August 9, 2007
George and I headed up to Chase County wondering how we were going to do this story. The Chase County Courthouse is closed for renovations and I was told we would not get in to shoot video. "How do we tell the story if we can't see what we're talking about" George asked me? I told him we'd just have to figure it out when we got there.
We drove to Cottonwood Falls on Highway 50. It was 80 miles away and took us an hour and 15 minutes from Wichita. Once we arrived, they told us we should have taken the scenic route, Highway 177 through Cassoday and Matfield Green.
Once we arrived, we met Deb Zeiner who usually gives tours of the courthouse. She found out Chase County made the Wonders of Kansas list three days before it closed for renovations. She's bummed they can't do more during the voting process.
After we interviewed Deb, we told her we were going to try and get into the courthouse. Construction crews were there and we decided it couldn't hurt to ask. They were digging a shaft for an elevator so it took about a half hour for them to hear me yelling through a small window. But after they heard me and saw us, they decided to let us in.
George was able to get the video he needed, which made him happy. And I have to say, it will be worth going back once its finished. There's an old jail upstairs. Inmates who spent time there 100 years ago carved their crimes into the metal bars.
For lunch we at the Grand Central Hotel and Grill downtown. It's a nice restaurant known for its steak. We were in a hurry and had sandwiches which were good. But everyone said we needed to come back and eat the steak which they cut at the restaurant.
From there we headed a mere 3 miles to the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve to check out the Flint Hills. We'll take you there August 18th.
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