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Volume 34 • Issue 1 January 2017
ON THE COVER Into the Hall | 12
East Wichitan Bob Rives is one of the newest members of the Kansas Baseball Hall of Fame.
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A wild life: Zoo director Mark Reed retires after 37 years | 9
Travis Mounts/East Wichita News
Features Cook’s Library...........................................4 Wichita Homes.........................................5
Eastsider wins national scholarship | 14
Honor Roll of Business | 20-21
Performing Arts Calendar.....................8
From the Publisher’s Files.....................7
People & Places.....................................10
East Wichita News
Focus On Business................................18
Publisher Paul Rhodes Managing Editor Travis Mounts Production Abbygail Brown Reporters/Contributors Sam Jack, Patsy Terrell, Philip Holmes
Sales & Billing
Sales Paul Rhodes, Valorie Castor, Briana Bade Billing/Circulation Tori Vinciguerra A Division of Times-Sentinel Newspapers 125 N. Main • P.O. Box 544 Cheney, KS 67025 Phone: (316) 540-0500 Fax: (316) 540-3283 © 2016 Times-Sentinel Newspapers LLC
Plan ahead, and in the right order On Dec. 18, my sons, Isaac and Aaron, and myself took part in a minor bit of history. We were in the crowd in Kansas City, Mo., for the Chiefs’ football game against the Tennessee Titans, which apparently was the coldest game ever at Arrowhead Stadium. A friend picked up that bit of trivia from the TV broadcast and texted me. I felt the vibration of my phone through three or four different layers of clothing. I pulled off my glove and dug through several pockets in my coat and ski pants trying to access my phone. For the most part, we weren’t that cold. Proper planning ensured that. We had multiple layers of clothing that included moisture-wicking base layers, insulated middle layers, heavy socks, winter boots with the little hand warmer packets jammed in, insulated gloves, hats and hoods. We sat in the sun. It was dry and the wind did not blow, which helped. The trip was a bit of a last-minute decision. My boys aren’t overly materialistic, and this year they have been less than helpful in coming up with Christmas wish list items to be shared with their grandparents and their uncles and aunts. I wasn’t sure what I was going to get them, either. As I was pondering this on Monday night last week, I decided they needed an experience rather than stuff. It didn’t take long to decide we were going to see the Chiefs play. It’s been a number of years since we went to a game together. There was much excitement. We discussed seat locations. A de-
Travis Mounts | Managing Editor
cision was made. Out came the credit card, and three tickets were purchased. Then, and only then, did I bother to look at the weekend forecast. I saw the dire predictions for snow, wind and bitter cold. What had I done? As I said before, we stayed warm because we planned accordingly. But I have to tell you, my planning was done in the wrong order. Had I seen the forecast first, I think we would have made plans for what to eat from the comfort of our living room as we watched the game on TV. And we would have made plans for a different kind of experience – maybe something indoors, with heating. In the end, the experience was fun, even if the ending of the game was a disappointment. We made friends tailgating. We had a great view of some exciting plays. We had an adventure together, which really was the main point. But the next time I get a brilliant idea, I’m keeping it to myself long enough to check the weather.
Now in our 34th year! The East Wichita News is a monthly newspaper focused on the people and places on Wichita’s East Side. It is delivered free to most homes within our coverage area, although distribution is not guaranteed. Single copies are available in a variety of Eastside locations. One copy per person, please. Visit our website for more - www.eastwichitanews. com. Email story ideas and photographs to email@example.com. Visit us on Facebook.
From left, Travis, Isaac and Aaron Mounts stand ready to watch the Kansas City Chiefs play at Arrowhead Stadium in 0-degree weather.
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Good things happen out of our comfort zones We should do things that scare us. When we are uncomfortable we have a chance to grow. If we keep doing the same things over and over we get very practiced at them, but we don’t learn anything new. When we’re doing something so different that it scares us we have the opportunity to learn. We figure things out. We grow. Sometimes we also come up with innovations that those deeply embedded in a particular field can’t see. There’s a website where scientists post problems they’re working on and others try to solve them. The interesting thing is that the people who solve long-standing problems in one discipline are usually from a different one. They are able to see beyond what is believed to be possible. More than once I have gone into careers where I had no background or training. That was sometimes terrifying – it was my livelihood, after all. But these were also huge opportunities to have experiences I wouldn’t have had any other way. In my personal life I live by the motto to “seek – new people, new places and new ideas.” Because of my willingness to step into the unknown, I’ve had opportunities that could not have been anticipated. They weren’t planned. They just happened because I said “yes” to something that eventually led to those
moments. In retrospect, everyone thinks it’s obvious. When you’re taking the initial leap, everyone thinks it’s crazy. But how else do we truly learn? It’s one thing to study something and another to live it. If you’re not a person who likes to take big risks, start with a small one. Try a new recipe or learn a foreign language. Eventually maybe you’ll want to throw a dinner party with that recipe or travel where you can try out that language. Here’s a recipe I know will garner you rave reviews at that dinner party. It’s one of my favorite cakes. Carrot cake is a great way to celebrate doing something that scares you. Find more recipes and stories at cookslibrarywithpatsy.com.
Carrot Cake 2 cups sugar 1 1/2 cups salad oil 4 well-beaten eggs 2 cups flour 2 tsps. baking powder 1 tsps. ground cinnamon 1 1/2 tsps. baking soda 1 tsp. salt 1 cup chopped pecans 3 cups grated carrots Mix sugar and oil. Add eggs and mix. Set aside. Blend dry ingredients and stir into the oil mixture. Add pecans and carrots. Mix well. Pour into three greased and floured 9-inch cake pans. Bake about 30 minutes at 325 degrees.
Icing (I double this recipe when I make it, but I am giving you the original recipe.) 16 ounces powdered sugar 8 ounces cream cheese 1/2 stick margarine 1 tsp. vanilla extract Mix well and spread over cooled cake.
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Philip Holmes | Interior Designer
to enjoy your living space a lot more if you have furnishings that really work for you. Whether its size, color or functionality, create a room that makes you want to spend time enjoying it. What a nice way to start the new year! Another reason that this is a good time to revisit your decor is that it’s good for the soul. Things tend to look a little dull once the holiday decor comes down. The color, the lights, all of the shiny things make your home feel warm and cozy – when they are gone, it just feels cold and dark. This might be a good inspiration to add some ambient lighting and perhaps a punch of color to keep things warm and cheerful during the grey of the winter months. As a side note: even though the holiday season is passing, there are still a couple of months’ worth of winter still ahead. There may be some of your decorations that you can still use during the cold weather to continue the bright and sparkly feel. There could be some seasonal items that aren’t necessarily Christmas-themed that can still work, like snow-related decor, candles and greenery. Whether or not you make New Year’s resolutions, the start of a new year is a wonderful time to get off to a fresh start. Make the most out of the winter months with some inspiring decor changes in your little piece of the great indoors.
