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Eudora High School

Eudora News and Information -

Eudora School District Superintendent Steve Splichal released a letter to Eudora Schools families on Tuesday stating the school district learned on Monday that a Eudora High School student was on a cruise ship recently with a medical worker who could have come into contact with the Ebola virus.

“Let me be clear: There has been no exposure of any Eudora Schools student or employee to the Ebola virus,” Splichal said in the letter. “Because discussion of Ebola can be upsetting to many people, I wanted to make you aware of this incident. However, let me stress again that at no time has anyone in our schools ever been at risk for Ebola or been in harm’s way.”

Splichal went on to say that the medical worker was quarantined on the ship and never showed any symptoms of the virus during or after the cruise. The medical worker has continued to test negative for Ebola and is past the 21-day incubation period.  He also added later on in his letter that if there was any chance of exposure in the future, the School District has a plan in place based on information from the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control.

“Thank you for your support of our schools, and for doing whatever you can to help keep our school community calm and focused on learning,” Splichal said in his conclusion of the note.

We asked School District Communications Director Kristin Magette about the plan mentioned in the letter.  She said that the plan for any infectious disease, in a nutshell, is to:

1. Assess the situation and risk in partnership with the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department (KDHE and CDC if needed)
2. Follow protocols designated by public health agencies
3. Communicate to our employees and families

She said this plan would be followed continuously repeating until the situation is resolved.

“I should point out that, all year long, our awesome team of school nurses is working with the partners above to make sure we understand whatever public health risk may be present at any point in time. Enterovirus, MRSA, pandemic flu, pertussis… now Ebola,” Magette said.

The name of the student from Eudora High School who was on the cruise ship was not released.

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102From dark to bright: 720 Main Street went from one of the darkest buildings in downtown Eudora at night to one of the brightest.

Eudora News and

Eudora electricians Aaron Thakker (BT Electric) and Brad Hemel (Super Electric) have spent a good portion of their free time in the last couple of months helping to electrify the future site of the Eudora Community Museum at 720 Main Street. The historic property at 720 Main Street sat vacant and without any functioning electrical features for decades until Thakker and Hemel volunteered to help. Thakker and Hemel first spent hours selecting the necessary electrical components for the property and finding the lowest rates available. Following the selection of the items, they installed the items for no charge. Their generosity saved the Eudora Area Historical Society (EAHS) thousands of dollars. “I am happy to help the community and give back” Thakker said regarding his work.

All electrical features have now been installed on the lower floor. Most notably, track lighting was installed to help direct light onto specific exhibits and artifacts that will be housed in the property. “We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of Aaron and Brad, their donation has made a huge difference for us,” EAHS Executive Director Ben Terwilliger said upon reflection of Thakker and Hemel’s work. Terwilliger added: “Furthermore, we are thrilled with the quality of their work. You won’t find any better electricians in Eudora than Aaron and Brad.” The Eudora Community Museum will open to the public at 720 Main Street in early 2015.


 Track-lighting installed at 720 Main Street.

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Handcuffed Suspect

Story by Elliot Hughes, courtesy The Lawrence Journal-World

Two Eudora men were booked into Douglas County jail Monday on suspicion of several firearm- and drug-related charges after one of them was allegedly seen waving a gun around in North Lawrence.

Johnathan David Bichelmeyer, 23, and James Lester Rocha DeGraffenreid, 22, sit in jail on suspicion of eight felonies. Their bonds are set at $23,000 and $28,500, respectively.

According to Sgt. Trent McKinley of the Lawrence Police Department, officers were initially called to the 100 block of Perry Street at 9:40 a.m. Monday for a disturbance with weapons. A suspect allegedly waved a gun around in public.

A short time later, McKinley said, officers located the suspect inside a vehicle along the 200 block of Locust Street with another individual. McKinley said police were present at the scene for “quite some time” because “the people were armed and we took people out of the car very slowly and carefully.”

They later conducted a search of the car, McKinley said. Nobody was injured.

Bichelmeyer was arrested on suspicion of felony criminal possession of a firearm, felony cultivation or distribution of a controlled substance, felony criminal possession of a firearm while using a controlled substance and possession of stolen property.

