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March 23, 2017
Harvey County IndependentMarch 23, 2017 Harvey County Independent

Collector Shows Off Lithograph Toys

Posted 3/23/2017

KEN Holmes shows a busy bridge toy at his presentation last Saturday in Halstead.KEN Holmes shows a busy bridge toy at his presentation last Saturday in Halstead.By Pilar Martin

HALSTEAD—Toy collector Ken Holmes of Wichita, stopped by the Halstead Heritage Museum and Depot in Halstead on Sunday to share his collection of tin lithograph toys. Holmes said he began collecting the toys in 1985, and he has hundreds of them.

“When people get in their forties, they start to think back to times when they were younger and start collecting things that once brought them joy,” Holmes told the crowd. Holmes tried to find toys he had played with as a child. “In those days, when you outgrew playing with certain toys, they ended up in the trash, or maybe mom gave them to a neighbor if they could still be played with,” he said.

Those old toys can bring in anywhere from just a few dollars to thousands for the hard to find collectibles. Holmes’s favorite toys to collect were the tin lithograph toys from the 1920s through the 1940s that had some kind of action to them.

Holmes started out his presentation with a tin toy made by Unique Art that featured an airplane, complete with pilot on one side, and a dirigible or blimp on the other side of a wire.

“When you wind it with the key, that actually winds up a spring inside very tightly, and as the spring unwinds the tension moves the parts of the toys,” Holmes said.

Most of the toys were manufactured in the eastern United States, such as New York, Pennsylvania and Illinois. But there was a toy manufacturer in Clifton, Kansas, about 15 miles east of Concordia.

“The Kansas Toy Company at one time had 65 people working two shifts to produce its toys,” Holmes said.  Holmes had a couple of the toys with him like a small plane, a racing car and a tank.

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Highland Fire Subdued Through Teamwork

Posted 3/23/2017

CREWS made this back burn on the west side of Sand Hills State Park on March 4.CREWS made this back burn on the west side of Sand Hills State Park on March 4.By Jared Janzen

RENO COUNTY—Burning more than 5,400 acres of land, the Highland fire in north Reno County several weeks ago was among the worst this area has ever seen.

Burrton, Halstead, Sedgwick, Bentley, Hesston and Newton firefighters all assisted in Reno County throughout the week.

The first three days it was mainly crews from Reno, Harvey, McPherson and Rice counties, but on Monday units started coming from across eastern Kansas as far away as Topeka and Kansas City. Meanwhile, crews in western Kansas were fighting flames in Clark and Comanche counties along the Oklahoma border and Ellis and Rook counties further north. Statewide, more than 700,000 acres burned that week.

From when the fires started on Friday, March 3 until the following Thursday, Halstead and Burrton had crews on-scene every day but one, said Halstead Fire Chief VanSchaick.

Harvey County wasn’t scheduled to assist on Monday, but then winds picked up and spread the fire to the southeast, and that’s when they got the call to send everything Harvey County could spare.

Monday evening was when the most destruction to houFIRE trucks extend along Highway 61 as crews monitor back burn protection.FIRE trucks extend along Highway 61 as crews monitor back burn took place, said VanSchaick. The official count was 10 homes lost, plus additional outbuildings. Halstead also deployed its Disaster Management Support Unit on Monday night in case any nursing homes needed to be evacuated. The DMSU staged at Inman but wasn’t needed after all.

Those living in the area were asked to evacuate.

“It was mass chaos for a while; I think that’s the best way to word it,” VanSchaick said. “It wasn’t uncontrolled chaos, it was just mass chaos with the evacuations.” He added that law enforcement did a super job assisting.

“They get big kudos from me,” he said.

At times, flames were moving a mile in four minutes. They reached heights of 100 feet as tall cedar trees caught fire.

“I haven’t seen anything quite like this before,” VanSchaick said.

Volunteers with the Red Cross, Salvation Army and other organizations were instrumental in supporting the fire crews throughout the week, providing not only food and water, but also other items firefighters might need, like chapstick.

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Five Students Qualified For State Forensics So Far

Posted 3/23/2017

THE forensics team is all smiles this year. THE forensics team is all smiles this year. By Pilar Martin

SEDGWICK— Members of the Sedgwick High School forensics team are having a good run this year. With just a few meets under their belts, five team members have already qualified for State.

At the Rose Hill tournament Feb. 16, senior Ben Rowley and junior Lauren Griggs medaled in second place and qualified for the state tournament in improvised duet acting. Medaling in first place and qualifying for state were senior Samantha Cordell and Griggs in duet acting.

Also medaling at Rose Hill in third place were sophomore Derek Rowley and senior Molly McBee also in improvised duet acting.

At the Moundridge tournament March 4, another act qualified for state. The team of D. Rowley and McBee medaled in fourth place and are also going to state. B. Rowley and Griggs took fifth.

Forensics sponsor Sara Harjo said the team members have to find time to practice whenever they can. 

“Students can attend practice before school on Tuesday from 7:30-8:10 or after school on Thursday from 3:30-4:15,” she said. “Because students are also involved in spring sports and the upcoming Encore talent show, a lot of them put in a lot of time outside of school and practice times.

The team has just a couple more tournaments, April 3 in Remington and April 10 in Mulvane before the state competition and festival on May 6 at East High School.

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