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County's Noxious Weeds Office back on track for chemical sales
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Atchison County Noxious Weed Department is up and running with a brand new director and fully licensed commercial pesticide applicator.

Director Kim Glover recently became fully licensed and certified to supervise the department. Glover’s distinction brings the county the capability to offer the chemicals for sale to the public in an effort to eradicate the vegetation as noted on the Kansas Noxious Weed list.

Ben Taylor is the licensed applicator who is the chief eradicator to spray the state-recognized noxious weeds along the county’s roadside.

After more than a 2-year interruption due to the vacancy of licensed personnel, the noxious weed department’s chemical sales have resumed since licensure criteria have been met.

County Commissioner Eric Noll said the training to become fully licensed and certified in the multiple areas of weed studies is more in-depth than what is required of farmers to pass to purchase chemicals for their fields.

Since the spraying along the county roadsides has resumed things are moving along in the right track and direction for the community as expected, Glover said.

Currently, the most problematic noxious weeds in Atchison County are Sericea lespedeza, and Johnson Grass, Glover said. The Musk Thistle and Field Bindweed is also plentiful, according to the Kansas Weed Survey report.

The Kansas Department of Agriculture literature describes Sericea lespedeza as a short-lived perennial in the bean family that is native to Asia. The cream-colored flowers have purple markings and the leaves have three parts. These invasive plant species are common in rangelands and prairies.

Johnsongrass, a perennial with its origins rooted in the Mediterranean, is related to and can hybridize with grain sorghum. KDA literature indicates it is an aggressive spreader by seed and has thick, scaly roots. Johnsongrass often grows along roadsides and ditches.

The musk thistle, a biennial native to Eurasia, is a member of the aster family. The first year the plant forms a rosette of spiny, white-edged leaves. In its second year, a stalk grows up with spiny, purplish flower heads.

Field bindweed, a member of the morning glory family is non-native to Kansas with arrowhead-shaped leaves. Its bell-shaped flowers are white to pink in color. The weed spreads by seed.

The chemicals are available for sale at the Atchison County Noxious Weed Department located at the County Shop, 613 South 22nd Street in Atchison. The chemicals are available for any resident of Atchison County as long as it is used only for the treatment of Kansas-recognized noxious weeds, Glover said. Payment by cash or check is due at the time of pickup, make checks payable to Atchison County Noxious Weed Department. Chemicals are available for purchase between the hours of 8 a.m. — 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and Fridays by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, or if there are any questions call 913-804-6120.

The following chemicals are available at the noxious week office for purchase:

2,4-D Amine – 2.5-gallon for $21; and 5-gallon for $42; 2, 4-D LV Ester –2.5-gallon for $30 and 5-gallon — $60; Escort, and 8-ounce container for $16; Milestone 1 quart costs $62; Remedy 1 gallon is $42; and Panoramic 1 gallon is $88.

Tordon 22K – 1 gallon is $37.20; the cost for a 5-gallon container of it is $186. Consumers are required to provide their valid state certification to purchase Tordon 22K.

All chemical sales are final, there are no refunds and no returns allowed.

ACCHS Tigers bring home a Math Day prize
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Topeka – Atchison County Community High School teammates were among the top winners in a competition Tuesday at the annual Math Day event at Washburn University.

The Washburn University math department hosted 173 students from 24 local high schools for their 51st annual Math Day, Nov. 16. Students participated in math testing and the “Mathnificient Race,” a scavenger hunt on the Washburn University campus for information required to solve a sequence of problems as quickly as possible.

ACCHS Team members, Connor Simmers, Maci Behrnes, and Ashtyn Jolly scored 62 out of 120 to bring home the 1st prize award in the 1A/2A Team Competition event.

The top three individual scorers in the senior and non-senior categories all receive medals, and the top three scorers from each school receive ribbons. The top team in each of the 1A/2A, 3A/4A, 5A, and 6A school classifications and the top overall scorer receive plaques.

Other winners throughout the day included the following: Om Watson from Washburn Rural High School earned the overall top score on the exam. Washburn Rural High School also placed first in the 6A team awards. Seaman High School placed first in the 5A round, Eudora High School placed first in 4A/3A. Olathe South High School won the Mathnificent Race.

Maur Hill-Mount Academy students also participated in the event.

The 51st annual Math Day event marked a Washburn tradition that dates back to 1969 — Math Day 2020 was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Each November, high school students from all over northeast Kansas come to Washburn to compete in a 40-question competitive mathematics exam. Teachers accompanying the students have a discussion of current issues of importance to mathematics educators and/or participate in activities to enhance teaching mathematics in the classroom.

BC campus earns national recognition for landscape
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Many people have said it, but Benedictine College has now been officially recognized for its beautiful campus. The Professional Grounds Management Society® (PGMS®) presented the Honor Award to Benedictine College Grounds Supervisor and Landscape Manager Michael Hagey at its annual meeting in October. Part of the society’s Green Star Awards, the Honor Award recognizes outstanding professional accomplishment and excellence in grounds management.

“Our campus is comprised of beauty, balance and harmony, so we want the grounds to create an experience for those who come here, something more than nice trees, colorful flowers and open green spaces,” said Hagey.

The Benedictine award specifically mentioned the beauty of Raven Memorial Park in the center of campus. Landscaping there includes a waterfall feature, flowers, shrubbery and trees, all surrounding the Sacred Heart of Jesus statue.

“A special thanks goes to my grounds crew and our student workers,” Hagey said. “My team is very appreciative of this recognition. We work hard to provide a beautiful and inspiring campus to our students, faculty, staff and visitors.”

PGMS® is the nation’s oldest membership society of grounds professionals, representing over 1,000 industry professionals in the United States, Canada and overseas. Members include institutional grounds managers who work for organizations such as colleges and universities, municipalities, parks and recreation facilities, theme parks, office parks, apartment complexes, hotels and motels, and cemeteries.

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is proud to have been named in the Top 10 in the Midwest of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, the best private college in Kansas by The Wall Street Journal, and one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.

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Doniphan case sends one to prison
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An Atchison man was recently ordered to serve more than two years in state prison in connection with the 2019 death of Jason Pantle.

Brian Spilman, Jr., 24, convicted of involuntary manslaughter, a Level 5 felony offense, was sentenced Nov. 3 in Doniphan County District Court to 32 months with the eligibility 4.8 months of good time credit toward a possible early release. Spilman was also ordered to serve 24 months of post-release supervision.

Spilman is one three suspects were arrested and identically charged for the demise of the 42-year-old Pantle who was severely beaten Sept. 22, 2019 while at a party at the old town-site of Doniphan. At the time of his death, Pantle resided at Cummings.

Matthew “Cole” Scherer, and Scott Vandeloo, 46, also Atchison residents at the time were arrested and charged in connection with the incident. Spilman was convicted as the result of a jury trial in September.

Vandeloo is the second suspect convicted after he waived his right to the scheduled jury trial in October and pleaded no contest to involuntary manslaughter, a felony offense. Vandeloo is scheduled for sentencing Wednesday, Dec. 8 in Doniphan County District Court.

Scherer facing one count of second-degree murder, and is awaiting a trial date scheduled for Monday, March 28 in Doniphan County District Court.