Augusta modular home builder banned from doing business in Kansas

360wichita.com

EL DORADO, Kan. (KAKE) –

An Augusta modular home builder has been banned from doing business in Kansas and ordered to repay more than $200,000 in restitution.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said East Side Factory Built Homes violated consumer protection laws. The company and its owner, Ryan Andes, have been enjoined from conducting business in Kansas.

"Butler County District Judge Mike Ward entered the injunction this week after the defendants failed to respond to a lawsuit filed by the attorney general in May," Schmidt said.

The company also did business as East Side Homes and Factory Outlet Homes.

Ward also ordered Andes and the company to pay restitution totaling $206,733.58 to four Kansas consumers, as well as a civil penalty and the costs of the attorney general’s investigation.

Schmidt had alleged that the defendants accepted payment from the consumers for modular homes, then failed to build the homes or refund the money to the consumers. The allegations constituted violations of the Kansas Consumer Protection Act.

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Developers seek city help to renovate ‘eyesore’ in southeast Wichita

A pair of developers are asking the Wichita City Council for nearly $6 million in tax-exempt revenue bonds to renovate a southeast Wichita apartment complex.

Brent Hurst and Dave Murfin have formed Sandstone Apartments to purchase Eastwood Apartments, a six-building complex located just south of Kellogg on the east side of Oliver. The request for the industrial revenue bonds goes before the council on Tuesday.

The complex, built in the 1950s, "has come into disrepair and faces extensive deferred maintenance issues," according to a city document.

A plan for the project shared with city officials called the Eastwood Apartments an "increasing eye sore in a very visible and now improving area."

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Industrial revenue bonds are used to finance the acquisition and construction of a broad variety of properties. State law requires the bonds to be issued by a government entity, which technically owns the property until the bonds are paid off.

The request covers an estimated sales tax exemption of nearly $91,000. It does not include a property tax abatement.

Sandstone plans to spend about $2 million to buy the Eastwood property and $3.75 million to renovate it. The 118 units are one- or two-bedroom apartments. The property also has a 7,500-square-foot commercial building.

The developers plan to install new exterior doors and decking, new storm windows, new countertops, new vanities, new bathroom mirrors and fixtures, new cabinets and hardware. They also plan to upgrade plumbing and electrical, install new breaker boxes and add new landscaping, exterior lighting, fencing and signage.

Repainting, brick repair and new central heating and air-conditioning units are part of the renovation as well.

The developers could not be reached for comment. But a letter sent to the city by Hurst said the renovation "will bring a high quality living environment to an older area of town, add jobs, improve the area and our community in general."

Hurst called the renovation "an investment into the heart of the city at a time when investment and jobs are needed."

The renovation is expected to provide 20 to 30 jobs over the next two years, with a handful of permanent jobs.

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BrightWater Bay opens to the public

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Rachel Lange of Lange Real Estate introduces BrightWater Bay, which is now open to the public to rent by the hour, day or week. Carrie Rengers/The Wichita Eagle

By Carrie Rengers

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KWME/Wellington-Wichita Flips To Top 40/R As ‘92.7 The Blast’

ROCKING M MEDIA Classic Hits KWME/WELLINGTON-WICHITA, KS stunted with a mix of patriotc songs as "92.7 THE PATRIOT" over the 4th OF JULY before flipping to Top 40/Rhythmic as THE NEW 92.7 THE BLAST, "The Rhythm of RIVER CITY."

“We are very excited to bring this new format to WICHITA. We’re confident that THE BLAST will make the WICHITA radio market even more robust. Advertisers will be eager to target this very valuable audience,” said GM JEFF MCCAUSLAND.

92.7 THE BLAST is programmed by TOMMY CASTOR, who also serves as the GM for sister stations in WELLINGTON and WINFIELD, KS.

CASTOR said, “THE NEW 92.7 THE BLAST fills a void in the WICHITA radio landscape. These are all the awesome party songs you grew up listening to at a school dance, a wedding reception or even just driving down the street. We know that this new radio station for the WICHITA area will quickly find a strong and loyal audience.”

