Mar 25, 2020 5:12 PM

County teleconference meetings to continue

Posted Mar 25, 2020 5:12 PM
The City County Building. Salina Post file photo
The City County Building. Salina Post file photo

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Saline County commissioners conducted their first meeting via teleconference Tuesday. 

According to information from the county, all future meetings will be conducted via teleconference until further notice.  Citizens can call in by:

Dialing 785-621-0800.

Enter Participant Code: 782956 followed by #.

If a citizen wishes to speak when the chairman allows public comment, dial *9 to alert the moderator to open the line.

Meetings can be viewed on Salina Media Connection via Cox Cable Channel 20 or online at salinatv.org.

The commissioners dealt with a variety of issues during their Tuesday meeting. Highlights from the meeting include the following, according to information from the county.

Justin Mader, county engineer, told commissioners that Saline County has awarded a High-Risk Rural Road project on South  Simpson Road between East Magnolia Road and East Crawford Street.  This project would begin in late 2021 or 2022, will add shoulders to the roadway and regrade the ditch slopes with flatter slopes.  All drainage structures will also be extended or replaced.  This program allows for a 90/10 cost share, with Saline County’s cost estimated at $58,000.  Commissioners approved that the appropriate forms be sent to the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) to receive the funds and move forward with the project.

Mader also told commissioners that Union Pacific Railroad and KDOT have two projects that would add crossing signals with gates on county roads.  One project is on South Muir Road, south of Kansas Highway 140 and the second project is in Bavaria east of the grain elevator.  Union Pacific will build and maintain the projects, while KDOT will be responsible for 100 percent of the engineering and construction costs.  These entities have asked for Saline County to provide the advanced warning signs, which are already in place, so there is no budget impact on Saline County on these projects.  Commissioners approved to sign the agreement with Union Pacific and KDOT.

Commissioners awarded the bid for traffic paint to Vogel Paint & Wax Company to purchase white and yellow paint.  They also awarded the bid for reflective traffic beads to McConnel & Associates.  The combined cost of these items is $91,982.

Commissioners voted to authorize the chairman’s signature on the construction manager at risk contract with Turner Construction as it relates to the Saline County Jail Project.  Their fee for pre-construction services is $58,000, which will be paid out of the Capital Improvement Project account.

Commissioners approved a temporary COVID-19 advanced paid leave directive for Saline County.  This directive helps to provide some relief to employees who have depleted their leave time or for new employees who haven’t accrued enough leave time.  This directive could advance up to 80-hours of paid leave to employees that are directly affected by COVID-19 quarantines or isolation measures, arrangements for alternate child care, or providing child care on an emergency basis.

Commissioners also approved several personnel policies to be updated.

County announcement

Saline County is still accepting expression of interest forms from citizens who have an interest in serving on the Saline County Crime Victim’s Fund Board.  This board position serves to assist with fiscally aiding victims of crimes and assist in the review of applications from victims applying to receive funds.  These funds are derived from diversion fees and reimbursements or restitution collected from offenders.  Interested citizens can fill out the form online at: www.saline.org/Government/County/Expression-of-Interest.

Continue Reading Salina Post
Mar 25, 2020 5:12 PM
Look for ways to help children cope during crisis, experts say

MANHATTAN – Children and adults experience and react differently in times of crisis.

“We sometimes only think of disasters as weather-related events, but we know that anything that disrupts daily life and community well-being on a large scale is a disaster,” said Bradford Wiles, associate professor and extension specialist with Kansas State University’s College of Health and Human Services. “Thinking about and being compassionate in how we all feel and process our emotions is crucial to our own, our families’, and our communities’ resilience in the face of the current pandemic.” 

A K-State publication, written by Wiles and associate professor and extension specialist Elizabeth Kiss, includes information that can help communities recognize the negative effects that tough times have on the mental well-being of children.

The publication, titled Disasters: Children’s Responses and Helping Them Recover, is available online from the K-State Research and Extension bookstore.

Wiles and Kiss outline suggested ways parents can help children cope during hard times:

  1. Reassure the child that you are still together and that you will be there to help as long as you can.
  2. Return to pre-disaster routines to the extent possible, including bedtime, bath time, meal time and waking up times.
  3. Make sure you are taking care of yourself. It can be difficult to take care of a child if you are not feeling well.
  4. Talk with your child about your feelings.
  5. Encourage children to draw, write or tell stories about their experiences. Talking about how the disaster or tough time has changed them can be beneficial.

The publication also includes signs to look for in children and how to emerge in a positive direction from times of crisis.

K-State Research and Extension has compiled numerous publications and other information to help people take care of themselves and others during times of crisis. See the complete list of resources online.

Local K-State Research and Extension agents are still on the job during this time of closures and confinement. They, too, are practicing social distancing. Email is the best way to reach them, but call forwarding and voicemail allow for closed local offices to be reached by phone as well (some responses could be delayed). To find out how to reach your local agents, visit the K-State Research and Extension county and district directory.

Signs of depression

Signs of depression in early childhood: tantrums, physical complaints, brief periods of sadness, listlessness or hyperactivity, lack of interest in activities, withdrawal.

Signs of depression in middle childhood: new phobias, hyperactivity, conduct disorders (lying or stealing), refusal to leave parents, periods of sadness, vague anxiety or agitation, suicidal thoughts.

Signs of depression in adolescents: changes in appearance, withdrawal, fatigue, eating problems, substance abuse, risk-taking, sudden change in peer group, loss of interest, sleep problems, hostility, suicidal thoughts.

-- Source: Disasters: Children’s Responses and Helping Them Recover