wKREDA News

Why Phillips County?

Thursday, November 01, 2018

You will find small town hospitality in Phillips County, a place where residents enjoy a high quality of life with a low cost of living. Visitors frequent Phillips County to shop in Phillipsburg’s bustling downtown and to attend family-friendly events. What stands out is the thriving downtown and large small business community. Local entrepreneurs have filled every storefront, leading to ongoing construction and development projects. Together, residents and entrepreneurs have created a strong and vibrant community. Success here is frequently achieved as a community endeavor with business networks, volunteer groups, and task forces pushing for a united goal - to foster...
Local Family Cattle Business Sells Homegrown Beef Across the Country

Monday, October 22, 2018

This article was written by Hailey Dixon for the Lincoln Sentinel and can be found here. Approximately three miles southwest of Sylvan Grove is the home of Ringler Ranch, where Post Rock Beef is operated by Justin Ringler and Shawn Elder, with their families.   Post Rock Beef, Ringler and Elder’s beef business, has served over 100 customers with approximately 5,000 pounds of beef sold, according to the Post Rock Beef website.   Post Rock Beef was born out of the friendship, Elder said.   “We both got the same ideas,” Elder said. “If he doesn’t think of it first, I do, and vice versa.  It’s easy working with him. …...
Rooks County Health Center Breaks Ground on New Rehabilitation Center

Monday, October 22, 2018

This story first appeared on the Rooks County website and can be found here. A groundbreaking ceremony for Rooks County Health Center’s (RCH) new Rehabilitation Center was held at 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, July 17 at the RCH facility just north of Plainville.The nearly 11,000 square foot addition will house all of RCH’s rehabilitation services including Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Respiratory Therapies. “The new rehabilitation center will provide patients and the community access to state-of-the art care with unique features like a therapy pool with an adjustable floor with variable water depth and an indoor walking track,” stated A.J. Thomas, RCH...
St. John Grocery Store Open For Business

Monday, October 22, 2018

White’s Foodliner opens in St. John and 103-year-old Loyd Rats had the honor of being the first customer. Loyd Ratts cruised down the aisles of White’s Foodliner in St. John, Kansas, and thought of his childhood. Ratts was the first customer of the new grocery store, which opened Wednesday morning. The grocery store is the two-year culmination of efforts by community groups, led by Stafford County Economic Development, operator of the new establishment. Funding for the $3 million project came through a sales tax approved by voters and multiple grants, including a $780,800 federal grant from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,...
Street Plumbing Acquires Deep Creek Construction

Monday, October 22, 2018

This story was written by Kris Heinze for the Lincoln Sentinel and can be found online here. R&R Street Plumbing, Heating and Electric, Inc., 2009 E. Hwy 18, announced in a press release the acquisition of Deep Creek Construction, L.L.C., owned by Kirk and Susan Wollesen of Lincoln. As part of the acquisition, Kirk and Susan became part owners of R&R Street Plumbing, Heating and Electric, Inc. , and will become members of its management staff at the Lincoln office. This isn’t the first time that Street Plumbing has been involved in a business merger. In 2014, Mike Street and Royce Hillegeist, both...
Hodgeman County Resident Receives State Certification

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Courtney Panzer, the newest employee at Schwartz Auto, is pictured here, receiving her Kansas At Your Service certificate of completion. This statewide standardized customer service training, emphasizes the importance of quality customer service in the tourism and hospitality industry and equips employees of Kansas with tools and resources to better serve our visitors. Training for the web-based certification is offered at no charge, and can be taken by anyone who wants to improve their customer service skills. Schwartz Auto and Courtney are the first business in Hodgeman County to complete the online training and be awarded this certificate! Tourism is one of...
Governor Colyer Congratulates O'Brates, Palmer Manufacturing

Friday, September 21, 2018

This story originally appeared on Greater Garden City.com on 8/7/18, written by Scott Aust.  Gov. Jeff Colyer stopped in Garden City on Tuesday morning at Palmer Manufacturing and Tank, 2814 W. Jones Ave., to celebrate and congratulate the O’Brate family for reacquiring the company, a deal that was announced last week. “We just want to say thank you for all that’s happened here in Garden City in bringing Palmer back into the fold and to build their business again. Did you kind of miss them a little bit, Cecil?” Colyer said. Acquired by Cecil O’Brate in 1966, Palmer Manufacturing and Tank was sold...
Grill Specialty Store Gearing up to open in Downtown Garden City

Friday, September 21, 2018

This story originally appeared at Greater Garden City.com on 8/14/18 and was written by Scott Aust. Backyard grill masters are in for a treat soon in the form of the newest addition to downtown Garden City. Klaus Wood Pellets, 401 N. Main St., will be a barbecue specialty store that focuses mainly on selling Traeger Grills, as well as a variety of barbecue spices including products made right here in the state of Kansas. “We’re going to have a wall that has ‘Made in Kansas’ products,” Owner Ryan Klaus said. “And we’re going to have different kinds of cooking products, like fire disc...
Norton PRIDE Launches Community Garden

Friday, September 21, 2018

Norton PRIDE was organized in the fall of 2016 following a First Impressions review of the Norton Community which reflected both positive and negative attributes of our Norton Community.   Since it's inception as a Pride Community, and part of the Kansas PRIDE program through K-State, Norton has participated in the local Strategic Planning for Norton County.  Following these sessions each year Pride designs many of its projects around those identified needs from this planning meeting. The May 2017 session of Strategic Planning had an idea of development of a community garden.  Two attendees from the Methodist Church felt that this...
Prairie Horizon Agri-Energy's USA Clean Fuels Project Open in Phillipsburg

Friday, September 21, 2018

July 31, 2018 marked the grand opening of Prairie Horizon Agri-Energy’s USA Clean Fuels project in Phillipsburg. Conveniently located on HWY 36, south of the PHAE ethanol plant, the new facility offers ethanol blend fuels including Unleaded E15, Premium E-20, Super-Premium E-30, Flex Fuel E-85 and High Flow Diesel. USA Clean Fuels is dedicated to providing fuel choices that are cleaner, more affordable and better performing. Likewise, this latest addition to PHAE’s footprint is another component to help support our farmers and the ag community. The expansion of ethanol blended pumps across Kansas provides increased local corn markets and fuel choices...
Dodge City/Ford County - Where Business and Pleasure Grow Together

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Dodge City and Ford County is truly a great place to raise a family, and start (or expand) a business.  Dodge City & Ford County give residents that coveted “small-town feel,” while offering large-city amenities like access to events held at the Western State Bank Expo or a fun day at the Long Branch Lagoon Waterpark. They also have a very progressive and student-focused school district, making this an excellent area for young families. On the weekend, locals are known to take in a concert or comedy show at United Wireless Arena, go to a movie (drive-in or theater) or...
World's Largest Easel to Light Up for Special Olympic Inclusion Revolution

Friday, July 20, 2018

Special Olympics announced today that major landmarks, stadia and iconic buildings around the world, including The World’s Largest Easel will turn RED in a global display of unity on July 20 as part of the Special Olympics 50th Anniversary Celebration. The act represents the dawn of the Inclusion Revolution—Special Olympics’ mission to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities (ID) worldwide and create inclusive communities. “We are grateful for the tremendous support to help celebrate and raise awareness for people with intellectual disabilities regardless of where they live in the world,” said Special Olympics International Chairman, Timothy Shriver. “Light Up for Inclusion...
Garden City DFA Facility name 'Sustainable Plant of the Year'

Friday, June 29, 2018

Story originally appeared here. Dairy Farmers of America’s state-of-the-art ingredients plant in Garden City recently received the Sustainable Plant of the Year Award from Food Engineering magazine. The award was presented at Food Engineering’s Food Automation & Manufacturing Conference and Expo in Bonita Springs, Fla., and honors a newly constructed food facility focused on reducing, reusing and recycling. “This plant helps DFA meet the needs of domestic and global customers, while also bringing value to our farmer-owners,” said Michael Lichte, vice president and general manager, dairy powder ingredients at DFA. “Being recognized for Sustainable Plant of the Year is a tremendous honor. As...
Hodgeman County holds Maker Camp

Friday, June 29, 2018

Twenty-seven students between the 2nd and 6th grade took part in the first-ever Hodgeman County Maker’s Camp last week.  It was a fun learning event that was created to expose kids (and their parents) to 3D Printing, Coding, Podcasting and Entrepreneurship.  “I really hope that we can continue the program in some form, whether it be in the same camp-format…or perhaps in shorter, one day events offered on Teacher In-service Days, or Holiday Breaks” said Lea Ann Seiler, Hodgeman County Economic Development.  “We had great instructors who gave a solid introduction to the kids…and I think the kids have a real...
Pinky's to open in Downtown Garden City

Friday, June 29, 2018

This story was written by SCOTT AUST, FCEDC Director of Communications Pinky’s Grilled Cheestro is set to open in downtown Garden City this month and owners Jose and Candice Rodriguez couldn’t be more excited to return home. Both grew up here, and have long made it a goal to return. Most recently, the couple lived in Ashland and based their mobile food truck there. “It was time. I felt like God was calling us back home,” Candice said. “To further understand that, to us, Pinky’s is more than just a food truck,” Jose said. “To us, Pinky’s is a ministry. All the people’s lives that...
Scott County is Growing at Just the Right Pace

Friday, June 29, 2018

Scott County is small but mighty.  This is an excellent place to raise a family, start a business, or build a career.  A cohesive, action-oriented community, the people of Scott City work together to tackle challenges, make improvements, and ultimately create a better place to live. Growing the Scott City Way While a hasty, large scale population increase can not only disrupt a community’s culture but also lead to an unbalanced local economy, Scott City’s approach has been focused on a moderate and controlled growth.  This long-term perspective has served our community well. While members of Scott City consistently have arms open...
Wind Energy market continues growing at phenomenal pace in Kansas

Monday, May 28, 2018

Kansas continues to move forward as a leader in wind energy. The Kansas Department of Commerce is highlighting three recently signed agreements with energy companies which will increase wind energy output by over 700 megawatts. Great Plains Energy Adds Two New Kansas Wind Facilities Great Plains Energy recently announced plans to increase its renewable energy portfolio with the signing of two power purchase agreements (PPA) for an additional 444 megawatts (MW) of power from two new wind facilities owned by both EDP Renewables and NextEra Energy Resources in Kansas. That’s enough energy to power more than 160,000 homes. Once complete, these agreements will...
Hugoton Residents Stumble onto Their Own History

Friday, May 25, 2018

This story was originally published in The Garden City Telegram, written by Amber Friend. Original story can be found here: http://www.gctelegram.com/news/20180503/hugoton-residents-stumble-onto-their-own-history When Jan Leonard first stood in front of the entrance to a dirt-filled tunnel in the basement of a hundred-year-old building in Hugoton, he was hunting for Bonnie and Clyde. Or at least what they may have left behind. Leonard, then entering his fourth month as Stevens County Economic Development’s executive director, hoped to beef up the county’s tourism by presenting the area’s rich history, including the fleeting presence of legendary outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. What he found instead was something...
New website can help those looking for jobs

