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Local News

U.S. 75 / U.S. 166 Ramp Closure


The Kansas Department of Transportation plans to close the ramp from southbound U.S. 75 to westbound U.S. 166 on today, weather permitting.


The ramp will be resurfaced as part of the project to replace the South Kansas & Oklahoma overpass west of the U.S. 166/U.S. 75 junction. KDOT expects the ramp closure to continue until early April. The ramp from northbound U.S. 75 to westbound U.S. 166 will remain open to traffic.


Ron Wade Announced As New Montgomery County Sheriff


Ron Wade was announced on Thursday night that he will be the new Sheriff in Montgomery County as he replaces Bobby Dierks.


The Republican Precinct Committee men and women of Montgomery County were the one's, by statute, responsible to select the new Sheriff.


Virgil Peck mentioned that he was surprised once the process began by how long it took for candidates to reach out about the position.


“I was surprised actually, it took about a week and a half before I started hearing from candidates, those who wanted to be Sheriff, but finally when I did then the floodgates opened and I heard from several individuals asking about the process because they were interested.”


The convention was held on Thursday night at Four County Mental Health in Independence and Peck mentioned there was a great turnout.


"There were 50 eligible delegates involving Republican Precinct Committee men and women. Of those 50, 39 were in attendance and six sent in proxies so 45 votes were handed in to select the new Sheriff."


According to Peck, there were a few that reached out to him who showed interest in the position.


“There were five that I visited with and four then decided to show up last night to seek that position.”


To be a candidate you actually had to have one of the delegates nominate you and three of them received a nomination. One of the candidates would have to receive 23 votes to receive a majority and there were 25 ballots with Ron Wade written down on them.


Wade brings in a rich background in Law Enforcement which started back in 1989 at the Caney Police Department.


“I started my law enforcement career out in 1989, I started out at Caney Police Department where I was a patrolman and EMT.”


Wade is very familiar with the Montgomery County Sheriff's office.


“Then I was hired on at the Montgomery County Sheriff's office in 1995 where I served 14 years there as part of the Sheriff's department.”


He spent some time afterwards going back to Caney to follow in his grandpa's footsteps as Chief of Police and he was promoted into that position.


Wade mentioned that his time with the Montgomery County Sheriff's office was one of the main reasons why he reached out for the position when it became available.


“I respected all of the Sheriff's I worked under,” said Wade. “I just figured I would like to be a Sheriff at one time and this opportunity just came about and then I just figured this was probably a good time to at least try and see if I could fulfill my dream.”


From when Wade showed interest in the position he mentioned that at times it was stressful and exciting getting through the process before being announced as the new Montgomery County Sheriff.


Richard George was the acting Sheriff before the announcement and Wade credits him for being a mentor.


“He was a good mentor to me,” said Wade. “I do respect him very much and I hope that he continues to be willing to work at the Sheriff's office.”


The process will become official in about a week once the proper paper work is sent and signed by the Governor.


To listen to the full interview with Virgil Peck and Ron Wade from KGGF's Morning News – click here




Two Arrested On Multiple Drug Charges


A man and woman were arrested early Thursday morning in Chanute on multiple drug charges.


Officers with the Chanute Police Department conducted a traffic stop at approximately 1:40 in the area of 1500 West Cherry. During the traffic stop, Chanute K9 was deployed. Subsequently, the two passengers inside the vehicle, 23-year old Ashten Wilson of Iola and 33-year old Brandon Bennet of Altoona were arrested. Both Wilson and Bennet were arrested for an possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Wilson also had arrest warrant and Bennet was also arrested for driving while suspended. A 2004 Oldsmobile was seized pending forfeiture action.


Both were transported to the Neosho County Jail without incident.


Potential for HGTV Hometown Makeover in Coffeyville


On Sunday from Noon to 1:00, the Coffeyville Awakenings group is having a video shoot and taking pictures of people downtown on the plaza and would like to have some groups in other areas of Coffeyville in the very near future, like Sunday and Monday.

Whether its your family, civic group, church group, kids' groups, class of groups, etc. show up on Sunday to be in the video and pictures.


They are looking for help in producing a video for a chance that HGTV's Home Town Series will select Coffeyville for the televised makeover. They want to line the streets of downtown with the people who love Coffeyville and call this town their home.


They will be taking drone and regular video of the crowd so bring as many as you can to line the streets and show support.


Other video shoots will be announced on the Coffeyville's Reawakening facebook page.