Beginning on MONDAY, JULY 9th, the on-air lineup will debut. Morning drive will be anchored by long time WICHITA radio personality MARCO BENITEZ. CAITLIN GEER, who also hosts mornings on sister KLEY A-F/WELLINGTON, KS will handle middays and CASTOR will round out the on-air lineup in afternoon drive.

Visit 92.7 THE BLAST online at www.927theblast.com.

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Kansas lawmaker says legal team will help immigrant children

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) –

A Kansas legislative leader says a former federal prosecutor has assembled a team of attorneys to provide legal services to immigrant children separated from their parents and detained in group homes in Topeka.

Wichita Democrat and Kansas House Minority Leader Jim Ward announced Saturday that Barry Grissom, former U.S. attorney for Kansas, assembled the team to serve immigrant children housed by The Villages on a 400-acre site with five group homes.

The state Department for Children and Families did an inspection of the homes Friday. DCF Secretary Gina Meier-Hummel declined Saturday to discuss how many of the children were separated from their parents during a recent crackdown on illegal U.S-Mexico border crossings.

Ward said now that the children are receiving services, the focus is helping them reunite with their families.

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“Wichita is a little bit stuck where it is,” report shows city needs improvements

Skyscrapercity.com

WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) –

Some dim and grim statistics show Wichita’s economy has declined while similar cities in the Midwest are growing.

Former Wichita resident and analyst, James Chung, of Reach Advisors, conducted the study that also shows college educated women and minorities are leaving town.

"Residents in other cities that are higher gross cities are seeing greater increase in salary, greater increase in jobs, greater increase in home values." Chung said.

Chung was hired by the Wichita Community Foundation three years ago. His report back then showed Wichita has been stagnant for decades. His latest report was revealed this week.

"There are a lot of things where other cities are pulling further ahead, when Wichita is a little bit stuck where it is," Chung said.

But current residents believe the city is trying.

"There’s a lot of new businesses setting up in Wichita," resident Stephen Kawonga said.

Kawonga and Rajiv Chauhan have lived in Wichita for more than a decade. Both think the city leaders could do a better job promoting the educated workforce here, so companies will move in and people will stay.

"We cultivate a lot of talent, but that talent leaves," Kawonga said.

"I’m raising my family here. So, I want the city to be continuously growing and people coming here," Chauhan said.

The Wichita Community Foundation announced Monday it will invest $1 million to create the Talent Ecosystem Fund, in response to Chung’s report. WSU Tech will receive $500,000 as part of the fund to use for a program that will pay housing, transportation and other expenses for students who want to move to Wichita to train for certain high-demand jobs.

Chung’s report also says Wichita falls behind by hundreds of millions of dollars when it comes to investing in the city. Mayor Jeff Longwell disagrees.

"If you go back just prior to Chung coming to town, there wasn’t an [WSU] Innovation campus. There wasn’t a Cargill. There’s wasn’t a Union Station… a Douglas Place apartment project, a River Vista apartment project," he said.

But according to the report, 42 percent of residents want to stay in Wichita, which is a much more positive number than the 27 percent who said they wanted to stay back in 2015.

Longwell and Chung say the fact that so many people are interested in the report tells them Wichitans care and want the city to thrive.

"I don’t know what the magical solution is. It can’t come from forced government. It has to be the community," Longwell said.

Find more information on the report here: https://thechungreport.com/

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Don’t want to buy a home? This city has the cheapest rent in the country

Wichita, Kansas, has the cheapest rent in the country, but renters in many other cities are starting to see discounts.

Think the rent is too damn high? You might want to hitch a ride to Wichita.

The Kansas city had the lowest average rent in May at just $634 per month, according to a recent report from real-estate website RentCafe and data analytics firm Yardi Matrix. That’s less than one-sixth of what renters pay in New York’s Manhattan borough, the most expensive rental market in the country, where the average rent is more than $4,000 per month.

Other cities with some of the cheapest rents in the country include Tulsa, Okla., at $669 per month and Toledo, Ohio, at $699 per month. (The report analyzed apartments across 250 cities located in buildings with 50 or more units ranging in size from studios to three-bedroom units. It covered cities with populations over 100,000 people and a rental stock of 2,900 apartments.)

