A recent study shows that residents of Montgomery County are doing a good job of holding down their personal debt. A study just released by SmartAsset shows that Montgomery County ranks 7th in the state for having the lowest amount of debt compared to income. The study s that as of the 4th Quarter of 2018residents of Montgomery County residents had only 0.73% of their income in debts. Neosho County led the state with the lowest income to debt ratio with only 0.60% of their income as debt.
Independence Community College named a new head football coach on Monday. Coach Kiyoshi Harris says he's got over twenty years of coaching experience but it wasn't the first thing he wanted to do.
Harris says this will be his third season at ICC and his first as a head coach at the collegiate level.
A special event coming up April 9th at the Coffeyville Public Library. Assistant Director Rachel Rose says Phil Lancaster will be putting on a musical performance and storytelling about Riders on the Orphan Train.
Rose says this is the second time Lancaster has put on this performance in Coffeyville. She says it's been a few years but they had a great turnout the first time around. The event starts at 6:00pm.
The downtown clean-up scheduled for tomorrow in downtown Coffeyville has been postponed due to rain in the forecast for tomorrow morning. The clean-up has been rescheduled for next Saturday, March 30.
The Parsons Police Department and Labette County Sheriff's Office entered into an agreement earlier this week in hopes of bettering the entire county. Parsons City Commission voted unanimously to support a "mutual aid agreement". Parsons Police Chief Robert Spinks says there are four key points to the agreement that sets up how assistance is handled during a natural or man made disaster, and it codifies information sharing between the agencies, allowing cooperation for training. Now Parsons police are cross-deputized so they may work outside the city when needed. The mutual aid agreement is now in effect.
Jo Faulkner, the Coffeyville Coordinator for Gifts for the Nations, gives us an update on this week's load that went to Nebraska yesterday. Click here to listen to Jo on the KGGF airwaves.
They are still looking for coordinators for Independence and Cherryvale. Please continue to drop hygiene items, cleaning supplies, buckets, tarps, shovels and grab-and-go food. To help or get more info, call Jo at 620-251-2609.
Kansas lawmakers from both parties are coming together in Washington to push for a federal law they say would save lives. Republican congressman Ron Estes and democrat Sharice Davids re-introduced the Kelsey Smith Act Wednesday. It would allow law enforcement to get a person's cell phone location immediately if they think the person is in danger.
The Act is named after Kelsey Smith who was abducted and killed in Overland Park in 2007. Police found her body four days before they were legally able to ping her cell phone. U.S. Senator Pat Roberts introduced the bill to the Senate where it's been before but not passed. So far, 23 states have adopted the law, including Kansas and Missouri.
A judge denied a request to lower the bond for an Oklahoma woman accused of leaving her 17-yr-old autistic grandson, Guy, at a Kansas rest stop for 24 hours. Janie Gill appeared in court Thursday in Greenwood County, where she is charged with child endangerment and interference with law enforcement. In the weeks following, the boy received tremendous donations for Christmas.
Arrest documents recently revealed a neighbor told investigators she would lock her grandson inside a room overnight and during work hours. Deputies found a deadbolt locking device with a key on the outside of the door, restricting his movement to the bedroom and bathroom. In December, Janie said she's been raising Guy since his parents died from drug abuse, that he's severely disabled, and that since he's gotten bigger it has become a lot harder for her. She said she's asked for help but has not received any. The boy has the mental capacity of a 5-yr-old, according to investigators.
Janie had approximately 30 alias names she used in the past and has prior fraud convictions. Her bond remains at $40,000 with court appearance May 10th. According to Sgt Wes Jones from the Rogers Co Sheriff's Office in December, Guy lives in a loving home and appears very happy.
A nonprofit organization and the Tulsa County Public Defender’s Office have partnered together on an app designed to help reduce failure-to-appear charges. Family & Children’s Services and the defender’s office are using the Uptrust app which allows two-way communication between the attorneys and their clients. According to the company, they are achieving a 95% court attendance rate across the U.S., which decreases incarceration rates and increases costs for county and state governments.
