Medicine Lodge, Kansas's Locally Owned And Operated Newspaper

KWIBS - From December 10, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

I remember registering to vote on my 18th birthday in 1988. A presidential race was heating up between George H.W. Bush and Michael Dukakis.

It was my first time to vote and I voted for George H.W. Bush. He won. I felt like I had won something too.

Although Bush was a one-term president, I learned a lot about Government and history during his presidency. It was a scary time as a young adult. The Gulf War was ramping up, Saddam was going to launch us into WWIII. Bush was a capable leader, a veteran himself, that would lead the way to remove the tyrant from Kuwait.

President Bush formed a true coalition of willing nations that easily sent Saddam back from Kuwait to Iraq with his tail between his legs. He made life safe for my generation. Many of my friends fought in Desert Storm.

Again in 1992, I voted for President Bush. This time he lost to Bill Clinton. I noted how graceful the peaceful transfer of power happened from Bush to Clinton. We seemed friendlier to each other in those days.

I loved seeing what life after president was for Bush. He embraced life, loved his family and continued to serve his country, even doing it along side Bill Clinton.

At the time of his wife Barbaraís death on April 17, 2018, George H. W. had been married to Barbara for 73 years; theirs was the longest presidential marriage in American history.

41 passed away on Friday night, November 30th, 2018. My iPhone "dinged" with the AP report of his passing. I watched his funeral on Wednesday and Thursday. It was a wonderful tribute to a wonderful man and a great statesman.

"Die young, as old as possible," - George H.W. Bush.

God Bless George H.W. Bush and his family.


KWIBS - From December 3, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

Years ago former teacher Dale McCurdy taught me the value of time management and scheduling.

We would go on trips together and he would actually send me a spreadsheet that mapped out our vacation.

He would start every trip out with "backwards planning."

This backwards planning intrigued me. What was it? How did it work?

Dale explained, "Take the time you wish to arrive, subtract travel, subtract estimated fuel stops, bathroom breaks and then leave 30 minutes earlier than that."

Itís a pretty clever way to get to things on time.

So two weeks ago when we traveled to New Orleans, our trip home was carefully orchestrated using Daleís "backwards planning" method.

Ronda and I had a Peace Treaty Board meeting in Medicine Lodge at 7 p.m. that we had to be at, so our story begins at 7 p.m.

Leaving from New Orleans at 10 a.m. would have put us back in Oklahoma City at 1:20 p.m. Grabbing our bags and finding our car (add 30 minutes), consider a bathroom and fuel break (add 30 minutes), and road time (add 3:30 minutes), meant that we would arrive just before 5 p.m., leaving us plenty of time to clean up, eat and make it to our meeting.

Everything started out smoothly. We arrived and boarded our flight and thatís the last time that day that we stayed on schedule....

"Hello and welcome to Southwest to Houston," the captain said. "Weíve got some bumpy weather ahead and our approach would be determined by Houston. We could be delayed by as much as an hour."

We had 1 hour and 20 minutes layover. That would be tight, but we would be ok.

As expected, we landed an hour late in Houston and it was pouring down rain. We entered at gate 45 and our connecting flight was at gate 4 on the other side of the terminal.

We hauled butt, stopping to use the bathroom and grabbing some to go food and literally made it to board the next flight.

We got our seats, got comfortable and prepared to take off when the captain said, "Welcome aboard Southwest to Oklahoma City, we will be delayed a few minutes while we wait on two passengers from a connecting flight as well as waiting on their baggage. We should be exiting and cleared for take off in a few minutes.

A few minutes turned into about an hour and then we took off.

"Weíve got clear skies today and weíre going to bump this up and get you folks to Oklahoma City as close to on time as possible," the captain stated.

We did land only about 20 minutes late. Ronda and I got off the plane and went to baggage claim.

Three flights landed at the same time and the carousel was crammed with folks looking for baggage.

It seemed like a long time, but our baggage eventually arrived. I grabbed it, noting how heavy it felt.

I must have lost muscle tone over the weekend of playing football with Drew Brees and Nix White, or maybe not.

We hurried to our truck, which we had forgotten what floor we had parked on. Once we found it, I heaved our bag in and Ronda got us out on the interstate.

I noted the time.

"Weíre going to be tight," I told Ronda. It was 3:15 p.m.

Ronda exceeded the recommended interstate travel speed and we hit Blackwell, OK with enough time to fuel up, grab a snack and take a bathroom break.

Then I got a bond call from an inmate in Barber County....

The calling inmateís employer lived in Kiowa, had the money and would co-sign. We had to make a detour and we had a 20 minute buffer.

Ronda took off towards Kiowa.

I decided since we were not going to make it home in time to change, that I would grab my sports coat, a nice shirt and some cleaner pants from the luggage.

I had flown from New Orleans in a concert shirt and ripped up blue jeans. The only thing I had to change into was the nicer clothes that I wore to dinner on Saturday night. They werenít dirty, we just ate dinner and went back to the hotel.

While trusting my wifeís driving, I took off my seatbelt and unzipped the bag.

She instantly slammed on the brakes to avoid hitting farm equipment that pulled out in front of us. I was tossed onto the console and we laughed while I went back to trying to find clothes.

Thatís when I discovered why our bag was so heavy. Everything inside of it was soaking wet.

Our bags must have sat out on the tarmac in Houston during the rain.

I carefully pulled out my coat, which was wet; my pants, which were wet; my socks, which were really wet and my shirt, which was wet and wrinkled.

I put everything on and turned my heated seats up full blast. I also pointed all the vents at me and turned up the fan. By the time we reached Kiowa, I was just moist, but exhausted.

We got our signatures and money and agreed to meet up with our defendant after the Peace Treaty board meeting, which was in 30 minutes.

We left Kiowa and hit Medicine Lodge at 6:50 p.m. We pulled into the office. Ronda touched up her makeup and we shared a road taco that was now almost 3 hours old.

It was 7:01 p.m. when we walked into the meeting. We were fashionably late and I was dryer than I was at Blackwell, or Kiowa, but still a little damp.

The "backwards planning" had sort of worked. We made it almost in time.

So thanks Dale, for the lesson on time management!

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From November 26, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

"Itís not, what you know, itís who you know."

Iím not sure who first said this, but Iíve repeated it several times in my life. Itís really a true statement. Iíve met some very educated people that donít go far in life and Iíve met some goofballs that dream big, reach for the stars and actually grab a few.

Thatís Nix White, long-time buddy, 1988 graduate of MLHS, retired Navy SEAL and owner of FrogX Parachute. You probably know this guy if youíve been to a Peace Treaty in the last decade. He jumps out of a helicopter and lands in the middle of Main Street during the parade. Itís pretty amazing.

Nix is a regular guy thatís had a larger-than-life-real-life. Heís been all over the world as a SEAL. Heís met presidents and all sorts of celebrities. He just knows a lot of people. I should say, he knows a lot of important people.

When he called me three weeks ago and asked what my November and December schedule looked like, I asked him what did he have in mind?

Nix always has an adventure in mind.

Back in 1999 he invited us out to San Diego. Nix and his wife Wendy took us to Tijuana, MX. Thatís a column in itself.

In 2016 he called me up while I was in Amarillo, TX and asked me to pick him up at the airport in Wichita the next day. He had a surprise for me. He took me and a friend to see KISS. We didnít just see them, we met them and hung out with them for an afternoon because Nix knew their tour manager.

So you can only imagine how peaked my interest was for what he had in mind this time.

"Want to meet up and go to New Orleans," he asked?

So I had to know more specifics. First, a date would be handy. He simply said, "Iíll get back with you."

The next thing I knew, it was two weeks later and he had my flight and Rondaís flight confirmed and hotel accommodations made. The big news: We were going to the New Orleans Saintsí game vs. the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday!

Oh, it gets way better.

Through the years, Nix had become personal friends with Drew Brees and his wife Brittany.

Using Google as my friend, since joining the Saints in 2006 as Quarterback, Brees has led all NFL quarterbacks in touchdowns, passing yards, and 300-yard games. Brees holds the NFL records for career pass completions, career completion percentage and career passing yards and Nix asked him if he could bring a couple of friends to New Orleans to go to the game and meet him afterwards.

So Ronda and I booked out of here on a Friday and made it, just in time, for our flight out of Oklahoma City. We had a short stop in Houston and made it to the hotel at 10 p.m.

The concierge met us at this very luxurious hotel called "The Windsor Courts." The place was "swanky" as I like to say. He informed us our bags would be up shortly and we were in for a real surprise.

That was an understatement. Our suite on the 17th floor was beyond description. It was adjoined to another suite. We hadnít noticed that until we walked in and saw that we had a welcome note from Nix and Wendy, which included chocolates and my favorite bourbon (to be sipped on Bourbon Street) later that night.

The next thing I knew was Nix burst through the door to welcome us to New Orleans. Their rooms and our rooms were at the end of the long hallway. We had a private balcony that overlooked the French Quarter. We were completely blown away.

Of course this was another, "I know a guy," story from Nix. He knew the general manager of the hotel.

So we went out, listened to jazz music, walked Bourbon Street all night and slept until noon on Saturday before touring the cemeteries and French Quarter. We ate everything we could and saw as much as we could stand until we dropped from exhaustion.

Again, we slept in until noon on Sunday and then ventured to the Mercedes Benz Superdome. Now keep in mind that Ronda and I are Dallas Cowboys fans. We cheer for the Saints, as long as they arenít playing the Cowboys.

Before we left for the game, there was a knock at the door. It was Nix carrying Saintsí jerseys for me and Ronda.

"You canít go to the game without wearing Drewís number," he told me.

And just like that, we were at the game, but Nix had more surprises. We walked in, showed them a special pass and bam! We were on the field for pregame. Nix walked us over where we stood by a tunnel and out came the Saints and out came Drew Brees.

After they warmed up, we went back up and took our seats and watched the Saints whoop the 2018 Superbowl Champs.

After the game, Nix handed us new passes and said to follow him. We went into a hospitality area and had some drinks and eats and watched Drew do his post game interview. The Brees family greeted us warmly. Just after seeing Drew leave the television screen, he walked in to the room, hugged his family and came over to see us.

Meeting Drew Brees was going to be awesome, but I had another plan. I had my son, Nick, in my pocket.... I had facetimed him in Japan and he had a bunch of marines and sailors waiting to see Drew Brees.

After a quick introduction, I told Drew about Nick and Nix added that he was serving in Japan. Drewís grandfather had stormed the beaches in Okinawa in WWII.

I asked, "Would you say hi to my son?"

Drew grabbed my phone and started having a conversation with Nick. It was priceless.

Nix had given Nick a signed Drew Brees jersey after he had won the superbowl back in 2010, so Nick was pretty excited to talk to this football legend.

After the conversation ended, Drew asked, "Hey, you guys want to go and hang out on the field for a while?"

You know that there was no hesitation. We all crammed into an elevator and walked out on to the field in the now empty Superdome.

There is no way to describe how incredible this was, but it keeps getting better.

Nix and I have always had this tradition where we stunt some hilarious photo. At least we think we are hilarious. Nix asked Drew if he would play along and he set the scene. Nix and I were on the line and Drew was calling out the plays. I donít think Iíve ever laughed so hard in my life. Ronda took the photo.

Imagine this: Here we were, on the Saintís 10 yard line (with horrible stance), with Drew Brees behind us calling out the plays. It took a few shots, but we have a winner!

So itís not what you know, itís who you know and I know Nix.

The best part of the weekend was just hanging out with Nix and Wendy. They are cool people, both veterans and great friends.

Nix and I broke out cigars Sunday night before we left. Thatís another tradition. At least I remembered to bring cigars!

Thanks Whites, for the weekend of a lifetime that weíll never forget! We canít wait for the next adventure!

Have a great week!



KWIBS - From November 12, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

Thereís a place for everything and everything in its place.

This was something that Rondaís mother taught her at a very young age.

If it would have come out of my mouth, it would have sounded more like everything goes on the kitchen table or on the floor by the door.

Rondaís mother was wise, neat and orderly. She got that from her mother Mildred Meairs. Mildred, Barbara and Ronda all keep a clean home. I would also say that in 30 years, Ronda has trained me pretty well to keep my things put away. The consequences of not putting my things away is that sheíll put them where she thinks they go. Thatís not necessarily a bad thing unless she forgets where she put whatever I left out. For instance, I probably own 30 hammers. I know where 3 are. The other 27 got "put away."

There are times where our philosophies on where things go clash. She has her usual go-to places for things I leave laying around if itís missing because I left it out, I start with my bathroom counter. From there I go to my closet. Finally, if I canít find it, I look in the garage.

At first glance, my garage looks pretty unorganized. I know where about 90% of the things are that I need, but that other 10%; thatís anyoneís guess.

To further complicate matters, as we both get older we swear we know exactly where we put things, when we actually donít.

I swore when I got home last Monday, I put my jacket on a chair at the kitchen table. When I didnít find it there, I went to my bathroom. It wasnít there, so I looked in my closet. I was pretty baffled when I couldnít find it, because I had just worn it like 30 minutes before I lost it and I knew it wasnít in the garage. When Ronda asked what I was looking for, I sheepishly told her I couldnít find my jacket. She lowered her head and said look on the chair in front of your closet. She has a new go-to place.....

My closet is full.

KWIBS - From November 5, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

We will celebrate Veterans Day on Friday. This special holiday has so much meaning to my family. The actual holiday falls on a Sunday this year, but MLHS will honor veterans at a program at 1:45 p.m. on November 9th.

Iím deeply moved by the service that people give to their country in the armed forces. Although I did not serve, I have the utmost respect for those who did and are serving. My dad was in the Navy during Viet Nam. His service actually had him in and around Cuba during a tense time with Russia. He later did joint missions with many countries in South America. He was a radio technician on a mine sweeper.

His Navy career is the reason I am now here writing this column. My dad was a Kansas native who met my mother in Rhode Island at a YMCA dance. As a result of that meeting, and later a marriage, I was born in 1969 in Providence, RI. When my dadís time in the Navy was finished, we moved back to Kansas and Iíve never lived anywhere else.

It came full circle two years later when my son graduated from MLHS and went into the Navy, a decision that I am very proud of. He is approaching his second year of service and is now stationed with the Marines on a base in Okinawa as an RP (Religious Program Specialist).

His duties as a Religious Program Specialist might seem sort of unimportant, but after boot camp and his "A" schooling, Nick went through 14 weeks of Marine Combat Training that he described as "worst thing ever". Now he treasures the memories. He switched from "Blue" side Navy to "Green" side Navy. He is considered by his fellow Marines as one of their own. He trains, eats, sleeps and is in all practical measures, a Marine. In just a few months heíll have his FMF pin.

The United States Fleet Marine Forces (FMF) are combined general and special purpose forces within the United States Department of the Navy that perform offensive amphibious or expeditionary warfare and defensive maritime employment. The Fleet Marine Forces provide the National Command Authority (NCA) with a responsive force that can conduct operations in any spectrum of conflict around the globe.

So, heís not really just an assistant to a Chaplain. Heís a combatant. Sometimes I joke with him that heís an armed librarian and secretary, but he does own the phrase, "We fight tonight." I pray that he never does.

All kidding aside, Nick is an awesome shot. According to Chaplain Jones, Nick earned the "expert marskmanship" ribbon with a broken rifle in Okinawa.

During the past year, Nick has served with the Marine Wing Support Squadron - 172 "Firebirds" at Camp Foster, Okinawa. They are the "Tip of the Spear" in the event of a deployment in the South Pacific. Itís taken me an entire year to study up and learn about what they do and just when I thought I learned enough to understand what they do, Nick is about to advance to the command building after his promotion to Third Class Petty Officer (hopefully in December). So dad has a new learning curve.

Thank God for the internet and Wikipedia! From what Iíve seen from pictures Nick has sent me, heís near a lot of carriers with attack helicopters. There are a bunch of amphibious assault vehicles and tanks and other attack ships. Nick doesnít tell me much more than that. The kid who graduated from MLHS in 2016 who talked nonstop and had never seen the ocean, is now the kid who seems to be keeping a tight lip on what he does and where heís at, but heís almost always at the beach, surrounded by ocean!

I know heís participated in several operations. One of those operations was a U.S. - Philippine mission back in April or May. He also made a quick trip into South Korea that I canít even share what I do know, which isnít very much.

What I do know is that I am extremely proud of my son. He takes his job very seriously - most of the time. Nick has seen and done more in his 2 short years after high school than most of us get to do in a lifetime. Iím glad he made the decision to serve our great nation and to be a part of something bigger than just himself.

His immediate plans are to marry his sweetheart Natalie Bare in April and move her over to Okinawa as soon as possible! He says he wants to share the beauty of the island with her as he finishes his tour which will be sometime after 2021. As for continuing his service, Nickís mind changes from day to day. No matter what his decision, I know he will never regret his time of service in the Navy with the Marines.

Thank you to every veteran who has served our country. From a combatant to support staff, each member of our military is necessary to maintain peace in our crazy world. Thank you for your service and for your sacrifice to keep us free. You all have my deepest admiration.

Thank you to my son for serving. I know itís hard being so far away from home, but you are doing something incredible and we are so proud of you!

Chaplain Marquis Jonesí uncle said about the photo below with Nick, "You preach heaven in them and he shoots the hell out of them."

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From October 29, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

My first experience of vertigo was in 1983 while being a passenger in my dadís Piper 210 airplane.

The instructor did a climb and stall and then rolled out of it. I remember the sensation of just being lost and not in the right place.

I wasnít exactly a roller coaster rider as a kid. As a grown up, Iíve ridden every roller coaster I can find. Itís a great thrill, but I always experience vertigo. I havenít been on a roller coaster in about 5 years, so I had forgotten the sensation until Wednesday of last week.

Ronda was driving me to a doctorís appointment in Wichita. We left the driveway and my attention was on paperwork in my lap. We hadnít gone very far down the road, when I had a sensation that just being lost and not in the right place. When I looked up, the terrain was wrong and my brain got more confused.

"Where are we," I asked?

Ronda said, "The township road. Why do you ask?"

Thatís when I said, "Umm.... we are going the wrong direction!"

Ronda had turned south like we do every morning to go to town and go to work. Wichita was the other direction. We laughed and then we turned around.

The vertigo stayed with us the rest of the day. We decided to see George Palmer after his hip surgery. He sent me a text and said he was on North Ridge Road. That was perfect, since my appointment was also on North Ridge. We drove up and down Ridge, but couldnít find the recovery center where George said he was at.

As it turned out, George was on Webb Road, way out East. We missed two exits on the way. When we finally found him, almost an hour later, we all had a good laugh.

Happy Birthday to my bride of 30 years!!! Sheís celebrating a milestone on November 3rd!! I love you Ronda!

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From October 22, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

Do you ever have days that you feel like your significant other (in this case, my wife) is angry with you? Weíve been married for 30+ years now and we can read each other pretty well. I could tell she was frustrated about something. I just didnít know what it was.

Several months ago I had an accident and injured my shoulder. Iíve been in a significant amount of pain and discomfort and havenít been sleeping well. While Iím waiting to see a surgeon, Iím slowly getting more mobility and for the first time in almost two months, I had a great nightís sleep Wednesday night into Thursday morning! In fact, I went to bed shortly before midnight and slept until 9:15 a.m. the next day. It was some kind of adult sleeping record for me.

Unfortunately, my great night of sleep must have translated into a terrible nightís sleep for my wife. From what she tells me, I snored. Loudly. Like one of the seven trumpets blowing from the book of Revelation.

So Thursday, I was all bubbly and bouncy and busy, but Ronda was a zombie, and might I say, a slightly grumpy zombie. I could tell something was wrong, but for the life of me, I could not remember what I had or hadnít done to make her mad. To top that off, I was incredibly busy, running in several directions.

It wasnít until the end of the day that I asked her what was wrong and she told me it was the snoring that kept her up all night. I feel really badly about that.

I probably feel worse about telling her that sometimes she snores too and keeps me awake.

I probably just should have kept that to myself.

I was setting myself up to be Lucy and Desi Arnaz from "I Love Lucy."

They were married in real life, but slept in separate bedrooms on the series. Some claim that "The Mustersí Herman and Lily were the first couple to be portrayed sleeping in the same bed on television. The eligibility of this one as a valid claim to rights is sometimes questioned because the Munsters werenít exactly a "human" couple.

Fred and Wilma bunked together on their rock bed in The Flintstones from 1960-66 (but their eligibility is also questioned because despite being human in character, they were cartoons and not real actors). I remember several times Fred snored through episodes when he and Wilma were sleeping. I think Wilma was just fine and obviously humanity continued and evolved, at least in cartoon world.

Yes, this may have all taken place in the "early days," but even as late as 1969-74 series "The Brady Bunch", six children shared a single bathroom that lacked even a toilet.

Iím sorry, I regress and I apologize to Ronda for keeping her up all night with my snoring.

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From October 15, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

Joey Noland and Tonya White

Small town rural America can not survive without people like Pat and Tonya White and their children: Jordan and Julia White, Brennan White and Karly White. For more than 65 years this family has invested in small towns in Kansas with grocery stores.

Iíve enjoyed getting to know this family over the years after they purchased Parkerís IGA back in the early 1990s. It was nearly the same time that Ronda and I started The Gyp Hill Premiere.

Since that time, two of my children worked in their store in Medicine Lodge. Both Joey and Nicholas stocked shelves in high school.

I want to brag and gush over this family. Joey Noland has worked for the Whiteís Family Grocery store for almost ten years. They have taught him so much and now given him the opportunity to be a store manager. Although heís still in training, I watched him from a distance at the grand opening of the St. John Whiteís Foodliner last Wednesday and thought about all the opportunities that heís been given by the Whites. I hope he makes them as proud of Joey as I am. He loves the community of St John and he loves Whiteís family.

Iím so proud of his work ethic and enthusiasm. It was so much fun to sit back and watch the community of St John get a new grocery store on that day and listen to speeches given by their economic development group and Pat White.

We were so happy to be a part of the celebration. The Whites get little recognition for all they do for their communities. Many people donít realize that they were one of the largest sponsors for the 2018 Peace Treaty. There were no giant checks or big stories about them in the newspaper. Not because we didnít appreciate their support, but they were super busy getting ready for the wedding of their son Jordan to his lovely wife Julia during that week.

They didnít make those donations for the publicity. They did it because they truly care about the communities they serve.

Pat and Tonya are good people and theyíve raised some great kids. Ronda and I appreciate their friendship and for them giving Joey a chance to do something big.

Seeing Joey grow and succeed is a blessing to his mother and I. Thank you Pat and Tonya White, Jordan and Julia White, Brennan White and Norm Clouse for mentoring him. Iím biased, but I think youíve got one great young man working for you.

Congratulations to the city of St. John and all of the organizations that worked so hard to convince the Whites to come to town. You will never regret asking them to put in that store.

I was very impressed with the warm reception they were given. There was even a marching band present at the ribbon cutting.

Small towns like Medicine Lodge and St. John should be thankful for families like the Whites who are willing to make huge investments in the communities they serve.

In an age where box stores take over and run out the mom and pop businesses that are the heart and soul of rural America, the Whites take a chance and provide a service thatís very challenging.

Also deserving of some praise is Lance and Sloan Freeman. They are young and motivated people who call our area home and they are growing their business and have placed a pharmacy inside. It was fun seeing them on Wednesday.

Congratulations to you all!

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From October 8, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

We have a snapshot of how Peace Treaty 2018 went and tonight The Medicine Lodge Peace Treaty Board will meet to discuss what we already know to be true.

Attendance to our Pageant productions over the three day weekends are on a steady decline, similar to preceding pageants up until 2012 when it nearly became the last pageant.

The hard truth is, every Peace Treaty could be the last. It brings in a huge crowd to Medicine Lodge. The crowds just donít translate into numbers of tickets sold to the pageant and that is the Associationís main bread and butter to continue the celebration.

I hear two main excuses of why people donít attend and none of them are legitimate.

"Iíve seen it already." - Well great. I watched it 5 times in 9 days this year between rehearsal and performances and participated in many scenes. I love it each time I see it. It is breathtaking to watch the skill of our communityís riders. I am in awe of the history of our area and would personally not change much of how it is presented. "Itís too expensive." - Seriously? $30? I could never pull that excuse off. Going to a movie costs close to $10 a person without ordering food. Going to dinner at a nice place is closer to $20 a person. Going to a concert is closer to $100. This event is 2 hours of action and history packed into a beautiful amphitheater with over 400 actors. Itís cheap!!

Most who come to town only go to the free events. Those free events canít happen without good attendance to the pageants or we come up with a new way to raise money. Help us keep History Alive in Medicine Lodge. Support future Peace Treaties!

I want to thank my buddy Pete Meador for being such a great supporter of Peace Treaty. We always try to get a photo together after our signing scene. Iíll leave you with a smile, but consider what I wrote above and have a great week!

KWIBS - From October 1, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

Another Peace Treaty weekend is in the books. I can tell you, as a board member, we donít have numbers yet. That will take us a little while to gather.

Iíve also had to write this before the event actually even started. Weíve felt really good about all the work thatís gone into this yearís celebration. If Iíve said it once, Iíve said it a thousand times, I love serving with the people on Peace Treaty board.

It was just 23 minutes from my 20th birthday and my wife was delivering our first born child.

It was 1989. Weíd been married just over a year and all I could say was, "Hold it in!" The baby could be born on my birthday if you can just hold it in!"

The fact that I referred to my daughter as "it" or the request to stop being in labor for 27 more minutes didnít stop us from having two more children, but it resonates with my wife when we talk about Breeannís birth.

On October 3rd my baby girl will be 29 years old and the very next day, you can add 20 years to that and figure out my age!


KWIBS - From September 24, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

We are at the finish line. Itís Peace Treaty 2018 week. Are you ready?

Inside this issue is our Special Edition, all about the history of our little town.

Let us take you back 150 years to a time when our town was just a settlement with a stockade. Our community has grown into what it is today and now we look back and acknowledge the historic events that took place, shaping not only Medicine Lodge, but the expansion of the west in the United States.

The weekend celebration takes so many volunteers that they are impossible to list. We have a cast of characterís page on 4 and 5 and inside the Peace Treaty Edition, you can meet the Peace Treatyís board. This is only a tiny fraction of those who make this weekend possible. We also rely heavily on The City of Medicine Lodge Crew and are so thankful for all of the things they do to help us prepare for this event.

Youíve probably seen all of the help around town from our youth and from adults. Weíve seen them out painting and cleaning up the community. We appreciate you!

Thank you to our Native American friends for coming and being a part of this weekend.

Beginning today, youíll start seeing streets closing, guests arriving and horses and wagons going down the street. Thatís what Peace Treaty does!

Many of us are Peace Treaty Crazy at the moment. Itís a ton of work to serve on the board and as 1st Vice President, I want to thank everyone who has selflessly served on this board and volunteered to help. We donít always agree, but we have a common goal. We love this community and the Peace Treaty and our mission is to keep it going for generations.

Now itís up to you to make it a success. With you, and Godís blessing on the weekend, the 25th reenactment of the signing of the 1867 Peace Treaty with the Five Tribes of the Plains will happen in a few short days.

Have a great weekend!


KWIBS - From September 17, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

This is a pretty cool edition for us this week.

I have the pleasure of printing articles of three young men who are doing outstanding things in our community.

Andrew Bell made a post last Sunday while Ronda and I were attending the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson. Andrew posted on Facebook: "If you're at the Kansas State Fair, come say hi. I'll be here all week! My booth is at 123 Cottonwood Avenue just north of the outdoor arena."

I called him on his cell to make sure he was still there and he was! Iíve known Andrew since he was just a little kid and have always thought highly of him. He has created a fire fighting rig called "The Minuteman" that easily fits into the back of a pickup quickly to fight fires. This idea came after his familyís home was destroyed in the Anderson Creek fire over two years ago.

We stopped to see this invention and I was very impressed. He also had several fair-goers stop by to look at his product and it seems like there is a lot of interest in it. The product is well constructed and has some really cool features. Andrew and his product are featured on todayís front page.

Pake McNally is one of the most creative artists and people I have enjoyed meeting. He also has created a product: a hand-welded workout mace called the "WarClub" under the name Become Stronger, Industries. In addition to this invention, he is a brown belt in Jiu Jitsu and creates works of art from metal. He has a brilliant mind and I am excited to see his business evolve.

Finally, Aaron Traffas has released a new EP. I consider Aaron a dear friend. We are on polar opposite ends of the political spectrum, but we can talk and disagree without yelling and screaming. For this, I have hope. Liberals and Conservatives can have conversations and strive towards common goals.

Aaron is a talented song writer, musician and sound technician. We have a lot of the same interests, we just disagree about politics. Again, I think itís cool that I consider him a friend even though we have different beliefs.

I see great things in the future of Medicine Lodge and Barber County with the creative minds in these three young men.

It is very humbling to be able to complement these young men. There are many young men and women in our community who are the new "movers and shakers." I first heard that phrase when Ronda and I started our newspaper in 1991.

I remember how kind people like Bill Forsyth, Steve Bryan, Ron Fincher, John Nixon, Pete Meador, Myrlen and Ann Bell, Alan Goering and Dub Rickard (to name just a few) were to us when we ventured out on our own.

You guys are making history. Keep up the good work. Keep dreaming and congratulations!

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From September 10, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

We are just a few weeks away from Peace Treaty 2018!

Every day from here until pageant time, there is some important task to complete in preparation for Peace Treaty. As board members, Ronda and I know first hand the work that goes into putting on a pageant year production.

Thousands of man hours go into preparing for Peace Treaty. It is all volunteer and each and every one of you who donate your time and resources are so greatly appreciated. Serving with the Peace Treaty Association is one of the most rewarding things Iíve had the honor of doing.

Over the next couple of weeks, we will finish up our Peace Treaty Special Edition. We will publish it with our Monday, September 24 newspaper. This edition highlights just a fraction of the people who make Peace Treaty happen.

I would like to encourage and challenge you to do something very important to keeping our heritage alive and keeping Peace Treaty solvent. Buy a ticket to the pageant.

I hear people say, "Oh, I already saw it back in 2000." I also saw it and performed in 4 scenes.

Itís Peace Treatyís life blood. Sales to the pageant and generous donations from sponsors are what keeps this event alive.

Years ago, word got out that 2011ís pageant could be the last one. The truth is, every pageant could be the last one without ticket sales.

Help spread the word to your friends and family this year and go see the 2018 Peace Treaty Pageant.

We have an amazing community with a rich history. Our story will continue to be told in the future with your support. Letís never hear, "This may be the last pageant," ever again.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From September 3, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

A long time friend of mine passed away suddenly last week. I had known him for 14 years.

If you had ever been to a concert at the Cotillion in Wichita or any club that offered live music, you were probably hearing his work. He wasnít someone that craved the limelight, but he was a rock star in his own way. My friend Mike even worked in Medicine Lodge during Indian Summer Days and the last Peace Treaty as a sound technician.

Mike Pickens was pretty close to my age. I first met him at a club called Loft 150 above River City Brewery in Wichita, KS. He was the house sound technician and a very good one at that. Iím not a great bass player, but he made me sound like one. That was always our little joke.

Over the years Mike went on tour with several bands and became one of the most in demand people for tour management and sound engineering around. You could say Mike was a little odd, but it comes with the territory. You donít eat well, you donítí sleep much and youíre under a lot of stress to please a whole lot of people, but Mike always pulled it off and then blew off steam by playing 18 holes of golf wherever he was on tour.

On at least 5 occasions in four different states, I had run into Mike at music events. He was working and was always happy to see a familiar face in the crowd. At one event in Oklahoma City, Mike came up to me at the venue and asked if I could give him a ride home to Wichita after the show. I had to explain to him that we didnít go through there to get to Medicine Lodge. He was cool with that. In fact, he would have just come home with us and tried to catch a ride back to Wichita! I finally drew him a map and convinced him that he was as close to home in OKC as he would be at my house. Mike didnít have a car at the time. He owned a moped, some music gear and had a cat. He ended up finding a ride home the next day.

At a show in Wichita at the Cotillion two years ago Mike spotted me and came over to me and Ronda and yelled in my ear, "Howís it sound?"

I yelled back, jokingly, "A little loud, distorted and tinny!"

Mike looked like I had just parked my truck on the 18th holeís green or slammed his catís tail in the door. He ran over to his console, threw on his headset and started listening to his mix. I walked over and tapped him on the shoulder. He took off his headset and I yelled back, "Hey man, I was just kidding. It sounds great!"

He threw a little awkward, fun punch at me and looked at me with a silly grin through his thick round glasses. "You jerk," he smirked.

He recently married the love of his life, Amy. They were scheduled to marry late winter earlier this year and Ronda and I had planned on making the trip to Kingman for the ceremony. Bad weather rolled in and he sent out a Facebook message saying the wedding was off for the moment. A week later, he posted they were married and one of the photos had a mutual friend in it that he had as his best man. I was bummed out that we didnít get notified and fired him off a text. He said, nobody came except our mutual friend Gabe and a couple of family members. It was just a spur of the moment wedding at the courthouse before the next round of bad weather rolled in.

Mike came off tour on the road two weeks ago and hadnít been feeling well. He was dehydrated and worn out from his last trip across country. He went in for treatment and then went home. His wife found him unresponsive the next day and he was revived and placed on a ventilator.

Mike was taken off of life support on Tuesday of last week after several doctors gave bad reports of his condition. He died at 2:49 p.m. Wednesday. Our mutual friend Gabe called me to tell me the sad news.

I was out on the tractor mowing when the call came. We shared some memories and I put on one of Mikeís favorite bands, "Aranda." Our mutual friend Gabe is the lead singer. Iím glad I got the news from Gabe and didnít see it on Facebook until later in the day.

Mike was supposed to be here on Wednesday, September 26, 2018 to help with sound for Peace Treaty. There are many other sound technicians coming, but I was most excited to see Mike. He will be missed by so many people. Some that didnít even know him or why he was here. They didnít even realize how important he was to what they were hearing.

If you get a job when you go to Heaven, Mike would be in charge of making the Angels sound more awesome than they already do.


KWIBS - From August 27, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

Wednesday moring my wife sighed and said, "Our office is a newspaper again."

I was like, "huh?"

"Well, weíve been a daycare-slime factory for the last three months," she explained.

Yes, school is back in session and our office manager is starting her kindergarten year. All day Kindergarten. Thank you USD#254.

Our cute Grandkids Kycen and Baylee!


KWIBS - From August 20, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

A friend is someone who is there to catch you when you fall or at least put your dislocated shoulder back in after you take a stupid-stumble.

A stupid-stumble is similar to a regular stumble, but involves you doing something stupid in the process of the stumble. I donít need to go into great detail, but my stumble was a classic stupid-stumble.

My friend just happens to be very skilled in fixing this type of injury. He also had a side kick that night who found my predicament quite amusing. Apparently, she thinks I should look down before stepping. Iíve done a lot of painful things in my lifetime, but dislocating an arm/shoulder, is right up at the top of the list.

After a visit to our x-ray department at Medicine Lodge Memorial Hospital, it looks like nothing is broken, but my left arm and shoulder are reminding me daily that I am not as young as I used to be. I will be sporting a sling for the unforseeable future, which is really putting a kink in things like: trying to write this column, working on anything requiring two hands, putting on clothes, driving, texting (not texting and driving) and clapping.

Iím also convinced this is a career ending injury for me as a quarter back for any NFL football team. It would also end it as a concert pianist, brain surgeon or astronaut. Thank God I canít play piano.

I was fortunate enough to have my friends to help me and a box full of slings from other stumbles, stupid or not. The one Iím wearing is kind of special because it was my sonís. Nick tore his shoulder in one of his last high school football games before joining the Navy.


KWIBS - From August 13, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

If you know me well at all, you know I am crazy about music. Ronda and I are always finding a concert we want to see and last week we managed to break our own record. We scored 2 front row, centerstage seats to Peter Frampton at the Kansas Star Casino.

What makes it a record breaker is that weíve only made it on the front row twice in 33 years of concerts. The really cool part is that both times, it was Peter Frampton!



KWIBS - From July 30, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

The story about the Ruckers on the front page this week, is the hardest story I have ever had to write in my 30+ years in the newspaper business.

Fortunately, it had a happy ending.

The reason it was so hard to write, is because I care so much for this family. Emma Jo and Gary Rucker are the sweetest couple you could ever meet. Weíve featured them several times over the years and I always love hearing Gary ask me, "How are things up the creek?" at church.

To hear that they were terrorized in their own home saddened and angered me. What you donít know about this story, is that Gary and Emma Jo prayed for the man who was hurting them and robbing them. They witnessed about the love, grace and mercy of Jesus to this man. Thatís just the kind of people they are. Their son Flint said it best when he told me that they were "the best parents in the world."

I was on FaceTime with my son in Okinawa when we saw the helicopter fly over our ranch. The very ranch where Flint keeps a herd of cattle. Little did we know, that helicopter was flown in to transport the man who had just assaulted the Ruckers. I turned my phone around and showed Nick. He wasnít that impressed, reminding me that he lived on a base full of helicopters. When I heard the news later that night, I texted Nick back and we shared in the shock of what had happened.

I texted Flint the next morning, but wanted to give him a few days before I spoke with him. I knew that he was being bombarded with questions and I hated to be that one more reporter guy that called. So finally on Wednesday, Flint stopped in and sat down for the better part of an hour to tell me what had happened.

I was in complete shock.

For most of my life, I have idolized Flint Rucker. Heís a manís man. Tough as nails, with a heart of gold. I consider him one of the greatest friends and men in my life. He has been encouraging to me, shared in good times and bad and has always been there when I needed him. Weíve laughed together and cried together. I want him to know that he is special to me and my family and loved by this community.

Flint is so humble. He would not want the recognition or mention, but he is a hero who gives credit where credit is due. This was a God thing that he was able to overpower that would-be thief and killer.

Things could have ended so differently for the Ruckers that night. Iím thanking the Lord that it turned out the way it did. Flint is a man who has always had strong faith in God. This can only reinforce his beliefs.

Iím so thankful that he was right where he needed to be that Saturday when Ora Munger decided to try and make victims of his family.

I pray that Emma Jo and Gary and Flint and Donna and all the huge Rucker family heal emotionally and physically from this event. I know they are strong people and they love each other and their community.

When I think of what Flint did and what could have happened, I get goosebumps, but it reminds me of some scripture that I believe is a perfect example of how Flint lives his life.

John 15:13 - Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends (family in the case).

God bless the Ruckers!


KWIBS - From July 23, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

A young Nicholas and a young Hyde.

Thereís a special bond we form with our pets. You donít even realize itís happened until one day they are gone.

We lost our loyal friend of almost 15 years last weekend. Hyde was a smart and kind German Shepherd that was just a natural part of our family.

Ronda and I found an advertisement from a family selling German Shepherd puppies over by Augusta back in 2004. We had just lost our friend "Beau" who was hit while chasing a truck. We had said we would never get another dog, but our hearts were so broken and empty.

We brought our new puppy home and named him "Hyde." He wasted no time in becoming our new buddy.

As our kids all grew up and left the nest, it was just me, Ronda and Hyde. For about the past two years, Hyde didnít come out and play with us much. We could get him to go on a walk on his good days, when his hips werenít bothering him. We slowly watched him grow from a puppy to an old man.

In his younger years, Hyde could jump higher than your head for a frisbie or ball, he could catch a treat in his mouth from more than 25 yards away. He knew multiple commands and would do some of the funniest tricks like spinning in circles until he got his treat. Hyde loved to ride in my truck, in the back. With the "load up" command, he would literally jump into anything that had wheels.

He went everywhere with me. If I had a town errand, he came with me. Heíd sit patiently in the truck when I ran into the grocery store. He came to the office for the first few years of his life until he just got too big and was too nervous of all the traffic. He also got a little too protective when customers came in and we took him home to be on the ranch. He was a farm boy. He liked the peace of the country and being close to his pond in the front yard where youíd often find him cooling off on a hot summer day. He would go on long walks with Ronda and I and occasionally spot a deer and take off running. He would be gone for hours and always returned tired.

As a member of the family, he joined us for our first Christmas photo back in 2004. Looking back, he was in graduation photos, birthday photos and about every holiday occasion we had.

Weíve known our time with him was getting shorter and when Nick came home on leave from Okinawa last month, I told him that it was close and Hyde was struggling. Nick needed to say his good-byes because I was sure he wasnít going to make it to April of 2019 - Nickís next leave. Hyde couldnít see well anymore, had lost most of his hearing and struggled to stand and walk. He never acted as though he were in pain and would still come out occasionally and sit on the porch with us for dinner. I knew he hurt though.

Last Sunday he just didnít have the strength to pull himself out of his dog house. I took it apart and tried to gently bring him to his food and water. He drank, but soon laid down and seemed like heíd had enough of it all. I could see it in his eyes.

I called Joey to let him know that Hyde was going to be gone that day. He was in Denver and I hated to ruin his weekend, but he understood. He wished he could have been there with us. I sent Nick a message, knowing it was late in Japan, but wanted him to know that we were about to lose his first dog. He wrote back and said, "donít tell me."

Moments later Nick flooded Facebook with photos and this message: "There's so many hard things about being over seas. Constantly missing friends and family. But the hardest part is losing someone and not being able to say good-bye. Hyde was truly the best dog I could have asked for. I remember sitting in the garage talking to him and pretending that we had full conversations with each other without needing to say a word. There's no love like a love for your dog. But it makes my heart easy knowing he's not in pain anymore. God got the goodest boy today."

He may be United States Navy stationed with Marines and hardened by his training, but his heart is soft and I knew it was broken.

Ronda and I sat quietly on the ground and brushed him out and said our good-byes. We shed a lot of tears for our friend and furry child of 15 years. We held his head in our lap as Dr. Lynch showed such amazing compassion as she reassured us we were doing the right thing.

We laid him to rest in our yard, overlooking the pond he would swim in. I imagine Hyde being able to run and jump and play again, like when he was a puppy.

Everyday we get up and look out the window where his kennel is. We remember every bark, whether it was to warn us or just to say "hey!" when we pulled in the drive way each day.

We say now we wonít replace our friend Hyde, itís just too hard to say good-bye.

You can only hope that one day our compassionate God would allow us to see our pets again. The Bible isnít clear on this, but my heart would feel so much better if I knew I would get a big slobbery kiss from him when my time comes.

You were a good dog, Hyde. Good boy!

Have a great week and love your dog!


KWIBS - From July 16, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

A Texas man who plead guilty to stealing more than $1.2 million in fajitas while acting as a public servant has been sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Gilberto Escamilla, 53, was employed at the Darrel B. Hester Juvenile Detention Center in San Benito, Texas, until August 2017 ó when it was discovered that he had been placing orders for fajitas using county funds and then selling them for his own profit since December 2008, according to Cameron County Court filings.

When sentenced on Friday, Escamilla was also served with the maximum fine of $10,000 on top of the $1,251,578.72 he was ordered to pay back for the cost of the fajitas, officials said.

According to The Brownsville Herald, Escamilla's scheme unraveled last August after a delivery driver with Labatt Food Service phoned the detention center to give kitchen employees a heads up that an 800-pound delivery of fajitas had arrived.

Employees immediately thought the delivery to be suspicious as minors at the detention center are not served fajitas, however the delivery driver insisted that had been delivering fajitas to the detention center's kitchen for the past nine years.

After being fired and arrested, Escamilla's house was searched by police, who found packages of the fajitas in his refrigerator.

"It was selfish. It started small and got bigger and out of control," Escamilla said during court testimony, according to the Herald. "It got to the point where I couldn't control it anymore."

Texas State District Judge J. Manuel Banales, who handed down the sentence, dismissed an additional theft charge as part of an earlier plea deal made by Escamilla. Because Escamilla stole more than $200,000 worth of goods, Texas law considers the crime to be a first degree felony and allows for a sentencing of up to 99 years in prison. It also allows for a more severe punishment if the defendant commits a crime while acting as a public servant.

And thatís the news!

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From July 9, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

There are a lot of positive and negatives when a holiday falls in the middle of a work week.

For us, it was mostly negative. Our scheduling got tight with deadlines and it was harder for us to get things written and placed in the paper.

On the positive side, nobody knew which weekend to do fireworks shows, so we saw one on June 30th at 99 Springs, one on Tuesday night at Dr. Meadorís house and then had a great show provided by Derrick and Shanda Swinehart at Lake Arrowhead on Saturday night. I appreciate all of those folks who light up the sky in honor or our Independence Day.

Speaking of the holiday.... Itís always been a tradition for me to find a funny 4th of July shirt to wear. Last year, I bought Joey and I shirts. Mine had President Trump riding an American Eagle and holding a machine gun on it. Joeyís was of President Bush standing on two sharks shooting a machine gun. They both said "Freedom" on them. They were hilarous. One year I had Chuck Norris holding a pair of machine guns and it said, "Undefeated World War Champions."

This year, I found a shirt that said, "Happy Treason Day - Ungreatful Colonists." It had a Brittish Flag in the middle of it. I got some laughs from a few people. Many didnít even notice what it said.

The 4th of July wasnít quite the same for one of my family members. Nick spent it on base in Okinawa in his room for the most part as a Typhoon rolled over the island for a few days. It was the first time he admitted to being home sick in a long time.

? ? ? ?

Our first Weird Beard contestent was named this week. It goes out to my buddy Andrew Meador. Keep those photos coming! See Andrewís photo on the right, page three and see if you can top that!

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From July 2, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

A friend came to visit me this week. We come from opposite ends of the political spectrum, but we are most often in agreement on topics.

Our discussion turned to the ongoing spotlight the media has placed on immigration. Itís not a new topic for our country. As old as I am, I canít remember a time that immigration wasnít a topic of discussion, especially close to election time.

No one I know believes we donít have some sort of immigration problem in our country. Dealing with the issue generally stirs up a lot of opinion.

The most recent discussion, rightly so, has been on the subject of separating children from family at the border. Itís a heartbreaking issue that is impossible not to be emotional about.

The images of children sleeping in cages and crying for their parents does make you sick, but the zero tolerance policy is an enforcement of laws that have been on the books for quite some time.

I applaud the president for reversing his decision to separate children from family. At the same time, I am a firm believer in secure borders. Those seeking asylum in our country are simply trying to escape from the hardships they are experiencing in their own countries. The dreams of freedom America has to offer would make anyone from a third world nation want to come here. My personal feelings are that I welcome all who want to come to our country and live productive and fruitful lives.

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free."

Most all of us here today come from lineage of refugees or immigrants. Our country was built on these principles, but before you think Iíve become some bleeding liberal, I also believe that there is a need to vet these people, now more than ever. Our country is a country of law and order. People wanting to enter into this country, must do so legally and orderly, not through porous holes in our southern border.

In todayís world, borders are sad, but needed to secure our country. Thousands of people enter illegally and many commit heinous crimes against citizens of The United States. We can sing the lyrics to "Imagine" by John Lennon until weíre blue in the face, but the reality is that if you cross the border illegally into Mexico, youíre going to be separated from your child, if you brought one with you, and youíre not going to be treated very well.

As many of you know, I also work as a surety agent. Thatís a fancy word for bail bondsman. I deal with a number of Hispanic defendants, normally very good people simply trying to better themselves by coming to our country. They work harder than most of us, but they so often circumvent our system. When arrested, they become extremely difficult to bond. Many have aliases, prior convictions and a large percentage of them abscond from their responsibility to answer to our courts for their crimes. Itís a real problem that I experience first hand.

My highest rate of absconding comes from illegal immigrants. One of my largest lost bonds was on a drug smuggler from Poland who worked for the Mexican Cartel. She overstayed her visa, committed several felonies and then fled the country. Thankfully, she will never return. If she does, she will be sent to prison for a very long time. Folks, these are scary people, doing scary things. People associated with them, lost their lives. They were American citizens.

Last week the president addressed the media concerning victims of illegal immigration. President Trump highlighted "American victims of illegal immigration" on Friday, hosting families of people killed by people who immigrated to the U.S. illegally to tell their stories and hitting back at critics of his rescinded policy that separated some children from their parents who crossed the border illegally.

"These are the American citizens permanently separated from their loved ones," Mr. Trump said at the White House. "These are the families the media ignores. These are the stories that Democrats and people that are weak on immigration donít want to discuss."

I watched family member after family member holding photos of their lost loved ones and listening to their stories. It was heartbreaking.

We have to embrace the fact that we do have an immigration problem and stop turning it into a talking point for elections. The president ran on the issue of fixing our nationís immigration issues. I say we at least let him try or offer up a better solution that still keeps Americans safe. We need to stop taking a side and start thinking constructively, yet compassionately. I donít want to see photos of children in cages and I donít want to see pictures of lost loved ones.

Before you fix your leaking water line in your house, you do one simple thing: you shut off the water. Before you change a receptacle in your house, you shut off the breaker. You do this so you donít create a mess, or worse, cause injury. Our border should be treated the same.

KWIBS - From June 25, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

A sixth branch of the military, in space no less, could be in our near future. Unless congress launches that idea into the sun (see older columns for reference to shooting things into the sun).

Last week President Trump announced "Space Force." Man, if that doesnít take your mind off of hookers, Russia and inappropriate things heís said, then nothing will.

I guess itís all in the delivery.

"We must have American dominance in space. Very importantly, I'm hereby directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish the Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces. That's a big step," he said in the White House East Room during a meeting of his National Space Council Monday.

"We are going to have the Air Force and we are going to have the Space Force: separate but equal, it is going to be something so important," he said.

I suppose thatís logical and probably important, but what about the uniforms for the troops? I think it would be so cool to have them modeled after Storm Troopers from Star Wars movies. Letís face it. Those guys are super intimidating.

Obviously, Space Force Generals would dress like Darth Vader.

All joking aside, space is an important place to be dominant. You must consider that our satellite technology is of the utmost priority in the event of a war. If space is secure, then our troops on the ground have a better chance of winning battles. All communications and targeting systems come from space, so itís not that far fetched to dedicate a branch of our military to space.

Sorry to my lib friends. I think Trump is on to something here. Space: The final frontier....


KWIBS - From June 18, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

Ronda and I have been empty-nesters for about two years now.

Donít let anyone tell you that it isnít awesome.

Of course we were sad when our youngest son left for the Navy, but we discovered quickly that it wasnít all that bad. No offense to my kids, but I am glad they are out of the house and on their own.

Of course, theyíre never really on there own. They are always your kids and always come home.

And they all did.

Last weekend we had all three of our kids home. This is pretty tough to manage considering one of them lives 7,147 miles away.

They may all be adults now, but when they come home, they pick up right where they left off. They make a mess!

When you are just two people, itís easy to cook and keep things in order. When you are 40 people, you are just crazy.

Yep, we had about 40 family members show up over the weekend. It was our 30th wedding anniversary and aunts and uncles and sisters and brothers and cousins and extended family all came to celebrate with us. We had more than 40, but the 40 Iím speaking of needed food, water and shelter. Thatís a lot of work, but well worth it!!

We did decided that our next big anniversary, weíre probably taking a cruise, because it will be cheaper. *kidding*

Iím grateful for the time we got to spend with everyone. Itís never enough time. Itís been so amazing having Nick home and getting Joey home for a couple of days during that time.

The next time we all will be together will be in April of 2019 when Nick and Natalie get married! It takes my breath away a little bit to think it will be that long before we see him again.

Thanks to everyone who came. We are blessed.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From June 11, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

She is my better half.

Happy Anniversary Ronda!

This weekend, Fatherís Day, is our 30th wedding anniversary.

Two high school sweethearts tied the knot on June 17, 1988 just one month after I graduated from high school.

There were groans from family and friends when we announced we were getting married. They said we were too young. We were, but all we had was each other and we did it.

We have so many stories from 30 years. Weíve been places and done things that a lot of people never get to experience. Weíve experienced much joy and many sorrows. Weíve raised three amazing children, one giving us two grandchildren. Weíve lost parents, a cousin, friends, grandparents and aunts and uncles.

Fatherís Day this year will be the most incredible day for us. Not only does it mark our 30th, we will have all of our children home. Bree never strayed far from home, but our son, Joey, lives in Phillipsburg, KS and is working for the Whiteís family grocery stores. Heíll soon be moving to St. John. Nicholas of course is in the Navy based with the Marines in Okinawa. Heís made the 22 hour journey home to spend this special day with us! He did it while being promoted! Heíll actually have his pinning ceremony once he goes back.

There will be so much to celebrate. It will be the last time weíll all be together until at least April of 2019 when Nick and his fianceí Natalie get married. This will be a bittersweet gathering for us.

Iím a blessed man and I know it. How Ronda has ever put up with me, I will never know.

There has never been another love in my life as I have found in you Ronda. You are my wife, my best friend, my business partner and so much more.

I love you!

Happy 30th!


KWIBS - From June 4, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

This is a huge week for us!

Nick is coming home for 14 days of leave starting Friday.

We were last together at Christmas, which just seems like yesterday. This trip home comes after a short deployment to South Korea and the Philippines. Nick is still in Okinawa with the Marine Wing Support Squadron 172, but his job now has him traveling more of the South Pacific.

When he came home in December, I warned him that it was cold here in Kansas. He said, "Dad, itís cold here too. It was like 65 degrees."

Thatís considered cold in Okinawa.

When I talked to him last week, I warned him it was hot and humid here. He said, "Dad, I live near the Equator. You donít know what hot and humid is."

One of my favorite things about Nick coming home is his menu requests. His mother and I always love fixing him his favorite meals - those meals that we fixed all the time when he was in high school that we didnít even know were his favorite. After eating MREís (meals ready to eat) and what I call "poodles and noodles," heís ready for some "normal" food. I would imagine I could grill hamburgers every night and he would be fine with that.

I realize that we have to share him with someone very special to him, his fiance Natalie Bare. They will be making plans for their April 2019 wedding. Natalie will be going with Ronda and I on Friday to pick him up. Sheíll get the first hugs and kisses and then weíll get ours. :)

Speaking of weddings...

Congratulations to my Nephew Ronnie Landwehr and my new Niece-In-Law Morgan Landwehr on their marriage this last weekend! Weíre so happy for you guys!

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From May 28, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

Today is Memorial Day. It didnít change much for us at the paper, other than we have to mail the newspaper to subscribers on Tuesday.

Itís always hard for me to slow down and really get to appreciate Memorial Day. This year was particularly hard because I was very short handed at Lake Arrowhead Resort. My go-to-guy (AKA: Mower man) Dave Gilbert, took a much needed vacation to Alaska for two weeks.

Heíd prepared me a month in advance, but I didnít get the dates until a week before he left, which just happened to be, historically, our biggest and busiest weekend of the year.

I could handle it though and I had a great offer from my former go-to-guy Leroy Weber to help out with some mowing. I took him up on it and I am glad I did!

Friday before: Main mower had charging issues. I thought I had this fixed before Dave left. Nope. I loaded it up and took it to Stucky Repair in Kingman. I had burned up a wiring harness and rather than keep replacing the wire, we just replaced the entire service bulletin advisement for a kit that was to solve the problem once and for all. I also discovered the seat bracket was broken.

Saturday before: Graded all the roads and one hour later, we got 1" of rain....

I was beginning to see a trend.

Monday before: (less than one week to get it all done). The road grader started leaking coolant. My solution? Carry two jugs of water on the back of the grader. I regraded the roads and stopped frequently to give her a drink.

Tuesday before: The main mower is not done, so I mowed all day with a bush hog and the tractor. The tractor kept overheating and then it wouldnít shift into 2nd gear. I managed to mow in 1st gear.

As it was getting dark, I realized that I had missed a dinner with friends in town.

Wednesday before: I finally had to actually go to my real job, but I broke my glasses and am having issues seeing. The parts wonít be in until Wednesday after Memorial Day. Iím so thankful that Bree and Ronda kept the office organized.

The main mower is fixed, now I had to run to Kingman to get it. I ran home and hooked up my trailer and noticed that my fender was shoved into the tire. I thought that was strange. As soon as I moved it, I realized it was more serious than that. I had broken a leaf spring and the axle had slid back. The trailer was toast. So I had to use my car trailer to haul the mower home. I joked that I could have pulled home about 6 mowers.

I made it back safely and started mowing again. I finished up at 6:30 p.m. before we got about an inch of rain later that night. Iím out of time to blade the roads again, so I hope they dry out.

Thursday before: I came to realize that I am spread too thin and am thanking the good Lord above that Leroy is still helping! Josh Ybarra also came out and helped do some trimming before the big weekend.

Ronda left to go help our son move out of his appartment in Hays and helped his girlfriend move into her new appartment.

I finally had to stop mowing so I could go cheer on the Lady Indians in Pratt!

Friday before: We finished up the majority of the newspaper by noon and I went back out to mow the dam and spillways. This should be the end of mowing for the week.

So, it was a memorable week getting ready for Memorial Day weekend. I appreciate all the things that Dave does and I would have been out there working whether he was here or not. Having Leroy and Josh around was such a blessing. Thatís just how weeks before holiday weekends go in the summertime.

Although, I didnít make it to the final resting places of my loved ones, I will remember them and will make memories with my family!

Happy Memorial Day to you all!


KWIBS - From May 21, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

Just a couple of months ago, we lost a great friend. Ron Fincher passed away at the Kansas Heart Hospital after complications from open heart surgery.

A quote on my desk reads, "If we canít find it, you donít need it." Itís a Ron Fincher quote.

His son, Brett Fincher, has been a life long friend. So, when he called saying he had been having some pain in his chest and was going in for a stress test, we all got pretty concerned about him. He went to the same surgeon his dad had gone to.

Last week, Brett underwent a heart cath at the Kansas Heart Hospital. Obviously scared of what this experience was going to be like, I offered up my experience with it and assured him that he was going to be just fine. Iíve had three caths, five stents. Brett insisted that he was probably going to be all plugged up and needed several stents because of his genetics. Keep in mind, Brett works out hard every day and jokingly we call him a "thoroughbred."

Ronda and I drove up last Wednesday for Brettís procedure. When we got there we ran into an old friend and classmate who was also there for support. Doug Hamm was a 1988 graduate of MLHS. I hadnít seen him since our 10 year reunion. We caught up in the lobby and waited for news on Brett.

Doug had lived in the house I grew up in and later in life, we did some horse trading on cars. It was really good to see him and great to hear about his missions work in India.

The surgeon came out and asked for the Fincher family. Well, that was Doug, Ronda and me. He announced, "Brett is just fine. We didnít find any blockage."

That was great news. We went to Brettís room for a couple of hours and he was released. God answered prayers for Brett and now he has the peace of mind knowing that heís going to be ok!

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From May 14, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

I always feel bad when I make a mistake in the paper. Last week I thought we had a phone number wrong in an ad, but it turns out the phone was just messed up for a day.

It caused a little confusion, but former resident Barb Keltner got it straightened out for me and we discovered we hadnít actually made a mistake at all!

To make me feel better Barb sent this gem of a poster hanging on a restaurant window, I assume in the Kansas City area. It gave me a good chuckle.

Thanks Barb! I just realized that it was one year ago that you and Mike moved away. We miss you guys and weíre glad youíre keeping us on our toes and made coffee run out my nose!

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From May 7, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

All week long. I get in my truck and rev the engine up a few times, put it in gear with my foot on the brake and gas and when I take off, I go as fast as I can... until I hit the speed limit.

Before our busy season begins at the lake, Ronda and I have been itching to experience new things and take mini road trips on the weekends. When Derrick and Shanda Swinehart and their daughter Aubrey invited us to watch them race their cars in Great Bend last weekend, we took them up on it.

Keep in mind, I hadnít been to the "drag races" since I was a kid. Ronda used to go to Texas Speedway as a little girl with her family and we both discovered, we werenít that interested in it when we were little, but this was a unique opportunity to watch a father and daughter race alongside their Grandpa Gordy Myers. Three generations of local people seemed like a historical event that we should go see.

So our tour started out with me doing some investigative work on a bond skip I had last week in Pratt County. I didnít find my person, but we had left plenty early enough to drive around and take a tour of St. John, KS. The Whiteís are opening a grocery store there. Itís really a nice little community. We stopped and visited with a couple of locals before moving on down the road. At this point, I had not yet developed my "need for speed."

We rolled into Great Bend about 45 minutes before the races began and found the Swineharts. Although I wanted to ask 40,000 questions, I knew they were all getting ready for their races. Shanda was quite informative and gracious enough to explain what was going on to me and Ronda.

First up to race was their daughter Aubrey. Aubrey has been racing since she was old enough to drive a car. She was running low 12 second quarters in her 1963 Nova. We walked to the line as she drove her car into position. I really didnít know what to expect. Hereís a girl who had not raced in almost three years, in a hotrod, racing guys...... The lights lit up on the tree and when it hit green, Aubrey had gunned it. The earth shook, my ears hurt and the next thing I knew Aubrey was flying down the track. She won her race. I think she drove across the line going about 112 mph.

We were instantly hooked! Our team had just won a race! Like we had anything to do with this team. Haha.

I was given a sneak preview of the behind the scenes of this sport by Derrick a week before. He had showed me two of his three race cars. One was a dragster fueled by alcohol and nitrox. As a complete novice, I just thought two cars pull up, the lights go to green and you race down the track and the first one to cross the finish line wins. Not so.... I canít even explain all of the science and math behind this sport, but it is not the redneck event I was planning on attending. Those who take this sport seriously have a lot invested, including computers and weather stations to help calculate their times. They sort of compete with themselves and the other car in the lane next to them. It made my brain hurt a little bit.

The races arenít just for "race cars" we saw several normal vehicles competing. One was a 2004 Jeep Cherokee. Iím pretty sure my truck was faster, but thatís not what this sport is really about. We saw Vetts, Camaros, Trucks and even motorcycles racing that day.

So, by this time we are pretty hooked after Aubreyís race and excited to watch Derrick in his dragster. Hereís a car that does close to 190 mph! This is the real deal with the parachute that pops out the back and everything. I was pretty excited when I saw Derrick shoe horn himself inside the cockpit of this miniature rocket and put his helmet on. We walked over and did the same routine with following him to the line. Before the race, the drivers pull up to an area that is wet so they can do a quick burnout to get the tires hot and sticky for the launch at the starting line. When Derrickís car started spinning the tires, I capped both my ears. Dear God, there is a lot of power in one of these cars! This was twice as loud and earth shattering than Aubreyís car.

Derrickís race didnít end like Aubreyís, but Derrick wasnít finished. There was a buy back. During that intermission, we watched Gordy Myers win one and lose one. We also ran into Troy Wells from Medicine Lodge. Although I only got to see him race one time, it wasnít his day either.

During Aubreyís last race of the evening, Ronda got a chance to ride to the line with her in her car. Thatís a grin I will remember for a long time and Iím sure she will too!

At the end of the evening, all our Medicine Lodge people had been eliminated, but this was a great experience and probably one of our funnest mini-road trips we had taken in quite sometime.

As we were leaving, I power braked my truck and got the tires to break lose on the pavement, doing what I thought was a pretty impressive burn out. After being scolded for doing that, I still pulled away with a huge grin on my face!

Thank you to the Myers and the Swineharts for letting us hang out with you all and see an unusual and entertaining family bond! Good luck on the rest of your season!

Aubrey and her race car!

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From April 30, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

Two years ago, I was filled with emotion as my last child graduated from MLHS.

So I know too well how many of you parents are feeling this week. The thought of your child, whether first one, or the last one, or the middle one graduating just makes you about spin out of control.

Their world is about to change in an amazing way. There will be new freedom and the ability for them to choose their paths. There will be some mistakes made and some will face struggles, but Iím confident that they will find their way.

My confidence comes from knowing many of you parents and knowing the faculty and staff of MLHS. We live in a blessed little community with great people looking after our children.

For you seniors, take nothing for granted. Your experiences at MLHS will be the launching point for life. Remember the values that you were taught, not just algebra and science. Remember your relationships with your classmates. Remember the successes and failures of your sports teams, your coaches and teammates. Remember your time at MLHS.

These will be some of the best memories of your life. The new memories you are about to make will also be great experiences.

This is a very special class to me. My Nephew Riston Landwehr is graduating, top of his class! Congratulations Riston and the class of 2018. Iím proud to welcome you into the world of alumni! Youíll always be an Indian no matter where you go. I wish you the best of luck in all of your endeavors.

These things I leave with you as advice from an old MLHS graduate: Donít be afraid of good-byes; push yourself outside your comfort zone; trust your gut; be crazy, but not too crazy; and itís ok to cry (Thatís for mom and dad)!

Congratulations Class of 2018!

KWIBS - From April 23, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

Barbara . Bush turned to her doctor in the last few days of her life. "You want to know why George W. is the way he is?" she asked.

The doctor looked a little surprised when she answered, "Because I drank and smoked when I was pregnant with him."

Iíve always admired the class of this woman and her family. She died at her home in Houston on Tuesday surrounded by the ones she loved.

George W. Bush said on Wednesday that he spoke with Mrs. Bush by telephone shortly before her death to tell her he loved her, and she replied that she loved him too.

The Bushes had celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary in January, making them the longest-married couple in presidential history.

As the wife of the 41st president and the mother of the 43rd, George W. Bush, Mrs. Bush was only the second woman in American history to have a son of hers follow his father to the White House. (Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams and mother of John Quincy Adams, was the first.)

She was born Barbara Pierce on June 8, 1925, at a maternity hospital in New York City run by the Salvation Army principally for unwed mothers. The family obstetrician practiced there one month a year, and that month happened to be June. She was the third child of the former Pauline Robinson and Marvin Pierce. Her father was in the publishing business and eventually became president of the McCall publishing company. Her mother, the daughter of an Ohio Supreme Court justice, was active in civic affairs in Rye, N.Y., the New York City suburb where the family lived.

One of Mrs. Bushís distant relatives was Franklin Pierce, the 14th president of the United States.

Can you imagine being the first lady and the mother of a former president? Her life was so interesting and she carried herself so well. God rest her soul.


KWIBS - From April 16, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

Some days youíre hot, some days youíre not. Iím talking about Spring.

In a short week weíve seen temperatures ranging from a low of 17 degrees to a high of 95 degrees!

I know that I am growing older when I get concerned about my pear and peach trees. One day they had beautiful blooms on them, the next day they were gone.

I sort of jumped the gun on spring and spring made sure she told me who was boss. Saturday evening I noticed that we were dropping below freezing. I ran around and unscrewed garden hoses and attempted to drain out some pumps I had prepared for some controlled burns I was helping with. Somehow in the late night hours, I missed one drain plug.

On the day before we were going to burn some brush piles, I went and fired up the pump. As soon as it started, I knew something was terribly wrong. I was soaking wet and was getting wetter. When I realized my pump casing was broken and spraying me with water, I shut it down.

? ? ? ?

Thursdayís forecast was 94 degrees!!! Iím pretty sure it got there and in preparation for it, I ditched my socks and put on my lake shoes that morning.

Anyone that knows me well, knows that I canít stand shoes and wearing socks. I think I only own like three pairs of socks and two pairs have holes in them. I donít know why I hate wearing shoes, but I always say, "my toes freak out." I also hate wearing pants. That sounds strange, but I am more comfortable in a pair of shorts! Thursday afternoon was my first official day back in shorts!

By Saturday, my disappointed toes were back in socks as the weather plummeted into the 40s. I also had to put my pants back on.....


KWIBS - From April 9, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

"Whatís your password grandpa?"

My Granddaughter Baylee asked me that question on Tuesday.

I was busy making an ad for a customer and I nearly blurted it out.

I told her I couldnít tell her what my password was. Thatís always a mistake because it leaves the conversation wide open.

She asked, "Well, why not?"

I explained that it was a secret and I could not tell her. I didnít even know what password she wanted. It could have been to my Snapchat or Facebook account. Heck, it could have been nuclear codes. It didnít matter. I was in a full-blown conversation about security with a five-year-old.

There are sticky notes all over my desk with log-ins and passwords to different accounts. Itís probably good that she canít read or comprehend what I am doing or the entire newspaper could be jeopardized.

Then it was, "Whatís this gray box?"

Might as well make a column out of this.

It was my computer.... Now she is staring at the screen as I write this column. Itís sort of entertaining for me to watch her watch me do this. She seems really interested. Maybe sheíll be the future editor.

Nope. Now sheís digging in my trash as I write.

She grabbed the trash and said, "I am going to work on this in my office," and she darted out.

One thing is for darned sure. Sheís very distracting. I mean cute and entertaining. She wasnít gone but a few seconds.

The next question was, "What time is it, grandpa?"

I almost answered, "Time to get out of my office," but instead I told her it was 3:10 p.m.

"Oh! Thatís when I have to go to work," she exclaimed!

And thatís when I said it.

"Then get your butt to work," I said firmly.

This conversation ended with her looking at me and saying, "Youíre not the boss. Grandma is the boss!"


KWIBS - From April 2, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

Anyone that knows Ronda and I very well, know that we love live music. Our first official date was at a concert in 1985. It was Metallica and Ozzy Ozborne!

A guy I met recently posed a question to me and asked, "Who is a band you havenít seen yet that you would say would be a bucket-list item?"

I had a really tough time answering that question. Weíve seen so many concerts in the last 30 years that my bucket-list is full! My favorite band of all time has to be the Eagles.

This band brings back memories of my childhood. Youíve got that one band that you always turn up the radio when they come on. This one is mine. It might sound silly, but if you love music like I do, you know how it moves the soul. I love all kinds of music from bluegrass to heavy metal. Itís all good except for rap music. I just canít do it. Itís painful to listen to. I must be getting old because I have caught myself telling my kids their rap music is terrible, too loud and to turn it off.

I always watch the upcoming concert alerts for anything from Kansas City to Dallas to see if thereís a concert sneaking up that I want to reserve seats for. Back in December of last year, I saw that former Eagle Don Felder, REO Speedwagon, and STYX were performing at Hartman arena. One of Rondaís favorite bands is REO Speedwagon, so I bought us tickets for the March 25th show in Park City. Keep in mind, we buy tickets early to get the best seats possible.

A few weeks back some friends called and said they had two extra tickets to the Eagles at Sprint Center in Kansas City for Monday, March 19. Even though it was a week night, I could not pass up seeing my favorite band and jumped at the chance, sort of forgetting I had the March 25th show already booked.

If you grew up in the 60s-80s, you probably know the words to most every famous Eaglesí song written. At least I do. My parents listened to the Eagles and I fell in love with them from a very early age. Weíve seen them 4 times in the last 24 years. A lot of people donít realize that the most recent line up is not the original band. Only Don Henley and Glenn Frey were original members up until Freyís death in 2016. You still have the familiar Joe Walsh on guitar and vocals and Timothy B. Schmidt on bass and vocals, but this line up only performed together for two years before breaking up in 1980 for 14 years. It was then that they put differences aside and reformed that line up. Earlier performers included Bernie Leadon, Randy Meisner and Don Felder, who was famous for his song "Hotel California" along with over 17 tracks he contributed during his time with the Eagles.

Glenn Frey and Don Felder had had enough of each other in 1980. At a concert in Long Beach, California for Senator Alan Cranston on July 31, 1980, known as the "Long Night at Wrong Beach", things hit breaking point when the animosity between Felder and Frey boiled over before the show even began. Felder recalls Frey telling him during "Best of My Love," "I'm gonna kick your a** when we get off the stage." After the concert, Felder smashed, according to Frey, "his cheapest guitar". The Eagles disbanded shortly thereafter.

In 2016, the day after Frey's death, Felder told the Associated Press that he felt an "unbelievable sorrow" when he learned about Frey's death. "I had always hoped somewhere along the line, he and I would have dinner together, talking about old times and letting it go with a handshake and a hug."

Joining the Eagles in Kansas City was Glenn Freyís son, Deacon. This kid sounds just like his dad and is only 22 years old. Also joining the Eagles was one of my all-time favorite guitarist and vocalist Vince Gill.

If you were paying attention to my long and drawn out Eaglesí history lesson, we went to see the Eagles on Monday and then saw Don Felder the following Sunday with REO and Styx. We got a double dose of the Eagles. I was in music heaven!!

I did not realize that Don Felder would basically do most of The Hotel California album at this concert. I assumed I would be subjected to music that I had never heard from his post Eagles career. I was pleasantly surprised that I was wrong.

I believe we witnessed rock and roll history last week. I didnít even tell you how good REO Speedwagon and STYX were.

So, I really donít have a bucket-list for concerts anymore. I just have the same old desire to see the ones I love.

An interesting side note: the Eagles play in Tulsa on June 17. Thatís our 30th anniversary. We canít make it though because we have one of our new favorite bands playing for our anniversary! I also bought us tickets to Metallica for March of 2019!

"Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything." - Plato


KWIBS - From March 26, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

Itís interesting to note that our newspaper has a few famous "subscribers."

One such subscriber is Former Kansas Congressman Mike Pompeo. Mr. Pompeoís career has really blasted off in the past few years. After President Trump was elected, Pompeo rose the ranks of director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Recently, heís President Trumpís pick for replacing Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State.

I met Mike Pompeo at the Grand Hotel several years ago and then he stopped into our office shortly after that. I kind of wished I had taken a photo with him now. A few weeks after that visit he subscribed to the newspaper.

Now I doubt he probably has time to read this, but I did note that Mr. Pompeo was a very interesting person. He graduated first in his class from the United States Military Academy at West Point. He was also a Gulf War veteran with the 2nd Squadron, 7th Cavalry in the 4th Infantry Division. Thatís impressive. I found him polite and intelligent. I also remember after meeting him that I forgot to ask his party affiliation. It didnít seem important to me at the time. I liked him and I liked what he had to say about rural America and he had my vote.

Heís obviously had the same impression on our president and is being trusted as one of the top people in his administration.

If by some crazy chance Mr. Pompeo is reading my newspaper, I want to congratulate him and thank him for serving his country in this capacity. I would think Secretary of State would be the hardest job you could ever have, next to President of the United States.

Somehow, I donít quite picture him with his feet up on his desk with The Gyp Hill Premiere spread open.

From my limited knowledge of him and first impressions, I believe Mr. Pompeo will do the right thing for our country in these perilous times. I trust him to make decisions to keep us safe and to promote Americaís interests throughout the world.

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From March 19, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

The community woke Saturday morning to the sad news of Ron Fincherís passing.

I ran into the office and pulled my column off the page, so that at the very least, we could share our condolences with Brett and Kim and all the folks at Finchers Findings. We donít yet know when his services will be, but we will try to update everyone on Facebook.

Ron was a friend to all of us in town and he will be greatly missed.

KWIBS - From March 12, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

While the kids were growing up, I did the typical dad thing (relived my childhood through them). Ronda was the nurturer and often nurse. I was the, "hey, letís buy the kids gokarts, motorcycles and BB-guns!" kind of dad.

Both Breeann and Joey had multiple motorcycle and gokart injuries. By the time Nicholas was born, I was no longer able to play with the children per mom-orders.

I watched once as Joey drove his first motorcycle through a 2 railed, 2"x6" fence at 30 mph.

The most interesting part of that story is that he was 4-years-old. I had taught him how to balance on a bike, rolling down a hill without training wheels just 1 week earlier. Any good dad knows that that is enough experience to put an engine under him and let him ride. Right?

You think Iím that irresponsible? Come on.

I put a helmet on him, gloves and a leather coat and even some goggles over his eyes. There. Feel better about me now?

My mission was to do the same as I had with his older sister: Tie a rope around the motorcycle and let him go slowly at first until he got the hang of it.

I remember how mad my wife was at me when I came home with this motorcycle. I had rolled through Mullinville, KS on my way home from a job one day and some guy was selling these motorcycles on the side of the road, so naturally I stopped.

After I threw my money at him and he helped me load it up in my truck, I drove home with visions of my "father of the year trophy" all shiny on my desk.

I got it home and unloaded it. I polished it up as my wife stood there shaking her head and telling me how bad of an idea this was.

What did she know about "fathering"?

Now here we were. Father and his son were about to make history. It was like Evel Knievelís first jump over 30 buses. I explained the brakes, the gas, the inner-workings of compression and torque to my 4-year-old and said, "When youíre ready, squeeze the gas and Iíll be right behind you."

So I thought.

This kid took off like a pro-motocross racer from the gate and ripped the rope right out of my hand. I busted after him at my slightly-slower than Olympic running speed, screaming, "Let off the gas!"

Thatís 4-year-old language for "give it more gas" apparently, as he went shooting towards a barbed wire fence at the end of our yard. He was a good 20 yards in front of me. I was yelling, "Stop! Brakes! Jump off! Jesus, this is a good time for the rapture!" along with other explicits, when suddenly he took a sharp left hand turn and plowed through the wooden fence along our driveway.

It was over in about 10 seconds and he was on the ground with the motorcycle on top of him, still running, back wheel spinning. He still had the throttle gunned.

I ran over, shut off the bike and lifted it off of him. I could see his wide-eyed stare through his fogged up goggles. He was breathing. I picked him up gently and asked him if he was ok and thatís when the tears machine turned on. He started crying. I was like, "sssshhhh, youíre ok, youíre fine. Donít alert your mom..."

Too late. She was out the door and sprinting towards us. It looked like she was investigating the crash scene, but I think she was actually looking for broken parts of the motorcycle to pick up and hit me with.

The motorcycle was broken. There was a fender a few yards away, a couple of broken boards that Chuck Norris couldnít have Karate kicked through any better, and the front wheel was now smashed into the engine of the new motorcycle that had less than 5 minutes of run time on it.

I nervously said, "I bet the warranty doesnít cover that!"

My wife was not having it. She took Joey inside to clean him up. He amazingly didnít have a scratch on him.

I took the bike down to the shed and heated up the frame and forks and got it bent back into riding condition.

Although I was told that I could not let him ride it again until he was older and ready, Joey was ready to try again within a few days. I had a better understanding of how tight to hold the rope and he had a better understanding of the throttle control. In time, he became an excellent rider and this first crash prepared him for many more to come.

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From March 5, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

I sat patiently with Bree on Saturday morning as she learned how to do corrections and the final stages of the newspaper before it went to press.

"Grandma finds all these mistakes?" she asked.

I explained that there has probably never been a more thorough person as a "copy editor" for any small town newspaper the size of ours.

My mom has always been a huge part of the newspaper making process. Most people donít even realize that before you get the paper, sheís already read it from top to bottom.

Of course, with a crew like this one, she canít possibly catch every mistake. I bet sheís pretty darn close to perfection. Many of the mistakes you might find happened after she had proofed the newspaper. They were usually last minute changes.

Now it might seem weird to honor her for her birthday with a story like that, but my mom has been a bigger part of my adult business life, than my childhood - at this age and stage of the game.

And there is no way to hide a birthday greeting from my mom (unless I donít have it proofread)!

My mom is turning 75 years-young on Wednesday, March 7, 2018. Thatís a cool accomplishment!

I could have used my space to tell funny stories about her like the time she took my sister and I to Century II in Wichita to an event. She got lost and ended up on the grounds sidewalks in our car. We kept telling her she wasnít on a road and we were sure she was driving on the sidewalks, but she insisted she was until we ran over a garden hose.

I love you mom. Thanks for always being here to help me.

Happy 75th Birthday!

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From February 26, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

Quietly and with little to no fanfare, my youngest son left the age of teenager and turned 20 years old on Sunday, February 25.

For him, itís kind of a big deal. Heís serving his country in Okinawa with the Marine Wing Support Squadron 172. In Okinawa, you only have to be 20 years old to buy an alcoholic drink, unlike being 21 in the states. I havenít talked to him about it, but I bet he went out with some buddies and bought himself a drink because thatís sort of what Navy and Marine guys do.

This is Nickís first birthday overseas. He spent his last birthday in training in South Carolina preparing to head to North Carolina for 14 weeks of Marine Combat Training. Oh what a difference a year makes.

As a dad, I wanted to be the one to buy him his first drink, but weíve known for sometime that this would not be possible. I remember buying Joey his first beer on his birthday. We met in Great Bend, KS. Joey was going to school in Hays at the time. Nick and I canít even meet half way for that first beer. Half way would be somewhere off the coast of Alaska in the Pacific Ocean.

Now, Iím not naive either. I know that I didnít buy any of my kids their first drink, but I wish I could have ceremonially at least.

Instead, I bought him a guitar and shipped it to him. I expected it to take 4 weeks, but it took less than a week, so he got it a little early!

The funny thing is, the next time I see Nick, he still wonít be old enough for me to buy him a drink! Thatís kind of funny.

Happy Birthday Nick! Itís a day late in print and probably three weeks before youíll even read this, but know that I love you, Iím proud of you and hope you have the best birthday ever!

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From February 19, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

Iím not a real man. Iím just a big baby. Thatís how I felt while suffering through the latest plague to strike our area. It was just the flu, but it felt like much worse than H1NDeath-whatever-it-was....

I kept waiting for a cart to roll by my house with a driver wrapped up in linens and a mask shouting, "Bring out your dead!"

Well, I didnít die. I wanted to a couple of times. I thought maybe Ronda was going to put a pillow over my head, but she didnít want to be anywhere near me.

For the record, I know she loves me and takes the entire "in sickness and in health" to heart, but Iím a better caretaker than she is.

When sheís sick, I take charge. I cook, attempt at cleaning (no where near her standards), bring her drinks, soup, medicine, take her temperature, place ice packs on her head, etc.

When Iím sick sheís like, "Iím going to Wichita today shopping with my cousin and let you rest!"

No kidding, but sort of kidding.

Sheíd had about enough of me and my coughing and moaning and she did go shopping and have a girlsí day so I could "rest" as she put it. She did deserve to get away from me for a little while. This stuff was on its 5th day by the time she needed to get out of the toxic relationship. By toxic, I meant contagious.

