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Halstead, KS 67056
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Beckner Takes Helm At Sedgwick Senior Center

Posted 8/31/2017

By Pilar MartinDAYLENE Beckner is the new executive director of the Sedgwick Senior Center.DAYLENE Beckner is the new executive director of the Sedgwick Senior Center.

SEDGWICK—Daylene Beckner has taken over as the new executive director of the Sedgwick Senior Center. Beckner started Monday and is anxious to meet members. She said she already knows a lot of the ladies that come to the Sedgwick center.

Beckner is also the executive director of the Bentley Eagle Senior Center. She has been at that post for seven years.

“My main function at Bentley has been in charge of funding,” she said. “I do the reports and report to the Department of Aging.” Her official responsibilities there only take a few hours on Fridays.

Beckner said she is impressed with the Sedgwick Senior Center.

“It is so nice,” she said. “It is really laid out well and I am really looking forward to working here.”

She will be at the center in Sedgwick Monday through Friday for three hours each morning.

To continue reading, please see this week's print edition.

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Editorial: Be Glad We Had Bubba In Houston

Posted 8/31/2017

By Robb Reeves

The camera quickly found him.Robb ReevesRobb Reeves

He was a bigger man, a little overweight, with a full beard and wearing camouflage. We saw him on our TV screens standing in thigh-deep water in the rain. We saw him drive his fishing boat down a freeway, carry people in his arms, and sometimes he just stared at his beleaguered city.

Bubba was the first responder in Houston and thank God he was there. Bubba shows up. He has been showing up to weddings, work, funerals, birthdays, and football games most of his life. He is the guy you borrow a socket wrench from when you can’t find yours.

When tragedies the size of Hurricane Harvey happen, the government, no matter how much bigger we make it year after year, is too small to help. When the water overwhelmed the nation’s fourth largest city, leaders cried for assistance and Bubba came.

Bubba didn’t plan for this day. He was supposed to be at the plant, working first shift. Yet his boat was ready and he launched into waters that carried snakes, fire ants, millions of bacteria and submerged cars. No one told him to go. No one offered Bubba money. He just did what he could.

We saw Bubba haul hundreds of people out of Houston’s high waters. This wasn’t a Coast Guard operation. It was just Bubba and his cousins and his mortgaged boat churning above Houston concrete on what has to be the weirdest day in Bubba’s life.

When the boat was under throttle and flying down Houston streets, the Bubbas grinned a little. As kids they dreamed of doing this.

Bubba did a few interviews when the cameras came up to him. But he didn’t say much, and never really does. He isn’t sure he trusts the media and any time spent talking to a reporter means less time on the water.

Bubba wondered about his own family. Were his kids dry? Was his wife scared? She told him not to do this but Bubba needed to get out of the house.

Bubba wonders when he will get to eat Houston’s fantastic Mexican food on a normal Friday night and drink a cold beer. When he starts to think about what all has happened this week, he gets a little overwhelmed and looks for another family to pick up. What he does after the flood is too much to think about today. In a county of 4.6 million people, he just keeps picking up people he doesn’t know and putting them in his boat. The people clustered in the boat are drenched, cold and clinging to trash bags of belongings.

The last 10 years have been tough for Bubba. The people he doesn’t understand want to take away his job. He is being outsourced to China, India or replaced by Silicon Valley robots. Bubba doesn’t know how to stop the tide of change coming at him that is much stronger than Harvey.

He is the guy the manager asks to come in early when a machine is broken at the factory. He is the guy we ordered to pull the trigger in Iraq.

When he goes in to buy a new four-wheeler, Bubba is reminded that his credit score isn’t what it used to be. Even if he could get the four-wheeler he wants, there aren’t places to ride it anymore and little time. His life is more about working at the plant and hoping his wife can string together a series of payments every month. In fact, he might be behind a month on the boat payment.

When the waters of Harvey recede, Bubba’s same old problems will be there plus new ones he can’t think about right now.

Bubba can drive an airboat as good as anyone. He can read water, service an outboard motor, and catch a limit of catfish. But the world doesn’t place much value on those things anymore.

Bubba is disappearing. He notices his son is more interested in staring at his phone than repairing the riding lawnmower. Bubba wonders how much longer he can keep paying for his F-150, the four-wheeler and a boat.

But for a few days in Houston, we needed Bubba and his boat and his skills.

Don’t praise FEMA, the governor, the president or the mayor.

Just be glad we had Bubba.

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Buy A Car, Or Have The Old One Fixed--All At Omega Auto

Posted 8/31/2017

DAVID Long, owner of Omega Auto Clinic, stands in his garage on East First Street flanked by a Jaguar and Porsche that he’s been servicing. DAVID Long, owner of Omega Auto Clinic, stands in his garage on East First Street flanked by a Jaguar and Porsche that he’s been servicing. HALSTEAD—Pretty soon you won’t have to travel far to buy your next Mercedes or BMW. Omega Auto Clinic is just weeks away from its plans to expand to used car sales in Halstead.

“A lot of people who have come in for repair work are excited also,” owner David Long said about his plans to begin selling vehicles. “They’re actually looking for cars and waiting for me to open.”
Omega Auto Clinic is repair shop at 117 East First St. that focuses on minor or moderate repairs to vehicles 1995 or newer. It also provides oil changes and other services. Long’s specialty is European cars, but he also services American and Asian models.

Earlier this month the city OK’d Long to open a car lot at First and Main adjacent to his repair shop. Now he’s in the process of getting his dealer’s license from the state. He expects that to be completed in a couple weeks and to be selling cars by mid-to-late September.

Long will sell domestic vehicles as well as European-made cars.

“There will be a nice little mix of things to try to suit whoever wants to buy a car,” he said.

He plans to have six-to-eight cars lined along the corner. He’ll buy the vehicles from auto auctions in Wichita or Kansas City, and may also accept trade-ins. Prices will range from $5,000 to $15,000, he said, providing Halstead residents with an affordable option close to home.

“There’s a niche there that I’m going to get into for people who are looking to get a car without getting a huge debt,” he said. 

This is Long’s first venture as a car salesman, but while he may be new to selling vehicles, he has more than 15 years’ experience working on them. Seven months ago he opened Omega Auto Clinic at its current location.

“It’s getting close to a year,” Long said with a laugh. “Things are going pretty good.”

Long previously had a shop with the same name along Old Settlers Road in 2012 and 2013 until merging with Becker Repair. He decided to branch out on his own again to follow his passion of servicing European cars.

About half of Long’s business is local and the rest is European vehicles from Wichita. He’s also had customers come from Newton and Salina.

Omega Auto Clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and can be reached at 835-3455.

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