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March 29, 2018
Harvey County IndependentMarch 29, 2018 Harvey County Independent

New K-9 Eager To Assist Sheriff's Office

Posted 3/29/2018

By Jared JanzenODIE has joined the Harvey County Sheriff’s Office to help detect narcotics and apprehend suspects alongside his handler, deputy Colt Pfautz. This marks a revival of the department’s K-9 program that had been cut around 2009.ODIE has joined the Harvey County Sheriff’s Office to help detect narcotics and apprehend suspects alongside his handler, deputy Colt Pfautz. This marks a revival of the department’s K-9 program that had been cut around 2009.

HARVEY COUNTY—To botch an old cliché: There’s a new dog in town, and he’s working for the sheriff.

The Harvey County Sheriff’s Office has revived its K-9 program, with a Dutch Shepherd named Odie joining the department several weeks ago. Odie’s handler is deputy Colt Pfautz, who said a K-9 unit is a great asset for the sheriff’s department.

Odie will help the department with suspect apprehension and searching for narcotics.

“Where we are, we use dogs mainly for narcotic searching; however, lately with the property crimes and the amount of chases and felony arrests we’ve had lately, the suspect apprehension is there (too),” Pfautz said.

Pfautz and Odie have been together since mid-February. They graduated from training together, and Odie has been officially on the job for several weeks now.

“Since then it’s just trying to get settled in as far as our shift, knowing what I need to do with him as far as breaks, training, just trying to get into a pattern is what it comes down to,” Pfautz said.

Odie is the fifth police dog in Harvey County. He joins Bella and Pancho with the Newton Police, Atlas with the Hesston Police, and Elsa with the North Newton Police.

Having five police dogs in the county means there is generally one on shift at all times.

“(Harvey County) is very aggressive when it comes to using dogs,” Pfautz said. “Dogs are in my opinion one of the greatest tools we have.”

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Halstead Ramping Up Main Street

Posted 3/29/2018

THE city of Halstead is planning to add sidewalk ramps along Main Street at Fifth and Sixth streets to improve wheelchair accessibility. THE city of Halstead is planning to add sidewalk ramps along Main Street at Fifth and Sixth streets to improve wheelchair accessibility. By Jared Janzen

HALSTEAD—Halstead is taking steps help residents keep rolling smoothly. The city council made plans at its Monday night meeting to improve wheelchair accessibility on Main Street by adding sidewalk ramps to the blocks of Fifth and Sixth streets.

Currently these sidewalks end with hard curbs and no ramp on both sides of the street and at both ends of these blocks.

City Administrator Ethan Reimer told the council funds for this project could come from the capital improvement fund rather than the streets fund, since the city is planning two major street projects on Third and Sixth streets this year.

Reimer offered council the option of adding ramps to one block this year and doing the other block next year, but the council agreed to tackle both blocks at once.

Council member George Torres also noted that a portion of sidewalk in front of an empty lot he used to own on the northeast corner of Sixth and Main has rough sidewalk, and that if the city is going to add a ramp there he suggested redoing that sidewalk.

“I could see somebody in a wheelchair getting up there and having problems maneuvering around it,” Torres said.

Mayor Bill Ewert responded by noting that the city’s policy is for homeowners to be financially responsible for their sidewalks. He warned that fixing this sidewalk could set a precedent, but adding that it did make sense to address that problem area.

Reimer confirmed that city code requires property owners to be responsible for their sidewalks, but in his opinion this hasn’t been a successful policy. He noted that the city has a lot of sidewalks in need of repair.

“As mobility seems to be a bigger and bigger thing for communities as far as attracting new people into town…sidewalks is something that the city should definitely maybe look into changing and investing in an overall sidewalk plan like we do streets,” Reimer said.

The council decided to continue discussing a potential sidewalk plan at its next work session. They also approved a motion to engage an engineer on the accessibility ramps project.

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Young Bolts Getting Introduced To Track

Posted 3/29/2018

KIDS learn the correct form for using their hands during Burrton Bolts track practice. This is the second year for the program, which is aimed at kids from preschool through fifth grade. KIDS learn the correct form for using their hands during Burrton Bolts track practice. This is the second year for the program, which is aimed at kids from preschool through fifth grade. By Pilar Martin

BURRTON—Twenty-three youngsters were on hand for the first Burrton Bolts track practice of the season.

The track team is open to children preschool age through the fifth grade. Tyler Hoopes, principal, coach and dad, started the team last year.

Monday night the kids were taught some basic track form—how to use your hands, how to pick up your feet, and some stretching techniques including lunges and cherry-pickers.

Coach Hoopes demonstrated the moves, and then the kids had a chance to work on their form.

Practice was indoors on Monday, but is usually held outdoors on the track.

The kids took practice very seriously, but smiles and giggles were all around as they practiced their moves. A few of the younger kids looked like pretzels as they tried to perform lunges backward. Hoopes was patient and helpful as he explained why each exercise was important.

There are a number of track and field events the children can try and participate in.

Turbo javelin, shot put, discus, high and long jump, and softball throw are the field events. Running events include 25m, 50m, 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, and 1600m, plus 4x100m and 4x400m relays.

The Burrton Bolts will compete in six track meets this season. They will travel to Cheney on April 14, Garden Plain on April 21, Halstead on April 28, Hesston on May 5 and Garden Plain on May 28. There will also be a meet in Hutchinson with a date to be announced.

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