DeGraffenreid was arrested on suspicion of felony cultivation or distribution of a controlled substance and felony obstruction of legal process. Prior to the incident, he already had an outstanding arrest warrant for no proof of liability insurance, felony cultivation or distribution of a controlled substance, felony possession of drug paraphernalia and misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance.

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Pastor Shan
Eudora News and Information ~

Rev. Dr. Shannah McAleer, better known as Pastor Shan, arrived in Eudora this past June to become the pastor of St. Paul United Church of Christ, 8th and Church St. So far she’s learned a lot about small town life. Before coming to Eudora, she had no idea what a 4-H bucket calf was or that parishioners of a rural church delight in bringing their pastor fresh produce all summer long. And she couldn’t be happier about being here.

Prior to becoming pastor at St. Paul, she was the Director of Children’s Ministries at United Methodist Church in Lawrence. She also pastored a large church in California. She is so happy with her experience here in Eudora that she plans to stay until she retires.

In describing her ministry at St. Paul Pastor Shan said, “I am a very ‘pastoral styled minister,’ which means I like to be highly involved.”

She not only preaches and performs ceremonies such as weddings and memorials, but also offers spiritual guidance to those who seek it. She describes the church as a place of love, and one that is very missional.

“Everybody is welcome here”, she explained. “UCC is an extravagant church of love. No one should ever leave here without feeling loved.”

Though the congregation is not large, about 50 attenders, Pastor Shan is proud of the great outreach it has to the community. The local Food Bank is housed in the church and helps many families every Wednesday morning when volunteers distribute food and household goods. Each year before school starts even the children of the church help fill backpacks for needy kids in Eudora. Another mission of the church is to provide Sunday and Wednesday services at Medicalodges skilled nursing and rehabilitation center on a rotating basis with other local churches.

“The giving nature at this church is really amazing,” said Pastor Shan. “But that is consistent with Eudora and with all of Kansas.”

Besides pastoring St. Paul United Church of Christ, Pastor Shan also teaches social work and human services at both KU and Ottawa University. She worked as a social worker before going into the ministry, and she feels like the two careers have close ties in serving others.

Pastor Shan is an openly gay pastor. UCC was the first denomination to recognize gay clergy and to perform gay marriages. She married her partner of 25-years this past July, and together they have one daughter and three grandchildren. She feels like the church and the community have been very accepting of her.

“I absolutely love this church,” Pastor Shan declared. “I live such a life of blessing. I love it.”

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Eudora News and Information –


The 18th Annual Eudorafest gets underway this Saturday (October 4) with a multitude of events.

Most events for Eudorafest will be centered on the intersection of Main Street and 8th Street in downtown Eudora. The festivities will start at 9:00am when the vendor area opens and other activities will also commence. For a detailed list of all the activities and festivities planned for Eudorafest, visit their Facebook page:, or their page on the City of Eudora website:

All day long from 9:00am until Eudorafest closes at 5:00pm, you will have the chance to stroll up and down Main Street listening to musicians and wondering through the various vendor tents finding many locally made products and many of the Downtown businesses will also have their doors open to welcome visitors.

Very close to all the Eudorafest festivities will be the Open House at 720 Main Street, the future site of the Eudora Community Museum. The Open House will be the first opportunity the public has to tour the interior of this historic property, commonly referred to as the Trefz building. The Eudora Area Historical Society (EAHS) has been in the process of rehabilitating the 130+ year old property on the Kansas Register of Historic Places in order to house their museum. The rehabilitation work on the property is not yet complete, but much progress has been made. The beautifully restored original limestone walls and other restored features will be available to view by the public.

The EAHS will host a craft sale inside the property at 720 Main Street. Historic books, and craft items (including rustic birdhouses) will be for sale. All proceeds generated will fund future rehabilitation work at the 720 Main Street property. The Open House and Craft Sale at 720 Main Street will be from 9:00am to 5:00pm on Saturday October 4th.




720 Main Street, site of Museum Open House



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