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Emporia, KS

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Something to Think About


Steve Sauder is president of Emporia's Radio Stations, Inc. the owners of KVOE-AM 1400, Country 101.7 and Mix 104.9. Steve has been in a leadership position with ERS, Inc., since 1987.

November 12, 2014

EmporiaStateUniversity is Emporia’s most important asset - doubtful anyone would challenge that statement.

          Things are really good at ESU. Enrollment is up, morale has never been better and the school’s Now and Forever campaign is succeeding.

          It is a great honor for me to be Champion for Athletics for the Now and Forever campaign. Champion is code for leader and worker. Under Shane Shively’s leadership and the excellent people at the ESU Foundation and the ESU Athletics department we have been very successful on the athletic side of the campaign. Our working goal was reached quickly and a new one has been established.

          We’ve raised a lot of new scholarship money, finished off the JohnBaxterHealthCenter, funded summer school for many athletes and last week the new Dennis Shogren Scoreboard for Welsh Stadium was announced.

While athletics has exceeded expectations there is still much to accomplish.

We added almost half a million dollars to last year’s ESU athletic budget and guess what that got us?

          We are still 13th out of 14 teams in the MIAA in athletic budget!

          While that doesn’t sound like much it was exactly what we needed to do, but “the rest of the story” is we must keep the pace up or we will become number fourteen.

          The Now and Forever is having a positive effect everywhere. The Deans of the Schools and Colleges at ESU are energized and working closely with Foundation personnel to find ways to move the institution forward.

          President Michael Shonrock’s “can do” attitude is visible everywhere.

          Things are really good now at ESU, but the immediate future is scary.

Despite what Governor Brownback says the increasing revenue deficiencies in Topeka undoubtedly mean new cuts in state support for higher education.

This means our university needs our help now more than ever.

          Lyon County and EmporiaCity leaders have expressed a desire to help. Now is the time for this to happen. Scholarship or marketing dollars or help with financing new living units it’s time for action.

As individuals we can support the school in many ways. Please do what you can.

Emporia State is Emporia’s most important asset, so let’s treat it as


I’m Steve Sauder and I am a Hornet.

November 5, 2014

Election results never fail to be surprising. Yesterday’s event was a mystery well into the evening and did not disappoint. 

Well, that’s not exactly true as several of my favorites lost. They should be proud for running and I’m proud for taking a stand. Hope you voted so you can say you were a part of the process.

          With Governor Brownback winning re-election my mind was racing as to how and why that happened when Chuck Todd on NBC provided the answer.

          Todd pointed out that the amazing Republican wave of senate victories across the country all had the same characteristic – each and every candidate ran against President Obama! Todd then added even Sam Brownback in Kansas made his opponent Barrack Obama.

          My thinking is Chuck Todd was correct. Brownback’s campaign successfully tied Paul Davis to Obama and the President’s unpopularity allowed the campaign to be about that rather than the problems we face in Kansas.

          Brownback also owes a debt of gratitude to Bob Dole for pulling Pat Roberts behind out of the mud and bringing out the Republican votes.

          It would seem the Governor’s campaign didn’t need the awful and nasty tactics it employed. The Carr Brothers inclusion was a dreadful decision.

          Last thought about Sam Brownback’s re-election is he might not be so happy about the results in a few years. He said often said “the sun is shining on Kansas.” During the next four years Kansas may have a few clouds to deal with and our Governor won’t have President Obama to blame.

          Speaking of which President Obama started his evening off last night by calling the newly elected Senator for Arkansas and congratulating him. Coupled with Mitch McConnell’s acceptance speech where he opened the door to cooperation there is room for optimism about Washington getting something done during the next two years.

          Guess we’ll hide and watch, but we won’t hold our breath!

          Congratulations to the victors and thank you to those who made the effort to run and also the less than 50% of registered Lyon Countians who voted.

          Elections are great and wonderful even when most of yard signs were wrong.

          I’m Steve Sauder.

October 30, 2014


          Election Day is less than a week away – please vote.

          Four incumbents up for re-election are my topic today - U.S. Senator Pat Roberts; First District Congressman Tim Huelskamp; Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and 76th District of Kansas Representative Peggy Mast.

          My hope is we keep one and lose three.

          Senator Roberts’ biggest sin is he’s a lifelong politician. Retaining him will not only be good for Kansasit could help our country move away from gridlock.

          President Obama obviously seeks a positive legacy. Faced with a Republican controlled congress he will either find ways to compromise in his final two years or be remembered for accomplishing little. Immigration reform, tax reform and the Keystone Pipeline come to mind, but only if Harry Reid is out of power.

Retain Pat Roberts.

          Representative Huelskamp has embarrassed Kansas enough. Amazingly he got himself kicked off the Agriculture and Budget committees. His continued presence in Washington puts final funding for the National Bio & Agro-Defense Facility known as NBAF inManhattan in doubt.

Jim Sherow is a good Kansan and a giant step up from Huelskamp.

          Governor Brownback’s pro-growth tax policies have our state on the verge of financial collapse. He can explain away many things but not the two lower credit ratings Kansashas received from Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s.

          Brownback must truly believe Kansans are gullible. Three times now the governor and his running mate loaned money to their campaign so their Campaign Finance Report would exceed their opponents. The total amount of this deception reached $1.7 million this week with the loans being repaid the next day after filing the reports!

Sorry Governor, but Kansans are smarter than you think.

Regardless of who get elected Governor Kansas is facing a bloodbath financially. The difference is Paul Davis recognizes the looming disaster and will take action to right the ship. Sam Brownback on the other hand will likely call for another “shot of adrenaline” i.e., more tax cuts to keep “the sun shining on Kansas.”

It is time for a new governor in Kansas!

