County facilities closed Monday, Jan. 18 for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Total cases in Kansas
(as of Jan. 15)
256,134
Total cases in Harvey County
(as of Jan. 15)
2,921
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Harvey County News

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Posts

Timeline PhotosAt NMC Health - we're here to answer your important questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.

QUESTION: Can the COVID-19 vaccine make you sick?

ANSWER: No. You cannot get COVID-19 from getting the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine helps to teach your immune system to recognize the virus so that if you come into contact with it, your body can fight it off. Even though there are parts of a virus put into a vaccine, those parts do not make you sick. They're only weakened or deadened markers that help your immune system recognize if you come into contact with the real virus.

Do you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine below? Let us know by leaving a comment below!
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Health Department will be closed on Monday, January 18. ... See moreSee less

The Courthouse will be closed Monday in recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.Martin Luther King, Jr. left an enduring legacy of perseverance, leadership and courage. Harvey County facilities will be closed Monday, Jan. 18 in recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

The Courthouse will reopen Tuesday at 8 a.m. Our next holiday closing is Feb. 15 for Presidents Day.
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The Courthouse will be closed Monday in recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

2 days ago

Harvey County

Martin Luther King, Jr. left an enduring legacy of perseverance, leadership and courage. Harvey County facilities will be closed Monday, Jan. 18 in recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

The Courthouse will reopen Tuesday at 8 a.m. Our next holiday closing is Feb. 15 for Presidents Day.
... See moreSee less

Martin Luther King, Jr. left an enduring legacy of perseverance, leadership and courage. Harvey County facilities will be closed Monday, Jan. 18 in recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. 

The Courthouse will reopen Tuesday at 8 a.m. Our next holiday closing is Feb. 15 for Presidents Day.

Strong, gusty winds are going to continue today and into Friday. That significantly increases the risk of grassland fires - ones that are extremely difficult to combat. Please avoid outdoor burning.

Flags in wind gusts
Flags in wind gusts
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3 days ago

Harvey County

We want to wish David Yoder a happy retirement, as he wrapped up 19 years of serving the people of Harvey County earlier this month. Yoder became county attorney in 2002, and continued in the role through 2020. He was an assistant county attorney prior to that.

Jason Lane, who served as chief deputy attorney under Yoder, was sworn in as county attorney earlier this week.

"David Yoder exemplifies what it means to be a career prosecutor. Over the past 19 years, he has dedicated his time and experience to the prosecution of those that offend against our community," Lane said. "His efforts have made Harvey County a safer place, and I am grateful for his service. One of the most important outcomes of David's time in office was his ability to bring various organizations to the table to collaborate on major issues facing the community."

Thank you for your years of dedication to our communities, David. Enjoy retirement!We want to wish David Yoder a happy retirement, as he wrapped up 19 years of serving the people of Harvey County earlier this month. Yoder became county attorney in 2002, and continued in the role through 2020. He was an assistant county attorney prior to that.

Jason Lane, who served as chief deputy attorney under Yoder, was sworn in as county attorney earlier this week.

"David Yoder exemplifies what it means to be a career prosecutor. Over the past 19 years, he has dedicated his time and experience to the prosecution of those that offend against our community," Lane said. "His efforts have made Harvey County a safer place, and I am grateful for his service. One of the most important outcomes of David's time in office was his ability to bring various organizations to the table to collaborate on major issues facing the community."

Thank you for your years of dedication to our communities, David. Enjoy retirement!
... See moreSee less

We want to wish David Yoder a happy retirement, as he wrapped up 19 years of serving the people of Harvey County earlier this month. Yoder became county attorney in 2002, and continued in the role through 2020. He was an assistant county attorney prior to that.

Jason Lane, who served as chief deputy attorney under Yoder, was sworn in as county attorney earlier this week.

David Yoder exemplifies what it means to be a career prosecutor. Over the past 19 years, he has dedicated his time and experience to the prosecution of those that offend against our community, Lane said. His efforts have made Harvey County a safer place, and I am grateful for his service. One of the most important outcomes of Davids time in office was his ability to bring various organizations to the table to collaborate on major issues facing the community.

Thank you for your years of dedication to our communities, David. Enjoy retirement!

