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The Hesston Record
347 B Old Hwy 81
Hesston, KS 67062
(620) 327-4831

County Leaders Train For Active Shooter Scenarios

Posted 7/28/2016

By Jacquelyn Nelson

 HESSTON—Plastic pellets whizzed by and simulated gunfire echoed through the classrooms at Hesston College as area leaders took part in active shooter training. 

Armed with an airsoft gun, volunteers took on the role of an active shooter, barging into classrooms and taking aim at trainees. 

With mass shootings dominating headlines, Hesston Police Chief Doug Schroeder began conversations with local leaders and was stunned to find that “not all stakeholders were on the same page.”

Leaders from across Harvey County, representing police, three colleges, nearly every school district, emergency responders and Newton Medical Center took part in the two-day event.

Schroeder coordinated the ALICE training session with funds supplied by the Hesston Community Foundation’s Victim Recovery Fund. 

“Bringing in an international group that’s research-based to get everyone on the same page really behooves us,” he said. “It’s based on best practices. We are looking to give people information to reduce casualties and fatalities in an active shooter.”

The ALICE organization – which takes its name from alert, lockdown, inform, counter, evacuate – was founded after the Columbine High School shooting in 1999. 

The organization provides active shooter training for schools, hospitals and businesses. 

Those participating in the two-day session would become ALICE trainers, taking their knowledge back to their organizations and training staff members on techniques to keep students and personnel safe.  

On Monday afternoon, one of the first simulations run was using the “shelter in place” method implemented at many school districts. Teachers shut classroom doors, turn off lights and instruct students to hide under desks or otherwise take cover.

During the drill, the casualty rate soared as the shooter burst through doors that did not properly lock and shot at participants as they huddled under furniture.

On debriefing, an administrator said she “felt totally helpless. I couldn’t protect anyone.” 

Instructor Justin Pan said after the drill, “this is the last time your kids and family will be in that situation.”

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Residents Want Timeline, Subsidy Amount

Posted 7/28/2016

By Jackie Nelson

Hesston City Council kept its promise for an open meeting with Country Village residents in a meeting open to the public to allow residents to ask questions about the park’s future.

Mayor Dave Kauffman said the meeting was a welcome one, as the city was no longer bound by legal council to not discuss the purchase of the mobile home park. 

Following the public discussion, council members met briefly to discuss the challenges faced by County Village residents. Council concluded they will strive to have a basic timeline as well as a subsidy amount to present at the Aug. 8 regular meeting.

Kauffman opened the meeting by giving a basic run-down of how the purchase came about and how the property fit into the city’s plans.

“It is important to point out that safe, affordable, energy efficient housing has been a goal of the City of Hesston’s Strategic Plan as of 2012,” he said.

Kauffman said the park also has appeal as an economic driver in the community.

He added there were major benefits with the park under the city’s control. The City would have the ability to monitor and pace redevelopment of the area, and residents potentially displaced would very likely receive assistance from the city. 

“There would be no subsidy with a private buyer,” he said.

Kauffman and City Administrator Gary Emry plainly addressed the issue of having little public discussion on the purchase.

“It could have impacted the deal.  If you’ve read in the paper in one of the recent publications, the other buyer offered $500,000. That could have impacted what we paid for the park, which wouldn’t have been good for citizens or a good way to work through negotiations. 

“We used executive sessions permitted for land purchases - we can’t take action, but we can talk about it,” said Kauffman.

Residents were free to ask questions regarding the future of the park.  Several expressed the desire for a solid timeline and a firm subsidy proposal to assist residents with moving costs. 

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Regier A Member Of Winning Hit Squad At Naval Academy

Posted 7/28/2016

Aspiring pilot Kitt Regier spent a week at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, to experience life as a midshipman and student at the academy.

During the week, Regier, said he was pushed physically and mentally, living the life of a Pleab at the naval academy.

With mornings beginning at 5:15 a.m. and dining in a mess hall designed to feed 4,300 midshipmen, Regier said he left the experience eager to take on the challenges of military life at the academy.

A member of Charley Company, third platoon, first squadron Regier was one of 850 young adults, broken into four companies, platoons and 120 squadrons to compete and learn throughout the week.

Regier’s squadron took home the top award of Hit Squad for being first in motivation, determination, keeping the moral, mental and physical missions of the United States Naval Academy.

“On the last day we got to go up on stage and shake the Commandant's hand. That was really cool.  That’s something only the Hit Squad got to do,” he said.

However, the rest of Regier’s week was less glamorous, with only five minutes to be in the halls and ready for inspections before daybreak.

“For the next hour after that you’d go to pep - physical training. We’d go to PT for an hour on the water, which was a lot of fun,” he said.

In true military tradition, Regier said there were “a lot” of pushups, calisthenics and running. 

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