Sedgwick County Commission

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Sedgwick County commissioners voted Wednesday to tear down the Judge Riddel Boys Ranch west of Wichita, ending years of discussions about how to save the piece of Kansas history.

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The Sedgwick County Commission had decided to tear down a longtime ranch for troubled boys.

The commission voted Wednesday to approve contracts to remove asbestos and then demolish the Judge Riddel Boys Ranch near Goddard. The property will be returned to park land for Lake Afton Park.

The decision comes after years of debate on the fate of the ranch, which opened in the 1960s. It was owned by the state but operated by Sedgwick County. The center closed in 2014 after the state refused to increase payments to help the county fund operations.

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A task force that works to prevent crimes against children is seeing an increase in the number of sex trafficking cases in Kansas at this halfway point of 2017 compared to last year.

The Kansas Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigates all exploitation, missing, human trafficking as well as physical and sexual abuse cases involving child victims.

Richard Powell of the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s office says so far this year, they’ve identified 43 victims and 29 suspects in domestic minor sex trafficking.

Lisa Edmonds, flickr Creative Commons

An agency that helps older adults navigate life transitions is adjusting to meet current and future needs in the community.

The Central Plains Area Agency on Aging serves people aged 60 years and older in Sedgwick, Butler and Harvey counties.

The agency says it’s noticing a change when it comes to nutrition programs offered in the tri-county area.

Agency executive director Annette Graham says more seniors are using a home-delivery meal program instead of going to community sites where meals are offered.

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People who live in Sedgwick County will have an opportunity to give their opinion about the proposed 2018 budget at two public hearings and through an online forum.

The county budget released last week totals about $425 million dollars.

Sedgwick County

Sedgwick County Manager Mike Scholes presented a recommended budget to commissioners on Wednesday. As it stands, the 2018 budget is just over $425 million.

Priority areas include safe and secure communities, human services, cultural experiences, communications and engagement and effective government organization. Scholes told commissioners the portion of the budget for the fire district is a projected surplus for the first time in many years.

Sedgwickcounty.org

Wichita City Council members and Sedgwick County Commissioners voted Wednesday to give themselves more time to work on an agreement over ambulance services.

The often-tense joint meeting was held just days before a July 1 deadline to withdraw from an agreement under which Sedgwick County provides ambulance service to Wichita. The current arrangement runs through the end of 2017, but the city has the option of either pulling out from the agreement, or allowing it to stand for another year.

Neil Conway, flickr Creative Commons

The Sedgwick County Commission agreed on Wednesday to allow the Division of Corrections to submit a $3 million grant to the state.

The money would be used for five programs which are designed to prevent and address juvenile delinquency. Three of the programs, which constitute the majority of the grant, are for programs operated by the state, including the Juvenile Intake and Assessment Center (JIAC).

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Sedgwick County is moving forward with the remaining renovation work on its Ronald Reagan Building in downtown Wichita.

County commissioners voted unanimously on Wednesday to approve a $1.3 million contract with Key Construction.

Work on the fourth through sixth floors of the building at 271 W. 3rd St. will begin in June and take about five months.

Sedgwick County spokeswoman Kate Flavin says when four county departments move in, the building will be fully occupied.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW/File photo

Programs that help adults who commit felony crimes get their lives back on track will continue in Sedgwick County. County commissioners on Wednesday approved a $4 million grant application to the Kansas Department of Corrections for the Community Corrections programs.

The Community Corrections programs are state-mandated and mostly state funded.

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