City Council hears about After School program

The Hugoton City Council met October 10, 2017 for their regular monthly meeting at the council meeting room. Attending the meeting were Councilmen Dean Banker, Shannon Crawford, Dan Corpening, Jason Teeter and Frankie Thomas. Others present were City Inspector Josh Grubbs, Chief of Police Courtney Leslie, Outside Utilities Supervisor Paul Nordyke, Electric and Park Systems Supervisor Gary Rowden, City Attorney Wayne R. Tate, Dennis and Teresa Austin, Assistant City Clerk Carrie Baeza, Jacque Teeter, Retha Francis, Steve Morris and Hugoton Hermes reporter Ruthie Winget. Mayor Jack Rowden and City Clerk Thomas G. Hicks were absent.

President of the Council Shannon Crawford presided. The council approved the minutes of September 11, 2017.

Each member of the council was provided a copy of Municipal Judge Paula Sosa’s report for September, showing $2,284.42 remitted to the city. The council voted to accept the report.

City Inspector Josh Grubbs presented his monthly activities report, stating a lot of weed violations have been corrected.

To read the rest of this article, check out this week’s
Hermes – available now – by clicking here to subscribe online!

Stevens County hosts AG’s Roll Call

October 3, 2017 Stevens County Attorney Paul Kitzke hosted Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and three Assistant Attorney Generals in the annual Southwest Kansas Attorney General’s Roll Call. Each year the Attorney General hosts approximately six regional meetings where he discusses with county and district attorneys issues of importance in their region and other issues trending throughout Kansas.

In attending the meeting, the attorneys also receive three hours of continuing education credit.

This year, there were ten area attorneys signed up to attend the meeting. October 3 marks the first time that Stevens County has been asked to host the event. County Attorney Kitzke remarked, “Overall it was a success with a very good turnout of local prosecutors.”

The Stevens County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session Monday, October 2, 2017 with all members, Pat Hall, Joe D. Thompson and Tron Stegman present. Also present were County Clerk Amy Jo Tharp, County Counselor Paul Kitzke and RoGlenda Coulter from The Hugoton Hermes.

The agenda included Bills – 8:30; Phillip Willis – Bids – 9:00; Tony Martin – 9:30; Elaine Rowden – 10:00; Kara Stump – land east of hotel – 10:30; County entities – 11:00; and lunch – 12:00. The following is just the unofficial highlights for the morning.

When this reporter arrived, the Commissioners were going over bills. They were talking to Phillip Willis representing the landfill. Bids were to be opened for concrete crushing. Cesar Pena brought in the bid for his company – S&S Rock Crushing out of Sublette and another bid from Lee Construction out of Garden City was received via fax. Lee Construction turned in the lowest bid. After much discussion, motion was made and passed to accept the lowest bid. There were reservations – because Cesar explained if he turned out the same product S&S turned out he could do it cheaper, but he does not do that kind of product. Commissioners appreciate the attendance of a company representative to explain such details.

Commissioners moved into a short executive session.

Motion was made and passed to pay the bills and accept the minutes from the last meeting.

Tony Martin reported for Road and Bridge. He told of roads being patched and roads yet to be. He asked about the pest spraying done at the courthouse, fairgrounds and county shop. The county shop and the fairgrounds have not been sprayed regularly due to the shop being closed Fridays. Tony was just wondering how the pay is figured for this service. He was told it is the same no matter if they spray all buildings or just a few. It was decided if the pest company is being paid – all buildings need to be sprayed inside and out. An itemized bill should be requested.

Stevens County Treasurer Vanessa Willis brought in detailed information for the Commissioners to go over. She went over the information offering explanations. It showed the county’s tax income and distribution to each county entity. The only income to come in now will be from motor vehicle and the new sales tax. December taxes go to the following January.

Vanessa showed the amount in delinquent, protested and abated taxes. Most all the county entities have stayed within their budgets but were short of being paid their whole budgets because tax revenues are not coming in as they should.

To read the rest of this article, check out this week’s
Hermes – available now – by clicking here to subscribe online!

FFA earns first and second

In the State contest determining which chapters attend the National FFA Contest next July, competition was fierce but Hugoton’s FFA chapter dominated the Homesite Evaluation! The team came up short of sweeping the Land Contest by only two points!

