News

Tue
15
Aug

City cracks down on commercial property

By Fred Arnold

The City of Belleville began work on a series of widesweeping changes Monday that would crack down on owners of commercial properties who are in violation of local ordinances.

Council members voted in separate motions to contract with the North Central Regional Planning authority, who will inspect local commercial buildings for code violations as well as approving a measure to notify individuals by letter who are in violation of zoning laws that they can: seek to re-zone their property, get the named property out of violation or set a hearing with the Belleville city council.

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Tue
15
Aug

Commissioners defend county budget

By Cynthia Scheer

County commissioners fielded several questions during Monday morning's budget hearing as former county commissioner Harold Wilbur chastized the board for the way tax dollars are being spent. His questions ranged from salary increases to equipment purchases, and he encouraged commissioners to re-consider some of their budget allocations and have more oversight on productivity in the future.

“I've been neglectful and haven't followed the budget for years,” Wilbur said. “I'm concerned about the direction it's going.”

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Tue
15
Aug

Once in a lifetime

Monday’s eclipse is first in Kansas in 99 years

The first solar eclipse to come to the area in 99 years will take place on Monday afternoon. The Great American Eclipse, as it's being called, will cross 14 states from Oregon to South Carolina. Kansas and Nebraska are two of the states in the path.

The last time a total solar eclipse was visible in Kansas was 1918; the next total eclipse to be visible in Kansas will occur on Aug. 12, 2045, when the southwest corner of the state lies in the path of totality.

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Tue
15
Aug

Mystery surrounds Cuba-area’s old Lachman house

By Cynthia Scheer

The history of several of Republic County's stone houses is unknown, and many locals say the people who would know anything about them are gone.

Such is the case with the stone house Margaret Lachman refers to as “the original homestead.”

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Tue
08
Aug

Weather station up and running

By Deb Hadachek Telescope editor

Weather is a hot topic in a farming community.

Especially when it comes to keeping an eye on approaching storms--which can be difficult when the nearest set of eyes on the sky is in Topeka.

Enter Weather Bug, an educational program introduced by Republic County High School Science instructors David Kadavy and Joelle Feight, which has also become a community resource about local weather conditions.

“I know quite a few people who tell me they use Weather Bug,” says Feight. The Weather Bug app can be downloaded on smart phones or personal computers. “It’s nice to get local data rather than what comes out of Topeka (National Weather Service).

 

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Tue
08
Aug

Belleville’s Vytlacil places third in national Czech pageant

By Cynthia Scheer

A Belleville woman took the third place crown at the national Czech queen pageant a few days ago. Sara Vytlacil was named the Miss Czech Slovak U.S. second runner-up on Sunday night in Wilber, Neb. Vytlacil also won the authentic Kroj category and was runner up in the Sokol talent division where she performed a traditional Czech folk dance.

Vytlacil teaches history at Washington County Schools.

 

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Tue
01
Aug

The history of speed

Vintage race cars took to the Belleville High Banks Friday and Saturday for an exhibition and show sponsored by the Belleville High Banks Hall of Fame race museum. 70 cars from around the country tested the track. “The racers really, really enjoyed the event, and the Fair Amusements really deserves credit for making sure the track was absolutely perfect,” says museum curator Don McChesney. “Belleville was considerably bigger than any vintage show this season.” The museum continues events this week when they induct a new class of Hall of Fame members at a ceremony Thursday. The 40th anniversary running of the Belleville Midget Nationals takes to the High Banks Friday and Saturday. At top, Ron Murphy, Sharon Springs, Kans., and Paul Tainter, San Antonio, Tex. set the pace; bottom left, Ken Tatro and Deen Woods, Beloit get ready to push off; bottom right, Harry Ivers, Byron, Nebr. and Don Droud Sr., Lincoln, Nebr.

 

Tue
01
Aug

Building the force

Belleville hires Springer as senior PD officer

By Deb Hadachek

A former county law enforcement officer is making his way home as the new head of the Belleville Police Department.

Chris Springer will become senior offi cer of the PD August 14, said Belleville City Manager Neal Lewis. Springer was formerly Republic County undersheriff, and is currently a deputy with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office.

Republic County Sheriff Ron Blad told Republic County Commissioners Monday morning that sheriff’s department officers have volunteered to help establish policies for the police department.

 

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Tue
01
Aug

Leaving a landmark

Once a hospital, house has been home to two physicians’ families

By Cynthia Scheer

A landmark Belleville home, turned hospital, turned back into a home, is back on the market for the first time in 50 years.

Although he says he’ll miss the home, Dr. Duane Scott is selling the house in the 2700 block of M ST, just north of US36, and moving to a smaller residence in Belleville.

Two long-time Republic County physicians have called the house home since the R.G. Patterson Hospital was turned back into a home in 1946.

 

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Tue
25
Jul

A new police structure

By Fred Arnold

The much beleaguered Belleville Police Department received an offer for sorely needed help on Monday. And members of the local city council were all too eager to accept.

Republic County Sheriff Ron Blad and county law enforcement officers have offered to step up and help get the police department, "back on track," in the words of Belleville City Manager Neal Lewis. He said the proposal is to use the sheriff's office to help re-structure the police department by working with a yet-to-be-named senior officer.

"They will help with training, policy updates, procedures and to work with our local officers and get things headed back in the right direction," Lewis said. "This offer couldn't have come at a better time. We were about at the end of our rope on what to do."

 

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