I surprised her with a nice dinner though. I actually got up, grilled some steak and made jalopeno poppers wrapped in bacon and even roasted sweet potatoes.

By Sunday morning, I was feeling like I was over the hump. I wasnít really ready to go to church or back to work, but I could at least bend over and pick up my own tissues off the floor.

We decided that a good way to pass the rest of that day was to watch some movie on Netflix. I didnít really care and started flipping until she yelled, "Beauty and the Beast!"

I figured, meh, ok. I clicked it and expected to be asleep within a few minutes. It was a 2 hour movie redone recently on the basis of the Disney cartoon that from 1987-2008 I had watched more than 100 times with my daughter Breeann. I had also cut my teeth on VHS repair during those years when the machine had eaten the movie and my daughter would break out into tears.

Well, I didnít sleep because I knew the words to every song, "Be our guest! Be our guest! Put our service to the test!"

"No one's slick as Gaston. No one's quick as Gaston. No one's neck's as incredibly thick as Gaston's. For there's no man in town half as manly. Perfect, a pure paragon! You can ask any Tom, Dick or Stanley. And they'll tell you whose team they prefer to be on..." and so-on.

This was ridiculous.

At one point Belle had to leave the Beast and rescue her father. I was like, "Am I crying?"

Dear God, this is not a sensitive moment Iím having is it? It had to be the Robitussin.

Maybe it was a combination of both, but I was choked up and sobbing a few times. It wasnít the movie. It was the thought that I still had 1 hour and 45 minutes of this to go!

Seriously, I thought about how cute Breeann was as a little girl always wanting to watch Beauty and the Beast or The Little Mermaid. It brought back some great memories.

Iím such a baby....

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From February 12, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

Itís a dance that nobody likes to dance to, or likes the song. Itís only interesting to watch others "dance".

It might be a terrible analogy, but thatís what happens in our court systems. The back and forth of motions, responses, petitions and the grueling slow grind of the legal wheel is often maddening.... but entirely necessary.

Our society has one of the finest judicial systems in the world, if not the best. If not understood, on the outside, it looks like a cluster of unorganized chaos. All of it has purpose for fairness and accountability for each side, whether it be for the plaintiff or the defendant.

Iíve had the miserable honor of covering the events of the Steven Myersí death on October 6, 2017. With each court filing, I try my best to put it into plain English so that you can process it.

Every motion, memorandum or rulings are just small pieces of a complex process that our community must go through to get to the end.

My heart breaks when I think about what everyone has gone through in this difficult situation: The family and friends of Steven Myers, The Sheriffís Department and all of the deputies, the EMS crews and the people of Sun City and Barber County - all wanting answers.

I wear so many hats at times: newspaper, bondsman, lawn mower, janitor.... Today my job is simply to present you with the most current information, without inserting my opinion. I hope I do that, while honoring this process of law.

My hope is that we soon heal as a county and community; that we are safe and that there is justice - in what form, I do not know.

KWIBS - From February 5, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

Sheís been one of my kids over the past year and it is sad to see her go, but Iím happy for her.

Jessica Wright is moving to greener pastures - or hallways of chaos, either way you look at it.

Jess is going to the Grade School to work as a Para. It goes along well with her decision to go back to school and get a degree in teaching.

Iím super-proud of the work she did for us for almost a year now. Next to me, sheís probably one of the fastest at assimilating information for exportation (from her pen to your eyes).

What will I miss most about Jessica? My morning greetings. I canít write about them, but she totally understands what Iím talking about.

When I say sheís like one of my own kids, I mean it and she has been. Iíve had to give fatherly advice, which just like my real kids is taken with a grain of salt; Iíve had to criticize her work, getting the too often eye-roll; and Iíve had to call her occassionally to ask, "Where are you?" She knew just how hard and how much to push my buttons before I would either snap or laugh.

But seriously folks, Jess has been great to work with and I wish her the best of luck!

? ? ? ?

Breeann (AKA Bree) comes to us as green as green can be. Sheís not written anything that I can remember since her, "I will be home by my curfew" story, which was actually just a sentence written 30x on a piece of notebook paper in high school.

So far, sheís picking things up and is figuring out the routine. I donít expect her to get a Pulitzer anytime soon, but with some practice, sheís going to be a great addition to The Gyp Hill Premiere. She will introduce herself next week.

Along with Bree, we get our Granddaughter Baylee for half the day in the office. Baylee is currently finishing her degree in pres-school, so she only goes half days. Her afternoon office is across the hallway from mine, so every few minutes she brings me her "work." I get yards of adding machine tape with random numbers on them. I usually fantasize that itís my bank account balance. I also get lots of drawings of bunnies, sunshine and trees - refreshing for this time of year.

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From January 29, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

One Tuesday afternoon back in early 1989, my dad took a trip to Missouri and left a space-filler for his column that said, "Will Return."

I was working as the pressman during those days and saw an opportunity to test my writing skills. They were pretty terrible and my dad was pretty mad when he came back and saw that I had written KWICK KWIBS, Jr. as a guest writer.

He let me continue to write, but then eventually sold the newspaper and moved to Missouri. I hope that wasnít an indicator at how badly my first columns were, but I was able to keep the column for another six months or so, before it got axed by the new owners of the Index. I continued working there for about another couple of months before Ronda and I started The Gyp Hill Premiere.

I was always involved in the newspaper business. I had my diapers changed there, I grew up and played there. I swept the floors there and eventually ran a press there. I miss those days at the Index and I miss those folks I worked with.

A fun little history lesson about this column.

One day several years ago Doris found a snippet my dad wrote in February of 1976, "I have been toying with the idea of starting a personal column for the Index for the past three years," he wrote.

Dad was also "toying around" with the title KWICK KWIBS, Jr.

When we started our newspaper in 1991, my early columns were terrible, even worse than today. I know, you canít believe it. I brought the name with me when Ronda and I started The Gyp Hill Premiere. Many people over the years have asked me, where the name came from.

Now, the column name "KWICK KWIBS, Jr" by my dad, Ron Noland, came from his father (my Grandpa Bill). In 1946 my Grandpa Bill bought his first newspaper, the Logan Republican. He started a column called "KWICK KWIBS".

Well, Iíve read some of my grandpaís and dadís early columns and I am glad to say that I come from a long line of some terrible writers! Seriously though, some of these columns were very well done and made me smile to think how far back my heritage in the newspaper business goes.

It dawned on me last week that my grandpa wrote KWICK KWIBS for 24 years. My dad wrote KWICK KWIBS, Jr. for 12 years and I have written KWIBS for over 27 years now. Iím the winner. Of what, I do not know.....

KWIBS, of some form, has been a part of Kansas newspaper history for close to 75 years now, with a few years of gaps in between. Possibly, there are over 3,000 columns with the name "KWIBS" on them.

So over the course of the last week, Jessica Wright has given Ronda and I notice that sheíll be leaving for a position at the grade school. Sheís been great help and I have agonized over what to do to replace her. Jessica has a natural gift for writing and has really evolved over the last year.

Itís a struggle every business has - keeping employees for the long haul. Not everyone is a Doris Sorg who can put up with me for 17.5 years and then give several months notice that she was leaving. Only one other woman has chosen a longer path in life.... my wife! So far, she has not given me notice she is leaving!

Iím rambling here, but I will eventually get to my point.

Weíre a small family owned newspaper. Weíre a rarity by todayís standards. Most small town newspapers have been gobbled up by larger corporations and conglomerations of small chains. Iíve always dreaded that happening to a community, but finding the right person in a small town is really hard. Sometimes sharing those resources in a centralized location in rural Kansas makes sense. Donít worry, weíre not heading there any time soon as far as I am aware. I have been actively seeking an employee. I had some excellent applications. Two of which I really wanted to hire, but for various reasons, I could not make a decision.

It takes a person who loves their community to write about it. Itís easy to write the controversial news. Itís a lot harder to cover the good news. Human nature makes it that way. More people want to read about crime and chaos than the successes and accomplishments of a community. Letís be honest, we all turn to the courthouse news first and then go back and read the other parts of the newspaper.

It's been a mission statement for us to, "Report the good news about our community."

I always dreamed of one of my boys running the newspaper one day. That would make us 4 generations deep. I had floated that by Joey one day last summer and he said, "Youíre job looks boring. No thanks." Personally, I think itís a very interesting business, but I was not offended.

Iíve read many things that Nicholas has written over the years and heís a very good writer, but the commute from Okinawa would be a deal-killer. If I paid 50 cents per mile it would be something like $7,500 a week in travel expenses, so heís out. Maybe one day, like my father, heíll return home from his service in the Navy and decide he wants to be in the business, but for now, heís got a job near a beach, also near a crazy dictator that weíre all keeping an eye on.

It never occurred to me that Breeann might be interested. The thought of working with a family member who is so opinionated and stubborn and hard headed and moody, probably prevented her from ever asking me. Truthfully, weíre both very stubborn people who can be difficult to be around. We can get pretty frustrated with each other at times.

I mentioned, jokingly, to her that she should work her way into the family business. She was actually interested. I think for a split second, I was scared I had mentioned it, but then I thought back to when my dad let me write that second column. He probably didnít want to at the time. Can she write? Well, probably as well as I did when I first started. She might be even better. I had her write me a little story about something she knew about and she did a pretty good job. Itís writing about things you know nothing about that is harder.

Weíre about to find out. I think itís time. Her children are older and in school. Sheís been a stay-at-home mom with only brief moments of employment, but a lifetime of being in the community. Sheís smart and, hopefully, trainable. If sheís not, I know several choke holds. This will be a challenge for sure, but I think with a little time, she can be a great addition to our family newspaper. I hope youíll encourage her in this endeavor. Please be patient with us while we work through the process of getting her involved and please pray for patience for me! Thank you to everyone who applied and expressed interest.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From January 22, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

Where do I begin?

As if adulting wasnít hard enough, thereís also parenting.

Parenting, youíd think, would be the toughest, but Grandparenting is even more difficult.

Sunday morning I worked Pratt County for some bonding business and then grabbed some lunch. While at lunch, I got two more bonding calls out of Barber County. Then we got a phone call from our daughter needing a sitter for the grandkids that night.

As it worked out, I dropped off Ronda at the house and went in to assist some folks out of the Barber County Crossbar Hotel, as one of the defendants called it. Ronda suggested I pick up the grandkids on my way home.

Piece of cake.

The grandkids were excited to see grandpa. They grabbed what I thought was warm clothing and we headed out to the truck. By the time we got to grandma and grandpaís I had discovered that one of my grandkids only had on a sweatshirt and the other had on cowboy boots, missing one sock.

Close enough.

By the time I had gotten home, I had answered about 178 questions ranging from, "why do turkeys make that sound" to what is "DNA"? I had an easier time explaining DNA.

When I pulled into the drive way, my granddaughter was asleep and missing one cowboy boot. I found the boot under the back seat, slipped it back on her naked foot and after I got her awake and stable, set her on the ground. I just wanted to get inside, get warm and get fed. I was exhausted from the 7 mile trip home.

The grandkids wonít eat anything at our house that isnít either 100% sugar or simply chicken.

We were having steak, but I know to call it "chicken" no matter what weíre eating. I can still trick them into eating about anything if I just call it chicken.

"Weíre having chicken tonight!" No, thatís chili, but they donít seem to know the difference yet.

I have been known to put a tub of ice cream on the floor and two spoons and say, "get it" in place of actual food. I am told this is alright if you are a grandparent. Parents are not allowed to do this.

So we ate and still had a couple of hours to burn. I know what to do. Get balloons. Letís of balloons!

Watching them blow them up and turn bright red in the face is wonderful. I know they are getting plenty of oxygen and working their lungs. Itís also a great cardio workout for them to run around and bop balloons in the air.

I donít know about those two, but grandpa slept pretty good that night.

? ? ? ?

Monday both Ronda and Jess came down with a bug, leaving me the only healthy person in the office.

I told Jess to stay home, Ronda insisted on working. She lasted about two hours and left me in charge.

Alone. Sorry if you called and I didnít answer. It was hectic.

I was chugging along pretty well. We were busy since Monday was a holiday and everyone seemed to not mind braving the cold weather. It was an unusually busy Tuesday.

Before Ronda left at noon she asked me to make the deposit. I thought that would be easy enough. She did all the work. All I had to do was walk it over to the bank.

After 3 hours of customers and phones ringing, I finally made it to the bank, but I think I missed the cut off. Thankfully, I think I had enough in there to cover checks. If not, Iím probably going to get fired.

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From January 15, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

I donít know whoís in charge, but I was promised global warming which included polar ice caps melting and Manhattan underwater by 2014. Itís cold and I donít like it.

Congratulations to the Conservation District Bankers Award Winners! We appreciate all you do!

KWIBS - From January 8, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

I made what seemed like the longest trip to town Iíve made in decades Tuesday morning. It was the end of "Christmas Break" for Ronda and I.

We still had a few days left with Nick before he left for Japan on Friday morning.

We were pretty quiet driving in. We were not really looking forward to going back to work, not even knowing where to begin 2018. We might have even been a little grumpy.

Ronda started laughing when we got to the Assembly of God sign. It read, "Donít be mean in 2018."

It made me laugh too and then I started in.

"I will also not be green or a bean. I hope to be lean, but not have a lien. I keep my motor clean in my full steam space machine. Iím trying to be less obscene since Iím not longer a preteen or even sixteen. Speaking of, did I mention my home economics teacher in high school was named Charlene? Iíll try to remember this summer to use sunscreen unless they come out with some crazy anti-sunburn vaccine. I was hoping to jump on a trampoline inside a submarine dressed as a wolverine. I am also wanting to keep my spleen at least until Halloween - all in 2018!"

Thanks Rodney for being our local sign comedian and turning me into "Dr. Seuss" last Tuesday morning.

? ? ? ?

So I want to give a big shout out and a big thank you to a couple of guys who have served this city well for several years. Norm Clouse and Mike Roe take their city council seats for one last moment tonight and then ride off into the sunset. Well, maybe not, but they are leaving the council. These guys were original movers and shakers. They took part in some unpopular, but necessary actions to improve the functionality of our city government. I applaud them for sticking it out and seeing things through. You guys are appreciated and we hope to be interviewing them soon as civilians!

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From January 1, 2018 - By Kevin Noland

KWIBS - From December 25, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

Wow! Today is Christmas, but you probably are reading this on Tuesday, December 26th or even later.

The holidays will sort of mess up our delivery schedules, but we will publish our weekly newspapers through the holidays.

I hope you had a Merry Christmas! Itís difficult to write about something that hasnít happened yet and that youíll read after the fact, but it is my wish that you had a joyful celebration with family and friends. .

I know of so many in our community that have experienced loss of family members around the holidays and it is my prayer that the Lord gives you peace, hope and love during this time of year. No one is immune to loss. In the last few years, our family has lost several family members. Within the last year we lost two uncles. In recent years weíve lost Rondaís grandma and my dad.

Ronda and I enjoyed looking through old family Christmas decorations a few weeks ago. She used them to decorate for our Christmas this year. It reflects over 30 years of Christmas together. The memories are the gifts that those who have passed leave us.

If it all worked out, we had our entire family together for Christmas this year. It would be the first time since 2015 since we were all home for the holidays.

I love getting Christmas cards with family photos. Iím terrible at sending them, but know that I enjoy seeing your families as they grow over the years. Iím planning on taking a good family Christmas photo this year and with any luck, Iíll make Christmas cards for next year!

Next week will be a recap of 2017. It will be an issue about our communityís successes and struggles. I love to reflect and find the positives in life during this time of year. I hope you will take time to remember 2017. My prayer for our little town is that 2018 is the best year yet!

Have a blessed holiday and see you next year!


KWIBS - From December 18, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

In a few short days, my Christmas present to myself and my family will be here.

Yes, itís selfish to buy yourself a gift, but this one is a doozy!

Our Son Nick is coming home from Okinawa, Japan for a couple of weeks! Perfect timing and much luck has made this trip possible. Nick is stationed with the Marine Air Wing 172 Firebirds there and serves with the ministry team as a Religious Program Specialist.

As it turns out, Nickís current Chaplain is retiring and there will be a change in command that occurs over the holiday. The gap in between offered Nick the opportunity to come home, if all goes as planned. (Keep it down Rocketman).

If it all goes well, heíll take the 20+ hour flight home beginning Thursday our time and arriving sometime Friday afternoon. He will actually leave on Friday morning, his time, and arrive Friday afternoon, our time. Itís confusing.

For the past six months, we had believed we wouldnít see Nick until maybe Peace Treaty of 2018. So, needless to say, WE ARE EXCITED!!

Nick spent his last Christmas in Great Lakes, IL in bootcamp. It was not a special occasion for him or for us, but we are so grateful to have our entire family back together for Christmas this year.

Because of this special visit, our office hours will be somewhat sporadic over the holidays and for the week in between. We will be receiving our mail and checking our voice mail system and we have a drop slot in our door for you to drop things by over the holidays.

Thank you in advance for your patience!! We donít plan any deadline changes, however, we will be in stores on Tuesday, December 26th and Tuesday, January 2nd due to the holidays falling on a Monday this year.

And we are at my favorite edition of the year! This is our Christmas newspaper and we always love sharing the kidsí letters to Santa each year. The kids are just too funny. I hope you enjoy them as much as we have.

And because of the season:

Matthew 1:20-23

Behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you will call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins."

Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Emanuel," which is translated, "God with us."

From our family to your family, we wish you a blessed Christmas. Love and cherish the time you spend with your family and friends and remember the true meaning of Christmas.

Merry Christmas Friends!


KWIBS - From December 11, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

Iím going to weigh in on the news in my own special way this week.

John Conyers announced his retirement from Congress after several women came forward with sexual harassment charges against him. Heís 88 years old and the longest serving Representative in Congress. Heís endorsed his son to replace him.

The younger, Conyers, 27, would be a first-time political candidate. But he has already been connected to an ethics issue, according to the Detroit Free Press. In 2010, the congressman had to reimburse the Treasury Department $5,682 for his sonís misuse of a taxpayer-funded Cadillac Escalade, the paper reports. It seems to me, heís perfect for the job, if he was able to use a Cadillac Escalade for $5,682..... The younger Conyersís wife, Monica Conyers, was sentenced to more than three years in prison for taking cash in 2010, as a Detroit council member, to support a Houston companyís sludge contract with the city.

North Korea is still rattling a saber at us by launching more ICBMs into the sea of Japan. Normally, it would just be another day, but each time he does it, it makes me sick to my stomach because my son is attached to the Marines there and they will be the first to deploy in the event of a war.

Nick says, "I donít care as long as I get to come home for Christmas. We canít go to war until January 5th, 2018."

Of course heís kidding. No one wants war. Iím proposing a simple solution to the issue.

The 2018 Winter Olympics are scheduled to be held in South Korea. I think we should have a competitive javelin toss between North and South Korea. At each other....

Speaking of the Olympics.... The Russian Olympic Committee was suspended on Tuesday from the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea over the 2014 Sochi doping scandal. I propose that we have a special competition just for the Russians. "Vodka Shots!"

And finally....

The Supreme Court wrestled with a clash between religious freedom and LGBT rights on Tuesday as it heard arguments from a Colorado baker who refused to make a cake to celebrate a same-sex couple's marriage because he believes that God designed marriage to be between a man and a woman..

While I agree with the baker, I also understand that you canít discriminate in the market place. However, you can make an awful cake.....

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From November 27, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

People get pretty "bold" when it comes to Facebook and comments. With the recent updates in information concerning the officer involved shooting in Sun City on October 6, 2017, many folks have taken to the internet to express their anger and opinions over the death of Steven Myers - Mostly towards law enforcement, but even towards how we reported last weekís court motions and responses.

The facts will come out. Itís a long process. We printed the story on the motion and response in last Mondayís Gyp Hill Premiere. I did not, however, pull quotes about statements that were heard on the videos.

In my opinion, itís far too early and irresponsible to quote a civil attorney for the family on what he interprets after watching the videos and then going on all the TV news stations to blast our local law enforcement, but this is just not a good situation. Someone died and it tarnishes the respect we need to have for law enforcement. Donít take this as being insensitive, but weíve sort of forgotten that this all started with a person who became drunk, went and got a shotgun, and made threats.

Please donít think in any way that I support use of force as the only option in dealing with Mr. Myers, but be careful believing 100% of what a lawyer wants you to know in the very early stages of an investigation, especially when you know heís preparing a multi-million-dollar lawsuit against our county and that will line his pockets. I wasnít there. The attorney wasnít there and as far as I know, most of you were not there either.

What we need to remember is Myers leaves behind people that cared about him. Appropriate care should be given to his family if there is fault found. I express my condolences. Itís very sad and I wish I didnít even have to address it, but I hate seeing this play out on Facebook news feeds. Myersí death is already being commercialized in a sickening way.

We also need to remember our actions from the past in situations that involve investigating of the actions of law enforcement. Weíve forgotten that within days of an accusation, a special prosecutor was appointed by our county to investigate Sheriff Justin Rugg for allegedly committing domestic battery against his wife in December of last year.

The same has been done for this case and the Attorney Generalís Office is investigating this issue.

Iím very qualified and unafraid to bring this up because I know Justin and his wife very well. The nearly 8 month long investigation cost Sheriff Rugg the election and tarnished his wifeís reputation at her job. It also cost our county a good deal of money investigating it.

I believe it is important to investigate this incident as rigorously as we did an alleged domestic battery - which resulted in no charges being filed. In the end, hopefully, the truth will be known and justice will be served. I also believe it is important to let investigators and prosecutors do their jobs, unimpeded by public opinion - including mine. We will do our very best to be fair in reporting on this story, which has been forced into the spotlight by what appears to be an inevitable lawsuit.


KWIBS - From November 13, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

Wednesday morning we received notice of the winners of the write-in campaign for city council.

By as much as a 5-1 margin, Matt Forsyth, Elisa Stone and Ron James will take a seat at the City Council in January.

It was a particularly interesting election given that voters had to write-in their names. With a 26% voter turn out, it was a nail biting evening on Tuesday. No information was available until mid-morning on Wednesday and my phone was blowing up.

I want to thank Amy Sill for keeping me up to speed on the progress at the Clerkís Office.

Now we can move on to something that hasnít been discussed much since the write-in campaign started. Mike Roe and Norm Clouse have served the city of Medicine Lodge for 8 years on the council. They will be leaving with little fanfare.

Their decision to serve in the first place came with great sacrifice and whether or not you like what theyíve done during their terms, they have both served the city honorably. If you see either one of these guys, donít forget to thank them for their many years of service to our community. Theyíre not done!

If anything, the election sparked more interest in our city government. Several who made last minute runs will hopefully keep themselves informed on what is happening in Medicine Lodge. I got to visit with at least one other write in who did not win and I believe this person has a genuine interest. My hope is that instead of watching Facebook for fake news and information about our town, they will, in fact, educate themselves on issues concerning the operations of the city.

I can be biased in this situation, because I do get involved and I can provide factual information. Our city operates on the up and up and we have good, honest people at the helm. Thank you all for voting and doing your part to keep Medicine Lodge alive and well.

KWIBS - From November 6, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

In the 1970s, I grew up in a country that referred to Viet Nam as a "conflict". It was taught in school and ingrained in our studies. It was later in my life that Viet Nam was called what it actually was, a "war". It was fought by brave men and women who were not remembered like the veterans of WWI or WWII.

People had grown tired of war by the 1960s. Some were simply cowards who did not love our country enough to fight for it, whether there was a draft or not. They directed their hatred towards those who served.

It breaks my heart to hear of accounts of disrespect towards the men and women who served our country during this era. Some were wounded more severely by their own countrymen upon their return home than in the battle field.

We will celebrate Veterans Day on Friday. Iíve always felt this was one of the most important times of the year. Iím deeply moved by the service that people give to their country in the armed forces. Although I did not serve, I have the utmost respect for those who did and are serving. My dad was in the Navy during Viet Nam. His service actually had him in and around Cuba during a tense time with Russia. He later did joint missions with many countries in South America. He was a radio technician on a mine sweeper.

His Navy career is the reason I am now here writing this column. My dad was a Kansas native who met my mother in Rhode Island at a YMCA dance. As a result of that meeting, and later a marriage, I was born in 1969 in Providence, RI. When my dadís time in the Navy was finished, we moved back to Kansas and Iíve never lived anywhere else.

It came full circle last year when my son graduated from MLHS and went into the Navy, a decision that I am very proud of. He is approaching his first year of service and is now stationed with the Marines on a base in Okinawa as an RP (Religious Program Specialist). His duties as a Religious Program Specialist might seem sort of unimportant, but after boot camp, Nick went through Marine Combat Training. He switched from "Blue" side Navy to "Green" side Navy. He is considered by his fellow Marines as one of their own. He trains, eats, sleeps and is in all practical measures, a Marine. In about a year heíll have his FMF pin. The United States Fleet Marine Forces (FMF) are combined general and special purpose forces within the United States Department of the Navy that perform offensive amphibious or expeditionary warfare and defensive maritime employment. The Fleet Marine Forces provide the National Command Authority (NCA) with a responsive force that can conduct operations in any spectrum of conflict around the globe.

So, heís not really just an assistant to a Chaplain. Heís a combatant. He owns the phrase, "We fight tonight." I pray that he never does.

On an average day when RPSA Nicholas T. Noland leaves the confines of his base heading to another, he is faced with protesters who spit, curse and throw things at his vehicle. When he first told me this, I couldnít hardly believe him. Then he slipped me a video one day and I saw it for myself. The protesters are paid by China to harass our troops in Japan. Itís a poor attempt to demoralize our soldiers serving there. The irony of it to me is that if we werenít there, the economy of Okinawa would collapse. I didnít even mention how unstable the region is. Imagine if we left? The people of Okinawa rely on jobs on our bases and money that flows from our soldiers to local businesses. Japan relies on us to protect them from some of the craziest leaders in the world like the one from North Korea.

My point is pretty simple. Men and women who serve this great country deserve great respect, especially in their own country. I really feel obligated give honor to those who served in an "unpopular war" such as Viet Nam, but what war is popular?

Each Veterans Day our school district does a wonderful job honoring veterans in our community. They usually focus on honoring one era and this year is the Viet Nam war veterans.

We struggled this year to find a Viet Nam veteran who wanted to talk about their experience with the newspaper. Two actually cancelled and I totally understand. Weíve been honored in the past to hear Gary Dykeís accounts of the war. Heís a wonderful man and a friend.

So since weíve done Gary and we were turned down a couple of times, I turned to someone who I greatly respect, but I knew he would decline. I believe him to be one of the most honorable people I have had the privilege of meeting in my adult life. Major Bob Stutler agreed to share some of his thoughts about Viet Nam. I will tell you that he did turn me down at first. After he thought about it for a day, he agreed to write his own accounts. I sat in my office last Thursday and read his perspective on Viet Nam. Keep in mind, Iíve known Major Stutler for 10 years. Iíve heard his story. What heís shared with the newspaper is just a glimpse of some of the things this man has seen and done. He didnít write about all of the medals heís received, including several Purple Hearts. Iíve seen his passion for our country. Iíve also seen his wounds and heard how he got them.

Take a moment to read his perspective on the front page.

Thank you Bob for sharing your perspectives on Viet Nam. Thank you to each and every veteran who made the choice to serve our country during peaceful times and during times of conflict and war. Thank you to my son, whom I miss every day with every fiber of my being. Thank you to my dad, who I miss and think about every day since heís been gone; and especially on Veterans Day.

My hope is that there will never be another Viet Nam-like homecoming for our soldiers. I know that my children and my grandchildren will honor those who serve our country because of what they learn at school in our community. I can never imagine a protest against someone like my son, or like my dad, or like Bob.

I have many people who I consider friends that served in Viet Nam. I hope they know now that we honor them and thank them today and forever. We are not the America you came home to after the war and I pray we never are again. I have many friends who served in Iraq, Afghanistan and on bases in the United States and around the world. They are heroes and worthy of our respect and thanks.

Please attend the Veterans program at MLHS on Friday. Take a moment to thank these and all veterans for their service. We live free because of their what theyíve done in service.

Happy Veterans Day


KWIBS - From October 30, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

Ronda ran into my office last Tuesday with a 20 year old KWIBS column from November 3, 1997.

She had the evidence needed to close the case and accusations that we did not carve pumpkins with our children when they were young.

I probably lost you there, but last week our oldest son Joey did some "pumpkin carving" with friends and stated to me that, "It was my first time to carve pumpkins because we only painted pumpkins when we were young."

I knew we had carved pumpkins and we had also painted them. I remember making the switch to painting after we had an incident with a family of raccoons (thatís another column).

We also had one other issue after carving or painting. It has been resolved, but also verified. We had an issue with disposal of the pumpkins after Halloween. It seemed like the pumpkins sat around for a little too long after the holiday. Is Valentineís Day too long to continue to display a pumpkin?

I regress....

Joey claimed it was his first time. He was mistaken. Here is the evidence.

From November 3, 1997ís edition of The Gyp Hill Premiere:

It was the scariest thing we had ever seen...

Last Wednesday evening Ronda and I brought home pumpkins for the kids to carve and decorate.

We started our project shortly after dinner. I carved out the faces with the careful guidance of our children Joey and Breeann (this was Pre-Nicholas. He was still in incubation and not born until February of 1998...). I made them "gut" the pumpkins. Traditionally, itís the parentís job to do the carving and clean up, not the actual "gutting". This job is designated for tiny hands that arenít grossed out to have sticky stuff crammed up their fingernails.

It took the kids 20 minutes or so to completely get their pumpkins cleaned out and ready for the title of "jack-lanterns", but they just werenít ready to be done with the traditional pumpkin carving. Thatís when I had a great idea (at the time it was a great idea). Why not paint the pumpkins?!? This would add an artistic flair to an ancient tradition. They could paint faces and mustaches, eyelashes, lips or even beards on them. We got the paints down from the cupboards and gave the kids brushes and water and they went after it.

It was time to relax. The kids were being entertained and Ronda and I could enjoy some quality television. We had no interruptions for nearly an hour. This was pure bliss. Never before had I had such an innovative idea to keep the children busy with a fun project.

Then the true horror of Halloween hit our home.....

Joey came out of the kitchen (15 feet from where we were sitting) with paint from the tips of his fingers to his elbows and all over his school clothes.

I said, "donít touch a thing!" I picked him up and took him straight to the bathroom. Whew! That was a close call. It wasnít 30 seconds later that Breeann came out of the kitchen in the same condition.

I said, "donít touch a thing!" I guided her in the direction of the bathroom. Children seem to need directions to the bath tub when they are so filthy they risk completely destroying a home environment.

After getting the children in a safe place we approached the pumpkin projects in the kitchen.

"OH MY GOD," we both shouted in terror!

The kids not only painted their pumpkins (entirely from bottom to top, including the stem), but they also got paint on the table, the wall, the chairs, the pictures on the walls, the ceiling, the refrigerator, the floor, the carpet, the dishwasher, the stove, a stained glass window, all of the vitamins on the counter, the lamp, the light, the back door, the sink (which is a good 15 feet away from where they were painting), the cabinets and cereal boxes.

Apparently they went VanGough on us. Instead of painting with brush strokes, they took a more modern splatter technique. They mixed every color together, which you realize makes black....

Ronda and I spent an hour mopping the floors and the ceilings (yes, we used the mop on the ceiling as well). It was quite difficult to get off, even though it was water soluble.

The entire time we were cleaning up the horrible mess we were laughing hysterically! How could we have been so stupid? Thatís when Ronda reminded me that it was my idea to get the paints out and let the children be creative after carving pumpkins.

I put the painted/carved pumpkins out on the front walk that evening. It rained overnight. The pumpkins ended up a bright, shiny, clean orange the next morning....

Case closed Joey!

KWIBS - From October 23, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

It was "A Day to Remember," although it wasnít. Well.. sort of..

Wednesday our oldest son Joey called and said he would be in Wichita that evening if we wanted to hook up for dinner. We were all about seeing him. Joey moved to Phillpsburg, KS a few months ago to work at one of the Whiteís Foodliner stores.

Thatís a pretty far and away place, so we havenít seen him much. Getting to meet up with him in Wichita was a great idea. It turned out that Joey and a friend had tickets to a concert for a band called "A Day to Remember."

Well, it was a day to remember, but not for the right reasons. On the way up, I was called to stop and write a bond in Kingman. It was a large bond and I spent a couple of hours writing it only to have the whole deal fall apart after some confusion between attorneys.

I called Joey to let him know we were running late because of the fiasco with the bond I was writing. It wasnít a problem because he was about an hour behind too and would have to just meet us at the concert. Ronda and I pulled into Wichita and had enough time to grab a bite to eat and head to the Cotillion. We were just a few minutes late and called Joey from the parking lot. He and his friend met us at the box office.

When we walked in, an enormous sign read, "SOLD OUT." We waited around outside the show hoping that someone would be selling a pair of tickets, but finally left after an hour and a half. There was one nice kid who had one ticket that he was willing to give us, but we politely declined after not being able to figure out which one of us was going in and which one was staying in the parking lot! We had driven three hours to basically give our son a hug and then drive home.

It was worth it. It was a day to remember.

KWIBS - From October 16, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

Well, it happened, most unexpectedly.

It started Monday and took me completely by surprise and I broke on Tuesday.

I had to put on pants.

Fall has arrived and the temperatures fell Monday afternoon. Iím just not a fan of cold weather. I want it to be 80-100 degrees all year long. Thatís where Iím most comfortable, and in my shorts. I will stay in them as long as possible, but at some point the weather always wins.

Yes, I folded up my shorts and put them away...... for a about three days. I can handle being in shorts at 60 degrees and up, but any lower, and I break down.

If you see me in the summer wearing pants, itís bad. Someone has died and Iím going to their funeral. There is no other reason for me to be wearing pants during that season.

Come to think of it, the Grim Reaper doesnít wear pants at any time of the year. Heís probably got shorts on under that black robe, if anything at all.

Worse than having to put on pants, I had to put on socks too. I have CCFS (Chronic Claustrophobic Foot Syndrome) and my toes like to roam free inside my shoes or be barefoot, rather than be restricted by a knitted boot on my foot. I donít know if that really is a chronic syndrome, but it should be and it sounds real.

My wife simply calls it being "crazy".

I canít really explain in words why I freak out wearing socks, but if youíve ever put tape on catsí feet, thatís sort of how I feel for the first few days wearing socks. If you havenít done the tape on the catís feet experiment, do it now and report back to me. If your cat has not been declawed, look it up on youtube.

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From October 9, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

When I was a kid, all of my rock and roll idols were immortal. My first experience with losing one was when Elvis died. in 1977. I think I was in second grade when Brett Fincher came to school crying. When I heard the news, I think I cried too.

Since Iím a grown up now (jury is still out on this statement), Iíve experienced the loss of several of my favorite rock and roll artists. Half of the band of Lynyrd Skynyrd died in a plane accident in the same year that Elvis died. Keith Moon of The Who died a year later; Bon Scott of AC/DC in 1980; John Bonham of Led Zeppelin and John Lennon of the Beatles also died in 1980; Bob Marley in 1981; Randy Rhoads of Quiet Riot in 1982; Andy Gibb of the Bee Gees in 1988; Stevie Ray Vaughan in 1990; Freddie Mercury of Queen in 1991; Jerry Garcia of The Greatful Dead in 1995; another Bee Gee, Maurice Gibb in 2003; Johnny Cash in 2003; Ray Charles in 2004; Richard Wright of Pink Floyd in 2008; Michael Jackson in 2009; Lou Reed in 2013; David Bowie, Prince, and Glenn Frey of the Eagles in 2016. There were many more when I searched the internet. These just stood out to me.

Last week, we lost Tom Petty. I grew up on his music. The very first song I learned to play on guitar and sing was a Tom Petty song. For years I wanted to see him live. Before I could, my son Joey stumbled upon a concert at Madison Square Garden where he and a friend bought scalped tickets to Tom Petty. He ended up sitting very close to the stage and I was so jealous. It was just a few years ago, Ronda and I finally got to go see him play in Wichita. Sadly, he was in a sour mood after having much of his valuable guitar collections stolen a few days before his tour started.

Rest in Peace Tom and thank you for the music.


KWIBS - From October 2, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

If NFL players canít come up with a better way to promote attention to "injustice" other than taking a knee during the National Anthem, then I canít watch any more.

I wonít go on and on about being patriotic, but there is a time and a place for everything. Surely there is a better way for players to get their message out. Never before have I read so many divisive comments on social media concerning the flag and National Anthem.

Yes, America has its problems, but do you think this is drawing attention to those problems or creating more division among Americans? Have you been to another country with more freedoms?

Do I agree with President Trumpís statement concerning the NFL? No, I do not.... and just when you thought I was a Trump supporter....

At a political rally Friday in Alabama, Trump challenged NFL owners to fire any player who takes a knee during the National Anthem, saying owners should say, "Get that son of a Ö off the field right now. Out! Heís fired!"

Thatís not a statement a sitting president should make about any subject. Teach by example. The NFL can whine about what the president said, or they can take a closer look in the mirror and remember a man named Tim Tebow.

His kneeling was considered a clash of faith vs. football. It had no place on the field according to many in the media and in Hollywood. That event caused a full blown national debate about religion and its place in sports.

The League has also had no problems in the past giving the thumbs down to activities that it feels are harmful to the NFL.

Back in August of 2016, Dallas police officers were shot and killed execution-style. The Cowboys wanted to honor them with a decal on their helmets. The NFL said no. They added that "there are so many wonderful, wonderful causes, the league has to be careful," - a statement by executive vice president Stephen Jones.

So, the NFL has no problem squashing someoneís freedom of speech when it comes to supporting fallen police officers, but they wonít stop a protest at their games during the National Anthem. Iím surprised they just donít stop doing the National Anthem all together. Itís so divisive....

Justin Houston of the Kansas City Chiefs may have had the only logical reason to kneel before the game (but still during the National Anthem).

"People are complaining about kneeling and standing, but I feel like itís pointless because itís not changing anything," Houston said. "I feel like prayer changes everything, so I was praying before the game that we come together as one.

"What are we kneeling for? What is that going to change? Itís not going to solve anything. Prayer is power. So I believe if we pray together, the more we come together as one and we can make a change."

When I hear the National Anthem played, I think of soldiers protecting our country around the world. I think of my son serving with the marines. I think of the freedoms that I have because of people who were willing to serve their country, some of them sacrificing their very lives so that players can take a knee during the anthem at a NFL game.

Is it too much for us to teach our kids respect for one another? For the country? For our men and women in uniform? For the flag?

I donít want politics in sports. When Iím choosing sides, itís because of the teams playing. Iím not an insensitive deplorable. Iím an American trying to watch a football game. Thereís nothing political about standing, taking off your hat and honoring our country for two minutes.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From September 25, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

It was a breath of fresh air to read all the positive comments on social media about the Community Improvement District project on Main Street and 281/160.

It is really looking sharp and I commend everyone who has had a part in this project. The new street lights, benches and points of interest markers look really sharp and very much accent our communityís rich history.

Weíre fortunate to have so many things going on at once. If you look around town, several businesses, including The Gyp Hill Premiere, have taken advantage of Barber County Developmentís Facade Grant Program. There is still time to make improvements and receive up to $1,000 in assistance to give your business a face lift.

Both the CID and the Facade Program came about from Barber County Development. Iíd like to thank Jim Rowland for his leadership role in getting these projects off the ground.

The City of Medicine Lodge also deserves a big thank you! The new lights on Main Street also include a new sound system that will benefit the entire community for events like Peace Treaty and Junefest.

Jeff Porter gave me the tour of the sound system Tuesday afternoon before Indian Summer Days. I am impressed! For the past 26 years, the downtown sound system was located in my office and for each and every parade, David Colborn and I would run all over town trying to make things work. It was a patched up mess for years and without Davidís help, I could have never kept it going. It was bitter sweet to see it come down (and leave my office!).

Finally, thank you Brett Edwards and crew for the terrific job on the front of the Premiere building!

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From September 18, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

A few weeks ago, I was forced to endure an 8 hour continuing education class on being a bail bondsman.

Keep in mind, Iíve been doing this pretty successfully for 13 years now, have written better than 4,000 bonds, made more than 40 arrests and surrenders, but recent changes to the law forces me to take this education training.

The KBAA (Kansas Bail Agent Association) approached many of us in the industry about joining several years ago. I, along with many of my colleagues chose not to join.

Their sales pitch was, "You will be kept informed on pending legislation in our industry."

Little did I understand at the time, that their lobbyist would be introducing legislation that would require 8 hours of continuing education to be taught by, none other than, the Kansas Bail Agent Association.

So at $250 per class, they held approximately 9 classes this year with about 40 in attendance at each class. Thatís about $90,000 in income generated annually.

Because Iím not a member, I canít see where the money goes, but my local State Representative Kyle Hoffman was notified of this interesting situation. The KBAA represents less than 15% of compensated surety agents across the state and these classes are a big boost to their cause.

Hoffman was made aware of the changes to the law earlier this summer. He said he honestly didnít read it that closely. I understand that a lot of things cross his desk, but this bill is extortion at its finest. The state has effectively set up a membership agency monopoly that profits solely from a law passed, that the KBAA introduced.

The law requires that only they can teach this class at a cost of $250 per person. If a bondsman or "compensated surety" does not take the class annually, the KBAA will notify the chief judge of the district and those not completing these hours will be removed from the authorized list of bondsman for the jurisdiction they serve in, no matter how long they have served.

I actually love to learn. I attended the education class in Hays on September 1st. Hereís what I learned.

- I was read the law concerning bonding in Kansas. No one there taught me to read. Iíve been doing it pretty well on my own for about 43 years. Iíve also read the laws concerning being a bondsman.

- You can fight the courts on forfeitures and win. You can especially count on winning if you use the KBAAís attorney. And if you are a member, you get 1/2 off the hourly rate for representation. I have a problem with that. First, they are soliciting for a law firm and their association at a mandatory class; and secondly, if the court has a legitimate forfeiture, thatís my responsibility to either find the person and return them to jail or pay the forfeiture as agreed. Anything else is unethical and dishonest.

The attorney who spoke finished his speech with much foul language, disrespect for judges and county attorneys and then proceeded to throw T-Shirts and beer coozies into the audience. For a minute, I thought I was at a terrible time share conference. I caught a beer coozie though.

- In the second session, I learned how to trick police officers if I want to commit a crime. I donít even want to go there.

- In the third session I watched in horror as bondsman after bondsman disrespected a 6 term sheriff of Ellis County by whining and complaining about their phone systems and the way they allow bondsman to write in their jails and commons areas. I felt sorry for this guy. He was there to talk about ethics and instead answered questions about 800 number calls and fights between competing bond companies in his jurisdiction.

- In the final session a representative from the National Bail Association told jokes about the male anatomy. He also made fun of people who had been in trouble with the law and how he was fighting to keep our industry alive and well. He might have said some important things about our industry, but I was already so angry to have been forced to be there, I was no longer interested.

This is whatís wrong with government. Money buys lobbyists, who convince our legislating bodies to pass laws that force people to fund these lobbyists who pass bills to keep their jobs. Our representatives donít even seem to read these laws or understand them before passing them.

How horrifying would it be if Kansas Press Association passed a law that said if I didnít take an 8 hour journalism class, I could no longer print a newspaper?

So, where was the education I was paying for? Since it was at a country club, as soon as the class ended, I went up and got a drink at the bar.

Drain the swamp from the bottom up....

KWIBS - From September 11, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

Nick has been gone for a couple of months now. We talk several times a week, but heís so busy and with a 14 hour time difference, we have a difficult time matching up our schedules.

He asked me, "Hey, you know... uhm... you could send me a package or something. Other people are getting stuff from home...."

I didnít really understand. I sent all the stuff he asked for two months ago and then like a ton of bricks, it hit me. He misses home and familiar things.

I am such a dope .... All through boot camp and "A" school, I sent him packages and letters, but after he got to his job, I just stopped.

So he needed some documents mailed to him and wanted a couple of items from home. This was the perfect opportunity for me to make his day. I scurried around to make him a "care package" Tuesday.

I discovered something. Dads really arenít that good at making care packages, but I did my best. I donít bake cookies, but I grill a lot. You canít really send someone a steak that takes 10 days to arrive. It would be cold by then. I drove all over town and stopped at several businesses to buy him some little items. He got some beef jerky, peppermints, a candle and my favorite set of headphones that he always used when he was home. His mother included a cute card with a hand drawn picture of Kansas and put "Mommy miss you" inside it. I wrote a note on the card that said momís picture looked like "the bat signal..." She might be a spy for North Korea. I wouldnít trust her.

He also got some cute hand drawn messages from his niece and nephew that were considerably better illustrations than his motherís. :)

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From September 4, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

There are times when I think we should scrap the English language and just go with whatever my 4-year-old granddaughter makes up.

"I want to go to the restranaut!" I think this is a place for astronauts to eat, but I canít be for sure.

"I wanna go wiff you at grandmaís house." Assuming she means that she wants to go where I also live, she either wants to go there to see grandma or smell me.

"Grandpa, my teacherís name is Mrs. Bologna!" I learned itís actually Mrs. Maloney. Her loss....

"My mom made sketti for supper." I think this is the female version of the yetti. They are definitley meaner and better cooks.

Baylee spent some time in our office after school on Tuesday. Translation: I canít get anything done because Iím being bombarded with questions.

While Iím trying to register for a class and book a hotel room sheís asking questions like, "Whatís that screen do? Why do you type so fast? Grandpa whatís in this cup (spills cup). Who is bigger, you or grandma?

My brain can only respond with, "Go ask your grandma questions!"

But she continues, "Grandpa, what are you doing? Why are you doing that? How long are you doing that? Grandpa, why are you putting headphones on and drinking bourbon for lunch?"

And why do we always lie to little kids? I always thought of myself as a relatively honest person, until it comes to my kids and grandkids. Iím honestly shocked at how much I lie to my grandkids. Can you really even trust that statement?

"You canít eat that popsicle in here because your brain freezes faster inside. Go outside and eat it, but not on the concrete. Go to the grass. The grass insulates your feet and keeps your brain from freezing."

Thatís a lie (see photo at end of my column). Your brain freezes just as fast in the grass, but the ants donít get on your concrete when they inevitably drop said popsicle.

Maybe itís not really lying so much as it is diversion from the truth. We start these kids out with lies. We tell them about Santa, the Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy.

And they believe it all. Weíre either sinister liars or great actors. Iíd like to think I am a golden-globe winner at parental and grandparental acting.

The Tooth Fairy was just out of necessity. We lie about where their old nasty teeth go and give them money with a made up story about a fairy who leaves $1 for a tooth. When I was a kid, I think it was just a quarter, but you have to figure for inflation.

If we were truthful with our kids, weíd say something like, "Congratulations, you lost a tooth and look like a hillbilly. Hereís a dollar to make you feel better."

You have to admit, they are pretty stinking cute at that age and most of the stinking is gone because they can go to the bathroom on their own. Of course, you have to take them in there and stand around waiting for them to do their business.

This is an actual photo of my grandkids Kycen and Baylee with painful brain freezes that both of them experienced while eating popsicles. Notice how they are supposed to be in the grass, but have crept up onto the concrete.

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From August 28, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

Moonday, August 21, 2017 - a day that eclipsed all others.

Ok, sorry for the dumb intro to my column.

Like most people, I couldnít wait to jump on the eclipse bandwagon, only I was a little late. I searched all over for those "look straight at the sun glasses" but they were sold out everywhere. I just waited too long.

So, I heard from a friend that there was this beer company that put a pair of the glasses in with their packaging and they bought some in Pratt. Well, Iím not much of a beer drinker, but thought, "Hey, we can get some glasses and give the beer away!"

So we hopped in my truck and drove up to Pratt. We walked in just behind someone we knew, whose name I wonít mention, but her initials are Donna Queal, oops. Sorry I am outing you Donna.

We all walked up to the counter together. She had her purchase and we didnít have anything because we were in a liquor store looking for solar eclipse glasses.

I asked the clerk, "Do you have beer with solar eclipse glasses?"

She pointed at Donna and said, "Thatís it right there."

Only Donna had bought the last box.

So we went home empty handed.

Later in the day we learned that Rondaís stepmother, Linda Vick, had bought 8 pairs from Farmerís Almanac and wanted us to have a couple of pairs! So, our trip was just a waste of time. Iím still outing Donna for buying the last box of that beer.

Monday rolled around and we not only had glasses, but I had cut up two cereal boxes and made the proper viewers to safely watch the eclipse without glasses.

We actually came to town, got our work done early so that we could rush home and watch the eclipse together at the lake.

Ronda and I set up our lawn chairs and relaxed in the sun as it began to cool off and get darker. Then my phone rang. It was Cory with UPS needing in the gate at Lake Arrowhead. I always joke with him when he comes through and he always jokes back like saying, "Pizza delivery for Nolands" or something silly like that.

Before I let him in I said, "Stop by the viewing eclipse party at our place."

I was kidding, there was no viewing party. It was just me and Ronda, but in about 5 minutes, the UPS truck zipped over the hill and out jumped Cory.

So, "What can brown do for you?" That was their old slogan, but Brown can certainly join us and make an official viewing party of the great eclipse of 2017.

Me and the UPS guy. No packages were delivered during the shooting of this photo.


KWIBS - From August 21, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

Words, language, tone of voice.... Weíre so consumed by it.

The President was too harsh and reckless with his words recently towards Kim Jong-Un according to some media outlets and his words were not harsh enough over the recent riots in Charlottesville by the same media outlets.

I didnít vote for Trump and was not a supporter of him during the election (no, never a Hillary fan), but I found his words most appropriote in both matters.

In a controversial, but intentionally strong, statement of his own, President Trump declared any North Korean attack would "be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen."

Wow, that is harsh in comparison to former President Obamaís statement on a nuclear test North Korea carried out in 2012.

"The United States condemns North Korea's September 9 nuclear test in the strongest possible terms as a grave threat to regional security and to international peace and stability."

Umm... ok. That wasnít quite the fix it all statement now was it?

Kim Jong-Un is a punk who only understands forceful responses. He makes constant threats against America and its allies. Weíre not going to hug this guy into submission. Choosing careful words hasnít seemed to work in the past, so letís try Trumpís approach. The North Koreans have used rhetoric and saber rattling to cause anxiety in their region since Kim Jong-Un took power and I believe he only understands the same in response.

Haters on the right and the left predate Trumpís political career. No matter what he says or does, he will be scrutinized harder than any other president ever was.

Why is that?

Because he doesnít do politics like politicians have done for decades. He even takes on his own party like when he recently called out his fellow Republicans for not putting a repeal and replace bill on health care after they promised they would to the American people.

But letís blame Trump for that too. The Republicans only had 7 years to come up with something better than Obamacare, but thatís another column.

Charlottesville was a condemnable act of domestic terrorism. I donít care if it is Neo-Nazis, the KKK, women dressed in vagina costumes or Black Lives Matter. If you canít be civil about political issues, you are about as un-American as you can be. When we protest and use violence, we risk the very right to have a right to protest.

Trumpís words and response to the violence were spot on.

"We ALL must be united and condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America," he said about Charlottesville. Pick that apart all you want, but heís absolutely correct. We should never use our 1st amendment right to insight violence, no matter what side of an issue you are on.

Itís too soon to say Iím warming up to Trump, but I am seeing something that I never saw before in a president in my lifetime.. Trump is either someone who is not afraid to be bullied around by either party, especially his own, or heís crazy. Thatís sort of gotten my attention.


KWIBS - From August 14, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

I treasure every text, Facetime and Instant Message I get from my kids.

Joeyís recent texts went something like, "Hey Dad, I want this ridiculously powerful and expensive jetski. Check it out {link included}."

I checked it out. The crazy thing is $10k and is like 1500cc of raw power. Guys in the video are doing flips and jumps so I responded, "Youíd need a helmet. In fact, you need a helmet for just wanting one of these."

Breeannís text go more like this, "Are you cooking dinner at the lake tonight?"

I responded, "Yes, for me and mom. Weíre having ribeyes."

Breeann (she hates that I call her Breeann. She says her name is "Bree", but I constantly remind her that I named her at birth): "Hey, if we bring meat, will you cook it? Oh, and is it ok if I bring out (10 of my friends) to the lake?"

Me: "Grrrr..... fine... bring sides."

Now Nick is an entirely different type of texter. With his strange sense of humor, schedule and the 14 hour time difference, our messages go unanswered for hours, sometimes days.

Me: "Hey buddy, whatís up?"

Finally at like 2 a.m. my time I get a text, "Nothing, killing terrorists." He also included a photo of himself with his newly assigned M4 carbine.

Me: "Nice. Thanks for keeping us safe."

Nicholas: No problem. Been at the range all week. Sorry for not texting much. What did you do today?"

Me: "Well, Iím sleeping because itís like 2 a.m., but yesterday I killed terrorists too."

Nicholas: "???"

Me: "I sprayed Round Up on the driveway and killed all the weeds, but itís similar to killing terrorists I suppose.

Nicholas: "Sort of...."

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From August 7, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

I recently read the book "Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown."

Adam was killed in a fire fight in 2010.

Iím not trying to spoil this book, but it does end this way.

Early in Adamís life, he struggled with addiction and at one point spent time in jail for crimes relating to his addiction and theft. He later gave his life to Christ and became a husband and a father.

Adamís life was full of challenges, but he met each one courageously. He lost his vision of his dominant eye in an accident and later had all his fingers severed and reattached when his HUMVEE rolled in Afghanistan.

Even though he had to retrain himself to shoot left handed, he made the top of the SEALs.

Adam was a man of extremes, whose determination was fueled by faith, family, and the love and support of his wife. He was a man who waged a war against his own worst impulses and persevered to reach the top tier of the U.S. military. Always the first to volunteer for the most dangerous assignments, Adamís final act of bravery led to the ultimate sacrifice.

He was and is a hero to those who knew him and those like me who would later read the story of his life.

His children saw him as a super hero. They even bought him a pair of "Batman" underwear. He promised them he would wear them while going into battle and he did.

When medics removed his clothes to tend to his many bullet wounds that ultimately killed Adam, they found he was wearing the underwear he promised his children he would wear.

When you remember to pray for our troops serving our country, remember that they are super heroes, at least to someone.

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From July 31, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

So, I am a bucket list kind of guy.

Some of the things I have gotten to check off my list are: SCUBA diving and cave diving in Mexico, zip lining in the Riviara, flying an airplane, driving a Porsche over 100 mph and a number of great concerts - like The Eagles, Boston, Styx, Heart, Tom Petty, Ozzie Ozborne, Metallica, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Van Halen, Foo Fighters, Def Leppard, Foreigner, Bon Jovi, KISS, Rush and so many others over the years.

Tuesday night, I got to check another concert off my bucket list. Ronda and I, along with Pat and Tonya White, saw Peter Frampton open for The Steve Miller Band. Iíve seen Steve Miller a number of times and heís awesome at 73-years-old, but always wanted to see Peter Frampton live.

I had just missed going to see Paul McCartney at Intrust Bank Arena the week before and really wanted to see that show, but I had another obligation pop up at the last minute.

Several months ago, I got an email from The Steve Miller Band fan club (yep, Iím a member) announcing his show at Hartman Arena in Wichita. I was eligible for front row seats with a special code (and a special price). I typed that code in and discovered I could buy 4 front row seats. So, when I saw Peter Frampton was the opening act, I pulled out that magic plastic card and made it happen. I had Pat and Tonya in mind for this show as we went to Steve Miller last year and had a great time. Peter Frampton did not disappoint!!!

That was my first "front row" bucket list concert and I was in heaven. I watched one of the greatest guitar players in history from only 10 feet in front of me - and with good company!

It turns out that I wasnít the only fan from Medicine Lodge. We ran into several people that night and I received several text messages from others in the crowd who saw us sitting on the front row wondering how we got there! Itís easy, just sign up for the fan clubs and pay attention to your emails and make sure your credit card isnít maxed out yet!


KWIBS - From July 24, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

While Iím not going to take up Ann Coulterís cross to bear with Delta, I will share a recent experience we had with them.

Ann was simply upset because she got moved from a prebooked aisle seat to a window seat in the same row. Boo hoo.

My Son Nicholas had completed his training at Marine Corps Expeditionary and Combat Skills Training, Class 17030 (thatís me being a proud parent of a serviceman) in North Carolina mid-June. His flight was also prebooked to leave at 2 p.m. - ish EST and arrive in Chicago with plenty of layover time to catch his 7 p.m. flight.

Deltaís flight sat on the runway for more than 4 hours before they disembarked the passengers and placed them on another flight. That flight also sat for more than an hour before taking off for Chicago, now nearly 5 hours behind schedule.

As he was landing in Chicago, his Delta flight to Wichita was taking off, delayed 30 minutes, but still not in time for him to catch it. It was the last flight of the day and he wasnít sure what to do. I told him to go to the Delta counter and ask for a voucher for a hotel and a meal.

Delta refused and even went as far to say that, "they were out of rooms for passengers from his flight."

Some nice gentlemen at the airport bought Nick a cup of coffee and a meal and thanked him for his service to our country.

Delta didnít do that. Delta told him that if there was room, he could fly out on the first flight to Wichita on "stand by" status the next day.

The USO gave Nick a cot and he slept in his uniform on the floor near the terminal. This was acceptable to Delta.

It surprises me that no effort was made to do the right thing in Nicholasís case. He was obviously distressed over missing his flight home. He wasnít just an ordinary passenger. He was in uniform. Delta didnít care that he only had 9 days to spend with us before a 36 month duty station in Japan. They robbed him of one of those days and didnít even so much as offer an apology.

So for everyone taking Deltaís side as Ann Coulter blasts them on Twitter, just remember how they treat ordinary passengers, including those serving their country.

? ? ? ?

Since Iím on the subject of Nick, Iíll let you in on his progress. He is in Japan. He has been assigned to a Chaplain and he is in a one month mentorship program with another RP on his base to learn his job duties.

Nick LOVES Japan. That makes me happy. He was a little apprehensive about his first duty being so far from home, but I think his weekends on the beach with his new Marine buddies and gourmet food pictures have convinced his mother and I that he is genuinely happy with his job.

Because of OPSEC, Iím not allowed to say much more than that. So Iím just pretty green at all the acronyms that are thrown at me as a military parent, but I was "scolded" on Facebook back in January for violating an OPSEC rule. I disclosed my sonís mailing address online. Oops, my bad.

OPSEC, short for Operations Security, works to keep military and families safe from enemy intrusion or detection on social media. The Navy defines it this way: "Operations Security (OPSEC) is a systematic method used to identify, control, and protect critical information and subsequently analyze friendly actions associated with military operations and other activities. Ultimately, OPSEC is protecting your information and activities from your adversaries."

So, weíve done the whole crash course on OPSEC and I have carefully crafted a special recognition for one special Chaplain. Weíll call her "Chap Eagle 1" to protect her identity. Sheís a huge Philadelphia Eagles fan, which could prove to create a hostile working environment for Nick one day soon, since heís a Dallas Cowboyís fan.

Chap Eagle 1 is the Chaplain that Nick is attached to, at a undisclosed Marine Air Wing base, on an unidentified island south of Japan. Iíve sent Chap Eagle 1 some messages through Nick thanking her for taking care of my son. She found out that we owned a newspaper in Kansas. Nick snapped a photo of himself and Chap Eagle 1. She wanted to, "be in the paper and have a copy."

Thank you Chap Eagle 1! God bless our soldiers!



KWIBS - From July 17, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

Several years ago, in an attempt to get healthy, I bought an elliptical off of a Craigslist post.

It was a pretty nice Nordictrack model with more features than I knew how to use, so I just left it unplugged and ran on it for years.

Ronda was wanting a treadmill, but we didnít have room for both in the basement. She hated the elliptical and told me daily. Recently she took an interest in it after about 5 years of mocking it. Maybe I should rephrase that. Ronda became obsessed with my elliptical. She started out going 30 minutes for the first few days and quickly progressed to an hour a day of rigorous excersise.

She gets up about an hour and a half earlier than I do and she spends most of that time on the elliptical. You can hear the "squeak, squack, squeak, squack" all through the house.

One morning last week that "squeak, squack, squeak, squack" turned into a "squeak, squack, click, click, squeak, squack, click, click, THUMP" then some explicit language.

She ran upstairs and woke me up to tell me that she was ANGRY!

Thinking on my feet (or on my back in this instance), I recalled all of the possible things that I could have done to justify her anger. I came up empty.

"I broke the elliptical and was only on it for ten minutes! Get up and fix it," she said.

I got up, grabbed my tools and took it apart. It was apparant as soon as I got the cover off that I wasnít fixing this. Ronda had sheared off a 3/4" drive pin that had two 20 lb weights on it.

She literally, ran the wheels off of the elliptical. I stared at it for several minutes and imagined the mileage she and I have put on this exercise machine, what it cost to buy it and figured up itís per mile cost. It was just pennies. It was less than the price of a normal clothes hanger.

I got on Craigslist and found another one. I hope it lasts us another 5 years.

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From July 10, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

One of the greatest things about our country is the diversity of people we have.

Iím speaking specifically of two classes of people: City Folk and Country Folk.

I canít claim this for a fact, but I think more Country Folk have experienced City Folk living than the other way around. Iím always entertained by people who come to this area and are amazed at the wide open spaces.

Take for instance, my cousins from Fort Worth, TX. They are no strangers to the country life, having grown up in remote areas of Montana, my cousin Michelle, isnít as impressed by the country as her husband Jeff was on a recent visit. Heís a Fort Worth native.

"You guys have so very few stoplights," he said, referring to Kansas in general. "I think we passed like 2 cars between Harper and your house!"

I thought about that. Yes, we have just two intersections of stoplights here in town, but what really caught my imagination was thinking about when I leave my office to go home, generally I only stop three times before I hit my driveway almost 8 miles away.

When Ronda and I went to my Uncleís funeral in Fort Worth in April, we stayed about 7 miles from my cousinís ranch. It took us 50 minutes to get there from our hotel. Thatís normal for them, but not for us!

I like visiting the city, but I donít like traveling in them. Fort Worth is probably one of the worst for traffic, so it may not be fair to compare to a place like Wichita, which is relatively easy to get around in.

I would not trade my pace of life for anything. Last week the 281 resurfacing project began. It took me 50 minutes to get to town on Wednesday. Iím thankful it is a temporary traffic issue!


KWIBS - From July 3, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

Noland leaves for Okinawa

RPSR Nicholas Noland graduated the United States Marine Corpsí Expeditionary and Combat Skills Training Class 17030 from Field Medical Training Battalion-East, Camp Lejuene, North Carolina on June 14th, 2017. He is pictured with his brother Joey and sister Breeann during his 9 days of liberty he spent at home before he reported to his assignment in Okinawa on June 28th. RPSR Noland will be stationed on a Marine base working for the Chaplain and support teams for the next three years.  K. Noland Photo

Almost every parent has had this conversation with their child.

"When Iím done with school, Iím getting as far away from here as possible."

Maybe your conversation didnít go quite like that with your kid. Mine didnít either, but my kid is about as far away from home as you can get right now.

7,145.859 miles to be exact (as the crow flies), according to Nick left Sunday, June 25th at 6:15 a.m. and arrived in Okinawa, Japan on Monday, June 26th at 4:15 a.m. Three airplanes and about 18 hours of total flying time and heís on the other side of the globe.

RPSR Noland reported for duty with the Fleet Marines on June 28th. The tiny sliver of an island will be his home where heíll be stationed for the next three years. Itís pretty hard to imagine our baby on a Marine base that far away from little Medicine Lodge, KS and less than a 1,000 miles from the craziest dictator on the planet in North Korea.

Nick spent 9 days at home before leaving for his new job. Heís spent the past 6 months in some of the hardest training that the Navy and Marines have to offer. While home, he spent as much time with his new fiancee Natalie Bare as possible. He also graced us with his presence when he needed a home cooked meal! His brother and sister and mother and I really enjoyed having all of our kiddos under one roof again.

I can say with all honesty, that I have never laughed and cried so much in one week. We dropped Nick off at the airport in Wichita early Sunday morning, June 25th. Not knowing when youíll see your child next, is a sinking feeling, but I know heís safe, well trained and serving our country proudly.

Have a great week and Happy 4h of July!


KWIBS - From June 19, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

It was the greatest Fatherís Day gift Iíve ever gotten. All three of my kids were back together in front of me Thursday morning.

It was a crazy week. Nick flew home from combat training after his graduation on Wednesday. Ronda and I, along with Nickís girlfriend Natalie, drove up to pick him up in Wichita. We took in a movie, ate dinner and did some shopping before we got some awful news.

Nickís American Airlines flight had broken down on the runway (at least not in the air) and his flight was delayed. Although we were hopeful at first, after 4 1/2 hours, we realized he was not going to make his connecting flight in Chicago and not making it home on time.

Irony can be so cruel. Nick commented after boot camp, "I never want to come back to this God forsaken place," speaking of Chicago.

Nick landed in Chicago 35 minutes after his connecting flight left for Wichita. He would be staying in Chicago for the night. To make matters worse, American Airlines informed him that they would not give him a room for the night and no food voucher.

Nick went and sat down and gave us a call to inform us of his unfortunate situation. While he was sitting there waiting, a retired Marine bought him something to drink and talked with him about his service. It made Nick feel better, but didnít fix the problem.

We headed home. It was a quiet trip home.

The poor kid ended up at the USO and slept on a cot. Heíd later comment on how he was robbed of one night in his own bed after 6 months of training.

But he made it home. We all drove back up the next morning, bright and early, and had him back for a warm reception from his siblings and a warm shower before noon Thursday..

Heíll be here only a little while before his deployment to Okinawa, Japan. RPSR Noland will be stationed there for three years as an assistant to the Chaplain. Weíre clinging to every moment with him before he goes.

Iím proud of Nick. Iím equally proud of Joey and Breeann. My kids are amazing people with good hearts. I could not ask for a better Fatherís Day than to have them close to me. The only thing missing on Fatherís Day for me, was my dad. I know he would be proud of all his grand kids. (my camera did weird things with this photo).

In other news, in all the chaos last week, I forgot to wish my beautiful wife a happy anniversary. It was 29 years ago on June 17, 1988, that I used my Jedi powers to convince her to love me. I love you Ronda. :)

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From June 12, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

I could not be more excited than I am this week.

Late Wednesday night, Ronda and I, along with Nickís girlfriend Natalie Bare, will travel to Wichita to pick up Nick from the airport!

Nick completed his MCT-East combat training in North Carolina last Friday and graduates from his training this Wednesday morning. After graduation, heíll grab his sea bags, put on his service uniform and start the trek home to be with us for about ten days before he leaves for Tokyo and then on to Okinawa, Japan for 3 years.

He hasnít seen his home since December 11, 2016. He hasnít had a home cooked meal, seen his girlfriend, slept in his bed, pet his dog, seen his niece and nephew, brother, sister and a host of family and friends since he left for boot camp.

RPSR Noland will be given a well deserved rest from his military training. He says he just wants to "hang out" and do nothing for 10 days. Weíll do our best to make that happen.

His mother and I last saw him at RTC in Great Lakes, IL in February. Heís been to his RP schooling in South Carolina and now Marine Combat Training in North Carolina.

After completing his "A" schooling, Nick went "Green" side and started training with the Marines. This was no easy task. Nick has learned how to operate several weapons systems, throw grenades, be gassed, go on hikes of up to 8 miles with 80+ pounds of gear, eat MREs and live in the field and go into battle simulations during the day and night. Heís been sleep deprived, driven to mental and physical exhaustion, screamed at, but is with no doubt, in the best shape of his life.

He has an incredibly interesting career ahead of him and I canít wait to hear more when heís home.

KWIBS - From June 5, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

I want to die peacefully in my sleep someday like my old friend did, not like the 3 screaming passengers in his car.

Sometimes a good joke is all it takes to break the ice. I used to call it "The Fat Penguin." I always tell my son Joey, when heís in a tough spot, be prepared to use the Fat Penguin.

My Pastor Dwain Richert always starts his sermons out with a decent joke. Some times they are groaners, but usually they are pretty funny. You wouldnít think he could tell a good joke, but he can!

Then thereís Jerry X (to protect his identity). Jerry runs me down at the grocery store a few times a week to tell me a joke thatís usually not appropriate. Sometimes he is funny.

My father-in-law has a strange super power when it comes to jokes. He never runs out of them.

My Grandpa Joe was one of the best joke tellers I ever knew. I strive to be like him, but my wife says I always ruin the punchlines.

So to prove her wrong, Iím going to close with a few jokes.

First, do you want to hear a word I just made up? Plagiarism...

Parallel lines have so much in common. Too bad theyíll never meet....

Woman never find me attractive until they find out how much money I make. Then they realize I am ugly and poor..

Whatís green, fuzzy, and if it fell out of a tree it would kill you? A pool table...

The other day, someone stole my mood ring. Iím not sure how I feel about that...

Have a great week. Tell a joke and make somebody smile!


KWIBS - From May 29, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

I wanted to take up some space to say a special THANK YOU to Barb and Mike Keltner for the many years of service they have given to our community.

We donít know how lucky we have been to have them here. They have shaped the lives of several generations of children in this town and they have given their time and their money to help others for as long as I can remember.

Barb actually changed the way I see trash. Before Barbís lecture, I did not recycle a thing. Today, I recycle almost everything.

Barb is a Mac fan. Weíve had some great banter over the years on Mac vs. PC. She actually won me over to an iPad and an iPhone. I probably couldnít go back now if I wanted to.

Mike and I share a love for music and several years ago, he and I went to Wichita to see Bela Fleck and the Flecktones featuring Victor Wooten.

The best part about our trip was that it was Valentineís Day. We both left our wives for the evening, put on some ridiculous flowered shirts and went to dinner in Old Town. We also walked into some tatoo parlors and some other questionable establishments. Over all, it was a great man-date and my wife makes fun of me every Valentineís Day by asking, "Are we going to do something or do you have plans with Mike?"

Barb and Mike: You guys are the best of the best. This town will never be the same without you. I hope that life brings you many blessings and maybe some return trips to the Lodge!

KWIBS - From May 22, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

I packed and unpacked my clothes twice last week. Actually, my wife did the packing.

It all had to do with the weather.

Mother Nature may not be through with us for the spring season. Make sure during the severe storm season you make an emergency preparedness kit, or, ask my wife to do that for you. :)

Spring storms put her on edge, which naturally puts me on edge. Our bags were packed early Thursday morning before I even got out of bed. The weather channel told my wife to do it and she did it. Turns out, it was a bust.... No real damage.

When the area got hit with hail a couple of weeks ago, we stood outside of the newspaperís front door and watched hail pounding our vehicles and listened to it pummeling our roof.

Before the clouds moved past, we had contact from three different roofing companies. They descended on our little town like moths to a bright light.

And many people have had damage to their roofs.

Several comments have been made about who to use and who not to use and Iíve even heard of near fist fights breaking out over people stealing roofing companiesí signs around town. While leaving town the other day, I thought I missed an election cycle with all of the different signs popping up around town.

When possible and feasible, I would recommend using local contractors. I make this recommendation for several reasons.

1. If theyíve been around a while, theyíll be here when you need them. 2. Their money stays here and circulates here.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From May 15, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

I just want to say, I miss Jay Leno and headlines on Monday nights. For those of you who were fans of the Tonight Show, you know what Iím talking about. It was my favorite weekly event and something the entire family got a chuckle out of.

Being in the newspaper business, we see funny headlines (sometimes intentional, sometimes accidental).

I sat and read some of those headlines this week and thought I would share some of my favorites:

"Poverty meeting attracts poor turnout"

"Gas company behind bean supper"

"Miracle cure kills fifth patient"

"Total lunar eclipse will be braodcast live on Northwoods Public Radio"

"Breathing oxygen linked to staying alive"

"Man tries armed robbery with knife in gun store"

"Neurosurgery department gets new head"

"Pigs die as houses are blown down"

"Man competent enough to be declared insane"

"Bugs flying around with wings are flying bugs"

"Man with nothing to declare had 55 tortoises in his pants"

"Most Earthquake damage is caused by shaking"

"Northfield plans to plan strategic plan"

"Starvation can lead to health hazards"

"Feds say fish need water"

"Dead man found in graveyard"

"Woman missing since she got lost"

"Alton attorney accidentally sues himself"

"Utah Poison Control Center reminds everyone not to take poison"

KWIBS - From May 8, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

Congratulations to the Medicine Lodge High School Graduating Class of 2017!

You are about to join the long, proud list of alumni from our community.

Many of you have big decisions to make in your future. Things are about to change for you. For some, it will be a good change, for others, not so good. Sometimes you find out what you are supposed to be doing by doing the things you are not supposed to do.

Youíre all adults now. How do you know when youíre doing right and wrong? You know because you were taught by the best teachers in the world at MLHS. You have a guide that is your GPS system for lifeís choices. I donít normally tell you to do something that is led by your emotions, but sometimes if it feels right, it is. What youíve learned in school the past 12-14 years should have given you the tools you need to make good choices.

Check your ego at the door. This is only the beginning. I know how good you feel walking out of those doors at MLHS, but I promise you, youíll want to return. And you must return and remember the halls, the smells, the sights and sounds of your school. I still go there often and I donít even have children in the system anymore. Iím right at home when I walk through those doors and see some of the original smiling faces that were once my teachers!

George Saunders to Syracuse University in 2013 said it best: "Do all the other things, the ambitious thingsótravel, get rich, get famous, innovate, lead, fall in love, make and lose fortunes...but as you do, to the extent that you can, err in the direction of kindness."

Again....Congratulations Seniors! Weíre so proud of you!

KWIBS - From May 1, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

Iíve done my best to keep you up on Nickís journey in the Navy.

A few weeks ago, I got my second "kid in a box" delivered UPS.

It was full of all of his former Navy uniforms.

Upon graduation from Navy RP training in South Carolina in early April, Nick shipped off to North Carolina to MCTB-E (Marine Combat Training Battalion - East).

Are you as confused as I am? So, Nick is a Navy RP (religious program specialist), who is now attached to the Marines. The Marines came into existence on 10 November 1775. They conducted ship-to-ship fighting, provide shipboard security and discipline enforcement, and assist in landing forces. The Marine Corps has been a component of the U.S. Department of the Navy since 30 June 1834.

Since Nick is a Navy Religious Program Specialist attached to the Marines, he will now wear the Marine uniform. He also is going through their combat training. So, I got all of Nickís former Navy uniforms from his 4-month-long career shipped back home.

Nick and all of his new uniforms will be home in June for a couple of weeks before shipping off to Japan, where heíll be stationed for the next 36 months of his Navy/Marine career.

When I ask him what uniforms heíll need shipped back he answered, "I dunno..."

And because of OPSEC.... (Operations Security - they identify critical information to determine if friendly actions can be observed by enemy intelligence and determine if the information could be useful to them).... I canít tell you anymore about all the cool stuff heís doing!

Have a great week and God bless our troops!

KWIBS - From April 24, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

You can learn how to do just about anything these days by simply watching a youtube video.

Just type in "how to_____" and youíll get a video giving you a step by step guide for things as simple as brain surgery to as complicated as driving a car....

Thatís what one 8-year-old boy did right before he chauffeured his sister effortlessly to the McDonaldís half a mile from his East Palestine home while his parents were sleeping last week.

Witnesses said the 8-year-old obeyed all traffic laws like making sure to stop properly at red lights, waiting for traffic to pass before taking a left turn, and staying within the speed limits.

When the two siblings pulled up to the drive-through window with piggy bank money in tow, the McDonaldís workers were convinced this was all a prank, but after an investigation, they discovered it obviously wasnít.

When confronted by the police, the boy realized he had done something wrong and told Patrolman Jaco Koehler through tears that he just really wanted a cheeseburger, according to the Weirton Daily Times.

I usually cry after eating at McDonaldís.

The children did get to eat at McDonaldís while they waited for their grandparents to pick them up. No charges are being filed.

Meanwhile, my self performed lobotomy seems to have worked well and I can now successfully tie a full Windsor knot while correctly boiling pasta. The constant yodeling is annoying my wife, but the ease at which I can solve a rubikís cube is down to 15 seconds.

I still forget to use my turn signals though.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From April 17, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

My son Nick texted me last Monday from his Marine Training Schooling in North Carolina to tell me that he had run 8 miles that morning.

Thatís a pretty amazing feat considering I used to have trouble getting him to run downstairs and turn off the lights.

I do have the most interesting family.

Ronda and I travelled to Ft. Worth, TX last weekend to attend my Uncle Garyís funeral. While we were there, we took a tour of The Stockyards. A guy I simply met as "Jack" was at my uncleís funeral. Jack was a member of the board of directors of The Stockyards and did a spot-on imitation of John Wayne. He threatened to "belt me in the mouth." I thought he was serious for a while. Turns out being a board member really means you just hang out at a certain drinking establishment once a week at a certain time. He was a hoot.

Just when I thought I had met the most interesting person who was a friend to my uncle, I met "Lisa". I kid you not, she was all of 95 pounds and a former ballet dancer from New York City who turned bronc rider. She had worked for my uncle for many years and around 2009 had fallen from a horse and broken her neck. Not only was she not expected to live, if she did live (which obviously she did), she was told she would be paralyzed for life. She walks, albeit with a limp, but she still works at my uncleís farm (now my Cousin Michelleís farm). Lisa was incredible and showed Ronda and I her little apartment behind my uncleís house at Confederate Park Farms.

I had a drink with Thaddius and Eleanore Roosevelt, her pet raccoon of 13 years and a squirrel, whoís age I didnít enquire.

I was most impressed to meet my uncleís friends and see the lives that he had touched in his 14 years in Ft. Worth. My favorite memories will include this journey to celebrate his life with Ronda, my Aunt Millie and Cousin Michelle and family.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From April 10, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

Just over four years ago I sat in my kitchen with Ronda, my Uncle Gary and Aunt Millie. We looked over photos, laughed, cried and paused to remember my dad who had passed away on January 11, 2013.

They drove up from Fort Worth to pay their respects to my dad and my uncleís only living brother. Over the years, weíve spent a lot of time together. Fort Worth is an easy drive and any time we are remotely in the area, we drive over to see them. They also came to visit us on a couple of occasions.

Many of you have shared stories about my Uncle Gary with me. He had lived here with his family in the late 1960s and early 1970s, being a part of the Peace Treaty and local Chamber of Commerce. He eventually worked his way up to Editor and pressman at the Index and later in life started a 24 hour printing plant in California. Before his last move to Texas, my aunt and uncle had a newspaper in Seeley Lake, Montana. Over the last 14 years or so, they have raised, boarded and trained horses, specifically for Equestrian.

Last Friday I worked my hardest to finish up everything and hit the road by early Saturday afternoon. My Uncle Garyís health was failing rapidly. I wanted one last moment with him.

The last time we saw him was before Christmas and before that, it was his 73rd birthday in May of 2016. I expected to leave shortly after lunch and get there early evening. I spoke to my Aunt Millie as I was packing and she said, "You probably wonít make it in time."

We did not make it in time. Uncle Gary passed away later that afternoon.

Thursday afternoon was the last time I spoke with him. I told him I loved him and he was able to say it back. Ever since my dad died, we always told each other we loved one another. We knew we only had so much time to do that in this life. He was in a hospital near Fort Worth and they were preparing to hand him over to Hospice and bring him home to his ranch that day. He wanted to be home and he made it home.

Uncle Gary died surrounded by his family and friends.

He was one of the hardest working people I had ever met in my life. A dreamer, he always had his next move planned. Most recently he and my Aunt Millie were planning on building a new home on their farm, near their daughter and family.

Back in 2011 when he and my Aunt Millie were here, I recorded a 2 hour conversation with them while looking over the family photos. I learned a lot about the Noland side of my family, but mostly I just loved my time with them. I found that conversation and shared it with my aunt and my cousin.

I learned my family had the first television set in Logan, KS. My grandpa "Jock" Noland was probably never photographed without a pipe sticking out of his mouth. My Grandpa Bill was the spitting image of Abraham Lincoln and often portrayed him in reenactments and parades. My Dad, Grandpa, Grandma and Uncle Gary all loved and had Boston Terriers throughout their lives.

My Uncle said to me a few months ago, "Itís up to you now to carry on the bloodline." Uncle Garyís boys, my cousins, donít have any children of their own and I have two sons.

He also made me promise to stay in touch with my aunt and my cousins. Family was important to him. That should be an easy promise to keep. I love my Aunt Millie and Cousin Michelle. Since she spent so much time growing her business in Fort Worth, Iíve gotten to spend a lot of time watching her ride and teach others.

Uncle Gary fought the good fight. He fought cancer to the bitter end and never looked back with any regrets. He was a good provider for his family and I saw him work so hard through good times and bad to be a good husband and father.

He was my stand-in dad after dad passed away and I will miss our sometimes daily texts and phone calls. Weíd armchair quarterback about every Dallas Cowboysí game and then talk politics for hours. I will also miss his intoxicating laughter, serious life advice and every promise he kept to love and live.

Have a great week.

KWIBS - From April 3, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

I love music.

Iíve been a musician for most of my life now. Iím a bass player. As a bass player, youíre not viewed as a very important part of the band. Play one wrong note and you certainly get recognition.

As of late, I play in church every now and then and sometimes when I walk past one of the six basses in my house, Iíll pick it up and punch out something from my Dorfus CrackTractor days.

You probably remember that crazy trio made of Justin Rugg, David Fasgold and myself. We spent the majority of our time picking on each other and making fun of each other.

