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By Joey May | Hiawatha World

The Hiawatha Parks and Recreation department is going out of the box to encourage the residents to keep active, while still “social distancing” and staying at home. One of those activities includes “Chalk It Up,” and Director Stacy Jasper encourages people to delve into sidewalk chalk art and submit photos like the one above. Check out the HP&R on Facebook for several ideas for activities during the stay at home order.

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City issues response to Governor's 'Stay at Home' order

Today, March 28, 2020 Governor Kelly issued Executive Order No. 20-16, establishing a statewide Stay Home order effective 12:01 AM Monday, March 30, 2020 to remain in force until rescinded, April 19, 2020 or until the statewide state of disaster emergency proclaimed on March 12, 2020 relating to COVID-19 expires, whichever is earlier.

All persons have been ordered to stay in their homes or residences unless performing an essential activity. An activity is essential if the purpose of the activity is one of the following:

1. Obtaining food, medicine, and other household necessities;

2. Performing, or going to or from work at a business or organization to perform an essential function as identified in the Executive Order.

3. Seeking medical care;

4. Caring for children (including daycare or childcare centers), family members, or pets, or caring for a vulnerable person in another location;

5. Engaging in an outdoor activity, provided individuals maintain a distance of six feet from one another and abide by the 10-person limitation on gathering size.

6. Private family gatherings.

The full Executive Order can be viewed at and includes a list of types of businesses and organizations that perform an essential function.

City Services will continue subject to restrictions already in place. We appreciate your willingness to comply with the Stay Home order to keep our community safe. We will continue to evaluate as the situation with COVID-19 further evolves nationally, regionally and locally. Below are links to resources for information related to COVID-19 and steps from the CDC and KDHE to help prevent illness.


Reliable, updated information on COVID-19 can be found on these websites:



Hiawatha World announces first quarter winner; contest continuing

The Hiawatha World has announced the winner of the first quarter digital subscription give-away!

Courtney Large was the lucky winner of a 6-month digital subscription!

Our Customer Appreciation contest is continuing and readers can enter our drawing once a day online at the following link:

Our office is closed at this time due to the COVID-19 concerns. Please contact us at with any questions!

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What does 'Stay at home' mean?

The governor’s “Stay Home” order has some Kansans wondering what’s essential and what’s not.

Sheriff John Merchant said he has been asked that very same question and there have been many misconceptions about what this means — stay home, except when? Are car rides allowed, walks, can we see our family.

He has been in contact with health officials and has also reviewed the governor’s orders to help provide some clarity for local residents.

Many businesses in town have closed their doors to the public since the emergency coronavirus concern began. Each day, more and more businesses adjusted hours or closed completely. Some restaurants went to offering take-out only within the past couple of weeks, while a handful had closed their doors completely.

Restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores — those are all essential businesses. The governor wants Kansans to “stay at home” but not go hungry — not go without medicines.

Sheriff Merchant says it mostly it boils down to common sense and making good and healthy choices for residents and their families.

Here are a few tips about “staying at home” and the governor’s executive order from Sheriff Merchant:

“I have had many people contact me with concerns over the “Stay at Home” order that came from our Governor last week and I hope I can bring some clarity to your questions. I realize that in all of our lives, most have never had to experience anything quite like this and it can be somewhat intimidating and overwhelming. By everyone abiding to the recommendations set forth and using some common sense, we will all get through this but we have to stay focused on staying healthy and making good choices.

Social distancing is very important as well as thorough hand washing if you wants the odds in your favor of avoiding this virus.

Please realize that any medical questions of concerns that you may have, need to be brought to the attention of your doctor, the local health department or KDHE. They are the ones who have the most up to date information and can answer any health related questions you may have. The information that I put out to the public on this issue is reviewed by our local health department.

I have had many calls and questions about the Executive Order # 20-15 that Governor Kelly put in place last week such as what the definition of what “essential personnel” is and what business is necessary, do I need to go to work, etc. There have been many questions about what activities people at home may do, can they go to the Dr., take walks, go fishing, buy groceries, etc.

Even though I have spent many hours reviewing the latest updates and establishing the ever changing protocol for my staff and the facility, I make every effort to provide accurate information for the questions you may have. I hope the following will help answer some of your questions and concerns:

#1 — If you are needing food, medicine, or other needed items for your household, you may leave your home to do this. But is it necessary to bring the whole family and go into a grocery store? Try to limit the number of people who have to attend to these errands.

#2 — If you are a business, individual or organization that is identified as “Essential” in the Executive Order, you are allowed to travel to and from work to perform your job requirements. Some jobs listed as “essential” are: Farmers, truckers, post office, construction workers, babysitters, medical, law enforcement, emergency responders, pharmacies, grocers, filling stations, carry-out restaurants, banks, public works, etc.

The executive order as well as the limitations are here:

#3 — Seeking medical care. This goes without saying, if you need medical attention, please do so. Follow protocol set by your doctor or hospital.

#4 — You are able to care for children, family members, pets or a vulnerable person(s) in other locations.

#5 — Outdoor activities are allowed as long as individuals stay at least six feet from one another and have a 10 person limitation on the gathering size. Fishing is allowed, mushroom hunting is allowed, mowing your yard is allowed, bar-b-que is allowed. etc.

#6 — Private family gatherings are allowed. Please use common sense, if you are feeling ill, running a fever, exhibit a cough etc. STAY HOME, do not take the chance of exposing others.

There have been so may rumors that have been circulating concerning this health issue facing our county and I appreciate those who have reached out to me so I can give you accurate information. This is the likes of something we have never seen before and I hope we never see again. This is something we need to take very seriously but we cannot let fear and panic dictate our lives. By listening to the advice of our doctors, health department personnel and the KDHE we will get through this, but we have to work together.

