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A Better Team

I had a discussion with someone out of the area about what community journalism means. It was interesting because I believe it is dependent on where you live. Wichita has television news channels, a daily newspaper, websites, social media pages, and staff. 
In our small town community journalism looks different. It’s a weekly time capsule of the community. Not everyone who has run the paper has done it the same but I believe it should be generally focused on the positive points, dealing with some difficult subjects in as much of an impartial way as possible. 
In a large city, a newspaper reporter can call some issue or person out and go about their day with little understanding of the impact that story may have on a person, a family, or a business. 
Here, reporting on a situation can have immediate effects. That is something I do not take lightly. 
There is power in the press and there should be. But wielding a sword around town does not do anyone good. 
I mentioned to this person how generations of two families could bicker and squabble to the end but if one family lost a loved one to a tragedy the other would be the first one at the door with a casserole. 
He asked me about politics. I said we choose relationships first, and generally keep our politics to private conversations. 
Then he asked me about national politics. I think about how most of the country is frustrated by what appears to be limited choices of Trump vs Biden. 
Years ago when Trump was elected and the media elite proclaimed racism for the vote I was disheartened. Over half the population was reduced to being considered white supremacists and bigots. When in truth they voted on the issues of health insurance, jobs, and more. 
How do you have a conversation and truly heal and move forward if you don’t listen to the other side of the conversation?
All that has been done is create more trust issues and cause weariness of mainstream media.  
While the headlines in our local paper aren’t flashy and the stories generally aren’t sensationalized, there is a respect for who we are. There is an understanding of what consequences come from using the newspaper as a weapon. 
The man asked me if I was trusted in the community given my job. I said I believe so because many have trusted us with their personal stories and with community information. We have researched it and weighed the risks of reporting on it. 
Don’t rack your brains of what story in particular I am referring, there is none. 
But pose the question of community journalism to yourself. What should that look like? 
I live in this town. I want the community to flourish. I want my child to build great memories here. So do I overlook or pass over some areas that a larger city may tackle? Yes. 
But when asked if I trusted local officials I said yes. They were elected to use a small budget to run a county. If they don’t fund what I want, I don’t dig into their past to write an expose on them. I just find a way to fundraise for what I believe is right. 
Maybe if the United States put more effort into electing people based on principles and not on their past (which everyone has) we would have more choices, we could accomplish a lot more. 
Until then, extremism will prevail and 85% of the country will be disenchanted. 
While I can’t change the world, I can work hard to help build community here. 
Last Friday a young man with a disability came onto the basketball court in the last couple minutes of the varsity boys game. He was cheered on by both teams and fans. Our players helped him have an experience by playing a part in his ability to score two baskets. I shared the short video online and it had been viewed by over 100,000 people. It has been shared over 200 times. And the joy it brought people showed me how this young man reminded me of what’s important - kindness, respect, and building something. Tearing each other from the inside out isn’t working. So maybe it is time to lay down our weapons.   
Maybe we start right here. If you are a parent in the stands as your child plays basketball perhaps if the referee got the call wrong you let it go. Maybe you give him or her the benefit of the doubt that he/she is human. Maybe the kid hit your kid accidentally? No not always. Sometimes the refs have an agenda. Sometimes the kid did hit your kid on purpose. There is  not always good in the world.  There is evil. 
But maybe we need to fight evil with good.  Maybe America needs to become a better team. 

OPINIONS

All that I have

Have you ever felt out of sync? The world seems to be moving easier for the people around you. Yet you are a little agitated, confused, and running around like a  chicken with your head cut off?   That was my week last week.    Every tiny thing that could... [More]

Right Where I'm Supposed To Be

It’s Sunday morning as I began writing this. We had a wonderful Saturday at a livestock show.   After the show we saw a tire on the trailer was ruined. We didn’t have a jack but my husband was going to try to make it home. I called someone I knew that had connections... [More]

Mob Mentality

Summer is well underway and busy as always. But I am surprised at the emotions coming from what seems like little changes.   For someone who grew up in dramatic fashion like moving in the middle of the night, police at your door,  never seeing people again, you would... [More]

Float

Do you ever have one of those days, weeks, months when life isn’t flowing very well? Little things start to unravel leading to bigger things and soon you are struggling to find which way is up?  Life moves faster and faster and you can’t catch your breath. ... [More]