One of our favorite past times (to this day) is the belittle the importance of the instrument the other plays. Sometimes we get pretty brutal, but itís all just in fun.

I ran across this funny story the other day and thought it was a good opportunity to poke a little fun at myself.

An anthropologist went to study a far-flung tropical island. He found a guide with a canoe to take him upriver to the remote site where he would make his observations. About noon on the second day of travel up the river they began to hear drums. The anthropologist asked his guide, "What are those drums?"

The guide turned to him and said, "Drums okay, but VERY BAD when they stop."

As they traveled the drums grew louder and louder. The anthropologist was nervous, but the guide merely repeated, "Drums okay. Drums not bad. When drums stop, then very bad!"

Then the drums suddenly stopped. Terrified, the anthropologist yelled to the guide: "The drums stopped! What now?"

The guide crouched down, covered his head with his hands and said, "bass solo."

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From March 20, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

Somebody slaughtered Marchís lamb....

This bipolar month has my closet in shambles. Iím not sure which coat, if any, Iím supposed to wear or if I wear shorts and a sweat shirt. Some days, you donít even know if youíll end up in the same clothes you started out with. My truck doesnít know whether to have air conditioner or heater on or if the windows should be up or down or somewhere in between.

What we do know is, itís very dry.

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I am getting spring fever, or maybe itís allergies. I donít know for sure. I just want to be outside.

Iím a lot like my dad in this respect. I love a project. And just like my dad, I never seem to finish one.

Last year, I began working on a zip line for my kids and grandkids. I got one platform finished and poles hauled up to the top end. We began drilling 20" x 8í holes in the ground when the Anderson Creek Fire occurred last year and my drill truck guy had to go build close to 20 miles of fence or more. Iíve not seen that truck since! (hint-hint-Flint).

This yearís project is a pontoon picnic table. My wife is less than thrilled.

Parts needed: Picnic table, check; plastic barrels, check; outboard motor, check; lumber and screws, check; friends to ride on it, check; redneck attitude, check...

So when this is finished, the idea is to have a floating picnic table with a motor on it that we can putt around the lake on. Since Ronda thought it was a dumb idea, I agreed to put an umbrella on it so my fair lady wonít fry in the summer sun on the lake. Sheís coming around.

Now, if I can just focus and finish it...

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From March 13, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

Driving home from Wichita Monday night, all we could see and smell was smoke.

My phone had been blowing up since early in the afternoon after fires sparked up all over the state, one south of our ranch.

That very day, we had printed an article "Getting - and staying - a step ahead of wildfire". Jessica and Brenda worked as a team on this project. It was something I believed was relevant to the conditions and ironically, it was prophetic in nature.

"Tinderbox dry". Thatís a quote from the story.

For weeks now, Iíve been mowing fire lines in preparation to do a little controlled burning on our ranch. Weíve been patiently waiting for the conditions to be right: lower winds, higher humidity and by the grace of God: some moisture to make the ground green.

None of those conditions have occurred and we are now in constant danger of fire in our area.

Iíll be the first to admit that articles on prescribed burning were ones I printed, but didnít take the time to read. Now I get it and it took last yearís Anderson Creek Wildfire to really get my attention.

Next to Divine intervention, our next best thing is the courage of our local volunteer fire fighters. These folks wage war against wildfire and deserve our thanks and constant prayers.

We could be in for a very critical event in our area. After we receive some needed moisture, we need to evaluate what we can do as a county and community to protect our citizens and property from the dangers of quick spreading wildfires. There are some great people out there with some proactive ideas that need to be heard.

Good luck and thank you to our fire fighters.

KWIBS - From March 6, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

Iíve never been quite so devastated than when Doris Sorg announced she was leaving us after 17 1/2 years.

Thankfully, it wasnít because she hated us or anything. It was just time for a change for her. It couldnít possibly have been all the times I blew an air horn at her or placed a Donald Trump cut out where I knew it would scare the you-know-what out of her.

As fate would have it, I got a bomb dropped on me a couple of weeks ago and I was again devastated. Brenda Head, who we had hired to replace Doris, announced that she and her husband would be moving back to Missouri where they came from before moving to Medicine Lodge.

Again, it wasnít anything I had done (I had learned not to blow an air horn at her without some warning). This was just life happening for Brenda and her husband. Brenda was just what we needed, when we needed it.

Sometimes life does funny things.

Finding Brenda was just dumb luck (more like divine intervention). During the search process, Ronda and I had approached Jessica Wright for the job originally. We had heard she had given notice at the bank and we knew she was a smart, articulate lady who would be a good fit.

She turned us down. She had already made other plans for life and as bummed out as we were, we understood.

Brendaís resume was actually submitted several months before Doris announced she was leaving us, but I had buried it on my desk. After Jessica turned us down, we got out some old resumes looking for a candidate. Little did I realize, I had left Brendaís in a pile. I had never even seen it, but when I did, I knew Brenda was the right person for the job! A phone call was made, an interview was done and she was hired!

Well, she wasnít here 17 1/2 years, as required and is now company policy, but she was a wonderful part of our family. She will be missed and we wish her well.

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Backing up....

I had shot Jessica Wright a series of text messages after Brenda made her announcement. I wasnít exactly begging, but I was a little more pushy this time!

She turned me down again.

So, I put out some feelers on the old interweb and started setting up interviews.

Out of the blue, Jessica texted me back and said she was interested in the job.

Just like a woman, she couldnít make up her mind. *kidding Jessica*

Keep in mind, Iíve known Jess since she was a little Jess. Sheís about my son Joeyís age and Iíve always known she is a sharp girl, had great people skills and was someone who I had a gut feeling about.

Also keep in mind I hadnít read a single story sheíd ever written excepting text messages and facebook posts!

But I think my gut is pretty smart most of the time. It wasnít smart on Wednesday when I tried to eat an entire meat loverís pizza by myself, but pretty smart nonetheless.

So the entire week was pretty busy and like a giant drum roll. I was in and out and finally received Jessicaís first stories on Thursday. It was her introduction and CID stories.

I nailed it. I mean, she nailed it. The girl can write!

So, with a week of training behind her, Iím excited to welcome Jessica Wright to Team Premiere. Sheís already aware of my office antics, has gone through all the stages of grief for taking the job and will probably turn in her notice in a week. *kidding again*.... I hope!

Watch for what Wright writes. Yeah, I am the one doing the word fun at the moment.

I want to thank Brenda for putting up with me the past 7 1/2 months. Sheís not getting a big party, but sheís getting a big thank you from us. We love you sister and we thank you for your time with us!

Welcome aboard Jess!

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From February 27, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

If youíre older (like me), you remember when air was free. You probably also remember never getting out of your car when pulling up to the gas station.

Things are different now. You pull up and get your own gas and pay for it right at the pump. If you are like me, you also wash your own windows, check your own oil and then, if you notice a tire is low, you reach over for the free air pump. The only problem is, itís not there and itís not free anymore at most places in the city.

So thatís another one of the little things I love about Medicine Lodge. We still have free air. Thereís at least two that I know of that are on 24/7. One is at Black Diamond Express and the other is at Slinkard Oil. There are probably others, but those are the two that I know for sure are there and on when I need them.

And I always need one. I live in the country, on dirt roads, and we are guaranteed at least a flat once a month. At last count, Iíve had 9 nails already for 2017 and I still have one in my front right tire as I write this.

Ever since I was a kid, Slinkard Oil has been my go to place for air. It was always my go to place for gas until Bill stopped providing that service (way, way back).

Bill has always been my main source for free air for 4 decades. I can always count on pulling up to his station any time day or night and being able to top that tire off before I head north for home.

If Iím lucky enough, itís during business hours and I can say hi to someone who has been serving the community for longer than Iíve been alive. Thanks Bill for always having air. If you charged for it like the big cities do, Iíd probably be your biggest customer. (Please donít start charging me for air though. That would just crush me!)


KWIBS - From February 20, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

As parents, Ronda and I couldn't be prouder of E1-RP, Nick Noland, one of the United States Navy's newest Sailors! Nick graduated from RTC (Navy Boot Camp on Friday, February 10, 2017. Many of you with military members in your family know the process. We had little contact consisting of a couple of short phone calls and several letters that were usually 10 days old by the time we got them.

Nothing made us happier than to run onto that ceremonial floor and hug our son after 3.5 hours of waiting in the grand stands.

So I had to share this photo and a funny story about Nick's Pass In Review from the Navy. As dumb luck would have it, Ronda and I were invited to sit VIP with the Officers of Recruit Training Command.

We had read that if you were dressed up and were lucky enough, you could get selected if there was room. We were dressed up and we were lucky enough to be selected!

A young man (Petty Officer) came and offered us seats and we jumped up and followed him downstairs in front of thousands of other anxious family and friends of sailors and we were seated in some nice cushy chairs in the center of the ceremony hall directly behind the RTC staff and big wigs.

The event is broadcast live each week. We ended up on the live stream for most of the ceremony. Many of our family members back at home took photos of the screen and send us the pictures via our phones. At one point, Nick glanced up from the choir and looked at the Officers and caught a glimpse of his mom. He was mortified! Nick had purposely hidden from us before the ceremony. He was in the performance division and that division can usually meet their families before the graduation, but he did not want to become emotional before having to perform.

After graduation he was like, "I thought you guys wandered up there by mistake and would get thrown out and I would be in huge trouble!"

A Pass In Review is an awesome military graduation full of marching bands, singing, drill teams and speeches. The best part is when they call out, "Now hear this. Now hear this. Liberty! Liberty!" We all went running onto the floor looking for our sailor in their dress blues. It's like looking for a needle in a haystack, but when you find it, you hold it tight!

There's a news release from the Navy about Nick's Pass In Review on page 12. I would note that Nick says "thank you" to so many who wrote to him. That really does help them get through the training.

Nick said, "It was a lot like college accept you don't get to sleep much, you do a lot of exercising and everyone is screaming at you before and after classes!" That was explanation enough for his mom and me.

We spent the day in the Great Lakes area catching up from the past couple of months of separation. The second good-bye was much easier than the first. Nick left early the next morning for Fort Jackson in Columbus, SC. After a couple months of schooling, he may be home for a few days before his next assignment. We are proud of our son and so happy that he chose this career and education path. HOOYAH NAVY!! CONGRATULATIONS NICK NOLAND!!

KWIBS - From February 13, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

I called my wife on a Thursday evening, "Did you see the new water tower?"

She simply said, "No, what are you talking about?"

I donít know how she missed it.

We drive about 8 miles to town every morning from our home at M-Bar Ranch, south of Lake Arrowhead. The drive takes us right past the Phye Development and the area where they have been building the new water tower.

Somehow, she drove home that Thursday night and didnít even notice that the skyline had changed!

So we drove in together Friday morning and she was like, "WOW!"

It was pretty incredible to see that tower go up in a day. I realize they have worked on it on the ground for months now, but to see it all up inside of a few short hours, was impressive to say the least!

Over the 28 years of driving to town almost every day, I have a great perspective on how things have changed. I now see wind towers, cellular towers, a new SPEC building, transmission power lines and now a new water tower!

Thereís also going to be some road construction happening in the near future, so be prepared. Be prepared for a stop and a pilot car. Iím sure youíve seen all the heavy trucks and equipment that are being staged to the south of the SPEC building. The project will pave 281 from the intersection of 160/281 clear to the Pratt County line.

Weíll be prepared by going an extra 5 miles out of our way on over towards Isabel and down that county road to town to avoid having to stop and wait for a pilot car to guide us at 20 mph. Iím not patient enough to stop and wait, and the change in scenery will be nice, unless it rains and then thatís about 8 miles of dirt roads to drive down instead of 2.5.

Thatís the price we pay for progress I suppose.

By the way, Ronda and I are the proud parents of one of the Navyís newest Sailors - Nick Noland!

Congratulations and happy birthday, buddy!

KWIBS - From February 6, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

This is a very special week for Ronda and I. Weíll be flying to Chicago on Thursday, renting a vehicle and driving to Waukegan, IL early Friday morning, February 10, 2017 to watch our son Nick graduate from Navy RTC.

We havenít seen Nick since we dropped him off in Kansas City on December 12, 2016. It seems like forever ago, that we watched our youngest child board a shuttle for the airport.

Since then, weíve gotten a dozen letters and two short phone calls. One call was actually about 30 seconds long to tell us he made it and he was sending us his personal belongings. The other phone call was about 14 minutes long and was at the tone of a whisper because we were still in church.

We are expecting one other important phone call this week. Itís the "Iím a Sailor" call. Each recruit is given the opportunity to call home after Battle Stations 21 (BST). BST is the final test for the recruits and is a 12 hour evaluation program with 17 ship board scenarios from missile attacks that can cause fires to flooding caused by exploding undersea mines. Recruits also stand watches on the bridge and are tasked with engineering scenarios, lookout scenarios, and mass casualty drills.

Battle Stations-21 is conducted several times a week, at night, on board USS Trayer (BST 21), a 210-foot-long Arleigh Burke-class destroyer simulator. It begins around 8:00 pm CST and ends the next morning. Throughout the various scenarios, recruits are evaluated and graded not only as individuals, but also as teams and as an entire division. The morning that a recruit passes Battle Stations-21, they attend a capping ceremony around 8:20 or so that lasts about 20-30 minutes where they remove their "RECRUIT" ball cap and replace it with a "NAVY" ball cap, which signals to the world that they are a US Navy Sailor! Then they can call home.

We canít wait for this call and canít wait to see Nick!

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From January 30, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

Cautiously optimistic.

Thatís the answer I gave when asked what I thought about President Trumpís first week.

I was a "never Trump, but Clinton." I wasnít shy about it, but I have to say, Iím impressed so far with the composure of President Donald Trump.

I canít believe I just wrote that.

Everyone deserves a chance. Those who are protesting and carrying signs that read "Not My President" are delusional.

I didnít vote for Obama, but he was my president for 8 years. Thatís how it works in America. We agree to disagree and we move on down the road ..... or we dress up like womenís genitalia and march in the streets...

I have many friends who are staunch Trump supporters and many others who are totally freaking out. We all have to calm down and not get thrown off the airplane for our emotional outbursts.

I think that, no matter your political view, we have to agree that destruction of property, aggravated battery and violence against authority are not part of the healing process for America. I believe in a peaceful right to protest and the freedom of speech, but it ends when you threaten to "blow up the White House." It ends when you burn limousines. It ends when you forget to act like an adult, no matter who your president is.

You would have thought the whole world went mad on January 20th, 2017 after the inauguration of the 45th U.S. President.

Iím grateful to live in the middle of South Central Kansas where we shrug off crazy and go to work every day no matter who our president is. Thereís something to be said about living in a fishbowl when the ocean has so many sharks in it.

Letís all be friends and hug it out.

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From January 23, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

Many of you ask, and Iím always proud to answer, how is Nicholas doing in boot camp?

Well, we havenít heard much from him. Weíve gotten about 5 letters (all at once) and weíve received one 15 minute phone call.

He is doing well though! Nicholas made the Triple Threat Division also known as the Performance Division. These sailor recruits are chosen based upon interview and past experience in flags, band, choir and drill performances. Nicholas was chosen to sing in the Blue Jacket Choir.

Beginning on Friday of this week 1-27-17 at 8:45 a.m., Nicholas will perform at Pass In Review (PIR), which is the Navyís version of Graduation. He will perform at three PIRs, including his own on Friday, February 10, 2017.

He marches in separately from his division, so weíll have a great opportunity to see him before we actually see him!

Howís that? You can watch the ceremonies live on the Navyís website:

I started watching these live streams a few weeks ago and they are pretty amazing. You can only imagine how proud we are and how excited we are to see him!

Tune in any time on Friday!

KWIBS - From January 16, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

Ronda and I were driving north on 119th Street in Wichita a couple of weeks ago when a truck lost a bundle of newspapers and hit and then went airborne all over the place. It was a really windy day and there were newspapers everywhere, including windshields of passing vehicles.

I said, "Man, that poor dude ...."

About a week later, I was perusing through the stacks of newspapers I get each week in the mail and ran across Paul Rhodesí column in the Conway Springs Star.

In his column, Publisher Rhodes confessed that he lost a bundle of newspapers on 119th in Wichita.

"I was between stops, headed south on 119th Street, just north of Central in west Wichita. An extra-unruly gust of wind actually caused my truck to jump a little, and then I heard a thump."

Disaster struck....

Yep, thatís pretty much what I saw heading north on 119th Street, just north of Central in west Wichita.

So when I read that, I picked up the phone and called Paul and told him that I was a material witness to his littering.

Paul told me, "It would have been professional courtesy for you to stop and help pick those up!"

Thatís true, but I was in a hurry to make an appointment and to get lunch. Lunch came before being a good Samaritan that day. I sort of feel bad now, knowing it was someone I have known for so many years.

Some jogger ended up taking pity on Paul. Youíll be happy to know he picked up almost every single edition he lost in all of that heavy traffic and bad wind that day. It took him over an hour to get it all cleaned up!

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From January 9, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

We simply take for granted what it takes to put food on our tables.

Once a year, we do this special edition to honor our area farmers and ranchers for their dedicated love of the land.

As I get older (this is my 26th Soil Conservation Edition) I become more and more appreciative to those folks who work the land.

So to those involved with the Barber County Conservation District, thank you and congratulations!

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As of this writing, we still havenít heard from Nicholas directly. We are hoping that will change soon. Nick left for RTC (Navy bootcamp) on December 12.

We' waited 21 days for news about Nick and Monday night we got a call from Waukegan, IL at dinner. I was so excited and answered "hello buddy!". It wasn't him.

It was a shipmate named Miller. Nick had watch that night while his shipmates got to call home. He's the last division to get that privilege, but couldn't. SR Miller used some of his time to call us and let us know Nick was thinking about us. It was only about a one minute call, but couldn't have been more appreciated.

We've camped out on our phones for three weeks. It felt so good to know someone cares enough to have his back and make a call to people he'd never met. He said, "I was there when you put your hand on the window of the bus against your son's."

Wow. Miller, you're a great kid and great future sailor for taking the time to call us. Hope we get to talk to Nick soon, but feel so good to know he has friends like that. I'm going to hug that kid at PIR on 10 FEB 2017. There are some great kids out there serving our country and each other. Thank you SR Miller.


KWIBS - From January 2, 2017 - By Kevin Noland

Ronda and I were able to take a few days off to see family and friends in Texas over the Christmas break.

Itís good to be home and back into a seemingly normal routine again.

While in Texas, we got to spend a day with Dale and Michele McCurdy. You might remember them. They were both teachers in our district in the late 1990s. Weíve kept our friendship up with them and they are a great couple. We try to see them a couple of times a year.

They flew in from Amarillo and we picked them up at Love Field in Dallas. We didnít really have a plan. We just wanted to spend a day together around the holidays.

One of the highlights of our visit together was seeing Star Wars Rogue One. Dale and I are both nerds and we abstained from seeing the movie until we could do it together.

One week later, Carrie Fisher has died. Although she did not actually have much of a role in Star Wars Rogue One, she did have a computerized cameo appearance which will now be an immortal tribute to her career as Princes Leia.

What boy in the 1970s and 1980s didnít have a crush on Carrie Fisher?

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Ronda and I also got to go to a Dallas Cowboysí game at AT&T Stadium. Weíve been life long fans and even went to games when they werenít winning.... They didnít disappoint, beating Tampa Bay, 26-20. The best part of the game was getting to see Caleb Alexander, Rondaís cousin. We had a great time.

The most important thing we did, was to see my Uncle Gary Noland. Many of you might remember him from his days running the Index. Uncle Gary has stage 4 lung cancer. I was blessed to see him and his family this Christmas season.

KWIBS - From December 26, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

8 days, 4 states, 2150 miles later and we were back for a few days - just in time for Christmas and this special edition!

2017 is only a few days away now. The new year brings hope and excitement. Youíre probably thinking Iím speaking of the election again, but Iím not.

A new year is always a time to reflect on goals and ambitions, while remembering the things of the past. This entire newspaper is a snapshot of what our community achieved over the most recent completion of a lap around the sun.

I usually do a column on a person of the year that stands out in our community. There are several and on our way home from Texas last week, Ronda and I discussed many of them. To summarize: Itís all of you. Itís everyone who took the time to be involved, be informed and kept faith in Medicine Lodge during a more challenging economic time.

No one will argue that this was a tougher year. The oilfield is a wee bit slower than most of us would like. We hope that 2017 brings prosperity to this industry. We also hope that cattle markets come back up, and that wheat prices and other crops continue to make a come back.

I look forward to 2017. Iím most excited to be able to spend time with my family. We got a little scattered this year with Nick leaving for Chicago, so we especially look forward to seeing him at his graduation in February.

My prayer for you this new year is that you find peace and happiness in whatever situation you find yourself in. Be good to one another and give the gift of yourself to those who might need you. Thatís easier said than done, but itís good advice. No one ever said in their last moments, "I wish I had less time to give."

Have a happy new year friends!


KWIBS - From December 19, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

"To raise a child, who is comfortable enough to leave you, means you've done your job. They are not ours to keep, but to teach them to soar on their own."

I donít know who said it, but it was the first of several emails I got from last week. It choked me up a little bit. Iím also not really sure how comfortable any of us were when Nick left for Chicago Monday, but heís on his way to a new life and weíre proud of his decision to be in the Navy.

Thank you to the American Legion Riders for a wonderful send-off for Nick on Saturday. You guys are really special people.

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This is our last of two newspapers for 2016. They are both my favorite issues to publish. I love this issue because the kids write to Santa and we have the awesome responsibility of making sure Santa gets our newspaper and reads each letter! And... those kids are hilarious!

This was one of my favorite letters. I have no idea who these little people are, but the letter is almost extortion!

"Dear Santa,

Do you like chocolate chip cookies? I would like a remote control car, a new pencil box, a blue ipad and a play computer. I would like a snappy from the Trendy Monkey for my mama and underpants for my dad.

Love, Darcie, Davis and Mackenzie"

"Do you like chocolate chip cookies?" Well Santa, if you do, youíd better get your butt to my house with the following items! Hilarious!

Dear Santa,

This year for Christmas I have three gifts I would like to receive. The three gifts I would like are a guitar, drums, and a microphone. The first thing present I want is a guitar. I want a guitar because I want to play to practice and to join a band. The second thing I want is drums. I want drums because I want to play them in the band and to practice at home, and to join the band and the third thing I want is a microphone. I want a microphone because I want to sing, to talk into and to join a band. - Mekoy Baier

Do you think this kid wants to be in a band?

Dear Santa,

This Christmas I have three gifts that I would like to receive. The three things I want for Christmas is an I pod, rabbit, K-State shirt. The first thing I want to receive is an I Pod. I want an I pod because I can play games on it, call 911 for emergencies and order clothes on line. The second thing I want to receive is a rabbit. I want a rabbit because they are fluffy and I can play with it and I can cuddle with it. The third thing I want to receive is a K-Sate shirt. I want a K-State shirt because I like K-State, itís my favorite team and I can wear it on favorite team day. This is what I want for Christmas. - Kembry Shippy

Ok, a rabbit..., 911? Order clothes online? Wait a minute...

Dear Santa,

This year for Christmas I have three gifts I would like to receive. The three gifts I would like to receive is a 22 gun, a machete, and a chemistry set. The first gift I would like to receive is a 22 gun. I want a 22 gun because I can shot deer, I can shoot squirrels, and I can shoot rabbits. The second gift I would like to receive is a machete. I want a machete because I can chop wood, I can clean the animals, and I can chop grass for a fort. The third gift I would like to receive is a chemistry set. I want a chemistry set because I can do science, I can do experiments, and I can do explosions. These are the three gifts I would like to receive. Marry Christmas. - Shaefer Stone

Keep this kid away from Kembryís rabbit.....

My kids are all grown and my daughter has children of her own now, so we donít really do the "Santa" thing, but I remember doing it for them.

I even remember one year I got Cecil Newman to dress up as Santa and come to my momís house. Joey and Breeann were pretty little and it scared the you know what out of them.

I think itís safe to say that Santa was very, very jolly.... Thatís one of my fondest memories of my kids and Santa when they were little.

Every year we do something silly. This year, we all got together with Santa during Nickís send off party. You can see that photo on the front page this week. My son Joey is into ugly sweaters. A couple of years ago, I got to recreate a really goofy Christmas photo with my two sons. This year they wanted to do another one before Nicholas left for Navy Boot Camp.

You know the goofy photos Iím talking about. They look like this....

Matthew 1:20-23

Behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you will call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins."

Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Emanuel," which is translated, "God with us."

From our family to your family, we wish you a blessed Christmas. Love and cherish the time you spend with your family and friends and remember the true meaning of Christmas.

Merry Christmas Friends!

KWIBS - From December 12, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

There is almost nothing as wonderful as a childrensí laughter - unless youíre in the middle of a tense football game and three of them are running around between you and the television!

Seriously, it is amazing to watch a child laugh and play and not have a worry in the world.

When I was a kid, I could be entertained with a 10 cent rubber ball from Frostyís Donut Shop. You remember them. Iím pretty sure I spent thousands of dollars on those silly things. I come across one every now and then.

I also remember going to Ben Franklinís dime store once a week and buying up all the little rubber parachute guys I could afford. They cost 19 cents a piece. I could usually get 4-5. Those guys kept me entertained for hours.

Toys are so expensive these days. There are many families who just canít afford to buy them. There are many kids in this community who could use a gift this holiday season. The Angel Tree at the Peoples Bank is a great way to give this Christmas.

The next two editions of The Gyp Hill Premiere are the best editions to put on the streets. I absolutely love the Letters to Santa, which will be in our December 19th Christmas Edition. The following week is our Year In Review. This edition I lovingly refer to as the "Bathroom Edition". Itís perfect to leave in your bathroom all week long to read about the events that happened in our community during 2016! I would not use this like a 1930s Sears Catalogue though as we now use soy based inks that tend to smudge on your skin....

Congratulations to Noel Lopez on opening Cancunís. Iíve always enjoyed his familiesí food at their other locations. Weíre very happy you chose Medicine Lodge as your newest eatery!

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From December 5, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

One week from today, Ronda and I will have a first-ever transition in our lives. Weíll be true "empty-nesters".

Our youngest child, our baby, will be entering the United States Navy.

This has been an incredible journey for our entire family, especially for Nick.

I remember last September when he had barely started his senior year, Nick asked me what I thought about him joining the service. I was pretty impressed that he was even considering such a move. I had always assumed he would play football, baseball or run track somewhere.

Within a week from that conversation, he was signed up and we started the weekly check ins and monthly meetings.

Everything was on track until early November, when Nicholas was injured in a football game at Sedgwick. The prognosis was a torn labrum and after his recruiter was notified, he was placed in a holding pattern. We learned a week later that he was to be disqualified medically by the Navy. His only option was surgery and even then, there was no guarantee that they would take him. It was pretty devastating.

Everyone has a dream and a story of how it came to pass. Nickís story was pretty incredible. He went right in for surgery after his injury, never once looking back. He worked extremely hard on his rehabilitation, so much that he even rejoined the baseball team in the spring almost one month earlier than his surgeon had thought possible. They made it to state for the second year in a row! Everything was going according to schedule and he left for MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station) in April where he was denied by one surgeon and granted a waiver from another! He had even lost his original job and only given an Airman Undesignated job, but then he was offered his original job back 3 days after swearing in.

To understand what the odds of that happening are, consider that Religious Program Services in the Navy consists of 889 jobs worldwide. Not many of these jobs open up. RPs assist with religious services on bases and ships. One of their main responsibilities will be providing physical security for chaplains during field exercises and in combat environments. In the Navy, chaplains are not allowed to carry firearms. RPs are assigned to assist and protect them. When Nick finishes RTC (the Navyís version of bootcamp) he will go to an "A" schooling to learn his job and then to a Marine Combat school, as he will most likely be traveling with Marines.

Nick has never stopped trying. He has never given up. His quiet nature should not be mistaken for timidity. Heís been very courageous through this process. That doesnít mean heís not anxious and nervous about whatís coming. He tells me that over the course of the next 9 weeks of training, heíll miss: his girlfriend, music, his momís cooking and his own bed. Iím sure heíll figure out a lot of other things heíll miss.

He has one final trip to Kansas City on Monday, December 12, 2016. Once he is cleared, he departs for the Navyís Recruit Training Center in the Great Lakes Region the next morning. Please be praying that everything continues to go in his favor!

As hard as this transition is going to be for Nick and for Ronda and me, we are so excited for his future.

Weíll miss him at Christmas and probably his birthday in February. Iíll miss our nightly visits, playing guitar with him, the constant pranks in our home and just his presence. He will be in good hands. "The Worldís finest Navy," as the base answers their phones.

Please join us at Finneganís Saturday, December 10th from 2-4 p.m. as we celebrate Nickís decision to serve his country and jump start his future. Everyone is welcome to attend!

KWIBS - From November 21, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

Dear President-elect Donald Trump,

I just wanted to congratulate you on the biggest upset in politics in the history of Presidential races.

First, let me admit that I did not vote for you. Youíll be happy to know I didnít vote for Hillary either. I took the obscure and unlikely 3rd party candidate route - because, honestly, I didnít think you could win and did not want Hillary to win. I figured that America was so over all of the Hillary scandals and she would sweep the election. Weíd be stuck with that for four years..

Boy was I wrong. You should know that I also bet on elections. I usually win, but this is the first one in three elections that I didnít win. I even went as far to "double or nothing" this election. I almost felt sorry for the guy I was betting because he had so much confidence in your win. That is going to cost me two steak dinners. Secretly, I have never been so happy to lose a bet.

Iím a Republican, but not a "Never Trump" Republican. I will tell you that some of the crazy things you said during the election baffled me. You certainly did not demonstrate being presidential for the most part. Maybe thatís what was appealing (appalling) to people.

I think you got elected because people have had enough with the same old - same old in Washington, D.C. Weíre all tired of the same names, same declines and same outcomes and weíre ready for something different. I guess youíre it.

My only advice to you is: donít be a post turtle. In case you donít know what that is ...

An old rancher is talking about politics with a young man from the city. He compares a politician to a "post turtle". The young man doesn't understand and asks him what a post turtle is.

The old man says, "When you're driving down a country road and you see a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a post turtle. You know he didn't get up there by himself. He doesn't belong there; You wonder who put him there; he can't get anything done while he's up there; and you just want to help the poor, dumb thing down."

Best of luck to you and America,


KWIBS - From November 7, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

As I was mowing and weed eating on November the first, I was thinking, "When will this end?"

Well, it ends tomorrow - Hopefully.

Who knows when the grass will stop growing, but the election is officially over tomorrow at 7 p.m.

I often wonder what Facebook will look like after November 8th. I hope it goes back to its quirky self with pictures of families and fun posts.

Iím hoping for some good jokes about the candidates. Iíve found a few that made me giggle.

Donald Trump jokes:

- What airline does Donald Trump aspire to fly? Hair Force One!

- Why doesnít Melania Trump want to be the first lady? Because sheíd have to move into a smaller house.

- You know what Trump has besides money? A barber with a sense of humor.

Hillary Clinton jokes:

- Why wonít Hillary let her campaign staffers exercise? Because they might "feel the Bern...."

- Why is Hillary running for President? Because itís easier than running from the law.

- A Fox News national poll found that people prefer Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump by 2 points. While an MSNBC poll found that Hillary Clinton has already been president for two years.

And.... for both Clinton and Trump:

- Trump and Clinton are the oldest nominees since 1848. Or as Bernie Sanders put it, "My first campaign!"

- A new poll found that the majority of millennials would vote for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. Then millennials found out you can't vote by texting and said, 'Never mind!

- Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are on a plane. The plane crashed. Who survived? America...

God help us.... Have a great 4 years!


KWIBS - From October 31, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

I canít believe itís Halloween. Itís scary how fast time flies. Did you see what I did there?

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Sometime in the next few weeks Medicine Lodge will be getting a brand new restaurant. Noel Lopez will be opening "Cancun" on Hwy 281. I met Noel several years ago in Anthony and heís been trying to get his familyís Mexican restaurant open here for a couple of years now. Watch the newspaper for information on his opening!

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We only have a couple of more weeks left of hearing about which candidate is grabbing inappropriate body parts or which candidate is the most corrupt. I personally canít wait until 2020 when we restart the process, hopefully with brand new faces worthy of consideration.

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I missed getting a birthday greeting in the paper for my daughter and my oldest son. Breeís birthday was October 3rd and Joeyís was October 28th. Happy birthday kiddos!

October always gets away from us with all of the birthdays we have.

Thursday is my wifeís birthday. For those of you who donít know her, sheís the beautiful redhead Iíve had on my arm for the past 31 years, 3 of those years as my girlfriend. Sheís still my girlfriend.

There are a few men who can claim they are blessed with a good woman. Iím one of those guys and I know it - and I donít take it for granted. Ronda is my world and I take great pride in telling you what she means to me and wishing her a happy birthday.

Proverbs 31:10-12 says:

An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. and

28-29: Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her; "many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all."

I found her. Happy Birthday Ronda, I love you.

KWIBS - From October 17, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

A lady Iíll call "Sandy", stopped in my office last week. She was a native of Mullinville, KS and was doing a historical book on her community.

My great-grandparents, Jock and Mom (Ethel) Noland were known as "Grandpa and Grandma Noland" in Mullinville from the 1930s-1970s when they passed away.

"Jock" was a mechanic and owned the garage in town that is now the home of Mullinvilleís veteransí memorial.

Folks remember Jock as the local go-to-fix-it-guy. Ethel was the townís dooms-day prepper. She had a large cellar that many of the townís folk gathered in when inclement weather approached.

Over the years Iíve run into many folks from Mullinville who remember my great-grandparents. All of the stories were of fond memories. They ran a skating rink and silent movie theater in town and eventually the mechanic shop.

I still know where the house they lived in is. When I stop at the Mullinville Cemetery I drive by the old house. It still has an "N" on the screen door.

Sandy recalls, "On the site of the Veteransí memorial on HWY 154 which is on the NE corner of Main and the highway sat Jockís Mechanic Shop for many years. In the beginning it was a service station run by Hoch Aldrich and Jock had a mechanic shop behind the service station. Then Jock purchased the whole building and turned it all into a mechanic shop.

Almost everyone in town at some point had Jock work on their cars. He was in business at that location and did some advertising in 1953-54 in the school annual. In 1956 his ad in the annual said: ĎBring it to Jockís. We do the Best."

Most of us remember Jock as a tease who loved to talk and shoot the bull with anyone within earshot. We can all see him perched on his folding chair outside the drive in door of the mechanic shop watching the traffic going by on the highway and holding the ever present pipe in his hand.

Everyone remembers him with the pipe, he never went anywhere without that pipe in his and or dangling out the side of his mouth. I donít think most of us ever saw him in anything but his overalls. When he wasnít sitting outside the mechanic shop, you could find him across the street at the Sinclair telling stories to the guys that would stop in there. Through the years Jock mentored a lot of young men on how to take care of their cars and how to fix them."

My cousin Dave Woolery recalled another story about Jockís Mechanic Shop in Mullinville. Dave recalls that it was a gathering place for many of the local men. They would sit on his bench in front of the garage and drink sodas and smoke. Jock didnít mind them hanging out, but didnít have a public restroom.

This didnít bother the men that came to visit. They would just go around behind his shop and relieve themselves in a drain grate he had behind the building. This irritated Jock and he asked them time and time again not to do that. They didnít listen.

Jock devised a plan to stop this behavior. He wired up the metal grate to a car battery. It only took one person using the bathroom in the forbidden drain to teach the rest of the town a lesson.

Several years ago, I had heard they were tearing my great-grandpaís shop down to build the memorial site. I found where many of the bricks had gone and purchased some from the man who had stored them. I have a few of them around my house.

I was very young when Mom and Jock passed away, but have many photos and have heard many stories about them.

Sandyís book featuring my family is set to be published in the spring of 2017. I shared some stories and some photos with her for the book. I ordered some books to give to family.

KWIBS - From October 10, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

In about 60 days, my youngest son leaves for Great Lakes, IL for Recruit Training Command for the United States Navy.

It seems like when you are young, time lingers. As you get older, time flies.

Nick and I have been talking through some of the anxiety of starting this new chapter in his life. Four years for an 18 year old is nearly a quarter of their life as they know it. Four years for me was the end of Nickís Freshman year in High School. It seems like it was only yesterday that he started grade school.

The relevance of time is a perspective that is uniquely appreciated by everyone. Some things like waiting for the birth of a child seems to take forever, while watching that child grow up is a flash before your eyes.

Nick will spend about 9 weeks in his basic training and then attend A and C schooling in the Carolinas. All of this will happen in just the first few months of his enlistment. From there, who knows where heíll end up. Most likely because of his rate, heíll be stationed with Marines somewhere.

60 days... Thatís coming up very quickly.

One year ago, almost to the date, Nick was playing in one of his last high school football games. It was in Sedgwick, KS. We werenít winning this game, but Nick was not about to give up. With just a few minutes to go in the 4th, Nick tried to arm tackle a running back heading for the endzone. Nick made the tackle, but in that moment, things changed for him.

Nick dislocated his right shoulder and tore his labrum. As a "future sailor" we reported the injury to his recruiter first thing on Monday morning after the Friday night game. The news wasnít good. Without surgery, Nick was going to be disqualified by the Navy. With the surgery, there was no guarantee that he would be accepted either.

Nick was in surgery within about 10 days of his injury. He sat out basketball and barely made it back for baseball in March, but by April, he was medically cleared to play. While at MEPS in Kansas City (Military Entrance Processing Station), Nick was told by their surgeon that he would not be cleared for entrance into the Navy. By the end of the experience, another Navy Surgeon gave Nick the waiver he needed to enter and within hours of being told he would be sent home and denied, he was swearing in.

The delay from the injury caused Nick to lose his place for jobs and he enlisted as an Airman Undesignated. His recruiter said that Nick would basically leave boot camp and be assigned a job, probably on a ship. It wasnít a guarantee that heíd get anything close to what he wanted, but Nick was just happy to finally get in.

Nickís first choice rating was RP (religious program specialist). Religious Program Specialists assist Navy chaplains. Religious program specialists provide support to Navy chaplains in developing programs to meet the needs of Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard personnel and their families.

Obviously, Airman Undesignated was far from Nickís choice for jobs in the Navy, but within about 3 days of swearing in, his recruiter called to offer Nick the RP job. There are about 889 of these positions in the Navy and 424 currently serve with Marine units. This late in the cycle, it is very unusual for a position like this to open up and Nick jumped at the chance and signed a new contract.

From 1942 to 1945, the Navy adopted the Specialist "W" rate (the "W" stood for Welfare) to address the specific wartime needs of Chaplains serving in World War II. Specialist "W's were at that time required to: Perform clerical duties; play piano and organ for worship services; be competent musical directors; not expected to serve as religious leaders (just as it is today for RPs); and be willing to serve anywhere under any conditions.

RPs have a lot of responsibilities like maintaining records, helping prepare religious services on bases and ships, and probably stacking Bibles and setting up chairs. One of the main responsibilities will be providing physical security for chaplains during field exercises and in combat environments. In the Navy, chaplains are not allowed to carry firearms. This is where an RP comes into service. For this reason, after his basic training Nick will attend schooling for his job and then receive combat training, probably with the Marines.

All of this is pretty overwhelming and time is ticking.

Everything we discuss now revolves around time. I try to remind Nick that 4 years ago, he was trembling the night before his first high school football game. He would be on a special teams kick off unit and play varsity squad. He was terrified, but that experience resulted in building confidence in himself, playing more varsity and eventually being selected for CPL honors by his Sophomore year. We look at pictures of his niece and nephewís birth and we reminisce about the time that has passed. We look, with anticipation and some anxiety towards the next few months and years that heíll be away. We talk about missing our first Christmas together and probably his birthday in February.

Itís pretty overwhelming, but talking about it helps us understand the relevance of time. In four short years Nick will thinking about the time he just spent in the Navy and deciding on what to do about his future. Although 4 years seems so far away, my experience is that it will fly by.


KWIBS - From October 3, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

What if no one would be elected president this time around and we all promised real hard to just be cool?

Ok, so thatís probably not an option. Our options are: A) Donald Trump; B) Hillary Clinton; C) none of the above or in other words, Gary Johnson.

I keep using the phrase, "In my adult life", as in "Iíve never seen anything like this in my adult life."

Itís true. Somehow, two candidates, neither deserving to be the leader of the greatest nation in the world, have become our choices for president.

Weíre actually getting a lesson in oligarchy (the small group of people having control of our country) by only having these choices for president and they are using fear to make us think we have a meaningful choice between these two candidates that are preselected for us.

In all my adult life (see, there I go again), Iíve never seen the selection process dwindle down to two people who are so unpopular. We donít need to go into the details of why neither Trump or Clinton are worthy of the Oval Office. That just creates a storm of emails back to me trying to convince me that I am biased towards one candidate or another. Iím not. I dislike them equally at this point.

"But youíll have Hillary for a president if you donít vote for Trump," one of my friends told me.

Then the opposite of that is that weíll have Trump for president if I do? I donít want my seal of approval on that either.

Itís controlled opposition. I would only vote for one of these candidates because I dislike the other one even more. What happened to the America where you actually believe in your candidateís platform.

The debates did nothing for me other than confirm what I already knew. Clinton was well prepared and avoided talking about anything that would catch her in a lie/crime. Trump was just himself - completely oblivious. The only motivating factor for me in this presidential race is the fact that somebody will appoint some supreme court justices...

KWIBS - From September 26, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

I go to the state fair every year for a variety of reasons. Usually it revolves around a purchase for the ranch, food and music. We went on Friday, September 16.

This year is no different except for the fact that I brought home some nasty bug that laid me up for a few days with a fever, sore throat, cough and sniffles.

I attributed that to the many grubby children I saw running around picking their noses and touching things that I probably touched, and then picked my nose later.

Who doesnít love a Pronto Pup?!? Me. Thatís who. Who wants to spend their day at the fair running from bathroom to bathroom? Not me. Thatís who. I had the lamb gyro. At least thatís what they claimed it was.

The first place Ronda and I stopped was to look at mowers and tractors. Weíre approaching 22 years on one of our machines and you can always get a great deal at the fair. A man from Agri Center was there and showed us some of the newest New Hollands that are 0% for 84 months. I like free money. We talked for a while and he agreed to come look at our oldest machine and give us a trade quote. We shook on it and Tuesday would be the day.

Ronda and I moved from the heavy machinery (her least favorite part of the fair and my favorite) to the infomercial section... Thatís what I call the merchant buildings. Itís like you canít sleep and youíre up at 3 a.m. watching a commercial for a wondermop, only itís like you fell back to sleep and had a bad dream where you have to walk isle after isle and look at everything that promises to revolutionize your life in some way.

Every year we walk by those jiggle-butt weight loss machines. I just like to stand there, watch and giggle, but I always get on one and I know someone behind me is giggling. (You know who Iím talking about Phil Hinz....) We also go past the dirty-foot-water booth. You know the one. Itís where you put your feet in warm water, they stick some electricity through it and you supposedly detox through your feet. Basically, itís a scam, but my wife wanted to try it. I was tired, so sitting down with my feet in warm water was worth $20. Plus I got to make fun of the junk science the guy was trying to sell me.

After not spending $1,300 on this incredible machine that basically was my dirty feet in a rusty puddle of water made from the electrodes and salt, I made a mental note of how many strollers, wagons and scooters we had to maneuver around. I realize that I may need a scooter some day, but I didnít that day and it was a pain in the butt. I didnít want to stand in front of the amazing sun glasses cleaner any longer than I had to, but there were at least three scooters in front of us, probably stopped at the pretzel dip sample booth or getting their sun glasses cleaned.

I think they should have a special day at the fair for all strollers, wagons and scooters. They get in for free. Only those pulling, pushing or scooting are allowed in that day. Nobody walks. Or have a day where none of those are allowed at the fair and charge double! Thatís the day I would go to the fair.

We finally made it out of there with most of our money intact (less $40 for the rusty foot water bath). Thatís when we moved on to the grand finale of the evening: Lynard Skynard! Thatís right. Ronda and I went to a concert where we were of the average age of our peers. This wouldnít have happened if it werenít for the fact that Bob and Valerie Slinkard couldnít go and they had excellent seats! The concert was great!

We left and stopped at a small gas station on the south end of town. I said, "Look, thereís the bandís buses."

It was true. It was them. Weíd watched them leave the same spot earlier in the day, saw the same buses at the show behind the stage and then followed them back to the same spot. While some call this stalking, I call it coincidence. I noticed there was a "bar and grill" sign on the hotel and I begged Ronda to pull in, much to her eye rolling. Iím just the kind of guy who would make an attempt at buying the band a round and trying to hang out with them. Hey, it worked at KISS a couple of months ago, if you remember.

We parked the truck, went inside and acted like I knew where we were going. We followed the signs around the corner and were met by a staff member of the hotel. He informed us that the bar was "closed" to the public that evening. Iím pretty sure I could have gotten passed this guy, but I wasnít going to risk getting arrested out of town on a Friday night, so Ronda, being the sensible one of the two of us, grabbed my wrist and we left.

I was so close.

So Tuesday rolled around and I never heard from the tractor guy. I should have known there is no such thing as free money. Wednesday I finally got a call from the tractor guy. He was on his way out and apologized for the day-late delay.

As it turns out, he fell ill late on Friday of the fair and had to go home and start a round of antibiotics for some nasty bug he picked up..... I apologize to all grubby, nose picking kids at the fair for accusing them of making me sick.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From September 19, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.

I used to type that over and over and over...

Betty Frisbie worked for my Grandpa Bill, Uncle Gary and finally my dad way back in the old newspaper days.

As a way to keep me busy, Betty would load a sheet of paper into an old manual type writer and make me type that over and over again. I got pretty fast.

By the time I took typing in high school, I was probably faster than my teacher Anita Hughbanks.

I know I am faster than former MLHS teacher Dale McCurdy. We raced once. He says he won, but he made a lot of mistakes while typing that phrase.

Kids now days donít seem to type as quickly or accurately as I did as a kid. Of course, now everything is done on tiny phones with small QWERTY keyboards using your thumbs.

That being said, they can type just about as fast on those screens as I can on a full size keyboard. That doesnít go the same for my typing skills with my thumbs. For some dumb reason I canít hit the space bar. I always hit the "N" and all my words run together on my phone.

And auto correct... Oh how I hate you auto correct.

You can get yourself into a lot of trouble by not proofing what you read before you send it...

"are you coming to my new years party?"

"Of course - I will be there."

"ok cool because ia m going to kill you at midnight."

"Ok on 2nd thought maybe I wonít go."

"haha. i mean iím going to kiss you at midnight."

"hello? sorry....."



KWIBS - From September 12, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

Not many people know this about me, but Iím a pretty decent mechanic.

Maybe decent isnít the right word.

Iím actually very good at breaking things, figuring out what I broke, finding out what it will cost to fix it and then determining whether or not I have the skill to fix it. In many cases, Iím very good at finding someone to fix it.

So, Iím a shade tree mechanic.

I had issues last week that all involved batteries. Itís like I upset the gods of voltage last week and had problems with electrical systems on four different machines. Thatís not including the remote control batteries not working in my TV.

First it was Nickís (youngest sonís) truck. He parked at the bank, went in, came out and his truck wouldnít start. He walked to the office and said, "Dad, my truck is dead. It wonít start. Itís junk and I probably need a new one."

Nick is my "jump to conclusion" kid. If it isnít running, itís junk, broken and needing replaced

After I asked him what it did, I decided it was probably a battery cable. I grabbed a 1/2" wrench out of my truck, tightened the terminals and all was right with the world.

Next, "Farm Truck" died. I lovingly refer to our old truck as "Farm Truck" even though we donít farm. Itís an older F350 dually that we use on the ranch to haul the trailer and mowers around. Nick had parked it and backed the mower off. When he returned several hours later, "Farm Truck" wouldnít start. I determined it was a battery issue. We charged the battery up at the shed, put it back in "Farm Truck" and it started right up. We hauled the mower and trailer up to the house. All was right with the world.

Only it wasnít....

"Farm Truck" was dead the next morning. I decided to back the mower off the trailer to disconnect the trailer and reconnect it to another vehicle. Strangely the mower battery was too weak to start the mower to back it off the trailer. So I grabbed a jump start battery pack I keep in my truck. It was dead too.

After some head scratching, I pulled both batteries and put them on the charger.

After a few hours, I put the battery back in the mower and it was up and running. Nick was able to mow for about 2 hours before the blades wouldnít engage. Then the engine wouldnít start.

Curse you voltage gods....

I can make a long story even longer, but when it came down to it, the mower needed a new battery after 4 years and the "Farm Truck" was just a problem of not getting the ignition turned all the way off. We just recently started leaving the keys in it.... (Thanks to Lane at Mikeís Service for figuring that out.)

Lastly, over Labor Day weekend Joey (my oldest son) had some friends down from college to ride our jetskis.

On one turn, the jetski just quit and two of his friends were stranded for a quite a while until Joey went and towed them back to the dock.

When I checked, there was no power to the dash. I knew it had to be a lose battery cable because I just put new batteries in both skis. That was pretty much my modus operandi for the week. I popped the hood, pulled out my handy 1/2" wrench, that I now just keep in my front right pocket, tightened things up and she started right up! All was right with the world.

Donít tell my sons, they both think Iím a decent mechanic.


KWIBS - From September 5, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

Hey, if you see Summer, let her know Spring has been squatting on her time.

Iíve been so happy to see all the rain these past few weeks. Itís crazy to think that just 2 years ago we were praying daily for some sort of moisture. Now, itís like a tropical jungle in some parts of the county.

With all that rain, we keep mowers running near around the clock at our place.

I bet youíd agree with me that itís been one heck of a year for mowing the lawn and like most, youíre tired of cutting the grass. Iíll bet youíre not as tired as we are.

Iím sort of a statistics nerd, but in looking back from the time the mowing season started, three of us at Lake Arrowhead have logged just over 600 hours of mowing so far this season. That breaks down into 180 blades sharpened and/or replaced, 20 oil and filter changes (50 quarts of oil and 20 filters), 220 gallons of gasoline and 250 gallons of diesel used and more than $1,000 in repairs and another $6,000 in labor. Thatís mowing almost 200 acres of recreation areas, roads and lots. We get done mowing just in time to start over at the beginning almost every 5 days with a 2 day break, if weíre lucky! Itís been an unusually busy season this year.

That should make you feel better about mowing your lawn!

Many of those hours were logged by Josh Ybarra and my son Nick Noland. These guys have mowed their butts off this summer, literally in one instance. I had to replace a seat on one of the mowers after Nick wore it out!

Thank you Josh and Nick for helping us keep things looking so nice this year. Iíve never seen a year like this where itís been so green and lush.

As I hurry and finish this, Iím leaving early on another Wednesday to go out and do some more mowing!

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From August 22, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

Throughout life you meet people, and if youíre like me, you categorize them into acquaintances and "keepers". MT Main was in my "keeper" file.

Born Marion Tackle, MT and I met back in 2004 at the fitness center. At 74 years young, MT and I would do the tread mill and weights together.

A year later our band Dorfus CrackTractor formed. Justin Rugg, David Fasgold and I would practice in the back of my office. MT asked if it would be OK if he attended practices and we were fine with it.

Heíd compliment or criticize what songs he liked or disliked and why. We actually took his advice. We even decided that weíd call him our "Manager". His only responsibility would be to show up and follow us around, but he was our biggest fan. MT actually road the bus to different venues we played at and heíd be the last one standing, helping us put our equipment away.

Even after the band stopped playing, MT kept up his friendship. Ronda and I brought him out to our lake and introduced him to jetskis. MT loved riding the jetskis. At almost 80, heíd climb on and mash the throttle and keep up with people half of his age. He was incredible and a blast to be around.

He confessed once that hanging out with us made him feel young. Making jokes about his age were fine with him. He once told a story about working for the telegraph company and one of us asked, "Was that right after you quit the pony express?"

We always ribbed MT and we always got a laugh out of him.

After a few years, MTís health began to decline and he wanted to be closer to his family in Wisconsin. He stopped in the office and started out the conversation about moving with one of his signature statements, "I hope youíre not mad, but Iím going to move closer to my daughter in Monroe."

MT kept in touch and called once a month to check on his friends. A few months before he died he wanted me to know he had cancer and may not have much time left. He thanked me for our friendship and it was sincere and really touched me. MT was a "Keeper" and I was honored to be his friend.

His daughter called me last week. She had found my name and number in a book that heíd written in. He asked her that if anything happened to him, that someone call his friends in Kansas to let them know. My name was in his book. That made me smile.


KWIBS - From August 15, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

Iím usually too busy for any scheduled TV. I leave one on in my office to hear the news as it breaks, but lately thatís just been boring jabs from presidential candidates.

So when a buddy of mine asked if I was watching the Olympics, I had to confess that I had forgotten they were even on. So, no, at that time I had not watched a single minute of the Olympics.

While eating dinner the other night,womenís sand volleyball came on and I happened to catch that. I have to admitt, this is more of a late night Showtime event, but I see the athleticism in it. After that, I finally made an effort last week to watch some of the swimming events. I wasnít as impressed as the womens sand volleyball.

My phone rang and I paused a mens swimming event and for the next 20 minutes while on the phone, this is what I had to look at....


KWIBS - From August 8, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

Nothing lasts forever, but even when you know itís going to end and have been prepared for a month, you just arenít ready.

But itís not really an end. Itís just a date weíve marked on the calendar that is Dorisís last day working here. We celebrated it last Friday with some gifts, cake and some laughs.

Bittersweet is the dumbest term Iíve ever heard of, but itís true in this moment. We are so happy for Doris that sheíll be able to do many of the things in life that sheís wanted to do, but we are also so full of sadness that sheís leaving.

You couldnít possibly understand our office unless youíve worked here as long as Doris and she didnít come here by much of her own choice. Way back (17.5 years ago) I had met Doris around town and knew of her work at Myrlen Bellís office and then at Alco. She was smart, articulate and very friendly. I had to have her come work for me.

One day she walked passed our office and Ronda said, "Hey, there is that lady youíve been talking about!"

We had been searching for the right person to add to our staff and I ran out the door after her. I think I sort of freaked her out by telling her quite bluntly, "I want you to come work for us!"

She actually didnít say yes, but she didnít say no either. A few days later, she accepted the offer and has become many things to us over the years, most importantly a friend.

She is replaceable, but only up to a point of work. There will be an empty place in our hearts. Sheís always had a pretty great sense of humor, patience for me and my office pranks, done almost anything for us with minimal grumbling and eye-rolling and has always had our backs - in good times and in bad.

She said it best last week when she said, "This isnít good-bye."

We know Doris will bless others like sheís blessed us for the past 17+ years. Ronda and I are so excited to welcome Brenda Head to the family. Weíre already discovering she can tolerate us and our hectic schedules and wacky sense of humor! We know sheís a little overwhelmed, but we are confident in her!

KWIBS - From August 1, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

Last week, I checked Facebook early in the morning and discovered a friend request from someone I actually knew.

I accepted the request and noticed that I had just then hit 1,000 friends. I thought, no way... So I looked again, and sure enough, there were 1,000 names in my Facebook collection.

Thinking this was just too many and I couldnít possibly know all these people, I logged in with intentions to thin out the herd.

I couldnít do it. I couldnít find one person to delete. I pretty much knew or liked everyone in my friends list!

Now, to be fair, some of these people are folks that I bonded out of jail through my other business and itís a nice way to keep track and be able to contact them, but the others were ACTUAL friends, so I kind of "collect them"!

How blessed is the man with friends! Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says: "Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!"

Sometimes Facebook is full of trouble, but most of the time I find my friends posting photos of their life events, children, spouses and just funny stories.

Speaking of friends, I got a full dose of them during the last couple of weeks. Ronda and I went to Amarillo over a week ago to take our niece and nephew back and met up with Kyle and DeDe Vick. They met us half way from New Mexico. We love this little rendezvous because it allows us to stop and see Dale and Michele McCurdy! We had a great evening of catching up before heading home. I had to get back to pick up Nix White from the airport the very next day. On Monday, Nix and I hooked up with Mike Traffas, a fellow classmate, and took in the KISS concert.

Itís great having friends!

Our first KISS...

Before you read any further and roll your eyes, please understand this story isnít about me bragging or being star struck, itís about an experience I recently had that turned out to be nothing like I expected it to be.

Sometime during the last week of June, my friend Nix White called and asked if I wanted to go and see KISS in concert in Wichita on July 25th. Nix and I graduated from MLHS together in 1988 and weíve made a point to get together as frequently as possible and "make some memories."

I have to be honest, and I was with Nix, I wasnít a huge KISS fan. Admittedly, my very first Columbia House record order was KISSís "Love Gun" in 1977. It was on 8-Track. I later bought "Lick it Up" in 1983 on cassette, but Iím sure that both of those are in a box somewhere in my garage or ended up in the trash after digital music became more popular.

I love live music, so it was easy to say YES to Nix to go to the concert. Little did I realize at the time that Nix was friends with KISS frontman Gene Simmonís Personal Assistant - "Dave."

I learned later through some text messages that Nix was working a deal on some backstage passes. Nix always has some crazy connection to somebody. As a retired Navy SEAL and FrogX parachutist, Nix has met some interesting people in his life.

I had sort of forgotten all about the invitation to KISS from Nix until I got a phone call from him as I was traveling to Amarillo, TX just over a week ago.

"Hey man, Iíll be flying into Wichita on Sunday. You ready to see and meet KISS," he asked?

I was a little dumbfounded, but realized he was serious.

"Make sure you bring a record album or something. Youíll get an opportunity to have them sign whatever you want," Nix explained.

After a little more discussion and planning, I realized I had nothing to bring for the band to sign, so I put out an urgent request on Facebook. Claudia and David Vollbracht came to my rescue with the "Destroyer" album. When I got back from Texas, I went straight to their house and got that album.

The next day Nixís flight arrived right on time and I picked him up at the airport and we met up with another classmate from MLHSís class of 1988, Mike Traffas. Nix had made a last minute arrangement to get Mike in on the deal of going to KISS.

The last time I had seen Mike was last year at his brother Danís funeral. It wasnít good circumstances that we met up and we didnít have much time to visit, so this opportunity was perfect to catch up on what had been going on in his life for the past 30 years over lunch.

You have to rewind three decades to understand that Mike was an unlikely candidate to go to KISS with Nix and me. Nix and I wore parachute pants in the 80s, break danced, listened to rock music and had long hair. Mike would have been found in cowboy boots, wearing his cowboy hat and probably listening to Hank Williams, Jr at a nearby rodeo. We just werenít "close" in high school, but finding out he was right there in Wichita, Nix really wanted to get together, and he couldnít have picked a better person to take along.

We made arrangements to pick up Mike the next day and Nix and I came back to Medicine Lodge for a quick excursion out to our lake for some jetski time and then a quick visit to his former hometown of Medicine Lodge. The last time he was here, you might remember him landing on the football field and on Main Street with giant flag after he jumped out of a helicopter during Peace Treaty.

Monday, we got up and began the day that will forever change my impression of KISS.

After picking up Mike and making a quick lunch stop we arrived at Intrust Bank Arena at about 2:30 p.m. I had a contact there and reached out to "Kandace" for some special parking and a tour of the arena for me and my buddies. We actually name-dropped her and got to park right next to the security gate!

When we got to the area east of the arena we were met by a nice young man in a black security outfit who worked for Martin Security. Nixís contact had given him instructions we were coming and that he would meet us at the security entrance. We parked and within a few minutes a gentlemen came out of the gates and welcomed us. "Dave" was a unique character.

He led us into a large lot full of semi trucks and black tour buses where he stopped at the first one and entered a security code that opened up the bus door. Inside was like a small office setting with big screen TVs and food and beverages. We sat down and Nix began catching up with Dave. Mike and I just sort of looked around and at each other, not believing we were actually doing this. People came in and out of the bus bringing in more food, getting instructions from Dave and picking up radios and other equipment. After a few minutes of small talk, Dave became very personal to both Mike and me and we got to know each other. After about an hour on the bus, Dave handed each of us wrist bands and, an honest to God "back stage, all access pass" with KISS on the front. I couldnít get that thing around my neck fast enough.

We exited the bus and entered Intrust Bank Arena from a place I had never been before. Inside and past security were forklifts and people working like ants on a mission. There was a lot of commotion and Dave yelled, "You guys can go anywhere you want. I just ask that you stay off the stage and donít go into the guysí dressing rooms!"

Dave pointed out where the band would greet us and he disappeared into his madness of being Gene Simmonís personal assistant.

Just seconds later, several Segwick County Sheriff cars led a convoy of Black Lincoln Navigators into the garage area where we were standing and out pops original members Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons and newer band members Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer. After some high-fives and handshakes, they grabbed some instruments and did a quick, up close and personal, very impromptu, 30 minute concert for about 30-40 fans waiting in the hallway.

My friend Kandace showed up and watched with us before we took our tour of the Intrust Bank Arena.

Hereís where every preconceived notion I ever had about the band KISS went out the window. There was no make up, there were no drugs and girls werenít throwing themselves at the guys. It was just some really happy guys meeting some really happy fans. I felt a little out of my element. After KISS put their instruments back up, they came over and talked and signed autographs. Then the fans were escorted out the door and there we were with KISS and their crew. Since they had things to take care of before their concert that night (like putting on their make up and costumes, we went with Kandace and began our tour of the facility.

Nix and Mike hadnít been there, so we took the personal tour and stopped in the suites to visit and rest for a minute. When we went back down stairs, Gene Simmons came out of a room in the hall, grabbed me and Kandace and yelled, "Group Hug!" Gene is a huge guy and my face and Kandaceís face ended up buried in his chest as he nearly crushed us to death, laughing the entire time. As we roamed the halls we would run into Gene, Paul, Tommy and Eric. It got to the point where it was really no big deal. We were just all there waiting for a concert to begin.

Gene was the funny one. At least 3 times during passing him in the hall, he would reach into his bag on his hip and throw handfuls of guitar picks at us. Later in the evening, he showed us how he could, with precision accuracy, launch a guitar pick and hit someone almost 40 feet away. It was just crazy. And yes, his tongue is that large (youíve been dying to know, but thatís not what this story is about).

When we finished the tour, Dave sent Nix a text saying that the hospitality room was ready and we should come down for some food and beverages. My mind went crazy here. This is probably where the sex, drugs and rock-n-roll would be. I thought there would be some finger foods, sandwiches, chips and tons of alcohol, because thatís what rock bands eat and drink, right? Wrong.... We walked into a very nice buffet line with things like BBQ-Watermelon-Chicken-Legs, roasted pork and potatoes, baked squash and not a single drop of alcohol to be found.... and no, no drugs. There were men, children and ladies, presumably family members and staff in the room and everyone was talking and enjoying their meal. We sat down at a table and I had one fantastic, very normal meal!

So we were about 15 minutes out from the opening act to start and we just sort of hung out back stage. There was a lot of activity and we met some nice people. One guy was bouncing a ball off the wall and talking to a giant security guy. I walked by and said, "Hey man!" He said "hi" and while Nix and Mike went to the restroom, I learned that he was Caleb Johnson, season 13 "American Idol" winner. His set list was taped to a console backstage and I snapped a photo of it.

The plan from Dave was that when Caleb began performing, we would meet at section 112 for the opportunity of a photo with KISS in their full costumes and makeup. Weíd have one final opportunity to talk with the guys after the fan club ran through their meet and greet and photo session. We had a different color of wrist band and passes than everyone else and we ended up in a group of about 15 people and began small talk with them. One lady and her 7 year old son had come from Switzerland by invitation of KISSís tour manager. The young boy was pretty excited. His English was excellent, but hers, not so much, but we enjoyed talking with them. She accidentally got into KISSís dressing room and was promptly ushered out.

I had read about KISS and putting on their makeup: "We had to go through torture to perfect the process of putting it on", Paul Stanley said. "I can remember plenty of times when I blinded myself with black eye make-up... In the beginning, the white was a zinc oxide cream which you can buy in any pharmacy. We didn't know what we were doing; we just wanted white faces...and the zinc oxide beat spraying ourselves with white paint. We eventually worked our way up to what's called 'clown white.' The two best brands are made by Stein's and Max Factor... At first, the black was Maybelline waterproof eyeliner, but it would crack because it's only meant to draw a line around your eye, not a whole star. Now we use black grease sticks, which are a more solid form of greasepaint."

After what I imagined was a few minutes of a grueling process of putting makeup on four men, we were ushered into a locker room / bathroom and down a short hallway to a room with a large KISS banner. In the room was a photographer, a security guard as big as a gorilla and a group of veterans with the local chapter of Wichitaís American Legion, including their families.

Some classic KISS music was pumped into the room through a small PA and folks started cheering. In walks KISS.... now about a foot taller than when I first met them, due to the platform shoes, in full costume and makeup. You couldnít help but feel the excitement as they greeted the veterans and lined us all up for photos with the band. Gene squeezed my neck just before our photo. With their makeup and costumes on, they took on the persona of larger-than-life comic book-style characters.

Again, after the fan club people were finished, they were herded out to the left and Dave told us, "Go to the right and wait in the hallway." So Mike, Nix and I were standing in the hallway when this very pretty girl walks up to me and asks, "Are you Kevin Noland?" I blubbered out a "yes" and she explained why she was looking for me. Her husbandís band "Saving Abel" toured with my friends in "Aranda". She had been texting Gabe Aranda and he told her I was there and what I was wearing. She came looking for me and we took a selfie together and sent it to him.

Just then Paul Stanley and Tommy Thayer walk out and give us high-fives and make some small talk as they head towards the back of the stage entrance. Eric Singer, the drummer, walked up and got right in my face and started talking and asking me what I do for a living and how I ended up backstage with KISS. I gave him the Cliff Notes version. We had a few laughs and I asked him if it would be OK to video him with my phone and he was all cool about it.

In the video, I asked him to say hello to Sheriff Justin Rugg. He does and then grabs Gene Simmons as he walked past and got Gene Simmons to say hello to Justin as well. I texted that off to Justin. We spoke with Gene and Eric for a few more minutes and then we were directed towards an exit, which actually turned out to be an entrance to the back of KISSís stage. We followed the band through the doors and the lights went off in the arena. I heard a loud bass hum that roared through the speakers. KISS walked up the stairs and we turned stage right, through a winding maize of computers, power amps and cords. When we emerged, we were in front of the stage.

That was the last contact we had with any of the band or any staff members that night, besides the occasional arm grabbing by security guards, which were brushed off when they saw our credentials.

KISSís concert was really pretty incredible. I knew most of the music and I watched the show. I realized instantly how much these guys like to perform. The stage show featured fire breathing, fake blood-spitting, smoking and smashing guitars, shooting rockets, levitating drum kits, a center stage that was reached by pulley and harness systems and pyrotechnics that rival most 4th of Julyís. It was pretty amazing to watch.

What I really took away from this show:

Not one curse word was uttered by the band.

KISS brought children up on stage to perform with them and gave them gifts.

I never saw or heard anything inappropriate in their behavior.

KISS took a break during the show to bring up the American Legion on stage to present them with a check for $150,000 to help wounded soldiers and their families; and honored all area veterans.

They asked us all to place our hands over our hearts and say the "Pledge of Allegiance".

Then they played the "Star Spangled Banner".

They closed with "Rock And Roll All Night." This is where Nix, Mike and I probably had the most fun. We were standing at the back of the room by this time, near a giant confetti machine that shot hundreds of pounds of paper into the air. The guy running the machines was having a blast shooting this stuff into the crowd and even throwing handfuls of it at us. We would pick it up and throw at each other and back at him and we laughed all the way out to the truck. I still have pieces of confetti in my truck.

This was a really cool experience; one I am probably never to see again in my lifetime. It was great to reconnect with Mike and spend the day with a couple of classmates. I canít thank Nix enough for the invite and hope you enjoyed reading about my day with friends and ......KISS.


KWIBS - From July 25, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

Iíll be first to formally announce it, but youíll be reading about it in the weeks to come. Doris Sorg is leaving the paper in a couple of weeks.

Doris has been with us for over 17 years.

So it came as a shock, but not a bad shock, that she told us over a week ago now that she would be winding this chapter of her life down.

Sheíll go into her own details of what her plans for the future are soon, but I can tell you that Ronda and I are sad sheís leaving and at the same time, happy that sheís going to do some things in life sheís always wanted to do.

When you spend as much time together as Doris, Ronda and I have, you get into a pretty comfortable routine and you really get to know a person. Weíve shared many milestones: children going off to war, children getting married, becoming grandparents, experiencing the death of parents and grandparents - and so many more life events. 17+ years of friendship have made a bond unbreakable by an employee-employer relationship.

Over the years there have been some great office antics that have happened at the Premiere, pretty much on a daily basis. One of my favorite office pranks is the air horn. When you least expect it, I blow an air horn in the office. I do this strictly for the scream factor! Another one of my favorite pranks was when I hid in the new recycling bins from Nisly that were dropped off at our office and jumped out when Doris came in.

Sheís handled me pretty well over the years. If anyone has ever had a reason to quit their job because of the working environment, it would be Doris. Instead of all the times she should have quit, she would either punch me or karate kick me. Iím going to miss those times.

Iíve barely touched on what wonderful thing she has done for us over the years, but they are too many to put in such a small space. Doris, know we love you and appreciate you.

Youíre probably wondering who is going to replace her? Well, through answered prayer and a great stroke of luck, we will be introducing that new lady next week!


KWIBS - From July 18, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

Unless youíve been living under a rock, youíve noticed Pokťmon Go is a phenomenon both ruining andÖ saving the world? In less than a week, the game has taken the world by storm, bringing Nintendo shares up by 25% and even beating out Tinder as one of the most popular mobile apps. Basically: people love Pokťmon more than.... well, real love!

If you thought your kid or friends spent too much time looking at their cell phone screens already, thereís a new reason for them to get a kink in their necks.

It started at my house last week. Nick, my youngest son (18) calls at 11:30 p.m. one night and asks, "Hey, me and some friends *13 of them* want to go to Kiowa to a gym and take it over. Is that ok?"

I said, "Of course thatís not OK. What they heck are you talking about?"

So I get a 15 minute lecture that was mostly, "blah, blah pokestops, blah blah level up, blah, blah gyms, battle and I think I finally fell asleep around the discussion of Hyper Potion."

So the 13 or so kids from Medicine Lodge on the "red team" walked the main street of Kiowa that night, doing battle and taking over their gym there, stacking it with their Pokťmon that they conveniently called "ML".

So the new Mason-Dixon line for Barber County has been drawn in the digital world of Pokemon. Kids now gather in small packs across the street from the Methodist Church in Medicine Lodge, battling each other. Itís everywhere.

I thought this was cute: This is a public notice that anyone caught hunting Pokemon on M-Bar Ranch or Lake Arrowhead property without written permission will be prosecuted to fullest extent of the law. We have been hand raising some top performers for years, their bloodlines are unprecedented and well sought after. If you would like to lease the property for next year, we are having a lottery draw and we will issue tags. All Pokemon caught must be checked in for our personal records.

Game Management

KWIBS - From July 11, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

Iím amused and annoyed by the confusion most people have about a candidate running for office.

You know, I hear things. People talk about this candidate or that candidate, but most are completely unaware of the facts and many times candidates are completely misrepresented. Sometimes, theyíre completely dishonest.

Politics is an ugly thing.

I gave the political world a whirl several years ago, filing for county commissioner. I learned really fast that people are not what they appear when it comes to running for public office.

It doesnít always happen this way on a local level, but the phrase, "Absolute power corrupts absolutely" does scare the *you know what* out of me. Power can go to your head.

From my experience as a candidate, everyone starts out with well meaning intentions. Unfortunately, outside influences usually seeking favors can tarnish good people who become politically motivated. Public service often turns into benefit packages. Those in power forget who they are serving.

I can honestly say that after the 2012 election, I saw good things from the gentleman I ran against. Bill Smith became the county commissioner in early 2013 after beating both me and Bob Packard for District 3. Heís done a good job for Barber County. Early on, I had ambitions to run against him again this year, but after seeing that his heart was in it and he had good intentions, I believe supporting him is the better decision for the county. Maybe I will give it a whirl again someday.

Weíre not in the best of times, mostly because of real property and oil valuations on the decline. I know that our commissioners are trying very hard to balance budgets and keep our countyís momentum going through support for economic development and keeping taxes under control. Thatís not an easy task given the state is also in financial trouble.

My advice to all the candidates is, "Keep it above board." Taking cheap shots and being malicious wonít gain you the respect of voters. At least not this one.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From July 4, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

The tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution.

The day was only officially declared a federal holiday in 1941.

In June 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies then fighting in the revolutionary struggle weighed a resolution that would declare their independence from Great Britain. Actually, on July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence.

John Adams believed that July 2nd was the correct date on which to celebrate the birth of American independence, and would reportedly turn down invitations to appear at July 4th events in protest. Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826--the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of the resolution for independence. On that day, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail that July 2 "will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary festival" and that the celebration should include "Pomp and ParadeÖGames, Sports, Guns (yes, guns...), Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other." On July 4th, the Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence, which had been written largely by Jefferson. Though the vote for actual independence took place on July 2nd, from then on the 4th became the day that was celebrated as the birth of American independence.

Whatever day you celebrate, remember that we donít always agree on everything, but we did agree then, and should now, that we have to be a free people. More oppressive laws and less individual rights is what lead to the first revolution and that is what this country was founded on.


KWIBS - From June 27, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

PERSHAGEN, Sweden, June 23 (UPI) -- Audible flatulence resulted in one Swedish soccer player being ejected early during a lower-league match.

The Guardian reports that Pershagen SK defender Adam Lindin Ljungkvist, 25, was given a red card and sent out of a match against Jšrna SK's reserve team after the referee determined that his fart was "deliberate provocation" and "unsportsmanlike behavior."

"I had a bad stomach, so I simply let go," Ljungkvist said. "Then I received two yellow cards and then red. Yes, I was shocked, it's the strangest thing I have ever experienced in football."

Kristoffer Linde, who was playing on the opposite team of Ljungkvist, also admitted to the bizarre nature of the call but said he was able to hear the fart from his position on the field.

"I was standing a good distance away but I heard the fart loud and clear," Linde said. "It's the strangest thing I've seen on a pitch, and I've been playing football since I was eight years old."

Ljungkvist said he asked the referee why he was being penalized for his decision to "break wind a little" during the game and determined the referee must have believed he directed his flatulence at the opponent intentionally, according to Vice Sports.

"I can only surmise that he thinks I did it up against an opponent, but to provoke someone with a fart would be pretty bizarre," he said. "I just did a perfectly innocent fart, and got sent off for it."

Referee Dany Kako confirmed Ljungkvist's suspicions and stated he handed out a similar punishment in an incident that involved a player urinating on the field.

"I perceived it as deliberate provocation," Kako said. "He did it on purpose and it was inappropriate. Therefore, he received a yellow card."

Pershagen SK and Ljungkvist eventually lost the game 5-2 and he expressed his displeasure with the call to Kako after the game.

"To provoke anyone with a fart is not particularly smart or normal. It's nonsense Ė I just broke wind and got a red card," he said. "I spoke to the referee afterwards, I was annoyed, but there were no bad words. I just said he was a buffoon."

KWIBS - From June 20, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

Iím a man.

I consider myself pretty brave in most circumstances.

In comes a spider...

Now spiders freak me out and you can bet that any time I have an encounter with one and I see it first, Iím yelling for my wife to kill it.

But my wife wasnít at the office on Thursday afternoon. Thank the Lord, Whiteís Foodliner Manager Norm Clouse was.

We were talking and I happened to look up and see this giant spider on my ceiling in my office. Norm saw it too. I have 12 foot ceilings, so I was not able to reach this spider and convinced Norm that he could reach it with a broom handle (because he was at least 6 inches taller than me).

The plan was simple: Knock it down and kill it.

The first part of our plan went flawlessly. Norm knocked it down, but it landed on my desk and immediately took up a defensive position behind some of my manly NRA magazines. We could see him, and I assumed with all of his 8 eyes, he could see us as well.

I decided that I would use some reverse psychology on the spider and approach him from the opposite direction and sort of herd him out into the open where Norm would be waiting to smack him with the broom handle. We got into position.

You should always have a plan and stick to the plan. For some reason, Norm decided to stick his hand in there too and the spider got confused. Long story short, the spider went in several directions; Norm and I bounced off of each other, knocked some things off my desk and screamed like a couple of teenage girls.

There stood the spider. Unscathed.

We regrouped and took an assessment of our well being. We were fine. I took my desk name plate and crushed the spider.

We are men, hear us scream.....


KWIBS - From June 13, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

This is a big week for us. A page turned, a volume number and an issue changed over on the front page.

Weíre 25 years old.

Ronda and I officially started this newspaper in July of 1991. Like a couple of loose chains, we skipped a cog somewhere back in volume 2 or 3 and we ended up at 25 this week - two weeks early. Someone should research when that happened. So weíre 1,300 issues into this adventure. A few of you have been subscribers since day one and we appreciate that! A couple of famous longtime subscribers include Martina McBride and my buddy, retired Navy Seal, Nix White.

Hereís a nice transition....

I was on the phone with Nix White on Tuesday around 4:30 p.m. He called to congratulate my family for my sonís swearing in to the United States Navy.

My son raised his right hand on Tuesday after two days of MEPS in Kansas City. Nix was a pretty big influence in his life. Graduating from MLHS in 1988, Nix went off to Illinois for his basic training, just like Nick will. Heís always been there to encourage Nick.

Both Nix and Nick had and have a lot in common. Both were good athletes, about the same height and weight, average academics.... but most importantly, they both have big hearts to achieve big things in life!

Nix is now retired from the Navy and has a son of his own entering the Marines. Itís crazy to think our kids could be serving together somewhere in the world side by side at some point. Itís a real possibility.

Iíd also like to wish my wife a Happy Anniversary! On June 17th, weíll celebrate 28 years! I love you Ronda. :)

Have a great week! Congratulations Nick! And, thank you to our readers for 25 years!


KWIBS - From June 6, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

While the world was in an uproar with the killing of Harambe, apparently the worldís most gentle Gorilla, no one even noticed Lobby Joeís great rescue and escape.

The lobsterís long voyage began when he was spotted sitting alone in a tank in a northern Ontario supermarket, by Christine Loughead. Perhaps because she was a vegan, she found the crustaceanís probable fate unbearable. "It weighed on my psyche more and more," she told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Then it dawned on her. "Itís not too late to help. Heís alive."

Loughead bought the lobster for C$20.23 ($15.46), not exactly sure what she would do next. She took it home, telling it: "You are now not dinner," and naming it Lobby Joe. Cutting off the thick rubber bands around its claws, she put it in a saltwater tank in her home.

An online search suggested the lobster had probably been plucked out of the waters near Nova Scotia. Loughead reached out to an online vegan community in the area, appealing for help to release the lobster back into the ocean if she could find a way to get it to Halifax, some 3,000 kilometres away from Red Lake.

Her call was answered by Beth Kent, the founder of a local animal shelter in Bridgewater, a small town about an hourís drive from Halifax.

Now Loughead had to figure out how to get the lobster to Kent. She called around; the nearest courier that would ship live animals was in Winnipeg, a six-hour drive from her town.

Loughead packed the lobster in a Styrofoam box padded with wet newspaper and cold packs, placing the box gingerly in the back seat and fastening the seat belt around it. The cost of shipping was C$225 ($172) while gas for the journey came to around C$160 ($122.30).

After 24 hours in transit, the box arrived in Nova Scotia. As Kent gently wrestled wet newspaper from the grasp of its claws, she told Lobby Joe: "Life is going to get better, OK?"

Kent first went to the site where she had planned to release the lobster, but hastily changed plans after spotting a fishing boat on the horizon. She instead released the lobster in a small cove. "There he goes, there he goes," Kent said excitedly as the lobster scrambled over the rocks.

Meanwhile, over 480,000 people had signed a petition on called "Justice for Harambe" after the 17-year-old male Western Lowland Gorilla was put down last week after a 4 year boy fell into his enclosure.

For the record, I like my children alive and my lobster with melted butter.

Have a great week insane world!


KWIBS - From May 30, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

A positive person anticipates happiness, health and success, and believes he or she can overcome any obstacle and difficulty.

This describes my Uncle Gary Noland perfectly.

On a recent trip to Texas, we stopped and celebrated my Uncle Garyís 73rd birthday with him and my Aunt Millie. Many of you will remember Gary from his Index days here in Medicine Lodge. Heís been in California and Montana and finally landed in Fort Worth many years ago.

My Uncle is a positive thinking person. Heís been through quite a few trials in his life. Almost 12 years ago, he was told he would die of colon cancer. He beat that and has lived a productive and healthy life since.

He was weak and tired during our visit, but positive. After we got home and a few days had passed, he called to tell me that he was in the hospital and was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.

He was told with treatment, he might have a year, but he is positive.

Positive thinking is not accepted by everyone. Some, consider it as nonsense, and scoff at people who follow it, but I believe there is real power there.

"A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." - Proverbs 17:22

My Uncle Gary had confessed heíd not been feeling well for quite a while and our visit made him laugh and he felt so good the next day.

I felt good too. We always have a good laugh when weíre together. Iím blessed to have so many family members close by. I wish he lived closer, but I am sure weíll get back to see him soon, so I can spend more time with my Uncle Gary.

Weíll share some good medicine together.

