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New Years baby 2013 arrives
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Barton Countys first baby born in 2013 arrived Wednesday, Jan. 2 at Great Bend Regional Hospital. Mom Brandi Cook cuddles with son Mason Allen Leroy Verstraete Thursday afternoon. - photo by Veronica Coons

The first baby of the new year is a special club, and Wednesday, Jan. 2, Mason Allen Leroy Verstraete became the latest member when he was delivered at 4:28 p.m. at Great Bend Regional Hospital to mom Brandi Cook and dad Dylan Verstraete of Stafford.  
The 6 lb. 13 oz. baby boy, measuring 19 1/2 inches long was only a little smaller and compact than his brother, two year old Trevor, mom said.
Maternal grandparents of Mason include Connie Ansel of Stafford and David Cook of Arkansas.  Paternal grandparents are Wilson and Janelle Verstraete of Stafford.  
Mason is the 1,124th baby born at GBRH since the hospital opened in July, 2009, according to a hospital spokesperson.  The number of deliveries has steadily increased each year, with 99 in 2009, 180 in 2010, 378 in 2011 and 466 in 2012.  
The Verstraete family is excited to bring Mason home soon, especially brother Trevor.  He has plans to show baby brother his collection of cars as soon as he is able.