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Easter activities abound for kiddos in Atchison
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The Easter Bunny and helpers were busy during the holiday weekend bringing some treats and family-oriented frolic at public events in Atchison.

The Easter Egg Hunt at L.F.M. Park and the Atchison Recreation Commission Egg Hunt have become holiday staples throughout the years.

For Rickye Jenkins Easter Sunday is a day when youngsters from the Atchison Community as a whole come out fill their baskets and memory banks with good times and treats at L. F. M. Park.

Jenkins, a former Atchison resident, came all the way from Los Angeles, California to host the 15th Annual Easter Egg Hunt at L.F. M. Park event. Jenkins has hosted the event with help from family and since its inception even though he’s not resided in the area for the past five years.

Children from age 1 to 5-year-olds were treated to an egg hunt, cake walks and Easter baskets as they visited and played amongst themselves on the playground.

Pre-adolescent aged youngsters had their age-appropriate fun, entertainments and amusements in the early afternoon, and teenagers enjoyed their times from later in the afternoon into the evening hours.

Some bicycles were awarded throughout the events and kids received filled Easter baskets. The event has become a tradition for Jenkins even though the 2020 event did not take place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In keeping with the Easter weekend tradition, throngs of families and friends came out Saturday for the annual Atchison Recreation Commission-sponsored Egg Hunt Saturday, April 3 in the soccer fields at Atchison Sports Complex. Like many other holiday traditions, the REC’s Easter Egg Hunt also paused for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Where the Easter Bunny was on hand near the concession stand to meet and greet event-goers and offer to pose with the visitors for a snapshot to mark the occasion. Egg hunters were divided according to age groups designated to respective fields. The scramble for kiddos to fill their baskets promptly began at 10 a.m. Some eggs scattered in the fields contained special prizes. Atchison Lions Club members assisted with the REC event.

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County's tax sale ready for auction block this month
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After more than a year-long interruption due to the coronavirus pandemic, what was intended to be the annual Atchison County Tax Sale has been scheduled and is on track to take place later this month.

During the March 23 county commission meeting commissioners approved the date for upcoming sale for 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 21 at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall, 819 Commercial Street in Atchison.

In previous years the county’s tax sale was held at the courthouse. Henderson recommended the change of location to a county-owned facility large enough to accommodate social distancing in accordance with Center for Disease Control recommendations.

Atchison County Counselor Patrick Henderson said judgement to Atchison County on all listed properties became official March 12 in Atchison County District Court.

Likely destined the auction block will be 50 parcels of properties – more or less — as property owners in arrears will be able to redeem parcels up until Tuesday, April 20 the day before the sale after all penalties, interest, delinquent taxes; court costs are paid in full and the proof of redemptions through courts are in hand.

Atchison County Treasurer’s Office officials recommend persons who would like to redeem parcels come into their office days prior to the sale to allow them time to ensure the necessary paperwork is complete and all documentation from the Treasurer’s Office and Atchison County District Court is in order. Parcels will not be removed from the sale without receipts of payments owed and completion of the proper paperwork from both the Treasurer’s Office and district court.

Henderson reported to commissioners in Dec. 2020 that the delinquent properties had been pared down to 64, and that he was hopeful the sale would take place in mid-March.

Among the properties left on the list at this time with more than $341.529 back taxes owing to the county is the Kansas Education Holdings, LLC, Riverbend International School Inc., K.T. Leung, Carol Kwan, and four other named individuals. This property is located at 1900 North Second Street along the outskirts of Atchison.

Most of the properties subject to the sale are located within the city of Atchison and nearby rural areas with a 66002 zip code. There are two parcels at Muscotah, three at Effingham and one property located in the unincorporated city of Arrington with a Holton address.

For more information and maps about the parcels listed on the tax sale go to atchisoncountyks.org and search for 2021 tax sale.

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City honors local police officers
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The Atchison City Commission honored six police officers who helped save the lives of three Atchison citizens and their pets from a fire at Laramie Street on March 28.

Police Chief Mike Wilson presented the officers with a Letter of Commendation at the meeting Monday.

“If it weren’t for the heroics of our police officers and other first responders, things could’ve turned out very differently,” Mayor Abbey Bartlett said.

The city also passed an ordinance annexing the property at 10955 U.S. Highway 59 into Atchison after the owners of the property entered into an Annexation and Incentive Agreement in February to be filed with the Atchison County Register of Deeds.

The commissioners also passed an ordinance to establish all-way stops at 5th & Commercial, 6th & Commercial, and 7th & Commercial effective June 1, 2021. This ordnance now changes these three intersections to an all-way stop configuration, matching the other Commercial Street intersections between 2nd and 8th Streets.

Following the meeting the commissioners adjourned to a workshop to discuss parking surface regulations, then met as a Land Bank Commission to authorize the conveyance of properties at 1209 Unity Street and 401 N. 9 the St and held an executive session regarding the potential acquisition of land bank property.

The next regular city commission meeting is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Monday, April 19, which is scheduled at this time to be a budgeting workshop.

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County declines further action on mask orders
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Atchison County Commissioners unanimously voted to take no further action at his time on the masks.

The action Tuesday, April 6 followed some rather extensive discussions concerning the matter during the morning workshop session, which resulted in vote during the business meeting in the afternoon.

However, prior to the vote, Superintendent Andrew Gaddis, USD 377, and Superintendent Renee Scott, USD 409, both shared concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 if the mask order would be removed.

An attorney and Atchison County property owner, Michael Kuckelman, offered public comment and advised Chairman Jack Bower about the recent Statute SB40 and Section 1 that dictates only school boards have the power to require mask wearing and protocols regarding school property and functions.

Gaddis indicated he will make a recommendation to USD 377 Board of Education members to continue the mask requirement.

Scott said the 409 district has it in their plan to have masks worn all this school year, although the COVID plan has loosened somewhat. It could be optional, but it could be more effective for the community if all were to be on the same page.

Scott did commend commissioners on their decisions made early on in the pandemic because Atchison County’s numbers were outstanding in comparison to other counties in the state.

Director Wesley Lanter, Atchison County Emergency Management sent a statement advising the public that Atchison County no longer has local health orders or the Mask Mandate in place.

“People are still encouraged to use caution while in public,” Lanter urged on behalf of county health officials along with guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

The CDC and KDHE continue to recommend public health measure in an effort to stop the spread of Covid-19. The public health measures apply to everyone, including those who have been vaccinated.

The recommendations are:

Avoid crowds.

Wear a mask in public.

Avoid poorly ventilated areas.

Wash your hand often and avoid touching your face.

Get tested if you are experiencing symptoms.

Get vaccinated.

Please continue to do your part in slowing the spread.

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Bradken strike comes to an end
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After two weeks the union employee strike at Bradken Foundry in Atchison has come to an end Monday.

Members of the United Steel Workers and company officials finally came to an agreement after at least two dozen employees were seen picketing in front of the Foundry for the previous two weeks.

A temporary restraining order was also filed by Bradken Foundry legal counsel against its union members last week before they came to agreement on Monday.

Vice President of Operations Ken Bean said the company is excited to have everyone back to work to help both the communities of Atchison and St. Joseph.

“We’re excited the strike is over and looking forward to having everyone return back to work to get everything back in operation,” Bean said. “From a company standpoint we’re very pleased we were able to get the changes we needed to be sure Atchison and St. Joseph remain viable to have success in the future. We were able to come to some compromises on some things.”

An international company, Bradken is headquartered in Mayfield West, Australia and is one of the world’s leading providers of mining equipment parts and specializes in the design and and manufacturing of cast and fabricated iron and steel products.