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Now that the holiday season is wrapping up, this might be a good time to consider a fresh look for your home. While things might still feel a little hectic, this is actually a really good time to reevaluate your interior design. If you have been hosting company, you have likely been accommodating your guests by making some changes in your interior. This might involve rearranging the furniture, adding extra chairs, pulling out extra bedding and so on. And even if you haven’t been the host, there is the Christmas tree and all of the other decorative items that have been pulled out of storage to adorn your homestead for the last several weeks. In either case, the household has likely not been business as usual. The point is that your house has been temporarily transformed anyway, so why not look ahead? Maybe your furnishings do not necessarily need to go back in the same way. While you may have been satisfied with your room arrangement and decor, there may be ways that it could be improved or at least modified for a change of pace. If this concept sounds interesting, it would be a good idea to start formulating your plans and projects now so when the tree comes down you will be ready to get into action. Sketch out your vision and make notes on changes you would like to see. Think about which items could be removed and what new pieces could be added. One thought is to first try streamlining your furnishings. There may furniture and accessories that really don’t add much to the room. Try simplifying your space down to the lowest common denominator and enjoy a fresh, clean (but not stark) look. It’s far better to be economical with your furnishings than to crowd the room with things just because you own them. Conversely, this might be time to add or replace a few items. You will tend
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Beyond the holiday season
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Wichita’s Orpheum Theatre’s Classic Dateline Film Series will return in 2017. Increasing in popularity year after year, the Classic Film Series is the Orpheum’s annual series of films, shown monthly, celebrating a major anniversary. All films are screened at 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month (except in October). The series kicks off Jan. 19, 2017 with one of the biggest blockbusters of all Upcoming events in and around Wichita time, Titanic, which celebrates its 20th Anniversary next year. Series passes are $50 each. The series passes can be purchased online at www. selectaseat.com, by phone at 855-755-SEAT. Tickets for each individual film in the series are $5 general admission or $4 for students, seniors and military, and will be available at the door the night of each film. The schedule is as follows: January 19 – Titanic – 20th Anniversary February 19 – Bram Stoker’s Dracula – 25th Anniversary March 16 – Cool Hand Luke – 50th Anniversary April 20 – The Princess Bride – 30th Anniversary May 18 – Wayne’s World – 25th Anniversary June 15 – E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial – 35th Anniversary July 20 – High Noon – 65th Anniversary August 17 – Raising Arizona – 30th Anniversary September 21 – The Dark Crystal – 35th Anniversary October 12 – Suspiria – 40th Anniversary November 16 – A Face in the Crowd – 60th Anniversary December 21 – Miracle on 34th Street – 70th Anniversary
Do you have a submission for the Calendar of Events? To be considered for the February edition, email us by Jan. 20 at news@tsnews. com.
“Titanic” will be the first movie in the Orpheum Theare’s 2017 Classic Film Series. The movie, which is celebrating 20 years since its release, will be shown Jan. 19.
Taste has arrived...
From the Publisher’s Files
Paul Rhodes | Publisher
she moved to Chicago more than three years ago. It was a special reunion that brightened everyone’s spirits. From there we poured Katie right into the middle of Kim’s big Christmas Eve family gathering in Hutchinson, and she joined in as though this new family had been hers from the beginning. One of Kim’s aunts even gave her a gift of a holiday T-shirt and gloves that I thought was going to make her cry. She wore them with pride on Christmas day as we made our way to Lawrence, where she got to meet Kim’s daughter and son-in-law for the first time. Finally, her holiday travels ended as I delivered her to Kansas City where she joined her boyfriend Rob’s family for their Christmas celebration. “Thanks for all the driving Papa Bear,” were my daughter’s parting words as I hugged her Christmas night. Her words were simple and true, and her smiling face punctuated the fact that holiday connections with family really are the spirit of Christmas. The miles were many, but the memories will be immeasurable. And my Katie Bear can nap when she gets back home to Chicago.
Paul Rhodes is owner and publisher of Times-Sentinel Newspapers, LLC, which includes WestSide Story. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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My daughter, Katie, certainly bagged some serious miles this holiday season. She was desperate for a nap when she got home for Christmas, but really didn’t get the chance the entire time she was here. There were more miles to be logged, and memories to be made. Katie already earned the automatic distance award, since she flew in from Chicago to see her dear old pop for Christmas. However, her older sister, Abby, might argue that their six-hour drive from Missouri, with two kids in tow, was a lot more of a strain than her hour-long flight into Wichita. The visit with my kids started on Wednesday last week, and our version of Christmas Day was Thursday. As is often the case with such family gatherings, sleep was in short supply. Kim and I had Katie join us for a holiday concert in Wichita Wednesday evening, and it was a delightful way to crank up the Christmas cheer. We even did a little shopping late that night, and around midnight Abby and her family arrived. Two days of holiday fun at my house was punctuated with lots of gifts, more food than anyone should eat in two days, and laughter that sometimes made us cry. We Christmassed the heck out of Christmas. After the first wave of family left, the adventure was just beginning for Katie. We did more shopping on Christmas Eve, which somewhat fulfilled an old family tradition of shutting down stores the night before Christmas. Then we hit the road for a visit to her aunt and uncle’s home in Marion, and Kim’s family in Hutchinson. What might have been totally overwhelming for many people proved to be touching slice of Christmas for my “Katie Bear,” as I’ve called her since she was little. She hadn’t seen her Uncle Bruce, Aunt Brenda and her cousins on my side of the family since before
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Translating miles into memories
January 2017 - 8
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Jan. 6-7 The Heather Muller Black Box presentation of “Little Women, The Musical,” Roxy’s Downtown. Revival with the cast from 2013. Louisa May Alcott’s beloved story of the adventures of the four March sisters is brought to vivid musical life with buoyant, joyful melodies, memorable characters, and a big-hearted message. Doors open 7 p.m., performances at 8 p.m. Tickets $25, reservations handled by The Wichita Children’s Theatre and Dance Center. All proceeds will benefit the Heather Muller Black Box Theatre. Jan. 13-28 – “Yee Haw: Branson or Bust,” Mosley Street Melodrama, 234 N. Mosley. Written by Patty Reeder. Tickets for dinner and show $30, $26 for seniors and children. Show only, $20. Call 316-263-0222. Jan. 25-Feb. 5 – “The Explorers Club,” Wichita Community Theatre, 258 N. Fountain. London, 1879: The prestigious Explorers Club is in crisis. Their acting president wants to admit a woman, and their bartender is terrible. True, this female candidate is brilliant, beautiful, and has discovered a legendary Lost City, but the decision to let in a woman could shake the very foundation of the British Empire, and how do you make such a decision without a decent drink? Tickets $14 for adults, $12 for students/ seniors/military. For reservations, call 316-686-1282.