CRITTER OF THE WEEK:
Green Stink Bug
Chinavia halaris
The green stink bug is a sleek and brightly colored insect. They are also called green soldier bugs, and their appearance changes as they molt. Named for their color and the smell they can produce, this insect has a large scent gland beneath its thorax. When disturbed, they discharge a foul smelling liquid. Green stink bugs can be found throughout the state of Kansas and in most of the United States. They are the most common type of stink bug in North America. Habitat includes woodland areas, cultivated fields, orchards and gardens. Adults are shield shaped, about 15mm and have fully developed wings. Many adult individuals have a thin yellow border around their head and pronotum (plate-like structure that covers the thorax of some insects). They have six legs and long antennae that are divided into segments. Early instars (developmental period between molts) are round, red, black and white. They later become more colorful, and look more like adults after every molt. They feed on plants, seeds, and fruits. Both adults and nymphs have needle-like mouth parts capable of piercing plant matter. To eat, the green stink bug injects digestive enzymes into their food. The enzymes liquefy the item so they can eat it. This causes damage to the fruit or seed. Older green stink bugs prefer developing seed and fruit, so they are considered pests. Extremely polyphagous (able to feed on various kinds of food), they will eat vegetables, soybean, cotton, tobacco, flowering dogwood, and many other plants. Some of their favorite items are black cherry, elderberry, peaches, nectarines, and grapes. Green stink bugs become active in the spring when temperatures warm. You might see them in May, but it is much more common to see them in June. After mating females lay their eggs on the underside of a host plant’s leaf. They are barrel shaped, and usually laid in rows of twelve or more. At first, they are yellow/green but later turn pink. Eggs hatch in about seven days. These insects undergo an incomplete metamorphosis, which means that immatures resemble the adults. They go through five instar stages. Development from egg to adult takes about thirty five days, but depends on temperature. In warm weather, an adult may live for two months. When temperatures drop, young stink bugs will hibernate in leaf litter or under tree bark and emerge the next spring. In Kansas, the green stink bug has one generation per year. In the southern range they have two generations. Birds, amphibians, reptiles and other insects all eat green stink bugs. The individual pictured here was found on July 12 at the Harvey County Osage Nature Trails, on a blackberry plant.CRITTER OF THE WEEK:
Green Stink Bug
Chinavia halaris
The green stink bug is a sleek and brightly colored insect. They are also called green soldier bugs, and their appearance changes as they molt. Named for their color and the smell they can produce, this insect has a large scent gland beneath its thorax. When disturbed, they discharge a foul smelling liquid. Green stink bugs can be found throughout the state of Kansas and in most of the United States. They are the most common type of stink bug in North America. Habitat includes woodland areas, cultivated fields, orchards and gardens. Adults are shield shaped, about 15mm and have fully developed wings. Many adult individuals have a thin yellow border around their head and pronotum (plate-like structure that covers the thorax of some insects). They have six legs and long antennae that are divided into segments. Early instars (developmental period between molts) are round, red, black and white. They later become more colorful, and look more like adults after every molt. They feed on plants, seeds, and fruits. Both adults and nymphs have needle-like mouth parts capable of piercing plant matter. To eat, the green stink bug injects digestive enzymes into their food. The enzymes liquefy the item so they can eat it. This causes damage to the fruit or seed. Older green stink bugs prefer developing seed and fruit, so they are considered pests. Extremely polyphagous (able to feed on various kinds of food), they will eat vegetables, soybean, cotton, tobacco, flowering dogwood, and many other plants. Some of their favorite items are black cherry, elderberry, peaches, nectarines, and grapes. Green stink bugs become active in the spring when temperatures warm. You might see them in May, but it is much more common to see them in June. After mating females lay their eggs on the underside of a host plant’s leaf. They are barrel shaped, and usually laid in rows of twelve or more. At first, they are yellow/green but later turn pink. Eggs hatch in about seven days. These insects undergo an incomplete metamorphosis, which means that immatures resemble the adults. They go through five instar stages. Development from egg to adult takes about thirty five days, but depends on temperature. In warm weather, an adult may live for two months. When temperatures drop, young stink bugs will hibernate in leaf litter or under tree bark and emerge the next spring. In Kansas, the green stink bug has one generation per year. In the southern range they have two generations. Birds, amphibians, reptiles and other insects all eat green stink bugs. The individual pictured here was found on July 12 at the Harvey County Osage Nature Trails, on a blackberry plant.
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CRITTER OF THE WEEK:
Green Stink Bug
Chinavia halaris 
 The green stink bug is a sleek and brightly colored insect. They are also called green soldier bugs, and their appearance changes as they molt. Named for their color and the smell they can produce, this insect has a large scent gland beneath its thorax. When disturbed, they discharge a foul smelling liquid. Green stink bugs can be found throughout the state of Kansas and in most of the United States. They are the most common type of stink bug in North America. Habitat includes woodland areas, cultivated fields, orchards and gardens. Adults are shield shaped, about 15mm and have fully developed wings. Many adult individuals have a thin yellow border around their head and pronotum (plate-like structure that covers the thorax of some insects). They have six legs and long antennae that are divided into segments. Early instars (developmental period between molts) are round, red, black and white. They later become more colorful, and look more like adults after every molt. They feed on plants, seeds, and fruits. Both adults and nymphs have needle-like mouth parts capable of piercing plant matter. To eat, the green stink bug injects digestive enzymes into their food. The enzymes liquefy the item so they can eat it. This causes damage to the fruit or seed. Older green stink bugs prefer developing seed and fruit, so they are considered pests. Extremely polyphagous (able to feed on various kinds of food), they will eat vegetables, soybean, cotton, tobacco, flowering dogwood, and many other plants. Some of their favorite items are black cherry, elderberry, peaches, nectarines, and grapes. Green stink bugs become active in the spring when temperatures warm. You might see them in May, but it is much more common to see them in June. After mating females lay their eggs on the underside of a host plant’s leaf.  They are barrel shaped, and usually laid in rows of twelve or more. At first, they are yellow/green but later turn pink. Eggs hatch in about seven days. These insects undergo an incomplete metamorphosis, which means that immatures resemble the adults. They go through five instar stages. Development from egg to adult takes about thirty five days, but depends on temperature. In warm weather, an adult may live for two months. When temperatures drop, young stink bugs will hibernate in leaf litter or under tree bark and emerge the next spring. In Kansas, the green stink bug has one generation per year. In the southern range they have two generations. Birds, amphibians, reptiles and other insects all eat green stink bugs. The individual pictured here was found on July 12 at the Harvey County Osage Nature Trails, on a blackberry plant.

