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August 9, 2018
Harvey County IndependentAugust 9, 2018 Harvey County Independent

Crossroads Celebrates 10 Years

Posted 8/9/2018

CROSSROADS Community Church celebrated its 10th anniversary last Sunday with lots of music and a special service, followed by an Italian potluck.CROSSROADS Community Church celebrated its 10th anniversary last Sunday with lots of music and a special service, followed by an Italian potluck.By Jared Janzen

HALSTEAD—Last Sunday was a time of celebration at Crossroads Community Church in Halstead as the church marked its 10-year anniversary since opening in August 2008. But even as they celebrated the first 10 years of the church’s history, the congregation was already looking forward to what the future would hold for them.

“We want to look back a little bit today, but at the same time, we want to look forward to what the next 10 years look like, or the next 20,” member Mike Walton said during the service.

Walton offered a reflection during the special service that also included lots of worship music and an opportunity for other congregation members to share about their experience with Crossroads.

Walton said that Crossroads had been founded as a safe place for people to meet who felt disenfranchised by the church.

“We wanted this to be a place where people just love other people,” Walton said.

He said looking forward, his vision for Crossroads was twofold: to continue speaking into others’ lives through generous hospitality and to be faithful in living out God’s purposes.

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Halstead Man Sickened By Fungal Infection From Soil

Posted 8/9/2018

HALSTEAD resident Paul Britton has been battling a fungal infection called histoplasmosis in recent weeks. A medication he was taking weakened his immune system and made him susceptible, and now his wife, Kerry, is warning others of this danger. HALSTEAD resident Paul Britton has been battling a fungal infection called histoplasmosis in recent weeks. A medication he was taking weakened his immune system and made him susceptible, and now his wife, Kerry, is warning others of this danger. By Casey Jacob

HALSTEAD—When the rumbling machines churn up the dirt for that long-awaited backyard construction project, the earth can smell sweetly satisfying. When Paul Britton of Halstead finished such a project this summer, he and his wife, Kerry, began to wonder what was in that dirt.

Paul developed a harsh cough with fever that felt like the flu. Later, a chest x-ray by his doctor suggested pneumonia. When Paul was finally admitted to Via Christi Hospital St. Francis with serious trouble breathing, no one expected that the cause was actually a life-threatening lung infection. The infection, called histoplasmosis, is from fungal spores living in soil that became airborne and entered his lungs, where his body could not fight them off.

Kerry heard from Paul’s infectious disease doctor that, “The very old, the very young, and those with weakened immune systems due to disease or medication are the most susceptible.”

Paul and Kerry, formerly of Marion County, have lived in Halstead for a total of nine years. Paul has been serving as Animal Control Officer for the city of Halstead since June 2016.

“Paul did not contract the fungus as part of his job duties,” Kerry said. “We are very confident that it was the soil disruption.”

Paul was apparently vulnerable to infection by the fungus, called histoplasma, because of medication he was taking for his psoriatic arthritis. The medication, Humira, states on its warning label that its use leads to “increased risk of serious infections leading to hospitalization or death, including…invasive fungal infections (such as histoplasmosis).”

This warning label presumably complies with a 2008 directive by the FDA for a class of medicines called TNF alpha blockers (such as Enbrel, Remicade, Humira and Cimzia) to carry stronger warnings regarding the serious risk of histoplasmosis infection.

Kerry wishes they had heard about this serious risk from their doctor. 
The Brittons, like most families, were not aware that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have found histoplasma to be a natural part of the soil in much of the central and eastern parts of the U.S., including all of Kansas. It is known to thrive especially well in soil rich with nitrogen, such as from bird manure or bat droppings. 


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EMS Vehicle Now Stationed In Sedgwick

Posted 8/9/2018

By Blake Spurney

SEDGWICK—Sedgwick residents have made up time on so-called golden hour with the addition of a rescue unit at the fire station within the past month.
Sedgwick City Administrator Ed Patton said two full-time certified emergency medical technicians were covering the town, and two more are finishing school.

“They’re 15 minutes closer,” Patton said. “The quicker we can get two techs on site, the better, and that allows quicker ability to take care of patients prior to an ambulance arriving in the community.”

Keeping a Halstead rescue unit in Sedgwick wasn’t part of the formal agreement between the two cities that went into effect in January, but Halstead EMS Director Anderson Lowe said it was always part of his operations plan.

“We just didn’t get it into the works as soon as we wanted to,” he said. “That was in the plans last year.”

Lowe said the city of Sedgwick’s only involvement was providing a stall at the fire department for his old command vehicle. Those who respond to emergency call are Halstead EMS employees. He said he couldn’t call them volunteers due to U.S. Department of Labor regulations. Therefore, the first responders are classified as part-time employees who get reimbursed $25 per call and $2 per hour they spend on a call.

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