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.

August 26, 2015

Guns? Not sure there is a more confusing topic!

Guns are big business, important to hunters and target shooters and collectors, important for law enforcement and the armed forces. Guns have many good and worthwhile uses.

On the flip side, of course is the fact guns kill and injure and are utilized in most every crime committed.

I don’t hunt anymore, but I do own a shotgun. I don’t have ammunition in my home because while a gun could be good protection I’m not sure I could shoot anybody.

Others, of course disagree with me and keep guns at the ready for protection. That is their right without quibble from me.

Guns should not be outlawed. Obviously that would be an impossible task to enforce and we’d have a situation where besides law enforcement the only people with guns would be criminals.

Kansas laws have been recently changed so that carrying a gun is a right Kansas citizens enjoy without many restrictions.

As I understand the law certain places have the ability to prohibit guns from being carried therein. Schools and churches are obvious.

An editorial from the Lawrence Journal World in Monday’s Gazette talked about concealed carry as it relates to bars. The editorial was a little confusing, but I did learn bars have the right to post signs telling people carrying guns they are not welcome.

What was confusing was it was suggested most Lawrence bars were not posting such signs citing the fact they would not be able to tell who had a gun anyway.

The editorial suggested bars should post signs prohibiting concealed carry if for no other reason their liability exposure would be reduced by trying to limit guns in their establishments.

This creates for me is a question for businesses in Emporia as to their plans concerning the carrying of firearms in their establishments.

Quoting the editorial a bar owner said “Alcohol and guns just don’t mix well.”

Maybe our lawmakers think they have this all covered because Kansas State Law does still make it a crime to carry a gun while intoxicated.

I feel safer already!

Guns and their use are ”Something to Think About!

I’m Steve Sauder

August 12, 2015

Big loss for Emporia losing not only Melissa Windsor as Executive Director of the Emporia Art’s Council, but her running mate Brent is a valuable community leader as well.

          The Windsor’s announced last week they will be moving to Arizona to enter a private business venture.

          My notice came in a letter written to Bobbi and me from Melissa in her professional role. What was nice was she sent it by the U.S. mail, she signed it and added a short personal note.

          Unfortunately using real mail, actually signing her letter and adding the note are pretty unique actions in today’s world of hurry and rush. Melissa isn’t a victim of such bad habits and her extra efforts made her letter very special.

Others might take note.

          As for Melissa what can I say? She has been a Super Star for our community! The Arts Council has established itself as a Gold Star community asset. Melissa gets much of the credit. Her leadership was excellent in finding the funding for the beautiful building at 815 Commercial. Volunteers did a lot to see that project through, but Melissa was a rock. The Arts Council gets stronger each year and programming has expanded. It is an asset Emporia will enjoy for a long time. Replacing Melissa will be a difficult task.

          Brent contributes to our community in many ways with his Board of Education leadership being the most obvious. I’m sure Hopkins hates seeing him go. This is truly a double barreled loss for E – Town.

          One of my grand sons was asked about having his birthday party at the Arts Council. His response was that he “loved having his party at the Arts Castle!”

          His slip was a child’s misunderstanding but to suggest the Emporia Art’s Center at 815 Commercial is anything but a “Castle” would be inaccurate!        Thanks Melissa.

          I’m Steve Sauder

August 5, 2015

          It Can Wait. Com is a wonderful effort to which we all need to pay attention. The It Can Wait project is sponsored by AT & T. Now I don’t usually line up with AT & T, but this is really important.

          It Can Wait refers to texting while driving.

          The project includes a Pledge to not text while driving. Over 7 million pledges have been recorded.

          AT & T also offers an App for your phone called AT&T Drive Mode. It lets friends and family know you are driving and can’t text or receive a text.

          So, why you ask is this so important?      

We don’t know exactly how many people died from a texting accident, but we do know 23% of auto accidents involve the use of a cell phone!

75% of teenagers admit to using their phones while driving and the adult number is not far behind.

4 in 10 people admit to doing social media

 – Twitter, Face book etc. while driving.

Texting makes you 23 times more likely to have a wreck!

Simply dialing while driving increases your chance of a problem by 2.8 times; talking ups your number to 1.3 times more likely; and just reaching for your cell phone makes an accident 1.4 times more likely.

Texting reduces a driver’s reaction time to equal that of a person that had consumed 4 beers.

If you could create and send a text message in 5 seconds – most of us can’t even find the person to send one to in that time – anyway, in that 5 seconds at 55 miles per hour your car travels over the length of a football field and you – the driver are essentially blindfolded!

What can we do?

First – limit our cell phone usage by the driver in the car with absolutely no texting..

The AT&T App – Drive Mode is a good step. A better step is putting your cell phone somewhere in the car where you cannot reach it.

If you are like me you know there have been too many times when just talking on my hands free cell in my car has distracted my driving. So, please think seriously about your own habits and those of your loved ones.

It’s pretty amazing what a word of caution from mom, dad, grand ma or Papa, a brother or sister or a friend can have.

IT CAN WAIT really should be more than just a slogan!

I’m Steve Sauder.

July 29, 2015

Dear Governor Brownback,


Steve Sauder again assuming you know what they say about chickens?

They always come home to roost!

