Your browser version is outdated. We recommend that you update your browser to the latest version.

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

Search this site:


 This Week's Issue:



Wheat Harvest Better Than Anticipated

Posted 7/2/2015

By Pilar Martin

HARVEY COUNTY – Despite heavy rains and some slumping prices, this year’s wheat harvest around the area is looking to be significantly better this year than last.

“On April 11, we were sweating. The rain in May saved us,” said Mark Jacob, manager of the Sedgwick branch of Andale Farmers Cooperative.

Paul Works was at the Sedgwick facility on Friday to check how much wheat his land yielded. Works owns 62 acres of dry land wheat about a half mile south of the cemetery in Sedgwick, and is farmed by Mike McGinn. Works’ acreage brought in 37 bushels per acre.

“Last year it was only 17 bushels,” Works said. “This is a lot better.”

As predicted, the wheat was ready before combines could get into the fields. Cutting began on June 10, but was halted the next day when some areas got up to six inches of rain. Cutting began in earnest around June 19, and is 65-75 percent completed.

Jack Queen, president of the Farmers Cooperative Elevator Company in Halstead, said test weights were between 58-61 pounds. His elevators are seeing yields of 30-80 bushels per acre for dry land wheat, with irrigated coming in anywhere from 60-100 bushels per acre. “The harvest is much better than last year,” Queen said. “Overall we will likely finish a little over average.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Health Ministries Aiming For Halstead Clinic In September

Posted 7/2/2015

By Tirzah Chesky

NEWTON – Health Ministries Clinic approached the Harvey County Commission this week asking for a $7,500 appropriation to help offset costs of running a clinic for Halstead.

Specifically, this amount would be put toward renovation of a new satellite branch Health Ministries is setting up in Halstead. In September, Health Ministries will take over Diane Steeve’s lease at her New Medical Clinic and bring their services to the town. The clinic plans on adding several full-time staff, including reception and a full-time nurse.

Physician services will be added as well, expanding on the services offered.

“The piece that was don’t know yet… will be feeling out our integrative services,” said Matthew Schmidt, Health Ministries Executive Director, in reference to the potential for adding “some sort of behavioral health” at the location. The clinic is unsure whether this will be a full or part-time position. When the commission asked about competition, Schmidt assured them that there would not be duplicate services in the future as Newton Medical Center was partnering in the project.

Health Ministries is also in “conversation” with the Harvey County Health Department about potentially housing a branch of WIC in the building as well. The commission is taking the request under advisement to see if there is room in the budget.

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Where And When Can You Shoot Off Fireworks?

Posted 7/2/2015

By Frederick Bader

HARVEY COUNTY – For many local families, Fourth of July celebrations can begin well before the fourth, with several nights of fireworks rather than just one. Fortunately, in many communities in the county, this is legal, though each community’s laws are different. This information can help you to have a safe, fun and legal Fourth of July celebration – even if it doesn’t fall exclusively on the fourth.


Fireworks can be fired in Bentley July 1-5, from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Discharge is legal only on private property. The city staff would also like to remind residents that sky lanterns are still banned due to a Sedgwick County law.


Fireworks in Burrton begin earlier than anywhere else, with legal discharge having begun on June 27 and running through July 5. On July 2 and 5, fireworks may be discharged from 10 a.m. through 10 p.m., while discharge on July 3 and 4 is allowed from 10 a.m. through midnight. Fireworks are allowed on private property with the landowner’s approval. Fireworks are not allowed on any city-owned property or in fire zones.


Discharge of fireworks is legal in Newton for the first five days of the month. On July 2, 3 and 5, discharge is legal from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. On July 4, you can shoot off fireworks from 7 a.m. through midnight. As in Burrton, fireworks are allowed on private property but cannot be used on city property or in a fire zone.

North Newton

Fireworks can only be discharged in North Newton on July 4 from 10 a.m. through midnight. Only Class C, also known as 1.4G, fireworks can be discharged. This means that large display fireworks are prohibited. Check with your fireworks vendor to see if your purchase is Class C. Fireworks are allowed on private property only, and cannot be used inside a vehicle or within 50 feet of a gas tank.

Rural Harvey County

For areas that don’t fall within any city limits, fireworks can be discharged July 1 through 4 from 8 a.m. through midnight. They are, as usual, allowed only on private property, not on public roads or parks. Bottle rockets and other projectiles are prohibited.


Fireworks are allowed in Halstead on July 2, 3 and 4 from 8 a.m. through midnight. You can shoot them off anywhere in the city except on public property or within 50 feet of a gas tank. Throwing or shooting them at animals, people or vehicles is prohibited, as are bottle rockets and projectiles.


The City of Hesston allows fireworks from July 1 through 4. On July 1 and 2, they can be fired from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., while you have from 8 a.m. to midnight on July 3 and 4. As is standard, they are allowed only on private property and cannot be used on city streets, public parks or school grounds.


Fireworks are allowed in the city of Sedgwick on July 1 and 2 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and on July 3 and 4 from 10 a.m. to midnight. They are allowed on private property only.

Read the rest of this entry »

Your Guide To Fireworks Safety

Posted 7/2/2015

By Pilar Martin

This week, fireworks will be exploding all over. We want everyone to have a safe and fun Independence Day, so here are a few tips.

•  Buy and discharge fireworks in the same town. Each town has different rules regarding what fireworks can be discharged in their city limits, and those are the types of fireworks sold. If you are caught shooting illegal fireworks, you will be fined.

•  Always make sure you have a water source nearby before discharging any fireworks. A bucket full of water, even two are good to have on hand –  or a garden hose ready to spray if things get out of hand.

•  Follow manufacturer’s instructions when discharging fireworks. Most are not made to hold in your hand and you risk injury to yourself and others when you skip safety steps.

•  If you have young children, make sure they are supervised.

•  Always make sure fireworks are out and cooled down before handling. If an item does not go off as planned, assume it can still explode.

Besides bodily injuries, fireworks can get out of control and start grass or structure fires.

Fire Chief Jim Van Schiack said the Halstead fire department had a few calls last year. “We’ve had some where a couple kids were shooting them inside a garage and caught the garage on fire several years ago. We’ve had some that have been firing them too close to wheat field stubble or combustibles.”

He added, “Be careful of your surroundings. Look at where your family’s planning on shooting off fireworks, make sure it’s in a safe location. Make sure it’s not right next to a highly combustible wheat stubble field or hay field. Check and make sure fireworks are disposed of properly. We responded to a fire where someone didn’t have their fireworks put out. He put them in a trash can and set it next to the garage and they went off and set the garage on fire. Do it in a wide open area, watch where they land and make sure they don’t land on the roof or another place where you’re going to have problems.”

And don’t forget your pets. Fireworks will frighten dogs and cats. If you can, keep them inside, especially in the evening when the most fireworks are shot.

Read the rest of this entry »