Written by Patty Decker Tuesday, 02 April 2013 11:41
The lineup of headliner acts for this year’s Chingawassa Days was completed recently with the announcement that country singer Joe Nichols would be performing Friday, June 7.
Mike Powers, committee chair, said committee members are excited about the news.
“We are feeling like we may have scored on this one,” he said. “(Joe Nichols) is a very current act and has a new album coming out.”
With the new record being released soon, the timing of Nichols’ performance in Marion couldn’t be better, Powers said.
Marion was lucky enough to catch Nichols “en route” on his way to a big gig in Colorado and had an open date the festival was able to fill, according to Patti Donahoe, a talent buyer working with the Chingawassa Days committee.
“We have worked with Patti for years,” Powers said, adding that she lives in Nashville, but has contacts with all kinds of acts.
In addition to Nichols’ performance Friday, June 7, an American hard-rock group, FireHouse, will be entertaining the crowd Saturday, June 8.
Written by Patty Decker Friday, 29 March 2013 14:14
Store manager Penny Peterson said she was thrilled about giving the items to such a deserving organization.
“It is very exciting because I know there are going to be families here locally that will benefit so much from this,” she said.
Kimberly Swaney, MSM director since March 1, said the donation was like Christmas.
“We survive on donations from individuals, businesses and churches, and so this is very exciting for us,” she said. “We will definitely be able to put some of (the merchandise) to good use in our building.”
In addition, Swaney said she and the MSM board members are wanting “to get creative about distributing other items in the community.”
Peterson said the Alco stores nationwide were required to donate everything to one organization.
“We couldn’t split it out and we didn’t want to leave the area with these items,” she said. “From what everyone said and what I have heard, MSM was a great organization for this donation.”
More than 30 hours of labor were needed to package the merchandise and included help from group manager Cassidy Johnson and Justin Ball, she said. Peterson said she made a list for each box to make it easier to identify the contents.
It then took only 15 minutes for MSM volunteers to load the boxes that were stacked in the store’s parking lot.
Peterson, Johnson and Ball helped load the merchandise. MSM volunteers included Clint Seibel, Mary Steketee, Dan Swaney, Joel and Lori Soo Hoo, Bret Mueller, Andrew Jost and Aaron Galloway.
“All of the hardware department was reset, so everything like power tools, furnace filters, plumbing supplies, scrapers, spray paint, gallons of paint, toilet seats, light bulbs and more was donated,” Peterson said.
The new line of hardware merchandise was put in its place, she said. This was done in all 230 Alco stores across the country.
Peterson said each community will get a similar donation as the one in Hillsboro. Alco’s total contribution nationwide is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, she added.
Peterson, who is new to the area, said Hillsboro is a great place to live.
“Everyone is so friendly,” she said, “and I couldn’t be more proud of Alco and working for a company willing to do this.”
Written by Patty Decker Friday, 29 March 2013 14:13
Alisha Bryant, who now lives at Main Street Ministries, said her parents weren’t particularly concerned about dental hygiene when she was a child.
“I didn’t learn how to brush my teeth or have regular dental appointments,” she said. “Ever since I can remember, I also had bad toothaches.”
In recent months, her teeth have affected her health more noticeably.
“I was more tired and I had frequent headaches,” she said. “I also had a hard time taking care of my kids—Isaac, 4, and Jayden, 3.”
Initially, Kimberly Swaney, director of Main Street Ministries, said Bryant needed three front teeth replaced.
“Before we could even think about those teeth, it turns out there are antibiotics, extensive extractions and repairs that are needed to address pain and major infection now,” Swaney said.
“Alisha has bone loss, diseased tissue and cavities, too.”
In addition to proving herself reliable by being open to growth and change within the Main Street program, Swaney added, Bryant also has no history of drug or alcohol abuse.
“As (Bryant) experiences God’s redemption in her heart, how great would that be for her smile to be transformed, too,” Swaney said.
Bryant began seeing Hillsboro dentist Loren Loewen, who agreed to take X-rays and evaluate her teeth at no charge.
Swaney said Loewen is willing to do the work at a significantly reduced cost, but he still needs almost $5,000 to complete the process.
Thus far, $3,000 has been contributed for Bryant’s dental work by the Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church, Marion County Circles, Hillsboro Area Ministerial Alliance and other individuals.
The process begins
The transition, Swaney said, will take about four months and Bryant has already taken the first steps toward a healthier, happier lifestyle.
