Tim Grenke has been Centralia’s mayor for two full terms but now faces two challengers in the mayoral race: Ward One Alderman Catherine Simmons and Ward Three Alderman Farris Sanders. Grenke works as a safety specialist in the National Guard. He says he welcomes the challengers.
“A contested election, I think, is better for politics. Because it-it gets more of the issues out there. And I think that being able to articulate what your concerns are is important.”
When the Bartlett Grain Co. elevator exploded in Atchison, Kan., in October 2011, the town’s 11,000 residents knew it immediately. People who live miles away from the elevator still talk about pictures jumping off walls.
Chad Roberts, 20, was among six people killed in the explosion, one of the deadliest workplace accidents in the last decade. The victims also included elevator employees John Burke, Ryan Federinko and Curtis Field, as well as grain inspectors Travis Keihl and Darrek Klahr. Two others were injured.