Road, bridge projects to be announced

Road, bridge projects to be announced 

            More than 460 road and bridge projects scheduled for fiscal years 2015 and 2016 will be announced by Kansas Transportation Secretary Mike King during a three-city tour Thursday, Aug. 21. The day’s schedule is as follows:

9 a.m. Rock Island Railroad Depot 4 Rock Island Road

11 a.m. WICHway traffic management center 714 N. Main  

2 p.m. Krehbiel’s Specialty Meats 1636 Mohawk Road

In addition to Secretary King, speakers will include local leaders. The entire list of projects will be posted on the KDOT website at the time of the announcements. 


Cotton Transition Assistance Program Enrollment


WASHINGTON,-  U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency Administrator Juan M. Garcia  announced that farmers can enroll in the Cotton Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) from Aug. 11, 2014 through Oct. 7, 2014.

The program, created by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides interim payments to cotton producers during the 2014 crop year until the Stacked Income Protection Plan, a new insurance product also created by the legislation, is available. Details on the plan will be released by mid-August.

The Cotton Transition Assistance Program is another milestone in USDA’s ambitious timeline for implementing the provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill. Cotton producers now have a risk management tool in place,” said Garcia. “To help us provide the best service possible, cotton producers are encouraged to schedule an appointment with their local Farm Service Agency office early in this enrollment period,” added Garcia.

CTAP applications approved before Oct. 1, are subject to congressionally mandated automatic reductions of 7.2 percent for the 2014 crop year. Applications approved after Oct. 1 will be reduced the required 7.3 percent for the 2015 crop year. The Budget Control Act of 2011 requires USDA to implement these reductions to program payments.

CTAP and the Stacked Income Protection Plan were established by the 2014 Farm Bill. The Farm Bill builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past five years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for taxpayers. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit

For more information about CTAP, visit a local FSA office or go online



Pratt Public Library Annual Book Sale

book sale sign




- Ronald McDonald House Charities Wichita (RMHC Wichita) has awarded grants totaling $64,000 to 18 non-profit organizations from eligible counties throughout the state of Kansas for the 2014 Grant cycle. A total of 11,711 children will be impacted this year by the use of these funds.

RMHC Wichita not only provides and supports programs that directly improve the health and well being of children through its two core programs, Ronald McDonald House® and Ronald McDonald Family Room®, it also extends grants to non-profit organizations in Kansas that make an immediate, positive impact for children in the areas of education and the arts, civic and social services, and health care and medical research. Grants to these organizations extend the reach and impact of RMHC Wichita.

Since the start of the Grant program in 1999, 207 RMHC Wichita grants have been funded for a total of $877,382. Awarded grants come from a combination of fund raising efforts through area McDonald’s restaurants and matching grant funds from Ronald McDonald House Charities Global.

The 2014 Grant recipients are:

Dodge City, KS – Ford County Arrowhead West, Inc.

El Dorado, KS – Butler County Susan B Allen Memorial Hospital Foundation

Newton, KS – Harvey County CASA: A Voice for Children

Wichita, KS – Sedgwick County
Flint Hills Therapeutic Riding Center
Children First: CEO Kansas, Inc.
Assistance League of Wichita
GraceMed Health Clinic, Inc.
Heartspring, Inc.
The KIDS Network, Inc.
Catholic Charities, Inc.
Roots and Wings, Inc. dba Casa of Sedgwick County
Wichita TOP Children’s Fund
Inter-Faith Ministries
The Arts Council
Communities in Schools of Wichita/Sedgwick County Inc.
Child Advocacy Center of Sedgwick County Kansas, Inc.
Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas

A Grants Check Presentation will be held at Crestview Country Club, 100 N 127th Street East, Wichita, KS 67230, August 21, 2014 at 1:30 pm. Grant recipients will receive their check and share their mission and the impactful programs that were funded.

For more information about the RMHC Wichita Grant program, please go to or call (316) 269.4182.

Ronald McDonald House Charities® Wichita (RMHC Wichita) provides and supports programs that directly improve the health and well being of children.


End Notes by Dr. Amy Clarkson

End NotesWhen I made the decision in college to turn from my pursuit of becoming a psychologist to that of a physician, it was based on my perception that medicine was a field of black and white answers and not the uncomfortable gray of psychology. How wrong I was! I have since learned that medicine is not black and white equations with simple answers, but complex paradoxes with many unknowns. Ironically, I spend time now treating one of the most nebulous realms in all of medicine; pain and suffering.

One difficulty with pain is subjectivity. Unlike a broken bone that we can see on an x-ray, or a number we can read on a machine, pain on the outside cannot be seen or verified by any test. It is strictly the experience of the injured person. We try in medicine to objectify pain, by asking patients to put a number on their experience. But what does a 7 out of 10 rating for pain actually feel like? If a wasp were to sting two random people, each one may rate the pain of that sting differently. One may feel it was 10 out of 10, another just 2 out of 10 in severity. The insult was the same, and yet the perception and experience of the pain differs from person to person.

Thus, the first rule in pain management is not to judge what we think should or should not be painful, but to take a patient by their word, and try to reduce the severity of their experience with the tools we have available.

If the pain has a source, the first treatment should be to fix that source; notice I did not say the first treatment should be to mask the pain with medicine. If the pain is from a broken bone, fix the fracture, if from infection, fix the infection, if from arthritis, reduce the inflammation. It is only when the source of the pain cannot be healed that we turn to masking the pain with pills. The goal with masking pain is crucial. It is not to escape from the reality of the pain, but to return the ability to function to the person who has pain.

Here is the true problem of pain, especially at the end of life; much of what people call “pain” is actually suffering. Pain in the physical sense originates in the body. You can point to where you hurt. Suffering on the other hand is in the mind. It is the mind that questions why this diagnosis, the mind that worries about what happens after death. It is the mind that remembers the past, harbors guilt, longs for forgiveness, and races with fear. It the mind that says, “I hurt” and “this isn’t fair”.

In hospice, we term suffering ‘existential pain’, acknowledging that like physical pain, it is real and should be treated in the same way. If possible, this means tackling the source of the suffering and is why hospice includes a team of social workers, chaplains, nurses, volunteers and physicians, all there to listen and explore and help heal. When time is too short to fix the source, then like other pain, we turn to medicine; however, existential pain requires different medicine than physical pain, which again adds to the complexity.

To experience pain and suffering, or watch someone else endure it is excruciating, which is why I for one, am on a lifelong quest to better understand and treat this complex issue.