Photos from US National Weather Service Wichita Kansas's postPhotos from US National Weather Service Wichita Kansas's post ... See moreSee less

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CS2021 Election - Eric Thompson filed a candidate declaration for the office of Newton City Commission. ... See moreSee less

Timeline Photos⚠️ DON'T DELAY YOUR MEDICAL CARE ⚠️

If you're not sure where to go - use this resource to point you in the right direction. When your family doctor isn't available or you need help outside of regular business hours, consider getting urgent care at one of NMC Health's two Immediate Care locations in Newton or Park City.

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or head to the Emergency Department at NMC Health Medical Center.

We're here to bring you the right care at the right place at the right time.

Your health is our focus.
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Chad Gay took the oath of office earlier this week for his second four-year term as Harvey County sheriff. Congrats, Chad! Thank you for your continued commitment to make Harvey County a great place to live, work and enjoy. ... See moreSee less

Chad Gay took the oath of office earlier this week for his second four-year term as Harvey County sheriff. Congrats, Chad! Thank you for your continued commitment to make Harvey County a great place to live, work and enjoy.

5 days ago

Harvey County

Elected officials were sworn into office Monday during the Harvey County Commission meeting. Each individual was elected to serve a four-year term. Thank you for choosing to serve the communities of Harvey County. Special thanks to Chief Judge Joe Dickinson for presiding over the ceremonies.

Those sworn in include:

🔹 Chad Gay (Sheriff)
🔹 Randy Hague (District 2 Commissioner)
🔹 Jason Lane (Attorney)
🔹 Raquel Langley (Register of Deeds)
🔹 Emily Nichols (Treasurer)
🔹 Rick Piepho (Clerk)
🔹 Don Schroeder (District 3 Commissioner)Photos from Harvey County's post
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5 days ago

Harvey County

Here is the Jan. 11 update from the Harvey County Health Department regarding cases of COVID-19 in Harvey County:

▪ Cases to date: 2,735 (275 new cases since Jan. 4)
▪ Recovered to date: 2,417 (239 recovered since Jan. 4)
▪ Known active cases: 288 (Up 33 since Jan. 4)
▪ Deaths to date: 30
▪ Current hospitalizations: 17
▪ People tested to date: 11,673 (405 new people tested since Jan. 4)
▪ Total PCR tests to date: 22,231 (1,587 new PCR tests since Jan. 4)

