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May 12, 2008
Contact: Margey Frederick, Special Events and Visitor Services, (785) 864-7103.

Health care, law enforcement are part of final day of Wheat State Whirlwind Tour

LAWRENCE — The 11th annual Wheat State Whirlwind Tour will conclude Friday, May 23, with visit to the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center, a Flint Hills ranch and Cottonwood Falls.

University of Kanas Chancellor Robert Hemenway sponsors the tour, which takes KU faculty and staff on a trip around the state to give them an up-close look at Kansas’ history, culture, economy and landscape.

The day will begin with a visit to McPherson Hospital. The hospital serves as the South Central Medical Education Site for the KU Medical Center. Colleen Elliott, network site executive secretary, will lead a tour of the facility. Hospital staff will discuss with the group the partnership that sends KU Medical Center students to the facility each month as part of their ongoing medical education. The Medical Education Sites work with KU, the Health Policy Institute, the State Data Board, Department of Health Services, Office of Rural Health and other Kansas Board of Regents institutions to implement rural health initiatives throughout the state.

Staff and faculty will then head to the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center near Yoder. A unit of KU Continuing Education, the center is the only training center for police officers in Kansas. Director Ed Pavey will give the group an overview of the center’s offerings and lead a tour of some of the training facilities, including a squad car driving simulator and firearms training simulator.

From Yoder, the tour bus will take a scenic drive to the picturesque Flint Hills Highland Ranch of Scott and Carol Ritchie in Lyon County. The Ritchies, both KU alumni, will host the group for lunch, and Scott Ritchie will lead a nature walk through the property. The ranch is home to numerous species of Kansas flora and fauna. A panoramic view of endless miles of prairie from high atop the ranch’s rolling hills has proven a consistent favorite stop on the tour.

The final stop on the tour will be downtown Cottonwood Falls in Chase County. The tour participants will visit local shops and the historic Chase County Courthouse. Built from local limestone in the 19th century, the majestic building is the oldest courthouse still in use in Kansas.

From Cottonwood Falls, the tour will travel back to Lawrence, bringing to an end the nearly 1,500-mile trek through Kansas.

To view daily itineraries, maps of this year’s route and photos of previous tours, visit www.wheatstate.ku.edu. During the tour, visit www.wheatstate.ku.edu/blog for comments from this year’s tour participants, photos from stops and updates on the tour.

Itinerary for Friday, May 23

7:15 a.m. — Arrive at McPherson Hospital
8 a.m. — Depart for Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center
8:45 a.m. — Arrive at KLETC; tour with Ed Pavey, director
10 a.m. — Depart for Highland Ranch (100 miles)
12 p.m. — Lunch at Highland Ranch with Scott and Carol Ritchie
2 p.m. — Depart for Cottonwood Falls (20 miles)
2:30 p.m. — Arrive at Cottonwood Falls
3:15 p.m. — Depart Cottonwood Falls for Lawrence (98 miles)
5 p.m. — Arrive at KU Visitor Center in Lawrence

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