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

City Responds To Newspaper’s Open Records Requests

Posted 6/9/2016

By Jackie Nelson

The Hesston Record filed four Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) requests with the City of Hesston on May 26, seeking information on the city’s planned purchase of the Country Village Mobile Home Park. Under Kansas law, citizens and media outlets have the right to access public records and observe meetings where decisions are made that affect public affairs. City officials announced last month that the city of Hesston plans to buy the park for $440,000. The property is appraised by Harvey County officials in 2016 at $277,760. The Hesston Record filed KORA requests concerning the groundwork laid for the purchase of Country Village Mobile Home Park. By law, the City of Hesston had three days to respond to the initial request and did so. No information requested had been turned over to The Record at press time. The city requested the Record pay $50 in advance to pay for research costs, which the Record has paid. • The Record requested any and all email or electronic communications between Mayor Dave Kauffman, City Attorney J.T. Klauss and City Administrator Gary Emry from June 1, 2015 to present regarding any real estate transactions. The request included any communications to, from or between any of the three officials.

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Big Fit Makes A Comeback

Posted 6/9/2016

By Record Staff

Kids have been exercising through the decades at Heritage Park during the Big Fit program this week. Coordinated by the Kansas Learning Center for Health, Layla Nightingale said the week-long event has nearly a dozen children enrolled this year. “We had requests to bring it back to Hesston. The theme this year is fun and fitness through the decades,” she said. On Monday morning, participants were introduced to classic lawn games of the 1920s including horseshoes, croquet and bocci ball. “We’re not going to talk about food as much. But these games are fun the whole family can do, even after Big Fit is over,” said Nightingale. Throughout the week, participants hula hooped through the 1950s and exercised their brain during 1980s day with a rubix cube contest. “I really like to stress that fitness can be fun,” she said. While for participants the Big Fit focuses on fun and games, Nightingale said children retain knowledge from year to year and can motivate an entire family. “Even my own kids will say don’t buy this or buy that or they learned this or that about health. It creates healthier, stronger adults and healthier families,” she said. While The Big Fit is not new to Hesston, Nightingale said one of the greatest challenges was finding a location to host this year’s activities. “We need an indoor and outdoor space. We were very lucky to have Heritage Park and the City has been good to us, letting us have it for a week,” she said. Throughout the week of activities, Nightingale said youth returned and were eager not only to learn more, but talk about their experiences.

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Church Shows Love Through Cookies

Posted 6/9/2016

By Record Staff

Over 160 ladies from the central plains states converged on Crosswind Conference Center this past weekend bringing with them baskets and bundles filled with over 3,600 cookies to be handed out to employees at Excel Industries. As part of the 80th annual gathering, the ladies of the American Baptist Churches of the Central Region wanted to participate in a service project during their fellowship at Crosswind. Women from three states and 220 churches contributed dozens upon dozens of cookies for the cause. “We are women who want to reach out to those in need, and we are looking for ways to serve,” said Rita Adams, one of the event coordinators. Monday, Hesston residents Barb and Karl Beesley delivered the cookies during the breaktimes of each shift at Excel. With hundreds of cookies left, the Beesleys headed to Hesston Emergency Services, Hesston Police Department, the Harvey County Sheriff’s office and finally delivered the remaining cookies to Newton Emergency Services. The Beesleys were delivering cookies until 7 p.m. Monday night. “Karl and I delivered to the first shift. administration, and second shift at Excel Industries as planned. We enjoyed meeting the Excel employee. We got lots of thank yous and even some hugs. They were surprised a women's church group baked so many cookies and thought about them. The cookies were enjoyed by so many,” said Barb Beesley. Adams and Mary Etta Copeland were key in coordinating the event. “I coached cheer for 18 years, and I learned people appreciate the little things. We wanted to do this, and we sent the idea to the board, who was very supportive. The response happened very quickly,” said Copeland. Cookies were baked and then packaged in sets of two so each employee could take a package. The ladies said one of the greatest challenges of the whole cookie project was simply packaging thousands of cookies to be distributed. “It’s a way to touch people’s lives and show them the care of God,” said Adams.

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Kicking Off A Discussion On Soccer At Hesston High

Posted 6/9/2016

By Record Staff

Hesston community member Chad Fuqua and a consortium of parents have been kicking around the idea of introducing soccer to Hesston High School by the fall of 2017. The team would play in the fall, during the boys’ season as a co-ed team. Fuqua said he first approached Ben Proctor with the idea in the fall. In March, Proctor approached Fuqua to present the idea of soccer at the high school to the board. “This has been an on-going process. We have worked with Chad. What we do from a school district perspective is look at feasibility. We look at budget, competition, enrollment, there are a lot of considerations we take in. “Ultimately, we make a decision that is good for the future of our district. Once you add a program, that will impact people far into the future,” he said. Fuqua said soccer has been an established sport in the community for decades, but is seeing a significant increase in popularity. “How many parents in this community don’t want to put their kids in situations where they have the risk of head injuries? That’s becoming more discussed and a larger roadblock to playing football,” he said. However, he added football and soccer are both sustainable at the middle school level. 

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BOE Hears Contingencies For Possible Shutdown

Posted 6/9/2016

By BLAKE SPURNEY

Hesston Record Staff

A potential statewide school shutdown in looming, but no one has a clear answer for what that means for employees or summer programs. “It’s disheartening when you communicate with your representatives, and they don’t know any more than you do,” Superintendent Ben Proctor told the USD 460 Board of Education on Monday night. Proctor said he had been in touch with state Rep. Don Schroeder and Sen. Carolyn McGinn. According to Proctor, Schroeder said there had been a lot of buzz about a special session. The Kansas Supreme Court ruled that the state’s school funding formula did not meet the equity requirements of the state Constitution. Last week, the Legislature failed to pass a new funding plan, meaning the court could order the closure of all public schools starting July 1. If the court orders a shutdown, Gov. Sam Brownback would have to call a special session. Proctor said the scary part for him was that if one went by the timeline of the last time a school funding bill was passed, it took about 2 1/2 months from passage to court arguments and finally the high court’s opinion. “Most folks don’t want schools to shut down,” he said. “I think most folks realize the negative impact it will have.” Proctor said some people didn’t think it was a big deal to shut down in July. “It is a big deal, and it affects a lot of people,” he said. “We don’t want to lose people, who will have to go out and find something different.” 

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