Vol. 1, Issue 10                                         November 2017
I want to wish everyone in Sedgwick County a very Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas. Sedgwick County is a great place to live, work and play. My wife and I are very pleased that we chose to move to Sedgwick County twenty years ago after I retired from the Air Force. We are thankful every day for the opportunities and friendships we have made in this community.  

The County Commission is working on a number of issues that impact our citizens. The one issue that has generated the most feedback is the possibility of a Tyson plant being built and operated in Sedgwick County. I have received numerous e-mails, phone calls, and personal discussions on this one subject. I have tried to respond to each of those contacts. I know those who are opposed to the Tyson plant want an answer immediately; however, I do not see the possibility of a decision within the next couple of months, or even as late as the summer of next year. Before we make a final decision, we must understand the exact impact on the environment, what if any incentives might Tyson ask for and what would the impact be on the community, the schools and the economy? What would be the return on investment? What is the impact on the roads, neighbors, farmers, water, etc? I know from the e-mails, that there is a lot of information out there. Our staff and the staff at the Greater Wichita Partnership are doing a complete analysis of all that information and more. In addition, I believe that we must see a plant in operation and visit the farms where the chickens are produced before we can make a final decision. This is an emotional issue for many and I understand that. I along with the other Commissioners and our staff are working hard to make sure we make the right decision, when the time comes, for Sedgwick County.  

Regards,
David Dennis

Sedgwick County Fire promotes new leaders, welcomes graduates
On Friday, Oct. 20, Sedgwick County Fire District 1 promoted 13 people into leadership roles. Six firefighters were promoted to lieutenants and five lieutenants were promoted to captains. Fire District also promoted two captains to division chief.  

Nine people recently graduated from the fire academy program. During this five month long program, recruits learn proper firefighting techniques and go through rigorous training to prepare them for a successful career within the Fire District. Commissioners and Fire District leaders celebrated the graduates at a graduation ceremony on Friday, Nov. 17.  
Text to 911 available in Sedgwick County
Sedgwick County Emergency Communications now has the capability to accept text messages for emergency assistance. Text-to-911 is available for those individuals who cannot safely make a voice call to 911 in an emergency. Emergency Communications has worked in conjunction with the Kansas 911 Coordinating Council to bring this service to the county.

The best way to contact 911 is by making a voice call. Please only utilize the Text-to-911 service in emergency circumstances where a voice call is not possible or safe. Call if you can, text if you can’t. Please do not send a test text message to 911.
Take care to give care
November is National Family Caregiver Month. Today more than 65 million people, nearly 30% of the U.S. population, provide care for chronically ill, disabled, or older family members or friends. Caregivers can be neighbors, family, or friends and it's important they have support. 

It’s essential to take care of yourself when you’re a caregiver. Ensuring that you get proper nutrition will help maintain strength, energy, stamina, and a positive attitude. Find time for yourself such as working out at the gym, reading late at night, or taking a walk with the dog. Take time to rest and recharge because caregiving affects the whole family.

Follow the link for more information: http://caregiveraction.org/family-caregiver-toolbox
Free firewood and winter hours at the Zoo
The Sedgwick County Zoo has partnered with Westar Energy and the City of Wichita to provide free firewood and mulch now through February 2018. Firewood and mulch will be available daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Zoo’s north parking lot and new wood will be delivered between 3:30 and 4:30 p.m. daily. Chainsaws, splitters, and other mechanical equipment are not permitted in the parking lot. 

As we move into the colder months, the Zoo’s winter hours come into effect. Visitors may enjoy the Zoo from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, now through February 2018.  
Projects in District 3
Bridge Construction on MacArthur between 327th St W and 343rd St W (B467)
  • Road closed October 16.
  • Expected to reopen Spring 2018.
Crews continue to work on the Kellogg/ I-235 interchange rebuild. This first phase is scheduled to be completed in 2019.
Update on Kellogg/ 235 interchange
Project updates can be found at www.235red.org and include:

  • The currently closed east bound exit ramp on Kellogg to West Street should open for traffic by Thanksgiving. 
County offices to close for holiday
Sedgwick County offices will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 23 and Friday, Nov. 24 for Thanksgiving. Emergency services will be available by dialing or texting 9-1-1. 
INTRUST Bank Arena’s north entrance open again
Entrance C reopened on Monday, November 13. Event goers will enjoy the additional square footage of the lobby and exterior plaza area, six sets of entrance doors – one for premium seating entrance, and staircases from the lobby to the main concourse and from the main concourse to the upper concourse.

The project to expand Entrance C took a little more than seven months to complete and cost $1.682 million. 
County leaders make an appearance at the Veterans Day parade
County commissioners along with the County Manager participated in the annual Veterans Day parade in Wichita on Saturday, Nov. 11.
Sedgwick County Government is proud to serve our community and honor our veterans.  
Area youth recognized for leadership
More than 2,300 students in the Wichita Public School district participate in the Junior ROTC program. Select participants came to a recent commission meeting to help bring recognition to Wichita Junior ROTC Week, Nov. 5 through 11. The Junior ROTC and its leadership programs build citizenship and good character in youth and cadets who move on to become future leaders.  

Commissioners were able to attend the Junior ROTC and Leadership Program Ceremony in honor of our veterans on Wednesday, Nov. 8 at Century II. Cadet units marched and passed in review showcasing their development. Colonel Joshua Olson, Commander at McConnell Air Force Base, provided keynote remarks. 
United Way Holiday Assistance 
As we move into the holiday season remember that some in our community may be in need of assistance. The United Way offers holiday assistance to support our community. Information about programs and resources available to those who need it can be attained by calling 2-1-1. 

The United Way's Thanksgiving and Christmas programs can also be found here: http://unitedwayplains.org/holiday-assistance
316-660-9300
525 N. Main, Ste 320, Wichita, KS 67203
 
Contact Public Information Officer:
Kate Flavin, 316-660-9370
525 N. Main, Ste 343, Wichita, KS 67203
 
Contact Corporate Communications Manager:
Keturah Austin, 316-660-9370
525 N. Main, Ste 343, Wichita, KS 67203