August 3rd, 2020 | 27 mins 28 secs
allen county kansas, humboldt, iola, journalism, learning, newspapers, reporting
Bob Johnson began working at The Iola Register on July 6, 1964. 56 years later, almost to the day, he penned his last “Weeks End” column in the July 11, 2020 edition of the Register.
In this week’s podcast, Richard and Tim talk with Bob about what he’s seen and learned over a lifetime of journalism. Remarkably enough, Bob encountered only three editors— Angelo Scott, Emerson Lynn and Susan Lynn. But in terms of content, well, Bob’s articles number in the tens of thousands, covering everything from football to city council meetings to slugs. Yes, slugs.
July 27th, 2020 | 32 mins 40 secs
allen county, allen county kansas, growth, infrastructure, politics, rural
In today’s episode, we headed out to LaHarpe’s City Hall to speak with David Lee. Lee is running for a seat on the Allen County Commission. He faces Craig Mentzer and Eugene Weatherbie in the August 4 Republican primary.
Lee believes Allen County has the tools for robust economic development, and much of our conversation focused on his ideas on how to ensure the county prospers—and how his experiences make him, as he says, uniquely qualified for the job.
July 23rd, 2020 | 27 mins 29 secs
allen county, allen county kansas, business, infrastructure, internet, iola, politics, realtor
John Brocker has been a businessman and realtor in Iola for 45 years. He served as president of the Kansas Association of Realtors in 2012. This year, he’s running for a seat on the Allen County commission, the same seat he briefly held until losing to Bruce Symes, the District 3 incumbent, in 2018.
In today’s episode, the fifth in our series covering local candidates, we speak with Brocker about what’s motivating him to run again, his priorities if he wins the Aug 4 Republican primary against Symes, and how his business background would guide his decisions as commissioner.
July 17th, 2020 | 25 mins 47 secs
9th district, allen county, kansas, neosho county, politics
In today’s episode, we spoke with Armando Hernandez of Chanute. He’s challenging Rep. Kent Thompson of LaHarpe for his seat in the Kansas House’s 9th District, which includes Iola, Humboldt and Chanute. The Republican primary is August 4, but you can cast your ballot now—advanced voting has already begun.
A retired chiropractor and currently employed as a computer service technician, Hernandez has a strong interest in economic development, healthcare and bipartisanship. In his words, Republicans and Democrats “can work together. We always have.”
July 16th, 2020 | 33 mins 33 secs
agriculture, allen county, allen county kansas, covid-19, infrastructure, politics, roads, rural
In today’s episode, as we continue speaking with local candidates facing primary challenges in the upcoming Aug. 4 election, we talked with Bruce Symes. He’s seeking a second term as Allen County Commissioner, representing District 3. A former Register reporter, he now teaches at Allen Community College. We reached him by phone, as he was in Wichita accompanying his father undergo a heart procedure.
July 13th, 2020 | 31 mins 2 secs
agriculture, allen county, allen county kansas, broadband, infrastructure, internet access, politics, rural
For today’s episode, Richard and I headed out to Craig and Denise Mentzer’s home in rural Allen County, southeast of Neosho Falls. Craig is running for a seat on the Allen County Commission and faces Eugene Weatherbie and David Lee in the August 4 Republican primary.
As we spoke in their sunroom, a multi-million dollar rain, as Craig called it, gentle fell and tapered off as our conversation advanced. We spoke on a wide variety of topics, from his interest in affordable rural internet access, infrastructure and farming.
July 9th, 2020 | 27 mins 56 secs
9th district, allen county, kansas, neosho county, politics
In this week's episode, we speak with Kent Thompson at his real estate and auction office in Iola. This is the first in a series of episodes with locals seeking elected office and face a primary opponent this August 4.
A rural LaHarpe resident, Thompson has represented Kansas's 9th House District, which covers Allen County and much of Neosho County, since 2013. He faces Armando Hernandez of Chanute in this August's primary.
