News

Thu
23
Apr
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Internet, flexibility key to new learning platforms

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The halls are empty at all area schools during a time when they would normally be teeming with students of all ages. Because of the closure related to the coronavirus pandemic, teachers and school administrators have had to figure out how to continue educational pursuits in an online format.

Most students are participating in the new distance or online learning this spring, according to area principals and superintendents. Internet issues have been a concern for some students, but the districts have been working with families to find temporary internet options or alternative methods
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Thu
23
Apr
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Schools are making plans for prom, graduation

Local school districts are still making plans for end-of-theyear school events including prom and graduation. While none of the local districts have exact plans in place, most are talking with students and parents about possibilities in the coming months.

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Thu
16
Apr
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No new cases in surrounding rural counties in almost a week

No new cases in surrounding rural counties in almost a week

Washington County continues to be clear of COVID-19 and there were no pending coronavirus tests as of Tuesday morning, according to Tiffany Hayman, Washington County Health Officer. No new cases have been announced in the surrounding rural counties since last Thursday. However, Riley County announced their 21st case on Monday. Gage County, Neb., has 26 total cases.

Clay County had the first case in the area, announced on March 25, but that case is no longer active. Cloud County had three positive cases between April 1 and April 6, all from travel-associated situations.

Republic County has had a community outbreak, starting on April 4 and with four total cases. The most recent case was announced April 9 for a child of under one year of age. All were considered community-spread.

Thu
16
Apr
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Local dairies not being asked to dump milk

While dairies in other parts of the country including Wisconsin are dumping milk down the drain due to production logistics, dairies in Washington County are not being asked to dump milk.

Ohlde Dairy near Linn, which milks 1,500 cows a day and produces about 130,000 pounds of milk a day, Virginia Parker’s dairy near Greenleaf, and Four Streams Dairy owned by the Klipp family near Hanover, all said it is business as usual at their dairies. Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) buys milk from those Washington County dairies, and most of that milk is sold as liquid milk, which still has a steady demand, Taylor Klipp said.

Justin Ohlde said milk from this area is usually sold within 100 miles of the dairy.

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Thu
16
Apr
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A mission in Guatemala

A mission in Guatemala

Coy Stamm and Becky Moyer, both of Washington, took a mission trip to Guatemala in February and are planning to return next year with more assistance.

A mission in Guatemala

Coy Stamm helped young girl Yennifer with her craft project at the orphanage, Casa de mi Padre.

On a brisk 9-degree Valentine’s morning, six people filled the bed of a pickup truck with cargo and headed to their flight to Guatemala City. Becky Moyer and Coy Stamm, both of Washington, were among those people.

Four more people joined the group at the Houston airport. The group received funds from Washington Christian Church, Washington Rotary and Washington Lions Club, among others, for the mission trip.

It was 78 degrees in Guatemala when the group landed. The group used every inch of space in their van to hold the cargo and people and made their way up the mountain.

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Thu
16
Apr
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S3 Meats sees increase in beef demand

S3 Meats sees increase in beef demand

Cuts of holistic, grass-fed beef are being shipped by S3 Meats, a direct-sale business operated by the John and Kathryn Stigge family.

S3 Meats sees increase in beef demand
S3 Meats sees increase in beef demand

The Stigges’ cattle are raised on grass and cover crops. They go from the pasture to the locker plant without ever eating grain or being in a feedlot.

John and Kathryn Stigge are shipping about 20 orders of home-raised beef each week in addition to their deliveries to Kansas City and Denver, among other places. The Stigges, who live near Washington, sell the beef through their website, S3 Meats, and have shipped it as far away as Pennsylvania, Washington D.C. and West Virginia.

The cattle are raised and finished on grass and cover-crops, and Kathryn Stigge said the cattle are never fed corn, raised in a pen or given antibiotics or hormones. The cattle go from the field to the processing plant in Diller, Neb., which is a USDA-certified plant that allows for shipping to other states. She said some meat raised on the farm was submitted to a lab in Omaha where the vitamin and mineral profile came back higher than “traditional beef.”

Thu
09
Apr
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Coronavirus UPDATE

Coronavirus UPDATE
Coronavirus UPDATE

Positive cases of COVID-19 in Kansas hit the 900 mark on Tuesday, but there are still no positive tests documented in Washington County. Ten tests have been administered in Washington County, but none came back positive. Two tests are pending.

The positive cases originate from 57 counties in Kansas and have caused 27 deaths. When the count was still at 694 cases, a total of 223 individuals (32.1%) had to be hospitalized. The age range for positive cases is 0 to 97 years old, with a median of 55 years old.

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Thu
09
Apr
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Hospitals prepared for COVID-19 cases

The hospitals in Washington County are ready to treat COVID-19 patients. Washington County Hospital could care for four or five COVID-19 inpatients at one time depending on patient needs, CEO Roxanne Schottel said. Hanover Hospital has eight inpatient rooms, but the number of COVID-19 patients that could be treated at one time there would depend on the patients’ needs, Hanover Hospital administrator Brittni Oehmke said. Both hospitals have one ventilator each, though Oehmke said that because Hanover Hospital is a critical access hospital, any patient requiring ventilator treatment would be sent to a larger medical center.

Patients from Hanover Hospital would likely be sent to Bryan Health in Lincoln, Neb., or KU Medical Center in Kansas City, she said.

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Thu
09
Apr
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Easter reminds us, death is not the end

Easter reminds us, death is not the end

The coronavirus pandemic has drawn almost everyone’s attention the last few weeks, but with Easter Sunday approaching,
many locals are trying to re-focus attention on this Christian holiday season that celebrates the risen Christ.
A display of three crosses was created near the end of the driveway by Lavern and Norma Dittmer, about a mile south
of Linn. Most churches decided to forego their Holy Week services and Easter Sunday worship service to help slow or
stop the spread of the coronavirus, but many are offering live or recorded options online or through social media. On
Tuesday, Governor Laura Kelly took churches and funerals off the exempt list for gatherings of 10 or more.

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Thu
09
Apr
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Dozens of county businesses closed

About 50 businesses in Washington County were affected by last week’s state order for non-essential workers to stay home. Washington County Emergency Management director Randy Hubbard told the Board of County Commissioners on Monday that both he and Health Department director Tiffany Hayman worked with county attorney Elizabeth Baskerville Hiltgen to determine which businesses in the county are on the “non-essential list.” Hubbard said he and Hayman had received several phone calls last week from people regarding a number of topics, one of which was non-essential businesses that were still open. Those businesses have since been contacted and told that they must close for now.

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