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What MHS officials plan to do about chant, racism allegations

Manhattan High School principal Michael Dorst confirmed Thursday reports of a "F*** JC" chant in the CiCo Park parking lot following the Oct. 11 Manhattan High-Junction City High football game.

However, the school is still working with Junction City High School administrators to investigate reports of racist remarks against JCHS cheerleaders.

“Unfortunately there is a chant, “F*** JC”, that has continued to show up over the recent years, including the CiCo Park parking lot after the Junction City football game,” Dorst said. “As a school and community we must decide, at this present time, that the environment we create is one in which we care about all human beings and still vigorously cheer for our Manhattan High School Indians in ways that is void of a chant that uses the ‘F***’ word. The caliber of students that we have and the members of our Manhattan community definitely outweigh the insistency to use this chant.”

Dorst, whose full comments can be found on Page A6, said he has met with student leadership to determine how to stop the chant, and Manhattan High is working with Junction City High School to plan collaborative events that will allow student leaders from the schools to benefit both communities.

The administrators are still investigating the reports of allegedly racist remarks made toward the JCHS cheerleaders.

Dorst asked anyone with information on the alleged incidents to contact him.

“We are poised to take action on any individuals that force their racially offensive and narrow-minded thoughts on other human beings at any Manhattan High School event,” Dorst said.

The allegations first broke at the Geary County school board’s Monday meeting, when USD 475 superintendent Reginald Eggleston and board member Jim Schmidt described a few instances of alleged racism at the Oct. 11 game. Schmidt later clarified there were three incidents:

  • Manhattan fans allegedly made racist comments toward JCHS cheerleaders as they were leaving the field. Schmidt pointed to a Facebook post made by Cheryl Zinkan, who said her son was at the game and told her that the comments included “Take your n****r a***s home” and “Get on the bus you f***ing c**ns.”
  • In response to a Junction City player’s complaint about a call on the field, a referee allegedly said something along the lines of “Imagine that, another black kid complaining about something,” according to Schmidt. He said he didn’t have the referee’s name but that district officials were following up on the matter.
  • A group of people of unknown ages chanted “F*** JC” in the parking lot after the game was over, Schmidt said.

The school board condemned the alleged incidents, and Schmidt called on the Manhattan-Ogden school district to do the same.

Board president Curt Herrman and board member Jurdene Coleman said Wednesday that the board is waiting for district administrators to investigate the matter and present them with any findings before making statements on the matter.

Manhattan officials knew about the comments prior to Monday’s Geary County school board meeting.

USD 383 superintendent Marvin Wade said Dorst informed district administrators of the “F*** JC chant” on Saturday after the game. A few days later, Wade said Manhattan-Ogden administrators became aware of the other alleged incidents after hearing about discussions in Junction City.

He said the district is reviewing videotapes and interviewing people to determine what happened and sort rumor from facts.

Riley County Police Department spokeswoman Hali Rowland said that while a third party reported the incident to them on Oct. 18, a week after the game, the department is not investigating the matter because there’s no allegation of a crime in the report.

Wade said there is no indication that there will be any charges resulting from the district’s investigation.

“There are things being done, but I don’t anticipate there is going to be much more that will be reported,” Wade said. “This is not us versus Junction City or them versus us. It’s really just us working together to find out what occurred, what can be done in the future to whatever occurred or didn’t occur from happening — what are things we can do to be proactive in the future and avoid even the possibility of something happening? That’s what we’ll look at.”

Eggleston declined further comment. The JCHS cheer coach and others who claimed to have first-hand knowledge of the situation also haven’t responded to requests for comment.


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Officials present Aggieville concepts to the public

Manhattan residents like Johannah Burniston remain optimistic about plans for the redevelopment of Aggieville.

Burniston was one of several people who attended an event Thursday at Wefald Pavilion, where officials sought feedback from the public as they presented concepts about a new parking garage and neighboring streets of the district.

“Change is hard, but good,” Burniston said.

Plans include a five-story parking garage to be built in the lot south of Rally House with an exterior of glass windows and brick. Patrick Schaub of BBN Architects, said the concept includes commercial businesses in the bottom portion of the parking garage facing Laramie Street and North Manhattan Avenue.