But chances are their rent hasn’t increased by a whole lot recently for renters from Wichita to the Big Apple. The average rent nationwide only increased 2% over the past year in May to $1,381 per month — the smallest annual rental growth since 2010. In many parts of the country, including Manhattan, Chicago and Austin, Texas, the average rent is the same now as it was a year ago, according to researchers.

In these cities “large numbers of new apartments are giving renters more options to choose from, which results in price concessions,” the report noted.

However, some of the country’s most expensive markets have continued to experience above-average rent hikes, thanks to the outsized demand for housing. In Los Angeles, the average rent now stands at $2,337 per month, which is 4% higher than a year ago. Rents swelled even more in Denver — up 4.7% to $1,566 per month over the past 12 months.

And in many smaller housing markets, an improved job market has created a major housing crunch. Midland and Odessa — two cities at the heart of Texas’ petroleum country — witnessed the fastest growth in rental prices, with the average monthly rent in both cities skyrocketing by more than 35% over the past year. Unsurprisingly, these two cities are also adding jobs at a fast clip.

Generally speaking, rental growth is more concentrated among the smaller cities and towns across the country, researchers said. “People are fleeing larger and more expensive cities for more affordable ones,” the report noted. “However, these economic and demographic shifts often drive housing prices up in those markets.”

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Something bit me! A summer full of mosquitoes in KS

WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) –

Kids are getting out of school and we’ve seen some warmer temperatures, these signs show that summer is here.

This season also brings out, you guessed it, mosquitoes.

A recent report by pest control giant “Orkin” shows that Wichita and the surrounding areas have a problem. Their study put Wichita in the top 50 worst cities for mosquitoes nationwide.

From your pets to your family we set out to problem solve your bite free summer.

As much as we would love to hear our pets talk they can’t tell us when they’ve been bit by a mosquito. Beneath the surface that bite can carry all sorts bad stuff.

"Heartworm season is also technically year-round but it is more prevalent in our area during the warmer months," says Dr. Susan Nelson with Kansas State Clinical Sciences.

That’s right, heartworm is a disease that can threaten the life of your cat or dog.

"So that is the disease that is spread by mosquitoes," added Dr. Nelson.

Before the summer is in full swing experts want to make sure your taking the right steps to protect your furry friends.

"We want to make sure that they are on their monthly heartworm preventives as well," says Dr. Nelson.

Ok, lets now move to humans. There are some things you can do to come across as less attractive to mosquitoes.

Studies found mosquitoes love the carbon dioxide from our breath, the more you exhale the more attractive you become to them.

On a related topic these insects are drawn to the heat from our bodies and to the lactic acid that comes through our skin. If you play some volleyball or do anything active outdoors don’t be surprised if mosquitoes flock to you after.

Also, sorry to spoil the party but studies show the more booze you put back increases your appeal to a thirsty mosquito. If you decide to get your buzz on make sure to mix in a shot or two of mosquito repellent.

So what’s the best way to treat a mosquito bite? Obviously don’t scratch it, instead take an antihistamine.

A couple of pills can relieve itching, redness, and swelling caused by a mosquito bite.

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Leslie Rudd, a Boy From Kansas Who Saw Château Haut-Brion as His Business Model

In the 1950s, teenage boys tended to be interested in girls, cars and a new thing called television. Leslie Rudd liked real estate.

While in high school, he often visited the office of Nestor R. Weigand Sr. , a prominent real-estate broker and investor in the young man’s hometown of Wichita, Kan., to ask questions about the business.

By his early 30s, Mr. Rudd was running a liquor-distribution company started by his parents and branching out with investments in real estate and restaurants. His bigger dream, conceived during a tour of France, was to own a wine-producing estate. He liked the idea of a family business that could last generations. In the mid-1990s, he sent letters to 18 owners of Napa Valley wineries, offering to buy them. One responded, and Mr. Rudd acquired what is now Rudd Oakville Estate .

He also was a fan of Dean & DeLuca, a gourmet grocery chain known for radicchio and balsamic vinegar, whose first store opened in New York’s SoHo neighborhood in 1977. Mr. Rudd and others bought control of the chain in the mid-1990s, expanded it and sold it two decades later.

