Sunset during wildfires in western Barber County in March.

Kolton Pavlu lets go a good throw in the discus.

Bryn Rathgeber reaches back for a good throw in the javelin event.

Jr. High runners racing to the finish are (L-R) Caden Rathgeber, Dane Coggins and Tyler Schupbach.

Sixth grader Grace Cantrell, left, races a Central Christian runner to the finish.

Deb Roberts was Grand Marshal of the Pioneer Days Parade.


Plans Underway for Barber County Fair; Deadline May 4 for Cover Design Entries

By ROBIN EUBANK, M.S. / Barber County Extension Agent

The Barber County Fair will be July 28-31. Many of family favorite events will be returning this year. Included is the Rodeo on Friday and Saturday nights, kids tractor pull, livestock and indoor entries. Returning this year, is a Demo Derby to be held August 6th. Other ideas are still being developed.

Right now, you help design the Fair Book Cover Art. The contest rules and entry form is available at or the Extension Office. All entries are due by May 4th. The contest is open to all ages and the art may be hand drawn or computer generated. The theme this year is “Fairadise.” Think of a tropical paradise in July in Hardtner. Classes will be designed around the theme. Fairbooks will be available in early June.

Also available are the Quilt Block Kits for the fair quilt. The colors this year are browns and blues. Once you purchase the kit, you can make a square that will become part of the quilt to be raffled off at the 2017 Fair. Kits are available at Clarks Fabric in Kiowa or the Extension Office.

The Barber County Fair strives to involve people of all ages. If you have never entered a class before, start planning now. Bring your best tomatoes, craft project, photo, or cookie to the fair. If you have questions about the Fair, contact the Extension Office at 886-3971.

National Guard Helicopters to Aid in Fire Fighting Effort

Two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters from the 1st Battalion, 108th Aviation, Kansas National Guard, will fly missions on Saturday, March 26, to support firefighting efforts in south central Kansas.

Each Black Hawk is manned by a 4-person crew, and will be equipped with a 660 gallon Bambi bucket, which can scoop water from local water sources to dump on the flames. In addition to the aircraft, the 108th is sending a fuel tanker truck and another ground support vehicle with 2 crewmembers each.

The Kansas Division of Emergency Management continues to monitor the grass fires and is coordinating resources. The State Emergency Operations Center in Topeka is activated at a 24-hour watch level.

Current estimates indicate approximately 300,000 acres have been burned. No injuries or fatalities have been reported as a result of the fires, but five homes have been destroyed along with multiple outbuildings and an unknown number of livestock have been lost. Two bridges in Barber County have also been reported destroyed.

Barber, Comanche, Harvey and Reno Counties have all issued state of local disaster emergency declarations and Gov. Sam Brownback signed a State of Disaster Emergency declaration March 23 for all affected counties. The state requested and was granted a federal Fire Management Assistance Grant for Barber and Comanche Counties.

Storm Spotter Meeting April 4 in Med. Lodge


Famous June 2, 1929 Hardtner Tornado

Famous June 2, 1929 Hardtner Tornado

When severe weather hits, the ideal thing to do would be to find the innermost, lowest-level room in the house and take cover until the storm passes. For Barber County storm spotters, the opposite holds true.

Jeff Hutton with the Dodge City National Weather Service will present “How to Spot Severe Storms Safely and Effectively” Monday April 4, 7:00 pm at the Barber County Annex, 211 East Kansas, Medicine Lodge. The meeting is open to the public and free of charge.

Mr. Hutton will use video and power point to show images of severe storms and how they threaten the safety of our communities. Storm spotters will learn how to identify the potential for threats early on so they can report to officials who activate community warnings.

Attending this class is a requirement for becoming a trained spotter and is offered locally so that firemen, law enforcement, EMS, public officials and weather watchers can keep up on the latest in early detection and communication.

A total of 5 confirmed tornadoes occurred in Barber County in 2015 with the strongest being an F2. All were in open areas with no loss of life or homes. Kansas had more than the 91 tornado average with 124 recorded in 2015.

Residents of Barber County are used to keeping “eyes on the sky” and the only thing better is being trained to understand and respond. For more information about the class contact Barber County Emergency Management at 930-0100.

Lady Chieftains Knocked Out of State by New Champions



Just one cold shooting quarter. That’s all it took to dash the hopes of a state championship for the South Barber Lady Chieftains. South Barber dropped a tough 55-38 decision to Centralia on Thursday, March 10, at the Class 1A, Div. I State Tournament held at the Dodge City Civic Center.