Improvements along 12th Street, Bluemont Avenue, North Manhattan and Laramie include enhanced lighting, landscaping, installation of benches and widening of sidewalks.

City officials anticipate construction of the parking garage and other improvements beginning in 2020.

Schaub said people who spoke with him at the event presented mostly positive feedback but were wondering about the whole process of redevelopment.

Burniston, a resident of Manhattan since 1991, said she hopes Aggieville improvements help the district “wear well” into the future.

In addition to speaking with presenters, people were able to leave sticky notes with their thoughts and feedback about the various concepts.


Nickolas Oatley / Staff photo by Nickolas Oatley  

Riley County Police Capt. Josh Kyle makes a cup of coffee for a customer Wednesday at Starbucks during the annual Coffee With a Cop event. Kyle, who has been with RCPD for 28 years, said he hopes the department keeps doing community events like this one.


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MHS to start Native American independent study class next semester

Starting next semester, Manhattan High School students will be able to take an independent study class in Native American studies, principal Michael Dorst said Wednesday.

The class, which will be geared toward students with indigenous ancestry, will examine topics like Native American history, geography, tribal government structures, ceremonies and traditions, culture, language and literature, Dorst said during a Manhattan-Ogden school board retreat.

There are 573 federally recognized tribes, and Dorst said he wanted to make sure any students in the independent study class received the support they needed in contacting and researching the tribes.

“Two kids might be doing the same class and not be official members of the tribe and have different experiences,” Dorst said. “It could be really hard for one kid and completely easy and welcoming for another kid, or a kid who already is an official member of their tribe.”

Oversight of the class will likely fall to English or social studies teachers. Dorst said those teachers will help guide the students and connect them with resources as well as people as part of their research.

Paula Hough, executive director of teaching and learning for the district, said that in the months since she started the job, she’s tried to brush up on the district’s previous conversations and commitments to including Native American education in its curriculum. She said she’s worked to include more Native American texts to use in school.

Hough said she had been inspired by Alex Redcorn, a K-State assistant professor of educational leadership and member of the Osage Nation in Oklahoma, who has previously worked with the district in its efforts to be more inclusive of Native American history and culture.

“(Redcorn) talks about the Hollywoodization of Native Americans, and what we inadvertently do,” Hough said. “We need to be more culturally responsive, as citizens and as educators and leaders. When Pocahontas comes up, we cannot associate that with Native American students in our class.”

Hough said the district’s Native American curriculum will focus on positive ways to integrate that education into the classrooms, rather than simply listing items to avoid.

“We need to make sure that we are supporting our educators and making sure they’re understanding the why of it,” she said. “That’s a conversation I know needs to happen now, and it needs to come from and be supported from this table so that students can feel that this is a place where they all are represented.”

Board member Leah Fliter said she’s happy to have the board revisit previous conversations on the issue. While the district has made progress on integrating Native American curriculum, she said the district has to “walk the walk” if it’s going to continue using the Indian as a mascot for the high school.

Board member Dave Colburn said he had crafted the motion to expand the district’s Native American curriculum, but he wants to also do more to educate the community. He said the district has a moral obligation to teach the community the history of the land, which he said was stolen from the Kaw people.

“My vision was not just about the kids but about the community,” he said. “A big reason the Indian name stayed was not the kids but the community, and I think it is incumbent on us to educate the community.”

Diversity

The board also discussed the district’s committee on diversity and inclusion. Committee chairwoman Susanne Glymour said the committee has focused on identifying and recruiting community members to join the committee to ensure the committee itself represents the community’s diversity in ethnicity, religion, education and cultural experiences.

Glymour said the committee is working on creating a page on the district’s website for the committee to share ideas with teachers, students and community members on how to approach diversity and inclusion differently.

Superintendent Marvin Wade said the district has focused on diversity in its teacher hiring. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the candidates themselves are minorities, but that they come to the district with experience in diverse, multicultural environments.

Colburn said that locally, community members think of the Little Apple as a diverse region, but prospective teachers from cities like Dallas might not make that same assumption. He said during his tenure on the school board, it’s been challenging to get teachers to come to Manhattan, despite the university.

Board member Katrina Lewison said that was a defeatist attitude and that there haven’t been any significant thrusts for diversity in the district’s teaching force in the recent past. She suggested changing the district’s strategy in pursuing diverse hires.