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) - Governor Jeff Colyer said people looking for jobs can soon find them all in one place and with the click of a mouse. Gov. Colyer said the new Kansas Career Navigator website gives people real-time access to high-demand, high-paying jobs available locally and across the state. "We have over 50,000 open jobs and in our situation, we have jobs looking for people," said Gov. Colyer. "And the Kansas Career Navigator is going to help match those jobs with qualified Kansas workers." The jobs in highest demand are accountants, registered nurses and sales representatives.  Continue to full article. 
Kansas Launches “My (Re)Employment Plan” Workforce Program to Improve Services for Job Seekers

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

In an effort to match unemployed job seekers with Kansas employers looking to hire workers, Governor Jeff Colyer, M.D., is proud to announce that the State of Kansas has launched “My (Re)Employment Plan,” a program that blends enhanced workforce services with personal responsibility to get Kansans back to work faster. The collaboration between the Kansas Department of Labor, Kansas Department of Commerce and the KANSASWORKS Workforce System will provide enhanced reemployment services to Kansans who are unemployed and looking for work. The program, called “My (Re)Employment Plan” connects unemployment recipients with workforce service professionals in their area. Unemployed Kansans who are receiving...
Governor Colyer announces communities to be designated as Opportunity Zones

Thursday, May 10, 2018

TOPEKA – Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer, M.D. and officials from state government agencies have completed a review of Letters of Interest submitted from communities across the state to be considered for designation as Opportunity Zones. Opportunity Zones are a new economic development tool enacted by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 designed to encourage long-term investments in low-income urban and rural communities. Based upon the number of low-income communities identified by the Federal Census, the Governor may nominate up to 74 census tracts in Kansas for designation as Opportunity Zones. Continue to full article. 
New KSapprenticeship.org website connects job seekers with companies offering apprenticeships

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Commerce, in partnership with KANSASWORKS, has launched a new website aimed at connecting job seekers with Kansas companies offering on-the-job training through the state’s Registered Apprenticeship program. KSapprenticeship.org offers easy-to-follow navigation for both job seekers and businesses, enabling both to better leverage the resources available to connect employers with potential apprentices. “The new KSapprenticeship.org site is a powerful tool to help meet the rising needs of Kansas industry for a workforce trained on the latest in advanced technology and equipment,” says Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer, M.D.. “The Registered Apprenticeship program in our state is invaluable...
Innovative Online Tool Guides Kansas Job Seekers

Thursday, May 03, 2018

TOPEKA, Kan. – An innovative online tool created and launched by Kansas labor and commerce officials aims to get Kansans to work in the highest paying and most in-demand jobs. From accountants to nurses to aerospace engineers—the Kansas Career Navigator (www.kscareernav.gov) gives Kansans real-time access to the latest high-demand and high-wage occupation opportunities locally and across the state. The intuitive dashboard is an excellent resource for individuals looking for employment in Kansas. In addition to the job postings, the Navigator also identifies the training programs available in the region giving students, teachers, parents and others a clear path to success in the...
Governor’s Exporter of the Year award to celebrate its 30th anniversary

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

TOPEKA – Kansas International Trade Day will be held June 5, 2018 in Lawrence, Kansas, at the Lawrence DoubleTree Hotel.  The conference will feature speakers from business and government with sessions designed to help Kansas businesses start exporting or grow existing international sales.  The day-long event will be followed by the Team Kansas Award Banquet where the 2018 Governor’s Exporter of the Year will be announced.  The Governor’s Exporter of the Year award is presented annually to a single Kansas company in recognition of its excellent performance in international trade and its outstanding international marketing. This year marks the 30th anniversary of...
$12.9 million in Community Development Block Grants awarded for community improvement projects

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

TOPEKA -- The Kansas Department of Commerce has announced that 32 communities will receive federal grants for a variety of community improvement projects, including sewer and water projects, housing rehabilitation and community facilities improvements. These communities will share a total of $12,927,726 in federal grants. Through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, 16 Kansas communities will share a total of $8,913,100 in federal grants for water and sewer projects, three Kansas communities will share $900,000 for housing rehabilitation and 13 communities will share $3,114,626 for community facility projects. “We are excited to support so many deserving Kansas communities through CDBG grants,”...
Kansas company makes power poles, helps Puerto Rico with Hurricane Maria aftermath

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

  ELLSWORTH, Kan. (KSNW) - It’s been more than five months since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, and the island is still trying to recover. It’s difficult when almost 200,000 people still don’t have power. One Kansas company, in Ellsworth, is helping out by making power poles. For about three months, Maico employees in Ellsworth, Kansas have been busy at work. “The shop’s been running basically 18 hours a day almost everyday,” said Jeff Landon, Pole Division Project Manager. But the team says they don’t mind the long days or getting their hands dirty. They know their efforts are helping put the lights on in...
Lincoln Center Antiques is now open

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Originally appeared here.  By Jennifer McDaniel, for the Lincoln Sentinel Mike Simmons knows antiques, and he has the collection to prove it. A purveyor of antiquities and heirlooms, Simmons spent more than 40 years searching for collectibles. And that’s a good thing for customers who walk into Lincoln Center Antiques and Collectibles, a new business he opened in a former grocery store at 123 E. Lincoln Ave., which most recently served as the home to Lincoln Auto Supply. A self-described antique-junker, Simmons retired from home construction and remodeling and, with help from his wife, Anita, opened the business. Through the years, Simmons owned similar antique stores in Downs, Beloit and Osborne, but decided to open a store in Lincoln at the encouragement of his nephew and niece, Dylan and...
Phillips County Bets on the Future

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

This story originally appeared in the Kansas Department of Commerce quarterly magazine found here.   For rural areas across the United States, the loss of any one major employer can have devastating consequences for the region’s economy. In 2008, Phillips County faced that situation but responded with a program of investment and growth opportunities to attract a strong base of companies. "The subsequent 24 months saw 27 new entrepreneurial startups emerge in the community, leveraging over $2 million dollars in local investment,” says Nick Poels, executive director of the Phillips County Economic Development. “The event coincided with construction of a state-of-the-art ethanol plant...
wKREDA Representatives Attend World Ag Expo

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

On February 12-14, a group of wKREDA members including Tara Schraeder from the Dodge City/Ford County Development Corporation, Becki Richardson and Vienna Lee from Morton County, Nikki Pfannenstiel from Sunflower Electric, and Lona DuVall from Finney County Development Corporation attended the World Ag Expo in Tulare, CA to bring exposure about Kansas and promote bringing more dairy operations to our region. The largest annual agricultural exposition of its kind, World Ag Expo® boasts more than 1,500 exhibitors displaying cutting-edge agricultural technology and equipment on 2.6 million square feet of exhibit space. In 2017, 105,780 people came from 43 states and 71 countries to attend the...
Work begins on new Stafford County Marketplace

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

This story is from the St. John News from February 7, 2018, written by Gale Rose. The original story can be found here. The lot is cleared and dirt work for the new Stafford County Marketplace is scheduled to begin this February. Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, a new market place will soon rise up from a vacant lot in St. John and take it’s place in town as a one-stop food, pharmacy and gas store for the community. In the works since the old Dillons store closed in February 2016, the Stafford County Marketplace, located at U.S. 281 and 5th...
Nex-Generation hosts 179 youth at Career Fair

Thursday, February 01, 2018

On January 10, Nex-Generation Round up for Youth, Inc. hosted a marvelous career day event for area middle school students. Since 2012, Nex-Generation, in conjunction with the ICAN (Interactive Consortium Academic Network), has been hosting a Career EXPLORation day via interactive distance learning equipment. At this career event, students have an opportunity to hear about local careers to give them a better idea of what is available in the area. Students from the following schools participated: Grinnell, Natoma, Plainville, Palco, Thunder Ridge, and Stockton, with up to 179 youth attending each session. The event was coordinated under the direction of I-CAN...
St. John Grocery Store Receives Big Boost with Federal Grant Award

Monday, November 27, 2017

Stafford County Economic Development has been notified that it was awarded a $780,800 Community Economic Development grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Funding will be used for construction of a new grocery, pharmacy, and fuel center in St. John at the intersection of U.S. Highway 281 and 5th Avenue to provide fresh food and approximately 30 jobs. Construction is expected to begin before year end. ?
Gibson's Pharmacy Opens in New Location

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Story originally appeared in The Dodge City Daily Globe on September 9, 2017. The weather may have slowed the process but starting Monday, Gibson’s Pharmacy will be up and running at their new location. Located at the corner of Central Avenue and Kinkead Street, Gibson’s Pharmacy will be moving from its previous location at Gibson’s Mall. “We were right where we wanted to be in getting it all in place,” Gibson’s Pharmacy owner and pharmacist Matt Morrison said. “It is a smaller space but we will have a limited gift section while adding candles, candies and cards.” Plans for the new location began in 2015...
Nex-Generation Round Up for Youth Receives Grant from Dane G. Hansen Foundation

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

(Lenora, Kansas) -  Nex-Generation Round Up for Youth, Inc., a charitable, non-profit organization based in Lenora, Kansas received a $227,200 Grant from the Dane G. Hansen Foundation to expand and grow its Internship and Work Study/Apprenticeship programs. With this grant, Nex-Generation will be able to offer 26, additional, summer Internships and 20 Work Study/Apprentice scholarships to high school and college students within a 26-county area of northwest and north central Kansas.  As a result, Nex-Generation will be offering close to 90 paid, summer internships and work study opportunities in 2018. Nex-Generation Round Up for Youth, Inc.’s mission is to educate northwest and...
Stockton Opens New Recreation Fitness Center

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Stockton’s new Recreation Fitness Center officially opened on Tuesday, September 19 with all the equipment being moved from the former downtown location to the new location at on South Cypress, next to the new swimming pool.  The new facility held  an open house from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Friday, September 29. The new facility has 4,400 square feet of fitness space and includes all the weight and fitness equipment that was in the former building, but has added space for locker rooms, including showers. The Recreation Commission Board worked over the last few years to save money for the down payment on the...
Tim Kyle Made First Shipment of Milo Vodka September 1

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Story originally appeared in The Hutchinson News on October 13 written by Amy Bickel. KINSLEY - When life gave his hometown of Greensburg a tornado, Tim Kyle made vodka. Or at least, that was the plan he’d been mulling in his head since coming back to Greensburg shortly after the May 2007 tornado destroyed much of the city. He and his wife, Kari, opened a coffee shop called the Green Bean in 2009 as part of the rebuilding efforts, but Kyle kept thinking about ways to bring manufacturing jobs to the Kiowa County seat. Community discussions on growing Greensburg’s industry included lumber and...
Dairy is a fast-growing industry in Kansas