Try it, you might find it works well.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From May 23, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

Use whatever bathroom best fits your identity. That was the big story last week. Nothing trumped that - pun intended.

A letter the administration sent to school districts was signed by officials at the Justice Department and the Department of Education. A copy was posted on the Department of Justiceís website.

While the letter does not have the force of law, it does warn that schools that do not abide by the administrationís interpretation of civil rights under the Title IX law may face lawsuits or loss of federal aid.

"There is no room in our schools for discrimination of any kind, including discrimination against transgender students on the basis of their sex," Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement.

First, let me say that I understand that since the beginning of time there have been men and women who have trouble with identifying their gender. The parts might be there, but they may not have developed a male or female brain.

Thereís lots of science and solid clinical evidence for the chromosomal, anatomical and hormonal variations which lead some men to be "girly" and some girls to be "manly". This does not always mean they are gay or lesbian.

We all grew up with people who might have been a little more masculine or a little more feminine. It was just a fact of life, but we all got through school without the President telling us to open up our bathrooms to whoever wants to use them so that we donít discriminate against them.

My personal feelings are that it goes against the values of so many people to grant "rights" to those who wish to identify themselves with being transgender.

Although I am compassionate to those who were born and identify this way, I see it as a slippery slope to start granting special rights to anyone identifying themselves as a different gender, a different race, a different animal or whatever they identify themselves with.

Even though my brain identifies myself as a 18-year-old teenager, my body still says, "Wait a minute, youíre nearly a 47-year-old, middle-aged man. Donít try that."

Like it or not, more people will take advantage of this forceful "recommendation" by the Obama Administrationís Justice Department than you might think. It will lead to some very uncomfortable situations in bathrooms across the country.

Some common sense and common ground can be met in addressing this issue without causing embarrassment and discomfort to a majority of students and parents, all while preserving the rights of the few who this effects.

Our world has gone mad with political correctness, to the point where we arenít even close to being correct.

Is this story more important than the 25 Iraqi citizens who were tortured and killed by ISIS last week? ISIS lowered people into Nitric Acid and we heard virtually nothing about that, but everytime my TV was on this week, I had to hear about bathroom equality? Weíre really being distracted by this type of news.

For the record, I used the womenís bathroom at a Walgreens in Texas last weekend after I found the mens room locked up. I didnít identify myself as anything but "desperate" and made my wife stand guard outside the door.

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From May 16, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

I came across some interesting information about funny words that were actually made up by former presidents that we still use today. I hope you get a kick out of this.

"Iffy" - Franklin D. Roosevelt invented this term in the 1930s to dismiss questions at various press conferences. Today, we use it to communicate the status of that month-old bread in the refrigerator.

"Sugarcoat" - Upon sending an urgent message to Congress, Abraham Lincoln said about Southerners: "With rebellion thus sugar-coated they have been drugging the public mind of their section for more than 30 years." An official government printer found the term to be too casual and asked Lincoln to change it for the record. Lincoln refused. The result: The perfect word-bomb to drop in your next argument.

"Snowmageddon" - Although President Obama made the comment on the popular Michael Bay flick when he first used this term to describe the huge snowstorm that hit Washington, D.C., in 2010, I had also used it in a headline in this newspaper. The snow may have melted, but the saying has stuck.

"Belittle" - In 1788, Thomas Jefferson was so inspired while writing about the natural beauty of his home state, Virginia, that he just had to make up a whole new word to describe it. "The Count de Buffon believes that nature belittles her productions on this side of the Atlantic." Boom: "Belittle" was born. But Jefferson didnít stop there. The third U.S. President gets credit for more than 100 new words such as: lengthily, monotonously, and (randomly enough) pedicure.

"Squatter" - Are out-of-work hipsters camping out in your neighborís apartment? Well, thanks to James Madison, thereís a word for them! The first recorded use of the word "squatter" was in a 1788 letter from Madison to George Washington, discussing homeless Maine residents that lived on other peopleís property. If it's good enough for a president...

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From May 9, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

A guy just won the Republican nomination for president by taking no money, hiring no pollsters, running virtually no TV ads, and just saying what he truly believed no matter how many times people told him he couldn't say that. It doesnít hurt that heís hugely rich and a popular TV personality.

Love him or hate him, Trump is the nominee. Personally, I hate him. Fortunately, I hate Hillary even more. She has far more political experience, but I would have taken a Sanders Presidency over potentially having her win, which she will.

The rise of popularity for Trump reminds me of a 2006 comedy Called "Idiocracy".

The movie, once considered a comedy, now probably considered a documentary, as the filmís screenwriter Etan Cohen tweeted out recently.

In 2005, average in every way, PVT. Joe Bowers (Luke Wilson) is selected to take part in a secret military experiment to put him in hibernation for a year along with a woman named Rita (Maya Rudolph). The slumbering duo is forgotten when the base they are stored on is closed down and are left in stasis until 2505. When they finally wake up, they discover the average intelligence of humans has decreased so much that Joe is now the smartest man in the world.

In the future, Joe finds that the United States has elected a pro wrestler as the president and a great famine has stricken the world because they water their crops with a sports drink named "Brawndo", whose parent corporation had purchased the FDA, FCC, and USDA.

The human population has become morbidly stupid, speak only low registers of English competently, are profoundly anti-intellectual, and are named after corporate products.

President Camacho (the pro wrestler) gives Joe the job of fixing the nation's food shortages.

But I regress.... My column is simply pointing out that the future is closer than it may appear.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From May 2, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

Hi! Welcome to Barber County where one month weíre on fire and the next month weíre under water....

I am just kidding, well sort of. The recent rains have really changed the appearance of the burned Gyp Hills. It doesnít rebuild fences or homes, but it sure made the ground beautiful.

Help is still coming in for our area and we are grateful for the help coming from our neighbors. Itís a blessing to see how people have reached out to help those affected by this devastating fire.

Very soon, weíll be featuring the journey of Don and Carol Gerstner. The Gerstners lost their home in the fire. 87-year-old Don Gerstner told me two days after the fire that he was going to completely rebuild. I thought maybe he was joking, but heís not and heís already begun! Iíd say thatís Barber County Tough right there.

A friend from Wichita asked me an interesting question that I couldnít answer. He asked if the fires got rid of ticks and other insects. I donít know the answer to that. Some of you folks that live out there should drop me a note at and tell me what youíre seeing.

Ticks are becoming an issue in the north part of the county. After spending several days mowing and trimming after the previous rain, I found a tick on the back of my leg.

? ? ? ?

Congratulations again to the MLHS class of 2016. My youngest son and 37 of his classmates took the traditional wheat truck ride Friday. This year it was raining about as hard as I have seen it rain for years. I still saw a couple of them throw water balloons!

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From April 25, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

What a bitter sweet moment in our lives as we celebrate the graduation of our last son, Nicholas Noland.

It seemed like only yesterday that he got his nursery school graduation certificate, we were flying kites on the primary school playground for kite day, that he went to his first school dance, and that he suited up and was a starter for the Indian football team.

Now heís walking across that stage to get his diploma and begin a new chapter in his life.

Iíve had two other children graduate from MLHS, Breeann in 2008 and Joey in 2011. Itís very emotional to build a senior edition for the newspaper when your children are pictured. Itís even more emotional when itís your last child to graduate.

Each of my childrenís classes had so many special people in them that all grew up together. Nickís class is no different. He went to school with many of these kids since preschool. They are all about to venture off in different directions, but I encourage them to stay in touch and keep that bond.

Nick let me read his "story" he wrote for his English IV class. It was about his life and growing up with his friends and family. It was truly a "life flashes in front of your eyes" moment for me.

This entire year has been. Amy Axline and I have had a special joke between us since the High School Parentsí Night back in August. We say, "This is the last time........."

Well Amy, this is the last time I get to write about my child graduating from high school in my newspaper!

I love all these kids and am so proud of them. Iím also proud and love our faculty at MLHS and throughout the district. Youíve helped us raise some pretty special kids from this community.

Good luck to you all and congratulations to the MLHS class of 2016!! Especially you, Nick Noland!

KWIBS - From April 18, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

Some of my fondest memories as a child were growing up at the Index in Medicine Lodge. My father, Uncle and Grandfather all had a part in my love for the newspaper business.

Another person who kept me going in the industry was Rose Mary Shoemaker. "Rosie" worked for my family for what seemed like forever and she retired from there when I was almost a senior in high school.

She was the only employee who worked for my father that I ever had any real fear of. My dad had given her special permission to whip my tail if I needed it. She never did, but she came close several times.

Rosie got me in to scouting when I was very young. I still have my uniform hanging in my closet. I remember her taking her book out at work and asking me how I was doing on my projects. She even helped my dad build me a pinewood derby car in the print shop.

Almost every Friday afternoon, weíd set up a big table in the composing room, grab all of our loose change and play poker. I remember how mad she would get when she had a really good hand and the phone would ring, or a customer would rattle the locked door.

Over the years she saw so many changes in the newspaper industry and she got fussy each time weíd add some new equipment, but sheíd always get it figured out. Iíve never seen anyone who could type as fast as she did on a screen that only showed 24 characters at a time. She could type so fast, I couldnít read it.

Rosie came into my office after we started the Premiere in 1991, each and every week until the time she moved to Texas. She was a gem of a lady and we are honored to have known her and I am thankful she was part of my life.

KWIBS - From April 4, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

With the recent fires in Barber County, Facebook has become a very resourceful tool at sharing information.

That doesnít threaten me as a newspaper. I embrace it and encourage it. However, remember that social media is not a permanent record of the accounts of Anderson Creek Fire. In 25 years from now, no one will find the posts regarding the events. Weíre doing our very best to record these stories and need your help.

If you have something you wish to be preserved for the record, send it to us for publication even if you have posted it on Facebook.

An example of how newspapers preserve the historical aspects of events comes from last weekís Premiere from an article printed in 1896:

"On Sunday, Charley Porterís house and furnishings near Pixley, were entirely destroyed by fire. How the fire originated is only a matter of conjecture and all speculation. Mr. Porter and his family had gone to a neighborís house on a visit when the fire started and before anyone could get to the scene of conflagration, everything was in ashes. The building was uninsured. Happily the next morning that gentle whole-souled fellow, Tom Murphy, started a subscription paper to partly replace Mr. Porterís loss and before eight had something like $300. A people who will stand with each other in times of misfortune and adversity is the best and noblest of humanity."

These stories being published online will disappear with no historical archiving and all that will remain is the printed information. Please, if you have something important you want preserved, send it to us for publication. We want your story remembered for future generations.

Thanks again to our fire fighters and volunteers!

KWIBS - From March 28, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

When you hear people talk about last weekís wildfires and say, "Iíve never seen anything like that in my entire life," take it to heart.

I spent most of Wednesday out west of town with a friend whose house was in a direct path of destruction. We had a tanker truck, two 50 gallon sprayers on UTVs and a spray truck.

We watched as the fire came in along the south side of the Medicine River on River Road. It had already jumped that line north of us. We just sat and watched and waited.

At about 5:45 p.m. the wind shifted and blew the fire around his place, but the fire raged on towards Medicine Lodge. God was good to my friends.

Many people took the voluntary evacuation measures to heart and there was a steady line of cars leaving north on 281 at around 8 p.m. when I was coming back through town.

Tears of joy and sorrow were shared by so many when good news and bad news came over the radios. Some had barely escaped losing their homes, some lost theirs and some lost their buildings and other property.

Our local fire fighters are absolute heroes. Many of them went two or more days with no sleep. Rick Wesley must be a ragged mess, but is to be commended for his efforts, when at times, there was nothing he or his men could do but watch as that fire ripped through areas of our county.

Those other departments from other communities, too many to list here; we owe our gratitude to. Thanks for having our backs.

Thanks to our Sheriffís Office, EMTs, City Officials, MLPD and County for staying and organizing efforts.

I was so grateful for the sandwich meat, bread and chips that magically appeared in Landon Cunninghamís truck that day out west of town.

And thank the good Lord above and pray for rain for our dry lands.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From March 21, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

Itís been a few years since I was allowed a "Spring Break". In fact, itís been a lot of years. That term sort of no longer applies when you are an adult, but since I have a son who is a Senior at MLHS, I felt that a "Spring Break" was in order. We took Nick to New Mexico. Our trip was designed so that we could spend time with Rondaís brother and family - Kyle, DeDe, Lily and Sam Vick.

While there, DeDe informed me that I should somehow incorporate Sam and Lily into my column because they had never been in it before. Well, thatís easy enough to rectify!

KWIBS - From March 7, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

Do you want tighter abs, inches off your waist and lose up to 7 lbs. in one week?

Sure you do and Iíve got the secret on how to do it!

I started on Tuesday, February 23 and it didnít take me long to feel the burn in my abs. By Friday I had already dropped 4 lbs. The sweating was brutal, but I achieved my goal by the following Tuesday morning.

Youíre getting excited and you want to know more!

From all accounts, you can do this at home for FREE! Thatís right, absolutely FREE. It takes 1-4 days for results to start.

You might think, this is too unbelievable. Youíre asking, I can get this for free, at home and it starts doing all of the above within 1-4 days? I know your hesitation, youíve seen ads on TV and you might be one of those people, like myself, who have bought into the latest gimmick and found out it was too good to be true.

Well, this isnít. It works.

Iím pretty sure I got my starter kit from Doris, who brought it to work the week before. She probably was licking my keyboard or coughed on my phone when I wasnít in the office and I caught it after coming back. It was most likely the latest strain of respiratory influenza.

Iíve been lucky to not have caught this bug for several years, but my luck ran out. With lots of coughing, sneezing, aching, a fever, probably being possessed by demons and more, I did drop about 7 lbs. Iím pretty sure I blew my nose so hard once that it popped and I heard a seagull fart on a beach in South California.

I hope I can keep the weight off, but I hope I didnít pass it along to anyone else. It comes on fast and seems to linger.

As I type this, I can hear Doris coughing in her area up front. Itís too late this year, but I am going to see about putting her in a bubble the next flu season (October - April).

Have a great week!

And Happy Birthday Mom!

Love Kevin and Rhonda and families!

KWIBS - From February 29, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

You know how I love the odd news and the crazy stories.

I have a cousin, by marriage, that Iíve always thought could belch louder than any human known.

His belch is so loud that one afternoon at the lake, his belch called in about 100 head of cattle to the fence line. Iím not kidding. This event was witnessed by many people in our family and friends at the lake.

This story popped up on my news feed early Thursday morning and I sent the story to my cousin:

Australia, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- An Australian man set the world record for the loudest burp by producing a belch that reached over 110 decibels.

Nev Sharp's unofficial record of 110.6 decibels was measured by NT News as he awaits a response from Guinness World Records to have his burp tested.

"It's [the world record] been a bit of a goal from when I was a kid," he said. "I'm always training."

Although not officially registered by Guinness World Records, Sharp's impressive burp edges out the current record of 109.9 decibels set by a UK man Paul Hunn in 2009.

Sharp said he learned the skill from his sister (she sounds like a keeper) and prepares for his burps by drinking various carbonated beverages as well as cold water.

"It would've been 600ml Coke and some cool water," he told ABC News. "And my beer fridge is always full."

His burp registers as, "louder than a snowmobile or motorcycle and a power saw from one meter away."

I donít know where to find a decibel meter, but I want to find one desperately. Iím pretty sure my cousin could beat this guy.

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From February 22, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

Iíd like to take this very short space to wish my youngest a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

Nick Noland turns 18 on Thursday. Last week he said to me, "I canít wait to go register to vote! Iíve already got the papers filled out!"

I didnít even bother to ask him his party affiliation. Iím pretty sure I can guess that!

Itís pretty wild to think my baby is now old enough to be drafted and can now vote!

Itís hard to believe this was Nick (and his teacher Gail Ferguson) around 2002.

Happy Birthday Nicholas Tate Noland. Your mom and I are so proud of you!

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From February 15, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

Since no one fire bombed my office last week concerning my Donald Trump comments, I will bust out my opinion of Hillary Clinton this week.... as promised.

Of all the candidates gracing the debate stages, Mrs. Clinton is the most experienced in all areas of government.

Wow, you said, as your mouth hit the floor.

Unfortunately, Mrs. Clinton cannot be trusted as PUSA. She has been misleading and untrustworthy for most of her career.

I know Bernie Sanders might be sick of talking about Hillaryís emails, but we must regress.

You might wonder if Hillary Clinton's email scandal is something to worry about and the short answer is - yes it is. She was the Secretary of State and in that role she had access to top secret information that only the top people in government knew.

For example - when we moved in to kill Osama bin Laden, Hillary is pictured in the room with Obama watching it all unfold. She was also involved with the Iranian nuclear weapons discussions and deals, the wars in Syria, Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia. When you are dealing with these kinds of important issues, you don't do that on a home server that is filtered through a commercial spam filtering service.

I still am a partner in that type of home server email business. As secure as we want to make it, it is not completely secure when done the way she did it.

I'm amazed that the Obama administration and the State Department let her get away with it. They all had to have known she was doing it because her email address wasn't, it was, So the other people in the Obama administration knew what she was doing and just let her do it.

I wish this were the only reason I could not trust her as PUSA, but itís not..... It is however, significantly serious.


KWIBS - From February 8, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

Iím going to come right out and say it. Itís going to make some of you angry and some of my family and friends even more angry, but I donít care for Donald Trump as a presidential candidate - of any party.

The billionaire real estate mogul turned reality TV star reminds me of a drunken frat boy with no mouth filter. Heís a sideshow.

Here are a few of the reasons I wonít be voting for him.

- His hair is awful. We need a president who has good hair. His weird "rug" or "piece" is hard to look at, sort of like not wanting to look at a car accident, but being drawn to it. It sort of wraps around his whole head and molds into his eyebrows. I read a report that scientists have been trying to study its perplexing anti-gravitational properties, but could not afford the licensing fees he demands.

- Heís terrible on his own TV reality show. The Apprentice is dumb. The premises is: you work for the Donald and compete against others to win a prize.. or be fired. So itís like winning Publisherís Clearing House and having the prize delivered by clowns wielding chainsaws. Who could take him seriously as president when he sits at the board room table and says, "Youíre fired!"

- He flaunts it. Yep, heís got a lot of money and he loves to tell you about it. Coming from humble beginnings, he got only a mere $1 million loan from his poor father to start his first business. He tells us he wants to make America great again. I know weíve got our share of problems, but we are still a great nation. We could be greater I suppose, but weíre not, not great....... If that were true, we wouldnít need to build a wall at the border to keep immigrants in check. They obviously think weíre pretty great and want in here. I agree with them.

- Heís terrible with social media. Perhaps a new label for Trump should be, "Tweetarded" is in order. Iím sure he writes his own stuff, and that scares me more. From the birther statements to the Chinese inventing global warming, he never fails to squeeze all his BS into the allowed 140 characters. My favorite tweet from Trump: "I have never seen a thin person drinking Diet Coke."

I could go on and on, but I wonít. I will tell you that I would vote for him any day of the week if it were between him and Hillary Clinton...... Sheíd be another column. God help the Republican party though....


KWIBS - From February 1, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

A fun little history lesson about this column.

Doris found a snippet my dad wrote in February of 1976, "I have been toying with the idea of starting a personal column for the Indiex for the past three years," he wrote.

Dad was also "toying around" with the title KWICK KWIBS, Jr.

When we started our newspaper in 1991, I had been writing "KWIBS" for the Index for about two years. My early columns were terrible, even worse than today. I know, you canít believe it. I brought the name with me when Ronda and I started The Gyp Hill Premiere. Many people over the years have asked me, where the name came from.

Now, the column name "KWICK KWIBS, Jr" by my dad, Ron Noland, came from his father (my Grandpa Bill). In 1946 my Grandpa Bill bought his first newspaper, the Logan Republican. He started a column called "KWICK KWIBS".

Well, Iíve read some of my grandpaís and dadís early columns and I am glad to say that I come from a long line of some terrible writers! Seriously though, some of these columns were very well done and made me smile to think how far back my heritage in the newspaper business goes.

It dawned on my last week that my grandpa wrote KWICK KWIBS for 24 years. My dad wrote KWICK KWIBS for 12 years and I have written KWIBS for over 25 years now. Iím the winner. Of what, I do not know.....

KWIBS, of some form, has been a part of Kansas newspaper history for 70 years now, with a few years of gaps in between. Possibly, there are over 3,000 columns with the name "KWIBS" on them.


KWIBS - From January 25, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

If you ate breakfast, lunch or supper today, thank a farmer and rancher.

By appearance, you might think I need to slow down on "thanking". Iím working on that by trying to eat healthier and exercise, but they do such a darn good job!

Farming and ranching are far more labor-intensive, than most of our jobs are and most of us forget about the hard work that goes into feeding America - even the world.

I have a unique perspective on this industry through experience on our familyís ranch. Although my experience might be limited to getting a calf back on the right side of a fence at times, I do see how hard those who work the land have it and I appreciate what they do.

Around this time of the year, every year, for the past 25 years, we have dedicated a special edition of our newspaper to the farming and ranching community, especially to the Conservation District and its members.

We live in a time where conservation is a household word, but do we really know what it means to conserve? Those whoíve been in this business for generations do know and they not only practice conservation, they live it.

Maybe many of the articles this week wonít interest you, but at least take a moment to think about what it takes to put food on your table and if you know a farmer or rancher, take a moment to thank them for their labor of love and for conserving our land for the generations to come.

Thank you conservation folks! I hope you have a great banquet and awards ceremony!

KWIBS - From January 18, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

So my desperate call for a calendar column worked last week!

One was left anonymously at the door with a nice note on it another slipped its way into my drop box on Thursday. I appreciate that more than you can imagine! I love living in a community that will allow me to ask for a calendar in my column on a Monday and have one delivered to my door on a Tuesday!

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Heaven got a little sweeter this week. It is very sad to say goodbye to Darrel Rhea and Dave Rausch. Both of these guys made huge impacts on my life. I sat with Darrel at many basketball games throughout the years. Darrel was a Merchant Marine veteran in World War II and a US Air Force veteran of the Korean Conflict. He was a kind gentleman. It was a pleasure to know him and my thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

I learned of Daveís passing at cards Tuesday night. He was a player at a different table with a different group of guys who play on Wednesdays, but they shared the news on Facebook and I was able to share the news with our card group.

Dave has been after me for years to rejoin the golf club. I had quit after not getting better than an 18 handicap after 5 years of playing. I was never really into it, but Dave never let up on me. He was a heck of a good dude and I know his friends and family have heavy hearts.

Iím sorry that my column is such a downer this week.

I also wish to extend my sympathy to the family of Sherrill Orr. Sherrill and I used to catch up on life at the grocery store. For some reason, it seemed we did our shopping at the same time! Her brother Bob Packard is my friend and Tuesday night card player. Iím so sorry for your loss.

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I pray that God comforts our community. We are a big family. Everyone knows everyone, and thatís not a bad thing when we realize how precious life is.

Have a great week.


KWIBS - From January 11, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

Suddenly, and without warning, no one gave me a new calendar this year.

My "Walking Dead" calendar still says December 2015. Thereís nothing behind that last page. I checked.

I opened a drawer in my office and found 4 unused 2015 calendars, but I canít find a single 2016.

I know I have a calendar on my iPhone, but I like to write on a real calendar to remember when I did things and be able to look forward by flipping pages.

Call me old-fashioned, but someone please bring me a full-sized calendar for 2016!

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Speaking of iPhones and calendars, did you know that the device you hold in your hand today has hundreds, maybe thousands of times more computing power than the entire Apollo 11 mission team had in 1969?

I was nerding out this week and read that the moon lander had about 64kb. Thatís hard to imagine when most cell phonesí cameras are 5mb and most phones are 16gb or more these days.

One of my favorite things to say to my kids is.. "When I was your age..." Then I launch myself into a long-winded story of my childhood that they roll their eyes at.

Seriously though, I had an Atari with a black and white TV. My kids have a 52" LED with XBlock, or something like that.

Kids nowadays have it pretty good. They have a million options for entertainment, tons of resources to learn new things, and gadgets that make life's little annoyances so much easier.

But everything has its downside. Though we're grateful for technology, we'll never regret not having more of it growing up. Because if we'd had today's gadgets and gizmos back then, we would have missed out on family time watching TV together and fighting with our siblings over the remote, before the time of DVRs. Heck, we might not even know how to read an analog clock or read a map.

I just need to know what day it is without finding my calendar app on my phone. Have a great week!


KWIBS - From January 4, 2016 - By Kevin Noland

We made it through the holidays and now weíre into a brand new year. I know this because I went to write something down on my calendar for January and realized I was on the last page.

Letís be truthful for a moment. Unless you are a kid, Christmas is work. Maybe Iím doing it wrong.

I worked very hard to simplify Christmas this year. We drew names, only partially decorated our tree, did potluck meals and tried hard not to go "Overboard" with the gift giving and expense of shopping

Maybe Iím doing it wrong.

According to Gallup, the average American spent $830 on Christmas gifts and thatís up from last year when average people only spent $720. Iím guessing if you are reading this, you are laughing and wondering what the heck happened? That average factors in those who spend $0 at Christmas, so the numbers are skewed a little. 30% of Americans spent more than $1,000.

While thereís nothing wrong with the spirit of giving, I strongly believe weíve gone astray on this special holiday (I did intend for that to rhymm).

Do you think Iím wrong? Try this simple social experiment in your home like I did.

I made the suggestion that we far overspent on Christmas this year. Then I suggested that we just take $1,000 and donate it to a good cause in the name of our family. I read where one family gives each of their children $50 to put in an envelope on their tree to someone in need. Thatís pretty cool!

It wasnít a popular suggestion, but it hopefully got my family to thinking about what this season is all about. Look around you. Are you comfortable, warm, fed, healthy? There are others that are not so fortunate in the world.

Can you imagine what the world would be like, if we celebrated the true meaning of Christmas? It doesnít have to be just once a year.

Itís also easier said than done, but I want to try a little bit harder in 2016.

Happy New Year!

KWIBS - From December 21, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

It has been my privilege over the past 24 years to print the Santa letters in the newspaper. I also take advantage of the opportunity to showcase my kids and grandkids during this time of the year as youíve probably seen on our front page. Yes, those are my offspring, Grandchildren Kycen and Baylee Schaffer.
It is incredible to think weíre already at the end of another year. This is always my favorite newspaper to print. Itís usually the biggest paper of the year and full of requests from the communityís youngsters for Christmas gifts from Santa.
Thanks to our advertisers that help us put out these last couple of editions during the holidays. Itís fun to look back over the years and see your greetings to the community and read the letters. We appreciate you and wish you a Merry Christmas!
I always have a favorite that I pick out and this yearís letter is from Tell Thomas, son of Kyle and Shannon Thomas:
ďDear Santa, I would like to have new skis, a dirt bike, ipad that I get to do whatever I want to do on, a bunny that wonít run away, and a transformer toy. I would also like a new room that I can decorate myself, shotgun and shells, knife, a camo suit, and a pistol.Ē
If I were profiling this kid, I would conclude that his mom and dad arenít giving him enough time on their iPads, that heís not pleased with their decorating skills and that if his bunny runs away, he might use the shotgun, knife, pistol, etc.... Dear Kyle and Shannon, keep an eye on that kid! lol....
This would be my request to Santa:
Dear Santa, please bring oil prices back up to help our local economy. Thatís it. Thanks Santa.
I donít have to tell you this, but as you get older, Christmas becomes more expensive. I love giving gifts to the kids and the grandkids, but I donít want them to ever forget the reason we celebrate this time of year. Itís not about how much we have. Itís about how much weíve been given. God loved us so much that He gave his only son. That beautiful gift is a promise of forgiveness and eternal life in the sacrifice shed by his blood on the cross.
Pause for a moment this Christmas season and remember why we celebrate.
Matthew 1:18-25
18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.
19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:
23 "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"--which means, "God with us."
24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.
25 But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
Scripture tells us that 30 years later, this baby, now a man, was asked a question by a teacher and scholar of the day. He asked. ďOf all the commandments, which is the most important?Ē
Notice Jesus answers him, but doesnít give him one commandment of importance, but two: ďThe most important one,Ē answered Jesus, ďis this: ĎHear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.í The second is this: ĎLove your neighbor as yourself.í There is no commandment greater than these.Ē
Every year, since my kids have been babies, I drag the entire crew to church on Christmas Eve. Itís mandatory in our home. Thereís a lot of grumbling, kids are tired, house is trashed, but we go and we pause to remember the gift weíve been given. Itís been a fun tradition for us. I would encourage you, if youíve never gone, find one of our great area churches and attend a Christmas Eve service. Youíll be welcome at any of them.
God bless and Merry Christmas!

KWIBS - From December 7, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

My wife is an excellent cook. With only 2 years of observation and taste testing her motherís cooking, I would say I dodged a bullet.
Rondaís mother passed away in 1987. I only knew her for a couple of years and during most of that time, she was sick with cancer, so itís not really fair to judge her cooking. I know she opened a mean can of soup every now and then and grilled up cheese sandwiches. I back up my opinion of her cooking from statements from her son and husband at the time.
At our house, we share in responsibility of cooking. I do most of the meats, she does the sides and vegetables. I also am in charge of Wednesday night (I take her out to eat).
We try to eat healthy, but itís hard when you live 8 miles from town, so we cook a lot of food and it becomes meals on wheels for us at the office.
Ronda and I have completely different shopping habits. I can magically get out of the grocery store for around $30, while it usually costs her $100+. In her defense, she shops for our 17 year old son, who eats more like livestock than a human being.
Ironically, if you ask him, we never have anything to eat in our house. Heíll eat and 30 minutes later is standing with the refrigerator door wide open. It usually ends after about a 5 minute stare and then some unintelligible grumblings as heís walking back down stairs. Within 30 minutes, the ritual repeats itself as though weíve either gotten the hint and gone to the grocery store or the refrigerator is somehow replicating food like the Starship Enterprise.
The drawer in our refrigerator is where good intentions go to die. I have a monthly responsibility of throwing slimy, once garden style items into a sack while holding my nose.
That might be the difference between $30 and $100 at the grocery store my love.....

KWIBS - From November 30, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

Nearly 25 years ago to the day, I remember taking this road trip to Wichita with Mike Jacobs. We were going up to an auto auction to try our luck at making a buck.
Mike had just made a big move in his life and I had done the same. We had both quit our jobs and were pursuing going into business for ourselves; Mike, as an alignment and vehicle mechanic - me, as a commercial printer and later as a newspaperman.
We were big dreamers and we were both scared to death.
At the time, we had both started families, we were broke, drove junk vehicles and didnít really have a plan other than to work hard and try to make a go of it.
I was at his shop on Monday and we were taking a trip down memory lane. Looking back, we both agree that we were probably crazy, but we did make a go of it. Our families have gotten bigger (including grandchildren!), weíve gotten a little grayer and we still drive junk vehicles! At least I still drive a junk vehicle, which is good for Mikeís business.
Mike has done a fantastic job the past 25 years. Heís grown and moved to a new location. Heís got a fantastic team of people working with him and I want to congratulate him for 25 years in business.
Mike has also been a huge supporter of the community, schools and the Peace Treaty Association, to name a few things.
So go down and get you some free breakfast on Saturday, December 5th from 7:30 a.m. - 10 a.m. He wants to say, ďThank YouĒ.
I want to say thank you to Mike for sticking it out all these years and providing a great service to Medicine Lodge!
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From November 23, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

Tornados, blizzards and earthquakes for Kansas this past week.
Go home mother nature, youíre drunk!
That earthquake early Thursday morning was something else. I was actually halfway awake and still out in the living room at 1:45 a.m. when I heard the dishes and cabinets in the kitchen rattling. Then my son Nicholas woke up and said ďDad! Earthquake!Ē
It sure was and it lasted for a long time. I got up and went to bed and was sure Ronda slept through it. As soon as I hit the bedroom door she said, ďThat was a huge earthquake!Ē
I picked up my iPhone to see what others experienced and what some fracking-accusing friends were saying. Sure enough, there they were...
ďBig old earthquake.....they must be frack in' Curry Lane.Ē
I hoped that was just some sort of dumb joke.... The epicenter was near Cherokee, OK.
Youíve read it here before and youíll read it again and again. Fracking does not cause earthquakes. It, at the very most, causes minimal seismic activity.
More and more evidence points towards waste water injection wells close to fault lines and people keep confusing the processes.
In a report from the USGS: Wastewater is produced at nearly every oil and gas well, not just sites where hydraulic fracturing is taking place, the report said. In Oklahoma, the site of numerous earthquakes, less than 10 percent of the water injected into wastewater disposal wells is used fracking fluid, the USGS said.
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Congratulations to my buddy Dr. Pete Meador who was recently recognized as a ďReal Doc Hollywood.Ē He was recently featured in a showcase for National Rural Health Day and he so deserves it. Love you old friend.

KWIBS - From November 16, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

Medicine Lodge does a lot of things right. Many times, you just hear the negatives, but if you look around, weíve got a great community of people always ready to step up and do something for the good of the town and its citizens.
A couple of those events took place this week.
Monday night The Medicine Lodge Peace Treaty Associationís board met with the public to discuss the figures from the 2015 pageant and weekend celebration.
Although these figures show a downward trend in attendance, they show an increase in support for preserving and financing future events. Sponsorship is at an all-time high and volunteers continue to step up.
Ronda and I are proud to be a part of this amazing group of selfless people. Itís a big job for each chair and board member. When we say we elected a new board, weíre really saying, ďWeíve all agreed to continue on in our positions and serve Peace Treaty for another term.Ē It was pretty incredible to have a group of citizens unanimously recommend the nominations for all the board. We appreciate your support and weíll do our best to keep Peace Treaty alive and well.
On Wednesday, November 11, Ronda and I went to MLHS to honor our area veterans. The Veterans Committee did a fantastic job of thanking all the area veterans of all the branches of service.
They paid a special tribute to 21 World War II veterans in attendance. Some came in wheelchairs and walkers and some came under their own power. These aged warriors who brought peace to our country with their sacrifices deserve our utmost respect and thanks. It was a shining moment for our community to see these folks awarded for their service.
Good job MLHS!
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From November 2, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

Tomorrow is my wifeís birthday. For those of you who donít know her, sheís the beautiful redhead Iíve had on my arm for the past 30 years, 3 of those years as my girlfriend. Sheís still my girlfriend.
There are a few men who can claim they are blessed with a good woman. Iím one of those guys and I know it and I donít take it for granted. Ronda is my world and I take great pride in telling you what she means to me and wishing her a happy birthday.
On her birthday, Ronda will:
- Get up very early and get the laundry done, wash all the dishes in the house, make coffee and breakfast, get Nicholas up and around for school.
- Sheíll probably go to work where sheís responsible for the accounting of 5 five businesses, advertising and general office work.
- If sheís lucky, which she creates this luck, sheíll see her grandchildren and spend time with our daughter.
-Depending on our work load, weíll either go out for dinner or stay home. Sheíll be exhausted and sheíll do it all again the next day.
And she does all of this because she loves her family. If you didnít remind her, she would probably forget it was even her birthday.
Proverbs 31:10-12 says:
An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. and
28-29: Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her; ďmany women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.Ē
I found her.
Happy Birthday Ronda, I love you.

KWIBS - From October 26, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

These kinds of columns never end well for me, but I just canít help myself.
Monday, October 12 I was heading out to the ranch with my father-in-law for a repair job when I neared the Stolp and 281 HWY intersection.
I swerved to miss a mess in the road. The first road kill was a large armadillo. Ten feet from that was a black and white cat. I morbidly chuckled to myself wondering whoís fault that was - the armadilloís or the catís? I could only assume that it was the armadillo who crossed the road and the cat was just curious. Regardless, it was a two for one that someone surely went, ďoooooo!Ē
As youíve seen, Elisa Stone has done some writing for us the past couple of weeks. Sheís quite good and a very fun read. Last Tuesday she shot me over a couple of stories she wrote. One was about the new Orschelnís and one was about a cat named Oreo. There was a photo attached. I read with curiosity.
If you havenít read the story on the front page, I would encourage you to stop right here and go read it.
Ok, are you done?
It was only after I read the story that I opened the photo attachment.
ďUh, oh.......Ē
The awful armadillo and cat crime scene I had seen the day before could only mean one thing. It was a murder/suicide. No, just kidding.... But I am pretty sure I know where Oreo is now. Oreo is sipping a glass of milk, playing a harp in kitty heaven. His 9th life - snuffed out after he went to investigate the placental mammal with a leathery armor shell.
Curiosity most likely did kill the cat.
Now Elisa and Todd have some children, so I want to be sensitive here. Donít read this column to them. Iím sure they can handle the death of an animal. After all, Todd is a local veterinarian. Not saying that heís a bad one, but I am sure the kids have seen a dead animal before.....

KWIBS - From October 12, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

So many things went through my mind on Wednesday morning when Jan Forsyth said, ďIíll race you!Ē
I was walking across the street from the Citizens Bank when she got out of her car. We were walking together and out of this sweet little ladyís mouth came the challenge.
Part of me wanted to say, ďBring it on!Ē but several things went through my mind:
What if we both start running and one of us falls or gets hurt? What if that someone is me? What if I win and humiliate her? What if SHE wins and humiliates me???
If I remember correctly, Jan just celebrated her 90th birthday. She looked as though she could have at least sprinted across that street and given me a run for my money (no money was wagered on this race....)
My common sense took over. This almost never happens. I told Jan that it would probably not be a good idea for either of us to race across the street, but secretly, I think I can beat her.
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Customers of Burger King trying the new Halloween Black Bun Whopper are getting a fun trick or treat surprise. Itís turning their customersí GREEN!
Apparently, the food dye being used is a dark green. Social media has been blowing up about peopleís green poo caused by the fast food chainís newest promotion.
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Orscheln Farm and Home is open and will have their official grand opening this week. Congratulations on the new store. It is fantastic and a great addition to our community. Be sure to check out their activitites on page 8 this week.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From October 5, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

If you were around Friday or Saturday, you probably saw the spectacular jumps made by retired Navy SEAL and MLHS 1988 graduate Nix White.
Iíve known Nix for more than 30 years now. Years ago, probably back in the late 1990s, Nix and I started a tradition where we would take a goofy photo of ourselves to remember our visit. Our first one started in Tijuana, MX. That column could never be written. Since then, weíve stunted half a dozen hilarious photos together of us riding horses, motorcycles, being arrested and now this one below. I made the announcement on Facebook Saturday of Peace Treaty that there had been a change in plans and I was jumping into Saturdayís parade. Upon landing, I would look like ďa yard dart.Ē
For the record, it wasnít really me. :)

KWIBS - From September 28, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

I donít know about you, but Iím exhausted!
Peace Treaty 2015 is now a memory. Our community now takes on the task of cleaning up and putting away all of the things that it takes to put on a pageant.
Youíll probably notice, we donít have a huge story about Peace Treaty this week. Since my wife and I are both on the board and in the pageant, it puts a lot of pressure on Doris to cover everything! She did a fantastic job of shooting pictures around town and we have those to share this week. Next week we hope to have some news on how the events and weekend went, along with more photos! Weíll also be posting a lot of photos on our Facebook page. Be sure to be our friend!
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For some dumb reason, I got a little concert silly this year, not that thatís any different than normal for me. Back in October of 2014, I found out a bucket list band I had never seen was coming to Wichita (almost a year later). I bought tickets to the Foo Fighters before Christmas.
Eventually, we forgot we were going to that concert with our cousins and they bought us concert tickets to Third Day. I love that band. Well, it just so happened that I had also bought tickets to Def Leppard, Foreigner and Tesla back in May. It turns out that Foo Fighters is on Wednesday at Intrust Bank Arena, Third Day is on Thursday at the Orpheum and then a week later we go back to Intrust Bank Arena for Def Leppard.
It was just a complete lack of judgment on my part when purchasing these tickets and I had no idea how close together each performance was, so this is my apology to my wife, who is dreading the next week of loud music and driving back and forth to Wichita!
I should probably pre-apologize for buying tickets to see Aranda at the Cotillion on November 1st.... Sorry sweetheart.

KWIBS - From September 21, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

Ready or not, here it is! Peace Treaty 2015 is here. Are you ready for the time of your life? Well, weíve got you covered, wagon! Yep, my usual Peace Treaty humor. I crack myself up!
You want parades? Weíve got them. You want history? Weíve got that way covered. How about some awesome entertainment? Ok, we can do that. Do you like a good football game? Well, weíre planning one! Do you want to see a guy jump from a helicopter and land on Main Street? Weíre doing that too! Looking for a rodeo? Thereís one of those. What about a Powwow? Glad you asked that question. YES, at our new arena. Go check that out! God willing and weather permitting, this will be one heck of a Peace Treaty!
Youíll have no trouble finding everything you want to do and itís all inside this edition. As you felt, this was a big newspaper. Weíve been working on this edition since May of this year and it was stressful, but weíre so excited to present it to you this week.
You can also find everything online at Aaron Traffas has built us an amazing website and it is updated with the best, most current information about the weekend.
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There is so much work that goes into a Peace Treaty. It literally takes the entire town to prepare for this event. So many good people donate their time and resources to putting this event in motion that it is impossible to list them all. However, we do have a list of the cast of the 24th reenactment of the signing of the treaty at Medicine Creek on pages 4-5 of this weekís newspaper.
Besides all of those people are folks like the students and faculty of USD#254 who spent all of last Wednesday cleaning up the town and helping at the pageant grounds. Weíve pictured them on page 8 of todayís paper.
Inside this newspaper and special edition we have a story about the board of directors. Iím so proud to be a part of this team. This is a family and weíve spent the last 4 years together planning for this very weekend. Itís impossible to list everyone of them, but each of them has worked their donkeys off.
Our board is made of our townís very best folks and I canít thank them enough for all of the sacrifice and hard work theyíve put into this.
One of our newest members to the board is my wife, who became treasurer after I said, ďOh, honey. It will be easy!Ē Weíre still married and she has forgiven me for lying to her. It turns out, that the treasurer is very busy during Peace Treaty.
I hate singling people out for recognition, but when it comes to volunteering, David Colborn wins every time. David is our liaison to our Native American friends and partners. Steve Bryan and I roped him into that position in 2011 and heís done an amazing job.
I donít know if he realizes just how much we all appreciate him. I can tell you that he and his family are very much responsible for the fact that we have a new powwow arena, that the sound on Main Street works and that there is electricity where and when we need it. Thank you my friend for everything you do. I always have fun working with you.
Joscelyn Nittler is our 2nd Vice President in charge of advertising and promotion. She also got suckered into painting a bunch of parking signs. On top of all she does, sheís also about to cross a big finish line. Sheís pregnant and due in just a couple of weeks. Sheís been a lot of fun to work with and we wish her and her husband Chad and family the best with the newest addition to their family! Maybe weíll have a Peace Treaty baby!?!?!
Like I said, I donít want to single out anyone and donít want to leave anyone out. It is a team of great people: Princess Summer Moncivais (who lobbied our cause all over the state), Rick and Betty Jo Swayden (our President and his Secretary!), Cathy Colborn (Director of the Pageant and Night Show), Kaye Kuhn (long time promoter and Executive Director), Susan Seal (our Native American friend and helper), Sara Whelan (a past president and the glue that keeps us together and organized), Kyle Thomas (a guy who is our very own horse and buggy/wagon whisperer in charge of the big barns!), Aaron Traffas (our technical guru and often my go-to guy), David Colborn (the everywhere man - for everything), Norm Clouse (in charge of food downtown and city councilman), Mike Roe (this poor guy was in charge of the crappiest of jobs - portable toilets and the grounds at Memorial Peace Park. Heís also a councilman), Steve Bryan (a past president and official cook), Kevin Noland (thatís me. Iím 1st Vice President and Iím going to be humble and not rant too much, but I got Aranda here!), Ronda Noland (the money lady), Joscelyn Nittler (the prego lady who has been quite creative and fun to work with), Cindy Brungardt (our townís ďfunĒ coordinator and Robert Larson (who has the biggest heart and equipment!!)
Each one of these people are a big reason that this event is even possible.
There are so many more people who arenít mentioned that deserve much credit for this upcoming weekend. Our city stands ready to help us with their people and resources. We could not do this without help from Sheriff Rugg (who is also an announcer of the pageant) and Police Chief Nick Krug; our County Commissioners and County Attorney and Diversion Fund; our City Administrator Jeff Porter, Mayor Maj. Robert Stutler and city council have supported us all the way.
Of course all of this takes a tremendous amount of money. Thatís where you come in. Please attend one of the pageants. It is the primary means of income for the Peace Treaty. Many of the events are free, but we wouldnít have any of them if people didnít go see the pageant. We also thank our many, many sponsors and donors who so graciously step up when we need them.
There is always the possibility that this could be the last pageant. Itís only going to continue if people continue to support it. Even if youíve seen it 69 times, please come again and show your support for our rich history and pride in our community.
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The best part of Peace Treaty will be seeing people. Letís face itís a giant reunion of friends and family, classmates and acquaintances from our past.
Weíre going to have a good Peace Treaty, God willing, and if any of us have any say, it wonít ever be the last one.
Bring on Peace Treaty 2015!

KWIBS - From September 14, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

We are two weeks out from Peace Treaty 2015 and I am super excited about todayís front page stories. Nix White is a classmate and friend of mine who has a distinguished service record as a Navy Seal. Heíll be jumping into the Indians vs. Roadrunners game on Friday night, September 24th at about 5:50 p.m. The next morning, heíll start the parade by jumping into the intersection of Main and Kansas at about 9:50 a.m. If you saw him do this in 2011, you know how freaking cool it was! If you didnít see it. Donít miss it this year!!
Nix is a 1988 graduate of Medicine Lodge High School and we are honored to have him back for the weekend!
Iím also really excited about DWTA Tours coming back to town and am looking forward to taking a helicopter ride around town. I didnít get to do that last time, but I am making a plan to do it this year!
We also have some fantastic music and performers for the weekend including Aranda! These are some great friends of ours from Oklahoma City. They have a brand new album and they have a song on the Billboard Charts sitting at number 11 this week - ďDonít Wake Me.Ē
All of these events are high up on my MUST DO at Peace Treaty this year, but the entire weekend will not be a success without two things: YOU and GREAT WEATHER! Please be praying about this yearís Peace Treaty Celebration, the safety of the actors and participants and of course, the weather!
Iíve been enjoying the shared posts about Peace Treaty on Facebook. Keep it up! Social media has been a great place to spread the word about Peace Treaty.
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From September 7, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

I was saddened to hear the news of Dan Traffas last week.
Dan was a classmate and friend. He was someone who always had a great story to tell, a smile on his face and a way to make you feel special.
Itís never an easy day for me to have to print an obituary for someone I knew in our community. This one is even harder, seeing his smiling face on page 4 this week and thinking about how full of life he was.
Dan and I loved to talk shop. Weíve both been in the advertising business for most of our adult lives, so it was easy to have a conversation with him. I used to see him more when he was in the Wichita area, but even when he moved to Arizona, I would get phone calls from him from time to time to catch up. In fact, I got one about a month ago from Dan. It was the last time I spoke with him.
I remembered learning the news about Dustyís motorcycle accident during a toy run several years ago. He was Mike, Dan and Genaeís brother, also a good friend. Iíll miss them both.
Paul teaches in 1st Corinthians 10:13 that anything that comes our way, anything that tempts us, any tragedy that happens to us- we are capable of overcoming it. That does not mean life will always be easy. On the contrary, the fact that we may need a way of escape indicates that God sometimes allows difficult trials to come into our lives. We may not believe that we can overcome them, we may doubt our own strength to prevail, and we may even fail in the test. That does not mean, though, that we are not capable of overcoming that particular problem in our lives. Whatever the problem is, God promises that we will be able to overcome it through Him.
My prayers go out to Danís family.

KWIBS - From August 31, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

We are just a few editions away from the 2015 Peace Treaty.
Our office has been, well, for lack of better or appropriate print, ďnutsĒ.
Thank you Doris and Ronda for accepting my bipolar behavior the past couple of months (or more like 24 years). When we start putting the special edition for Peace Treaty together, things usually go awry: Computers crash, photo schedules change, information gets lost, people get sick, some even die.
One thing that never changes is our desire to put out the best edition we can and make it something that reflects our communityís pride, history and expresses our sorrows for the loss of those who have passed away that were ever so important to the history of Peace Treaty.
Of course our ultimate goal is to share our rich history with those coming to town over the three day celebration and we will deliver on that.
With the evolution of online media, we are also embracing the digital side. Aaron Traffas is to be commended for building Peace Treaty a first class website. He has built it from the ground up. If you havenít visited it yet, go to your computer right now and type Explore and find everything you need to know about Peace Treaty 2015. Itís been my honor to work with Aaron over the past year getting content for the website.
For this event to exist for future generations we must and we will adapt. Change is sometimes met with resistance, but over time will be accepted and considered the ďnormĒ again - until the next change occurs! Peace Treaty will always hold on to the tradition of history. For that history to continue to be available in the future, it will have to become a part of the digital age and Aaron is a frontiersman in this department.
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From August 24, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

Can you believe weíre just one month away from another Peace Treaty celebration?
That really puts things into perspective when you only have 30 days to ďgetíer done!Ē
The Peace Treaty board has been working very hard getting things ready for the upcoming weekend, but we still need volunteers. There are many scenes that need actors, we still need ticket takers and there is always a hole to fill somewhere. If you are interested in helping, contact me or any board member. Weíll be meeting weekly on Monday evenings from now until the pageant.
The newspaper is also working on Peace Treaty. Youíve probably noticed that for weeks now, our front page has been mostly about Peace Treaty. We are also working on our 40 page special edition that we do each Peace Treaty. Itís scheduled to come out the week before Peace Treaty in mid-September. We havenít nailed down that date.
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Iíve only heard a couple of critical comments about the newspaper price raising to $1 next week. We appreciate those who have supported us over the years and promise, weíll do our best to be worth the extra 25 cents. Ironically, I just read an article about the Rawlins County Square Deal in Atwood, KS (population 1,250) going up to a $1. The owners said they had a few ďgrumpyĒ people, but just like us, they needed to get that price into effect to cover recent increases in production and postal rates. Weíre actually one of the last papers to go up in price.
The Square Deal was started with community support in 1992 by owners Keith and Rosalie Ross, Kevin and Mary Holle and Joe and Katie Snystrup. I remember when they started up because they called on us for help and advice. At that time, we had only been in business about a year. They have new owners now, but theyíve been going strong for nearly 23 years now!
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From August 17, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

OK, Iíve been a slacker. I admit it, but summer was slipping by and I had a lot on my plate.
This past weekend we made a last minute decision to drive our Niece and Nephew (Sam and Lily Vick) half way back to Albuquerque, NM. They were about to start school and their Kansas family had kidnapped them for a couple of weeks.
Lily understands completely now that she is my favorite niece. She holds that title uncontested, as I have no other nieces. She also learned all the dumb little travel facts of every county between here and Amarillo, TX like, ďYou know how many people are dead in that cemetery? ALL OF THEM!Ē
Oh, I do crack myself up.
Sam and Lily also had to hear my ramblings about how Miami County Texas is 497.5/sq mi and has a population of 597 after losing one back in 2011.
Itís also a fact that a place in Canadian, TX has the worldís best bread pudding, if you like that stuff. This fact didnít come from Google. It came from Ronda and put us about 30 minutes behind meeting their mother.
It was great to have spent time with those kids. We love you Sam and Lily!
It was also no coincidence we volunteered for the duty to drive them to Amarillo, TX. Our good friends and former Medicine Lodge citizens Dale and Michele McCurdy live there and we coordinated a dinner date with them.
We had about two years of catching up to do and after a few beverages, steaks and some good laughs, we ended up at their home where Dale, his son Colby and I played ďBaybladesĒ. Itís like taking a dreidel or top and putting spikes on them, placing them in a fighting pit and seeing which Bayblade is the last one standing. I have to admit, I was rather amused with this game and am looking for them on Ebay. Right after I finish this column!

KWIBS - From July 27, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

Could it be that an exact double of yourself is somewhere in the world?
The word is called ďDoppelgangerĒ. "Doppelganger" is German for "double walker" -- a shadow self that is thought to accompany every person.
Traditionally, it is said that only the owner of the doppelganger can see this phantom self, and that it can be a harbinger of death. Occasionally, however, a doppelganger can be seen by a person's friends or family, resulting in quite a bit of confusion.
That confusion happened to Ronda and me last week during a visit to a retail store in Wichita. Ronda and I were walking several isles apart looking for an item when all of a sudden, I saw my oldest son Joey walking towards me. I started to smile and then as I got closer, I realized Joey had gotten his ears pierced, had a stranger than normal haircut and wasnít as enthused to see me as I was to see him.
Then it hit me. This wasnít Joey. It was his doppelganger.
I stopped dead in my tracks and turned to watch Ronda stare this same kid down and then stop dead in her tracks as he passed by. Then she started jumping up and down and pointing. I walked over and I asked, ďSo you saw that too?Ē
We both agreed that it wasnít our son, but it was just about as close to a Joey-Double I have ever encountered.
It was a such a close resemblance that I could not resist following this young man and finally ask him to stop and allow us to take a photo with him. Now this troubled him a bit and we explained that he was the spitting image of our son. He asked to see a photo and then simply said, ďwow.Ē
As we talked, things got even weirder. He was about the same age, had the same manorisms and even sounded like our Joey!
I snapped a photo with his permission and sent it to Joey, who only wrote, ďooo, thatís creepy.Ē
I told Joey we needed to take him to Wichita and find this guy and meet him. Joey explained that in legend to meet your doppelganger meant you were going to die!
But a quick google search found that rule #6 for instructions on what to do when meeting your doppleganger reads: ďDon't panic. Many people who relate tales of seeing their doppelgangers live for many years afterward. Seeing your doppelganger doesn't mean you're going to die, only that you've got a fascinating story to tell.Ē
I later posted the photo of Joeyís look-a-like on Facebook and to my surprise, most people thought it was Joey! I had to explain to a few people that it was not in fact Joey.
Hereís that photo!

KWIBS - From July 20, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

A couple of articles appear in this weekís edition that deal with helping others.
One of these stories hits close to home for us. Joey, my oldest son and Tim Morford, our adopted summer-son, took a trip to Haiti a couple of weeks ago to be a part of the ďRestore HaitiĒ missions.
When Joey first talked about taking off time from work and using part of his own money to go to a third world country, I thought he was crazy, but deep in my heart I knew it was because he loves to help others and I am proud of him.
And thank you to the ladies of the First Assembly for their efforts to help local families in their upcoming ďChop & ShopĒ to be held on Saturday, August 8th.
It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From July 13, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

On Tuesday, the annual ďRunning of the BullsĒ happened. Two Americans were gored during the event held in Pamplona.
Mike Webster, a 38-year-old occupational therapist from Gainesville, Florida, was gored as he ran with the bulls in Pamplona for his 38th time over the last 11 years, he said from his hospital bed.
San Ferminís media office said he was gored in the armpit, and Webster told The Associated Press that he hasnít decided whether heíll run again because he first needs to discuss the issue with his wife.
Iím pretty sure sheís going to say, ďknock yourself outĒ or at least thatís what my wife would say.
Iíve heard it said just this week that America needs to catch up with the rest of the world. Well, if this is how we do it, I say leave us in the dust, rest of the world! As a kid from Kansas who has been on a cattle ranch for almost 30 years, I would not want to run, walk or sit anywhere near a bull.
This event is so dumb, I actually cheer for the bulls!
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Did you see the falling star this past week?
Bill Cosby's admission that he used sedatives to lure at least one woman into having sex with him leaked out early last week. Netflix cancelled Bill Cosbyís shows after the allegations last November, even though media outlets have been talking about the accusations for nearly a decade. Many networks still carry The Cosby Show, but you canít watch ďThe Dukes of HazzardĒ on TVLand anymore because itís so offensive.
This is dumb too.
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On July 3rd, just in time to celebrate our Independence Day, Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian issued his ruling against Aaron and Melissa Klein, the owners of the Sweet Cakes by Melissa bakery that refused to bake a cake to celebrate a same-sex wedding because of their religious beliefs.
Avakian not only ordered the Kleins to pay $135,000 in ďemotional damagesĒ to the complaining lesbian couple, he also slapped a gag order on them, ordering them to ďcease and desistĒ from ďpublishing, circulating, issuing or displaying, or causing to be published Ö any communication to the effect that any of the accommodations Ö will be refused, withheld from or denied to, or that any discrimination be made against, any person on account of their sexual orientation.Ē In other words, if the Kleins continue to proclaim their unwillingness to celebrate gay marriage in their business activities, theyíre in violation of Avakianís order.
So much for ďfreedom of speechĒ and ďfreedom of religionĒ.
This ruling is stupid and dangerous. Itís crazy to think that the complaining couple is entitled to six figures in emotional damages simply because a Christian couple refused to bake a cake for their ďwedding.Ē In a free, ideologically, culturally, and religiously diverse country, the idea of meeting a person who disagrees with your life choices is hardly traumatic, and women who canít handle a brief encounter with bakers who donít want to help cater their wedding donít need ďdamages,Ē they need counseling.
I wonder, if the Kleins refused to bake a Confederate battle flag cake for a white, straight couple from Tennessee, would Avakian find them guilty of race discrimination?

KWIBS - From July 13, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

This will be one of the harder columns to write, but closes a chapter of a legacy that Iíve been blessed to be a part of for 30 years.

Mildred L. Meairs passed away on Tuesday morning, June 30th. She was 91 years old. Her 92nd birthday would have been on September 6th. She was surrounded constantly by her family for the last five days of her life. We loved on her, read her letters, cried, laughed and slept there by her side in shifts.
People have heard the name, but may not know who she was. Many of her friends and family are gone. A brother in his late 80s (Johnny Barker), her 3 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren and a flurry of nieces and nephews remain. My wife is one of those grandchildren and I consider myself a grafted-grandchild. Thatís a right of passage I earned having spent 30 Christmas Eves, 4th of Julys, birthdays, weddings, and other special events with this lady.
And she was a lady.
One of her friends wrote me Monday before she died after hearing she was failing in health, ďShe was (is) a classy lady and will be greatly missed. Think of the foresight/ambition of Mildred and Wayne (her late husband) in establishing the Lake, the countless hours of fun and enjoyment they made possible. I was always amazed that she had such great losses in her life and didnít allow that to make her bitter or resentful. Instead, she went about her life with class and an eye toward the future. What a legacy!Ē
She did have a sorrowful life. She lost her husband Wayne in 1977, her son Earl Wayne in 1980, her daughter (my wifeís mother Barbara) in 1988 and then a grandchild Earl Wayne Meairs III (Trey) in 2001. Life was hard for her, but in all of that she was so full of grace.
My first meeting with Mildred was in 1977. It was probably right before her husband had passed away. I was about 8 years old and worked for Luke Chapin. He had a cabin at the lake and I was coming out a lot in the summer to mow the grass, wash and wax his boat and play in the lake. He would pay me pretty well and let me ride his three wheeler around.
One day I took a trip a little too far from his place on his three wheeler and ended up in a beautiful place near two ponds. In the distance I could hear the roar of an engine and saw the cloud of dust following it. Pretty soon a big red Thunderbird pulled up and this little fiery woman jumped out and proceeded to give me the biggest ripping of my life for trespassing on her ranch and near her home.
Little did we both realize that one day, I would marry her granddaughter and live at the exact spot where she caught me!
Another person wrote me Tuesday morning, ď Sorry to hear about your loss, I remember visiting with her several times when I was younger and staying at the lake... (Several times because I was in trouble.. Lol). She was a good woman...Ē
I could totally relate to that!
But again, she was full of grace.
After Rondaís mom died of cancer in 1988, we were married and chose to stay here after her family moved back to Texas. We lived in her little farm house for 12 years and had all three of our children there.
In 1991, it was Mildred Meairs, who lent Ronda and me money to start The Gyp Hill Premiere. Mildred kept a ledger in her top drawer and we paid her every month, when we could, until we paid her off nearly 4 years later.
She gifted that money back to us years later. She helped us out time and time again. She did this for each of her grandchildren and loved them all so very much.
About 9 years ago, she began forgetting things and struggled to maintain her business and ranch affairs. Ronda and I stepped in and eventually took over the responsibilities. Over time, she could not drive anymore, then she began forgetting names and slowly she got to where she didnít even leave her house.
She made it clear to us that her wishes were to never be placed in a nursing home and that she wanted no fuss made when she died. We honored those wishes as best as we could, but we did make a fuss about when she died and had a nice service for her Sunday evening at her lake.
Mildred, the private person, is who most people knew her as. ďMeMeĒ is who I will always remember her as. Thatís who my children and grandchildren will remember her as. Even at 90 years old, she would get down on the floor of her kitchen, drag out a box of toys and play with Baylee and Kycen, her two great-great grandchildren. Baylee is two years old. Grandma would play with all of her grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. We had to help her off the floor towards the end, but she still wanted to be there close to them.
Baylee was there during the last few hours of Grandmaís life. I look back now and see how much she helped us go through those last hours. She was so funny and didnít care that MeMe was at the end of her life. She tried to read her books and kiss her. She even got into bed with her and rubbed her arms and face.
She would say, ďWake up MeMe!Ē and then turn and look at us all and very seriously say, ďMeMe is sleeping.Ē
Tuesday morning Baylee told her mother, ďI want to go see MeMe.Ē Breeann had to tell her that MeMe went to heaven to be with Jesus.
Baylee looked her mother in the eye and said, ďJesus loves MeMe.Ē
We all loved MeMe and hope to continue her legacy and live by her example of love and grace.
We discovered things in her final hours that will forever be treasured: A letter from her grandson a few months before his tragic death that said, ďI hope to have a house near yours in heaven one day,Ē a poem from Rondaís mother that she wrote to her mom before she died encouraging her to live and love and to not be afraid, every newspaper clipping of anything to do with her grandkids, great grandkids and great-great grandkids and the craziest belt collection that weíve ever seen. Pictured are her granddaughters Ronda and Amanda modeling some of these belts.

Thank you all for your calls and all the prayers these past few weeks. Words can not express how much we appreciate those thoughts and concerns.
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From June 22, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

Well, we seemed to have gone from desert to tropical rain forest in just a couple of months.
Flint Rucker always said, ďEvery drought ends with a good rain.Ē
Heís right. I donít think we are completely recovered from the past few years of dry conditions, but things look so much better now than last year.
Weíve been blessed to have all of the moisture in recent weeks and lawns are trying to make a recovery all over town. With the recent lifting of water restrictions by the city, things can look good for the 2015 Peace Treaty Celebration.
Thatís right! Peace Treaty is just around the corner -only a few months away!
I want to encourage everyone, residential and business, to spruce up their properties. This is a time to ďshowcaseĒ our community. Mow your yard. Mow your neighborís yard if it needs it. Help our community look good this Peace Treaty!
Peace Treaty could always use your help! There are several ways to help like, monetary donations and sponsorships, but one of the more important ways you can help is to spread the news about the upcoming pageant weekend. Send an email message to all of your friends, post it on your facebook page or like the Peace Treaty Pageantís official website at Without ticket sales, there would be no reason for the reenactment and without the reenactment, there would be no reason for the weekend long celebration that we all look forward to. Buying tickets is now easier than ever. If you are a select-a-seat customer, you can purchase them online and have tickets mailed to you.
You can also volunteer! Weíre always needing warm bodies somewhere and if you are someone looking to volunteer, drop me a note and I will get you to the right person (

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From June 15, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

Wednesday, June 17, 2015 marks our 27th wedding anniversary.
Ronda and I were married at the First Christian Church in 1988, just a month after I graduated from high school. Tom Walters was the pastor.
Weíve experienced all of the ďfor richer and for poorer, in sickness and in healthĒ trials of marriage. I hope, with Godís grace, it will be many more years, ďuntil death do us part.Ē Iíve scared her a couple of times, but I am trying to stay on this side of the dirt!
I love you Ronda, forever and always. Maybe we could just get away this week together to a beautiful place like in the photo below.

Happy Anniversary Baby!

KWIBS - From June 8, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

I just wanted to take a few inches here to congratulate Steve Epperson and the entire Southern Pioneer Electric Cooperative on their first steps towards their new facility north of Medicine Lodge.
They are the first, with hopes of many to follow, for a new development and industrial area north of Medicine Lodge.
This ground breaking ceremony opened with a beautiful prayer by Epperson that was very heartfelt. Epperson prayed for our community and I believe it was possibly the most sincere prayer Iíve ever listened to and agreed with. I appreciated his courage and boldness to share his faith at this event and to learn that prayer is an important part of every decision that he and his board makes about decisions that affect their customers.
Many folks might think Southern Pioneer is just another greedy utility, but they are a very generous and not for profit cooperative that gives back to the communities they serve.
From their website: ďGiving back to the communities we serve is a part of Southern Pioneer Electric Company's business plan. Our employees live, work and raise families in the same communities as our consumers; we have a vested interest in developing our communities to be strong and viable for years to come. Two years ago, the H.U.G.S (Helping Us Give to Society) team was formed to do just that - give back to the communities we serve. The H.U.G.S team is proud to announce the completion of another project.Ē
They follow through with giving to many local groups like the Barber County Fair, Peace Treaty and the city pool, to name a few.
In past years, Southern Pioneer even filed an application with the KCC requesting a retail rate decrease! Whenís the last time youíve heard of a utility company doing that?
Congratulations SPEC! And THANK YOU!!

KWIBS - From June 1, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

The season is over and it's shots like these that make me proud of our Indians!

KWIBS - From May 25, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

Good Luck
At State!

KWIBS - From May 18, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

The community was saddened to hear the news of the death of Roger Lukens on Tuesday, May 12th, 2015.
Iíve known Roger for many years and I couldnít think of many people who ranked as highly as he did in my book. Roger was one of those people who made this world a better place. He always was kind and considerate. He gave serious contemplation to every decision, weighing out all of the options so carefully, even his one to run for city council in April.
Roger had stopped by the Friday before the filing deadline to talk to me about it. I had sent him an email a few months back and had encouraged him to get back on city council. During our visit, he told me that he was praying about it.
I wasnít the only one who had asked him to run and by the results, he was overwhelmingly the favorite of all candidates.
Prayer and faith were priorities in Rogerís life. He lived what he knew to be true. He loved people and people loved Roger. Roger loved the Lord and he lived like it.
So Rogerís chair at city council might be empty, but a new seat was pulled up to the table in heaven and Roger is sitting in it. Weíll all miss him dearly.
Prayers to Trish and the family during his passing. I pray God gives you comfort knowing that you will see him again.
Rest in Peace Roger Lukens

KWIBS - From May 11, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

Parents of children! Hide this newspaper from your children. Iím letting the cat out of the bag.
Sometimes parents are just flat wrong. There, I said it and I feel so much better.
Even though age is supposed to produce wisdom, sometimes it produces stubbornness.
Shortly after Christmas, Nicholas, my youngest, made an announcement that he was not going out for track and was instead going out for baseball.
I was furious. I hate baseball.
No, I wasnít really mad at him. It was my fault.
When my kids were young, I was dragged kicking and screaming to every tee-ball game in every town from here to Wichita. Breeann and Joey were both involved in baseball and softball and it was just one of those sports that was less interesting to me than full contact dominos.
I didnít want to go to the games, so I devised a devious plan to divert their attention during the summer. I said to the kids, ďYou can play summer baseball or... Iíll buy you jetskiis!Ē
They chose jetskiis and for 17 years I was rid of my least favorite sport.
Because they chose the jetskiis, Nicholas never participated in any tee-ball or coach pitch or organized ball. He had, however, run track for several years and qualified for regionals last year. He has piles of medals. I knew he was good at this, so when he made his announcement that he wanted to play baseball instead of running track, I was naturally disappointed.
First, and most selfishly, I hated baseball. Itís a slow paced game that has just never kept my attention. Just ask Larry Keahey, who coached me in little league in the 1970s.
I can still hear him shouting at me out in left field, ďKevin! Put your glove back on and quit chasing butterflies!Ē
Secondly, Nick had never played the game. He couldnít possibly be any good at it and now, once again, I will be dragged from town to town probably just to watch him sit on the bench.
I was wrong, wrong.....
Nicholas has turned out to be a great baseball player. He is a starter, playing left field (wonder where he got those mad skills..)
Realistically, he could use a few hours in the batting cage, but heís fast and a great outfielder!
I suddenly realized, ďHey, I can tolerate baseball!Ē (With a comfortable lawn chair, some sunflower seeds, a book to read during the slow times, a large glass of iced tea and maybe a tranquilizer.)
I was having a conversation a couple of years ago with a good friend of mine, who is a baseball fanatic. I told him that I didnít care for the sport and he said, ďAwe, thatís all right, Kevin. Itís a game for smart people.Ē
Thanks Jeff Clarke.....

KWIBS - From May 4, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

Weíve probably all done things that our moms donít approve of. But she doesnít always catch us, and, if she does, itís not captured on the national news. That is, unless youíre one young man from Baltimore.
As protests intensified late Monday night following the funeral of Freddie Gray ó the 25-year-old Baltimore man who died April 19 from injuries sustained while in police custody ó a video captured a mother, Toya Graham, doing her best to physically restrain her 16-year-old son and keep him from getting involved.
To put it nicely, she beat the tar out of her son on National TV and even though she has not lived the ďmodelĒ life herself, she showed true courage in standing up for what is right.
For that, she gets my ďthumbs up momĒ award!
And with that, Happy Motherís Day, Mom. Remember giving me a bloody nose that one time? I'm sure I deserved it!

KWIBS - From April 27, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

To the MLHS Class of 2015 - This edition is for you!
This is around the 25th senior edition I have put together in Medicine Lodge. Each year I realize how old Iím getting when I recognize the kidsí in the baby photos. Yep, you all were just babies not long ago. It makes me kind of sad and happy all at the same time.
Speaking of mixed emotions. This edition is always one of my favorites to print and least favorites to put together. Itís complex to edit that many photos and keep names straight. Itís also emotional to see kids like my nephew Ryan graduating.
Time passes so quickly. So my advice to all of you seniors is to treasure this time and to treasure the life youíve been given and seize every opportunity in life. It is up to you. Your parents have hopefully done the best they can to bring you this far. Their work is never done, but this is the point in your life that you have to start taking more responsibility.
Many of you will leave home, some for the first time. Some of you will enter the work force. Frankly, whatever you do, the reality is that some of you might fail. Donít stop trying though when you fail. Pick yourself up and keep going.
Thomas Edison's teachers told him he was "too stupid to learn anything." - Edison went on to hold more than 1,000 patents and invented some world-changing devices, like the phonograph, practical electrical lamp, and a movie camera.
Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because he "lacked imagination and had no good ideas." - Several more of his businesses failed before the premiere of his movie "Snow White." Today, none of your childhoods would be the same without his ideas.
Colonel Harland David Sanders was fired from dozens of jobs before founding a successful restaurant. - He traveled across the U.S. looking for someone to sell his fried chicken, and after finally getting a business deal in Utah, Kentucky Fried Chicken was born. KFC is now one of the most recognizable franchises in the world, with over 18,000 locations.
Finally, this guy (Iím speaking about myself) went to college to learn to build homes. I was making good grades and loving my classes when I fell off of a house and broke my arm during my second year of college. I ended up doing what I had always done, worked at a newspaper.
Whatever life throws your way, I pray the best for you all and have been proud to cover your events for the past 12 years of your school life.
Congratulations Class of 2015!

KWIBS - From April 6, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

This story hit Facebook last week about a couple in Florida arrested for selling ďgolden tickets to heaven.Ē
Tito and Amanda Watts were arrested last weekend for selling ďgolden tickets to heavenĒ to hundreds of people. The couple, who sold the tickets on the street for $99.99 per ticket, told buyers the tickets were made from solid gold and each ticket reserved the buyer a spot in heaven ó simply present the ticket at the pearly gates and youíre in.
Tito Watts said in his police statement:
ďI donít care what the police say. The tickets are solid goldÖ it ainít cut up two by fours I spray painted gold. And it was Jesus who give them to me behind the KFC and said to sell them so I could get me some money to go to outer space. I met an alien named Stevie who said if I got the cash together heíd take me and my wife on his flying saucer to his planet thatís made entirely of crack cocaine. You can smoke all the crack cocaine there you wantÖ totally free. So, try to send an innocent man to jail and see what happens. You should arrest Jesus because heís the one that gave me the golden tickets and said to sell them. Iím willing to wear a wire and set Jesus upÖĒ
Amanda Watts said in her police statement:
ďWe just wanted to leave earth and go to space and smoke rock cocaine. I didnít do nothing. Tito sold the golden tickets to heaven. I just watched.Ē
Police said they confiscated over $10,000 in cash, 5 crack pipes and a baby alligator!
Iím sorry, a what?
You know who should have been arrested? The hundreds of people dumb enough to buy the tickets!
One clue that these tickets were perhaps fake was that Watts claimed Jesus gave them to him behind KFC. Everyone knows that Jesus would have been at Chick-Fil-A.
Also, the entire story is fake. Even though several posted it on their Facebook pages, itís simply not true. I suspect it was an early April Foolsí joke. Read all about it

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From March 30, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

Few people like to ďtoot their own horns.Ē Sometimes they need a gentle nudge from people who appreciate them.
A very important election is quickly approaching. On Tuesday, April 7th, Medicine Lodge residents will have the opportunity to elect two new council members and elect a mayor.
There are four choices to fill the two council seats. Itís unfortunate that there are four good choices! With only two seats available, two very qualified people will have made an attempt to be valuable public servants to their community. I do have a horse in this race, so to speak. My father-in-law, Don Vick is running for city council. Heís new to the community, but wants to be actively involved and is eager to serve. That being said, I like all of the other candidates too: Roger Lukens, Anthony Farrar and Steve Probst. I have no questions in my mind why they want to serve. I believe all of them like the progress that our city has made over the past several years. They want to be ďon boardĒ with doing the important work of seeing us continue to grow and be as successful as any small town in Kansas can be.
Because I wonít use my column to say anything negative about a candidate, I will only say that my choice for Mayor is Major Robert Stutler. It should be your choice too.
Bob, as I will refer to him, has provided strong and professional leadership to this community. He has had no axe to grind, treated no one more special than anyone else, restored broken down buildings, used his own resources to promote and benefit Medicine Lodge, worked tirelessly and gifted all of his compensation for being the mayor. Iíll bet you didnít know that. He might be mad at me for saying that, but it goes towards his character. Bob has been mad at me before and heíll just have to get over it.
Maybe you only know or have met the gruff military man who loves to talk about his service to our country and his decorated service in Vietnam, but you donít know the guy who addressed congress on Marine matters during the Carter administration. Maybe you only know the man who bought the Grand Hotel and restored it, but not the guy who traveled half way around the world to win the heart of the girl he loved and married. Maybe you only know the ďgun guyĒ, but you donít know that he was William B. Rugerís right hand man until he retired and moved to Medicine Lodge 13 years ago. Maybe you think you know the guy who you hold responsible for shutting off your water for late payment, but you donít know the guy who has given thousands of his own wealth to area churches and organizations.
Love him or hate him, Bob is so overqualified to be our mayor, itís almost ridiculous and comical to see him challenged. Iím so pleased that he has expressed an interest to continue to serve the people of Medicine Lodge. My hope is that voters will carefully examine the motives of a candidate that wants to run against Bob.
Iíll leave you with a thought:
Grudges are for those who insist that they are owed something. - Unknown
And some warning...
If you want to test a man's character, give him power. - Abraham Lincoln
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. - Edmund Burke
Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote. - Andrew Lack.
Go vote on Tuesday, April 7th.

KWIBS - From March 16, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

So I really struggled this week juggling 5 email accounts, two office lines, a home phone and a cell phone. So, I am un-announcing my run for President of the United States. Hillary should probably do the same. Wait, she hasnít officially announced she is running. Maybe this whole ďemail-gateĒ will make her reconsider.
The announcement of Hillaryís email woes come at the heels of Sunshine Week. March 15-21, 2015, marks the 10th anniversary of the nationally commemorated Sunshine Week in which open government proponents throughout our nation point with pride at transparency breakthroughs. Hillary probably didnít get that email.
Forgive me for my sarcasm, but does she really think that the American voters are stupid enough to believe that she did this out of ďconvenienceĒ and that we should just trust her that she turned over all of the emails during her tenure as Secretary of State? I mean, sheís not well known for scandals or controversies (except for maybe The Russian Reset Button, Dodging Sniper Fire in Bosnia, Whitewater, Travelgate, Benghazi - to name a couple).
Iím prepared for my Democratic friend who will somehow take offense to my criticism of Hillary, but are we prepared to overlook these transgressions all for the sake of electing our first female president? I donít think so.
There are a lot of qualified, honest Democratic and Republican women who would better serve as our President than Hillary Clinton. I donít care what their party affiliation is. I donít trust someone who is an hour late for an impromptu press conference and then looks at the camera, reads a prepared statement and says that her email and personal email server will remain private.
I personally donít care what she and Bill email each other or what her yoga routine is, but I do care about open and honest government at all levels, especially at the level of the President of our nation.
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From March 9, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

You have to love the imagination and perspective of a child. As we grow older, our perspectives become narrower and often we lose our imagination. My 5 year old grandson reminded me of this last week while he was in the office.
I was showing Kycen some paintings we had hung on the wall in our hallway. He carefully looked at each one. When we were done looking, I asked him which one was his favorite?
Without a missing a beat he said, ďI like the birds one.Ē
I was a little confused. We didnít have a painting with anything to do with birds. I asked him to show me which one, so he took me down the hall and pointed to a painting that is an abstract of an Indian village.
ďThis one,Ē he said!
I didnít see it. I had gotten this painting from Richard Raleigh when he moved from his old office to the courthouse over a year ago.
I told him, ďThose are Indians buddy.Ē
ďNo, those are birds grandpa,Ē he insisted.
I finally agreed with him, for the sake of argument, and we kept looking at the other pictures.
After Kycen left I was in Rondaís office telling her about the painting. At nearly the same time, we both saw what Kycen saw - BIRDS!
It just took us a moment to gain his perspective.
Hereís that photo.....

Do you see the Indian Village? Do you see the birds? Do you now see both?
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From March 2, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

Maybe you know, maybe you donít.
For years our local Ministerial Association has hosted a Lenten Meal each week through the Lent season. The first meal was held last Tuesday evening at The Assembly of God Church with Karen Lemon delivering a great message. The church served up a fantastic meal of meatballs and cheesy potatoes, green beans and several selections of pies.
Itís all a free will donation that the Ministerial Association uses to help people in our community that are in need.
Itís a great opportunity to fellowship with other Christians in our community and Ronda and I have enjoyed these gatherings for a number of years.
Different pastors and ministers take turns giving a message at a church in town. The meals are done up by folks of the church sponsoring that week. The first 2 meals are held in the evenings so the whole family can attend. Everyone is invited to attend as our community of faith comes together. Supper on Tuesday, March 3rd will be sponsored by The First Christian Church. The pastor speaking that evening will be Dwain Richert of Community Bible Fellowship. If you come, you will be served starting at 6 p.m. and hear a short message from Dwain at around 6:30 p.m.
The last 4 Lunches are served from 11:45-12:20. Then the speaker will start at 12:20 ending around 12:30.
There wasnít a big crowd on Tuesday, but I imagine that the out of town basketball game might have robbed some of the attendance. I just want to encourage people to come out and have a meal and hear a good message from our local ministers and pastors as we lead up to Easter. Itís a great way to celebrate the season with others in our town and itís a great way to support the ministry of helping those in need in our community.
? ? ? ?
Alco officially closed its doors after more than 2 decades in Medicine Lodge. In all, 198 stores in 23 states closed, as did the 113-year-old discount retailer's 352,000-square-foot distribution center in Abilene, KS. That facility was recently taken over by Orscheln Farm and Home. There has been limited discussion on Orscheln taking over the property in Medicine Lodge, but nothing has become official. When we receive something official, weíll make that announcement.
Weíre not just losing Alco, weíre losing Mark Sutton. Mark has been the manager at Alco for as long as I can remember - 13 years to be more specific. Heís been very active in the community and I wish him well wherever he lands. I also hope that all the folks who have served us working at Alco land on their feet as well. Thank you all for the great service over the years.
? ? ? ?
Spring is on the horizon. We keep getting small samples of it followed by the harsh reminder that winter isnít finished with us yet. Sunday, March 8th, Daylight Savings Time resumes. I donít mind losing that hour of sleep and look forward to having some sunshine when I get home from work! Donít forget to set your clocks forward!!
? ? ? ?
The Medicine Lodge Indians enter Sub-State Basketball this week. Sr. High girls will travel to St. John for sub-state play. The girls will play St. John-Hudson at 6 p.m. The boys will travel to St. John for sub-state play. The boys will play St. John-Hudson at 7:30 p.m. Good luck Indians!
? ? ? ?
As a concealed carry permit holder, I have been particularly interested in a recent bill taken up by the Kansas Senate that has been approved to allow people to carry concealed guns without requiring them to get a state permit or take training classes.
The vote last Thursday was 31-7 and sends the measure to the House. The bill is sponsored by 26 of the chamber's 40 members, led by Majority Leader Terry Bruce.
A state concealed carry permit costs $132.50, and a person must undergo eight hours of training to get one.
Gun-rights groups note Kansas has long allowed the open carrying of weapons without a state permit. The bill's critics say training should be mandated for people carrying concealed weapons.
I saw nothing wrong with requiring people to have a permit and to require them to take the 8 hours of training. Itís a reminder to those of us who carry how great a responsibility we have. The classes were educational and provided information on the laws of the state in the event of having to ever use your weapon. Those without this training may not understand the consequence of the law when or if they fire that weapon.
We donít hand the keys to cars to our children without them first taking driverís education. They even have to take a test before they are given a license to drive. I guess Iím one of the odd gun rights supporting people. I saw no harm in folks being properly trained to carry a weapon concealed or open.
Only time will tell whether this was a good idea or not. I can tell you that there have been few, if any, instances of a permit holder using their weapon illegally in the state of Kansas.
Letís hope that this measure doesnít backfire on the 2nd amendment.
? ? ? ?
Kansas legislators have introduced a number of so called ďcost cuttingĒ measures this year. One of them is to remove public notices from newspapers and publish the notices on government run websites. Itís not the first time this has been proposed. In fact, itís an issue our industry fights almost every year for as long as I have owned and operated The Gyp Hill Premiere.
While these actions may seem like harmless, cost cutting measures, they aren't.
Not only the newspaper but more importantly you, as a taxpayer, would suffer if legal notices were not printed in newspapers.
Granted, papers rely on the revenue from public notices to help the company's bottom line. And these days, with advertisement income plummeting, many newspapers need the notices to survive. And that's what should be worrisome to taxpayers. No matter how you feel about your local paper, it is providing a critically important service to the community. It is a pillar in helping keep this nation free and democratic.
Let's review a few reasons why it's a bad idea to not publish public notices in the newspaper.
There are simply too many important issues that affect our homes, neighborhoods, schools and jobs to no longer include this information in newspapers. Tampering with city charters in this manner will curtail the public's right to know about important government actions affecting every aspect of your life.
Newspapers remain the main source of local news and important matters, such as these government legal notices.
Relying on the Internet alone, as these proposals would do, is unfair, especially to the elderly or those who have lower incomes and often have less access to computers.
Continuing to publish these important notices in newspapers is just common sense. Newspapers are an independent source of information and help provide a transparent and permanent record of these government actions.
Also, publication of these important government legal notices helps provide oversight of important matters affecting our homes, neighborhoods, schools and jobs.
Nothing in the current law prevents city governments from posting notices online, and we encourage such action in addition to publication in newspapers.
Kansas Press Association has been ahead of this for a number of years. We have a website, independent of government intervention, that publishes public notices from across the state. You can see it free of charge at
Removing public notices from newspapers also jeopardizes public oversight and right to know. The loss of this oversight is just too costly to the general public. These notices often deal with matters affecting home values, special assessments or fees for local residents or small businesses.
Newspapers are a fair and independent source to ensure the public is informed about these important government notices.
It's understandable that local counties, schools and municipalities want to trim expenses. But the cost is too high when they stop using newspapers for public notices.
As boring as they may seem, the notices help keep a governmental unit transparent and open. These are necessities in a democratic society.
Don't let your state leaders sacrifice your right to know for the sake of a few dollars.