The 6th seeded Lady Chiefs played 3rd seed Centralia dead even for three quarters in last week’s game, but were outscored 16-3 in a crucial second period that gave the Lady Panthers the margin they needed to win. Coach Steve Roberts and his squad end the season with an outstanding 18-6 record.

South Barber shouldn’t feel too bad, however. Centralia went on to defeat defending state champion Hoxie by 15 points in the semi-finals and clobbered Waverly by 18 points in the championship game to win the title.

The loss at State was the final game for senior point guard Nicole Blick. South Barber will return all its other players for what they anticipate will be another run through the tough Heart of the Plains League and chance for a third straight trip to State.

Stay Close Early

The Lady Chieftains got off to a slow start in Thursday’s opener at State, but a couple of buckets inside by sophomore center Idallis Shaffer and another basket by junior Madison Polson got the girls right back in the game. Junior guard Anna Perez then nailed a 3-pointer and senior Nicole Blick followed with another score to give South Barber an 11-10 lead with 20 seconds left in the opening quarter. But Centralia got a basket and foul shot to go ahead 13-10, and continued on a 16-3 run in the second eight minutes to take command 29-14 at halftime. The Lady Chiefs had good shots, but they just wouldn’t fall, while Centralia’s size helped bottle up any easy shots inside.

n the second half, both teams battled neck-and-neck, but South Barber just couldn’t whittle down the big Panther lead.

Idallis Shaffer scored 14 points and pulled down 5 rebounds to lead the Lady Chieftain attack with junior Sabrina Hughbanks adding 9 points as she was 3 of 4 shooting from beyond the arc. Junior Bailey Roberts added 5 points, Anna Perez 4 points and 3 assists, Madison Polson 4 points, and Nicole Blick 2 points and 3 rebounds. Also getting playing time were Morgan Polson, Kaleigh Velasquez, Bryn Rathgeber and Savannah Hughbanks.

Centralia was led by Katie Glatczak with 18 points and Chelsea Huerter with 12 points.

HOPL Well Represented

The Heart of the Plains League sent five teams to state tournaments this season. In 1A Div. I, both the Lady Chieftains and Pretty Prairie boys lost in the opening round. In the 1A Div. II tournament, also played in Dodge City, the Hutch-Central Christian boys lost in the opening round, while in a big surprise the top-seeded Norwich girls also were defeated in their tourney opener.

The Attica boys, however, rolled through their bracket to bring home a State Championship by defeating Hartford 54-52.

Lady Chieftains Head to State!

Junior Anna Perez is pressured by a South Haven defender in sub-state action Saturday.

Junior Anna Perez is pressured by a South Haven defender in sub-state action Saturday.


South Barber’s Lady Chieftains rolled over South Haven 75-45 Saturday night to win the 1A Div. I Sub-state Tournament at Dexter and earn a trip to State for the second straight year and third time in the past 8 years.

Sixth seeded South Barber (18-5) will travel to the Dodge City Civic Center on Thursday, March 10, at 4:45 p.m. against 3rd seeded Centralia (22-1). A win would put them in the semifinals on Friday.

Several other HOPL members will join South Barber at Dodge City in both the 1A Div. I and Div. II tournaments. Pretty Prairie won the boy’s bracket at Dexter and will join the Lady Chiefs in the Div. I action at the Civic Center. The 1A Div. II State Tournament is being held again at the United Wireless Arena in Dodge City. Representing the HOPL will be Attica and Central Christian in the boy’s bracket and Norwich on the girl’s side.

Offense From Everywhere

Four Lady Chieftains scored in double figures as they rolled to a big lead and held off a third quarter rally to top South Haven by 30 points in Saturday night’s championship game.

The Lady Chiefs used their full court pressure defense and quickness on offense to jump off to a 21-9 lead after one quarter of play. It got even tougher for the Lady Cardinals in the second period as South Barber went on a 24-10 run for a commanding 45-19 lead at halftime.

South Haven’s knew their only chance to get close was to shoot a lot of long shots – and when they hit a pair of 3-pointers and scored a quick 8 points to open the third quarter, Coach Steve Roberts challenged his squad to stop the rally and take control. The Lady Cards got within 13 points midway through the third, but a 3-pointer by junior Bailey Roberts and outstanding defense by senior Nicole Blick and junior Anna Perez got things turned around and South Barber ended the game on a 15-6 run to win going away.

Madison Polson proved to be just too much for South Haven to handle as she scored 20 points and grabbed 8 rebounds to go with 5 steals and 4 assists. Idallis Shaffer was also strong inside as she knocked in 12 points and also had 8 rebounds. Nicole Blick was a leader out front with 11 points and 4 steals while dishing out 8 assists. Anna Perez rounded out the double figure scores with 10 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists.