You will soon have consequences to deal with you won’t be able to explain away like you do when you push Kansas poor people around, cut out programs for the mentally ill, take benefits from the elderly, discriminate against alternative life styles and cut programs for Kansas children.

There is a common thread running through the groups mentioned above – most of them – especially the poor and children – have very limited or no way to argue with you.

You are the best we have ever seen at deflecting, redirecting and misinforming people on topics on which you don’t have good answers.

But, Mr. Governor, Kansas teachers could be your chickens coming home to roost!. No doubt you have pushed them around and disrespected them, but Kansas teachers may just get the last laugh.

Here’s my case: From Monday’s Gazette, Richard John Schrock and Kansas Board of Education’s 2014-2015 Licensed Personnel Report – it says last year 654 teachers left Kansas to teach in another state. That number is up from 331 in 2010 & 11. Plus teachers leaving the profession, but not retiring rose from 416 to 740 in the same time frame.

It’s pretty obvious the teachers haven’t been much of a foe for you. You change the rules when you don’t like them and bully teachers using your all powerful, but not very creative legislature and you even took away their bargaining rights, but you cannot force them to teach. Teachers are moving out of Kansas and quitting at a record pace! This is growing crisis.

Who will you blame Mr. Governor when Kansas doesn’t have enough teachers to fill its classrooms?

That day is coming and you will be hard pressed to blame anyone but yourself.

Cluck, cluck…….

July 22, 2015

If we were developing a model for a prototype ESU student I may have interviewed one on Saturday Morning SportsTalk last Saturday.

          Marcus Erkel grew up in Arizona and came to Emporia State from Pima Community College in Arizona back when Brian Embery was the Hornet baseball coach. Now he didn’t exactly distinguish himself on the baseball field, but he did find a wife, a career and a home.

          Marcus agreed Saturday morning the odds of him staying in Emporia were like a thousand to one.

          The story is Marcus met and married Mandy Ledford an Emporia girl. They have two children and she is an insurance executive. He is an ESU graduate and taught in our public schools for three years.

          Marcus’ opportunity at the golf course came after the untimely death of Rich Jaggard. Erkel is in the PGA’s development program and will be a full fledged PGA Pro before long.

          More importantly Marcus is doing a super job with Emporia golf. His shop is well stocked; his staff is courteous, well informed and capable. He is willing to work with any and all to make the golf course available for events. The Kansas High School Activities Association loves Emporia and holds many tournaments here.

          Marcus is working hard to build golf in Emporia. Note: Starting New at Golf or SNAG for youngsters starting at 4 years of age! They use oversized clubs and balls; bright colors and music to introduce kids to the sport and it’s only $10 for a three day class.

          Then there’s Junior Golf which doubled in size this year. Family Days are Sunday at three and they allow the whole family to play golf for one fee. Marcus offers private or group lessons and there is a weekly Lady’s Day and Men’s Night and lots of different tournaments for the competitive types.

          Marcus also suggested he was a willing “babysitter” at the golf course. That would be for youngsters old enough to take care of themselves that wanted to spend most of a day at the course. I think its $8.50 to play all day.

          This is kind of a “Feel Good Friday” on Wednesday, but Marcus Erkel is succeeding in making golf and the Emporia Golf Course a real asset to our community. For that we say “thank you Marcus.”

          I’m Steve Sauder

July 15,2015


Royal’s baseball! You have to love our guys right now. Everything is going the “Boy’s in Blue” way. Ned Yost is no longer a “dunce” and life is really good.

          Last year’s Royal success was a longtime coming.

          Twenty-nine years to be exact since the Royal’s beat the Cardinals in the World Series.

          How about a little Royals history lesson? They lost to the Yankees three times – 76, 77, & 78 before finally beating the Yanks in 1980 befor losing to the Phillies in the Series 4-2.

          Best memory for me was 1977 game 5 in KC. We took Karen Yewell our baby sitter and big Royal’s and Freddie Patek fan to that Sunday night game. The Royal’s took a 3-1 lead into the ninth, but brought ace starter Dennis Leonard in to close out the game –bad decision – the Yankees plated three runs and won the series.

          In 1981 KC lost in 3 straight to A’s. In 1984 the Royals returned to the playoffs, but lost in the ALCS to the Tigers.

          1985 was cool coming from down 3 games to one and beating Toronto in the ALCS before they beat up on St. Louis 11-zip in game 7.

          Best memories - taking eighth grade son Brady to game late in season as Royals roared to the pennant and George Brett chased a .400 batting average. And, game 7 of World Series. John Patton and I had gone together on tickets. I offered him both tickets for game 6 if I could have both for game 7 – if one occurred. Don Deckinger is one of my heroes. After the Royals won my wife had the good sense to get a cup full of dirt from the infield at the K. Little packets of World Series dirt made great stocking stuffers that Christmas.

          Now back to reality. I’m not sure what happened last night in All Star game, but I do know the Royal’s Nation should be really proud of their All Star voting efforts. Especially when you consider Kansas City is the second smallest fan base in major league baseball.

          The Royals are currently 52 and 34 with 76 games left to play. If they play .500 baseball the Royal’s will finish with 90 victories. The Tigers won the Central last year with 90 victories. If KC wins 60% of remaining game like they have done so far they end up with 97.6 wins! Can you say Pennant?

          Time to love our Royal’s!        

          I’m Steve Sauder