Indy Commission Approves Recommendation for Firing Range


The Independence City Council unanimously approved the recommendation of the Planning Commission to grant a conditional use permit for an indoor firing range to be built downtown at 212 N. Penn Avenue.


Independence Gun Club member Mark Leaman spoke with the commission about the Gun Club's history, which has existed within the Independence area since the 1950s. The city has previously had a firing range, open near the airport, but Leaman said that range had closed.


Approved as part of the recommendations are 15 conditions that the indoor firing range must fulfill, including the assurance that the range will follow all local, state, and federal laws. Also included was a condition that there will be no increase in the number of decibals in the area when compared to a reading prior to the opening of the range.


Indy Police Chief Jerry Harrison was also in attendance at the meeting, and stated that he could not draw a conclusion on whether to recommend the range to be lead-free or not. You can view his memo, along with other documents relevant to the decision, by following this link.


Chamber Announces Youth Leadership Camp


The Coffeyville Area Chamber of Commerce is seeking high school or college age students for a unique five day experience where they will gain competitive insights and access to the tools needed to get a seven year head start on their future career.


Students will learn the formula for studying less and getting better grades, the secret to beating out the competition, the three biggest career decisions and much more. The opportunity will take place at KU in Lawrence July 13th – July 17th.


Student Tuition for the Coffeyville Area Chamber of Commerce members is just $300/student while the normal tuition for non chamber members is $1,497/student.


There are great leadership opportunities for high school and college students as the Chamber has two scholarships available. Contact the Chamber for more information at 620-251-2550 or go online to


Derek Schmidt Issues Statement on Dismissal of Court Funding Lawsuit


Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has issued a statement on the Kansas Supreme Court's decision dismissing Frederick, et al. v. The Kansas Legislature which is a lawsuit asking the court to order increased funding for the judicial branch of the Kansas state government. 


"Today's dismissal of this lawsuit is in the best interests of the citizens of Kansas, who expect the different branches of their state government to work cooperatively, exercise restraint and respect the proper role of the other branches. The court should no more decide the size of its own budget than the Legislature should decide the constitutionality of the law it enacts. I commend both the court and the Legislature for their respectful and restrained handling of this matter."


For more information, visit the Attorney General's website. 


Neodesha Students to Participate in Community Clean Up


The student body of Neodesha High School will conduct a general clean up of the community on April 8th for any interested individual or business.


There is no cost to the individual or business as this is a free service provided by the student body. Projects the student can do include raking leaves, picking up limbs planting flowers, washing windows and more. Due to liability issues, no project can include the use of ladders or power tools.


Any individual or business interested in participating in this project are asked to contact Principal Nathan West at 620-205-8303. The deadline to sign up is April 1st.


Non-Profit Applications Due January 31st


The Parsons Area Community Foundation have announced that applications for projects serving communities within a 25-mile radius of Parsons can be submitted online through January 31st.


Organizations that are allowed to apply are schools, government entities, and 501(C)(3) nonprofits. The PACF Board considers all applications for full or partial funding, makes final decisions and formally announces grantee winners each April. Total granting dollars include endowed unrestricted or field of interest funds administered by the PACF board, as well as funds designated by donors to benefit a specific charity.


Last year, the PACF was proud to award just over$230,000 to 34 projects across the Parsons area.


Chautauqua County Meeting for 1-21


The Chautauqua County Commission met once again on Tuesday for its regularly scheduled meeting. On this week's agenda, Mark McCall updated the board on the roads and bridges throughout the county. Commissioner Rodney Shaw asked McCall to look into Road 22, referring to it as one of the "worst roads he's ever seen."


Crystal Wade from the HR also spoke with the commission, detailing the latest KWORC inspection and also passing along a couple of travel requests for upcoming trips. The board also tabled a motion to delay a 3 percent raise for elected officials, with Commissioner Parker Massey wanting to ensure that all departments across the county had budgeted to account for the raise.


Also attending the meeting was Steve Wilkenson of the South Central Kansas Economic Development District. He spoke to the board about several programs his organization offers for low-income residents, including weatherization and housing rehabilitation. Wilkenson also spoke about the possibilities regarding renovations for businesses and getting buildings set up to code. 


The board will meet once again on the last working day of the month, set for next Friday, January 31. Meetings are always open to the public and are held on the second floor of the Chautauqua County Courthouse.


Pair Wanted On Several Counts


The Pittsburg Police Department is searching for two people wanted on several counts and one of them is considered to be armed and dangerous.