Bailey Roberts was 3 for 4 from beyond the arc for 9 points along with 4 rebounds. Junior Sabrina Hughbanks scored 7 points and pulled down 4 rebounds, freshman Morgan Polson added 4 points and 4 rebounds, and freshman ReAnna Dunlap scored 2 points. Also getting playing time were Savannah Hughbanks, Kaleigh Velasquez, Bryn Rathgeber and Taylor Pollock.

Easy Opening Win

South Barber opened Sub-state action Friday, March 4, with a 55-27 semifinal win over Pretty Prairie. The Lady Chieftains battled to a 15-8 lead after one quarter, then went on an 18-4 roll to finish the half with a 33-12 lead. South Barber had a 29 point lead heading into the final eight minutes and cruised to the win.

Madison Polson ripped the nets for 18 points and had 5 rebounds with Idallis Shaffer right behind with 14 points. Anna Perez scored 8 points and had 5 steals and Morgan Polson added 6 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Bailey Roberts hit for 6 points along with 5 assists. Sabrina Hughbanks had 2 points and Bryn Rathgeber 1 points to round out the scoring. Although she did not score, Nicole Blick was still very busy with 6 steals, 6 rebounds and 4 assists.

Chieftain Lead Gets Away

The Chieftain boys saw an early double-digit lead slip away in the second half as they lost a tough 61-51 battle with the home team Dexter-Cedar Vale Spartans.

Coach Jeff Lantz saw his squad get off to a good start with junior Spencer Kimmell scoring 6 first quarter points to lead his team to an 18-9 advantage after the opening period of play. South Barber had an 11 point lead early in the second period, but the Spartans fought for a 27-22 Chieftain lead at the half.

Dexter-Cedar Vale suddenly got hot from the outside and took a 38-36 lead heading into the fourth quarter. In a wild finishing stanza, the Spartans pulled away late for the 10 point win.

Grant Cantrell led the Chieftains with 21 points – 10 in that wild fourth quarter – with Spencer Kimmell also in double figures with 11 points. In his final game as a Chieftain, senior Trenton Jahay knocked in 5 points with junior Gavin Doherty also getting 5 points. Freshman Cole Coggins added 3 points while scoring 2 points each were junior Dale Hoch, sophomore Trae Rathgeber and freshman Neal Gugelmeyer. Also playing were Brian Farney, Kadin Banks and Brent Grismer.

Arrests Made After House Search in Hardtner

On March 4, 2016, Deputies from the Barber County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the Alva Police Deparment, executed search warrants at a residence in Hardtner, Kansas.  As a result of these search warrants, James Griffin, 22 years old, and Talon Cruse, 22 years old, were taken in custody by the Barber County Sheriff’s Office for the following:


Unlawful possession of controlled substances
Unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia
Unlawful cultivation of controlled substances
Unlawful distribution of controlled substances


All subjects are considered innocent until proven guilty.

Kansas to Caucus


Republicans and Democrats in Barber County and throughout Kansas will head to their own Presidential preference caucuses on Saturday, March 5.

The Kansas Republican Party has announced that Barber County will cast ballots in Medicine Lodge in the Sunflower Room at The Peoples Bank, 121 S. Main. Voters will indicate their Presidential preferences and take care of other party business.

Voting will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and voting is free and open to all registered Republicans. A photo ID must be presented and voting will be by secret ballot.

The Kansas Democratic Party will also caucus on Saturday and for Senate District 32, which includes Barber County, the caucus will be held in Winfield at the First Christian Church, 904 Alexander Street.

Registration for Democrats will begin at 1:00 p.m. and participants must be in line by 3 p.m. to register and participate in the caucus. Voters must be a registered Democrat but a person is allowed to either register for the first time or change party affiliation on that day.

Everyone interested is urged to attend a caucus on Saturday.

Forensics Team Off to Great Start!

Back row: Tyler Martin, Kolby Pavlu, Noah Howerter, Dale Hoch, Caitlin Jacobs, Joseph Bowden, Brandon Baysinger, Kacee Hostetler. Middle row: Grant Cantrell, Idallis Shaffer, Sabrina Hughbanks, Emily Rugg, Slater Blick, Ana Wilhelm. Front row: Savannah Hughbanks, ReAnna Dunlap, Kathleen Martin, Haylie Drake. Coach is Meagan Henry.

