Year brings plenty of news for Baldwin
It was a year full of news in Baldwin City in 2004 and it wasn't always good. There were untimely deaths, too much crime news, plenty of changes and, yes, good news, such as Habitat for Humanity coming to town and improved test scores in the Baldwin School District.
With that in mind, it was difficult -- if not impossible -- to pick a top 10 story list for the year. If pressed here are 10 top stories listed only in the order they occurred:
1. Speed limits lowered on County Road 1055 and a four-way stop signs posted at Eighth and Dearborn streets; 2. Baker University student and football player Shawn Trager killed in traffic accident on U.S. Highway 56; 3. State assessment scores were up at Baldwin Elementary Schools; 4. 13-year-old Krystal Bateson dies unexpectedly while at a softball tournament in Winfield; 5. Baldwin's first Habitat for Humanity house is dedicated; 6. Lawsuits filed against the city by former and current police officers are dismissed (but appealed several weeks later); 7. Police news includes a threat to the Maple Leaf Festival, an alleged rape at Baker (but charges have yet to be filed) and a shotgun pulled in the parking lot at Baldwin High School; 8. "The" traffic light is finally installed at U.S. 56 and Sixth Street; 9. Tom Holland wins re-election to the House of Representatives after a hard-fought campaig; 10. The Baldwin area is blessed with a bountiful harvest.
Now, those are just 10 of the top stories. There were plenty of others that in normal years would have made the list and some would consider just as important. They include a theft thwarted at Heritage Tractor; Todd and Stacy Cohen moving from Baldwin and resigning their city council and school board positions; Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center teacher Amy Berg gaining distinction as National Board Certified Teacher; downtown beautification plans unveiled; fire destroys rural Baldwin home; city employee charged with shooting a neighbor's cat, but later found innocent; a new business park for Baldwin is discussed; the city's new power plant goes online; wreck injures five Baldwin teens; school district belt-tightening continues; BHS principal problem solved with interim assistant; soccer added as sport at BHS; and Midland Railway opens round-trip service to Ottawa.
Following is a listing of the headlines that were in the Signal each week in 2004.
January 7 -- Baldwin sees changes with new city administration; McKenna works to build professional department; Drugs found in search, arrest made; Council discusses quorum number.
January 14 -- Tina Rakes enjoys public service; Police stop robbery at tractor dealership, suspects arrested; Board approves KASB review of district policy; Fire truck accident sent to district court.
January 21 -- Baker professor introduces science to fifth graders; Baldwin experiences success in 2003; Downtown beautification project unveiled; Signal to change publication date; Vintage Flea to move downtown.
January 28 --Interterm offers Baker students opportunity to take unusual chances; City council, school board to soon have vacancies; Baldwin music teachers shine; Kansas State University architectural class to help arts center; Student council works on fundraiser; Band, choir students perform at KMEA convention.
February 5 -- Auction to benefit Baldwin arts; Council seat could go to Baker professor; Weekend storm not as bad as predicted; Cranberry Market moves to new location; Cardens to take over at Chamber of Commerce office.
February 12 -- Erna Holmes makes own greeting cards; Chamber, Baker to honor Baldwin citizens; Snow day not an easy decision; Crews work to keep streets clear of snow during storm.
February 19 -- Fire destroys home near Baldwin Junction; Power plant nears completion; Habitat for Humanity asks for city's help; Speed limit to change on Baldwin county roads; Arts Center committee visits KSU.
February 26 -- Memory quilt only item saved from house fire; Former Baldwin officer recertified; Habitat house comes to Baldwin; Coal Creek Library placed on National Register; Ideas hoped to improve school traffic congestion; Baker receives Bush Bible.
March 4 -- Baldwin sued by former city employee; City Council decides against waiving permit fees for Habitat house; Council makes adjustments to control traffic, Speeds lowered on county roads; Council OKs no parking in front of Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center; KSU students to present designs to community.
March 11 -- Fundraising efforts begin for Habitat; School board seeks new member to fill Cohen's seat; Two city staff complete program, pass test to become electrical linemen; Models of Arts Center to be on display.
March 18 --Talent show to benefit Lumberyard Arts Center; New speed limits posted along Douglas County Road 1055; Council looks at water rate increase.
March 25 -- Businesses gear up for spring with open house; Garden planting season just around the corner; Stop signs installed to determine effectiveness; Volunteers build house to raise funds for church.
April 1 -- Panoply raises nearly $800 for arts center; McKenna investigated BTK murders, media turns to him for insight; Nail drive set for Habitat house; City employees required to attend sexual harassment training; Cold streak slows planting.
