The year began with a change in the state's Medicaid program that is still being debated as to its effectiveness, and the stage was set for stories that continued to make the news throughout the year. A pair of snowstorms provided needed moisture, along with plenty of inconvenience and expense.
KanCare replaced Medicaid and HealthWave programs in Kansas on Jan. 1. Local healthcare providers partnered with two of the three managed care organizations. The program was expected to save money for the state with its emphasis on preventive care.
The City of Pratt officially deeded land to the Vernon Filley Foundation for construction of an art museum on Jackson Street.
The Scoular Company announced it had sold a portion of its interest in the shuttered ethanol plant to Pratt Biofuels Investors, LLC, which planned to renovate and reopen the plant within the year.
Concealed carry permits nearly doubled in 2012 over the previous year, and Main Street Armory, a local gun dealer reported that sales had been brisk since November, out of fear that President Barack Obama would push for more restrictions in his second term, and in response to a school shooting in Connecticut.
Post offices in Sawyer and Iuka learned their operating hours would be cut in half — to two hours a day in the former and four in the latter. The reduction was an alternative to earlier proposals to close both offices to improve the bottom line for the United States Postal Service.
Adding left-turning lanes on U.S. 54 (First Street) was first proposed in January. The project is still in the planning stages.
Dr. William Wojciechowski announced that he would retire from his post as president of Pratt Community College, but would remain until a replacement was on board.
More than 60 boxes of archives of the 73rd Bomb Wing Association were donated to the B-29 Museum under construction. The records include information about the bomb groups that trained at the Pratt Army Air Field during World War II.
More large animals previously not found in Pratt and surrounding counties have been sighted recently, including elk, a wolf and a mountain lion.
The Pratt Airport Authority Board discussed using artificial turf at a cost of $1 million for a proposed 4,500 feet crosswind runway at the airport.
Local Catholics supported Pope Benedict XVI in his decision to resign his duties.
The City of Pratt purchased 2.6 acres along the north edge of Lemon Park from Karen Konkel, who stipulated that a stone marker in memory of her father remain in the park. Blake Himmelwright and his cousin, Mary McCoy, donated $18,000 towards the $22,000 purchase price.
The Pratt area saw back-to-back snowstorms that dumped 14 to 15 inches of snow in late February. "Snow Samaritans" came to the rescue of their neighbors, school was out for five days and mail delivery was suspended for a time. Customers stocked up on groceries and necessary supplies, resulting in some temporary shortages at local stores. The city estimated the cost of snow removal at $50,000.
Pratt City Commissioners awarded a bid to a Missouri company for repairs at the municipal swimming pool and work began in mid-March to be ready for pool opening on Memorial Day. A long-range plan for pool improvement is still being considered.
Pratt Comfort Suites won its fourth platinum award for excellence within the hotel chain.
As part of the presidential selection process, Pratt Community College presented a public forum to gain input from area residents.
Pratt Regional Medical Center held a ground-breaking ceremony for the new hospital addition on March 18. Demolition at the front entrance began a couple of days later. The first phase of construction on the new addition is expected to be completed in the fall of 2014.
City commissioners approved a plat of 48 residential lots in the Sandy Creek Addition and rezoned a portion of the property close to K-61 for commercial use.
Pratt Community College announced it would sponsor cable TV Channel 672, providing a means to present a variety of local activities and events.
A gas line break at Stanion Electric caused an evacuation of buildings on South Main Street and excitement in the area on March 27, but no injuries or serious damage.
Drew Alan Haerl, 29, of Preston was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter following a two-day trial in Pratt County District Court. Haerl was charged after a two-vehicle accident in May 2011 that resulted in the death of Marla Frazer, Beaver, Okla.