Bryant had six teeth removed on the left side of her mouth Thursday, March 14, at a cost of $960.
“It hurts really bad because I am just taking ibuprofen,” she said. “I was allergic to the stronger medication.”
Bryant said she will go back to Loewen’s office April 11 for a second visit.
“He will pull another four or five teeth out and it’s expected to take about three weeks to heal,” she said. “I thought it would be like three to four days.”
The reduced price for the second visit will be about $900, Swaney said.
As for eating, Bryant said she has been living on soup and water the whole time.
If all goes well in April, Bryant said, she will be having her front teeth extracted.
“The front teeth were damaged from a childhood fall,” Swaney said.”
The reduced cost for that procedure, scheduled in May, will be about $600.
“In June, Alisha will go back for new X-rays and get partial or full dentures on the top and bottom,” Swaney said.
The Main Street director said Bryant is willing to do anything and everything to make this happen.
“Alisha is a delightful person and is facing this challenge with courage and, as it turns out, a lot of support from the Hillsboro (Marion County) community,” Swaney said.
Although the dental work is urgent, it is not life-threatening. According to information provided to Swaney by Loewen, there is no way to know if the diseased tissues/gums have begun to affect brain development.
“There are people who have had tooth decay such as hers and have died from heart failure,” Swaney said. “The extractions and (clearing up) the infections are urgent for her overall health.”
Along with her goal of being able to have a broad smile, Bryant said she is also taking part in the Circles program and will soon be in school to obtain her CNA certificate.
Jackie Volbrecht, with the Circles program, said almost $2,000 has been raised from local churches and individuals involved in the Circles Initiative.
“I think this is going to be a real countywide effort, which is a grand thing to be a part of,” Volbrecht said. “Alisha came to Circles the day she had six teeth pulled. She’s very dedicated.”
Swaney said with major extractions still looming, the recovery time and healing process for Bryant will be challenging.
“We are hoping for a pain-free, toothy smile soon, though,” she said. “Now that she knows more about the importance of tooth brushing, going to the dentist and how pop, juice and candy affect health, she has made the commitment that her children will grow up knowing how to better care for themselves.”
Bryant said she hopes to be healthier once she has her bad teeth replaced. She looks forward to eating healthy foods she wasn’t able to manage for many years.
“I want to bite into an apple and not worry about hurting my teeth,” she said.
Individuals or organizations that would like to help Bryant can send checks to Main Street Ministries, 415 S. Main St., Hillsboro, KS 67063; or to Loren Loewen, DDS, 615 S. Main St., Hillsboro, KS 67063.
“I am very appreciative of all the donations that have came in,” Bryant said. “It is amazing that people who don’t even know me can be so generous about $5,000 and helping me.”
Bryant also wanted to thank Loewen for reducing the expense.
“It’s been scary, but I am looking forward to being healthier and being able to smile.”
Written by Patty Decker Friday, 29 March 2013 14:12
Marion County voters will be deciding on candidates to fill city and school positions April 2 in this year’s local elections.
In the Goessel school district, voters will vote on a $3.3 million bond issue requested for school improvements for the high school and grade school buildings.
Ten polling sites will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, for the general election.
According to Rhonda Toal, deputy county clerk/election clerk, the following are designated polling locations and include:
• Burns Community Center, 301 N. Washington: Burns City, Milton Township, Summit Township.
• Emmanuel Baptist Church, 229 N. Walnut, Marion: part of Centre South Township, Center North Township, Gale Township, Grant North Township, Grant South Township, Marion North City.
• Florence Masonic Center, 421 Main: Doyle Township, part of Fairplay Township, Florence City.
• Goessel City Building, 101 S. Cedar: part of East Branch Township, Goessel City, Menno Township, West Branch Township.
• Hillsboro City Building, 118 E. Grand: Hillsboro 1st (west) city, Lehigh city, Lehigh Township, Risley Township.
• Hillsboro United Methodist Church, 905 E. D St.: Hillsboro 2nd (east) city, Liberty Township.
• Lincolnville Community Center, 213 W. Sixth: Clark Township, Clear Creek Township, Lincolnville city, Lost Springs Township, Lost Springs city.
• Our Savior Lutheran Church, 320 S. Cedar, Marion: part of Centre South Township, Marion South city, Township.
• Peabody Senior Center, 106 N. Walnut: Catlin City, Catlin Township., part of East Branch Township, part of Fairplay Township, Peabody City.
