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Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 9:21 am

New Store Openings or Existing Store Relocations

Orscheln Farm & Home is proud to announce the opening of a new store in Ellsworth, KS - spring, 2015.
To prepare for the success of the new store, we are accepting online applications for the following positions:

Store Manager
Assistant Managers
Department Heads
Sales Associates

Full-time and part-time positions available with flexible schedules and competitive wages.  Full-time associates are eligible for a comprehensive benefit package.



Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth, ECF — Peg Britton @ 3:56 pm


Ellsworth Correctional Facility Right Track Foundation at the Spiritual Life Center Presents: “Regrets Only”

Published By: Big Dog Publishing Directed By: Larry Temple & Dawn Abrahams Written By: L. Don Swartz

The laughs never end when Lottie and Bernice, two cantankerous grannies, crash the wedding reception of an unsuspecting bride and groom so they can eat free food  and steal rolls of toilet paper out of the restrooms.  Audiences will love the zany, unforgettable characters in this side splitting comedy.

Fire hall custodians in charge of the wedding reception find they are no match for these grumpy grannies who heckle wedding guests, criticize everything from the wedding cupcakes to the bridesmaids’ dresses, and complain about their numerous health maladies.

Friday, April 24, 2015 - 6-9 pm
Saturday, April 25, 2015 - 6-9 pm
Saturday, May 2, 2015 - 6-9 pm
Sunday, (Matinee`) May 3, 2015- 1-4 pm

Tickets for front row tables are $25.00 per person.
All other tickets are $20.00 per person. (All seats have great views)
This year’s meal, served before each show, will be a Chicken Alfredo dinner.

Children must be at least 10 years old and accompanied by a parent.

Make your reservation by calling ECF Chaplaincy at 785-472-6212
Or mail check/money order payable to: Right Track Foundation

ECF SLC, P.O. Box 107, Ellsworth, Kansas 67439
Published By: Big Dog Publishing

Directed By: Larry Temple & Dawn Abrahams

Written By: L. Don Swartz



Filed under: prairie musings, friends, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 1:34 pm

This was written by a friend of mine, Dawnae Urbanek Bunch, who has been a teacher/educator in Ellsworth for 26 years.  She was exceptionally instrumental in the education and personal development of one of my grandsons during his high school years and continues to be involved in his life long after his graduation.  So it has been for many others as well.  I really don’t know how she does it, but she is a rare individual and exceptional human being.  In the following, she explains how “unintellectual” teaching is:

“If I had to name the one thing that surprised me most about teaching, it would be how utterly unintellectual it is, or becomes, when you have so many students with so many needs all coming at you at once, and you don’t have the time each of them deserves.”

I read this quote in an article this week about a woman who, for many reasons, got out of teaching. This is SO true. On a regular basis, in just my classroom, I encounter students who not only want to publish a newspaper or yearbook or take photos (those are sometimes the least of their concerns), but ones who need a safety pin to remedy a wardrobe malfunction; ones who need something to eat; ones who need school supplies; ones who need some attention - any attention - because they don’t get it anywhere else; ones who need a shoulder to cry on (literally); ones who need someone to talk to because they’re having drama with friends or family; ones who don’t know who turn to you to talk about life issues they’re experiencing such as sex, drugs, abuse, coming out, and a whole host of other things that are important to them, because they trust you. After 26 years, I feel like I should have an honorary counseling degree. It’s also part of the reason I will be ready to early retire in five years, if possible.



Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 6:34 pm

This once stately mansion in Ellsworth KS, priced at $39,000,  has more than 5,000 square feet of useable space.  There is original woodwork and it needs work and love to return it to its 1910-era glory. For many years, it served as the Ellsworth County jail.  I really don’t remember any of the history of the house, except bits and pieces, but I’m sure there are local people who could tell a lot about it.   It’s listed on zillow.


I’ve had a good weekend, quiet with some friends who stopped by to visit.  Friday night after trivia, Ann and Terry Headrick stopped by with some “garments” for me and during the discussion, we decided to go to the Korean Restaurant for a bowl of soup.  It’s the only place in town where you can get HOT from the stove soup. Every other place in town you have to send the soup back to the kitchen for reheating.  If you want it spicy hot, Joomi will make it that way for you too.  And we did.

