Mayor Scott Hopson
Eudora News and Information – www.eudorareporter.com
Officials from Lawrence Memorial Hospital, Eudora Family Care and Byrne’s Pharmacy held an official ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday to celebrate the opening of the new medical facility in Eudora.
“We made the decision in 2006 to invest in this property” LMH President Gene Meyer said. “We and the board think it was a tremendous decision for both LMH and, in turn, the community.”
Mayor Scott Hopson in his remarks was excited about the new facility opening.
“This project serves as a symbol to the region that Eudora is open for business and economic progress is happening in our community” Hopson said. “We look forward to more businesses locating in the area around this facility and the positive future it represents for Eudora.”
Dr. Daniel Dickerson is extremely happy with the new facility. “It’s wonderful here.
It’s definitely a change and it’s been a long process to get to this point, but the additional space and new technology are so great. This new facility will allow us to serve the community with even better quality health care” Dickerson said.
(l to r) Council Members Tim Reazin, Ruth Hughs, Gov. Mark Parkinson,
Mayor Scott Hopson and City Administrator John Harrenstein
While Eudora may be a first class city to many of its residents, the city has been designated a city of the 3rd Class since the state adopted the class system. Today, Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson, by official proclamation, designated the City of Eudora a City of the Second Class.
The class system for all cities in Kansas is based on population. Cities below 2000 residents are considered 3rd Class Cities and those above 15,000 residents are cities of the first class.
This change in designation, allows the city to do two things. First, if approved by the City Council and a vote of the electorate, the city can alter its form of government dividing into precinct wards and give the power for the mayor to vote in City Council decisions. The City Administrator can also be given, with City Council approval, additional powers to perform his duties.
Secondly, this allows the city to alter its taxation policies in regards to outlying areas. Both of these possible changes will be discussed in future City Council meetings.
City Administrator John Harrenstein, in an interview with Eudorareporter.com, said that these changes are being looked at by City Council members but he has not received any directives thus far to move towards changing the form of government.
Governor Parkinson in his remarks at the ceremony mentioned how he has been impressed by the growth in the City of Eudora. “About 20 years ago my wife and I almost moved to Eudora” Parkinson said. “My wife was up for a job in the Lawrence area, and we really liked Eudora. She did not get the position so we never made the move.”
Parkinson also went on to tell those in attendance that he thinks the cleanup of the old Farmland Industries property just east of Lawrence could help spur more development to the east and help Eudora grow even more.
Mayor Hopson added how with the completion of the Lawrence Memorial Medical Building and the possibility of further development on the Church Street corridor could also have a large impact on the town’s population.
Heroes are all around us. You see them daily. They can be a member of the armed forces on active duty. They can be the veteran who served in days gone by. A hero is law enforcement official doing their duty to protect the streets of Eudora or the fire fighter who comes to save people, pets or belongings when flames arise. Occasionally, a hero can take the form of a ten year old boy who was in the right place at the right time.
Ronnie Middleton, a fifth grader at Eudora Elementary School, is one of those heroes.
This past June, while on vacation with his family, Ronnie, along with several other family members, went swimming shortly after arriving in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas. After a long car ride, the rambunctious nature of kids got them into slight trouble. Ronnie received a timeout for his actions. While Ronnie was in timeout and being talked to by Jennifer Middleton, Ronnie’s mother, his cousins, Adin and Ava Curphey, ventured off into the deep end of the pool. The parents of the children called out for the cousins. Adin came to the side of the pool and was lectured about dangers of swimming in the deep end of the pool. Ava never appeared. While the parents were nervously looking for Ava, Ronnie spotted her face down, floating in the deep end. Ava was barely conscious. Before parents or other adults in the pool could even react, Ronnie jumped into the pool, grabbed Ava and brought her to safety at the side of the pool. Ava, after coughing up a large amount of water and being scared terribly, suffered no physical effects from what could have been a tragic situation. “Had Ronnie not acted faster, there is a good chance Ava would have drowned” according to Jennifer.
Ronnie’s story is even more amazing with the fact that Ronnie suffers from ADD and ADHD. Ronnie had a hard beginning to his life. Ronnie and his sister were in foster care until the age of 3. At 4 years old, Ronnie and his sister were adopted by Jennifer and Tim Middleton. Jennifer and Tim committed to bringing up a child with extra needs. “I was amazed, shocked and proud of him” Jennifer said, “Most adults in the pool at the time didn’t even notice Ava was having problems. Ronnie just reacted so fast.”
When asked what Ronnie was thinking when he saw his cousin drowning he said “Jump in the water, even if I do get in trouble”, referring to the timeout he had received.
For his actions, Ronnie was honored by the City Council and the Mayor at the City Council meeting this past Monday.
Ronnie received a plaque and official proclamation from the City, detailing the story and recognizing Ronnie for his actions in saving his cousin. Ronnie also got out of timeout.
Actions of heroes can be big or small. This is one action that Ronnie’s cousin Ava, her parents Christina and Todd and all of Ronnie’s family, will never forget and always be grateful for.