A busy week in McPherson, and lots of people to thank

By Nick Gosnell
May 13, 2014

I don't write many columns on Mid Kansas Online, as I like to let the facts speak for themselves most of the time, but I have to say thank you to so many folks for their hard work in the last week that I can't help but spend a few words here.

First of all, last Friday was the beginning of a new century of fun for All Schools Day, and I thought the day ran just about as picture perfect as the weather. That was because of a lot of preparation and hard work by the All Schools Day committee, led with great fervor and capability this year by Mary Steffes of Fee Insurance in McPherson.

In fact,if making her chairperson leads to weather like we had Friday, I vote that she be permanently installed in the position. Just kidding, Mary. She did a fabulous job, though.

Also, thanks to Rev. Dick Reynolds, Larry Sigle, Mike Rausch, Angie Timson, Jennifer Bonham, Anne Hassler at the CVB, Kathy Love and Cheryl Holub along with Shirley Morris with May Fete, David Harger, Mallory Harger and Leslie Buettgenbach with Madathon and all those who help make All Schools Day happen for our kids. For highlights of the festival, go to www.allschoolsday.com.

Now, to Sunday night's weather adventures in McPherson County. As reported here on Mid Kansas Online, the first sign of rotation in McPherson County was detected about 9:24 in the evening. I had come into the office about 6:00 as the first line of storms looked like they might clip the Marquette area. As a general rule, if I am aware of a warning that has been issued for a county that touches ours, I will come in to the office to check things out and decide at what point to take over with live coverage. As of as late as 8:30, it looked like McPherson wasn't even going to get rained on until late, and that severe weather may or may not even have an effect on McPherson County. When that situation quickly changed, it was a team effort that got the information out.

Let me begin my thanks with Darren Frazier and Julie McClure at McPherson County 911. They were able to get through to me on the phone throughout the situation and give the latest confirmed information from law enforcement directly to our listeners. I appreciate their hard work so much. Also, I have to say thank you to Jerry Bruce who made every effort to get into position to get the best look at the storm on the ground and let us know exactly what it was doing right then. In addition, Tom and Sandy Stapleton went out in their vehicle and gave me another perspective on the storm. Also, Travis Hawkinson was faithful to call with hail reports, and all of those that regularly give Mark rain information followed through, as well. Thank you to all of you.

Also, thanks to Jen Charlesworth for her perspective coming north on the interstate later on in the event. I also have to thank my wife, Pamela for being sure our family was in their safe place, which took a large load off of my mind. Thanks, too, to Joe Johnston for covering the phones in the immediate aftermath, and to Jerry and Diane Davies for their commitment to providing the resources for storm coverage. Also, thanks to Shawn White for his work in engineering keeping us on the air.

To those who have commented positively on our coverage in the last couple of days, I say thank you for listening.

Very little in this business is more rewarding than knowing that when lives are in the balance, you can do your job at a high level. The trust the public has given us as a station is something I don't take lightly.

Though McPherson dodged a bullet Sunday night, the storm season is by no means over. It looks like a calm pattern for the next several days, but if last weekend taught us anything, it's that we can go from calm to dangerous in a very short amount of time. Please be prepared.