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Nickolas Oatley / Staff photos by Nickolas Oatley  

The Charades singing group (Ken Garwick, Steve McKinzie, Leonard Purvis and Tom Fish) deliver a Singing Valentine to John Dahl on Thursday. Dahl works at Black Mammoth Tattoo. Dahl’s wife ordered the Singing Valentine for him. A video of The Charades practicing can be found on themercury.com.

Nickolas Oatley / Staff photo by Nickolas Oatley 

From left, Garwick, Purvis, Fish, McKinzie and Kiser stand in an elevator together in the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering building on K-State’s campus.

Nickolas Oatley / Staff photo by Nickolas Oatley 

Purvis looks at his list of songs that correspond with a certain pitch. The Charades switch up the songs for each Singing Valentine to make them special for each person.

K-State hosting 16th annual drag show Friday

Several drag queens and a drag king will be stars at the 16th annual K-State Drag Show Friday night at McCain Auditorium.

Monica Moree (the stage name of K-State alum Dusty Garner-Carpenter) will emcee the show, titled “Burlesque,” and guest performers include Victoria Fox, Lil KimChi, Valaree Love, Penny Tration, Alexander Cameron and Ginger LeSnapps. The show is sponsored by the Union Program Council, LGBT Resource Center and Sexuality and Gender Alliance.

“It’s an educational opportunity,” said Brandon Haddock, coordinator of the LGBT Resource Center. “Most students have never experienced a drag show or maybe never will, and there is a major educational component that Monica and the cast try to bring to the stage and in their between-number discussions on the stage. It’s entertainment and fantasy and a couple of hours to get away from the day-to-day and have some fun.”

Limited tickets remain to the 7 p.m. show, and non-student tickets are $8 plus fees and taxes. Shows in the last few years have filled the auditorium, growing significantly since the show first started and struggled to fill a 300-seat theater.

But Haddock said the show organizers don’t pay too close attention to attendance.

“We try not to set expectations for attendance,” Haddock said. “Our performers put their hearts into this show, and if we reach 10 people or 2,000, we know that we brought a bit more light into the world.”

Nickolas Oatley / Staff photo by Nickolas Oatley 

Shelly Ingram, a counselor at Susan B. Anthony Middle School, stands in the doorway of her office and listens to The Charades deliver her Singing Valentine on Thursday. Shelly’s husband, Tony Ingram, had the delivery ordered for her.

Staff photo by Matt Lunsford  

A drag queen, who goes by Valaree Love, performs during the 15th annual Drag Show: A Rainbow Through Time at McCain Auditorium on Feb. 8, 2019. Limited tickets remain for Friday’s 16th annual show, which is titled “Burlesque.”

Senate moves to limit Trump on military force against Iran

WASHINGTON — The Senate approved a bipartisan measure Thursday aimed at limiting President Donald Trump’s authority to launch military operations against Iran.

Eight Republicans, including Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, joined Democrats in a post-impeachment bid to constrain the White House.

The rebuke was the Senate’s first major vote since acquitting Trump on impeachment charges last week. Trump is expected to veto the war powers resolution if it reaches his desk, warning that if his “hands were tied, Iran would have a field day.’”

In a statement, Moran said while Trump was justified in using an airstrike to kill Qassem Soleimani, additional military action should be considered by Congress.

“The Constitution, in Article I, provides Congress the power to declare war — a responsibility I take seriously,” he said. “The prospect of military action against Iran has consequences that ought to be considered by the full Congress on behalf of the people it represents. In supporting the War Powers Resolution, I respect the president’s obligation to defend against imminent threats while making sure any additional action is properly debated and approved by Congress as required by the Constitution.”

The measure, authored by Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., says Trump must win approval from Congress before engaging in further military action against Iran. Kaine and other supporters said the resolution, which passed 55-45, was not about Trump or even the presidency, but instead was an important reassertion of congressional power to declare war.

While Trump and other presidents “must always have the ability to defend the United States from imminent attack, the executive power to initiate war stops there,’’ Kaine said. “An offensive war requires a congressional debate and vote.’’

