Deadly Affair: A Linn County Scandal

This event might be ripped from today’s headlines in any big-city newspaper. But this story was drawn from a crime that occurred over 90 years ago in the small town of La Cygne, in Linn County, Kansas.

Elleanor Scott, wife of a grocery and meat market owner, was shot to death in her kitchen late one summer evening in 1923, after she and her husband returned home from an outing. Her husband, Ellison Scott, was charged with the murder after an investigation led to no suspects other than him. He maintained that a rail rider had been seen in town the same day of his wife’s murder, and he felt this stranger must have killed his wife while robbing their home. While authorities investigated Ellison’s claims, much evidence was found of illicite [sp] affairs, and behaviors that centered around Ellison having been the culprit in his wife’s murder. This is a true story considered the crime of the century in Kansas at that time.

Author Lorraine Robinson will be presenting her book and offering insight to the story she published in late 2014. Robinson is a native Kansan, born in Moran in 1951. She lived with her family on a farm near Blue Mound until she was seven years old. Her family moved to Stafford, Kansas and eventually to Hutchinson, Kansas, where she graduated from high school. Shortly after, she moved to Topeka and worked for AT&T, where she was employed until 1987. She married in 1979 and had a son in 1981. In 1991 she and her husband travelled to Romania to adopt a daughter who was then 6 weeks old. She spent the next several years raising her children. She has been a portrait artist and illustrator since high school, and enjoys this talent. Deadly Affair is her first book. She enjoys reading and tried to write this story the way she would like to read it. Robinson said, “It’s a story that needed to be told.”

Relive this scandal through the words of Lorraine Robinson when she visits Pleasanton Lincoln Library on Saturday, May 30 at 1 p.m. All are invited!

Text excerpted from publisher Mira Digital Press.

Keep on growing

This is a busy time of year, with many special activities that occur at the end of the school year. Things slow down a little at the library, but we brace ourselves for the return of school-age children. As they begin to drift back to the library out of a love of books or boredom, we’ll be ready. We’re always surprised at how much they’ve grown, many are almost as tall as their moms! We’ve grown as well, with lots of new books to read, and movies to entertain them during the hottest days of summer.

The grant we received late last year from the Southeast Kansas Library System has been expended to purchase a quantity of books and movies that are on display just outside the teen area of the library. They are Manga books and movies and since arriving, they’ve been popular among our young visitors. We had a Manga Club that met regularly last year, and are hoping to revive that group now that classes are nearly over. If your children are interested in meeting to watch movies, let us know and we’ll schedule regular viewing times.

Our book collection for younger children has grown as well, with a concentration on books related to this year’s Summer Reading Program, “Every Hero has a Story.” While many of the books are full of stories about Super Heroes, we’ve sprinkled in books about Everyday Heroes as well. We have books about the people, and animals, who take care of us on a daily basis. The firemen, policemen, doctors and nurses, electric linemen, veterinarians, and service animals who make our lives safer.

It is our Everyday Heroes in our community that will be visiting during our Summer Reading Program. You may register your children for these programs beginning Wednesday, May 20. The programs will begin June 2 at 1 p.m. In the library. Children of all ages are welcome to participate as presenters share their stories of the good work they do for us. Flyers will be sent home with your students and parents who visit the Linn County Health Department can receive more information as well.

Our collection of books and movies is not the only area of growth in the library. The xeriscape garden in front of the library is coming along well, with the addition of the first raised bed. It will be filled with perennials which will be labeled so your knowledge of plants can grow as well. We continue to add edging blocks and gravel, and have a second raised bed in the works. Lynnae Sullins has graciously offered to request donations of perennials from members of the new Garden Group. We’re pleased to host their meetings at the library the last Tuesday evening of each month. Their numbers are growing as quickly as their gardens! If you’re interested in participating in the group, please contact Vanetta Sabine, 352-6352.

So, join us this summer to learn something new … growth is a good thing!

Mothers, do let your children grow up to be readers

Being able to read is such an important aspect of life. It’s proven that children who are good readers will do better in school and, consequently, in life as well. It’s not just about books, but signs, instructions, job applications, correspondence, labels and much more. Reading skills can help children with their vocabulary, learning to get along with others, teaching them about other lands and peoples, and help them imagine other worlds. It can be an escape, a way to learn how to do something interesting like a skill or a craft, and it helps to pass the long days of winter and the steamy days of summer.

