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Halstead, KS 67056
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July 6, 2017
Harvey County IndependentJuly 6, 2017 Harvey County Independent

Students Offer Blessings To Bentley Community

Posted 7/6/2017

By Jared JanzenSTUDENTS and staff of the BPS summer program created a blessings box stocked with food and other items that are free for anyone in need to take. They placed the box inside the Bentley Post Office last Friday. STUDENTS and staff of the BPS summer program created a blessings box stocked with food and other items that are free for anyone in need to take. They placed the box inside the Bentley Post Office last Friday.

BENTLEY—Folks in Bentley have probably noticed a colorful new fixture sitting inside the post office and may have wondered what it is. The new addition is a blessings box that holds non-perishable food and other items free for anyone in need to have.

The blessings box got its start as a community service project for the students enrolled in Bentley Primary School’s summer school program. Students installed it at its new home last Friday morning on the final day of the program.

The idea for the blessings box was Sharla Warren’s, coordinator for the summer program.

The blessings box works both ways. People in need can take a blessing, but members of the community are also welcome help keep it supplied. The words “Take what you need; give what you can” are written along the box’s base.

Warren said the goal is for the community to fully take over supplying it, but if they don’t the school will continue stocking it through its Kansas Reading Roadmap grant.

Several steps were involved in preparing it. Students took the box apart to sand, paint and decorate it. The finished box is covered in the handprints of each of the students, like dozens of little reminders to be a helping hand in the community.

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STARS Forms In Burrton To Organize Support For First Responders

Posted 7/6/2017

By Jared Janzen

BURRTON—The past two years, Burrton fire crews have been involved in battling several massive wildfires in the area. Out of those experiences came a need for a better system to support firefighters as they work long, hot hours, and so a few months ago a fire/EMS auxiliary was formed.

The auxiliary is called STARS, an acronym for Standing Together As Responders Serve. So far they’ve grown to about 15 members.

In recent years during the 2016 wildfires north of Burrton and the fires in Reno County this past March, the wives of some Burrton volunteer firefighters have cooked meals and offered general assistance however they could. In April, this evolved into STARS as a way to coordinate those efforts.

“The wives are always the ones trying to keep everything going as far as getting food to them or supplies that they need, so we thought this would be a better way for us to organize,” said Jaclyn Hotzrichter, coordinator for STARS.

Holzrichter explained that during large wildfires, crews often don’t have time to stop and eat, so the wives prepare meals and deliver them onsite. Before STARS, efforts to assist firefighters were hectic.

“A single point of contact is what we were looking for because we would have so many people who were calling and wanting to know how they could help, and there was no one person who had any answers,” said Monica Leonard, another member of STARS.

Last year during the wildfires north of town, Burrton had crews from about 30 different organizations bring 84 fire apparatus in to battle the blazes. Holzrichter and Leonard said that if another large-scale fire were to happen in the area, STARS would try to support all of them. In addition to food, little things like chapstick and hand wipes can make a big difference.

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Tree Boards Beautify Our Cities

Posted 7/6/2017

Editor’s Note: Each town in our coverage area has a number of boards or commissions staffed by volunteers in the community.  This summer we are highlighting a few of those bGRANT Williams with Halstead’s tree board helps Ward Willis and sixth graders at Halstead Middle School plant a tree for Arbor Day last April.GRANT Williams with Halstead’s tree board helps Ward Willis and sixth graders at Halstead Middle School plant a tree for Arbor Day last April.oards active in our communities.

By Pilar Martin

A great way to get involved locally is to volunteer for a local tree board. Both Halstead and Sedgwick have tree boards. Sedgwick is actually looking for someone to join their tree board now. Trees are an important part of any community. They provide beauty, especially in the spring and fall. Trees provide shade and help the atmosphere and wildlife.

The Halstead Tree Board is a five-member committee that meets a couple of times a year. They are given around $4,000 each year to enhance the town’s public spaces with trees.

“We use the money to maintain existing trees, remove old diseased trees, and plant new ones,” said Grant Williams, one of the tree board members.

Trees are planted in the parks, cemetery and along easements in town. Members if the tree board help select projects to be completed and decide how the funding will be spent.

The tree board also has a street tree program. This program will plant trees for free even in someone’s yard in the city easement for more street appeal. If you would like to have some trees planted, just contact city hall. The street tree program only plants a few trees each yeSEDGWICK’S tree board has its own tree farm. SEDGWICK’S tree board has its own tree farm. ar.

Halstead has been designated as a tree city for 39 consecutive years, tied for seventh place for oldest tree cities in the country. Each Arbor Day the tree board helps maintain that certification by planting a tree locally.

“The planting could be at the schools, a city park, or senior center,” Williams said. “We try and move it around.”

Sedgwick also has a tree board with seven members on it.  The tree board maintains a tree farm out at the burn site. They grow a variety of trees, and most are pretty large. The trees are offered through the tree-sharing cost program. Information can be found at the city’s website or stop by at city hall.

The tree board also offers a variety of trees and shrubs for sale each spring. All trees and shrubs are selected for the Kansas climate. Any resident can purchase the reduced cost trees or shrubs.

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