APAC receives NAPA’s top paving award for Southwest Kansas project

APAC Shears of Hutchinson has been awarded the National Asphalt Pavement Association’s (NAPA) Larry H. Lemon Quality in Construction Award for a mill and overlay project on U.S. 160 in Meade and Clark counties.

The award recognizes asphalt pavements that use less than 50,000 tons of asphalt in the project. Each project nominated undergoes testing by the National Center for Asphalt Testing (NCAT) pavement engineers with the top 10 general paving projects in the nation receiving the award.

Each project’s pavement is tested for volumetric quality, density, gradation and for being at or below air void targets.

APAC Shears completed the U.S. 160 project which extended from the U.S. 54 junction in Meade County to the U.S. 283 junction in Clark County. The $1.4 million, 17-mile project and was completed in June of 2018.

According to Dan Scherschligt, Executive Director of the Kansas Asphalt Pavement Association, “A Kansas asphalt contractor achieving this award is a testimony of the high-quality work performed by our producer members.”

Newton Presbyterian Manor makes U.S. News Best Nursing Home list

NEWTON – Newton Presbyterian Manor is on the U.S. News and World Report Best Nursing Homes 2018-2019 list.

The senior living community, which made the list for the seventh time since 2011, received the highest score of High Performing on the list, which is available at www.usnews.com/best-nursing-homes/search.

The U.S. News and Report list uses information from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the government agency that sets and enforces standards for nursing homes. CMS assigns one to five stars to each community for how well it performs in health inspections, nurse staffing and level of quality care.

U.S. News now uses the CMS star rating for staffing rather than the overall star rating to determine which communities are given the High Performing designation.

More than 4,300 nursing homes received CMS’ top rating of five stars, while just 1,844 nursing homes earned the top Overall rating issued by U.S. News, according to the U.S. News website.

“Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America employees continue to focus their efforts on delivering quality caring every day,” said PMMA President and CEO Bruce Shogren. “The High Performing designation confirms their good work.”

Newton Presbyterian Manor has served Harvey County since 1949, now with independent and assisted living, long-term care, Alzheimer’s care, short-term rehabilitation, onsite preschool and a public wellness center. Learn more at NewtonPresbyterianManor.org.

In addition to Newton, 12 PMMA locations are on the honoree list with five-star ratings, including Sterling.

U.S. News evaluated all Medicare- and Medicaid-certified health care centers. To be eligible for a rating, a center must have received an overall star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in July 2018 and a staffing star rating in either April or July 2018.

To learn more about the U.S. News and World Report rating system, visit their FAQ page: https://health.usnews.com/health-news/best-nursing-homes/articles/faq-how-we-rate-nursing-homes.

Two area Bluestem Communities facilities receive U.S. News highest rating

The Bluestem Communities of Kidron Bethel Village in North Newton and Schowalter Villa in Hesston have received the highest possible rating of five stars in the U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best Nursing Homes.

The 2018-19 Best Nursing Homes highlights the top nursing homes in each city and state with the purpose of equipping individuals with the information they can use to help choose the right home for themselves or a loved one.

“Families often comment on the personalized care that the Kidron Bethel Health Care Center staff provides their loved ones,” said Linda Peters, Kidron Bethel Village’s executive director. “Being recognized for cultivating this type of meaningful community for residents and their families is great.”

To determine ratings, U.S. News draws on data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, a federal agency that assesses homes in three categories – health inspections, level of nurse staffing, and quality of care – and gives each an overall rating.

Kidron Bethel Village and Schowalter Villa are both managed by Bluestem Communities.

“We are thrilled to have both of our Bluestem Communities campuses recognized as providing some of the best health care in the area,” said James Krehbiel, President/CEO of Bluestem Communities.

Bluestem Communities is a nonprofit organization in central Kansas made up of several retirement communities and programs dedicated to serving those 55 and better. For more information, visit bluestemks.org.

WSU Tech offering tuition-free training to meet aviation workforce needs

WICHITA – As Wichita’s aviation companies plan to add more jobs, WSU Tech is ramping up its training opportunities and offering them tuition-free.

Through WSU Tech’s Wichita Promise scholarship program, individuals will have the opportunity to get trained for select high-demand jobs with tuition and fees paid and a guaranteed job interview.

The eligible aviation programs include Aviation Sheetmetal Assembly, Process Mechanic Paint, and Composite Fabrication.

All training can be completed in as little as six weeks to 3 months, and students will receive a technical certificate upon completion.

“We are seeing over 95% of our students in these programs receive job offers,” said Megan Madasz, Director of Employer Relations at WSU Tech. “For programs like aviation sheet metal assembly and process mechanic paint, aviation companies are interviewing students in the first few weeks of their training and most will have contingent job offers before they graduate. This is exciting because students are then able to go to work almost immediately after they complete their training.”

For individuals interested in a career outside of aviation, WSU Tech will be offering the Wichita Promise Scholarship for their pre-health courses for surgical technology, dental assistant and practical nurse.

Classes for the eligible programs will start in January. Scholarship applications are currently being accepted at WSUTECH.edu/WichitaPromise and will be awarded on a first-come, first served basis.

