Naughty or nice?

Story by Joe Stumpe

Helping the big man decide.

Helping the big man decide.

To: Santa
From: Splurge!
Re: Naughty and Nice

Here’s that list you requested a while back. Sorry for the delay, you’d be surprised how long it takes to review an entire year and determine who’s been good and not-so-good. As usual around these parts, the former outweighed the latter, although this year the final tally was closer than usual. Blame the election. Fortunately, that’s all over. In fact, it’s been eerily quiet here since last month’s election, as if not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse…

NICE

The Willard and Jean Garvey Trust gave $1 million to the Orpheum Theatre — the theater’s largest gift to date — to be used for planning the restoration of the 90-year- old landmark.

Palmer Kiefer, an 8-year-old KU basketball fan, refused to take off his smelly, dirty (but lucky) Jayhawk jersey for more than two weeks as his favorite team marched through the NCAA tourney, finally losing in the finals.

After hearing a radio report Simon McHugh, of McHugh Violin Shop, delivered a German violin, bow and case to a 14-year-old Hadley Middle School student, Ashleigh Burrow, who’d found her violin smashed to pieces after forgetting it at the school.

NAUGHTY

Boeing, once Wichita’s largest employer, announced it is ending all operations here by 2013, terminating its 75-year history in the city and more than 2,000 jobs.

Developers Michael Elzufon and David Lundberg, “the Minnesota Guys”, once seen as a key to downtown revitalization, were issued a cease-and-desist order in a securities fraud case brought by the Kansas Securities Commissioner.

NICE

Two Wichitans, orthopedic surgeon Robert Eyster and his business partner, Michael Ramsey, proceeded to successfully re- develop several downtown properties, including the old Zelman building, the Victoria Park Apartments and the Protection One building.

Bombardier Learjet broke ground on a $52.7 million expansion, expected to add 450 jobs at the facility.

Cabela’s opened an 80,000-square-foot store at 21st and Greenwich, turning the intersection into an instant mecca for lovers of the outdoors.

NAUGHTY

Thanks to squabbling between Republican conservatives and moderates, Kansas became the only state in the country to fail to approve a redistricting plan, turning the task over to federal judges.

For the second election in a row, the Sedgwick County Election Office failed to deliver accurate results in a timely manner, prompting an investigation by the Secretary of State’s office into what County Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman called “user error.”

NICE

Ross and Linda Lamp and their Riverside neighbors, Alan and Robin Lies, proved civility is still possible by festooning their yards with opposing political signs but remaining close friends.

Former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole gave a matching fund pledge of $250,000 to the Kansas Food Bank to create the “Bob Box,” boxes of food to be distributed to needy elderly around the state.

Koch Industries, whose owners are best known for funding conservative causes, donated $814,000 to the K-State Office of Diversity to help increase multicultural student enrollment in the business administration and engineering schools.

NAUGHTY

Wichita cab drivers were called out by Mayor Carl Brewer for dressing, talking and otherwise behaving inappropriately, putting the city in a bad light and prompting the City Council to tighten regulations on them.

A Minnesota hunter going after wild turkeys near Junction City shot his friend — twice — by mistake, fortunately not delivering a fatal wound either time.

NICE

Flying Donuts owner Tricia Davis tracked down mail carrier William Fox and returned his wallet containing $1,300 after he left it in the shop and became convinced it had been stolen.

The Vietnamese community dedicated a new moving memorial to American and South Vietnamese soldiers on a scenic bank of the Arkansas River, providing all the funds and overcoming some local opposition.

NAUGHTY

A gun-wielding man robbed the Walgreens on North Maize while wearing pajamas, violating both criminal law and fashion rules.

NICE

K-State football coach Bill Snyder led his team to its first No. 1 ranking in the BCS poll, possibly exceeding everyone’s expectations but his own.

KU basketball coach Bill Self led his team to the national championship game, possibly exceeding the expectations of everybody but Jayhawk fans.

Wichita State basketball coach Gregg Marshall led his team to a Top 25 ranking and its first NCAA tournament appearance in six years, winning Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year in the process.

NAUGHTY

Former K-State basketball coach Frank Martin bolted for the South Carolina job, not even a lateral move (except in terms of salary).

NICE

The Oklahoma City Thunder brought the biggest crowd yet to Intrust Bank Arena — announced at 15,004 — for its exhibition game against the Dallas Mavericks.

Southeast High grad Chris Mann placed fourth on “The Voice” and released an album featuring an appearance by Christina Aguilera, his mentor on the show.

In its 10th year, Wichita’s Tallgrass Film Festival broke its own records for number of films shown and attendance.

NAUGHTY

A (very small) segment of Old Town patrons discharged guns in the area on four consecutive weekends, prompting the city to beef up security in the thriving entertainment district.

A $40 million computer update by the state Department of Motor Vehicles didn’t work as advertised, instead leading to long waits for people trying to register their vehicles.

NICE

The Kansas Star Casino continued to hire people and further develop its property in Mulvane while exceeding revenue projections, belying concerns that it would be a “trailer park” casino.

A foursome of Saline County siblings put a smile on faces across the nation when their YouTube video parody of “I’m Farming and I Grow It” went viral.

 
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