Additional statistical and demographic information can be found at any time on our COVID-19 dashboard: www.harveycounty.com/covid19stats

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment updated its prioritization for vaccination phases this past week. That is included here. Kansas remains in Phase One, which focuses on healthcare workers and long-term care residents and staff. Vaccine is not commonly available at this time - the Health Department has administered all of its allotment it has received so far. You can find the KDHE's vaccine prioritization here: www.kansasvaccine.gov/DocumentCenter/View/121/Vaccine-Prioritization-Slides-PDF

While the availability of vaccine brings some hope for the coming weeks and months, COVID-19 still remains prevalent right now. The same precautions continue to be the best defenses - wearing a face mask, social distance and good hand hygiene. If you're sick with COVID-19 symptoms, please contact your medical provider.

If you need a COVID-19 test, there are several options available in Harvey County. Along with your medical provider, Harvey Drug and Gifts, Hesston Pharmacy and WellHealth are a few other options. The WellHealth testing site is located at the Chisholm Trail Center in Newton. It is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (times are subject to change). Appointments can be scheduled at www.gogettested.com.Here is the Jan. 11 update from the Harvey County Health Department regarding cases of COVID-19 in Harvey County:

▪ Cases to date: 2,735 (275 new cases since Jan. 4)
▪ Recovered to date: 2,417 (239 recovered since Jan. 4)
▪ Known active cases: 288 (Up 33 since Jan. 4)
▪ Deaths to date: 30
▪ Current hospitalizations: 17
▪ People tested to date: 11,673 (405 new people tested since Jan. 4)
▪ Total PCR tests to date: 22,231 (1,587 new PCR tests since Jan. 4)

Additional statistical and demographic information can be found at any time on our COVID-19 dashboard: www.harveycounty.com/covid19stats

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment updated its prioritization for vaccination phases this past week. That is included here. Kansas remains in Phase One, which focuses on healthcare workers and long-term care residents and staff. Vaccine is not commonly available at this time - the Health Department has administered all of its allotment it has received so far. You can find the KDHE's vaccine prioritization here: www.kansasvaccine.gov/DocumentCenter/View/121/Vaccine-Prioritization-Slides-PDF

While the availability of vaccine brings some hope for the coming weeks and months, COVID-19 still remains prevalent right now. The same precautions continue to be the best defenses - wearing a face mask, social distance and good hand hygiene. If you're sick with COVID-19 symptoms, please contact your medical provider.

If you need a COVID-19 test, there are several options available in Harvey County. Along with your medical provider, Harvey Drug and Gifts, Hesston Pharmacy and WellHealth are a few other options. The WellHealth testing site is located at the Chisholm Trail Center in Newton. It is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (times are subject to change). Appointments can be scheduled at www.gogettested.com.
... See moreSee less

Here is the Jan. 11 update from the Harvey County Health Department regarding cases of COVID-19 in Harvey County: 

▪ Cases to date: 2,735 (275 new cases since Jan. 4)
▪ Recovered to date: 2,417 (239 recovered since Jan. 4)
▪ Known active cases: 288 (Up 33 since Jan. 4)
▪ Deaths to date: 30
▪ Current hospitalizations: 17
▪ People tested to date: 11,673 (405 new people tested since Jan. 4)
▪ Total PCR tests to date: 22,231 (1,587 new PCR tests since Jan. 4)

Additional statistical and demographic information can be found at any time on our COVID-19 dashboard: https://www.harveycounty.com/covid19stats

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment updated its prioritization for vaccination phases this past week. That is included here. Kansas remains in Phase One, which focuses on healthcare workers and long-term care residents and staff. Vaccine is not commonly available at this time - the Health Department has administered all of its allotment it has received so far. You can find the KDHEs vaccine prioritization here: https://www.kansasvaccine.gov/DocumentCenter/View/121/Vaccine-Prioritization-Slides-PDF 

While the availability of vaccine brings some hope for the coming weeks and months, COVID-19 still remains prevalent right now. The same precautions continue to be the best defenses - wearing a face mask, social distance and good hand hygiene. If youre sick with COVID-19 symptoms, please contact your medical provider.

