Kayleigh wins again

Kayleigh Flores of Moscow has done it again! Winners of two Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day statewide contests have been announced as part of the national safety campaign Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day. Kayleigh was one of three winners for the poster contest. Other winners included Brooklyn Green-Lawson of Riverton and Sierra de Koning of Axtell. Each student was first selected as a regional winner and will receive a bicycle and a helmet donated by Safe Kids Kansas during presentations at their schools. A total of 824 Kansas kids ages five to 13 participated. Read More →

Weaver and Beard qualify for State

Monday at Lake Barton Golf Course, Mary Weaver and Brionna Beard both shot a 114, earning them a trip to State Golf October 17 at Buffalo Dunes in Garden City! Hallie Wettstein shot a 124, and Katie Crawford shot a 136. The team as a whole played great. The course itself was challenging and unfamiliar, but the girls made the most of it. High winds and low temperatures didn’t help much either.

“I’m super proud of these girls for sticking through this season. Mary has been so close to making State her past couple years, and she finally got it. Brionna has played great her past two years and I’m excited to see them both play at State,” said Coach Rex Evans.

The American Red Cross urges eligible donors to give blood this fall to help restock the shelves following a significant summer shortage to ensure an adequate blood supply for patients in need. The American Red Cross will be in Hugoton October 11, 2016 from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Bethel Friends Church at 400 E. 11th St.

People rely on fire and smoke detectors to help keep them safe in their homes. Though fire and smoke alarms are effective, a firm fire safety plan that will keep everyone calm should a fire occur could make the difference between life and death.

The U.S. Fire Administration says that more than 3,500 Americans die each year in fires, while roughly 18,300 more men, women and children are injured each year. Cooking accounts for the greatest percentage of residential fires, followed by arson. Dryer vent fires are also a big concern. FEMA says that smoke, rather than the fire’s flames, is responsible for 75 percent of all deaths by fire.

In addition to physical injury and material damage, fires can cause a host of problems. Psychological distress, monetary damages and loss of pets may come with fires. Loss of irreplaceable personal items is also a concern. Although fires can be devastating, they’re also highly preventable, and smoke alarms and a home fire safety plan are two precautionary measures everyone should take.

Creating an evacuation plan doesn’t have to be complicated. Such a plan can be established in a few minutes and then reinforced through practice every so often to keep everyone fresh on what to do.

• Begin by assessing the layout of the home. Figure out the two best exits from the home.
• If your home doesn’t have two doors, invest in a fire ladder so that one of the windows can be a point of exit.
• Know how to gain access to the exits, including the best path to take to avoid injury. It’s a good idea to consider a few different scenarios. A kitchen adjacent to the upstairs staircase may become engulfed in flames and make exit by way of staircase impossible. Just because you have doors to the outside doesn’t mean they’ll present the best type of exit.
• Sketch out the layout of the home and the escape plan. Smoke can make it difficult to know up from down. Be sure everyone can reach the exits even if vision is obstructed. Try it with your eyes closed.
• Check fire alarms routinely, and change batteries at least every year.
• Make sure windows can be easily opened if they are an exit point.
• Make note of who will be helping children or the elderly out of the home.
• Establish a place where the family will meet outdoors. This area should be far enough away from the home so that everyone will be safe from smoke, flames and falling debris. Fires may ignite fuel explosions, so be sure the meeting spot is a good deal away.
• Children should be instructed to run to the meeting spot immediately without waiting behind for anyone to catch up. No one should reenter the home after arriving at the meeting spot.
• Do a few practice runs so that everyone will be accustomed to getting out quickly.
• While in most cases it is better to escape and let the fire department extinguish a fire, in the event of a small fire, occupants may be able to stanch it with a personal fire extinguisher. Follow the acronym PASS to properly put out the fire.
– PULL the pin in the extinguisher.
– AIM the nozzle or hose at the base of the flames.
– SQUEEZE the trigger.
– SWEEP the foam across the fire base; do not just aim in one place.

Fire safety is very important. In conjunction with smoke alarms, a fire safety plan can help everyone get out alive.

Thank You Stevens County Volunteer Fire Department!!!

Hugoton High School’s Fall Homecoming will be Friday, October 7. Students, teachers and staff of USD 210 are encouraged to dress up all week to show their Eagle Pride!
MONDAY, OCTOBER 3  – Pajama Day
Twister Tuesday (HES & HHS)
(Colors by grade level)
Hugoton Elementary
Green – Preschool, Kinderprep & Third Grade
Yellow – Kindergarten & Fourth Grade
Red – First Grade & Fifth Grade
Blue – Second Grade & Sixth Grade
White – Teachers
Hugoton High School
Freshmen – Green
Sophomore – Yellow
Juniors – Red
Seniors – Blue
Teachers – White
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5 – West Coast Wednesday Beach Wear
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7 – GAME DAY Wear red, white & blue
HES Playground Picture:
Kinderprep, Kindergarten, Second, Fourth & Fifth Grades – Red
First and Third Grades – White
Sixth Grade and Staff – Blue

Activities will kick off Thursday, October 6 with the Homecoming parade starting at 8:00 p.m. on Main Street. The parade will proceed to the Fairgrounds, where there will be a bonfire and pep rally. The Homecoming King will be crowned at this time.

