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

Rec Project Reaches Milestone Ribbon Cut On First Completion

Posted 10/5/2017

PRINCIPAL Alisa Krehbiel cuts the ribbon to the new playground surrounded by studentsPRINCIPAL Alisa Krehbiel cuts the ribbon to the new playground surrounded by studentsBy Blake Spurney

Based on the number of smiles flashed during recess, the new playground at Hesston Elementary School is a big hit.

The playground is the first part of the $5.8 million joint project between the USD 460 Board of Education, the city and Hesston Recreation & Community Education that has been completed. School officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Sept. 22 with recreation Director Ryan Magill.

Principal Alisa Krehbiel said fourth-graders participated in the ceremony because they had waited the longest for the 

ARIAH Smith gets spun around by Lauren Gale on a twirling gadget that is part of the new playground equipment.ARIAH Smith gets spun around by Lauren Gale on a twirling gadget that is part of the new playground equipment.

new playground. Teachers had been taking their students to Heritage Park for the past 1 1/2 months while waiting for the playground to be completed.

“It’s great,” said teacher Candace Vogt. “There’s a lot more things to do. Before they would just play around on the playground and on the grass.”

Vogt said the proximity of the playground to the building also made it easier to keep an eye on students. The surface under the equipment is covered with 10 inches of mulch to cushion any fall, and Krehbiel said the playground was handicap-accessible

Students enjoy the zip-cruise so much that teachers had to set up an alternating schedule among the different classes.

“We’ve been dividing up time on the zip line between classes so there’s not one big group there,” Vogt said.

Hesston Elementary Parents, or HELP, raised money for five years that helped pay for a second zip cruise and improvements to the walking path around the playground.

Krehbiel said the walking path should be completed in the near future. Students keep track of their laps though the Swather Walkers Achieving Greatness, or SWAG, program. She expects the adjoining soccer fields to be ready for action in mid-November.

Krehbiel said the previous playground equipment lasted 30 years, and she expected the new pieces to have a similar lifespan.

“We’re paying close attention to maintenance needs,” said Superintendent Ben Proctor. “We feel like we have a good plan for that. We feel these facilities will last for a good long time, at least a generation.”

Proctor said the equipment was selected through a collaboration of people from the school, city, recreation department and parents.

“It was months of looking at different things and elements, and what would work best for what we wanted,” he said. “A lot of thought and a lot of work. Alisa Krehbiel really set that up, and I think they’re extremely happy how that turned out.”

Krehbiel said she hadn’t even thought about what else could be added.

“We are not talking expansion at this point,” she said. “We are just enjoying what we have.”

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Kueker Awarded Pharmacist Of The Year

Posted 10/5/2017

Sandie KuekerSandie KuekerBy Jacquelyn Nelson

Hesston Pharmacy owner and pharmacist Sandie Kueker has been awarded the 2017 Pharmacist of the Year by the Kansas Pharmacist Association.

Kueker is currently the Community Academy Chair on the Pharmacist Association Board. 

Kueker has been in the pharmacy business since she began working as a pharmacy clerk in 1990.  She continued her education, moving to a technician, intern, pharmacist and is now co-owner of her own pharmacy.

“I love it - taking care of patients and working with the rest of the healthcare team to take care of people, it doesn’t feel like work,” she said.

Kueker said since she and her husband, Adam, purchased Hesston Pharmacy, they have been purposeful about adding services for patients.

“We’ve added immunizations, adherence packaging, a clinical medication program; we work with patients to fill all of their medications at the same time - either monthly or every 90-days. 

“We want to be in close contact with people about medicines. We’re checking with them if they have questions and if everything is OK on a monthly basis,” she said.

Kueker said, as a pharmacist, she has two areas she is particularly passionate about – diabetes education and vaccinations.

“The American Pharmacist Association Project Impact Diabetes was a study done where pharmacists worked one-on-one with patients to improve diabetes management.

“It was extremely rewarding and surprised at what a huge impact we could have on patients.  That was a turning point for me to realize that patients need someone to answer questions and sit down about medications and be a resource,” she said.

Kueker said vaccinations are a critical point for community health, both for those vaccinated and those medically unable to receive typical updates.

“This is really important. When you get your vaccines, it’s not just about you; it’s you helping your community in making sure you’re not a carrier and not giving a disease to someone who isn’t able to vaccinate,” she said.

As a member of the National Speakers Bureau, Kueker is one of 17 pharmacists in the nation traveling to give educational presentations to their peers.

“We’re teaching pharmacists and technicians how to give better care.  I go to a training and brainstorming session with other pharmacists and help develop what we are going to teach people,” she said.