If you need a COVID-19 test, there are several options available in Harvey County. Along with your medical provider, Harvey Drug and Gifts, Hesston Pharmacy and WellHealth are a few other options. The WellHealth testing site is located at the Chisholm Trail Center in Newton. It is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (times are subject to change). Appointments can be scheduled at www.gogettested.com.

Condolences to the Krehbiels. Ron was a great commissioner and a wonderful person to be around. He will be missed.We are deeply saddened by the passing of Harvey County Commissioner Ron Krehbiel. Our thoughts are with Ron's family and his friends.

Ron served 20 years as a county commissioner, matching the longest tenure of any commissioner in the county's history. His first term began Jan. 8, 2001. He represented District 3, which includes Burrton, Halstead, Hesston and Sedgwick.

"When you work that closely with somebody for eight years, he kind of becomes family," said Harvey County Commission Chair Randy Hague. "I'm not only going to miss him as a colleague, but as a friend."

Ron was an ardent supporter for road maintenance, Harvey County Parks, and caring for county employees. He was known for his willingness to talk one-on-one with residents over any topic in which they were passionate.

Prior to becoming a commissioner, Ron held a career in law enforcement, including working for the Harvey County Sheriff's Office.

"If Ron likes your cause, whatever you might stand for, he's there with you through thick and thin. That's the way he worked as a law enforcement officer. That's the way he worked as a commissioner," said Harvey County Commissioner George 'Chip' Westfall. "He wanted to know your story in life, or your need in the county. He wanted to help everybody he could."

Ron served on many boards, including the Harvey/McPherson County Community Corrections Advisory Board, Central Kansas Solid Waste Authority and the Community Mental Health Center Advisory Board.

To borrow one of Ron's catchphrases to praise a job well done, we feel Ron deserves an 'attaboy.' Thank you for everything, Ron. You truly will be missed.
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Condolences to the Krehbiels. Ron was a great commissioner and a wonderful person to be around. He will be missed.

We'll miss Ron taking his drives through West Park just to check in and see how the day was going. He loved seeing people enjoy all that the parks have to offer. Rest in peace, Ron.We are deeply saddened by the passing of Harvey County Commissioner Ron Krehbiel. Our thoughts are with Ron's family and his friends.

Ron served 20 years as a county commissioner, matching the longest tenure of any commissioner in the county's history. His first term began Jan. 8, 2001. He represented District 3, which includes Burrton, Halstead, Hesston and Sedgwick.

"When you work that closely with somebody for eight years, he kind of becomes family," said Harvey County Commission Chair Randy Hague. "I'm not only going to miss him as a colleague, but as a friend."

Ron was an ardent supporter for road maintenance, Harvey County Parks, and caring for county employees. He was known for his willingness to talk one-on-one with residents over any topic in which they were passionate.

Prior to becoming a commissioner, Ron held a career in law enforcement, including working for the Harvey County Sheriff's Office.

"If Ron likes your cause, whatever you might stand for, he's there with you through thick and thin. That's the way he worked as a law enforcement officer. That's the way he worked as a commissioner," said Harvey County Commissioner George 'Chip' Westfall. "He wanted to know your story in life, or your need in the county. He wanted to help everybody he could."

Ron served on many boards, including the Harvey/McPherson County Community Corrections Advisory Board, Central Kansas Solid Waste Authority and the Community Mental Health Center Advisory Board.

To borrow one of Ron's catchphrases to praise a job well done, we feel Ron deserves an 'attaboy.' Thank you for everything, Ron. You truly will be missed.
... See moreSee less

Well miss Ron taking his drives through West Park just to check in and see how the day was going. He loved seeing people enjoy all that the parks have to offer. Rest in peace, Ron.

Ron worked for the Sheriff's Office for many, many years before becoming a commissioner. He dedicated his life to serving his community. Truly a life worth celebrating. Rest in peace, Ron. Thank you for your service.We are deeply saddened by the passing of Harvey County Commissioner Ron Krehbiel. Our thoughts are with Ron's family and his friends.

Ron served 20 years as a county commissioner, matching the longest tenure of any commissioner in the county's history. His first term began Jan. 8, 2001. He represented District 3, which includes Burrton, Halstead, Hesston and Sedgwick.

"When you work that closely with somebody for eight years, he kind of becomes family," said Harvey County Commission Chair Randy Hague. "I'm not only going to miss him as a colleague, but as a friend."

