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November 23, 2017
Harvey County IndependentNovember 23, 2017 Harvey County Independent

George Torres Creates Plans For Custom Homes

Posted 11/22/2017

By Pilar MartinHALSTEAD resident George Torres drafts plans for new houses or  remodels out of his home office.HALSTEAD resident George Torres drafts plans for new houses or remodels out of his home office.

HALSTEAD – George Torres has been putting things together in his head since he was a little boy. “I have always liked figuring out how to make things work, how everything fits together,” Torres said. 

Torres, a Halstead resident, is a draftsman/designer, and uses his talent to design new homes or renovate and remodel existing homes.

Torres has honed his skill over many years of working with a variety of contractors. He started in California.

“I started working evenings and weekends with my two older brothers, who are electrical engineers, in Riverside, California. I learned how things were built, how it all fit together. I looked at multitudes of structural details. I worked day in and day out, looking at blueprints with structural details,” Torres said.

Torres said he heard about retail market space that needed to be built. So he drew up a design. “In California, blueprints have to pass a lot of inspections My blueprints passed with only a couple of  issues. They built that building; that was my first experience,” he added.

Today, Torres works from a small office at his home in Halstead.

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Sedgwick Residents Package Meals For Worldwide Consumption

Posted 11/22/2017

By Pilar MartinVOLUNTEERS helped package meals for the hungry at Sedgwick on Sunday.VOLUNTEERS helped package meals for the hungry at Sedgwick on Sunday.

SEDGWICK – Around 80 people gave at least an hour of their time on Sunday, to help package meals for the less fortunate of the world. 

This the fourth year for the event in Sedgwick. The past three years the event was held at the Sedgwick American Legion Post 268, who serves as the project’s founding donor. This year, the event was held at The Meeting House.

Organizers Courtnee and Jason Rotramel manage the volunteers who help. Each person is given a spot in the assembly line process. Ingredients are brought in from Monte Stewart, who heads up Stamp Out Starvation from is base in Cherokee, Oklahoma.

Each package contains rice and soy, six dehydrated vegetables, and chicken flavoring. Each ingredient must be measured and weighed. Large funnels are set up at the tables to help get the dry ingredients into cellophane bags. The bags move from one table to the next, as everything is added. Each bag is heat sealed as the final step. The individually packaged meals are then placed in cartons.

Stewart said his group sends the packaged meals to 14 different countries. “We send it where it is needed most,” Stewart said. Stewart recently sent 300,000 meals to the Houston to help hurricane survivors.

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New 911 System Offers Texting Capabilities, Better Mapping

Posted 11/22/2017

By Jared JanzenHARVEY County’s new Next Generation 911 system has capabilities to receive text messages, but Communications Director Don Gruver still recommends calling in all but a few scenarios. HARVEY County’s new Next Generation 911 system has capabilities to receive text messages, but Communications Director Don Gruver still recommends calling in all but a few scenarios.

HARVEY COUNTY—The Next Generation 911 system went live in Harvey County on Oct. 26, replacing the county’s previous 10-year-old system and offering a range of benefits.

Communications Director Don Gruver said the new system has many advantages, including better mapping capabilities, better backup and redundancy, and even the ability to receive text messages.

“This new system is heavily map-based and intensive,” Gruver said. “It’s helping us locate callers a lot quicker to be able to find where they’re at, especially with 70 percent of our 911 calls these days being cell phones.”

He noted people driving down highways oftentimes aren’t exactly sure what milepost or road they’ve just passed, so the new mapping system cuts down on time locating callers.

“It’s working a lot better for us,” he said.

The county’s previous system required multiple steps to determine a cell phone’s location, whereas the new system can find the location almost immediately.

“It’s pretty much spot-on right from the word ‘go.’” Gruver said.

Beginning Nov. 2, the state rolled out texting capabilities for counties with the Next Generation system.

“Everybody that was on the system at that time had that capability available to them,” Gruver said.

In the first two weeks of having the texting capabilities Harvey County 911 only received one text message, a report of reckless driving. Gruver recommends people still phone 911 as much as possible because operators can get the information they need more quickly and efficiently when they can speak with you.

“We need to encourage to please call us and talk to us by voice if at all possible,” Gruver said. “The texting is more of a tool that needs to be left for when people cannot make a phone call.”

Examples of when it might be appropriate to text 911 would be if there’s an intruder in the house and caller doesn’t want to be heard. People unable to hear or speak well can also utilize it.

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