Friday, October 7, the Homecoming Queen will be crowned at 6:00 p.m. at the football field. Then the Hugoton Eagles will take on the Southwestern Heights Mustangs in a rousing game of football with kick off at 7:00 p.m. Senior King candidates are Romano Burger, Valentino Degollado and Pedro Ordonez. Senior Queen candidates are Melissa Fabela, Katy Heger and Amy Scott. Junior attendant is Madison Shuck, sophomore attendant is Abby Heger and freshman attendant is Faith Degollado. Crown bearer is kindergartener Rowan Sullivan, son of Abel and Megan Sullivan, and flower girl is Brinlee Austin, daughter of Brian and Marie Austin.

Be sure to wear your Eagle red, white and blue to the field Friday evening to show your #EaglePride!

Free health fair this weekend

Stevens County Healthcare will host their annual FREE Health Fair this Saturday, October 1 at the Hugoton High/Middle School Cafeteria. Patrons must enter through the front doors of the school. The event will open at 7:00 a.m. Free lab draws include CBC, CMP. lipid panel, TSH and A1C. Men over 50 may also get their PSA. Patients must be nine years or older.

Anyone requiring lab work must pre-register by 4:00 p.m. Friday, September 30 at Stevens County Hospital, Pioneer Manor, Stevens County Retail Pharmacy or Stevens County Medical Clinic. A self-addressed stamped envelope is required to receive your results.

For more information, contact Alisha Hinz at 620-544-6162.

Commissioners hear from public

The Stevens County Commissioners met in regular session Monday, September 19 in the Commissioners’ Room at the Stevens County Courthouse. Present were Commissioners Pat Hall, Dave Bozone and Joe D. Thompson. Also present were County Attorney Paul Kitzke, County Clerk Pam Bensel, Clerk candidate Amy Jo Tharp, Commissioner candidate Tron Stegman and Marie Austin with The Hugoton Hermes.
The commissioners moved to pay the bills after discussing a few items. At 9:00 a.m., Jim Rice with the Kansas Natural Resources Coalition came in to give a report about his group’s activities. The KNRC had their policy meeting recently and opted to postpone their Planning 2.0 initiative. Jim then talked with the commissioners about a prairie dog issue in Comanche County and the possibility of an environmental group suing for the lesser prairie chicken’s endangered status again. He also said the KNRC is opposed to the Waters of the United States act.
Tony Martin was next up, and he reported the grader is nearly repaired after a bill of approximately $23,000. His crew has about one day of patch work left, but the cool wet weather has prevented them from finishing. The commissioners and Tony then talked about the crossing permits with Black Hills. The timeline has been moved up for Stevens County, as Black Hills will start here and proceed toward Seward County instead of vice versa. Two Black Hills representatives came in to ease any concerns the commissioners and Tony had regarding safety at the crossings. Both men assured the group that concrete – and a much hardier pipe – would be as safe and more cost-effective than casings, quoting the figures of $12,000 per crossing for concrete and $20,000-plus per crossing for casing. The commissioners along with Tony reiterated their concern for the safety of county residents and employees.Tony and the commissioners opted to allow Black Hills to issue the permits with amendments including a stipulation that Black HIlls would be financially responsible in the event of an accident and that the line would be six feet deep. The Black Hills reps agreed to that. Tony then discussed roads in Moscow needing upkeep. He said his group would likely help them out with a pothole near the highway, and then they would winterize the asphalt plant.
Next up was Darla Mirabal and quite a few supporters of the Fitness Center. The room was filled to near capacity as the commissioners tackled the tough issue of spending cuts. The group brought up several options for the Center to continue, including moving the equipment to the Bob Sosa Building at the Hugoton Recreation Commission and turning the Center into a co-op, where members buy the facility and provide upkeep. They also suggested pay cuts or eliminating a position. The commissioners brought up time and again the issue of keeping taxes lower while providing needed services for residents. Pat reminded the audience the county has only been responsible for the Center for a few years, and that’s because the hospital’s budget couldn’t bear the expense. Now taxpayers are subsidizing the Center for 200 people who use it out of 5700 people in Stevens County.