Representative Peggy Mast is not only a soldier in Brownback’s army she’s one of the leaders! So much so that two years she chose following leadership orders over supporting Emporia State University.

Replacing Representative Mast with Teresa Briggs would be a blow to the Governor’s support system.

Briggs is a dedicated leader, a good listener and she can remember who she represents.

KVOE does not do endorsements. What you just heard are my thoughts for your consideration.

Election Day is next Tuesday. Please exercise your right and privilege to vote.

I’m Steve Sauder.

October 22, 2014


          The Kansas City Royals are in the World Series! How cool is that?

          Greg Rahe was - right on - yesterday when he suggested to Ron they ought to go back to opening the World Series on a weekday afternoon. 

          Those were the good old days for sure.

          Greg’s comment made me remember as a boy I often developed a stomach ache on the day the World Series started so I could leave school and listen at home.

          Fact is my mom even helped me out once by sending a note to my teacher suggesting “Stevie might be getting sick! “

          What a day yesterday was for the Royals organization?

          How funny was it when owner David Glass was presented the American League championship trophy and the lady said “I never thought 20 years ago when you became an owner this would ever happen?”

          Over the years she was not alone.

          Dayton Moore has had his share of detractors as well. It has taken the Royal’s General Manager quite a bit longer than hoped to realize success, but who’s counting now?

          And of course there’s everybody’s favorite whipping boy - Ned Yost. Not long ago the Royal’s manager was being booed at the “K” on a somewhat regular basis. The Wall Street Journal even called him a dunce! But ‘ol Ned is getting the last laugh. Turns out being a good leader is more important than doing what the experts think you should have done – usually after the fact.

          Yost’s biggest asset in my opinion is he doesn’t get too high when things are good nor too low when they are not so good.

          As I record this on Tuesday afternoon I, of course don’t know what happened last night, but I am sure the Royals played hard and made us proud.

          Predicting baseball is harder than forecasting the weather. ESU’s fine baseball coach Bob Fornelli says it best when he suggests - if his team played the Yankees a hundred times he’d find a way to beat them at least once.

          Baseball is totally unpredictable. Maybe that’s why it’sAmerica’s pastime.

          Don’t get too high and don’t ever give up – it’s baseball and until there’s 3 outs in the ninth you still have a chance. You gotta love our Royals!

          I’m Steve Sauder


October 15, 2014

I am 68 yeas old and have been on Medicare for about three years.      Here are three questions for my fellow seniors citizens?

          Are you dissatisfied with Medicare?

Have you had issues with the service or convenience when using federal Medicare?

Are you interested or willing to give up your Medicare in order to sign back up with a private, for profit provider?

My answer to all three questions is a resounding NO!

Medicare actually has been a pleasant surprise. Most of you know my healthcare needs have been significant the past few years and Medicare has been really good in terms of coverage, usability and convenience. No problem with obtaining care, selecting doctors or anything.

So, you may understand my concern when my Governor and the legislature he controls have decided Kansas seniors would be better off without Medicare.

          Governor Brownback’s plan is for Kansas to be in a compact of states where Medicare becomes a state block grant style program run by private, for-profit companies.

          The U.S. Senate will need to agree for this to happen, but the Governor is clearly on a mission.

Medicare is one federal program that works well plus Kansas has a horrible record for taking over federal programs. Take Medicaid for example. The three private companies trying to run KanCare are struggling having lost $110,000 million last year and another $72.6 million so far this year!

          So, Kansas Seniors if you like me are happy with your Medicare the best way to protect yourself is to let Governor Brownback and his buddy Representative Huelskamp know – our Medicare is not broken!

          Seems to me the best way to insure Kansas doesn’t drop out of the Federal Medicare program is to get rid of the people who think it needs to be fixed. Ask every candidates where they stand on this question before you vote.

          Election Day is November fourth. Please take time to register and vote.

          I’m Steve Sauder

October 8, 2014

They rate less, we rate more: We are the Class of 64!

          Catchy, huh?

          Friday and Saturday Emporia will be invaded by members of my high school graduating class for our 50 Year Class Reunion.

          We will start by having a float in the Emporia High School Homecoming Parade extolling one unique accomplishment that sets the EHS Class of 64 apart from all others. Our football team beat Abilene 12-0 breaking what was thought be a national record for loses at 38 straight!

          Unique is probably an understatement! Lots of classes have accomplishments, but few have the opportunity by which the EHS Class of 64 benefitted. Other classes tried, but the Class of 64 got it done! And believe me when I tell you it wasn’t easy.

          So, 50 Year Class Reunion time. What will everyone look like? How much weight have we lost or gained? Still married? Grand kids? Still with us? Amazingly 48 of our 207 class members have already passed away. And, of course health.

Everyone will want to discuss health issues. Lord knows I can fill a book with medical stories - everything from A-Fib to artificial knees.

Since I have no desire to talk about my health all weekend I’m just gonna say “I still have all my teeth.”

Heck, they can see I don’t much hair, that I wear hearing aides and glasses, so letting them know my dental heath is positive should be enough and a lot less boring!

          Saturday night the plan is for a dinner followed by an “open microphone.” What an opportunity!

          My plan will be not to talk about myself – my biography is on-line, but rather to tell my classmates about Emporia and what a wonderful place it is today . They need to know about the surging EmporiaState and the TechCollege, about our parks, the zoo, about our golf courses and fishing and hunting opportunities, about our churches, the Art Center and Granada Theater. They should know about how we honor veterans and how we care about one another.

          Emporia is good place to consider retiring. We have much about which to be proud.

          They rate less, we rate more: We are the Class of 64!

And, yes, I still have all my teeth.

          I’m Steve Sauder.