Tulsa County is getting positive results from using the app. Before, they used a program created by Code for Tulsa but it does not have a two-way messaging feature, so could text clients reminders. With Uptrust, the client can respond to the attorney about why he or she might not be able to make it to court. The nonprofit can also help the client with other issues, such as needing addiction recovery help. Check them out at www.uptrust.co.
It’s time to burn! At this point in the year K-State extension agent Wendy Powell says its a common practice to burn your pastures to control weeds and other variables. She says there are a couple of factors you need to remember before burning. Powell suggests you review the weather and winds speeds on the days your burning, create durable fire stops and make sure you have enough people in board to contain your burn. Powell also suggests if you have neighbors to coordinate a day where you can do one large burn instead of several, provide enough water, and use the correct equipment. Powell says burning your pasture is one of the easiest and economical ways to control weeds and other variables throughout your pastures and hopes you'll be burning responsibly throughout the spring.
The Coffeyville Community College Red Ravens have advanced to the semifinals of the NJCAA Tournament. If you would like to attend the game tomorrow their will be a bus that will leave from the Nellis Hall parking lot and will load at 12:45 and leave at 1:00pm. It is $25 per person for the bus plus each fan is responsible for their own ticket and food. There are 27 spots available. Reservations need to be made and you can do so by contacting Jana Kastler at (620)252-7360. If the Ravens advance to the Championship game a bus will leave on Saturday at 9:00am.
If you can't make it to the game you can always listen on 98.1 KUSN.
A con artist takes aim at registered offenders in Montgomery County. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office says someone has been calling the offenders and telling they are not in compliance with the terms of their registration. The scammer, claiming to be a deputy, goes on to claim that the mark must send money immediately to cover fines and bond. The sheriff’s office says deputies would never make contact by phone and they do not take money. Residents are reminded not to respond to such requests and to hang up without providing any personal information.
Investigators are working to identify the imposter. If you’ve fallen victim to the scam, you are urged to file a report with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.
Making it easier to help. To expedite emergency relief and restoration efforts associated with recent flooding in Kansas and neighboring states, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly issues an executive order temporarily exempting commercial motor carriers and operators from parts of the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Regulations while traveling in Kansas and participating in disaster operations. The regulation exemptions include licensing, certification and permitting; fuel tax permits, and other rules that will allow motor carriers to more quickly bring in necessary supplies and equipment to aid in relief efforts. Heavy rains and spring snow melts are causing moderate flood conditions along the Missouri River in several states, including Kansas, and is expected to increase to major flooding in the next few days. Doniphan, Marshall and Jefferson Counties have issued local disaster declarations.
In other news from under the dome, Mrs. Kelly applauds the passage of Medicaid Expasion by the Kansas House. The plan will allow up to 150,000 more Kansans access to affordable healthcare, and support local hospitals and clinics. The Kansas Senate is the next stop for the bill.
Theatre fans get ready. Independence Community College’s next theater production will be the musical [Title of Show], scheduled Friday and Saturday, March 29 and 30, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, March 31, at 2 p.m. in the William Inge Theater. Directed by Dr. Page Petrucka, the unusually titled production is based on the book by Hunter Bell. A production hit Broadway at the Lyceum Theatre in 2008. ICC’s production is the “clean version” of the more edgy original. The show stars Austin Hancock in the role of Hunter. Katelynn “Rosie” Rosenberg stars as Susan; Tyler Ridgeway, ICC plays the part of Jeff; and McKenzie Clay portraysHeidi. Karen Knox serves as music director for the show and also plays the role of Mary.
General admission tickets for the performance are $7. Admission for students, seniors and military personnel are $5.
May the 4th be with you as you place your bids at Coffeyville Community College's Scholarship Auction. Organizer Sally Presson says there are some new additions this year.
Presson says they try to limit the live auction to 50 items, so the gold table will be silent auction items that are a little more special and can be bid on throughout the night.
Coffeyville is Reawakening indeed with a new discount grocery store, right in the heart of Downtown. John and Sherrie Nichols, who own the Nichols Trading Post in Parsons, are opening up the Nichols Hitching Post in Coffeyville. Owner John Nichols says it will be very similar to the store in Parsons. He and have purchased the old Columbia Building and hope to have the store opened by April 1st but it might be closer to middle of the month.