• Tampa Senior Center, 100 Main St.: Blaine Township, Colfax Township, Durham city, Durham Park Township, Logan Township, Moore Township, Ramona city, Tampa city.
Candidates and races
Voters in Burns, Florence, Goessel and Ramona will choose candidates in contested races for city council positions.
Peabody-Burns School District board members and the mayor of Peabody also have challengers vying for positions.
It is also the first at-large election for Peabody-Burns School District, Toal said.
Following is the list of candidates who have filed for positions:
• Burns—Mayor: Pat Nystrom, incumbent; city council, two positions open: Daniel S. Huls, II; and incumbents Mary Glenn and Roland Boesker.
• Durham—Mayor: no candidates; current mayor is Mike Sorenson. City council, five positions open: Gary Gerringer. and incumbents Verlin Sommerfeld, R. Gene Duke, Edward Flaming and Gary D. Unruh.
• Florence—Mayor: Mary Shipman, incumbent. City council Ward 1: no candidates filed; city council Ward 2 (one position open): Pam Wells and incumbent Ed Robinson.
• Goessel—Mayor: Dave Schrag. City council (two positions open): Dean Snelling, and incumbents Larry D. Schmidt and Larry C. Lindeman.
Ballot question: Shall USD 411 issue general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $3.3 million to pay for school improvements?
• Hillsboro—Mayor: Delores Dalke, incumbent. City council: Ward 1: Robert L. Watson, incumbent, and Ward 2: Marlene Fast, incumbent.
• Lehigh, Lincolnville, Lost Springs—No candidates filed for mayor or any of the city council positions.
• Peabody—Mayor: Larry K. Larsen, incumbent, and Frank Doerrler. City council (two positions open): incumbents Janice Woodruff and Tom Schmidt.
• Ramona—Mayor: Byron Noeth of Ramona, incumbent. City Council (five positions open): James Thompson, Rachel Mealor and incumbents A.J. Svoboda, Billy E. Alcorn, Jayme Brunner, Arthur Stroda.
• Tampa—City council (three positions open): incumbents Wilbert E. Backhus and Paul H. Backhus.
• USD 397 (Centre)—Position 4: (Morris County) Richard L. Basore of Burdick, incumbent. Position 5 (Marion County): Clay Simons of Lincolnville. Position 6 (Marion County): Jeff Bina of Marion, incumbent.
• USD 398 (Peabody-Burns)—All at-large (three positions open): Barry Petter; Jarrod Gaines of Newton and Travis T. Foth, and incumbents Shayla Clark and Julia Ensminger.
• USD 408 (Marion-Florence)—Position 4: Jana Nordquist. Position 5: Jan Helmer, incumbent. Position 6: Doug Regnier.
• USD 410 (Durham-Hillsboro-Lehigh)—Position 4: Mark Rooker, incumbent. Position 5: Joe Sechrist, incumbent. Position 6: no candidates.
• USD 411 (Goessel)—Position 4: Lynette Duerksen, incumbent, Position 5: Kelly B. Booton, incumbent. Position 6: James Bryan Wiens, incumbent. Position 7 (unexpired term): Kyle Funk.
Toal said Funk was appointed to serve the unexpired of Eric Schrag, who vacated the position last October..
For more information about the local election, call Toal at 620-382-2185.
Written by Don Ratzlaff Friday, 29 March 2013 14:06
The Hillsboro High School and Tabor College graduate has lived and worked in several states, and travels frequently around the U.S. and to other countries as an ambassador in the field of stem-cell therapy.
Beyond geography, Bartel also has reached places within her profession that few achieve.
Recently, she was ranked 20th on a list of the “Top 50 most influential people on stem cells today” released by Total BioPharma, a network for professionals involved in the entire life science and pharmaceutical value chain.
“I was surprised,” Bartel said of the honor.
“First of all, it just means I’ve been around for a long time,” joked the 54-year-old from her home in Ann Arbor, Mich. “The stem cell and cell-therapy group is a very, very small world. We all know each other.”
In fact, Bartel estimates only 10 to 15 people in the world do what she does, which is to research and develop stem-cell therapies that can be approved by the Federal Drug Administration to repair or rejuvenate organs and limbs of patients with degenerative conditions such as diabetes and dilated cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart).
“I never really liked basic research just for the expansion of human knowledge,” Bartel said. “I’ve always done more applied stuff. For me, it’s making it through (the regulatory stage) and getting it to patients.”
