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1st-gen college grad now heading PSU program & helping women through new boutique

PITTSBURG, Kans. — Years of dreaming and goal setting are paying off big time for a Pitt State grad. Her journey started years ago in Mexico with a father who wanted more, leading to a daughter who’s a first-generation college graduate.

“We are at my new storefront Three Degrees limited here in Pittsburg,” said Sandra Cobos Schroeder, Pittsburg.

Sandra Cobos Schroeder is still easing into her new boutique, which is not just any shop.

“It’s not. I wanted to open it to be able to give back to the students that I work with, and to women who I saw needed some help. So that’s really the meaning behind it,” she said.

Sandra is tapping into her love of business casual clothing. Three Degrees is open part-time, just three days a week.

“We donate part of our profits back to the community and specifically women and children in need,” said Sandra.

Challenges she can relate to. Sandra immigrated from Mexico at the age of nine, with her father wanting something more for his family. That included a college education, which for Sandra meant Pitt State.

“I looked at a lot of colleges. And when I came to Pitt State something just felt right. To this day, I can’t tell you what it is but I remember walking around campus and feeling like this is it,” she said.

She got a bachelors in psychology and Spanish, then a masters and an EDS, and had her daughter Luna along the way.

“She really was the motivation to keep pursuing higher degrees. Once she was born, she was diagnosed with hydrocephalus and just being aware of the developmental delays that could be a result of her condition. I decided that I wanted to be the best advocate, I could be for her,” Sandra said.

Luna has made tremendous progress.

“She’s just so incredibly smart. I’m very proud of how far she’s come.”

And her professional life is hitting a new milestone. After working at K-12 schools, Sandra is now the director of the PSU school psychology program.

“And I look forward to training other school psychs and sharing with them the passion about the field,” she said.

Which leaves her with a full-time job and a part-time boutique, not to mention 24/7 responsibilities as a mom.

“It’s been hard, but it’s been very fulfilling. And I recognize the opportunities I’ve had along the way, though. I didn’t do it alone. And that’s my purpose. I want to empower other women to know that they can do it too,” she said.

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Fall ArtWalk returns to Downtown Pittsburg

PITTSBURG, Kans. — The Pittsburg ArtWalk is coming back to downtown.

The Fall ArtWalk will be held this Friday, September 23rd, 2022, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in downtown Pittsburg, Kansas.

Over 50 artists and organizations are coming together to close out the last ArtWalk of 2022.

New to this season’s ArtWalk: “The Writer’s Block.”

Attendees are encouraged to visit the west side of 6th Street to see several poets and authors.

The Writer’s Block will feature several writers selling their poetry, fiction and children’s books.

Inside TJ Lelands from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., there will be a poetry and fiction reading, with an open mic at the end.

More stages are also being added for the last ArtWalk of the year.

Four area bands will perform and will be located at the Main Stage area, or as they like to call it, “The Waterfall Music Hall in Europe Park.”

Six additional stage areas will be used this year: Inside Eclectic Soul Studio, the East 6th Street intersection, the Block22 courtyard in front of the Pitsco Idea Shop, inside TOAST, a performance stage located at the 7th Street crosswalk in front of The Finishing Touch and one final stage location in the 6th Street intersection.

The Southeast Kansas (SEK) Humane Society, Pittsburg Public Library, Guardians of the Children, Operation Lifesaver and several more local not-for-profit organizations will be on-site with art related activities for the youngest attendees.

Several food trucks will be serving up dishes ranging from mac and cheese to wood-fired pizza.

Most downtown eateries will be open and serving during the ArtWalk.

Several local businesses will also be on location, showing their support for art in the Pittsburg community and providing art projects for kids.

Event organizers are encouraging attendees to use the #pittsburgartwalk2022 hashtag if posting to social media.

Save The Dates

The inaugural Holiday Art Market will be held on November 26th, 2022 at Frisco Event Center.

The Spring ArtWalk will be held on April 21st, 2023.