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City opts to investigate water improvements

The Hugoton City Council met in regular session with Mayor Jack E. Rowden; Councilmen Dean Banker, Dan Corpening, Shannon Crawford, Jason Teeter and Frankie Thomas all present.
Others present were City Inspector Josh Grubbs, City Clerk Thomas G. Hicks, Chief of Police Courtney Leslie, Outside Utilities Supervisor Paul Nordyke, Electric and Park Systems Supervisor Gary Rowden, City Attorney Wayne R. Tate, Marie Austin, Carrie Baeza, Pete Earles, Malissa Hicks, Marcy McGinnis, Damon Simmons, Ralph Sittingdown, and Paula Sosa. Mayor Jack E. Rowden presided.
Each member of the governing body was provided a copy of Municipal Judge Paula Sosa’s report for the month of August, showing three new cases brought before the court and 52,712.00 remitted to the city.
City lnspector Josh Grubbs provided his monthly activities report.
City Engineer Pete Earles presented a report about various water line projects that will need to be addressed at some point in time. Eighteen projects with probable construction costs of $4,931,605.40 were detailed.
Ralph Sittingdown returned to update the city council on the cleanup of his property at 215 S. Main. Progress continues as he works on erecting two storage buildings.
Dana Swan, owner of the old Catholic Church at 305 S. Main, failed to appear before the governing body on the condemnation of the storage building. Resolution No. 2016-1 set a public hearing date for April 11, 2016. Ms. Swan did not appear at that hearing. Following the hearing, the city council ordered Ms. Swan to remove or demolish the structure on or before September 1, 2016.
City Inspector Josh Grubbs reported Daniel Rios, owner of the property at 702 S. Adams, has substantially complied with Resolution No. 2016-5 regarding the cleanup of his property. No further action is required at this time.
At the behest of the city inspector, City Clerk Thomas G. Hicks drafted an ordinance regulating storm water runoff. The city engineer reviewed the proposal and provided his input. Most of the engineer’s recommendations were incorporated into a second draft. That proposed ordinance was provided for the city council and city attorney to review for possible future action.

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Weekend is chock full of events for local residents

This upcoming weekend is simply chock full of events for area residents. Start off by trekking to the Hugoton High School football field Thursday, September 8 for some hard-hitting middle school football action. The seventh grade will begin playing at 4:00 p.m., while the eighth grade team will take the field at 5:30 p.m. Both teams will play Holcomb Middle School. There is a small fee for admission, and concessions will be available for both games.

Friday, you can start your day off right by visiting the Senior Center’s Quilt, Art and Photography Show at 624 S. Main. The Center will open from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Friday, September 9 and from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday, September 10. If you would like your items to be displayed, you can drop them off Thursday, September 8 between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. You can also call Senior Center Director Shila Moore at 620-544-2283 to find out more.

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New walkways finished and approved

The Safe Routes to School project and the Raydene Park Hike and Bike Trail are completed. Kathy Pritchett of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism along with Paul Stoner of EBH and Associates, Outside Utilities Supervisor Paul Nordyke, Jan Leonard, City Inspector Joshua Grubbs, Hugoton Hermes reporter Kay McDaniels, Brian Kroth of JKL Construction, Inc. and Inspector Marc Chaffin made the trek along Raydene Park’s new Hike and Bike Trail Wednesday morning. The total trail walk is six blocks. JKL Construction, Inc. of Plains, proposed and won the bid of $118,800.55 on the Hike and Bike Trail. Construction was completed last week with the inspection walk Wednesday.
City Clerk Tom Hicks, Leonard, Grubbs, Nordyke, Stoner, USD 210 Superintendent Adrian Howie, Bryant and Bryant Construction head Bud Bryant, Inspector Marc Chaffin, KDOT Greg Adams and Greg’s assistant took a walking tour later that morning of the new Safe Routes to School project. Bryant & Bryant Construction from Halstead won the contract with a bid of $193,244.00 plus estimated engineering costs of $47,059 and $600 City matching funds. The bid covered sidewalks from Sixth Street to Eleventh Street on the west side of South Jackson. The Safe Routes to Schools grant was for $250,000. Hugoton was awarded the Phase II funding for the infrastructure improvement grant in September 2012. At an October 6, 2015 meeting of the City Council in Hugoton, Hicks told the councilmen the project had been let for bids three times, twice as a stand-alone project and then as an inclusion with KDOT’s K-51 pavement project. Every bid received was in excess of $400,000.00. The engineer’s original estimate for the proposed SRTS project was $257,018.24 so all three bids were rejected as too high. The project was let in April 2016 one more time with Bryant and Bryant Construction winning the bid. The SRTS project consists of five blocks.
The Hike and Bike Trail starts at the middle school on the east side of the building by the practice field. The trail goes down to Twelfth Street and crosses over to Raydene Park. The trail runs from Main Street all the way to the Legends baseball field parking area. The trail connects the Safe Routes To School sidewalk with the Raydene Hike and Bike trail for a safer route for students on their way to and from the middle and high school campuses.