First Bank announces expansion to main branch

First Bank will begin construction of an expansion of its Newton main branch location Oct. 7. The centerpiece of this expansion will include new offices on the north side of the building.

Due to the construction, the normal entrance into the bank’s parking lot off Oak Street will be closed. Customers will need to use the alley to access the drive-up and ATM.

For lobby transactions, customers can enter through the south doors of the bank. Side street parking will be available on Broadway and Oak Streets.

Ray Penner, First Bank president, announced the building expansion, stating, “First Bank has been fortunate to experience continued growth over the last 15 years, resulting in the current need for additional offices. We thank our customers for their patience and understanding during construction.”

Completion of this development is expected to occur in spring of 2014.

CASA director joins Leave a Legacy

Eric Litwiller, executive director of the Harvey and McPherson county CASA office, has been appointed to the Newton-area Leave a Legacy committee.

“I’m very excited to help,” said Litwiller. “Having worked in fund-raising for two different retirement communities, I have a very strong belief in the importance of planned giving.”

Leave a Legacy strives to remind people of the importance of remembering their favorite charities before and during the estate-planning process.

“This is a perfect tie-in for CASA,” he said. “Even though planned giving isn’t a huge part of our fund-raising strategy, I’d love for it to become more than what it is. I know there are people who have a passion for the plight of abused and neglected children in our community, and getting the commitment from our donors to include us in their estate planning would be huge.

“A community is only as strong as the people who choose to get involved in it,” he said. “Federal and state funding sources are drying up, and CASA is too important an organization to see fail. I have every confidence that our counties will support CASA, but only as much as we work to support the community. I’m just trying to do my part.”

Central National Bank introduces mobile deposit

Central National Bank has announced a new feature within their smart phone app. Mobile Deposit allows customers to deposit checks to their account by taking photos of their checks. To use Mobile Deposit, customers must be signed up for online banking and have the Android, iPhone or iPad app.

How does it work? The app uploads check images securely to the bank for processing, and funds appear in the account after processing at the end of the business day. Check data is encrypted using SSL (Secure Socket Layer) data encryption. In the event that a mobile device is lost, customers should note that no account data is stored on the device itself, which offers another layer of protection.

For more details about the program or to sign up, visit the bank website at

Local law firm celebrates milestone anniversary

A celebration of the Adrian & Pankratz law firm’s 40th anniversary will be in the Reception Room on the first floor of the Old Mill, 301 N. Main, Newton, on Monday, Oct. 14, between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m.

The law firm began in 1973 as Adrian & Walker, founded by Tom Adrian and Richard B. Walker of Newton. From two attorneys, the firm has grown to a Main Street work force of 16, including six attorneys. Adrian said the firm’s clients are to thank for its growth and success.

“It’s hard to pinpoint just one factor,” he said. “One of the things we live by is to do our best every day to care for the responsibilities that have been entrusted to us.”

The Adrian & Pankratz firm is located on the fourth floor of the historic Old Mill Plaza building, which was originally built as Monarch Steam Mills in 1879.

Tom Adrian grew up on a farm in western Harvey County. He attended college and law school at Washburn University in Topeka, where he received a law degree in 1969. He has been an active member of the community. Among numerous areas of service, he has served as the first board chair of the Newton Medical Center from 1987 to 1993, Outstanding Citizen of the Year in 1998, president of the Kansas Bar Foundation and as a member of Board of Governors of the Washburn Law School Alumni Association. His wife, Ann, is an educational consultant and is currently working with the Newton Public Schools. They have two adult children and five grandchildren.

Randy Pankratz is a central Kansas native, and has been part of Adrian & Pankratz since 1984, when he graduated from the University of Kansas Law School. He holds a journalism degree from Northwestern University, and worked as a news reporter before pursuing a legal education. In addition to his practice at the firm, he serves as municipal judge in Hesston, Halstead, Marion and Burns. His wife, Charlotte, owns and operates two fabric and quilting shops in Newton, and they have one daughter.

Marilyn Wilder moved to Kansas from Indiana in 1990 and joined the firm shortly thereafter. She is a graduate of Taylor University in Upland, Ind., and Indiana University School of Law–Indianapolis. Her husband, Kevin, is an instructor at Hesston College, and they have three children. Wilder has been part of many community organizations and helped start what is now Health Ministries Clinic and the Heartland Pregnancy Care Center.

Timothy Hodge joined the firm in 2004 after graduating from Washburn University. He graduated from Tabor College in 1999 and taught high school in Peabody. His wife, Mary Ellen, is a teacher at Northridge Elementary School in Newton. They have three children. He and his wife are active in the community and have helped with various non-profit organizations. Hodge currently serves as president of the school board of Newton USD 373.

David J. Stucky graduated from Washburn University School of Law, magna cum laude, and joined the firm in 2008. Stucky grew up on a farm outside of Moundridge and attended Bethel College. He currently serves on the boards of various civic organizations such as Bethel College Alumni Counsel, Kauffman Museum, United Way and the Newton Chamber of Commerce. Stucky and his wife, Shelley, have two children.