For more information on the ArtWalk, you can check out their Facebook Page, HERE.

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City of Pittsburg hires new director of community development and housing

PITTSBURG, Kans. — The City of Pittsburg announced Friday their choice for the position of Community Development and Housing Director.

Kim Froman will step into the role effective September 26th and begin leading the city’s housing and community development programs, the city stated in a release.

Kim Froman

“We are excited for Kim to join our team,” says Pittsburg City Manager Daron Hall. “She is a proven leader with strong roots in Pittsburg. Her team-building, management, networking, and operational expertise will serve our growing community well.”

As director, Froman will be responsible for networking and building positive relationships with business leaders, educational institutions, property owners, investors, regulatory and governmental agencies, non-profits, and citizens to promote the future growth of Pittsburg.

“I hope to bring perspective from not only a citizen of Pittsburg but a wife, a mother and a business owner,” said Froman. “I am excited to team up with the City of Pittsburg to continue to make Pittsburg a great place to live, shop and do business, but also sell Pittsburg to those who might not know about our incredible community.”

Froman brings with her more than 20 years of experience managing business operations in corporate settings and previously held the position of Director of Talent at Crossland Construction in Columbus, KS.

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Pittsburg proposed budget for next fiscal year— over $70 million

PITTSBURG, Kans. — Pittsburg’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year was approved earlier Tuesday. City Commissioners have been combing over the numbers since City Manager, Daron Hall officially submitted the budget on July 26th. The total number — a little more than $72.2 million.

There’s a big focus on housing and economic development. Officials say they want to continue to grow the community — but inflation does play a role.

“We build this budget in May and June and times have already then changed in those two months. So, it’s difficult to keep planning for those projects and things like that. // We’re seeing, you know, record inflation, today was a struggle on the market,” said Larissa Bowman, Finance Director, City of Pittsburg.

The adopted budget will be sent to the City Clerk Wednesday to be certified.

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Brick + Mortar Social House under new ownership

PITTSBURG, Kans. — One of the founding fathers of a Four State downtown redevelopment program has a new title at one of the businesses he helped create. Pitt State Graduate Darrell Pulliam helped write the initial grant back in 2015 that lead to the creation of the renovation project at 4th and Broadway called “Block 22.” That project called for the complete renovation of a group of buildings at that intersection. That $300,000 grant helped get the project off the ground.

One of the businesses that anchor Block 22 is Brick + Mortar restaurant. Pulliam wanted to keep ownership of the eatery local, so he bought the business recently and now runs it.

“So we’re still in a growth mode, we think we have a really cool restaurant. It’s a great place for lunch, you can have a business lunch here and then we transition into dinner and it’s fine dining so you can sit down and have a really great date night,” said Darrell Pulliam, Owner, Brick + Mortar.

Through a previous job, he worked all across the country but he ultimately wanted to be part of a downtown renaissance he helped start.

“I chose to come back to Pittsburg because I really believe in what we’re trying to do here and what we’re trying to build and it’s a great place to be,” said Pulliam.

Prior to buying the restaurant, he was the executive director of The Foundry right across the street and has played a project manager role at P.S.U. Pulliam says the business just celebrated its 3rd year in operation. He also owns a smaller restaurant next to Brick + Mortar. It was previously called “Juicy’s,” but he plans to reopen that as a burrito shop later this fall with a different name.

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Pittsburg Fire Department battles fire on West Fourth Street

PITTSBURG, Kans. – On Saturday, around1:22 pm, the Pittsburg Fire and Police Departments responded to a residential structure fire at 407 West 4th Street.

While en route to the scene, dispatchers informed the fire department that they received several phone calls confirming that the structure was fully involved. Dispatch also reported that the building was possibly unoccupied. Fire personnel later discovered a posting on the property, dated June 23, 2022, identifying the structure as “Unsafe to Occupy.”