HHS’s Homesite Evaluation Team won first. Individuals placing included Rebecca Johnson with first, Jacob Bell with second, Mitchell Hamlin with third, Hallie Wettstein with fourth, Jaxon Teeter with fifth, David Barker with sixth and Caitlyn Kiley with seventh.

Hugoton’s Land Judging Team placed second. Individual placings were Caitlyn Kiley with second, Jaxon Teeter with third, Jacob Bell with fifth, Hallie Wettstein with sixth, Mitchell Hamlin with tenth, Rebecca Johnson with twelfth and David Barker with thirteenth.

Above are David Barker, Jaxon Teeter, Rebecca Johnson, Mitchell Hamlin, Hallie Wettstein, Jacob Bell and Caitlyn Kiley showing their winnings. Congratulations and great job Hugoton!

Fall Homecoming will be Friday, September 29

Congratulations to Hugoton High School’s Fall 2017 Homecoming Court! Senior Queen candidates are Laney Hoskinson, Madison Shuck and Dallie Hoskinson. Senior King candidates are Marcos Baeza, James Brennon Featherston and Rodrigo Sanchez. Denisse Delgado was selected as the freshman attendant, Breckyn Hertel was chosen as the sophomore attendant and Sesthleng Garcia will serve as the junior attendant. Homecoming festivities will kick off Monday with Spirit Week dress-up days, as follows:

Monday, September 25 – Music Monday
                                          (dress like your favorite musician or musical character)
Tuesday, September 26 – Twin Tuesday
Wednesday, September 27 – Wacky Wednesday
Thursday, September 28 – Career Day
                           (uniform or clothing of your chosen profession)
Friday, September 29 – Show your Eagle Pride by wearing Red, White and Blue!

The Homecoming King will be crowned at the Pep Rally in the West Gym Friday, September 29 at 3:00 p.m.

The 2017 Fall Homecoming Queen will be crowned at 6:00 p.m. prior to the football game Friday night versus Goodland. Kick-off is at 7:00 p.m.

Go Eagles!

Pre-register for Free Health Fair

Stevens County Healthcare will again host their free Health Fair Saturday, Septem- ber 30. The Health Fair will be in the HMS/HHS Cafeteria from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. This is a very popular event, so please be sure to pre-register and arrive early!

Available tests will include the following blood tests: complete blood count, comprehensive metabolic panel, thyroid- stimulating hormone, A1C (blood sugar levels), a lipid panel and a prostate- specific antigen test (for men over 50). All tests – save the PSA – are available for any person nine years of age and older.

If you’d like to attend, simply pre-register at the Stevens County Hospital, Stevens County Medical Clinic, Pioneer Manor or Stevens County Retail Pharmacy. Please include a self-addressed stamped envelope with your registration and you’ll receive your results within two weeks. If you have any questions regarding the Health Fair, please call Stevens County Hospital at 620-544-8511 and they’ll be happy to help!

You can visit the Stevens County Hospital’s Web site here.

Start fall off right at 2017 Music Fest

Weekend’s festivities promise delicious
smells, tastes and sounds
as fall gets underway

This upcoming weekend is simply chock full of events for area residents. Start off by trekking to the High Plains Fall Fling at Eagle RV Park, 1471 Road 13 Saturday, September 9 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. There are currently 17 vendors signed up and their goods run the gamut, from apparel to homemade crafts and activities. There will also be tea, fresh kettle corn, sloppy joes, homemade pies, baked goods, jams and jellies. Homemade goods include wreaths, crafts, metal decor, horsehair bracelets, western decor, leather items, specialty gifts and woodcrafts. Prospective vendors are welcome to call Alisha Owens at the Chamber until Friday, September 8 to sign up at 620-544-4305.

New this year is the First Annual IBC Sanctioned High Plains BBQ Bash at Eagle RV park. Check-In is friday, September 8 from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. The Cook-off is Saturday, September 9. IBC Rules apply. The cooks will be at work from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. with awards at 5:00 p.m.  Though the smells will be delectable, vendors may or may not distribute food at their discretion.

The High Plains Music Fest will take place Saturday, September 9 beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Dirtona Raceway north of Hugoton. Featured acts include Cody Johnson, Josh Ward, Post Monroe, Stars Go Dim and Hugoton native Sydney Beesley. Proceeds from the event will go to the American Cancer Society and other local charities.