All produce is locally grown, specifically from Amish farmers, and nothing shipped in from other sources. It's all washed, cleaned, sorted and graded daily for quality and freshness, and they actually guarantee it. People are buzzing about it on their Facebook page, Nichol's Trading Post, which will be the same page for Nichol's Hitching Post to keep things simple for everyone.
John is the leader of the Southeast Kansas Produce Auction in Dennis, Kansas which is twice a week - every Monday and Friday at 1:00pm - starting April 5 thru end of October with locally grown Amish produce, flowers, garden plants, and bushes. At the Parsons store, they have a monthly "clean up" auction on the last Saturday, starts at 4:00pm. John said they are looking for a location in Coffeyville to hold auctions as well. It needs to be a space with an open floor plan, and ideally a space for a warehouse and big garage doors for deliveries. If you have any ideas or questions, contact John at 620-429-0331.
The Nowata County Commissioners accepted the resignation of former Sheriff Terry Sue Barnett at an emergency meeting yesterday morning. Mirta "Mickey" Hallett was appointed as interim Sheriff. Hallat says she already has plans in place for new officers.
Hallett says her plan is to update the jail but there is no timetable for the return of inmates. Hallett has nearly 30 years’ experience in law enforcement including several years as the Nowata County jail administrator. She is married to former Nowata County sheriff James Hallett as well.
National Service Recognition Day fastly approaches! Independence Chamber of Commerce Director Lisa Wilson says till April 1st you can give back to Veterans as Four County is doing something very special in honor of the ones who served. As National Service Recognition Day approaches, RSVP Four County will be collecting items that will directly benefit the Kansas VA Hospital. Such as soaps and shampoos, T-shirts, caps and other easy items that you could pick up at the store while you shop for yourself. Wilson explains that this day is a day to recognize everyone who has served. By recognizing and donating back to those who have created such a difference and impact. You can donate up until the 1st of April and don’t forget National Service Recognition Day on April 2nd. Wilson says there are drop boxes throughout Independence including the Main Street Office at 109 east Main, the Chamber Building on North Penn. or at Four County 3751 West Main.
The free community garden plots with 9th Street Fresh are ready for planting, even earlier than expected, but right on time for the first day of Spring! Ron Olson, the owner, tells us about what Jeff Graham Construction did to help make it happen and more.
Ron said a teacher from the Early Learning Center has at least one plot for students. Teachers and principles are encouraged to reserve theirs, too, for student service learning projects. With only three spaces left, you better hurry. Call “Captain Asparagus” at 918-330-0413.
March 21 will include another free event at Coffeyville's Reawakening headquarters. This one is for budding entrepreneurs and small business owners. MCAC's Trisha Purdon gives us details, including how the seminar will benefit them. And something unique about this one - a “building tours” follows where everyone gets the opportunity to see all the available spaces in Downtown Coffeyville. Click here to hear about it on the airwaves.
It's free from 9 to 11 at 115 W. 9th in Downtown – that's the new office for Coffeyville's Rewawakening, and a light breakfast will be provided by Sunflower Soda Fountain. Sponsors are Coffeyville's Reawakening, Montgomery County Action Council, and Coffeyville Area Chamber of Commerce. Be sure to like Coffeyville's Reawakening Facebook page to keep on top of all the buzz.
Senator Goddard mentioned last week during our interview Senate Bill 142 getting through the Senate aimed to supplement the states education funding under Governor Kelly's plan. Representative Jim Kelly says the house will review this bill this week and explains the process. Kelly says the house may come up with their own plan to either add, or compromise the one Senate approved. Kelly says sometime this week the house should review this bill, though mentions he doesn't see a resolution anytime soon within the next couple weeks. It may be reviewed and changed by the House, it may be denied by governor Kelly, and ultimately even if both those steps go smoothly, it could be denied by that supreme court thus restarting the process. Representative Jim Kelly mentioned Governor Kelly has a strong game plan for education and this should meet her expectations though this will be an interesting bill to follow.
