Gymnastics and fitness center “Flip Flop Shop” has hired three new staff members. Ashly Brilke, Trisha Fast and Kylie Jantz began at the center Monday.

Brilke is the dance director and instructor for the dance program at the Flip Flop Shop.

Brilke will teach dance classes at the shop. including ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, and modern. She will be working to increase the dance enrollment, plan the classes, direct a dance recital next spring, and hold auditions for and direct a competitive dance group.

She has had training in ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, modern and musical theatre. Brilke owned and directed a dance studio for a time and, while in college, was able to take classes now and then until graduating form Kansas State University two years ago.

She works full time at USDA Rural Development in Newton, so the dance position will be part-time a few days a week.

Fast is a team coach for the Flip Flop Shop.

She will teach and coach levels four through eight for the Flip Flop Shop Team. The team competes both USGA and AAU.

Fast was a gymnast for many years and, when she stopped competing, began teaching and coaching. She has received most of her training while in high school and college coaching at three clubs. She is a fourth-grade teacher for USD 373.

Fast competed for many years. finishing her competitive career at Folgers Gymnastics as a level 7. She taught at Folgers from June 2001 to August 2003, at Pittsburgh YMCA from August 2003 to December 2005. and at Hutchinson YMCA from January to August 2006.

Jantz has been hired as a team coach and instructor for advanced recreational classes.

She will teach the advanced class and the Dynamites, as well as coach levels four through eight for the Flip Flop Shop Team. The team competes both USGA and AAU, and she will be one of the coaches at their meets.

Jantz was a gymnast for many years at the Flip Flop Shop, beginning at age of 3 or 4. and progressing through the classes and levels to the competitive team. She took some time off after reaching level 6, then returned to prepare for high school gymnastics. She was a member of the Newton High School gymnastics team for four years and also on the diving team for three years.

She began training to teach and coach in January because she loved the sport and wanted to continue to be a part of it. She continues to take certification courses and will teach and coach while she attends Bethel College.

County builders organization to meet Sept. 11 at Charlie’s

Harvey County Builders and Associates will meet Sept. 11 at at Charlie’s Restaurant, First Street and Spencer Avenue in Newton

Hospitality (social hour) begins at 6:15 p.m.

Dinner and program start at 7 p.m.

Hosting the September meeting will be The Newton Kansan. The organization will be in charge of hospitality and provide the program amd a tour of the newspaper facility.

Midland National Bank awarded five-star rating by BauerFinancial

Midland National Bank was awarded a five-star bank rating for 2008 from BauerFinancial, an independent source for unbiased, independent bank ratings.

Midland1s five-star rating indicates Midland received a score of Superior, meaning the institution is on BauerFinancial's Superior Bank Report and the Recommended Bank Report.

Star ratings are developed using the capital ratio, in addition to other criteria such as profitability/loss trend, evaluating the level of delinquent loans, charge offs and repossessed assets, the market versus book value of the investment portfolio, regulatory supervisory agreements, the community reinvestment rating (CRA), historical data and liquidity.

Five-star institutions generally have twice the capital required by regulators.

The rating system begins when each bank is required to file a detailed financial report with federal regulators four times a year. BauerFinancial obtains this data in its raw form from the government. The quarterly data is subjected to a thorough analysis and is compared with historical data for consistency. Upon completion of the analysis, a star-rating is assigned based on a scale of zero to five stars with five stars being the strongest.