Dove season opens Friday

Each summer, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) Public Lands Division staff begin working fields that will attract doves come September. When the dove season opens September 1, these specially managed fields can be dove magnets, providing outstanding hunting opportunities. There are dove fields in all regions of the state, but they vary each year due to weather and managers’ time commitments. Find all 2017 dove fields by clicking here.

Wildlife areas with specially-managed fields for dove hunting are categorized by region. Be sure to read through the description of each area. Some fields may be reserved for youth or youth/mentors on the first few days of the season, many require non-toxic shot, and some may limit the number of hunters through special permits. Be sure to note if iSportsman Electronic Daily Hunt Permits are required. With an iSportsman account, hunters can check in and out by phone, smartphone or computer. It’s quick and easy. Click here to learn more.

Dove fields are often planted with sunflowers or wheat and managed to attract large numbers of doves. Fields may be small and require hunters to be respectful of other hunters, allowing safe distances between parties and taking only safe shots.

Opening day will be here before you know it. It’s time to stock up on shotgun shells and visit the local gun club for some practice. It’s also a good idea to spend a couple of evenings scouting the fields to learn which the doves are using.

Stevens County’s three commissioners Joe D. Thompson, Tron Stegman and Pat Hall convened Monday, August 21 for their regular meeting.

The agenda for the meeting was relatively full, as was the Commissioners’ Room. Wayne Tate, Tom Hicks, Paula Rowden and John Brower with the Stevens County Foundation came in to speak with the commissioners about possible uses for the fund. The Stevens County Foundation was formed in 2003, and the fund currently sits at $5.3 million. Wayne told Pat, Joe D. and Tron the purpose of the fund is to mitigate the effects of the county’s decreased valuation. Tax-supported entities promoting the quality of life are the focus of the fund. The money should be used to support things normally funded by the county that are no longer possible to pay with county dollars.

Basically the purpose of the Foundation Board’s visit was to establish some dialogue between the two entities. The group couldn’t recall even one formal request for use of funds, so a little publicity may be warranted. Wayne Tate commented, “It doesn’t do us any good to sit with $5.3 million while the town or county withers away.”

Commissioners agreed they would go over department budgets to evaluate where some of the money could be best used.

To read the rest of this article, check out this week’s
Hermes – available now – by clicking here to subscribe!

Stay safe watching Monday’s eclipse

Join thousands of Americans this coming Monday, August 21 and get outside to see the solar eclipse! Stevens County’s prime time for viewing will be convenient for most – with the eclipse starting around 11:30 a.m. and ending around 2:20 p.m. The best time to see the eclipse – for southwest Kansans – should be around 12:55 p.m. The sun is projected to be 86% eclipsed at the max point.

A total solar eclipse in the United States is nothing to sneeze at – the last one took place in 1979. This year’s promises to be the most-watched eclipse in human history. You’re encouraged to get out and take a look – but please remember to be safe! If you don’t heed warnings, you’re risking severe optical injury!

The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or handheld solar viewers.

Instructions for Safe Use of Solar Filters/Viewers

• ALWAYS inspect your solar filter before use: if scratched, punctured, torn or otherwise damaged, discard it.
Read and follow any instructions printed on or packaged with the filter.
 supervise children using solar filters.
• If you normally wear eyeglasses, keep them on. Put your eclipse glasses on over them or hold your handheld viewer in front of them.
• Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at the bright sun.
After looking at the sun, turn away and remove your filter.
DO NOT remove it while looking at the sun.
DO NOT look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars or other optical device.
• Similarly, DO NOT look at the sun through a camera, telescope, binoculars or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewer – the concentrated solar rays could damage the filter and enter your eyes, causing serious injury.
• Outside the path of totality, you must ALWAYS use a safe solar filter to look at the sun directly.

An alternative method for safe viewing of the partially eclipsed sun is indirectly via pinhole projection. For example, cross the outstretched, slightly open fingers of one hand over the outstretched, slightly open fingers of the other, creating a waffle pattern. With your back to the sun, look at your hands’ shadow on the ground. The little spaces between your fingers will project a grid of small images on the ground, showing the sun as a crescent during the partial phases of the eclipse. Or just look at the shadow of a leafy tree during the partial eclipse; you’ll see the ground dappled with crescent suns project by the tiny spaces between the leaves.

To find out more about the solar eclipse August 21, please click here. You’ll find all kinds of information, including a map showing your exact location’s eclipse-viewing projections!

Happy viewing!