Ron was an ardent supporter for road maintenance, Harvey County Parks, and caring for county employees. He was known for his willingness to talk one-on-one with residents over any topic in which they were passionate.

Prior to becoming a commissioner, Ron held a career in law enforcement, including working for the Harvey County Sheriff's Office.

"If Ron likes your cause, whatever you might stand for, he's there with you through thick and thin. That's the way he worked as a law enforcement officer. That's the way he worked as a commissioner," said Harvey County Commissioner George 'Chip' Westfall. "He wanted to know your story in life, or your need in the county. He wanted to help everybody he could."

Ron served on many boards, including the Harvey/McPherson County Community Corrections Advisory Board, Central Kansas Solid Waste Authority and the Community Mental Health Center Advisory Board.

To borrow one of Ron's catchphrases to praise a job well done, we feel Ron deserves an 'attaboy.' Thank you for everything, Ron. You truly will be missed.
... See moreSee less

Ron worked for the Sheriffs Office for many, many years before becoming a commissioner. He dedicated his life to serving his community. Truly a life worth celebrating. Rest in peace, Ron. Thank you for your service.

Information on a COVID-19 cluster identified in one of the pods at the Detention Center. Hoping for a healthy recovery for all of these individuals.

We have temporarily suspended visitation for Pod D at the Detention Center, as well as fingerprinting services.
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Critter of the Week: Red-Eared Slider
Trachemys scripta elegans
In Harvey County, Red-eared sliders are incredibly easy to find in the spring and summer. They are present in almost every permanent water-way in Kansas. Named for the unique, bright red stripe behind each eye, this turtle’s carapace is green with yellow pattered lines. On young turtles, these patterns are more intricate. As they age, their carapace may darken and appear black. The rear edge of their carapace is jagged and the plastron in yellow. Female red-eared sliders grow larger than males, and can be over 11 inches long. The largest female in Kanas weighed over 9 pounds. Smaller males have longer, thicker tails and elongated necks. They are an opportunistic omnivore, eating many different food items. The native range of this turtle includes parts of Kansas and the Midwest, southeastern New Mexico, extending to West Virginia and south to Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. Currently, non-native populations can be found in every state. They are existing in the wild as invasive species on every continent except Antarctica. The overwhelming red-ear population is due to their popularity as pets. They are cute, cheap and seemingly low maintenance. As early as the 1900s, these turtles were captured from the wild and sold at dime stores, fairs, and even road-side stands. Dime store turtle is what some people started calling them. By the 1950s, this animal was being farmed by the millions and shipped all over the world. The peak of their popularity took place in the late 1980s and early 1990s during the Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles craze (In the original comic by Mirage, the four main characters are mutated red-eared sliders). They are small and adorable, but grow fast. Care requirements include at least a 20 gallon aquarium, water filter, proper lighting, food and cleaning. They are also an enduring species, sometimes outliving their owners. It soon became a common practice to release unwanted pet turtles into a lake or nearby waterway. Letting any animal go without a permit is illegal in most states. However, most violators go unnoticed. People may have good intentions when setting a pet free, but it is inhumane and puts wildlife at risk. Some released pets slowly starve when they no longer have someone caring for them. Pets that do survive are taking already dwindling resources from native animals. Red eared slider’s size and fitness level makes it easy for them to outcompete other native turtles. They use food and resources that would otherwise go to natural species. All turtles must have basking sites to obtain UVB and UVA light. Without them, they cannot maintain an optimal level of vitamin D3 needed for development. Larger turtles like the red-eared slider take these positions from other species. Reduced access to basking sites can slow growth and increase mortality rates for natives. Red-eared sliders mature fast, and females sometimes lay over 20 eggs per clutch. Also, animals kept in captivity can develop diseases uncommon to wild populations. When released, they may spread rapidly. The European Union has banned the import of these reptiles due to their negative impact on native turtle populations. The state of Oregon has made it illegal to buy, sell or possess red-eared sliders, and in Florida it is illegal to sell them. In the United States it is illegal to sell red-eared sliders that are under four inches. This has nothing to do with them being one of the world’s most invasive species. Turtles and other reptiles may carry salmonella that can spread to humans. Many salmonella outbreaks have been traced back to tiny turtle owners, with a large percentage of infections occurring in children under five years old. It was thought that turtles over four inches won’t be put in a child’s mouth. However, Salmonella bacteria can be spread by simply not washing your hands. Red ears are strong and fast swimmers, making them unlikely prey for predators like raccoons and coyotes. They are a long lived species. Some individuals live for over eighty years! When observing these turtles in nature, it is helpful to have binoculars. If basking turtles see movement, they quickly slide into the water to avoid predators.Critter of the Week: Red-Eared Slider
Trachemys scripta elegans
In Harvey County, Red-eared sliders are incredibly easy to find in the spring and summer. They are present in almost every permanent water-way in Kansas. Named for the unique, bright red stripe behind each eye, this turtle’s carapace is green with yellow pattered lines. On young turtles, these patterns are more intricate. As they age, their carapace may darken and appear black. The rear edge of their carapace is jagged and the plastron in yellow. Female red-eared sliders grow larger than males, and can be over 11 inches long. The largest female in Kanas weighed over 9 pounds. Smaller males have longer, thicker tails and elongated necks. They are an opportunistic omnivore, eating many different food items. The native range of this turtle includes parts of Kansas and the Midwest, southeastern New Mexico, extending to West Virginia and south to Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. Currently, non-native populations can be found in every state. They are existing in the wild as invasive species on every continent except Antarctica. The overwhelming red-ear population is due to their popularity as pets. They are cute, cheap and seemingly low maintenance. As early as the 1900s, these turtles were captured from the wild and sold at dime stores, fairs, and even road-side