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Local_news
Food, family, fun for 125 years

Lining the counter of the cash register sit current family photographs while larger frames envelope the walls with pictures from the restaurant’s past. As customers receive a menu, the cover explains one particular family’s history.

Paolucci & Begley Restaurant, Deli and Lounge, better known as Paolucci’s Restaurant, celebrated 125 years in business and hosted the annual Street Dance to commemorate the anniversary this past Saturday.

When asked how the business has kept its doors open for 125 years, Margie Begley, co-owner, was quick to respond.

“Family working hard, together,” Margie said.

Mike and Margie opened Paolucci’s Restaurant on Feb. 19, 1983. However, the business dates back to 1894 when Felix and Dominic Paolucci immigrated to Atchison from Frosolone, Italy.

The brothers opened Paolucci’s Grocery. While operating the business, Dominic had four children with his wife Rosa: Nick, John, Felix and Mary.

In 1936, Mary Paolucci married Ed Begley, sparking the business’ renaming to Paolucci and Begley Grocery. Mary’s youngest son and current owner, Mike, joined the business in 1970.

“About 50 years ago, Mike had gotten out of the service, we were married, and he was working for the railroad” Margie said. “He came back to town and came into business. He and I bought the business from Mary about 45 years ago.”

Since then, Margie and Mike have renovated the upstairs which was a former hotel to the current Paolucci’s lounge. The couple also expanded into the downstairs banquet space.

“I personally hope I’m finished expanding,” Margie said. “I think Ed will take it over and as much as you think you’re finished expanding, who knows what he’ll do with it.”

Ed Begley, Mike and Margie’s son, runs the upstairs lounge.

“Best memories from here would be the ability to grow up here and watch my grandmother work, my father work, me work, my kids work, my nieces and nephews,” Ed said. “We are all able to live and work together.”

To celebrate the anniversary, family members were dressed in 125th Anniversary t-shirts.

According to Margie, family members traveled from Washington, Colorado, Arizona, Oklahoma, Texas, North Carolina and Florida to celebrate the occasion.

“We’ve been here all these years, we see the pictures on the walls, we remember who is who, but listening to the next generation trying to explain to each other how they’re related and how it all started, that’s been fun,” Margie said.

When asked whether he sees the business expanding more, Ed was focused on the present condition of the restaurant.

“It will just keep on going, somehow we’ve always just figured out to keep on going.”

Paolucci’s Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is open Monday through Saturday, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., and on Sunday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“When we opened the restaurant, we wanted the farmer in overalls to be able to sit next to the business man in the suit and they were both comfortable,” Margie said. “Hopefully we have done that.”


Local_news
Political picnic hints at 2020 horizon

While the 2018 midterm elections are a mere seven months behind us, organizers are already gathering for the coming campaign season.

The Atchison County Democratic Party hosted a picnic on Saturday, June 8, at Jackson Park. Speakers included Barry Grissom, the former U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas — a probable contender for U.S. Senate — and Dustin Brinkman, a candidate for the First Kansas Senate District.

Both speakers discussed issues revolving around rural communities. Citizens in attendance also discussed issues such as school funding, access to healthcare, government transparency and infrastructure.

Grissom and Brinkman made their visit in the wake of high flooding and regional disagreements on federal tariff policy. President Donald Trump’s trade actions against nations like China have triggered retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural goods, a consequence largely borne by U.S. farmers.

“If anyone knows anything about farming, you’re at the whims of the weather, we’ve seen that recently with all the flooding,” Grissom said. “But to be at the whims of a political operation, or plan, that really hurt family farms, it doesn’t help them, I think that’s a bad way to have public policy.”

Brinkman noted that federal decisions have an impact on the state level.

“As a state, we need to look at the levees that are not being promoted by the Corps (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) and what can we do to increase that infrastructure,” Brinkman said.

Grissom continued to explain his view that access to affordable healthcare and keeping doctors in rural communities would help farming communities.

“The reason that they (doctors) leave is they want their children to have the same type of grade school or high school education they had but those resources aren’t there, so they leave,” Grissom said. “When we talk about rural America and farming, we really have to talk about an overall plan, it’s not just one or another.”

