Sedgwick County

Deborah Shaar / KMUW

The Sedgwick County Zoo will be transitioning to new leadership in 2017: Mark Reed, the longtime executive director, has just retired from his 37-year career at the zoo.

Reed recently shared some of his memories with KMUW’s Deborah Shaar for this sound portrait.

Sedgwick County Twitter

Sedgwick County Commissioners passed their 2017 legislative agenda Wednesday during their last meeting of the year.

The six-page agenda includes the commission’s support for passing state legislation that would allow for the audit of election results, and pushes to restore the 4 percent cut to the Medicaid reimbursement rate that was made earlier this year.

Sedgwick County

Sedgwick County is making a leadership change in its finance division. Chris Chronis is no longer the chief financial officer.

A county spokesperson says Lindsay Poe Rousseau was appointed as interim CFO Thursday. She was the county’s budget director.

No other details were released.

The change comes about two months after the county reported fraudulent activity that resulted in the loss of $566,000. The FBI is investigating that incident.

KPTS

A new accounting firm will be looking into Sedgwick County’s finances and policies.

County commissioners voted Wednesday to approve a three-year contract with BKD of Wichita. They said they wanted a fresh perspective on finances and a review of policies and procedures.

The firm of Allen, Gibbs and Houlik (AGH) has provided auditing services for Sedgwick County for many years and won its current contract in 2011.

County Manager Mike Scholes said switching firms was a business decision.

http://www.sedgwickcounty.org

The Sedgwick County Fire Department is offering a free program to help locate rural residences in case of an emergency.

Rural residences are often set back from the road or have mailboxes grouped together for convenience. This makes finding the correct address difficult for firefighters, EMTs and police.

The free house number signs will be attached to existing mailbox supports, and can be made in horizontal, vertical or diagonal fashion.

A new Community Health Improvement Plan for Sedgwick County will be implemented in January.

The Community Health Improvement Plan, or CHIP, provides a list of long-term strategies to address priority health issues in the community. Health concerns such as infant mortality and access to clinical care were identified through a countywide assessment.

Becky Tuttle, chairwoman of Health Alliance, says the plan will help guide public health policies and actions over the next three years.

sedgwickcounty.org

There’s a new way to dig into the details of Sedgwick County’s budget.

The county launched an interactive website called “Open Budget” this week. The platform breaks down the county’s revenues and expenditures and shows where the money comes from and how it is spent.

Commissioner Richard Ranzau says it’s a useful tool.

World Bank Photo Collection / flickr, Creative Commons

The Sedgwick County Health Department will be offering free conventional HIV testing for World AIDS Day.

The screenings will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 30, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Thursday, Dec. 1, from 1 to 5 p.m.

World AIDS day is an opportunity to unite in fighting HIV, to support those who are living with HIV, and to memorialize those who have died from HIV/AIDS.

The testings will take place at the Sedgwick County Health Department office located at 2716 W. Central. Participants can walk in or call 316-660-7300 to set up an appointment.

Crime Stoppers of Wichita/Sedgwick County / Facebook

A Sedgwick County organization that helps law enforcement agencies solve crimes is in need of a helping hand. Donations to Crime Stoppers have hit an all-time low.

It’s been a tough few years for the Wichita-Sedgwick County Crime Stoppers organization when it comes to financial support.

The nonprofit is funded solely by donations from individuals and corporations, and there’s not a lot of money coming in these days. Crime Stoppers offers rewards of up to $2,500 for information that leads to an arrest in felony crimes.

City of Wichita

In observance of Thanksgiving, many Sedgwick County and City of Wichita facilities will be closed and/or have special hours. Here's a complete list of closures, per the city.

Closed Thursday, Nov. 24:

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