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Halstead, KS 67056
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May 25, 2017
Harvey County IndependentMay 25, 2017 Harvey County Independent

Halstead EMS Sees 33 Percent Increase Covering Sedgwick

Posted 5/25/2017

By Jared Janzen

HALSTEAD—Halstead EMS Director Andy Lowe updated Halstead city council on its service agreement with Sedgwick during Monday night’s council meeting. In late February, Halstead agreed to a temporary agreement with Sedgwick to provide EMS service from March through June as the city and county sought a long-term solution for Sedgwick’s EMS.

Lowe said responding to Sedgwick has increased his department’s call volume by about 33 percent in March and April, and he predicted May would be similar. He said this translates to 12-16 calls per month.

“It is putting some strain on equipment and staff, but we’re hoping Sedgwick’s getting things addressed,” he said. “I have not heard from them on anything yet, so I do not know the current status of the situation.” He added that he and City Administrator Ethan Reimer would be checking in with Sedgwick after June 1.

Lowe said his department is “pretty intent” on keeping the June 30 expiration date as stipulated by the agreement.

Council member Phil Adams asked Lowe if Newton EMS has been helping cover Sedgwick.

“Newton will back us to go down there if we’re busy,” Lowe answered. He explained that Newton EMS was down two ambulances at the time the agreement was made and while these have now been replaced, they are still down in staffing.

Lowe said Halstead EMS currently has about five volunteers, plus its full-time staff. In addition, Charles Womack and Guadalupe Espino are completing their paramedic certification, so they will soon both be able to put in more volunteer time than they could while in school.

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Robinson Wrapping Up 45-Year Career At USD 440

Posted 5/25/2017

CHARLIE Robinson is retiring from his position as USD 440’s IT director after serving the district in a variety of capacities for 45 years.  CHARLIE Robinson is retiring from his position as USD 440’s IT director after serving the district in a variety of capacities for 45 years. By Jared Janzen

HALSTEAD—From the time he graduated college up through this year as he plans his retirement, Charlie Robinson has spent his entire 45-year career working for the Halstead-Bentley school district.

Robinson has most recently served as USD 440’s IT director, but his resume with the district is an expansive one that includes teaching several different subjects, coaching three sports, serving as athletic director and running the time clock for sporting events. He’s also served as a Mid-Kansas League Commissioner and spent 29 years officiating high school football and high school and college basketball.

Robinson said he has fond memories of his time here and that he will miss working with students. Over the years, Robinson has witnessed a lot of changes.

“If you stay someplace long enough, everybody around you changes,” he said. This includes working with eight different superintendents during his career.

He said he thought Bentley Primary School Principal Larry Hobbs, who is retiring this summer after 35 years with the district, was probably the next closest current employee to matching his 45 years, and that second-grade teacher Carol Holmes has also been with the district a long time.

One of his original supervisors, Gene Haydock, still serves on the Board of Education.

After 45 years, it’s not surprising that Robinson has taught the children of former students, but he said if he’s had any grandchildren of former students, he’s not aware of it.

Robinson is a graduate of Sedgwick High School and he got his start in Halstead by student teaching P.E. here through Bethel College in 1971. The following year he was hired as P.E. teacher.

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Sedgwick Investigating Harassment Claim

Posted 5/25/2017

By Pilar Martin

SEDGWICK – The Sedgwick City Council will conduct an investigation into allegations of harassment and discrimination made by Amanda Alexander on behalf of her husband, police chief Larry Alexander.

Amanda Alexander made the allegations during the last city council meeting.

Council President Thom Noone said, “The Council is in charge of the investigation. This is a personnel issue so we really can’t discuss it at this time.”

Amanda Alexander listed several grievances against Mayor Lynne Vigil at the council meeting on Monday, May 15. She told the council of incidents between the mayor and Chief Alexander, that occurred at a special council workshop on Wednesday, May 10.

Amanda Alexander said that Vigil blocked a doorway and verbally taunted the police chief.

Alexander also stated that she was publicly humiliated by Vigil at a local restaurant the next evening, Thursday, May 11.

She asked the council to take some action. “I know you have the power to take a vote of no confidence. I know that it does not remove her from office and that she must knowingly resign her post. She is misrepresenting this body and this community,” Alexander said at the meeting.

Vigil has said it is a personnel matter and it is being looked into. “I have an extensive professional and educational background, and those who know me will know that the allegations are not an accurate account of any of the situations described by Mrs. Alexander,” said Vigil in a statement released to The Independent.

Council member Kirby Stucky said he had been in the city offices when Vigil and  Chief Alexander spoke to each other in raised voices. “Everybody does (raise their voice) every once in a while,” Stucky said.

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