Lady Blue Devil streak to six with sweep of Fort Scott

by Alan Hoskins

Elizabeth Seimears pitched her first shutout of the season to complete a Kansas City Kansas Community College sweep of Fort Scott Tuesday.

Seimears blanked the Greyhounds on two hits in a 5-inning 13-0 win after Leslie Ford had pitched the Lady Blue Devils to a 7-3 win in the opener.

The wins pushed KCKCC’s winning streak to six in a row heading into pivotal weekend Jayhawk Conference doubleheaders – at No. 6 ranked Cowley County (11-5) Friday and No. 9 Independence (12-6) Saturday. At 10-6 in the Jayhawk and 18-6 overall, the Blue Devils are in position to move past both teams with sweeps. Wiped out by rain Wednesday, KCKCC’s scheduled twin bill with Neosho County has not been rescheduled.

Seimears had a perfect game through four innings of the nightcap before giving up a pair of singles in the fifth. The Blue Devils backed her with 15 hits led by Mierra Morisette and Lacey Santiago. Morisette had two doubles and a triple and drove in four runs while Santiago tripled and singled twice and scored three times. Hanna Barnhart added a double and single and Ashley Henington two singles.

KCKCC scored two in the first on a single by Santiago, double by Morisette and single by Barnhart and added two more in the second on Morisette’s 2-run double following a walk and Justice Scales’ single. The Blue Devils wrapped up the win with nine runs on nine hits in the fourth as everyone in the lineup but one hit safely. Santiago and Morisette each had 2-run triples, Amanda Holroyd and Barnhart doubles and Henington, Ford, Megan Dike and Laura Vanderheiden had singles.

Leslie Ford gave up just one run the first six innings before giving up two runs on three hits in the seventh in the 7-3 opening win. Ford struck out eight and walked three while the Blue Devils did all their scoring in the first three innings.

A double by Scales and singles by Morisette and Holroyd gave KCKCC a 1-0 lead and the Blue Devils added six in the third, four of which were unearned due to two Fort Scott errors.

Scales started the uprising with a double and after a walk, hit batsman and two errors, Ford and Dike rapped singles and Vanderheiden lashed a 2-run double. Scales, Morisette, Holroyd and Vanderheiden each had a pair of hits in the win.

Schlitterbahn to hold job fair April 12

Schlitterbahn will hold a job fair for summer work from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 12, at 9400 State Ave., Kansas City, Kan.
The job fair will be in Schlitterbahn’s entry building.
On the list of jobs available are lifeguard, admissions, kitchen staff, cashiers, retail warehouse and park services, bar staff, and greeters.
At Schlitterbahn, lifeguards help guests navigate tube chutes and keep an eye out for struggling swimmers.
For more information visit http://www.schlitterbahn.com/kc/jobs.

Senate committee endorses health compact bill

by Dave Ranney, KHI News Service
Topeka — Several senators Tuesday spoke in favor of a House-passed bill that has the goal of Kansas officials eventually being able to take over federally funded health care programs, including Medicare, within the state’s borders.

“I think we’re headed in a direction here where the state of Kansas can do a better job,” said Sen. Ralph Ostmeyer, a Grinnell Republican and chair of the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee.

“Some people seem to think the states can’t do this job, but I really believe the federal government can’t even hardly see us,” said Sen. Rob Olson, an Olathe Republican. “So I think we probably could handle this better here in this state than the federal government could.”

Sen. Caryn Tyson, a Parker Republican, said she thought state officials were likely to have more success eliminating Medicare fraud and abuse than their federal counterparts.

The nine-member committee – seven Republicans, two Democrats – approved House Bill 2553 on a voice vote, with the Democrats in opposition. The measure now goes to the full Senate.

Ostmeyer said he expected Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, a Shawnee Republican, to “carry” the bill during Senate debate, which has yet to be scheduled.

“This is a very simple bill,” said Pilcher-Cook, who testified in favor of the measure. “It simply addresses whether the state or the federal government gets to make decisions in regard to the citizens’ health care.”

Pilcher-Cook, one of the Legislature’s most vocal critics of Obamacare, said the bill was designed to “give back the freedoms” that were lost when Congress passed the Affordable Care Act.

The bill would allow Kansas to join a multi-state compact, which, in turn, would ask the federal government to let its members run the federally funded health care programs – primarily Medicare and Medicaid – in their states.

The member states, Pilcher-Cook said, would be free to either adhere to the federal regulations or adopt their own standards.

A state-run system, she said, would be more efficient.

Before the compact could take effect, it would have to win approval in both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, which doesn’t seem likely so long as Democrats control the Senate.

“This bill doesn’t do anything in the near future,” Pilcher-Cook said.

Also testifying in support of the bill were Reps. Brett Hildabrand, a Shawnee Republican, and Lance Kinzer, an Olathe Republican and chair of the House Judiciary Committee, and Dan Tripp, a former South Carolina legislator-turned-consultant for a national group called Competitive Governance Action.

Tripp said eight states already have passed legislation for joining a compact.

Dave Wilson, a past volunteer president with AARP Kansas, testified against the bill, calling it frivolous and scary.

“I’m surprised to hear the same people who talk about the need for smaller government say they want to take this on,” Wilson said. “The potential exists for the state having to put a whole new structure, a whole new bureaucracy, in place. The proponents say that wouldn’t have to happen, but it’s a possibility and, I think, a danger.”

Wilson said there would be little to stop legislators from using Medicare to pay for Medicaid cost overruns.

Sen. Tom Holland, a Baldwin City Democrat, voiced his opposition.

“I know how this Legislature operates, I’ve been here 12 years,” he said. “I cannot imagine, quite honestly, that we would open up our Medicare beneficiaries to the shenanigans that the Legislature might pull when it comes up against financial issues in the future. I think this a very bad bill, and I will be voting no.”

The KHI News Service is an editorially independent initiative of the Kansas Health Institute. It is supported in part by a variety of underwriters. The News Service is committed to timely, objective and in-depth coverage of health issues and the policy-making environment. More about the News Service is at khi.org/newsservice or contact 785-233-5443.
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