Franklin County shelter provides temporary relief

OTTAWA — The Emergency Temporary Shelter for those in need is up and running.

Last weekend’s snowstorm, coupled with bitter wind chills, set in motion the opening of the shelter for the first time. The shelter was open Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights this past week.

Leigh Hanson, Franklin County United Way interim executive director, said the shelter’s debut went smoothly.

“Everyone is pretty proud we are able to do it,” Hanson said. “We have helped a couple of people Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. It is great to be able to help someone and not just talk about it.”

The Franklin County United Way has been attempting to open a shelter during inclement weather for the past few years, but this year, it everything fell into place.

“We had a coalition of more than 30 agencies around the county that were helping come up with it,” Hanson said. “The key thing was a local business offered their (building) and let us use that. I have to keep that confidential because we want to protect our clients, especially if there was a domestic violence case. If it was not for that business, we probably would not be going yet.”


Church to host benefit concert in January

FORT LEAVENWORTH — Fort Leavenworth Lamp reporter Katie Peterson competed in the national Princess of America pageant in Branson, Missouri, last summer with the title Miss Southern States Princess of America. Peterson finished in the top eight in her division and second runnerup for talent, and she still holds her regional title She is passionate about making a difference with her platform Music Healing the Heart and Soul.

Music Healing the Heart and Soul is dedicated to bringing awareness to the importance of music education while supporting the Save The Music Foundation.

To raise money for the foundation, Music Healing the Heart and Soul will be sponsoring a benefit concert and silent auction Jan. 17 at First United Methodist Church of Leavenworth, 422 Chestnut St.

“Music has always been a major part of my life. It is my outlet, my way of expression and the fire within my soul,” Peterson said. “Just as country artist Tim McGraw says in his 2005 song ‘Things Change,’ ‘Some say it’s too country. Others say it’s too rock n’ roll. But it’s just good music if you can feel it in your soul.′ There is no line of a song that rings truer for me. Music has been a source of comfort, joy and healing through many times in my life.