Mother’s Day is just around the corner and we hope this column will not only serve to honor all mothers, but to remind them of the importance of teaching their children to read. Our volunteer, Lia Duckwall, had assembled a collection of books for mothers that will help them select books about having babies, books to read to babies and books to read to younger children.

If moms are interested in working with their young children sharpen their reading skills while at the library, we can help them get started using TumbleBooks on the State Library of Kansas website. Children can listen to books being read to them and read along as the pages turn.

Our Summer Reading Program is not far away, and it’s a great opportunity to encourage children to read. Please consider signing up your children to get them involved in reading over the summer. It will help them avoid the summer slide. That occurs when the skills they’ve learned during the school year are more likely forgotten. We make reading during the summer fun, with activities, programs and prizes. Please watch for more information coming soon in this column, and on the library’s Facebook page, Pleasanton Lincoln Library.

Last, but not least, a very Happy Mother’s Day to moms everywhere!

Friends of Kansas Libraries-Pleasanton awarded grant

The statewide board of Friends of Kansas Libraries recently held their annual awards and grants meeting. The recipient of a $500 Challenge Grant was our local Friends of the Library here in Pleasanton. The grant was one of four awarded to libraries that included Moundridge Friends of the Library, Friends of the Bonner Library, Friends of the Garnett Library and our own library. To be eligible for these grants, the recipients must be an officially established organization of library supporters, sanctioned by the library’s governing board.

The intent of grants awarded is to help the organization:
• build support in the community for the library
• encourage gifts, endowments, bequests and memorials to the library
• enhance the image, materials, services and facilities of the library by undertaking specific projects specific projects on its behalf
• maintain itself as as association of individuals, civic organization, business or other groups interested in the library
• create public awareness of the activities of the Friends of the Library and encourage participation in the organization

Applicants must be members of Friends of Kansas Libraries and not have received the award more than once every 3 years. In 2013, member Theresa Miller won the Individual Award for her efforts with the renovation of Pleasanton Lincoln Library’s new location at 752 Main, the Spring Bling event to raise funds for the library and her help with the interior décor of the library.

The Challenge Grant Award will be sent to the Friends to help fund the upgrades to the front entrance of the library. As reported in an earlier column, the area will become a xeriscape landscape. Donations have been received from local patrons and help with early changes have come from residents as well. Today, children from Pleasanton Junior High gathered to help with garden-related tasks. Watch for photos of the progress on the library’s Facebook page in the coming weeks. Target date to complete the project is the weekend of Pleasanton High School’s Multiyear Reunion, July 3-4.

Make Everyday Earth Day

400px-Earth_Day_Flag

The April 22 Earth Day was first organized in 1970 to promote ecology and respect for life on the planet. It encourages awareness of the growing problems of air, water and soil pollution. The first Earth Day had participants and celebrants in two thousand colleges and universities, roughly ten thousand primary and secondary schools, and hundreds of communities across the United States.

Typical ways of observing Earth Day include planting trees, picking up roadside trash, conducting programs for recycling and conservation, using recyclable containers for snacks and lunches.

How can you honor the Earth?

Slow the Flow – A faucet leaking one drop per second wastes over 1,300 gallons per year! A leak from a hot water source wastes water and fossil fuel, creating more greenhouse gases. Most repairs to plumbing fixtures pay for themselves within a year.

Think Green When You Clean – Cleaning products containing chlorine or petroleum distillates expose your family to toxins and end up in the ecosystem. Choose nontoxic, naturally derived cleaning products, which are proven effective but won’t cause long-term damage to the Earth.

Choose Both Sides – Every year, pulp mills release over one trillion gallons of chlorine-tainted water as part of the paper-making process. Use the other side of the paper to cut that pollution almost in half! Choose recycled paper – especially processed-chlorine-free recycled paper.

‘Green’ Your Machine – Americans waste over 700 million gallons of gasoline each year because tires aren’t properly inflated. Millions more are wasted because vehicles aren’t properly tuned. Keep your machine running ‘Green!’ to save money and reduce emissions!

