Your browser version is outdated. We recommend that you update your browser to the latest version.

Contact Us:
The Harvey County Independent
220 Main St.
Halstead, KS 67056
316-835-2235

Search this site:

October 18, 2018
Harvey County IndependentOctober 18, 2018 Harvey County Independent

New police sergeant already familiar to Halstead

Posted 10/18/2018

Matt Stovall joined the Halstead Police Department last week as sergeant, filling a position that has been vacant for several years.Matt Stovall joined the Halstead Police Department last week as sergeant, filling a position that has been vacant for several years.By Jared Janzen

HALSTEAD—While Matt Stovall may be the new face at the Halstead Police Department, he’s not new to Halstead and he’s not new to law enforcement.

Stovall spent part of his youth growing up in Halstead and most recently worked as a patrol officer for the Harvey County Sheriff’s Office. This experience and knowledge of the community will be valuable assets to him in his new role of police sergeant, which he assumed Oct. 8.

“I already have roots in the community and I know a lot of people here,” he said.

Stovall said his first week on the job had gone great as he worked on learning the different policies and procedures of the department.

As sergeant, Stovall will be second-in-command and help Police Chief Josh Orem with certain responsibilities, like scheduling. The department has not had a sergeant for about two years.

Stovall takes the place of full-time officer Tyler Horton, who accepted a job with another department.

For Stovall, the decision to join the Halstead Police was family-oriented.

“I have a two-year-old boy and of course, I want to raise my family here, so I was able to be involved with this community and be involved in the school district as my children grow, here,” he said.

He and his wife recently bought a house just outside of town. His parents also live just outside of Halstead and he has several siblings still in the Halstead-Bentley school district.

To continue reading, please see this week's print edition.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sedgwick librarian surprised by plans to move library

Posted 10/18/2018

By Bill Bush

SEDGWICK—Sedgwick librarian Cathy Medlin was as surprised as anybody about the sudden purchase of Newton Medical Center building.

“It was just kind of like a shock when we found out what they did,” Medlin said. “I wish they would have called us and said, ‘Would you come and visit with us about how you feel about it.’”

Medlin said that part of the community is happy about the purchase and part of the community is upset, but she trusts Mayor Bryan Chapman and believes he’s doing what he feels is best.

The purchase of the new building by the city is significant to the library, because it means the location of the library will become the current city hall.

The library has been somewhat in limbo for a while, now.

Medlin, who’s been the town’s librarian for about six years, noticed a slow shift in the library’s wall when it was located in the old building at 503 N. Commercial.

“We had been watching the shift of a wall, probably (for) a couple of years,” Medlin said. “When it got really bad, I talked to Jaci (Reimer, former city administrator) about it. They started watching it. Part of the wall fell in, upstairs. That’s when they had to remove the building next to us. When they took the building down, it was even worse for the library. That building was partly supporting the wall being able to stand.”

To continue reading, please see this week's print edition.

Read the rest of this entry »

Methodist church's new youth director combines faith and fitness

Posted 10/18/2018

Bruce Wilson interacts with members of the high school youth group at Halstead United Methodist Church. He recently took over as the church’s youth director.Bruce Wilson interacts with members of the high school youth group at Halstead United Methodist Church. He recently took over as the church’s youth director.By Jared Janzen

HALSTEAD—Bruce Wilson is not your typical youth pastor. In fact, he doesn’t even call himself youth pastor, preferring the name youth director. But that’s not all that sets apart the man now running the youth group at Halstead United Methodist Church.

Wilson has a superhero alter ego.

“I’m trained to be an entertainer,” he said. “I’m an entertainer called Kid Power.”

For the past 10 years, before taking his new position in Halstead, Wilson ran a program called Kid Power Cares that toured nationally for performances in front of students, educating them on the importance of health and fitness.

“I play a superhero called Kid Power, and I take audiences on a journey inside the body of a boy who doesn’t feel very good,” Wilson said. “So while we’re inside of this kid, we learn that he doesn’t feel very good because he’s not making good choices with his food and fitness.”

Over the course of the show, he teaches his audience the importance of nutrition and exercise through signing songs about things like portion control and calorie balance.

About two years ago, he decided to take his educational program in a new, more faith-based direction, and that’s what led him to become a youth director.

“I just kind of felt God place on my heart this desire to take this nationally touring production and stop it and rebrand it to go into the faith-based community,” he said. “So I’m kind of in this hiatus, sabbatical opportunity where we’re taking time to rewrite some of the content of our show so that it’ll be perfect for a church, family-based audience.”

Wilson became youth director at Halstead United Methodist at the start of September and said the reception so far has been overwhelmingly great.

“I couldn’t be more pleased and thankful with the reception and the hospitality that I’m receiving from not just the youth but also the entire church,” Wilson said.

Within his first month at the church, he had the opportunity to preach the Sunday sermon due to Reverend Sang Hak Lee being out of town for a commitment. Wilson called this an example of God’s perfect timing.

“That gave me an opportunity to be front and center in front of the congregation […] to get an opportunity to connect with them and share with them,” he said.

Wilson described himself as charismatic, extroverted and eager to meet new people, which he said would be an asset in welcoming visitors to the church.

To continue reading, please see this week's print edition.

Read the rest of this entry »