Kueker said she has also been working to expand educational opportunities in the Hesston community - giving presentations at Schowalter Villa and Hesston Area Senior Center.  Kueker added the pharmacy can also offer one-on-one education about medications and Medicare Part D medication coverage.

“We’re seeing our MAP - medication adherence program - growing. We are looking for more and more ways other healthcare providers can utilize this information and help patients so their medications are simplified and they can spend time doing the things they want to do and not be worrying about pills,” she said.

To give patients more privacy and encourage candid conversations between family members and pharmacists, the Kuekers are adding a clinical space.

“We’re turing what was a storage room into a useable space to expand care,” she said.

The investment in renovations is a display of the Kuekers’ commitment to the Hesston community.

“We wanted to be able to care for patients in our community and get to know them and raise our kids in a small rural Kansas community. Hesston has been a perfect fit for us.  The pharmacy is an extension of who we are.  We put God first, so it is faith, family, pharmacy,” she said.

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Harvey County Health Department Bringing Booths To Health Fair

Posted 10/5/2017

By Kyle McCaskey

The Harvey County Department on Aging will offer information on several services at its booth at the Hesston Community Health Fair. Our staff is eager and excited to share details of local programs available to the community.

Attendees can learn more about:

•  SHICK: Annually reviewing options through the Senior Health Insurance Counseling for Kansas program can identify big savings for Medicare Part D recipients. Hesston residents can schedule a free, future appointment while at the fair.

•  Transportation: Public transportation is available to everyone in Harvey County through the Interurban program. Destinations regularly include trips for shopping, recreation and medical and personal appointments.

•  RSVP: Discover how you can give back to your communities. The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program offers an engaging opportunity for citizens to give a few hours a month toward utilizing their talents and experiences to benefit others. Volunteers can be 55 years old or older.

•  Operation Red File: The information you need in an emergency, all in one convenient, easy-to-locate folder. Red File can alert first responders to vital information such as your emergency contacts, medications and medical history. Representatives can help with sign-up and snap a quick photograph to print for the file while at the fair.

•  Home Technology Solutions: Do not wait to plan for emergencies. Home Technology  can offer assistance to aid you with personal emergency response. Stop by to see demonstrations of product offerings.

•  OAPA: The booth has a special guest of the furry variety, with a friendly dog welcoming visitors.   The Older Adult Pet Adoption Program helps pair adults 55 and older with a pet to adopt at no charge through Caring Hands Humane Society. Sign up for the program — or become a volunteer. Volunteers visit or call the owner’s home to build upon the bond with the pet owner and animal.

•  Many more programs will be highlighted throughout the fair. The event runs from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14, in the gymnasium of the Hesston Middle School.

The opportunity to discover services does not stop there, though. Residents are always encouraged and welcome to visit us at the Department on Aging office to learn more. Our office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Harvey County Courthouse.

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Old Letter Sweater Reunited With Son, Great-Grandson

Posted 10/5/2017


Tony Wedel never got to know his father, but the 75-year-old McPherson resident got to see his grandson wearing an old family relic that had long been forgotten.

Tony's cousins recently were cleaning out on old cedar closet when they came across a Bethel College letter sweater that belonged to Tony's father, Waldo Wedel. Waldo earned the sweater while playing center for the Threshers from 1935-37.

Sandy Jantz of Hesston said she and her sister were looking for personal items belonging to their mother, who died in 2014.

“I knew it was something very old and something to do with the family, so we asked our father,” she said. “And he was the one who told us to whom it belonged.”

Arlyn Wedel, 91, explained how he had come into possession of his brother’s letter sweater. Waldo, his older brother, married his Moundridge High School sweetheart, Marie Schrag, in 1937, and the couple established a farm southeast of Moundridge. Marie was a couple of months away from giving birth to Tony in December 1941 when Waldo was killed in a hunting accident. Arlyn started wearing the sweater as a McPherson High student because of shortages caused by World War II. Somewhere over the intervening decades, the sweater got tucked away in the cedar closet. "The whole family talked about it," Tony said about the accident. "It's a long time ago. The fact that he lived so short a life, it's neat that some of his belongings surfaced so long after."

“My father told me that that hunting accident happened three days after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor,” Jantz said.

Tony said Uncle Arlyn was surprised when his daughter's pulled out the sweater because he hadn't seen it in 30 to 40 years. Arlyn thought he had given it to his nephew.

Tony related how he learned about the discovery during a family gathering.

"'You know, I've got something for you,'" Arlyn told him. "'Why don't you stop by.' Then I did, and I was pleasantly surprised to see a sweater that my dad had back in 1937."

Tony said he didn't know what he was going to do with his father's letter sweater. The first thing that came to mind was his grandson, Aaron Isaacs, who is a junior at Hesston High School.

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