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From February 23, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

The weekend before last, I had a reminder of how old I am becoming.
Saturday Night Live celebrated 40 years of making, at least me, laugh.
Iíve been a fan since I was old enough to watch TV and I still record the show to this very day.
Saturday Night Live is one of the longest running network programs in American television history, with over 760 episodes broadcast over the span of 39 seasons. A number of the show's sketches have been developed into feature films, including The Blues Brothers, Wayne's World, A Night at the Roxbury, Superstar, Coneheads and MacGruber.
The line up of past cast members, musicians and actors was amazing and keeping with tradition, the new skits were on the edge - and often over. I caught myself laughing out loud several times.
The show has always been a launch pad for acting careers, take for instance Jimmy Fallon. Fallon became a cast member in 1998. Heís now the host of The Tonight Show. Donít forget about some of my favorites: Eddie Murphy, Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase, Jim Breuer, Billy Crystal, Robert Downey, Jr., Norm Macdonald, Seth Meyers, Dennis Miller, Bill Murray, Mike Myers, Amy Poehler, Andy Samberg, Adam Sandler, Martin Short, Molly Shannon, David Spade. You also canít forget the late John Belushi, Phil Hartman, Chris Farley and Gilda Radner.
Past Presidents, former Beatles, and famous athletes have graced the SNL stage along with some of the best musical performers over the past 4 decades.
It never mattered if you were Republican or Democrat, you were an easy target. Theyíve never leaned right or left.
My favorite skit of all time has to be Celebrity Jeopardy.
I was 6 years old when the series began. Thanks for the laughs Lorne Michaels and the cast of SNL!
Have a great week.

KWIBS - From February 16, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

My wifeís Grandmother Mildred Meairs is 91 years old. Her memories are fading, but when engaged in conversation, she can remember a few things from her past.
She always asks, ďDo you know anyone as old as I am?Ē
We always answered with, ďYes, Dub Rickard is actually older than you. Remember him?Ē
She would remember and weíve repeated that conversation for many years.
Sadly, Dub passed away last week. After Bev McCollom died several years back, Dub was ďdubbedĒ the local historian. Dub loved telling stories about Medicine Lodgeís early years. He lived many of them.
Now that torch passes again. This time most will agree that John Nixon is our official town historian. Heís always been my go-to-guy for history stuff, but there were many times he would say, ďAsk Dub.Ē Dub was a walking history lesson. He will be missed.
? ? ? ?
Speaking of history lessons.... I had contacted my dadís cousin Frankie Price last week about a story I remembered about our family being part Cherokee Indian.
On Tuesday of last week, I got a package in the mail with stories about my Great-Great-Great Grandmother Nancy (Beaver), Weddle, Lewellen. Nancy was born in 1832 during the Trail of Tears relocation of her family during the ďRemoval Act of 1830. Her birth came after a small band of Cherokee Indians escaped. Her family later settled in Missouri. At 20 years old she married an Osage Indian named Alexander Weddle. They had three children and then Alexander was killed in the Civil War.
She later married Felix Lewellen, Alexanderís Army Commander who had children of his own and was widowed. Felix was committed to an institution after the war because he never dealt with the south losing. He later died.
Nancyís daughter Mabel and Felixís son Samuel (yes, step brother and sister) married and had 12 children of their own. One of those daughters, Maude Minerva, married James Copeland, who was my Grandma Eithelynís father. Ethelyn married Bill Noland and the rest is history.
Sadly, Nancyís family never registered with the Cherokee Tribe, so there is no official lineage on record with the Cherokee Nation.
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From February 9, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

ďChick Hill Premiere,Ē Ronda answered the phone on Thursday.
Thatís what happens when you are talking about food right before answering the phone.
Our brains are funny machines. On Wednesday I asked Ronda to buy me some pens when she went to Dirksí. She came back and gave them to me. I remember she put them in my hand and I walked to my office. When I sat down and needed a pen to write, I could not, for the life of me, find those pens. Of course, I accused my wife of taking them from me. Itís happened before....
January 16, 2015, 5 p.m.: I open my safe, pull out tickets to Cirque du Soleil for Sundayís performance and place the tickets on my counter in my bathroom.
January 18, 2015, 10 a.m.: I grab everything on the counter and we leave for Cirque du Soleil. Somewhere south of Cunningham Ronda asks, ďDid you get the tickets?Ē
I thought about that statement and then realized. Hey, no, I did not! Where the heck were they? I inventoried my pockets and everything was there accept those tickets.
I was like, ďI put them on the bathroom counter! Where did they go?Ē
Ronda said, ďI moved them and put them in the drawer under the medicine cabinet.Ē
Why???? I can only assume to test my psychic skills because that drawer contains nothing but brushes and makeup mirrors, as far as I know. Iíve never put anything in that drawer. Its contents are a complete mystery to me.
So we laughed, turned around and went back for the tickets.....
Back to my pen story.
I knew I had them as I was hanging a picture on the wall when Ronda gave them to me. I retraced my steps and found them in the drawer where I put the hammer. Ronda had nothing to do with their disappearance - this time... *wink*
Let me be clear, I love this woman with all of my heart. Sheís been the love of my life for 29 years. I hope she keeps me guessing for many more! Happy Valentineís Day Baby!

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From January 19, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

Iíve got another confession to make....
I have a pretty big wardrobe of unworn, unwanted shirts. Many of them were free or gifted to me.
Nothing in life is finer than a comfortable T-Shirt. When I find one, Iíll wear it out and I donít care if you think itís the only shirt I own. Such is the case with some of my favorite shirts - generally concert shirts.
Concert shirts are like a trophy that is won from competing in an Olympic-like event. If youíve ever been to a concert, you know what I mean. I own several trophy like Van-Halen, 3 Doors Down and the Foo Fighters. When one of these shirts eventually wears out (or magically shrinks), they get retired to the pajamaís drawer or the sleeves cut off drawer for summer wear.
I searched and searched for days for my favorite concert shirt last week. It was my ďFoo FightersĒ shirt. It was no where to be found. Heated arguments with my wife erupted over what happened to this shirt. I tore through what seemed like endless drawers and the bottom of my closet for this precious shirt, but never found it.
I had determined that someone had taken it. I could have never parted with it. I always come home with a shirt on.
Then, last week we had our kids over for dinner. Devin and Breeann walked in and Devin was wearing my Foo Fighterís shirt.
Apparently, he had spilled something on his shirt during a previous dinner at our house and someone helped themselves to my shirt drawer. Possession is 9/10ths of some law somewhere and he just thought it was now his.
He was wrong.
Not wanting to be a bad father-in-law and making him go home shirtless, he walked out with a shrunken Aquaman shirt.
Have a great week.
PS: Devin, Iím going to need that shirt back. It has a summer appointment with a pair of scissors....

KWIBS - From January 5, 2015 - By Kevin Noland

I hope you all had a great holiday season. Our family enjoyed the quirkiness that is a Noland Christmas.
I made a few observations this holiday and took interest in the following facts:
1) I bought a new artificial Christmas Tree that is pre-lit, or already has lights on it. This is a great idea until part of the lights stop working, like my old one did. I simply took that one, bought a string of lights and put it up at the office. Thatís exactly what they wanted me to do.... I also have no idea how they get the tree back inside the box they come in. They will never go back in there no matter how much shoving and cursing you do.
2) God bless Nisly Trash Service during the holidays (and all year round). These guys work tireless to get rid of all of the trash we make during Christmas. I know I had about three extra bags, plus at least two full recycling bins. I think they should make those trash bins transparent, so we can see what others got for Christmas.
3) No matter how many trips to the grocery store you make before itís closed on Christmas day, you forgot something. Probably toilet paper....
4) Thereís always that friend that stops by with a gift and you get caught off guard because you didnít get them anything. Judge Richard Raleigh stopped by my office with a gift. I grabbed a rain gauge off my desk that I had won at Citizenís Bank the week before at their open house and said, ďI got you something too!Ē I think heís on to me.
5) I now hate the following foods: Turkey, ham and pecan- anything.
6) Christmas isnít complete without a child crying during Christmas Eve service. Usually, itís one of mine. Their ages: 25, 22 and 16.
7) I could fast from December 25th - January 1st, exercise daily and still gain 4 pounds.
8) Something will be spilled - usually a drink, ok, usually my drink. A toy will break. Bad sweaters will be worn.
9) Somehow, I managed to avoid ďwassailĒ this year. I donít even know whatís in that.
10) True fact: Christmas trees are edible. Look it up. Many parts of pines, spruces, and firs can be eaten. The needles are a good source of vitamin C. Pine nuts, or pine cones, are also a good source of nutrition. I have an artificial tree.... I canít get it back in the box and Iím not eating it, or ham, turkey, etc...
Happy New Year!

KWIBS - From December 22, 2014 - By Kevin Noland

A few years ago my kids unearthed a really dorky photo of me from like 6th grade. It was one of those photos that had my head floating off to one side with the black background. Everyone who lived through the 1980s either had this photo or has since destroyed one.
Each year around Christmas, I try to shoot a few photos of the kids around the tree. Of course, my daughter has a family of her own, or she would have had a head floating in this too.
Thanks to Nick and Joey for being such good sports about this!

For 23 years I have enjoyed getting to put out this edition with the Dear Santa letters.
Adalynn Cope writes, ďI want a stuffed snowman, and my brother needs a new shirt. You have a nice beard. Thank you Santa for the doll.Ē
Notice how Adalynn compliments Santa and then thanks him for the ďdollĒ? How could he not give this cute little girl what she asked for?!?
This is the first year that my grandson has ďofficiallyĒ been given the chance to write a letter to Santa. Heís got big ambitions, but I bet Santa follows through with most of his requests.
And yes, those are my grandkids on the front page of the newspaper this week. Iíve always taken the liberty to picture my kids and grandkids on occasion over the years and tried not to abuse the power too much. But come on, how cute are they?
Finally, remember why we celebrate Christmas! We have a gracious God.
Matthew 1:20-23
Behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ďJoseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you will call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.Ē
Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: ďBehold, a virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Emanuel,Ē which is translated, ďGod with us.Ē
Merry Christmas Friends!
OK.. one more dorky photo....

KWIBS - From December 8, 2014 - By Kevin Noland

As Iíve written many times, I am sort of a ďnewsyĒ kind of guy. I start my day off reading the news and then watching some news on TV while drinking my coffee and then, checking the news throughout the day and even leaving my TV on in my office, listening to the news.
In fact, if you get into my truck, the radio is generally tuned to the news. Itís that bad.
One thing I love is strange news. It really gets my brainís attention. Tuesdayís news from USA Today was: About 100 brains missing from University of Texas. I misread it at first. I thought it said, ď... from Washington.Ē
Some 100 jars of brains, possibly including one from infamous UT sniper Charles Whitman, have gone missing from a psychology lab at the University of Texas at Austin.
The missing organs, which represent about half of the university's collection, had been stored in jars of formaldehyde in a basement because the lab did not have enough room for all of them.
It is not entirely clear whether the missing organs include the brain of 25-year-old Whitman, who killed 16 people, including his mother and wife, before he was fatally shot by police in 1966. All identifying data was removed from the specimens when the center took them in.
Whoís brainiac idea was it to remove the labels from the brain jars? This instantly reminded me of the episode in Mel Brooksí 1974 comedy ďYoung Frankenstein.Ē
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: [to Igor] Now that brain that you gave me. Was it Hans Delbruck's?
Igor: No.
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: Ah! Very good. Would you mind telling me whose brain I DID put in?
Igor: Then you won't be angry?
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: I will NOT be angry.
Igor: Abby someone.
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: [pause, then] Abby someone. Abby who?
Igor: Abby... Normal.
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: [pause, then] Abby Normal?
Igor: I'm almost sure that was the name.
I canít even make this stuff up...
? ? ? ?
Speaking of brainless acts....
I got a call from Mayor Stutler Thursday morning. He was calling to tell me that someone had vandalized the Veteransí Memorial. Thatís probably the most despicable thing Iíve heard in a long while.
Further into our conversation, I learned that it was his name and plaque that was damaged. Someone had taken and cracked his name plate, probably with a hammer.
Itís a pretty gutless and disrespectful thing to do to anyone, especially a veteran. Bob has given the better part of his life (25 years) of service to his country and several years to this community. I canít imagine how this would make him feel. It certainly does not reflect the spirit of this community.
There are hundreds of names on that wall. My dadís name is there. My wifeís grandpaís name and many of my old friends who are gone, but not forgotten are also on that wall.
That corner is a source of pride in our community. Itís a thoughtful and honorable memorial to all who have served and been a part of our community. It doesnít matter what the reason was for this particular name to be vandalized. It is just shameful.
Whether this was a dirty deed done by one of our youth in the community, or even worse, an adult, it is something we should not tolerate. Iíd like to offer the first $100 cash reward for information leading to prosecution of the vandalism to the memorial. If you would like to pledge a reward amount, shoot me an email at If you have information about this crime, please notify the MLPD or Barber County Sheriff at 620-886-5678.

KWIBS - From December 1, 2014 - By Kevin Noland

Itís no surprise when people refer to me as the Giorgio Armani of the community when it comes to fashion. Iím sort of a fashion king.
Ok, maybe they donít and maybe Iím not, but I donít care either. I never claimed to try to make a fashion statement with my wardrobe.
I could wear a T-Shirt and a pair of shorts to any event. Well, any event that my wife would let me wear shorts and a T-Shirt to. Like maybe a rock concert.
As hard as she tries to make me look good, the saying goes, ďYou can put lipstick on a pig, but itís still a pig.Ē But do pigs even have lips?
Saturday, Ronda took me to Wichita so I could purchase a pair of slacks and a sports jacket for a couple of more formal events that are coming up in the last part of this year. I grumbled and cried, but I went with the promise that I didnít have to spend much time shopping. It would be a grab and go. As a bonus, I could eat somewhere that had meat! I like meat.
Weeks earlier, we had stopped at Mens Warehouse, where I assumed there would be men for sale, but there werenít any. Instead, there were walls and rows of suit pants and jackets that you could purchase after taking out a small mortgage on your home. It wasnít like I was going to buy anything here Ronda explained, but I could at least get measured.
Measured? Why did I need measured? I explained that I was slightly taller than a dwarf and as wide as a small lumberjack. Wasnít that good enough?
Apparently not. The lady at Mens Warehouse reached in her pocket and rolled out a flimsy tape measure thingy and went to town. After feeling rather violated, I discovered that I wear a 33/32 Regular Shirt with a 17Ē neck hole for my head to stick out of. I also wear a 46S jacket (thatís ďshortĒ for you non-fashion folks). So, just like I said earlier, Iím slightly taller than Sneezy and almost as wide as the Brawny Paper Towel guy.
We left with my newly discovered measurements. It sort of felt like I just got a prescription for something like glasses, but glasses would have been cheaper and faster to get.
My mission was now simple. Buy this stuff quickly and at bargain basement prices. Only that meant we had to go to the one place on Earth that I hate to go to more than a wedding. I had to go to Hell. I mean the mall.
Occasionally, I go to the mall. When I say occasionally, I mean when I drop my kids and wife off there while I go do something else. Going to the mall is exactly like being stuck in traffic, only if the cars were all going in different directions in the wrong lanes and cutting across traffic and stopping for no rhyme or reason. Thereís always that guy who seems to be going nowhere in the mall quickly. Heís apparently just walking for exercise or heís someoneís lost grandpa. I always want to catch up with that guy and say, ďSir, are you lost? Maybe you should go outside and walk or join a gym.Ē
I donít like to shop and I donít like to try on clothes and I donít like to dress up, so that pretty much meant I was going to be miserable until it was time to eat meat. I decided that I would hit JC Penneyís. If it had ďPennyĒ in the name, it had to be affordable.
We searched the jacket section only to discover that they do make sizes for Sleepy and the Brawny Paper Towel guy, just not their children. Every coat was either just right in the chest and long in the arms, or just right in the arms if I wasnít planning on getting it over my shoulders. But then it happened. One jacket in the 28,000 sq. ft. store fit me. Only one.
But how could I be sure that there wasnít another one in the mall that would look better on me? Frankly, I didnít care. It was like I just discovered an uncharted planet and my five year mission was complete. But my wife (first officer / science officer) wanted to continue the journey and talked me in to going to Dillards (which is conveniently located 4.6 light years from JC Penneyís and then to Sears another 32 light years away), which was ďgoing out of businessĒ. I did not even know that Sears sold sports coats and jackets. I had never been past the Craftsman tool section.
Both those places were a bust. Sears had sports coats that were like $39 on sale, or free at most Goodwill stores. There was an idea, why didnít I try Goodwill? Dillards had suits that were for guys much older than me..... and for funerals.
By this time I was pretty frazzled and I needed my meat, so we went back to JC Penneyís and I bought the jacket and a pair of pants and got out of there for what I could have bought 20 pairs of shorts and 10 T-shirts for. No matter, I was going to be one sharp dressed man. And every girlís crazy about that according to ZZ Top.
Back at home now... My first opportunity to wear my new jacket came Monday night for the Community Thanksgiving Service at the Episcopal Church. I reasoned that I could wear nice blue jeans, a nice shirt and the new sports coat. Ronda didnít argue me into the slacks, so we were off in a mad dash to get there on time.
Once there I took my seat and tried to not move much. You see, I am pretty warm blooded, so I didnít want to get hot. This set up would have never worked in August under any circumstance. Surprisingly, I was pretty cool and made it through the service without bursting into flames, jumping out of my seat and ripping all of my clothes off.
After the service we all went down stairs for cookies and coffee. It was even cooler down there and I was feeling quite comfortable in my new jacket. Thatís when the fashion king became completely dethroned....
Rondaís eyes were on me and she had a look on her face like something horrible was happening. She was staring right at my crotch. I wanted to say something like, ďhey, my eyes are up here,Ē but that sounded so hypocritical.
Instead, I just looked down and to my horror discovered that my zipper was down. To make matters even worse, we were standing there talking to our pastor and his wife. I turned quickly and took care of my wardrobe malfunction.
Instantly, I felt my pores open up and sweat started rolling out. Either that was a nervous reaction to the situation or the open zipper acted as some sort of central air or ventilation system for my new outfit. Either way, it was time to go.
From now on, this pig will stick to chapstick.
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From November 17, 2014 - By Kevin Noland

If you are new to Kansas, welcome to Swinter or Sumter, whatever you want to call it. We only observe fall for 48 minutes here in Kansas between summer and winter. We just go from sweltering hot to bitterly cold overnight.
Kansasís bipolar, would-be fall season can usually be gauged by how long the local newspaper publisher wears shorts to work. Monday, November 10th marked this guyís conversion to long pants for some time to come. Hopefully, no longer than March or April.
Trees at my house went into shock early Tuesday morning and dropped all of their still green leaves on the ground. They looked naked and ashamed.
Sunday was National Get Your Stuff Winterized Day around my house. Yes, I waited until November to put the jetskis away and winterize the boat and to take the aerator out of the pond. Just the day before my son-in-law was standing on the dock in shorts bass fishing. He did catch a nice 5 lb bass that day. We should have figured the weather was about to change by the hoody-sweatshirt the fish was wearing.
In my closet is... chaos. I formed a search party on Monday to locate clothing that didnít have a rock concert theme or the sleeves cut off of them. I was hunting for something in the lower leg covering department that went all the way down to my ankles. Button up shirts were neatly tucked away 200 yards in the back of my closet. To make matters worse, my light bulb burned out sometime in 2006 and I havenít changed it. I just canít find the time. I just grab a flashlight, three days worth of food and water and go in. My family knows what to do if I donít return.
But no matter how cold it is outside, this guy is always prepared to fire up the grill. I keep it right outside my front door where I can run out barefoot, flip a steak and run back in before losing a toe.
Welcome to winter everyone. Meh....

KWIBS - From November 3, 2014 - By Kevin Noland

On Tuesday, October 28th, NASA launched a rocket intended to bring supplies to the International Space Station. The rocket was made by a private company called Orbital Science. It blew up 6 seconds after it launched. Thankfully, it was unmanned and no one was hurt. This company was using a refurbished Soviet era engine made by the Russians nearly 40 years ago.
There were a lot of comments about how our space program is now a big joke under the Obama Administration, but to be fair, this wasnít NASA or American technology, rather a private ďlowest bidderĒ company. It does reflect badly that weíre relying on old Russian technology to get our space station personnel things like toilet paper.
Some of the comments about the story were the best part of the story! Hereís a few that I wanted to share.
ďCommon core at work,Ē Ronald E. King.
ďExact same results as the launch of the Obamacare website,Ē Erin Simmons.
ďInteresting coincidence: Obama wanted more participation from Muslims. They excel at explosions...,Ē Craig Gholston.
ďWell, this is embarrassing! Kind of the way the whole country is going! No more rockets red glare just our rockets bursting in air!,Ē Melissa Olson.
ďGood test run. Put Obama on the next rocket,Ē Mike Mailton.
ďThis administration is bringing our quality down to North Korea standards,Ē Peter Thrush.
ďObama wonít know anything about this until he sees it reported by the media,Ē Roger Trover.
ďIím sure this is George W. Bushís fault,Ē Joe Whittle.
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From October 27, 2014 - By Kevin Noland

It was getting late on Wednesday evening and our youngest son Nick hadnít gotten home from his youth group at church.
Ronda asked, ďDo you know where Nick is?Ē
ďI donít,Ē I answered. It was getting late and I could tell by the look on my wifeís face she was concerned.
ďNo worries,Ē I said. ďIíll send him a page!Ē
A what?
I clearly meant that I would send him a FAX...
I donít know what I was thinking, but my brain must have transported itself back to 1988.
When I was Nickís age we didnít have cell phones. There were phone booths and payphones and they were pretty much everywhere. All you needed was a dime, then a quarter, then a dollar. Then they just disappeared one day. Superman has been lost and unable to find a place to change clothes ever since.
When I was even younger, the moms in the neighborhood would use a crude form of Morse Code using the porch light. When they flickered on and off, it was time to leave or time to get home. I remember one mother who would scream out the front door for her kid and say it was bed time. You could hear her from blocks away.
Isnít it funny how technology and terminology for the technology has changed so much in such a short time. I actually was cleaning out a drawer the other day and found my old pagers. I had carried up to two pagers. I have no idea why. We also released our FAX machine into the wild. We were mostly getting junk FAXes and I just told all of our customers to email us.
Have a great week!

KWIBS - From October 20, 2014 - By Kevin Noland

From the time I was just a young kid, there has always been something to be afraid of or worry about...
My first worry or fear I had was probably acne or getting a wedgy in school.

But it was shortly after that I remember Russians and the Americans each had fingers on nuclear launch buttons, ready to destroy each other. About the time I got married, monkeys had spread HIV and AIDS to humans. Then we invaded Iraq and I was afraid I would be drafted. Soon after, terrorists attacked us on our own soil. The stock market crashed a couple of times. Korea and Iran went Nuclear.

And then thereís the regular stuff to worry about like: global-climate-warming-change, tornados, blizzards and ice storms, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanos, meteors, mud slides, swine and bird flu, terrorists with weapons of mass destruction, droughts, flooding, sand storms, crazy people with guns, the president, the government, GMOs, HMOs, looking stupid while dancing, losing Facebook Friends, receding hair line, forgetting to DVR my favorite show, being out of wine, another Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, where I put my keys, the return of spandex, did anyone just hear me pass gas?

Now Ebola?!?!

Please.... Everyone, stop what you are doing and take a deep breath. Stay calm.
My hope is that one day in the future, youíll go back and read this column and laugh because now youíre worried about pending alien invasions.

KWIBS - From October 6, 2014 - By Kevin Noland

Thursdayís massive earthquake in the area completely destroyed my Barbara Streisand album collection....

The 4.4 did noticeably rock our office and lasted long enough for Doris to come in screaming "EARTHQUAKE". I knew something was wrong because my lamp was moving and my leg was either twitching, or the floor was moving.

The phenomena is probably best explained by the fact that God hates Kansas sports, ie. the Kansas City Royals making the playoffs, or the Chiefs beating the Patriots last weekend.

Speaking of God, shortly after the quake, came this loud crack of thunder. I was motivated to offer up a couple of "Iím sorries and please forgive meís." I then went outside to see a lot of people out in the streets looking skyward.

Damages to my office were estimated in the .20-.45 cent range.

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From September 29, 2014 - By Kevin Noland

Ronda and I made quite a trek last week. We decided to take in the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield on Sunday, September 21st and then took an unexpected trip to a football game the very next day in Douglass, KS. We put a lot of miles on the truck and we made time to stop in places like Wellington and Oxford, just to look around and see what makes their communities unique.

Getting into Douglass about an hour before the football game on Monday, Ronda and I drove around to see the community. There wasnít much of a business district, but some of the old homes and buildings had some neat architecture. We stopped at a gas station and, as I do in every community I go through, I bought a newspaper.

After talking with the city clerk, I learned that Douglass had a website and I did read about the history of the city and the founder who was shot and killed not long after he had established the city.

The townís historian records only a blurb about the newspaper, "A newspaper was begun in 1879 and was printed off and on under different editors."

That newspaper I bought at the gas station was the Butler County Times-Gazette in El Dorado, KS. There was no real mention of Douglass, KS. I asked around and learned that their city hadnít had a newspaper for the better part of 20 years. I thought that was sad.

What would a town look like that didnít ever have a newspaper at one point? What would the relationships be like between folks living there? It seems like it would be some sort of strange place where everyone walked around with their eyes to the ground not making eye contact, no community organizations existed and no progress had ever been made. The town is essentially dead.

A newspaper is what makes living in a community a special thing. You see, without one, there is no sense of "home". It always amazes me that folks who havenít lived in Medicine Lodge in decades still take our newspaper. Itís a way to keep that connection, even though most times, the names and faces are not as familiar.

If you are a "Days of Yore" fan, you probably enjoy reading about people that are now just a part of our communityís history. If not for a newspaper, there would have been no reference for this column. Without a newspaper, much of the townís history could have been forgotten.

The newspaper has always been the place where a community turned to share its stories, to announce a fundraiser, to share a photo of a grandson who graduated, to thank doctors and nurses for excellent care after a hospital stay, to see a photo of a new business, to find volunteers, to sell a pickup; the list goes on and on.

Iím a third generation newspaper publisher. My Grandpa Bill got ink in his blood back in the 1930s and after both my uncle and my dad operated newspapers, my wife and I started ours in 1991. As a publishing family, weíre closing in on 50 years of continuous newspaper publishing in Medicine Lodge. I am proud of that fact. During all the time in my life spent in and around the newspaper business, I have been fortunate to see so many advancements and changes in the way a newspaper is made. I love community journalism - especially small-town community journalism.

Towns without newspapers suffer an identity crisis in my opinion. With people now using social media for much of their information, you often see a lot of confusion of fact and fiction. Although I love the Internet, I see things like Facebook "news" as a dumbing-down of sharing real news. Donít get me wrong. It has itís place and I use it along side our newspaper, but it doesnít replace the newspaper. Nobody in 100 years from now will scroll down through millions of pages of newsfeed to find when the townís founder was shot and killed. However, they very well could go to their local library, find a microfilm reader or archive of newspapers and read all about it.

October 5-11 is national newspaper week. Its probably not something marked on your calendar and nobody will probably make a big deal about it, but I wanted you to know that it is happening and here I am writing about it.

KWIBS - From September 22, 2014 - By Kevin Noland

I pride myself in thinking I have a good ear for music. I like pretty much all genres and can occasionally even handle some rap music.

So when I heard about the name of this band, it naturally sparked my curiosity and I had to check them out. They were simply called "Carrie Nation and the Speakeasy." Now "Carry" as we call her wasnít around in the time of the speakeasies, but there was still something about that name that made me do a search on the old interwebasphere thing on my desk and what I found made me smile!

Carrie Nation & the Speakeasy is a high energy, acoustic brass n grass 5-piece from Wichita, KS. The band, whose sound has been described as "Öa stagecoach in overdrive", has brought their eclectic blend of punk, bluegrass, and dixieland to packed bars, basements, and festivals across the US since their inception in the spring of 2007. They were a featured act in Winfield at the blue grass festival this past weekend.

"How can we get theses guys in Medicine Lodge?" I asked a buddy of mine from Wichita. And it just so happened that the lead singer from Carrie Nation and the Speakeasy, was engaged to his daughter and living in Kansas City! I got the number and within a week, we had them booked for Indian Summer Days.

This is the perfect venue for this music and I hope will be exactly what the museum needs to jump start fund-raiser efforts to do some much needed maintenance. The concert is being sponsored by The Peace Treaty Association and bean feed by the Lions Club and is a free will event.

This event happens on Friday, September 26 and Carrie Nation and the Speakeasy will share the stage with The Peace Treaty Night Show cast and our very own Carry A. Nation!

Come out for the gun slinging, banjo plucking, bank-robber-hanging, bean-feeding event on Friday night and bring your friends, family and lawn chairs! It starts at 5:30 p.m.

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From September 15, 2014 - By Kevin Noland

Some of you can probably relate to this. Is it just me, or does the state fair seem like one long infomercial?

One of my desires to go to the Kansas State Fair is that I only have my glasses cleaned once a year by some "glass cleaning specialist" complete with tatoos and missing teeth in many cases.

I really go for one thing - a Gyro! I used to go for the Pronto Pup, but thatís sort of off my approved menu these days. While eating our Gyros, Ronda and I watched some guy with spray paint and a sheet of cardboard making what some call art and I call a Pink Floyd video. I donít know if it was the paint fumes or the fact he kept lighting his artwork on fire, but he drew a crowd!

Am I the only one that doesnít get a sample of all of the food that the pots and pan peddlers cook up? Some guy wearing a headset microphone and making dumb jokes about his grandmotherís secret pie recipe always seems to make just enough food for the front row or one or two really attractive women in the audience. I never get anything.

I also noticed that many of the booths were exactly the same as in past years. I didnít see anything new that caught my attention, just more vibrating pillows, wood carved vases, and shirts with a picture of your favorite pet on them.

I donít want to sound like I hate the fair because we did have fun, but man, itís difficult to maneuver through the merchant buildings. I think they should have one day dedicated to wagons, strollers and electric mobility scooters - or at least one day banning them. Maybe they could build a chair lift inside the buildings like they have on the grounds and just fly people over the foot traffic.

I promised Ronda that when I become the guy in the scooter chair, I'll stay out of the merchant buildings so I donít hold up the lines of people just trying to get through. Now if she decides to pull me around in a wagon, well, that's another story.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From September 8, 2014 - By Kevin Noland

Let them eat candy!

City Councilman Ron James will be remembered throughout history as the man who overturned the rule that you canít throw candy during parades.

It happened Monday night at City Council..

"I go to hundreds of parades and they can throw candy everywhere, but here. I think itís stupid," he said, so elegantly.

I couldnít have said that better myself Ron!

Ron made the unexpected motion to remove that portion of the language in a memorandum of understanding with the Peace Treaty Association on the upcoming Indian Summer Days parade. Chief Nick Krug, the council and the Mayor all agreed that it was an overcautious rule that was unnecessary.

So for the first time in probably a decade of parades, candy CAN be thrown from floats and vehicles!

I was quite shocked. I was at the meeting and was there representing Peace Treaty for the upcoming Indian Summer Days events. I did not expect or request the memo with the city be amended in anyway. So, to say the least, I was pleasantly surprised by Ronís request to remove that line and approve the agreement!

I will say that this is contingent on parents and children being safe and staying out of the flow of the parade; and those with floats being careful of the children in the streets.

This is going to be great! Thanks Ron and thank you city council!

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From September 1, 2014 - By Kevin Noland

After one of the most amazing harvests weíve ever had with our front yard peach tree, my son decided to buy a book, dig a hole and fill it in with water. You read that right.

No, he didnít need the book to dig the hole, but it took him more than a shovel to dig that hole. He ended up using a pick ax before it was done, but he got that hole dug.

Why did he dig the hole? Because the book told him to.

Joey bought a book on peach orchards. Heís decided that since we have one awesome tree in our front yard, we should have a dozen! The book had a section on the type of ground and soil best suited for growing peaches and how to test the soil. So Joey dug a hole.

Now mind you, I told him, "Why would you need to dig a hole to find out if the soil is right? We have an awesome peach tree growing right there! Obviously, itís the right soil!"

But, I didnít write a book on growing peaches. And although it is an awesome peach tree, it was dumb luck on my part when I planted it 15 years ago. So I sat back and watched Joey dig a hole, fill it with water and watch it drain. Amazingly, he discovered itís the right type of soil to grow peaches!

And now you have the hole story....


KWIBS - From August 25, 2014 - By Kevin Noland

I too watched in amazement at the use of force by a militarized police force this past week in Ferguson, Missouri after the shooting death of 18 year-old Michael Brown.

How scary that those sworn to protect and serve us were now pointing guns and launching tear gas at citizens! I'm torn between law and order and the right to free speech. Now before you rush to judgment on this comment understand that burning Quick Trips and throwing Molotov Cocktails are not expressions of free speech. They behaved like criminals in all reality and it demanded a response of force.

Calling in the National Guard and bringing in such a showing of police force was absolutely necessary in this instance. This "peaceful protest" as it was called, was quickly becoming a riot situation that endangered life and property. I believe the response was unfortunate, but very appropriate.

How sad it is that it becomes an issue of race when a white officer shoots a black youth. How sad it is that our media jumps to conclusion and instantly embarks on a hunt for the real killer, a white cop who killed a good boy - that very same good boy who was stealing and shoving a business owner just a short time before the law tried to arrest him and sadly killed him. How did it happen? Was he kneeling to surrender or did he double back and charge at the officer? Eye witness accounts are all over the place. Some had him running away and he was shot in the back, some say he knelt to surrender and some claim he charged the officer. I don't know what the officer was thinking when he pulled the trigger. I just don't know and the reality is, no one has all the facts yet.

The media is all over this and practically has Officer Darren Wilson convicted of murder before the facts are all in. Even Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said "a vigorous prosecution must now be pursued."

As far as reporters being arrested...The reporters were probably warned to stay out of the way during a very volatile situation. It's not a freedom of the press issue to be inserting yourself into harms way when ordered not to. I've gone to car accidents to take photos and been ordered to stand back. I didn't just ignore the law and jump in for a shot. I put on a different lens and waited for an opportunity. Olson got the shot he wanted and probably the attention. Olson and the DOJ should have gone to Chicago over the weekend where 7 were killed and 29 were wounded. But that's not near as cool as one thug in Ferguson and rioting.

Oh, too soon to call that young man a thug? My apologies. I guess you missed that quick shop video.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From August 18, 2014 - By Kevin Noland

Let me say, I love my mom. Thereís no limit to that love as a son should love his mother.

Or maybe there is.

My mom came into the office last week and brought me an advertisement that she had received in the mail. With a smirk, she handed me a brochure for a "Forever Together" Diamond & Birthstone Pendant.

I read with interest:

"Spectacularly emblazoned with both your names and birthstones."

"There is no love exactly like yours. In what may be the most romantic gift ever, you can honor your unique bond with a custom-made diamond pendant. Forever Together is personalized with your names and birthstones in a timeless celebration of what you share."

Unique? More like creepy....

KWIBS - From August 4, 2014 - By Kevin Noland

Love him or hate him, Austin Gilley will be leaving his position as City Administrator at the end of this week.

Austin and I have had a good working relationship. It was rocky at first. We didnít quite see eye to eye on a few things, but I am glad that it did not get in the way of us working together.

I believe the majority of people, who actually got to know him and work with him, appreciate what he had to do - what he was hired to do - do the hard things that were necessary to see Medicine Lodge make progress. He helped Medicine Lodge pick itself up by the bootstraps and do the hard things that didnít get done in the past.

Now weíre on our way. Weíve got systems in place, protocols and the tools necessary to keep moving forward. We can thank Austin for this and we can thank a city council that hired him almost five years ago. Some of those council members are long gone, but it was good leadership and forward thinking that brought him here in the first place.

Iím optimistic about the future of this position. I believe that in todayís world, Medicine Lodge needs an administrator if it wants to keep moving forward, not decline like many communities our size. Thereís a lot of things that happen behind the scenes that normal elected government officials are just not qualified to deal with.

Itís too bad that the position is often a thankless job. I for one do want to thank Austin for at least one thing that occurred during his tenure. Austin made our city government transparent in its operations. As a newspaper guy, I like that. It makes my job easier providing you the news.

In our 23 years writing the communtyís news, itís never been easier to gain access to information. I appreciate that change. I appreciate the attention to detail that Austin made on every project he worked on. I appreciate even when we didnít agree and that when Austin was right or wrong, he was honest about it and we could always work through things.

Austin will do good things in his next job. I have no doubt of this. I wish him and Medicine Lodge the best in their futures!

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From July 14, 2014 - By Kevin Noland

Somewhat forgotten by most of America was the news of global surveillance whistle blower Edward Snowden.

Snowden was a former systems administrator that worked for the CIA and did counterintelligence work at the Defense Department. In May of 2013, he left his job and home in Hawaii and flew to Hong Kong where he met with journalists Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, releasing numerous NSA documents to them.

Snowden's leaked documents uncovered the existence of numerous global surveillance programs, many of them run by the NSA and the Five Eyes with the cooperation of telecommunication companies and European governments.

What was rumored for years became factual. Our country has been collecting data and spying on its own citizens for years.

You think I am just a conspiracy theorist?

Within the last year our AFS student Elli Unger traveled to see us from Austria, twice. During the most recent trip she was detained and agents from Customs were able to tell her much about herself and her American family, i.e.. Ronda and I.

Because she didnít have a final destination address, Customs and the NSA investigated and were able to tell her where we lived, what our occupation was and our address simply by scanning her passport. She was cleared to leave after being interrogated the first time, and interrogated and detained for almost 12 hours the second time.

Everything you do electronically is gathered and stored by servers all across the country. The data is analyzed and if flagged by some computer program, investigated by a real person.

Iíve been reading a book by Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras called "No Place To Hide." Snowden's release of NSA material was called the most significant leak in U.S. history. We literally have no place to hide and no right to privacy under the excuse of "National Security."

Americans seem a little uninterested in all of this. Itís almost like they donít care, but look closely at this whole situation with Lois Lerner and the missing IRS emails.

Lerner, now retired and disgraced, is viewed as the central figure in the scandal. Time-wise, this is curious since she was allegedly advised of the practice a year after it began. However, itís also clear that she was ultimately in charge of the review practice, had knowledge of the practice and did nothing to stop it. She may have even encouraged and/or expanded the practice. Itís tough to tell. Itís tough because a number of key pieces of evidence Ė her emails Ė have gone missing.

According to reporting by Forbes, all investigations and inquiries into this have resulted in no criminal charges. Thatís likely because, so far as whatís been made public, thereís no evidence to support that the behaviors, while characterized as "absolutely incorrect, insensitive, and inappropriate" were criminal.

Last Friday, my computer had a melt down. I lost the ability to access my files on my hard drive. The newspaper was unaccessible and the deadline was approaching to go to press.

Did I panic? Yes, I did, a little bit. Although it was a process I donít want to do on a weekly basis, I was able to recover my files because our little old newspaper invested $900 a couple of years back on a back up system. It took about 2 hours to fix my problem. Maybe it wasnít as big of a deal as an IRS hard drive crashing, but I can recover work from, at the minimum, the past two years. I also have great archives of my email and accounting. Some of my data backed up goes clear back to 1999.

Sadly, the IRS and my government want me and every other American to believe that the IRS canít recover the emails requested by congress from the period of time Lois Lerner has been encompassed in this scandal. (In all fairness, the IRS has provided more than 27,000 emails from Lernerís computer, just not the ones dating from 2010-2011 that are key to an investigation.)

My story has a simple point to it. If I can restore my data and my government can know everything they need to know about me, my business and where my AFS student goes, (simply by connecting the dots from scanning a passport) am I supposed to believe that the IRS is so badly mismanaged and has no oversight that it canít recover lost emails? Does that seem reasonable? Could The Gyp Hill Premiere be more technologically advanced than the IRS?

Put your party affiliation aside for a moment and put on a hat of reason and ask yourself the serious questions about our government.

This article and more about me archived by the NSA and department of defense.

Have a great week.


KWIBS - From July 7, 2014 - By Kevin Noland

Iím not purposely trying to be a slacker. The past few weeks have been super busy for us and I just didnít have time to set down and type!

A few weeks back Ronda and I celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary. Over that weekend we had some special guests, Brent and Tracy Shaw, visited us. They were actually here for a wedding that we were all attending, but we turned it into an opportunity to clear out our refrigerator and catch up on old times.

Brent is a 1986 graduate of MLHS and a long time friend. His mom and dad are Dean and Connie Shaw, former residents of Medicine Lodge, more recently of Wichita and now of Phoenix, AZ.

It seems like each time we get together with Brent and Tracy, the stories really start to flow after a glass or two of wine. This occasion was no different.

Tracy told us this story. Since sheís not from here, sheís fair game:

Tracy and Brent live in a busy suburb of Phoenix where Brent recently retired from the Phoenix Police Department. He received a panicked phone call after the event from his wife while on duty one day. Tracy had locked herself out of the house.

Now weíve all done this before. The only difference was that Tracy was stark naked. She had just gotten out of the shower and stepped out her back door to shut off a running hose in the yard. It was going to just be this quick "out and back in" maneuver (obviously, no reason for clothes), but when she turned around to go back into her bedroom she discovered her dog looking at her through the door. She was locked out and naked. ...Her only way to get back in would be to go around front and enter the code to her garage. Remember, itís a busy suburb of Phoenix, AZ.

She explained to us that the neighbor on one side of her house was a Baptist preacher, the other a complete pervert. She chose the Baptist preacher approach. Tracy found an old window screen and wrapped herself up in it and darted around the front of the house. With heavy neighborhood traffic and her neighbors watching, she made her move and said it seemed like the slowest garage door opening in history. Have a great week!

KWIBS - From June 16, 2014 - By Kevin Noland

The second mouse gets the cheese...

For one mouse, it had become a battle of woman vs. rodent. Tuesday it was, Rodent 2, Woman 0.

It started last week. Ronda came running upstairs screaming that there was a mouse in her laundry room. Sheís embarrassed by the fact that we have a mouse and has threatened me with an inch of my life for reporting it. I have assured her that our readers are not going to judge us because we have a mouse. We live out in the country. Mice happen... Sheís been putting out live traps all week.

This particular mouse was sighted again the next day while Ronda was drinking coffee in the morning. Not only was it sighted, but it jumped a sticky trap so as not to be caught. Ronda witnessed the entire traumatizing ordeal.

When I got up, she reenacted the event where this mouse avoided capture by jumping over the sticky trap. Sheís so cute - my little mouseketeer of sorts. It was at this point that she became obsessed with getting this mouse - dead or alive.

She bought more sticky traps, so many we could have tiled part of our home. She also broke down and bought the snap traps. This mouse was not getting away.

Tuesday evening she set up an "FOB" (forward operating base) in our upstairs living room. She strategically outlined where the traps would be located. Since the morning coffee event, more evidence was gathered damning the mouse that Ronda had now nicknamed "Rambo".

She gathered the family together for a briefing.

"There are traps everywhere," she exclaimed. "Avoid the following areas," she pointed out.

The grim task of setting the snap traps became my duty, since Ronda is afraid of even opening a bottle of champagne or a Pillsburry Grands Biscuit container.

She had purchased some easy load traps that could be reusable. I read the directions carefully after removing the traps from the box.

Step one: Open bait box and put peanut butter inside the marked area.

Step two: Lift the killing bar into position.

Step three: Place trap in trafficked area.

"Killing bar." That got my attention. I carefully put in the peanut butter using a butter knife and lifted the killing bar into position. Then I tested it with the butter knife.

Ronda screamed and I winced a little knowing that this contraption was about to take the life of an innocent mouse that was simply trying to exist.

I licked the peanut butter off of the knife, placed it in the sink and set the traps downstairs. Ronda said that was gross, but come on, the traps were brand new.

She asked, "How do you know they donít test them in the factory?"

I envisioned some scientist with this mouse trap setting it at the end of a maze and a little white mouse being released from a glass beaker.

"Yep, this one works. Wash that peanut butter off the trap and put it in the package for sale," heíd say. "Then grab me another one," while licking the knife clean.

I doubt that, but maybe it was a little gross.

We set the traps down stairs. It was just a waiting game now. The mouse didnít stand a chance. There were 9 live sticky traps and 2 "killing" traps. He would choose his own destiny: slow, sticky, painful or a quick snap.

When I got up the next morning, Ronda was downstairs and she wasnít happy. One of the sticky traps was shredded and the mouse had escaped. This would not stop Ronda, who by this point had become a crazed serial mouse killer. Only she hadnít killed anything as of yet.

With its zany action on a crazy contraption, the popular Mouse Trap game has been entertaining and delighting kids of all ages for 50 years. My wife was about to reinvent the game using house hold items.

After I got out of the shower, she called me downstairs to show me her creation. There was a bucket of water under a table where the boys keep their snacks. A tiny box was placed next to the bucket of water.

"OK, I give up," I said.

She was almost yelling at me like I was stupid at this point, "The mouse will eat the boysí snacks, get thirsty, climb on the box for a drink and then fall in the water bucket and drown"

Iím going to need some good psychiatric advice... and maybe a cat.

UPDATE: Wednesday afternoon the "Killing Bar" served up Ramboís last meal. Ronda had so hoped that her bucket of water would have worked... By the way, tomorrow is our 26th anniversary. I love you Ronda. :) - Also, happy 25th to Dale and Jodi Lonker! Have a great week.

KWIBS - From June 2, 2014 - By Kevin Noland

Junefest is this coming weekend and I want to highlight one of the events for my readers.

On Saturday evening, June 7, Aaron Newman and the OK Caravan will be performing downtown. The evening performer is an act out of Oklahoma City, OK. They have shared the stage and played events and festivals with acts such as Jakob Dylan (Bob Dylanís son) of the Wallflowers, The Lumineers, The Steve Miller Band, Stoney Larue, Aranda, Jason Boland, Graham Colton, Susan Gibson, Johnny Lee, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, Dr. Hook, Of Montreal, Tea Leaf Green and Other Lives.

You might be wondering, how did we get such a talented group to play for Junefest? I would love to take credit for that, but it is actually being made possible through a grant from our local tourism committee to bring quality entertainment in to Medicine Lodge.


It also doesnít hurt that Iím friends with the bass player.... Mr. Chad Roper is one of the best musicians I have had the pleasure of meeting over the last few decades of being involved with music. Chad was the former bass player of Aranda, which if you read my column, you know Iím a fan. Chadís been a studio musician for years, a model, oil field trash, and a private investigator. Heís married to Associate District Judge Michelle Roper of Beckham County (probably his single biggest claim to fame). Heís also no stranger to the greater OKC area. Currently he is the morning DJ host for 101.7FM KKZU "The Zoo" and I listen to his talk show every morning on the internet and usually shake my head..... This dude and his multi-talented group of guys will surely be crowd-pleasers. I hope you can come out and Iím praying for good weather!

See you at Junefest!


KWIBS - From May 26, 2014 - By Kevin Noland

When I was a kid and my dad said, "I want your help on a building project", that usually meant I was going to carry lumber or swing a sledge hammer. I didnít normally look forward to that. As I got older and a little more useful in the construction department, I found myself really enjoying spending time with my dad and building things.

Our last project together was my fence around my house. We built it out of cedar posts and bolted the entire thing together. I think we spent about a week on it. It is quite a fence and itís been there for 15 years now.

One of the biggest things we did together was build a shop on his ground east of town. It started out as a garage, morphed into a beauty shop and after the property sold, became the pastoral offices of Community Bible Fellowship.

A little known fact about your local newspaper publisher: I went to college to learn construction and design. While in school from 1988-1990, I worked with a class who built homes on campus at PCC and then when they were finished, moved them to location. I enjoyed learning the trade and would have gone into that career had it not been for an unfortunate accident I had while roofing my momís house. I fell off of it.

Thus ended my career in construction. I had to learn to do everything with my left hand since my right one was in a cast for 6 weeks. I eventually healed, but have some issues with my right arm still 25 years later.

For the past couple of weeks, I have employed the skills, or lack of skills, of my two sons; and additionally my wife, son-in-law, grandson, neighbors and anyone who would help for an hour or two to build a dock on our pond. At first my boys grumbled, but soon began enjoying seeing the progress happen as we built a pretty impressive and large dock to our spillway.

After a few days, the help started disappearing for one reason or another. It might have been a girlfriend, Teeball practice, a basketball playoff game; whatever the reason, I kept working. Eventually, they felt sorry enough (or I whined enough) that they came back out to help me finish the dock.

Once we had it all stained set it in the water last Tuesday evening, they both had a real sense of accomplishment. I had the joy and pride of working with my boys. It will be project that will most likely out-last me and every time my boys use the dock, they will have the constant reminder of something we built together with our own hands - just like the memories I have about my father each time I see the building we built together when I go to church at Community Bible Fellowship.

Have a great week!

My sons, Joey and Nicholas, not beating each other to death with power tools.


KWIBS - From May 12, 2014 - By Kevin Noland

Several weeks ago now, a tragic accident nearly claimed the life of one of our own.

Liz Armstrong Edwards, nearly lost her life while biking on the Isabel Road, a serious reminder of how precious life is and how every day is a gift from God.

Every day we interact with people in our little community. We have so many differences sometimes, that we canít even see the common ground. Our lives intersect and overlap, but we often get so busy, we donít even cherish the little moments that we have together.

I remember my last conversation with Liz about three days before her accident. I was commenting on the produce section at Whiteís and had told her how much I liked the salsa. I also remember asking her about fresh cherries and a recipe I wanted to try. Liz went out of her way to help me find my ingredients.

Liz is slowly recovering, a miricale and amazement to doctors, family and friends. The accident has resulted in a rally to help Liz and Brett through this difficult time. A fund has been set up at The Citizens Bank at 120 East Kansas in Medicine Lodge to help the Edwards as Liz recovers - and she will, but it will take time.

Weíve only barely touched on the story of her accident and process of healing that is to come. It will be a hard road to travel, but one I believe that Liz and Brett are up to.

Liz and Brett have been so strong through this "ripple" in their lives. If you havenít already given a gift to help them, please consider doing so.

If you have already given, please consider giving again. Value the friendships we have in our small town. Keep Brett and Liz in your thoughts and prayers and keep all who are directly involved in the accident in your prayers. Weíre a community of friends and family. No one set out that day with intentions of being involved in an accident like this. We can only use the situation to love each other more by helping.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From May 5, 2014 - By Kevin Noland

We got so filled up last week, I had to take my column out of the paper. I wanted to congratulate the MLHS Class of 2014 on their Graduation (yesterday afternoon).

We had a lot of parties to attend this year. It seems as we get older, we know more and more of these kids graduating.

Every once in a while, it hits you Ė "Man, Iím old." Many of us are having the same experience as we realize the majority of the graduating class of 2014 at MLHS was born in 1991 and 1992, when Clinton was in the process of becoming the 42nd president!

The kids today donít know what life was like before the internet or at least havenít endured the screaming modem connecting through a telephone landline!

Theyíve always had email, but now itís tragically uncool to use an email for anything other than formal correspondence. It has become an archaic form of internet communication and it has been replaced by texting and by social networking sites.

Do you realize most of the kids from the class of 2014 have probably never used cameras with film? We didnít have immediate gratification after taking a round of photos because we couldnít upload them onto your computer. Instead, you dropped the roll off at the drugstore and waited until the photos were developed Ė it was the only way you would see the photo.

When I was a kid, we listened to records on our turn tables and if I wanted it to be portable, I carried my Sony Walkman! Most of these kids probably have never seen a Walkman and listen to their music in digital format.

Itís a different world we live in today and itís the constant change that is exciting. Congratulations Class of 2014. I hope one day you are privileged enough to look back and see the many changes that I have over the 26 years since my graduation from MLHS!

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From April 28, 2014 - By Kevin Noland

Congratulations MLHS Class of 2014!

KWIBS - From April 21, 2014 - By Kevin Noland

Iím one of those people who love dumb facts. When my father-in-law was here a few weeks ago, he insisted on sharing a bunch of useless facts with me, which was quite entertaining. He told me the word "Gringo" was actually derived during the Mexican-American war because Americans would sing the song "Green Grow the Lilacs." The Mexicans could hear the Americans singing it and only picked up "Gringo". Could be true - probably not, but who cares!?!

A friend of mine posted a really dumb and obviously fake fact on the Internet the other day:

"70% of the Earthís surface is made of water," he proclaimed. "The other 30% is made of idiots..."

Now here are some that I canít confirm or deny, but they were entertaining:

When you get a kidney transplant, they usually just leave your original kidneys in your body and put the 3rd kidney in your pelvis.

The United States in World War 2 created a bomb that used bats. The bats would be carrying small incendiary charges and would be released from the bomb in mid air, causing them to fly and scatter to different buildings in the area. The charges would then detonate and set all the buildings on fire. It was tested and proven to be very effective. (In killing Batman, maybe....)

Russia is bigger than Pluto. (Surface area of Pluto: 16.7x10^6 km^2; Surface area of Russia: 17.1x10^6 km^2)

If you melted down the Eiffel Tower, the pool of iron would be less than 3 inches deep (in a square area the same dimensions as the tower base). I canít imagine that anyone could prove this theory.....

There is more fresh water contained in Loch Ness than in all rivers and lakes in England and Wales combined. (I do believe that it also contains more Loch Ness Monsters than all of the rivers and lakes in England and Wales combined.)

KWIBS wastes an average of 1,100 inches of news copy each year.... Have a great week!

KWIBS - From April 7, 2014 - By Kevin Noland

Iím a Facebook user. It began as a way to share photos of my family with family and friends afar.

Almost everyone has Facebook these days and almost everyone has become a "blogger" of sorts, starting discussion groups and forums ranging from politics to religion.

Most posts are just rants. Many of those are just angry, uninformed statements and assumptions about issues that have made people mad.

Most recently a new page was created and I received an invite for it. It is called, "Medicine Lodge Community Issues." Its message states that "This is a neighborly place to share information, discuss local issues, find solutions and build a vibrant community in Medicine Lodge." I promptly joined and read some of the posts by a former resident of Medicine Lodge.

Some of the Medicine Lodge community issues in this post were things like an investigation in Kingman of a homicide, the war on feral swines, an article from the Alva Newsgram on the trash service from 2013, and then the general bashing of local officials.

I made a comment questioning how these were "Medicine Lodge community issues" and also corrected several, so called, "facts" that were posted on this site. I promptly had my posting privileges revoked from the "neighborly place" a couple of weeks ago. Thatís sort of ironic that the newspaper publisher in Medicine Lodge is being censored on a "Medicine Lodge Community Issues" Facebook page for bringing correction to statements posted there - a site that is hosted by a nonresident of Medicine Lodge.

Iím not saddened by that. Iíll be ok. In fact, it proves a point about social media. People donít care about the truth when reporting and there are no "rules" for fairness in cyberspace. The forum only suits the person administering it and if someoneís ideas are not in line, you eliminate those who question your motives.

I pray this isnít the sad future of journalism.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From March 31, 2014 - By Kevin Noland

April fools day is tomorrow. Itís one of my favorite days of the year.

Only in Medicine Lodge will someone slip an early April Fools joke in on you like I had done to me last week.

After getting my groceries I walked out to my truck in the rain. I normally lock my vehicle and hit the remote to unlock it. After my horn tooted, I opened the back door. Before I had a chance to set the groceries in the back seat, this person leaps out of my truck and screams "ROAR"!

Obviously it scared the Ďyou know what out of meí. When I realized it was our friendly local grocery store manager, I busted up laughing.

After I reminded him I was a recent heart patient, we laughed about the event. I love living in a town where people arenít afraid to act like this. We all need a little laughter in our lives, even if it comes with a little adrenaline rush!

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From March 17, 2014 - By Kevin Noland

I wanted to thank the Medicine Lodge Tourism Committee for the new entry signs coming in from the North and East of town. These things look awesome!

If you havenít seen them at night, they are even more impressive. The silhouette of the gyp hills over the bright "Medicine Lodge Est. 1871" really pops.

This group of folks spent a lot of time getting this project done and itís so cool to finally see this project completed.

Great job Medicine Lodge Tourism!


KWIBS - From March 3, 2014 - By Kevin Noland

Being a little tight on space last week, I didnít have room to mention a milestone in a life of someone very near and dear to me. My youngest son, Nicholas, turned 16 on Tuesday, February 25.

17 years ago, his mother and I decided we were done having children, but God had different plans for us. What might have seemed like an "Oops" at the time, turned into one of life's greatest blessings - another son. Nick amazes me every day with his talents, his humor and his faith. I'm proud of him and thank the Lord for that kid - that "Oops". I love you Nick. I hope you had a very special 16th birthday!

Speaking of birthdays, a special lady in my life is celebrating one on March 7th. My Mom! Happy birthday Mom. I love you.

? ? ? ?

and speaking of special....

Last weekend Ronda and I went to Oklahoma City to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of two very dear friends of ours. Stan and Becky Tedrow were thrown a surprise anniversary party on February 22nd by their sons Matt and Jim and their families. The Tedrows are well known in Medicine Lodge and had many friends from here attend their special event. We were so glad to have been a part of it! Congratulations Stan and Becky!

? ? ? ?

Monday night the Medicine Lodge Area Chamber of Commerce held their annual meeting and recognition dinner. Kudos to Cindy Brungartd for organizing it better than any one-armed-wallpaper-hanger could! ... two arms for that matter!

Thank you to the business community for attending.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From February 24, 2014 - By Kevin Noland

Youíll have to get your morning sugar fix somewhere else. Tuesday morning, The State of Kansas Department of Revenue civil tax agents shut down Daylight Donuts here in Medicine Lodge and in Pratt for not paying their taxes.

Nixon Em, in my opinion, made some of the best donuts since Frosty himself graced Main Street. I was sad to see the "seized" notice on the window.

Local law enforcement assisted in seizing and securing the assets of the donut shop. The dayís donuts were made and closing it meant, they were also seized. The nice lady behind the counter boxed up the donuts and gave them to the agents. Oh the irony....

? ? ? ?

More signs of the Affordable Health Care Act not working: I got two, (2) identical $35,000 bills from the Kansas Heart Hospital last week processed through the new AHCA software. My wife called to find out what that was about.

We were told "not to worry about it" and "ignore the due date." I will have no problem ignoring the February 25th payment due date! (all pending insurance reimbursement...)

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From February 17, 2014 - By Kevin Noland

If you didnít know better, you would have thought that Bob Greer and I hated each other. He would always greet me with some insult and I would fling one right back at him. It was just playful banter.

Bob referred to me as one of his only Christian-conservative-gun-toting-Bible-thumping-Republican friends. And of course I would counter that he was my crazy-Liberal/Socialistic-bleeding-heart-Democrat from Protown-friend.

I met Bob, Publisher of The Protection Press when I was just a teenager in early 1986 working as a pressman at the Index. Bob and Dennies Andersen, Publisher of The Western Star in Coldwater, had a Wednesday print schedule. That usually meant a late night for me, because I canít think of one time they made it to their scheduled print time, on time....

Back then I just thought of him as the crazy publisher from Protection who didnít shut the bathroom door when he used it.

I thought Bob and Dennies hated each other by the way they acted. They didnít. It was the same playful banter that I would inherit one day from hanging out with these deadline delinquent clowns.

Bob was just starting his newspaper. He was in a town that already had an established newspaper, but he had a vision of starting something local that held on to traditional values and focused on local people. It would be about 5 years after I met him that I would follow in his footsteps starting The Gyp Hill Premiere. He and Dennies were both mentors to me.

Bob would come to Medicine Lodge once a month on his way through to "check up on his doctor" as he put it.

His tradition was to tell me how much his circulation had grown, that it was more newspapers than households in Protection, that he had run that no good son-of-a-so-and-so out of town and that he was fat and ugly, but he loved what he did.

He always liked to point out to me, "We started the Press without a single subscriber. It now has 700 readers ó from a town with just 555 population. And circulation continues to grow. Forgive my bragging: but we must be doing something right!"

Iíve never met anyone quite like Bob and I know I never will.

Last year Bob was honored by Kansas Press Association with the Clyde M. Reed Jr. Master Editor Award. He stopped on his way back from Topeka convinced I had something to do with his award.

He asked me, "You gave me the thousand dollars I was given with this award, didnít you?"

I had not given him the money, but he was convinced that I had and wouldnít take me at my word. We argued for what seemed like forever over dinner at the Truck Stop.

I finally said, "Look, if I had an extra $1,000, youíd be the last person I would give it to!"

That ended that argument.

"Do you love what you are doing?" he would always ask.

"Iím one of the lucky ones. I get to do what I love to do and I have a great life and a great family," he would say each time. In fact, it was what he said just over a week ago when he was in my office for our final visit.

Bob did love being a newspaper publisher. He was born for it and he wrote a column each week until he couldnít anymore. When he was "younger" as he put it, he would pound out his columns on a manual typewriter. As his fingers grew more and more arthritic, he took up pad and pencil and someone had to decipher his chicken scratches, but he kept on. He loved reporting the news, especially sports.

Bob just celebrated his 88th birthday at the end of January. He was growing tired and I could tell from our visits that he was wearing out. He knew it too, but would muster up the strength to tell me a story, usually one I had heard at least a dozen times before. Each time he told it though, it was new to me.

I got him talked into telling me all the stories again on Thursday, January 30th. This time I set up my video camera and caught thirty minutes of the most colorful "Bob" memories one could have. I knew in some small sense that it was probably going to be one of the last times I would hear his stories and I am glad I did it.

On Wednesday last week, Bobís wife Wilma called me to tell me that Bob had fallen at the manor where he was recovering from a heart cath procedure. Bob was scheduled to go back to Wichita on Thursday for a follow up which surely included more surgery, but that trip was cancelled. Bob never recovered from his fall and never woke up. I got things in order on Thursday and drove over to Coldwater to their hospital to see Bob. I was hoping to tell him to get his old wrinkly butt out of bed and get back to work, but I was telling him good-bye instead, and I knew it.

Bob passed away Saturday morning. He was one of the good ones and as near to me as a grandpa. I was blessed to know him and even though we were so different, we are so much alike.

Upon every visit Bob would go into my bathroom and steal a roll of toilet paper and then walk up front and steal several copies of The Gyp Hill Premiere.

Heíd hold up my paper and say, "I wipe with these because they are soft on news. The toilet paper is to blow my nose on on my way to Wichita."

During our last visit, he told me that he didnít know how much longer he had left. I told him that if he died after Wednesday, but before my paper came out, that I would scoop him to the story of his death. He countered by saying that if I died and he was left, he would line my casket with the Protection Press.

Here I am holding up my end of the promise. Bobís paper wonít come out until Wednesday with the news of his passing.

Bob left my office that Thursday saying what he always said, "Hey, I love you man - not like the gays love each other. You know what I mean?" I just laughed and told him, "yes, I know what you mean." I loved him too and hugged him. After that he called me some derogatory name and waddle out to his car.

I love you old friend.

KWIBS - From February 10, 2014 - By Kevin Noland

Folks, donít try this at home. Itís been the butt of jokes and movies for decades. Autumn Stivers, daughter of Amanda and Cody Stivers, learned what not to do with her tongue on a metal object when the temperatures are hovering at 6 degrees.

Somehow sticking her tongue on a metal grill sounded like a good idea, but she discovered that she became attached to it. Autumn removed herself from her sticky situation, but left behind part of her tongue... ouch!


KWIBS - From February 3, 2014 - By Kevin Noland

My mom knows hows much I love word games and puns. Sheís always forwarding email to me. This one really had me chuckling last week and I wanted to share them with you.

1. The fattest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.

2. I thought I saw an eye-doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.

3. She was only a whisky-maker, but he loved her still.

4. A rubber-band pistol was confiscated from an algebra class, because it was a weapon of math disruption.

5. No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

6. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.

7. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.

8. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.

9. A hole has been found in the nudist-camp wall.. The police are looking into it.

10. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

11. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

12. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other: 'You stay here; I'll go on a head.'

13. I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.

14. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab centre said: 'Keep off the Grass.'

15. The midget fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.

16. The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.

17. A backward poet writes inverse.

18. In a democracy it's your vote that counts. In feudalism it's your count that votes.

19. When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.

20. If you jumped off the bridge in Paris, you'd be in Seine.

21. A vulture carrying two dead raccoons boards an airplane. The stewardess looks at him and says, 'I'm sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger.'

22. Two fish swim into a concrete wall. One turns to the other and says, 'Dam!'

23. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.

24. Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says, 'I've lost my electron.' The other says, 'Are you sure?' The first replies, 'Yes, I'm positive.'

25. Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root-canal? His goal: transcend dental medication.

I hope these made you smile like they did me!

KWIBS - From January 27, 2014 - By Kevin Noland

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the MCLXXVII Edition of The Gyp Hill Premiere!

Next weekend is the "Big Game" between The Denver Broncos and Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks. Did you see his post-game interview with Erin Andrews? She looked scared!

"I'm the best cornerback in the game," he screamed during the post-game sideline interview. "When you try me with a sorry receiver like (the 49ers Michael) Crabtree, that's the result you are going to get. Don't you ever talk about me!"

Talk, talk talk talk... thatís all that was done last week about the 25 year old cornerback.

Heís good - no doubt and heís intelligent, a Stanford graduate who loves to read. He just gives a crappy interview 15 seconds after a game win.

And what a game it will be this weekend. Iím cheering for Peyton Manning and the Broncos. I would cheer for Peyton on any team. Maybe instead of allowing Peyton Manning to freely use "Omaha" over and over in a game, Nebraska should have trademarked the name! What a missed opportunity, but what a great free marketing tool it has been for Omaha. You know, "Wichita" would work too.

As you know, we canít use the Super "B" word in the paper in any advertisements. Thatís a trademark name.

Trademarked and tenaciously defended by the NFL, the phrase "Super Bowl" (oops!it slipped) is available to just a handful of official sponsors that pay significant amounts for the right to include the name in their marketing efforts. The Gyp Hill Premiere isnít one of them. Everyone else, from national electronics retailers to the corner bar, runs the risk of being threatened with a lawsuit by the league if they use the actual name without permission.

Ok, Iím not officially using it as advertising. Iím just mentioning it. Come on, really? Do you think anyone would read my column and think I needed to use the NFLís "Big Game" as a promotion?

The NFL has two dozen official marketing partners that pay upward of $100 million annually to be affiliated with the league. Again, The Gyp Hill Premiere isnít one of them. Sponsors do include PepsiCo Inc., Verizon Communications Inc., Motorola Mobility Inc. and Castrol Ltd., which is the official motor oil of the NFL. Although there is no specific sponsorship of the "Big Game", NFL sponsors have the right to use the game's name and logo in their own marketing efforts.

Good for them! The Super Bowl is viewed by more than 111 million, as opposed to about 1200 subscribers of The Gyp Hill Premiere.

I sort of figured since I am writing about the Super Bowl, I could get away with mentioning its actual name. Heck, who knows? Maybe the NFL will be publishing this newspaper in a few months after a bitter lawsuit over my column.

But before you start photo-copying my column to send to the NFL, note that journalists are free to refer to the Super Bowl in stories, a right that was assured by a 1992 federal appeals court ruling. Have a great week!


KWIBS - From January 13, 2014 - By Kevin Noland

On December 26th all of our Christmas decorations came down. Ronda and I are a little bah humbug when it comes to the season. Itís not that we donít love Christmas, we just donít love being tied to a holiday that begins right around Halloween and ends with us being broke.

Not that I want to keep dragging Christmas on and on, but I ran across an interesting story this past week about Santa Claus being tracked by NORAD. Itís something we all see on TV Christmas eve and I often wondered what started it all.

Did you know that NORAD annually tracks Santa's progress because a wrong phone number was once published in a newspaper advertisement? I know what you are thinking. A newspaper made a mistake???

Supposedly the tradition of NORAD tracking Santa's journey on radar comes from an accident in 1955, when Sears Roebuck & Co published a "call and talk to Santa" phone number that was one digit off from a number at the Continental Air Defense Command (NORAD's predecessor). Although cute, this story smacks of urban legend to me. Was it really so easy, even in 1955, to accidentally contact a colonel at a sensitive military installation, without having to go through security or any receptionist?

It appears to be true.

Ever since the mid-1950s, generations of children in North America (and, since the advent of the Internet, children from all over the world) have eagerly turned to an annual service provided by the U.S.-Canada North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) to help them track the progress of Santa Claus every Christmas Eve as he departs the North Pole and traverses the globe in his reindeer-driven sleigh, delivering presents to good little boys and girls around the world.

NORAD's engaging well over a thousand people to provide a yearly Santa-tracking program seems to many like a rather whimsical venture for a staid defense-based agency to be engaging in. And, in fact, NORAD didn't set out to be in the business of providing real-time Santa updates every Christmas Eve: that service came about strictly by accident, the result of a wrong number published in a local department store newspaper advertisement.

Back in 1955, NORAD's predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) was based in Colorado Springs, Colorado. On Christmas Eve of that year, a Sears department store advertisement placed in a Colorado Springs newspaper featured a picture of Santa urging children to "Call me on my private phone and I will talk to you personally any time day or night." Unfortunately, the phone number included in the ad was printed incorrectly, and children who called that number on Christmas Eve found themselves not on the phone with St. Nick but on a top secret line to one Colonel Harry Shoup, the officer on duty that day at CONAD. Rather than informing his juvenile callers they had reached a wrong number and brusquely instructing them to get off the line, Col. Shoup opted to play along and asked his staff to accommodate inquisitive youngsters by providing them with updates on Santa's Christmas Eve progress.

The story of the accidental origins of NORAD's Santa-tracking program has been told and re-told many times over the decades. Here's how Col. Shoup's daughter related it back in 2009:

One morning that December, U.S. Air Force Col. Harry Shoup, the director of operations at CONAD, the Continental Air Defense Command ó NORAD's predecessor ó got a phone call at his Colorado Springs, Colo., office. This was no laughing matter. The call had come in on one of the top secret lines inside CONAD that only rang in the case of a crisis.

Grabbing the phone, Shoup must have expected the worst. Instead, a tiny voice asked, "Is this Santa Claus?"

"Dad's pretty annoyed," said Terri Van Keuren, Shoup's daughter, recalling the legend of that day in 1955. "He barks into the phone," demanding to know who's calling.

"The little voice is now crying," Van Keuren continued. "'Is this one of Santa's elves, then?'"

The Santa questions were only beginning. That day, the local newspaper had run a Sears Roebuck ad with a big picture of St. Nick and text that urged, "Hey, Kiddies! Call me direct ... Call me on my private phone and I will talk to you personally any time day or night."

But the phone number in the ad was off by a digit. Instead of connecting with Santa, callers were dialing in on the line that would ring if the Russians were attacking.

Before long, the phone was ringing off the hook, and, softening up, Shoup grabbed a nearby airman and told him to answer the calls and, Van Keuren said, "'just pretend you're Santa.'"

Indeed, rather than having the newspaper pull the Sears ad, Shoup decided to offer the countless kids calling in something useful: information about Santa's progress from the North Pole. To quote the official NORAD Santa site, "a tradition was born."

From that point on, first CONAD and then, in 1958, when NORAD was formed, Shoup's organization offered annual Santa tracking as a service to the global community. A phone number was publicized and anyone was invited to call up, especially on December 24, and find out where Santa was. Manning those phones over the years have been countless numbers of Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps personnel and their families, and for many people, turning to NORAD to find out where Santa is became something to look forward to each year.

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From January 6, 2014 - By Kevin Noland

If God had intended me to roller skate, I would have been born with wheels on my feet.

I never was really very good at skating, although I went skating all the time as a kid (mostly for the chicks). I also tried to look cool with a skateboard a couple of times. When I was a kid, the boards were made of wood with skate wheels bolted on. We usually made our own and we crashed hard.

I remember my mom taking me once and she blew me away with her skating skills. My mom could actually skate backwards. I thought she was some sort of freak of nature, but then I saw everyone was doing it, except me. I only did it by accident a couple of times resulting in horrific falls.

On Saturday, January 11, 2014 my Grandson Kycen is turning 4 and someone put the idea in his head that he wants to have a skating party. I checked, he doesnít have wheels on his feet either. I plan on being a spectator at this event.

Happy Birthday Kycen!

KWIBS - From December 30, 2013 - By Kevin Noland 

What an incredible year 2013 was! I reflected on this as I wrote my last column of the year. Itís customary for us to do a "Year in Review" during the last week of the year. I donít do a Christmas letter, but each year I try to put something in the paper about the past year along with the highlights that made the news.

2013 didnít start off so good for me and my family and it almost ended badly for us, but by the grace of God, I got through it and youíll have to put up with me another year!

In January, my dad passed away. Ronald D. Noland was 66 years old. He died on my grandsonís birthday on January 11, 2013. It was a sad, but joyous day because my dad had suffered from dementia and his quality of life had really taken a turn for the worse in the past couple of years. Iíll never forget where I was when the Attica Nursing home called me. I was cheering on the Indians at a home basketball game. It was a cold Friday night. I left to meet the ambulance at Medicine Lodge Memorial Hospital, but the nursing home misunderstood and sent his body to a Harper County hospital. I laughed and cried all at the same time.

I was fortunate to see him Wednesday of that week. When I was about to leave the nursing home, he called out to me as though he wasnít ready for me to leave. I helped him up and we walked to his room where he laid down. I said good-bye, kissed him on his head and left.

At his funeral, my son Joey pointed out that his name was printed "Ronald D. Roland" on the program and the poor Priest who did his mass didnít know any better, so all through his service, his name was wrong. Each time his name was announced, we all started chuckling. I find it ironic that my dad made a living spelling peoplesí names in the paper. Sometimes he got them right and sometimes he got them wrong. He would have thought that was pretty amusing. I miss him every day, but I know he is at peace.

Ronda and I decided we were taking a much needed time off and took a break in March. We have been married for 25 years and took 6 days off. It was the most time off we had ever had. We left home and drove to watch some friends play in a music festival in Austin, TX. Then we drove to Corpus Christi to the beach. Later we drove back up to San Antonio and met up with Rondaís dad and stepmother who were also celebrating their 25th anniversary. They married one month before we did back in 1988.

On our way home, we stopped and visited my Uncle Gary Noland and his family. We had just seen them in January at my dadís funeral, but it was great catching up with them. My Cousin Michelle is a trainer of Equestrian horse riding at Confederate Park Farm in Fort Worth. She competes nationally and if not for an injury, was attempting to qualify to compete in the Olympics.

Our friends Dameon and Gabe Arandaís album "Stop The World" had three songs break the top 30 Alternative Rock charts. We were privileged to see them showcase their music with their record label in Austin back in March and they gave us tickets to Kansas City in May to watch them perform at a festival with more than 55,000 people in attendance. Itís great knowing someone who has worked so hard to be successful in the industry - kind of like another person we know, Martina McBride!

Dameon and Gabe toured with Three Doors Down and Chris Daughtrey and Hinder the first half of 2013. Those brothers came to Kansas a couple of times where I was privileged to run sound for them at a couple of private events. This month, they began recording their third album. Weíre real proud of them and excited to hear it.

In July we learned that Allegiance Communications was closing their Medicine Lodge office. We just happened to be their landlord. After more than 20 years at our 110 N. Main location, we moved one building to the south at 108 N. Main.

The task of moving 20 years of accumulation was a trying ordeal. With the help of my boys and Tim Morford, we got it done in three weeks. Six months later, we still have trouble finding the tape gun and a few office supplies, but we are in and mostly organized.

In September, my wifeís Grandmother Mildred Meairs celebrated her 90th birthday and my Granddaughter Baylee turned 1! Taking photos of the generations of girls in my family was a proud moment!

In late September the Peace Treaty Association revived Indian Summer Days. Several community groups got together and put on a really fun weekend and it reminded us that we have a culture to share that is unique and, with some patience, we can grow it into events to be held during the off years of Peace Treaty.

I wonít lie and Iím not playing favorites with my kids, but this fall I became a high school football junkie as I traveled (what seemed like the world) to see the Friday night lights and watch my Son Nicholas and his teammates play. The new coaches - Josh Ybarra, Judd Dohrmann, Shane Hahn and Mike Stull helped our young Indians to have a new attitude and courage to compete in a very tough league. Iím proud of them all!

Just before Thanksgiving, we lost our Aunt Shirley Peachey from the Sawyer area. Aunt Shirley had spent more than 10 years in a nursing home in Cunningham and didnít know her family anymore. It was sad to let her go, but just like my father, she no longer suffers from her illness. She was once a winner of the Barber County Spelling Bee and was the Barber County Beauty Queen in the 1940s. She was a beautiful and kind spirit - pretty and smart!

Just a week after her death there were 9 obituaries in our newspaper. I could have been #10, but fortunately my condition was caught early and I received the care I needed to make a full recovery. On December 1st, I had some pain in my shoulder that eventually landed me in the Kansas Heart Hospital where I received a lifesaving procedure. Iím fortunate to have had the smarts enough to go to the ER and also had the good fortune of Dr. Meador and his PA Danielle Kelly being there to recognize what was wrong.

So I am almost a month ahead of everyone who will be making a new yearsí resolution to eat healthier and exercise. Having this experience happen at the holidays was not how I wanted to end the year, but I am glad to be here.

? ? ? ?

Now each year I try to make my choice of Premiere Person of the year and give a simple explanation why I chose this person.

This year I want to name Cindy Brungardt as my choice.

This year she became the face of the Medicine Lodge Area Chamber of Commerce and opened "My Happy Place" on Main Street.

Cindy loves to be involved in the community and has been a cheerleader for businesses in Medicine Lodge. Sheís organized several community events this year and as a chamber member and board member, I canít think of another person who could have done what she did.

Cindy receives little recognition and compensation for all of her work. I, for one, along with the Chamber of Commerce, want to recognize her and thank her for all of the hard work she does.

Happy New Year!


KWIBS - From December 23, 2013 - By Kevin Noland

First, let me set the tone. Iím not banging away on my keyboard at my desk in anger. Iím actually quite calm and maybe even a little sad.

Every year at about the same time of year we all get to hear about "attacks on Christmas" by various news sources.

I used to get all worked up over someone telling me "Happy Holidays." Now I just say "Merry Christmas" and go on my way. Itís their right to believe in what ever they want and celebrate the holiday season any way they want.

But, itís gotten to the point of ridiculous in some areas of the country. An elementary school in Frisco, Texas is believed to be the first in the state to violate "The Merry Christmas Law" after they banned Christmas trees and the colors red & green from an upcoming "winter" party.

The "Merry Christmas Law", passed nearly unanimously by the Texas legislature this year, allows students and district staff to "offer traditional greetings regarding celebrations, including 'Merry Christmas,' 'Happy Hanukkah' and 'Happy Holidays'." We need laws now to protect colors?