April 8 -- Baldwin sets meeting for downtown plan feedback; Council approves water rate increase; City plans electrical outage to make changes; City pool receives floor upgrade; Amy Berg named National Board Certified Teacher; Baldwin High School students earn top rating at music festival.
April 15 -- Tragedy strikes on east U.S. Highway 56, Baker student killed; School board to eye possible budget cuts; Baldwin Elementary School Intermediate Center has math champs; Work day set for city lake; BESPC students to perform in music program.
April 22 -- Opinions vary on downtown revitalization proposal; Truck driver charged after accident killed Baker student; Plans continue with Baldwin business park; Vinland farmer who battled skin cancer to take survivor lap for others at Relay for Life; Remembering Alice Anne Callahan-Russell, 1926-2004.
April 29 -- Rain dampens nail drive, not spirits; Relay hopes to raise $25,000 for Cancer Society; Ives Chapel sees growth in 100 years; BHS students find prom, after party enjoyable.
May 6 -- Cuts in district faculty, administrative costs discussed; Concerns of taxes, safety raised about Baldwin business park; Grant allows Baldwin City Police Department to distribute gun locks; Students compete at math competition; Millstein house draws attention; Students showcase talent during Starstruck.
May 13 -- Survey shows BHS seniors' diversity; Chimes, music ring from church after year absence; Arts center project gets $100,000 contribution; Library trustee Joe Simunac honored for service; More than 600 to graduate from Baker Sunday; BHS to graduate 101.
May 20 -- Survey shows majority of BHS graduating seniors heading to college; Traffic signal project underway; Sandra Lawson receives educator's scholarship; Parents As Teachers expands program; Gusses claim Yard of the Week for second time.
May 27 -- Preliminary figures show Baldwin earns top honors, high scores on state assessments; Midland to open route to Ottawa; City hires new staff to share responsibilities; Tickets to be written for not wearing seat belts.
June 3 -- Black Jack site preservation unveiled; County OKs business park partnership with Baldwin; Speed believed to be factor in wreck; Baldwin boy reunited with biological family; The play "Big River" is ready to roll; Remembering those who have fallen.
June 10 -- Ceremony once again connects Baldwin, Ottawa by rail line; All not in agreement on business park plan; Grant awarded to BCPD for security system; Baldwin men served in France following D-Day in France.
June 17 -- Family, friends cope with Krystal Bateson's unexpected death; Board OKs adoption of math textbooks; Weekend activities in Baldwin include art, automobiles and music; Board looks at hazardous trees in town.
June 24 -- Chamber festival attracts visitors, brings commerce; Learning to cope; City council ponders late fee grace period; Thomas the Tank Engine to make return trip to Baldwin; Two plead to charges from attempted theft at Heritage Tractor; Suspected burglar gets stuck in air shaft; BHS principal flown to hospital after fall at house; Summer theater workshop prepares youth for "Joseph" performance.
July 1 -- Baldwin woman remains busy as she nears 100; Wreck at Baldwin Junction sends two to hospital; Wet weather remains in area; Fourth of July activities include fireworks, games and music; Laws, safety tips need to be remembered during holiday.
July 8 -- Baldwin community celebrates Fourth; Work slated to begin on traffic signal; City employee sent to hospital after shock; BU professor spends month traveling in Asia; Council doesn't have quorum; Boy cuts hair to help others; 1,200 U.S. flags placed in Baldwin yards; Local bakery opens.
July 15 -- Preparing for Thomas; Council discusses new ball diamonds; Students to pay more for school meals; Habitat house nearly finished; Parking becomes more restricted in subdivisions.
July 22 -- Annual Thomas event proves successful as thousands flock to Midland Railway; New postmaster named for city; Talent to be showcased at fair; Group prepares noodles for Vinland Fair; Teen to be honored at county fair.
July 29 -- Rain soaks Thomas event but attendance still strong; Education key issue for House candidates; Candidates to square off for open Senate seat; No parking zones cause problems for organizations; Readers complete library program; Volunteers make quilts for Habitat house.
August 5 -- Annual fair attracts quality exhibits, high attendance; Holland easily wins Democratic House primary; Mill levy decreases, SRO position not in budget; New power plant operational; New criminal offenses added to public code to benefit Baldwin.
August 12 -- Food, music to highlight 97th Vinland Fair; Districts budget similar to last year; School board discusses adding soccer, wrestling; Students at school early for band camp; Midland dedicates caboose.