28-year old William T. Patton threatened to harm a woman with a gun and held her against her will on December 31st. A week later on January 8th, Patton was located in Woodson County driving a stolen vehicle from Pittsburg. It’s believed he also stole several handguns along with 21-year-old Kaitlyn McMurry. This past Sunday, Patton and McMurry were again spotted at 8th and Locust Streets in Pittsburg, but Patton again was able to escape before he could be apprehended by the police.


If you believe you may have seen either William Patton or Kaitlyn McMurry you can call the Pittsburg Police Department at 620-231-1700.


Wintry Weather Approaches


The National Weather in Wichita is advising residents of central and eastern Kansas of potential wintry weather overnight into Wednesday morning.


This system doesn't look like it will produce a significant amount of snowfall, but could it still have some minor impacts on roads. The NWS is expecting 1”-2” of slushy, wet snow but if temperatures end up colder than expected, the area could receive up to 4” of snow. The NWS suggests to allow extra time for travel on Wednesday morning.


Alert: Red Cross Urgently Needs Donors


The American Red Cross is in urgent need of donors, especially Type-O. The Red Cross has less than a three-day supply of Type-O blood available for patient emergencies and medical treatments.


Just 7% of the U.S. Population has Type-O negative blood, however it can be transfused to patients with any blood type and its what hospital staff will reach for during emergencies when their isn't time to determine a patient's blood type.


Donors of all blood types, especially O-positive and O-negative, are urged to make an appointment by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or by calling 1-800-Red-Cross.


Notable Donation Opportunities:


Allen County

Iola: Feb. 3rd (10:00 AM – 4:00 PM) at Allen County Community College, 1801 N. Cottonwood


Cherokee County

Weir: Jan. 28th (12:30 PM – 6:30 PM) at Senior Citizens Building, Lincoln and Forest


Cowley County

Arkansas City: Jan. 30th (10:00 AM – 4:00 PM) at Cowley County Community College, 225 S. 2nd / Feb. 12th (8:30 AM – 2:00 PM) at Arkansas City High School, 1200 W. Radio Lane


Crawford County

Girard: Feb. 11th (11:30 AM – 5:30 PM) at St. Michael's Catholic Church, 106 S. Western


Montgomery County

Coffeyville: Feb. 12th (10:00 AM – 2:00 PM) at Coffeyville Community College, 11th and Willow

Independence: Feb. 13th (11:00 AM – 5:15 PM) at Independence Civic Center, Penn and Locust


Neosho County

Chanute: Jan. 22nd (12:30 PM – 6:30 PM) at First Baptist Church, 118 N. Forest / Jan. 23rd (8:00 AM – 1:00 PM) at First Baptist Church, 118 N. Forest

Erie: Feb. 12th (2:00 PM – 7:00 PM) at American Legion, 321 S. Main St.


Wilson County

Neodesha: Feb. 10th (12:45 PM – 6:45 PM) at Church of the Nazarene, 812 N. 7th




Ribbon Cutting Set for Moo Do Martial Arts Academy


The Coffeyville Chamber of Commerce wants to invite the public to join them for the Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Moo Do Martial Arts Academy.


The event will take place at their location at 118 W. 8th Street on Monday, Feb. 3rd and the festivities will begin at 10:00 AM. Contact the Coffeyville Chamber of Commerce for more information at 620-251-2550 or go online to


Tips for Super Bowl Travel


With the Kansas City Chiefs, for the first time in 50 years, clinching their spot to compete for the NFL championship on February 2nd in Miami, there’s a lot of demand across Chiefs Kingdom for fans wanting to be there in person. Flexibility will be key for those booking travel at the last minute. Triple A Kansas has some tips to help you as you prepare to make that trip.


Making your travel plans with a travel agent is a good idea, especially to try and avoid any potential scams. Use your credit card when purchasing to give yourself a good way to have money returned if you need to cancel or dispute a charge. Read hotel and airline policies carefully so you understand what cancellation policies entail. Call the air, train or bus company you will use to get there personally. Leaving your reservations and hard earned dollars up to an emailed confirmation number can be risky. Do the same with hotel reservations. Try to talk to a live person who can confirm what you’ve just paid for.


Students Plan Formal Event For Black History Month and MLK Jr.


In conjunction with Pittsburg State University’s Office of Student Diversity, the Black Student Association will once again host a formal event to celebrate civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in recognition of Black History Month in Feburary.


The MLK Jr. Ball will be held from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1, in the Overman Student Center Crimson and Gold Ballroom. Dress will be formal. The event will include refreshments, a DJ and dance, a photo booth, speeches, and performances.


Admission is free.


