by Kelly Rogge

Kansas City Kansas Community College opens Region VI softball playoff action on the road Saturday while the Blue Devil baseball team closes out regular season Jayhawk Conference play with a home doubleheader with Fort Scott.

Fifth place will be on the line in the baseball twin bill at 1 p.m. Fort Scott (14-16), by virtue of 11-5 and 8-7 home wins over KCKCC Thursday, could move past the Blue Devils (15-19) into fifth with a sweep. The fifth place finisher will open Region VI playoff action at fourth place Coffeyville (17-17) next weekend while the sixth place finisher will open at Neosho County (21-13).

Meanwhile, the Lady Blue Devils softball team (5-17) will be at Cowley County (31-12) in opening round playoff action Saturday at 1 and 3 p.m. If a third game is necessary, it will be played Sunday at 1 p.m. The Lady Blue Devils are 16-23 overall.

Nick Banman hammered a 3-run home run with one out in the bottom of the eighth Thursday to rally Fort Scott to an 8-7 win in the second game of the doubleheader after KCKCC had gone ahead 7-5 on Travis Stroup’s 2-run triple in the top of the inning. Alex Thrower doubled and singled twice; Tanner Foreschler singled three times; and Sam Baxter singled and doubled in KCKCC’s 13-hit attack.

Fort Scott built leads of 5-0 and 8-1 in the 11-5 opener. Landon Mason had three singles and Thrower a double and single to pace KCKCC’s 9-hit attack. The sweep dropped KCKCC’s overall record to 27-22.

Alan Hoskins is the sports information director at KCKCC.

Window on the West

by Mary Rupert

The Unified Government swearing-in went off well on Thursday night, and the 1st District, at large seat is finally occupied, after two years of being vacant.

The two new commissioners, Melissa Bynum and Harold Johnson Jr., appear to be well-qualified and ready to work on the community’s behalf.

One thing struck me about this swearing-in, though. Although I’m usually asking for more information, I felt there was a little too much information given at the ceremony. Just the facts and issues pertaining to public policy, please.


Marty Thoennes, executive director of the Central Avenue Betterment Association, said he feels one of the biggest issues facing the UG Commission will be how to get enough revenue, specifically, the UG’s collection of unpaid property taxes. He says a big chunk of properties have not been current on paying their property taxes, and not much progress has been made on this, although there have been some efforts made at resolving it. The amount the UG collects on its property taxes could make a difference in the projects it has on the drawing board this year.


While the state legislators in Topeka could be desperately diving into fountains looking for spare change in the next few weeks, in order to avoid raising all the taxes, while planning to make more cuts to schools and social programs, the news recently at the federal level was that a group of federal employees abroad had been spending money on prostitutes. There has to be some middle ground between the Topeka skinflint philosophy and the federal spendthrifts.


Some of us were watching the Unified Government commissioners sworn in last night, and other area residents were watching the Kansas City Royals game on television, from Chicago. The Royals reportedly got into a fight with Chicago over some slights, real or imagined. It seems to me the umpires could do a lot toward solving these problems. If a ball is thrown by a pitcher and hits a player, intentionally or not, just automatically eject the pitcher from that game. If a batter goes after a pitcher or other player, automatically eject that batter from that game. Then see if the number of incidents decreases.

To reach Mary Rupert, editor, email


The Kansas Lottery Commission has approved contracts with three applicants to be a potential casino manager in the southeast Kansas gaming zone.

The contracts are expected to be signed by Terry Presta, lottery executive director, and forwarded April 30 to the Lottery Gaming Facility Review Board, according to a lottery spokesman.

The seven-member Lottery Gaming Facility Review Board will then have up to 60 days to select the apparent successful candidate or send the contracts back to the lottery for further negotiations.

The lottery applicants met several requirements, including local endorsement, having access to enough financial resources to support the lottery gaming facility manager, and having no less than three consecutive years of experience in Class III gaming.

Each applicant will pay the state a $5.5 million privilege fee.

Applicants who were approved:
– Kansas Crossing Casino and Hotel, applicant, Kansas Crossing Casino LC, proposed in Pittsburg, Kan., at the Junction of Highway 400 and Highway 69;
– Camptown Casino, Frontenac Development, LLC, primary members, Camptown, LLC (Phillip G. Ruffin, director), located at Frontenac, Former Camptown Greyhound Park;
– Castle Rock Casino Resort, Castle Rock Casino Resort LLC, with several members including Air Capital Gaming, Murfin, Inc., Crystal River Investments, LLC, Joplin Holdings, LLC and others, located at Cherokee County, north of I-44 on U.S. Highway 400.