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Snyder tells graduates to plan, set goals

Bill Snyder told graduates during K-State’s College of Architecture, Planning and Design commencement Saturday to focus on principles and the goals they set for themselves.

The former K-State football coach served as commencement speaker for the graduation ceremony.

Tim de Noble, the dean of the college, said in his introduction the school picked K-State’s former head football coach because of his values, sincerity and warmth. De Noble even joked there was another reason they picked Snyder.

“He’s been called the ‘architect’ of the greatest turnaround in college football history,” de Noble said. “He changed the ‘landscape’ of football through careful ‘planning.’ He also worked on ‘interior’ linemen.”

Snyder took the opportunity to tell students they should surround themselves with individuals who care about them and who will help them meet their goals. He said there were three ways to achieve their goals — defining their priorities, making a plan for achievement and have perseverance. He also warned them against becoming part of the “instant gratification” generation.

“Consistent improvement is a byline of the program,” he said. “Every day, take a step forward and make a little improvement. … When you procrastinate to another day, it gets easier to continue. Each and every day, work to become better and success will find you.”

He told students setting goals was not only important for their futures, but normal.

“100% of people have goals established,” he said. “Less than 50% of people, of all of us in this room, have a plan how to achieve those goals. Only 5% achieve the goals we set.”

Snyder told students to utilize the tools they have, including their educations and their professors.

“I encourage you to value the relationships you define in your life, that will guide and direct you,” he said.

He said he knew the graduates have had expectations placed on them since they were young — “go to school, be a good person, etc.” — but reminded them that self-imposed limitations can be harmful.

“You can do anything you desire if you work hard, have a plan and work hard at achieving your goals,” Snyder said.

After Snyder, de Noble gave the Distinguished Service Award to Emmy Chamberlin, a 2009 graduate of the college who works as the project manager for K-State’s Division of Facilities, campus planning and project management team. She has worked on project teams for the renovation of West Memorial Stadium and the college’s renovation and expansion project.

Students graduating from the school received their combined bachelor’s and masters degree in one of four disciplines — architecture, interior architecture and product design, landscape architecture or regional and community planning.

Several students, selected by their peers, also got to give some closing remarks to their peers. Students included Ryan Pelarski, master of architecture graduate; Maggie Schulte, master of interior architecture and product design graduate; Mackenzie Wendling, master of landscape architecture graduate; and Samantha Estabrook, master of regional and community planning graduate.

Through tears, Schulte told her peers that she was grateful to know her fellow graduates, and told them she hoped they all remembered the journey.

“I’m proud to know you,” she said. “I’m excited to watch what you do. Bring on the future, I know you’re more than capable. Thank you for the laughter and the lessons. Best of luck to each of you.”

Officials provide updates on closures around Tuttle Creek Lake

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Saturday that several areas around Tuttle Creek Lake will remain closed because of the high water levels.

“Visitors should be aware most lakeside parks and facilities are closed or significantly impacted,” the press release said. “These areas will likely remain closed for some time once flood waters recede to allow for significant cleanup and repair efforts.”

As of Saturday, Tuttle Creek Lake elevation sat at 1,123.89 feet, 48.89 feet above its normal level. This is the third highest elevation on record for the lake.

Officials said Tuttle Creek Cove and Stockdale parks will be closed through at least June 23.

They’ve sent notices to customers with campsite reservations through that date that they will be given full refunds.

Impacts to Tuttle Creek State Park include “very limited services” at Wildcat Marina in Cedar Ridge, closure of utility campsites at Fancy Creek and partial flooding of lower elevation trails. All other areas, including River Pond, remain unaffected and open.

All lakeside boat ramps are closed, but ramps in River Pond remain open with no impacts. Officials said vessels are not prohibited from the lake, but they don’t advise launching off roadways.

The Tuttle Creek Off-Road Vehicle Area near Randolph remains open with about 30% of the riding area inaccessible due to flood waters.

Officials said people can anticipate continued high water “for the foreseeable future” until flooding on the Kansas and Missouri rivers subsides. They also said no significant releases are planned for the next four days.

Hale Library construction continues, 1st floor opens in fall

This fall, K-State students may be able to study in Hale Library and grab coffee at the new in-building Housing and Dining shop, roughly 16 months after a fire shut down the building.

Dean of Libraries Lori Goetsch said on Friday in light of the one-year anniversary of the campus’ central library closing, she’s excited now that it’s starting to take shape.

Wednesday will mark one year since the fire happened on May 22, 2018.

The library renovations began early this year after the recovery period, cleaning out all the supplies and water-damaged materials.

“It’s very exciting to see it take shape,” Goetsch said. “It’s been stressful to wait and see the shape start to happen. The recovery was difficult for me — as it was for all the librarians — it was difficult and sad to see the chairs and tables… get thrown into the dumpster. It was unsettling.”

The library’s books are spread across 10 locations, including two places at Manhattan. Goetsch said the other eight spots are caves under the Kansas City area, although she declined to elaborate.