Upon arrival, firefighters attempted an interior attack to extinguish the fire. Operations changed from an offensive to a defensive approach due to heavy fire damage, structural instability, and a roof collapse. After a difficult 3.5-hour fight, the fire department was able to extinguish the fire, but the damage to the building was estimated to be a total loss. No civilian injuries were reported.

Officials from the Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Office are conducting the investigation. The cause of the fire remains undetermined at this time.

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PSU honors nurses in White Coat Ceremony

PITTSBURG, Kans. — If the pandemic taught us nothing else, it taught us the importance and utter selflessness of nurses. At Pittsburg State Friday, about 100 nursing students were honored during their White Coat Ceremony. The white Coat Ceremony is relatively new to nursing students. In the past, it was mostly used for those becoming doctors.

“White Coat Ceremony is an opportunity to really recognize these beginning students who have made a tough decision to enter healthcare and have demonstrated that commitment. So it reflects that transition from learning in the classroom to actually applying that knowledge in the clinical setting,” said Dr. Barb McClaskey, Professor, Master Advisor.

“I chose to be a nurse because I have a passion for helping people. It’s such a great profession to get into so many different opportunities,” said Madison Strupe, Student.

Nearly every hospital in the area offers nurses huge signing bonuses – depending on the area of study, some could receive as much as $20,000 dollars.

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Four Oaks hosts SE Kansas Special Olympic Golf games

PITTSBURG, Kans. — With today’s weather, many local golf courses were packed with players. And one in Pittsburg hosted a “feel good” event.

Four Oaks Golf Course hosted this year’s Southeast Kansas Regional Golf Competition for Special Olympics Kansas. Special Olympic athletes from a number of area schools across Southeast Kansas teamed up with partners and volunteers to enjoy a day of golf. All told — more than 150 athletes took part.

“We have everyone from high school, high school, and middle school to adults, and they’ll come and compete. They’ll, some will be paired with unified partners, which is a person that does not have a diagnosed disability. They’ll form teams and form these lifelong relationships, all to have fun and play sports and do golf,” said Erin Fletcher, Special Olympics Kansas.

Students played this morning — with the Adult Special Olympians hitting the course this afternoon.

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Model T Club rolls into Pittsburg

PITTSBURG, Kans. — A local museum is taking us back in time hosting some classic cars. “The Heart of the Ozarks Model T Ford Club” is spending the next few days touring southeast Kansas. As part of their annual tour, the group will visit places like Big Brutus and the Crawford County Historic Museum.

The group has been in existence for nearly 40 years. In the past, it has had more than 100 members, but this year they have 50. Members hope tours like this can help attract younger members to the group.

“On Labor Day week we have a tour from various different locations, cities that can accommodate the number of cars that we have. In years past, we had well over a hundred cars that we have,” said Gus Lueckenhoff, Model T Ford Club Member.

To learn more about the tour and the club you can check out their Facebook page here.

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Humane Society holds adoption event to close Little Balkans Days

PITTSBURG, Ks. — Little Balkans Days is wrapping up this weekend with something big for one local animal shelter.

This afternoon the Southeast Kansas Humane Society held an adoption event at Lakeside Park.

People were able to meet some of the dogs up for adoption at the shelter.

Director Jasmine Kyle says socialization events like this are big for residents, especially for Robert the five year old beagle.

He was one of 4,000 rescued from a breeding facility in Virginia earlier this year, and today was the first time he had ever gone to a park.

“He was born at that facility, and that’s all they know, they have never seen a tree. When they first got to our shelter they were a little hesitant on grass when we first got them out. So it’s really important that you work with that overstimulation with them,” says Kyle, “We always like to see how they’re going to be doing outside, how they’re going to be doing with other people, and let them enjoy what they’re about to experience with their family.”

The shelter has also restarted its dog check-out program.

It’s where people check-out one of the residents for part of the day.

They can take them around town for things like a walk or a pupcup, and then bring them back to the shelter.

To take part, just visit the shelter during normal business hours.