The VFW named Manhattan as the fist city in Kansas to be a POW/MIA city, Mayor Mike Dodson and the Manhattan City Commission announced during a special presentation earlier this week.

Riley County and Kansas are also receiving the same acknowledgement, said Dan Watkins, VFW post commander.

POW/MIA stands for prisoners of war and missing in action. The designation mainly means that the city will fly flags and post signs in support of the organiation.

Kansas is the second state named as a POW/MIA state, behind Missouri, Watkins said. Watkins also said Riley County is the first county in Kansas declared as a POW/MIA county in the Sunflower State.

In addition, Dodson and the commission recognized Sept. 17-23 as Constitution Week. The Constitution’s 232nd signing anniversary was Tuesday.

They also acknowledged September as Recovery Month. The significance of the month recognizes the need for services and accessibility for people in defeating substance abuse, officials said.

Citizens’ Academy applications

Manhattanites interested in learning more about the community around them can apply to the Citizens’ Academy.

The city is taking applications for its 2019-20 class, officials announced earlier this week.

The program is free and geared toward immersing residents to all the city has to offer in its programs and people.

The academy has six evening sessions, starting in October and ending in June, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. The first session, however, starts at 5:30 p.m.

People can fill out applications in person at City Hall or online on the city’s website. The applications are due by 5 p.m. Oct. 17 Applicants are chosen on a first-come, first-served basis, according to city officials.

Flint Hills Wellness Coalition assessment

The Flint Hills Wellness Coalition encourages Riley County residents to fill out a survey asking about the quality of life in the area.

The survey, available in English and Spanish, is available until Oct. 11. It follows a community needs-based survey for the county in 2015.

Survey participants can turn in them in at the Riley County Seniors’ Service Center or fill it out online at


The Manhattan City Commission approved the following board appointments during its Tuesday meeting:

• Ed Kalas, 2030 Tecumseh Road, was appointed to a three-year Riley County Health Department term in the bicycle and pedestrian advisory committee. The term begins Nov. 1 and ends Oct. 31, 2022.

• Emily Koenig, 103 South 4th St., to a two-year at-large term in the City/University Special Projects Fund committee. The term begins now and ends June 30, 2021.

• Melissa Richards, 8601 Eagles Landing Drive, to the unexpired term of Katelyn Voorhees on the social services advisory board. The term starts now and ends June 30, 2020.