Sedgwick County

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.

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Tuesday is the deadline to register to vote in next month’s primary election.

Only residents in Wichita District 1, Park City Ward 3 or Haysville Ward 4 really need to worry about the deadline —those are the only races that will be on the primary ballot on Aug. 1.

Sedgwick County

A Georgia man pleaded guilty on Thursday to federal charges that he was part of an e-mail spoofing scheme that cost Sedgwick County more than half a million dollars.

Forty-nine-year-old George James pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. James admitted that Sedgwick County sent about $566,000 to his Wells Fargo bank account in Georgia last October.

James denied that the fraud scheme was his idea. He said that he was contacted by a person identified in court records as A.H., who asked to deposit some money into James’ account at Wells Fargo.

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The City of Wichita and Sedgwick County had a busy few days dealing with fireworks complaints and fires.

The non-emergency nuisance call line received 826 calls through Tuesday night with noise and other fireworks complaints.

But officials report that the emergency 911 calls were up to 2000 a day versus a regular load of 1500.

Five fires were started last night, including one reported in a truck bed while the truck was driving down the road. Another fire was started on the exterior wall of a garage.

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City and county buildings will be closed Tuesday for the Fourth of July holiday.

Wichita’s City Hall, neighborhood resource centers and all public library locations will be closed. Botanica, Old Cowtown Museum, the Mid-America All Indian Center and the Wichita Art Museum also will be closed.

Park and Recreation Centers will be closed for Independence Day, but O.J. Watson Park will be open, and city pools will be open from 1 to 5 p.m.

Other closures include:

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Sedgwick County fire officials are issuing a reminder about the dangers of fireworks and hand-held sparklers that are often used to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday.

Division Chief Robert Timmons of Sedgwick County Fire District 1 says keeping a bucket of water nearby will help prevent injuries and fires during home celebrations.

Sparklers may seem like a less-risky firework alternative, but Timmons says it’s important to remember that sparklers burn at 1200 degrees, which is hotter than the temperatures needed to burn wood.

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As infections of yellow fever spread in places like Brazil and Angola, the Sedgwick County Health Department has a limited number of the vaccines for travelers who may be exposed to virus.

The health department says it receives a monthly allocation of yellow fever vaccines, which at this time are only for people who will be traveling to countries where the immunization is required--not just recommended.

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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.

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The third and final round of public meetings for the 95th Street corridor project in southern Sedgwick County will take place in the next few days.

One meeting will be held on Thursday in Derby, while another one will happen on Tuesday in Haysville.

The county launched a long-range transportation study on improvements to 95th Street South that could possibly include adding a bridge over the Arkansas River.

Commissioner Jim Howell says the road improvements could support future growth needs.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File photo

The Sedgwick County Board of Commissioners voted Wednesday in favor of establishing a Tax Increment Finance, or TIF, district in the neighborhood surrounding Wichita's Lawrence Dumont Stadium.

After a lengthy discussion, commissioners voted 4-1 to give their support to the City of Wichita’s West Bank Redevelopment District. The TIF district is expected to generate about $20 million in additional property taxes to fund improvements to public spaces in the area, as well as the renovation of the city’s baseball stadium.

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