Charges filed

in threat case

Hazel Hamrick-Gordon, 27, of Hesston, and Ernest Williams, 47, of Hesston, were each charged by Harvey County Deputy Attorney Jason Lane with two felony counts in connection with an alleged incident April 6 at the Walmart in Newton.

According to a county news release, the two are "accused of stating and portraying Williams was infected with novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, to customers and employees inside the Walmart business in an attempt to cause fear."

Hamrick-Gordon was charged with two felony counts of criminal threat. If convicted, she faces a prison term of five to 17 months and a fine of up to $100,000 on each count.

Williams is charged with felony counts of aiding and abetting criminal threat. Each count carries a prison term of five to 17 months and a $100,000 fine.

Both have been charged with one misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct, which carries a maximum penalty of one month in the county jail and a $500 fine.

Both of the accused are out on a bond of $5,000 each.

The first appearance for each defendant is set for 3 p.m. June 2.

City to hold

budget session

The Newton City Commission will hold a work session at 8 a.m. to noon Monday on the 2021 budget.

The meeting is open to the public, subject to social distancing guidelines. It will be livestreamed at

According to the city’s news release, "The agenda will focus on General Fund departments, including Police, Fire/EMS, Streets and Parks, as well as Sand Creek Station Golf Course and the Meridian Center. A second budget work session has tentatively been scheduled for 8 a.m. to noon May 19 to discuss utilities and the bond and interest fund."

Cruise set

for Saturday

The Newton Covid19 Cruising Facebook group will host a cruise from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday on Main Street in Newton.

The cruise is to congratulate pre-school and kindergarten graduates who were denied a ceremony because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

More information is available at the Newton Covid19 Cruising Facebook page.

New case


The Harvey County Health Department has identified a seventh positive case of COVID-19 in the county.

The patient is a women in her 20s. She is in home isolation.

The test was conducted by a private lab.

Of the seven confirmed cases, five have recovered.

The county has two other probable cases, including one death. Both were reported in past weeks.

According to the county’s news release, "The cases are probable because they met clinical criteria for symptoms with a presumptive-positive lab test for blood work, but were negative in testing for an active COVID-19 virus. The KDHE has not included probable cases in its confirmed statistics at this time."

Old Main

to close

Old Main Street, between S.E. Seventh and the Slate Creek bridge, will close next week for pavement repairs.

Traffic will be detoured from S.W. Seventh to Plum to Brookside.

Weather permitting, the street will open by 5 p.m. May 8.