Birdie Jo and Becky Hoaks have a long history of crime across the U.S. The latest sentencing comes in southeast Kansas. On Tuesday, a Neosho County judge ordered Birdie Jo Hoaks to eight months in prison for conspiracy to commit theft. Birdie Jo was convicted of forgery, theft and interference with a law enforcement officer in The sisters were arrested in 2016 for using bad checks to buy hundreds of dollars worth of stamps from post offices in Chanute, Cherryvale, Coffeyville, Neodesha, and Thayer. Similar charges against Becky Hoaks were dismissed. She is serving a sentence for similar crimes in the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.
The long list of schemes, ran by the Hoaks sisters, span back to the 1980s.
At this morning's court hearing about the closing of Nowata County Jail and the resignation of Sheriff Barnett, a debate ensued between Judge Gibson and Barnett's attorney Paul Demuro of Tulsa who told him, “This is an old-fashioned ambush and we got no notice that you were going to call and cross examine to your agenda your personal grievances with Ms. Barnett to put these witnesses on the stand. Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton shares his impression. Attorney DeMuro initially declined comment but returned to speak with the press.
Before convening, Judge Gibson said, “The only reason I am here today is because I have lost my ability to supervise...and ensure the safety of this community.” “Supervise what?” asked DeMuro. Gibson urged him to read the exhibit handed to DeMuro just before the hearing started, and after a quick look responded, “I am not arguing with the court's concern of a particular defendant not needing to be 'OR-ed' but that needs to take place in the criminal proceeding, not whatever this proceeding is.”
DeMuro referred to the judge's introduction which led people to believe the hearing was about the budget and returning the inmates. Shortly after the judge convened. One anonymous county resident shared with KGGF that "many people" have talked about the "misuse of funds" and encourages the media to look into the financials. An emergency meeting of the Nowata County Commissioners is expected by Wednesday where Barnett's resignation will be officially accepted.
(Photo Courtesy of Max Gross of Bartlesville Radio)
Coffeyville Friends of Animals is throwing a Karaoke night here in Coffeyville! An event steered to benefit the Shelter as Becky Barnhart with C.F.A says you won't want to miss it. Karaoke with Pat Robinson, drinks and great food as she says it will be coming up on April 5th. It will go from 7 to 9 PM and will take place at the Yoke Bar and grill in Downtown Coffeyville. There is a 5 dollar cover charge that will directly benefit the shelter as Becky Barnhart with Coffeyville Friends of Animals wanted to thank everyone who has donated to the shelter in the past. When we spoke with her last week she mentioned that they have an abundance of cats in the shelter, and could use a little help. Dog food and toys, as well as cat food and litter. She also wanted to make a note if you are donating for the cats to not forget about Kitty Chow! As the kitties need different food than adult cats and sometimes get forgotten about. Don’t miss out on Karaoke Night coming on Friday April 5th, and even if Karaoke isn't your speed come out and support the shelter, Barnhart says they do plan on bringing some cats along for guaranteed entertainment.
Nowata County Sheriff Terry Sue Barnett announced her resignation, along with all Nowata County law enforcement officers effective as of 11 a.m. on Monday. Judge Carl Gibson allegedly ordered Barnett to return prisoners to the jail by 9 a.m. Friday morning or be held in contempt of court. Barnett says the current conditions of the jail are uninhabitable. She had been vocal about concerns with the jail in previous weeks even prior to the carbon monoxide leak that forced the evacuation of the jail on Feb. 28.
Barnett was informed that Judge Gibson won’t accept her resignation. Barnett says she doesn’t answer to the judge.
Barnett says that she had a conversation with Gibson last week to discuss options with the jail. Barnett recounted that conversation during a press conference Monday afternoon.
Barnett says it was clear that Gibson attempted to bribe her. She stated that Gibson would not stop her from doing the right thing.
Barnett says she was blindsided by the move. Gibson stated at last week’s county commissioners meeting that the jail needs to be held to a higher standard and he supports Barnett’s efforts.
While most members of the sheriff’s staff have or will attempt to resign a dispatcher does remain on staff. Barnett says when Nowata County residents are in need of law enforcement they can rely on other entities for help.
Rogers County sheriff Scott Walton stated that he would not be responding to any calls in Nowata County. A hearing will be conducted at 9 a.m. at the Nowata County Courthouse on Tuesday involving all parties.
A request for comment was denied by Judge Gibson.