Glymour said the committee’s efforts would indirectly lead to improved outcomes for the district’s students.

“We’re focusing on these things with the conviction that these pieces will have an impact on disproportionality and discipline,” Glymour said. “It will have an impact on gaps in achievement. It will have an impact on the way the high school is already measuring post-graduation success.”


News
AIB International selling part of Manhattan property

AIB International is taking trainings originally performed in Manhattan and bringing them directly to clients and their locations.

Because of this, AIB International, with headquarters in Manhattan for more than 40 years, is selling its building at 1213 Bakers Way, where the company initiated trainings such as a 16-week baking science and technology course.

“That does have an impact on the facility here,” said Katie Mayes, AIB International vice president. “... There’s two buildings here, we’re in the newer one; we’re not using that pilot plant facility as much because that’s what it was dedicated to.”

AIB started as the American Institute of Baking, and the company focuses on helping bakers and food processors improve safety and quality management practices.

Mayes said training enrollments in Manhattan began to dwindle, so the company reached out to its customers to gain feedback. Clients expressed they wanted AIB International to come to them with customized training.

This is also cost-effective for AIB International’s clients, Mayes said.

“The benefits are really all about the client benefits,” she said. “It’s more convenient because we’re coming to them. They can train more people as well at their site. We’re customizing it to their facility and their ingredients and their processes.”

The newer building nearby at 1201 Baker’s Way houses administrative, human resources and other departments for AIB International, Mayes said.

AIB International is working to consolidate a few offices at the other building to the new one.

“We’re trying to bring our staff together as well as we go through this change,” Mayes said.

In response to this, AIB International is selling the older property. Mayes said the building is picking up some traction.

“We’re not going anywhere. We want to stay here,” Mayes said. “But we are putting the property up for sale with the intent of leasing back the part that we’re in presently.”

The company serves over 126 countries worldwide with about 250 employees, 70 of those working locally in Manhattan.

Moving into the future, AIB International plans to expand more internationally, like in Asia, specifically in China, Mayes said.

“We are growing in other regions of the world,” she said.


News
PLAN YOUR WEEKEND | K-State Homecoming, Ken Jeong and more

Celebrate the “Manhappiest Place on Earth,” the theme of K-State Homecoming, with a variety of activities this weekend.

The Children’s Carnival is from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday in the K-State Student Union Ballroom.

Costumes are encouraged as children visit booths from K-State’s fraternity and sorority pairings, as well as other student organizations.

Trick-or-Treat in the ‘Ville from 3 to 5 p.m. before the K-State Homecoming Parade. The parade starts at the Manhattan Town Center at 5 p.m., goes down Poyntz, goes through Aggieville, and ends at the Larry Norvell Band Shell for the K-State Pep Rally, featuring the Pride of Wildcatland, K-State Cheer, and the Classy Cats.

The K-State Wildcats take on the Sooners of Oklahoma at 11 a.m. Saturday at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

Two other K-State traditions are also this weekend.

UPC’s annual showing of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is Friday.

There’s a preshow at 10:30 p.m. featuring Mary Renee. Film at midnight in the K-State Student Union Ballroom.

Cost is $7 and includes preshow, film and prop bag.

It’s also K-State Family Day this weekend. For a complete list of the 91st annual Family Day activities, visit ksu.edu/familyday.

Here’s a look at other area events.

THURSDAY

K-3rd Unplugged, 4:30 p.m.

3s and 4s Storytime, 10 a.m. Friday.

Zoofair Tails Storytime: Nocturnal Animals, 10 a.m. Friday.

Mad Scientist Party, 2 p.m. Friday.

Strategy Board Game Night, 4:30 p.m. Friday.

Family Fun Storytime, 11 a.m. Saturday.

For a complete list of storytimes and events, visit mhklibrary.org.

The History and Art of Tea, 5:30 p.m.

Talk and demonstration by Tea Master Shozo Sato, assisted by Marc Anthony Macon.

Leadership Studies Building.

Board and Brush ThursDIY, 6 p.m.

Also a Costume Parade and Trick-or-Treating, 2 p.m. Sunday.

Sign up at boardandbrush.com/manhattan.