Somehow antireligious/anti-faith groups feel this is a violation of their constitutional rights and are coming up with ways to challenge Christmas celebrations in communities across America.

An atheist billboard in Times Square is telling New Yorkers to take the Christ out of Christmas.

The digital billboard from American Atheists, an atheism-advocacy group, is now running in Times Square asking onlookers "Who needs Christ during Christmas?"

Well, I do for one along with millions of others.

Satanists want to take the war against Christians a step further. The Satanic Temple would like to erect a public monument to Oklahomaís Capitol Preservation Commission for display upon Oklahoma Cityís capitol grounds. Described as an "homage" to Satan, the purpose of the monument is to complement and contrast the Ten Commandments monument that already resides on the North side of the building. The donation offer has been submitted and is currently awaiting the commissionís reply.

More so than these being attacks on Christmas, they are attacks on the Christian faith and it is nothing new. The first attack on Christmas came when Herod the great sought to kill the new born king and sent a hit squad to Bethlehem to murder all boys between the ages of birth and two years old.

The Massacre of the Innocents is the biblical narrative of infanticide by Herod the Great, the Roman appointed King of the Jews. According to the Gospel of Matthew, Herod ordered the execution of all young male children in the "Vicinity of Bethlehem, so as to avoid the loss of his throne to a newborn King of the Jews whose birth had been announced to him by the Magi. In typical Matthean style it is understood as the fulfillment of an Old Testament prophecy: "Then was fulfilled that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet, saying, "A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are no more."

Tell me again that this Herod guy wasnít a believer of prophecy? Of course, some atheist would probably want to challenge the validity of that account.

Needing some faith simply not to believe, Atheism is a religion all its own and is as old or older than Christianity itself. In 2007, 15 percent of Americans considered themselves "unaffiliated" with any religion, according to a Pew Research Center survey. By 2013 , that number had jumped to 20 percent.

That figure includes more than 13 million self-described atheists and agnostics and almost 33 million people who say they have no particular religious affiliation, according to the study.

Maybe we should give these people their monument? Whatever we do, I donít want to hate them for believing differently than I do.

When it comes to hating religion or religious characters, the focus seems to always be on Christianity.

Author Josh McDowell once wrote, "Why don't the names of Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius offend people? The reason is that these others didn't claim to be God, but Jesus did."

I want to be able to celebrate Christmas without being ragged on by atheists, agnostics or Satanists. Iím not asking them to put up a Christmas tree or go to church on Christmas eve. Iím not asking them to put up a manger scene in their front yard. Just respect me if I do. I just feel like maybe there is an extreme intolerance by nonbelievers towards any expression of Christian faith.

Look, I realize the actual birthdate of Jesus might be in question, but not the meaning of what we celebrate. I donít know about you, but I am celebrating the birth of Jesus this holiday season. I wonít be offended if you just merely want to observe a day of thankfulness and gift-giving. Please donít tread on my faith though. I am sorry if it offends you. Iím not ashamed of that.

And I wish you a Merry Christmas!


KWIBS - From December 16, 2013 - By Kevin Noland

Each year I try to include a reminder about the Bill of Rights Day. This year, Executive Director for Kansas Press Association Doug Anstaette submitted a column that I wanted to pass along to my readers.

Thereís a commercial right now that shows a huge cloud of dust and says, "Weíre willing to bet no kid ever grew up with a poster of a Passat on his bedroom wall." Itís an advertisement for a Dodge Charger, a muscle car.

Likewise, few of us grew up with a poster of Virginian George Mason gracing our wall, either.

For sure, Mason was no Miley Cyrus, Mick Jagger, Madonna, Prince, John Lennon or Elvis Presley, some of the top celebrities of the past 50 years.

But what he did for his fellow Americans more than two centuries ago blows away what any "Hollywood idol" has ever accomplished.

Do you like to speak out about your government?

Do you appreciate a free press that can ferret out fraud, abuse, malfeasance and corruption?

Do you freely exercise your right to worship God, or not to worship at all?

Do you relish the fact that you cannot be jailed without cause, that cruel and unusual punishment is banned and that unreasonable searches and seizures are condemned?

Are you happy that your right to bear arms protects you and your neighbors from criminal elements and from a tyrannical government?

If so, then you owe a debt of gratitude to George Mason. For it was this stubborn defender of the individual rights of his fellow citizens who almost singlehandedly guaranteed that our newly minted but flawed Constitution would be amended to include a list of those rights.

We call those first 10 amendments the Bill of Rights, and that is just what they are. These statements indicate our government must be subordinate to our individual rights to freedom, liberty and justice.

Dec. 15 is the 222th anniversary of the day the Bill of Rights was ratified.

Mason never liked politics, but after penning the Virginia Declaration of Rights that was adopted along with the Virginia Constitution, he participated in the Constitutional Convention. Disgusted, however, he refused to sign the new national constitution because it lacked a specific listing of individual freedoms. He went home from the convention disillusioned and as an outspoken opponent of ratification.

Fortunately for us, his stubbornness paid off. Within two years, the Bill of Rights was adopted and we continue today to enjoy the individual freedoms spelled out for every citizen in those first 10 amendments to the Constitution.

Today, we might wonder about the state of our rights. With the revelations about spying by the National Security Agency, drones taking pictures of our every move and little of our private lives seemingly "private" any more, we may wonder if the Bill of Rights really matters today.

It most certainly does. For it is the Bill of Rights that allows us to call into question every move our government makes. It allows us to stand on the street corner or march on Topeka or Washington demanding more accountability from government. It allows us to say "enough is enough" when our rights are in jeopardy.

When government goes too far, we can petition for a "redress of grievances," something few nations across the world allow.

Rest assured, George Masonís stubborn determination helped guarantee those rights to every American, then and today.

No, his poster isnít on our walls and likely never will be, but every time we exercise our individual rights, we create of "living poster" of George Mason.

KWIBS - From December 9, 2013 - By Kevin Noland

Well, I finally got the tour of the new ER and Hospital wing Sunday evening, December 1st. It wasnít exactly how I wanted to see it, but I must say it is impressive!

In 2005 I had some artery blockage that required a heart cath and stents. Almost 8 years later, a clot formed in that same artery and Dr. Meador and his staff got me treated and sent me in for some surgery in the wee hours of Monday morning at the Kansas Heart Hospital.

Itís Wednesday as I write this from my desk, in my office. Iím glad to be here. I know, I need to rest, but the newspaper never stops. As soon as I finish this column, I will go home and rest. Iíll be resting for a couple of weeks, but plan to make a miraculous recovery and be as annoying and obnoxious as before. I do apologize for missing a few basketball games this week and the scrimmage.

Iím so thankful that our community has such a great Doctor, and long time friend, who convinced me to come in and get checked out. Pete Meador only gets recognition in the paper for a once in a lifetime hole in one and for saving my life a couple of times. He deserves better. :)

His PAC, nursing staff and ambulance crew at MLMH are exceptional, professional and kind when treating a patient. Thatís hard to do when the patient is me.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From December 2, 2013 - By Kevin Noland

As many of you, me included, begin our holiday shopping, take note of this interesting story. I read this week written by Will Lerner of "Odd News".

Back in 2008, a lady named Jen Palmer left a negative review of on the website when she never received an order she had placed. Now, almost five years later, sheís still being asked to pay a fine by for a whopping $3,500. Why? Letís start at the beginning.

As KUTV 2 News reports , Jen claims that in 2008, after she had ordered a "number of trinkets," from KlearGear she waited 30 days but never got the ordered items and PayPal canceled the payment. After attempts to speak with someone at the company failed, she took to, complaining "there is absolutely no way to get in touch with a physical human being," and that they have "horrible customer service practices."

Cut to 2010. KlearGear emailed, maintaining Jen violated a non-disparagement clause hidden within the terms of sale:

"In an effort to ensure fair and honest public feedback, and to prevent the publishing of libelous content in any form, your acceptance of this sales contract prohibits you from taking any action that negatively impacts, its reputation, products, services, management or employees."

They said that Jen had 72 hours to remove the post, or face a $3,500 fine. And if they didnít get their money, they would report them to a credit bureau, which in turn would damage their credit rating.

Nervous over the fine, Jen tried to comply. She went to and asked them to remove the post. In a sad bit of poetic irony, they told her that they wouldnít do it without receiving $2,000 themselves. It was then that the Palmers decided to fight the $3,500 fine with the credit bureaus. However, insists itís valid and so now the Palmers are being denied loans for a new car and house repairs. Jen is furious, telling KUTV, "This is fraud. Theyíre blackmailing us for telling the truth." Now in 2013, sheís reaching out to the media for help.

KUTVís investigative segment, Get Gephardt, found that Jen isnít the only person who has had problems with and found other people have posted bad reviews on Ripoff Report and other similar websites. They spoke with attorney Jeff Hunt, an expert on First Amendment matters. He seemed surprised by this, telling them:

"I think this is outrageous that a company like this would force a consumer to relinquish their first amendment rights to speak about their product as a condition of sale. I've never seen anything like itÖI have a serious question about whether a court would enforce that kind of covenant because it's massively over broad and against public policy."

Get Gephardt tried calling, but like Jen, wasnít able to speak with someone on the phone. Through email, an unidentified employee wrote them saying it wasnít blackmail, but rather, "a diligent effort to help them avoid [the fine]." Ok.

Jen and her husband say that canít afford an attorney, but are still fighting the black spot on their credit report. In the meantime, theyíre warning others about KlearGearís sneaky terms of sale.


KWIBS - From November 25, 2013 - By Kevin Noland

Here we are. Another holiday season is upon us. Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate with family and count your blessings.

Iíve really enjoyed the Facebook posts on what people are thankful for. I'm not disciplined enough to write one per day like many of you, but thought a lot about it.

Iím thankful for where I live. Iím thankful for Medicine Lodge.

This morning I woke up in a warm home that I own, in a country where I'm free and considered wealthier than 95% more of my fellow earthly inhabitants. I'm thankful that when I get up, there's coffee waiting for me, clean towels, clean clothes and a clean house. Then I think about being so thankful that my wife and I and our three children are relatively healthy and mentally well and safe in our day to day lives. They go to work and schools where we have instructors and teachers, coaches and administration who share my values and care about their well being.

I am thankful that I'm even blessed with grandchildren, one who also attends schools near where I live and work. Iím so thankful for the joy they bring me and Ronda. I'm thankful I still have one parent who still lives near me and works with us, a father in law and mother in law who are making plans to be closer to us, a grandmother who is 90 years old and still living at home.

Iím thankful for my dog, Hyde! Even when I have a busy period when I donít get to spend a lot of time with him, when I do, heís always happy to see me and gives me unconditional love.

Although I waste a lot of my time on it, Iím thankful for the Internet and technology. Things I am able to do today with the newspaper werenít possible when we started more than 20 years ago. It has helped not just with business, but personal too. I get to keep in touch with friends and loved ones who live far away. I can see them, almost face to face, and talk with them and watch their families grow.

I'm thankful that those who work for us are here to help our businesses succeed and we hope they know that we appreciate their hard work.

I'm reminded everyday how thankful we are to have plenty of food and good water and services in our community. I am thankful for protection and service from local law enforcement, EMTs and fire departments and their volunteers. I am thankful for the doctors and nurses at MLMH who treat us and help when we are sick. I'm thankful that many groups in town are bent in seeing people blessed by their selfless acts of volunteering and giving spirits.

Finally, I am thankful for those whom I love and call my friends and family and pray for other relationships to grow and heal.

I think the thing I'm most thankful for is the sacrifice that Jesus willingly made for me. I thank Him for taking my sins and forgiving them and the many more I will commit and not hold them accountable to me through His grace and mercy.

During the past few weeks, our local ministerial alliance held community Thanksgiving lunches. Each of the pastors echoed my very sentiments. Iím thankful that we got together as a community and had those lunches. I hope they will continue. I posted this on Facebook a few weeks ago, so I was thrilled when Rodney Worsham, Pastor at First Assembly, gave his sermon on the same thing on Tuesday at the last luncheon.

My hope is that you are thankful for many of the same things. At the very least, I'm thankful that you could read this!

Happy Thanksgiving!

KWIBS - From November 18, 2013 - By Kevin Noland

I got this story from Michael Blankenship this week. Itís a great illustration of what runaway government looks like. I hope you enjoy it.

Once upon a time the government had a vast scrap yard in the middle of the desert. Congress said "someone may steal from it in the night," so they created a night watchman position, at the GS-4 position and hired a person.

Then Congress said, "how does the person do his job without instruction?" So they created a planning position and hired two (2) people, one person to write the instructions (GS-12) and one person to do the time studies, GS-11. Then Congress said "how will we know the person is doing the tasks correctly?"

So Congress created a Quality Assurance Position and hired two (2) people, one GS-9 position to do the studies and one GS-11 position to write the report. Then Congress asked, "How are these people going to get paid?" So, they created the following positions, one time and attendance person (GS-9), and a payroll officer (GS-11), and hired two people.

Then Congress asked, "Who will be accountable for all these people?" So they created an administrative position and hired three people, an Administrative Officer (GS-13), an Assistant Administrative Officer (GS-12) and a Legal Secretary (GS-09).

Then Congress said, "Who is in charge of this operation?" So they hired a manager (GS-14). Then Congress audited the position and discovered they were $93,000 over budget. So, they laid off the night watchman.

Remember this quote by Thomas Jefferson: "When the representative body have lost the confidence of their constituents, when they have notoriously made sale of their most valuable rights, when they have assumed to themselves powers which the people never put into their hands, then indeed their continuing in office becomes dangerous to the state, and calls for an exercise of the power of dissolution."

KWIBS - From November 4, 2013 - By Kevin Noland

I remember well when the tall, thin gentlemen came in to my office in October of 1992 and introduced himself as the new owner of Hibbards.

We had only been in business ourselves for a few short months before one of the oldest existing businesses on Main Street changed hands. Hibbards was an anchor on Main Street owned by Dub Rickard.

John Hagood extended his hand in friendship that day. Now some 20 plus years later, he turns the reins over to Lance and Sloane Freeman, who officially took over the business on Friday. Lance wasted no time in extending his hand last week.

I want to personally thank John and Barbara for all of their service to the community and to their customers for all of these years. They have been kind and compassionate and will be missed. John will still be a familiar face behind the counter. Barb says sheís retiring.

Lance and Sloane are eager to become a part of the community. I wish them all the best of success in their new adventure.

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If I were to write a long embarrassing story about my wife for her birthday, I would be welcoming harm to my physical being.

So, Iíll write a short one.

Twenty years ago we were celebrating her birthday and she proudly proclaimed, "Iím a half of a century old!"

Well, she wasnít and since you all are probably better at math than she "was", you can figure out how old she is now!

My beautiful bride of 25 years celebrated her birthday over the weekend. I love you babe. Youíre almost a half a century old!

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From October 28, 2013 - By Kevin Noland

Joey was just 4 years old when he learned to ride a bicycle. We lived out in the country, so me teaching one of the kids to ride a bike was me pushing them down a slight incline in a field somewhere on the ranch. Once we got steering down, we worked on peddling.

I was coming home from Haviland one evening and saw a for sale sign on a little motorcycle near Greensburg and pulled in.

The guy wanted $600 for it and I knew that Joey would just love it. Without the consent of my wife or the use of my brain, I bought that motorcycle, put it in the back of my truck and took it home. Besides, his older sister, Breeann, had her own motorcycle. She was 7. I thought it was a good idea. They would have a great time together.

Joey and Breeann met me in the driveway, so did their mother. She didnít look nearly as excited as me and the kids. I told Joey to go inside and get his leather jacket and gloves. He already had a helmet on when I got there. Heíd been riding his bicycle - safety first..... Did I mention that he had just learned to ride a bicycle two weeks prior to me purchasing this motorcycle? Oh, well he did, sort of.

Joey came out of the house dressed like a member of Hellís Angels, only shorter and cuter.

I put some gas in the motorcycle and fired it up. His sister was already out on her motorcycle driving it around in a counter clockwise circle in our backyard, which was just a mowed field with a slight incline. Itís the same place Joey learned to ride his bicycle. Did I mention that was two weeks before this event?

So we did the quick tutorial on the motorcycle. Gas (makes it go) - check; brakes (makes it stop) - check; kill switch (also will eventually make it stop) - check. That should have been easy enough for a 4 year old, I thought.

He had the biggest smile on his face when I set him on that bike. My intentions were to slowly drive down the yard and have him follow his sister around a couple of times. I would be right beside him, I assured his mother.

But something went horribly wrong.

The smile on his face, and mine, turned to contorted fear as Joey ignored the break-in instructions, giving the throttle a wide open twist. With that, the front tire left the ground and he was off and running with me about 20 feet behind him yelling, "Brakes! Kill switch! Let off the gas!" and finally "Jump!", to which he ignored all.

Joey was full tilt and heading for a 4 wire barbed wire fence in front of him and to his right, and a 2 railed 2" x 6" wood fence to his left. He stayed on course and went straight for the barbed wire and I was praying that all of his leather, helmet and luck would keeping him from ripping to shreds.

At the very last possible minute, in a move that Evel Knievel would have been proud of, Joey took a hard left and missed the barb wired fence. Now he was traveling faster than humanly possible to chase after on foot, all the while I am screaming for him to JUMP! He headed straight for the wood railed fence.

Joey hit that fence going about 25 mph and broke both boards with the front of the motorcycle and his helmet. Heíd managed to end up with the motorcycle on top of him, still spinning at full throttle. I finally caught up to him with his mother closely on my heels. I pulled off the bike and hit the kill switch.

Joey didnít have a scratch on him. He was scared and crying, but nothing was broken, except for the $600 motorcycle I just bought him that afternoon. The fiberglass fender was in 10,000 pieces on the ground and the front tire was bent clear into the frame and engine.

We both got lucky that day. The closest anyone got to actually being injured was me by the hands of his mother.

The motorcycle sat in the garage for a few more years after that. One day, I got out a chain and pulled the forks out of the frame and fired it up. Joey was big enough to ride it now with some respect.

He rode the heck out of the little motorcycle that day with a lot of confidence for someone who had wrecked it pretty badly only a few years before.

My dad and I were out building a fence while Joey was riding up and down a hill near us. Dad and I stopped to marvel at him doing little jumps and racing down the hill. Thatís when it happened. The front tire caught just the right amount of dirt and it sent Joey up and over the handlebars. I couldnít believe what I was seeing. His mother would never forgive me this time. Somehow, with great skill, or dumb luck, he cleared the handlebars and got his feet under him and ran down the hill until he regained control of his momentum. Again, not a scratch on him. His motorcycle tumbled beside him and ended up in a pile at the bottom of the hill.

I remember my dad bursting out into laughter. He was a former MX racer in his younger years. I was a pretty good rider in my day as well, but any spill either of us had ever taken couldnít hold a candle to Joeyís ability to avoid injury.

To this day I donít know whether I am in the running for worldís best father or worldís worst father.

I might get my answer after this column.

Joey survived several more accidents over his teen years like a bad kneeboard experience that left him with a dislocated shoulder. He also ran his car off the road one night on a dirt road, but he wasnít hurt and the truck really wasnít either. The worst injury he probably took was just last year when he went to get his college vaccinations. He didnít do so well with the needles. He passed out after getting the shot and fell down on the sidewalk outside the health department.

Today, Joey turns 21 years old. He almost didnít make it to 21 because of his dadís poor judgment and a few of his own bad decisions. Iíd like to think heís a more cautious and reserved person today because of these near death experiences. Joey, I love you and I hope you have a great and safe 21st birthday.

Happy birthday Joey Knievel.


KWIBS - From October 21, 2013 - By Kevin Noland

K. Noland Photo

Chiefs X-Factor visits fans

Sheriff Justin Rugg introduced X-Factor Kansas City Chiefís Fan Ty Rowton to people in North and South Barber on Tuesday, October 15th. Rowton fired up the fans in Kansas City last week when the stadium broke the Guinness Book of World Records for the loudest stadium, hitting 137.5 decibels. Pictured with Sheriff Rugg and Rowton is Mike Roe, local businessman, who was at Kansas City for the record breaking event. Sheriff Rugg has become an avid fan of the Chiefs after the poor performance of the Minnesota Vikings and their 1-4 record.


KWIBS - From October 7, 2013 - By Kevin Noland

What a fantastic weekend we had September 27-29. If you didnít attend Indian Summer Days, you really missed out.

This collaborative effort was made possible by many groups and orgainizations coming together and it was a HUGE success. I hope this was the first of many celebrations we can do as a community.

I want to name everyone who did something, but I am afraid I would miss someone. All of you were important to the success of Indian Summer Days whether you were in charge of one of the events or a participant. Thank you to The City of Medicine Lodge Tourism Committee for their funding,

The town had something going on almost every minute of the day. I liked that. I also liked taking photos and videos of people having a good time. I got hundreds of those and you can see them by liking our page on Facebook.

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Thatís kind of a nice segway to my next topic. October 6-12 is National Newspaper Week. It is my pleasure, dream job, to bring you the news each week.

The following editorial is by Caroline H. Little

Newspapers are still the

cornerstone of democracy

Weíve been calling it the end of an era for a long time now.

Itís supposed to be the end of newspapers, according to naysayers who have been predicting their ultimate demise for years. But the facts prove the newspaper industry is growing and transforming rather than dying. Of course, there are always bumps in the road to innovation, but as it turns out, weíre actually in the midst of a promising and exciting time.

Top businessmen and investors such as Warren Buffet, John Henry and Jeff Bezos are demonstrating that newspapers are still lucrative investments. And despite gloomy predictions, our circulation revenue is actually rising.

Weíre experimenting and transforming to match the pace of our innovative and digitally-driven world. Digital and bundled subscriptions accounted for a five percent uptick in circulation revenue in 2012 Ė the first national rise in circulation revenue since 2003.

Newspaper content is now ubiquitous, available and accessed on every platform and device. Recent Scarborough research also shows that across all print, digital and mobile platforms, a full 70 percent of U.S. adults read newspaper content each week. Thatís more than 164 million adults Ė 144 million of whom, still pick up the print copy.

And despite the common perception that the younger, digitally-native generation has abandoned newspapers, this study shows quite the opposite. Some 57 percent of young adults, ranging in age from 18 to 34, read newspaper content in a given week. This is a strong indication that the industry is still a relevant and vital source of information, even to Millennials, who coincidentally also contribute heavily to the growth of mobile readership, which jumped 58 percent over the last year.

The reason for this is simple. With the deluge of information available on the Internet, people of all ages rely heavily on sources they trust to provide accurate content and quickly sift fact from fiction.

Newspapers consistently and reliably provide the most up-to-date, accurate and important news. And our audiences recognize this, rating newspapers as the most trusted of all media forms in a recent Nielsen study. While 56 percent say they trust newspapers, 52 percent trust local television and only 37 percent trust social media.

Todayís technology has only proven how valuable this content is by providing a platform to widen the audience for each story, which can now be taken and repeated, shared, tweeted, condensed and emailed countless times a day.

Newspapers have always been the cornerstone of our society, and that did not change with the digital revolution. Ever since the Philadelphia Evening Post first published the Declaration of Independence, our newspapers have continued to unite us as communities and as a nation. News media connects us through stories, keeping us informed on school board decisions, local heroes, national budgets and international conflict.

The publicís right to know is essential to preserving our unique American democracy, and newspapers serve the vital role of independent watchdogs Ė keeping governments, businesses and other institutions in check. Without a free press that can protect its sources, American democracy will suffer.

The newspaper industry will continue to innovate and transform with the times, just like any other industry. But one thing will never change: Our historic promise to connect, inform, investigate and foster an educated society.


KWIBS - From September 23, 2013 - By Kevin Noland

Itís finally here - the weekend weíve been writing about for the past few months. Indian Summer Days officially kicks off on Friday night with a free bean feed at the Stockade Museum, sponsored by Rick Swayden, with music to follow.

Iíve always wanted to write that line: bean feed, with music to follow.... sponsored by my friend Rick Swayden!

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Seriously, this is going to be a fun time. Several organizations have come together to bring you an event packed weekend. Some of the highlights include the Kansas Championship Ranch Rodeo, now in its 25th year.!!! The Rodeo will feature RW Hampton before the show. Donít miss that! Also, for the first time in over a decade, an authentic Native American PowWow will be held in the city park that is free to the public! There will be fun things going on down town all day Saturday that are FREE for the family!!! Over 225 people registered for the all-school reunion, so even if you didnít register, you should see many familiar faces back in town. My hopes are that you will all gather downtown on Main Street at the end of the day for "Lucky People". A personal friend of mine is in the band and these guys are GREAT musicians. You wonít be disappointed! The PowWow continues on Sunday with vendors in the park. Iíve met those in charge of the event and I am excited to see some dancing!

The Peace Treaty Association, Octoberfest Committee, Kansas Championship Ranch Rodeo, MLHS All-School Reunion Committee, The Medicine Lodge Area Chamber of Commerce, Friends of the Feather and The City of Medicine Lodge Tourism Committee welcome you and your friends and family to our town! If itís the first time or the 100th time youíve been here, we hope you find our community to be a fun place to visit!

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From September 16, 2013 - By Kevin Noland

Happy Birthday
Baylee!! She turns 1 on  Tuesday, Sept. 17!

KWIBS - From September 9, 2013 - By Kevin Noland

Joe Biden said about President Obama signing his health care bill into law, "This is a big f_ing deal."

That was tacky and unbecoming of a public official. Most would agree that event has spun off chaos nation-wide.

I can hardly compare that to the event that occurred last Monday night. First, I would never compare our cityís government to our nationís government; secondly, our council and mayor would never act like that or say those things, even when many in the community have jeered them publicly over the past year for making the "tough decisions."

"This was monumental," said Mayor Robert Stutler after the city signed the USDA water loan that will help Medicine Lodge to be a vibrant growing community for decades to come.

Iíve read many stories, past and present, about our cityís struggle to grow and most of them have been because of its limited infrastructure - mainly water. This is a hurdle we are about to overcome and with the help of so many professional people, I hope years in the future to read about how this one act changed our city for the good and brought about prosperity for our little community.

Itís a big deal....

KWIBS - From September 2, 2013 - By Kevin Noland

Ronda and I will sometimes take mini-weekend getaways.

Only one time in the history of our marriage and business have we taken 6 straight days off of work, so most of our trips have to be3-4 days in order to meet the deadline requirements of a newspaper. Many of my other newspaper friends experience this same sort of "ball and chain" effect.

The weekend before last we took a quick trip out to Colorado Springs. I did this trip reluctantly and had a sling of excuses of why I didnít want to go including: money, the kidsí schedules, timing, weather, stars not lining up perfectly, but in the end, we went.

It was our first trip together to Colorado. We had both been there before as kids, but that was nearly 28 years ago.

Going west on I-70 does not build excitement while traveling. If not for my oldest son being enrolled at Fort Hays, we may have turned around and gone home. 2 1/2 hours in to this trip was all I needed to remind me that western Kansas has less than interesting scenery. In fact. I napped from Hays to the Colorado line, only getting out of the truck once for a double shot expresso at Starbucks in Colby - even that didnít help.

Crossing in to Colorado, my expectations were high. Since I was 15 the last time I went, my mind had created an image of Colorado where I would be at death-defying altitudes once we crossed the border. I was wrong. It was just more Kansas dragged into Colorado... It was another couple of hours before we could faintly make out a mountain range, but it was worth it. Hereís my (apologetically unfunny) travel guide for the Springs area. We had a few things on our agenda that were "must do".

7 Falls: I counted them. They were all there. Ronda was cold, but the falls were pretty cool at night. I obviously wanted to spit over the side like every other man who ever visited 7 falls. I was also just like every other man who ever visited 7 falls whoís wife said, "NO".

Manitou Springs: Or "Metermaidville". This touristy little place is cool, but be prepared to pay to park EVERYWHERE! if you like art or paintings with pictures of Native Americans, this is the place to go.

Pikeís Peak Cog ride: We pulled in and a nice young man met us at the gate. "Whereís parking," I asked?

He said, "Right over there," pointing to a spot. We took the spot and walked back to the entrance.

"Are you here to ride the cog," he asked? We both answered with a "yes" and he smiled and said, "The last one for today left 20 minutes ago!" Thanks punk....

Cave of the Winds: Hereís a neat place for claustrophobic people like me to go. Be prepared to hear the line, "We take your picture at the beginning so that we can compare it to when we leave to make sure everyone comes out." Oh, and by the way, if you want a copy, itís $10 extra.

Our tour guide claimed that a couple of kids found it in the late 1800s and crawled inside. They heard a strange noise and then their candles blew out. They ran back to town and told everyone, but no one believed them. I didnít believe them either because there was absolutely no wind in there. I came to find out that in later years, the park sealed up the top of the caves that made the "wind" noise to keep out bears and other critters. I was ok with not having any wind.

We bought the package that included the chair zip line ride down the side of the mountain. That was really cool and you could ride as many times as you wanted or your heart could take. For me that was one time. We also could do the "Wind Walker Challenge Course" included in our ticket price.

After we came out alive from the caves with our picture... we went to this scary looking obstacle course with a 600 foot drop into Williams Canyon. I stood at the entrance for 10 minutes asking questions about the harnesses and wanting to know how scary it was. The girl encouraged me to try it and said it would, "build character". After a few more minutes of nudging, I said I would do it and she said, "Sorry, it closed 5 minutes ago. Didnít the ticket people tell you?" Thanks punk....

Now for the things that didnít cost anything and were punk-free!

Garden of the Gods: The area was first called Red Rock Corral. Then, in August 1859, two surveyors who helped to set up Colorado City explored the site. One of the surveyors, M. S. Beach, suggested that it would be a "capital place for a beer garden." His companion, the young Rufus Cable, awestruck by the impressive rock formations, exclaimed, "Beer Garden! Why it is a fit place for the gods to assemble. We will call it the Garden of the Gods."

In 1879, Charles Elliott Perkins purchased 480 acres of land that included a portion of the present Garden of the Gods. Upon Perkinís death, his family gave the land to the City of Colorado Springs in 1909, with the provision that it would be a free public park. This is free and the most spectacular thing I have ever seen. If you go, make sure to take advantage of the bathroom near the parking lot because once you leave that area, there isnít another one, or at least a "legal" one on the trail. I didnít take this advice and a few spots along the way, I tried to sneak off the path or climb a cliff to find a flower to water. I would have gotten away with it, but there was someone with a camera everywhere.

The Broadmoor Hotel: You can feel like a rich person and walk around this awesome hotel for free if you park 10 miles away or you can tip the valet guy $5 and heíll bring you back your truck when you ask. Either way, you still feel like a rich person. The view was beautiful and you got a towel and some hand lotion from a guy who hangs out in the menís room in the lobby bathroom.

The odd thing I found about this place was that everyone staying there must have brought their pet along. They had actual employees of the hotel whose job it was to walk guestís pets. Rates start at $320 per night for the cheap rooms.....

New Life Church: This was just a cool experience. If you are into Jesus, rocking praise music and a good message, check this place out. The people were super friendly and first time guests receive a free gift bag. Itís also the only church Iíve ever been to that you can eat lunch at the cafe or buy expresso at their coffee shop.

Leroy and Kathy Weberís house: I canít promise that youíll get the treatment we got, but hereís a nice couple who just moved from the Medicine Lodge area to be closer to their children. Their condo overlooks Garden of the Gods and Pikeís Peak and these two folks are the kindest and most gracious of people you could ever know. Thank you guys for your hospitality.

Monday, we clicked our heals together, I put a book in front of me and in a few short hours we stopped for gas at Colby. Opening the doors, the wind nearly knocked me down and I thought, ahhhhhhh Kansas....

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From August 19, 2013 - By Kevin Noland

I donít care if your child is 4 years old or 21 years old, itís just as hard when you have to send them to school.

We got a double dose of sorts this past week. On Thursday we sent Joey back to Fort Hays State University and on Thursday of this week, weíll be sending our grandson Kycen to his first day of preschool at MLGS.

My little MLGS Indian and my FHSU Tiger!

KWIBS - From August 12, 2013 - By Kevin Noland

Ronda and I have been AFS host parents twice over the years. Once we hosted "Frank" from China and then two years ago we hosted "Elli" from Austria.

They become your children while theyíre here and then they go home, but sometimes they come back! Elizabeth Unger has spent the past three of weeks with us and we took her to the airport on Friday for her flight home.

If youíve every considered AFS or wanted to learn more about it, I would encourage you to look into it. AFS Heartland still needs to place 7 students. There are 6 boys and 1 girl that are still waiting for a host family. It is a great experience for your family. There have been several exchange students over the years that call Medicine Lodge their second home. We love our kids all over the world!

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From August 5, 2013 - By Kevin Noland

We made the move last week to 108 N. Main, just one building south of where we were.

For the past 21 years we had been at 110 N. Main. When our renter left next door, we decided it was time to make the move to the bigger offices.

Right now our offices are a little unorganized, but we have phones and computers and we managed to put out a newspaper this week. Just donít ask me where anything is because I havenít found it yet! Things are so unorganized, it took me nearly 10 minutes to find an envelope to mail a letter on Thursday. Thanks to Tim Morford, Elli Unger, Devin Schaffer, Nick and Joey Noland and the staff here for all of the help moving!

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Itís a sad day when I have to report the death of a colleague.

When I was 13 years old, my dad let me run the big old Goss Community 2 unit web press we had at The Barber County Index. I used to stand on milk crates to be able to reach the roller levers. The first newspaper I ever printed was The Kingman Journal (now called the Kingman Leader-Courier). Bob was a funny little man. He didnít come to Medicine Lodge much, but when he did, he and my dad would either polish off a bottle of scotch in the office or on the golf course. When I turned 14, I had the pleasure of not only getting to print the Kingman paper in the summers, but also drive it over to Bob every Monday and Thursday.

Bob passed away last Monday. It had been years since I had seen him, but I have fond memories of him.

Robert L. "Bob" McQuin, 88, died July 22, 2013 at Harry Hynes Hospice, Wichita.

He was born Aug. 13, 1924, at Chanute, Kansas the son of Charles Newton and Nellie Wheeler McQuin. A longtime Kingman resident, he was the former owner, editor and publisher of the Kingman Leader-Courier.

He was a member of Christ Church Episcopal and Lions Club, both of Kingman; the Kansas Press Association; and was a Red Cross Blood donor.

On Aug. 3, 1947, he married Beverly "Bev" Harnden at Medicine Lodge, Kansas; she died July 7, 2011. Survivors include sons Randall McQuin and partner Robert Motes; Judge Robert Scott McQuin and wife Lorene; daughter Connie Schoenhofer and husband Art; five grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. He was also preceded in death by brothers Charles, Jr., and Richard.

Funeral services were held Thursday, at Livingston Funeral Home, Kingman. Graveside services were 2:00 p.m., Thursday at the Highland Cemetery, Medicine Lodge, Kansas.

Memorials may be made with Harry Hynes Hospice, Christ Church Episcopal and Wheatlands Healthcare Center, all in care of the funeral home:

Livingston Funeral Home

1830 N Main

Kingman, Kansas 67068

Phone: 620-532-3322


KWIBS - From July 22, 2013 - By Kevin Noland

Some of the rumors you might be hearing about us are true, some are probably not.

It is true that after 21 years of The Gyp Hill Premiere at 110 N. Main, we will be closing the doors. However, we will be opening at our new location next door at 108 N. Main!

One of the rumors that is not true is that I kicked out Allegiance.

Allegiance notified us two weeks ago that they would be closing their local offices in Medicine Lodge. They had closed offices in several other towns and we took this as no surprise. We own that building and rent the one weíre in.

Thatís a long, strange story, but it goes something like this: In 1991 we started the newspaper in George and Janet Palmerís Flower Shop on Washington Street. We quickly outgrew that office and wanted to be a part of Main Street. Ann and Myrlen Bell and Frosty Sill had purchased the building at 110 N. Main, the old Brookís and Spencerís north half.

In the late 1990s, we had the opportunity to buy into the property at 108 N. Main. We leased that building to Multimedia Cablevision, who sold to Cox Communication, who sold to Allegiance Communications. Our lease ran for nearly 14 years. There was no reason to move from our location and I never wanted us to be the reason for an empty building on Main Street.

So, when we got our notice, I called Ann Bell to tell her that we would be leaving. Itís one of the hardest phone calls Iíve ever had to make. Usually, poor Ann gets a call from me because the air conditioner wouldnít come on, the toilet is plugged or some other "pain in the rear" phone call from me, but this was a call I never wanted to make.

Ann has been a Godsend to us. I made her a promise that I would work hard to find her a renter for 110 N. Main, not because Ann needs the money or anything, but because Ann cares about Main Street like I do. She doesnít want to see an empty building.

Within 12 hours of our call, someone noticed that Allegiance had closed and asked me about renting the building. Unfortunately, I had to decline because we were moving in, but I did show her around our current building and Iím happy to say that theyíve made arrangements to open a new business when we get all moved out!

So the work began last week. We anticipate that it will take at least a month to clear out the 21 years worth of accumulation at 110 N. Main and the 14 years at 108 N. Main. I want to thank Tim Morford, Joey Noland and Nick Noland for working so hard for us on this BIG project!

Weíll keep you posted on our progress.

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From July 15, 2013 - By Kevin Noland

Itís hot outside and if you are like me, you like to be near or in the water when the sun is shining and the temps are rising.

When I read the following information, I instantly decided my column would be a public service announcement this year. Ronda and I are very aware of the dangers that exist with our responsibilities at Lake Arrowhead and we have been fortunate to only know of one drowning incident in the 50 some years that the resort has been open..

Each year, millions of people enjoy spending time at Kansas lakes and rivers and return home with happy memories to share with others. Sadly, outdoor fun turned fatal for five people who drowned in Kansas waters the first week of July Ė including four who perished over the extended July 4th holiday. This brings the number of people who have been fatally injured or drowned in Kansas lakes, ponds and rivers so far this year to 13. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nearly half of all drownings in the U.S. occur in natural water settings.

Nine of the 13 incidents occurred when the victims were swimming or wading and were not boating related. Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) investigates boating accidents. Only one of the victims was wearing a life jacket. The following list of incidents was compiled from KDWPT and news reports:

July 6 Ė George Willenberg, 38, Hoisington, died at Wilson Reservoir while trying to swim across a cove in the Rock Town area after the boat he was on had mechanical problems.

July 5 Ė Oscar N. Rodriguez-Vargas, 29, Wichita, died at El Dorado Reservoir when he stepped from shallow water into deeper water while wading to a boat drifting offshore.

July 5 Ė Tommy Watt, 15, Clay Center, drowned while swimming in a private farm pond near Longford in Clay County.

July 4 Ė Khai Pu, 27, Thailand, drowned while swimming at the Hillsdale State Park swim beach in Miami County.

July 1 Ė Blake Chavez, 24, Oswego, died when he fell into the Neosho River below the Oswego dam.

June 29 Ė Marcus Marqaiz Hutton, 19, Wichita, died at Cheney Reservoir while swimming with friends after he helped another struggling swimmer to safety.

June 28 Ė James Struthers, 47, Junction City, died after falling from a boat near the city of Milford boat ramp.

June 11 Ė Derek Wheeler, 18, Salina, died at Kanopolis Reservoir after his kayak capsized.

June 10 Ė Nicolas Frazer, 14, Centralia, was fatally injured at Centralia City Lake when he was thrown from an inner tube being pulled behind a boat. He was wearing a life jacket, and was later pronounced dead at Nemaha Valley Community Hospital in Seneca.

June 8 Ė John Freeman, III, 40, Lyons died at Kanopolis Reservoir while swimming near his campsite.

May 27 Ė Travis Webb, 14, Haysville, drowned at Wellington City Lake while wading with friends.

May 26 Ė Vincent Rice, 37, Melvern, drowned at Melvern Reservoir while scuba diving in the area of the Coeur DíAlene swimming beach.

May 18 Ė Robert Duff, Jr., 2, City, fell from a boat and was airlifted to a Topeka hospital where he passed away.

According to Maj. Dan Hesket, KDWPT Boating Law Administrator, drowning incidents may be prevented with a few simple precautions:

Wear a life jacket at all times. Kansas law requires that all boats have one Type I, Type II, Type III, or Type V PFD of proper size, in serviceable condition, not in an enclosed compartment and readily accessible for each person on board. Anyone 12 years old and younger must wear a life jacket at all times when on board a boat. KDWPT strongly recommends that everyone wear a life jacket at all times when boating or swimming. Itís a great way for adults to set a good example.

Swim and wade with caution. Lakes and rivers arenít swimming pools and shouldnít be treated as such. Kansas lakes have wind, waves, underwater obstacles, sudden drop-offs and soft bottoms. Rivers can have deceptively strong currents. Many Kansas lakes also have currents because they were built by flooding a river channel. Also, most Kansas lakes are murky, making it nearly impossible to quickly locate someone who has slipped beneath the surface.

Donít dive into a lake since you canít see the water depth or underwater debris.

Know your limitations. Many people over estimate their ability to swim in open water. No one is drown-proof, no matter how much training or experience they have. Swimming in a lake is strenuous, and even strong swimmers can quickly become fatigued, disoriented, or overwhelmed by wind, waves and currents. Be particularly cautious if you have underlying medical issues or take medications that could impair your abilities.

Donít swim at night and donít swim alone. No one can see you if you get into trouble.

Avoid horseplay and risk-taking. Practical jokes or childish challenges like breath-holding contests have no place while swimming or boating. Most drownings in the U.S. happen to males Ė possibly because they may be more inclined to take risks than females.

Avoid alcohol and other drugs. In addition to impairing a personís judgment about lake conditions, alcohol increases the likelihood a swimmer will tire or become disoriented, hyperventilate, or gasp involuntarily.

Designate a lookout Ė Unlike the local swimming pool, there are no lifeguards on duty on Kansas waters, so itís a good idea to designate someone who can sound the alarm and respond appropriately if a swimmer gets into trouble. Rescuers should not attempt to approach a person struggling to stay afloat unless they are trained to do so. Even strong swimmers can drown trying to help others. Instead, stay on the boat or dock and extend a pole, oar, stick, rope, or clothing to reach the victim or throw something floatable to them.

Learn cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR). You could save someoneís life in the time it takes for emergency responders to arrive at a rural location.

Following these precautions can help make your next outdoor adventure a fond Ė rather than a tragic Ė memory for you, your family and friends.

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From July 8, 2013 - By Kevin Noland

If you want to feed a man for a day, give him a fish. Teach him to fish naked with a woman and you have a TV show, and people who are incredibly careful with fishing hooks.

One of my favorite networks, Discovery, has created a new series called "Naked & Afraid." I actually watched it by accident as I was watching Nik Wallenda walk over the Grand Canyon on a tight rope. He made it. I got bored and left the living room and when I came back, this show was on. I watched curiously as they blurred out body parts.

At first I was like, "Hey, they stole my idea!" But, actually my idea for a show was "Naked and cooking bacon." So, technically itís different.

The premise of the show? On each episode, a man and a woman have to survive 21 days in the wilderness together: naked, and with nothing but one personal item (I would pick sun screen, a toothbrush or maybe a helicopter). Oh, and thereís no prize involved at the end.

It sounds awkward. So when Shane and Kim met in Costa Rica, they decided to get that out of the way.

"Shane? Iím Kim. Should we talk about the fact that weíre both naked? Just check each other out," Kim quipped. "We might as well do it right now. Diffuse the tension. Yep, yep, yep," Shane replied.

After that, according to the reviews things became less about nudity and more about survival. For me, it never became anything other than two naked people wandering around outside in the jungle trying to catch things to eat. Shane and Kim only ate a few times in the three weeks -- both lost serious weight, and struggled. I canít even do the delicious shake meal replacement program, so I am not considering this as a weight loss program.

Discovery says participants are naked so the show is about the purest forms of survival or as I like to call it, "the purest forms of stupidity."

Yes, there are two naked people there and I am sure they get used to being that, but what about the camera crew? I would hate to be the editing guy who had to blur out all of the nudity for this show.

"No food. No water. No clothes," a narrator says during the opening credits. "Can a man and woman survive alone in the wilderness naked and afraid?"

As promised, the show delivers nakedness and I am sure most of the watching world was afraid of what TV entertainment has come to.

If Discovery gets away with it, it could ruin TV as I know and love it. I can only imagine the spin offs, "Naked and American Pickers," "Naked and Pawn Stars," "Naked Fox & Friends..."

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From June 24, 2013 - By Kevin Noland

Since the invention of the Internet, spreading the news has never been faster, or wronger....

I frequent a couple of local Facebook pages that contain rants from some citizens and noncitizens that make some pretty wild claims. Itís actually quite entertaining for me and Iíve gotten to the point where now I am contributing to the discussion on a couple of the forums.

I just canít help myself.

Published information should be factual and credible, no matter what the venue. If a newspaper made up wild, unsubstantiated claims like you see on Facebook, we would be out of business. Since Facebook is an open forum and not supported by advertising dollars, it is largely held unaccountable for the content.

Spreading misinformation is easy for anyone with a computer these days. I read on Facebook last week that people are leaving our town in what is almost described as an Exodus, and our town is "dieing" (should be dying, but I, more than anyone understand how typos happen.) Businesses and people would not want to come here! There are no jobs!

What? Did I miss something?

The simple truth is that this statement couldnít be further from the TRUTH. We are a prospering town. A town with our own unique struggles, but a prospering town. For years we have seen development and growth in industry. Weíve also got sales tax data to back that up. From a comparative standpoint, 2012 sales tax collections increased 40% when compared with 2009 sales tax collections when they were at their low point. Collections from January to March 2013 are up 150% over the same period last year. Sound much like a dying business community?

No jobs?

There are 11 jobs advertised this week in the paper. Some with educational experience required and some with GED or equivalent and some with no requirements at all. Donít sit at home behind your computer and tell me and the world that there is no one to hire you.

I speak with employers all of the time and their biggest struggle is finding people to work. If you donít have a job, itís not the fault of our economy or business community. Folks need to take a long look in the mirror to find the real problem for not finding work.

People leaving town must mean empty houses, right?

Have you tried to rent property lately? If you havenít, there practically isnít any to rent or buy. Iím guessing when these "people" are leaving the community, more must be coming in to live.

Did you know that as of September of 2012, 455 students were enrolled with USD #254? It is projected by the central office that the number will be 501 at the beginning of this school year!

I can easily count several families, young families - with lots of children, who have moved BACK to Medicine Lodge to make it their home! They are professionals like business owners, teachers and hospital office staff.

Many of these individuals have made some positive rebuttals against those who claim doom and gloom over our community. Theyíve seen other places and they want what Medicine Lodge has to offer.

I would encourage those who donít like it here to simply leave! Thatís right. I said it! Find a better community! Make room for the ones that want to be here!

I might sound a little mad because I am. Issues like, who picks up our trash, zoning and water restrictions do not define Medicine Lodge. They are simply challenges that many communities are faced with. Medicine Lodge is mostly made up of caring and concerned individuals who educate themselves on facts and are not driven to near madness by incoherent rants on Facebook.

So when you read some claim about Medicine Lodge dieing (dying), "the reports of her death are greatly exaggerated."


KWIBS - From June 17, 2013 - By Kevin Noland

Our office closed Wednesday afternoon and we all went down to the middle school at 1 p.m. to hear the announcement about the Clarke Challenge.

We made it!

For the past year weíve been reporting on the efforts to match $500,000 offered up by Mr. Clarke and not only did the community match it, it exceeded it - for a total of $607,473!

There was an overwhelming feeling of pride as the announcement was read. The community has truly taken ownership in the hospital and the new construction is currently underway. When the hospital is finished, it will be a state of the art facility that will give back to our community for many more years to come. Congratulations to everyone who helped, and special thanks to the foundation for their creative and hard work towards achieving this goal.

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On June 17, 1988, just a month after I graduated from MLHS, I married my high school sweetheart and my best friend.

Ronda and I will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary as this newspaper hits the stands. I live a blessed life. I hope she can say the same! Together we have three children and two grandchildren. We couldnít be prouder of our accomplishments and humbled by our failures.

We have an incredible story. Our journey has been full of thrills and spills and God has kept us together through it all.

I look at us all those years ago and I see a couple of kids. I look older, heavier and thinner on top; Ronda is frozen in time, looking as beautiful as the day I took her hand.

I love you Ronda. Happy Anniversary!


KWIBS - From June 3, 2013 - By Kevin Noland

Another Junefest went into the history books of Medicine Lodge.

June 3rd was an awesome day and it wouldnít have happened if it hadnít been for one very special lady driving it. Chamber Manager Cindy Brungardt hit a home run with Junefest. As a chamber member and a board member, I canít thank her enough for all her hard work! With her dedication, you can be sure that it will get better in the years to come.

What many people donít know is that there almost wasnít a Junefest. With the chamber recently reorganizing and timing being an issue, there were some who thought maybe the event should be sidelined, but Cindy wouldnít hear of it, and Iím glad she wouldnít take no for an answer.

Thank you Cindy! Youíre doing good things for Medicine Lodge and I hope more people fall in line to help you and encourage you.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From May 27, 2013 - By Kevin Noland

Water supplies are of great concern to our community.

It was one of the main issues I raised when I was running for county commissioner last year, but few seemed interested in talking about it. Recent rains have helped, but we need so much more to replenish underground supplies.

With our responsibilities with Lake Arrowhead, Ronda and I have been to several state level meetings concerning water supplies in Kansas. The news hasnít been good for a few years now and most folks have had a "bury their heads in the sand" attitude about water conservation. Some cities, including Medicine Lodge, have taken initiative in gathering data and monitoring supplies. This is only the beginning to a long process. Many communities in Western Kansas have implemented water rationing and issued "warnings" about their fresh water supplies.

Wichita city officials tackled this subject back in February when they discussed rapidly depleting supplies from the Cheney Reservoir. Wichita draws much of its water supply from Cheney and water levels have been down as much as 40%.

Itís time to talk about water.

The City of Medicine Lodge is holding a public meeting on Wednesday, May 29, 2013, 7 p.m. at the Heritage Center. I would encourage you to attend. The public meeting will be to present you with data concerning water supplies and the concerns our city faces. I believe there have been a few misconceptions about supplies and demand and what the city has been doing to protect citizens.

KWIBS - From May 20, 2013 - By Kevin Noland

I could be upset about Benghazi or the recent IRS scandal, but more so I am upset about the Obama Administrationís recent inappropriate intrusion and interference with the Associated Press.

The governmentís carpet bombing approach to finding their "mole" who leaked what they believed was sensitive information is at the very least a Gestapo tactic to control information going to the press. They donít like us. They consider us the enemy rather than the pesky watchdogs we thought we were. And theyíll stop at nothing, including destroying the news industryís most trusted sources of information, when theyíre searching for evidence to plug leaks.

President Obama originally promised to be the most "transparent" chief executive in our nationís history when he took office in 2009.

The facts are that this president held fewer press conferences by historic standards and seemed to prefer speeches over direct questions from journalists whose jobs are to scrutinize the presidency.

Iím no closet conservative, as many of you know, but I havenít been sitting back waiting for our president to fumble the ball so I could say, "I told you so." This recent revelation is a game changer. Itís confiscation of electronic communication records of several Associated Press reporters (the free press) by our Justice Department.

Doug Anstaett, the Kansas Press Association Executive Director, and two time voter for President Obama changed his tone this week in his editorial, "recent revelations have been disconcerting and, frankly, quite disappointing. They reveal a president ó or at least an administration ó that hasnít always followed its own lofty rhetoric."

He added, "Our system is set up with the press as an independent entity and, it is hoped, an impartial witness and reporter of what government officials do.

We are meant to be the thorn in their side, the burr in their saddle, always trying to keep government honest.

If we are doing our jobs, and government employees are doing theirs, these kinds of confrontations are inevitable.

Even so, weíre disappointed.

We want answers. We want changes.

And we deserve them."


KWIBS - From May 13, 2013 - By Kevin Noland

Courtesy Photo

Bob Greer (center), editor of the Protection Press, recipient of the Clyde M. Reed Jr. Master Editor Award. Greer started the newspaper in 1986 after a long career writing for newspapers including the Garden City Telegram.

Congratulations to my friend Bob Greer!

A couple of weeks ago I learned that my friend Bob Greer was to be honored by the Kansas Press Association at their annual convention. Bob had stopped by my office for his monthly, "I need to use your bathroom," stop on his way to Wichita. Heís stolen several rolls of toilet paper and copies of The Gyp Hill Premiere over the past 21 years. Iím not sure what he uses for which.... We always share a few jabs and insults.

He told me he was getting an award. I asked him if his award was for the most mistakes in print made by one newspaper publisher over a lifetime. To my surprise, Bob didnít even know what the award was for. All he knew was that he and his family were summoned to Topeka for the awards ceremony.

My curiosity got the best of me, so I called some people in the know and found out that Bob was awarded the "Clyde M. Reed Jr. Master Editor Award." I couldnít be prouder of my old friend and had only wished I could have been notified earlier so that Ronda and I could share in that celebration.

Bob and I go way back. So far back, Iím almost embarrassed. I was about 16 years old when he started printing his paper with us at the Index. I thought Bob was ancient then. Heís 87 now and still putting out his newspaper in Protection, KS. Heís got a lot of good help, but Bob is still active in writing sports and hammering out a column each week by manual typewriter or hand written scribbles on note paper.

So I asked Kansas Press Association to send me what they had on Bob. I wanted to share his story with my readers. Bob was an inspiration to me to start The Gyp Hill Premiere back in 1991. I so badly wanted to scoop his paper on the story, but out of respect for my old friend. I waited a week!

Bobís first-ever writing effort was as an 11-year-old back in 1937. He was a sixth grader at South Fort Worth, Texas, Grade School. The school decided to start a student paper of its own, producing it on a mimeograph machine. They offered a prize of a free movie ticket (then worth 10 cents!) for naming the paper.

"I came up with the title of "The Broadcast." As a result, I won that show ticket, was made assistant editor, and wrote sports, too. Man, I was a cheese! I was in the newspaper business," he said.

On through junior high and high school years Bob continued to write. He said he just loved journalism, and never wanted to do anything else.

Bob lived in Fort Worth and Dallas; Evansville, Indiana, and spent seven years in California. He lived in Boulder, Colorado, for many years. He attended the University of Colorado for parts of five years there, but never earned a degree.

"Finally I ran out of money, so I took my first full-time writing job at Alliance, Nebraska. I later wrote for daily papers at Scottsbluff, Nebraska (a great town), and Holdrege in that same state," he commented.

Later Bob wrote briefly for a paper published twice weekly at Brighton, Colorado. Then it was on to Lamar, Colorado, for about two years.

Bob was hired to write for the Hutchinson Daily News. When he arrived there, they asked if he would instead go to their daily paper at Garden City, Kansas. Bob jumped at the chance, for it was near Lamar.

He had no plans to stay at Garden City, but 18 years later he was still there. For 12 of those years he worked for Editor Bill Brown: "the best boss I ever had. Six frustrating years after he left the Garden City Daily Telegram, I checked out, too."

In the years which followed, Bob worked two years for the Dodge City Daily Globe, for the Scott City News-Chronicle, and for some other papers. He was finally hired by the Cimarron Jacksonian, a weekly. It was part of a series of papers owned by the folks at Cimarron. Included were papers at Protection, Bucklin and Meade.

He worked for that group for another couple of years, and went to Protection for the first-ever time. "I loved it here and became well-acquainted. After about two years, I was fired by the owner. That was not because I was incompetent. He had a chance to get another editor for less money," Bob remembered.

When that happened, a number of merchants in Protection asked if Bob would consider moving to Protection and starting a weekly paper in competition with the then-existing publication, The Protection Post. Bob says he was reluctant to do so, for the Post had been in existence about 75 years.

But the merchants pledged their support and backing, and so he went down there and started the Protection Press in January of 1986. First Bob went to Cimarron to see if a group of backers in Protection could buy the existing paper.

The owner turned down his offer, even scoffed and added that there was no way that Protection alone could support a weekly.

He was wrong. Twenty years later Bob is still there and the paper is still going on. The owner of the Post shut down that paper less than a year after he and his wife opened the Press in competition.

Thatís the abbreviated version of how Bob got to Protection and how he started a weekly paper.

"I sold an old house I owned in Garden City, and took my whole "bankroll" to invest in the paper here. I also was able to sell stock to several folks in Protection, to help me get underway," he said. "Since then I have paid off all of those "investors," and my little paper is still chugging along."

So is Bob!

He always likes to point out to me, "We started the Press without a single subscriber. It now has 700 readers ó from a town with just 555 population. And circulation continues to grow. Forgive my bragging: but we must be doing something right!"

Bob and Wilma met in 1964 when Wilma was a waitress at the Bus Cafe in Garden City, Kansas. Bob was age 39 when he married Wilma at the county courthouse in Scott City, Kansas, on July 17, 1965. She was just 20 at that time. I kid him for being a cradle robber. Bob was in his sixth year of 18 at the Garden City Daily Telegram. He was sports editor and general reporter there for almost two decades. Wilma later worked at the Continental Inn at Garden City for 12 years. She also was employed for some years at the Chaparral Restaurant in Cimarron, Kansas.

Wilmaís maiden name was Brasher. She was born February 19, 1945, at Altus, Arkansas. She and her family lived in a number of different towns so she attended many schools. Her "stops" included Arkansas; Holly, Colorado; the area around Rolla, Kansas; Big Bow School near Ulysses, and schools in Garden City.

Bob was born at Ft. Worth, Texas, on January 20, 1926. His dad was a baker and was the bakery supervisor for all of the dormitories at the University of Colorado for about 30 years. His father is buried at Boulder, Colorado.

Wilmaís folks were farmers and general workers. Both the Brasher family and the Greers lived in a large number of states.

Bob attended the University of Colorado for more than four years. He has written for some 15Ė20 newspapers during his lifetime.

The Greers moved to Protection, Kansas, in 1986 from Cimarron, Kansas. They started the weekly Protection Press with some help from local businessmen and other supporters. Bob is still churning out stories and tales each week on his manual typewriters and has a weekly column, "Bobbing Along Broadway."

For about 18 years Wilma worked at Donís Place in Protection. In 2004 she became a janitor at South Central Elementary/Middle School in Protection. Wilma loves that job, especially being around the kids.

Bob and Wilma both enjoy walking and have done so for many years. They also enjoy driving back roads and looking at various wildlife and scenic areas.

The Greers have two sons. Gene Greer is employed by the City of Garden City, heading up a crew of some 12 people who do landscaping and other work in the community. Donald Greer, the younger son, is employed by Kennedy and Coe Accounting in Wichita. A CPA (Certified Public Accountant) Don also travels to several nearby states, checking banks and other firms, helping them audit.

I couldnít be any prouder to be his friend. Bob is in inspiration to me. Congratulations!


KWIBS - From April 29, 2013 - By Kevin Noland

This week has been a whirlwind for the newspaper. I consider the week of graduation one of the biggest and busiest weeks, annually for our office. The senior edition is one of the most tedious things to construct. Even though class sizes have grown smaller, it takes hours upon hours to gather the seniors information, photos and advertising.

There are so many people who work on this edition: Ronda, Doris and my mom. I do all the pagination work (layout). Itís really a stressful ordeal.

I always think selfishly about how hard we work to get this done each year, but I forget about Cheri Dohrmann. Every year I come calling (whining) to her about not having everything I need to get the edition done. She always pull through for me. Cheri chases down seniors who donít get their information to us, chases down photographers for photos and even shoots some of the kids herself. Without her, there would be no senior edition at all. Thank you, Cheri. I so appreciate your help.

To the class of 2013, I say CONGRATULATIONS! Some of the years to come will be some of the best of your life. Hereís a bit of advice once given to me: Donít expect life to be easy now just because you graduated from high school. Yeah, thatís right. I thought, what???

The tough part is just beginning! Becoming an adult is hard work and youíll long for the days when you were living at home with your parents and your siblings and attending school. Work hard these next few years. There will be ups and downs. Never give up and never surrender! Make your community, your family and your friends proud! Best wishes to your future!

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From April 22, 2013 - By Kevin Noland

"Itís a small world, but I wouldnít want to paint it," - Steven Wright.

Last week the world was shocked when Mondayís Boston Marathon had two bombs explode near the finish line. I kept thinking all day about how thankful I was to live in a safe place where things like that donít happen and when they do, itís not anyone I know. It just turns into another sad world tragedy.

Then I got an email from my mom later that day.

My First Cousin Caitlin Amaral was at the finish line when the bombs exploded. She is an event volunteer. She was uninjured physically, but is obviously shaken up by the carnage that she witnessed.

Because of this connection, I reflected on the craziness of this world. What does it take to push someone to the point where they would want to take an innocent life? This was so senseless. I just canít even rationalize why someone would bomb people watching the Boston Marathon. As the days pass by, it also becomes more evident to me that this was probably something done by a fellow citizen. Most terrorists would want to make a big announcement of their strike against America.

The Boston Marathon isnít a political event. Itís an old race and celebration that falls on Patriotís Day in this city, yet somebody decided it was the place to maim and kill innocent people. Three lives were lost and hundreds were injured.

As strange as this may sound, and please donít take it the wrong way, I was thankful that only three lives were lost. I almost had a moment of satisfaction knowing that whoever did this, failed miserably. It could have been so much worse. This statement isnít meant to take away from the tragedy of this act of terror.

It had almost the opposite effect in my opinion. Instead of instilling terror in the victims, many of them turned into heroes that weíll be admiring for weeks to come. Several acts of courage and bravery actually instill pride in many people who have seen the news reports. Scenes of spectators and racers picking up and carrying the wounded, making tourniquets out of their own clothes and cleaning shrapnel from peopleís foreheads is a reminder of the danger of terrorism from those involved in 9/11 and home grown monsters like the ones who were responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing.

Sadly, weíll probably give up more of our civil rights because of events like these. We should expect tighter security, harsh questioning and body searches.

We wonít ban pressure cookers or duffle bags (like the ones used to make the bomb), but weíll put unreasonable restrictions on law-abiding people who want to purchase a fire arm, which they have a constitutional right to own. We wonít address the problem that we canít enforce morality or goodness in people, but weíll continue to cut funding for mental health and our military and give more jets to countries like Egypt. Then in a few days, months or maybe a year, weíll ask why this happened again. Evil is in the world and itís growing. Itís so sad to have to react to these sorts of crimes of cowardice. I can only hope that God delivers swift justice to those who have no regard for human life and liberty.

Have a great week.

KWIBS - From April 15, 2013 - By Kevin Noland

"Whether the weather be fine, Whether the weather be not, Whether the weather be cold, Whether the weather be hot, We'll weather the weather, Whatever the weather, whether we like it or not" - author unknown.

If you have spent any time in Kansas the past month, you probably noticed that we are experiencing a strange weather phenomena, probably caused by global warming.... or farting cows.

Last Tuesday morning I stepped out my front door in my bathrobe to peek at my thermometer and saw that it was already 67 degrees. I had a big day planned. I grabbed a pair of shorts, a T-shirt and headed out to run some errands for the ranch. By the time I got home that evening, it was 31 degrees and I had been in a snow storm, hail storm, a sleet storm, thunderstorm and had taken shelter from a possible tornado near Pratt.

Soaked, cold and unloading a trailer at 8:30 p.m., still wearing the same shorts and T-shirt I originally thought appropriate for the day, I shook my fist at God and boldly proclaimed, "Thank You Lord for the moisture!"

It is such a blessing to have moisture and I know most of us appreciate it in any form He provides right now.

So if you donít like the weather in Kansas, wait a few hours.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From April 1, 2013 - By Kevin Noland

I want to thank Liz Hanna for clarifying why we did not receive Mrs. Kimballís letter last week.

Gaps in the time between a cancelled city council meeting and the assumption we would receive it through the packet, put a lapse in communication between parties. Liz feels badly about the situation, so please be kind to her! (See below).

Regardless, we did print Mrs. Kimballís letter and we do appreciate that she DID include us in this communication between their group and the city. Iím truly sorry to Jean Kimball for accusing her of "snubbing" the paper. The call from a representative of her group expressing their concern that we wouldnít print the letter is what lead to my questions in a portion of my last column.

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For 60 years a cease-fire agreement was in place between North and South Korea. Last week, North Korea tore up that agreement and a few weeks prior to that threatened to "nuke" Washington in a propaganda video. The whole region seems tense and ready to destabilize. They are testing long range missiles and making all sorts of crazy threats.

It sort of reminds me of tension in our own community. Weíre pretty quick to jump to conclusions and point fingers. Again, I hope cool heads prevail for the benefit of our community! Have a great week!


At Monday night's council meeting it was brought to my attention that Kevin Noland did not receive Jean Kimball's letter. This is true, Kevin did not receive it, I did. I was present at the public meeting where Jean read the letter aloud. She gave me a printed copy of it. At this point, Kevin was out of state and the paper for the following Monday was already set. I attempted to call Jean that night to let her know but got no answer. In the mean time, on Monday, March 18 the Council Meeting was rescheduled due to lack of quorum. I saw that Jean's letter was on the Council agenda. I assumed that since her letter to the Mayor and Council was going to be addressed by the Mayor it was being taken care of. Well, you know what they say happens when you assume. So I offer a sincere apology to Jean Kimball and to Kevin Noland. This is a miscommunication that I take responsibility for. Take it easy on me, pregnancy brain is not kind. - Liz Hanna


KWIBS - From March 25, 2013 - By Kevin Noland

A week from Tuesday, Medicine Lodge residents have the opportunity to select three city council members. Fortunately for Medicine Lodge, three qualified citizens have stepped up and registered to have their names on the ballot. Norm Clouse and Mike Roe are veteran council members. They both have refiled and newcomer, Nick Burns, is no stranger to our community.

Unless you've paid close attention, you may not know that our city had its share of financial struggles. As recently as 2009, we were rapidly burning up our reserves. It took some brave leadership, professional management and some tough decision-making to put us back in the black.

One of the tough decisions occurred a month ago when the city decided to stop providing the trash service. Nisly Brothers have been given the contract to provide trash and recycling services and have agreed to give a 5% franchise back to the city - a guarantee that the service will operate without liability to the city or its citizens. The decision, one that will benefit: the city economically; its citizens with greater ease of recycling; and the county by extending the life of the land fill, has sparked criticism from a small, but very vocal group of citizens, who now have met publicly to "take back our town". One of their ways of doing so is rumored to be by writing in candidates to take over a majority of council seats. Where were these concerned citizens in January when the deadline to file came and went? This "fired up" group of people are using the trash service change as their call to arms? Some will be angry with me at this statement, but the newspaper isnít here to sugar coat the facts and I canít stay silent. This group would have never formed if it werenít for the issue of trash.

Representatives from this group have also taken a position against the newspaper at times, using public forums to claim that we misquoted them and even going as far as lying about submitting letters for publication and being refused. For the record, only one letter was submitted to the newspaper that was flagged for "refusal", but upon meeting with a representative from this group, it was mutually agreed to be withdrawn and not published. However, a citizen called my office this week claiming they were told I had refused a letter from Jean Kimball. This is a complete fabrication. We never received a letter from Mrs. Kimball. In fact, she was in our office earlier that very day renewing her subscription. We have located the letter that was included in the council agenda packet and have printed it on page 10 this week. Keep in mind, she did not submit it to the paper, but did submit to the city, making it information of public interest. I donít know why she didnít submit it to us, but we will not be accused of something that simply isnít true. I will note that the letter was submitted to the Alva Newsgram (of Alva, OK - not a local newspaper with ties to the community who actually pay taxes here???). No offense to the Newsgram, just wanted to point out that someone felt it necessary for them to have this letter, but not us.

"Taking back our town." That's been a phrase repeating in my head now for several weeks. It has never "not" been our town. We've elected council members to represent us for as long as the city has been founded. As long as I can remember, we donít micromanage every decision that our council makes on our behalf. We don't always agree with decisions that our representatives make, but most often times we misunderstand the needs for those very decisions. For example: several years ago a survey was sent out asking citizens to rank by importance ten things that had been prioritized by the city council. Overwhelmingly, the number one thing was to "clean up the town". Through a series of ordinance changes and enforcement, things are getting cleaned up, but as a result many folks who wanted to have the town cleaned up are now angry to find out that the very properties they own were deemed in need of being "cleaned up"! Somehow, by adopting modern city ordinances (used by hundreds of cities), people are now accusing city officials of blackmail, extortion, criminal behavior, voilating our constitutional rights and fraud.... and by the way, they appear to be mad as heck.

"Back" is the most frightening word in the "take back our town" group's unofficial slogan. There are a lot of things I wish we could go back to like lower water rates (columns about my kids, etc), but again, it's easy for us all to get upset about things like that and not understand why they are the way they are. Pay attention to any local news and you'll hear some pretty frightening claims about rationing of water in places as close as Wichita and statements from the Kansas Water Office that reservoirs are drying up and the recent drought has put many cities at risk of losing their water sources. There are a lot more things I wouldnít want to go back to. I hate the thought of even having to put them into print.

I've strayed a little off topic. My column is to alert you to your responsibility to get out and a vote next Tuesday. We should all be so thankful to live in a country with free elections and rights that protect us as citizens. Sometimes these very freedoms come with consequences that slow down progress, but it is a necessary check and balance of power. None of us would want it any other way.

So please vote with the facts. I have witnessed the strong-armed tactics by this group. I have heard many false statements made to influence voters. Complete fabrications of the truth made to stir discontent and cause confusion are being used to influence your vote. If you believe the misinformation and vote accordingly, you could find that you will be taking our town back - as in backward, not forward.

Please use common sense and vote using the truth when you go to the polls to vote. Our community depends on it.

KWIBS - From March 18,  2013 - By Kevin Noland

Have a great week!

I have the same reaction to Girl Scout Cookies that I have when someone says, "Iíve got this ground-breaking business plan I want to tell you about."

At least no one is going to ask you to buy Girl Scout Cookies and then become a sales person for the product. Unless you are me.

In fairness, I was never really asked to become a Girl Scout Cookies salesman, it just sort of happened. I came to work one morning to find them on display in my office. Naturally, I bought a box, that turned in to a few more sales and then my wife started buying them. Naturally, I told people they were available and pretty soon I was making change for them at the counter. Without warning. I made a couple of big sales before I realized I wasnít even a Girl Scout!

Dorisís granddaughter, Marie, is the actual Girl Scout. She obviously deserves some sort of merit badge for "business practice" because sheís managed to set up a franchise here at The Gyp Hill Premiere!

Now, the cookies will only be on sale for a little while longer and I want them GONE! Not because I am tired of them all over the counter and bench here in our office, but because I am sick of eating them!

Hereís the challenge. If you come in and buy a box of cookies, I will match that $3.50 for that amount off of any new or renewed subscription while the cookies remain. Just mention that you saw this in my column and buy a box (or a dozen boxes). If you buy 12 boxes and want 12 new subscriptions. Iíll honor that too. If you by 100 boxes of cookies and you want to extend your own subscription by 100 years, Iíll knock off $350. Heck, Iíll even buy your 101st box. Just get them out of here.

The thought of eating one more peanut butter cookie just makes me.... want to actually buy another box of peanut butter cookies.

Please. Iím begging you. Help me.

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From March 11, 2013 - By Kevin Noland

There's an old sea story about a ship's Captain, who inspected his sailors one day, a few weeks from leaving home and a few weeks away from their next port of call. Afterward, he told his first mate that his men smelled bad.

The Captain suggested perhaps it would help if the sailors would change their underwear occasionally. The first mate snapped a salute and responded, "Aye, Aye sir, I'll see to it immediately!"

The first mate went straight to the sailors' berth deck and announced, "the Captain thinks you guy smell bad and wants you to change your underwear."

He continued, "Now here's what we're going to do...Leo you change with Jerry...Tony you change with Bert, and Bert, and Bob you change with Ed".


Someone may come along and promise to effect "Change", but that doesn't guarantee that things will start smelling any better.

The recent sequestration has me questioning Washingtonís, and primarily the White Houseís, decision to send an economic aid package to Egypt, while laying off air traffic and TSA people around the country and releasing thousands of immigrations violators. I even heard from a former Medicine Lodge resident that his sonís spring break tour of the White House has been cancelled.

I realize that the country wonít suffer too badly from cutting staff to give tours, but where are our priorities when we canít protect vital programs in our country, yet can send $250 million to a people who hate the idea of America? Weíve already promised Egypt $450 million, but we are going to cut 2% from Medicare to our elderly citizens. Weíre going to give money to the country who elected a president with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, sworn to destroy our country, but we are going to cut money from programs like food stamps, education and crop insurance for Americans.

But wait, it gets more maddening...

The administration in recent weeks has made doomsday predictions about the impact of the cuts of sequestration.

A leaked email from an Agriculture Department field officer adds fuel to claims President Obama's political strategy is to make the billions in recent federal budget cuts as painful as possible to win the public opinion battle against Republicans.

According to the partially redacted email, the Agriculture Departmentís budget office and in part states: "However you manage that reduction, you need to make sure you are not contradicting what we said the impact would be."

So in other words, make it hurt?

Some political strategists say the president hopes the cuts hurt enough to compel Republican lawmakers seeking reelection next year to end them by agreeing to more tax increases.

On Sunday, Gene Sperling, the White Houseís top economic adviser, suggested Republicans would indeed make this decision.

"Our hope is, as more Republicans start to see this pain in their own districts, they will choose bipartisan compromise over this absolutist position," he said.

Keep in mind that the sequestration is an across the board cut of 2% of government budgets - close to 1,200 of them, if I read correctly. Without any flexibility, cash-fat budgets wonít be able to help the cash-strapped under the sequestration deal that both sides agreed to.

Regardless, the American people will continue to be caught up in the middle and it will be those who are already suffering under a financial burden of fixed income and retirement who will be affected the most.

Real sequestration should have started with salaries of The House of Representatives, Congress and our president.

So whatís that smell?

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From March 4, 2013 - By Kevin Noland

What causes wild animals to eat their young and for the ancient civilizations to sacrifice their children?

Snow days...

For almost a week (5 days total), USD#254 cancelled classes due to the 2 feet of snow we received. Three of those five days, Ronda and I were also snowed in with our youngest.

We were sort of caught off guard with the first round of storms that dumped close to 18" in our area. We had enough food to last a normal family about 2 weeks, but with a 15-year-old boy, we had enough for about 3 days.

Fortunately for Nick, he never looked appetizing to us. After three days we made him take a shower and change his clothes even though he didnít want to.

The storms that rolled in early in the week caused us to be a little more prepared. Instead of going to church on Sunday morning we went to Whiteís to stock up on some essentials like toilet paper and corn chips.

When we got to the grocery store, it looked like a scene from The Walking Dead (AMC). The shelves were starting to look thin and bread was almost gone. People shopping looked like scared animals and it dawned on me.... they were all parents of children. It was a premonition. They knew they were about to be trapped inside their homes with hungry children for God only knew how long! We were there too, probably with the same look on our faces. Our shopping turned into a game of full throttle scavenger hunting. Ronda shouted out items on the list as she shopped for her grandma, and I shopped for us.

"Hotdogs!", I thought. You canít have too many hotdogs and they have a long shelf life. Then I drew a blank...

Ronda was all, "Milk, Eggs, Cheese, Lunch Meat," then it went to "blah, blah, blah, youíre about to be snowed in for days on end.

"Cereal!", I said. You might not have electricity and you can have a bowl of cereal. I piled like 5 boxes in one of those double decker, smaller shopping carts.

"Ranch dressing," I heard a voice in my head say. Nicholas puts that on about everything. Heíd probably want some with his cereal. Ladies, donít leave emergency food preparing to men.

I sort of forgot about things like: make sure the generators will start, have plenty of batteries, matches and candles, etc...

When the storm did finally arrive, it was all it was promised to be and then some. We had drifts as tall as vehicles and as long as half a football field. Nicholas and I ventured out in it between fronts.

The power flickered on and off, but we never lost it. Some werenít so lucky. Lake Arrowhead residents were among several without power.

My thanks to the brave folks at Southern Pioneer who walked out in that storm and braved the elements to find the problem and have power restored in just a few short hours. They got their vehicles stuck, but they made it out safely.

I wasnít as big of a moron during this storm as the first one. I had strategically placed the road grader at my house and a tractor at Leroy Webberís house. Brandon Phipps had brought his backhoe home and we had Clarkeís on standby. When it was over Tuesday morning, we looked out in amazement as everything we had cleared on Sunday, was covered again, by as much, if not more snow.

I fired up the grader at about 9:30 a.m. and started defrosting the windows. After about an hour of running, I jumped in and started up the hill. In 30 short feet, I was stuck. I managed to get it stuck in every direction within a 180 degrees spot in the middle of our driveway. Thankfully, Johnny Bowers and Mark Morganstern arrived about an hour later with chains and a backhoe and we returned the grader to its parking place. There was too much snow and too much ice for it to move. It would be a few hours later that things melted enough that I could get up the hill to help with snow removal.

We were one of the lucky few that have a UTV Polaris. After Brandon, Johnny and Leroy opened up some holes, I ventured out to check on people. There were at least three vehicles stuck in various places on the ranch, including the power companyís UTV.

We finally ended up hiring a dozer to punch through the drifts and after a long cold afternoon outside, I came home and took a warm shower and ate some warm food. I took a few moments and glanced at the postings on Facebook. One incredible picture caught my attention that was posted on Duston Hoaglandís page.


Someone wrote on facebook Monday night, "I donítí care if school is closed or not tomorrow. My child will be going!" This photo shows the determination of the human parent.

But not so fast....

The human child is also very determined as Laura Nittler remembered, "My Dear Brothers and you remember when we were snowed in and the road grader came through and cleared the roads? We CERTAINLY didn't want to go to school the next day, so we trudged back out and started pushing the snow back in the road. I believe it was the blizzard of 1971! This picture reminded me of that. ENJOY your walk down memory lane, courtesy of your 'favorite' sister! Love you all!"

Have a great week and thank God for the moisture!!


KWIBS - From February 25, 2013 - By Kevin Noland

If thereís one thing I am not really a fan of, itís snow. I made an exception this time since we so desperately needed the moisture for our fields and pastures. Thunder snow was pretty cool.

My friend Flint Rucker always says, "At the end of every drought, comes a good rain." Well, Flint, I guess it can be snow too. I know weíre not out of the woods yet, but this was a really welcome weather system that dumped several inches around the area.

I was impressed with city, county and state for getting out early and often ahead of the accumulation. You guys are greatly appreciated for the long hours and hard work.

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Today is a special day for a special young man in my life. Nicholas turned 15 today. Heís my youngest (our baby - he hates that!). Nick and I share a lot of things in common. One thing is our taste in music. Heís been learning to play bass and weíve gone to some concerts together. Iím very proud of the young man heís becoming and I wish him a happy birthday. Love you Nick!

This is Nick with brothers Gabe and Dameon Aranda from the band "Aranda" from December. The Arandas are family friends who recently got a record deal with Wind Up Records and released their new album "Stop The World."

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Iíve heard grumblings to the effect that people donít know what is going on inside our city government. Iím shocked when I hear that since I believe our city is one of the most open governments we deal with as a newspaper. How would you like to have even less information and have more business done in the dark? If state legislatures have their way, this could become a reality.

The following is an editorial from Kansas Press Associationís Doug Anstaett:

You just knew after last yearís brouhaha about the governorís meetings at Cedar Crest that some state legislators would look for a way to retaliate.

Their plan materialized last week in the introduction of two bills, one in the Senate and one in the House, that would eviscerate the underpinnings of the Kansas Open Meetings Act if approved.

Apparently, pesky reporters and nosey citizens who believe in open government are making it difficult for public officials to do their jobs.

House Bill 2336 and Senate Bill 200 would rewrite KOMA in such a way that any gathering deemed a "social event" could be used as subterfuge for public discussion of virtually any issue.

Language in HB 2336 would let every public official in the state of Kansas ó not just legislators ó off the hook if a gathering didnít lead the body or agency to "deliberate specific matters" under their purview. SB 200 would allow such gatherings as long as discussions didnít lead to the formulation of policy or to a vote of the body.

KOMA is not just about how a public official votes; itís about the process that led to that vote. Citizens have a fundamental right to know what influences played a part in a decision, not just whether someone ultimately voted "yes" or "no."

Thatís why we pay close attention to who contributes to campaigns, who pays big bucks to lobby legislators and who shows up at meetings as opponents and proponents of issues.

If such legislation is approved and "social gatherings" are allowed to be used as a cover for previously illegal public discussions of the issues, citizens will be shut out of the political process.

Even more, the "social gathering" opportunities for public officials will skyrocket, emboldening those with influence to peddle and the deep pockets to pay for it.

Letís hope those state lawmakers advocating open government principles prevail over those who would return our political system to the proverbial "smoke-filled rooms" of the past.

Kansans should rise up in protest of this blatant attempt to usurp the power of the people.

Doug Anstaett is executive director of the Kansas Press Association.


KWIBS - From February 11, 2013 - By Kevin Noland

Sometimes you think you remember what you said or the way you said it, but sometimes you are just wrong.

Not long ago, I thought it would be a good policy to record audio at some of our meetings. Itís happened several times in the past that someone has accused the newspaper of misrepresenting what or how something was said. On more than one occasion, Iíve had the opportunity to prove exactly what was said by playing the audio from the meeting.

During Mondayís City Trash Hearing held at The United Methodist Church, a couple of citizens used the public forum, designed to discuss support for or against outsourcing trash service, to state that they were misrepresented in the newspaper from the previous Wednesdayís forum. Ronda and I were about 5 minute late for those comments, but played back the audio that Liz Hanna made to hear these accusations the next morning. I also played back this personís comments from the previous Wednesdayís forum to make sure we got it right.