Library Revamping Book Club


The Coffeyville Public Library will be revamping their monthly book discussion club into a relaxed weekly program called the “Bring Your Own Book Book Club”.


Starting on February 13th and every Thursday after that at 4pm, teens and adults are encouraged to come to the library's Genealogy Room, enjoy some coffee or tea, and share what they are currently reading, something they've read recently or something they have read in the past.


For more information on this event, contact the library at (620) 251-1370 or visit their Facebook page at Coffeyville Public Library.


City of Iola Hiring


The City of Iola is accepting applications for a full time Assistant Code Officer.


The position performs a variety of routine clerical, administrative and technical work, and is responsible for routine city wide inspections. Wages starts at $14.15 per hour, plus benefits. Applications are available online at or at the City Clerk’s Office in City Hall.


Please submit applications to HR in the City Clerk’s Office or via email to by January 28 at noon.


Sen. Moran Applauds Senate Passage of USMCA


U.S. Senator Jerry Moran has applauded the Senate's passage of the United States, Mexico, Canada Agreement.


Earlier this month, Moran urged Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer to bring the USMCA to the Senate floor for a vote as soon as it passed out of the appropriate Senate Committees. Moran voted both the Senate Appropriations and Commerce Committees to pass the USMCA, moving it to the full Senate for a vote.


The House of Representatives passed the USMCA in December and the trade agreement will now go the President's desk for signing. Mexico has ratified the agreement and Canada is expected to consider the USMCA in the near future.


LCC Cardinal Citation Nominations Sought


Labette Community College Foundation is seeking nominations for the Cardinal Citation Award recipient for 2020.


This prestigious annual award is presented to an individual jointly by the college and the LCC Alumni Association at Commencement in May. Nomination forms may be picked up in the Alumni office, the Parsons campus or can be found online at Nominees must have an association with the college but do not have to be a graduate nor have attended the college. The nominee must be living and have made outstanding contributions to their profession, community, state, or country during a lifetime of service.


Nomination forms must be turned in by February 10th.


Six Names Announced for CCC Hall of Fame


The Coffeyville Community College Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be February 22nd. This year those inductees include Steve Gomez for golf, former CCC Basketball Coach Jack Hartman, Michelle Heimerman for track, Current CCC Basketball Coach, Jay Herkelman, Jeremy Hull for track and Angela Lackey for women's basketball.


Basketball games for that evening are CCC vs. Butler with the women playing at 5:00 and the men to follow. Introductions of the 2020 Hall of Fame inductees will be at halftime of the men's game. Congratulations to the 2020 inductees.


First Stage of Road Work Nears Completion in Parsons


The City of Parsons is nearing completion of the first stage of a 3-part project to reconstruct Morgan Avenue between 13th and 16th Street.


Work started with the area between 15th and 16th Streets, and will be moving on to the next block within the next month. New water lines are also being placed throughout the 3 blocks, as well as new sewer lines between 14th and 15th Streets. The city said that this project has been

broken up in to 3 stages of construction to minimize the inconvenience of residents in the area.


Late Summer of 2020 is the target for completion.


Winter Weather Possible For Region


The National Weather Service in Wichita is warning the public about the possibility of wintry weather that will impact the region this evening through tomorrow morning.


A mixed bag of light snow, sleet, and ice accumulations are likely especially in areas just north and west of Coffeyville. Hazardous travel is likely. The timeline for this particular winter event begin late Thursday night into Friday morning.


Art Exploration Workshop Starting in Pittsburg


ArtForms Gallery in Pittsburg will be hosting a series of free art workshops called Art Exploration.


Beginning on January 21st, Gallery artist Pat Glick will explore different types of art techniques from 1pm – 3pm every Tuesday afternoon. Different types of creative arts will be shown and discussed for each workshop. You also can bring along a piece of art you are working on. There will also be opportunities to participate in community activities and charities.


Art Exploration is free and you can call ArtForms Gallery for more information at 620-240-0165.


Clean Indoor Air Act Proposed


Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has recommended that state law regulates smoking tobacco in public places should also cover indoor vaping.


Schmidt will request introduction of legislation to add use of e-cigarettes to the definition of smoking that is regulated by the Clean Indoor Air Act.


Schmidt notes that medical professionals suggest secondhand vape particles are harmful to people who inhale them.


As of October, at least 19 states and two territories prohibit use of e-cigarettes in places that are designated 100% smoke free. But in Kansas, the Clean Indoor Air Act as currently written only applies to combustible tobacco, not to e-cigarettes.


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