by Kim Hynes
KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
11:41 AM CDT, November 1, 2011
The second town we visit in our 'One of a Kind' Kansas road trip has a mixture of history and new energy that made it stand out. Sterling boasts both a house hold name in Kansas and also an up and coming name in country music. About 2,500 people live in Sterling. It's in Rice County about an hour and fifteen minutes north west of Wichita.
More than 40 people got involved on Facebook to tell us about Sterling and what made it 'One of a Kind'. "The people of Sterling did a great job nominating their town. They shared so many unique things we had to check out, some well-known names who've come from there, even tempting us with fried chicken! We also wanted to wish good luck to the Sterling Blackbears, and their opponents, the Beloit Trojans, as they face-off in state playoffs tonight," said news director Chad Cross.
"To me it is the people that make Sterling outshine all other towns. If you visit us, expect to be waved at by some friendly soul. If you come here to live know that friends should not be few in number. We are a community of warmth. Each school year our population increases suddenly by about 600+ people during the school year. It has always been our goal to make each feel at-home, and we would do no less for you as you visit us," Wanda Phillips-Doran posted on our Facebook wall.
Phillips-Doran was right, our Eyewitness News crew was made to feel welcome the moment they rolled into town. Michael Schwanke was treated to homemade goodies from the school lunch ladies. Students anxiously listened to Merril Teller give a weather talk. And they lined up for a tour of our satellite truck with photojournalist Rob Schunn.
Sterling has a lot to be proud of. It's home to J.S. Dillon, the founder of Dillons grocery stores. He started his first business in Sterling in 1890 and the building is still standing. The town also has a cemetery with 200 civil war soldiers. There's a college in town, Sterling College. It's debate/forensic team has more state champions than any other college in Kansas. Sterling is also home to a rising star in country music Nicolle Galyon. She's one of many famous connections for the small town. Tonight at 10 on Eyewitness News reporter Melody Pettit will explain more.
During our newscasts at 4,5 and 6 Jenn Bates, Michael Schwanke and Merril Teller will be live with what they've learned and done in Sterling. They'll be at the high school football field. There's a game tonight against Beloit, another town nominated as 'One of a Kind'.
And it's still not too late to get involved. We have two more days on the road and need help choosing where to visit. All you have to do is go to Facebook, 'like' our page and then 'like' or comment on your town.
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