They make their soup with Ramen-like noodles, but they aren’t the Walmart variety, they are Korean noodles.  They make the soup with chicken and slivers of various fresh veggies. It’s filling and delicious.

And, the best part was that friends from Ellsworth were there eating too.  I don’t often see my friends so it was a special treat…

We’re gearing up for the soup supper on Friday.  I’m especially looking forward to it as Tyler is coming from Cincinnati.  Also joining us will be Ally, Todd, Karen, Jan, Ann and Terry.  There will be a houseful here for soup, relishes and pie..maybe 900 friends of the Palace.  Earlier in the day I will be removing cellophane wrappers from all the Marcon pies…and the homemade ones that are donated.  I’m able to do that  while being seated.  My favorite position. My ability to walk is getting worse by the day, imo.

Today was laundry day.  I only did a couple of loads and called it quits.  It’s exhausticating for me so I do only what is necessary for the moment.  I have clean duds for a while.

We had fried chicken today for lunch that was pretty good.  Once they get the hang of how to do it, I wish they’d remember the next time it’s on the menu.

I haven’t heard anything about my friend, Doris.  I was expecting a call tonight…maybe I’ll hear tomorrow.  They are very aware of and abide by  HIPAA regulations so it’s hard to get information on your friends well-being.  Maybe tomorrow. I worry about her ability to thrive, but she is an amazing person.

Politic and religion aren’t discussed around here very much.  What I have overheard is that most people are not voting for anyone who is now in office.  That’s a good thing.

Thanks for tuning in…



Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 5:26 pm



Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 7:43 am

“A question to continue the City of Ellsworth’s quarter percent sales tax will be on the ballot this November.  Ellsworth’s quarter percent sales tax is on pace to expire on June 30, 2015 if the election fails.  This money currently pays for debt service on our 2005 fire department building, street infrastructure, offsets some costs to the streetscape improvements made in 2010, and various other large scale improvements.  By continuing our quarter percent sales tax, our community will work to improve infrastructure throughout Ellsworth, pay off our debts in a timely manner, and keep our property taxes stable.  A vote Yes keeps our sales tax at its current rate.

One item that makes renewing the quarter cent sales tax appealing is that it allows tourists and people passing through town to contribute to our City’s revenue.  Sales tax can be generated by anyone, whether they are from Dodge City or Overland Park.  On the other hand, property taxes are generated only by people who live within City limits.  The more sales tax our community generates, the more likely we are to see improvements in Ellsworth and keep our property taxes steady.

A vote Yes keeps our total sales tax at its current rate of 8.4%, whereas a vote no will drop our sales tax to 8.15%.  Simply put, if the sales tax election fails, it would save a citizen buying $100 worth of groceries a quarter.  While the savings to an average consumer would be nominal, when all purchases in town are combined, this is a substantial piece of the City’s budget.  This additional .25% of sales tax has generated an average of $91,431 per year over the last five years.  The only way to make up for a $91,431 shortfall in our budget would be to dramatically reduce our services or increase property taxes.  Based on Ellsworth’s current valuation, to make up for a $91,431 deficit, property taxes in Ellsworth would need to go up 6.521 mills, or an 8.8% increase ($74.99 increase in property taxes on a home valued at $100,000).

A vote Yes will keep Ellsworth’s sales tax rate at 8.4%.”


Tim Vandall
City Administrator
City of Ellsworth
(785) 472-5566



Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 10:15 am

Walmart Strikes Again With A New Attempt To Further Destroy Small Businesses
August 17, 2014 By Allen Clifton

Walmart is a bit of an enigma, isn’t it?  I rarely meet anyone who enjoys shopping there, and the company itself has an atrocious PR imagine, yet it still manages to be an absolute corporate powerhouse.

But when it comes to Walmart, most of us picture their massive 24-hour “supercenters” that sell everything from groceries to semi-automatic rifles and even swimming pools.

Heck, in many of them you can even do your banking, get your haircut, and buy a Subway sandwich for lunch.

