Commodities will be distributed January 23

Commodities will be distributed to Stevens County residents
Tuesday, January 23 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
at the VFW Building
, 300 S. Monroe in Hugoton.

Food is distributed thanks to The Emergency Food Assistance Program or TEFAP.
Volunteers from Peace House Ministries facilitate the distribution.
For more information, contact Patty Bultman at 620-428-2046 or Kristin Farnum at 620-453-0933.

Income Guidelines:
Household Size                           Maximum Monthly Income
1                                                           $1307
2                                                           $1760
3                                                           $2213
4                                                           $2665
5                                                           $3118
6                                                           $3571
For each additional family member, add $453

Fire claims 400 cotton modules

At 11:59 a.m. Sunday, January 7, 2018, the Stevens County Fire Department was dispatched to a fire at the Northwest Cotton Growers Gin Inc. Upon arrival the decision was made to request mutual aid. Seven Kansas County Fire departments, one Oklahoma Fire Department, three Emergency Managers, Stevens County Health Department and the Red Cross responded to the call.

Community response was overwhelming – members brought equipment, food and drinks.

The fire started when a spark made it out to the bur pile and tumbled down, fueled by wind, igniting the entire pile.

According to Incident Commander Rodney Kelling, at one point there were 60 firefighters fighting to contain the fire in 40 to 45 mph winds. Smoke made visibility near zero and Highway 56 was closed and rerouted. The road is now open to traffic.

The fire is 100% contained but there are still hot spots being monitored. The Fire Department’s quick response helped keep the fire contained to the cotton modules and there was no damage to the cotton gin structure itself.

At this time, Mindy Gillespie, Office Manager, said the estimated loss is 400 modules which equals 4,000 bales of finished cotton product – a large loss. There has not been a final dollar amount established at this time.

Submitted by Susan Schulte, Stevens County PIO.

Tom Hicks tenders resignation

The Hugoton City Council met December 26, 2017 for their end of the year meeting.  Attending the meeting were Mayor Jack E. Rowden and Councilmen Dean Banker, Dan Corpening, Shannon Crawford and Frankie Thomas.  Others present were Assistant Cty Clerk Carrie Baeza, City Inspector Josh Grubbs, City Clerk Thomas G. Hicks, Chief of Police Courtney Leslie, and Electric and Park Systems Supervisor Gary Rowden. Councilman Jason Teeter was absent.

The council approved the motion for the uncollectible utility accounts in the amount of $4,622,43 to be charged off with every effort made to collect the accounts.

City Clerk Hicks presented a proposed ordinance to reduce electric rates by $.004 per kWh. The motion passed unanimously. The city has now reduced electric rates by one cent per kWh since 2015.

The council passed a motion granting a 3% increase in salaries and wages for city employees and officers, effective January 1, 2018.

City Clerk Thomas G. Hicks presented offical notice of his retirement, effective February 1, 2018. The meeting adjourned. Their next meeting is scheduled for January 8, 2018 at 5:15 p.m

The New Year is almost here!

Believe it or not – 2018 is almost here! Many people celebrate the new year by staying up until midnight to ensure the year arrives to much fanfare. As a result, nearly everyone is tired when New Year’s Day dawns – so several businesses have announced they’ll have special hours.

The City of Hugoton and City of Moscow will be closed Monday, January 1. The Stevens County Treasurer’s Office will be closed to the public Friday, December 29 for year-end business. The courthouse will also be closed Monday. Commissioners will meet Tuesday, January 2. The Post Office will be closed for New Years Day only.

Toot N Totum, Circle K, and Rolla Corner Stop will all be open Monday, while Eagles Landing and The Store in Moscow will be closed New Years Day. Thrifty King and Dollar General announced they will be open regular hours throughout the holiday. Twisted H Liquor and Thrifty King Liquor will be closed Monday only.

Citizens State Bank and First National Bank will be closed Monday only. Flatlanders will be open from noon to 5:00 p.m. Sunday for New Years Eve, and will be closed Monday. Hi-Plains Lumber will be closed Saturday, December 30 through New Year’s Day. They’ll reopen Tuesday with regular hours.