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Mr. Rudd died May 3 of esophageal cancer at his apartment in New York. He was 76.

One of his favorite mottos was “done is better than perfect.” He liked to ask, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”

Friends said he was a master of determining when to get into an investment and when to get out. He enjoyed buying and improving businesses; the day-to-day operations were left to others.

Leslie Gerald Rudd was born Aug. 15, 1941, in Wichita. His parents, Elenore and Sam Rudd, founded a wholesale wine and liquor company in the late 1940s. Leslie worked in the company’s warehouse as a boy and enrolled in what is now Wichita State University in 1959. He left school before graduating to work in the family business and soon made it clear he had bigger ambitions than those of his parents. (He finally received his WSU degree in general studies in 1981.)

“Leslie was the spark plug,” his mother said in a family history. “He had [his father] Sam build a warehouse and then another warehouse. From then on, Les took a big part of the business. Sam was more cautious and afraid to invest, but Leslie wasn’t.”

He was looking far beyond Kansas. At age 21, he toured France’s Bordeaux region and stopped at the Château Haut-Brion winery, where he was struck by the centuries-long history and emphasis on quality. He vowed to establish his own wine dynasty.

While building up the family liquor-wholesaling business, he began making real-estate investments with Nestor Weigand Jr. , the son of his early mentor. After making a large profit on the sale of an apartment building in Oklahoma, the two bought a vacation home to share in Aspen, Colo.

Mr. Rudd met one of Wichita’s most prominent investors, Charles Koch, in 1964 at a dinner hosted by F.A. “Baldy” Harper, an economist and writer. “We were simpatico,” Mr. Koch said. They became close friends, traveled together and shared business ideas.

Mr. Rudd was smart, inquisitive and humble, Mr. Koch said, and those qualities endeared him to others. When he visited top wine producers in France, “they’d show him what they were doing,” Mr. Koch said.

Mr. Rudd invested in Godfather’s Pizza franchises and was a co-founder of the Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon chain in the 1980s.

After living in Wichita and Aspen, he decided he wanted to raise his daughter, Samantha, in a more rural area while pursuing his dream of making wine. He spent two years searching for a wine estate in California before buying 55 acres in Napa Valley in 1996. There he established Rudd Oakville Estate as a producer of Cabernet Sauvignon and other wines.

A visitor from the British newspaper The Telegraph in 2014 said the estate’s entrance is “formal, wood-paneled and old-worldly, but underground all is modern. The cellars are antiseptically clean, lined with concrete and containing smooth, giant concrete eggs in which some of the wines are fermented.”

The restless Mr. Rudd also invested in other wineries, including a maker of kosher wines, and established an artisanal gin producer, Distillery No. 209, in San Francisco, selling it for as much as $60 a bottle. In St. Helena, Calif., he founded the Press restaurant. Some of the food came from his own Rudd Farms.

His foundation funds scholarships in Kansas, a center for wine studies at the Culinary Institute of America, and a center for food policy and obesity studies at the University of Connecticut.

In addition to his daughter, he is survived by his wife, Susan; a grandchild and a sister.

“He didn’t have any hobbies because he just liked to work,” said his daughter, who now runs the family businesses.

Write to James R. Hagerty at bob.hagerty@wsj.com

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The biggest bank based in Kansas is doing something it’s never done in 125 years | The Wichita Eagle

Home mortgages have been a mainstay for Capitol Federal Savings, the largest bank headquartered in Kansas.

But that’s about to change.

The holding company of the $9 billion-asset savings and loan is buying a bank — only its second acquisition in history — and will expand its business into commercial lending.

Capitol Federal Financial said it is acquiring Topeka-based Capital City Bank, which will allow Capitol Federal to make loans to businesses and related services, such as commercial deposits.

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John Dicus, Capitol Federal chairman and president, said in a news release that Capital City Bank has a similar culture of customer service and conservative lending.

“After growing our commercial real estate portfolio over the last 5 years through our correspondent lending network, we believe this is the right time to enter the commercial banking business through this low risk merger,” Dicus said.