But one of the biggest drawbacks to these supercenters is their size.  Most people don’t just “pop in” to a Walmart.  If you happen to need 2 or 3 items that might be on opposite ends of the store, you’re probably going to end up walking nearly a half mile before you get back to your car.

Which is one of the main factors leading to a continuing decline in sales.

Only this decline in sales isn’t actually threatening to bring down Walmart as the unheralded retail leader.

Oh, no.

It’s actually created an entirely new beast altogether.

See, what Walmart is doing now (in addition to their multitude of supercenters) is building smaller versions of Walmart.

The Walmart Neighborhood Market isn’t all that uncommon, at least not here in Texas.  It’s essentially just a version of Walmart that mainly focuses on groceries. Amid Walmart’s declining overall sales, these locations have actually shown rising earnings.

Another new layout they’re rolling out is called Walmart Express.  It’s smaller than the Walmart Neighborhood stories, basically the size of a CVS pharmacy.  They’re referring to these as their “small-footprint” retail stores.  Here in DFW we’re actually getting Texas’ first one in the town of Palmer.  A tiny town about 25 miles south of downtown Dallas.

Oh, but Walmart hasn’t stopped there.

They’re also testing out a store called Walmart To-Go.  A store that’s described as an upscale version of your local convenience store.  Right now they only have one of these types of stores, near their home office in Bentonville, Arkansas.
The Walmart Neighborhood Market isn’t all that uncommon, at least not here in Texas.  It’s essentially just a version of Walmart that mainly focuses on groceries. Amid Walmart’s declining overall sales, these locations have actually shown rising earnings.

Another new layout they’re rolling out is called Walmart Express.  It’s smaller than the Walmart Neighborhood stories, basically the size of a CVS pharmacy.  They’re referring to these as their “small-footprint” retail stores.  Here in DFW we’re actually getting Texas’ first one in the town of Palmer.  A tiny town about 25 miles south of downtown Dallas.

Oh, but Walmart hasn’t stopped there.

They’re also testing out a store called Walmart To-Go.  A store that’s described as an upscale version of your local convenience store.  Right now they only have one of these types of stores, near their home office in Bentonville, Arkansas.

So, soon it might be theoretically possible that your neighborhood might have a giant Walmart Supercenter, a smaller Walmart Neighborhood Market, a CVS pharmacy-sized Walmart Express and a Walmart To-Go convenience store.

In places where it wasn’t economically feasible to build one of their giant supercenters - towns where small businesses often thrive – they can now build these trimmed down versions of Walmart to really hurt just about every small business in any town where they feel like opening shop.

But it’s not just local businesses in small towns that will be hurt by these stores.  Companies like Walgreens and CVS will also be hindered as Walmart is now venturing into their realm of retail sales and will almost certainly deal a blow to their revenue.

Not to mention many convenient stores are operated by local business owners, who undoubtedly won’t be able to compete with a scaled-down Walmart next door directly competing with their store.

Because whether it’s a national company like CVS, your local small town grocery store or that corner gas station owned and operated by a member of your community, none of them will be able to undercut Walmart’s prices.

And as much as people will say they’ll be loyal to small businesses, it’s indisputable that revenue will be drastically impacted by these new Walmart brands.

At some point enough has got to be enough, right?

I fully believe if Walmart had its way, it would try to put just about every single potential competitor it possibly could out of business.

And with these latest moves, that seems to be exactly what they’re trying to do.



Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 2:36 pm

Ellsworth Cowtown Days
Friday, August 15, 2014
Sweet Repeats Consignment Sale Opens at 5:30
Don’t miss the premiere night of the Elkan Western Riders Rodeo!
While we honor our Cowtown heritage, this year we take pride in the strength of our community and
acknowledge our Veterans