The Senate vote continues a pattern in which Republican senators have shown a willingness to challenge Trump on foreign policy, a sharp departure from their strong support during impeachment and on domestic matters. Congress moved to impose restrictions on U.S. involvement with the Saudi-led war in Yemen last year after U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in a gruesome murder at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Turkey.

The bipartisan vote was a rare exertion of authority from Congress, the first since passage of the War Powers Act of 1973. And Trump promptly vetoed it.

The Democratic-controlled House passed a separate, nonbinding war powers resolution on Iran last month. The House could take up the Senate resolution later this month, House leaders said. Two-thirds votes in the House and GOP-run Senate would be needed to override an expected Trump veto of the war powers resolution.

Answering a claim by some of Trump’s supporters and Trump himself that the measure would send a signal of weakness to Iran and other potential adversaries, Kaine said the opposite was true.

“When we stand up for the rule of law ... and say ‘This decision is fundamental, and we have rules that we are going to follow so we can make a good decision,’ that’s a message of strength,’’ Kaine said. “If we’re to order our young men and women ... to risk their lives in war, it should be on the basis of careful deliberation by the people’s elected legislature and not on the say-so of any one person.’’

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, agreed. Lee supports Trump’s foreign policy, including toward Iran, but said Congress cannot escape its constitutional responsibility to act on matters of war and peace.

As the Senate debate made clear, “there is abundant support for the United States taking tough positions with regard to Iran,’’ Lee said. ”And as part of that we want to make sure that any military action that needs to be authorized is in fact properly authorized by Congress. That doesn’t show weakness. That shows strength.’’’

Trump disputed that, arguing on Twitter that a vote against Kaine’s proposal was important to national security and pointed to the Jan. 3 drone strike that killed Iran’s top general, Qassem Soleimani.

“We are doing very well with Iran and this is not the time to show weakness. Americans overwhelmingly support our attack on terrorist Soleimani,’’ Trump said. “If my hands were tied, Iran would have a field day. Sends a very bad signal. The Democrats are only doing this as an attempt to embarrass the Republican Party. Don’t let it happen!’’

Tehran responded to the U.S. attack on Soleimani by launching missiles at two military bases in Iraq that house American troops. The attack caused traumatic brain injuries in at least 64 U.S. soldiers, the Pentagon said..

Democrats and Republicans alike criticized a briefing by the Trump administration shortly after the drone strike, saying U.S. officials offered vague information about a possible attack being planned by Iran but no substantial details.

Kaine has long pushed for action reasserting congressional power to declare war. At Republicans’ request, he removed initial language that targeted Trump in favor of a generalized statement declaring that Congress has the sole power to declare war. The resolution also directs Trump to terminate use of military force against Iran or any part of its government without approval from Congress.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a co-sponsor, called the resolution “much needed and long overdue.’’ In recent decades, “Congress has too often abdicated its constitutional responsibility on authorizing the sustained use of military force,’’ she said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and many other Republicans opposed the resolution, saying it would send the wrong message to U.S. allies. “Just as we have successfully sent Iran this strong signal of our strength and resolve (by killing that country’s top general), a blunt and clumsy war powers resolution would tie our own hands,” McConnell said.

Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, voted against the measure.

The three senators seeking the Democratic nomination for president — Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts — all returned to the Capitol from campaigning and backed the war powers resolution.

Besides Moran, Collins and Lee, Republicans joining Democrats were Sens. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Todd Young of Indiana.

SCHOOL NOTEBOOK | MHS students named National Merit Scholarship finalists

All seven of Manhattan High School’s National Merit contestants were named finalists in the organization’s annual competition.

The students — Elizabeth Hohn, Elizabeth Kim, Ethan Myer, Alejandro Ortiz, Allen Zhang, Robert Zhang and Stepan Zharkov — were named among the 16,000 semifinalists that the National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced in September. The organization then picked and announced 15,000 finalists in September, including the Manhattan High group.

“It’s an example of the hard work that our students put in during their time at Manhattan High,” principal Michael Dorst said. “These are amazing people. They’re good people. The great things that will come from them after they graduate and leave our school will be amazing. There will be world problems that will be solved by those students.”

