U.S. Senator Jerry Moran joined KGGF on Wednesday morning to address Covid-19 and the toll its taking on our community and state as a whole.
Moran has been conducting recent business in Kansas as he continues to follow the stay at home order and he says its a challenge throughout the Senate.
Small Business Administration Loan Programs are being put together to help local small businesses during this time of financial crisis and potentially soon there could be more money put into this in order to help out smaller businesses.
Not only in southeast Kansas but all across the nation, small businesses out there have struggled even before Covid-19 hit the U.S. The number one priority is getting the nation healthy and past the Coronavirus and the economy won't get back on track until that happens.
Moran joined his colleagues in sending a letter to President Trump urging a strong, coordinated federal effort to support our front-line workers by addressing the national shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). A shortage of this equipment leads to the everyone working the front-lines potentially exposed to the virus and that's not only a problem in Kansas but it's a problem across the nation.
Healthcare facilities particularly in southeast Kansas have been hit hard even before the Coronavirus with financial burdens and now with Covid-19 it makes it that much more challenging to keep our facilities up and operational during these times.
The agricultural industry has taken a hit with Covid-19 affecting farmers and ranchers across Kansas and the country. Moran joined 41 of his Senate colleagues to urge U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, to ensure the continuity of our country's food supply during this pandemic by providing relief to farmers. The letter calls on the Administration to make temporary flexibility's on farm service agency loans permanent for the duration of this crisis and to ensure adequate credit throughout.
Moran says that citizens need to understand how important rural America is especially during this pandemic.
Moran acknowledged the state of Kansas in responding in a proper way during these hard times but citizens need to stay vigilant and aware to get back to more normal times.
To hear the full interview with U.S. Senator Jerry Moran, click here.
Despite the stay-at-home order in place for Kansans, the Kansas Highway Patrol is continuing to remind travelers that the state's borders and highways are still open to the public. Those needing to travel are welcome to do so on any highway throughout the state without the need for papers stating whether or not you are an essential worker.
Issues have arisen in other states, including Colorado, where reports of police impersonators have come to light. For the most up to date information on stay-at-home orders, visit the governor's website here.
A fugitive from Cherryvale was taken into custody after eluding police and camping in a tree for nearly four hours on Tuesday afternoon.
Jeremiah McKenzie was wanted on a failure to appear for possession of a weapon charge out of Montgomery County. He led police on a short chase to Johnstone Park where he left his vehicle and entered the Caney River.
The vehicle McKenzie was in was reported stolen out of Dodge City. A K9 officer chased McKenzie into the Caney River, where he than floated down stream to a tree.
With a waterfall and faster currents awaiting McKenzie under the bridge, he held onto the tree tight.
The Bartlesville Fire Department threw McKenzie a life jacket when they met him on the north side of the bank. They then set up their rescue boat to get McKenzie out of the water. However, McKenzie was not ready to be taken into custody, so he climbed up the tree.
From there it was a waiting game for everyone involved. McKenzie was in the tree for approximately four hours before coming down peacefully.
Bartlesville Police Captain Jay Hasting told KWON that there was a female passenger in the vehicle McKenzie fled on foot from.
There are a couple of misdemeanor and felony charges that McKenzie will face now that he is in custody. Those charges will be dealt with in Washington County. When McKenzie is done with the court process then the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office will place a hold on McKenzie, and he will have to deal with the legal issues he is faced with in Kansas.
McKenzie could be charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, and eluding police on top of other charges.
McKenzie climbed up the tree around 1:20 PM on Tuesday afternoon. He came down around 5:28 PM that same afternoon.
Bartlesville Police Chief
Final Video - End is the individual coming down out of the tree
Governor Laura Kelly has announced the enactment of Executive Order No. 20-18, intended to bring religious institutions and funerals in line with a previous order limiting gatherings to 10 or fewer people.
Originally, religious insitutions and funerals were exempt under the previous order. However, with Holy Week here and Easter approaching, Gov. Kelly announced the limitations during her daily press briefing on Tuesday. Kelly said in a Facebook post that the decision was not an easy one, and one that she did not have to make. But with the COVID-19 crisis still ongoing and the number of cases in Kansas now above 900, Kelly said the entire state will need to continue adjusting to circumstances to protect Kansans.
The new order supersedes all less restrictive orders given by local health departments. Aside from religious gatherings, all previous exemptions are still included under the new order.
Grocery store employees are front and center when it comes to this pandemic. Not only are they concerned about their own health but they have to make sure their stores are sanitized and safe for customers. Grocery shopping is a necessity and as we've seen during the Coronavirus it can get a little hectic when it comes to panic buying. Romans Chevrolet Buick and KGGF want to recognize the Nowata Homeland Dairy Manager, Austin Samson as a Hometown Hero. Samson not only has to make sure that they stay stocked on milk, eggs and other dairy items but that the dairy section stays sanitized as it can be one of the higher trafficked areas of the store. Romans Chevy Buick want to thank Austin Samson for continuing to put the needs of the customer first.
If you would like to nominate someone as a hometown hero, head to kggfradio.com and click the link.