past, present, and future
Saturday, August 16, 2014
6:30AM 5K Registration. Run to follow at 7:30AM
10AM Ellsworth Senior Center Breakfast
8AM Farmers Market Opens
9:30AM Kids Free Fun Run
1:30PM Sweet Repeats Consignment Sale
6PM Craft vendors and fun shopping experiences! Don’t forget to visit our local merchants!
6PM Paint ball trailer fun
10AM Cowtown Parade “Ellsworth Strong” featuring past, present, and future Veterans of Ellsworth County
4PM Theatre Tech Productions live entertainment provided by Paul Craig
Following Parade
“Shooting of Sheriff Whitney” historical reenactment
Registration for Dodge Ball Tournament and Tub Run. Dodge Ball Tournament to begin at 1:30PM.
4PM Kids Game Corral (proceeds benefit the Boy Scouts), Bouncy Houses, and Apples on a String
6PM Food vendors, live entertainment, and beer garden. Official Cowtown merchandise available for purchase!
Enjoy music by Hell Creek Bridge, Plains, Ray Smith, F 5 Band, and Courtney Sue Irwin and Mike Benish
12:30PM Stick around and enjoy the comics of our new event
1PM Tractor Pedal Pull Registration. State sanctioned pull to follow.
1PM Washer tournament
2PM & 4PM Ping Pong Ball Drops
win a $100 ball!
Elkan Western Riders Rodeo
Live Entertainment and Street Dance at Paden’s Place. Dance to the tunes of “12 Years Coming”



Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 3:58 pm

SPREAD THE WORD: Ellsworth Strong Informational Meeting
Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at 7:00 PM
American Legion
645 W 15th Street
Ellsworth, KS 67439
Please post this on your pages and get the word out about the meeting tomorrow. We have invited the city council, city administrator, local media and others to attend. Hopefully we can clear up any rumors/misconceptions and begin to discuss what actions we can take to stop this from happening. Please join us!



Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 2:56 pm

Star Spangled Spectacular Fireworks Extravaganza

This month on June 28th!!!!

Scout Spirit Freedom Sprint
•    This is a 5K with registration starting at 6:30 am with the race starting at 7:30 am.
•    Pre-registration recommended

15th Annual ECF Spiritual Life Center “Run for the Soul” Motorcycle Run
•    This is the 15th Annual Run for the Soul. Registration will begin at 7:00 am.
•    There will be a breakfast served from 7:00 am to 9:30 am.
•    Burgers, Brats, etc. will be served from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm.
•    The Blessing of the Bikes and Prayer will be at 12:45 pm.
•    Bikes will depart at 1:00 pm with a parade downtown and around ECF with return at 4:00 pm.
•    Live Auction will start at 4:30 pm and end about 5:30 pm.
The Old Iron, Custom Car & Cycle Show
•    This event begins Friday, June 27 with a poker event at the Armory
•    Registration begins at 7:00 am on Saturday.
•    Cars start showing at 10:00 am.
•    Burnout competition will begin at 2:00 pm
Craft Fair sponsored by ECF Spiritual Life Center
•    The booths will be open from 11:00 am to 8:00 PM.
Bouncy House - Fun for Kids
•    Kiwanis will sponsor bouncy houses for Kids under 12 from 3 pm till Dark.
•    We are planning to have a concert beginning at 7:00 pm(still in the works)
Star Spangled Spectacular Fireworks Extravaganza
•    Fireworks will begin at dark (about 9:45 pm)

Flyers and registrations forms available at If you are interested in helping or have ideas to help us be successful please contact Carol at 472-4071 or email.



Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 12:28 pm

Big Events in 2014
We are looking for community people that would like to help, either by having your organization do a booth or service, or just volunteering to help in some way yourself. Please contact the Chamber office if you would like to help.

This year’s events are as follows:

Saturday, March 22 - Kiwanis Home Show and ECMC Health Fair

Friday, April 4 - Ellsworth Elementary Carnival

Saturday, April 6 - Dalton’s Walk

Saturday, June 28 - Boy Scouts 5 K/Run for the Soul/Car Show & Star Spangled Fireworks Extravaganza

Friday, Saturday, July 11-12 - Fort Harker Days

Friday, Saturday, August 15-16 - El-Kan Rodeo

Saturday, August 16 - Cowtown Days

Saturday, August 30 - St Ignatius Fiesta

Sunday, September 28 - Welcome Home Picnic

Friday, October 31 - Kiwanis Halloween

Tuesday, November 4 - United Methodist Bazaar and Soup Supper

Saturday, November 8 - Kanopolis Turkey Bingo

Saturday, November 15 - Jingle Bell Shop & Sell Craft Bazaar

Monday, December 1 - Chamber Christmas Live Nativity

If you are interested in helping with any of these goals or have ideas to help us be successful please contact Carol at 472-4071 or email.



