After a nearly 30-year hiatus, Hesston resident Dwight Erb has once again hit the track on his Kawasaki ZX 14 motorcycle.
Erb said he left racing to focus on new priorities.
“I had too many responsibilities, like kids, which is why I got out. My last competitive race was in ’83 or ’84,” he said.
However, Erb knew he would not stay away from racing.
“Once you’ve had the need for speed, it never goes away. It’s an adrenaline high that can’t be obtained by any type of substance,” he said.
While many racers focus on performance cars, Erb has had a passion for motorcycles since childhood.
“What got me into cycles from the beginning, when I was 8, Dan, at Dan’s Cycle, we’re cousins. When we would go visit, he would put me on his 125 Suzuki dirtbike. He’d go do chores and when he was done with chores, he would help me off. There was a lot of incentive there not to crash; because if I did, ridding time was over,” said Erb.
As an adult, Erb said motorcycle racing held his interest because it could be done by a one-man crew.
“Motorcycle racing is more of a personal sport than car racing. So many car racers have a pit crew of anywhere from two to 15 guys and what you don’t think about, they do. So its more of a team effort than cycle racing. Back in the day, I was my own mechanic, transport, pit crew and my own boss,” he said.
Coming back on to the track, mental clarity was key for Erb.
“It’s a lot of mental preparedness. There’s some testing and tuning on your bike and knowing the clsss you want to run in. other than that, get on and ride to your best potential,” said Erb.
Erb said while he keeps his motorcycle simple, many riders make significant modifications to their motorcycles.
“Most all guys run the [Suzuki hyabusa]. There’s so much cost involved with making one of those bikes competitive and keep the transmissions together. It’ll cost about $1,500 to $2,000 to get the transmission to pull that kind of power. The ZX 14, so far, has been a proven motorcycle that all you have to do is get on and ride,” he said.
Erb said he has made minimal changes and investments in his motorcycle.
“That bike is extremely fast from the factory. Other than changing the exhaust and putting a power commander 5 on it with an O2 sensor in the exhaust, that’s all I’ve done to that bike. And I’ve spent a lot of time in the saddle,” he said.
Erb said as with any competitive endeavor, there are challenges – and other racers pushing the edge of what is allowed.
To read more, see this week's print edition.
BY BOB LATTA
RECORD SPORTS EDITOR
At its July meeting recently, library director Cari Cusick announced that it is time for the next chapter in her life.
Cusick is stepping down as director of Hesston Public Library to spend more time with her daughter, who was born in March.
The board accepted the resignation with regret, but board members also wished her well in this next season of her life as a parent.
“It has been such a privilege to work in such a beautiful library in such a wonderful community,” Cusick said. “I will miss it terribly, but this is the best choice for my family right now.”
Cusick began her tenure in November, 2009. Some of the projects that have been completed during her time as director include the move to the new library in November, 2010, the upgrade of the library software in late 2012, and the addition of downloadable e-books and audiobooks to the collection in spring of 2012.
“The people of Hesston are fortunate to have such a great library, and the library is fortunate to have such a supportive, progressive community to serve,” Cusick said.
The library Board of Trustees is forming a search committee to hire a new director. No definite time-line has been set. Cusick will continue to help oversee library operations until a new director is chosen.
To read more, see this week's print edition.
Former Hesston College instructors Sharon Cranford, Wichita, Kan., and Dwight Roth, Hesston, have released their book, “Kinship Concealed: Amish Mennonites/African-American Family Connections” (Legacy Book Publishing, 2013) – the story of Cranford’s, an African American Baptist, and Roth’s, a white Mennonite-Episcopalian, unexpected shared heritage.
Part semi-autobiographical and part historical fiction, the book documents the historical multi-racial lineage of Amish brothers Jacob and John Mast who immigrated from Switzerland to Philadelphia, Pa.
Jacob, Roth’s ancestor, stayed in Pennsylvania and became the first Amish bishop ordained in the United States while John, Cranford’s ancestor, left the Amish church and moved south during the peak of slavery in America.
John’s grandson, Rueben, became a slave owner in North Carolina and fathered a child with a slave girl – the child became Cranford’s great-great-grandfather, Charley Mast.
The duo will celebrate the book and family connections with a gathering for descendants of Jacob and John Mast on July 29 at Conestoga Mennonite Church, Morgantown, Pa., near where Jacob Mast lived and ministered more than 250 years ago.
Cranford and Roth did not know each other until they were both teaching in Hesston College’s social science department – and they definitely didn’t know about their common lineage.
During a casual lunch gathering on campus in 2004, Roth’s attention was grabbed when he overheard Cranford’s tell another colleague that her great grandmother’s maiden name was Mast. He quickly noted that his mother’s maiden name was also Mast.
Roth, who taught at Hesston from 1973 to 2010, had an interest in his family’s genealogy and asked a few questions of Cranford to see if they might stem from the same Mast branch. When Cranford answered Roth’s questions correctly, the two made their way to the college library to further explore their unexpected discovery in the C.Z. Mast Geneaology book. There, their suspicions were confirmed when they found both family lines.
To read more, see this week's print edition.
Todd Anderson with SMH Consultants, Utilities Superintendent Scott Robertson, Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator Kyle Headrick, addressed the City Council Monday, July 8 regarding improvements to be made to the Wastwater treatment plant.
According to Anderson, a functioning headworks building was the highest priority.
Currently, the headworks at the wastewater treatment plant are partially inoperable, according to City Administrator John Carder.
“We want to focus on the headworks and have some minor changes to the aeration basin. We are replacing the clarifiers and putting on covers. The headworks building, however, are going to be totally different than what you have and that is the single biggest entity to the plant,” he said.
Anderson explained the importance of the headworks.
“The wastewater comes in from two pipes and brings it into the new building. Within the building, we would need a dumpster for some of the materials from the raw wastewater flow,” he said.
Once the largest of materials has been removed, water will continue be filtered.
“Within the headworks building itself, flow will come into a channel and the whole town enter headworks building with a bar screen. What is collected on the screen will go to an augur, is compressed and put into a dumpster,” he said.
In case of an emergency, repairs or an inundation of water, an overflow/bypass channel will be constructed.
“Adjacent to main channel is a bypass channel, if we have to take the bar screen out of service, we have a channel so we can perform maintenance. If you have a high rain event and there is more water coming in or starts to back up, there is a way that, if the water gets to a certain depth, it will fall over and into that bypass. I don’t anticipate that happening. I don’t anticipate that because this is a gravity plant,” said Anderson.
Anderson said once the water is in the headworks building, it will be measured.
“Once it is through the screen, it will go through a flume, it is a simple and effective means of measuring flow. You are mandated to measure incoming flow,” he said.
Once the volume of wastewater has been determined, the cleaning process will begin.
After two incidences of high carbon monoxide levels, The Wash Line has been shut down for repairs and maintenance.
According to Fire Marshal Jim Meier, carbon monoxide levels at nine parts-per-million are high enough for evacuation. Crews entering an area with carbon monoxide above 35 parts-per-million are required to wear respirators.
Meier said he is confident the cause of the carbon monoxide has been found.
“I am confident that it is the dryers. We started them all running, and within a minute, the alarm was going off,” he said on Tuesday morning.
Meier said professionals will be on-site working to repair the problem with the driers or the ventilation system.
Meier said he will be on scene for the repair process.
“I’m planning to be there when they are working on it so I can get a better understanding of the system, how they are doing everything and getting to the bottom of it to make it right,” he said.