3. City levelâ€¦When it comes to the city of Wellington, 2014 will be much like 2013, and 2012, and 2011â€¦ and that means making budget.Here are two issues, though, that will be huge in 2014 and they start with the letter “H”: hospital and hotel.2013 was not a newsworthy year for Sumner Regional Medical Center, which is a good thing. No news is good news for the premiere medical institution in Sumner County.But 2014 may not be so un-newsworthy. Of course, there is SRMC’s mounting debt as was outlined in September. A quarter-cent sales tax was retired in December, which will take away another source of funding to the operation. Another sales-tax referendum may end up on a special ballot in April. The Wellington voters have shown in years past to be very supportive of SRMC. The problem with this is, how long can the hospital keep going back to the voters, before there is a revolt.It will be interesting to see how ObamaCare (there’s that word again) will affect small rural hospitals, and the closing of the Wellington Family Clinic has most certainly not helped SRMC as far as admissions are concerned.2014 will be about survival. I shudder to think what Wellington would be like without a hospital.On an issue that doesn’t seem nearly as pressing but is still important to the community will be the hotel situation.Oak Tree Inn appears to be in the process of building more hotel rooms. But that is tempered by the fact that those rooms will be used mostly for BNSF railroad workers. That still does not address the lack of hotel lodging for transient commercial traffic. Wellington City Manager Gus Collins said there were four different development groups looking at the Wellington area in 2013. The city council has offered some lucrative tax breaks and services to spur the growth of a lodging business.Still no holes were dug in 2013. Stay tuned. This will remain a big issue in 2014. 5. Local levelâ€¦Sumner County will continue its epic need to survive both financially and autonomously. At the moment farm income is good, the railroad appears to be doing well, and there is no hint of any dire news with the aircraft industry. Kansas Star Casino traffic is down and another casino is about to erected south of the Kansas-Oklahoma border. It makes one wonder if the casino we fought so hard to get in the last decade, was worth the trouble.Downtown Wellington will probably always struggle. But I was thinking the other day that things were looking up for the area with a lot of new blood. New businesses such as The Dore, Barefoot Jerry’s and Wynne Wellness have given the area a much more modern look. Wellington Sears impending move to downtown should help generate more traffic in the area.Let’s hope these businesses can keep going and you the reader keep patronizing these businesses. This is true capitalism at work here.The courthouse will continue be a flurry of activity with good guys putting bad guys away. Kudos to Sumner County Attorney Kerwin Spencer who helped file 492 criminal cases at the courthouse in 2013 compared to 311 in 2012.As far Sumner Newscow goes, I hope to keep providing you with valid news for the area. I’ll miss a couple of news stories so help me out by tipping the Cow at [email protected] New Years Sumner County readers. May your 2014 be a good one. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (5) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. +11 Vote up Vote down Hmmm….. · 345 weeks ago Most small town hospitals are on the tax train. Take the time to look at other surrounding city’s and you will find some kind of funding by the taxpayers. We the people are making this the center of all tax conversation. This really a no brainier, this tax is worth keeping. Fixing the roads would be nice, but you have to be alive to drive on them. Pop a tire you can fix it. Have a stroke, drive to the hospital where they maybe able to save your life, or call 911 and hope there is enough staff to take you Wichita. I think I’m going to good old SRMC. Report Reply 0 replies · active 345 weeks ago +1 Vote up Vote down anon · 345 weeks ago “Like I predicted last week, the federal government will be fixing its own ObamaCare screw-ups from now to eternity.”—just like the fed govt is still fixing its own social security and medicare screw ups….huh, that’s not happening??? your worst nightmare will be realized in 2014 and beyond as obamacare will be successfully implemented. Report Reply 0 replies · active 345 weeks ago 0 Vote up Vote down WHS Grad · 345 weeks ago “Adams said Wellington will no longer have in school ‘honors’ classes, and will base the top tier class rankings on curriculum based on the Kansas Scholars Board of Regents.” (July 3, 2013 Sumner Newscow) On August 26, 2013, within one week of the new school year, there was already an assignment for an honors class at WHS. http://hollas.whs.usd353.com/modules/blog/viewPos… Now, “…Wellington appears to be moving toward a new honors system offering national advanced placement courses to its students provided it can find teachers to teach these courses.” Honors classes do exist even after the statement has been made that they will not. Discussion for honors classes has occurred at some point, yet board minutes are not up to date to inform the public. How many, “executive session to discuss non-elected personnel”, meetings with, “no binding action taken”, will be necessary for the school board to, “find teachers to teach these courses”? Report Reply 2 replies · active 345 weeks ago +2 Vote up Vote down Sumner County · 345 weeks ago All local governments seem to abuse the executive session rules. As I understand executive session can only be used if personnel or their personal pay is discussed. This rule is abused by all school boards, city and county commissions. Open meetings have become jokes. Report Reply 0 Vote up Vote down Maggie · 345 weeks ago The wording of the assignment in the link you provided suggests that there is not a honors class for the subject, but that some students within the class are doing additional “honors” work. I went to school under a system like that, and it didn’t work very well. Students who excelled in the given subject were held back by the students who struggled, and the honors assignments only meant extra work, not necessarily more challenging work. Substituting AP classes for honors classes is probably not a good solution, either. When I took AP classes, there were significant additional costs to the student. (For example supplementary texts for AP History, which students had to purchase) plus the fee to take the AP exam (which was optional, but necessary to get credit for the course beyond high school) Report Reply Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Commentary by Tracy McCue â€” Five Cueball thoughts for Dec. 29, 2013â€¦What does the Cue-Crystal-Ball see in the year 2014 ahead? Well, there will be unforeseen mayhem in the Middle East, Justin Bieber will be in trouble for something, and somebody will get suspended for something for saying something not politically correct. Other than that all bets are off.Here are the highlights that I foresee will headline the year on a national, state, city, school and local level from a Wellington perspectiveâ€¦ 1. National levelâ€¦The implementation of the Affordable Care Act, i.e. ObamaCare, is expected to dominate the news, and the first of the many bailouts caused by this atrocious federal legislation could very well already occur in 2014.Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer made a dire prediction: ObamaCare will ruin insurance companies therefore the White House will ask for a huge government bailout of these companies.On the other hand, another conservative commenter, Noel Sheppard, said the losses to insurance companies will be large, but not so much that a bailout is likely. He thinks the companies will just raise the costs of our premiums to make up the difference, thus destroying the whole premise of Obamacare (see story here) Like I predicted last week, the federal government will be fixing its own ObamaCare screw-ups from now to eternity. 2. State levelâ€¦.The election of 2014 is coming and the state of Kansas will be at civil war. You may want to move to New Zealand or someplace very far away. You’ve been warned.This will be one of the most contentious Kansas state elections in history. Kansas Governor Sam Brownback is seeking re-election. His popularity amongst his critics ranges slightly in between Attila the Hun and Adolf Hitler. But he is also a hero to many for his unwavering convictions of small government politics.Brownback’s tax cut initiatives have received national attention and the country will be watching. Both sides will be seeking validation. What does this mean? In this era of free wielding political spending, that means a lot of money is going to flow into the coffers of the Kansas Governor Campaign on both sides of the aisle.The schools, realtors and others will be waiting in opposition. Paul Davis, minority leader of the Kansas House of Representative, has declared his candidacy as the Democrat candidate. Can a Democrat win in Kansas, especially during a time of Barack Obama and ObamaCare? It will be an uphill climb. It will take the full support of Democrats and moderate Republicans and even some well meaning conservatives to unseat Brownback. That group can’t be split or it’s clear sailing for the current Kansas Governor.There will be a lot of money spent on this campaign.For you who despise mean-spirited politics, here is my word of advice. Run for your lives. 4. School levelâ€¦The school boards throughout Sumner County will have the daunting task of dealing with an ever-shrinking amount of money coming from the state of Kansas thanks in part because of the Brownback budget cuts.I’m not equipped at this moment to tell you exactly what could happen with the school districts to combat this issue. I anticipate school consolidation will become a bigger issue in 2014. Will a school like Argonia be able to survive? Will heated rival schools Caldwell and South Haven become one school district after all?As far as bigger schools such as Wellington is concerned, what kind of budget cuts can be made? The USD 353 retirement program is currently on a respirator, and I anticipate someone is going to have to pull the plug.As far as other issues are concerned, Wellington appears to be moving toward a new honors system offering national advanced placement courses to its students provided it can find teachers to teach these courses. This will be a good thing. Also, there will be the issue concerning the Wellington Junior High building and whether it can be sold.If it is not sold, can USD 353 afford to keep the building open?And if it is sold, what type of facilities need to be built such as locker rooms? Sellers Park has some issues. The football field was a mess in 2013. A lot of those kind of things will need to be addressed in the year ahead.