Performing Arts Calendar
Jan. 26-28 – “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” Christian Youth Theater. Shows at 7 p.m. Jan. 26-27, and at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Jan. 28. Set in Oregon in 1850, “Seven Brides For Seven Brothers” tells the story of Millie, a young bride living in the 1850s Oregon wilderness. Her plan to civilize and marry off her six rowdy brothers-inlaw to ensure the success of her own marriage backfires when the brothers, in their enthusiasm, kidnap six women from a neighboring town to be their brides. Shows will be at Isely Elementary School, 5256 N. Woodlawn, Bel Aire. Advance tickets are $13 for adults and $11 for students and seniors; add $2 at the door. Purchase tickets online at www.cytwichita.org or call 316-6821688. Do you have a submission for the Performing Arts Calendar? To be included in the February edition, email information by Jan. 20 to news@ tsnews.com.
Faces wanted. At East Wichita News, we’re already working on feature stories for upcoming editions. If you know of someone whose face (and story) should appear on these pages, please let us know! email@example.com 316-540-0500 www.facebook.com/ EastWichitaNews
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A wild life Zoo director Mark Reed retires after 37 years in Wichita Story
When Mark Reed joined the Sedgwick County Zoo as assistant director in 1979, he promised founding director Ronald Blakely that he would stick around for at least five years. He kept that promise and more, spending more than 37 years at the zoo and serving as one of only two directors so far in its 54-year history. On Dec. 14, he was cheerful, if wistful, at his impending retirement, which began a week later. “It was time; I just wanted to start that next chapter in my life,” he said.
“I’ve loved every day, looked forward to every day. I’ve had the opportunity to work with people who have a passion for wildlife and conservation, and believe in the mission to give people greater appreciation for animals and the natural world.” Reed grew up with zoos and with animals. His father, Theodore Reed, served as director of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C., and was at the helm when that zoo became the only one in the U.S. to host Chinese giant pandas. Earlier, Theodore Reed was a veterinarian at the Portland, Ore., zoo, and son Mark has childhood memories of
accompanying his father on nighttime rounds and seeing his first elephant, named Rosie. “I did absorb a lot from my father,” Reed said. “I always had a love of the outdoors, and working at a zoo seemed to be a natural follow-through.” Reed’s first zoo job was as a keeper in San Antonio. “I worked with mammals – everything from chimps and gorillas to elephants and rhinos. My first day on the job, I was hosing down a Rocky Mountain sheep exhibit and stopped to light a cigarette – I smoked back then – and there’s a rattlesnake at my feet. Well, I had rubber boots on, so I just took a
rake and scooted it away,” Reed recalled. Reed’s graduate school research helped him get a promotion to general curator in San Antonio, and he held that post for five years before coming to Wichita Aug. 16, 1979. At that time, the zoo was eight years old, and its two major supporters – Sedgwick County and private donors through the Sedgwick County Zoological Society – were busy growing it from its initial footprint, which included only the American and Asian farm exhibits. The reptile and amphibian house opened in 1974, followed by the jungle See REED, Page 22
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East Wichita News People and Places • Butler Community College recognized 59 nursing graduates during its December 2016 Pinning Ceremony. The Dec. 8 event was held on Butler’s El Dorado campus. Since 1965, hundreds of Butler graduates have received a pin upon graduating with a R.N. (registered nurse) degree. The pinning practice of nurses began in the late 19th century in London. By 1880, this symbolic rite was brought to Bellevue Hospital in New York City. Since then, the practice has become commonplace at nursing school graduations. East Wichita residents who earned pins include: Edith Alit Aguilar, Audrey Danielle Barba, Elise Kaylynn Doan, Kristina M. Franklin, Krista Mykel Kessler, Meredith Marie O’Halloran, Katherine Lauren Safarik, Alyssa Lauren Sones, and Erin Michelle Wilson.
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• Suzanna Mathews, known to many in south-central Kansas as “The Date Maven,” has joined KNOXX Career
Networking Platform, serving as their director of engagement. Mathews will be tasked with developing new programs for engaging area businesses and with assisting in candidate recruitment. She will be speaking to organizations in the area that have an interest in recruiting and hiring processes as well as hosting informational sessions inhouse, and co- producing career fairs with local organizations. • W. Ashley Cozine, CFSP, CPC, CCO, was recently named president of the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) during the 2016 International Convention and Expo, held Oct. 23-26 in Philadelphia, Penn. Cozine is president of Cozine Memorial Group in Wichita with locations at Broadway Mortuary and Kensington Gardens cemetery. “Ashley is truly committed to the betterment of our profession, and we are looking forward to working with
him throughout the coming year,” said NFDA CEO Christine Pepper. “He has a great respect and appreciation for the traditions of funeral service, while at the same time he is forward-thinking and understands the need to embrace change.” Cozine is the only funeral director from Wichita – and only the fourth from Kansas – to serve as president in the NFDA’s 135-year history. He has served on the Kansas Funeral Directors Association (KFDA) board of directors, which included a term as KFDA president. In 2009, he was named the Kansas Funeral Director of the Year. He has also served on a number of NFDA committees as well as on the NFDA’s board of directors in several roles, including at-large representative, secretary, treasurer, and president-elect. • Sixty-one new law enforcement officers were congratulated by Wichita Police Department Chief Gordon
Ramsay during their graduation from the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center on Dec. 9. The new officers were members of the 242nd basic training class at the center. Located one mile west and one mile south of Yoder, near Hutchinson, the center is a division of University of Kansas Professional & Continuing Education. The graduates, who began their training Aug. 29, represented 43 municipal, county and state law enforcement agencies from across Kansas. Graduates receive certificates of course completion from KLETC and Kansas law enforcement certification from the Kansas Commission on Peace Officers’ Standards and Training, the state’s law enforcement licensing authority. The training course fulfills the state requirement for law enforcement training. Classroom lectures and handson applications help train officers to solve the increasingly complex problems they face in the line of duty. The graduates included Aaron Crouse, a
• Twenty-five area young professionals have been selected to participate in the 2017 Young Professionals of Wichita (YPW) Leadership Academy, a leadership development program for young professionals who are interested
Taylor Lee of Wichita has been named an ESU Ambassador for 2017. A service organization, ESU Ambassadors has a long history of service to the university and strives for excellece in everything from campus tours to E-Zone to Senior Week. Ambassadors promote service, spirit and success and with leaders from a wide variety of campus and community organizations, the ESU Ambassadors are setting the stage for years of future success. Lee is a freshman sociology major. See PEOPLE, Page 17
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• Kansas Lieutenant Governor Dr. Jeff Colyer on Dec. 28 announced the first annual Humanitarians of the Year recipients as selected by the Kansas Humanitarian Commission. They are: Dr. Shaker Dakhil from Wichita has spent his life treating cancer patients and started the Wichita Cancer Foundation to help cancer patients with the cost of their healthcare bills. Jack DeBoer from Wichita has dedicated his life to relieving the effects of poverty in Myanmar through the DeBoer Foundation. Dr. Luther Fry from Garden City is an ophthalmologist who has provided extensive charity care and ensured no patient was denied eye care because of their inability to pay. “Service, volunteering, and giving back are values I have always been very passionate about,” said Colyer. “It is my distinct pleasure to honor these very worthy Kansas humanitarians. I hope this annual award will inspire others to service and follow in the footsteps of these Kansans who give back so much to their communities.” The Kansas Humanitarian Commission works to empower Kansas citizens and businesses to serve their communities, meet local and global humanitarian needs, and promote a spirit of service through dialogue, acts, and commerce. The commission was started by Colyer in late 2015 and is made up of community leaders from throughout the state. The commission used the following criteria for selecting the winners: The individual has displayed a dedicated commitment to serving their community, state and country; the individual has volunteered their time to help those in need at a nonprofit, community organization, faith-based organization, business, school or national service program; the individual has consistently put the needs of others above their own; the individual has set themselves apart from their peers through service; the individual is a Kansan.
