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720 Main St. Grand OpeningEudora Community Museum at 720 Main Street

 

Two separate events hosted by the Eudora Area Historical Society (EAHS) are set to take place this week. The first event is the next EAHS program and meeting on Thursday, April 2nd at 7:00pm at Eudora City Hall (4 East 7th Street). The topic of the program will be the history of historic 720 Main Street and the recent extensive efforts to rehabilitate the property. The property at 720 Main St. was generously donated to the EAHS in 2013 by Pam Staab and the Trefz family.

The second event is the official Dedication and Grand-Opening Ceremonies of the Eudora Community Museum at its new home at historic 720 Main Street. This event will include the ribbon-cutting ceremony, short speeches honoring the generous donors and volunteers, the first tours of the museum and its exhibits, and refreshments. For the first time, you will be able to marvel at the hard work and dedication that saved this 130+ year old building.

Eudora Community Museum Grand Opening:

When: Saturday April 4th at 11:00am

Where: In front of the Eudora Community Museum at 720 Main Street

 

Both events are free and open to the public. We hope to see you there!

 

 

 

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Lynn_Jenkins_Michael_Boulton_Ruth_HughsMedicalodges Eudora Administrator Michael Boulton (left) shows City Commissioner Ruth Hughs (center) and Representative Lynn Jenkins some of the facilities at Medicalodges Eudora (photo by Eudorareporter.com Managing Editor John Schulz)

Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

Representative Lynn Jenkins made a stop at Medicalodges Eudora Friday morning to visit with staff and residents of the facility along with City officials on hand. Jenkins was on a tour through eastern Kansas to learn about senior living facilities and what she can do to assist locations like Medicalodges Eudora.

Jenkins has recently authored several bills in the House aimed at improving Medicare including the Medicare Access and Chip Reauthorization Act and Medicare Patient Access to Hospice Act.  Both bills were easily passed by a bi-partisan vote in the House of Representatives.

Lynn_Jenkins_EvaBelle_GerstenbergerRep. Jenkins meets EvaBelle Gastenberger, one of the residents at Medicalodges Eudora. (photo by Eudorareporter.com Managing Editor John Schulz)

During the discussion with Medicalodges Eudora staff, facility Administrator Michael Boulton talked about how the facility has worked hard over the past few years to improve lifestyles of the residents.

“With the Medicare and Medicaid strain, it’s been a challenge in recent times,” Boulton said. “But the ones that are serious about it, like us, will meet that challenge.”

Regulations dealing with the Affordable Healthcare Act and changes to the Medicare and Medicaid system have added to the time spent dealing with increased costs by the employer for employees and on the necessary paperwork involved with meeting the requirements of the system.

“The smiles on the resident’s faces say the story about our successes here,” Boulton stated.

Jenkins was surprised to learn the facility is 40 years old. The building began in 1975 as the Eudora Nursing Center with Medicalodges Inc. taking over the facility in 2007.

“When you walk in here, with all the remodeling you’ve done, it looks brand new,” Jenkins said.

Medicalodges Eudora also is becoming a leader in senior living in the area. Boulton touted the fact that they are rated 5 Star by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Servcies (CMS) in the quality measure category. CMS is a branch of the Federal Department of Health and Human Services that oversees Medicare and Medicaid. Boulton also stated they are also working on some partnership programs with Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

Jenkins also took the opportunity to talk with City leaders about their concerns. Eudora City Manager Gary Ortiz discussed how Eudora is an ideal location for transportation situated uniquely between two highways, rail service through the north side of the community and near the Intermodal Facility located nearby in Gardner, KS.  Ortiz did tell Jenkins that many eastern Kansas county and local governments were concerned about increased truck traffic through their communities due to the Intermodal Facility and hoped that there might be some assistance on a federal level to improve roads going through communities such as Eudora.

Jenkins said that one of her goals was to work on more transportation bills in the House of Representatives and that their office will work with communities like Eudora to assist with various grant programs available to communities.

“The money is out there in these grants,” Jenkins said. “I’d much rather see it go to Eudora, Kansas than some place like New York City.”

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Handcuffed Suspect

Story by Caitlin Doornbos, courtesy The Lawrence Journal-World

A 31-year-old Eudora man was charged with aggravated assault, aggravated burglary and theft Thursday after allegedly stealing a $60 flashlight from a Lawrence Wal-Mart and threatening an employee with a knife.

