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'IT STINKS' | Fans not impressed with Topeka location

TOPEKA — As Drew Galloway, a junior at K-State, put it, “Today is the day Country Stampede died.”

Extreme? Maybe. But technically accurate since officials on Thursday announced the 24-year-old festival would be renamed Heartland Stampede and was permanently moving from Manhattan’s Tuttle Creek State Park to Topeka’s Heartland Motorsports Park.

Many fans at the festival on Thursday said they felt the same way.

Several people complained about muddy conditions, a lack of trees and some logistical problems: they said the gates opened an hour later than they were supposed to; campsites were cramped; and water availability.

“There’s more shade there,” said Brian Heafey, referring to Tuttle Creek State Park, “It’s just something you get used to.”

Other people like couple Dan and Karen Sedor had been going to Stampede for nearly 14 years and said they weren’t impressed.

“We helped set up on Sunday so we didn’t have issues getting in,” Dan said. “But the reserve area is terrible, and it stinks.”

The Sedors said there was one hose that led to the single water source that was for all of the campers.

“We don’t know if we’re coming back,” Karen said. “There are two artists, Eric Church and Locash, and if they’re not there, we’re not coming back. We had three extra tickets, and we were not allowed to get a refund for them...”

Their children live in Manhattan, and they said they’re disappointed that they won’t be going back to Manhattan or Aggieville.

Several fans said they’ll miss the friends they’ve made at the event, citing that camping was half of the fun.

Other campers were a lot more explicit in their choice of words about the situation. One large group of campers said they had encountered a variety of problems.

“They told us we could set up on Sunday, but they didn’t have any electricity and water ‘til Wednesday even though they opened on Sunday,” John Edersole said. “We had no room to back out, and we had trouble backing it in and instead of helping us, people just got their chairs and watched us.”

The group said roads and campsites were extremely muddy, and someone was charging $350 to pull people’s vehicles out of the mud. More rain fell on Friday morning, adding to the swampy conditions.

Thursday’s performances included Clint Black and headliner Jake Owen. Music was set to continue Friday and Saturday with headliners Old Dominion and Jason Aldean, respectively.

Mungie assumes role as 1st ID artillery commander

Fort Riley bid farewell to its current division artillery brigade commander and welcomed its new leader in a ceremony Friday at King Field House.

Command changed hands from Col. Rory Crooks to Col. Timothy Mungie.

Crooks assumed the position in September 2017. He will be assigned as the director of concepts at the Futures and Concepts Center in Fort Eustis, Virginia.

Maj. Gen. John Kolasheski thanked Crooks for his service and duty at Fort Riley, wishing him luck leading Army organizations in the future.

“While the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley bid farewell to one exceptional Army commander, we are tremendously privileged to gain another,” Kolasheski said. “The Army selects its very best for brigade command, and the division is fortunate that the Army got this one right.”

Mungie was previously assigned as a U.S. Army War College Fellow at Carlisle Barracks in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and has served in Army leadership positions since 1997 in Oklahoma, Hawaii, Iraq and the Republic of Korea.

“It is a great day to be in the Big Red One and there’s no better place to serve than here at Fort Riley, Kansas,” Mungie said. “It is truly an honor and privilege to join this team.”

SCHOOL NOTEBOOK | More than 400 families visit Fit Closet

During the 2018-19 school year, 418 USD 383 families visited the FIT Closet to receive clothes and supplies.

In total, there were 1,740 visits to the closet, which provides used clothing to students who need it.

In those families are 946 students. That number is about 34% of the 2,751 students who are poor enough to qualify for free or reduced lunch.

Since October, the closet gave 8,120 pads and 3,780 tampons; 7,872 pairs of socks; 7,500 laundry detergent pods; 7,062 pairs of underwear; 3,136 rolls of toilet paper; 1,995 toothbrushes; 1,079 deodorants; 926 tubes of toothpaste; 679 bottles of shampoo; 575 bars of soap and 529 bottles of conditioner. The closet doesn’t track how many dresses, skirts, shirts and other clothing items and shoes the families took home.

This year, the closet, 1609 College Ave., is looking to help fill 1,000 backpacks for students as with supplies.

Stuff the Bus will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 13 at Walmart. After the event, the bus driver will take the bus to the MHS West Campus where they will be taken to the Little Theater.

