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The Harvey County Independent
220 Main St.
Halstead, KS 67056

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 This Week's Issue:



Cost Of Thanksgiving Meal Down Slightly

Posted 11/25/2014

By Pilar Martin

This year’s basic Thanksgiving meal will actually cost you less than last year. The Independent has been keeping tabs on the cost of a thanksgiving meal for seven years, by comparing the same items at Halstead Market every year.

This year, the cost of the meal was $26.66, down $1.19 from 2013.

The biggest savings for this year is the actual bird. A 12-pound turkey last year cost $14.28, while this year it is only $11.88.  There were small increases on almost all of the items in the survey, but the most expensive items, the turkey and a baked pumpkin pie, were down which saves on the overall meal.

To read more, see this week's print edition.

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Cook The Turkey For 15,000 Hours?

Posted 11/25/2014

By Pilar Martin

HALSTEAD – With Thanksgiving coming up, we decided to ask some 4-year-olds how to prepare some main dishes for your Thanksgiving table.  The idea was to ask the students in Josi Deewall’s class located at Halstead Middle School how to prepare a variety of items, but that didn’t work out so well.

First up were Ben Schulte and Josie Burke. They were asked how to make mashed potatoes.

Ben said he had no idea. He stated he was smart, but didn’t know how to make mashed potatoes. Josie just said you are supposed to smoosh them. So we changed tack and decided to just to ask the big question: how to cook a turkey. Apparently, these little girls and boys aren’t big helpers in the kitchen, but they did have a few ideas.

Both Laton Carmicheal and Kipley Lintecum said the first step was to clean the oven, and then you simply put the turkey in the oven and cook it for five minutes.

Charlotte Herrington and Lane Deewall both expect their dads to kill the bird themselves. Lane added he would put ketchup on his turkey and cook for six hours, while Charlotte’s turkey requires a bit more time: 15,000 hours.

To read more, see this week's print edition.

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'Tis The Season To Keep An Eye Out For Fire

Posted 11/25/2014

By Fire Chief Jim VanSchaick
and the Halstead Fire/EMS crew

Residential fires during the holiday season are more frequent, more costly, and more deadly than any other time of the year.

The U.S. Fire Administration reports more than double the number of open-flame fires on Christmas Day than on an average day. And when those fires occur, they do more damage, almost 34 percent more than in an average fire, and the number of fatalities per thousand fires is nearly 70 percent higher. When the source of the fire is a highly flammable Christmas tree, the toll in property and lives is even greater.

With the holiday season upon us, here are some safety tips to follow.

Cooking is the top cause of holiday fires, according to the USFA. The most common culprit is food that’s left unattended. It’s easy to get distracted. Take a potholder with you when you leave the kitchen as a reminder that you have something cooking. Make sure to keep a kitchen fire extinguisher that’s rated for all types of fires, check that smoke detectors are working and keep flammables clear from any hot cooking surface.

If you’re planning to deep-fry your turkey this holiday do it outside, on a flat, level surface at least 10 feet from the house.

Incidents involving candle fires are much higher during the holiday season compared other times of the year. To reduce the danger, maintain about a foot of space between the candle and anything that can burn. Set candles on sturdy bases, or on warmers thus doing away with the open flame, and remember that a ceiling can fan blow flammable objects into or around candles causing a fire hazard. Never leave flames unattended and make sure candles are completely out before you leave the room or turn in for the night.

Soot can harden on chimney walls as flammable creosote, so before the fireplace season begins, have your chimney inspected to see if it needs cleaning. Screen the fireplace to prevent embers from coming out onto the floor or carpet, and never use flammable liquids to start a fire in the fireplace. When using portable electric heaters make sure to keep flammable material away from them and never use an extension cord on these types of heating devices.

Last but not least is the danger involving Christmas trees and decorative holiday lights. It takes less than 30 seconds for a dry tree to engulf a room in flames and fill the entire house with deadly smoke. To minimize the risk, buy a fresh tree with intact needles, water it every day. Remember no matter how well the tree is watered, it will start to dry out after about a week, and take it down as soon as the holidays are over. Artificial trees don’t pose much of a fire hazard, just make sure yours is flame-retardant.

Inspection of light strings is a must, and throw out any with frayed or cracked wires or broken sockets. Extension cards should be in good condition and UL-rated for indoor or outdoor use. Check outdoor receptacles to make sure the ground fault interrupters don’t trip. If they trip repeatedly, that’s your sign that something needs repaired.

The holiday season is the best time of the year to share with friends and family. Just remember to take the time to assure that it’s a safe one as well.




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Stephens Market Under New Management, Now Called Jump Start

Posted 11/25/2014

By Pilar Martin

SEDGWICK – The convenience store at the corner of Fourth and Commercial is under new management. The store, once a Coastal, and more recently Stephens Market, is now being leased by Phil Near with Jump Start.

The new manager, Jeremy Ny, has been with the Jump Start group for about three and a half years.

The store had seen many improvements this year, with a cleaner environment, more refrigerator space, and more items on the shelves. Hunt Brothers Pizza and Champ’s Chicken were also brought in. Store hours were also changed, providing 24-hour convenience.

Ny says the improvements will continue. All employees will be re-trained and there will be upgrades to the food service, he said.

“We are actually looking to upgrade the whole store, and make major improvements, including keeping the store full,” Ny said.

A new Jump Start sign has been ordered and will be put up soon. A major Grand Opening is in the works with plenty of free samples for area residents,  he said.


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