Lawrence Police Department spokesman Sgt. Trent McKinley said officers arrested Seth Lee Smiley at his Eudora home Wednesday after loss prevention personnel at Wal-Mart, 3300 Iowa St., told officers the man left the store without paying for a flashlight valued at about $60.

When a loss prevention employee followed Smiley out of the store and asked to return inside the store, Smiley allegedly produced a pocketknife and “moved toward the employee in a threatening manner,” McKinley said.

After the alleged assault, the employee retreated inside the store, McKinley said, and Smiley left the parking lot in a vehicle.

Wal-Mart was able to record the vehicle’s license plate number, which was registered to a person in Eudora. Officers then went to that address, locating the suspect, McKinley said.

Smiley resisted arrest by Eudora police officers and Douglas County Sheriff’s Office deputies, but the officers were able to detain him. Smiley was then taken to Lawrence Memorial Hospital for an evaluation, McKinley said, and was later booked into the Douglas County Jail.

Smiley had previously been banned from Wal-Mart stores for a prior crime, so his Wednesday Wal-Mart appearance resulted in the aggravated burglary charge. He has an extensive criminal history in Douglas County, according to court records, including convictions of aggravated battery, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and domestic battery.

He is currently being held in the Douglas County Jail on a $12,000 bond.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office refused to release Smiley’s booking photo.

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Eudora MIddle School(Photo courtesy Eudora Middle School)

Eudora News and Information - www.eudorareporter.com

Firefighters from Eudora City Fire, Eudora Township and Wakarusa Township Fire Departments were called to Eudora Middle School shortly after Noon Wednesday when a fire alarm sounded at the school building.  The school building was evacuated with the alarm.

According to Eudora City Fire Chief Ken Keiter, crews quickly discovered that a battery pack in an emergency lighting system had overheated and sparked a fire. He said that crews were quickly able to extinguish the blaze after cutting the electricity to the affected system.

Keiter stated that crews spent approximately 30 minutes clearing the smoke and making sure there was no further danger to students or staff.  After the Fire Department gave the all clear, students and staff were allowed back into the building to resume classes.

Keiter reported that there were no injuries associated with the fire.

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WaterLineLeak

Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

Citizens in Eudora came perilously close to not having any water service Wednesday afternoon.  Around 3:15 PM, a water main located at the intersection of 14th and Ash Streets broke causing a large leak.  Public Works Director Mike Hutto described the leak as a major water main break.

“While the number of houses affected is in a small area, the leak is a large one,” Hutto said.

While crews were trying to fix the leak, catastrophe struck when a valve used to turn off water to the immediate area broke sending water cascading down the street.  The continuing rush of water continued for some time as crews determined how to try and stop the leak .

Around 5:30 PM Hutto said that the city’s water tank located on the east side of town was down to a dangerously low eight feet of water.

“If we can’t get this shut off soon, we will run out of water,” Hutto stated. He asked citizens to conserve water for a time hoping that the tank would have enough in it to keep the taps flowing.  Luckily, City Crews were able to come up with a fix by 5:45 PM for the blown valve and were able to shut off the water before the tank ran out.

“The tower on the west side of town is out of service right now while it is being painted,” Hutto told us. “So the only tank serving the north side of K-10 is this one.”

Hutto said that crews will working well into the evening hours on Wednesday to repair the broken main. Citizens living on Ash Street between 12th and 14th Streets, along with those on Birch Ct. will have no water service until the main is repaired. All other citizens living north of K-10 will see diminished water pressure while the reservoir tank refills.  Those to the south of K-10 are not being affected.

This is the third water main break in the city since the start of 2015. When asked why there have been so many water main breaks this year, Hutto stated the cause is an extremely mild winter.

“When it’s a dry as it was this winter, the ground starts shifting underneath these pipes,” he said. “A leak in a PVC type pipe like this shouldn’t happen, but it does when it’s been this dry and your pipes are underground.”

Hutto said that the three water main breaks in just three months equal the number of breaks from the previous two years combined.  Hutto could not state if any boil orders for the affected homes would need to be implemented due to the break.  He told us that he would let citizens know if that would be needed.

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