1. Get a unique look at history

"Civil War Stories" will be presented at 7 p.m. Jan. 16 at the Newton Public Library. Retired Air Force Colonel Jack Bender III will relate stories, based on letters he obtained, of some Civil War soldiers. All are welcome to this free program.

When retired Air Force Colonel Jack Bender III took an alternate route home one day nearly 30 years ago, he had no idea how much it would impact his life.

As he drove, he noticed a sign for an auction and decided to stop and see what was available. He was drawn to several boxes of letters and a suitcase full of photographs. The oldest letter was written in 1857. Digitized, summarized and searchable by key words, the letters provide a look at life in a time of upheaval in the United States.

In "Civil War Stories," Bender shows pictures and tells stories of James Young and his family. He also relates legends of the Corman ancestors, including tales of kidnapping, war, passwords and presidential families.


2. Food and music at the gallery

Third Thursday at Carriage Factory Art Gallery will feature a combination of Kansas art and a New Orleans flavor from 6 to 8 p.m.  Jan. 18 at the gallery, 128 East Sixth Street.

The sounds and tastes of New Orleans will be featured in the music and food for the evening. Doug Everingham, Lady Dee and Charles Nida, all of the Wichita area, will play jazz, blues, Cajun-flavor and country music.

In celebration of the Carnival season, red beans and rice will be provided for a donation. There will also be a traditional New Orleans dessert, and other snacks will be available. The red beans and rice will be prepared by Joe Gilliam, a self-trained cook whose recipes are heavily influenced by the many years he lived on the Gulf Coast. Gilliam is currently writing a cookbook with his wife, Dena Bisnette, who will provide a short presentation about Mardi Gras and how it relates to food.

The featured art exhibits are “Kansas Through The Eyes Of An Artist,” featuring 50 works by 34 artists in the main gallery and "Dirty Laundry," an exhibit opening in the mezzanine gallery of portfolio prints featuring area artists whose work is carved into linoleum blocks and then printed onto paper made from dryer lint.

For more information, contact Carriage Factory Art Gallery at 316-284-2749 from noon until 5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday or 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday.




3. Hear some hot jazz

The quartet Organique – Jim Pisano, Bethel director of jazz studies, on saxophone; William Flynn, Wichita, on guitar; Jeremy Thomas, Oklahoma City, on the Hammond B3 organ; and Pete Zimmer, New York City, on drums – is making its second appearance on the Bethel College campus at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 18  in Krehbiel Auditorium.

The concert is free and open to the public (with donations accepted to support jazz at Bethel), as is a 5 p.m. clinic that same day with Zimmer and Bethel Jazz Combo I, also in Krehbiel Auditorium.

“We will be playing original compositions as well as jazz standards,” Pisano said.


4. Grab a bite to eat

The Romero and Garcia families will host a benefit dinner and silent auction for Manuel Romero starting at 1 p.m. Jan. 20 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 415 S. Ash.

Romero was recently diagnosed with autoimmude hepatitis acute illness that may require organ transplants.

The menu for the dinner will be pork chile, rice, beans, dessert and drink. Large plates will be $9, small plates $6. Pre-sale orders for pork chile burritos will be taken.

For more information call 316-284-1321 or 316-227-0025.


5. Check out "The Rupp."

This week Halstead High School wil host the 48th annual Adolph Rupp Invitational Boys Basketball Tournament. 

For those who do not know, Adolph Rupp was born and played high school basketball in Halstead. He went on to become college basketball coach. Rupp is ranked fifth (behind Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Boeheim, Bob Knight and Dean Smith) in total victories by a men's NCAA Division I college coach, winning 876 games in 41 years of coaching at the University of Kentucky.

This year's tournament will feature Andale, Garden Plain, Rose Hill, Haven, Cheney, Winfield, Minneapolis and Halstead. There will be two games Tuesday. Thursday will be the consolation semifinals pitting the Andale-Garden Plain loser vs. Rose Hill-Haven loser  and the Cheney-Winfield loser vs. Halstead-Minneapolis loser. Friday will be the tournament semifinals.

Jan. 20 there will be four games, starting at 2 p.m. The tournament championship is scheduled for 8 p.m. Jan. 20.