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

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 This Week's Issue:


Art Fest Is This Saturday

Posted 10/17/2014

By Frederick Bader

HALSTEAD – It is one of Halstead’s most beloved festivals, and once again the Halstead Fine Arts and Crafts Festival will be open for business from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 18.

Main Street from Second to Third Streets will be closed for the day and “loaded up with vendors, food and art,” organizer Paula Burke said. There will be also be a kids’ zone, where children can be left to themselves with arts and crafts.

High school students from around the area will compete in an art competition in order to win a $250 scholarship from Roy E. Meyer. Students will compete in painting, charcoal/pastel, sculpture/ceramics, pen and ink, mixed media, computer or graphic design, and graphite categories. Students may also have art for sale.

There will be many demonstrations, largely targeted at high school students, though the public is welcome to watch. These include mosaic, spray paint and the ancient art of gyotaku, or fish-rubbing.

The Fine Arts and Crafts Festival will be much the same as it has been in the past, but with a few differences to keep things interesting for fine arts veterans. “The biggest difference is that the quilt show is now a fiber arts show. We wanted to broaden things out,” Burke said. “Also, for the last 10 or 15 years, we’ve been at the high school. We moved last year to Main Street and it’s been great.”

The theme this year is the 1920s and 1930s, and local businesses have been encouraged to decorate their buildings based on how they would have looked during that time period.

With the change to the Fiber Arts Show and the vibrancy of the new Main Street location, this may be the best Fine Arts and Crafts Festival yet.

“I feel like this is going to be a really great one,” Burke said. “We’re looking forward to it.”

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Sedgwick Begins Search For New Superintendent

Posted 10/17/2014

By Pilar Martin

SEDGWICK – Sedgwick’s school board accepted Superintendent Mike Hull’s resignation Monday night.

Hull’s resignation will be effective June 30, capping a 20-year stay at Sedgwick Schools as top leader. A special school board session was held Tuesday to begin the search for his replacement. Hull has served as USD 439’s superintendent since July 1,1994.

Hull told the board he would be retiring.

The board met with Hull in executive session, a meeting closed to the public, then reconvened into a public meeting to accept the resignation.

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

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Burrton Students Skype With Author

Posted 10/17/2014

By Pilar Martin

BURRTON – Through the magic of modern technology, last Wednesday Burrton grade school students chatted with the author of one of the books they are currently reading last Wednesday, Oct. 8.

Burrton’s Technology Integration Specialist, Michelle Armendariz, hosted a Skype session with author Trish Springstubb. Armendariz said she knew there were authors out there who would Skype with students, so she did some research and selected Springstubb. Skyping is like a video conference. Both Springstubb, from her home in Cleveland, Ohio, and the library in Burrton’s school had cameras, allowing both groups to see and talk to each other live. All students from kindergarten through sixth grade were included in the sessions.

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

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Council Approves Water Rate Increase

Posted 10/17/2014

By  Robb  Reeves

HALSTEAD – City water rates are going up. Council voted Monday night to raise the base water rate by one dollar and increase the per gallon rate over the next five years.

The base rate will move from $21.50 per month to $22.50 per month. The per gallon rate, once a customer surpasses 1,500 gallons in a month, will be $.0117 per gallon beginning in January and will move to .0172 by 2019, with annual increases during that period.

City Administrator J.R. Hatfield told council that Mayor Bill Ewert’s September water bill would move from $51.28 to $54.68 if the new rates were in effect, an increase of $3.40 per month.

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

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Scholar's Bowl Prepares For Season

Posted 10/17/2014

By Allison Armstrong

Photo by Taylor VanNatta

Halstead High School 21st Century Journalism Class


At Halstead High School, the Scholar’s Bowl team has 10 members, all under the direction of instructor James Caldwell. The team meets every Tuesday and Wednesday morning to practice their questions.

“There are five categories of questions,” Caldwell said. “World language, science, world literature, social sciences, fine arts, and sometimes we get some questions about current events.”           

As members of the Scholar’s Bowl team, students practice trivia questions. Eventually, the team can go from school to school and compete with other Scholars Bowl students. The game is normally played with a system of buzzers. When asked a question, the students try to score points by buzzing first and announcing the right answer. If one member of the team gets a question wrong, then nobody else on the team can buzz in and try again.

“In Scholar’s Bowl, we compete with a lot of the schools in the league, and we also compete with private schools, like Hutch Trinity,” Caldwell said. “The team really wants to make it to the finals this year.”

This year’s team consists of freshmen Emily Gerhardt, Sarah Branson, and Sierra Grow; sophomores Steven Cline, Zachary Wambold and Keaton O’Neal; junior Gabrielle Brown; and seniors Nathan Gamache, Carter Josza, Anthony Mills and Gwen Schroeder. The first meet is a novice meet at Maize South Oct. 22.

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Yearbook Students Making History

Posted 10/17/2014

By Sydney Bush

Halstead High School 21st Century Journalism Class


The yearbook class is preparing for the trip of a lifetime.

            Six students will be going to Washington D.C. from Nov. 5-9 to attend the National Scholastic Press Association Fall National Journalism Convention, where over 6,000 journalism students from around the country are expected to attend in order to learn more about creating effective high school newspapers and yearbooks.

            “In addition to attending speakers and sessions at the conventions, we will also have a chance to tour various sites in D.C., including national monuments and Smithsonian museums,” adviser Ashley Watkins said.

            A once in a lifetime trip like this doesn’t come without a price, however. So far the team has worked football and volleyball concessions, had a car wash, organized two bake sales, ran a photo booth at the homecoming dance and received donations from D’Angelo’s and the Halstead Bank.

We've been very successful so far, and have raised enough money to pay for everyone's hotel expenses,” Watkins said.

            There are more fundraisers coming up for the students.

            “We have another concession stand and bake sale coming up, and are waiting to hear back from a few other possible donors,” Watkins said. “I have been very impressed with how committed the students have been to fundraising. They are excited to have the opportunity to see our nation's capital and to learn skills that will help them grow as journalists.”

            The high school yearbook is important for many students. Memories that would otherwise be forgotten are held in those pages. For Watkins, there is nothing better than being involved in than the making of this profound book.

            “I absolutely love teaching Yearbook,” Watkins said. “Every year is completely different, but the students' excitement and passion for making a great book is always inspiring to me. And it's such a unique class because at the end of the year, you don't just have a grade - you've created a history book that people will keep forever.”


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