in growing their leadership capabilities. Leadership Academy participants were nominated for the class by members of the community and then completed an application, which was reviewed by a selection committee. The program educates YPs on their personal styles, values and strengths so they can grow as leaders, motivate others and impact change in their organizations and communities. The program, which will begin in January, includes six weekly sessions that feature interactive exercises, issue exploration, self-assessments, and in-depth conversations with Wichita’s top community and business leaders. 2017 Leadership Academy participants are: Alyssa Peppiatt, BKD, LLP; Ann Marie Siegwarth, Envision, Inc.; Ashley Lunkenheimer, Wesley Medical Center; Branden McLaughlin, CrossFirst Bank; Chloe Stevenson, Apples & Arrows; Cyle Barnwell, BELT Leasing; Destiny Pello, Emprise Bank; James Holland, Westar Energy; James Nixon, Airbus Americas Engineering, Inc.; Jenna Reid (Kramer), Sullivan Higdon & Sink; Jennifer McDonald, CCH, A Wolters Kluwer Business; Jessica Long, Delta Dental of Kansas, Inc.; Jessie Rainey, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; Kristen Zemanick, Koch Industries, Inc.; Kyle Womacks, Emprise Bank; Lauren Clary, Professional Engineering Consultants, P.A.; Mary Hetherington, Wichita Community Foundation; Matt Spahn, Martin Pringle Oliver Wallace & Bauer, L.L.P.; Megan Lovely, City of Wichita; Mike Heldstab, U.S. Senator Jerry Moran; Rachel Sweet, Via Christi Health; Ravon Kirkendoll, BG Products, Inc.; Shannon Vande Brake, Textron Aviation Inc.; Steven Suellentrop, Legacy Bank; and Teddy Farias, Wichita Area Technical College.
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police officer with the Bel Aire Police Department.
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East Wichitan added to Kansas Baseball Hall of Fame East Wichitan Bob Rives has been named to the Kansas Baseball Hall of Fame, the organization recently announced. Rives was chosen for inclusion based on his work as a baseball historian. His research and writing has focused, in particular, on the history of baseball in Kansas. He authored the book “Baseball in Wichita,” and also has written several biographical articles about Kansas minor leaguers for the Society of American Baseball Research. A former board member for the Kansas hall, he said he was honored, if surprised, to be chosen for membership alongside baseball heroes that
P h o t o s b y T r av i s M o u n t s Additional photos contributed have also been the subjects of his research. “The guys in this class who are going in are people with very successful (playing) careers,” he said. “Getting your name mentioned in that company is pretty heady stuff, from a fan standpoint. I find it hard to understand that I belong there, but it is a big thrill, and I’m grateful it happened.” Born in 1933, Rives was an Oklaho-
ma boy during the Dust Bowl and Depression years. He witnessed some of the final years of the era of town teams that played for bragging rights, sometimes bringing in a semi-professional “ringer” or two. Such games provided much-needed opportunities for entertainment and socializing. “It was a time when baseball was so important that every town and rural community had to have a team,” he
said. “Some people were pretty fanatical about what it meant to the community. It was almost like the old city-states going to war against each other, and these teams provided the armies.” Almost everyone in town would attend such games, Rives said, but in small rural communities like his hometowns, Gage and Woodward, that would usually not amount to enough people to call it a “big crowd.” “In those early years, people in cars or in horse-and-wagons would line the foul lines, and if somebody got a hit or something positive happened, they would honk their horns, and the horses would kind of jump around. It was a
See BASEBALL, Page 15
OPPOSITE: Rives poses in front of a memorial to Hap Dumont, whose legacy includes the NBC World Series and whose name appears on the the city’s downtown stadium.
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LEFT: Bob Rives’ book, “Baseball in Wichita,” covers the city’s rich history with America’s pasttime, including the old amateur leagues that featured teams sponsored by local businesses, the National Baseball Congress World Series that has called Lawrence Dumont Stadium home for decades, and Wichita State University and the Shockers’ rise to national prominence.
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to find places to live and work. “They’d live in fire stations and similar kinds of places, just to have a roof over their heads while they played ball. That kind of barter was how towns attracted talent to bolster their local guys in the intra-city wars.” Rives played baseball for his high school team, and then for the town team that his father had played on before him – but like thousands of other baseball-crazy youths of that era, failed to distinguish himself enough to fulfill fantasies of professional baseball glory. After college and a stint in the U.S. Army, Rives spent a few years working for newspapers in Oklahoma, covering baseball and sports, among other beats. Then he changed direction and went to work for Westar in Wichita, starting as editor of the company newsletter and retiring as an executive vice president. It was after retiring from his professional career that he started pursuing baseball history as a serious avocation. He chose to focus on the late 19th century through the 1950s, when baseball’s
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little different from a typical seat in the new domed, air-conditioned stadiums that you have in the major leagues today,” Rives recalled. In the prologue to “Baseball in Wichita,” Rives describes his childhood acquaintance with a hotshot pitcher named Claude Alfred “Lefty” Thomas. Lefty, a good friend to Rives’ father, became Uncle Lefty when he married Rives’ mother’s sister. And that was exciting, because Lefty had one of the longest and starriest minor league careers of that era (including nearly a decade with Wichita’s minor league team), crowned by several months in the major league, with Washington in 1916. Having a big league pitcher as a family member gave Rives bragging rights among his schoolmates. “There were some other friends of Lefty’s and my dad’s who would come through, too,” Rives said. “Professional baseball players, and particularly minor leaguers, were kind of gypsies. When the Depression really sank the economy, a lot of minor league teams folded, so these fellows were at loose ends in many cases, going from town to town
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Butler student wins national scholarship Nontraditional Hospitality Management student wins highly-competitive Buffett Scholarship This fall, Eastsider Vanessa McCauley, 58, received the Doris Buffett Women’s Independence Scholarship, a scholarship that helps women who have survived domestic abuse and are working to better themselves through education. When McCauley was attending high school in Texas, she was making plans to go to college. But after graduating high school and completing a few semesters of college, she had a child and put her dreams aside. Eventually, McCauley became a flight attendant and for more than three decades put her college dreams on hold. Last year, McCauley decided to enroll at Butler Community College of Kansas’ hospitality management program. She had left an abusive relationship and realized she needed to create a new life for herself. Since she began at Butler, McCauley has received straight A’s – that’s why she was encouraged by one of her professors, Tiffani Price, to apply for several scholarships. McCauley was invited to join Phi Theta Kappa, a two-year college honor society. Until she received this scholarship, McCauley went to school and worked hard to support herself. Now, thanks to Doris Buffett, school is top priority for McCauley. This highly competitive national scholarship pays for McCauley’s personal expenses – electricity, gas, and medical – plus school expenses, while she is in school. McCauley said Buffett wants her to not have to worry about working and concentrate on her classes. Doris Buffett, the sister of Warren Buffett, has given away more than $1 million in both educational and individual scholarships. “I’m just thrilled that I was chosen for this,” McCauley said. “Mrs. Buffett said ‘I want a good return.’ I will give her one.” After graduating from Butler, McCauley will attend Kansas State University’s hospitality program, where she was accepted. The scholarship will follow her. McCauley also received the Academic Achievement Scholarship from Kansas State University and the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor’s Society Scholarship from the Kansas State University Foundation. “It’s never too late to go back to school,” McCauley said. “People say to me, you have shown me that age has no boundaries.”