Meatless for Dinner – Once a week, plan a meat alternative for dinner. Enjoy pasta, meatless chili burritos, or grilled veggie burgers! Reducing meat consumption conserves fresh water, saves topsoil, and reduces air pollution!

Walk, Hike, Ride a Bike – If people in the U.S. occasionally ride a bike for a short errand instead of driving a car, over 70 million gallons of fuel could be saved yearly! Enjoy the added benefit of fresh air and exercise.

Plant a Tree Every Earth Day! – Over a 50-year lifetime, a tree generates $31,250 worth of oxygen, provides $62,000 worth of air pollution control, recycles $37,500 worth of water, and controls $31,250 worth of soil erosion. It also provides shade keeping homes and cities cooler!

Give Weeds a ‘Hand’ – Herbicides aren’t the only way to control weeds, and they’re not environmentally friendly! Invest in a pair of gloves and garden tools, and remove weeds by hand. Choose natural alternatives to pesticides.

Lighten Your Energy Bill – Compared to regular bulbs, Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) last 10 times longer, use only 1/4 the energy and produce 90% less heat – yet they produce more light per watt!

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – Make the world a ‘greener’ place: donate clothing and computers to charities, pack lunches in reusable containers.

Excerpted from timeanddate.com, Wikipedia, and rustletheleaf.com

Board of Trustees Meeting

The Board of Trustees Meeting will be held Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. in the library located at 752 Main St.

How does your garden grow?

library entrance

If you’ve traveled by the library recently, you may have noticed some changes. When we moved into the former Brown’s Farm Supply building, we concentrated on the interior first. There are still things we’d like to change indoors, but they’ll take time and can be accomplished during cold weather.

Now we’re hoping to take advantage of warmer weather to upgrade the library’s entrance. We’re adding a low-maintenance xeriscape garden. Though it doesn’t look like much yet, we have high hopes. With design assistance from Master Gardener Theresa Miller, we’ve come up with a plan. Our first effort was to tame the Bermuda grass by covering it with heavyweight black plastic. This was a big project to accomplish during recent windy days out. But with perseverance, the plastic was rolled out and held in place with rocks and blocks. We’re reusing plants and blocks from our former landscaping projects and adding donated concrete items and gravel to the mix.

We’ve applied for a grant to help purchase plants and composite wood for a raised beds. In addition, we hope to garner donations of perennial plants such as grasses and flowering natives. The end result isn’t intended to look stark and lifeless. The additional plants will be marked so visitors can learn their names and consider using them in their own gardens.

Our Little Free Library was moved farther from our front doors so those returning books and movies in our won’t mistake it for our Book Drop. When our corkscrew willow leafs out, its shade will help keep books in the Little Free Library cooler. A bench will be placed nearby so visitors can sit and read a few lines and decide which book to take home.

A block path will run along the building from the parking lot as a shortcut to our front doors. More blocks will be placed near the Book Drop so those returning books won’t have to walk through a flower bed. Flagstones will surround the Little Free Library so those checking out its contents can stand to review books.

We also plan to screen our air-conditioning units with a screen, and add a trellis and other decorative items. Because the incorporated plants require less water, we won’t have to drag out our heavy hose to keep them drenched. Xeriscape gardens are often used in dry climates and those with high temperatures. While we don’t have those challenges this time of year, they’re soon to come.

Pleasanton students will be helping us Wednesday, April 29 through their community service project. Our new local Garden Group has their hands full planning their Farmer’s Market this year. We hope they’ll support our efforts by sharing their knowledge of Xeriscape gardens with interested parties. We’re happy to host their meetings in the room built for us by our Friends of the Library at the rear of our building. We are all working hard to make Pleasanton a place of which we can be proud!

Unlimited possibilities @ your library: celebrate National Library Week April 12-18

Next week, the Pleasanton Lincoln Library joins libraries in schools, campuses and communities nationwide in celebrating National Library Week, a time to highlight the changing role of libraries, librarians and library workers.

Libraries today are more than warehouses for books. Instead, libraries and librarians are change agents within their communities – transforming lives through innovative educational resources and forward-thinking programming. Libraries are doing their part to close the digital divide and level the playing field by providing free access to information and technologies that many in their communities would be hard pressed to find elsewhere. Libraries help to ensure the American dream and promote democracy by providing service to all regardless of race, ethnicity, creed, age, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity or socio-economic status.

