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Amelia Earhart to be held in Atchison this weekend

For its 23rd year, the Amelia Earhart Festival will take to the ground and sky for summertime thrills and entertainment.

The concert is a highlight of the 23rd Annual Amelia Earhart Festival, which will be held in the hometown of the world famous aviatrix Friday and Saturday, July 20 and 21.

The concert will kick off with the annual county western concert, Lakefest 2019. The annual concert is held in the park surrounding Warnock Lake, 17862 274th Road, which is three miles southwest of Atchison. The gates open at 4 p.m., when food concessions also will open. The national anthem opens the show at 7 p.m.

It will feature headliner Kip Moore with opener Devin Dawson and Kylie Morgan.

“It’s huge for a community the size of our’s to bring in national talent like we do. It’s the best bargain concert of the summer,” said Jacque Pregont, Amelia Earhart Festival coordinator.

With a number of hits, including “Somethin’ ‘Bout A Truck,” “Last Shot” and “More Girls Like You,” Kip Moore’s gravely voice mixed with country, pop and rock sensibilities earned praise from publications like Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone.

Opening for Moore, California native Devin Dawson already has a number of high-profile spots, warming up for acts like Tim McGrew and Brett Eldredge. He scored his first platinum plaque with the breezy hit “All On Me” and released his debut album, “Dark Horse,” in 2018.

Arriving fresh from her signing with the record label UMG Nashville, one of the biggest country music labels in the world, Kylie Morgan will be giving Atchison the first taste of her music. While she records her debut album, she tested the waters with the slow-burning ballad “Easy To Forget.”

Tickets on the day of the concert will be $35. Pregont said those low prices are all thanks to Lakefest’s supporters.

“The reason it is (low) is because we have so many sponsors that want to keep those ticket prices down as far as we can,” she said.

The festival continues on Saturday, July 21, with a day full of events, including a carnival, fly-in at the Amelia Earhart Airport from 8 a.m. to Noon, a speakers symposium at 10:15 a.m. at Benedictine College, children’s activities from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in downtown Atchison, a birthday party for Amelia, food, crafts and music on the riverfront.

While many of these activities are annual features of the festival, Pregont said they will have a special presentation with guests from the Emerald Isle. Nicole McElhinney and Brona Sharkey, members of the Amelia Earhart Legacy Association of Derry, North Ireland, and Grace McGuire, a pilot and Amelia Earhart look-alike, who flew from London to Londonderry, will speak at special symposium at 10:15 a.m. on Saturday.

“We’re going to focus at our Symposium on Amelia being the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic — what that meant then for women and what it means today to Derry that she has such a lasting impression,” Pregont said.

To have international guests is something special for both the festival and to show the magnitude of Earhart’s inspiration.

“These ladies are part of an organization that does a lot to keep her history and her story alive over there. We’re excited to bring them over here and kind of get a different take on what Amelia can mean to a community,” Pregont said.

The Amelia Earhart Museum, located at 223 N. Terrace St. will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults and $1 for children 12 and younger. There also will be historical church tours at Trinity Episcopal Church, 300 S. Fifth St., from 1 to 4 p.m.

Atchison’s County Museum will feature the temporary exhibit “All About Bones.” The exhibit will highlight the information about the recent research related to the set of bones found in 1941 on a deserted Pacific island.

The celebration will conclude with a fireworks show beginning Saturday night after the aerobatics show at 7:55 p.m. The presentation will be orchestrated to music by Paul Austin and Stellar Fireworks Inc.

Pregont said she’s always excited by the response the festival gets from people all around the world. Their interest in exploring Earhart’s hometown is something that always astounds her.

“It’s a signature event for our community, which is a big deal. To have the history that you base a big event on is even more important,” she said.

USD 409 online enrollment jump starts

Ready or not, USD 409 officials are leaping forward into the depths of online enrollment for all attending Atchison Public Schools.

The system goes lives Wednesday, July 17, on the district’s website at Go to parent Powerschool login and with the click of a button, parents or guardians have the abilities to enroll their children, and pay their applicable school and activity fees by a debit/credit card or electronic check transaction. There is a flat $1 convenience fee for each checking account transaction along with an additional $2.65 convenience fee per $100 increments of card transactions.

Paper and pencil will not be a part of enrollment this year, Director of Technology Education Donna Noll said. In prior school years it was required to fill out paper forms with the necessary information necessary to enroll all pupils and students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

This year, parents can do so and pay in advance online from home. For others, they will do it electronically between the hours of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 30, or 3 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 31, at Atchison Elementary School, 825 North 17th Street in Atchison.

District staff will be on hand to assist with the electronic enrollment process. Parents will be able to make lunch and fee payments with cash or check payments to the buildings without an assessed convenience fee.

“I’m hoping parents will love it,” Noll said. “It should be a big time saver for them.”

The only exception is that pre-school enrollment is a different process, Noll said.