Friends of the Great Plains Nature Center receives national award The Great Plains Nature Center’s (GPNC) support organization, Friends of the Great Plains Nature Center, recently received the award for “Excellence in Interpretive Support” at the annual conference of the National Association for Interpretation (NAI) in Corpus Christi, Tex. in November. NAI is the national professional organization for people who work in resource interpretation, delivering public educational programming at nature centers, museums and historical sites. The GPNC – a free, public educational facility located in Chisholm Creek Park in northeast Wichita – was created through a three-way partnership between City of Wichita Park and Recreation, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The
friends group is a 501(c)(3) organization that has supported the mission and operation of the GPNC for the last 18 years, providing services that include: • Handling grants, donations and other forms of financial assistance • Hiring staff, including three full-time naturalists who are directly involved in interpretation • Facilitating print publications, including 12 pocket guides, 10 posters and four books • Coordinating volunteers, whose efforts are critical to the center’s operation The friends group received prior recognition as Conservation Organization of the Year by the Kansas Wildlife Federation in 2009. For more information on GPNC, visit www.gpnc.org or call the center at (316) 683-5499.
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cultural primacy was practically unrivalled, and on the Kansas and Midwest of his boyhood and adulthood. The minor leagues and their players struck him as fertile territory for research; the men who played in them did not accrue the national name recognition of a Lou Gehrig or Babe Ruth, but they still accomplished the kind of feats that caused children to idolize them and adults to experience childlike giddiness. “I became fascinated by a couple people with Wichita ties,” Rives said. “One was Joe Bauman, who was the first and still only minor league player to hit over 70 home runs in a season. Another was Joe Wilhoit, who in 1919 set a record that still stands by hitting safely in 69 consecutive games. From that grew greater interest that resulted in the book ‘Baseball in Wichita,’ as well as some other things.” Rives gleaned much of his information from microfilm reels of old
Smoky Joe Wood, left, shakes hands with Walter “Big Train” Johnson.” Born in Kansas City and raised in Ness City, Wood started his professional career pitching for Hutchinson. Johnson, from Humboldt and Coffeyville, became one of the game’s greatest pichers playing for the Washington Nationals. FAR LEFT: A monument at Lawrence Dumont Stadium honors all of Wichita’s professional teams, from the 1887 Wichita Braves to today’s Wichita Wingnuts.
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newspapers, but did get to interview the legendary Bauman, who played in three NBC World Series tournaments, and also played a season for Beechcraft’s company team early in his career. “He talked about the great pressure he felt as he was getting close to breaking the all-time minor league record, and then eventually the all-time record for all of organized baseball. It was a huge relief when he finally did it. By the end, the national media was following him and flashbulbs were going off,” Rives said. “He talked about how incredibly difficult it must have been for Roger Maris when he was close to breaking Babe Ruth’s record, given the fact that he was doing that in New York, as compared to the pressure in Roswell, New Mexico.” Rives also found that, throughout Wichita’s history, people were talking about, playing and organizing baseball – right from the earliest cowboy and settler days. “The site of the (earliest) games here is where the Epic Center stands now. That would’ve been basically just north of the cattle pens for the Chisholm Trail, so it was close at hand,” Rives said.
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The 1933 Arkansas City Beavers, an all-black team, faced off against the Arkansas City Shell Dubbs, a white team, during the Kansas State semipro tournament. By the start of the national tournament in 1935, black teams made regular appearances in Wichita.
Cowboys would wade across the Arkansas I was 16 and came up with some friends to River from the Delano bar and entertainment watch the tournament,” Rives recalled. “The district to join townies in games, according to crowds just about could be counted on to Rives. The rules favored offense back then, to fill the stadium almost every night, and some the extent that scores of 40 or 50 runs were games, particularly during (World War II), not unheard of. The pitcher who started an there were over 10,000 people at the NBC. inning had to finish it, unless he was injured, “There have been over 300 major leaguers and the number of strikes per who have played in the NBC at-bat and at-bats in an inning World Series, including all The Kansas Baseball Hall could vary. three of the people to hit 70 of Fame induction cere“They were pitching unor more home runs in a promony, honoring Rives and derhand, for the most part,” fessional season.” six other baseball figures, Rives said. “It really was Now mostly a tournament will be held Saturday, Jan. designed to let the batter hit for college players on their 28, at Distillery 244, 244 N. the ball. At one point, infieldsummer break, the NBC was Mosley, Wichita. The cost is ers had to keep one foot on a haven for retired profes$20, which includes a buffet the base until the ball was sionals during its early history, lunch. Make a reservation by calling 316-264-5222. thrown.” Rives said, with town teams From those early, chaottrying to lure in heavy hitters ic days, baseball in Wichita who could help them succeed got organized fairly quickly. A.A. Hyde, the in a national tournament. Mentholatum entrepreneur for whom a park “Today, the rise of independent baseball, and school in Wichita are named, signed the like the Wichita Winguts, has become the incorporation papers for the state’s first orga- haven for those former minor leaguers or nized league. Wichita’s history with baseball is marginal major leaguers. The guys who play fuller than that of many other cities its size – for teams like Wichita’s usually have come and a big part of that is the National Baseball through the minor league systems of a major Congress (NBC) World Series, founded by league team, but didn’t quite make it to the Hap Dumont in 1934. big leagues. They’re still very, very good base“The first time I came to Wichita was when ball players,” he said.
