2. Sumner County gets broken up by legislative redistricting.The 80th State House District used to encompass almost all of Sumner County. It was a district for more than 50 years that guaranteed the people of Sumner County would have at least one representative at the house in Topeka.That all changed when three federal judges, due to state legislative inactivity, were asked to redraw the new state house and senate districts in 2012 and they carved the county into three districts and split Wellington right down the middle. As a result, when the state legislature reconvenes next week, there will not be one representative with a Sumner County address.Â It wasn’t supposed to be like this. By law, every 10 years legislators are asked to redraw boundaries based on new census figures. Both the Republican and the Democrat plans in the state legislators had the 80th District intact. But because of political infighting, state legislators were unable to come up with an agreement and the issue was sent to court.Thus three U.S. Federal Judges were asked to redraw the lines. Some will debate whether the judges knew specifically what they were doing when they split Sumner County into three equal pieces (with a fourth district sliver representing Peck on the north end), but the new boundaries most certainly neutered Sumner County’s legislative power.As a result on election night in November, Vince Wetta, a Democrat from Wellington, lost his bid against Kyle Hoffman, a Republican, from Coldwater despite carrying the Sumner County vote. It is not that Hoffman won’t represent the northwest part of Sumner County well. It is just that he lives more than 100 miles a way. On the south side, Kasha Kelley from Arkansas City will be our representative. Ed Trimmer of Winfield represents northeast Sumner County.Our state senator, Steve Abrams, hails from Ark City.It may not seem like a big deal to some. But remember this. Sumner County, and Wellington specifically, does not have its own voice if such an issue comes up that will directly affect this county. Despite what you think of the casino, had it not been for Wetta, it is likely none of the revenue or the location of the facility would have been in Sumner County.There is a chance that Sumner County will not have a representative with address here for 10 years. by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow â€” We are counting down the top 10 Sumner Newscow news stories for 2012. This segment includes our pick for stories No. 5 to 2.5. Hotel owners look to build in Wellingtonâ€¦ maybe.Ultimately, whether Wellington lands a big hotel chain, will be decided when we look out the car window and see a hotel getting built. When it comes to bringing in guest lodging, Wellington has had a dickens of a time getting any earth turned.At least in 2012, people were talking about it.First there was Johnnie and P.J. Palmer who currently owns the Hampton Inn in Derby and a Holiday Inn Express in Maize. They told the Wellington City Council in 2012 that they will be building an 85-room hotel complex. At the time they had not secured a brand name, but it was later revealed it will be a Best Western. The facility is to include a 120-person meeting banquet room, a large breakfast area, indoor pool, fitness/exercise room and a business center to be built across the street from the current McDonald’s Restaurant.Then in December, a couple of venture capitalists from Tulsa visited with the council twice hoping to land a developer who would build a Candlewood Suites type of facility just west of the Turnpike, provided the council will extend the sewer that way. The price tag for the sewer is estimated at $700,000 with the developers chipping in $100,000 in special assessment taxes.So far nothing has materialize. Check the year end 2013 countdown in 2014 to see if “hotels get built” is one of the top 10 news stories. 3. Controversy engulfs Wellington High School.During the spring of 2012, one could consider Wellington High School having a nervous breakdown.Let’s just say it’s “complicated.” There were a myriad of issues at WHS which came to a head at the same time.Â First there were WHS’s low state assessment scores. Then there was block scheduling and whether to abandon it for traditional scheduling of yesteryear. Then there was the administrative turnover.Then came a math directive sent out by the USD 353 Central Office outlining how the high school math department should conduct its business. Then came the retaliation of the high school math teachers.That led to several school board executive sessions, i.e. closed meetings, that led some to question whether the board was being completely truthful with the public.The results? Wellington has a new group of high school math teachers. Although outgoing WHS Principal Dale Liston had already resigned, the board had voted to end the contract of assistant principal Joe Jacobs. Longtime assistant superintendent Jackie Glasgow would resign for personal reasons and Wellington Middle School principal Jerry Hodson would take her place.The block vs. traditional scheduling has yet to be resolved and is now part of the union negotiations. Wellington High School Dale Adams from Central-Burden was hired to take over and he most certainly has a different way of doing things. The state assessment scores continue to be a worrisome issue.Was anything accomplished through all this? Well, it’s hard to tell. One thing is for sureâ€¦ things seem to have cooled down this fall. But that doesn’t mean tranquility will last. After all, school board elections are coming in April. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (5) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. 0 Vote up Vote down Questions for Tracy · 397 weeks ago What was the, “retaliation of the high school math teachers”? Was it higher than ever state test scores for math? Was it removing nearly 200 years of teaching and leadership experience from one building? Was it following directions when given no other option? Report Reply 1 reply · active 397 weeks ago +1 Vote up Vote down CueballSumnernewscow 94p · 397 weeks ago It meant the math teachers were vocally displeased at the math directive at the time. There were no hidden messages or “between the line” commentary. I’m too tired for that kind of stuff. Report Reply -1 Vote up Vote down confused · 397 weeks ago ? for Tracy….I am trying to decide if your comment is pro or con against the math teachers thet were there. I do know for a fact that the State testing plan that was put into place by Mr. Liston and Mr. Jacobs was followed and the scores on the tests proved what they did worked. If you are stating that what they did at the end should take credit for that you are wrong. If not I apologize now. Report Reply 0 replies · active 397 weeks ago +1 Vote up Vote down Questions for Tracy · 397 weeks ago Changing the last three statements from interrogative to declarative, the previous comment could read as follows…What was the, “retaliation of the high school math teachers”? The state test scores for math were higher than ever due to an outstanding effort from leadership, educators, and students. It is unfortunate that so many experienced people who care about education and students felt that the best solution would be to work somewhere other than Wellington. It is regretful that bullying could occur in a professional workplace. Report Reply 0 replies · active 397 weeks ago 0 Vote up Vote down Duke Fan · 397 weeks ago First off Traci, Hodson is not the assistant super. He is some kind of curriculum coordinated. Second don’t just blame the high school for low testing scores. The elementary scores have been typically good but when the students get to middle school they drop off dramatically. The high school is just the end of the negative cycle. Report Reply 0 replies · active 397 weeks ago Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments 4. Bumper wheat crop.Yes, there was a drought these past two years in Sumner County. But what little precipitation we did get, it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time for area wheat farmers.The Kansas Agricultural Statistics Service reported that Sumner County growers cut 17.9 million bushels of wheat in 2012. No other counties were close. McPherson County cut 11.3 million bushels and Reno County had 10.8 million bushels.The wheat crop was unusually early this year. Farmers started cutting on Memorial Day Weekend – two weeks before the usual start-up date of June 10. But by mid-June in 2012, farmers had already gotten the wheat into the bin and the custom cutters had long left.The wheat harvest averaged 45 to 50 bushels to the acre. The crop quality was 12 percent protein and 60 pound test weights. Some said there was wheat averaging over 80 bushels to the acre.Farmers have been seeing the price of wheat ranging from $6.43 a bushel in June to the more intriguing $8.60 a bushel as of late.But after a failed spring crop due to the drought and another wheat crop in the ground which is promising to be not as good, it never gets too good to be a farmer.