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CEO who forwarded racy e-mail is placed on leave

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, March 21, 2013, at 6:54 a.m.
  • Updated Thursday, March 21, 2013, at 7:08 a.m.

Joe Yager, CEO of the Regional Economic Area Partnership, has been placed on administrative leave following what he says was an inadvertent forwarding of an e-mail that was soliciting sex.

“A situation, a personnel matter, has been brought to the university’s attention, and it is being investigated as we speak,” says Ted Ayres, vice president and general counsel for Wichita State University.

WSU’s Hugo Wall School of Urban and Public Affairs has a contractual relationship with REAP to provide consultation and staff support.

On Tuesday, Have You Heard? reported that Yager forwarded a release from the state water office to members of REAP’s water committee that contained several lines of a sexual nature amid otherwise mundane news of a forthcoming meeting in Hutchinson.

Yager says he accidentally copied and pasted the sex text while trying to delete it.

“It’s one of those situations that we take seriously,” Ayres says.

“Certainly the interest of all concerned, including the employee, must be considered.”

Ayres is in Salt Lake City to watch the Shockers play in the NCAA tournament but is following the situation.

“It’s my understanding that just to facilitate the situation, our office and human resources did place him on administrative leave this morning,” Ayres says of Yager.

Misty Bruckner, associate director of the Center for Urban Studies at the Hugo Wall School, is temporarily replacing Yager.

“I am just handling contacts for a few days,” she says.

Yager didn’t return a call for comment.

Ayres wouldn’t comment further on Yager’s leave except to say he’s gone for now.

“Joe’s an employee of WSU, and they’re following a procedure,” says County Commissioner Dave Unruh, who also is chairman of REAP. “They have to try to get to the bottom of all this.”

Unruh says Bruckner is “just kind of standing in the gap there a little bit till this gets sorted out.”

He says he hopes that’s soon.

“I have had a great relationship with Joe, and he has done a great job for REAP.”

Pure training

Pete Rohleder has been working out at Fit Physique Fitness Center since he was 12 and working there since he was 16. After spending half his life there, he says he was ready to have his own place.

This week, he’s having a soft opening for his Pure Fitness Rx at 3460 N. Ridge Road.

“Fit Physique is a wonderful place … but I needed to grow professionally,” Rohleder says.

He got his master’s degree in exercise science last year and says, “I wanted to be able to offer more services.”

Rohleder calls himself an exercise physiologist.

“It allows me to be a little bit more in depth and a little more comprehensive with my approach to health and fitness.”

He says he can incorporate more physiological tools for better results.

“I can help develop programs that are much more efficient.”

Rohleder says he trains all kinds of people, from elite and professional athletes to people struggling with diseases.

“It’s an exclusive setting,” he says. “They’re the only ones in the studio.”

That includes one-on-one training and private, specialized yoga.

Cristi Howell of J.P. Weigand & Sons and Dan Unruh of InSite Real Estate Group handled the deal for the 1,500-square-foot space.

Rohleder says in addition to the training, he’s adding a number of smaller touches, such as infused flavored water, aromatherapy, towel service and personalized music and temperature settings.

“The entire experience from the second you walk in to the second you walk out is important,” he says. “It’s whatever the client wants.”

Nobody’s restaurant

Wednesday is the second anniversary of Everybody’s Family Restaurant opening at Hillside and Harry, and owner Ernie Fincher says business has “been awesome.”

March 30 is its last day in business, though. The restaurant, on the southwest corner of the intersection, is closing to make way for a new CVS store.

“It’s a sad deal,” says Fincher, who also owns Fat Ernie’s Family Dining on South Hydraulic. “We really are going to miss it.”

Even though he’s known this was coming for a year, Fincher says he still hasn’t found a new location.

“We are looking, but I just want to make sure I make the right decision.”

There’s a possibility the restaurant won’t reopen until the economy improves. Fincher isn’t sure yet.

“We’re going to miss a lot of customers,” he says. “Hopefully some of them will go back over to Fat Ernie’s.”

You don’t say

“Good....gives him time to hone his computer skills.”

– Wichitan Lu Ann Allen’s comment on Facebook after reading that REAP CEO Joe Yager has been placed on administrative leave

Carrie Rengers first reported these items on her blog. Be among the first to get her business scoops at blogs.kansas.com/haveyouheard.

Got a hot tip or a quirky story? Call Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or e-mail crengers@wichitaeagle.com.

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