Capital City CEO Bob Kobbeman will join Capitol Federal and lead its new commercial banking division.

The acquisition, expected to be completed by the end of October, is Topeka-based Capitol Federal’s second since its founding in 1893. Its first came in 1983 when it acquired Wichita-based Southwest Federal Savings and Loan.

Capitol Federal has eight branches in the Wichita area and ranks sixth in the area with deposits of more than $543,000, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Jerry Siebenmark: 316-268-6576, @jsiebenmark

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BrightWater Bay is Wichita’s new vacation-staycation combination | The Wichita Eagle

How is it possible to take a vacation and a staycation at the same time?

Jeff Lange has the answer.

His Lange Real Estate is kicking off the new BrightWater Bay 90-acre lake development near I-235 South and West Street, which will be available to rent by the hour, day or week.

"It’s a way to vacation without leaving town," Lange says.

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"It’s amazing how it just feels," he says. "As soon as you drive through the gates, it’s just like, ahhh, now this is relaxing. It just feels like you’re on vacation. It’s really cool."

The development follows the announcement of Lange and Triple Crown’s new Steeple Bay development where Camping World and Gander Mountain are going to open.

"BrightWater Bay is the next thing," Lange says.

"Kind of another high-profile property with water," says Jeff Lowrance, Lange Real Estate’s property development manager.

"Now is the time to start letting the world know about it," Lange says. "Springtime’s coming. It’s a good time to be thinking about a lake and all the activities that can happen out there, so here we go."

The 44-acre lake, which used to be known as Keeler Lake, is at 4900 W. 31st St. S., which is the northwest part of what Lange is calling the CrossGate District. Its boundaries are I-235 on the north, I-35 on the east and the Big Ditch on the west and south.

"We don’t see in this market where there’s really a lake to do what we’re doing," Lange says.

The property, which has not been open to the public in recent years, has an event venue and house along with amenities such as tennis and pickleball courts, horseshoes, shuffleboard and a basketball goal.

The house will be able to sleep up to nine people.

"It’s being completely renovated," says Rachel Lange, Jeff Lange’s daughter who also works at his company.

The renovation includes new large windows and a lot of glass facing the water.

"So all of a sudden now . . . it is part of the lake," Jeff Lange says.

Eventually, the venue will be renovated as well, but Rachel Lange says they want to see what visitors’ needs are first.

"We’re not going to do a ton of work on it this first year."

Visitors can rent the buildings individually or together along with the entire lake.

"You could act like you own it," Jeff Lange says.

Rachel Lange says the venue will be ideal for corporate gatherings, family reunions and other parties.

"Have your own retreat within the city," she says. "So you don’t have to travel all the way to Table Rock or even Cheney and load your boat and everything up."

The lake can have up to four watercraft at a time.

There are new docks, and a boat slip has been renovated.

There will be boat and jet ski rentals eventually.

"We’re working with a dealership that we hope to announce here soon that is actually going to look at relocating here to this site, and then we’ll create a little mini marina," Jeff Lange says. "That way you don’t need to own anything."

Also still in the works is a new entry point to the property.

"Right now the access is limited," Jeff Lange says.

Visitors have to go through the Blue Lake neighborhood. Jeff Lange says everyone — from neighbors to his company to the city — would prefer the entrance be off of K-42 to the north.

Lowrance says BrightWater Bay fits into Lange Real Estate’s bigger plans for the CrossGate district.

He calls the development "kind of a continuation of this family-friendly theme that we’re doing again and again in the CrossGate District. It’s a thumb-free zone where your kids can go do something that doesn’t involve an iPhone or a video game."

In an interview with Lowrance and Jeff and Rachel Lange, Lowrance also pointed out that the lake is hardly just for kids.

"Somebody in this room has been taking jet ski lunches," Lowrance says, looking at Jeff Lange.

"I have a picture of that," Rachel Lange says of her father. "In his business outfit. In his slacks."

Jeff Lange admits to taking some work breaks to enjoy the lake since buying it last year.

He says it’s a business venture for him along with "a cool spot to slip off to."

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com.

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