Vol. 3, Issue 11                                       November 2018
My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. I delight in the cooler weather, the fall colors, and renewed opportunity to gather with many people, especially those that we do not get to see as often. To me, the mission of Thanksgiving is to reflect on the many blessings we’ve received and then to take the time to be intentionally appreciative and grateful to those who have been gracious to us. With that, I want to say thank you. Thanks for the great honor to once again be your county commissioner.

As your county commissioner, I have a great responsibility for certain types of public safety, specific infrastructure, and important human services. Working with my counterparts, please know that I am here for you and will do my best to serve you. Please tell me how I can help. I need you to communicate with me and explain to me the problem and what you want to see happen. As a single commissioner, I cannot promise you that I’ll deliver you the results you want but I can promise you that I will do my best to hear you, get answers to your questions, and be your advocate to the county.

One thing I learned quickly in my first term is that I am limited in what I can do. A county commissioner cannot impact education funding, solve child custody issues, repair city streets. I also cannot fix Rockford Township roads, or keep the Derby Tag office open. All of those things fall under the responsibility of other elected officials. Nevertheless, I don’t mind talking about those things (or anything else) if you bring them up in conversation. If not my area of responsibility, I will do my best to connect you to the right person or agency and encourage you with some strategy to get the outcome you want or get information.

My office is in the Sedgwick County Courthouse in downtown Wichita but I am willing to meet you in Derby. Most Fridays from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., I usually buy coffee for anyone interested in chatting about county business at Riverside Café here in Derby. I usually skip the 2nd Friday of each month and holidays. If that is not feasible, call me and we can setup a special time to meet. 

I look forward to serving you. Please contact me at 316-788-4887(cell), 316-660-9300 (office), or Jim.Howell@sedgwick.gov

Two Receive Lifesaving Award from 911
They are the people you hear but never see. Our 911 call takers and dispatchers work tirelessly to keep our community safe and secure 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. SaraBeth and Carly, both Call Takers with Sedgwick County Emergency Communications, are recipients of the Lifesaving Award for their recent actions.

Less than 30 seconds after answering the phone, SaraBeth dispatched first responders to the patient. She learned that the patient was unconscious and instructed the caller on how to perform CPR until first responders arrived. Her great care, communication, and life-saving instructions were vital to saving her patient’s life.

Carly took a similar call to SaraBeth, and had first responders on their way to the patient less than one minute after answering the phone. She quickly, confidently, and calmly instructed the caller on how to perform CPR, providing needed guidance until first responders arrived.

The Lifesaving Award is given to individuals who demonstrate outstanding actions, performance of instructions, or performance of duty that directly result in the preservation of life in situations where, if not for their involvement, the patient might have perished.
Sedgwick County Fire Welcomes Nine Graduates
On Friday, November 16, nine recruits graduated from the Sedgwick County Fire District 1 Academy. Recruits spend 12 weeks in training where they learn teamwork, how to stay committed to service, and to never give up. These firefighters are ready to serve with honor, respond with compassion, and are dedicated to keeping our community safe and secure. 
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.235kelloggcentral.com and include:

  • All ramps are open but temporary lane closures are possible for re-striping.
Projects in District 5
Bridge construction on Pawnee both east and west of 143rd St. East
  • Construction began October 22, 2018
  • Pawnee to be closed into Spring 2019
  • 143rd Street West remains open
Sedgwick County Recognizes Family Caregiver Month
November is National Family Caregiver Month. Today nearly 90 million people in the U.S. 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 at night, or taking a walk with the dog. Take time to rest and recharge because caregiving affects the whole family.

The Central Plains Area Agency on Aging is one local resource to help caregivers and aging residents. Contact CPAAA at 1-855-200-2372 or visit www.cpaaa.org for information. 
Sedgwick County Parks Donates to Thanksgiving Food Drive
Around Thanksgiving for the past four years, Sedgwick County Parks takes the aluminum cans collected throughout the year and sells them. The proceeds from the cans go to help a charity or to purchase turkeys and deliver them to a program that provides holiday meals to families or those who need assistance. This year, they were able to donate 26 turkeys to the 28th Annual B98 Turkey Drive. That’s almost 300 pounds of turkey!
2018 General Election Results Finalized
The Board of Canvassers certified the results from the 2018 General Election on Monday morning, November 19. Results for the election and previous races can be found on the Election Office’s website: www.sedgwickcounty.org/elections
Celebrate the Holidays with Sedgwick County
Christmas Tree Recycling Offered
Once you are finished enjoying your real Christmas tree turn it into mulch! From Friday, December 21 through Wednesday, January 23 residents can convert their trees to mulch or pick up the free mulch. Follow Sedgwick County on social media for all the participating locations.
As the top outdoor family attraction in the State, the mission of the Sedgwick County Zoo is to inspire discovery, appreciation, and respect for animals and nature. It is home to 3,000 animals and nearly 400 species. The Reed Family Elephants of the Zambezi River Valley exhibit is the third largest elephant habitat in the United States. 
Exploration Place, Kansas’ premier science center, inspires a deeper interest in science through creative and fun experiences for people of all ages. Through its permanent and travelling exhibits, education programs, Digital Dome Theater films and special events, visitors can enjoy learning about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. For example, the all-new, 5,100 square foot Design Build Fly exhibit celebrates our community’s aviation industry. Visitors encounter dozens of hands-on activities that focus on manufacturing and engineering to reveal what happens behind-the-scenes in our aircraft plants.   
The Kansas African American Museum endeavors to make the Kansas African American experience resonant with EVERY Kansan. Located in the venerable Calvary Baptist Church, visitors may expand their knowledge and understanding of the Kansas African American story. 
Residents and visitors can gain an understanding of our community and cultural heritage at the Wichita – Sedgwick County Historical Museum. By collecting, preserving, and interpreting materials which reflect the area’s heritage visitors can experience different facets that shaped the community we live in today.  
County Information
Contact  Commissioner Jim Howel l: 
316-660-9300
525 N. Main, Ste 320, Wichita, KS 67203
 
Contact Strategic Communications Director:
Van Williams, 316-660-9370
525 N. Main, Ste 315, Wichita, KS 67203 
 
Contact Public Information Officer:
Kate Flavin, 316-660-9370
525 N. Main, Ste 315, Wichita, KS 67203