We donít always get it right. Iíll be the first to admit this, but I do wish to apologize to these folks. I am sorry we werenít there to defend ourselves using the same forum you used to accuse our newspaper of misrepresenting your statements and context. Not only did we get your statements correct and in context, we have your newest comments too.

Iíve invited this person to come in to my office to listen to the audio from the meetings. If anyone believes they were not represented correctly from either of the meetings, I invite you to listen for yourselves. Stop in for an appointment. Iíll make sure we have a good crowd to listen and maybe even some popcorn. Like I said, we donít always get it right, but we nailed this one.

Forums and hearings like these are an important part of the process. They are public meetings and treated as such.

Lots of emotion played out among the communityís two meetings over the trash service. I want to say thank you to those who did have the courage to get up and say what they felt - on both sides of the issue. Itís everyoneís right to have an opinion and to be heard, but everyone should follow rules of order and courtesy when attending these meetings. There were those who jeered and booed and interrupted. Everyone will remember who you were. I commend the Mayor and City Councilmen who sat through remarks and attacks against their personal businesses and listened patiently to those citizens who threatened to leave Medicine Lodge. These city officials kept their composure and kept the meetings somewhat orderly.

In my opinion, the biggest news of the evening was completely ignored by those attending the meeting. When the council voted to contract with Nisly for our trash service, most got up and left the meeting grumbling out into the hallway, but one important agenda item remained that most didnít care to hear. By investigating better interest rates and refinancing some of our loans, our city stands to save $74,000 in interest on approximately $1.13 million in four loans, reducing our payments by up to 7 years. The room had pretty much cleared out by this time and only a few people left in the room heard the council move forward on this very important issue.


KWIBS - From February 4, 2013 - By Kevin Noland

As much hate mail as this might get me, I have to say I was intrigued by the concern many have about how the city will handle trash services.

I asked a simple question to a post on Facebook last week. It read, "It's not in our town's best interest to hire companies from Hutchinson or Wichita to come do a job that should belong to our citizens!"

I replied, "This would be a good place to discuss the merits, or lack of merits in keeping the trash service local. Since you think it's in the town's best interest, please elaborate. My two pros for outsourcing would be cost savings and curb side recycling."

From that post, a fire raged across the page of more than 100 comments over a 24 hour period before the public hearing that was held on Wednesday evening. The Facebook post was deleted by the administrator of the page later that day.

What surprised me the most was the passion people had to save the cityís trash service. Why wasnít there this same passion and enthusiasm from our cityís residents on so many other issues like water rates, the pool construction, the tourism committee's projects, the Peace Treaty, the city park, the Main Street program, the chamber of commerce, housing additions, etc...? Running for city council?????

It strikes me a little odd that everyone is so excited over the trash issue and were not about these things.

One thing everyone agrees on is that Henry Bland and Keith Miller are great guys who do this city a great service. No one disputes that.

So the questions I would have:

Are we protecting these guys who have provided such quality service to the citizens of Medicine Lodge if we change the way we operate? Will the service provided by an outside source be of equal or greater value to the citizens of Medicine Lodge at a reduced cost? Will it encourage people to recycle more?

I believe the city has made great efforts in responding and answering these questions, but still, many are not convinced.

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From January 28, 2013 - By Kevin Noland

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the MCXXV Edition of The Gyp Hill Premiere!

Next weekend is the "Big Game" between The San Fransisco 49ers and the Baltamore Ravens.

We canít use the Super "B" word in the paper in any advertisements. Thatís a trademark name.

Trademarked and tenaciously defended by the NFL, the phrase "Super Bowl" (oops! I said it) is available to just a handful of official sponsors that pay significant amounts for the right to include the name in their marketing efforts. The Gyp Hill Premiere isnít one of them. Everyone else, like The Gyp Hill Premiere, and from national electronics retailers to the corner bar, runs the risk of being threatened with a lawsuit by the league if they use the actual name without permission.

Ok, Iím not officially using it as advertising. Iím just mentioning it. Come on, really? Do you think anyone would read my column and think I needed to use the NFLís "Big Game" as a promotion?

The NFL has 22 official marketing partners that pay upward of $100 million annually to be affiliated with the league. Again, The Gyp Hill Premiere isnít one of them. Sponsors do include PepsiCo Inc., Verizon Communications Inc., Motorola Mobility Inc. and Castrol Ltd., which is the official motor oil of the NFL. Although there is no specific sponsorship of the "Big Game", NFL sponsors have the right to use the game's name and logo in their own marketing efforts.

Good for them! This "Big Game" is viewed by more than 111 million, as opposed to about 1200 subscribers of The Gyp Hill Premiere.

I sort of figured since I am writing about this "Big Game", I could get away with mentioning its actual name at least once. Heck, who knows? Maybe the NFL will be publishing this newspaper in a few months after a bitter lawsuit over my column.

But before you start photo-copying my column to send to the NFL, note that journalists are free to refer to the Super Bowl in stories, a right that was assured by a 1992 federal appeals court ruling. Have a great week!

KWIBS - From January 21, 2013 - By Kevin Noland

The cards and letters and kind words were so appreciated this past week after the death of my dad.

Some of you shared some great stories in remembering the 20 years he lived in Medicine Lodge.

I received a well timed column from Dr. Amy Clarkson with Hospice this week and it was so appropriate for our family during this time. She really writes a great column. If youíve never taken the time to read her column, please do. Iíve printed it below. Have a great week.

End Notes

Dr. Amy Clarkson is board certified in Palliative Medicine and serves as Medical Director at South Wind Hospice

As humans, we are designed for relationships. We are driven to connect with others, and these connections are the root for many joys and pleasures, but also give purpose to our lives. There is a cost, however, that is demanded for these benefits. That cost is grief. At some point we will lose that relationship, either subjectively or in actuality, as through death.

Grief is a universal experience, not dependent on age, status, gender or intellect, and yet is so individualized that it makes preparing for it and experiencing it hard to generalize. There are some issues that would behoove us to discuss in order to help others, or ourselves, when a loss occurs.

One of the essential needs someone has after the death of a loved one is the opportunity to tell the story of who that person was. This may include the retelling of their death, or the circumstances of their illness, but it may also be memories from the past and accounts of them as a person. The ironic thing is that usually after death, other people donít want to bring the loss up, for fear of creating sadness or being awkward. Once someone said, "After my husband died, he was always on my mind, so the idea that by saying his name, or asking me a question about him would send me into a depressive tailspin is ridiculous!" In truth, those grieving crave the opportunity to talk about their loved one, and are just waiting for someone to bring it up.

This desire to keep the memory alive by retelling the story of their life does not go away in the weeks after the loss, if anything, it gets stronger. The odd notion that a year after someone dies, life should be back to normal, just devoid of that person, is foolish. What better time to ask a friend to tell you some memories about the person whoís gone.

The other important concept in grief is that there are no stages to go through leading to acceptance. There are common aspects of grief people may have depending on the circumstances of the death itself. For instance, some may feel guilt. This may be guilt in the decisions made, or regrets just prior to the event, but can also be survivorís guilt in ĎWhy didnít I go first?í Others feel relief, which can seem abnormal, but usually, if there has been suffering involved its natural to have relief that the suffering is over. Still others get angry, wanting to blame someone or something for the loss. Finally, some feel anxious or helpless, such as with the loss of parents or a spouse whoís provided much support.

The key is that these emotions are normal, and itís possible to feel many all at the same time.

While grief is an expected part of death, if it begins to affect your health, your job, or your relationships it may be time to seek help.

There is a price for relationships, and at some point we all experience grief. By inviting others to tell their stories we can ensure that when our turn comes, someone will be around to listen to us.


KWIBS - From January 7, 2013 - By Kevin Noland

I watched with disappointment as the Cowboys blew another playoff chance, losing to the Redskins last weekend.

Even more frustrating was the constant interruption of news about going over the "fiscal cliff."

Quarterback Tony Romo gets paid - $16.8 million

Coach Jason Garrett made $3 million as an assistant coach for the Cowboys, he makes a lot more now.

Owner Jerry Jonesí networth just for his Cowboyís team is about - $2.1 billion. He was worth $3.2 billion in September.

After the game, I got up out of my chair and announced that I was throwing Tony Romo, Jason Garrett and Jerry Jones over the fiscal cliff. Problems solved.

The country could operate an additional one day, debt free!

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From December 31, 2012 - By Kevin Noland

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas. We did, seeing many family and friends over the past week. The holidays do tend to get a little hectic and it puts a lot of pressure on us to put out that last newspaper of the year in the middle of the holiday season. This year was no different, but I am grateful to my mom and Doris and Ronda for organizing the information that goes in to this special paper reflecting on the year that was.

? ? ? ?

Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips. (Proverbs 27:2 ESV)

Every year about this time, I begin the process of putting together our year in review edition.

I search through hundreds, if not thousands, of photos and speed read through each edition to find the biggest news of the year and those that make it.

One of my favorite things to do is to consider who had one of the biggest impacts on our community. I like to call this my "person of the year" column. I realize itís not Time magazine prestigious, but itís my way of saying thank you for being a good citizen.

My pick this year is David Colborn. David is the owner of Colborn Electric, husband and father, volunteer firefighter and friend to many in the community.

Heís creative and brilliant, which was evident if you drove by his house during the holidays. Colborn wired up his Christmas lights and put them to Christmas music that slowed traffic on Walnut Street at night for a month. He said he put a lot of pressure on his neighbors to decorate their houses for Christmas and promises an even bigger show next year. I know the community enjoyed tuning in to his special radio station, parking in front of his house and watching lights chase across his home and yard. We did and we made many trips to his house to show our family and friends.

David is also quick to say "yes" when there is a special need. I usually beg and he gives in quickly. Iíve asked David several times for his help with the down town sound system. The occasional fried speaker or broken wire is no match for Davidís skill.

And finally, David is a humble volunteer. Youíll see his name from time to time mentioned for things like assisting with the schoolís electrical needs with the recent press box project. He wants no recognition. In fact, heís threatened me to not mention of anything heís done in the community in my newspaper, so many times I havenít.. However, I waited patiently for someone else to do that for me. This happened back in May when he and Josh Graham were given recognition by the Mayor and City Council for their acts of courage when they went in to a building structure on March 8th to rescue victims from the smoke and flames.

I could go on and on, but Iím already in trouble with him for this column, but I want to point out that people like David are whatís right with Medicine Lodge. There are many like him and I wish I could mention them all.

So David, Iím real proud of you and glad to call you a friend.

Many may not know David personally, but heís there behind the scenes making Medicine Lodge a better place to live. Now please get to my garage lights project Mr. Colborn!

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On the front page this week, I did something different than from years past in our review of the year. I put a few pictures of just some of the people we lost in 2012. These people made an impact on our community and as I searched, I collected their photos for a small tribute. Again, itís only a partial list, but I hope youíll take time to remember all of the families who lost loved ones in 2012.

Take some time to read this edition and remember the good and the bad of 2012. Itís important to remember our past and to look towards our future as a community.

Have a great week and Happy New Year!

KWIBS - From December 24, 2012 - By Kevin Noland

This is about as far away from a Christmas column as I could travel, but in the shadow of what happened in Newton, CT, I felt it appropriate to share my thoughts about further gun control or weapons banning.

Just a day before the Newton event, China also experienced a tragic school event. In Beijing, a knife-wielding man injured 22 children and one adult outside a primary school in central China as students were arriving for classes, the latest in a rampage attacks at Chinese schools and kindergartens.

Why these attacks on school children? I think the answer is somewhat simple. Those who plan on doing others harm arenít looking for a fight, they are looking for an easy target. School children donít fight back. Places with no defenses are easy targets. Itís a sad fact.

As Megan McArdi wrote in her article "Thereís Little We Can Do to Prevent Another Massacre",

"It would certainly be more comfortable for me to endorse doing something symbolic--bring back the "assault weapons ban"--in order to signal that I care. But I would rather do nothing than do something stupid because it makes us feel better. We shouldn't have laws on the books unless we think there's a good chance they'll work: they add regulatory complexity and sap law-enforcement resources from more needed tasks. This is not because I don't care about dead children; my heart, like yours, broke about a thousand times this weekend. But they will not breathe again because we pass a law. A law would make us feel better, because it would make us feel as if we'd "done something", as if we'd made it less likely that more children would die. But I think that would be false security. And false security is more dangerous than none."

Her complete article can be found at

Like McArdie, my guess is that we're going to get a law anyway.

I am sure this column will result in some rebuttal, but I must say that one way to curb this violence is to arm teachers and faculty. Itís radical, I know, but consider if 5-10 teachers in our school buildings were trained in handling and securing weapons. And if it were clearly known that our schools would meet deadly force with deadly force, how many of these situations could have been avoided? Some might argue that this is far too dangerous to put weapons in our schools, but I think itís more of a valid discussion than trying to ban weapons from law abiding citizens. Telling bad guys that these are "gun free zones" does not cause them to walk away discouraged because they canít take their weapon into a school to kill. They are not paying attention to "signs" or laws for that matter, but I promise that if there was a sign posted at our school that said, "Our teachers and faculty are armed and will protect the children of this facility with deadly force," much of this violence and plots to do harm will stop.

Yes, our country needs to do something. Yes, there is too much desensitized violence on TV and in video games. Yes, the mentally ill are often overlooked and underevaluated for detection of violent behavior and yes, there are too many guns in the wrong hands.

We had better start admitting that we have no box big enough to completely contain evil. If someone is bent on hurting someone else, they will do it by whatever means possible. You wonít stop them with a law. Iíve been in bail enforcement for almost 7 years now and my experience is that criminals donít care about laws.

I believe that as a country, we have chosen to make it impossible for God to enter our schools, but easy for a crazy person with harmful intentions.

I realize we canít force people to turn to Jesus or any deity, but we also canít legislate morality. In the event of an attack on our children, if we canít turn the shooter to Jesus in this life, I suggest we help them meet Him face to face.

Weíd like to think weíve advanced to some sort of civility as humans, but deep down we have to know that not everyone thinks it is insane to harm others for no reason, whatever their age. There are sick, evil people in the world and their always will be.

So my hope is that there will be reasonable talks between reasonable people and that reasonable decisions are made. I personally like the idea of arming our teachers, but many others will think itís just more violence and thatís not the answer.

So, itís Christmas. Folks are hurting from this tragic event and I respectfully dedicate this column to the memories of those who lost their life.

Iíd like to leave you with this poem:

Twas' 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38 when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven's gate.

their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air they could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there

They were filled with such joy, they didn't know what to say they remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.

"where are we?" asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse. "this is heaven." declared a small boy. "we're spending Christmas at God's house."

When what to their wondering eyes did appear, but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.

He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same. then He opened His arms and He called them by name.

and in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring those children all flew into the arms of their King

and as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace, one small girl turned and looked at Jesus' face.

And as if He could read all the questions she had He gently whispered to her, "I'll take care of mom and dad."

then He looked down on earth, the world far below He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe

then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand, "Let My power and presence re-enter this land!"

"may this country be delivered from the hands of fools" "I'm taking back my nation. I'm taking back my schools!"

Then He and the children stood up without a sound. "come now my children, let me show you around."

Excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran. all displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.

And i heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight, "in the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT."

written by Cameo Smith of Mt. Wolf, PA.

I pray that you have Merry Christmas and remember that we celebrate a risen Savior.

Have a great week.


KWIBS - From December 17, 2012 - By Kevin Noland

The good news is, weíre not dead, but the bad news is, we could be later this week. If the Mayans got this right, then this will be my last column.

Most who believe in an "end date", believe the Mayans marked December 21, 2012 to be the grand finale. Iím just guessing they ran out of rock to write on or got really bad chiselerís cramp.

I, for one, am ready if this is the end. I went Christmas shopping a while back and charged a bunch of money on my credit card. It will be nice to stick it to them.

Iím a little sad though that I didnít get to finish out my bucket list which included seeing all of my favorite bands in concert (Iím short Weezer and No Doubt), trying to get back into shape, restoring Joeyís 1974 AMC Gremlin, breaking the 100,000 point score on my pinball machine with one ball. Iíve also been putting off cleaning out my garage.

If only I had another year to clean out my garage....

Predicting the end of the world isnít something new and nobody should get too excited about it.

Harold Camping, the California radio host, has made several stabs at the end of the world. He first predicted the apocalypse in 1994, then blamed his miscalculation on a mathematical error. He made another prophecy this year, stating 200 million of us would be taken to heaven May 21, before the Earth was destroyed. He must have forgotten to carry the 1. The world didn't end and Camping went back to the drawing board and decided the Rapture would occur Oct. 21. Well, I guess that was wrong too. I doubt weíve heard the last of his predictions and hopefully, someone has bought him a new calculator.

Some guy named Robert Fitzpatrick spent $140,000 of his savings to advertise the Rapture in New York, and was dumbfounded when life went on as usual on May 22nd. "I do not understand why nothing has happened," he told the Reuters news service while awaiting the end of days in Times Square.

These folks who predict the end of the world say they use complicated (debatable) mathematical formulas they get from reading the Bible. I guess they skipped over Matthew 24:36 when Jesus informs everyone that only His father knows the time the world will end. All they have done with these predictions is to prove my theory that they are as good at math as your average newspaper publisher.

Thereís no doubt that these are eventful days. With everything going on like earthquakes, to tsunamis, to tornados, to a nuclear crisis, to wars and rumors thereof, these are uncertain times. It only leaves one to question how much time we do have left. What if the Mayans are right? What if this is the end of the world as we know it? Did I leave the oven on at my house?

If it is the end of the world, what would you do? Call your loved ones you havenít spoken to in years? Eat 6 plates of food at a local buffet? Try skydiving? Tell everyone off in your last newspaper column? Make your friend pay back that $10 he borrowed from me back in October (Justin Rugg)?

Iím probably going to just sit on my couch, drink some cheap Pinot noir and watch reruns on TV. Iím going to wait it out while making dumb posts on Facebook like, "Due to the lack of experienced trumpeters, the end of the world has been postponed for three weeks."

I think REM sang it best....

"It's the end of the world as we know it.

It's the end of the world as we know it.

It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine."

I guess if on December 22nd weíre all still here, I better spend an extra 5 minutes a day on the elliptical machine and back away from that buffet line. I may also have to clean out my garage...

Have a great end of the world.

KWIBS - From December 3, 2012 - By Kevin Noland

As we get older, we wonder what kind of impression we will leave on this world.

This is a message I received November 16 from Barb Keltner: My Kansas trivia question at the Grade School for library classes this week was "What Kansan was a famous Emporia newspaper editor, and a children's book award was named to honor him after he died?" One of my students answered excitedly, "KEVIN NOLAND!"

Uh, close but this Kansan is dead while Kevin Noland is very much alive and being obnoxious! This Kansan is from Emporia, while Kevin is from ML. This Kansan is "famous" -- while Kevin Noland is legendarily "infamous"! This Kansan is William Allen White! But at least you know you're drumming up some notoriety among the younger set, Kev! ;-)

I almost feel completed... Thanks Barb!

? ? ? ?

In the world of competitive sports, athletes are willing to do anything to win. Some take illegal substances, but are some American football players using Viagra?

The world of American football is abuzz after Brandon Marshall, a Chicago Bears player suggested that some players were using Viagra hoping it would give them an advantage during games.

Dr Olivier Rabin, science director at the World Anti-Doping Agency in Montreal, said it is unlikely Viagra does anything to improve football performance in NFL players. He also said there is no evidence the drug might somehow mask the use of steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs.

Regardless, the Bears are being viewed as stiff competition...

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From November 26, 2012 - By Kevin Noland

A couple of years ago, I wrote an article about a friend of mine named Sam Clester.

When I was 13 years old, Sam Clester was the most towering human I had ever met. Standing better than 6í5" to my 5í frame and carrying close to 300 lbs, he was a giant.

Even though imposing, he had a fun nature and gentle goofiness about him that made me love to buck paper for him.

At the time, most kids my age were bucking bales. Yeah, they were tough throwing those 50lb. bales around, but that was nothing compared to bucking paper.

Our paper truck came every few months. When I say truck, I mean semi truck. When I say paper, I am referring to rolls of newsprint that weighed at minimum 998 lbs.

These rolls had to be maneuvered into our building, lined up and lifted on to other rolls in our warehouse with the aid of a roll lift and chain hoist. It was hard work.

Sam would sometimes buy part of our load. He was the owner of The Belle Plaine News and owned the print shop there.

My first encounter with Sam came when my dad told me to help Sam load some rolls up in his truck. I used a small piece of wood scrapped paneling that we referred to as a "cheat" to spin the rolls. At 100 lbs., dripping wet, it was all I could do to spin one of these rolls 20 degrees at a time with a butt-bump.

"Here now, let me show you how to do this," Sam said.

He grabbed that roll of paper and spun it 90 degrees with one shove and no cheat. I was impressed and always remembered this giant from Belle Plaine who could easily handle a 1000 lb. roll of paper in our warehouse.

Seven years later, I was married with a kid and my wife and I were starting our very own newspaper. I needed a place to print my newspaper and called Sam Clester up. He was all about helping me get started and agreed to print our newspaper at his plant in Belle Plaine the second weekend of July in 1991.

Our friendship was solidified in ink, so to say. I watched Samís business grow over the years to the point of him selling off his newspaper businesses and simply becoming a "printer" of newspapers around the area. He went through at least a half-dozen pressmen over the years. I even worked for him for one day as a pressman while his pressman was on vacation. Although I had much experience with web press and sheet fed printing over the years, I had never printed on a News King or a Color King. Sam assured me that it was like, "Riding someone elseís bicycle." I had enough ego (or lack of common sense) to give it a shot.

The agreement was that I could have my paper for free that week, if I printed for him while his pressman was on vacation. Looking back now, that wasnít such a great deal, but I was happy to help out my friend Sam because he had helped me out so many times. I got a quick tutorial on the press one day the previous week and then I was standing in front of this machine the following Monday.

If running this press was like riding someone elseís bicycle, then this was like a unicycle with one pedal and no seat. It kicked my butt.

After wasting more papers than I needed for each of his customers, and barely printing one legible copy of The Gyp Hill Premiere that week, I was a nervous wreck and I quit my one day carreer as his temporary pressman.

For some reason, many small towns had a bar not far from the newspaper office. Belle Plaine had one just to the south and Sam took me there. I had just barely turned 21. I had a few drinks and we put an end to our "free papers for printing" deal. I was out of my league.

Sam understood and let me off the hook. He even discounted my shabby print job that week. I went home with my tail between my legs and we never talked about it again until one day in August of 2010

Ronda and I were on our way to Wichita when my phone rang. It was Sam.

Sam usually only calls when thereís bad news. Things like: the press is broke down or weíre way behind on my printing bill. He wanted to eat lunch and talk face to face. When I hung up the phone, I turned to Ronda and asked, "Are we behind on our printing bill?" We werenít.

Sam met us for lunch and explained that he was selling off his printing business and retiring. I was not surprised by his decision. I was close to the same age that Sam was when we first met. I knew Sam for nearly 30 years.

Ronda and I went to Mulvane last week and ate dinner with family there. Uncle Greg delivered the news that Sam had passed away on Friday, November 9th after a short battle with cancer. I was sad to hear that my giant friend had died and more sad to have not been able to say goodbye. We ran into Sam at Samís Club in Wichita about a year ago. It was sort of a fun joke to have run into him at his own "club". He was good and generous man who I have many stories about. Most I canít tell in the newspaper.

He was one of the people who helped me start the newspaper more than 1100 press runs and close to 22 years ago. I trusted him and his staff to provide our town with a finished product for all of those years. He never let us down and he was there when the times were tough. There were times in the history of this newspaper, that if it werenít for Samís generosity and patience, we might not have made it.

I thanked Sam in person and printed my gratefulness in ink, that one last time - with Samís ink and paper on August 10th, 2012.

In one of our last conversations together, Sam told me that I had courage for going up against the big boys of the newspaper industry when I started The Gyp Hill Premiere years ago. I told him I was just too young and simply too stupid to know better.

He said, "I guess thereís a fine line between courage and stupidity." I agree, but Sam had the courage to stick it out for all these years and weíll never forget his help and always have a special place in our hearts for him.

- 30 -

A quick round of applause for the newly organized Medicine Lodge Area Chamber of Commerce. Some new interest in the organization and some fresh faces are showing up at the monthly meetings. With some time and patience, I believe we will have a viable and proactive group of people involved and making progress for area businesses in and around Medicine Lodge. Thank you to David and Meleah Oxley, Rick Dirks and many, many others who have stepped up and saved this organization. Medicine Lodge is worth it!

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From November 19, 2012 - By Kevin Noland

Later this week weíll all be celebrating Thanksgiving with our families.

Last Monday I woke up, rushed around, probably ran out the door forgetting to tell my wife I loved her.

Later that morning, a man you probably donít know told his wife he loved her - for the last time, as she passed away from a stroke she had on November 1st. Her name was Judy Wing. She was just 41. A mother, wife, sister and grandmother.

I first met Judy years ago at the Pratt County Jail through my bail bond business. Judy was the jailís administrator and a good one. She never had a frown on her face in all the years I worked with her. I never heard her say a negative thing, even when dealing with the most difficult defendants.

The news of her stroke came as such a shock to everyone who knew her. First reports were that she would recover, but as the days went on, things got worse and not better.

Facebook delivered the sad news of her passing. Many of us followed her care at Wesley by reading posts from her husband Bobby Wing.

Early Monday morning, Bobbyís first post at around 5 a.m. read: "Rushing to hospital!!! Please pray!!!!"

Bobbyís next post that morning read, "I love you baby!!!!! Fight baby fight!!!!!!!!"

His post around 9 a.m. was, "I will always love you my love!!! I miss you so much!!!!!!!"

My heart broke as I read. Hundreds of prayerful posts flooded Bobbyís page and I sat at my desk and cried for a friend I lost and a man I had never met.

I worked with Judy the day before her stroke. I had come up to bond a young man out of jail on Halloween. Judy and I have dealt with the lowest of lows when it comes to people. It comes with the territory. For some reason we began talking about people and our jobs working with people that are in jail. I had told her I respected how good she was to people coming in and out of the system and she said something that I will never forget.

"Leave people better than you found them," she said with a smile.

I enjoyed working with Judy and will remember her as someone who showed the love of Jesus every day in her life.

I went home shortly after lunch and walked in the house and went straight for Ronda. I grabbed her tightly, kissed her and said, "I love you."

We never know when the end will come, but we have the opportunity every day to live thankfully.

Iím thankful for what Judy taught me and for the opportunity to have met someone with such a kind spirit.

My prayers go out to her family and friends.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving.


KWIBS - From November 12, 2012 - By Kevin Noland


I just made that word up. Feel free to use it.

Itís a new word that Kansas should appreciate. Itís not spring, itís not fall itís "Sflingprall."

Recent weather trends have us averaging close to 60 degree weather for November. It should be 47-50 degrees by all accounts.

This strange, warm, dry weather is playing havoc on my wardrobe. I havenít put the T-shirts, shorts and sandals away and I canít get to my sweatshirts and pants during the cooler evenings. I just keep all-weather clothes in my truck and change several times a day back and forth.

If I wear shoes and socks, my feet are on fire all day and if I wear sandals my feet are freezing in the morning.

Oh and "Happyhallowturkmas". I almost forgot. Iím tired of all the holidays getting crammed together beginning mid-October. Joey was home from Hays on October 28th and called me from Great Bend to wish me a Merry Christmas. Their city already had up their decorations and it wasnít even Halloween yet.

Speaking of Christmas, thank Jesus the elections are finally over. Itís bittersweet for a newspaper guy. We love the advertising and increase in paper sales, but itís a lot of stinking work! I was here on election night until just before midnight putting in results on the internet. People hammered the website to see local results. With all of the action, I accidently had a husband and wife competing for the same township position. I caught my mistake and corrected it before too many people saw that.

I made predictions on every election privately to my friends and family. I nailed every one of those predictions. The one election surprise for me was seeing over 3,200 people in Barber County come out to vote. That was pretty amazing.

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From November 5, 2012 - By Kevin Noland

Tomorrow our nation decides the all important issue of who the president will be.

Because of the process and Electoral College, our individual vote for president wonít matter much in Kansas. That decision has been all but made for us. Weíre a red state.

On a more close to home race, we will be deciding on issues like who one of our next county commissioners will be, who will represent us in the House of Representatives, state representative, a senator and congressmen and our next county sheriff will also be determined tomorrow.

Iíve got my favorites, as you probably do too. The issues are clear for me and I am not an "undecided" voter. As for President, you are either for Obama or against him. Iím not exactly sure who is actually "for" Romney more than they are against Obama. That being said, I am against Obama and not afraid to tell you. His policies have and will continue to hurt small businesses like mine and I have to vote against him. The jury is out for me on Romney. He gives the appearance of pro-business, but only time will tell - if he is elected. It is important that whoever is elected balance the budget, create jobs and protect our countryís national interests at home and abroad.

Locally, I have interest in several races. So whatís my opinion on the commissionersí race for District Three? Neither candidate is from Medicine Lodge nor has an interest in it. Itís unfortunate that the largest city in the county will only have one commissioner with a Medicine Lodge address seated at the commissionersí table. The options for representation are Bill Smith from Hardtner and Paul Cox from rural Sun City. As a losing primary candidate myself, I have mixed feelings about the winner of this race. I can only hope that whoever wins will consider that the majority of the population is from Medicine Lodge and represents them accordingly.

Several mailers from the Republican Party (my party...) have likened Representative Vince Wetta (D) to Obama and maybe even the devil himself. Iíve been super disappointed in the attack ads at this level. I expect more from my party and from my representatives in the Kansas House. Iíve had multiple opportunities to meet Vince and ask him questions. Heís not promoting Obamaís agenda and as far as I can tell, not supporting the devil.... Even though the mailers didnít say that, they could have. Candidates should run on their merits, not tear down or misrepresent their opponentís record.

One candidate is on the ballot for Barber County Sheriff. Justin Rugg won the primary in August. He is a current Deputy for the department and the countyís K9 handler. The primary election decided between 4 Republican candidates in August. In recent weeks J.C Stevenson, one of those candidates, made known his intentions to now run as a write in candidate.

Itís no secret that I am friends with Justin Rugg. I know him better than most people ever will. Heís a good man and will serve with integrity. Outside of our friendship, I can tell you that his work as a deputy has been outstanding for this county. Iím the areaís bondsman and I see the work of law enforcement in our communities and have no problem identifying him as one of the hardest working people in law enforcement in our area. Justin is young, has a family and a vested interest in Barber County. He does his job and does it well even when it means that some people will not like the outcome of his job. Many of these very people are supporting Stevenson with signs in their front yards.

Mr. Stevenson is also a fine officer and has a long, commendable career. He is twice retired and even though he has stated in campaign materiels that he would work as long as he was capable if written in, the truth is, long-term vision and leadership is what is necessary to protect citizens and property in the county.

What people really get to do on Tuesday, November 6th is to exercise their freedom. This freedom has come with a cost. I remember and thank those who have served our country to protect this freedom. My hope is that you consciously and prayerfully cast your vote and that you have made the issues known and educated yourself on who will best represent you on Tuesday, and for many years to come.

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From October 29, 2012 - By Kevin Noland

I watched the Presidential debate last Tuesday. I was not very impressed with either candidate.

Both candidates offer little in real solutions, but as an undecided voter I will not vote for more hope and change. I have a "write-in" in mind, but Iíve always felt that writing in someoneís name is simply a protest vote. The Electoral College leaves little choice for Kansas voters. Weíre a very Red State.

Thursday of last week was probably the windiest day in Kansas I have ever experienced. It is definitely the windy season with the election just around the corner..... I ran over 3 election signs on my way to lunch that were swirling around on the four lane.

Heading north for home, I experienced something Iíve only seen a few times in my lifetime - zero visibility due to dirt. It was only a short distance, but for a minute I just couldnít see anything.

Iíve heard some of the old timers compare our recent drought situation to that of the 30s. Some actual statistics have us even dryer than in those times. Good conservation practices are the only thing that separates us from those days.

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From October 8, 2012 - By Kevin Noland

My youngest son, Nicholas, pulled an 1898 Silver Dollar out of his treasure chest and said to me, "Someday, this will be worth a ton of money!"

I laughed.

Nicholas said, "What? What are you laughing at?"

I thought for a moment and then decided he was old enough to handle the truth.

"Itís fake," I confessed.

He was nearly crushed.

In the book "Wild at Heart", Author John Eldredge writes, "The recipe for fun is pretty simple raising boys: add to any activity an element of danger, stir in a little exploration, add a dash of destruction, and youíve got yourself a winner."

I believe it was in the spring of 2008, Nicholas was only 10 years old and we took him with us to Amarillo, TX on vacation during his spring break. Our friends Dale and Michele McCurdy live in Amarillo and their boys are close to Nicholasí age, one just a year older and one a year younger.

Dale set up a day for the whole family (girls included) to go to Palo Duro Canyon to go hiking and artifact hunting.

Dale and I had planned out the adventure part a few hours earlier. While serving in Afghanistan, Dale had acquired several counterfeit silver dollars from the late 1800s. They were pretty good fakes, at least good enough to fool any 10-year-old.

We gave the silver dollars to his oldest son Blake and asked him to go ahead of us and scatter some on the trail where we were hiking. All along the hike we told the boys stories about bank robbers and the posses who chased them up the canyon, gunfights and bloodshed.

Soon enough the boys stumbled onto the coins and went crazy when they found the "booty" from the bank robbery from the story they just heard.

Yes, we made the whole thing up and I had managed to keep it a secret from Nick for 4 years.

Nick was half laughing and half mad when he asked me, "Why would you do this to me?"

The answer was simple: to create an adventure; one that he would never forget. That, and I have a tendency to be a prankster.

"But dad, I have told that story to so many people," he said. "The whole thing was just made up! I thought I was going to be rich off that coin someday!"

I said, "I know, Iím just saving you from the embarrassment of you walking into a pawn shop one day when I am gone and find out that itís counterfeit and worth nothing. Iíd rather tell you the truth now, than you find out we made it up after I am dead and gone."

He thought about it for a while and we both laughed and thought about the fun we had that day. Then he got really serious.

"Dad, you know that from like 5th grade on, I wrote countless essays in school about that day and about the bank robbers and the money?"

Thatís when we really started laughing!

Have a great week.

KWIBS - From September 24, 2012 - By Kevin Noland

As promised, here are the details of the newest addition to our family! Baylee Aleece Schaffer made her grand entrance into the world last Monday, September 17, 2012. She was born at PRMC at 7:25 a.m. and was 20" long and weighed 7 lbs 1.25 oz. She was born with thick hair, long fingers and toes and is the most beautiful baby ever born! (my opinion of course, but backed up by many witnesses.)

Breeann, Devin, and Baylee came home on Wednesday and are settling in just fine. Bayleeís big brother stayed with K-Pa and Mema for a few days and is also back at home. By the looks of this photo, I think Kycen wants to keep her!

KWIBS - From September 17, 2012 - By Kevin Noland

Something big happens today. By the time you read this, I will be a grandpa again. My daughter Breeann was scheduled for a c-section early this morning in Pratt.

Nine months in the making, Baylee Aleece Schaffer made her entrance into the world. I may be hard to reach for a couple of days because cell service on cloud 9 doesnít have 4G yet.

Itís weird writing about an event that hasnít happened. I keep wondering what will she look like, will her big brother like her, will she like me? Iím sure sheíll be beautiful, like her Mom Breeann, like her Mema Ronda, like her Mother Barbara and her Mother Mildred and so on. I bet Kycen likes her too. And Iím guessing sheíll think Iím alright. Kycen will convince her if not.

You can count on a photo next week.

By the way, thank God for some rain!

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From September 10, 2012 - By Kevin Noland

Two weeks in a row now that I am ranting on something concerning schools. Thankfully, this time I am ranting about another school.

Last Friday evening the Medicine Lodge Indian Football Team traveled to Wichita to play the Independent Panthers.

First, let me tell you that I know nothing about their school system or policies. This column in only an observation made while at their campus last Friday.

Independent is located on the east side of town, not far from many gated communities. I like this part of town, thereís lots of fancy restaurants and a nice mall and a lot of nicer stores in this part of town. Itís fun to go there and have the selections that we donít get here in good old Medicine Lodge.

We got to the game just before 7 p.m. "Panther Parking" caused us to have quite a walk, which didnít hurt us after eating way too much at Bonefish Grille, near the waterfront.

As we made our way to our side of the field I made a special note that there were two armed Wichita Police Officers posted on Medicine Lodgeís side. I jokingly said, "thatís in case us folks from the sticks get out of hand."

I had heard grumblings earlier in the day that school officials from Independent called our school and told us that we could not grill out for our team and feed them, but we could visit their concessions stands as they announced at least 50 times that night. Another noticeable difference between our schools was a Papa Johnís Pizza trailer parked right outside of the endzone.

It was a tough night for the Indians. The game was brutal and we didnít do so good, but that didnít stop a large group of fans and parents from traveling the distance to watch their Indians play football. For many of us, it was still important to go support the team, even though just hours earlier their coach cancelled the Junior Varsity game in Medicine Lodge scheduled for Tuesday, September 4th for reasons unknown.

So, we took a beating for nearly 3 quarters when the unthinkable happened. Our Quarterback Scott Beecher took a hit and was injured on the field recovering a fumble. As so many times kids playing this sport are injured, we waited for coaches and staff to check him out before moving him. It became obvious after several minutes that he needed emergency care.

There were no ambulances on the field. The two armed police officers did nothing until the announcer asked if there was a doctor in the crowd. Slowly they made their way to the center of the field and called an ambulance. It was almost 25 minutes before sirens could be heard. The ambulance made its way across the campus, but was unable to get anywhere near the field.

You know who responded first? It was our own EMTs from Medicine Lodge who just happened to be in the crowd.

I got more and more frustrated as I watched. At one point I even commented, "If we were in Medicine Lodge, we could have transported every player on the field, one at a time, to the hospital in the amount of time it took to get an ambulance here."

After this incident, Independent and the City of Wichita will need to reevaluate their emergency preparedness plan for their school. Thankfully, this wasnít a life or death situation for one of our high school football players, but it was urgent enough that he should have been transported in a timely manner.

Iím sorry that I am coming down hard on Independent and Wichitaís emergency services, but itís a great opportunity to point out what a great community we have when it comes to emergency services. .

Every home game, look to the north of the field. Youíll notice that we have an ambulance at every game. Some times there are even EMTs in the crowd. These folks are there to make sure that if someone gets hurt, home team or visitor, they will get the attention they need immediately.

So often I hear, "Medicine Lodge doesnít have this, or that." So what.... What Medicine Lodge does have is invaluable when it comes to emergency care. Look at our volunteer fire departments, hospital staff, EMTs, Police and Sheriffís Departments. They are full of skilled people who respond quickly to emergencies. We even have teachers and administrators that are first responders! Iíll take that over the Bonefish Grille at the Waterfront any day of the week.

By the way, Scott is doing ok. We wish him the best in his recovery. Have a great week!


KWIBS - From September 3, 2012 - By Kevin Noland

One change I noticed this year at parentsí night was a plea from Principal Honas to not be "mad at the cooks" over the food served to our kids.

New federal standards this year require schools to serve more nutritious meals. That means more fruit and vegetables and fewer carbohydrates, a school lunch standard that fills kids up. The new lunch standards, introduced in January by First Lady Michelle Obama under the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act, will has been implemented. The standards were created to help fight childhood obesity throughout the nation.

Trust me, the kids are aware of the change and they are not happy about it.

"I was starving by football practice," Nick told me as he woofed down a foot-long from Subway after school, followed by everything in my refrigerator that evening.

And calorie count is down too. The suggested solution? Send some snacks to school with your kids or have lunch delivered, but donít have it delivered in the "Pizza Hut" or "Taco-Tico" packaging. Thatís against the rules. Thankfully, our teachers and administrators know that what our children are being served is just not enough to sustain them throughout the day.

Itís not our administrationís fault. This decision comes from the top, or at least right under the top. When Michelle Obama moved into the White House, she decided to take up the cause of combating childhood obesity. It's an epidemic that affects up to one-third of all children in the U.S., but not mine.

My son is 14 and doesnít have an ounce of fat on him, but thatís because he lifts weights early in the morning and has a vigorous football practice in the evening. He needs a good 3000-4000 calory-a-day diet to keep him alive at his pace. The schoolís 750 calory lunch just doesnít suffice.

No one denies our children need to have a healthy diet, but itís not the governmentís place to decide the menu for my growing son. Iím tired of having the government powers that be tell me how to raise my family and what they should eat. Good little automatons will eat their 1/2 cup of fruit with gusto, because to disobey is inconceivable. Parents welcome the nanny state, it absolves them of responsibility. "Eat your vegetables or I'll tell Michelle Obama" is the 21st century replacement for "wait until your father gets home." Hopefully, there was a father at home....

Whatís next folks? Will I walk in to the Truck Stop and order the big "Western Breakfast" and get three grapes, some whole wheat toast and egg whites? Lord knows I could use to drop a few pounds, but Iím not interested in the governmentís intrusion into even that portion of my life.

Wednesday night, between snarfing down a plate of enchiladas and watching the Republican National Convention, Nicholas said, "I hope they win so we can go back to a decent school lunch." If only it were just that simple.


KWIBS - From August 27, 2012 - By Kevin Noland

No, itís not an elaborate prank cooked up by the newspaper publisher as a cruel April Fools joke on the community.

This time capsule is for real. I saw it with my own eyes and handled many of the contents.

Dr. Pete Meador called me on Sunday afternoon and told me about a time capsule that had been unearthed during construction of the addition the Medicine Lodge Memorial Hospital.

My thoughts immediately went back to a fake article I ran when our newspaper print date fell on April 1st. I wrote that a time capsule, similar in nature was unearthed in the parking lot of the courthouse. My prank concluded with the article inviting the public to view the capsule and its contents in the courthouse.

I got a few sneers over that practical joke, but it became a legend of "best pranks of all-times" in my circle of friends, which includes Pete, so you can obviously understand my skepticism when he called me to tell me the news of this find.

"Sure they found a time capsule Pete," I must have said.

I even got an email later that evening from Kevin White, Hospital Administrator, inviting me to see the box and take pictures. I thought that was a nice touch to the possible prank that was being played on me.

Tuesday morning, camera in hand and pride out on my sleeve, I went to the hospital expecting a big group of people lined up to laugh at me for falling for my own past joke, but it didnít happen that way. Instead, there was the box with the contents, weathered, but still there. I saw photos and church programs and document after document of Medicine Lodge history that had been covered for more than 60 years; nearly 20 years before I was even born.

It was very cool. It made me think of the pride in our community that was so many years ago and think about how we have the opportunity to be proud of something again. Mr. Clarkeís challenge to us as a community should be taken seriously. Itís not just a challenge to pledge money for this project, but itís also a chance for us to join together to do something good for our community, just like citizens did in the late 1940s. Letís come together and meet this challenge!

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From August 20, 2012 - By Kevin Noland

They grow up so fast. One day theyíre needing help reaching a toy on a shelf, the next day you are putting their belongings on a shelf in their dorm rooms.

Several parents, including Ronda and I, said good-bye to our kids and dropped them off at college last week. Ronda and I took Joey to Fort Hays State University on Thursday. It was a bittersweet moment to see this change in his life.

Iím proud of you Joey. This is how I will always see you!

KWIBS - From August 13, 2012 - By Kevin Noland

You canít help but watch the Olympics, at least you canít at my house because I get home later than everyone else and I canít find the remote to change it.

Iím not anti-Olympics, I just get bored with at after 2 hours. Last Wednesday I got home at around 9 p.m. and my entire family was watching the Olympics. I was halfway watching and playing on my iPad at the same time. While glancing down I missed the winner of one of the female hurdle events.

I asked, "Who won?"

Ronda pointed, "That girl!"

Iím like, "Which girl?"

She said, "She is Russian."

I said, "I bet she was. She was trying to win the race...."

(If you donít get it, read it again slowly....)

And how about Tomas Gonzalez? Seriously, what is up with his arms when he does the horse? I think it might be counterbalance to offset his mustache. Are they not really attached and just flopping around when heís running?

This is a dumb fact, but I found it interesting. One hundred years ago the 1912 Greco-Roman wrestling match in Stockholm between Finn Alfred Asikainen and Russian Martin Klein lasted more than 11 hours. Klein eventually won but was too exhausted to participate in the championship match so he settled for the silver.

At least I wouldnít have been subjected to watching it on TV if I had lived back in that time.

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The Primary Election is behind us.

I for one, am happy that itís over, but obviously disappointed that I didnít win to represent District 3 in Barber County as a Commissioner.

Tuesday night my family and friends huddled in my office as we waited for results. Before I even knew what they were, I had satisfaction in knowing that no matter what, on Wednesday, I was still going to be all the things I campaigned as: A husband, a father, a grandfather; third generation newspaper publisher, business and job creator, property owner and taxpayer.

There was no doubt that I wanted to bring those experiences and offer a new perspective to the board of county commissioners, but it wasnít my time.

Campaigning is hard work and elections are not fun. This is what I learned from this process. I also learned that despite trying to educate people, they will still have many misconceptions about your reason for running and about who you are.

My favorite misconception came while doing some door-to-door in the final days of the campaign. I stopped at a home and spoke with a husband and wife who did offer their support, but warned that many wouldnít vote for me because my only objective was to build a new hospital.

It struck me odd that people would think that. I do support the hospital projects, but it wasnít high on my campaign priority list. The hospital issue is a "dead horse" issue. No need to keep beating it. The PBC has met, bonds have been ordered, sold and money has been allocated. Architects have been consulted, contractors are here and ground breaks next week. No commissioner elected now or in the future has any say so in that event.

Knowledge is power and those who choose not to educate themselves and get the facts from the sources, rather than on the street, will continue to hold us back as a city, county and country....

Looking forward, I wish the winners of the Primary Election the best and pray that priority be placed on moving our county ahead, not holding it back. A great responsibility has become entrusted to you.

Thank you to each of you for your vote and support. It was a very humbling experience that I will never forget.

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From July 30, 2012 - By Kevin Noland

Ronda and I spent last Wednesday with our oldest son on a college road trip.

We went to Ft. Hays State University where we spent the day enrolling Joey.

Many of you know Joey from Whiteís Foodliner. Heís been working there for over two years. Heís probably carried your groceries to the car or helped you find an item in the store.

After graduating from high school, Joey took "time off" from school. He saved his money and took a trip out to New York, went to California and finally to Europe. He came home broke and went back to work with plans to save his money and return to being a student this fall.

We couldnít be prouder to see him preparing for the next chapter in his life. Joey, for now, will pursue a degree in criminal justice and live in the dorms and experience college life. At semester, heíll be broke again and need to find work!

It makes me a little sad to see him leave, but I know heís got a good foundation and has goals he wants to achieve in life. Joey is my second child and first son to leave the home.

Just as Joey is moving away, my daughter and her husband have returned to Medicine Lodge. Breeann, Devin and Kycen are waiting for their new addition to the family. We are expecting a granddaughter on Monday, September 17. (Yep, got it all scheduled unless the good Lord wants her here earlier!).

Weíll also have Nicholas to keep our lives interesting. Heís going to be a Freshmen at MLHS and is very involved in sports. Itís fascinating how life changes so quickly. I treasure every moment of my childrenís lives.

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From July 16, 2012 - By Kevin Noland

Transparent and open - thatís what governments are supposed to be.

Last Monday I went to Hutchinson Community College and I attended panel discussion on KORA (Kansas Open Meetings Act) and KOMA (Kansas Open Records Act).

The event was hosted by the Kansas Attorney Generalís Office, KS Press Association and The Sunshine Coalition.

Itís not a big secret that I am running for an elected office and I felt it was important to brush up on some of the rules and see if much had changed.

Iíve been to a lot of meetings like these in the past and didnít expect to learn much, but found that this discussion was an entirely different discussion on the subject of open meetings.

Much of the perspective was from the elected personís point of view. There were several registers of deeds, county clerks and city and county officials at the meeting. What I learned is: most of the time, violations that occur in breaking open meetings rules are simply accidental. Nothing sinister was involved in the violation.

However, the occasional rule breaking does happen when officials try to "do business in the dark,", but generally it is a "tripping over the dog - not kicking the dog" scenario.

Whether or not I become an elected official, it is my responsibility to keep up on the laws that govern open meetings and open records. As Abe Lincoln said, "government of the people, by the people, for the people. This has come to symbolize the definition of democracy itself.

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Thursday evening I went to Hardtner to speak in a candidate forum at the senior center. Iíve been so impressed with the turnout of people who come and have taken an interest. I remember going to things like this (just as a reporter) and only seeing a few people attend, but people are owning their government and taking part in the voting process.

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I wanted to take up a few lines to congratulate John and Barbara Hagood on the new pharmacy. It is beautiful!

They are slowly getting organized and finding their rhythm again. The store is amazing and if you havenít been there, you should stop by. Even if you are healthy!

I also want to welcome (re)new Medicine Lodge residents Breeann and Devin Schaffer and their son (my grandson) Kycen! Itís good to have you guys home in Medicine Lodge!


KWIBS - From July 9, 2012 - By Kevin Noland

In a landmark decision, our Supreme Court of the land upheld the congress-passed, president-signed mandate to force everyone to buy health insurance or face a "tax" by the IRS.

Now, I donít understand all of the details, but I do understand this: "The government can now order you to purchase anything or tax you if you donít," said.... NO FOUNDING FATHER. EVER!

I know there are very good provisions in the health care reform act and I know that everyone has a fundamental right to care, but this reform has more problems than fixes.

As we reform, we do dumber and dumber things with health care like: adding millions more to the health care system without adding any new doctors. Or things like......

Working mothers now get a more appropriate place for expressing breast milk than they had before. Employers must provide "a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from co-workers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk."

Nursing mothers also can take "reasonable" breaks during the workday to express milk, as frequently as the mother needs.

You think your wait in line at McDonalds was long. Just wait. Under the law, you would walk into a fast food joint and see calories listed under every menu item -- Big Mac (540 calories), McNuggets (10 pieces- 470 calories) and medium fries (380 calories).

"Letís see... (getting out my calculator)... Iíll take 4.5 McNuggets and 2 French Fries for a total of....."

Oh, if you plan on visiting a tanning booth, plan on paying a 10% tax each time you visit. Iím waiting for congress to tax sun light next.

The good news: Mammograms, physical exams, colonoscopies, vaccinations -- these are among the preventive care services that will be fully covered by insurance companies. You just might have to wait 6 months to a year after scheduling one.

Have you ever been confused by the language in health insurance plans? Well be confused no more!

The health reform law requires health insurers and health plans to provide concise and understandable information about the plan and its benefits. According to the Health and Human Services press release, "The new rules will also make it easier for people and employers to directly compare one plan to another."

It only took 2,700 pages of easy-to-understand law to get that accomplished.

But one of my favorite lines in this reform has been "reduce fraud."

Hereís one way we are doing it.

Congress just announced that a $77-million computer system put in place last summer to combat Medicare fraud had saved taxpayers a grand total of $7,591 through the end of the year.


With returns like this, the computer system would easily pay for itself in, oh....... a few thousand years. Go ahead and write this investment off as a loss.

Hereís to your health!


KWIBS - From July 2, 2012 - By Kevin Noland

For Christmas last year, Ronda asked me for an inversion table.

Her back had been bothering her and we had borrowed Steve and Suellen Bryanís inversion table. Ronda was instantly hooked, so I started shopping around and reading the reviews.

So we bought this torture-looking device that you lock your ankles into and hang upside down sometime in mid-December. I brought the heavy box into the living room with the help of one of the boys and there it sat for about 3 months. Eventually, Ronda got one of the boys to help her haul it downstairs where it remained until last week.

I was so out of whack. My back was hurting and I just couldnít get relief.

I asked, "Hey, whereís that contraption I bought you for Christmas?"

Ronda said, "I had Joey help me take it downstairs and we put it behind the couch since you never put it together for me."

Shame overwhelmed me. Had I really procrastinated for almost 7 months?

So I got motivated (pain will do that for you) and we headed downstairs to get the inversion table.

"This thing is heavier than I remember," I told my wife, who was struggling to help me get it back upstairs.

After a few minutes of groaning, huffing and puffing, we had it back upstairs in the light where I could take a look at what we had. I opened the box and I let out a gasp. This thing was broken down into the simplest form. I swear to God it was nearly molecular in nature.

I felt every last ounce of patience slipping away from me as piece after piece was removed from its shrink wrapped sarcophagus.

This project was not for the faint of heart or for anyone suffering from back pain. I needed pain medicine, possibly a stiff drink and a Ph.D. to put this thing together.

Ronda and I spent the next two hours grumbling and sighing while completing 24 steps of 56 parts to completion. No wait, Ronda graciously held the parts while I did the grumbling and sighing and she talked me through a couple of the steps.

Merry Christmas Sweetheart!

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Congratulations to Doug and Liz Hanna on their recent marriage over the weekend. They made it official! Liz has been writing for us for about a year now and you will remember her as Liz Glomb.

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Even being as hot and dry as it is, we live in a beautiful area. Ronda and I recently returned from a trip through New Mexico and down into El Paso, Texas where we saw some mountains, but mostly desert. When we got back to Barber County, we had a new appreciation of the beauty we have here.

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From June 25, 2012 - By Kevin Noland

We decided to "get away from it all" last week. Ronda and I loaded up the truck with 6 days worth of clothes and headed south towards El Paso, TX. Rondaís dad lives there and we were going for a surprise party in his honor.

Leaving for 6 days from our office wouldnít have been possible without Doris Sorg. She did the little things I do that make the big things happen, like getting the paper to press and uploaded to the Internet.

It was our first road trip of this kind in the 24 years weíve been married. Our anniversary was Sunday, so we thought this would be the perfect get away.

We made it a point to pick our stops along the way and we did great sticking to our schedule. Our first stop was in Amarillo, TX to see friends Dale and Michele McCurdy and Bryan and Cindy Goucher. We went on to Santa Rosa, NM and spent the night, seeing the Blue Hole and cruising the old Route 66. On Friday, we stopped in every little village or community we could find between there and El Paso, TX with a stop at White Sands National Park. After two days in El Paso, we hit the road for Carlsbad, NM and pulled into the visitorís center. I hit the trip meter and weíd gone 1120 miles since Thursday.

We put on some warmer clothes and headed one mile down a path, 750í down under the surface. The caves were awesome, but nature was calling after a couple of bottles of water and I went looking for a bathroom.

It was Fathersí Day and the place was packed. You stood in line for everything, but fortunately, the bathroom line was short. When I rounded the corner I ran smack dab into Mike Rutan from Medicine Lodge! I couldnít hardly speak. What are the odds of running into someone from your home town so far away from home?

The Rutans had made a trek across the west which included pulling their Air Stream to the Grand Canyon and through Albuquerque, NM to see Kyle and DeDe Vick, which is Rondaís brother, my in-laws. They actually came to El Paso and we were with the Vicks the day before.

When I came out of the bathroom, Ronda had found Christi and Izzy and their nephew Ben near the elevators. We had Ben take this photo of us. It almost looks like we were vacationing together.


So, we sort of "got away from it all", less the Rutans, which were welcome faces 750í below the Earthís surface!

On Sunday night we rolled into Roswell, NM. The nerd in me couldnít resist seeing the UFO museum and alien artifacts from the legendary cover-ups from the 1947 UFO crash site near Area 51.

Ronda and I posed with some "cheesy" aliens and props at this visit. There was much eye-rolling coming from my wifeís direction, but I think she sort of enjoyed it.

This was a short stop along the way before going to Ft. Sumner, NM to see Billy The Kidís grave and museum. This was one of our favorite stops along the way. They have a very nice museum and collection of old west items. The store is owned by a man who is a third generation owner of the familyís museum.

And I had to ask the owner of the museum if Billy The Kid was really killed by Pat Garrett in 1881. He assured me that he in fact did kill Billy The Kid and he was buried at their cemetery in Ft. Sumner.

Something odd had just happened in Ft. Sumner on Saturday. Vandals tipped over the grave marker of Billy The Kid and broke in to the townís museum and stole two long rifles. Reward posters hung all over town for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the responsible parties. I would guess a lynching was about to occur! The town had repaired the damage to the museum by the time we got there on Monday.

Leaving Ft. Sumner mid-afternoon and on our way back to Amarillo, I called our friends Bryan and Cindy (Clarke) Goucher about having dinner with them.

Bryan was at work in Hereford and we made a plan to meet for dinner in Amarillo after we checked into our hotel. A couple of hours of travel put us through Hereford at about 5 p.m. and as we were cruising along the highway 45 minutes outside of Amarillo, a black Chevy truck screamed up beside us, honked and a guy started waving his hand at us. We looked closely and it was Bryan! Maybe not as much of a story as running into the Rutans, but itís still very strange to run into people you know, so far away from home.

Itís not so far fetched, but when it happens it seems like Vegas odds. When I was younger I remember running into a classmate from Medicine Lodge in Boston, MA. Ronda reminded me of a time when she was traveling with our kids in Chicago, IL and she ran into Melvin Thompson at OíHare. I also remember a time that we ran into Dan and Jean McKay while at the Houston, TX airport coming home from Mexico.

So, can you imagine what song was going through my head all the way home from this trip? "Itís a small world." And now itís going through your head!

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From June 18, 2012 - By Kevin Noland

I went to the movies last weekend at the Pageant Drive-In Theater. It was the first movie I had seen at the theater this season.

A few weeks back I had gone to the movies in Pratt at the Barren. When I looked at the screen at Mike Sillís drive-in, I couldnít believe my eyes. This was the sharpest picture I had seen at a movie theater in a long time. The FM broadcast of the movie came across loud and clear in my truck. I had forgotten what a quality place we have right here in good oleí Medicine Lodge.

This was quite the contrast to the Barren. When we went three weeks ago, the picture was dark and out of focus. This was in addition to the fact that the air conditioning was broken. I did complain to the folks up front, but it did no good.

Itís a shame that this could be the last season of the drive-in. I looked around and the place was packed for Men in Black, III. Families gathered in lawn chairs and children laughed and played in the very same place that I did as a kid growing up and going to the movies.

I commend Mike and Amy for the service they have provided to this community. I also pledge my support for their efforts to convert it to the digital upgrade necessary to keep it open.

If you havenít been to the movies in a while, I encourage you to go out and see one of this summerís blockbusters. Mike and Amy have been very timely on getting current movies and like I said earlier, the picture quality was incredible and if you have a decent FM radio in your car, you can hear it loud and clear.

My friend and former resident Kevin Colborn also commented on how cheap the concession stand was in comparison to theaters he goes to in Wichita.

So if you want good quality entertainment, right here in Medicine Lodge, why not go to the Pageant Drive-In. It could be your last chance to see a movie under the stars.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From June 11, 2012 - By Kevin Noland

Putting me in a car for an extended period of time is like removing a baby from its motherís womb and placing it on a cold metal table.

There will be whining and crying.

Weíll see how this goes, but for the first time in my adult life, I am going to pack up the truck and drive an 800 mile trek across the southwest. The destination is personal and a surprise for someone special.

Weíve done a lot of traveling, but rarely by auto. With our limited number of consecutive days off between publications, weíve often chosen to travel by air. When we priced tickets and saw the limited number of destinations from local carriers, we decided to just take "a road trip."

This coming Sunday marks 24 years of marriage for Ronda and I. We rarely get a break from our hectic office and we will take a well deserved rest for several days and see some sites and be by ourselves. Iím looking forward to it! I love you sweetheart and look forward to a little time away with you. ;-)

The on-line edition for June 18 will take a break as well, since I wonít be here to do it. Our on-line flip page PDF viewer will be available. If you havenít taken advantage of this, I urge you to try it out. We have over 100 subscribers now and the viewer allows you to get the newspaper as soon as it hits the streets, so no matter if you live in California or Medicine Lodge, you get the paper without delay! I want to thank Doris for filling in for me this next week and picking up part of my load!

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My son Nicholas just got back from a football camp hosted by OU in Norman, OK. We are so proud of him for going.

He and Caden Rusk attended the camp. During the three day event, the boys got to meet and be coached by NFL players and top coaches across the region. Nicholas called on Friday to say, "Dad, I just shook hands with a former Dallas Cowboyís linebacker and he was wearing a Superbowl Ring!"

I told him that he "must have been retired for quite a while!" Zinger! And Iím actually a Cowboyís fan.

I wanted to thank Clay Rusk for taking the boys down for this once-in-a-lifetime chance to be trained by some of the best in the industry.

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Finally, I received an anonymous letter in the mail last week. I wonít give any of the details about the concerns in this letter. It is my belief that anyone who doesnít have the courage to put their name to something, isnít worth the time or trouble to respond to. If you would like to come in to the office, I would be more than happy to address your issues and concerns.

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Fatherís Day is Sunday. The paragraph above reminds me of my father. He always gave me practical advice about doing the right thing when dealing with people. He hated anonymous letters. Most newspaper people do. If you donít have the courage to put your name to it, it shows your character or lack thereof.

Many of you may not know, but my dad suffers from severe dementia. He just turned 66 a couple of weeks ago. He has struggled for many years with his speech and reasoning and now is in long term care in Attica, KS. His condition has worsened over the past month.

Heís not the witty newspaper man that many of you remember, but heís still my dad.

He made amends for his wrongs when he first understood that his mind was leaving him to disease. He recognized that he was not the perfect father, as none of us are. He also made me realize that I was not the perfect son either. He taught me many other very valuable lessons throughout my life, even when I wasnít trying to learn them.

He was the best dad he could be.

I love him and my heart breaks seeing him struggle to communicate and do the simplest of basic functions. I choose to remember him during the good times, forgive the bad times and accept life as it is for him. Iím grateful to the kind people in Attica who are treating him with respect and dignity and caring for him.

I would like to end with this quote from Charles Wadworth:

"By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks heís wrong.

Have a great week.


KWIBS - From May 28, 2012 - By Kevin Noland

Itís part of a story that we didnít cover in the paper. When I say "part", I just left it out. I left it out because one of the guys asked me to.

Now itís fair game and he canít be angry for telling you about it and maybe you actually heard the story.

On March 8, 2012 David Colborn and Josh Graham, MLFD volunteers, entered the burning apartment complex and risked their personal safety to rescue people trapped inside.

Neither really wanted the recognition, but the city has made a proclamation honoring these two guys and I am so glad they did.

For weeks Iíve wanted to tell my readers of their heroics, but promised I wouldnít. I donít really feel like I am breaking the promise since the city paid for a proclamation on page 8 of this weekís Premiere.

A partial quote from this proclamation reads:


WHEREAS, with no regard to their own safety, David and Josh went to the aid of others, and;

WHEREAS, by valiantly racing against time, David and Josh did rescue two residents from smoke and fire, and;

WHEREAS, by way of David and Joshís heroism, we do see the greatness within our community, and;

WHEREAS, the City of Medicine Lodge will be forever grateful to David and Josh for their bravery in the early morning hours of March 8th, 2012.

The community is proud of you guys.

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As this community recognizes the selfless act of others, we also mourn the loss of one of our own friends and businessmen.

Laurn Cope was critically injured and passed away last week. He was doing what he always did - work. Laurn was just one of those guys who you had to like. I found this photo of him as I searched my archives. It was from Halloween last year. Iím pretty sure he was successful of getting smiles out of everyone on Main Street during the parade. Hereís one more time to smile because of Laurn.

KWIBS - From May 21, 2012 - By Kevin Noland

I wanted to apologize to Deb Wesley and her ladies at the Clerkís office for unintentionally beating them up last week with my "new countertops" comment.

You guys did deserve new counters and my point wasnít supposed to be against that. It was to state that Home Health was not a priority for Barber County.

The power of the pen can sometimes be a stinger when the meaning wasnít fully expressed.

My grandpa and my dad both used to say, "Donít get into an argument with a person who buys his ink in 55 gallon drums."

I would also say, "Be careful how many ladies you offend in one office at a time! "

Smiles girls. :)

KWIBS - From May 14, 2012 - By Kevin Noland

Somewhere as humans, citizens of our county, we dropped the ball on a vital service.

In a last ditch effort to save it, Home Health was neatly discarded (sold) late 2011. It was passed on to someone else to give it a whirl.

It failed this past week and now the doors are closed for good.

As a county, we can have "special funds" to allow for capital improvements and purchasing things like new counter tops and windows, but we canít find the money to help take care of our elderly. We canít find the resources or management needed to keep a service like Home Health going in our community. Itís no wonder many older people have to move away.

Itís sad and one of many complex problems we face.


KWIBS - From May 7, 2012 - By Kevin Noland

Our area has been getting a lot of press in recent weeks and months over the impending oil-boom.

I had heard rumors at the courthouse that even Diane Sawyerís office was interested in doing a peice on our area. Betty Jo Swayden said that someone had called her office and I told her how I would have responded.... She said, "Why didnít I think of that!?!"

I finally got the chance. Friday of last week a fellow by the name of Daniel called me from ABC News. He was a producer from Diane Sawyer's office and wanted to know if I knew of someone from our area who had a "rags to riches" story they could cover. Apparently, news of our "hitting it big" has hit the Big Apple news circuit.

I said, "Well, there's Jed."

He said, "Yes, go on. Tell me more about Jed."

Oh my... I couldnít beleive he was going along with this.

I said, ".....Was a poor mountaineer barely kept his family fed......"

You know the rest.

Funny thing was, the guy didn't catch on for the longest time. I bet I rattled off half the song.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From April 23, 2012 - By Kevin Noland

Several years ago "Frosty" Wayne Sill promised me that I could peek inside the Pastime Movie Theater. He warned me that "it was bad."

I never got that chance before Frosty died, so when I heard Doris was going down to do an interview with Wanda and Linda, I tagged along hoping to see inside the theater.

It had been 30 years since I saw my last flick there. Time has not been on her side, but so many memories came rushing back to my mind.

Restoring the theater is a worthy cause. It will be no easy task, but itís an opportunity to really come together as a community. Itís in the early planning stages and will take a lot of time and a lot of money, but isnít Medicine Lodge worth rebuilding? Thank you for the sneak peek!

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From April 16, 2012 - By Kevin Noland

Iíve had the opportunity over the past couple of weeks to see first hand the economic impact being made as a result of the Flat Ridge 2 Wind Farm and the local oil boom.

Wednesday, April 4 Ronda and I went to Harper where we ate lunch with officials from British Petroleumís Wind Division and officials from Sempra.

Governor Sam Brownback was there too and he was very encouraged at the growth of our counties.

Itís exciting to see progress in our area and to know that we are just at the beginning of a good period of economic growth for our area. Itís been a long time coming. Our communities have seen a steady decline in population and valuations. If not for companies like BP, Shell, Sandridge, Osage and Chesapeake, we would probably continue on a steady decline.

Iíve always credited local oil operators for being the backbone and base of our local economy. They are equally as important to the economic growth as the companies Iíve listed above, so please donít think I donít appreciate the importance of their contribution.

Thursday was an interesting day. Early in the week I received an email from Edward Cross, the President of the Kansas Oil and Gas Association. He invited me to tag along with him and Senator Pat Roberts and Mel Thompson on a tour of Osageís horizontal rig west of Medicine Lodge. I, in turn, invited my wife to tag along with me as my copilot.

We met Mel and the Senator at Caseyís and did quick introductions with other media members before caravaning out to the fracking site some 45 minutes away. It was mostly dirt roads and since it had been raining, it was muddy!

I realize I have been beating this horse to death, but the oil industry is going to be good for us in Barber County. We have to look this gift horse in the mouth, so to speak. We have the opportunity for growth for many years to come, but we have to seize the moment. We need planning and we need it now. If the growth in the south part of the county is any indication of what is to come, we must get ready and be proactive and not reactive.

From everything Iíve learned by visiting the people in the industry, I come away with the same realization each time. They want to work with us and they want to help with being a part of the solution. We need to work with them, communicate with them and appreciate what they bring to our area.

Ronda and I want to thank Ben Crouch, Robert Murdock, Edward Cross, and Steve Stanfield for the tour. I also want to thank and recognize Senator Pat Roberts and Mel Thompson for taking the time and showing interest and support in our county during this time of economic growth.

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From April 9, 2012 - By Kevin Noland

"Set your phasers on fun!" said the speaker at my very first and last Star Trek convention in 1994.

I just have a need inside me to show people what a nerd I can be. I remember quite well my wife taking me to Wichita to the Star Trek convention where everyone but us was dressed as their favorite Vulcan or Klingon.

I grew up with Star Trek and I forced it upon my family. By the time my daughter was three years old she could recite: "Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Itís five year mission: to explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilizations; to boldy go where no man has gone before."

We thought it was cute at the time. Now itís just creepy.

As we walked around the convention center in 1994, my wifeís eyes continued to roll. She said, "How could there be this many nerds gathered in one place?"

She was right. If a bomb had gone off there, no one would have had anyone to repair a personal computer in the future and there would be many mothers with empty basements.

I was actually stunned that there were people that were bigger nerds than I was. I mean, I didnít even think of dressing up for the event.

But hereís a group of geeks that actually know how to make fun of themselves. There were lots of jokes flying around about Trekkie things. I remember this one joke told by Mirna Sirtis who played Counselor Troy on The Next Generation (oh Lord, here I go again showing everyone how nerdy I am.....)

Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Commander Riker and Data were on the bridge of the Enterprise. It was an uneventful day, though tensions with the Klingon empire had been high of late.

Suddenly, Data calls out ''Captain. Klingon Bird of Prey decloaking ahead of us.''

Picard gives a tug on his tunic and says '' It's a good thing, Will, that command wears red.

That way, if we are wounded, the color of the uniform will disguise it and morale won't be affected by it.''

Riker was about to reply when Data called out again... ''Captain. Sensors indicate fifty Klingon Battlecruisers decloaking directly astern.''

Riker looks at Picard and says ''Iíll be in my ready-room putting on my brown corduroy trousers.''

Ah... Live long and prosper fellow nerds!

On a side note: we are having problems with our online flip viewer. The problem is on our end and we are working to resolve it. Watch for more information on our progress. We hope to have it resolved this week. Thanks for your patience!


KWIBS - From April 2, 2012 - By Kevin Noland

I had lots of column writers this week and got shorted on space. Sometimes thatís just fine.

I want to wish you all a Happy Easter from our family to yours. Remember weíre celebrating the ultimate in forgiveness.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From March 26, 2012 - By Kevin Noland

I got a personal invite to see what Shell Corporation calls "Arrowhead Station" on Friday, March 16. This "station" is the first horizontal well that Shell and their contractor have drilled in Harper County. With optimism, this will be one of many horizontal wells drilled in Harper County and the beginning of many more in the 7 counties that they are operating in South Central Kansas, including Barber County.

Special thanks to Crystal, Mark, Teresa, Scott and "Bamma" for the great tour! This is an amazing operation. First let me say Shell and the other big operators are good for our local economy. However, I do not want to leave out recognizing our local operators. There are many. They are the backbone of the oil economy for our county. They've been here in good times and bad and will be here for the future, employing hundreds of people in our communities and generating hundreds more jobs for support companies like water truck drivers and roustabout crews. This column is mostly about Shell though, since it was at their invitation that I toured Arrowhead Station.

Our tour started out with a change of clothes. I was given a hard hat, some safety glasses, some steel-toe boots and a fire retardant jump suit. After being fitted, we reviewed some rules for the tour and we headed off southwest of Anthony, KS to the drill site.......

KWIBS - From February 27, 2012 - By Kevin Noland

A few months ago my wife and I got a Coke machine for Main Street.

We did this after Whiteís moved out to the highway and just wanted to provide for our other pop "junkies" on Main Street. Itís been a good edition to our block and weíve been pleased with the response.

Weíve also been pleased that there has been no vandalism to the machine in front of our building, which would be a foolish thing to do since we have a security camera pointing in that general direction.

But we are having one reoccurring problem. Someoneís dog is using the machine as a bathroom break spot and it has me pi**ed off.

Iím a dog lover, so donít think I am angry that a dog has to relieve itself. Thatís just nature and if it is a stray, then I appeal to the city to catch it.

However, I donít think it is a stray.

I watched on Monday as a familiar person in town walked their dog on the West side of Main Street. I observed as they stopped with the dog and allowed it to go to the bathroom on the corner of Mandy Carrís Ultimate Effex building. I was shocked and moved to write this column as a warning.

That is completely unacceptable, unsanitary, rude and it needs to stop. If I see it happen again, I will print your name in my column. If I see your dog urinate on my pop machine, I will have you pay to have it professionally cleaned and disinfected.

Main Street is dog friendly in the respect that we want you to walk your pet here, but if your pet canít make it down the street without urinating on my pop machine or on businesses, then you should walk it elsewhere.

I praise the dog owners in our community who responsibly walk their pets and provide them with exercise and love. For those of you who donít or canít, donít have a pet.

Thanks for reading and have a great pee-free week.


KWIBS - From February 13, 2012 - By Kevin Noland

Iím a pretty organized for a guy who is going in 30 different directions each week.

Tuesday evenings is penciled in for cards for 8-9 months of the year. I call it "old man" cards. We play pitch, all kinds of pitch, and the winner does the dishes. I havenít won a game in weeks....

We all said our good-byes last Tuesday after cards and said, "see you next Tuesday." On Thursday I was driving to town and realized, OH LORD, TUESDAY IS VALENTINEíS DAY! Can you imagine me saying to my wife on Valentineís Day, "Have a nice evening honey. Iím going to play cards with the guys!"

Well, I was smarter than that (one of the few moments of smartness I have) and called one of the guys and suggested that we all have dinner with our wives instead of playing cards. He thought that was a pretty good idea! So no dog house for me and the "old man" cards group.

And this being Valentineís Day, I have to make mention of my special sweetheart, Ronda. Iím blessed more than any man to have such a special woman in my life. This will be our 26th Valentineís Day weíve shared together and every year she blows me away with her beauty and grace. Iím the luckiest guy on the planet. I get to see her every day, and work with her side by side. She is my better half, the most precious gift God has ever given me.

"He who finds a wife finds what is good." (Proverbs 18:22)

As busy as we get, we need to be reminded that we are still sweethearts. Valentine's Day is a good day for me to stop and realize how wonderful you make me feel Ronda. Happy Valentine's Day!

Cupid shoots well for me and Ronda! He hit us with perfect aim.

? ? ? ?

I attended a regional planning meeting on potential oil activity in our area on Friday, February 3 in Kiowa. These two questions came out of our break out session and I wanted to share them with you:

Question 1. Identify one of the worst things that could happen with the potential oil boom.

Answers: Oil bust, crime, depleted resources, stuck with long term debt, deteriorated infrastructure, impact on the quality of life and the environment.

Question 2. Identify one of the best things that could happen with the potential oil boom.

Answers: Improve infrastructure, increase tax base, revenue growth, and ability to control the exit strategy.

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From February 6, 2012 - By Kevin Noland

I would not have believed it if I hadnít seen it for myself.

Joey yelled to his mother, "Hey, I see a mountain lion!"

Ronda put her dish rag down and ran over to the window.

"Heís right! Kevin come look!"

Iím thinking to myself that they are both nuts and probably just see a bobcat.

I got up from the comfort of my couch and looked to see what the fuss was about.

I saw nothing....

Both Ronda and Joey were jumping up and down and pointing at this point.

"Right there! Right there!" They both shouted.

So, I looked again and there it was! It was a mountain lion. He was about 200 yards off our front porch across our pond and walking west across the dam.

I canít describe what an awesome creature this was. It was much larger than I ever imagined one being.

Of course a lot of authorities will tell you that we donít have mountian lions here in Barber County. I know some people who will laugh at that claim and tell you a story or two about their experiences with them on their property.

Very recently the Matt Peek, furbearer biologist with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, confirmed that there are mountain lions in Kansas.

Many of the mountain lions located in the Midwest, and especially to the north in Nebraska, have been identified as sub-adult males, Peek said. Some experts believe as populations of mountain lions in the western United States have increased, dominant males have forced the younger males out of their home ranges.

It was getting dark and we werenít going on his turf this soon, so the next day Ronda and I armed ourselves with some small pistols and went out to see if we could find tracks. By researching the big cats, I found that they have a unique set of pads. We found several tracks in the vicinity of our sighting and we set up some trail cameras in hopes of catching a picture if he comes back by. Hereís a photo to give you an idea of the size.


KWIBS - From January 30, 2012 - By Kevin Noland

Iím not inspired at the moment....

There are weeks when columns pour out of my head and then there are weeks like this when I find my mind wandering.

Part of the problem was the beautiful weather we had last week. I looked for every excuse possible to go outside. Every opportunity I took got wrecked by a phone call or actual responsibilities to attend to.

? ? ? ?

Ronda and I got some really cool news last week. Our daughter Breeann called us to tell us that she and her husband are expecting another baby! That will be grand-baby #2 for us!

? ? ? ?

My youngest son, Nicholas, and I went up to Wichita last weekend and stopped in to see Bob Smith. He was still in ICU after his fall on Friday, January 13th (an unlucky day for Bob). Iíve missed his daily greeting on Main Street and it was good to know he was being so well cared for by the doctors and nurses and his niece Stephanie and her husband.

I was really touched by all the cards he had received from the community. Letís keep them coming. If you would, take a moment to tell Bob you are thinking about him and love him.

Bob Smith

929 St. Francis Street

Wichita, KS 67214-3821


KWIBS - From January 23, 2012 - By Kevin Noland

It just makes me proud of our community when I see how they come together to help our friends and family in times of need.

A benefit soup supper (chili, soup, crackers, pie, cake, cookies, brownies) for the Donna Hudson and Michelle Eck families will be held February 3, beginning at 4:00 p.m. Donna and Michelle both work at Medicine Lodge Grade School and have both been diagnosed with cancer. All proceeds will be used to aid the families in defraying their expenses.

Their friends and coworkers have organized this event and Iím blessed to see the goodness extended towards others. What a great example this is to the students and to our community.

Also in this weekís paper is the contribution to our fire fighters from the Barber County Cattlemenís Association. They raised money for our area fire departments through private donations at the auction and fund-raiser held last year.

The volunteers of the fire department worked selflessly fighting fires during one of our areaís worst droughts and the protected lives and property while risking their own safety to help their neighbors.

And finally, on this weekís front page is a story about Bob Smith. Bob took a fall down the street from our office just over a week ago and is recovering in a Wichita Hospital from his injuries to his face.

Ronda and I tried to go see him on Monday, but he was not in any condition to take visitors.

Bob is one of those friendly faces that I am thankful to see on nearly a daily basis. No matter what the weather, Bob is out there walking the street and greeting everyone he meets. There are a bunch of folks who didnít get birthday cards in the mail last week because of his absence. Heíll also be missed at the ball games.

I hope he can recover soon and come home. Only time will tell. Get well Bob.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From January 16, 2012 - By Kevin Noland

Short on space this week.....

My grandson turned 2 last Wednesday. Weíd gone up to see him earlier in the week. He loves to show me his room now. He runs out, grabs my hand and says, "Pa, címon!" It cracks me up!

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From January 9, 2012 - By Kevin Noland

Iím going to be completely honest here. Years ago, I used to dread the conservation edition.

Hear me out.

I didnít recognize the importance of honoring the efforts of those who farm and ranch and the process of what it takes to practice conservation.

A few years ago, my wife and I became involved in the operations of M-Bar Ranch / Lake Arrowhead. One of our first tasks was to deal with some drainage and runoff issues. We were sort of thrust into something we knew nothing about. Fortunately, we knew some people who did know what to do and with a few phone calls, a bulldozer and some money, that problem was solved.

With a visit to our ranch this past summer, the local conservation district has made us a plan. Iíll admit, itís one we havenít started yet, but like I said, "itís a plan."

Without these experts and local services we would be lost.

Now I read the articles with interest and I appreciate the efforts of the agricultural community.

I also want to congratulate the efforts of this yearís conservation winners.

? ? ? ?

This past week, I procured a piece of printing history. An email crossed my desk on Monday from someone at the Lawrence Journal World.

An older man brought by an antique hand printing press and was wanting to sell it. The folks at the Journal werenít interested in it, but sent out an email to KS Press and soon it landed in my email account.

Iíve always wanted an old printing press to put in my window on Main Street. I was looking for this very item. I made contact with the owner, Richard, who had no idea what he had. He was interested in moving the rather heavy item, but didnít have a computer or a camera or a cell phone that could take a picture, so I had no idea what he had. Even if I was interested in it, how would I get it back to Medicine Lodge from Lawrence?

A simple post on FaceBook asking for some help with getting a photo taken in Lawrence led me to former Medicine Lodge Memorial Hospital PAC Ryan Fleming.

Ryan ran by and snapped some photos and emailed them to me. Within hours I had identified it as an old Chandler & Price Pilot hand press. The old press was probably used by a school district or small office and is about 100 years old.

I called Richard back and we settled on a very reasonable price for the old printing press and on Friday afternoon, Ryan Fleming paid him and loaded it in the back of his car. Because he was coming anyway, he drove it back to Medicine Lodge for me.

The piece is now in our window and is a reminder of the progress made in the printing industry. It is also a tribune to the past generations of my family and their involvement in the newspaper and printing business that began for us in the 1930s.

? ? ? ?

