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November 29, 2018
Harvey County IndependentNovember 29, 2018 Harvey County Independent

Halstead woman makes quilts for fire victims

Posted 11/29/2018

By Bill BushTina Burlington is sewing a quilt for a 7-year-old boy, whose family lost their house to a fire. She leads an online group called “Sew It Forward” that makes quilts for fire victims.Tina Burlington is sewing a quilt for a 7-year-old boy, whose family lost their house to a fire. She leads an online group called “Sew It Forward” that makes quilts for fire victims.

HALSTEAD—Tina Burlington has turned what she loves to do most into a ministry of comfort for families who have lost everything, due to a fire.

She is part of an online community called “Sew It Forward” that makes quilts for fire victims, as an expression of love and support.

“By the time we gift them the quilt, they’ve had to deal with the fire for a few months,” Burlington said. “It’s kind of a reminder that we remember you, we remember what you’ve gone through and you’re still in our thoughts. We hope this comforts you. That’s our goal.”

Sew It Forward has given quilts to families from Kansas, Montana, Michigan and Texas. They hope to add Missouri and Washington by the end of the year. That would be a total of 52 quilts for 14 fires.

Burlington said they’ve had quilters from Canada, Germany, Australia and the United Kingdom, as well as from many states in America, donate blocks for the quilts.

“I encourage them to send in blocks made from the fabric they have,” Burlington explained. “I take the blocks and put them together for a quilt top. Some quilters are generous and send in money, too, to go towards batting (the middle puffy stuff), backing, thread, needles, etc. Once I have everything, I quilt it all together and present it to the family.”

Jen De Jong started Sew It Forward in 2014, when her parents’ house burned down. They made a few quilts, but the group’s activity faded.

In 2017, Burlington had an old friend lose her house to a fire. She asked about Sew It Forward and De Jong gave her administrative privileges.

“I thought, ‘I’m just going to try it, because I had never done it before,’” Burlington said.

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Warsnak to promote education across Kansas

Posted 11/29/2018

By Jared JanzenTJ Warsnak, social studies teacher at Halstead High School, speaks during the 2019 State Awards Banquet for the Kansas Teacher of the Year on Nov. 17. He was one of eight finalists for the award. TJ Warsnak, social studies teacher at Halstead High School, speaks during the 2019 State Awards Banquet for the Kansas Teacher of the Year on Nov. 17. He was one of eight finalists for the award.

HALSTEAD—Although Halstead social studies teacher TJ Warsnak was not named the 2019 Kansas Teacher of the Year earlier this month, as one of eight finalists for the award, he will still have a busy year ahead of him, serving as a representative for education, across the state.

“Whenever you look at the state of Kansas, there are 35,000 teachers in the state, so obviously, being recognized in the top eight was an incredible honor and a neat thing,” he said. “Now, I look forward to being able to represent teachers as far as being a voice for teachers in what we’re doing and the positive things that we’re doing for the state, as a representative of Halstead-Bentley.”

Warsnak and his fellow finalists will be heavily involved as part of the teacher of the year team, alongside Teacher of the Year, Whitney Morgan, from Wyandotte High School. Together, they’ll visit every teaching college in the state, which totals around 20.

As a team, they’ll create a presentation around education-related topics they’re passionate about. Warsnak said, for him, he wanted to tell these college students that education is a wonderful, fulfilling field.

“I look at young, talented kids in my class, and I want them to seriously consider this job, because it’s one that you feel you could be fulfilled with so many days of the year, that you’re giving back and making other people better, and so I want to try to increase the numbers coming into the field,” Warsnak said.

They’ll also visit each others’ school districts.

“It’ll be very nice for Halstead,” he said. “We’ll have the teacher of the year come here to all of our buildings, along with those other teachers and they’ll view what we do here and what we do well.”

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Sedgwick resident tired of dirt road

Posted 11/29/2018

By Bill Bush

SEDGWICK—Dee Ekstrom spoke to the city council during the public forum at last week’s meeting about the road in front of her house.

“I don’t like to be the one to complain all the time, but I’m tired of dirt roads,” Ekstrom said. “Surely there is something that can be done about it. There’s money being spent in town unnecessarily, such as a new city hall. I’m tired of being embarrassed when out of town guests visit.”

She said that the Council promised years ago to do something about the roads and that they are tearing up their cars. She said when the city grades, she has a 3-4” lip on her driveway and the holes are getting bigger. She also noted that there used to be a ditch on the other side of the road, but it was filled in years ago and now the drainage is really bad.

City Superintendent Kermit McGinn said that they have had a lot of moisture the last 30 days and the road has to be dry in order to grade. He also said that sometimes, when they try to grade, there are cars on both sides.

Mayor Bryan Chapman said that the funds used to purchase the medical center building are separate and the city still has money to work on roads. He said the city still plans to chip seal the streets. He noted that the chip seal would not take care of the drainage problem.

Chapman told Ekstrom that if she wanted the road paved she could present a petition to the council, signed by interested residents of the streets. If the council approved the petition, then the residents would be charged 90 percent of the cost on their taxes.

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