Pay attention and abide by recommendation put forth for the betterment of us all. Many think this is a hoax or blown out of proportion or we are overreacting, this is definitely something we need to pay attention to and try to avoid as much as possible. So please, make good choices and listen to the information being provided and updated by our local physicians, health department and KDHE.

County law enforcement will continue as usual. We will have deputies out day and night patrolling all over the county as we always have. I am thankful to have many law enforcement connections throughout the country and we are able to share thoughts and ideas. We are all looking for criminal activity to increase, so it is imperative that we stay alert and keep active patrols in the county. Our deputies have been provided safety information/training and supplies so they can do their job accordingly. So if you see suspicious activity, please report.

Remember folks, make sure to call your elderly, disabled or handicapped friends or those who live alone and check on them. This can be a very unsettling time for them. A few phone calls to visit and talk can go a long was in reassuring them.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at the Sheriff’s office at (785) 742-7125.

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Governor Kelly issues temporary, statewide Stay Home order

As part of ongoing efforts to limit the spread of novel coronavirus in Kansas, today Governor Laura Kelly issued Executive Order 20-16, making Kansas the 22nd state in the nation to institute a temporary, statewide stay-home order.

It will exist in conjunction with the Kansas Essential Function Framework for COVID-19 response efforts and will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, March 30. The measure will be in place at least until Sunday, April 19.

“Our modeling continues to suggest that the number of confirmed positive coronavirus cases in Kansas could reach as high as 900 over the next week,” Kelly said. “While I left these decisions to local health departments as long as possible, the reality is that the patchwork approach that has developed is inconsistent and is a recipe for chaos and, ultimately, for failure in our statewide fight to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

Under Executive Order 20-16, Kansans are directed to stay home unless performing one of the following essential activities:

Obtaining food, medicine and other household necessities;

Going to and from work at a business or organization performing an essential function as identified in the Kansas Essential Function Framework;

Seeking medical care;

Caring for children, family members or pets, or caring for a vulnerable person in another location;

Engaging in an outdoor activity, provided individuals maintain a distance of six feet from one another and abide by the 10-person limitation on gathering size.

“I know this is hard, and I can’t tell you how much I wish it weren’t necessary,” Kelly said. “But we have a small window to ensure that Kansas does not suffer the same terrible fate of other hard-hit states like New York and Missouri. We’ve all got to do our part to help stop the spread of the disease. Stay home. Stay Safe.”

In a public address to Kansans on Saturday morning, Kelly explained that this action became necessary for three key reasons:

To provide statewide uniformity in response efforts;

To prevent overwhelming hospitals – especially rural hospitals – who may not have the same capacity to handle an influx of COVID-19 patients;

To buy Kansas more time as the state officials work with federal partners to secure badly needed protective personal equipment (PPE), additional ventilators and COVID-19 testing supplies.

Kelly also commended federal efforts in recent days to support state and local response efforts in the form of an historic emergency relief package. More details about implications the federal stimulus bill will have for Kansas will be released as they become available.

Please visit for additional virus-related information, and visit for federal stimulus benefits updates or to file for Unemployment Insurance benefits.

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Drainage work at city lake preps for road improvements

City crews have been busy at work recently at the Hiawatha Lake, as drainage tubes and ditches have been updated in preparation of road improvements. City Street Supervisor Nic Siebenmorgen says the city is planning road work around the lake, but that drainage work was needed to prepare for the larger project to come.

“It’s looking kind of rough at the moment,” said Siebenmorgen, “But once we get grass replanted and riprap placed in a few spots it will start coming together. City Administrator Mike Nichols praised the street crew, along with other city employees for the way they have handled changes in recent weeks. “I would like to commend city employees for the way they’re handling adjustments made during the past week and a half,” said Nichols, adding, “Where possible, departments have split into shifts to minimize any threat of exposure—they’re working odd hours, some during the weekend, and didn’t hesitate to say yes.”

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Horton police chief files for Atchison sheriff

John Calhoon has officially filed to seek a new term as Atchison County Sheriff.

County Clerk Michelle Phillips validated the candidacy of Calhoon, a Democrat, on Friday after Calhoon presented a petition with the required number of signatures from 3 percent of qualified registered Democratic voters from his constituency.

Calhoon served as sheriff for 19 years before incumbent Jack Laurie defeated him in the 2012 election. Calhoon has since taken up the position of city administrator and chief of police for Horton, in Brown County. The sheriff’s position is a four-year term.

Calhoon said on Friday that he is answering the call from critics of Laurie to make an effort to unseat the incumbent, and had previously not intended to run for political office again. Atchison Globe participated in a virtual press conference with Calhoon on Friday; area media extended the same opportunity to Laurie, to be conducted remotely via video conference to combat the spread of pandemic COVID-19. However, Laurie had not yet agreed to participate in such of a conference before press time. A complete feature on Calhoon and Laurie’s candidacies, based on input from both conferences to the extent they occur, will be published on Wednesday, April 1.

Calhoon’s filing guarantees that his name will appear on the Democratic ballot for the Tuesday, Aug. 4, primary election. Successful candidates as a result of the primary will represent their respective party on the general election ballot on Tuesday, Nov. 3, which will decide who is to serve as sheriff.

Potential candidates have until Noon on Monday, June 1, to file for an office within the county, and ensure their name will appear on the primary ballot. That is also the deadline for potential voters to change their party affiliation. Independent voters have until Noon on Monday, Aug. 3, to file candidacy for office. Potential candidates for local offices can do so at the Atchison County Clerk’s Office located in the courthouse.

The registration deadline for first time voters persons who will be 18 years of age or older on the primary election day is Tuesday, July 14, to be eligible to vote in the primary.

For more information, contact the Atchison County Clerk’s Office at 913-804-6030.