Back row: Tyler Martin, Kolby Pavlu, Noah Howerter, Dale Hoch, Caitlin Jacobs, Joseph Bowden, Brandon Baysinger, Kacee Hostetler. Middle row: Grant Cantrell, Idallis Shaffer, Sabrina Hughbanks, Emily Rugg, Slater Blick, Ana Wilhelm. Front row: Savannah Hughbanks, ReAnna Dunlap, Kathleen Martin, Haylie Drake. Coach is Meagan Henry.

The South Barber Forensics Team qualified three more students for State last Saturday, February 20, as they placed fourth overall at a meet hosted by Kiowa County High School in Greensburg.

Emily Rugg & Kacee Hostetler (placed 2nd in Duet: Group Scare-apy), Kacee Hostetler (placed 2nd in Informative: Farm Crisis of the 1980s), and Ana Wilhelm & Tyler Martin (placed first in Improvised Duet Act). They join Kolby Pavlu, who qualified for State Championships when he placed first at the Kingman Invitational tournament on Saturday, January 30. His piece, was titled “To This Day”. It’s a poem about a child who is bullied. He realizes that the bullying made him stronger and at the end he gives a positive message to others who are bullied by telling them that they aren’t worthless.

Students who medaled Saturday were: Ana Wilhelm – 5th in humorous solo; Dale Hoch – 6th in serious solo; Joseph Bowden – 6th in Extemp; Caitlin Jacobs – 5th in poetry; Tyler Martin & Ana Wilhelm – 1st in IDA; Grant Cantrell & Idallis Shaffer – 3rd in duet; Emily Rugg & Kacee Hostetler – 2nd in duet; Kacee Hostetler – 2nd in informative.

In earlier meets this season, Sabrina Hughbanks broke into finals at the Medicine Lodge Invitational tournament with almost perfect scores in her preliminary rounds. She placed fourth in Prose out of forty-nine entries. Due to the large pool of competition, more students qualified for the state tournament. Sabrina performed a humorous “Beauty and the Beast” fractured fairy tale by A.J. Jacobs.

Emily Rugg medalled in Duet Acting at the Pratt Invitational tournament and qualified for State in Humorous Solo Acting at Medicine Lodge with a hilarious piece about Marie Antoinette.

“We’re halfway through the season,” said Coach Meagan Henry, with upcoming meets at Oxford, Cheney, Fairfield, and South Central. The 1A State Championship tournament is held in Salina on Saturday, April 30.


Kiowa Historical Society Re-elects Officers, Making Plans for Pioneer Days April 23 & 24

THE KIOWA Historical Society met for its monthly meeting Wednesday February 17, at 7:00 p.m. at the Kiowa Museum with eleven members present.

All 2015 Historical Society officers were re-elected for 2016 with Bob Hays as President, Lou Stone as Vice-President, Darlene Cloyd as Secretary, and Buford Cloyd as Treasurer. Members of the Board of Directors are Sheri Hurley, Bob and Pam Cox, Jim and Bobbie Parker, Stan and Marcia Michel, Cindy Archuleta, and Gayla Reed.

Plans are now underway for the Pioneer Days celebration which has officially been set for April 23 and 24. This year the Kiowa Chamber of Commerce wants to promote and center the celebration around the Kiowa Museum with an open house and museum related activities taking place on Saturday April 23. There will again be the annual bake sale at the Chief Theater before the parade. The drawing for the Henry Golden Boy American Farmer Tribute Edition .22 lever action rifle will be held that same Saturday at 12:00 noon at the Kiowa Museum. Tickets are still available and will be until drawing time April 23, from any Historical Society member. You do not have to be present to win. All proceeds from the rifle raffle will go to the Museum Building Account at the Kiowa First State Bank.

Deb Roberts donated his tire spreader to the Kiowa Museum when he retired recently from the Kiowa O. K. Co Op Grain Co. December 31, 2015. Deb purchased the used tire spreader when he leased the Phillips 66 Station in 1963. The Historical Society congratulates and wishes Deb well on his retirement.

The Kiowa Historical Society greatly appreciates and thanks those families who have chosen the Historical Society as a designated memorial to honor their loved ones who have passed away. This is sometimes a difficult decision for the family in deciding what would best reflect the wishes and interests of their deceased loved ones.

What better way to honor the memory of a lifelong resident of Kiowa than providing through memorial donations the help needed to preserve the history of their hometown for generations to come. It is a lasting and continuing memorial. Please consider the Kiowa Historical Society.

We invite you to join us at the next Kiowa Historical Society meeting on March 16 at 7:00 p.m. at the Kiowa Museum.