Board and Brush, 311 Fort Riley Blvd.

Canvas & Cork: Spooky Night, 6 p.m.

Craft Workshop: BOHO Yarn Tapestry, 6 p.m. Saturday.

For information and to register, visit straightuppstudio.com.

Straight Upp Creative Studio.

HOGtoberfest, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Come support Meadowlark Foundation’s Good Samaritan Fund. Food specials include a hog roast buffet beginning at 5 p.m. for $12.99. In addition to the buffet, enjoy traditional Oktoberfest polka music and beer selections.

Cox Bros. BBQ.

The Historic Columbian Theatre presents “Dearly Departed: A Columbian Theatre Murder Mystery,” 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Also November 1-2.

Put on your detective hat, dust off your magnifying glass, and solve a case that will keep you guessing (and laughing) until the end.

For tickets and information, visit columbiantheatre.com.

Columbian Theatre, Wamego.

K-State Theatre presents “Stop Kiss” by Diana Son, 7:30 p.m. through Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

After Callie meets Sara, the two unexpectedly kiss, provoking a violent attack that transforms their lives in ways they could never anticipate.

Directed by Teva Spencer, senior in theatre.

Purple Masque Theatre, West Stadium.

Concert Band and Wind Symphony, 7:30 p.m.

McCain Auditorium.

Student Recital: Cheryl Richt, voice, 7:30 p.m.

Kirmser Hall, McCain Auditorium.

Mike Hosty-One Man Band, 9 p.m.

Auntie Mae’s Parlor.

FRIDAY

A & H Farm Pumpkin Patch, Day Activities, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Also 11 a.m.-6 p.m. for Vendor Day and All-You-Can-Carry Pumpkins Day for $25.

Featuring hayrack rides, train rides, Trike Track, corn mazes, pumpkin patch, petting zoo with baby animals, giant slide, corn pit, rope maze, bounce houses, zip line, battle zone, kid zone and much more.

Flashlight Maze at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Bring a flashlight and explore the farm under the stars. A s’mores kit is included with admission.

For information, call 785-341-7794.

A & H Farm, 1374 Collins Lane.

Paint & Sip: Tall Sunflower, 6:30 p.m.

Also Fall Barn at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, and Aurora Mountains at 4 p.m. Sunday.

Coffee & Canvas: Sunflower, 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Kids Kanvas: Halloween Cat, 10 a.m. Saturday.

For information and to register, visit uncorkedinspiration.com.

Uncorked Inspiration.

Guest Artist: Demandrae Thurman, euphonium, 7:30 p.m.

All Faith Chapel.

SATURDAY

Downtown Farmers Market: Trick-or-Treating, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. in Dillard’s parking lot.

Also 4-7 p.m. in the Via Christi parking lot.

Featuring homegrown vegetables, local meat, home baked goodies, local arts and crafts and much more.

Wonder Workshop: Whistle Post and Emotion Faces, 1 p.m.

Cost: $5.

For information, call 785-776-1234 or visit wonerworkshop.org.

SUNDAY

Jazz Brunch, 10 a.m.-noon.

Bluestem Bistro.

K-State Concert Choir and 2019 Homecoming Choir, 2 p.m.

All Faiths Chapel.

Meet the Makers at Prairiewood, featuring local and regional makers, artists and musicians. Kim Taggart will give an artist talk on her extreme graphite collection, 3-7 p.m.

Parking and admission are free.

Food and drink sales onsite by Cox Brothers BBQ and Arrow Catering Company.

Also Prairiewood Preserve trails will be open for hiking, and an evening campfire with s’mores.

Blue Sage Gallery, 1484 Wildcat Creek Road.

McCain Performance Series presents comedian Ken Jeong, 7:30 p.m.

Jeong has been blending comedy and medicine all his life. After graduating Duke University and attaining his MD at the University of North Carolina, Ken completed his Internal Medicine residency in New Orleans all while developing his comedy and cult-like following in the stand-up circuit.

Tickets are available at the box office, by calling 785-532-6428, or at k-state.edu/mccain.

McCain Auditorium.


Nickolas Oatley / Staff photo by Nickolas Oatley  

The leaves of trees on Claflin Circle are changing colors Wednesday.