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September 20, 2018
Harvey County IndependentSeptember 20, 2018 Harvey County Independent

Robots invade Halstead High School

Posted 9/20/2018

Nathan Darbe, left, and Doug Grider, right, fiddle with the robot their group built in Halstead High School’s new Robotics class, while behind them John Newman works to program it on the computer. Nathan Darbe, left, and Doug Grider, right, fiddle with the robot their group built in Halstead High School’s new Robotics class, while behind them John Newman works to program it on the computer. By Jared Janzen

HALSTEAD—Students at Halstead High School are learning new skills this semester that could lead them toward one day having a successful career in computer programming. This year the high school added its first-ever robotics class, and 15 students are enrolled.

Robotics is taught by Danny Driskill, the high school’s new teacher in charge of online curriculum.

The class is very hands-on and student-driven. Some students work in groups to piece together a robot, while others are on computers, working on programming and coding. Each robot has five or six motors that need to be programmed.

Sophomore John Newman decided to join robotics for the programming aspect.

“I saw it in the newspaper sometime during the summer and thought, 'Hey, robotics sounds interesting enough, and I know a little bit about programming, so this should be an interesting experience,'” he said.

Junior Devin Cranford also said programming was what he enjoyed most about robotics. He took the class to further his knowledge in computers, and he thinks Halstead will have a good chance in competitions later this year.

“Absolutely. I’ll bet we could once we learn how to code and how to actually build efficiently,” Cranford said. “Right now we're in the stage where we’re just learning how to get the robot together or get coding together, and later on we’ll probably be in competition.”

Nicholas Doty signed up for robotics because of his interest in building.

“I like to build robots at home, and building robots in class sounded fun,” he said.

He noted that the school’s robot kits are a little more complex and that he’s been learning through the building process.

Doty said he is looking forward to facing other robots in competition and is confidant Halstead will put up a good fight.

“We have a really good team,” he said.

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Sedgwick historical society unveils depot to public

Posted 9/20/2018

By Jared JanzenThe former Sedgwick train depot was opened to the public during Fall Festival last weekend, giving the public its first glimpse inside since Sedgwick Historical Museum took ownership.The former Sedgwick train depot was opened to the public during Fall Festival last weekend, giving the public its first glimpse inside since Sedgwick Historical Museum took ownership.

SEDGWICK–Sedgwick residents got their first look inside the former Sedgwick train depot over the weekend since its relocation last month to behind the Sedgwick Historical Museum. The depot was open Saturday and Sunday during Fall Festival to show off its new displays.

Nancy Stahl, president of the historical society, said the group had been hard at work last week preparing the depot for its unveiling. The walls are lined with photographs and documents, and artifacts are beginning to fill the rooms.

Some of the items in the depot were moved from the main historical museum building, creating more breathing room all around.

The depot contains a number of original artifacts from its years serving train passengers. These include a long bench in the front room, shelves and a desk in the second room, and a strong box that was once kept hidden under the floor.

Also last week, Monty Leonard built a wooden boardwalk from the front sidewalk back to the depot entrance. Some windowpanes were also replaced.

Relocating the depot from Jackson Street to behind the museum on Commercial Avenue was fully funded through donations, and the historical society is continuing to fundraise to complete renovations to the building. These will include heating, A/C and electrical renovations, plumbing for the bathroom, finishing the foundation, creating a breezeway between buildings, repairs to the exterior and roof, and landscaping.

The historical museum is still selling engraved bricks to raise money for these renovations. The first batch of these was laid into the sidewalk in front of the museum early last week, but there is still plenty of room for more.

Bricks sell for $100 each and may be purchased online at https://polarengraving.com/sedgwickhistoricalsociety.

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Hurst recognized as Health Care Worker of the Year

Posted 9/20/2018

Aaron Hurst, right, was selected as a Health Care Worker of the Year by the Kansas Hospital Association. Aaron Hurst, right, was selected as a Health Care Worker of the Year by the Kansas Hospital Association. By Jared Janzen

NEWTON—A Newton Medical Center employee received state recognition recently as one of two individuals named Health Care Worker of the Year by the Kansas Hospital Association (KHA).

Through the award, KHA recognizes hospital employees who have made a signification contribution to the betterment of their hospital. Hospitals across the state nominate employees who routinely go above and beyond the call of duty.

Aaron Hurst, a Burrton-area resident, was chosen for the award because of his persistent evaluation of processes to enhance safety through his role as supervisor of quality services at Newton Medical Center.

Hurst has accomplished much in his 30 years with Newton Medical Center. Val Gleason, Newton Medical Center president and CEO, said Hurst had compiled an enviable body of work in the area of blood transfusion safety.

With the encouragement of his laboratory director, Robetta Trapp, he designed and implemented a paperless blood bank system that incorporates hundreds of automated safety features into the preparation, handling and administration of safe transfusions.

“He knew it could be done, but just how it could be done was something that he was determined to solve,” Gleason said. “It took several years to design and perfect his plan before implementation. Our hospital laboratory and nursing staffs know that adhering to the process provides a high degree of safety and protection for each patient.”

Hurst was recently invited to speak about his paperless and automated blood bank achievements at an international meeting of blood bank scientists.

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