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September 21, 2017
Harvey County IndependentSeptember 21, 2017 Harvey County Independent

Students Send Supplies To Peers Affected By Hurricane

Posted 9/21/2017

SIXTH-grade math teacher Devin Maxwell helps load up donations collected by Halstead-Bentley students that are being taken to a school in Pasadena, Texas affected by Hurricane Harvey several weeks ago.SIXTH-grade math teacher Devin Maxwell helps load up donations collected by Halstead-Bentley students that are being taken to a school in Pasadena, Texas affected by Hurricane Harvey several weeks ago.By Jared Janzen

HALSTEAD—Students trooped out of Halstead Middle School on Tuesday morning, arms laden with box after box, bag after bag. They deposited their burdens on the sidewalk in front of the school, and then went back for more.

By the time they were done, they had brought out enough boxes and sacks to fill a trailer nearly to capacity. The trailer, now packed full of school supplies, clothing, bottled water and other items, departed Halstead an hour later en route to Pasadena, Texas. Its contents were distributed to students at V.W. Miller Intermediate School affected by Hurricane Harvey at the end of August.

All the supplies in the trailer were collected by students in the Halstead-Bentley School District in just over a week’s time. Middle school principal Ron Barry and primary school principal Adam Conard drove the truck and trailer to Pasadena Tuesday afternoon and gave the supplies to the school Wednesday morning.

Halstead-Bentley schools got connected to V.W. Miller Intermediate online through a Principals Helping Principals website set up following the hurricane, which partnered schools in Texas with schools across the country to donate needed items. 

“I feel like it’s a great opportunity for us to help other people,” said sixth-grade math teacher Devin Maxwell, the teacher who first heard about Principals Helping Principals and proposed Halstead pitch in. “It impacted me greatly because I really wanted to show the kids that even though we’re small in little Halstead, we can still make a huge impact on someone else’s lives by what we’re doing.”

V.W. Miller Intermediate School is a seventh and eighth grade school with about 1,200 students. School resumed session Sept. 11 following Hurricane Harvey.

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Sedgwick Council OKs Halstead Taking Over EMS

Posted 9/21/2017

EMS Contract

SEDGWICK – In a surprise move at Monday night’s regular city council meeting, the council voted to approve an emergency services contract with Halstead, without the review of an independent legal council.

Council members first received a copy of the contract a week ago. Discussion of the contract was not even on the agenda, but that changed almost as soon as the gavel sounded.

Council member Rick Jacob amended the agenda to add discussion of the issue at the beginning of the meeting. 

Jacob asked if everyone had received a copy of the contract and had time to review it. Council members said they had done both.

Mayor Lynne Vigil told council, “We just haven’t had an independent review, which is what (city attorney) Brad (Jantz) recommended for each city to do. We will schedule a meeting later this week and then I spoke to the city administrator of Halstead and hope to meet with him Tuesday or Wednesday,” Vigil said.

Jantz is the city attorney for both cities.

Jacob said, “I am prepared at this point to move on and pass this as written tonight. I’ll make a motion to accept Halstead’s EMS contract agreement as such.” 

Council member Richard Ludowese seconded the motion. Vigil said, “Against legal advice? Brad how does that work?”

Jantz responded, “They are free to do it.”  Vigil asked for discussion, which there was none. The motion passed 5-0.

Council member Carol Berning spoke up with another motion. “I would further like to move that on signing the agreement today, that the signed contract be passed off to Mr. Jantz, to forward to independent council for their review and letter of opinion as quickly as possible,” Berning said. 

The motion was amended to send the contract to independent council without the signature of the mayor.

Assistant Fire Chief Monty Leonard spoke up from the audience and was allowed to ask a question. Leonard asked, “Why would you send it (the contract) to independent council after it is already signed?” 

Berning answered saying, “We would like another set of eyes on it in case there are liability issues.”

Jacob jumped in the discussion, addressing Leonard. “If there is an issue we will revisit it. Everything looks good; the attorneys have already looked at it. Halstead has made it clear there are no negotiations left. If there is any nuance in the contract, verbiage wise we would need to revisit, we would. But at his point, nobody sees anything like that and two attorneys have already seen it and I don’t think a third one is going to make any difference,” Jacob said. 

He added that he didn’t want to spend any more time or money working on the contract. Leonard spoke up saying he thought the move was shortsighted. Jantz drafted the document and an independent counsel for Halstead also reviewed it.

The motion passed 5-0.

Halstead’s EMS Director Anderson Lowe and City Administrator Ethan Reimer were also in the audience. After the meeting, Lowe said the action was unexpected. “Ethan and I went to the meeting to see where everything was at. We had been told there would be other scheduled meetings and wanted to get a time frame.  The decision was unexpected,” Lowe said.

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Llama Feels The Love

Posted 9/21/2017

MIDDLE school language arts teacher Kelli Zehr takes a minute to woo Korvette as she builds up her courage and prepares for the kiss. MIDDLE school language arts teacher Kelli Zehr takes a minute to woo Korvette as she builds up her courage and prepares for the kiss. By Jared Janzen

BURRTON—There was a lot of smooching going on at Burrton High School last Friday afternoon. Llama smooching, that is.

Throughout the week, students had been placing money in jars for a Stuco fundraiser to nominate one of their teachers to kiss a llama owned by principal Tyler Hoopes. The teacher with the most money at the end of the week had to kiss Korvette the llama during Burrton’s homecoming pep rally Friday.

Middle school language arts teacher Kelli Zehr was the lucky teacher who got to kiss Korvette the llama, raising about $40 more than the second-place teacher.

After petting Korvette a bit and getting her to relax, Zehr mustered up her courage and gave the llama a quick peck on the cheek.

“I was a little scared at first because I am not an animal person,” Zehr said.

After Zehr had kissed the llama, middle school math teacher Greg Robinson—who had allegedly put $20 in Zehr’s jar—came forward and without hesitation gave Korvette a good smooch right above the lips.

BURRTON Middle School math teacher Greg Robinson gives Korvette the llama a nice smooch last Friday as part of a Stuco fundraiser. BURRTON Middle School math teacher Greg Robinson gives Korvette the llama a nice smooch last Friday as part of a Stuco fundraiser. “I didn’t want to kiss it, but once Mrs. (Whitney) Woodward called me out, I figured I couldn’t chicken out,” Robinson said. He added that if it had been a touch-the-snake contest, there’s no way he would have gone down there because he’s terrified of snakes.

After the assembly, students could line up to pet Korvette, and some of the braver ones gave her a kiss too.

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