Dorst said the students are part of Manhattan High’s legacy of academic success. Only the top 1% of students are selected as finalists, and Manhattan High, which graduates over 400 students each year, had seven finalists this year.

“We have a long tradition of students graduating and doing great things, and you are reminded of that yearly,” he said. “This is our yearly reminder of just a small sample of the great people we have in our building.”

About half of the finalists will become National Merit scholars and win one of 7,600 scholarships, cumulatively worth more than $31 million. Those scholarships will be announced later this spring.

FIT Closet looking for donations

The Manhattan-Ogden school district’s FIT Closet is short on some items, but particularly hygiene items, for the families that use the clothing and supply exchange.

FIT Closet coordinator Tracee Emery said the closet’s biggest needs at the moment are toilet paper, full-sized deodorant (both men’s and women’s) and full-size shampoo and conditioner. As far as clothing, the closet is short on men’s boxer briefs (small, medium and large) and women’s underwear (sizes 5-9).

Emery said that while clothing needs differ as the seasons change, demand for hygiene items tends to be consistent throughofut the year. Emery said the shop’s volunteers give families four rolls of toilet paper when they request it, and last semester, they gave away 2,531 rolls.

In order to “shop” at the closet, families must have at least one student enrolled in a school within the geographic boundaries of the Manhattan-Ogden school district, although that includes area private schools and home schooling.

They must also meet the same income guidelines that would qualify their students to receive free or reduced-price lunch.

Families are allowed to shop at the closet, which completely relies on donations, once a month. About 35 families visit the shop each week, Emery said.

The closet, which is at 1609 College Avenue, is open for shoppers and donations on days school is in session Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to noon, Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m. and Thursday from 3 to 5:30 p.m. The closet also takes online donations through its Amazon Wishlist, which can be found at fitcloset.org.



as Volunteers

of the Year

for K-State service

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education named Sylvia and Roy Robinson as the 2020 Volunteers of the Year for District VI for a legacy of service at K-State.

The Robinsons, founding members of K-State’s Black Student Union, were students at K-State during a time of social unrest in the late 1960s.

Roy was a member of the Reserve Officer Training Corps while at K-State, graduating with a degree in milling science and management. He retired as president of ADM in Overland Park.

Sylvia was a charter member of Delta Sigma Theta and a K-State cheerleader before she graduated in 1971 with a degree in elementary education. She served on the Kansas Board of Regents, the board of the Kauffman Fund for Greater Kansas City and the Kansas City, Kansas, Board of Education.

The couple retained extensive ties to K-State, and the K-State Alumni Association named them Alumni Fellows in 2005. The association also endowed the Robinson Family Multicultural Leadership Award, which recognizes four graduating students who leave a legacy of enhancing multicultural engagement at K-State through their leadership.

“Roy and Sylvia Robinson put the knowledge and experiences they received at K-State to good use,” said Amy Button Renz, president of the association. “Through their involvement and generosity K-State is a better place. We are truly honored to count them among our alumni and thrilled for them to receive this prestigious award.”

The Robinsons said their K-State experience gave them the opportunity to become leaders and influenced their later paths.

“For me, as a first-generation college student, going to K-State and being successful, it was a life-changing moment,” Sylvia said. “That degree alone began to open doors to me. It changed my life trajectory. It empowers you in ways you didn’t even know you could be.”

“My time at KSU changed my life,” Roy added. “It allowed me to move forward in life — to have a good life and to help others. You have to be at the table to make a difference.”

K-State picks 2020 common book

K-State’s fall 2020 freshmen will be given a copy of “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” a memoir of a Malawian boy who built a windmill to generate electricity for a water pump in his drought-stricken village, the university announced Friday.

Each year, a committee of about 50 K-State faculty, students and staff picks a common book for freshmen, as well as the broader university community, to read. Professors in various freshman-level classes incorporate the book into their curricula, and the committee schedules programs and events based on the themes of the book.

“This book offers a global perspective on topics we are discussing at K-State and the region: wind energy, food insecurity, access to education, trade, and sustainability as well as many others,” said Tara Coleman, chair of the K-State First Book committee and K-State Libraries associate professor.