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July 21, 2016
Harvey County IndependentJuly 21, 2016 Harvey County Independent

Early Voting Now Open

Posted 7/21/2016

Early voting in-person began Tuesday and will remain open until noon on Monday, Aug.1.

Polls are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Harvey County Courthouse Community Room, 800 N. Main, Newton. They will also be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on July 30, the Saturday prior to the election.

 

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More Than 400 Attend Sheriff's Forum

Posted 7/21/2016

Four candidates for Harvey County sheriff took part in a forum last Thursday evening. 

With three Republican candidates, Ted Brunner, Chad Gay and Bruce Jolliff and a single Democrat, Brian Hall, the four fielded questions from moderator Adam Strunk, editor of Newton Now and coordinator of the event.

In the opening of the debate, the candidates each gave their law enforcement experience, as well as why they should be elected as Sheriff. 

• Candidates took different directions to the question of what challenges the sheriffs department was facing. 

Ted Brunner focused on the lack of rural patrols and moving sheriff’s officers out of Newton.

“They have their own police department.  A lot of these towns in the country are not a 24-hour police department and rely on the sheriff for coverage. We need to get off blacktop and out patrolling county roads. That’s one of the things to change,” he said.

Gay disagreed with Brunner, saying the department was, “almost a turn-key operation.” 

One of the changes proposed by Gay was establishing a Harvey County drug task force that would, “potentially involve every city in Harvey County.” 

Jolliff addressed officer training, particularly when it comes to vehicle safety.

“About one-third of officers are killed in vehicle accidents we cause. We need to give good training and direction on how to drive. It’s a 3,000-pound bullet. It kills people,” he said. 

Jolliff also said he was concerned about pay disparities between sheriffs and Wichita and Sedgwick County police agencies, saying experienced officers may be enticed to leave Harvey County in favor of higher pay to the south.

Hall said he was focusing on larger issues than the day-to-day operations of the department.

“Look at the news, the failure of 30 years of a punitive justice system. The sheriff sets the tone for the system - for how law enforcement interacts,” he said. Hall said he plans to focus on crime prevention and recidivism rates. 

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Bentley Names Interim Fire Chief

Posted 7/21/2016

BENTLEY— There’s a new chief in town.

Sedgwick County Reserve Fire Chief Maurice “Mo” Lallement was appointed as Bentley’s interim fire chief at the Thursday night council meeting. The reserve fire department will also be serving as Bentley’s volunteer force.

Their main purpose will be to nurture, recruit and build a fire department in the area, train them and as they are trained, have them assume positions on the fire department. As that happens, the reserve department will start dropping off, and as the new leaders get established and Lallement feels the department can move forward on its own, he will step down and new fire chief will take over.

“I’m aware of the constraints of the city; what I offered is that our guys can help,” Lallement said. “We are just going to have a more concentrated focus up here. We are going to work the restraints to deliver the best possible service.”

He said his main focus to begin with will be “locating those willing to help, getting folks to step up, and instilling the confidence in them that they can serve.” Lallement also said that he will be researching what main types of calls Bentley has and really emphasizing those in training new recruits so they are well prepared and very familiar with the types of calls they will be running.

So far, there have already been four applications from people who would like to serve as volunteer firefighters within the 10-minute radius of Bentley.

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

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A Mr. And Mrs. Halstead Visit Halstead

Posted 7/21/2016

THE Halstead family—Matthew and Naketa Halstead with their children, Dominic, Gabriel, Evangelyn and Elijah—visited the City of Halstead for their first time last week. 

THE Halstead family—Matthew and Naketa Halstead with their children, Dominic, Gabriel, Evangelyn and Elijah—visited the City of Halstead for their first time last week. HALSTEAD—It’s not every day that the average person discovers a city named after their ancestor, but that was exactly the case for Matthew Halstead of Wichita Falls, Texas last week.

“This is crazy,” Halstead said about the discovery. “I was just sitting here super stoked over this.”

Before July 14, he had no idea that a city sharing his last name existed.

The discovery happened by chance. Halstead, his wife, Naketa, and their four children were in Wichita because his oldest son, Dominic, was on a campus visit at Wichita State University. The family was watching the weather reports on TV because of stormy weather that morning.

“There were storms coming through and so I was looking at who was under warnings,” Halstead said. “Sure enough I see Wichita and a few others under warnings, and then I saw Halstead at the bottom (of the screen). Why’s my last name on here? And then I looked and it’s about 30 minutes north of Wichita.”

Halstead called an uncle who lives in Boston, who looked it up using an online ancestry site. They found out that Matthew Halstead is a “distant, distant cousin” to Murat Halstead, the city’s original namesake.

That same afternoon of the discovery, the Halstead family visited the City of Halstead for the first time.

“I’ve got so many pictures up and down through here,” Halstead said.

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

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