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!

City Council opts to approve 3.74 mill increase

The Hugoton City Council met August 7, 2017 for the regular monthly meeting at the council meeting room. Attending the meeting were Mayor Jack E. Rowden and councilmen Dean Banker, Shannon Crawford, Jason Teeter and Frankie Thomas. Also present were City Clerk Thomas G. Hicks, Outside Utilities Supervisor Paul Nordyke, Police Chief Courtney Leslie, City Attorney Wayne R. Tate, Carrie Baeza, Mary Beth Crawford, Black Hills’ Deana Burkhart, Black Hills’ Ronnie Sumner, and Hugoton Hermes reporter Ruthie Winget. Councilman Dan Corpening, City Inspector Josh Grubbs and Electric Park Systems Supervisor Gary Rowden were absent.

The minutes of last month’s meeting were read and approved.

The July municipal judge’s report was presented, showing 29 new cases brought before the court and $1,120.00 remitted to the city. The council approved this report.

The city inspector’s written report was presented to the council. His report stated KDI’s tanks are done. They are working on the electrical, mechanical and process equipment now. Dirt work has begun for My Father’s House Church located at 408 E. First Street. The Musgrove Insurance remodel has also begun. The city inspector reported a lot of code violation letters have been sent out concerning weeds.

Deanna Burkhart and Ronnie Sumner of Black Hills Energy made the annual public relations appearance on behalf of the local natural gas provider. Outside Utilities Supervisor Paul Nordyke reported the city had recently experienced a delayed response to an emergency one call by the gas company’s locate provider. The local employees were unavailable to respond. Sumner told Nordyke to call him. Burkhart added the the city could contact Black Hills’ emergency number.

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

This year’s Stevens County Fair is in the books after countless hours of work. All ages of Stevens County youngsters were awarded ribbons for their various projects. Below are the individuals who won Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion ribbons for their animals.


Nick Gold – Grand Champion
Molly McClure – Reserve Grand Champion


Lainey Cox – Grand Champion
Hannah Cox – Reserve Grand Champion

Bucket Calf

Faith Beesley – Grand Champion
Morgan Niehues – Reserve Grand Champion


Nick Gold – Grand Champion
Heidi Bogan – Reserve Grand Champion


Hannah Cox – Grand Champion
Lainey Cox – Reserve Grand Champion


Laramie Brecheisen – Grand Champion
Tobias Grubbs – Reserve Grand Champion


Jacob Bell – Grand Champion
Joseph Hignett – Reserve Grand Champion


Sydney Beesley – Grand Champion
Emma McClure – Reserve Grand Champion

Congratulations to all who participated and
great job at the 2o17 Stevens County Fair!

For more results, please see page 6 of this week’s Hermes – you can subscribe here!

Above photo: A great group of kids makes up this year’s Parade of Champions at the Fair Friday night. Pictured in the front row, left to right, are Lindy McClure, Hannah Cox, Lainey Cox, Tobias Grubbs, Joshua Burrows, Clayton Grubbs, Madison Kurts, Eli Penrod and Maggie White. In the middle row are Rebecca Johnson, Elisha Staggers, Grace Dillinger, Faith Beesley, Stormy Heger, Jayden Burrows and Sydney Beesley. In the back row are Jacob Bell, Catie Gooch, Allen Shelton, Megan Newlon, Raegan Hinds, Nick Gold and Laramie Brecheisen.

Nordyke selected as American Star finalist

Each year, the National FFA Organization honors FFA members who show the utmost dedication to the organization through their desire to develop their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

The American FFA Degree is bestowed upon a select group of students in recognition of their years of academic and professional excellence. Austin Nordyke, a member of the Hugoton FFA chapter, will be awarded the American FFA Degree at the Ninetieth National FFA Convention and Expo October 26 in Indianapolis, In. The award recognizes demonstrated ability and outstanding achievements in agricultural business, production, processing or service programs.

To be eligible, FFA members must have earned and productively invested $10,000 through a supervised agricultural experience program in which they start, own or hold a professional position in an existing agricultural enterprise. Recipients must also complete 50 hours community service and demonstrate outstanding leadership abilities and civic involvement.

Saturday, July 22, the National FFA Organization selected 16 students from throughout the United States as finalists for its 2017 top achievement awards: American Star Farmer, American Star in Agribusiness, American Star in Agricultural Placement and American Star in Agriscience. Hugoton FFA’s Austin Nordyke has officially been named one of them!

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

Stevens County Fair promises fun for all

It’s Fair time again! Stevens County’s annual Fair will begin in earnest Thursday, July 20, with the 4-H Fashion Revue at 7:30 p.m. at the Memorial Hall. Reigning over the fair will be the couple featured in the photo above. Doug and Rita Mills are lifetime Stevens County residents, and they’re proud to be the Stevens County Fair King and Queen this year. Their bio can be found in this week’s issue of The Hugoton Hermes. Congratulations Doug and Rita!

Friday evening, 15 Stevens County girls will compete for the crown beginning at 7:00 p.m. at the Sorghum Queen contest in the Middle School Auditorium.

Saturday morning, get out to the Fairgrounds for the horse show at 8:30 a.m. The 4-H classes will go first, followed by open class entries. Timed events will be last. Later Saturday evening, head out to Dirtona for some action with the Monster Truck, Tuff Truck and UTV Challenge starting at 7:00 p.m. Read More →

BOE opts for semester grading at HHS

USD 210’s Board of Education met Monday, July 10 at Central Office on Main Street. Board members Barry Hittle, Todd Gayer and Dettra Crawford were absent.

Paula Rowden was elected BOE President and Mike Persinger was elected BOE Vice President. Kim Korf was appointed as Board Clerk, Davonna Daharsh as Deputy Clerk and Arlet Estrada as District Treasurer.

The board approved board appointments required by statutes; graduation activities for 2018; 1116 hours for the 2017-2018 school year; and authorized Adrian Howie as representative for Title I, II, and III for 2017-2018 and as district purchasing agent. The board approved the renewal of food services/ special milk application and designated The Hugoton Hermes as district newspaper.

The board also established petty cash funds and adopted the resolution to rescind previous policy statements. USD 210 established a mileage reimbursement rate at $0.50 per mile and voted to destroy school records as per statute. The board acknowledged ADA and Section 504 policies and procedures and adopted the Home Rule resolution and the Generally Accepted Accounting Principal Waiver (GAAP).

The adoption of the resolution to establish activity funds was approved. the BOE meeting dates are as follows: August 14, 2017, September 11, 2017, October 9, 2017, November 13, 2017, December 11, 2017, January 8, 2018, February 12, 2018, March 19, 2018, April 9, 2018, May 14, 2018, June 11, 2018 and July 9, 2018.

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