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Halstead, KS 67056
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August 2, 2018
Harvey County IndependentAugust 2, 2018 Harvey County Independent

Rizza's Celebrates 25 Years

Posted 8/2/2018

By Robb Reeves

HALSTEAD – For 25 years, area residents have walked into Rizza Retail Liquor on Main Street in Halstead and seen the smiling face owner Steve Rizza.

This month the popular liquor store is celebrating a quarter century of service. He and wife Sarah bought the store Aug. 8, 1993 so the anniversary of what is locally known simply as “Rizza’s” will be during the Old Settlers Festival.

For Rizza, it will be a fun time to celebrate the store’s 25th as Old Settlers bring in lots of old and new faces.

“Old Settlers is our big thing every year,” he said.

Back in 1993, the timing was right for Steve, 34 years old then, and wife Sarah, to buy the liquor store. Sisters Carol Ediger and Linda Becker owned it and they were ready to sell. Steve was between jobs and was working at the store at night. He was looking for an opportunity and he and the sisters worked out a deal with Steve jumping into the liquor business.

He said it was a solid business when he bought it and he and Sarah have added some tweaks, mainly focusing on technology. Back then the way things were purchased was different.

People used cash and checks as debit cards had not caught on. Steve said the business literally had a cigar box where cash was kept. He and Sarah eventually added bar coding, scanners, and customers frequently use debit cards now.

Beverage makers are always introducing new products and Steve has seen what is on his shelves change over the years.

“We used to sell a lot of scotch,” he said. “Now the big thing is flavored malt beverages.”

What is the store’s most popular product? Budweiser brand light beer, Steve says. “Bud Light is strong and it has been that way for quite a while. If you go down toward Andale, though, you see more Coors.”

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

Read the rest of this entry »

3 Halstead Girls Going To Junior Olympics

Posted 8/2/2018

FROM left, Addison Wills, Emily O’Brien, and Annie Williams are competing this week in the AAU Junior Olympics.FROM left, Addison Wills, Emily O’Brien, and Annie Williams are competing this week in the AAU Junior Olympics.HALSTEAD – Three young athletes from Halstead have qualified for the AAU Junior Olympic Games this week in Iowa.

Annie Williams is representing Halstead in the 8-year-old long jump, Addison Wills has qualified in the 11-year-old 800 meters, and Emily O’Brien, 10, is going in the 1500 meters.

The girls run in local youth track meets throughout the year. They also attended a qualifier meet this year in El Dorado where they advanced to a regional meet in Joplin, Missouri. At that meet, they competed against kids from Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and part of Missouri.

All three girls qualified for nationals and are in Des Moines, Iowa competing. Their parents say it is unusual for three children from Halstead to advance to the national meet in a year. Last year just one athlete from Halstead attended.

See an upcoming edition of The Independent to see how they placed.  

Read the rest of this entry »

New Naturalist Appreciates County's Beauty

Posted 8/2/2018

RANGER Rachel Hoffman has been raising Freddy since he was two weeks old.RANGER Rachel Hoffman has been raising Freddy since he was two weeks old.By Pilar Martin

Harvey County Parks have a new naturalist and ranger on staff. Hired in late April, Ranger Rachel Hoffman spends her time patrolling, checking on guests, and enjoying the wildlife she sees around her.

Ranger Hoffman grew up in the Derby area, graduating from Derby High School, then attended Wichita State University for Environmental Biology.

“I really enjoyed the fieldwork. Field Ecology was my favorite class. We did population studies on pollinators and reptiles,” Hoffman said.

She is surprised and delighted with the variety of wildlife that she sees at the Harvey County Parks. “Both parks are so different. I see more wildlife at the West Park, but they are both really great,” she said.

Hoffman has had an interesting start to her job. Right after she was hired, someone found a baby raccoon, so Hoffman has been raising the baby. “He was six weeks old when he was found. We think he fell out of a nest,” Hoffman said.

Taking care of baby Freddy, has taken up a lot of her time. He had to be bottle-fed five times a day at first, and has slowly grown to a curious, friendly, and playful, 15-week-old raccoon.

Parks Director Kass Miller and Hoffman are building a habitat for Freddy at the East Park. The park got a Scientific or Educational Wildlife Rehabilitation License so they can keep Freddy around. They hope to use him for educational purposes.

Hoffman spends a lot of her time now out patrolling. She loves driving as the sun goes down, when all of the nocturnal animals and birds come out.

“We see a lot of owl activity and bats at that time,” Hoffman added. She has also seen beaver and lots of deer during her trips.