During the enrollment event at AES attendees will have the opportunities to visit with representatives from various non-profit organizations serving youth in the community.

As of July 16, there were 14 agencies and groups that had reserved space for their respective informational booths: Atchison High School After Prom, Atchison Child Care Association, Atchison Community Health Clinic – Open Wide Dental Program, Atchison County Health Department, Boy Scouts, Parents as Teachers, Scouts BSA, North East Kansas Community Action Program, TFI Family Services, TRIO Talent Search – Emporia State University, HOPE Family Therapy, Westar Energy, YMCA, Young Rembrandts, Atchison Boys and Girls Club, Atchison TopDog Drill Team and Atchison Library.

Noll credited Powerschool Administrator Jennifer Dryden for her work to get the e-process rolling to kick off in time for the 2019-20 schoolyear.

District officials have been moving toward the electronic direction throughout the past several months. It was April 8 when USD 409 Board of Education members unanimously approved the applicable convenience fees.

The first day of school for prekindergarten to ninth-grade is Wednesday, Aug. 14. School for all other grades commence Thursday, Aug. 15, at all school centers. For more information contact the district office at 913-367-4384 or log onto

'It's the worst I've ever seen'


D. Meyer

About four years of hard time was handed down Friday in district court for a local woman recently convicted her part in dangerous drug transactions, all felony offenses.

Heather D. Meyer, 41, of Atchison, was sentenced to 49 months in state prison for distribution of methamphetamine with 36 moths of post release supervision as the controlling sentence. Eight months for the use of a telecommunication facility to arrange an unlawful drug transaction; and six months for no drug tax stamp are to run concurrent to distribution sentence. Meyer is eligible for 20 percent good time credits.

Judge Robert Bednar of the District Court of Atchison County sentenced Meyer after a hearing to consider a departure from prison time her court-appointed attorney Judd Herbster filed on her behalf.

Atchison County Attorney said she is not unsympathetic to Meyer, but is well aware of the impact of meth and its relationship to problems in the community. Becker spoke on her view that the best way to address the problem is to remove individuals from the community who are associated with its distribution.

Bednar described meth as being the scourge of the community for months. He said although he is not unsympathetic to Meyer and her situation, the court does take some factors into consideration for departures.

The defendant played a major role in the distribution, and there have not been any determinations that she was threatened or forced to partake in any drug transaction, Bednar said. There is no indication that she or her family were at risk from anyone to show coercion in the drug activities.

“Our community is wracked with meth,” Bednar said. “It’s the worst I’ve seen.” There are horrible ramifications from it, Bednar said.

Meyer’s arrest on New Year’s Day marked the first meth arrest in 2019, the Atchison Globe reported. Her arrest was the result of an Atchison County Sheriff’s Office investigation that was launched in October of 2018, according to the initial sheriff’s report.

Meyer pleaded guilty to the three charges in late spring.

Multiple felonies arise from domestic cases

Domestic charges have mounted against a St. Joseph, Missouri, man held in the Atchison County Jail on $70,000 bond since his arrest late last week.

Jason E. Markley, 43, faces a combined total of six felonies and four misdemeanors filed in two different batches arising from two different incidents. Atchison Police Department authorities apprehended Markley on the morning of July 11 in south Atchison after he stepped onto the Amelia Earhart Bridge. The charges against Markley were announced Monday, July 15, in Atchison County District Court.

The most recent complaint was filed earlier in the day involving seven counts:

aggravated intimidation of a victim to prevent a victim a 34-year-old female victim from making a report to police;

aggravated assault after the victim was put at harm from a knife;

criminal threat, alleging Markley threatened to shoot the same aforementioned victim;

two counts criminal threat with intent to terrorize two minors born in 2007 and 2008 uttered threats to kill the youngsters, all five crimes are felony offenses;

domestic battery and criminal restraint, misdemeanors.

A $40,000 bond relates to this group of charges.

The first batch contains four charges arising from a sequence of events that occurred Wednesday, July 10. The complaint involves the same adult female victim and the child born in 2007.

These initial charges were filed late in the afternoon on Friday, July 12 in district court. Count I aggravated domestic battery, a felony, alleges Markley impeded the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of the adult female by applying pressure to her throat in a rude or angry manner. The complaint implies the victim is a family or household member of Markley’s.

The remaining three counts are misdemeanors:

Count II is battery, alleges Markley knowingly caused physical contact in a rude or angry manner with the child.

Count III – intimidation of a victim is an allegation that Markley attempted to prevent the female from reporting the incident to law enforcement.

Count IV is a misdemeanor theft and relates to the female’s bank card taken without her permission. A$30,000 bond amount remains intact on the initial group of charges.

Markley was initially booked into the county jail on a $2,500 bond in place related to a 2018 failure to appear warrant for an unrelated matter.

Kelly Fuemmeler, a Troy-based attorney has been appointed to serve as defense counsel for Markley. Counsel and defendant are scheduled for the 9 a.m. criminal docket for Friday, July 19 in district court.