The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Representatives from Wagga Wagga, Australia, take in Leavenworth

  • Jane Morton and Cayde Cheney concede there are significant differences between their hometown of Wagga Wagga, Australia, and Leavenworth.
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  • Jane Morton and Cayde Cheney concede there are significant differences between their hometown of Wagga Wagga, Australia, and Leavenworth.
    "Everyone drives a truck (in Leavenworth)," Morton quipped.
    Cheney observed that lawns are greener in Leavenworth than ones they see in Australia.
    Despite any differences between the communities, the two Australian women said local residents have made them feel welcome during a visit to Leavenworth.
    "Everyone has been real friendly," Morton said.
    Morton and Cheney, both 22, are visiting as representatives of Wagga Wagga, a sister city of Leavenworth.
    They've made the trip to the U.S. after earning titles in the Miss Wagga Wagga Quest program.
    In November, Morton was crowned Miss Wagga Wagga for 2014, and Cheney was named Community Princess.
    Each year, winners of the Quest program visit one of Wagga Wagga's sister cities.
    The last time a delegation from the Australian city visited Leavenworth was in 2011.
    In 2012, Leavenworth and Wagga Wagga celebrated the 50th anniversary of their sister city relationship.
    Morton and Cheney arrived for their weeklong stay in Leavenworth on Wednesday.
    Their itinerary includes visits to places such as Fort Leavenworth.
    "That's what I can't wait to see," Morton said.
    Like Leavenworth, Wagga Wagga is home to an Army installation. It also is home to a Royal Australian Air Force base.
    Cheney said Leavenworth is smaller in population than Wagga Wagga. She said Wagga Wagga's population is closer to that of Leavenworth County.
    She said the name Wagga Wagga comes from an Aboriginal language and means place of many crows.
    The itinerary for the Wagga Wagga delegation also includes attending a performance of "Legally Blonde the Musical," which is being performed by the River City Community Players. The visitors also are taking in a baseball game, a sport they say is not very popular in Australia.
    Morton and Cheney say they're impressed with historical aspects of Leavenworth, including the community's older buildings.
    On Thursday, Morton and Cheney visited the Leavenworth County Courthouse, where they were provided a tour by County Commissioner Clyde Graeber.
    They also visited the Leavenworth Police Department, where they tried on helmets and vests used by the Special Weapons and Tactics team. They also took a ride in an armored vehicle before heading to the new Leavenworth Animal Control Center.
    On Tuesday, members of the public will have a chance to meet with Morton and Cheney. They will be on hand for a meet-and-greet at 6 p.m. at Leavenworth City Hall.
    Later that evening, they will be presented a proclamation during a meeting of the Leavenworth City Commission.
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