Intrust Bank leadership team set for Harvey County

Intrust Bank and First Bank of Newton made a joint announcement Wednesday that all First Bank of Newton employees will transition to Intrust Bank as the two organizations merge this coming November.

“Employees at First Bank of Newton are extremely dedicated to the success of their customers and the community,” said Stan Ricketts, executive director at Intrust. “We’re excited customers will continue to see the same individuals and community leaders they have grown to know and trust.”

Leadership roles for the Harvey County community include Amy Mitchell transitioning from vice president to market manager and Kimberly Richtig from assistant vice president/marketing director to banking center manager at the main bank. Deborah Kingsley (South Kansas), Wesley McClellan (Dillons), and Annette Knauss (Hesston) will continue to manage their respective banking locations

Additionally, Don Sauerwein and Laura Moore will continue supporting their lending roles, and Sal Lujano will become a residential mortgage originator.

This news comes after the announcement in early September that Melvin Schadler would assume the role of community bank president as First Bank of Newton becomes Intrust Bank in November.

“Our people are our most valuable asset, and we’re proud that every employee will have a role and will continue to serve our customers as we merge with Intrust,” said Melvin Schadler, executive vice president and chief operating officer at First Bank of Newton.


Small business workshop coming to NPL

Newton Public Library will host "Improve Your Chances of Success: Connect with Small Business Resources" at noon Nov. 6.

Participants in this workshop will learn how to benefit from available resources in the community. The workshop will offer information on digital tools, research databases, business plan templates, and confidential business mentorships.

The workshop is open to everyone, whether or not they own or are planning to launch a small business.

It will be presented by U.S. Small Business Administration economic development specialist Karol Ikeda.

The Newton Public Library and Newton Area Chamber of Commerce are co-sponsors.

Those who RSVP to the Newton Public Library at 316-283-2890 or by Nov. 4 will receive a free lunch along with the workshop.


Swindoll, Janzen, Hawk & Loyd, LLC adds location in North Newton

McPHERSON — Swindoll, Janzen, Hawk & Loyd LLC recently announced it will soon open a new location in North Newton. Adding this office will bring the total physical locations to four as SJHL currently has locations in McPherson, Hutchinson and Wichita.

“We are really looking forward to joining the Newton community and continuing to service our growing client base in Newton and the surrounding area,” said SJHL’s managing partner, Chet Buchman. “Opening a location in Newton makes a lot of sense based on where our other physical offices and client base already are. Newton has become our team’s central meeting point, so it will be nice to have a physical location there for our team to have meetings internally and with clients.”

The North Newton office will be led by partner Justin Kaufman and is located in North Woods Plaza, 3179 North Main, Suite A. It is currently under construction, with plans to be open in early December. This office will be open by appointment only.


Library site selection topic of meetings

The work of a consultant to move a new library project forward is underway and a pair of public meetings are coming up to set things in motion.

HBM Architects will host two meetings, at 4:30 and 7 p.m. Oct. 30, at Newton Public Library, 720 Oak. The meetings are intended to gather public input for site selection of a new facility.

HBM Architects was selected at a special meeting of the Newton City Commission and library task force in September.

HBM will be charged with site selection — scheduled to be completed in November — a feasibility review, concept development, a public funding campaign, construction drawings and design of a new library facility.

If each phase of the HBM project is successful, bidding for construction would occur in October 2022.


Kansas Corporation Commission receives pipeline safety grant

TOPEKA — The Kansas Corporation Commission has been awarded a $99,635 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to assist with underground pipeline damage prevention efforts.

Excavation damage is the most common cause of damage to underground pipelines. In Kansas last year, there were 1,184 reports of gas lines damaged due to excavation activity. Of those, 305 damages or 26% occurred in the Wichita and Kansas City metropolitan areas.

The grant will fund one full-time employee dedicated to damage prevention inspections and enforcement for the Wichita metropolitan area as well as augment enforcement in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

“This grant opportunity has allowed the KCC to have a presence in the field at the site of the damage before repairs are complete,” said KCC chief engineer Leo Haynos. “The ability to interview the parties involved, to look at the locate marks, and to understand the type of excavating equipment involved, provides the inspector with the information needed to make a credible determination of the cause.”

In addition to compliance actions for violations, including the recommendation of civil penalties, the KCC’s enforcement strategy is coupled with a strong educational component that fosters communication among all parties. Using this approach, damages to underground natural gas pipelines with respect to excavation activity in the area have stabilized at two damages per every 1000 excavations.

Kansas was one of 18 states to receive a PHMSA damage prevention grant.