Goetsch said library officials and Housing and Dining officials recently reached an agreement for the university department to open a shop in the building on the first floor, not unlike the Cornerstone Coffee & Bakery in Wefald Hall. Previously, Einstein Bros Bagels had a location in the library.

“Students can grab a breakfast item or lunch or a coffee,” she said.

Goetsch said they still believe most of the first floor will be open in the fall semester and the construction projects are still on schedule.

The current schedule has the library being completed by early 2021. Portions of the first floor are expected to reopen in fall, followed by the second and fifth floor in spring. In fall 2020, the third and fourth floors are scheduled to be finished, and the historic Farrell Library — the original portion of the building from 1927 — as well as the entire building, should be completed in late 2020 or early 2021.

Goetsch said even though the fire, deemed accidental by fire officials during roof repairs, occurred last year, some areas of Farrell Library are still wet. She said limestone and plaster don’t dry quickly.

As for the murals in the Great Room, often referred to as the Harry Potter room, they are completely covered by wooden boxes to keep them safe during construction. A secondary floor several dozen feet in the air brings construction workers close to the ceilings, which are being repaired. A hole remains, when the fire-burned wood peeks out.

Around the building, tables are stacked in rooms to keep them unharmed in construction. Rooms formerly full of office staff are filled with scrap metal and piping. Large bags of fire-retardant spray sit in stacks, waiting to be applied to the steel. Workers apply fire-retardant paint to the walls and ceilings, covering fire-treated plywood.

Goetsch said staff are still in 10 locations around campus, which has been both a blessing and a curse.

“Some of our librarians work with academic departments, and it’s provided an opportunity for them to get offices in the department and build relations in that area,” she said. “We try and have a staff meeting every other week because there’s no running into each other in the hallways anymore where you can just have a conversation.”

Marshall talks health, education at town hall

U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., spoke during a town hall Saturday about his plans to fix healthcare.

Marshall, who held the event at Sunset Zoo, said some of the biggest problems facing Kansas today and the future include healthcare costs and access, as well as not having enough people for jobs.

He said he is currently rewriting a new health care bill to replace the Affordable Care Act. Marshall said he sees the rising costs of healthcare and has a plan that he believes could help lower costs.

“The first step is transparency, and I want to make kickbacks to big pharma illegal,” he said. “The second step would have any money that remains from the pharmacy and the companies go back to the consumers.”

Marshall said he also wants to increase competition in the marketplace, which would drive costs down. He said in the last few years, a group of physicians turned congressmen including himself — referred to as the “Doc Caucus” — have worked with the Food and Drug Administration to work on safety of drugs and have increased the amount of generic medicines per year than previous administrations.

Marshall also said he wants to see the cost of college decrease and hold schools accountable. He said high school sophomores should take college-level courses, as well as get introduced to technical careers and colleges.

Marshall said he wants to set limits on how much in loans a student can take out.

“I would tell a kid today that if they’ll be borrowing for their freshman year of college, go to a community college,” he said.

Marshall also discussed Iran, which he described as the “enemy,” a “cancer” and the “root of all evil.” He said after reports of increased threats came out of the country, he would stand by what President Donald Trump and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo believe is right, but said everyone has the same goal of avoiding war. He also during his time in Congress, he’s learned to appreciate Israel as an ally, especially in instances like these.

“Israel is important to us. They’re our eyes and ears in the Middle East,” he said. “They warn us of plots and they’re a great ally.”

Shifting his focus back to Kansas, he said he’s focused on immigration at the Mexico/U.S. border, but knows there are jobs in Kansas that need filled. He said he wants to see a “very comprehensive” immigration plan that would allow those with work visas and high skill visas to help fill positions.

“There are 70,000 jobs here that depend on a work visa,” he said.

In serving the state, he said he’s been trying to work with not only the other Congressional legislators from Kansas, but from Oklahoma and Texas as well. “What’s good for Texas is usually good for Kansas,” he said.

Marshall said he’s still deciding whether or not he’ll run for U.S. Senate in 2020, a decision he’s been considering the last few months. U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts announced in January that he would not seek re-election in 2020 after more than 38 years in Congress.

“We’ve been traveling more across the state,” Marshall said. “The Big First (the 1st congressional district, which he represents) has similar challenges as the rest of the state.”

Edie files for USD 383 reelection

A second Manhattan-Ogden School Board member filed for re-election.

Darell Edie, who has been on the board for eight years, filed for re-election Friday.

He said he wanted to run again because of the upcoming bond construction projects.

“I want to finish seeing the schools being built,” he told The Mercury. “We worked hard to see the bond get passed, and I want to take it all the way to completion.”

Edie holds one of four seats up for election, with a term ending Jan. 13, 2020. Three candidates are now in the race after Edie filed for re-election.

Kristin Brighton, co-owner of New Boston Creative, filed on May 1, and current board president Curt Herrman filed for re-election on May 3.

Members Dave Colburn and Leah Fliter have not filed or announced their decision. School board positions are on rotating four-year cycles.

The deadline to file is June 3.