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Rizza's Celebrates 25 Years

Posted 8/2/2018

By Robb Reeves

HALSTEAD – For 25 years, area residents have walked into Rizza Retail Liquor on Main Street in Halstead and seen the smiling face owner Steve Rizza.

This month the popular liquor store is celebrating a quarter century of service. He and wife Sarah bought the store Aug. 8, 1993 so the anniversary of what is locally known simply as “Rizza’s” will be during the Old Settlers Festival.

For Rizza, it will be a fun time to celebrate the store’s 25th as Old Settlers bring in lots of old and new faces.

“Old Settlers is our big thing every year,” he said.

Back in 1993, the timing was right for Steve, 34 years old then, and wife Sarah, to buy the liquor store. Sisters Carol Ediger and Linda Becker owned it and they were ready to sell. Steve was between jobs and was working at the store at night. He was looking for an opportunity and he and the sisters worked out a deal with Steve jumping into the liquor business.

He said it was a solid business when he bought it and he and Sarah have added some tweaks, mainly focusing on technology. Back then the way things were purchased was different.

People used cash and checks as debit cards had not caught on. Steve said the business literally had a cigar box where cash was kept. He and Sarah eventually added bar coding, scanners, and customers frequently use debit cards now.

Beverage makers are always introducing new products and Steve has seen what is on his shelves change over the years.

“We used to sell a lot of scotch,” he said. “Now the big thing is flavored malt beverages.”

What is the store’s most popular product? Budweiser brand light beer, Steve says. “Bud Light is strong and it has been that way for quite a while. If you go down toward Andale, though, you see more Coors.”

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

Read the rest of this entry »

3 Halstead Girls Going To Junior Olympics

Posted 8/2/2018

FROM left, Addison Wills, Emily O’Brien, and Annie Williams are competing this week in the AAU Junior Olympics.FROM left, Addison Wills, Emily O’Brien, and Annie Williams are competing this week in the AAU Junior Olympics.HALSTEAD – Three young athletes from Halstead have qualified for the AAU Junior Olympic Games this week in Iowa.

Annie Williams is representing Halstead in the 8-year-old long jump, Addison Wills has qualified in the 11-year-old 800 meters, and Emily O’Brien, 10, is going in the 1500 meters.

The girls run in local youth track meets throughout the year. They also attended a qualifier meet this year in El Dorado where they advanced to a regional meet in Joplin, Missouri. At that meet, they competed against kids from Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and part of Missouri.

All three girls qualified for nationals and are in Des Moines, Iowa competing. Their parents say it is unusual for three children from Halstead to advance to the national meet in a year. Last year just one athlete from Halstead attended.

See an upcoming edition of The Independent to see how they placed.  

Read the rest of this entry »

New Naturalist Appreciates County's Beauty

Posted 8/2/2018

RANGER Rachel Hoffman has been raising Freddy since he was two weeks old.RANGER Rachel Hoffman has been raising Freddy since he was two weeks old.By Pilar Martin

Harvey County Parks have a new naturalist and ranger on staff. Hired in late April, Ranger Rachel Hoffman spends her time patrolling, checking on guests, and enjoying the wildlife she sees around her.

Ranger Hoffman grew up in the Derby area, graduating from Derby High School, then attended Wichita State University for Environmental Biology.

“I really enjoyed the fieldwork. Field Ecology was my favorite class. We did population studies on pollinators and reptiles,” Hoffman said.

She is surprised and delighted with the variety of wildlife that she sees at the Harvey County Parks. “Both parks are so different. I see more wildlife at the West Park, but they are both really great,” she said.

Hoffman has had an interesting start to her job. Right after she was hired, someone found a baby raccoon, so Hoffman has been raising the baby. “He was six weeks old when he was found. We think he fell out of a nest,” Hoffman said.

Taking care of baby Freddy, has taken up a lot of her time. He had to be bottle-fed five times a day at first, and has slowly grown to a curious, friendly, and playful, 15-week-old raccoon.

Parks Director Kass Miller and Hoffman are building a habitat for Freddy at the East Park. The park got a Scientific or Educational Wildlife Rehabilitation License so they can keep Freddy around. They hope to use him for educational purposes.

Hoffman spends a lot of her time now out patrolling. She loves driving as the sun goes down, when all of the nocturnal animals and birds come out.

“We see a lot of owl activity and bats at that time,” Hoffman added. She has also seen beaver and lots of deer during her trips.

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

Read the rest of this entry »