August 19 -- Unseasonably cool temperatures attract thousands to 97th Vinland Fair; Business Park could be decided by voters; Button designs highlight Vinland Fair favorites; Ice cream, community band on tap for third Art Walk; Habitat dedication set for Saturday.
August 26 -- Start of a new school year; Judge dismisses police lawsuits; Baker once again named top university; Baldwin district enrollment grows; Deadline placed for address numbers; Habitat house dedicated.
September 2 -- Police work questioned in Baldwin rape case; Plan finalized for downtown revitalization; Intermediate Center has first ever school student council elections; BU sees slightly lower enrollment figures.
September 9 -- Residents' homes flooded when lift station fails; Lisa Robertson is Baldwin's first female legion post commander; Family learns cause of teen's unexpected death; Baldwin could soon see increase in water rates; Lots of thanks goes to Bash participants; Local 4-H'ers visit sites in Washington, D.C.
September 16 -- Dismissed lawsuits by police against city appealed; Soccer to be added as high school sport; Lack of poles delay city traffic signal another month; Cuppa Java to wrap up final Art Walk; Baker event to explode with many multi-cultural activities.
September 23 -- Argentina native to spend year at BU teaching, learning; Council views plans for downtown project; Lumberyard Arts Center project anything but quiet; Phone upgrade to connect city departments; BHS welcomes SADD club.
September 30 -- Support to be offered to military families; Blues, barbecue event to benefit arts center; BHS band to compete in marching festival; Start to finish, Verhaeghe enjoys volleyball, Orchard exciting for kindergartner.
October 7 -- Downtown revitalization clears hurdle; Record harvest looms; Doctors join forces at family medicine practice; Blues, BBQ a big hit.
October 14 -- Teachers, school board members unable to reach agreement; Baldwin teen questioned about plans to disrupt Maple Leaf Festival; Interim BHS assistant principal chosen; School board gives OK to BJHS wrestling program.
October 21 -- Thousands flock to festival; DA to review case against Baldwin teen; Maple Leaf benefits Baldwin community; Parking a premium at festival; Race heats up between candidates for house seats.
October 28 -- Candidates vie for 10th District seat; Baldwin residents don't have to go far for Halloween activities; BCPD receives grant to enforce traffic safety; Baldwin students to head to polls for Kids Voting; Traffic signal in place along highway.
November 4 -- Holland squeaks out win in 10th District; BHS boys cross country team wins seventh straight state title; Voter turnout strong as candidates battle in races; First traffic signal in place, operational on highway; Trial begins for trucker in fatal accident; Baldwin could again host bike races; Baker recognizes area dignitaries.
November 11 -- Bountiful bean harvest; Shotgun pulled on school ground; Trucker convicted on lesser charge in death of student; World War II Veteran Dale Caruthers remembers service with Navy; BHS senior teaches peers, advisors about new technology; BHS students win Math Day honors; Abducted aliens returned home; BHS student suspended after pulling gun on school grounds; Baker Orange receives top newspaper accolades; Honoring those in military service.
November 18 -- BHS band travels to Orlando; City bonds combined to save money; Art shows provide holiday gift options; Retail open house begins Friday; "Bullying" incident at BHS reported to Baldwin police; Students do math to help hospital; Students audition for ensemble; Hey family establishes scholarship for BHS graduate.
November 24 -- Discipline outlined in BHS policy; Kindergartner learns reading fundamentals; Senior's career dream becomes part of school project; Truck driver get maximum sentence on lesser charges; BU student struck by car, has broken legs; Baldwin group re-roofs church.
December 2 -- Activities to ready Baldwin for holidays; Battling snow; BCPD installs security system; New Baldwin police officer to become SRO; A Thanksgiving dinner miracle; Students send care packages; "Sound of Music" to be performed; BHS students debate way to first place.
December 9 -- Spirited session for city council; Sights, sounds of Christmas at Vespers; Rain forces postponement of holiday light parade; Writer turns cop with BCPD; Annual Homes Tour set for Sunday; BCRC's Dress-A-Bear contest has winners.
December 16 -- Parade ushers in holidays; Board approves bond plan; Mercer garners state honor; Local elections looming; Time for Vinland Nativity; Seventh Annual Holiday Homes Tour a success; BHS play thrills crowd; BHS Scholar's Bowl team is having fun.
December 23 -- What's on your horizon? Chief's link to BTK brings camera crews; Baker grads get message; Silent night, holy night at Vinland Living Nativity; BHS council brightens holiday; New pizza place on the way; City council handles business; Lambert gains executive award.