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Fire destroys old church building in Cummings
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CUMMINGS - A former church in Cummings caught fire Wednesday morning and firefighters were still on the scene through the afternoon.

According to Ken Frost, the fire chief of Nortonville Fire District No. 12, the fire originated from a power line that is still hooked to the back of the building.

“From what we could gather the fire started there and then the wind just kind of took it into the church,” Frost said. “It totally got out of hand in no time at all.”

When firefighters arrived flames could be seen from the roof and smoke surrounded the former Cummings United Methodist Church. Within an hour the roof had collapsed and firefighters continued to battle the blaze. The firefighters were able to mostly subdue the flames around noon.

While part of the structure still stands it appears to be a total loss.

The building, located at 13919 Front St., in Cummings, housed a clothing store called Our Coat of Many Colors, owned by Debra Fuhrman.

According to emergency personnel on the scene, no one is believed to have been in the building when the fire started and no injuries were reported.

Atchison County Emergency Manager Wes Lanter and Atchison EMS were the first on the scene before local fire departments and other emergency personnel.

The Atchison County Fire District was alerted around 10:30 a.m., who then notified the Nortonville Fire District. Nortonville, Shannon, Effingham and Atchison fire departments were all at the scene helping to contain the fire.

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Democrats stump in Atchison
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Atchison County Democrats hosted a candidate rally Friday, Sept. 4 at the Atchison Farmers Market.

Rally attendees had the opportunity to meet with congressional candidate Topeka Mayor Michelle De La Isla, vying for U.S. House Kansas District 2; Senate District 1 Candidate Kirk Miller, a retired pipefitter residing in the Havensvilles community; and Sheriff Candidate John Calhoon, of Atchison.

The respective candidates addressed constituents during the two-hour event.

De La Isla is vying against Jake LaTurner, a Republican.

Miller, of Pottawatomie County, is challenging incumbent Sen. Dennis Pyle, a Republican,

The 1st Senate District encompasses all of Atchison, Brown, Doniphan, Jackson and Nemaha counties. The cities of Axtell, Beattie, Frankfort, Home, Summerfield and Vermillion; Balderson, Bigelow, Center, Clear Fork, Cleveland, Franklin, Guittard, Lincoln, Murray, Noble, Richland, Rock, St. Bridget, Vermillion and Wells townships. In Pottawotomie County the citiies of Belvue, Emmett, Havensville, Louisville, a portion of Manhattan, Olsburg, Onaga, Westmoreland and Wheaton; and Belvue, a portion of Blue, Blue Valley, Center, Clear Creek, Emmett, Grant, Green, Lincoln, Lone Tree, and a portion of Louisville, Mill Creek, Pottawatome, Rock Creek, Shannon, Sherman, Spring Creek, St. Clere, a portions of St. George and St. Marys; Union, Vienna and a portion of Wamego townships in Marshall County.

Calhoon is going head to head against incumbent Atchison County Sheriff Jack Laurie, a Republican. Calhoon formerly served multiple terms as Atchison County Sheriff.

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USD 409 steps into 'new normals"
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A new daily protocol was rolled out to greet pupils, students, visitors and all who beckon to enter Atchison Public School facilities.

Morning hours Wednesday, Sept. 9 marked the first day of the new schoolyear for the youngsters.

As documented in the “USD 409: Navigating Change 2020”, there are documented recommendations and protocols to implement practices for the safety and learning at Atchison Public Schools. Among the protocols are requirements like mask/facial coverings; temperature screens, hand sanitizing and hygiene. The guidelines also allow for some exemptions to the new guidelines.

To read the document log on to usd409.net homepage and click on the Navigating Change 2020 icon.

After classes started for the day about 10:45 a.m. the district mostly lost its internet connectivity and phone service, Superintendent Renee Scott announced in a video during late afternoon hours. Scott assured AT&T technicians answered the were onsite. The issue was resolved later Wednesday evening, Scott told the Globe.

Director of Technology Donna Noll offered a detailed account of what happened in a statement to the Globe.

“Yesterday or WAN (wide area network) went down,” Noll said. “This is the fiber that connects all out buildings. We share the internet and phones over this connection.”

In place for more than 18 years, the buried fiber had never gone down until Wednesday, Noll said. That was first time the district experienced an occurrence. The 409 technology department were able to identify the problem and inform AT&T concerning the circuit that was down. The issued was fixed during the night.

“I don’t anticipate this specific problem happening again,” Noll said.

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County cases near 300
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Coronavirus cases in Atchison county continue to grow as the confirmed cases are 281 as of 1 p.m. Monday with 43 active cases and two hospitalizations.

According to statewide numbers, there have been 46,914 cases from 88 counties with 485 deaths reported and 2,441 hospitalizations as of Monday.

In Brown County, the number is 80 total cases. In neighboring counties, the numbers are Jackson 218, Nemaha 60, Doniphan 80, Leavenworth 1,781 and Jefferson 135.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is continuing to closely monitor several clusters and high-reporting counties throughout the state, which include Finney (1,827 cases), Ford (2,423), Johnson (9,047), Lyon (889), Sedgwick (7,714), Riley, (1,045), Douglas (1,600), Seward (1,327), Shawnee (2,387) and Wyandotte (6,359).

Special honors to bring everlasting musical presence along Tigers' wall
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The musical influences from two longtime teachers will soon adorn the Wall of Fame at Atchison County Community Junior Senior High School.

Board of Education members unanimously approved the induction of Eileen Wohletz, vocal music instructor, and Band Director Paul Lundgren to the USD 377.

ACCJHS Principal Deanna Scherer said she has received the two nominations and offered excerpts from a letter in support of the reasoning for the special distinction she recently received.

“Eileen Wohletz and Paul Lundgren have held a special place in the hearts of hundreds perhaps thousands of students through their music,” Scherer read. The written comments also indicated Wohletz and Lundgren inspired numerous students to pursue career paths in music.

“Mrs. Wohletz always wore a dress, and Mr. Lundgren was always dressed in a shirt and tie,” the writer mentioned in the nomination.

Board member Greg Smith shared his sentiment that the district has been way behind on the special recognitions and distinctions for Lundgren and Wohletz.

Superintendent Andrew Gaddis said it is sort of misnomer that many people believe the Wall of Fame is only for coaches.

The Wall of Fame, adopted by USD 377 Board of Education on July, 10, 2019 is a section of wall space cordoned off for the purpose of special recognitions when individuals or groups wish to recognize persons for outstanding contributions to the school or school system. After approval, the principal will organize and plan an appropriate induction ceremony for the honorees.

Concerning other matters, board members:

Revised the calendar to designate Monday, Sept. 28 as a student contact day. This is a change from the school calendar when the day was initially scheduled for a staff development day.

Heard a report from Principal Mandi McMillan, Atchison County Community Elementary School, about a $6,000 grant award from Live Well Live Atchison that Andrew Eckert, physical education teacher, applied for on behalf of the school to acquire physical education equipment.

Heard from Scherer as she credited Assistant Principal/Activities Director Cy Wallisch for his work coordinating Homecoming and Parents’ Night festivities within a short timeframe. She also told board members that she was impressed with the cheerleading and band performances in spite of the adverse conditions presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gaddis reported the total student county is 483, which is four less than the previous school year.

Discussed the proposed changes to the graduation honors systems, and decided to gather more input from district patrons to make a decision on the matter during the October meeting.

Recessed from open session to go into executive session for 15 minutes to discuss a non-elected personnel matter with Gaddis. After the public meeting resumed, board members adjourned.