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The Harvey County Independent
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Halstead, KS 67056
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Barry accepts USD 440 superintendent position

Posted 1/19/2019

Ron BarryRon BarryBy Jared Janzen

HALSTEAD—After three hours of closed executive session Thursday night, the Halstead-Bentley Board of Education announced that Ron Barry had accepted an offer to become the district’s next superintendent. Barry has served as principal of Halstead Middle School for the past two years.

“The opportunity is one that has been a dream of mine, and now it’s come true, I guess,” Barry said. “Now I’ll have a bigger purpose to help the students and staff of USD 440 rather than just HMS, but that’s a good thing, and I think we’ll continue to move in the right direction. It’s a great opportunity.”

He said he thinks his experience in the district will help with the transition.

“I know faces and people and programs and what the goals are currently and the direction we’re moving,” he said.

He’s even already created a transition plan for the next 10 months.

“I think you have to keep in mind as you transition from one role to the next, instead of serving the needs of primarily the students and staff and family in your building, you’re transitioning to a little higher view and impacting lives, but still the goal is the same as it was before in doing what’s best for students,” Barry said.

Check next week's Independent for our full story on Barry becoming superintendent.

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Halstead home heavily damaged in fire

Posted 1/4/2019

By Jared Janzen

Crews battle a house fire at 520 Spruce Street in Halstead on Thursday evening. Crews battle a house fire at 520 Spruce Street in Halstead on Thursday evening. HALSTEAD—A house fire Thursday evening at 520 Spruce in Halstead resulted in heavy damage to the home but no injuries. The cause is still undetermined but under investigation by the State Fire Marshall.

The fire began in the bathroom around 7:30 p.m. and spread to the attic and roof, according to Halstead Fire Chief Jim VanSchaick.

“It took about 45 minutes to get (the fire) knocked down, and then another hour for mop up,” he said.

No one was home when the fire started. Joe Anderson, who lived there with his wife, said they were just returning to town when a relative called and told him his house was on fire.
”I thought they were joking,” Anderson said.

Two dogs inside the home at the time were rescued.

VanSchaick said he didn’t know if the house would be repairable.

“If I were a betting man, I’d say probably not,” he said. “It may not be a complete loss, but it’s heavily damaged.”

In addition to the fire damage to the bathroom, attic and roof, there was also water damage to the back of the house and smoke damage throughout, according to VanSchaick.

Halstead had its two fire engines and a tender at the scene, and Hesston and Newton also responded to assist. Crews returned to the station by 10 p.m. and continued to keep an eye on it throughout the night.

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