Friday, August 25, 2017

Back in the late 1990s, a few visionary people in western Kansas saw a future for the region as a prime location for large dairy farms. In the two decades since that effort began, Kansas has become one of the fastest-growing dairy states in the nation. The growth has been fueled by the arrival of large-scale dairy operations, primarily in western Kansas. Milk production has doubled since 1994 and grown more than 25% in the last five years. There are now 290 dairies in the state, milking 154,000 cows. Milk production was valued at more than $532 million in 2016, according to figures...
Lost Creek Supply 2017 FHSU Emerging Business

Friday, August 25, 2017

“We have an older community but there are a lot of young people coming back to the area,” said Kaid Bauman as he is among a new generation of emerging business owners. Lost Creek Supply started with a building, a market in the community, and a need for flexibility and family. Kaid was referred to the KSBDC and he remembers he initial meeting, “I learned so much from just sitting and talking for that hour.” Now the farm supply store is open and doing better than they had expected. Kaid says the best things about being an entrepreneur is being your own...
REV-E3 2017 FHSU Emerging Business

Friday, August 25, 2017

After working with technology for over 15 years between the Army and in the civilian world, it took a research paper to spark the start of REV-E3. Tony Salcido saw the market gap in not only the disposing of electronic waste but also the reusability of the components and the metals from printers, computers, and other electronic equipment normally sent to the landfill. While pursuing his degree in Network Security, he wrote a research paper on electronic waste that moved him to continue researching the subject and to start an e-waste business. Thanks to other area e-waste vendors, he had...
Massage Therapist Returns Home to Lincoln County

Friday, August 04, 2017

Originally published for the Lincoln Sentinel, "Hayworth at home as massage therapist" By Jennifer McDaniel As a student-athlete at Lincoln High School, Tori Hayworth often pulled or strained a muscle. But those injuries, Hayworth thought, were just the price she paid to play the game. And after a while, she learned to work through the pain. Years later, as a certified massage therapist, Hayworth wishes she would’ve known the benefits of soft-tissue massage in helping her recover faster and get back in the game. Soft tissue methods like massage target muscles, tendons, ligaments or other connective tissue such as fascia, which helps with pain, swelling...
PRIDE Community Partner Award Winner Given in Natoma

Friday, August 04, 2017

Dawn Phileger, a volunteer with the Natoma PRIDE Program has been honored for her work in the community.    Phileger was named a winner of the 2016 PRIDE Community Partner Award, given by the Kansas PRIDE program, a partnership of K-State Research and Extension, the Kansas Department of Commerce, Kansas PRIDE, Inc. and the Kansas Masons. Natoma PRIDE is fortunate to have Dawn as a volunteer for numerous reasons. Some projects and activities she has been involved in are as followed: Raising funds for the planting of several trees in the City Park.   Secured grant money for the complete renovation of the City...
BestColleges.com Recognizes Fort Hays State University - Excellence in Education

Monday, July 10, 2017

BestColleges.com, an independent organization focusing on college planning resources and rankings, recently released their annual rankings of the top online colleges and college programs in the nation for 2017.  Non-profit schools & school programs are ranked using information derived from the National Center for Education Statistics.  Rankings are calculated using 3 weighted categories: academic quality, affordability & online programming; over 2,100 colleges offering degree programs online are considered. Fort Hays State University of Hays, Kansas has been featured on an unprecedented 15 rankings this year, the 6th most featured college in the country!  This accomplishment speaks to the breadth & quality...
Boot Hill Distillery's whiskey named best in state at competition

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Original story from High Plains Public Radio, found here.  After being in business for less than a year, the Boot Hill Distillery is at it again - winning awards - this time for its whiskey. Just a few months after the Dodge City, Kansas startup received a bronze medal for its vodka, it received another couple of awards for its Red Eye Whiskey.   In a phone interview with High Plains Public Radio Friday, Mark Vierthaler, director of marketing and distiller at Boot Hill Distillery, said the company’s Red Eye Whiskey was named the Best in Kansas and received a bronze medal during...
Stafford County Economic Development Part of a Local Foundation Learning Network

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

?In April, Golden Belt Community Foundation was selected as a participant for the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship and the Aspen Institute's Rural Economic Development Philanthropy Innovators Network (REDPIN). Stafford County Economic Development's Staff member, Carolyn Dunn assisted Golden Belt Community Foundation with their application earlier this year. Dunn is part of Golden Belt Community Foundation's core team for this networking opportunity that will take them around the Country learning from other foundations. This will be an 18-month peer learning network exploring philanthropy's role in rural economic development.  From Golden Belt Community Foundation's Spring 2017 Newsletter: GBCF Accepted Into Rural Economic Development Philanthropy Innovators Network...
White's Foodliner Signs Letter of Intent to Open Grocery Store in St. John

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Original story found here. Stafford County Economic Development and the City of St. John announced today that a Letter of Intent with White’s Foodliner has been signed to establish a grocery store in St. John. The Letter of Intent outlines the expectation to enter into a 10 year lease to operate a grocery store provided that conditions are met, principally to finance and construct a building that contains features recommended in two feasibility studies. “We had a group of citizens who met for many months to consider the best options for our town. The grocery committee considered White’s Foodliner to be the...
Curtis Machine receives new product award

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Some hardware was handed out at the annual Western Kansas Manufacturer’s Association banquet dinner. Curtis Machine Company, Inc., received the WKMA 2017 New Product of the Year Award for their new Curtis Machine Model 214 stainless steel 1:1 spiral bevel gearbox. John Curtis accepted the award on behalf of Curtis Machine from WKMA president Eddie Estes. Designed to operate in the most caustic of environments, the Curtis Machine Model 214 stainless steel 1:1 spiral bevel gearbox with its 316 stainless steel housing and caps, is designed to be corrosion resistant to many of the applications where salt water is present or caustic wash...
Marketing grants awarded

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Eight marketing grants were awarded by the Dodge City Convention and Visitors Bureau. The grants were approved by a Special Grant Committee that is made up of members of the Dodge City community and totaled $11,932 to be used for projects promoting events and attractions in Dodge City. The grants were received by Brothers of the Third Wheel Event; Central Station Street Dance Event; Dodge City Public Library, Tom Clavin Event; Ford County Fair; Kansas Pro Rodeo Finals; Dodge City Days; Boot Hill Museum 70th Anniversary Event and Women’s Ranch Rodeo World Finals. The grants are a tool to be used to reach...
Tiger Burgers looks to be opened by June 25

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

As they have bounced ideas off each another, brothers David and Jacob Proffitt knew there was one thing each of them especially want their new restaurant to be — a tribute to Hays. Born and raised in the Hays area, the two have had their hand in many businesses, franchise restaurants in particular as investors. They never really had been in a situation, though, where the design and the imagination of what such a place could be like was their own. “This will be the first time, instead of just being the backers, we actually decide what we want to do,” David...
181 Ag Supply Receives Funding for Business Development

Monday, May 15, 2017

A Sylvan Grove business is among five recipients of the Kansas Department of Commerce JumpStart Kansas Entrepreneur Program. The program provides $5,000 grants to encourage business growth while enhancing the entrepreneurial spirit throughout the state. “These entrepreneurs, and the communities that support them, are vital to the health and growth of our state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem,” Steve Radley, president and chief executive officer of NetWork Kansas, said. “Each of these companies exhibit characteristics of innovation, growth and local impact.” The Lincoln County business, 181 Ag Supply, was awarded the grant earlier this month to assist with further growth and development. The local business provides agricultural supplies...
Eagle Communications Upgrade a go in St. Francis

Monday, May 15, 2017

Story originally published here. Eagle Communications announced this week a major milestone had been reached in the planned broadband upgrades project in the community of St. Francis, a move that will bring high-speed internet access to residents and businesses. Eagle, working alongside with the St. Francis Internet Committee volunteers, reached 210 early signups, meaning the upgrade will proceed as planned. "The support of the community of St. Francis has been simply amazing,' said Travis Kohlrus, Eagle Communications General Manager. "With the signup milestone reached, Eagle is moving as quickly as possible to bring St. Francis fast, reliable and affordable broadband access." Beginning in May,...
Land Purchased for New Grocery in St. John

Monday, May 15, 2017

Stafford County Economic Development recently purchased land for the construction of a grocery store facility on U.S. Highway 281 and Fifth Avenue in St. John. A feasibility study was conducted last fall to determine whether the old Dillons building on the Square would be suitable for another grocer. The study shows that weekly sales would be 41% higher in a bigger facility located on the major U.S. highway. For the time being, LJ&J Automotive currently at this location will remain open until definite dates for the construction of a new grocery facility are determined. The existing building will be demolished and LJ&J...
NetWork Kansas Announces Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge Results

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (YEC) State Championship, featuring high school and middle school students from 29 schools across Kansas, awarded young entrepreneurs with over $11,000 in prize money on Monday at Fort Hays State University. The winner of the state championship and a $5,000 prize was Christian Calliham with CT Feeds. Calliham is in 12th grade at Colby High School. CT Feeds is an operating business that provides nutritious feed and custom-tailored coaching for show livestock in northwest Kansas. Thirty-three businesses consisting of 48 students presented their entrepreneurship concepts on Monday. Student teams submitted a written executive summary and presented elevator pitches...
New Pharmacy Coming to St. John

Monday, May 15, 2017

Original story and video from KSN found here. For residents in St. John, picking up prescriptions hasn’t been easy. “Right now, we go to Great Bend to Dillons,” said Kayla Killinger Holly Miller said she also goes to Great Bend to get her prescriptions at Walmart. The owners of Medical Arts Pharmacy in Pratt saw the need for a local pharmacy and jumped at the opportunity. “We’re hoping to expand our business here and open up a store in St. John to service the whole Stafford County area,” said Allison Freeze, co-owner of Medical Arts Pharmacy. “Hopefully that will be something that’s going into place...
New Rooks County MRI Nuclear Med Addition Complete

Monday, May 15, 2017

The MRI and Nuclear Medicine Suite is now open and operational at Rooks County Health Center in Plainville. An Open House was held on April 12 at 2 pm, with COO Bill Stahl welcoming visitors, local officials, contractors, and other guests. Stahl emphasized the importance of the addition by simply saying, “This was a huge, huge goal for us.” CEO Mike Sinclair also spoke saying, “The MRI came about because of Radiology Director, Karen Harris. Karen is the one who did all the research on the machine.” Sinclair said that with the mobile MRI, we were seeing about 7 patients per week. With the...
Sake 2 Me and Brew Bar share new location

Monday, May 15, 2017

When Sake 2 Me opened in downtown Hays approximately five and a half years ago, Mike Huskey, hoped it would be well-received. “I thought there was a small market for it,” the owner said. “I did it because I felt the small market would be enough to make it run.” However, it soon was clear the market was bigger than what he originally thought. “For the first six months, we had lines out the door,” Huskey said. “It was actually insane.” Huskey said he wasn’t expecting that. In the beginning, it was just him rolling sushi — a craft he taught himself. “It wasn’t exactly...
Stafford County Ranks 22nd in State Health Rankings

