and vineyard, and youth and adult partnerships to improve community. • Doug Brant (nominated by Lucas PRIDE) is a third generation member of his family to operate a Main Stree Business in the com- munity, and a willing volunteer in improving the city's downtown, mini-park and picnic area. He also facilitated several projects, includ- ing the mural honoring the city's Czech heritage, which earned a 2012 PRIDE award for Cultural Capital. • Joann Knight (nominated by VALLEY MINI-STORAGE I Space Available [ 876-2606 or 945-6248 Spearville PRIDE) provides lead- ership for the Dodge City/Ford County Economic Development Corporation, and has assisted Spearville with economic develop- ment, brochure and website de- velopment, Safe Routes to School Grant, business and housing de- velopment and a master plan for developing recreation. • Quivira National Wildlife Ref- uge (nominated by Stafford PRIDE) is part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, and offers oppor- tunities for observing wildlife and environmental education as part of an annual PRIDE-sponsored event titled: "Bike and Hike with the Birds." • City of Wilson (nominated by Wilson PRIDE) has collaborated with PRIDE volunteers to develop and care for a new city park. 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