Hesston will remember its veterans with the 22nd Memorial Service in the Hesston Cemetery at 11 a.m., Monday, May 27. The Mistress of Ceremony will be Michelle Pfautz, member of the Hesston Veteran’s Memorial Committee. The Memorial Address will be given by Harold Smith, a veteran of WW II and a resident of Hesston; and Stuart McConnell, a ROTC Battalion Commander at KU. Harold Smith served in the Air Force with the 100th Bombardment Group as a waist gunner on B-17’s. He flew many bombing missions and mercy missions during the war. When the war ended, he was in England and had served five years and 1 month before his honorable discharge. Stuart McConnell is a senior at KU majoring in Film and Media Studies with a minor in Classical Antiquity on an ROTC scholarship. His battalion has competed all over the United States and is the Color Guard for the KU basketball games. In 2010, he graduated from Newton High School. His summer plans are to train at Fort Lewis, Washington and Kaiserslautern, Germany. After graduation from KU in the spring of 2014, he plans on commissioning as an active duty 2nd Lieutenant in the infantry. A flag honoring Bob Prouty will be posted by Neil McChesney with the assistance of the Hesston Boy Scouts. Richard Fulk will read the names of each veteran who has fallen this past year as a floral tribute is being laid at the base of the memorial statue by the local Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts. Invocation and benediction will be led by Dr. Gary Blaine, pastor of the Highland Trinity United Church of Christ. Emily Nickel, of Hesston, will lead those in attendance in the singing of “God Bless America”. After the benediction, Vern and Mike Dreier will play “Taps” as the ending of the service. Members of the Memorial Day committee are Stan Briar, Robert and Chris Carlton, Ed DeWitt, Dick Fulk, Dennis and Jeannine Hoheisel, Richard Knott, Neil McChesney, Ray Nicodemus, Michelle and Kent Pfautz, Ken and Jody Schwanke, Don Typer, Max Unruh, and Howard Wohlgemuth. Please bring lawn chairs for your comfort, because the seating is limited. In case of inclement weather, the service will be held at the Hesston City Shop. If you have any questions, please call Jeannine Hoheisel at 620-327-2020.
In recent weeks, Hesston residents could not help but notice a dramatic increase in fuel prices. The cost of gas has increased, on average 12 percent in the Wichita Metro Area over the course of the last month. According to AAA, the national average retail price of a gallon of regular gasoline in March 2013 was $3.71. In April prices were $3.51 per gallon. The current average is $3.65 per gallon. Bill Walljasper, Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer of Casey’s, offered insights as to what is driving the spikes in fuel costs. “Obviously there has been an increase in retail price. One of the things the consumer doesn’t know is there has been a jump in wholesale cost,” he said. Walljasper said while Casey’s is paying more for fuel, the causes are unknown. “It could be a wide variety of things. It could be the price for crude, supply in the area…Everyone’s cost has gone up significantly over the last two weeks,” he said. Walljasper said, as a national company, Casey’s is making a modest profit margin from gasoline sales. “On average, through our 14-state area, we make about $.14 for every gallon sold. It might be slightly different in Hesston, but that is the company average,” he said. Walljasper said fuel sales account for about 20 percent of the retailer’s sales. “I can’t speak for everyone else, but the profit – revenues will be high because of the price – but it is our lowest profitable category. About 25 percent of our gross profit,” he said. Walljasper said Casey’s pricing model consistently puts the store level with area prices. “As far as pricing goes, I have been with Casey’s for 23 years and our pricing philosophy hasn’t changed. How we price, we identify the competition around a store. We understand that might be the next town over in some cases, and we will check prices throughout the day and adjust our prices to match,” he said.
The USD 460 School Board met Monday evening for a regularly scheduled meeting.
One of the first agenda items was a report on The Pit Stop by educator and Pit Stop manager Denise Goevert.
Goevert reported The Pit Stop had seen a 20 percent increase in sales and a 13 percent increase in net income.
For more on The Pit Stop, see the related story on this page.
• During the Administrative reports, The reclassification of 4A schools became a topic of conversation.
Hesston High Principal Ty Rhodes said the League Representative indicated the vote to adjust 4A could pass.
“His thoughts were 38 schools favored it. When they did a preliminary accounting, there were 10 schools that had not turned anything in. Not submitting a ballot will count as a no. He said there were some larger 4A schools that saw the bigger picture and knew what it meant for 4A,” said Rhodes.
A simple majority vote by schools in 4A will decide the fate of the classification.
• During the Kansas Association of School Boards report, Superintendent Paul Becker said Don Schroeder indicated an issue in the House, the Senate wants to extend the sales tax, and in the House, it is still up for debate.
“I asked, if that’s not extended, how is that going to effect us for next year. Don’s feeling is we are doing ok for next year. It is the year after we would see an impact. With the sales tax right now, we are talking a deficit. They really haven’t done a whole lot yet,” said Becker.
• Becker gave his Superintendent report.
The printing of the district calendar will cost $1,567 for 950 copies. Last year, sponsorships brought in $1,240 which nearly covered the printing costs.
Becker said he met with a legal team about the possibility of introducing Legal Shield. The program would cost teachers less than $200 per year and provide legal council 24/7.
“A staff member could draft up a will and call for legal advice, but they cannot use it toward the district. If they get into an accident, they can call and say they need help. It is $16 per month,” said Becker.
Becker announced the District had won a District of Character award. A formal presentation will be held June 3.
To read more, see this week's print edition.
The Hesston City Council met Monday, May 13 for a regularly scheduled meeting.
• Pat Moore moved to adopt Ordinance No. 020-2013-149 which designates a portion of the 400 block of south Hess as a no parking zone. Lee Birch seconded. Motion carried 3-0 with Jason Jones abstaining.
• Pat Moore moved to transfer the deed of a strip of city property located along the north edge of the Prairie Lakes Addition to the Mennonite Board of Mission and Charities of Kansas. John Reimer seconded. Motion carried 3-0 with Jason Jones abstaining.
• Matt Schloneger with Hesston Bethel Performing Arts made a presentation to the council regarding the Hesston Bethel Performing Arts Concert Series. He will go before the Hesston Area Economic Development Board to make a formal request for funding.
• It was the consensus of the council to instruct staff to obtain bids for improvements to the 400 block of Weaver Street. The improvements will consist of replacing the pavement and making some repairs to the curb and gutter.
To read more, see this week's print edition.