stands. Dime store turtle is what some people started calling them. By the 1950s, this animal was being farmed by the millions and shipped all over the world. The peak of their popularity took place in the late 1980s and early 1990s during the Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles craze (In the original comic by Mirage, the four main characters are mutated red-eared sliders). They are small and adorable, but grow fast. Care requirements include at least a 20 gallon aquarium, water filter, proper lighting, food and cleaning. They are also an enduring species, sometimes outliving their owners. It soon became a common practice to release unwanted pet turtles into a lake or nearby waterway. Letting any animal go without a permit is illegal in most states. However, most violators go unnoticed. People may have good intentions when setting a pet free, but it is inhumane and puts wildlife at risk. Some released pets slowly starve when they no longer have someone caring for them. Pets that do survive are taking already dwindling resources from native animals. Red eared slider’s size and fitness level makes it easy for them to outcompete other native turtles. They use food and resources that would otherwise go to natural species. All turtles must have basking sites to obtain UVB and UVA light. Without them, they cannot maintain an optimal level of vitamin D3 needed for development. Larger turtles like the red-eared slider take these positions from other species. Reduced access to basking sites can slow growth and increase mortality rates for natives. Red-eared sliders mature fast, and females sometimes lay over 20 eggs per clutch. Also, animals kept in captivity can develop diseases uncommon to wild populations. When released, they may spread rapidly. The European Union has banned the import of these reptiles due to their negative impact on native turtle populations. The state of Oregon has made it illegal to buy, sell or possess red-eared sliders, and in Florida it is illegal to sell them. In the United States it is illegal to sell red-eared sliders that are under four inches. This has nothing to do with them being one of the world’s most invasive species. Turtles and other reptiles may carry salmonella that can spread to humans. Many salmonella outbreaks have been traced back to tiny turtle owners, with a large percentage of infections occurring in children under five years old. It was thought that turtles over four inches won’t be put in a child’s mouth. However, Salmonella bacteria can be spread by simply not washing your hands. Red ears are strong and fast swimmers, making them unlikely prey for predators like raccoons and coyotes. They are a long lived species. Some individuals live for over eighty years! When observing these turtles in nature, it is helpful to have binoculars. If basking turtles see movement, they quickly slide into the water to avoid predators.
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Critter of the Week: Red-Eared Slider 
Trachemys scripta elegans 
In Harvey County, Red-eared sliders are incredibly easy to find in the spring and summer. They are present in almost every permanent water-way in Kansas. Named for the unique, bright red stripe behind each eye, this turtle’s carapace is green with yellow pattered lines. On young turtles, these patterns are more intricate. As they age, their carapace may darken and appear black. The rear edge of their carapace is jagged and the plastron in yellow.  Female red-eared sliders grow larger than males, and can be over 11 inches long. The largest female in Kanas weighed over 9 pounds. Smaller males have longer, thicker tails and elongated necks. They are an opportunistic omnivore, eating many different food items. The native range of this turtle includes parts of Kansas and the Midwest, southeastern New Mexico, extending to West Virginia and south to Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. Currently, non-native populations can be found in every state. They are existing in the wild as invasive species on every continent except Antarctica. The overwhelming red-ear population is due to their popularity as pets. They are cute, cheap and seemingly low maintenance.  As early as the 1900s, these turtles were captured from the wild and sold at dime stores, fairs, and even road-side stands. Dime store turtle is what some people started calling them. By the 1950s, this animal was being farmed by the millions and shipped all over the world. The peak of their popularity took place in the late 1980s and early 1990s during the Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles craze (In the original comic by Mirage, the four main characters are mutated red-eared sliders). They are small and adorable, but grow fast. Care requirements include at least a 20 gallon aquarium, water filter, proper lighting, food and cleaning. They are also an enduring species, sometimes outliving their owners.  It soon became a common practice to release unwanted pet turtles into a lake or nearby waterway. Letting any animal go without a permit is illegal in most states. However, most violators go unnoticed. People may have good intentions when setting a pet free, but it is inhumane and puts wildlife at risk.  Some released pets slowly starve when they no longer have someone caring for them. Pets that do survive are taking already dwindling resources from native animals. Red eared slider’s size and fitness level makes it easy for them to outcompete other native turtles. They use food and resources that would otherwise go to natural species. All turtles must have basking sites to obtain UVB and UVA light. Without them, they cannot maintain an optimal level of vitamin D3 needed for development. Larger turtles like the red-eared slider take these positions from other species. Reduced access to basking sites can slow growth and increase mortality rates for natives. Red-eared sliders mature fast, and females sometimes lay over 20 eggs per clutch. Also, animals kept in captivity can develop diseases uncommon to wild populations. When released, they may spread rapidly. The European Union has banned the import of these reptiles due to their negative impact on native turtle populations. The state of Oregon has made it illegal to buy, sell or possess red-eared sliders, and in Florida it is illegal to sell them. In the United States it is illegal to sell red-eared sliders that are under four inches. This has nothing to do with them being one of the world’s most invasive species. Turtles and other reptiles may carry salmonella that can spread to humans. Many salmonella outbreaks have been traced back to tiny turtle owners, with a large percentage of infections occurring in children under five years old. It was thought that turtles over four inches won’t be put in a child’s mouth. However, Salmonella bacteria can be spread by simply not washing your hands. Red ears are strong and fast swimmers, making them unlikely prey for predators like raccoons and coyotes. They are a long lived species. Some individuals live for over eighty years! When observing these turtles in nature, it is helpful to have binoculars. If basking turtles see movement, they quickly slide into the water to avoid predators.