Yesterday a group of inmates from the Palace planned to go to Pretty Boy Floyd’s in Ellsworth for dinner.  Departure time was 4:15.  We were all very excited about the prospect of a wonderful dinner and sufficient libation to make it a memorable evening.

What was not expected was a blinding wind and rain storm.  Trees snapped in half, big limbs blocked streets, howling wind and blinding rain prevailed.   The bus carrying most of our group was buffeted along the highway, but Karen Larsen did an excellent job keeping it on the road and her passengers out of danger.  It was a harrowing experience for some of the group  who are not accustomed to experiencing such raw and exciting prairie weather.

At the appointed time of joining up with the bus people, and another car full of passengers, Ally, Todd, Karen and I stood just inside the door to Pretty Boy’s to harbor ourselves from the driving rain.  The power had just failed and the town was plunged into darkness, including  the underground cavernous rooms of Pretty Boy’s.  It was literally as dark as the proverbial  dungeon.  What to do?  I couldn’t lead 20 people down those stairs into total darkness and hope the lights came back on.  I lived there and remember what it’s like to get power restored and how long it sometimes takes.

Someone got on a cell phone and called the DQ to see if they had lights.  Yes, they did, and so did the Ellsworth Steak house, so off we went to the Steak House to see if they might save the day and save the day they did.  Tina and Rick Davis, one waitress and the bartender…plus the chef jumped into action and seated all 20 of us around a big table.

Then they brought some “snacks” to tide us over….glorious large platters of delicious sliced cantaloupe, watermelon, whole wonderful strawberries plus overflowing bowls of chips and salsa.  And, our need for libations were met.  It was “happy hour” and that pleased everyone.

The lights went out, so once again we were at the mercy of whatever they could prepare with one hand tied behind their backs.   They could not have done better.  Tina explained what they could serve with their limited resources and everyone got something that was exceptionally good….salads of every type and a wide variety of Mexican food.  There was more that enough to fill the ravenous appetites.

Then on top of that, she had a wide assortment of homemade pies.  A piece de resistance.  They are wonderful.  I think Leslie Brooks makes them for the Steak House. You’ll never find a more delicious piece of pie than one of hers.  Everyone is still raving about the pie.

The day was filled with excitement, more than 90 year olds are used to, but they shouldered it very well and want to return.  A couple said they would check the weather first.

I can’t speak for the Manor, but I do know that Kim Fair, the marketing director, was well aware of the storm as she lives north of Brookville and was caught in the height of it.  She tried repeatedly to reach the drivers to warn them of the severity of the storm and tell them not to leave Salina….or turn back if they had departed.  She couldn’t reach any of them.

The trip turned out all right.  Everyone was safe although some were a little shaken from the harrowing experience.  It’s probably the most exciting thing to happen to some of us in months.  Mostly we experience someone playing a saw or a harp and call it a day.  I loved the storm…love to be out in it.  One just can’t overlook the  forces of nature, respect and enjoy them.  We all slept like rocks last night and required naps today.

I can’t say enough about how accommodating Rick and Tina Davis were.  They were simply amazing in what they did for us.  Everyone wants to go back again…on purpose this time, so I hope we can.

Thanks for tuning in…



Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 2:32 pm



The Peterson Brothers from Assaria will be the entertainment/keynote speakers at the Smoky Hill Development Corporation’s annual meeting Wednesday June 26th at the Ellsworth Performing Arts Center. Come watch them perform and listen to the message about our rural lifestyle these three brothers have brought to the national stage.

6:00 social hour; 7:00 dinner.  RSVP is not required, but appreciated, to 785.472.4136.



Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 4:22 pm

Ellsworth Cowtown Day is in full planning mode! Saturday, August 17th 2013 is the day of our event. Lots of things to do including: Live music, food, art vendors, kids activities, parard, 5k run and much much more! If you have any ideas or would like to be a part of our event, message me on facebook. Hope to see you there!  Shannon



Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 11:36 am

Upcoming Events - June
June 1 - The Old Iron, Classics and Custom Car Show - will begin at 5 pm with Casino Night and Auction at the Ellsworth Recreational Facility (old Armory)

June 2 - The Old Iron, Classics and Custom Car Show - will continue at 7 am with a free-will breakfast till 9:30 am. Registration will run from 7 till 9 am. Car Show will begin at 8 am and go till 5 pm. At 5 pm there will be a Burnout Competition on Evans street. A $500 drop will be made at the intersection of First Street and N. Douglas following the Burnout Competition. All proceeds benefit the Ellsworth Ministerial Alliance Christmas Store.

June 2 - 14th Annual Run for the Soul Motorcycle Run - will begin with a free will donation breakfast from 7 - 9:30 am. The blessing of the bikes and prayer will be at 10:45 am. The bikes will leave at 11 am to parade downtown then to the ride around the outside of the Ellsworth Correctional Facility then take old 40 Hwy to Junction City with stops in Salina. Bikes will return by 4 pm and finish with an auction at 4:30 pm. All proceeds benefit the Spiritual Life Center.

June 2 - Calling Kids of Summer - All area ball players and their families are invited to attend a Hot Dog Feed sponsored by Ellsworth Rec and the Independent Reporter. All teams will have their photos taken to be featured in the newspaper.

June 3 - 7 - Community VBS - The Ellsworth Community Bible School will begin at 8:45 am on Monday, June 3. Children ages 4 by Aug. 31st to students that have finished 6th grade are welcome. Hours are 8:45 am to Noon at the Ellsworth Junior/Senior High School.

June 8 - Community Garage Sale - Ellsworth and Kanopolis will be holding their community garage sales. Maps will be available in the Independent Reporter on June 5.

June 8 - Benefit Hot dog and Hamburger Feed - Starting at 5 pm at the Kanopolis Community Center there will be a hamburger and hot dog feed to benefit Randy Schneider.

June 9 - Drovers Cottage Bridal Show - Come see some beautiful vintage and new wedding gowns. Show starts at 2 pm at Drovers Cottage. Refreshments will be served.

June 14 - Chamber June Luncheon - The Ellsworth-Kanopolis Area Chamber of Commerce will hold their monthly luncheon at the Ellsworth Golf Course Meeting Room at Noon. RSVP Carol at 472-4071 or email.

June 14 - 15 - Painting with Pastels Class - The Ellsworth Area Art Council will sponsor a Painting with Pastels Class beginning at 6:30 pm on Friday and continuing at 9 am on Saturday. Cost of class is $80. Call 472-5658 to register.

June 15 - Ellsworth Cancer Fund Triathlon - The Ellsworth Cancer Fund will hold their annual Triathlon at Pep Shanelec Stadium. Teams will compete in Hamburger Making, Walking and other fun games. If you bake you are asked to donate a baked item for the bake sale. For more information call Season Wacker at 472-3900.

June 18 - Mosaic Discover the Possibilities -  Discover all the great things that Mosaic does for your community and how you can be a part of this great work. Two session are available - Noon to 1 pm and 5:30 to 6:30 pm Call Lindsey Decker at 472-4081 to RSVP.

June 20 - Last day to register for the Star Spangled Idol Competition

June 24 - Chamber June Meeting - The Ellsworth-Kanopolis Area Chamber of Commerce will hold their June meeting at 6 pm at the chamber office. All are welcome to attend.

June 28 - Star Spangled Idol Competition - This event will start with a FREE Barbecue at 5 pm till 7 pm. Singers will register from 5 - 6 pm with performances starting at 6 pm. This is your chance to vote for your favorite singer.

June 29 - Star Spangled Idol Finals - The singers you chose will be back to perform for the ultimate prize. Singers register from 5 - 6 pm with singing starting at 6 pm.

June 29 - Star Spangled Spectacular Fireworks Extravaganza - Come begin you 4th of July celebration early with good food, fun games and great music. Fireworks will begin after the Idol competition.



Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth, Pretty Boy Floyd's — Peg Britton @ 10:52 am

Salina Paranormal Investigative Research Team
Saturday via mobile
Good evening Stalkers…..We are almost done setting up equipment at Pretty Boy Floyd’s Restaurant in Ellsworth Kansas. This is located in one of the historic underground districts in downtown . We are honored and excited about the opportunity to investigate here.

Salina Paranormal Investigative Research Team
SaturdayHello Stalkers…….We are within a few hours of the exciting investigation for tonight. The SPIRiT Team will be traveling to Ellsworth Kansas (One of the oldest cow towns in Kansas) and investigating one of the lost treasures of the city. Our entire team, including all of our newest members, will be making this trip. We can’t wait to see how the “Newbies” handle the excitement. We have been told of Full Body apparitions of a Woman in White and the sounds of times past. Poltergeist activities abound!! Who knows….maybe we will be the first Paranormal Team to document a full body cow apparition????

Stay tuned tonight via facebook…..We will be posting live updates of how the night goes. Any pictures and audio that we can clip and clean up we will do our best to share with you. Happy Hauntings to all!!
So…what were the results?

Now we can go have an excellent dinner and maybe glimpse an apparition…you think?  I can guarantee the food will be excellent….after than, no guarantees.
Thanks for tuning in…



Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth, Sam Brownback, Kansas — Peg Britton @ 12:59 pm

When someone as enthusiastic about living in rural Kansas is happy about selling her home and moving on, you know something is amiss.  I knew it was coming as I watched the election of Sam Brownback as one to push through, with dogmatic vision, his stringent new property tax reform on Kansans.


When I looked at my long range projections of costs for remaining in my own home in Ellsworth,  I knew I couldn’t maintain the status quo and neither of my children had income sufficient to bear the burden of maintenance, insurance and the sharp increase in property taxes even if I gave them my home.  Fortunately, my decision to sell was an easy one as both realized this.

Things have changed in Kansas, and not to the benefit of Kansans.  Kansans got what they wanted and voted for in a Governor who was in the national limelight  for years expounding his quirky ideas as he ran for President of the United States.  Heaven forbid it!  He made it known during his campaign for  Governor what he was going to do if elected: eliminate personal income taxes and put the burden on property owners and middle income families.

At the time Brownback signed his new tax act, it was proclaimed a historic event and one that would shape the lives of Kansans for many years to come.  It is all coming to fruition. Things can only get worse.  I’ve learned of people in the City of Ellsworth who recently invested in large, stately old homes only to see the inevitability of property tax increases a deterrent to keeping and maintaining those homes for their growing families.

I posted this on my blog on Sept. 22, 2012:


I posted the following the end of May.  Do you remember reading it?  Are you starting to notice what it means?  I thought a reminder was in order.  Wait until the lid comes off property taxes…


If you don’t think your ox has been gored, you haven’t been paying attention.  That is if you are an average person, average income and not among the wealthy.  The poor will get poorer and the rich will get richer.   I fear to think what this will do to our schools and small communities.  The whole state will be impacted.  Martin Dickinson boils this down so it’s easy to understand. It’s from the Lawrence Journal World:

Gov. Sam Brownback’s signing of the new Kansas Tax Act on Tuesday was a historic event. The act will shape the lives of Kansans for many years to come.

The nonpartisan Legislative Research Department has estimated that the act will reduce Kansas government revenues by $4.5 billion over the next six years. Inevitably, there will be major reductions in the government services Kansans have come to expect — especially education.

Equally important, the act dramatically changes the Kansas tax system, shifting the income tax burden from the wealthy and prosperous to working people. The act provides that all income of business owners is tax-free (except in the unusual case where a regular corporation is used). Although the act was promoted as a boost to small business, there is no limit on the size of business that can be exempt from tax.

Income of professionals — such as doctors, lawyers, architects, and accountants — practicing in partnerships will be tax-free. In a law firm, for example, the partners will pay no tax, while the clerical staff will continue on the tax rolls.

Income received from partnerships and trusts will be tax-free. Wealthy Kansans who own real estate, stocks, bonds and other investments will simply transfer those assets to a partnership or trust, thereby freeing all their investment income from tax.

All income of farmers will be exempt from tax.