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• The names of more than 1,300 candidates for degree from the University of Kansas this spring – representing 57 Kansas counties, 39 other states and 27 other countries – have been announced by the University Registrar. Degrees are officially conferred in January. Some candidates for degree have participated in school and departmental recognition events. Others will choose to participate in KU’s annual Commencement ceremony, which will take place Sunday, May 14. Following are the Eastside students who graduated: Halsten Higins, Nicole Reiz, Steven Aker, Samuel Balbuena, Erica Hageman, Aaron Degrafenread, Amber Norris, Kwasi Porter-Hill, Christian Robertson, Jacob Faflick, Jonathan Gepner, Kyle Bishop, Douglas Jenkins, Kenneth Altendorfer, Katherine Hartley, Maegan Johnston, Mason Lent, Morgan Messina, Tara Smart, Tristan Steinberger and Jessica Whitfill. • Wheaton College student Emily Smith recently performed in “Love Divine,” the 2016 Christmas Festival presented by the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music. Smith, of Wichita, sang soprano I with the Women’s Chorale.
• Four Eastside students achieved the dean’s list at Belmont University for the fall 2106 semester. Eligibility is based on a minimum course load of 12 hours and a grade-point average of 3.5 with no grade below C. The students are Brianna Lowden, Katherine Nelson and Thomas Warner of Wichita, and Veronica Ostroski of Eastborough. • The honor roll lists for Graceland University’s 2016 fall term have been announced, and Cynthia Webster of Wichita has been named to the president’s list. Graceland University students with a perfect 4.0 grade point average are named to the president’s list. • Elijah Smith of Wichita has been named to the president’s honor roll at Kansas Wesleyan University for the 2016 fall semester. One hundred and nineteen Kansas Wesleyan University students have been named to the president’s honor roll for the fall 2016 semester. Full-time students with a semester grade point average of at least 3.75 and no incompletes are listed at the end of each semester. One hundred and seventy-nine Kansas Wesleyan University students were named to the dean’s honor roll. Full-time students with a semester grade point average of 3.25-3.74 and no incompletes are listed at the end of each semester. The Eastside students honored are Tyler Clark, Christopher Stadler and Mary-Katherine Swanson. • Anna Raab, a sophomore creative writing major of Wichita, was among approximately 490 Bob Jones University students named to the fall 2016 president’s list. The president’s list recognizes students who earn a 3.75 or higher grade point average for the semester.
At East Wichita News, we’re already working on feature stories for upcoming editions. If you know of someone whose face (and story) should appear on these pages, please let us know! firstname.lastname@example.org 316-540-0500 www.facebook.com/EastWichitaNews
• Nearly 550 students were candidates for degrees during winter commencement at Emporia State University on Saturday, Dec. 17. Undergraduates received their degrees during baccalaureate ceremonies at White Auditorium. Graduate students were hooded at Albert Taylor Hall in Plumb Hall on the Emporia State campus. East Wichita graduates were Elizabeth Danielle Eney, Whitney Morgan Hall, Tori Denise Leake, Adam Glen Perkins, Kenneth R. Sellers, Andrew William Torkelson and Todd Underwood. Eastside graduates also included Rosanna Gunile Haroual of Eastborough and Derek Wayne Parris of Andover.
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• Julia Joseph of Wichita recently was named a Capitol Federal Athletic Scholar at Emporia State University. The 2016-17 Capitol Federal scholars were celebrated during an annual luncheon at the Sauder Alumni Center. Joseph is a sophomore majoring in health promotion.
January 2017 - 18 FOCUS ON BUSINESS www.eastwichitanews.com
Featured this month Focus On Business is a monthly feature offered to area advertisers. If you would like your business featured here, please contact our sales office at (316) 540-0500.
Kitchen Tune-Up........................... Page 18 Christ Church................................. Page 19
New kitchen is functional and beautiful The experts at Kitchen Tune-Up have done it again, with a total kitchen remodeling project that left the homeowners beaming with excitement for the holiday season and the New Year. If you’re ready to transform your kitchen, it’s time to call Kitchen TuneUp. Now that the New Year is here, you can schedule a truly remarkable transformation for your kitchen or bathroom space. Kitchen Tune-Up owners Adam and Rachel Phillips offer a variety of renovation and remodeling services, and can create the space you’ve always dreamed about. On this recent project, a wall was removed to produce an open layout. This provided space for additional cabinets that include a pantry and wine storage. “The customer wanted a light, but not white, kitchen,” said Rachel. “For a clean modern look, we used a maple, Scandinavian style, flat-slab door for the upper cabinets. And for more interest, the lower
A maple, Scandinavian style, flat-slab door on the upper cabinets created a light – but not white – kitchen for a Kitchen Tune-Up customer. A wall was removed to create the open layout.
cabinets, in the same style, were stained stone gray. The cabinets in the area surrounding the wine cabinet are copper-toned acrylic to match the copper backsplash. And, to top it off, granite countertops on the perimeter of the kitchen were done in a sparkling metallic silver, and a coastal sand pattern was
used on the island.” “The focal point for this space is the copper metallic-style backsplash surrounded by sea green glass tiles and modern stainless steel range hood,” said Rachel. “In the end, we were able to provide the homeowner with a completely renovated kitchen that gave them
the workspace they needed and kept the look and feel very simple, yet beautiful.” The homeowner was in complete agreement. “We wanted the space to be restful and functional. Since we have a lot of art to display, we wanted the color to come from that. We couldn’t be happier with the results!” Kitchen Tune-Up has remodeled kitchens and baths since the local franchise was launched in 2005. The company’s services range from OneDay Restoration or “Tune-Up” of cabinets or any interior wood surfaces, to cabinet refacing projects to complete custom kitchens and bathrooms. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, call Kitchen TuneUp at 316-558-8888. Be sure to check out the company’s extensive BEFORE/AFTER portfolio on Facebook! When you visit the local Kitchen Tune-Up Facebook page, be sure to ‘LIKE’ Kitchen Tune-Up, Wichita.
service and discipleship birthed the church originally and has contributed to the name upgrade now. “A few things are happening all around us that we just can’t ignore,” he said. “First, you have the younger generations who are motivated and inspired by ‘the real,’ and it doesn’t get more real than Jesus Christ. Second, we have a splintering, challenged culture,
and nothing unifies more than Jesus Christ. Not doctrine, not theology. In Christendom and the church, Christ is it. Everything else is secondary.” “So why not start at the top with our name?” he said. Eastside Community Church was founded in 1993 and in 2006 moved to its permanent 20-acre campus at the northwest corner of 21st Street and
143rd Street East. “The Eastside name has served us well,” said Pastor Turner, “but it’s Christ Church that will move us forward into our next phase of ministry preparing a new generation of Christian leaders to carry forward the one hope throughout all times, Jesus Christ.” The church has also changed its website address to ChristPeople.church. On the site visitors may review a video discussing the renewed vision behind the name upgrade. The renaming process began in October with an announcement to the congregation. The church then embraced eight weeks of activities and discussions exploring “Being Christ’s People.” The process concluded with the introduction of the church’s new logo. “Our new logo depicts the relationship between God and man and the process of discipleship, which is what we do at Christ Church,” said Turner.