Bartel’s career pilgrimage began in the science classes taught at HHS by Paul Jantzen, now retired. As a high school senior, she took her first science course at Tabor and eventually graduated with degrees in both chemistry and biology.
Upon the advice of her chemistry professor, Loren Neufeld, Bartel applied for graduate school and earned a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Kansas. Her specific focus was drug discovery, particularly antiviral agents.
From there, Bartel did a post-doctoral study through the medical school at the University of Michigan, focusing on anti-inflammatory drugs in the area of dermatology.
At the invitation of her lead professor at KU, she returned to Lawrence as a member of the research faculty for three years.
Bartel’s career took a significant turn when she traveled to the French Riviera as a presenter for a North American Treaty Organization conference on pharmaceutical applications for cells and tissues. She said she arrived at the meeting late and sat in the only available seat.
“I sat down next to a woman who had just started a company that was absolutely in lock step with my research at KU,” Bartel said. “She and I hung out for a week. By the end of it, she offered me a job.
“I was looking at either having to write grants to get funding or look for something else to do, so it was a good juncture.”
The job took Bartel to San Diego, Calif., which she still claims as her preferred place to live.
“What we did was use human skin cells to make artificial skin for burn victims,” she said. “I was the director of research there. The product we developed back in the early ’90s is still on the market.
“It was the second product put through the FDA that was a cell-based product,” she added. “It’s now $200 million a year and it’s being used to treat diabetic foot ulcers.”
In 2006, Bartel accepted her current job as chief scientific officer at Aastrom Biosciences Inc. in Ann Arbor.
In that role she overseas clinical trials for stem-cell therapies. The process begins with the removal of about three tablespoons of bone marrow from a patient’s lower back in a 15- to 20-minute nonsurgical procedure Bartel describes as “little more onerous than a blood draw.”
The bone marrow is shipped by Federal Express to Aastrom, where staff put it through a two-week “manufacturing” process.
“It actually grows up the regenerative cells in the bone marrow,” Bartel said. “Then we turn it around and give it back to the patient.”
One of the areas in which Bartel and her staff are currently working is the end stages of peripheral arterial disease.
“Everybody knows somebody who’s had a toe or a foot amputated as they get older,” she explained. “What we do is give these patients who are headed for an amputation 20 small injections from the top of the foot to just above the knee.
“It’s a one-time treatment, and it’s delayed amputations in our clinical trials by an average just shy of a year. Limb salvage is what we’re trying to do.”
The clinical trials limit them to a single treatment, she said. But the stem cells come from the patient, so there’s no threat of immune reaction or rejection.
“The idea would be to go back and do it on a yearly basis because the effects are pretty profound,” Bartel said.
Bartel is well aware that stem-cell research—primarily the use of embryonic stem cells—has generated public debate.
“Stem cells are not all embryonic stem cells,” she said. “Actually, very little work is being done on the commercial side in terms of product development. People are working on ways to avoid embryonic stem cells, both for ethical reasons as well as scientific.”
Bartel’s work is in the field of regenerative stem-cell research.
“Whenever you tell somebody you work with stem cells, they get so sort of twisted up sideways about it,” she said. “The idea is that people really do have a lot of regenerative power within them.
“Your cells are still there, but it’s like anything else when you get older—they’re a little more tired and there’s not as many of them. But there are ways to circumvent that by putting them in a culture and sort of rejuvenating them to some degree.
“It’s the ultimate in personalized medicine.”
Bartel said she finds fulfillment in the challenges of managing the science while at the same time dealing with regulatory issues and investors.
“There’s really three audiences for what we do,” she said. “It’s a bit of a chess game, actually.”
Working with the FDA can be particularly challenging.
“I learned early in my career that what makes sense to you scientifically bears little resemblance to what the FDA feels is appropriate,” she said. “Just because it’s good science doesn’t mean the drug is a good candidate to be approved.”
That said, Bartel recommends her field to high school and college students interested in science.
“There are a lot of opportunities out there, but you’re probably going to have to leave Hillsboro to do it,” she added.
“I’ve lived in seven states and have been all over the place. If you want to be a homebody, this is probably not the field. But there are lots of opportunities if you’re willing to go for it.”
Bartel said that’s been her approach through the years.
“I just followed my nose,” she said. “Being open to opportunity is a big thing. Who would have guessed I’d get my first industry job in some podunk place in France? Not me.”
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