Monday, May 15, 2017

For 2017, Stafford County ranks 22nd in the state, compared to the approximately 100 other Kansas counties, an increase from last year in the 2016 County Health Rankings (33rd).  For 2017, Johnson County still ranks as the healthiest county in Kansas and Labette County ranked as the least healthy county, according to the eighth annual County Health Rankings, from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI). The Rankings are available at www.countyhealthrankings.org.  The Rankings are an easy-to-use snapshot comparing the health of nearly every county in the nation. The local-level data allows each state...
Twig & Vine Opens in Stockton

Monday, May 15, 2017

Stockton’s newest business, Twig & Vine, opened their door on Tuesday, March 14 at 406 Main (formerly Central Veterinary Clinic). Co-owners Denae Denio-Odle and Steven Mongeau are quick to say it’s not just a flower shop since they will be offering more than just fresh and silk flower arrangements. There will be unique gift items not available anywhere else but in Stockton, such as candy bouquets, balloons, and an artisan chocolate line. Hazel Hill Chocolate is owned by Nick and Terry Xidis of Topeka, where all the fine chocolate and confectioneries are made by hand by Nick, a third generation chocolatier. Denae will also continue to...
5 Businesses Receive Funding from NetWork Kansas During April

Thursday, May 04, 2017

During the month of April, five new businesses received NetWork Kansas funding through the E-Community program. Congratulations!  Business Name  City  Funding  Program  Partner or E-Community  Thirsty's, LLC  Hays  E-Community  Ellis County E-Community  Advantage  Marketing, Inc.  Wichita  E-Community  Wichita Urban E-Community  Mayfield Electric,  LLC  Winfield  E-Community  Cowley Co. E-Community  Big Ben's  Automotive,  Inc.  Emporia  E-Community  Lyon Co. E-Community  Absolute Auto Care  Leavenworth  E-Community  Grow Leavenworth County  Development Corp. Loan Pays Off Four businesses reached a milestone this month when they paid off their E-Community and StartUp Kansas loans in full. Congratulations to the following businesses: - Blue Skye Brewery & Eats, LLC in Salina for paying off its Salina E-Community loan. - First Class Auto Design in Hoisington for paying off its StartUp Kansas loan. - Kindscher's Mule Barn in Hoisington for paying off...
Cloud County Health Center Launches Fundraising Campaign To Support New Urgent Care/Stat Care Clinic In Concordia

Monday, May 01, 2017

Cloud County Health Center President of Operations Cherri Waites has announced the start of a fundraising campaign to establish an urgent care/stat care clinic on US Highway 81 in Concordia. The planned urgent care clinic would be a dedicated medical facility away from the Family Care Center and the Cloud County Health Center in Concordia that would primarily treat injuries or illnesses requiring immediate care, but don't require a visit to the emergency room. The hospital's goal is to have the clinic open 12-hours a day, 7-days a week. No determination has been made on an exact location for the clinic. Hours...
NETWORK KANSAS ANNOUNCES YOUTH ENTREPRENEURSHIP CHALLENGE STATE CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Hays, Kan. - Hays, KS - The Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (YEC) State Championship, featuring high school and middle school students from 29 schools across Kansas, awarded young entrepreneurs with over $11,000 in prize money at Fort Hays State University. The winner of the state championship and a $5,000 prize was Christian Calliham with CT Feeds. Calliham is in 12th grade at Colby High School. CT Feeds is an operating business that provides nutritious feed and custom-tailored coaching for show livestock in northwest Kansas.    Thirty-three businesses consisting of 48 students presented their entrepreneurship concepts. Student teams submitted a written executive summary and presented elevator pitches...
How Do You Attract Entrepreneurs to a Small Town?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Erik Pedersen is the vice president of entrepreneurship for SourceLink’s Kansas community, NetWork Kansas. Along with Steve Radley, Erik built NetWork Kansas from the ground up, with special attention to really listening to the needs of both entrepreneurs and community partners.  Erik’s initial task was the development and growth of the NetWork Kansas referral center. His responsibilities have grown to oversee the Entrepreneurship (E-) Community partnership. This partnership, which has grown to 59 E-Communities, includes an injection of capital raised locally through the NetWork Kansas Entrepreneurship Tax Credit Program to help start and grow businesses in rural Kansas communities. Below, he talks about...
KDOT Announces Kansas Airport Improvement Projects

Monday, April 17, 2017

Twenty-six airports have been selected for Kansas Airport Improvement Program funding to repair or improve facilities and enhance air ambulance access. The projects selected for this Kansas Department of Transportation program will receive a combined total of just over $4 million in fiscal year 2018. KAIP requires airport sponsors to share in the project costs by paying a minimum of five percent of the total project costs up to a maximum of 50 percent, depending on project category (such as modernization, equipment, design, and preservation). The combined total value of the approved projects is estimated at $4.45 million. Transportation Secretary Richard Carlson selected...
New Wayfinding Signs installed in Lincoln

Monday, April 17, 2017

After months of work and years of discussion, six new wayfinding signs have popped up throughout Lincoln in an effort to help visitors have an easier time finding their way around town. Initiated by members of the 2015-16 Leadership Lincoln County class, the idea served as the group’s community project, said Kelly Larson, class member and Lincoln County Economic Development director. As part of the annual program, each leadership class commits to developing and completing a community project it sees as needed to improve the county and further county goals. During the past 15 years, the leadership program has helped local residents increase their...
Synata Bio Finalizes Hugoton Abengoa Purchase

Monday, April 17, 2017

Wednesday, December 7, several members of the community gathered for an introduction to the buyers of the former Abengoa plant west of Hugoton. Karl Hoffman, Bill Horoszko and Martin Westerhuis with Synata Bio were on hand to announce their purchase of Abengoa’s last remaining asset in the United States. Synata Bio’s $48.5 million bid beat out Shell Oil’s bid of $40.75 million in the auction November 29. The sale was finalized Thursday, December 8. The group gathering for the meeting included Stevens County Economic Development Director Neal Gillespie, Commissioners Pat Hall and Joe D. Thompson, Commissioner – Elect Tron Stegman, City...
Three Amigos Mexican Restaurant opens in Downtown Lincoln

Monday, April 17, 2017

Just two months after the Sunrise Café closed its doors, the Three Amigos Mexican Restaurant opened in its place on March 1st bringing authentic Mexican flavors to the county.  Tacos, burritos, enchiladas and other traditional Mexican dishes are on the menu along with lunch specials, combination dinners and house specialties – many of which are family recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation. Ricard Hernandez, owner who grew up in Guadalajara, Mexico, isn’t new to the restaurant business. He currently operates Yopo’s Mexican Restaurant in Osborne. While Hernandez has been on-hand during the first few weeks of being open, he will eventually turn...
Tiny campers highlight outdoor market

Monday, April 17, 2017

ABILENE — Something old, something new and restored tiny campers could help nearly double the population of Abilene on Saturday. About 6,000 people are expected to attend the Vintage Camper Show and Reitz and Rust Outdoor Market, said organizer Jenn Reitz. “People come from all over,” she said. “It’s a crazy weekend.” “People are looking for treasures,” she said. “We have old and junky and new and trendy.” Those people converge on the fairgrounds in Eisenhower Park in Abilene, a town of 6,558 people, to visit more than 150 vendors and 10 food trucks and to ogle over the old campers. Continue to full article. 
Mid-Continent Energy Exchange announces appointment of COO

Friday, April 14, 2017

Mid- Continent Energy Exchange, a company which provides a live auction and a 24/7 internet auction platform for oil and gas assets, has hired Sarah Krehbiel as Chief Operating Officer effective April 10. Krehbiel is the third generation of her family in the oil patch. She began her career at New Mexico Independent, Yates Petroleum Corporation, and went on to work on growing businesses on the service side, specializing in drilling fluids and directional and horizontal drilling. Krehbiel is a Pretty Prairie native who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology at Kansas State University. Mid-Continent Energy Exchange was created to assist working...
RCH gives visitors look at new phase of expansion

Thursday, April 13, 2017

In 23 years working at the Rooks County Health Center, Bill Stahl has seen a lot of changes. He remembers the challenges faced when the hospital was located in the heart of Plainville, then the excitement of land being donated just outside the town limits where a new building could be constructed. On Wednesday afternoon, Stahl, the COO of RCH, stood in front of a group of approximately 30 visitors to introduce the grand opening of their new MRI and Nuclear Medicine Suite. The new part is the completion of the first phase of the hospital’s expansion. “It’s really exciting,” Stahl said....
Small businesses receive awards

Friday, March 31, 2017

The Kansas Small Business Development Center statewide network recognized 17 small businesses across the state in the 2017 Existing, Emerging and Exporting Businesses of the Year ceremony in Topeka. The winners were selected from more than 2,000 businesses that received Kansas SBDC one-on-one advising services in 2016. Each of the eight Kansas SBDC regional centers selected one emerging and one existing business for the award. One business received the Kansas SBDC Exporter of the Year for 2017. Area businesses recognized included Heartland Mill, Inc., of Marienthal. Continue to original article. 
Swift High Grade Ammunition Made in Western Kansas

Monday, March 27, 2017

Original story by John Zent appeared in American Rifleman on February 21, 2017 can be found here. One thing many African professional hunters agree on is that the very best bullets for stopping dangerous game come from a modest workshop located halfway around the globe in Quinter, Kan. Bonded and bolstered by an internal cross-member, the Swift A-Frame expands to double its diameter and yet routinely retains 90-plus percent of its weight while smashing deeply through elephant, buffalo and hippo anatomy. Among safari aficionados, that consistency has elevated the A-Frame to the rarefied status of best British express rifles. The problem, however, is that...
WKREDA Ag Committee Attends World Ag Expo

Friday, March 17, 2017

  The wKREDA Ag Committee, along with our partners, the Kansas Department of Agriculture and Kansas Dairy Association, attended the World Ag Expo in Tulare, Calif., February 14-16. WKREDA was organized in 1994 as a grassroots effort to promote economic development in 46 counties of western Kansas. Communities involved have moved from competing with each other to combining their resources to recruit for the region. Since the organization began recruiting dairies to Western Kansas, the area has seen a major increase in dairy cows.  This has also created an increase in veterinarians, feed suppliers and equipment dealers. Participants included Lona DuVall, Finney County Economic Development Corporation; Debbie Harris, Dodge City/Ford County Development Corporation; Nikki Pfannenstiel, wKREDA; Billy...
Effort Begins to Preserve Buildings in Denmark