The district will distribute school supplies to qualified families at Central Enrollment July 26 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Closet will not distribute supplies at the Closet this year.

Students who qualify must be enrolled at USD 383, Manhattan Catholic School, Flint Hills Christian School and homeschooling families within district boundaries, and meet income guidelines for free/reduced lunches.

USD 383 families will receive an email notification showing their students qualifies for free/reduced lunches when enrollment is complete. Parents will need to show the email and fill out a registration form prior to receiving the school supplies, which will register the family for the Fit Closet for the school year.

MCS/FHCS families will need to bring a referral form from the school office. Homeschool families will need last year’s tax return.


Several Manhattan-Ogden teachers won a Kansas Reading Roadmap Outstanding Early Literacy Teacher award this year.

Debra Schapaugh from Bergman Elementary, Andrea Wollenberg from Northview, Marcia Schreiner from Ogden, Marilyn George from Theodore Roosevelt, Karen Buyle from Lee and Kim Iversen from Bluemont are now among the 58 nominees for the statewide Outstanding Early Literacy Teacher of the Year honor, which will be given at the state conference in August.

The schools nominated teachers who have played “a critical role in the school to help students succeed in reading,” according to the website.

KRR is a partnership between local schools, the Kansas Technical Assistance System Network and the Kansas Department for Children and Families.


Gayle Doll, associate professor and director of the Center on Aging at K-State, recently received the Distinguished Faculty Award from the Gerontological Society of America.

The award recognizes a person whose teaching stands out as exemplary, innovative, of impact or any combination. Recipients are nominated by their peers.

Doll joined the Center on Aging in 1998 as a graduate assistant and was eventually named director in 2008. During that time, she has worked to quadruple the staff to 12, offer more courses and bring staff into the Manhattan retirement community.

“Dr. Doll is an outstanding faculty member in the College of Health and Human Sciences,” Dean of the college John Buckwalter said. “This award is well deserved. We are lucky to have her as the director of the Center on Aging here at K-State.”

During her career, she has received numerous awards, including the College of Health and Human Sciences’ Myers-Alford Outstanding Teaching Award, the Commerce Bank Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching and the Dayton Rothrock Award for Exceptional Teaching from McPherson College.

She will be recognized at the society’s annual meeting in November in Austin, Texas.

Elsewhere on campus, graduate students also received some recognition.

Mike Pfeifer and Luke Stegeman, graduate students at K-State’s Carl R. Ice College of Engineering, won major awards at the annual meeting of the American Nuclear Society earlier this month in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Each student received a Best Presentation/Paper Award.

Pfeifer was recognized for his work “Comparison of MCCAD and DAGMC for Predictive Capability with BGA Inspection Systems.” The project is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Kansas City National Security Campus, operated by Honeywell Federal Manufacturing Technologies.

Stegeman received the award for his work, “Neutron Spectrum Unfolding with a Planar Miniaturized Fast-Neutron Detector.” His work is funded by the K-State Johnson Cancer Research Center.

Amimr Bahadori, assistant professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering, serves as advising professor for both students.

USDA, DHS sign NBAF transfer agreement

Officials on Thursday signed an agreement that formally outlines how the departments will transfer ownership and operational responsibility for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility from the Department of Homeland Security to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The agreement was signed by USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach; USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics Scott Hutchins; and DHS Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary for Science and Technology William Bryan.

When completed, NBAF will be a biosafety level-4 laboratory in Manhattan, Kansas, for the study of diseases that threaten both U.S. agriculture and public health.

Under the terms of the memorandum, DHS retains responsibility for completing construction and commissioning of the $1.25 billion facility, while USDA will assume responsibility for all operational planning and eventual operation of the facility.

DHS’ efforts are on schedule and on budget to complete construction in December 2020 and to complete commissioning in May 2021, when ownership of NBAF will be formally transferred to USDA.

“It’s a real honor for USDA to have the operational stewardship of NBAF. We look forward to working with Members of Congress, our private sector partners, and our academic partners in this area as we take over operations. USDA will make this a facility that America can be proud of,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.

“The DHS/USDA partnership on NBAF extends back to the initial planning in 2006. That partnership has remained throughout the DHS-led acquisition process and will endure after USDA initiates operation of the facility,” said DHS’ Bryan.