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The Hesston Record
345 Old Hwy 81
Hesston, KS 67062
(620) 327-4831

G51 Tees Off For Heartsprings

Posted 8/10/2017

Hesston Record StaffTIM Swartzendruber tees off during the G51 Golf Tournament with teammates Steve Nikkel and Keith Janzen.TIM Swartzendruber tees off during the G51 Golf Tournament with teammates Steve Nikkel and Keith Janzen.

Created out a family tragedy, the G51 Foundation is once again striving to make the community a better place and have a positive impact on area youth.

G51 will host its 6th annual Golf Tournament on Aug. 19. Registration deadline of the tournament is Aug. 11. For registration information email

This year, G51 is granting Heartsprings of Wichita $2,625 for the purchase of iPads for students. In addition, three $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to Hesston High School seniors for their continuing education.

“I wanted to express my excitement this year of sponsoring the Heartsprings School in Wichita. I believe this sponsorship truly reflects Garrett’s heart and compassion for the less fortunate,” said G51 co-sponsor Gary Spencer, the father of the late Garrett Spencer.

Susan Swartzendruber, Garrett’s mother, said the organization is not only assisting Heartsprings, but has reached out to McPherson, Hesston and Newton school districts and over 100 area children have been beneficiaries from G51 efforts through organizations like Hesston Junior Golf, Hesston Football Club and Future Business Leaders of America.

Swartzendruber expressed her gratitude for the volunteers and sponsors of the tournament.

“It takes a lot of volunteers, but my family and friends have always stepped up to help out. I couldn’t do it without them,” she said.

The day of the tournament is an oportunity to honor Garrett’s memory in a fun way and maintain community ties.

“I love seeing all of the players and volunteers. It’s really about the relatisonships and this serves as a good opportunity to connect with those that have always supported us,” said Swartzendruber.

However, the day is a difficult for her as a mother.

“The greatest challenge for me is the emotion that comes with this day. I miss Garrett every day; but this day is a day he would love to be a part of and that is hard,” she said.

Spencer and Swartzendruber established G51 after the death of their son Garrett Spencer in a skiing accident in 2012. 

“The loss of a child is an event you cannot begin to describe. Establishing the G51 Foundation allows us to perhaps see the week Garret could have possibly accomplished or been a part of if he were with us now. We can only imagine,” said Spencer. 

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Crunching The Numbers at USD 460

Posted 8/10/2017


Hesston Record StaffPROCTORPROCTOR


  • DISTRICT - 795
  • HHS - 260
  • HMS - 250
  • HES - 285


Words for Students

Our schools exist for our students, and our staff has chosen to work in a field to serve them.  That is what we are all about, and our shared purpose is to provide each child with every opportunity to find who they are and who they can become.  We want our kids to feel comfortable and safe at school, and we also want them to be challenged and supported to meet those challenges as they grow and mature.  We cannot wait for our kids to arrive for 2017-18, and this is going to be a great school year.


USD 460 held enrollment last Thursday afternoon.  According to Superintendent Ben Proctor, the initial student count is 795 district-wide.  However, enrollment numbers will not officially be submitted to the state until Sept. 20. 

Proctor said enrollment breaks down fairly evenly between the three schools with 260 at Hesston High; 250 at Hesston Middle and 285 at Hesston Elementary.

With legislative decisions on funding made during the summer, the districts’ funding is now determined by enrollment as long as the Kansas Supreme Court upholds Senate Bill 19.

This impacts our general fund as the per pupil amount will be $4,006 in 2017-18, and the Local Option Budget (LOB) is based on a percentage of our general fund.  Under the block grant, state aid for school districts was frozen for two years based on the 2014-15 enrollment, and we will now count our enrollment using the prior year or two year's prior full-time equivalent count,” said Proctor.

Proctor said under the new funding formula, he is projecting an increase in the General Fund but a decrease to LOB.

Our enrollment is down slightly since funding was frozen under the block grant, but the increase in base state aid per pupil and the fact that kindergarten is now being fully funded, we will see a net increase in our budget for this year,” he said.

Proctor anticipates the increase will be approximately $140,000.

“We have built a healthier capital outlay budget over the past several years in order to take care of some upcoming needs including the development of a bus purchasing plan as our current fleet continues to age.  We also have a number of needs in our buildings that we will be able to take care of this year and over the next several budget years.  We are in good shape overall,” he said.

Heading into the 2017-18 school year, Proctor said maintaining high academic standards and successful testing metrics is one of the ongoing challenges for the district.

“Our district is successful by most any measure and sometimes that means it is easier to be complacent or to just keep doing what we've always done since we have seen great results.  Our staff is committed to making our district a learning and growing organization in order to always be the very best we can be for our kids.  That takes a lot of work and a lot of leadership across our buildings. 

“We have built a framework for continuous improvement in our district, and we will continue to pursue the outcomes, practices, and goals we have established within that framework as we move from good to great,” he said.

With the first day of school Aug. 15 Proctor said he was ready to have students and staff bringing life back to the USD 460 campus. 

“I always look forward to seeing the amazing things that happen in our buildings and classrooms each day.  We are bringing back an outstanding team of teachers, and we were able to hire an incredible group of new staff this past spring,” he said.

With parents sending their children back to school, Proctor said they can be assured children will receive the attention and education they need to succeed.