Librarians work with elected officials, small business owners, students and the public at large to discover and meet the needs of their communities. Whether through offering e-books and technology classes, materials for English-language learners, programs for job seekers or offering a safe haven in times of crisis, librarians listen to the community they serve, and they respond.

The Pleasanton Lincoln Library serves Linn County residents by providing a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction books, large print and audio books, books for young children and young adults, magazines, and movies for children as well as adults.

“The library has always been a place of unlimited possibilities,” said Mark Willard, Pleasanton Library board trustee. “Whatever your interest or need, the library and the library staff are here to provide you the resources you need to accomplish your goals and dreams.”

The Pleasanton Lincoln Library is celebrating National Library Week by honoring its staff, volunteers and patrons. First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April.

For more information, visit the Pleasanton Lincoln Library at 752 Main St., Pleasanton, call 913-352-8445 or see the library’s Web site at pleasanton.mykansaslibrary.org. Libraries hours are Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday 10 .m.-6 p.m. and Saturday 10 .m. to 1:30 p.m..

FREE books at the library

This is no April Fool’s joke. All books at the library are free. All you need to do is register for a library card and you may check out books at no charge. The same goes for movies. Adults may check out as many as 10 books for two weeks, and may renew them twice, for a total of six weeks. Children may check out as many as eight books for the same amount of time. There’s even a day’s grace if they are returned late. After that, fines of only 10 cents a day accrue. Where else can you get such a good deal?

In addition to free books, we also lend DVDs. Two of these may be checked out at a time, though there is no day’s grace period for late returns and fines are much stiffer – $1.00 per day. These are assigned so that other patrons may have a chance to view the movies as well. We offer a large collection of new and old movies, including TV series and sequels to all your favorites. There is something for everyone, from sweet tales of love to scary tales for those who seek thrills.

In addition to regular print books, we have large print books, audio books and Kansas Regional books. There are books for parents to read to children, and books for those just learning to read. Even babies love books, and we have a selection of board books so they can help turn the pages.

Come and see what kind of books we have on hand. Maybe you’ll find one you can’t wait to read!

“Tumble” into a good book

If you are a resident of Kansas, you are invited to sign up for a library card to the State Library. This card allows you to access the state’s collection of free online books. There are many other features on the website that are just waiting for you to discover. One in particular can help your children learn to read and build their vocabulary at the same time. Tumblebooks offers online animated, talking picture books in an innovative and exciting format, and would be a great homeschool asset.

Tumblebooks contains 200 story books, quizzes, lesson plans and games and puzzles in English, Spanish and French. It includes storybook favorites and best-selling titles. There are read-along chapter books for older readers with unique features to optimize individual learning. Sentences are highlighted as they are narrated and pages turn automatically. You can choose different fonts, sizes, line spacing and paragraph widths. It also includes read-along graphic novels.

Tumble TV includes a pre-set playlist that combines books with similar themes, subjects and authors for 10-35 minutes of entertainment. These remain in the every collection on every computer and don’t need to be saved. There is also an animated TV show that introduces brand new books not yet available on the website.

The Puzzles and Games section includes a variety of entertaining activities that teach children to read by having them play educational puzzles and games that relate to stories they’ve just read. The Language Learning section gives children the opportunity to read from a selection of books in Spanish, French, Russian and Chinese. Non-Fiction pictures books are located all in one place and prove that learning can be fun.

There is a Tumble Search feature that helps you decide the best category for you as you search by title, subject, language, author, publisher, illustrator and reading level. You can customize how you view books when sorting by newest book, author, title or reading level. You can save a default setting to remain the same each time you visit the page.

In the Storybook section books are read to you and pages turn automatically so you can follow along. You can also choose manual mode to turn pages yourself. The sound can be muted so you can read at your own speed. There is a word help feature that allows you to hear certain sentences and highlights certain words that are sounded out. Read-along books can be set for auto or manual mode as well.

Each book description includes the reading level, and you can click on the level to see other books in that same category. You can find accelerated reader information on each book as well. To test your reading skills, you can click on Tumble Quiz and try to get a perfect score.

There are many other features on Tumblebooks that is offered to you on the State Library’s website. Visit Pleasanton Library soon and get ready to “Tumble” into a wonderful children’s book!

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