WSU Tech, formerly Wichita Area Technical College, is the state’s leader in modern technical education offering over 100 degree and certificate options in aviation, health care, manufacturing, design, information technology, police science, and business.

WSU Tech serves as managing partner of the National Center for Aviation Training (NCAT) in Wichita, is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a Kansas Board of Regents institution.

For more information, visit www.WSUTECH.edu.

CBK makes $15,000 commitment to fight poverty

KINGMAN – Citizens Bank of Kansas announced a three-year, $15,000 commitment to Circles of Kingman County.

The bank’s holding company, King Bancshares Inc., will make the donations.

“Businesses such as ours have a responsibility to the communities we serve,” CBK CEO and KBI President, Mark Keeny said in announcing the gift. “When we see measures of decline and poverty within our communities, such as people who cannot make utility payments or rental payments, and increased demand at the local food pantry and area churches, we have to step up.”

Local advocate Sharon James has taken on the role as Community Liaison to find the necessary funding to establish the Circles of Hope program locally.

The 20-week program supports those who are moving out of poverty. As a part of the program, participants will be provided a meal before the classes, and child care will be available. Once the 20-week course is completed, participants are matched with a community ally to continue learning. Allies are community volunteers who with the Circles coach, help participants grow and succeed. Allies can often see barriers that prevent families from moving beyond poverty.

Greensburg has one of the largest Circles programs in the country – learn more about their program at: https://www.circlesusa.org/kiowa-county/

CBK is challenging other businesses in the community to commit to the future of Kingman by contributing to this program. To donate, volunteer, or get more information about the Circles of Kingman County, contact Sharon James at (620) 532-1691.

ElderCare sponsoring Christmas donation program for seniors

GREAT BEND – ElderCare Inc. is sponsoring its second annual “Be a Santa to a Senior” project.

“We collected gifts for more than 60 of our home-services clients in eight area counties last Christmas,” said ElderCare Executive Director Brandi Gruber. “We hope even more area residents will benefit from the community’s generosity this year.”

The program provides much-needed items to senior citizens who are short on finances and have limited mobility.

A Christmas tree has been trimmed with decorative tags that represent clients and their particular needs. Actual names aren’t used for privacy concerns. Anyone is welcome to choose a tag and return a gift at the ElderCare office, 5611 10th in Great Bend, or call (620) 792-5942.

Items could include blankets, warm clothing, food and toiletry items, crossword and word-search books, and gift cards for a few staples at the grocery store.

“In addition, we want to ensure that each gift includes something fun,” Gruber commented. “This could be a favorite candy or food item specific to each gift recipient.”

The counties involved are Barton, Pawnee, Rush, Stafford, Kiowa, Edwards, Pratt and Ford. ElderCare has about 350 home-services clients in this area.

“However, anyone who knows a senior citizen who could benefit from this program is encouraged to contact us soon,” she added, noting ElderCare personnel will deliver the gifts.

ElderCare’s home services include personal care, household tasks and respite for caregivers. Registered nurses offer medication management, wellness checks and companionship.

Mediation program offering speakers

Much is being mentioned lately about the divide in American politics. The Heartland Mediators Association’s (HMA) Speakers Bureau is available free of charge to organizations wanting to know more about mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution methods.

HMA is made up of individuals who mediate in the Midwest, primarily in Kansas, many of whom are Approved Mediators by the Kansas Supreme Court. The process involves discussions that establish a foundation to understand each other’s positions and values better. Thousands of cases have been successfully mediated in Kansas over many decades.

More information can be found at www.HeartlandMediators.org/Speakers-Bureau/

Spectrum CPA Partners collecting for Christmas 2019

Even though the packages have been collected and sent to their first destination, the Christmas spirit lives on at Spectrum CPA Partners LLC.

Spectrum is part of a year-long effort to provide gifts for children affected by war, poverty, natural disaster, famine and disease around the globe. The local accounting firm, 1400 Polk, is in its second year of supporting Operation Christmas Child.

“Although the gifts we collected here throughout the year are on their way to a shipping hub in Denver, we are already thinking about Christmas of 2019,” said Sheri Yager, Spectrum staff accountant. “This is just one of Spectrum’s community-service projects; we encourage businesses, churches and other entities to become involved.”

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief organization.

“Anyone who wants to participate may stop by our office anytime with gifts that will fit into a shoebox,” Yager noted. “We will package everything up and distribute the presents in November next year.”

In Spectrum’s first year of participation, it collected six shoe boxes. This year that number went to 32.

Examples of gifts include school supplies; personal hygiene items; toys; flashlights and batteries; shoes and socks; crayons; and small blankets.

Operation Christmas Child also has a list of items that are discouraged. These include candy; toothpaste; gum; food; breakable items; aerosol cans; and anything that is used or damaged.

The Spectrum gifts were sent to Grace Community Church, Great Bend, before being shipped to Denver. The ultimate destinations are churches throughout the world. Items in the shoeboxes are sorted into age and gender categories; when they reach the Denver hub, they are opened for inspection.

For more information, contact Spectrum by calling (620) 792-5378.


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