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March 16, 2017
Harvey County IndependentMarch 16, 2017 Harvey County Independent

RedGuard Closes Halstead Plant

Posted 3/16/2017

REDGUARD closed down its production plant in Halstead on Monday. REDGUARD closed down its production plant in Halstead on Monday. HALSTEAD – Wichita manufacturer RedGuard closed its Halstead plant Monday, a decision that affects around 10 employees, according to information released by the company.

RedGuard president Darren Hillman released a statement Tuesday afternoon: “Our leadership team had to make the very difficult decision to terminate the lease of our facility in Halstead. This was done in an effort to improve on the economies of scale by reducing the costs of operating a second production center. All manufacturing has been moved to our primary production center in Wichita. RedGuard is owned by the LANGE company and is headquartered in Wichita. This will make LANGE as a whole more efficient by creating a centered team at our headquarters. Regretfully, that decision affects about 10 employees in Halstead.” 

RedGuard had a grand opening Sept. 27, 2014 at is building at 920 W. Second. It had around 42 employees at the time.

Red Guard manufactures blast-resistant buildings. It was founded in 1998 as A Box 4 U. It has offices in Wichita, Houston and in Canada. Its main production facility is in Wichita.

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Sedgwick Carries Big Debt For City Its Size

Posted 3/16/2017

By Pilar Martin

SEDGWICK – Dr. Ken Kriz, Director of the Kansas Public Finance Center, told Sedgwick’s City Council Wednesday night that the city does not know how much cash it has and has piled on a lot of debt for a small town.

“You’re probably going to have to re-state at least one year of financial statements if not several years.  You’re going to have to report this to Topeka,” he said.

The Kansas Public Finance Center is a Wichita State University program. Kriz was asked by Mayor Lynne Vigil to look the city’s financial reports to help gauge if the city would have enough money to meet current and future obligations. The city has struggled with it finances and last fall City Administrator Jaci Reimer and Mayor Rodney Eggleston resigned.

Kriz did the work pro bono and is not under any contract with the city. “The city should know where its cash balance is, unfortunately the bad news I have to deliver tonight is the city does not.

“I found a nine-month delay from when bank statements were received and a reconciliation was done. That happened in early 2014, and is very much not a good practice. There were unofficial reconciliations.  That’s one of the reasons why the financial statement for 2015 sent to Topeka was incorrect.  The cash position is off.  It does not match what was the reconciled cash balance at the time. The reason was because there was an unofficial reconciliation done, that looked like it was almost the back-of-an-envelope type calculation in order to make the numbers work,” Kriz added.

Kriz said he did not see any signs of fraudulent activity. “What probably happened was, some where along the line, a transaction was misallocated. For example, maybe the general fund wasn’t properly debited or credited. Someone would have to go back through transactions and try and find out where.

“The danger is, if you simply say we have this much cash from this day, and we’re going to put back in the general fund, you are not going to know where the mistake was made.

There was a question about a loan taken out last December because of a need for cash. I believe based on my analysis, that there most likely would have been enough cash, and that the loan was not necessary. That’s the problem it creates. When you need to know, a  $35,000 difference can mean a big deal in terms of what you do in operations.”

Kriz said Sedgwick is carrying a lot of debt for a city its size.

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Halstead Residents Reel In Giant Catfish

Posted 3/16/2017

By Jared JanzenKENYON and Dana Meyer, Travis Fagen and Noel Casner proudly display the blue catfish they caught at Milford Lake last Thursday. One fish weighed 40 pounds and the other 45, and they were caught within minutes of each other. KENYON and Dana Meyer, Travis Fagen and Noel Casner proudly display the blue catfish they caught at Milford Lake last Thursday. One fish weighed 40 pounds and the other 45, and they were caught within minutes of each other.

HALSTEAD—A couple Halstead residents had the catch of their lifetime last week when they reeled in two blue catfish that were 40 and 45 pounds, respectively. Dana Meyer, who reeled in one of the big fish, said these were the biggest fish that she and her fishing-enthusiast friends had ever caught using rod and reel.

Making the situation even more impressive is the fact that the two catches happened almost simultaneously.

Meyer, along with her husband, Kenyon and friends Travis Fagen and Noel Casner, all of Halstead, made these incredible catches last Thursday at Milford Lake near Junction City.

They were accompanied by fishing guide Ryan Gnaggy, who has been profiled by Wichita media and is well known among fishing enthusiasts.

Meyer said that fishing with Gnaggy was very educational for all of them. She and her friends go fishing nearly every weekend during the summer, but Gnaggy showed them some new tricks. He had them fishing in shallower water, about five to 10 feet deep, and they would move to a new location if they went 30 minutes without a bite. Meyer said she is usually more patient when she fishes and might sit in the same spot all day without a bite.

Gnaggy also used the wind to their advantage, telling them it would mask the noise of the boat, which was another new concept for her, Meyer said.

All of this paid off when they started reeling in the big catches. Fagen caught the 45-pounder, and as everyone was helping him pull it in, Meyer was on the opposite side of the boat battling her own giant fish.

“I was struggling with it,” she said. “I wanted to yell out for help.”

Evidently the fishing boat was in a prime location, because within that 15-minute period, members of the group also caught five or six other fish weighing around 10-15 pounds. Meyer said fishing poles were flying everywhere.

So what became of the two giant catfish?

“We threw them back in,” Meyer said. “Anything over eight to ten pounds is a good spawner, which means they’ll produce more fish in the future.”

Meyer estimated that they had caught 15-20 fish altogether that day, and of these they only kept three, which they ate for supper that night.

The group is already planning a return trip to Milford Lake, and Meyer said they’d try to say hello to Gnaggy when they’re out there. She said they enjoyed how he listened to them and tailored the experience to what they wanted.

“We had a blast with him,” Meyer said. “We definitely felt like we made a friend.”

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