Thursday, March 16, 2017

As Debra Parmenter reaches the crest of the hill, she brings her white SUV to a stop along the dusty, country road. For just a moment, she pauses to take in the view. “As I come over this hill, I just have a sense of peace and belonging,” Parmenter says, looking across the sweeping dale. “And I think about the early settlers, mostly of Danish descent, and how they looked down across this valley, and how it reminded them of their homeland. That’s why they named it Denmark. It reminded them a lot of the topography of the area they were from.” Soon,...
Ford County Announces Winners of Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Original story written by Vincent Marshall appeared on February 23, 2017 in the Dodge City Globe. Story can be found here. For the first time in Dodge City, the Youth Entrepreneurship Competition winners were named as part of the Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge series. Canyon and Amber Laskowsky were named the first place recipients of $1,500 and a spot in the state competition held in Hays on April 24. Amber, a senior at Dodge City High School and Canyon, a sophomore, made their business presentation on drone aerial photography. The business model was for real estate, insurance companies and other uses for drone footage. "Canyon is...
Ladies Lead the Way at YEC 2017 in Wichita County

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Four teams of talented young women presented their business ideas to six different judges on Thursday, February 23 at Wichita County High School during the Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge 2017.  A partnership with Wichita County Economic Development, Greeley County Community Development and NetWork Kansas, the Wichita County Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge is in its 4th year. “I’m so pleased with the level of competition and leadership the teams brought to the table this year.“ YEC Coordinator and WCED Director Diana Kirk said of the competition, “All of the teams worked hard on their business ideas. I was pleased because they chose business ideas...
Lincoln strives to keep Honest Abe's legacy alive

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Excerpt taken from story originally published on February 11, 2017 in The Salina Journal. Full story found here. For nearly three decades, the people of Lincoln have been doing their part to keep Honest Abe’s memory alive. About 100 Lincoln impersonators, aficionados and just plain curious onlookers gathered Saturday at the Lincoln County Courthouse for the 27th annual Lincoln Reenactment. “It got to the point where the people of Lincoln got to the point they forgot who they were named for,” said Marilyn Helmer, coordinator of the Lincoln Reenactment Committee, about how the event began. “There was a gap that needed filling.” Jack Crispin,...
Animal Hospital expansion hosts open house

Friday, March 03, 2017

The Animal Hospital in Plainville hosted an open house to show off their new large animal expansion to the public.  A large crowd enjoyed the free food and a look at the area that will efficiently handle large animals, and also have additional office and work space for the staff. Dr. Lauren Mack, DVM, came to Plainville in in May of 2014, acquiring the practice from longtime resident Dr. Armin Kelly.  Less than three years later, Mack has expanded the business, and added additional staff.  “We saw the need and our facilities are older, and earned their keep for a number of years,...
Bosselman Energy Cuts Ribbon on New Facility in Plainville

Friday, February 10, 2017

Bosselman Energy officially opened their new $2.5 million facility in Plainville with a ribbon cutting on Friday, December 9, 2016.  The new facility is located at 200 NE 6th Street, along U.S. Highway 183 in north Plainville.  The former Turnbull Oil facility in downtown Plainville is still operational at this time as well. The new facility incorporates state-of-the-art technology; 100,000 gallons of fuel storage; and a Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) Dispenser.  The facility includes a 12,500 square foot building with a shop, a warehouse and office, plus seven bulk fuel storage tanks that hold more than 100,000 gallons of refined petroleum products. ...
New Rooks County Jail Creates New Jobs

Friday, February 10, 2017

Many counties in the state of Kansas are struggling with housing inmates, mostly because of either overcrowding or outdated facilities that do not meet minimum requirements.  Rooks County no longer fits into that category with the opening of their new jail facility on December 13, 2016. The new facility will not only house over 20 inmates, but will also provide a level of security that was seriously lacking at the old jail.  Housed in the new building will be the Rooks County Sheriff and officers, jailers and dispatchers, as well as the Emergency Management department.  The former jail was located on the...
Connecting job-seekers with businesses

Monday, January 16, 2017

"A well-trained workforce is critical to small-business success. What I hear from business is that it's hard to find help that meets their needs." ~ Jon Tester, Senator from Montana Finding good employees is a challenge for businesses and finding a good job is a challenge for job seekers. That’s why wKREDA is working to create a bridge between the two groups. The “We Have Jobs” initiative promotes the Western Kansas Jobs website, which features detailed information about opportunities in 55 counties in western Kansas. This website is a valuable one-stop-shop for job seekers and for those interested in advertising jobs. Visit the...
Stafford County EcoDevo Awarded $100,000 Moderate Income Housing Grant

Friday, January 13, 2017

Stafford County residents may notice an increase in new housing construction after Stafford County Economic Development was awarded a $100,000 Moderate Income Housing grant through the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation.   This grant will provide $25,000 down-payment assistance for four individuals or families to construct a new house.  Buyers will have the option to choose between three house plans that range from 1,098 sq. ft. to 1,250 and cost $170,000 to construct. Each plan includes three bedrooms and 2 bathrooms on the main level and an unfinished basement with roughed in plumbing and two egress windows that would allow two more bedrooms...
Between Friends: Conversations evolve into clothing boutique

Friday, January 13, 2017

By Jennifer McDaniel, for the Lincoln Sentinel Best friends Haley Richards and Mandy Burger long-considered the idea of opening their own clothing boutique, but hadn’t pursued it. While working together at 181 Ag Supply in Sylvan Grove, the two would spend hours contemplating what clothing lines and accessories they would carry. But life got in the way, and the notion remained just that. But eventually, they decided to take the leap earlier this year. And in a matter of months, the Sylvan Grove women developed such a following they had to find a retail location close to home to meet the growing demand. This past weekend, Richards...
NetWork Kansas Sponsors 2016-2017 Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge Series

Friday, January 13, 2017

NetWork Kansas' Entrepreneurship (E-) Community Partnership announces the 2016-2017 Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (YEC) Series. The YEC Series consists of local-level youth entrepreneurship competitions hosted by volunteers. The goal of the competition is to expose Kansas middle school and high school students to entrepreneurship. Twenty-two local events in Kansas cities and counties will culminate in a state championship hosted at Fort Hays State University on April 24, 2017.   "The YEC is an opportunity for our students to get away from the textbook and apply real world skills to finding a way to impact our local economy with their rural business concepts. I am...
Reversing brain drain in western Kansas

Monday, January 09, 2017

“Brain drain” is common phenomenon in rural areas. Young people leave their small hometowns to go to college. After they get degrees, they don’t usually return home—they go where the job opportunities are, which tends to hurt rural economies. wKREDA wants to help reverse brain drain in western Kansas. With our “We Have Jobs” initiative, we’ve been successfully recruiting natives back to the region. The idea is to connect potential employees with businesses that need workers. The Western Kansas Jobs website is an excellent resource for exploring job opportunities across the western portion of Kansas. Check it out: http://www.wkreda.com/wkreda/western-kansas-jobs
Spurring innovation among younger entrepreneurs

Monday, January 02, 2017

Colleges and universities have long included entrepreneurial academic programs that focus on teaching business skills and inspiring start-ups. But a recent article by Entrepreneur magazine suggests that programs geared towards junior high students could have an even wider impact. Studying entrepreneurship can impart important lessons in critical thinking and creative problem solving as well as self-sufficiency. The Kansas Entrepreneurship Challenge gives high school and college students from Kansas real-world experience in the process of putting together a business proposal. The Challenge also rewards the best business ideas. This year, more than $10,000 was awarded to student entrepreneurs. Learn more about this innovative...
Grow the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Just imagine, the air crackles with excitement as students set up in the gymnasium. Teenagers nervously hold notecards, rehearsing and reviewing key points as judges huddle together, deliberating about the previous participant’s business idea. Down the hall, another student paces, waiting their turn for the elevator pitch. Weeks of preparation have brought the students and community members together for your annual local Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge. Every student has identified a business need in your community, something that energizes them, and paints a vision of a possible future in rural Kansas. Through the E-Community Partnership, your leadership team is offering students...
Growing Rural Businesses Results in Entrepreneurial and Professional Growth

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Growing Rural Businesses is a course offered by Wichita State University and sponsored by NetWork Kansas designed to meet the needs of small town business owners who are ready to grow. This course is only offered a handful of times per year on a competitive basis. After hearing many great things, I decided to take the class. I was curious how different the course would be from my college business classes. What I got was a wonderful experience filled with many great lessons and real world applications about entrepreneurship from experts in each field. Each session was approximately three hours long,...
Resource Network Helps Rural Businesses Grow

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Entrepreneurs drive community and economic development no matter where they are located, but entrepreneurs and small business owners in rural areas face different challenges than entrepreneurs in more populated areas. Because resources are often scarcer in rural areas than in urban centers, regional partnerships are vital to sustaining and growing small businesses in rural communities. Cooperation among local businesses also helps, said Simone Elder, manager of rural entrepreneurship, western region, for NetWork Kansas. “Even though you may be competing for some customers’ dollars, you really are in this together,” Elder said. “Having a strong network of references within a community is...
Rural Business Owners Work On Their Businesses—Not Just In Them

Thursday, December 29, 2016

NetWork Kansas presented the Growing Rural Businesses entrepreneurial certificate program in Scott City this fall. Western Kansas-based entrepreneurs and small business owners from Scott City, Leoti and Dighton participated in the eight-week course in October and November. Wichita State University’s Center for Entrepreneurship developed the program, and WSU instructors and other experts taught the weekly seminars. Katie Eisenhour, economic developer and executive director for Scott County Development Committee, Inc., said 22 entrepreneurs representing a variety of rural businesses in the area participated in the Scott City program. Some participants have only been in business for a couple of years or are...
Thirty Thomas, Riley And Pottawatomie County Residents Participate In Ice House Entrepreneurship Program

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Thomas County Economic Development Alliance, Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce and Pottawatomie County Economic Development Corporation, in association with the Network Kansas E-Community Partnership, hosted the Ice House Entrepreneurship Program in Colby and Manhattan this fall. Twelve participants from Thomas County and eighteen participants from Riley and Pottawatomie Counties attended the course. The course teaches participants to develop an entrepreneurial mindset. "Becoming an entrepreneur can be isolating and as companies grow, it can take a toll on the founders. I think this program will have ripple effects for the rest of the Manhattan and Wamego communities," said Ted Kriwiel, NetWork Kansas...
2016 YEAR IN REVIEW: The Broadway Plaza, a New Programmable Public Event Space, Opens in Downtown Concordia

Thursday, December 29, 2016

From December 19th through January 3rd, KNCK News will take a look back at 2016, recapping the top stories, events, and more from the year that was. On September 23, 2016, the Concordia community gathered for the Grand Opening Celebration of the Broadway Plaza, a new outdoor programmable public event space at the corner of 6th and Broadway Streets in downtown Concordia. The opening, which was held the night before Concordia's Annual Fall Fest celebration, occurred eight months after the City of Concordia broke ground on the project. Click here for the complete article.
C&V Home Improvement buys Kansas Doors & Exteriors