Brinkman, if successful in his quest to become the Democratic Nominee for the First Kansas Senate District, would contest the seat currently held by Sen. Dennis Pyle, Republican of Hiawatha.

According to Associated Press media reports, Grissom has met with Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader, and is considering running to represent Kansas in the U.S. Senate; incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts, a Republican, intends to retire after serving for four terms, since 1997; he had served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1981 until that point.

“We are looking at some opportunities and we’ve been talking to lots of people,” Grissom said. “But when you make a decision to put yourself out there in front of the public, you have to know to have pretty thick skin because it’s not always going to be kissing babies and slapping backs.”

Grissom said he expects to make a decision on the Senate race within the next six weeks.


Local_news
top story
Shooting suspect still at large

A search is ongoing for a previously convicted violent felon who authorities say shot a man twice amid an argument at early Sunday morning gathering near the site of a local festival.

Kevin V. Maxey Jr., 31, of Atchison remained at large as of Tuesday evening following a raid of his home on Sunday evening by the Atchison Police Department Special Response Team, a tactical unit. Police didn’t find him there, Police Chief Mike Wilson said.

“If anyone has seen him or knows where he can be found, please call ... 913-367-4323,” Wilson said. “You do not have to give your name.”

Wilson said officers and detectives have worked around the clock on the case since first responders went at 3 a.m. Sunday to the aid of a 42-year-old Atchison man in the 1100 block of North Eighth Street, immediately west of LFM Park.

They found the victim to be suffering from two gunshots, the cause of life-threatening injuries, and transported him to Mosaic Life Care hospital in St. Joseph, Missouri, where the victim remained as of Monday. No up-to-date information on the victim’s condition has been released, but Wilson said on Sunday that he had improved based on interactions with APD detectives, who visited him on Sunday at the hospital.

Throughout the previous Saturday, June 8, hundreds of revelers gathered at LFM Park to celebrate the 14th Annual Atchison Juneteenth (African American Freedom Day) event. However, a Juneteenth festival organizer said, events for Saturday had wrapped up by the time of the shooting, and that she believes the shooting isn’t related to Juneteenth.

“Our hearts go out to the victim and to (his) family,” said Nicole Thomas, chairwoman of the Atchsion Juneteenth Committee. “We are keeping them in our prayers.”

A series of events previously scheduled for Sunday occurred as normal at LFM Park to conclude the festival.

It’s not clear how many people remained in the area of LFM Park into the late Saturday and early Sunday morning hours; Wilson said about 20 people had been gathered in the area of the crime scene. An argument at that location, mainly between two people, occurred before the firing of shots, which hit the victim, who had simply been in the area and isn’t believed to have had a role in the argument, Wilson said.

Wilson said authorities are interviewing witnesses, gathering evidence and conducting other investigative tasks. This ultimately led them to obtain an arrest warrant for Maxey, Wilson said.

Maxey has spent many of his days behind bars in one location or another since October 2007, following conviction for an Atchison aggravated robbery; upon his first release in 2008, a June 2010 attempted aggravated battery incident in Leavenworth County, Kansas, returned him to prison in May 2011. He encountered more criminal trouble in 2012, before his eventual December 2017 release from state custody.


School_board
USD 377 Board to meet Thursday

The USD 377 Board of Education members plan to meet for regular business at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 13 in the district’s administrative building located at 306 Main Street in Effingham.

Business includes:

Student recognitions for athletics, activities and academic achievements.

Acceptance of the consent agenda that includes minutes from last meeting of the board and Keystone Educational Cooperative, proposed handbooks for the 2019-20 schoolyear and personnel report.

Hear administrative reports from Board Clerk Megan Gracey, building principals, Superintendent Dr. Andrew Gaddis, and a transportation and mileage report from Director Dwight Myer.

Ratification of the Teacher’s contracts and negotiations.

Adopt calendar amendment for the coming school year.

Discuss the purchase of classroom TV and Chromebooks; proposal for asphalt and ball field seals; and the time and date for the organizational meeting.

Closeout the fiscal 2019 budget and appropriate transfers.

Recess from regular session to meet behind closed doors to discuss nonelected personnel. After board members resume regular business, they expect to take appropriate action if necessary.