“We want our parents to be partners with us as we work to provide our students with every opportunity to acquire skills, find talents, and pursue passions. This year, we will be expanding our opportunities for parental involvement, and we always want to welcome our parents to contact our schools anytime there are question or concerns that arise,” he said.


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Fire/EMS Log Hundreds Of Hours In One Week

Posted 8/10/2017


Last week, Hesston Fire/EMS logged 353 staff hours responding to emergencies across the community.  With 27 volunteers reporting for duty, Fire/EMS Director Russ Buller said the week was “incredibly busy.”

Buller said the unusually high call volume is part of the ebb and flow of emergency response work.

“As much as I would love to schedule our emergencies, I have not figured out how to do it. So we deal with them as they come in,” he said.

During the week, Buller said in many cases he was managing two crews dispatched at the same time.

“As it always is, having enough staffing available to cover the need is a challenge.  Many of the calls last week were second out, meaning we had a unit on a response already when a second emergency was dispatched,” he said.

In addition, Buller said on Aug. 1, the department began working with new software to log patient information and move to a paperless system.

“It not only is a big change in our documentation software but we are also moving to a more mobile platform that will allow us to begin the documentation while on the call and not have to wait to return to the station to start the report. If that wasn’t enough we are significantly changing our work flow to a paperless system.

“Our first week has gone very well. These changes are big paradigm shifts for my staff as it is a very different work flow from what we were doing previously,” he said.

Despite the challenges, Buller said Hesstonians will always receive courteous and professional service during their moments of need.

“We have an amazing and dedicated staff that puts their involvement in the Fire/EMS Department first, which is the only way we could cover that many responses,” he said.

Those interested in joining Hesston Fire/EMS can contact Buller at City Hall, 620-327-4412.

“Anyone that has an interest in Fire or EMS service is always welcome to come in and discuss the requirements of employment. Once employed, the department will provide the necessary training so prior certification or training is not necessary,” he said.

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Commissioners Approve Zombie Hunt

Posted 8/10/2017


Hesston Record Staff

Harvey County residents will get the opportunity to hunt “zombies” in the 7700 block of Northeast 36th in the weeks leading up to Halloween.

“Hope you get your bag limit,” Commissioner George “Chip” Westfall said to Trinity Muth after the Board of Harvey County Commissioners approved his request for a conditional-use permit.

Muth said five different families in the area were involved in putting on the zombie hunt. Participants riding on a 24-foot trailer will be shooting glow-in-the-dark paintballs at zombies emerging from trees and the nearby Down in the Hollar Corn Maze.

Muth said he came up with the idea after spending a lot of time going to Wichita children’s birthday parties. He said he wanted to keep taxpayer dollars here instead of people going to Salina or Augusta for paintball courses. A portion of the proceeds from the zombie hunt will go to five nonprofit organizations.

Commissioner Randy Hague said his one concern came from the trailer crossing 36th Street twice.

Muth said traffic monitors would ride on the trailer and ensure safe passage across the road. The operator of the tractor pulling the trailer will stop and allow hunters to reload during the 30-minute ride.

Muth said portable bathrooms would be set up, and a field would be used for parking. Hunts will be held on weekends beginning Sept. 29.

Hague suggested for Muth to check with the county appraiser’s office to see if using the property for such a venture might get the land reclassified from agricultural to commercial.

Planning and Zoning Director Gina Bell said land used for a corn maze and pumpkin patch in the area was considered agricultural. She also recommended for the conditional-use permit to be accompanied by a one-year review so changes could be made for subsequent events, if necessary.

"I didn't know we had a zombie problem in the eastern part of the county,” Westfall said. “Where's the emergency management director when you need him.”

Muth said the “zombies” would not be firing back at customers, at least not with paint balls.

“Live rounds?” Westfall quipped.

Hague said he would sleep better knowing that zombies were going to be hunted down.

In other business, commissioners:

* Approved vacating portions of three streets — Main, Lake and Kansas — between 81st and 84th in the former town of Patterson. County counselor Greg Nye said two of the streets would revert back to ownership by Farmers Co-Op Elevator, the surrounding landowner. The northernmost street will be split between Lake Township and Farmer Co-Op.

Nye said action would cost in the neighborhood of $400, which includes title work and publication of a legal notice.

Hague said Lake Township should be paying to have the work completed since it asked for streets to be vacated.

“Instead of nickel and diming this, let's get this cleaned up in one fell swoop,” Westfall countered. He also said the county would recoup the expenses in property taxes eventually because the former streets will go on the tax rolls.

* Approved proceeding with $61,957.50 worth of repairs to the courthouse roof. County Administrator Anthony Swartzendruber said Kansas County Association Mainline Pool, the county’s insurer, recommended Wray Roofing as the contractor to fix damage caused by a May 2016 hailstorm.

* Amended the five-year contract with Boy Scouts of America for use of West Park for the annual Trapper’s Rendezvous event in January. BSA requested a change from 30 to 90 days for the amount of notice either party can give for cancellation of the contract.

* Approved paying $1,576,409.63 in weekly bills. More than $1 million was related to the road-patching projects in Hesston and other places in the county.

* Received bids from three contractors for five bridge-replacement projects. Road and Bridge Superintendent Jim Meier will come back with a recommendation next week.

* Approved a $141,689 bid from Stanley Security Systems for a new master control at the detention center.

* Went into executive session for 20 minutes to discuss matters covered by attorney-client privilege with Bell and County Clerk Rick Piepho.

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