Crawford County OKs support letter for contact tracing app


GIRARD — The Crawford County Commission approved a letter of support Tuesday for a mobile application being developed locally that people would be able to voluntarily use to help with contact tracing to limit the spread of COVID-19.


John Kuefler, co-owner of the local software development company DevSquared and an instructor at Pittsburg State University, addressed the commission last week to discuss the app, which he has been working on in conjunction with PSU and the City of Pittsburg. His company has been approached by various local businesses asking for assistance with contact tracing, he said.


“And my response is ‘I don’t want to make 50 different forms for 50 different businesses around here that all do things a little differently,’” Kuefler said. “I think that’s not going to serve our purposes well. I mean it’s not going to allow us to collect useful data that’s actually going to be helpful.”


One concern, Kuefler said, is security of people’s information if they are filling out paper forms to check in at work or at businesses they visit. Another concern is privacy. No one likes feeling like they’re being tracked, he said.


“And there are contact tracing platforms and solutions that are coming about from on high — from big companies, from Apple, from Google, from you know, state governments, stuff like that, but those also have that lack of trust I think because they don’t necessarily take into account local needs,” Kuefler said.


Salvation Army receives $25,000 grant


DODGE — The Salvation Army of Dodge City was awarded a $25,000 grant by the Kansas Health Foundation’s Impact and Capacity Grants initiative to help support its COVID-19 response and recovery expenses.


“Funding from the Kansas Health Foundation Impact and Capacity Grant has made a very significant impact on The Salvation Army’s ability to serve the community of Dodge City,” said Jan Scoggins, Salvation Army of Dodge City grant writer.


Monthly, the Salvation Army supplies about 300 individuals such basics as food, clothing, assistance with rent, utilities and other necessities.