Thursday, December 29, 2016

When Matt Hoisington recently learned about an opportunity to expand his business, he didn’t hesitate for long. Hoisington, owner of C & V Home Improvement Inc., has purchased Kansas Doors & Exteriors Inc. from Jim Gretz. The new venture is Kansas Doors, a subsidiary of C & V Home Improvement; it was official Dec. 12. Click here to view the complete article.
Central Care Cancer Center recognized

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Central Care Cancer Center has received the Champion of Farmworkers Award from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Kansas Statewide Farmworker Health Program. The KSFHP is a voucher program that helps uninsured and underinsured migrant and seasonal farmworkers in Kansas obtain access to medical care. Dr. Claudia Perez-Tamayo, president of Central Care Cancer Center, thanked the organization for the award. “Without KSFH and our allegiance, we could not serve the community that we pledge to do. We will always give the best of what we have without reservations and never ask about insurance when we are planning the patient’s health. We...
Cloud County Community College Recognizes Industry Partners

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Cloud County Community College recognized nine businesses with Kansas Board of Regents Employer Engagement Initiative awards during a ceremony Friday, Dec. 9. Launched in 2013, the KBOR Employer Engagement Initiative recognizes business and industry partnerships with education. The initiative provides a platform for community and technical colleges to recognize key employers for contributions to the institution, program and students. Colleges nominate employers at one of three levels -- supporter, partner and champion. Each level carries a different distinction, as well as different levels of contribution to a program by the employer. Cloud County nominated nine businesses involved in its nursing, agriculture and wind...
Frank's Computer Shop ribbon cutting

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Frank's Computer Shop, 1014 W. Mary St., is holding a ribbon cutting from 3 to 5:30 p.m. Monday. There will be drawings for prizes and refreshments, and a chance to win three months of free internet. Click here for the complete article.
K-State Study Shows Shorter, More Frequent Breaks Help Sedentary Workers

Thursday, December 29, 2016

A sedentary lifestyle increases certain health risks, including obesity, diabetes, some types of cancer and cardiovascular disease. That's concerning for those who have desk jobs. New research from Kansas State University finds workers benefit more from taking short breaks throughout the day rather than just one or two long breaks. K-State assistant professor in the department of food, nutrition, dietetics and health, Sara Rosenkranz, says that in the typical sedentary workplace it might not be possible to take two 15-minute breaks and that taking just a quick break by standing or using some other work-related task to be active might be...
Kansas Engineering: A Sophisticated Design

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Engineering is a bright and fundamental sector of the Kansas economy and business climate. In Kansas, a greater percentage of the population are engineers than in the rest of the nation. Kansas has strengths in certain engineering specialties including, aerospace engineering, industrial engineering and agricultural engineering. “Engineering businesses in Kansas help provide the state with workers who are skilled in technological and innovative manufacturing and design,” said Kansas Commerce Secretary Antonio Soave. “This helps to recruit engineers and businesses to the state, as well as attract investment from other states and countries.” Click here for the complete article.
New athletic training facility celebrates grand opening

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Fieldhouse, a new athletic training facility located at 2817 9th Street in Great Bend, recently celebrated its grand opening with a Chamber ribbon cutting ceremony in early December. The converted warehouse has been totally renovated to include a full hardwood basketball court, two batting cages, over 10,000 square feet of turf area, an expansive strength and conditioning area, as well as a business wing with office space for small businesses. Click here for the complete article.
Reflection Living breaks ground

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The ground breaking for the new Reflection Living senior living facility took place in November with construction starting immediately after. The new facility is located just north of Trinity Manor on 6th Avenue that will bring unique care to residents which is different from a traditional nursing home. "Construction is working on getting as much done before any bad weather comes in," Dennis Wright with Home Partners Plus said. "Conant Construction has been doing a great job and will work on it as best they can. Click here for the complete article.
Retail development, CID approvals in 2016 important for community

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The year 2016 has been a big one in the way of development in the city of Hays. In January, the Hays City Commission discussed revisions to its Economic Development Policy — revisions that began approximately six months prior. These revisions defined the role the Ellis County Coalition for Economic Development would play in vetting and organizing proposals. Click here for the complete article.
Studio offers healing through harmonious approach

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Four former roommates, with a passion for martial arts and massage therapy, joined in business to encourage a harmonious lifestyle through their massage studio, Ways of Harmony, 206 W. Eighth. Bryan Snyder-Brown, owner, and Ben Cornwell, Eleanor Cornwell and Lane Carpenter, massage therapists, opened the massage studio in July. “All of us are martial artists, in addition to doing massage therapy,” Eleanor Cornwell said. Click here for the complete article.
Cultivating student entrepreneurs

Monday, December 26, 2016

Many universities give young adults the guidance and tools they need to explore creative ideas. Fort Hays State University in Kansas taking it a step further, it’s building a state-of-the-art entrepreneurship scholarship residence hall to cultivate innovation. The Dane G. Hansen Scholarship Hall will be one of only a handful of entrepreneurial focused residence halls in the nation. Set to open in Fall of 2016, it will host 32 students and will be equipped with the latest teaching and learning technologies. It will also feature spaces designed to stimulate teamwork and an incubator for student start-ups. “We're excited about having a facility...
Lincoln High School Offers Entrepreneurial Education

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Paw Print offers students entrepreneurial education By Jennifer McDaniel, for the Lincoln Sentinel A new program at Lincoln High School is not only giving students a chance to gain real-world experience, but an opportunity to pay it forward. The program, Paw Print, is a screen-printing business operated solely by high-school students. Led by business instructor Nikki Flinn and journalism instructor Jason Curtis, students are in charge of every aspect of the enterprise – from business and sales to final billing and invoicing. But that isn’t all. All printing, graphic design and production services are also overseen by students. “The main reason that we decided to start...
US Tower Begins Expansion in Lincoln

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

On Monday, November 21, 2016, various statewide economic development officials and local government leaders met with US Tower representatives in Lincoln to discuss the business’s expansion plans and to tour the facility. Travis Suelter, Vice President of US Tower Corp., told officials the business is quickly outgrowing its space in Lincoln and has broken ground to increase its manufacturing capacity, a press release from Lincoln County Economic Development Foundation director Kelly Larson said.  Concrete has already been removed from the building’s east entrance and dirt work has begun at the southwest corner of the facility. The expansion plans will result in new construction adding...
Growing businesses in the Sunflower State

Monday, December 19, 2016

Location is one of the big factors that can make or break a business. Kansas is fortunate to have many business-friendly attributes, including pro-business legislation, a central location, low business costs and a well-educated, motivated workforce. The Kansas Department of Commerce is dedicated to helping the Sunflower State create jobs and capital investment. The Department works with local businesses throughout the state in coordination with local Economic Development offices. Through these valuable partnerships, existing businesses are expanded and improved, while new ones are attracted. Find out more about the Department's business-oriented programs and services and find out how you can take advantage...
Learn and improve

Monday, December 12, 2016

With the everyday busyness of life today, it’s easy to feel detached from the rest of the world. But a recent Gallup poll indicates that volunteering in the community can counter this disconnect and can help boost an individual’s sense of purpose and build social relationships. In a small town like Garden City, Kansas, the difference made by community volunteers is readily apparent. The Neighborhood Improvement Project is a volunteer-driven effort that’s improving the area and quality of life for citizens in Garden City and Finney County. Projects include painting over graffiti and picking up garbage. Upwards of 1000 volunteers have spent...
Refurbishing main street is good for the economy

Monday, December 05, 2016

In the last few decades, malls and big box stores have brought us convenience but they've also decentralized our towns, weakening city centers. In recent years, there’s been a push to revitalize main streets, for the benefit of both business and community. Norton, Kansas is fortunate to have a wonderful downtown area that the National Historical Society approved as a National Historic District in 2011. There's a certain amount of prestige that comes with this designation. In addition, being on the National Historic Registry brings opportunities for entrepreneurs in the district.  Business owners who renovate approved buildings can qualify for preservation...
Larned Area Chamber to Host Love Local Day

Friday, December 02, 2016

Pawnee County is filled with passionate individuals who want the best for their community and their businesses. What better way to show your community and businesses that they matter than to love local?    Love Local is a specific day each month set aside to show some local love. The concept of Love Local is simple. Let’s take time to visit our businesses, show them they matter to us, learn more about what they do and spend some dollars there if possible. This is a great way to support our community and our local businesses. We challenge the community to share this...
Resource network helps rural businesses grow

Friday, December 02, 2016

Original story by Shauna Rumbaugh. Published November 28, 2016 in the High Plains Journal. Entrepreneurs drive community and economic development no matter where they are located, but entrepreneurs and small business owners in rural areas face different challenges than entrepreneurs in more populated areas. Because resources are often scarcer in rural areas than in urban centers, regional partnerships are vital to sustaining and growing small businesses in rural communities. Cooperation among local businesses also helps, said Simone Elder, manager of rural entrepreneurship, western region, for NetWork Kansas. “Even though you may be competing for some customers’ dollars, you really are in this...
Rural business owners work on their businesses—not just in them

Friday, December 02, 2016

Original story by Shauna Rumbaugh. Published on November 28, 2016 in the High Plains Journal.  NetWork Kansas presented the Growing Rural Businesses entrepreneurial certificate program in Scott City this fall. Western Kansas-based entrepreneurs and small business owners from Scott City, Leoti and Dighton participated in the eight-week course in October and November. Wichita State University’s Center for Entrepreneurship developed the program, and WSU instructors and other experts taught the weekly seminars. Katie Eisenhour, economic developer and executive director for Scott County Development Committee, Inc., said 22 entrepreneurs representing a variety of rural businesses in the area participated in the Scott City program....
Access valuable information about our region

Monday, November 28, 2016

Western Kansas has long been known for agricultural production, oil and gas exploration, natural gas processing and wind energy. In recent years, the dairy and telecommunications industries have also found niches in western Kansas. Our region has a host of business benefits and incentives that just about any industry will find attractive. A prime location in the center of the country, low manufacturing costs and a well-trained workforce are just a few of its positive attributes. Get more information about the wKREDA region, which includes 55 counties in western Kansas, on our website. Our Community Profiles tool allows you to customize demographic...
Facebook as a powerful news source

Monday, November 21, 2016

About 70 percent of people who use the Internet are on Facebook. And nearly half of young adults say they get their news from Facebook. That’s a massive audience and a powerful tool for reaching people. wKREDA uses Facebook to promote our many wonderful partners and members. It’s an excellent forum for sharing news about community growth and business successes. We also use our Facebook page to share information about jobs and events such as conferences, educational seminars and networking opportunities. We’d like people to engage with our page. Ask us questions. Give us your feedback. Tell us about relevant news so...
Building confident young entrepreneurs

Monday, November 14, 2016

An analysis by the Wall Street Journal shows that the number of young people starting businesses has reached a 24-year-low. This is worrisome because new businesses and ideas tend to spark overall innovation in our society. One reason behind this downward trend may be fear of failure. While it’s true that young people may not immediately have all the requisite skills and experience to succeed when starting a business venture, it’s important for them to know that help is available. Nex-Generation Round Up for Youth is a nonprofit that funds internships, scholarships, career development and entrepreneurship programs for youth in northwest and...
Working locally to revitalize the economy