Eastside Community Church recently announced that the church has upgraded its name to Christ Church to embrace a renewed vision as the church approaches its 25th anniversary serving Wichita and the area. “When we started the church coming up on 25 years ago, we thought we’d be an ‘East Side’ church serving ‘eastsiders’ because that’s where we were,” said lead pastor and founder Dennis Turner. “What we actually grew into and continue to become is an incredibly diverse congregation with families and members from across the metro area, including Andover.” Turner says that an enduring focus on Christ’s New Testament vision of
ABOVE: Christ Church is the new name for the congregation that has been known as Eastside Community Church for 23 years. Members come from across the metro area. LEFT: Lead pastor Dennis Turner speaks during a service at Christ Church.
FOCUS ON BUSINESS
New name reflects new vision as church approaches 25th anniversary
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Eastside Community Church ‘upgrades’ name to ‘Christ Church’
Honor Roll of Business Highlighting the beginning and growth of some of our leading businesses! 23 Years 36 Years 46 Years Becker Bros
Since 1971 John & Beth Garrison, Owners Nick Benoit, General Manager Service all lines of heating & air conditioners. Proud dealer of Carrier, Ruud, Climate Master & Goodman Find us on Facebook! 514 Main, Garden Plain 316-531-2264 beckerbrosheating.com
Dan’s Heating & Cooling Since 1975
Owners: Wayne & Maureen Gile Authorized Trane Comfort Specialist We service all brands of heating and cooling systems. 242 N. New York, Wichita 316-522-0373
Accent Interiors We Specialize in: Windows - Walls - Design Hunter Douglas Blinds, Shades & Shutters Special Order Wallcoverings Fabric Panels, Drapes & Top Treatments Professional Interior Design 511 S. Woodlawn, Wichita 316-681-3361 M-F 10am-5pm Sat 10am-3pm accentinteriorswichita.com
Helten Veterinary Clinic Drs. Jason and Heather Albertson 6630 W. Central Ave., Wichita 316-942-1002 M-F 7:30 am-6 pm, Sat 8 am-Noon
Warming Trends Owners: Dan and Jeannie Herpolsheimer Reliable family owned and operated specialty hearth retailer carrying Valor, Jotul, Harman, Buck Stove, Broilmaster, and more! Knowledgeable staff committed to keeping your home safe. See us for all your fireplace and BBQ desires. 3101 N Rock Rd (behind Jimmie’s Diner) 316-636-9677
il Primo Espresso Caffe Serving breakfast, brunch, lunch, coffee, drinks and sandwiches. Parking lot parking and outdoor seating. Walk-ins Welcome • Good for groups and kids! Take out and catering available. M-F 6am-6pm Sat 7am-6pm Sun 7am-1pm 6422 Central Ave., Wichita 316-682-4884
Coe Financial Services Richard Coe CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ 8100 E. 22nd St. N., Building 1400-2 Wichita · 316-689-0900
Eaton Roofing & Exteriors Roofing, Siding, Windows, Doors, Decks & More! 35 Employees · M-F 8-5 3821 Bounous St., Wichita 316-943-0600
22 Years Ewing Home Improvement Co. “Old-fashioned Service Since 1986” Garages, Decks, Fencing, Roofing, Carports, Kitchens, Bathrooms, Remodel, Room Additions, Windows, Greenhouses, Driveways, Concrete, Siding, Awnings, Patios. Fully licensed & insured construction services. 1822 E. 1st St. N., Wichita 316-943-7171 www.ewinghomeimprovement.com
Kruse Corporation HVAC • Plumbing • Sheet Metal • Emergency Service Commercial • Residential • Industrial Offices in Wichita, Hutchinson & Manhattan, KS www.krusecorp.com 316-838-7885
Carolyn Sayre’s Fine Jewelry Audiology & Hearing Aid Service Haris Zafar, Ph.D. 8020 E. Central Ave., Ste 100, Wichita T: 316-634-1100 F: 316-618-2928 10209 W. Central, Ste 4B, Wichita Call 316-634-1100 to schedule an appointment.
Jackie McCallon, Realtor Call me for any of your Real Estate needs. 316-518-0444 Selling your home, buying a new home, advice on new vs. resale, sizing down?? I can help! Platinum Realty, LLC 515 S. Main #104 @ Waterwalk email@example.com
Gross Tile and Concrete Design Mark Gross, Owner 30+ Years of Experience All types of flooring and complete remodeling projects. 10680 W. Maple, Wichita 316-773-1600
17 Years Summit Tech LLC
Kitchen Tune-Up Jim and Arlene Phillips, Franchise Owners Experts in kitchen and bath remodeling projects! Specializing in 1-day “tune-ups” 4057 N. Woodlawn, Ste 1, Wichita 316-558-8888 kitchentuneup.com/wichita-ks-phillips
The Burrow Family owned and operated. Owners: Derrek and Tina Burrows Fantastic selection of gifts for geeks. 180 S. Rock Rd., Ste 200, Wichita Check out our Facebook page! www.theburrowstore.com 316-209-6217
The Honor Roll of Business is a special advertising section highlighting the history of local businesses, from those founded even before our communities were incorporated, to those that have just recently become part of the business community. Make sure to stop by these businesses and thank them! A special thank you to all businesses that have advertised with the East Wichita News!
The Knight Foundation Fund at the Wichita Community Foundation has awarded a $50,000 grant to support the Shocker Neighborhood Coalition, which strives to strengthen economic opportunities for residents living adjacent to the Wichita State University campus. The grant will enable the Shocker Neighborhood Coalition to request an additional $50,000 in matching funds from the Kansas Health Foundation, which last year awarded Wichita State $250,000 as part of its Community Engagement Initiative to help improve communities throughout Kansas. The Shocker Neighborhood Coalition project supports efforts by the residents of the Fairmount Park neighborhood to improve their community. To date, members of the coalition have created a Community Action Plan to identify and begin dismantling barriers for Fairmount to become a healthy, safe and prosperous neighborhood. Coalition activities have included a safety audit resulting in many concerns being addressed, neighborhood cleanups and beautification efforts in Fairmount Park. “Promoting economic development is the next critical challenge facing the coalition,” said Misty Bruckner, director of public policy and management for the WSU Hugo Wall School of Public Affairs. “Assisting residents who live in the neighborhoods will take time, dedicated resources and a willingness to break away from traditional methods of development that have yielded mixed results.” The coalition will identify programs and resources at Wichita State that can help residents address economic disparities, create pilot projects that will help develop long-term programming, and build communication strategies targeted at adults and youths to broaden their participation in programs. “This is about expanding economic opportunity and creating a culture of civic engagement, two goals the Knight Foundation emphasizes strongly in its community grant program,” said Keith Pickus, WSU Foundation vice president for corporate and foundation relations. “It’s a privilege for the Shocker Neighborhood Coalition and Wichita State to partner with the Knight Foundation to pursue such a worthy mission.” The Knight Foundation Fund is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which invests in journalism, the arts and the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers.