Stevens County Medical Clinic will have Saturday clinic, but will be closed Monday. The Retail Pharmacy will close at 5:00 p.m. Friday, December 29, but will reopen for Saturday morning. They will be closed New Years Day. Hugoton Drug reported they’ll close Monday only.

Make sure to stock up on books, movies and games as the Stevens County Library will be closed Monday and Tuesday. The Hermes will be closed January 1, but will reopen with regular hours Tuesday. Early deadline for the January 4 paper is Friday, December 29 at 12:00 noon. The Senior Center will be closed New Years Day.

Have a very Happy and Safe New Year!

Tis the season for many local churches to host special services recognizing the “reason for the season”.

Sovereign Redeemer Church will host Candlelight Services Wednesday, December 20 at 6:30 p.m. To get to Sovereign Redeemer, go two miles west of Hugoton on Highway 51 to Road 10. Turn right, then immediately turn right again onto the frontage road. ​Travel back east approximately one quarter mile. The Church will be in the white building with the red trim, the Sovereign Redeemer Church sign, and the big iron cross out front.

Assembly of God will host a Christmas Eve service at 10:00 a.m. Sunday, December 24. There will be no Sunday School. The Assembly is located at Second and Main.

Bethel Friends will host a special Nativity during their regular services Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m. Bethel Friends’ Sunday School begins at 9:30 a.m. Bethel Friends is located at Eleventh and Jefferson.

River of Life will host Christmas Eve services Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m. at their building at 424 S. Jackson.

First Church of God will host their regular Christmas service Sunday, December 24 at 10:30 a.m. and a candlelight service at 6:30 p.m. that evening.

United Methodist Church will offer two Christmas services Sunday, December 24 at 11:00 a.m. and at 7:00 p.m. as a time to reflect, remember and find hope. The Hugoton UMC is located at 828 S. Main. Rolla Methodist Church will also have two services at 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Sunday.

A Christmas Eve Candlelight Service will be Christmas Eve Sunday, December 24 at 5:00 p.m. at Hugoton Baptist Church at Eighth and Main.

Hugoton’s First Christian Church will host Christmas Eve services at 6:00 p.m. Sunday evening. 

St. Helen Catholic Church will host a Christmas Eve Mass Sunday at 7:00 p.m. Christmas Mass is planned for Monday, December 25 at 11:00 a.m. in English. St. Helen is located at 1011 S. Jefferson.

As always, you are invited to worship at the church of your choice. Please see the church directory on page 4 of this week’s Hermes for further information about area congregations.

HCA will wrap up those presents

The Heritage Christian Academy fourth-sixth grade classes are having a fundraiser. The group is raising funds for a trip to Washington, D.C. Saturday, December 16 is the last day you can get your presents wrapped at 606 S. Main Street in Hugoton. Prices depend on size and number of packages. If you have any questions please call Beth Beard at 620-428-5656.

Nordyke and Beesley to be honored Thursday

Hugoton High School is hosting a come and go reception for Austin Nordyke and Sydney Beesley Thursday, December 14 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. The reception will be in the high school cafeteria, please use the north cafeteria entrance.

Nordyke was named the 2017 National FFA American Star in Agribusiness. Beesley was selected to sing the National anthem at the Second Session of the 2017 National FFA Convention.

Please come and help celebrate the accomplishments of these two outstanding FFA members.

Another busy December weekend approaches!

The holiday season is always a whirlwind of activity – and this year is no different! This weekend is full of activities for sports fans, shoppers and families alike!

Basketball fans will be thrilled to learn Hugoton High School’s annual Blue and Red Classic will take place this week, starting Thursday, December 7. This marks the twenty-sixth year for the tournament, and play will begin with the girls’ bracket – Ulysses faces Stratford at 3:00 p.m. in the HHS West Gym, while Southwestern Heights will take on Hooker in the East Gym. Those games will be immediately followed by the first games of the boys’ bracket at 4:45 p.m. Mangum will face Hugoton’s JV in the West Gym, while Hooker and Southwestern Heights battle it out in the East Gym. You can find a copy of the bracket for this year’s tournament on page 8B of this week’s Hermes.

