Emporia, KS

Humidity: 74 %
Wind : SSE at 14 mph

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 26, 2014

          Thanksgiving is tomorrow so let’s talk about things for which we are thankful.

          At Rotary yesterday the prayer mentioned things we should be thankful for like family, friends, good health (my thanks is conditional on that one), faith, nice weather, the food, a few other things and health care providers.

          Today let me confirm the prayer list, but to add a couple of local organizations mentioned at the meeting for which Emporians should also be thankful.

          The prayer specifically mentioned health care because our program was presented by Robert Wright the Administrator at Newman Regional Health.

          Bob’s presentation included many numbers – he said “numbers until your eyes cross.” The numbers were from surveys taken to gauge the quality of care and service at Newman. Obviously he would not have presented them if they were not positive.

          What we learned about our rapidly changing hospital is that it has turned the corner on profitability and at the same time maintained and/or improved the level of care.

          Bob bragged about the excellent quality of the current medical staff and the hospital’s efforts to recruit specialists to replace doctors lost over the past few years.

          Newman Hospital is a community asset and we should be exceedingly grateful for people like Robert Wright and his staff and also the hospital’s volunteer Board of Directors who have steered the institution through some very choppy waters.

          Our Rotary Club has a project to improve conditions at one of S.O.S.’s shelters in Emporia. The work S.O.S. does in our community is unnoticed by many, but their efforts make our community a much better and safer place to live. We are thankful for S.O.S.

          And lastly, The Emporia Community Foundation will be holding their Match Day December 1, at the Mall. This unique effort will provide much needed funding for 15 organizations running from our municipal band and animal shelter to Emporia Celebrates the Flint Hills. The Hopkins, Reeble and Trusler Foundations assist and deserve our thanks, but please also remember the silent good works of the Community Foundations.

          We have a lot about which to be thankful. Happy Thanksgiving.

          I’m Steve Sauder

November 19, 2014

It’s been awhile since the Gazette and KVOE disagreed on anything, so let’s change that today.

The Gazette’s Chris Walker took County Commissioner Scott Briggs to task for voting “NO” on the proposed rezoning of the 318 acre Price tract asking “what was he really thinking…”

Briggs told me he was thinking rezoning the tract to heavy industrial without knowledge of what the use would be was not in the best interest of the people he represents and who own the adjacent property.

An option on the land had been obtained by Emporia Enterprises because a major U.S. company was considering Emporia for a large distribution center. Even though Briggs was not convinced this project was what our area needs – more on that later – he supported the plan until the distribution center people chose another Kansas community.

Emporia Enterprises chose to keep pursuing rezoning because the tract is extremely well situated. It is an especially nice site because rail access and utilities are present. Only roads need to be added.

The rub occurred when residents of the area became uncomfortable with the proposed heavy industrial zoning without knowing the future use of the property.

I am fairly certain Mr. Walker would not be happy if land near his rural property were rezoned heavy industrial without knowing who might be his potential neighbor.

Making Briggs out as the bad guy was unfair. He and his neighbors were ready to support the change with the certainty that a distribution center would be built there. When those plans fell through attitudes changed rapidly.

Briggs mentioned at the Lyon County Commission meeting he’d like to see a new vision for economic development. In a conversation with me Scott suggested while the distribution center would have created jobs he is not sure that’s all Lyon County should be seeking.

His point was this. Lyon County sits near the bottom of the list of Kansas counties when per capita income is ranked. Adding 200 jobs paying below $20 an hour will not move the meter on our per capita income dilemma. That’s what Briggs is talking about when he says we need to examine our vision.

We agree.

We also agree when the Commissions – Lyon County and Emporia City say they want their future economic development efforts to be tied to Emporia State University and the Technical College.

This is not saying the efforts of the RDA are misguided just saying let’s expand our vision. With city-county cooperation at an all time best it’s time for action. A comprehensive plan would be a great place to start.

I’m Steve Sauder and there’s Something to Think About.

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