Kyle Martin, Owner Interior and Exterior Painting Siding and Window Replacement “One Call Does It All” 316-993-9949 www.wichitapaintingandremodeling.com
Open since 2005 Owner: Carolyn Sayre, Certified Gemologist 4 Full Time Employees: Scott Rudd, Master Jeweler; Garren Ayers, Bench Jeweler; Liz Linscheid, Graduate Gemologist Appraisals • Custom Design Full Repair Shop on the Premises Retail, insurance, and estate appraisals. 3555 E. Douglas, Ste 70, Wichita 316-683-2411 T-F 9:30am-5:30pm Sat 9:30am-4pm
Knight Foundation grant will advance work of Shocker Neighborhood Coalition
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Reed Continued from Page 9
room in 1977. Soon after Reed’s arrival, the South American Pampas and Australian Outback exhibits were created, and the Apes and Man exhibit followed in 1982. “I came in August, and it was hot. There was no shade; most of the trees were no taller than eight feet. We only had one air-conditioned building for the public, the amphibian and reptile building,” Reed recalled. In the years that followed, “We grew the collection into one of the largest in the country. If this had just been a county zoo or a society zoo, it’d be half the size. There’s not another community our size with a zoo this large.” One advantage Reed inherited when he became Blakely’s successor as zoo director, in 1991, was a master plan. Right from the start, zoo boosters envisioned filling the zoo’s 247 acres with exhibits and attractions. The first big expansion project he led was the American Prairie exhibit, which opened in 1993. “We were pleasantly surprised by the reaction of the public,” he said. “You don’t think it’s quite as exciting as gorillas, elephants, tigers and penguins, but this was the first one where the community donated the money to build the exhibit, and there was a real appreciation for our Kansas prairie heritage.” The American Prairie’s large bison habitat incorporated several innovations into its design, and its playful river otters are a favorite for both kids and adults. Another innovation became something of a headache for Reed and other zoo staff. “We had what we thought, in this country, was the first walk-through prairie dog village. Well, the prairie dogs figured out how to walk through, too,” Reed said. “We had loose prairie dogs out there from 1994 probably all the way to 2000. It took us months to catch them all, and it took us forever to catch the very last one. Monkey biscuits, peanut butter and apples finally did the trick.” After quashing the jailbreak, the zoo raised the walls around the prairie dog village and replaced the underground chain link that keeps prairie dogs from digging their way out. There have been no escapes since. “The one lesson I’ve learned that I try to pass on to everybody is, you can never make a positive statement about an animal, because it’ll always make a liar out of you,” Reed said. “We have all sorts of designs that say a giraffe can’t step over those rocks or won’t go down this incline. When I see them do it, I say, ‘Guess they didn’t read the book.’” In the years that followed, Reed oversaw the development and construction of the Koch Orangutan and Chimpanzee Habitat, the Oliver Animal Hospital, the Pride of the Plains lion exhibit, the Downing
Mark Reed has seen the Sedgwick County Zoo grow by leaps and bounds since it opened. Reed became director of the zoo in 1991, and in the years that followed oversaw the construction of many new exhibits.
Gorilla Forest, a newly expanded education building, Cessna Penguin Cove, the Slawson Family Tiger Trek and, most recently, the Reed Family Elephants of the Zambezi River Valley, which the zoo board named in honor of Reed, his father, and other family members who supported their work. “The job I’m doing now is not the same job I did 25 years ago,” Reed said. “So much of it is... community-oriented, fundraising and building relationships with other entities within the community. I liked animals and loved being involved, and next thing you know I’m sitting behind this desk, looking at this computer. My (goal) is to get out into the zoo, at least for an hour and a half, every day, so the people who work here can see me working with them.” The expanded elephant exhibit, which opened in May, drove attendance at the Sedgwick County Zoo to an all-time high in 2016. On Christmas Eve, Reed’s last day, the zoo welcomed its 700,000th visitor of the year. Reed had wanted to build something like Elephants of the Zambezi River Valley for more than 20 years. Seeing the finished exhibit’s expansive outdoor area and sophisticated indoor shelter – along with the six new elephants that arrived from Swaziland in March – still gets Reed excited. The recession of 2008 scuttled earlier plans to expand the elephant habitat, and put the Sedgwick County Zoo on a trajectory to lose its elephants. “We didn’t meet (American Zoological Association)
standards in our old facility, and usually when new standards are developed, you’ve got a time frame (to get into compliance). In this case, it was five years, and we were running out of time,” Reed said. “I was a month away from telling the board that we needed to move our elephants out to another zoo, and we could just shut down for elephants until at some point we could raise the money. Fortunately, it didn’t come to that.” Elephants of the Zambezi River Valley cost about $10.6 million to design and build, with half of that provided by county taxpayers and half by private donors. That was down from about $16 million for the 2008 version that fell through. “We actually got a better exhibit by waiting,” Reed said. “It’s slightly bigger. Plus, the original elephant barn was going to be hidden, and it’s now where the public can see it. People can actually see the elephants when they’re indoors in the wintertime.” Dec. 14 was a chilly day, so longtime zoo resident Stephanie and the six Swaziland elephants were inside the zoo’s new, 18,000-square-foot facility. Not all the Swaziland elephants knew each other in Africa, and none of them were familiar with Stephanie, so keepers kept them separated at first, Reed said, but now they are all one herd, interacting during the day and spending their nights in a circle on the dirt floor of the indoor facility. Stephanie, much larger than the others, took over the “alpha” position without much conflict.
County Zoological Society’s operating agreement renewal into question. New commissioner David Dennis, who is replacing Karl Peterjohn, has said he doesn’t want to continue down that road. “I have been assured by many people that there’s been a change of heart, and we will have a very good financial agreement that’ll get signed this January or February,” Reed said. “It seems both parties are on board. ... I believe strongly that this last primary election made a statement, by the public, that they like the zoo, and I think that helped one candidate win.” The Sedgwick County Zoological Society is conducting a nationwide search for the third executive director of the Sedgwick County Zoo. Now retired, Reed plans to move to Oregon with his wife, Mary. “Forty-four years doing this, and yet it’s gone by in a flash,” he said. “It is amazing.”
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The new infusion of wild elephants is important to the genetic diversity of the captive population, Reed said. “We don’t even know – do we have enough genetic representation? We’re doing genetic tests on all the elephants in North America, and it’s going to be a close call. Our zoo world colleagues are watching us, because we’ve got to be successful. Our consortium of zoos brought over 15 females, and they may be the last ones brought out of Africa,” Reed said. “I look at these elephants as representatives of the elephants in the wild.” Reed said he is heartened that the next zoo director will work with elected officials who have expressed support for continuing the public-private partnership as it now stands, with the zoo owned by the county and operated by a nonprofit zoo board. The outgoing Sedgwick County Commission had pushed for more county government seats on the nonprofit board, putting the Sedgwick
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