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

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 This Week's Issue:



Sedgwick EMS Not In Compliance - Richardson

Posted 5/18/2016

On May 10, 2016, a representative from the State Board of EMS stopped by our Fire/EMS building. Initially he stated he was there to do a mock inspection so that, when we have our official inspection, we would know what to expect and would also give us time to correct our deficiencies. After a few minutes, he began to discuss with us our EMS staffing issues and stated that the State is aware of what’s been going on.

The rep looked at our staffing calendar, roster and call log. As of May 10, we have been put on notice and will be required to report to the state the first of each month and provide them with the calls we ran, response time and the number of calls that Halstead EMS ran for us.

Currently we are not in compliance with staffing and response times. The state requires that the time the call is paged to the time that the ambulance goes en route must be five minutes or less.

As long as we, the City of Sedgwick, are working toward a solution to fix our issues, the State Board of EMS will leave us alone. However, if we continue to do nothing and rely on Halstead to take the majority of our calls, at some point the State will step in.



Tom Richardson

Zane Hansen

Sedgwick Fire/EMS

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More Subpoenas Coming In Halstead Investigation

Posted 5/18/2016



NEWTON – Harvey County Attorney David Yoder plans to issue a few more subpoenas for his investigation into activities at Halstead City Hall.

“There are some additional matters that have been brought to our attention that we need to look into,” he said.

Yoder declined to say how many people might be involved with the new allegations or what the subject matter entailed. He also said it was possible that he was looking into more than one additional new thing.

“I’d rather really not disclose what we’re looking into at this point until we’re done looking into it,” he said.

Chris Jacobs, special agent with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, recently returned to Halstead to acquire some follow-up information. Yoder said Jacobs was out of town this week and that he planned to get with Jacobs next Monday.

Yoder said he had a dozen CDs full of documents, and he hasn’t had a chance to review all of them yet. He also has a stack of transcripts from the 19 people who already have been interviewed after receiving subpoenas.

Yoder said he definitely would issue a written report as to his findings. He also said he was sure law enforcement would like to see closure in the matter.

“I don’t like to leave things hanging,” he said.

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

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Independent Kicks Off Taco Week With History Of Mexican Staple

Posted 5/18/2016


 Tacos, that ubiquitous Mexican staple, have been feeding Harvey County residents for at least 50 years.

El Toro in Newton has been open since the 1960s, but cook/owner Marcella Larez couldn't say for sure when she began serving tacos. What is clear is that American entrepreneur Glen Bell spread tacos globally after figuring out a way to mass-produce a hard corn tortilla shell, according to Jeffrey Pilcher, who traces the history of tacos in his book, "Planet Taco: A Global History of Mexican Food."

He tracks the history of the taco back to silver miners in Mexico in the 18th century. According to him, "the word 'taco' referred to the little charges they would use to excavate the ore. These were pieces of paper that they would wrap around gunpowder and insert into holes they carved in the rock face. When you think about it, a chicken taquito with a good hot sauce is really like a stick of dynamite," he said in an interview with Smithsonian Magazine that was published on May 3, 2012.

Pilcher, a University of Toronto Scarborough professor who currently is in Italy, explained his interest in Mexican food in an email. "I grew up without any real exposure to Mexican food, apart from grocery store taco shells with very mild salsa. The first time I had real tacos (or more precisely, gorditas) at the age of eighteen, the chile nearly caused my head to explode. All of my research has been an attempt to recover from the trauma."

To read the rest of this story, and to see a full-page spread on the best tacos in Harvey County, please see this week's print edition.

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Alexander Named New Sedgwick Police Chief

Posted 5/18/2016

By Pilar Martin

SEDGWICK – Sedgwick City Council got their first look at the incoming Police Chief Larry Alexander Monday night.  Alexander currently works as a Security Resource Officer for the Topeka School District.

Alexander addressed the Council saying “I am excited to be here. I am looking forward to building relationships with the young people here.”

Alexander has a 26 year law enforcement career and will begin in Sedgwick on June 27. He will start working with current Chief Ray Huff and take over the position on July 25.

City Administrator Jaci Reimer said that “he will be a good fit for both the police department and our city as a whole.” A community meet-and-greet will be held to welcome Alexander and to say goodbye to Huff sometime in July.


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