Don't Wait Till It's Perfect

Here we are, the last week of school. Just like every year, some graduated preschool, Kindergarten, eighth grade promotion, high School, college and more,  As we wrap up field trips, play days, awards assemblies, and prepare for summer, we won't have this moment again, whatever... [More]

Broken People

I had a pretty good weekend! My daughter did well in her livestock showing, she played a piece by Bach in a piano recital. My greatest accomplishment was backing up the trailer at the barn. For some of you that is no big deal.  But my fear is so great that I don't think... [More]

It's Okay To Fall Apart Sometimes

It's May! I had a rough end of April. And a lot of it was public. Some people ask why? Many people choose to keep it inside and put on a public face. I cannot. However I choose to use this challenge/gift for the good.  When my daughter showed livestock this weekend, she... [More]

Reach down and lift someone up

I got out of my comfort zone last week and attended a publishing conference in Colorado Springs. I had anxiety going in wondering what it would be like. My fears fell apart and I was pleasantly surprised and relieved to have made the journey.  I learned a tremendous amount.... [More]

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SPORTS

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LEWIS HEADS TO STATE TRACK

Qualifying members of the high school track team traveled to Hill City Thursday, May 16 to compete in the 2-A regional meet against 15 teams, Ellinwood, Ellis, Hill City, Hoxie, Lincoln, Meade, Medicine Lodge, Oakley, Plainville, Smith Center, Stanton County, Sublette, Thomas... [More]

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BULLDOGS TAKE SECOND AT REGIONALS - HEADED TO STATE

The Syracuse High School boys golf team battled breezy conditions on Monday May 13 competing in the 2-A Regional meet on their own Tamarisk Golf Course.  Adjusting to windy conditions and competing at home paid off for the Bulldogs Monday, placing second, qualifying... [More]

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STATE GOLF RESULTS

State golf on Monday had the Varsity Bulldogs miss playing in the finals as a team by one stroke. They finished seventh out of twelve teams.  On Day 1, Brody Keller shot a 92 missing day two by two strokes. Ian Brummett shot a 95, Mason Scott  and Johnny TeVelde shot... [More]

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JH BASKETBALL WINS

Junior High Boys Basketball A, B, and C teams travelled to Elkhart on Monday, November 21. The A team won 41-34, B team won 26-21, and  C team lost to Elkhart 13-20. Head Coach Vance Keller said, “Elkhart was a tough win for both the A and B teams but both grinded... [More]

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LADY BULLDOGS BORDER WARS CHAMPIONS!!

The Lady Bulldogs were undefeated during the Border Wars, defeating Eads on Friday, 42-7 and Walsh on Saturday 62-5, bringing their record to 3-1. But the winner wasn’t announced until Tuesday evening. Syracuse Athletic Director Josh Johnson explained, “It came down... [More]

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JH Basketball Season Underway with JH Boys sweeping Lakin

Monday night at home at the Herndon Gym, the Junior High boys swept Lakin! Head coach Vance Keller said, “We’re a young team with only six eighth graders and 12 seventh graders. We’ve had six total that started the season with injuries so we haven’t had... [More]

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Senior Night Volleyball

Three Syracuse High School volleyball seniors were honored on Tuesday, October 5, during the volleyball tournament at Syracuse.  Kaetlin Thomeczek, daughter of Joe and Dami Thomeczek has played volleyball since the third grade, playing with Syracuse Youth Activities Association... [More]

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HS Track

Head coach Steve Navarro said, “The coaching staff has really enjoyed working with this group of kids this year. They have been putting in hard work despite some less than stellar conditions for practice and meets. We are excited to see what they can do now that we are... [More]

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NEWS

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A Trip of a Lifetime

On Monday, May 27, Memorial Day, at 11:00 pm, 14 students and three sponsors boarded the yellow school bus bound for the Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport, destination, Washington, D.C.  Students making the trip this year were Reid Mathias, Charley Maune, Paige... [More]

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Mr. Z Says Goodbye

Retiring junior/senior high school principal Paul Zuzelski aka Mr. Z’s story begins when Z was at a meeting in central Kansas. He was given the phone and told he needed to talk to this person.  “It was Jerry Burch, superintendent here at USD 494 asking if we... [More]

Kansas Launches Summer EBT Program to Improve Food Access for Kids During Summer Break