School Board Extends Principal’s Contract, Hears Valuation Report from Commissioner


The U.S.D. 255 Board of Education met in regular session Monday evening, February 8, with six members present: Mike Anderson, Dooli Rugg, Mark Pollock, Deb Helfrich and Melissa Simpson- along with board president Steve Allen.

In opening business, the board approved bills in the amount of $404,726.24, previous minutes and the agenda.

Tax Revenue Takes a Hit

Barber County Commissioner Paul Harbaugh visited with the board concerning county valuation figures, and the news wasn’t good. Commissioner Harbaugh said that in the 2013-2014 taxing year, a large oil producer in the county, Woolsey Oil, protested its taxes on 26 wells in the county. He said the county and Woolsey had reached an agreement as to the amount of taxes to be paid, but at the last moment Woolsey took the case to the state board of tax appeals. The company won the protest, which will result in the local school district receiving nearly $100,000 less than was projected. Since most of the oil play was in the southern part of the county, the most affected groups will be U.S.D. 255, the local hospital district and area townships.

Commissioner Harbaugh added that this year’s valuation figures should be available in about 45 days or so to help the district with budgeting for the next school year.

The total reduction to the school district for this coming June’s tax appropriation, Harbaugh noted, would be around $98,000. He also said that Barber County has joined the Kansas Legislative Policy Group with several other Western Kansas counties to take the tax issue to an appeals court. He said he would keep the board updated on any decisions.

Weight Room Decided

In a matter discussed at length at the January meeting, an agreement on usage of the school’s weight room facility between the school and the South Barber Recreation Commission was approved after fees and access rules were adopted.

In the agreement, a $25 non-refundable application fee would be required for a pass key card with extra cards to cost $10. All users and guests will be required to sign a release for use of the facility.

Contract Extended

After about a 30 minute executive session, the board voted to extend the contract of 7-12 principal Brent Shaffer for two years.

A search for a new PreK-6 principal also continues, said Superintendent Dr. Andi Williams, with around 22 applications received so far. Application deadline is Wednesday, Feb. 17, and the board plans to start interviews for the position the first week of March.

Food Service Info, P1 Plan

Superintendent Williams also discussed studies into the district’s food service and believes she has found a way to save the district around $35,000 per year while providing better and more enjoyable meals. By joining Opaa! Food Management – which is a partner of the Kansas Assn. of School Boards – the district could receive better food and better pricing which will hopefully encourage more students to eat the school lunches.

Superintendent Williams also said she is doing insurance comparisons for employees to hopefully provide better options.

P1 Group will begin its district master plan study this month. Dr. Williams said she had a list of community representatives she plans to invite to be a part of a focus group at a “working lunch” at the Central Office on Thursday, Feb. 18, from noon to 1:15 p.m.

Building Reports

PreK-6 principal Marcia Cantrell reported on various activities this past month at the building and the professional development of teachers and staff.

Upcoming events include a tour of the building by P1 Group on Feb. 18, and kickoff of the Red Wheel fundraiser project on March 2.

7-12 principal Brent Shaffer was not at the meeting as he was attending a junior high basketball game. His report noted that Scholar Bowl ended its season last week and went 3-6 at Regional.

A student teacher, Mr. McCartney, has begun his duties working with Mr. Roberts. Nineteen students also plan to compete in the HOPL Academic Olympics on Feb. 22 in Pratt.

Forensics is underway and Kolby Pavlu is the first state qualifier as he placed first in poetry at the Kingman meet.

The Drama Class has selected “Murder at the Pie Auction” for its spring play to be held April 9 and 10.

The HOPL High School Music Festival will be held March 8 in Norwich, and junior high cheerleader tryouts for next year will be held on February 27.

In other board action:

  • Mary Ann Risinger, Alva, was approved as a substitute teacher.
  • An auction of district surplus items will be held on Saturday, April 30, in the high school parking lot.
  • Approved use of the district’s bus that has a lift, which it is currently not using, by North Barber County school district on a temporary basis.
  • Heard a report from Dr. Williams noting that the leak in the roof of the Central Office had been temporarily patched.
  • Heard a report from board member Deb Helfrich on a two-day seminar she attended to help school board members with testifying at state or other hearings if needed. She noted the recent proposal to consolidate all schools in a county under one superintendent as an example of when those skills might be needed, but added that fortunately that proposal never made it out of committee. She also showed a video showing what the school district of Eudora is doing with their Facebook page to help keep patrons aware of what is happening in the legislature.and urged citizens to contact their state legislators with their concerns.