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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • 2012: Election brings changes in third quarter

  • The primary election generated some interest in the county and voters approved a sales tax increase to partially finance hospital improvements. The fair brought visitors to the hill south of town and public schools opened with more students than the year before.
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  • July
    The City Commission learned the aging Ellis D. Kinney pool needed more than a half-million dollars in repair to fix a cracked liner and bring bathhouse showers and toilets into compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act.
    Temperatures continued to top the century level, and concern for livestock was added when nighttime temperatures stayed above 80 degrees.
    Pratt Regional Medical Center began offering a procedure commonly known as lapband surgery, as a treatment for obesity.
    The Pratt Young Professionals, a committee of the Pratt Area Chamber of Commerce, sponsored a well-received free family movie at Lemon Park.
    U.S. 54 was closed for a time in mid-July when a semi-load of hay driven by Kyle Comer, an employee of DM Farm, caught fire. The tractor, trailer and hay were all destroyed in the non-injury accident.
    Pratt Community College earned a Presidential Honor Roll certificate for contributing more than 16,000 hours of community service by students and staff.
    The Pratt County Fair offered several "best spots in the lot," depending on whether one was interested in livestock, inside exhibits, a carnival, country music, fair food or just hanging out on the hill.
    August
    Installation of artificial turf at Zerger Field forced the relocation of the annual American Cancer Society Relay for Life the first weekend in August. The event was held at the Skyline School track, but lightning canceled the walk early in the evening.
    The non-profit organization that manages Agape Health Clinic learned that the service for low-income uninsured residents would be continued for another year.
    Blue green algae bloom, a byproduct of continued heat and drought at Kansas lakes, also affected farm ponds, with the potential to sicken or kill livestock.
    The Aug. 7 primary election was too close to call for the two commission seats on the ballot. Republican challenger Glenna Borho led incumbent Dwight Adams by four votes in the unofficial results and incumbent Joe Reynolds was 32 votes ahead of challenger Darrell Stroda. Official canvassing gave the primary election to Borho and Reynolds. Adams announced he would run a write-in campaign to retain his seat, but was unsuccessful in November.
    Sen. Ruth Teichman lost her bid for re-election to Mitch Holmes, who decided to run for the Senate post instead of seeking re-election as a representative in the Kansas House.
    County voters approved a sales tax question to renovate Pratt Regional Medical Center by a comfortable margin.
    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration declared July 2012 was the hottest month ever recorded in the lower 48 states. Kansas statisticians said "not so." It was the seventh hottest and the tenth driest on record for the state, according to state climatologist Mary Knapp.
    Page 2 of 2 - About 20 Cullison residents were evacuated from their homes when an anhydrous ammonia tank was overturned in a two-vehicle collision that hospitalized a Pratt driver who pulled into the path of a Freightliner. U.S. 54 was closed for several hours while the ammonia spill was cleaned up.
    September
    Pratt city commissioners began discussing a downtown sidewalk improvement project that is still under discussion at year's end. Commissioners want to make certain business owners are "on board" for a project that would restrict, if only briefly, access to their stores, following the 2011 Main Street replacement project that reduced revenue for several owners.
    USD 382 administrators anticipated the highest head count of students in several years, due to new families with children moving into Pratt and some students switching schools. Skyline Schools also posted an increase of about 4 percent.
    Head count and credit hours declined for only the third time in 10 years at Pratt Community College. The college announced plans to hire a consultant to upgrade recruiting plans that have been in place since the 1990s.
    Generators, turbines and blades for area wind farm construction projects were a familiar sight and frequent cause of brief traffic delays in Pratt.
    British Petroleum announced it was continuing plans to build what is being called the Ninnescah Wind Project in southeast Pratt County, tentatively scheduled to begin construction in 2014.
    The Healthy Hunger-free Kids guidelines for school food service programs met with some resistance by students, who said the calorie restrictions aimed at curbing the tide of obesity left them hungry. Some provisions of the regulations were temporarily suspended in December.
    The City Commission approved more than $50,000 for improvements in the Loren Minnis Park on South Main Street. The money will be used to repair restrooms and buy new playground equipment and benches.
    Noelle Holmes, 18-year-old daughter of state Rep. Mitch Holmes, was critically injured in an automobile accident at the junction of U.S. 281 and U.S. 50. She was dismissed from a rehabilitation facility at Thanksgiving and continues to recover at home.

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