Check this list twice: It's Naughty & Nice for 2013

WRITTEN BY JOE STUMPE

Reporting to the big man

Reporting to the big man

Dear Santa,

Each year you ask us for a list of the naughty and nice in Wichita, and each year we comply. But it's not easy. Did the Wichita school board break its word and abandon an inner-city neighborhood when it voted to close Southeast High, or just make the best use of public money? Was Wichita State's firing of Gene Stephenson ungrateful or long overdue? Do the Koch brothers bring welcome attention or notoriety to Wichita?

We'll bypass those and pass judgement on easier matters. You'll notice there are twice as many nice as naughty folks, because that's just the kind of place Wichita is.

Nice

Wichita 2013 Police Officer of the Year Nate Schwiethale, who helped create the three-officer Homeless Outreach Team (HOT). So far the unit has found places for 100 homeless people to live, and jobs for another 25.

Wichita State professor Erach Talaty, who gave $2.2 million to the school's chemistry programs, where he started teaching in 1969. Talaty died in June at age 86.

NAUGHTY

A 32-year-old man burglarized a house in south Wichita, then crashed his truck into the same structure while running from police.

NICE

The WSU men's basketball team, which electrified the whole city while reaching the NCAA Final Four for the first time since 1965. The women's team did pretty well, too, reaching the tourney for the first time ever.

The organizers of League 42, a nonprofit established to bring baseball to disadvantaged youths in Wichita's inner city (and named for Jackie Robinson). An introductory camp was held this fall; games are to start next summer.

NAUGHTY

Inmates at the Sedgwick County Jail used so much toilet paper — $100,000 a year, according to Sheriff Jeff Easter — that Easter limited them to one free roll of the stuff a week (after which they are charged $1.18 per roll).

"Nice" is the winner — this year.

NICE

A pit bull "volunteered" her services as a surrogate mother to a litter of African painted dogs at the Sedgwick County Zoo, after their mother became unable to produce milk.

15-year-old Andrew Figueiredo, fed up with cyber-bullying, launched the Wichita Compliment Page, a Facebook page where people can say nice things about one another.

NAUGHTY

A man was charged with threatening to harm Wichita's water supply, and not with fluoride. Manuel Garcia, 69, is accused of trying to get extra money from the city by claiming he could stop two other men from dumping chemicals into its water supply — for a $10,000 fee.

NICE

A group of developers headed by George Laham won approval for a major housing development on the Arkansas River — the first there in decades — while another group announced plans to renovate Union Station.

Miss Kansas Theresa Vail won the "America's Choice" award in the Miss America Pageant after becoming the first contestant to bear her tattoos.

NAUGHTY

A Turkish group hacked into the city of Wichita's electronic procurement system, apparently to criticize the United States' involvement in the Middle East.

NICE

Kiana Knolland of Wichita, a freshman at Howard University, won the "Youth of the Year" award from the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and with it more than $60,000 in scholarships.

The 150-member Living Word Outreach Church continued its giving to Wichita's poor to the tune of 900,000 pounds of food a year.

NAUGHTY

Copper thieves reached a new low in November, stealing copper from the Greater Pentecostal Church of God and TOP Early Learning Center.

 
live  |  shop  |  dine  |  play  |  home  |  magazine  |  calendar  |  about  |  your turn