At the beginning of a new year, cultures all over the world traditionally perform peculiar ceremonies meant to wipe the slate clean and start afresh. The Chinese hide knives to ward off danger. In Denmark, old dishes are thrown at front doors to symbolize the collection of new friends. Spanish residents eat 12 grapes, one at each stroke of the clock to promote good fortune. And in the Durst household, we percolate sardonically cynical predictions for the upcoming 12 months.
LYONS - Curtis S. Werner Sr., 56, died Jan. 2, 2016, at his residence in Lyons. Born Dec. 10, 1959, in Ellinwood, he was the son of Wayne Joseph and Julia A. Bever Werner. A lifetime resident of Rice County, having lived in Lyons, Chase, Raymond and Great Bend, he attended the Chase/Raymond School System. He worked at the Rice County Highway Department in road maintenance. On Feb. 12, 1977, he married Janie Martinez in Chase.
Each year, the staff at Great Bend Regional Hospital wait anxiously to see which expecting mother will deliver the first baby of the new year. For 2016, the first baby was born over the weekend to Jarret and Katie Knieling of Rush Center. Their new daughter, Remi Mae Knieling, was born at 1:50 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 2, weighing 8 pounds 5 ounces and measuring 20 inches long.
HOLYROOD - Elizabeth E. "Betty" Heitschmidt, 91, passed away Dec. 30, 2015. Born Jan. 24, 1924, on a farm near Geneseo, she was the daughter of William and Lillian Allen Bailey. She graduated from Ellsworth High School and then attended Fort Hays State. She began a teaching career in a one room school north of Holyrood. She taught many years as a teacher and substitute in the Holyrood school system. On Aug. 2, 1945, she married Marvin Heitschmidt in Ellsworth. He passed away Oct. 9, 1991. For 19 years, Elizabeth owned and operated Betty's dry good store in Holyrood.
LAWRENCE - John Eldon Montgomery, of Lawrence, died Dec. 26, 2015. For 90 years he blessed those around him with his passion for living. John was born in Junction City on Aug. 3, 1925, the only child of Chris and Esther Oegerle Montgomery. John enlisted in the Navy at the age of 17, prior to his graduation from high school in Junction City in 1943. He served in the Navy until April 14, 1946, and was the tail gunner on two aircraft carrier dive bombers. Taking part in such World War II operations as Wake Island, Truk Atoll, Saipan, and Iwo ...
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is now accepting applications for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP). This program, created under the 2014 Farm Bill, provides funding for the purchase of conservation easements to help productive farm and ranch land remain in agriculture and protect critical wetlands and grasslands.
As 2015 comes to an end and we greet a new year it is a good time to reflect on the things you have accomplished as well as the challenges. Did you have goals or expectations that were not met? If so what barriers prevented you from accomplishing these goals?