Who will still be paying Kansas income tax? Only three groups: 1) employees, 2) some retirees and 3) individuals whose investments are so modest that they cannot afford to create a trust or partnership to shelter their investment income.

Kansas government relies on three taxes: property, sales and income. Property and sales taxes are regressive in the sense that a lower-income person pays more of these taxes as a percent of income than does a higher-income person. The new income tax will be dramatically regressive. Low- and moderate-income workers will remain on the tax rolls. Meanwhile, wealthy Kansans will readily escape the tax, and many prosperous (but not wealthy) Kansans will be able to evade the tax as well. Beginning in 2013, the Kansas tax system will be among the most regressive in the nation.

Can a just society tax the poor while not taxing the rich?

Martin B. Dickinson is a nationally recognized expert in tax law and the Schroeder Distinguished Professor of Law at Kansas University.


I can only hope that Kansans come to their senses by the time Brownback is up for reelection and that a suitable candidate who would be good for Kansas is elected to try to unravel the harm that is now being done.

Thanks for tuning in…



Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth, print news — Peg Britton @ 8:54 am


Salina Journal

Wary of a slash-happy state government, some public school leaders put upgrades, add-ons and renovations on a fast track to voters in Tuesday’s election.

Four school districts in north-central and northwest Kansas asked patrons whether they would absorb increases in property taxes for improved schools. For at least three of them, the risk of losing state aid was among the reasons.

Ellsworth Superintendent Eric Reid is concerned about state aid being axed.

“I would say concern over the Legislature would definitely be part of it, but the driving factor is we’ve got some things we need to fix,” he said

The district’s effort for $4.8 million to fund improvements to Ellsworth Junior-Senior High School, Kanopolis Middle School and Ellsworth Elementary School failed Tuesday night in a close vote; 411 in favor to 464 against.

“I’m very frustrated and disappointed in my communities,” Reid said Tuesday night.

The district will be looking for a way to deal with aging facilities.

Improving heating and air conditioning and security are important issues, he said. The December killings at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school “put it right on the front burner of concerns. Things like that spur you forward,” Reid said.

Other factors, such as favorable interest rates — 3.5 percent on a 20-year bond — and the risk of losing state assistance also drove the decision to put the measure on the ballot. If state help remains the same, 26 percent, or roughly $1.24 million of the cost, would not have been part of the property tax increase.

– Reporter Tim Unruh can be reached at 822-1419 or by email at



Filed under: prairie musings, friends, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 4:59 pm

There is a lot going on here.  My friend Patti Kitchen, Nancy Morrison’s daughter, is arriving any time now from Denver.  She’s making a quick stop to say hello on her way to NY.  Her husband is a topnotch cardiologist (retired) who gave me good advice before my surgery.

One of my new friends, Lynn,  called and invited me to go to dinner with her and her mother and other friends from Ellsworth, Friday night. Lynn is most interesting and I enjoy her company very much. Red Lobster is our destination.  Sounds like a lot of fun.

Tomorrow night is Art Rush.  I love Art Rush as I get to see the Bergans, Gillams and  a lot of my Salina friends.  Ginny and I are going to have a sandwich some place first then go shake a lot of hands and enjoy Boon’s beer and wine.

Tomorrow morning I’m going to the Mowery Clinic for a blood test which is convenient since the clinic is  just down the hill a bit from where I live.  When I moved into the Palace, they required me to find a local primary care doctor.  I feel anxiety separation from Jerzy as he’s taken care of me for many years, and, I know for a fact I’m only alive because of him.  But, he referred me to Henry Reed years ago with my Lupus, so Henry became my new primary doctor after a lot of cajoling.

Then I’ll go get my car tag renewed at the city county building or I’ll go way out south near Papa John’s  on south 9th.  I dislike the  City County building as much as I do Dillards and Hobby Lobby.  I’d rather get tarred and feathered than venture into any of those places.

Tomorrow will be my first day to drive since my surgery.  If I didn’t feel as though I were ready for it, I wouldn’t drive.  We’ll see how it goes. I’ll keep it short as I do tire easily.

Thanks for tuning in…



Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 2:51 pm

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