"We have excellent law enforcement agencies throughout Harvey County that help us ensure the same level of response will be maintained for our communities."

Hoping for a healthy recovery for our employees.
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Elected officials take oath of office

2021/01/14

Officials elected to hold office for Harvey County were sworn...

County commissioner Ron Krehbiel passes away

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Harvey County Commissioner Ron Krehbiel passed away Jan. 9. He...

Commission extends local health order on mass gathering limit

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The Harvey County Commission voted to extend a local health...

What we did in 2020

2020/12/28

Harvey County Administration annually presents a year-end document to the...

County commission sets mass gathering limit at 10

2020/11/24

The Harvey County Commission implemented a local health order to...

Election board completes 2020 general election canvass

2020/11/12

The results of the 2020 general election have been finalized...

Commission reimplements Phase Three of health reopening plan

2020/11/10

The Harvey County Commission voted to move back to Phase...

Commission sets public holidays for 2021

2020/11/5

The Harvey County Commission set its public holidays for 2021...

Voting information in Harvey County

2020/10/20

The United States is holding a general election. Registered voters...

Welcome to Harvey County

Nearly 35,000 residents call Harvey County home. The county landscape pairs picturesque country living with vibrant downtown shopping centers. Harvey County serves the cities of Burrton, Halstead, Hesston, Newton, North Newton, Sedgwick, and Walton, as well as 15 townships.

Harvey County is home to a bustling airport and train service, innovative economic leaders, sprawling parks, and welcoming school districts. Food and entertainment opportunities abound, with even more amenities within a short driving distance to our friendly neighboring counties.

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