Get ready for Atwood's Chamber Christmas opening
?The Atwood Chamber of Commerce will kick off the holiday season with its annual Christmas opening the Friday after Thanksgiving.
The first of three Santa Lands will start at 6 p.m., Friday, Nov. 29 in downtown Atwood.
“This year we will be hosting events at two locations instead of one,” Chamber Director Sandy Mulligan said.
Children will be able to have their picture taken with Santa from 6 to 8 p.m., at TLC General Store. During that same time, there will be crafts and games across the street at the Chamber office, along with refreshments provided by the Lions Club.
Also at TLC, will be a mailbox for letters to Santa. Children can drop their letters into the mailbox anytime between Nov. 29 and Dec. 21 in order to receive a response from Santa.
To start off the Christmas shopping season, there will be a free breakfast at Currier Drug. Currier’s is hosting the free meal of pancakes, sausages, coffee and juice from 4 to 9 a.m., or until the food runs out. Specials on merchandise will be held throughout the day until closing at 8 p.m.
Along with the regular Chamber Christmas events, a cake walk will be added to the Dec. 21 Santa Land. Mulligan is asking for baked goods to be donated for the event and items can be dropped at the Chamber office on Dec. 20.
Also new this year, will be tickets to the free movies. Mulligan explained the response has been so great more people are showing that we have seats available.
The Chamber Christmas Cash Card promotion will start on Nov. 29. Pick up a cash cards at the Chamber office or participating area businesses. Take the cards to participating area businesses and merchants will punch out dollars spent on the card in the purchased amount to keep track of money spent.
When cards are completely full, turn them in at the Chamber office by 5 p.m., on Dec. 20 to be entered into the Chamber Cash Drawings on Dec. 21 at Santa Land. Prizes of $200, $100 and $50 will be awarded to first, second and third place, respectively. Participating businesses are listed on each cash card.
The cash cards are meant to promote local shopping. Last year, when the cash card amounts were totaled, over $28,000 had been spent in Atwood.
Mulligan said that most downtown businesses are planning to extend their hours on Thursday evenings.
Board approves iPad purchases
?The Rawlins County USD 105 board voted to approve the technology committee’s recommendation for new iPads for student and teacher use following an in-depth discussion at the board’s Nov. 18 meeting.
Funds for the purchase, according to Superintendent Adam McDaniel, will be available from the Monsanto grant received this fall and from SureFire Ag’s Dream Big Foundation.
“The question is do we want to approve this request to go to Dream Big Foundation to make dollars available for this project?” McDaniel asked the board.
The recommended units include a 36-iPad cart and 31 additional iPads for instructional staff members.
McDaniel explained how the iPads would be used and who would be using them.
McDaniel noted that teachers are requesting the iPads and that the committee recommended the number of units because of their requests. Pattie Wolters, board president, said the board would always be waiting on new technology as fast as updates are available.
Galen Thompson, Rawlins County schools’ technology director, said “Kansas law provides [tech] support for three years.”
Thompson also reported that the iPads would be monitored.
Both the current computers, which are being accessed for repair needs, and the iPads will be provided for the students’ and teaching staffs’ use, McDaniel said.
“We owe it to SureFire and the board needs updated reports on how the technology is being used,” Beims said.
The motion to approve the request included a reduction in units if the amount of money received from the Dream Big Foundation will not cover all of the units.
The next meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m., Monday, Dec. 9 at the board meeting room at the elementary school.
Attending were board members Wolters, Beims, Del Hawkins, Dianna Kastens, Jim Engel and David Horinek.
New funeral directors ready
to serve community needs
?Baalman Mortuary began serving the Rawlins County community Oct. 1 after they purchased Williams Funeral Home.
Jason and Shane Baalman live in Oakley where they have had a mortuary for four years. Two years ago they acquired a Colby funeral home.
“It just felt right to expand our business to Atwood,” Jason said. “It’s a nice town and the location is good.”
The family, which includes sons, Liam and Elan, will continue to live in Oakley, Jason’s home town.
Richard Harrison, who is also a licensed funeral director and embalmer, is making his home in Atwood.
Harrison grew up as a mortician’s son in Beloit and later practiced there and in Lincoln. When he retired in 2002, he moved to Casper, Wyo.
“I was happy to move to Atwood when Jason offered the opportunity,” Harrison said. “This brings me closer to my three kids and my grandson, Levi.”
Services will be available 24 hours a day every day.
The business website is up and running as www.baalmannmortuary.com. There people can get information about pending funerals, order flowers or send condolences to the bereaved.
The Atwood mortuary phone number did not change. It is still 785-626-3895.
City of Atwood updates ordinances,
swears in new mayor
?Making adjustments to existing ordinances occupied much of the Atwood City Council’s time during their Nov. 21 meeting.
Clarifying duties about which department is responsible for enforcement of the junk vehicle ordinance and defining what constitutes junk vehicles was one of the agenda items.
“I think it [the ordinance] is effective,” Jan Ackerman, nuisance compliance officer, said. “The police and I can work together.”
Ackerman expressed concern about people obstructing public city sidewalks with debris, dirt piles and weeds.
“We have addressed that issue with an update to a 60-year-old ordinance,” City Attorney Charles Peckham said.
The council has been dealing with water usage abuse and passed an ordinance to collect water bills from property owners if renters skip out without paying.
“The city council will need to be reorganized since we lost our mayor,” Tim Colgan said. “I would like to have each of you suggest names for a prospective council member. I will appoint someone to finish my four-year term with your approval.”
One requirement is that the appointee must live in the Atwood city limits.
The council elected Diana Tongish as their new president.
The next regular meeting for the council is scheduled for 7 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 19 at City Hall.
Tim Colgan assumes mayor's duties
Tim Colgan accepted the responsibilities of Atwood’s mayor when he was sworn in during the Atwood City Council meeting Nov. 21.
According to state laws governing cities of the third class, when the mayor can no longer fulfill his duties, the president of the council will assume the position.
The vacancy occurred with the death of Mayor Joe Cabrinha.
Colgan, who has been on the city council for nine years, has been president for the past two years.
He was elected to that position by his fellow council members.
Colgan’s position on the five-member board will be filled by mayor’s appointment, upon approval by the council.
The appointee will serve until 2017, which is when Colgan’s term would have expired.
Full stories in this week's Square Deal.
Courtesy of Beardsley Equity Co-op
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