Thumbs up

Public officials sworn in

We give a thumbs up to all our elected officials who were sworn in Monday morning.

While many of these officials did not face any challengers in the elections, other races saw heated competition. No matter the case, these individuals have chosen to serve the community, and voters chose them to fulfil their duties.

We wish them all the best of luck during their terms and hope they all work to make McPherson County a better place.

Audio streams improve transparency

We give a thumbs up to Information Network of Kansas for providing money for live audio streaming for Kansas legislative committee meetings, and to Kansas for giving the service a try.

The service will allow anyone with internet access to listen to certain committee meetings in real time. The number of meetings available will expand as more rooms are equipped to provide the service.

We hope interested Kansas will take advantage of this chance to learn more about Kansas’ state government and the legislative process.

Thumbs sideways

Board keeps art value under wraps

It’s hard not to have mixed feelings about the McPherson School District school board’s decision not to release the appraised value of its art collection.

On the one hand, the district is funded with taxpayer dollars, some of which are spent to maintain this collection. At a time when schools talk of too little funding, it may be fiscally responsible to look at all options when filling budget gaps.

On the other hand, releasing the collection’s value could make it an attractive target, increasing security risks for both the district and the McPherson Museum, where part of the collection is stored. Much of the artwork was also given as gifts to the district, and selling art to fill budget holes is only a temporary solution.

Thumbs down

Two dead after fall through ice

Sadly, a mother and child passed away last weekend after a walk on a frozen lake turned deadly.

The two, along with the father, were walking on Pack Park’s frozen lake when the ice gave way. All three were hospitalized, and while the father recovered, the other two did not.

The McPherson Sentinel reminds all McPherson County residents that icy lakes are not safe to walk on. Do not take the chance that tragedy will strike you or your family as well.

1,500 acres burned in fire

Sunday afternoon saw 1,500 acres in McPherson and Ellsworth counties after a controlled burn from earlier in the week rekindled and spread.

At least 10 firefighting agencies battled the fire for about seven hours before it was put out. Fortunately, no one was injured, and no structures were harmed.

We encourage everyone who plans to doing a controlled burn to take every safety precaution and make sure all burns are completely burned out, so that fires don’t get out of control.

— Josh Arnett for the McPherson Sentinel Editorial Board.