Monday, November 07, 2016

“We need to preserve our neighborhoods, our small business, our local economy.” ~Maria Semple, author The national economy has been sluggish for some time. But there’s evidence to indicate that working at the local level to stimulate start-ups and small businesses is a worthwhile endeavor. The Norton County Neighborhood Revitalization Plan offers tax incentives to stimulate local economic growth by helping fund new construction and improvements to existing properties. Tax rebates for up to $150,000 in increased value are available for single-family residential properties. And the news is even better for businesses. There’s no limit on commercial, industrial or agricultural properties. Find...
Nex-Tech's Mendi Alexander Receives National Award

Friday, November 04, 2016

November 4, 2016: Congratulations to wKREDA Member Mendi Alexander; Nex-Tech, KS, on receiving the prestigious Presidents Award at the National Rural Economic Developers Association (NREDA) annual meeting. The award was presented by NREDA President, Trista Fugate and recognizes an individual's dedication and leadership to Rural America and the National Rural Economic Developers Association, as evidenced by a commitment of unending time, talent and expertise, and a vision for rural economic growth. Locally, Mendi serves as liaison between individuals, local businesses and area organizations interested in improving the economic climate of northwest Kansas. Thanks Mendi, for all you do!
The right location for your business

Monday, October 31, 2016

Choosing the right site for your business is no easy task. There is a broad range of characteristics to consider, from utilities to workforce and business climate. Typically, a great deal of research is needed to make an informed decision. wKREDA’s interactive website makes it easier for businesses, with a map that depicts available sites and a wealth of other useful data about the region. Find out crucial information about infrastructure, wages, taxes and other aspects of the western Kansas business climate. Check out demographic reports with important quality of life indicators such as climate, education, health care, housing and more. Visit...
A&Z Zumba opens downtown

Thursday, October 27, 2016

A&Z Zumba fitness studio opens Monday, Oct. 10, at 1911 Lakin Ave. in Great Bend. Owners Alma Renteria and Zila Torres are certified Zumba instructors. They will offer advanced and beginners classes, as well as a morning class for senior citizens. “Zumba is a fun way to do your cardio, Renteria said. It can also be a fun way to lose weight, as both women did. Click here for the complete article.
Doctor enjoys diversity

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Dr. Kristin Shields knew what she wanted and she got it. The new Dodge City physician, working with Western Plains Specialty Associates and Western Plains Medical Complex, ended up in western Kansas because she was searching for something unique. "When I was looking for a job, I put my information on a website and started receiving two million emails," Shields said. "I was using a standard reply to everyone I wanted a position where I could not only be an obstetrics-gynecologist, but a critical care doctor. Click here for the complete article.
Garden City's Best Western Plus wins award

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Garden City’s Best Western Plus Emerald Inn & Suites recently won the M.K. Guertin Award, one of only 27 Best Western properties in North America to win the award. Named after the Best Western’s founder, the M.K. Guertin Award is the top honor a Best Western branded hotel can receive. The award recognizes properties with exemplary performance in quality, guest satisfaction and dedication to its brand. Click here for the complet article.
JAG celebrates three years of success

Thursday, October 27, 2016

In its mission statement USD 382 says it will prepare students to graduate with skills to obtain a college degree, professional certificate and/or gainful employment. That starts at the elementary level and encompasses the entire curriculum. One class at the high school, however, makes college and career readiness and employability skills its main focus. JAG (Jobs for America's Graduates) celebrated its achievements at a pizza and ice cream sundae party this week, with students, their parents, and community partners in attendance. Click here for the complete article.
Kansas Energy Conference Has Successful Year

Thursday, October 27, 2016

The recent 2016 Kansas Energy Conference had a successful showing with 195 attendees and 51 exhibitors. The event focused on the latest developments in the renewable energy sector. Click here for the complete article.
MCPC announces grant award

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Solomon Valley Economic Development held the monthly meeting on Thursday in the North Central Regional Planning Commission basement meeting room. Mitchell County Partnership for Children (MCPC) Executive Director Brady Dean, accompanied by Kelly Shamburg, made a presentation to the group. The pair announced that MCPC was successful in being awarded a Kansas Early Childhood Block Grant (ECBG) through the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund for a three year cycle. The grant will benefit early childhood education which makes a long term local investment in children which is statistically shown to correlate with increased graduation rates, home ownership, lower incarceration rates,...
PHOTO GALLERY: Cloud County Event Center Ribbon Cutting & Open House

Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Cloud County Resource Council partnered with the Concordia Chamber of Commerce Monday, October 17th to host a Ribbon Cutting and Open House for the Cloud County Event Center, located at 107 W. 7th Street in Concordia. The newly renovated Event Center was formerly the Club 81 Youth Center in Concordia. Click here for the complete article.
PHOTO GALLERY: McDaniel Memorial Ribbon Cutting

Thursday, October 27, 2016

The McDaniel Memorial held a ribbon cutting for the new memorialist, Jessica Elliot. The event was held Saturday, October 15th at 2pm. Click here for the complete article.
PHS class develops marketing plan for Ducks Unlimited

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Sports Marketing students speak to the local Ducks Unlimited board to discuss ideas that they have been working on to help Ducks Unlimited to advertise their upcoming banquet. Students have been working on posters, table tents, Facebook posts, and organizing a duck pond for the upcoming football game against Holcomb Friday to gain awareness about the upcoming event. Students have also written and recorded radio spots to be to be featured on local radio stations. Click here for the complete article.
Sharp Performance Health & Fitness Holds Grand Opening Celebration

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Sharp Performance Health & Fitness in downtown Concordia held their Grand Opening Celebration on Saturday, October 1st. The new gym and training facility, which opened in August in the former Threads building, is owned by Jake Sharp and managed by Blaize Foltz and is located at 117 W. 6th Street. KNCK News was in attendance at the Grand Opening and spoke to Sharp about his decision to open the facility in Concordia. Click here for the complete article.
Growing the dairy industry in western Kansas

Monday, October 24, 2016

The dairy industry in western Kansas has seen phenomenal growth in the last two decades. There were zero large herd dairies in the area 20 years ago. Now, there are almost 200,000 head of dairy cattle in the western portion of the state. The region has an abundance of farmland, a favorable climate and low operational costs, which all contribute to this rise in livestock production. In addition, Kansas is the leader in the nation in wheat, sorghum grain and sorghum silage production—crops that benefit the dairy industry. Learn more about the Dairy Initiative and find out why western Kansas is ideal...
Storytelling through social media

Monday, October 17, 2016

Social media is a great resource for businesses. It’s a new way of telling your story in a personal way that can really resonate with customers. It can give them a window into the people behind a business or organization, which helps them connect to your brand. At wKREDA, we use the power of social media to communicate our goals and mission. We use it to promote area events. We especially love to share our community and business member successes, highlighting the people behind those successes whenever possible. Follow us on Twitter to keep up with wKREDA and our members! https://twitter.com/wKREDA1
Garden City Transload Facility Breaks Ground

Friday, October 14, 2016

Garden City’s transload facility is one step closer to reality. After breaking ground Monday, they are a bit behind schedule. The facility will be a hub to transfer goods from trucks and trains to the wider community. “There was a little bit of a delay, but our plan is to work six days a week instead of the five we had planned,” said Jim Orr, president of Transportation Partners & Logistics. It’s delayed by more than a month, but Orr still expects the project to be complete by December 1 as originally planned. Final approval came last Thursday, and Transportation Partners & Logistics quickly mobilized...
Kansas Air Tour Stops in Rooks County

Friday, October 14, 2016

The 2016 version of the Kansas Air Tour made a stop at Rooks County Regional Airport (RCP) on Thursday, September 29.  Nearly 30 planes made trip from Great Bend to RCP, which was the second leg on the first day of the three-day event.  The planes began arriving at around 1:15 p.m. and began departing at 2:30 p.m. to leave for their overnight stay in Dodge City.   Other stops on the tour included Scott City, Colby, Salina, Topeka, and Newton.  The tour began in Wellington. The purpose of the tour is educational, and over 150 elementary students from all of the...
Norton County Businesses Awarded Storefront Renewal Grants

Friday, October 14, 2016

Norton City/County Economic Development (NCCED) is pleased to announce each 2016 Storefront Renewal Program applicant will receive grant funding. In July the Norton County Community Foundation donated funds to the 2016 Storefront Renewal Program. The grants were available to non-profit and for-profit businesses located within Norton County. “The Norton County Community Foundation’s goal is to partner with entities in Norton County that share our vision of improvement, growth, and vibrancy. The Storefront Renewal Project allows NCCED to allocate funds to those businesses who want to make improvements for the betterment of their facilities and the community as a whole. I am excited...
Rooks County Construction Projects Move Forward

Friday, October 14, 2016

Several business expansion projects continue to move forward in Rooks County in 2016.  The newest projects to start are expansions at the Farmers Union Co-op in Stockton and a new building at the Plainville Livestock, LLC. With the anticipated record fall harvest, Farmer’s Union started construction of a new steel storage bin north of their existing bins.  In recent years, fall crops were stored on the ground south of the existing elevator.  Even with the new construction, it is expected ground storage will be needed this year. Plainville Livestock is constructing a new sale barn just east of their existing facility which has been in...
Boosting small business success

Monday, October 10, 2016

As of March 2014, there were more than 28.2 million small businesses operating in the United States. Sixty-three percent of the new jobs created from from 1993 to mid 2013 resulted from small businesses. Sadly, only half of small businesses last more than 5 years. That’s why start-ups need support. For more than 30 years, the Kansas Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has provided advice and training to tens of thousands of businesses throughout the state. SBDC helps small businesses accomplish key steps toward sustainability, like accessing capital and developing marketing and business plans. The Kansas SBDC is funded by tax dollars,...
Making affordable housing a reality in Dodge City

Monday, October 03, 2016

Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies issued its “State of the Nation’s Housing” report in June. Per the report, the vacancy rate in rental housing is lower than it has been since 1985 while the number of renters paying more than 30 percent of their incomes for housing has reached a record high. The Dodge City Housing Authority is working to make decent, safe and affordable housing a reality for lower income households in Dodge City, Kansas. The Housing Authority has several options for area families, including: 303 units of public housing, housing vouchers to help pay for private housing and...
Partnering for growth

Monday, September 26, 2016

Economic development doesn’t occur in a vacuum. It’s a team effort that necessitates careful planning and the long-term collaboration of a diverse range of stakeholders. The Western Kansas Rural Economic Development Alliance (wKREDA) is a coalition of individuals and organizations dedicated to the betterment of western Kansas. Fifty-five counties in western Kansas have gotten together to pool human and financial resources to collaborate towards this common goal. Members of wKREDA are investing in the future of the region. They benefit from services such as mentoring, educational seminars, networking opportunities, legislative advocacy and more. You can learn about wKREDA membership as well as...
Business reps attend 'Camp'