July 2nd, 2020 | 26 mins 16 secs
city council, iola, kansas, laharpe, librarian, mayor, small towns
In today’s episode, Richard Luken sits down with Cynthia Carr, longtime Iola Middle School librarian, LaHarpe city council member, and co-owner of the RV Park in LaHarpe.
We took some time to talk about her experiences as an educator, her perspective on LaHarpe’s recent progress and the work still to be done in the Allen County community.
June 24th, 2020 | 32 mins 16 secs
activism, african american, iola, kansas, race, racism, rally, voices
Ana Davis took the stage at Iola’s June 7th rally for Black Lives. Although seemingly a shy soul, Ana delivered a powerful and impassioned speech, insisting we have no time to waste creating a better world for our children. Her youngest son Mack, age 12, stood by her side.
Almost two weeks later, on Juneteenth, Tim Stauffer spoke with her about her experiences growing up as a Black American and living in Iola, her thoughts about what needs to change, and how, amidst the tireless struggle for justice, she finds joy.
June 21st, 2020 | 41 mins 15 secs
activism, iola, kansas, race, racism, rally, solidarity, voices
In recent weeks, Daniel and Nicole Schowengerdt of Iola have taken an increasingly active role in fighting for racial justice by attending marches, creating petitions and having tough--but necessary--conversations with friends and family.
Tim Stauffer sits down to talk with the couple about motivates them, how they discuss racism with their children and the road our country has left to travel.
June 8th, 2020 | 36 mins 45 secs
black lives matter, george floyd, iola, kansas, rally, solidarity, voices
Yesterday, on June 7th, over 250 people attended a rally on Iola's square in support of Black Lives Matter, using the event to stand against racism, express solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, and to commemorate the death of George Floyd.
Register staff were in attendance speaking with demonstrators about why they were there and what needs to change. Here are their voices.
June 6th, 2020 | 34 mins
covid-19 pandemic, health, public health, sek multi-county health department, southeast kansas
In this week’s episode, Tim Stauffer sits down with Rebecca Johnson, the director of the Southeast Kansas Multi-County Health Department, to talk about her first fourteen months on the job.
In her short tenure, she’s been tasked with leading Allen, Anderson, Bourbon and Woodson counties in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rebecca and Tim talk about what the SEK Multi-County Health Department is doing—as well as where it can improve—in its efforts to keep us all safe and healthy.
May 29th, 2020 | 22 mins 50 secs
allen county kansas, covid-19, family, iola, pandemic, prairie spirit, trails
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Jaime Westervelt, her parents Mike and Leah Oswald, and Jaime's three children Wyatt, Griffen and Jolee, made very regular use of the trails. Now, though, with the family stuck at home much more, the trails have provided a refuge and escape from these distressing times. And somewhere along the gravel chert paths, they grew closer as a family as well.
In this episode, recorded on a rainy May evening, reporter Trevor Hoag and Tim Stauffer accompany the Westervelt family on one of their walks on the Prairie Spirit Trail.
May 19th, 2020 | 43 mins 35 secs
alcoholism, depression, mental health, mental health awareness month, motivation, substance abuse, suicide, youth
In this week’s episode, we speak with Kurt Jackson of Yates Center. Kurt is a youth motivational speaker and life coach. Our conversation with him--which touched on his battles with depression and alcohol and his journey to health— was originally broadcast via Facebook Live and is part of our effort to recognize May as Mental Health Awareness Month. It’s also a testament to the power of candidly discussing mental health issues.
May 10th, 2020 | 31 mins 48 secs
allen county kansas, covid-19, iola, pandemic, pregnancy
Iola residents Katie Mitchell and Kyle Lovseth share what it’s like to be expecting a child in the midst of a pandemic. Katie, a Sociology professor at Allen Community College, is 31 weeks pregnant. She and Kyle are expecting their first child.
April 27th, 2020 | 30 mins 39 secs
allen county, covid-19, economic development, iola, kansas, pandemic, thrive allen county
Register reporter Trevor Hoag, editor Susan Lynn and Tim Stauffer sit down with Lisse Regehr, the CEO of Thrive Allen County, to discuss what she’s hearing from Allen County businesses and individuals in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and what Thrive is doing to help.