If you get tired of basketball, head over to Yardmaster Friday evening from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. to shop some amazing Christmas deals – and meet Santa Claus himself! Kids and parents can get a free picture with the big guy, as well as enjoy some cookies and cocoa. Yardmaster is located at Third and Main in Hugoton.

Do you have some hard-to-buy-for names on your Christmas list? Check out Chelsea’s Scentsy Christmas Open House or Mistletoe Market Saturday, December 10! The Scentsy Open House will be at Chelsea’s house at 1001 S. Main from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and will feature all the newest – and favorite – Scentsy products. All customers who shop will be entered into a drawing and there will be tasty refreshments. This year’s Mistletoe Market will be at Lynnie’s Nest, at 614 S. Main in Hugoton, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. You just might find the perfect gift for all your favorite people at this show of local artists and vendors. Contact Erica Kolb for more information at 620-544-3854.

Are you dreading wrapping all those presents you found at Yardmaster, the Scentsy Open House and Mistletoe Market? Not to fear! The students of Heritage Christian Academy are here to help! The kids will be wrapping Christmas presents Saturday, December 9 and Saturday, December 16 to raise funds for their trip to Washington, D.C. Call Beth Beard at 620-428-5656 for more information!

If you need a little help getting into the Christmas spirit – make sure to attend the Christmas concert at Rolla United Methodist Church Sunday, December 10 at 1:30 p.m. The very talented Wild & Sweet will perform. Members include Rolla natives Whitney Light Stilwell and Steffan Light, as well as Tara Light, Larry Stilwell and Johnny Bland. A free will offering will be received gratefully.

Later Sunday afternoon, while you’re still feeling jolly – make sure to get your tickets for the 2017 Parade of Homes, sponsored by the Preceptor Delta Lambda Sorority. Proceeds benefit the Sorority’s scholarship fund. Tickets are available by contacting any Sorority member, or call Lisa Jean Nelson at 620-428-1778 or Valerie Hershey at 620-544-9721. Tickets are also available at each home. The tour will take place from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Everyone is invited to share in the beauty of the hosts’ Christmas visions – and their beautiful homes!

Former Commissioner passes

Former Stevens County Commissioner Gary L. Baker passed away Wednesday, November 22, 2017 at Via Christi St. Francis Hospital in Wichita.

Mr. Baker started a water meter business as well as owning a business as a Water Rights Consultant in Hugoton. He served as a Stevens County Commissioner for 12 years and was a long-time member of Rotary Club.

He helped develop the Ground Water District and later worked for the Ground Water District as director.

In 2004 and 2011 Gary received the Distinguished Service Award from Stevens County Conservation District and Stevens County K-State Extension Service in appreciation of his outstanding community service. He also received Citizen of the Year Award in 2007 from Hugoton Area Chamber of Commerce.

Full obituary can be found on page 2 of this week’s Hermes, available here.

“Shop Small” this holiday season

‘Tis the season – to be thankful for a community full of small businesses!

The Hugoton Area Chamber of Commerce announces a brand new exciting promotion – just in time for Christmas! This holiday season, keep your shopping dollars local and “shop small”! When you spend your money locally, you grow local businesses, which grows your community.

From Saturday, November 25 until Sunday, December 31, every time you spend $10 or more at ANY local business, you can get your “Shopping Passport” marked. Every filled Passport will be entered for a chance to win Chamber Bucks – to finance even more local shopping!

Purchases at ANY Stevens County business will qualify! Simply buy your items, get your Passport marked and save your receipts. When your Shopping Passport is full, turn it into the Chamber office. There will be three winners of Chamber Bucks – one $50 prize and two $25 prizes.

This promotion kicks off with Small Business Saturday, November 25. The event is defined by Wikipedia as “an American shopping holiday the Saturday after Thanksgiving during one of the busiest shopping periods of the year”. It’s sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The first event took place November 27, 2010 and was sponsored by American Express. Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to patronize brick-and-mortar businesses that are small and local.

So get your Christmas list out and start checking it twice – and don’t forget your Hugoton Area Chamber of Commerce Passport – found on page 6 of this week’s Hermes! You can also visit the Chamber Office at 630 S. Main to pick one up.

Don’t forget to stop by the Chamber office Tuesday, November 28
to get your free shopping tote!