The summer EBT program doesn't roll out until mid to late July. Summer in Hamilton County began this week. Questions or comments should be directed to Erin La Row at 785-220-8167. Food Pantry board member Lora Horton said, "The demand for food in Hamilton County is outpacing... [More]

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Summertime in Syracuse

For students in school, summer has officially begun and on most everyone’s mind is "when is the pool going to open?"  If you have driven by, it is obvious the pre-season work is still progressing, and according to board member Amy Dikeman the pool was cleaned last... [More]

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COUNTY LIBRARY RECEIVES DONATION FROM DREAM FIRST BANK

Macy Crum has been a Credit Analyst at Dream First Bank for the last three years and loves her job.  "The atmosphere is great. I love working with people and numbers," she said. Crum, a 2017 Holly High School graduate went on to K-State for her secondary math degree and... [More]

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Phillippy Joins Younger Law Firm

“When you’re looking for a firm, a lot of people are inclined to go to the big flashy advertising firms, but with any ultimately service-oriented profession, it’s nice to have someone you can see if you need to,” said Christopher. Christopher Phillippy,... [More]

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Blue Sky Bookkeeping Open For Business

Blue Sky Bookkeeping Services is open for business at 105 N Main Street, Syracuse, Kansas.  Nicole Salm, a bookkeeper for over 12 years, decided to open a storefront on Main Street in Syracuse. She purchased the building in the middle of March when she and husband, Justin... [More]

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SCOULAR DONATION HIGHLIGHTS COMMUNITY NEED

In the last year with food prices and inflation rising, food pantries are being strained more and more.  According to Lora Horton, the need outweighs the product.  "Right now we are okay but we could always use more. With COVID money, we received monthly boxes of commodities.... [More]

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OBITUARIES

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Loren William Youngers

Loren William Youngers, age 68, of La Veta, CO, passed away on May 29th, 2024. Loren was born September 11th, 1955, in Kingman, KS, the son of George and Evelyn Youngers.  He was predeceased by his parents, his sister Doreen Amon, and niece Anne Marie Youngers. He is... [More]

Gene Wagner

 A graveside service for Gene Wagner will be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday, June 7, 2024 at the Holly, Cemetery with Deacon Allan Medina officiating. Ralph Eugene Wagner was born on September 23, 1942 in Syracuse, Kansas to Bernard and Kathryn (Boden) Wagner.  He passed... [More]

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Ronald Thompson

A graveside service will be held for Holly, Colorado resident, Ronald Thompson, at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, May 18, 2024 at the Holly Cemetery in Holly, Colorado.  His family asks those wishing to attend to follow in procession from Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel in Holly to... [More]

Calvin Friesen

A memorial service for Calvin Friesen will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, May 18, 2024 at Lamar Seventh-day Adventist Church, 1811 S. 6th Street, Lamar, Colorado with Pastor Ted Williams.  Per Calvin’s request, cremation has taken place and there will be no visitation.... [More]

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Eva Grace Phillips

A Funeral Service for Holly, Colorado resident, Eva Grace Phillips will be held at 10:30 a.m., Friday, May 10, 2024 at Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel in Holly, Colorado.  Interment will follow in the Holly Cemetery.  Visitation for Eva Grace will be held from 4:00 p.m.... [More]

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Judy Crum

Judy Crum, 82, of Federal Heights, Colorado, went home to be with the Lord on April 26, 2024 at St. Anthony North Hospital in Westminster, Colorado. She passed in peace, surrounded by her loved ones.  Judy Kay (Matkin) Crum was born on March 17, 1942 in Flora, Illinois to... [More]

Ed Crum

Graveside services for Ed Crum will be held at the Holly Cemetery in Holly, Colorado at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, April 13, 2024.  Per Ed's request there will be no visitation. Edward Dean Crum was born on July 31, 1949 in Lamar, Colorado to Clifford and Lucille (Frazer) Crum.... [More]

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Jimmy Ray Dowell

Jimmy Ray Dowell, 73, passed away peacefully on April 5th, 2024 at Stormont Vail Hospital in Topeka Kansas with his family by his side. Jim was Born on September 2nd 1950 to Charlie and Gaylene (Schockey) Dowell of Syracuse Kansas. He married Loveta (Lindsey) on August 13, 1972... [More]

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