For the past 6 months Ronda and I have been host parents to a young lady from Austria. Elli Unger came to live with us in August and now her time with us and her time in The United States is drawing to a close. Elli will return home on Friday, January 13, 2012 to finish her final year of school and then on to university.

Sheís become a member of our family and although life will return to normal for all of us, it will never be the same.

Weíve learned a lot by hosting a student. Things like: the toaster doesnít put itself away; everything is too spicy and we dispelled the claim that there is no public transportation in Kansas (we were public transportation). I think our student has learned a lot too. Things like: donít ask mom and dad to do anything during Sunday afternoon football games; it isnít stupid, itís different and sometimes people go way overboard decorating the outside of their homes for Christmas.

Elli will return home to her friends, mom and dad, brothers and sisters, dog and cat and her boyfriend Mio. Sheíll also have her 18th birthday to look forward to in a couple of weeks and getting her driverís license!

AFS is a great program and opportunity for both families and students to learn a little about the world and about each other. Weíre going to miss you Elli and our prayer is that you take a little of our family home with you. Youíll certainly leave us with a lasting memory of your time with us. We love you.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From January 2, 2012 - By Kevin Noland

For a number of years, I have selected someone in our community as my pick for "Premiere Person of the year." This year was the easiest pick Iíve ever had to make. I picked Sara Whelan.

She was pretty much a household name in 2011 and on my speed dial because of Peace Treaty.

Doris Sorg wrote about Sara in several articles throughout 2011. In one of those articles she writes:

For those unfamiliar and curious about the time-consuming plans leading up to the weekend that Medicine Lodge comes alive with visitors, saloon girls, gun totiní cowboys, Indians and a variety of live entertainment, a definite description is also impossible.

For general questions concerning the planning of the Peace Treaty and the hours on the phone; the number of meetings; a list of things that can go wrong and the responsibility of trying to make everything go right, Sara Whelan, President of the Peace Treaty Board, is the number one person "behind the scenes". Her second Peace Treaty as president, Sara explained, "When one Peace Treaty is over, we continue to meet and exchange ideas for the next one." Whether Sara has a phone or a paintbrush in her hand, her dedication and commitment to the Peace Treaty celebration is an example of the dedication that has enabled the celebration to continue throughout the years.

Sara never asked for any special recognition throughout her service to the community. Sheís probably going to kill me for even putting her photo on the front this week and mentioning her in my column.

I got a chance to work with Sara and other really dedicated people this year with Peace Treaty. I gained a new perspective on what it takes to put this celebration on and the countless hours of volunteering, led up by none-other than Sara Whelan.

She leaves huge shoes to fill on the new board. Thankfully, sheís not going anywhere. Sheís promised us that she would help us see that Peace Treaty continues to be something Medicine Lodge can be proud of. Sheíll be there, working behind the scenes, during the next celebration. You can count on that.

Speaking of Peace Treaty....

Peace Treaty 2011 is my pick for top story of 2011. Of my 40 years in this community, my fondest memories will be of this yearís pageant and celebration.

Many are the reasons for this yearís Peace Treaty being one of my most favorite. The biggest reason is because it was the first time in my life that both of my boys got to play a part in the pageant and both of my boys were in the same scene as me. Another factor was the all-school reunion. This event was what made Peace Treaty for me. Seeing all of my classmates and seeing friends from long ago gave me an overwhelming sense of pride in our community and I hope it did for you as well.

The top of my list for Peace Treaty had to be seeing my classmate and friend jump from a helicopter and parachute down onto Main Street during Saturdayís parade.

Nix White is a retired Navy Seal who graduated from MLHS in 1988. He did something that nobody had ever even thought of doing by jumping into the intersection of Main and Kansas. He did this while Martina McBride sang the Star Spangled Banner. Two of our favorite area celebrities in one place, giving back to their community during Peace Treaty. Thank you both.

2011 was mostly a "good news" year.

Progress was made on the highway as Pat White and his family made good on a promise to build a state of the art grocery store in our community.

This landmark store has hired many new people in the community and brought many new products and services to town. We thank Pat and his family and all of those who made the new store possible.

And more progress...

No one can deny the increase in activity in the town. The recent influx of people is due in part to the oil industry. Weíre being told that we can expect more activity in 2012 and into the future. Itís exciting times in our community and county.

Of course thereís more news than I can mention here in this space. So, I hope you enjoy this edition and look back at the year of 2011. God bless you and have a happy 2012.


KWIBS - From December 26, 2011 - By Kevin Noland

Ronda poked me and said, "Hey, look over there. Itís Kirstie Alley!"

I looked, and she was right. There just 10 feet away was Kirstie Alley.

We were in the East Mall in Wichita and in one of my favorite stores, Brookstone, when this deal went down.

My wife grabbed me by the arm and said, "Donít bother her," and we walked out of the store.

My mind flashed back 16 years ago when me and my brother-in-law Kyle Vick were in the Plaid Giraffe on North Rock Road one Saturday afternoon.

Kyle said, "Hey, thatís Kirstie Alley over there."

Sure enough, it was and I said, "Iím going over there and getting her autograph. The only thing I had at the time was a Wichita Eagle rolled up in my back pocket. I walked up and said, "Iím a big fan, would you sign this for me?"

Sixteen years ago, Kristie Alley was going through that little weight issue, but still looked pretty darn good.

She smiled and said, "Sure, who do I make it out to?"

I told her my name and watched as she scribbled a greeting to me.

Then I said it.

"I loved you in ĎStar Trek II, The Wrath of Khaní where you played that Vulcan chick."

She looked at me and gave me the "you are a dork" look.

When I realized what a dork I was, I grabbed the paper, said "thanks" and ran out the door.

Why didnít I mention ĎRunawayí, where she was nominated Best Supporting Actress or one of her famous ĎCheersí episodes? No, I had to say something really nerdy.

My mind came back to the present as we walked out into the mall. I stopped and said, "No, Iím going back in there and redeeming myself!"

I handed Ronda my cell phone with my camera cued up and walked to the counter where Kirstie was making her holiday purchases. She was surrounded by an entourage of people in expensive clothing and stiff hair.

I leaned up against the counter and said, "Hey Kirstie, can I tell you a story?"

Everyone got a little tense. I probably looked like your average stalker in my Dallas Cowboys jersey.

"Sure," she said smiling politely.

So I told her about our first meeting, 16 years ago at the Plaid Giraffe. I told her about what a dork I was for telling her I liked her as a Vulcan in Star Trek, that I still had her autograph on my desk and she smiled and said, "Hey, that was my first real performing role in a movie and I donít get that many complements on that one. Thanks!"

I asked her if she would mind taking a photo with me, to which my wife photographer rolled her eyes, but willingly took. Below is a picture of me and my favorite Star Trek Vulcan, Lt. Saavik. Once a dork, always a dork.....

KWIBS - From December 19, 2011 - By Kevin Noland

A few weeks ago, one of our countryís $6 million spy drones (the RQ170) made a somewhat gentle landing in Iran.

Without missing a beat, Iranians declared they shot it down, but later displayed the virtually undamaged craft for its country run media and propaganda machine.

Later in the week, Iran claimed to have decoded our militaryís technology and jammed our signals, landing this supersecret plane after it went astray from a CIA and Department of Defense mission in Afghanistan.

As I understand, once contact with the operators is broken, drones such as the RQ170 are programmed to circle an area until contact is reestablished, sources said. If contact is not reestablished during a pre-programmed period, it is designed to return to base or to self-destruct -- directed through a separate channel or program. A common outcome is that the drone crashes and is burned by its fuel.

Who knows why this didnít happen, but itís obvious that it didnít.

President Obama asked Iran to return the drone. Iran has stated it will not return the drone and that the drone landing in their country and violating their airspace was an act of war in itself.

Iím pretty sure that everyone knows weíre flying these things over Iran and that one of these things was bound to crash or be shot down at some point.

A couple of things that struck me as very odd about this situation was that - we lost this thing in the first place; and that we had no plan to be 100% sure it would be destroyed rather than fall into enemy hands in the case of malfunction. We are (or were recently) the most technologically advanced nation in the world.

Why doesnít this thing have cameras all over it and a button that can be pushed that makes this thing go "boom!". (You would want the cameras for the surprised look on everyoneís faces...)

Iíve offered my assistance to President Obama this week to help resolve the problem.

My letter:

"Dear Iran,

Weíre sorry that one of our remote control planes landed in your desert. We were flying it over here in Afghanistan and it malfunctioned and for some dumb reason, weíve programed it to land gently. Weíre correcting that problem. In the future, if we lose contact with one, they are set to fly over the ocean climb to 30,000í and then nose dive at full speed. Iím not sure yet who is getting fired over the default setting to "auto land".

Weíre pretty sure you didnít shoot it down and we are even more sure that you do not possess the technology to force it from the sky, but consistency and storytelling have never been your countryís strong points.

Weíre asking, kindly and formally, that you return our $6 million spy-plane. Weíll meet you at the border and compensate you for your time and delivery. We realize that it might seem like an unreasonable request, but we want it back. We do have like close to 1,000 of these things ready to go in a momentís notice, but it just doesnít seem right to let you have even one.

Weíll give you a few options:

A) Return it now.

If you wonít give it back by: (insert exact time and date here) weíll destroy it.

Yes, we realize that this would be another act of aggression against your sovereign nation, but if you donít give it back right now weíre going to drop one of those really, really smart bombs with pinpoint precision that will destroy a 100í radius with, hopefully, no collateral damage. We do have compassion for innocent lives. Thatís why weíre going to give you 10 minutes to get out of the way before we drop it.

By keeping our aircraft and accepting and cashing the enclosed check for damages, you have agreed to hold harmless the United States and its interests.

Other options to consider:

B) Return it now.

C) Return it now.

Signed, President Obama"

Well, I read today that Obama actually considered a covert mission to reclaim or destroy the drone, but decided not to because any mission of that nature could be considered too aggressive or an "act of war."

News flash.... Iran has already declared that invading their airspace with a drone was an "act of war."

Seriously, what do we have to lose here?

? ? ? ?

With the Thanksgiving Holiday rushing right into December Christmas celebrations, our psychic abilities dimmed. I got a phone call last week from a reader who asked, "Why wasnít anything in the paper about the vandalism to the Sharon Christmas light display?"

Honestly, I didnít hear about it until last week when this reader called us. Folks sometimes think we just know everything, but often we donít. "Well it was on TV!," the person said.

Well, who called the TV and not the local newspaper?

We ran three stories on the Christmas celebration in Sharon, but no one ever bothered to call us and tell us about what happened with the park.

We have a story this week on page 11. Iím sorry it took this long to cover it. Thatís a sad deal and such a disappointing thing to have happen in any community. I hope the punishment is severe for those responsible. I suggested that those responsible be wrapped in LED lights and be forced to stand in the Sharon Park on display each evening until Christmas.

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This is the second to the last issue of the Premiere for the year of 2011. Itís also the time we celebrate Christmas in our newspaper and share the letters from the grade school children. I have a few favorite issues I print every year. These last two of the year are my favorites because of the letters to Santa and The Year In Review.

Hereís my favorite letter from Derrek Randels. He writes, "Dear Santa,

I want a feed pickup with red front and flat black bed. Also I want a color maker, and one sock and a skunk also I want a KU real helmet and a ninja set. Wait! Also I want an ipad also two big boxing gloves. Thanks.

Love, Derrek Randels written by Elf Garrett Randels".

One sock and a skunk? Oh my, next year this boy is getting another sock, some tomato juice and a bar of soap.

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I pray that each one of you has a blessed Christmas celebration with those you love and remember what it is that weíre celebrating this time of year: The birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Merry Christmas to you all.

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From December 12, 2011 - By Kevin Noland

Can you imagine my excitement when my wife handed me the envelope that was addressed from "Settlement Department."

I actually read my mail. I canít tell you the number of class action law suits I have inadvertently become a party to by simply doing nothing.... I didnít even know I was harmed.

Several years ago, I got a settlement check for $930 from an overpayment to my motorcycle insurance company. That was a good one! Last week, I got a settlement check for $18.35 from an attorney who sued Visa. That bought me lunch. This week, I got a check from Ying Ling vs. Ebay Settlement in the amount of, (drum roll........), 14 cents. That bought me nothing and only got my wife crazy stares from the bank tellers when she cashed it.

Seriously? 14 cents? The check itself, the paper, envelope and postage probably totaled closer to $1. Some lawyer made millions and I got 14 cents because Ebay Motors miscalculated some final charges on a Harley I sold on Ebay back in 2002.

From what I read, that was a pretty average amount on the settlement. Some were actually as high as $18,000, but mine was far less.

Hereís the problem....

"Bill" (as weíll call him) recently received a card, letting him know about a class action settlement involving his lawnmower. To be honest, Bill didnít even know that he was a part of this class action lawsuit. He didnít even know there was a problem with his lawnmower.

This class action lawsuit had nothing to do with the productís safety. Billís family wasnít in jeopardy because of his lawnmower. This ridiculous lawsuit was over "claims that the Defendants misrepresented and overstated the horsepower of their lawnmowers and lawnmower engines." Although the defendants deny these claims, they did agree to settle.

In this particular class action case, the lawyers intend to collect over $14 million in fees.

Here is the problem I have with these types of class action lawsuits Ė Bill never knew he was harmed by his lawnmower and I bet the hundreds of thousands of consumers who bought these products between January 1, 1994 and April 12, 2010 never knew they were harmed either. It is a prime example of lawsuits gone crazy. Cases like this one jam the court system and prevent the timely resolution of legitimate claims.

Stupid class action lawsuits are an abomination of the tort system. Tort claims should only be made by people who have actually suffered harm and are not part of an unknown class of individuals who werenít harmed, never once thought they were harmed and did not go out and hire an attorney to file a lawsuit.

KWIBS - From December 5, 2011 - By Kevin Noland

Barb Keltner would roll over in her grave. Wait, Barb Keltner isnít dead. She might die when she finds out what I bought last week.

For years Barb and I have had this "good vs. evil" fight over Mac/Apple and PC platforms. She being a Mac fan and me being a PC fan.

I used to joke that they put the handles on the old IMacs so that you could carry them into the repair shop easier or toss them in the landfill without straining to pick them up.

She of course at every opportunity would tell me how wonderful Apple products were and I would give her the "mmm-hmm" man-sound that means I really didnít care.

But thanks in part to the power of marketing, the death of Steve Jobs, the alignment of the planets or whatever else you want to claim did it, last week I bought an Apple Ipad 2.

And I like it.

My son was like, "Why do you need an Ipad?"

Well, Iím sure there is a free application that will help me to deal with teenagers.

Actually, there are a lot of really cool "apps". Most of them are for sale, at a nominal fee, but some are free and are sort of useful.

Take for instance, "Duetsch". This application helps you to learn German. That would be great if I really wanted to learn German, but I donít. However, my son set up my Ipad and installed this little "free" app so every 30 minutes my Ipad automatically turns on and says a German word or phrase. It startles me and Iím annoyed with this, but not smart enough to figure out how to turn it off.

Another "app" is one called "Lightsaber." This practical application allows me to hone my futuristic sword-fighting skills. I am sure this will come in handy in my day to day newspaper activities.

My favorite "app" though has to be the "Paper Toss" application. In this application, you are challenged to throw wadded up paper into a trash can with interference from a fan blowing.

There you have it, Barb. Iím now an Apple user.

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From November 28, 2011 - By Kevin Noland

This is a story, too good not to share, about small town living. We are blessed to be able to laugh at ourselves every once in a while. Norma Ricke was good enough to let us reprint this story after a mishap she had at the grocery store last week.

Well, I have gone up and opened the door of a vehicle that looked like mine in front of a store, I have even got inside and sat down in one that looked like mine before I realized it wasn't, but I have never got in, sat down, started it up, and drove home in it, until today! Many thanks to a lovely lady named Bonnie Bailey who only laughed and assured me that it was no big deal when I brought her 2004 maroon Chevy pickup back to White's and exchanged it for mine! Not so much to Norm who kept yelling "THIEF!" at me!

Hereís the story.....

Well, I was in my kitchen cooking lunch with what I had picked up at the grocery store. The shop phone rang and I ignored it knowing Mark would get it, then he could tell whoever it was if he had something or not.

In a couple seconds my cell phone rang and it was Mark. I asked if he was ready to come in and eat lunch and he said, "No, but I am ready for you to jump in Bonnie Bailey's pickup and take it back to her."

Thinking he meant it was a customers and he needed me to help deliver it back to her I asked, "Ok, where does she live?"

He laughed and said," I don't know but she's at the grocery store and would like to have her pickup back!"

And that's when I knew.

I started freaking out and saying "Oh my gosh, am I in trouble?", but of course all he could do was laugh.

I finally hung up on him and went and got into the pickup that looked EXACTLY like mine and started the long drive back to town. I was practically in tears when I pulled in and saw the cop car parked in front of White's.

I very timidly started walking into White's when Norm stuck his head out of their liqour store and yelled, "Thief! Thief!"

Then Charlie Ricke and another lady I assumed was Bonnie came out and they were laughing.

I said "I am so sorry!"

The Bonnie lady gave me a big hug and said it could have just as easily been her. The cop who had been walking towards us must have realized I was just a moron, not a thief so he turned around and got in his car and drove off. THANK YOU LORD FOR THE BLESSING OF LIVING IN A SMALL TOWN!

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From November 21, 2011 - By Kevin Noland

I had meetings almost every night last week, so it was late when I made my trek back to the ranch.

Several nights just after mile marker 30 on US281, a very healthy looking coyote sat on the east side of the road to greet me. He startled me a couple of times and I had to swerve to miss him.

He was there in the morning as I went back to work, munching on the carcass of a deer. This is a major crossing for them by the way, with no sign telling them to cross or warning motorists of their crossing. I just know they are there because of the amount of trips I make through there.

The coyote was just an opportunist.

On Wednesday night, we were returning home from the Harper County Oil Summit and we came up on him. Only this time, he was the victim. The poor little guy got creamed by some unassuming vehicle. He became dinner for the crows by Thursday morning.

It just goes to prove itís a crow-eat-dog-eat-deer world out there.

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Speaking of the oil summit...

Ronda and I went to Chaparral High School on Wednesday with Steve and Suellen Bryan. We sort of figured on seeing a few Barber County residents. Imagine our surprise when we saw over 1,000 people in attendance. The Harper County K-State and research center were equally surprised to see the turn out. I donít think anyone realized how much interest there is in the oil activity in our area. Everyone is an opportunist.

The program featured speakers from Chesapeake, SandRidge and Shell. It was informative and has reaffirmed my belief that our area is about to burst at the seams with activity. This will include a boost for retailers, property owners and will also bring in new money to the area for quite a few years. Hopefully, it will make some of you wealthy too!

I think we are all a little bit like that coyote - looking for opportunity. I just hope we donít get eaten by the crows.

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From November 14, 2011 - By Kevin Noland

On Thursday, November 3rd President George W. Bush spoke to about 5,000 people at the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce's annual meeting at the Convention Hall in Century II. It was a "bucket list" item for me, but because of ballgames and schedule (and not enough money for the $250 ticket), I had to pass.

An email crossed my desk over the weekend from former Premiere staffer and MLHS graduate Seth Oldham. Seth got a chance to hear the former president speak and shared this blog with me and asked me to share it with my readers.

Getting to the Center of W.

He came in at just the wrong moment. President George W. Bush walked onto stage just two sentences too early to start his night off in Wichita. After confidently back-stepping behind the curtain, he successfully entered the stage thirty seconds later, waving and thanking the energetic crowd.

This was the first of many instances in which the former president caused the enormous crowd to burst into laughter. The former president seemed to let his guard down as he entertained and informed Wichitans last night. His humanness smacked the audience in the face right from the start. His speech began with an anecdote about the day he watched Barack Obama being sworn into the office of the president. He plopped down on his couch and started conversing with his wife.

"Thank goodness that's over." he said to Laura. "I'll finally have some free time on my hands."

"Yes, George," she replied, "Now you finally have the time to do your own dishes."

"Laura. You do realize you're talking to the former President of the United States?" he responded.

"Yes, I do. Just call this your new Domestic Policy Plan."

Wichitans were wooed by the President's southern charm and casual demeanor. Bush even managed to utilize the word "dude" in his speech. Most were disappointed that no "Bush-isms" were coined, but they were impressed with how frequently he made fun of himself. While talking about his book, he acknowledged that most people in D.C. didn't think that he could even read, let alone write. He also cracked jokes about the fateful day that he choked on a pretzel, passed out, and was resuscitated by the President's doctor.

All jokes aside, the former President spoke with incredible honesty about some of the decisions and events that shaped his presidency. At about the middle of his speech, he referenced his decision to send 15 billion dollars worth of aid to Africa to battle the HIV/AIDS epidemic. At the time of this decision, many Americans were upset with his choice to send aid abroad when the U.S. had its own problems to deal with. In one heartfelt sentence, he justified his decision, saying, "As the President of the most powerful nation ever, you must have priorities."

Most audience members had to fight their way through protesters outside chanting, "ARREST GEORGE BUSH." And although they were causing a ruckus, the one word that George Bush yelled during his speech was volumes louder and better received. He spoke of the choice to use faith-based programs to implement the HIV/AIDS prevention programs in Africa and the controversy that it caused because of their conservative and traditional approach. "If you want to tick some people off," he said, "just go to the Lincoln Memorial and yell 'ABSTINENCE' at the top of your lungs."

After wrapping up his speech, the president transitioned into a one-on-one interview with a member of the Wichita Chamber of Commerce. The interviewer asked him several questions, including "What went through your mind on September 11, 2001 and what are your thoughts ten years later?" Bush answered with sincerity and expressed his surprising lack of emotion during the 10 year memorial service. "The service was impersonal," he said. "I was sitting in a bulletproof glass box and watching the service from a distance."

Whether Republican, Democrat, or other, each member of the audience left Century II with a better sense of who George W. Bush is and the rationale behind his decision making during his presidency. His Christian values permeated throughout the entire presentation, but they really shone when he ended his speech saying, "God is Good," to which the Kansas crowd joyfully responded, "All the time!"

Thank you for sharing this Seth.

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From November 7, 2011 - By Kevin Noland

 Every day I make my way to town from the north on 281. I watch the sun shine on our sleepy little town and I wonder, "Does Medicine Lodge have any idea what is about to happen to her?"

The oil boom is about to hit our area like a wicked summer storm. Only this time, we know itís coming.

Iíve written about this numerous times, but I need to hammer it home with my readers. Itís coming. Unlike previous oil booms from the past, this wave and the new technology involved, is bringing in one of the worldís largest oil companies. Shell Corporation has made clear its intentions to drill horizontally in our area. With their coming, hundreds, perhaps thousands of jobs will lie in the wake.

Are we getting ready or are we burying our heads in the sand? Will we give up opportunity to cities like Pratt, Kingman, Harper and Anthony or will we grab the bull by the horns and get a piece of this fossil fuel stuffed pie? Some surrounding counties are already feeling the growing pains from the first wave of oilfield workers entering the area. Weíve already missed out on offices for local executives.

Iíve been speaking with some of my friends who I trust and believe are in "the know". We cannot move fast enough to develop housing and infrastructure. During our discussions this week I ran across a story about a similar situation in a community not so unlike our own. Could this be us?

Now hiring: North Dakota oil boom creates thousands of jobs

Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:43 AM EDT

By Catherine Kim and Jessica Hopper, Rock Center

Those hurt hard by the ailing economy are flocking to Williston, N.D., where an oil boom has turned a sleepy prairie town into a place producing thousands of jobs.

"There's opportunity here and that's what we all need is opportunity," said Williston Mayor Ward Koeser. "It's kind of been an oasis for the country. You know, there's a lot of jobs here, good paying jobs in the oil industry."

Williston is situated on the Bakken formation, an oil field that some say will produce the biggest boom in North America since the 1960s. Koeser said that his town currently has 2,000 to 3,000 jobs and they haven't been able to fill the openings fast enough.

"A lot of jobs get filled every day, but it's like for every job you fill, another job and a half opens up," Koeser said.

A job on an oil rig can pay as much as six figures. The starting salary for truck drivers is around $80,000. While the nation's unemployment rate is 9.1 percent, Williston's unemployment rate is less than 1 percent.

Locals say job seekers from all 50 states are heading to the North Dakota town, becoming modern-day pioneers. The town's population has nearly doubled from 12,600 people to 23,000 people.

Patrick Parker hitchhiked from Yuba City, Calif., to Williston. When NBC News spoke to him, he had just $12 in his pocket. Parker, a paving stone layer by trade, has been out of work for two years.

"One of my goals is to make my daughters proud of me," said an emotional Parker. "I want to make them proud because I worked a good job for 10 years and then for it to go away it's just, it just gets to me a little bit."

Parker is one of a dozen people NBC News saw setting up camp or living in their cars in the parking lot of the local Wal-Mart. Williston's housing construction hasn't caught up with its rapid growth.

Parker said the town feels "like the old gold rush town."

Oil was discovered in this part of North Dakota 60 years ago, but it was only recently that oil producers have found a way to get at it more effectively. After drilling about two miles down, they drill horizontally for another two miles through the bed of rock where the oil is trapped. Using a technique called fracking - water, sand and chemicals are shot into the rock formation from that horizontal pipe to create cracks and fractures. From those openings, comes the oil. Those in the oil industry say the tight rock that traps the oil, also prevents it from escaping into the water table during the fracking process.

North Dakota is currently the fourth largest producer of oil in the United States, but that is projected to change soon. A spokesperson for North Dakotaís Mineral Resources Department said that oil production in the state is expected to surpass Alaska and California by 2015 which means North Dakota will be the second largest oil producer in the country soon.

Along with the bounty from the oil boom, come some stresses and strains. A sewage system that's running at full tilt, truck traffic congestion, an influx in 911 calls-those are just a few of the headaches that keep Mayor Koeser up at night.

There is such a large influx of people that thousands are staying in 'man camps'- shipping containers converted into housing units for the workers new to town. When more teachers were hired to deal with the rising number of students, an apartment building had to be built to house the new teachers, Koeser said.

"When we have as many people come here everyday looking for work, where are they going to live," Koeser asked. "How are we going to get water to them and sewer to them and a road to them and power to them and all those sorts of issues. Yeah, it's putting a tremendous amount of pressure on the infrastructure."

Of all the stresses, the biggest strain on the community is truck traffic, the mayor said.

"That's really stressing us, the traffic, a lot of accidents," said Koeser. "In a small community, you're used to getting from one side of town to the other in just a few minutes, that's no longer the case."

The number of accidents in September were double the amount the same time a year ago, the Williston Herald reported.

The surplus of people living in the town coupled with the traffic accidents has led to a drastic rise in calls to 911. Koeser said that the police receive at least 10,000 more calls a year than in pre oil boom times.

"Now keep in mind, you've got, you know, probably 9,000 men living in man camps around the city, not in the city limits, but living around the city and what do they do at night when they're done with work? They come to town and find a bar and want to have a good time, and sometimes get in trouble," Koeser said.

But that means more jobs: the town is adding six new policeman and three dispatchers this year, the mayor said.

Even with the headaches, Koeser said he and Williston's other residents are lucky that the town has become an oasis for job seekers.

"I've lived here most all of my life and I love it. And although we're really being challenged right now, with those challenges come some great opportunities," he said.

KWIBS - From October 31, 2011 - By Kevin Noland

Will return...

KWIBS - From October 24, 2011 - By Kevin Noland

Last Tuesday evening, a little over 100 people came to The First Christian Church for the communityís first public meeting on Peace Treaty.

Itís good to see so many interested folks. I scanned the room and saw every face being familiar. They were all involved in some aspect. Whether actors, sponsors, board members, committee chairs or just people working with various groups and organizations, they were all part of Peace Treatyís success.

And no one wants it to end.

108 people filled out a survey as to when the next pageant should take place. 33 people want it again in 3 years, 41 want it in 5 years, 28 people want it in six years to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the signing of the treaty in 1867, 6 others had anywhere from 4-5 years.

The current board recommends waiting until 2017 to do the next one, with events in between to build up the excitement for the 150th. I am in favor of this idea. There are so many pros and cons to doing it sooner or later, but the biggest concern I have is, will people still want to come and participate in 6 years? I hope they will.

Three years is just too soon. I can tell you that this community is not ready to begin planning a 2014 event. We would need to start immediately and frankly, a few people need a breather before beginning another one.

Several ideas are floating around for events between the next pageant. One of those ideas was announced on Tuesday. The Indians that participated this year would love to have a pow-wow event in Medicine Lodge. Steve Bryan recommends we pursue that idea. Some other ideas include music events and scaled down performances of the night showís cancan girls.

Whatever we do, we need to first select the people who will lead the next celebration. So far, there are many workers, but few willing to lead. For those who made 2011ís event so succesful: Youíve set the bar high!

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From October 17, 2011 - By Kevin Noland

First let me say that this is in no way directed at our local folks at the USPS. These folks do their job to the best of their ability given the resources they have and the shrinking budget.

It is my opinion, one gathered and formed from being a decent-sized customer of the USPS, that this business is in desperate need of a complete revamp in its service.

Recent discussion of closing smaller post offices only frustrates me when I hear talk of ways to make the Post Office more profitable. Each week I read at least a dozen emails from frustrated newspaper publishers across the state in regards to delivery problems.

A perfect example of this comes from a customer in Sharon this week who received his Monday-mailed paper on Wednesday. Now this was normal for this past week with Columbus Day, but for the past several weeks, it was unacceptable. Heís considering dropping his subscription and buying the newspaper over the counter.

Another customer in Alva dropped her subscription to the paper after it took more than two weeks for it to arrive.

Newspapers to New Mexico and California can take as long as 3-4 weeks to deliver.

We have little, to no control of the speed at which the newspaper is delivered. The mailing is done each and every Monday, provided it is not a holiday. The mailing programs we use are certified by the USPS to ensure best rate and delivery.

My final straw this week was an important package delivered to us on Tuesday. This package was shipped 33 days prior and arrived to us, opened and retaped. Inside, half the contents were missing or damaged. Packages inside this package were opened. Someone went through this package while it was in possession of the USPS. No explanation was given to why its contents were lost, stolen and damaged.

There are more reasons that the Post Office is in financial trouble. First, Congress requires that the USPS fund both the retirement program and the health plan at 100%. The average for the S&P 500 funding is 80%. Other federal employees is 41%; the military is 24%; and the some government bureau which requires the USPS to fund at 100% does not fund its plans at all.

Second, itís run by the federal government (and funded by fees). No one can deny the inefficiency of the government. The Post Office is expected to handle 167 billion pieces of mail this year. Thatís a huge number Ė but it represents a 22 percent decline from just five years ago. Also, the Post Officeís total volume is expected to plunge by another 30 percent over the coming decade.

The Internet and corporately owned companies like UPS, FedX and DHL are cutting into their business and providing a faster and in some cases, less expensive solution to mail.

A perfectly stated opinion by Fitsnews read, "Of course itís not just the ongoing decline in mail volume thatís creating this gaping financial hole. Like everything else government does, it delivers packages inefficiently, too. According to the latest data, more than 80 percent of the Post Officeís expenses are devoted to labor costs. By comparison, only 32 percent of FedExís expenses are labor-related.

Like any business who wants to survive, change must occur. Itís not always easy. Years ago, we had issues with the quality of the printing of our newspaper. Our customers wanted a better quality product. We demanded change and got it. It was not the smoothest of transitions. It required a new way of thinking and lot more work than what we thought, but we did it to survive.

I am thankful to our local Post Office for working hard to provide us with the best service available. I hope someone out there is smart enough and determined enough to make this service work without wrecking it even further.

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From October 10, 2011 - By Kevin Noland

Stop what you are doing and get out a pen and mark this date. October 18, 2011 there will be an informational meeting about Peace Treaty at the First Christian Church Family Life Center at 7 p.m.

If you are interested in the future of this event, I encourage you to attend and learn about what it means to serve this fine association.

I know that many of you want to keep this tradition alive and this meeting will be the first of many to come before planning the next big event for our community.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From October 3, 2011 - By Kevin Noland

The response about the 23rd Peace Treaty has been overwhelming.

Monday evening the Peace Treaty board held a short meeting, a debriefing of sorts, to talk about the pros and cons of the event. The pros definitely won. It might be weeks before we have the final numbers, but it looks like it was around 11,500 in attendance over the three day celebration

My inbox was so packed coming in Monday morning, that it crashed and I had to reboot my computer.

Iíve tried my best to sort through the letters and comments and put them in the paper this week. Surprisingly, I ran across one negative letter about Peace Treaty, but it was obvious that this person poorly planned their trip to Medicine Lodge and it was in no way our fault that she and her family didnít have a good time.

The weekend was a great moral shot in the arm for our community. Everywhere I went this week, someone wanted to talk about how great Peace Treaty was. No doubt, we have some momentum that we can either build on or we can reminisce about the great Peace Treaty of 2011 one day. Itís our choice.

As far as the future of Peace Treaty, it is up to all of us to decide. It looks like it wonít be the last, but for many on the board, itís time for fresh blood.

Everyone on the board agrees it was one of the best celebrations ever and we all enjoyed working together. It was strange going in to this past week without some Peace Treaty task before me. Monday nightís meeting was a climax of several months of planning. It left me with a feeling of real satisfaction and pride in our community. Peace Treaty truly was a product of a town coming together. It doesnít just have to be with Peace Treaty. It can be that successful with everything we do, if we work together.

I hope you enjoyed yourself and I hope you enjoy the letters to the editor this week.

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From September 26, 2011 - By Kevin Noland

What a weekend!

Iím actually writing this before it ever happened, but thatís how this business works sometimes. The town could have been destroyed by a freak earthquake, but my paper will say the weekend was a huge success!

It was all accomplished by the many hours of volunteers in our community. Some of them have been visible on the front page of the paper, or you see them actually working during the pageant and other related events. Some were nearly out of sight and out of mind. Those were some of the most important people making Peace Treaty happen.

One of those people was David Colborn. He got little recognition for what he did, but each and every one of us on the board and on committees knows his contribution. David spent countless hours and got the electricity flowing to our vendors, our bands and the pageant grounds. He also got our sound system on Main Street patched up in a couple of spots to help with announcing the parades.

When he first said heíd do it, I donít think he understood the magnitude of the project heíd undertaken. David zipped all around town hooking things up, figuring things out and got it all done before the events took place.

We thank him for what he did for Peace Treaty and the community. His services were invaluable.

At last Mondayís meeting someone said, "Hey, heís our new Ron Ward!" For those who remember Ron, he was the guy that always took care of the electrical needs of Peace Treaty.

Also of great importance was the work that Southern Pioneer did for the association. Thank you to Mark and Brian and Amy for answering all my calls

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I also want to thank my staff here at the paper for working so hard these past few weeks. It has been a little hectic, to say the least, in our office. The week of Peace Treaty we answered a lot of calls and did a lot of running around.

I was gone a good majority of the week with making some of the final arrangements and people stepped up to help me out and I do appreciate it. Thank you to my Wife Ronda, Doris and my Mom Joyce. You guys are the best. Because of the short week for us, much of our photography work is only available online. Go to and search "The Gyp Hill Premiere" for hundreds of photos of the weekend.

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There are just too many people to thank. Actually, the most important person I can think of to thank is you. If you came and enjoyed the weekend, we thank you for being a part of it. It wouldnít have been Peace Treaty without you.

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2011 Peace Treaty was very special for me and my family. I appeared in the pageant with my two boys, Nicholas and Joey and AFS daughter Elli Unger. It was a cool experience. We leave 2011 Peace Treaty wondering what its future holds. I hope it continues for many more generations.

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From September 19, 2011 - By Kevin Noland

Are you ready for a fun weekend? Well, weíve got you covered, wagon! Ha! Peace Treaty humor....

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As you felt by the weight of this weekís paper, weíve been very busy. The special section for Peace Treaty is in this weekís paper. Hopefully, you didnít get too upset when you saw that we charged a buck for it. It was a mammoth project with an impressive cost to produce. For the first time in the history of Peace Treaty special sections, we have put out a multi color edition. The cost of next weekís paper will return to the normal 75 cents.

Speaking of next weekís paper.... For the past several weeks I have been stressing out over the September 26th copy of The Gyp Hill Premiere. With it being a Peace Treaty weekend, itís hard to find the time to actually work at our real jobs! I had originally thought about taking an extra day to make the newspaper come out on Tuesday, but when I requested a print date change, I discovered we wouldnít be able to come out until Wednesday, so we decided to stay on schedule.

So for the past week or so, I keep having these reoccurring dreams that we didnít make our press time. I hope these are just bad dreams!

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Here we are, just a few days away from what some have said "could be" our last Peace Treaty Pageant. It seems almost sacrilegious to even utter the word "last and Peace Treaty" in the same sentence.

Iíve been asked many times if this is true and I always have to answer, "You know, it could be, but I donít know." The decision is actually up to me. Itís up to you and everyone else who treasures this event. Peace Treaty can only go on with the support of the many people it takes to put it on. Frankly, some of them are tired, some are old, some are just too busy. The list for reasons to stop the pageant goes on and on.

Keep in mind, the list of reasons to keep it going are bigger than the reasons to stop it, but it still takes countless hours of volunteerism and sacrifice to do this event.

I want to commend Sarah Whelan and everyone on the board and who helps make Peace Treaty possible. It has been such an honor to be a part of the process. My part is so small.

Iíve been to many of the meetings and I always leave with a sense of pride in the people who donate time, money and their blood, sweat and tears to this event. Some of these people say it will be their last time. I can only hope that they reconsider.

I do know this to be true. It will be a fantastic event, rain or shine. So much buzz has been generated that it can be nothing but a success. It might be an ironic marketing twist that this could be one of the top Peace Treaty weekends in its many years in existence simply because so many think it could be the last one.

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Itís going to be such a busy week in our community. I actually had to schedule a place and a time to shower for the three day weekend. Since we live out in the country and I have so many things going on each day, I realized I didnít have time to go home and freshen up after the Pageant.

I play the part of Colonel J.K. Rankin of the US Cavalry. He was one of the many diplomats that attended the original Peace Council. I can only imagine how hot he must have been in his dark blue wool jacket and pants. On top of that, he was surrounded by some irritated Native Americans. That must have been stressful. He probably smelled worse than I do after wearing that outfit for a couple of hours. But still, I owe it to you and everyone else I plan on running into over the weekend to find time to take a shower.

Speaking of seeing people, I so look forward to running into former class mates and seeing old friends over the weekend.

Medicine Lodge thanks you for attending Peace Treaty 2011. We hope you have as much fun this weekend as weíve had planning it out. With your support, it wonít be the last time we get together and remember our history.

Have a great weekend!


KWIBS - From September 12, 2011 - By Kevin Noland

I was so mad.

I got my Peace Treaty uniform out of the closet a couple of weeks ago to discover it had shrunk! Iím not sure if just hanging idle did it or if it got wet at some point, or what had happened.

In a major panic, I called a friend to see if she could fix it. Apparently, the problem isnít with my uniform, but with my gut. She laughed and said it must have been my wifeís fault with all of that good cooking. Come to think of it, five years ago it barely fit. Ten years ago it was a snug, but breathable jacket. It had been shrinking for the past decade.

I got on-line and ordered a new one and got an email that it was back ordered 6 weeks, so I panicked again. I finally found an outfit that could ship me one ASAP. Iím keeping my fingers crossed that I wonít be a shirtless Colonel J.K. Rankin at the 2011 Peace Treaty. That would definitely be the end of Peace Treaty!

Peace Treaty is just barely over one week away and I am seeing some pleasing things going on in our community. The City crews have been working very hard to clean things up, painting crosswalks, parking places and curbing and mowing. I commend these guys for their work.

Iíve also seen several others cleaning up their homes and business fronts. Itís good to see so many people showing pride in their community before such an important event.

A couple of weeks ago I had actually considered doing a "worst yard of the week" photo in the newspaper. I had discussed it with several people, all who thought it was a great idea. My wife ended up being the voice of reason. Just think though, about how freaked out you would be to see your trashy yard on the front page of the newspaper. I think it would be very effective.

My son Joey had a day off last week and helped me build our float for the Peace Treaty Parades. This isnít a new float idea. I actually did this very same float in 2001. Itís a giant paper airplane. I originally built this out of some scrap wood and newspapers 20 years ago. It was a big hit and we decided that since weíre celebrating our 20th anniversary this year, it would be a great idea to recreate this.

After the Peace Treaty in 1991, I took the plane to the dump and tossed the plans. Last week I sat down and drew it back out and after Joey saw it, he took an interest in helping me. By the end of the evening we had the whole family working on it. I have one problem though, I donít know how I am going to get it to town.

The 1991 trip the dump is a story all by itself. Tate Henke and I dragged the fake, oversized airplane to the dump one Tuesday afternoon. It did fine at about 25 mph. At 60 mph, the thing actually tried to fly and we ended up picking up pieces of it off of the highway.


KWIBS - From September 5, 2011 - By Kevin Noland

You read a lot of things on the Internet that just arenít true. So when I saw the message pasted in all "caps", I thought it was another bogus post. Upon researching it. I found it was completely true.


This protest message, which is currently circulating rapidly via Facebook and other social media sites, claims that first responders to the 9/11 attacks in New York have not been invited to the upcoming 9/11 tenth anniversary ceremony. According to the message, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has stated that there is no room at the event for first responders.

The claims in the message are true and have been confirmed by a number of credible news reports. An August 16 report published on notes:

NEW YORK, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- First responders who rushed to the disaster scene on Sept. 11, 2001, are not invited to this year's memorial service at Ground Zero, New York officials confirm.

The service is scheduled for Sept. 11, 10 years after the terror attacks.

In a statement, a spokesman for New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Andrew Brent, said the memorial is for victims' families, CNN reported.

An August 17 Fox News report concurs, noting:

New York Ė They were the first ones on the scene when the World Trade Center towers fell on September 11, 2001, but ten years later, the first responders are being told that they will not be invited to take part in this year's tenth anniversary ceremony at Ground Zero.

The city announced earlier last week that due to security and space issues, there would be no room for the first responders.

The move has generated much controversy and has been viewed by many as disrespectful to those brave men and women who risked their lives and health to respond to the disaster. New York officials claim that the 10th Anniversary memorial ceremony will focus on the families of victims. New York Mayoral spokesman, Andrew Brent told UPI that "given the space constraints, we're working to find ways to recognize and honor first responders, and other groups, at different places and times."

Although official invitations were not usually sent to first responders in previous years, they were still free to attend memorial ceremonies if they wished and many have done so. However, 2011 is reportedly the first year in which first responders have been officially advised that they are not invited to the event.

Many other news agencies are reporting that Mayor Bloomberg has declined to invite religious leaders to speak and attend as well. He has asked that there be no prayer in the ceremony. Some say heís given up on the idea after threats by atheist groups to sue the city if religion plays any part at the event.

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I drove past the Peace Treaty barn on Tuesday evening and saw a familiar site. The wagons were out and lined up on the hill. Itís just one of those things that brings a smile to your face when you think about Peace Treaty being just over two weeks away.

Our special section was put to bed last week. It always occurs to me that there was so much more that could have gone in, but weíre always restricted by a deadline to squeeze in a print day for it. Itís a mammoth project that has been months in the making. Whatever happens between now and Peace Treaty that doesnít make the edition will have to be in our September 19th edition. One of those important things is the cast of characters. This evolving list of names is almost always one of the last things to be completed.

We discussed the pageant at Mondayís meeting. There is a lot of excitement at these last meetings before the big weekend. I have enormous respect for everyone who is working hard to make this Peace Treaty the best ever.

There is also a lot of talk about this being the last Peace Treaty. Iím confident it wonít be, but as for the pageant itself, it is unknown. I do know this: October will begin a new chapter of Peace Treaty. Planning will already be under way to keep this tradition alive and well in our community.

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From August 29, 2011 - By Kevin Noland

We have just over 3 weeks until Peace Treaty! The time is flying by and getting shorter each day to accomplish a laundry list of things.

Iíve been frantically working on the special section for Peace Treaty. I shouldnít just say "I am working..." My whole office is working on this edition. Itís a monster issue packed with our areaís history.

Not a day goes by that someone doesnít want to talk about Peace Treaty. Almost every day we hear about something new thatís going on during the celebration that we didnít know about. This week was the promotion of the Friends of NRA during Peace Treaty. Twnety-five numbered Henry guns have been manufactured commemorating the Peace Treaty. These things are awesome (and completely out of my budget). There is a story on this weekís front page about the guns and the fund-raising activities of the local chapter of the Friends of NRA.

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From August 22, 2011 - By Kevin Noland

So, being a creature of habit, I strolled down to Whiteís last Monday to grab some deli food. I greeted everyone up front and mosied on to the back corner only to say, "what the...?"

There was nothing there. The deli was just one of the early moves that the grocery store made to their new store on the highway. I understood. No deli today. I can live with that.

I just decided to round the corner and get a TV dinner or something frozen I could stick in my microwave.

I got there and I was like, "what the....?"

There was no food in the freezers. I learned that the freezers had been knocked out by the wicked storms that hit our community on Friday, August 12. It made no sense to pour money into freezers that would be abandoned in a week, so the store moved that section as well.

I wandered around the store for another 10 minutes and decided I wasnít really that hungry, grabbed a bag of peanuts and went back to work.

It might seem like an inconvenience to some, but when the move is done and the new store opens, weíre all going to have a better place to shop for food. Iím so gratful to Pat White and his family for making this huge investment in our community. This was no small task and he has been in the thick of things along side store Manager Norm Clouse and his crew.

Whiteís move will happen the first of this week, leaving the old store and the new store closed on Tuesday while they make some final adjustments to inventory. Itís a bitter sweet ending to a store whose presence has alway been in my life time in Medicine Lodge.

Change is sometimes hard, but in this case itís going to be great for our town. Let us not forget that our Main Street still needs your support. We hope another business will go into the old grocery store building.

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Those crazy storms on Friday, August 12 were enough to fill up one of our ponds half way. The drought nearly killed off this pond that has been there for 50 years. That storm was also a heck of an initiation for the newest member of our family. Elli Unger came to live with us on Friday. We drove around the storm so we missed most of it, but saw its aftermath.

Elli is from Austria and will be attending MLHS this fall as a senior. Elli enjoys music and swimming. She also enjoys cooking! Weíre excited about that. She told my boys last week that she was going to make them a "crap", to which my boys were completely confused. We later discovered she meant "crepe".

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From August 15, 2011 - By Kevin Noland

Rev. Rodney M. Worsham, Senior Pastor of the First Assembly of God in Medicine Lodge has issued a challenge. His church is having a FREE back to school movie night on August 20th and 21st. He says if he gets 175 people or more in attendance on Saturday he will shave his head. Yes, you read that correctly. He will shave his head.

Thatís something I find interesting and funny all at the same time and I would like to reissue that challenge to everyone here in the newspaper. What could be better than a FREE movie, FREE popcorn, prizes and a guy shaving his head? See The First Assembly of God Churchís ad on page 7 for further information about this event.

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America was saddened by the death of 30 U.S. soldiers who died when their helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan. We often forget that these men and women are real people with families and loved ones at home. Sometimes the news just blurs for me as I hear about our fallen heroes.

This particular tragedy hit close to home. I learned that one of the soldiers who died in this accident was a Kansan. Bryan Nichols was the pilot, and being a close friend, was in the wedding party of Julie and Seth Kastle. Julie is Doris Sorgís daughter. Both Seth and Julie served with Bryan Nichols in two tours.

A CW2 Bryan Nichols Memorial Fund has been established. Seth and his friends are working with a financial advisor to set up a 529 College Savings plan for Braydon (Bryanís son) with the proceeds. You may donate by visiting

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The Peace Treaty board has been meeting every week now and there are only five more weeks until the big weekend in Medicine Lodge. We are frantically working on our Peace Treaty special edition and this week we will close advertising on this 40 page section with 16 pages of color. Weíre extremely pleased with the response so far. If you are interested in advertising your business and we havenít contacted you, please call Ronda at 620-886-5654.

Have a great week

KWIBS - From August 8, 2011 - By Kevin Noland

Our area was blessed with some rain last Wednesday. Reports from Leroy Weber indicate that 1 1/4" fell at Lake Arrowhead.

And unofficially, the temperature dipped to a chilly 99 degrees on Thursday, breaking a 47 day streak of 100+ degree weather! brr...

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On Friday, our family will go to Wichita to welcome Elli Unger to our home and to Medicine Lodge. Ellie comes here from Austria and will be living with us through the AFS program. She is a semester student and will stay through mid-January of 2012.

There are still students who have not been placed in the Heartland area. If you are interested in hosting a student, please call Peggy Schneider at 316-641-7876.

KWIBS - From August 1, 2011 - By Kevin Noland

They were a little jetlagged and shocked at the change in climate, but Joey and John are home from their 23 day adventure in Europe.

While we are having unseasonably warm temperatures, Germany is experiencing the opposite. Many days were rainy and in the 60s there. Joey packed like he was from Kansas - shorts and t-shirts. They were both very cold and had to buy clothes to keep warm.

We met them at the airport on Monday afternoon. They traveled 4800 miles and arrived 2 minutes ahead of their schedule with only one layover in Chicago.

This trip was in contrast to my mother arriving home on Tuesday.... We went back to Wichita to get her at the airport only to find out that her flight from Atlanta had been delayed. As it turns out, she was over 5 hours late landing. Ronda and I spent the day trying to fill in 5 hours. We ate pretty well and we saw a movie, so the trip was not a complete pain. Mom went and visited family in Rhode Island for the past couple of weeks. Weíre happy that Joey and Mom are back home.

I couldnít wait for Joey to get home. He had brought me home two requested items: A giant beer mug and chocolate. I about made myself sick on the chocolate. I havenít test driven the beer mug yet! The Germans donít mess around when it comes to drinking beer. I believe this mug will hold about 3.5 of our 12 oz. beer cans, which is about 2 more than I can actually stomach to drink in one setting.

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You already know this, but weíre just weeks out for our big Peace Treaty Celebration and All-School reunion. Things are progressing quite smoothly as the weekend approaches. Do you have your tickets? Do you have a place to stay?

Have a great weekend!

KWIBS - From July 18, 2011 - By Kevin Noland

Well, John Nixon and my son Joey are well into their second week of vacation in Europe. While there, they are visiting former students Max Zinowsky, Simon Wildberger, Christoph Wustner and Nick Gaertner. They also met Johnís new AFS student, Leopold Luz.

This has been a trip of a lifetime for both of them, but especially for Joey. This is Joeyís second "out of the country" experience since a trip he took to Mexico a few years ago. Heís officially been to more countries in his 18 short years of life on this planet than his mother and I have been to put together.

This trip was made possible by Joeyís own hard work. Heís saved his money and worked very hard to be able to go to Europe. Itís also made possible by the friendships heís made with these boys through the AFS program and with our neighbor and friend, John Nixon. When they began planning this trip more than a year ago, I knew it would happen and I knew they would have a great time.

AFS is an incredible program not just for students visiting out country, but also for the families who host them. There is a great need in our own community for host parents for the Heartland Team. If you have an interest in hosting a child for just a few short weeks, months or even an entire year, there is a student to who would be most appreciative and I promise, your family will benefit. Contact:

Peggy Schneider - Volunteer

Heartland Hosting Coordinator for AFS-USA

316 722 5439 Home

316 641 7876 Mobile

Weíll be a host family again this year. Our newest daughter arrives in mid-August from Austria. Her name is Elli Unger. Weíre excited to meet her and share our community with her. Itís especially exciting that it is a Peace Treaty year.

Iíve only spoken with Joey and John a few times since they left on July 2nd. Facebook has been a wonderful way to keep up on their travels and Skype was handy for receiving a phone call from the travelers last week.

Joey said he has sampled some native cousine including horse and beef tar tar. Sounds delicious doesnít it?

John emailed me a photo of himself with Joey and "Lars", who was an exchange student two years ago and lived in Hutchinson, KS. The shot was taken off of Simonís front terrace overlooking their community in Switzerland.

KWIBS - From July 11, 2011 - By Kevin Noland

Sometimes we are quick to paint a gloomy picture of our local economy. Hereís a little bit of information that should make you confident in Barber Countyís future.

I recently reported that our county is expecting upwards of $30 million in increased valuation, mostly due to oil and gas production. This week I learned that Pratt County reported their total valuation fell from $129.5 million to $124.6 million. Barber Countyís total valuation is sitting at nearly $136.6 million.

Weíve got more good news!

Oil and gas production in the county will bring in more jobs and even more money in production. Whiteís new grocery store will be opening in the next month. The wind transmission line project is about to begin. The Medicine Lodge Memorial Hospital could be breaking ground on their upgraded facility by October. Southern Pioneer is expanding.

There is so much going on, itís almost impossible to report it all. There are also a lot of things in the works that we canít report about yet, but weíre very excited about.

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My family went to Hardtner this year for the 4th of July. It had been nearly 20 years since I had been there for one of their shows. With the fireworks ban in place, our lake didnít have a night show, so we decided to give it a try. WOW! Thatís all I can say. Hardtner did a bang up job and we sure appreciated how hard they worked to put on such a top-notch event. Thank you to those of you who make that possible for the area. It was truly amazing.

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We reported for several weeks about Sharonís 125th celebration. Although my wife and I didnít make it over during the 4th of July weekend, we saw lots of photos on Facebook. The community put on a great celebration and everyone says they had a blast. Congratulations to the Sharon community for turning 125 years old! What will you do to top that when you turn 150?!?

Have a great week!

KWIBS - From July 4, 2011 - By Kevin Noland

I thought the 4th of July weekend without fireworks would be like Christmas without Jesus, but I guess we made it without the pops and bangs.

Barber County was one of several counties that banned fireworks for the 4th. This is the first year in my lifetime I can remember not having fireworks during the 4th. I know that folks in town were able to shoot them off, but us rural folks were just fine without them. The recent drought has gotten serious enough that drastic measures had to be taken.

It's so hot that I saw two trees fighting over a dog.

It's so hot, today I saw a chicken lay a fried egg.

Some may not realize this, but conditions are so hot and dry that Elm Mills Resort has been ordered to release their hold on their water that flows into Elm Creek.

Iíve lived on M-Bar ranch for 22 years and for the first time, I am witnessing spring fed ponds drying up. A well that is better than 70 years old is not able to pump water for more than about 5 minutes. Even 99 Springs is seeing lower levels than normal for this time of year.

So far the levels at Lake Arrowhead are holding and the springs are still producing, but we desperately need rain. Counties just north of us have received less than normal rain fall, but at least they have gotten some rain.

Levels at the Barber County State Lake are alarming as well. Wells and springs just canít keep up with this grueling heat we seem to have this summer. And remember, itís just now July. Some of our hottest parts of summer are yet to come.

I donít mean to sound depressing. Driving through town you can see how the drought has hit our town. Higher water rates have forced many to cut back on watering their yards and without the rain, much of the townís yards have gone dormant. I know many of you arenít growing gardens this year either.

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UPDATE: We did get some rain on July3rd and it helped, but we need more!

This weekend we saw our son Joey off for his three week tour to Europe. He and John Nixon will be visiting some of the old AFS students that have lived with John the past 4 years.

Europe may never be the same.

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From June 27, 2011 - By Kevin Noland

Something strange is happening to Ronda and I. It was brought to our attention by our cousins a few weeks ago.

We were sitting on the front porch in our deck chairs and commenting on how beautiful the birds were singing, how we loved to watch the humming birds and just sit on the porch and play with our grandson.

Our cousin pops up and said, "Youíre turning into our parents. You guys are OLD!"

Wait a minute.... Weíre only 5 years older than them. But we do enjoy hanging out with their parents!

It got me thinking. There are warning signs that we are getting older. We just announced that we have been in business in Medicine Lodge for the past 20 years.

There are other indicators:

All my favorite music is now in the bargain bin at Wal-Mart.

90% of the time I actually spend in front of a computer is for real work.

A $4.00 bottle of wine is no longer considered "pretty good stuff."

About half the stuff in my shopping cart says, "For fast relief."

One of my most prized possessions is my lawn mower. I can tell you everything about it.

Conversations with people my own age often turn into "dueling ailments."

Dinner and a movie is the whole date instead of the beginning of one.

The clothes I put away until they came back in style are now in style, but I canít fit into them.

I spent last weekend getting intimate with a chain saw after a freakish storm uprooted trees and peeled shingles off of our home north of town. After cutting trees and then spending a few hours on a roof in 100+ heat I realized it takes longer to rest up than it did to get tired in the first place.

The good news is that there are fewer things in life to learn the hard way!

Have a great week and a happy and safe 4th of July!


KWIBS - From June 20, 2011 - By Kevin Noland

I renewed my membership to the NRA this past week and I got a gift from them in the mail on Saturday.

I opened the package with great anticipation and pulled out a ball cap that said, "140 Years of Freedom - NRA". I put the hat on with pride and showed my son Nick.

"Nice hat!" he said.

I put it on his head. Nick took it off to adjust the size and looked at the label.

"Hey, this thing was made in China," he said.

Seriously, the NRA canít find a hat maker in America? You speak of freedoms and you donít support your country. I canít tell you how disappointed I am at them and yes, they will be getting a letter from me.

Speaking of China....

China is the largest foreign creditor to the United States, holding more than $1 trillion in Treasury debt as of March. Recent discussion of a U.S default on its interest payments to China has their country up in arms. A default could undermine the U.S. dollar. So, if this hat is a deal-breaker, then by all means, keep buying Chinese hats....

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For the past couple of years, itís been my duty to disrupt the Ruckerís wheat harvest. This year was different though. They worked so fast by the time I got down there, they were done.

Flint and Gary have ground just to the south of us and work with some pretty neat old open-cab style combines that are probably from the late 50s or early 60s. I love to watch those guys work with those machines and I try to go down with a cooler of beverages for them during harvest.

I saw them cutting late Friday evening a week ago and ran home to fill up my cooler. By the time I got there, they were gone.

It appears that much of harvest has been completed for our area. Some got the good news that it wasnít as bad as everyone expected. I know it wasnít good news for everyone though.

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If Iím not careful, this could be my last column. What I am about to write about could be the most controversial thing I have ever written about in my paper.

I stopped in to see our county commissioners on Wednesday of last week to show them a proclamation and ordinance for the City of Guymon, OK in an email to all Kansas media outlets.

I received the email the night before and couldnít sleep all night thinking about it.

The proclamation was implemented last week prohibiting the sale, distribution, firing, igniting, lighting or exploding of any fireworks due to the severe drought.

In recent months we have reached nearly a state of emergency with severe drought conditions all across Kansas, especially so in parts of Western Kansas.

The 4th of July is just a few weeks away and as one of my favorite holidays. I love the displays and I know so many folks that are so responsible with their fireworks, but I am afraid that our area may need to consider restrictions this holiday.

I can already hear my phone ringing and hear the grinding of pencils on paper as you frantically write nasty letters to the editor. Here me out. I donít want anyone to think I am a fun hater. I am just very concerned about how dry it is. I know many of you personally that do a lot in fireworks sales during the summer for the 4th of July and depend on that income, so I write this opinion thinking about how my concerns could affect you.

Weíve seen the devastation in parts of Texas and Arizona and in to New Mexico. Fires that are burning out of control and fire fighters exhausted and overworked. These same conditions are worsening for many Kansas Counties. Emergency funding and lifted restriction for grazing are already in effect for our county as well as surrounding counties.

I am not alone in my concern for public safety during this extended drought. Guymon is only following the example of many counties and communities that are banning fireworks this year. Finney county was the last to join in the ban of sales and discharge of fireworks.

The Garden City Telegram reports fire officials fear they wouldn't have enough manpower to cover all the fires that could occur on the Fourth of July because of the extremely dry weather. The city of Garden City also has canceled its Fourth of July show.

County and fire officials have agreed to ban the sale and discharge of fireworks within county limits during this year's Fourth of July season due to dry weather conditions that increase the likelihood of fires.

On Tuesday, June 14, Governor Rick Perry considered Travis Countyís order declaring a local state of disaster and banning the sale and use of any fireworks. Perry has indicated that he would grant an extension of the order until July 5.

Commissioners also voted unanimously to prohibit certain fireworks - skyrockets with sticks and missiles with fins.

County Judge Sam Biscoe said he signed the order over the lunch break. If drought conditions change, he said commissioners have the authority to lift the disaster declaration and fireworks ban.

Comanche County Commissioners will be meeting Tuesday with their fire chief to discuss similar restrictions and possibly even a ban because of the low amount of precipitation that weíve had in recent weeks and months.

I hope our county and city officials consider the risks this 4th of July and do what is right to protect our homes, property, livestock and our very lives in this terribly dry season.

A few weeks ago, someone in our church asked Dennis Colle to pray for our area to receive rain and he stood up and asked God to give us the blessing of rain. Within 24 hours we got some and we were all so thankful. Dennis, we need you to step up to the plate and pray some more. In fact, we all should be praying for that very same thing. God willing, we can all celebrate another fun and safe 4th of July. If God has other plans, I hope our county commissioners and officials consider some sort of plan for public safety.

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There is an interesting number on this weekís front page. It is Volume 21, Issue 1. This edition marks 20 years for The Gyp Hill Premiere!

The bets were on in 1991. I heard from a friend that one person gave us 6 months before we would be out of business. Another person gave us no more than 1 year. Because of some great people, weíre celebrating our 20th birthday today. There wonít be any big celebrations, just great satisfaction in doing something we love to do - print a newspaper. I remember my Grandpa Bill telling me, "You know, you have ink in your blood?" I always thought that was icky as a child, but now I understand.

We have you to thank most of all. Without our readers and advertisers we wouldnít have made it.

We thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From June 13, 2011 - By Kevin Noland

A few of important dates are coming up this week.

June 17, is our anniversary. Ronda and I were married in 1988, making it our 23rd wedding anniversary. I looked on the internet to see what that would be as far as a gift goes and was surprised that it was a silver plate. Ronda and I arenít much on silver, but Iím pretty excited about our 24th anniversary. Thatís the year youíre supposed to give a musical instrument! Iím already thinking about how cool it will be to get a vintage Gibson SG Bass guitar. Itís not really going to be a good year for Ronda. I am the one with the musical instrument fetish.

Just last weekend I bought a trombone and a paddle boat. They are not to be used together. I just stumbled on to them while hitting the Junefest garage sales.

Ronda: "What are you going to do with a trombone?"

Me: "I donít know, but itís so cool."

I have a small collection of things like, slide whistles, harmonicas, guitars, basses, drums, keyboards and even kazoos... Some of them I play, some of them just hang on the walls as decorations. I have always loved music and musical instruments.

I kind of got off track a little bit.

The second important date is June 19, 2011.

Father's Day is coming up this Sunday and I was thinking about the joys and struggles associated with fatherhood.

"Father" is one of those titles that demands respect, but often gets much less. I remember that I was far from the perfect child growing up. I know I gave my father grief.

Now that I am a father (of 21 years now) and a grandfather, I realize that you take the good with the bad and you try your best in every situation to, as the song goes, "teach your children well."

Most ot the time I probably come off sounding like I am nagging and ragging on my kids, but my hope is that they will learn, not only from their mistakes, but mine as well.

Itís a blessing to still have a dad. My dad has struggled with Altzhiemerís for the past several years, but still has some good days. I love you dad. Happy Fatherís Day.

Iím also very blessed to be a dad. I have three great children, a son-in-law and a grandson too. Joey, Bree, Nick, Devin and Kycen: I expect great things from you this year! *wink*. Wouldnít it be great to get that bass guitar now instead of waiting to get it for me and your motherís 24th anniversary? (Worn Cherry finish - item #513285 at Musicianís Friend website if you are interested).

Finally, the last important date is next Monday, June 20th. This date will be Issue 21, Week 1 of The Gyp Hill Premiere. It marks 20 years of publication for us. We thank you for that!


KWIBS - From June 6, 2011 - By Kevin Noland

And the headlines read: "Oops, we screwed up." I am speaking of the story on the Johnson family from May 30thís issue. I take responsibility for the mistake. We didnít get the story continued and it sort of just ended on the front page without actually ending. I apologize to the Johnsons and our readers and we have reprinted that story on page 10 of this weekís paper.

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After a long weekend many of us came back to Main Street to discover we had lost a business. Well, we didnít actually lose the business, but it lost its building.

Sometime during the evening or night on Monday, the roof at the Country Club Wellness Center collapsed. I donít mean, ceiling tiles. I mean part of the roof actually collapsed in on some of the exercise equipment and new aerobic flooring that was just installed three weeks ago.

Barb Ransom is the manager for the fitness center and showed us inside on Tuesday morning. You could see the blue sky. Nearly 1/3 of the building collapsed.

It almost feels like the death of a friend, losing a building like this. Fortunately, the fitness center will reopen in the Middle School down in the cafeteria. In the meantime, the building is somewhat condemned and blocked off to prevent injury. It was by the grace of God that no one was in the building when it happened and no one was injured.

The collapse raises new concerns about the condition of Main Street. Aging structures and lack of maintenance is a recipe for disaster. It brought back memories of our buildingís front collapsing back in the early 1990s. It nearly shut us down for 3 months while new fronts were put on this office and our building next door. Close examination showed deteriorating mortar and brick. Wind eventually pulled the faces of the buildings completely away from the walls.

Seeing the fallen roof made me think of what communities like Sun City and Lake City felt when they saw buildings crumbling in their once vibrant towns.

It gives new purpose and drive to the recent Medicine Lodge Main Street program. It seems like a step backwards, but it might be just the thing we need to prove the worth of such a program. Marcia Lawrence recently announced that our town has been officially accepted to the "Inside Track" tier. Itís going to take a lot of work and money, but isnít our town worth it?

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From May 30, 2011 - By Kevin Noland

All I can say to Mr. Harold Camping is, we all make mistakes. Itís not like itís the end of the world or anything.

But if at first you donít succeed, guess again? Now Mr. Camping is predicting October 21 as the new "end of the world" date. His original calculations were off he said, "by a few months." Heís also made predictions in the past. His last one, also incorrect, was for "between September 15 and 27 of 1994."

This so called "Bible Scholar", forgot one very important scripture. Mark 13:32 "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

No where did I read, ".. and Harold Camping."

In Acts we read: 1:7 He said to them: It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.

I feel sorry for those folks who invested their money in his false witnessing. I donít feel sorry for anyone who invests in his October 21st prediction. I read where many people had quit their jobs, maxed out their credit cards and gave all of their belongings away.

Speaking of the end of the world, obviously it didnít happen this weekend. Iím sort of glad. I had plans and was out of town. I would really prefer the end of the world to be on a Thursday before deadline. If I had my say of course.

Justin and I and our wives decided it would be fun to drive to Oklahoma City this past weekend and surprise former editor, David Fasgold. We had learned that his band, The Mighty Regulars, was playing in front of the Ford Center for the Thunder vs. Maverickís game on Saturday evening. Secretly, Justin and I had hoped that David would let us play a song or two with them, but that didnít happen! Joey also wanted to try and get a ticket to the playoff game. That also didnít happen!

What did happen was Justin and I helping a man who passed out because of the heat. "Bob" had a ticket and was from Dallas. He fainted and cracked his head open on the concrete. After several minutes, EMTs arrived and took Bob away. We didnít even think about asking to buy his ticket from him.

We got down to Bricktown at about 5 p.m. Saturday. Davidís band was scheduled to go on stage at 6 p.m. We grabbed a bite to eat and made our way through a crowd of more than 20,000 Thunder fans to the front of the stage.

Justin, Doolie, Ronda, Joey and I all hid off to the side of the stage and waited for them to start playing. I pulled a wrestling mask out of my pocket and put it on. It was show time.

I paced back and forth across the front of the stage. David stared at me with a, "who is this weird-o," look on his face.

To be fair, I blended in perfectly with the masked man wearing a cape and riding a bicycle. I also fit in with the clown and the dude with the basketball goal strapped to his head that people where throwing balls at. Finally, I stood right in front of David and sang along with him to Pink Floydís "Time". Halfway through the song, I ripped off my mask and the biggest grin formed on Davidís face. Then Justin came out from behind the speakers and his grin got even bigger. If he had smiled any bigger his ears would have fallen into his mouth. We all gathered in front of David and rocked out to the rest of their two hour show. It was really fun.

The last song David and The Mighty Regulars played was REMís "Itís The End Of The World." I had suggested David play this on Facebook on Friday. The crowd went wild.

Below is a picture of David, Justin and I after the show.

After we said our good-byes, we headed down into the middle of Bricktown. The first place we walked into we ran right into some familiar faces. Matt Tedrow and his wife Carla were coming out of the same club we were going into. Matt is the son of Stan and Becky Tedrow, formerly of Medicine Lodge. We visited the Tedrows a couple of years ago in Oklahoma City.

There are about 1.5 million people in the metro area of OKC and itís pretty incredible to run into someone you know, especially during the injection of thousands more people coming to watch an NBA playoff game. To top that off, Matt told me that he and Carla rarely visit Bricktown and it was just by coincidence that they decided to go out for the evening.

We hung out with Matt and Carla and called it a night just around midnight. Due to the large number of people in town for the playoffs, we had to get a hotel out of the Bricktown area. We stayed at a hotel a few minutes down the road and took a shuttle back to get ready for bed. We all had to be up bright and early to head back to Kansas.

But like most people who were roaming Bricktown all evening, I started getting hungry. I suggested breakfast. Everyone took me up on it except Ronda. By this time it was about 1 a.m. and the only thing open was a Waffle House across the street between two truck stops. We got Ronda back in the room and we headed out for some omelettes!

We ran across the busy intersection when suddenly there were police cars and officers with guns drawn all over the parking lot. We had just missed the actual commotion. Apparently, the short order night cook had a bad evening and decided to take out a large knife and waive it crazily at the customers. He was arrested and taken to jail.

I asked the waitress, "Can we still get breakfast?"

We did get breakfast and a small discount for the inconvenience. We made it back to our rooms for a good nightís sleep and were up and home by noon on Sunday. Crazy weekend!

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From May 23, 2011 - By Kevin Noland

We all have things that just drive us crazy. Sane or insane, you can probably think of a few things that really "push your buttons". I had a few that I was thinking about this week, when my mom sent me an email titled, "Whatís the difference between snot and cauliflower?" The answer: Kids wonít eat cauliflower....

Things That Can Drive A Sane Person Insane:

∑ The tiny red string on the Band-Aid wrapper that never works.

∑ You have to try on a pair of sunglasses with that stupid little plastic tag in the middle of them.

∑ The person behind you in the supermarket runs his cart into the back of your ankle.

∑ The elevator stops on every floor and nobody gets on.

∑ You open a can of soup and the lid falls in.

∑ There's a dog in the neighborhood that barks at EVERYTHING!

∑ You can never put anything back in a box the way it came.

∑ Three hours and three meetings after lunch you look in the mirror and discover a piece of parsley stuck to your front tooth.

∑ You slice your tongue licking an envelope.

∑ Your tire gauge lets out half the air while you're trying to get a reading.

∑ You wash a garment with a tissue in the pocket and your entire laundry comes out covered with lint.

∑ The car behind you blasts its horn because you let a pedestrian finish crossing.

∑ You set the alarm on your digital clock for 7 PM instead of 7 am.

∑ You rub on hand cream and can't turn the bathroom doorknob to get out.

∑ You can't look up the correct spelling of a word in the dictionary because you don't know how to spell it. (me)

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From May 9, 2011 - By Kevin Noland

I only get three special columns like this in my lifetime. The first one happened back in 2008 when my daughter graduated.

This is the second time one of my three children will graduate from MLHS. Joey will take those steps across the stage on Saturday with 38 other classmates.

Itís super tough to not be emotionally attached when putting together any senior edition for our paper. Itís even more-so when your kid is in the class.

And what a great group of kids they are. As I placed their senior photos and their baby photos on the page, I couldnít help but to remember some really good moments in these kidsí lives. Because Joey went to school with most of them since preschool, I consider them all family.

Iím especially proud of Joey. My oldest son has grown up to make his mother and I very proud. He may not be at the top of his class, but heís accomplished so much during his high school years. Heíd be too modest to mention any of those things, but I think Iíve earned the right to be proud of him.

Several years back, Joey took an interest in going to Mexico with the UMC youth to help build a home for a pastor and his family in the Sonora Province. It was a life-changing experience for him that made him appreciate the blessings we have in America.

Joey also got very involved with AFS. He was the student president of our local chapter this year. As I write this, heís on a trip to Wichita with his group.

Heís far more courageous than I was at his age. Joey and a friend from Germany even took off over the summer and spent a week in New York City, where he learned to navigate the subway system and busy airports across the country. He also went out to California with Jim and Cathy Colborn for a whirlwind trip up the 101. He paid for all of this by himself, working many long hours after school and on weekends.

He is planning on a trip to Europe after school is out. Heís excited to see friends heís made through AFS.

Joey has always been someone to count on as a hard worker. Heís been employed by John Nixon for the past four years working auctions and has been at Whiteís for the past two years, carrying many of your groceries. I always smile when someone says to me, "You have the nicest son."

Even with all of his travels and experiences, heís unsure about his future. Itís been something weíve discussed and prayed about for a while now. Joey has always told us that he wants to be a beach bum. Whatever he decides to be is okay with me. I couldnít be prouder of him.

The world awaits him and it will be a better place because of him no matter where he goes or what he does.

I love you, buddy. Congratulations to you and the class of 2011.

Have a great week!


KWIBS - From May 2, 2011 - By Kevin Noland

It always amazes me that while one part of the country is praying for rain to come, another is praying for it to stop.

Just a short ways east of us, flash floods and deadly storms have riddled the area. Here we barely get a drop. What small amounts we did get is of little use now to area farmers. It wonít be a record breaking year for our area wheat producers.

Iím getting old enough that I remember significant years of precipitation. I donít have all the facts, but I remember back in 1999 we began breaking ground on our home. Weíd just gotten the basement walls poured and the subfloor on in late April. The first of May came and rains didnít stop for over 11 days. I think we got somewhere in the neighborhood of 18 inches that month. It washed out my driveway and broke a small dam on our pond. This year, weíre about to lose that pond to the drought.

But weíre in so much better shape than parts of Texas. In 1999, the same year as our house was built, we took a trip to Amarillo, TX to SCUBA Lake Meredith. The lake is located 30 miles from Amarillo and was a fantastic fresh water SCUBA-diving spot. I just learned a few weeks ago that an ongoing drought in that area has all but dried up the big lake. The area that we dove down to 25í is now dry earth.

The lake has gone down so much, in fact, that a plane reported missing on January 27, 1984 was discovered back in June of 2008. The water had gone down enough that the wreckage appeared. Thatís a lot of water to dry up.

Other parts of Texas have just burned away. Over 1.65 million acres have burned this year. Hundreds of homes have been destroyed. Thatís twice as much ground that usually burns in a given year in Texas. At least two fire fighters have died fighting these fires.

Just down the road from us in Missouri....

Rivers and creeks have already flooded. The Mississippi was at or approaching major flood stage in several communities Easter Sunday. Many dams broke in the area.

The Missouri Department of Transportation reported dozens of road and highway closures in eastern and southern Missouri. U.S. 61 has been shut down due to flooding near the Iowa border, and U.S. 160 was closed in several spots in far south-central Missouri.

All of this and then tornados on Wednesday that killed more than 250 people in 6 states. Just tragic... It leaves one humbled to think of the power of these storms.

Mother Nature is a moody one these days.


KWIBS - From April 25, 2011 - By Kevin Noland

I once ran in to Kirstie Alley in Wichita at a gift shop. I was so excited.

Alley is from Wichita and last I knew, her dad still has a place there.

I recognized her, despite the lack of makeup and fancy clothes. She was in gray sweatpants and a white T-shirt. Her hair was pulled back, but it was still Kirstie Alley.

I donít know what came over me. I could have complemented her in her role in Look Whoís Talking, Blind Date, Village of the Damned, or her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I didnít even mention Cheers, which she played Rebecca Howe. I mean, it was one of the most popular sitcoms on TV at the time.

Instead, here's what came out of my mouth: "I loved you in Star Trek II, The wrath of Kahn, where you played that hot Vulcan chick, Lieutenant Saavik." I think I was even wearing a Star Wars or a Battlestar Galactica T-shirt at the time. My brother-in-law was with me and he about ran out of the store. She actually signed an autograph for me across the top of a Wichita Eagle. It's still in a frame in my office.

Iíve never hid the fact that I am a geek. My DVR list on my television gives it away.

- In a fight between William Shatner and Patrick Stewart, I think Shatner would win. However, I think Patrick Stewert would make a fine president in 2012, as long as he isnít serving on The United Federation of Planets Council.

- I learned from Battlestar Galactica that a secton is a Colonial measurement of time and analogous to one Earth week. Its plural form is "sectons". More on this next secton.....

- The recent bravery displayed by the 50 Fukushima Nuclear Plant workers reminded me of the time Spok gave his life at the end of Wrath of Kahn saying, "Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few."

A dear departed friend of mine, Jo Meador, gave me a poster years ago for my birthday. It was titled, "All I need to know from life, I learned from Star Trek." The poster stills hangs in our storage room in our office.

Seek out new life and civilizations.

Non-interference is the Prime Directive.

Keep your phaser set on stun.

Humans are highly illogical.

There's no such thing as a Vulcan death grip.

Live long and prosper.

Having is not so pleasing as wanting; it is not logical but it is often true.

Infinite diversity in infinite combinations (IDIC).

Tribbles hate Klingons (and Klingons hate Tribbles).

Enemies are often invisible -- like Romulans, they can be cloaked.

Don't put all your ranking officers in one shuttlecraft.

When your logic fails, trust a hunch.

Insufficient data does not compute.

If it can't be fixed, just ask Scotty.

Even in our own world, sometimes we are aliens.

This one is mine, "If you arenít a regular on the show, always ask for any uniform color other than red."

When going out into the Universe, remember, "Boldly go where no one has gone before!"

KWIBS - From April 18, 2011 - By Kevin Noland

Mike Roe forwarded an interesting article to me about rural America.that was in the Hutchinson News recently. I contacted John Montgomary, the Newsí Publisher and he has given us permission to reprint the article giving credit to The Hutch News and the writer. We sort of have an "in" with the Hutchinson News. Thatís where The Gyp Hill Premiere is printed each week.

The article is a good read and applies to our area. I was also sent an article from Kansas Governor Sam Brownback this week outlining a Rural Opportunity Zones Bill he recently signed into law. This bill will give incentives to those willing to relocate into rural Kansas. Barber County is one of the counties that qualifies for the incentives. You can read that article on page 13 of this weekís Premiere.

Despite departure trend, small-town residents eye ways to sell rural America

By Amy Bickel - The Hutchinson News -

LEOTI - A sign in a window of an empty storefront beckons visitors with a plea: Move to Leoti.

The sign has been there for several years, the maker probably hopeful to attract the attention of a passing motorist in an attempt to stabilize the downward slide in population that has happened for decades in Wichita County.

After all, with farms continuing to disappear from the landscape, leaders in almost every small town dream of getting bigger. They dream of manufacturers bringing jobs, of vibrant downtowns and of families with children populating their schools.

Yet several of the state's agriculture-based communities haven't survived the growing trend - the decline of population as youths turn to the bright lights of bigger cities, never to return.

When population wanes in a town, the bank closes. So does the grocer, the hospital and the hardware store. The ultimate demise, however, is the loss of a school, from which many communities never recover.

It's a fear of any remote Kansas county, said Wichita County resident Terry Woodbury. The rural community promoter, however, see the decades-old trend as a battle that can be won.

That's because there is optimism on the prairie, he said. Residents want to stop the bleeding.

County leaders are developing industrial parks to lure small businesses. Some are addressing needs, such as affordable housing, quality day care and Internet availability. Many have tried to boost community pride and activity, including starting recreation programs and sprucing up main streets.

"I think we are in the latter days of decline because of our attachment to agriculture," said Woodbury, who operates Public Square Communities LLC, a business geared to sustaining rural areas. "We've got Internet. You can come here, have high quality of life, safety, good schools, know the neighbor, drive for three hours and go to Colorado Springs. Rural communities are starting to sell that and believe in it."

"I think we are on the front end of an urban to rural transition."

Smallest county, big plans

Woodbury's assessment comes after nearly a century-long slide for some Kansas counties. From Montana and the Dakotas down to the Texas Panhandle, the rural Great Plains has been losing citizens since around World War II.

In all, 77 Kansas counties have lost population in the past decade, according to census numbers released earlier this month. Of those, 23 saw declines of more than 10 percent. Western counties took the biggest hit, with an increase in only seven counties in this half of the state.

"The irony of rural America is the thing that has built our communities is now depopulating them," Woodbury said of farming. "We are losing people and we have to think different and come up with different economies."

Even in the state's smallest county, Greeley, with 1,247 people, leaders have recognized the issue. Tribune, the county seat, sits isolated in the center of the west-central Kansas county, largely surrounded by crop fields and pasture. It's 86 miles from Garden City and more than 60 from Goodland.

County population peaked in 1960 with 2,087 people. Then decline began, slowly but steadily.

In all, the county has lost 40 percent of its population in the past 50 years, with 18.71 percent coming in the past 10 - the fourth biggest drop in the state.

Those figures might seem grueling to turn around to most people, except Christy Hopkins.

She couldn't deny she wasn't disappointed and a little shocked at the census numbers after five years of hard work, she said as she sat in her office in early March, preparing to leave the next day for a trip to Vietnam with a leadership group.

"We're not giving up by any means," she said matter-of-factly.

The issue isn't one that sneaked up on Greeley County residents. After consecutive years of bad harvest and the acceleration in