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The Harvey County Independent
220 Main St.
Halstead, KS 67056

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 This Week's Issue:



Substate Brackets Announced

Posted 2/26/2015

By Frederick Bader


Most local high school teams now know their fate going into the substate round of basketball playoffs. KSHSAA announced the seedings on Wednesday, and it looks to be a tough assignment for most Harvey County schools.

The Chargers (11-8), as the number one seed in their bracket, will have the best start to the tournament, starting with a bye before taking on the winner of Rosalia or Goessel on March 6 at Rosalia-Flinthills High School. Meanwhile, the Lady Chargers (5-14) get started earlier, taking on Hope-White City (12-7) at the same venue.

The Dragons (6-14) are the seventh seed, and will travel to second seed Sterling (13-7) on Tuesday. Halstead’s girls (6-14) come in as the eighth seed and will take on unbeaten Hesston (20-0) at Hesston High School on Monday.

The Cardinals (9-11) enter the tournament as the fourth seed, taking on fifth seed Remington (8-12) in Sedgwick on Tuesday. The Lady Cardinals (10-10) are the fifth seed and will travel to Wichita Collegiate (14-5) on Monday.

The brackets for the larger schools – including Newton High School – will be announced on Saturday.

Click here to see the brackets.

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Old Mennonite Church Reborn As Burrton Community Church

Posted 2/26/2015

By Frederick Bader


BURRTON – Just a few months after the final service at Burrton Mennonite Church, change is already in the wind. Following the closing of the Burrton Mennonite Church, the First Baptist ministry out of Newton stepped in, renaming the building to Burrton Community Church and taking over to ensure that the people of Burrton will still have places of worship.

Ultimately, the decision for the building to change hands was a mutual one. “When we heard that the Burrton Mennonite ministry was no longer going to exist, we started praying about it, asking if this was a ministry we felt we could help,” First Baptist chairman Dan Heinze said. “We decided we didn’t want to see a ministry disappear in a community, and that was the driving force behind the decision. We don’t want to see churches close.”

Both the Burrton Mennonite and First Baptist congregations discussed the move and agreed unanimously to allow it. First Baptist acquired the building in January and immediately set to work preparing for their first service.

To read more, see this week's print edition.

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Severe Weather Awareness Week Approaches

Posted 2/26/2015

By Pilar Martin           


With cold temperatures, snow and ice, it’s hard to believe next week, March 2-6, is Severe Weather Awareness week in Kansas. Each year the National Weather Service designates the first week in March to get agencies and residents prepared for the upcoming season. A state-wide tornado drill will be next Tuesday, March 3 at 1:30 p.m.

The drill gives local agencies, cities, schools, and people, a chance to make sure they are ready for the upcoming season. It also gives them a chance to make sure all sirens are operating as they should be.  Last year, Halstead’s sirens did not sound during the test, but the situation was quickly resolved.

2014 was the quietest season for tornadoes since 1989. There were no tornadoes reported in Harvey or Sedgwick counties last year. The first tornado of last year was in May in Barber County. The last tornado of 2014 was in December in Harper County.

Tornadoes are not the only threat with spring storms. Severe thunderstorms with damaging winds, flooding rains, dangerous lighting, and hail, are all things we can expect.

Storm Spotter classes are held free to the public for those who wish to be spotters, or are just interested in learning more about severe weather in general. On March 12, a Storm Spotter class will be held at the Santa Fe Middle School in Newton at 6:30 p.m. Sedgwick’s Senior Center will host a Spotter class on March 24 at 6:30 p.m.


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No Auction Friday

Posted 2/26/2015

By Robb Reeves

HALSTEAD – There will be no sheriff’s sale of the former Halstead Hospital and its related properties Friday.

The hospital building, clinic, related parking lots and other Halstead properties were  scheduled to go to sheriff’s sale, but Monday evening, Judge Thomas Malone of the Kansas Court of Appeals issued a stay.

The appeal was filed by Wheatridge Second, LLC; AZP Realty, LLC; Apartments Halstead, LLC; and Azriel and Paula Reckess. The appeal has been on file with the courts since last year, but required a bond. When the bond was filed Monday, the stay was granted, canceling the sheriff’s sale. The bond is $150,000 and was filed in Harvey County District Court.

Harvey County had published legal notices pertaining to the sale in the weeks leading up to it and County Administrator John Waltner said county officials knew the sale could be halted if a stay was granted.

“We all knew this was a possibility,” Waltner said.

Waltner said a sale would still take place Friday and it would feature some lots in Newton.

Waltner said he did not know when the Reckess case would be heard.  Documents related to the case indicated it would be put on a docket to be heard.

“We will continue to work through the appeals process,” Waltner said.

According to the notice that was published, $373,716 is owed in back taxes on the hospital building.

An attorney for Azriel Reckess, Jeremy Schrag, said his client is appealing the assessment procedure of Harvey County in evaluating the properties. He said he asked for a deposition from the county appraiser but that was denied and that denial is being appealed.

Schrag also said his client believes a $150,000 bond is not necessary.

Schrag said Reckess is trying to find a solution for the hospital building that will be suitable to all.

“I don’t want there to be the perception that he is just sitting on the building,” Schrag said.

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