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Representatives from several Dodge City businesses attended "Destination BootCamp," a Colorado-based business improvement seminar to acquire new methods of bringing more tourists and customers to Dodge City. The camp was over a two-and-a-half day period that was created by marketing consultant Jon Schallert. "It was great," Dodge City special projects coordinator Melissa McCoy said. "I learned a lot and I am excited about what's to come after Jon Schallert's upcoming visit to Dodge City in the next few months." Click here for the complete article.
Downtown Banners reinforces community pride

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

On Friday morning, residents of Phillipsburg were welcomed to the downtown area by decorative banners on the utility poles. The project, spearheaded by the Unity Coalition of Phillips County, was conceived not only to provide uniform decoration to the area but also to reinforce community pride. The banners, in three different designs, give the messages: “Welcome to Phillipsburg,” “Phillipsburg – Panther Pride,” and, “Home of Kansas Biggest Rodeo”. Click here for the complete article.
Jewelry design more than a business for local jewelers

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

t’s more than the money. It’s more than the countless hours put into a piece. It’s more than a business. For Garden City residents Gary Gipson, Janet Doll and Tim Regan, it’s one of the most gratifying hobbies a person could have — jewelry design and goldsmithing, that is. Click here for the complete article.
Local business makes a move

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Prairie Independent Living Resource Center, Inc., may be one of the greatest unknown businesses in Dodge City. "Our office used to be in the basement at Village Square Mall," said Tasha Kondrade, services coordinator for the non-profit. "We had four of us in a small office. "The move allows us to look out a window and see the sun." Recently the business moved downtown, opening its new office at 207 West Spruce Street. "We moved about a month and a half ago," Kondrade said. "It gives us more space, privacy for when it’s needed." Click here for the complete article.
Record harvests a double-edged sword for farmers

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

After fears there wouldn’t be any wheat crop this year, farmers are dealing with a harvest that’s actually costing them more to store their grain. There’s so much that it’s actually cutting into their already small profits. Record harvests have driven down the price of grain. It’s simple supply and demand. With farmers trying to hold on to as much grain as they can until the market changes, grain elevators still need to stay in business. Click here for the complete article.
There’s no place like Kansas for erasing student debt

Monday, September 19, 2016

Did you know the average student racks up about $40,000 in debt while attending college? Transitioning to adulthood with such a big financial burden can be overwhelming for new graduates, particularly in a competitive job market. There’s a smart solution for college graduates who don’t want to be weighed down by debt for decades: move to Kansas. The Rural Opportunity Zones program operates in 77 Kansas counties. It pays 20 percent of a participant’s outstanding loan debt for up to five years—a maximum of $3,000 per year for a potential total of $15,000 reimbursement. In addition, new full-time residents might be eligible...
The right tools for entrepreneurs

Monday, September 12, 2016

“In every success story, you will find someone who has made a courageous decision. ~Peter F. Drucker, management consultant It takes a great deal of courage to be an entrepreneur—to successfully design, build and run a business from the ground up. But in Kansas, you don't have to go it alone. Those who want to start or grow a business in the Sunflower State can consult the NetWork Kansas Referral Center. This free service for entrepreneurs and small business owners helps connect you to the right expertise, education and financial assistance. Find out more about how you can take advantage of this...
Reclaimed items give new Lincoln floral and gift shop a ‘Rustic’ feel

Friday, September 09, 2016

Though the bones forming the framework of the new Rustic Floral and Gifts building are new, many of the elements Lincoln business owner Angela O’Bannon incorporated into the shop’s interior design are not. Once old and discarded, rusted and forgotten, the items were reclaimed by O’Bannon, who put a fresh, functional spin on objects once overlooked. O’Bannon opened Rustic Floral earlier this year – a few months after the death last fall of longtime Lincoln florist Jean Rohrig. Though she considered opening her own business for some time, it wasn’t until the community was left without a key business O’Bannon decided to take a...
State lawmakers from far and wide attend forum

Friday, September 09, 2016

Lawmakers and potential lawmakers who attended a Thursday legislative forum in Scott City in front of a coalition of western Kansas economic development leaders tended to agree that economic development is vital for the largely rural half of the state. But they also agreed that incentive programs need to be cost effective and provide the best “bang for the buck,” especially given the state’s current budget challenges. Rep. Don Hineman, R-Dighton, said the state will be looking at tight budgets for the foreseeable future, which means that every state program is going to be under the microscope, including those offered by the...
Making housing affordable in western Kansas

Monday, September 05, 2016

Many people with moderate incomes today have a conundrum. They struggle to afford rising rental rates yet their incomes are too high to qualify for federal housing assistance. Thankfully, our region is tackling this issue head-on. The Kansas Housing Resource Corporation helps people bridge the affordable housing gap with its Moderate-Income Housing (MIH) Program. Communities with less than 60,000 people can apply for the MIH Program, which helps develop affordable multi-family rental units and single-family homes. There’s even down payment and closing cost assistance available under the program for those interesting in becoming homeowners. Find out more about how the MIH program...
Western Kansas Farmer's Markets

Friday, August 19, 2016

  Farmer’s Market: a food market at which local farmers sell fruit and vegetables and often meat, cheese, and bakery products directly to consumers.   Farmer’s Markets are an easy way for a community to pull together and bring produce and locally made products for selling. It can be surprising to find local producers in your area that may offer products you didn't know were sold in your area, like homemade soaps, or organic produce! One benefit of this can be cheaper produce or products, additionally, the consumer knows exactly where their purchases come from, and may even be able to meet and talk to...
National Beef Invests $30 Million in Dodge City Plant

Monday, August 08, 2016

National Beef Packing Co. LLC on Wednesday announced a $30 million expansion at its Dodge City, Kan., operations. The project will add box carousels, pallet-packing machines and cranes to the meatpacking plant. It will also increase the plant’s ability to handle material and boost its box storage capacity. “Our customers increasingly require smaller box sizes and weights. This expansion will allow us to deliver on this expanding need and to do so more efficiently,” Kris Ragan, vice president and general manager of National Beef, said in the announcement. National Beef’s Dodge City operations have about 2,900 employees, and the plant is one of...
Lincoln County's Seirer's Earns Spot on Trendy Online Boutique

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Carly Errebo remembers receiving the phone call that would forever change the way she looked at her business. For more than three decades, Errebo nurtured her venture, Seirer’s Clothing, in downtown Lincoln. The shop, which prides itself on offering customers what she describes as unique, fashion-forward clothing, caught the attention of a burgeoning online business nearly 1,400 miles away. Carly Errebo and her unique retail shop, Seirer’s Clothing, has been a fixture of downtown Lincoln for over 30 years (Photo by Fernando Rojas) Like Seirer’s, the up-and-coming website offers fashion-conscious customers stylish items they can’t find anywhere else. Tucked away in its offices in SoHo,...
Senior Living Community Breaks Ground in Garden City

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Additional senior living is one step closer to becoming a reality after a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday for Ranch House Senior Community at its future site, 2900 Campus Drive, hosted by the Garden City Area Chamber of Commerce. Ranch House will be a senior community living facility with construction expected to be complete in the next 14 months, Jim Klausman, Midwest Health Inc. president and CEO said during the ceremony. The community plan features multiple levels of care, including 40 assisted living suites and 60 skilled nursing rooms with access to a state-of-the-art rapid recovery rehabilitation unit. To read more about the Ranch House...
Volunteers Working to Revitalize Town of Stafford

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Driving around Stafford, Kansas, you might see a fresh coat of paint on some of the buildings. It's all thanks to a group of volunteers working to revitalize the town. "The community's good to be involved in," said Stafford City Clerk Jamie Downing. "I've lived in the community my whole life. I have two children and a husband." As city clerk, she knows what it takes to keep Stafford improving. She's also part of a group called PLAY (Parents Leading Active Youth), which spent years raising money for new playground equipment and fresh paint at the city park. That equipment had not been...
Antique Engine and Thresher Show Boosts Bird City

Monday, August 01, 2016

  Photo by Jolie Green, jgreen@dailynews.net. Parade of antique tractors on Friday, July 29, 2016 in Bird City, KS BIRD CITY — It is an event that brings in the crowd every year. One time a year during the three-day stretch, Bird City’s population expands. Maybe not quite as much as it once did for the farthest east town in Cheyenne County along U.S. Highway 36, but the town still swells in attendance — reaching into the thousands. Impressive for a town that registers a population less than 500 the rest of the year. From families who grew up with the event to others...
Dodge City to Welcome Distillery and Brewery

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

I grew up in Dodge City in the 1980s, and it was huge news when we got an Arby’s on Wyatt Earp Boulevard. All these years later, Dodge City has significantly grown up, and it’s about to become an adult-beverage drinker’s destination. Boot Hill Distillery is opening on Saturday in Dodge City. Courtesy This weekend, the new Boot Hill Distillery, owned by three farmers who intend to put their grain to good use, will officially open with a day full of festivities that includes live music and vodka and whiskey samplings. Then, this spring, former Wichita resident (and Rob Miller protege) Larry Cook will open Dodge City...
Great Bend Transload Facility Construction Underway

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Great Bend Transload Facility groundbreaking event took place Wednesday, July 6 for the Great Bend Transload Facility just outside the central Kansas city, according to a news release. To be constructed west of the Great Bend airport, the $6.8 million rail shipping facility is expected to be in service by the end of the year, the release said. Goods will be able to be moved between rail and truck at the facility, which is a public-private partnership. “This will have great benefits for farmers and manufacturers,” Mike King, outgoing Kansas transportation secretary, said in the release. “This is a great example...
Area Experiencing Some Recycling of Service Workers

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Garden City, KS (westernkansasnews.com) Over the past week two new restaurants have opened up in Garden City at Schulman Crossing both Buffalo Wild Wings and Rib Crib. While customers have many more options to spend their money, has there been any movement in adding to the pool of available workers being brought into the community? President of the Garden City Chamber Steve Dyer says some. Click here for the complete article and media.
St. Catherine and Life Team’s Partnership Determined to Save Lives

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The service has been up and running, but now is the right time for them to let you know about it.  St. Catherine Hospital and Life Team out of Newton, KS are offering both helicopter and fixed winged emergency transport services in Garden City. Hospital CEO Scott Taylor is excited to have this true responsive reach throughout the region. Click here for the complete article and media.
Water Vision Will Pave the Way to Avert Future Crisis

Thursday, November 19, 2015

This week Governor Brownback will unveil his final draft of the state’s 50 year vision for water. Its a plan that has been in the works for several years. Mark Rude is Executive Director of Groundwater Management District Three and cites a recent study from the Kansas Aqueduct Coalition on why it is so important to act now on protecting this important resource. Click here for the complete article and media.