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

This Week's Issue:

Hesston Record 9.18


Hesston Record 9.18

Primitive Pit Firing Yields Colorful Results

Posted 5/14/2013

By Jackie Nelson

Local artists Lynda Legg, Marge Hamilton and Jolene Ratzlaff held a pit firing Hamilton’s home.

In addition to the work of these three artists, potter Paul Friesen, Hesston College students and several Hesston High School students had pieces to contribute for the firing.

On Friday afternoon, Hamilton, Legg and Ratzlaff carefully loaded a fire pit with over 50 pieces of pottery to fire. 

The pit firing process is one of pottery’s oldest techniques.  The heat of the fire, combine with the chemicals released by various burning substances, colorizes the pots.

The artists all agreed, when the pit begins to burn, the outcome is a gamble. 

“You never know until you take the pots out if it was a success,” said Hamilton.

Artists mix various chemicals and organic materials to impart color to a piece.

“You have to have enough chemicals to get good color on a pot,” said Legg.

“Color can come from burning cow pies and organic material, dried fruit, peanut shells, corn husks, avocado seeds, lots of things,” said Hamilton.

“You can get some orange from the rinds of cantelopes,” said Ratzlaff.

While there is still some debate as to which substances produce the best colors, the variety of organic and synthetic material can produce a surprising array of hues.

“Depending on the material, you can get a different color,” said Legg.

Along with the challenges of working with unmeasured chemicals and imprecise heating, weather becomes a factor for pit firings. 

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Board Discusses Memorial Donations

Posted 5/14/2013

Record Staff

During Monday evening’s regularly scheduled USD 460 School Board meeting, Susan Lamb with the Hesston Community Foundation and Susan Spencer of the G51 foundation approached the board regarding making donations to the district.

The family of the late Garrett Spencer was interested in updating the press box Swather sign at Hobbs Stadium and is in the process of getting a quote from Hesston Prestige Printing for this work. 

More details about the particulars of the sign are available from Norman Critchfield, owner of Prestige Printing.  It would be of similar size to the current sign and mounted on metal.  With district approval the G51 fund will gift the amount for the sign upon its completion. 

G51 was also interested in gifting USD 460 $2,500 for a fund that is to be used to support students in grades 7-12 who may have financial needs related to school activities. 

School Board President Mick Petrocci immediately denied the request.

“Our policy says we don’t accept memorial funds or donations. If it has the G51, it’s in the policy we don’t accept that.”

Lamb said she was unfamiliar with the policy.

Superintendent Paul Becker clarified.

“It is with recognition as such. We are fine with a tree, but we can’t have a designated “in memory of,” he said.

Spencer said the sign would not have a memorial plaque.

“If it has G51, it doesn’t say “in memory of,” she said.

Petrocci was still adamant about not accepting the donation.

“Now you’re splitting hairs. It is still telling us who it is from,” he said.

Lamb said Hobb’s Stadium was established in memorial of former Superintendent Jack Hobbs. 

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Retirement Ride Raises Awarness For MCC Causes

Posted 5/14/2013

By Jackie Nelson

John Stoesz, Executive Director of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Central States, is wrapping up a 50-chuch bicycle tour to celebrate his retirement.

“I could have just retired from MCC, but I didn’t want a party – I wanted to do something that was appropriate for me,” he said.

In finding a way to celebrate his retirement, Stoesz embarqued on a bicycle journey that will take him hundreds of miles through Kansas, visiting churches that support MCC. 

“I’m doing this to raise awareness of our Global Family Education Sponsorships.  It is promoting a Bike To Church Sunday to support one of our five programs,” he said.

Stoesz said with MCC’s new sponsorship model, more children can be helped.

“We are focusin on elementary schools and preschools. There is one in Tanzinea that works with orphans or families that have lost a parent to AIDS. We have a program in Bangledesh working with poor and disabled children. A program in Serbia works with Roma [commonly known as Gypsy] children. In Honduras we help support six pre-schools and an after-school program.  And, our fifth program is in Syria. It is focused on educating children who have been displaced by the war,” he said.

Stoesz said through this bicycle tour, he hopes other church communities will become involved and spur donation drives.

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Blood Donors Give Patients The Chance To Create A Summer Of Stories

Posted 5/14/2013

For The Record

With summer right around the corner, many people are now planning their summer activities and vacations.

After all, summer is a time to create lifelong memories. When eligible donors give blood with the American Red Cross, they can also give others time to make their own memories — watching fireworks, having a picnic, sleeping under the stars, taking a dip or rooting for the home team.

 Blood donations often decline during the summer, when schools are out and vacations are in.

The Red Cross encourages donors to make an appointment to give now to help ensure a stable supply in the weeks and months ahead, giving patients a chance to create a summer of stories.

The Red Cross serves about 3,000 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country, including many Veterans Affairs medical centers. There is no substitute for human blood.

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