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June 15, 2017
Harvey County IndependentJune 15, 2017 Harvey County Independent

Sedgwick-Area Residents Bike In Famously Grueling Race

Posted 6/15/2017

THE Giblin family—(left to right) Joey, Lexi, Rich and Amy—participated in the 50-mile Dirty Kanza bicycle race on June 3. THE Giblin family—(left to right) Joey, Lexi, Rich and Amy—participated in the 50-mile Dirty Kanza bicycle race on June 3. By Jared Janzen

SEDGWICK— Pedaling mile after mile on a bicycle over hilly terrain in unpredictable weather conditions of heat, wind and rain while facing the danger of a punctured tire probably sounds like an arduous task to most people, but for participants of the Dirty Kanza, it’s a fun challenge.

The grueling bicycle race through the Kansas Flint Hills attracts cyclists from across the country and around the world. Among those competing in this year’s Dirty Kanza on June 3 were Sedgwick-area residents Rich and Joey Giblin and their two daughters, Amy and Lexi.

Both daughters are married and live in Washington, but they joined their parents in the Dirty Kanza as part of Rich’s 70th birthday celebration.

The annual race begins and ends in Emporia and has divisions for 25, 50, 100 and 200 miles. The Giblin family took part in the 50-mile race. The Dirty Kanza attracts 2,500 competitors from 46 states and 10 countries, and organizers have to cap off the number of participants so as to not overwhelm Emporia and smaller towns like Madison and Eureka that racers pass through.

“It’s the best race of its kind in the world,” Rich said.

Part of the appeal comes from the beautiful Kansas scenery and the challenging hilly course, but Rich said the race also attracts professional cyclists because the longer races only have support stations every 50 miles, and any outside help disqualifies a racer. The importance of self-sufficiently makes the 200-mile race a great test of endurance.

Last year the family had biked the 50 together, so this time they wanted to kick it up a few notches and do the 100-mile race, but when registration opened online in January, that race filled within minutes and they had to settle for the 50. Two years ago, Rich completed the 100-mile race with a few friends.

On the morning of the race, thousands of bicyclists lined up on Emporia’s Main Street. Start times for the different distances were spaced 20 minutes apart, with the Giblins beginning at 6:40 a.m.

Rich and Joey agreed that the weather was ideal during the race, with low winds and moderate temperatures.

“It was a perfect day,” Joey said. “We couldn’t have asked for better conditions.”

The family kept close together during the race so they could offer support if needed. Rich carried repair gear with him in case any of them had mechanical issues, but fortunately the four of them didn’t have any problems, not even a flat tire.

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Lavender Abloom For Upcoming Festival

Posted 6/15/2017

By Pilar Martin

BURRTON—Gertie’s Lavender Farm is gearing up for its first annual lavender festival to be held Saturday, June 24.

Frank and Pam Seck started the lavender farm about three years ago. They planted 2,000 lavender plants and seven different varieties. The Secks have meticulously groomed and nursed their plants along. The different varieties bloom at different times, so during the blooming season there is always some to harvest.

Seck demonstrated how to harvest the lavender, cutting the uppermost part of the flowering stem, leaving the bottom part intact so it can bloom again. Lavender usually blooms twice before the frost. Lavender is ready when some of the blooms are just beginning to open. The cut bundles are then dried upside down.

PAM Seck, co-owner of Gertie’s Lavender Farm, demonstrates how to harvest the aromatic flowers.PAM Seck, co-owner of Gertie’s Lavender Farm, demonstrates how to harvest the aromatic flowers.Each of the seven varieties has something different to offer. The colors range from a pale purple to a deep dark purple. The actual flowers differ in shape and volume as well. Some varieties are more fragrant and yet others are more long-lasting.

The Secks grow Hidcote, Royal Velvet, Blue Cushion, Provence, Grosso, Jean Davis, and Munstead varieties.

The Lavender Festival will have plenty to see, taste and smell. The Secks produce a myriad of lavender products that they sell at the farm. They also make yard ornaments and small birdbaths called totems.

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

 

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USD 440 Owns Land It Didn't Know About

Posted 6/15/2017

THIS surveyor’s stake marks the actual property line between the middle school and the adjacent property, about 10 feet south of where a chain link fence has been for years. The school board decided to offer the land to the homeowner. THIS surveyor’s stake marks the actual property line between the middle school and the adjacent property, about 10 feet south of where a chain link fence has been for years. The school board decided to offer the land to the homeowner. By Jared Janzen

HALSTEAD—For years, the USD 440 has owned a stretch of property behind the middle school without realizing it. Superintendent Tom Alstrom informed the school board Monday night that a chain-link fence next to the southeast middle school parking lot was erected about 10 feet north of the actual boundary line.

The issue came to attention because the fence needs replacing due to elm trees growing up around it, and a survey was conducted to find the actual property line.  

The board considered three main options: move the fence to the newly discovered property line, put up a new fence in the same location letting the adjacent property owner continue using the school’s land, or put up a new fence in the same location and sign a quit claim deed for the land.

The adjacent property owner has always mown this piece of property, and according to Alstrom, he had offered to continue the current arrangement. The issue with this is the elms on the property reach over his house, which Alstrom said could pose a liability for the school if it continues to own them.

“The option scares me if we just put the fence and say you’re taking care of it, because then the trees still are our responsibility even though they have been for 50 years,” Alstrom said.

Board member Shawn Kohr agreed.

“If it’s going to go to him, it needs to be his on paper so that this discussion doesn’t happen 10 years from now,” Kohr said.

The board came to a consensus to build a fence just north of the tree line and let the property owner have the land if he pays for a second survey and the deed. The district will pay $2,200 for the new six-foot fence.

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