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

Zook Earns Kansas Irene Hart Award

Posted 5/28/2015

By Jackie Nelson

Hesston Senior Dorothy Zook has been awarded the Irene Hart Award by the Central Plains Area Agency on Aging (CPAAA).  

Zook is the second Hesston recipient since 2013.   She was nominated by Monica Cissell of the CPAAA. 

“I’ve worked with Dorothy since 2001 primarily through Silver Haired Legislature. She is admired her for her passion for seniors and senior issues as well as her interest in promoting health and wellness to seniors,” said Cissell.  

Zook was an active member of the Silver Haired Legislature for over a decade, beginning her service in 2001. 

“I was on the Kansas Board of Nursing when Vernon Nickell said he was thinking about retiring and asked me if I was interested.  I went down and signed up for it.  I got in and enjoyed being on it,” said Zook. 

During her time in the Silver Haired Legislature, Zook said one of her greatest accomplishments was assisting in the passage of a grandparents rights bill. 

“It was a chance for grandparents to get their grandchildren before they were put out into foster homes.  We worked for six years to get that passed,” she said. 

Before the legislation was passed, children removed from homes by child protective services were entered into the foster system – sometimes moved hundreds of miles from their communities, friends and support networks.  

“If grandparents can afford it, their health is still good and they want the grandchildren, that should be the first choice. The living arrangement is close, the relatives are there, their churches are still there, their schools and friends,” she said. 

In addition to working on legislation for grandparents’ rights, Zook has assisted the Silver Haired Legislature with research on property taxes for seniors, medical use of cannabis and pay-day loans.  

Outside the Silver Haired Legislature, Zook also volunteers within the community. 

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Proctor Chosen As New USD 460 Superintendent

Posted 5/28/2015

By Jackie Nelson

USD 460 has announced Hesston Middle School Principal Ben Proctor has accepted the position of Superintendent of the district. Proctor has been with USD 460 since August, 2012. 

Proctor will assume his duties as superintendent on July 1.  On that same day, outgoing superintendent Paul Becker, who resigned April 27, will assume the superintendency at Clearwater USD 264.

Proctor received his superintendent certification in 2013. 

“It was the next logical step, going back to school.  A superintendentship seemed like a good step,” he said. 

Proctor said he worked closely with Superintendent Paul Becker as a principal for several years. 

“In working with Paul, it felt like he would be here for a long time.  But, we talked about the opportunity.  I love the district and have loved my job at HMS [Hesston Middle School] and went through with the application process,” said Proctor. 

In taking the reins at USD 460, Proctor will be bringing a simple philosophy into his position. 

“I think the focus will be going from good to great as a philosophy. It is really challenging and we need to find areas we can make the most impact,” he said. 

Finding ways to improve USD 460, he said, is about finding educational and community priorities.  

To read more see this weeks print edition

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Bond Council Klaus Now City Attorney

Posted 5/28/2015

By Jackie Nelson

J.T. Klaus has been selected to represent the City of Hesston as the new City Attorney.  He is also the City Attorney for Mulvane and Andover.  Klaus, also Bond Council for the city and will continue in that role, has a long relationship with Hesston. 

“I think it’s fair to say I’ve worked for the City of Hesston as Bond Council for over 20 years.  I know the history of the community with manufacturers and service providers,” he said. 

Klaus said he accepted the position because of his long career with the city. 

“I have experienced a great deal of integrity of the city’s governing body and the mayor.  When asked whether or not I would try, I indicated I would give it a shot.  For me, it is important what kind of community and council I have – as to whether or not I would take the job – and I’ve worked with these folks a long time and trust them a great deal,” he said. 

As the City Attorney, Klaus said he will always put the City, as a corporation, first. 

“Most people don’t’ realize the city is a separate municipal corporation and that’s who the city attorney represents - that corporation, technically, not the council, the mayor or any individual - the corporation itself and does what is in the best interests of the corporation,” he said. 

Coming into the position, Klaus said one of the largest projects he will be facing is the Weaver Street project. 

“The designation of Weaver as a main trafficway was on my mind as bond council.  Because I’m new, I’m not aware of any issues at the moment.  I am, however, planning to get up to speed.  My first council meeting will be in June,” he said. 

As an attorney, he said the greatest challenge will be limiting his opinions to those needed by the City. 

To read more see this weeks print edition

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Tim Larson Ends 13-Year Tenure As City Attorney

Posted 5/28/2015

By Jackie Nelson

Tim Larson has retired as the Hesston City Attorney after nearly 14 years of service. 

Larson began his tenure with the city of Hesston with the encouragement of former city administrator John Carder

“John Carder knew me from my time in Iola - he was also originally from the Iola, Kansas area, and we lived in Iola at the same time.  John contacted me when there was an opening for a City Attorney for Hesston.  He asked me if I would be interested in submitting a resume.  I interviewed with the Mayor (John Waltner) and Council and the rest is history,” he said. 

Larson said he will take time to re-focus on his primary practice. 

“I will continue with my private practice which is an Estate Planning and Trust Administration practice.  I do a considerable amount of Family Farm and Ranch Estate Planning.  I want to focus on what I enjoy doing and do well, which is estate planning,” he said. 

Before becoming the City Attorney, Larson was already a Hesstonian. 

“We - my wife Elaine and I and our three children, Kristi, Brett and Roxanne -  came to Hesston in 1998.  

To read more see this weeks print edition

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