The U.S. Department of Education (USDE) has granted preliminary approval of Oklahoma waivers allowing public school districts greater flexibility in the spending of existing federal funds. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister made the request and received notification within 24 hours that it had been approved.
The waivers allow schools to repurpose existing K-12 education funds for a number of COVID-19-related matters, including technology infrastructure and teacher training on distance learning. Additional flexibilities would allow schools to redirect resources to areas of highest need. Oklahoma districts may immediately begin implementing matters authorized under the waiver.
The latest Covid-19 numbers for the state of Kansas are up to 900 positive cases with 27 reported deaths and just over 8,600 negative results. The numbers are the most recent reported by the Kansas Department of Health.
Montgomery County stays at 9 positive cases with a total of 99 people tested. Labette County saw the largest jump in positive cases up to 8 confirmed. Cherokee, Crawford and Chautauqua Counties counties stay at five, four and three positive cases respectively. Neosho has one, while Elk and Wilson counties have yet to report a positive case.
The Kansas Department of Transportation is starting a concrete pavement rehabilitation project at the intersection of U.S. 69 and 20th Street in Pittsburg this week, weather permitting.
U.S. 69 traffic will be maintained through the work zone while 20th Street will be closed to traffic at the intersection, with a posted detour on local streets.
The cost of the construction is $1.3 million dollars and the project is scheduled to be completed by late summer, weather permitting.
The Independence City Commission will once again meet this Thursday for its regularly scheuled meeting. On this week's agenda, the commission will consider a resolution setting a date for the condemnation of a fire damaged structure located on East Birch Street. The commission will also receive reports from a recent Recreation Commission meeting, a 2020 census update, and an update on emergency preparedness proceedings to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak.
The meeting will start at 5:30 p.m, but due to Governor Laura Kelly's order limiting the number of participants, the commission is requesting those interested in attending the meeting do so through watching through Facebook Live. Alternatively, you can call +1 785-289-4727 and enter conference ID 413 617 028#.
A Pittsburg man has been jailed after he allegedly called police to say he had fatally shot his father.
Crawford County Sheriff Danny Smith said 29-year-old Michael Woodson called the department Sunday night to say he had just shot his father at their home. Deputies found 53-year-old David Buckley dead inside the home and arrested Woodson without incident. Smith would not say how many times the father was shot and investigators are still trying to determine a motive.
The two men were the only ones home at the time.
Topeka victims’ advocate Michelle McCormick has been named the new director of the victims’ services division in the attorney general’s office, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced today. McCormick joins the attorney general’s office today as director and also will serve as the state victim rights coordinator, a statutory position housed with the attorney general’s office.
McCormick succeeds Dorthy Stucky Halley, who will retire from state service later this year. McCormick lives in Topeka and has been involved in victims’ advocacy since 2003. She returns to the attorney general’s office having previously served as the Batterer Intervention Program Coordinator from 2009 to 2016.
The victims’ services division of the attorney general’s office is charged with coordinating statewide victim rights efforts and administering grants and educational programs. The division also provides a Kansas crime victims’ hotline at (800) 828-9745.
The Coffeyville Chamber of Commerce wants to remind the community about Virtual CNN which will take place on Wednesday.
Even though the stay at home order is in place and they aren't allowed to hold a public gathering, they still want to share the latest announcements.
You can send your news, updates or announcements by 5:00 PM on Tuesday and they will share them on Wednesday during Virtual CNN through Facebook, E-blast, the radio and newspaper.
Email them to Kasey at email@example.com.
The latest Covid-19 numbers for the state of Kansas are up to 845 positive cases with 25 reported deaths and nearly 8,300 negative results. The numbers are the most recent reported by the Kansas Department of Health.
Montgomery County now has 9 positive cases with the first reported case over a week ago. Crawford and Cherokee counties have four and five positive results respectively. Chautauqua now has three reported positive results while Labette has five and Neosho has one. Elk and Wilson counties have yet to report a positive case.
Romans Chevrolet Buick and KGGF want to recognize Windsor Place Infection Control Specialist Melanie Savage as a Hometown Hero. Savage has been described as someone who is working to make sure not only she understands the latest changes but that staff and residents understand them as well. She continues to respond quickly as information changes and she is open minded to listen for input from others. Her dedication and passion brings calmness to the residents and staff during these uncertain times. Savage has been described as someone with a passion to help and protect others, this is one of the many reasons she is being honored as the Romans Chevrolet Buick and KGGF Hometown Hero.
To nominate someone for Hometown Hero just click the link.
The U.S. Supreme Court today held that a Kansas officer acted reasonably in making a Douglas County traffic stop, reversing the Kansas Supreme Court.
The high court ruled 8-1 that a sheriff’s deputy making an investigative traffic stop after running a vehicle’s license plate and learning that the registered owner’s driver’s license had been revoked was reasonable under the Fourth Amendment. The Kansas Supreme Court had unanimously held the stop violated the Fourth Amendment.
Attorney General Derek Schmidt said Monday’s decision further clarifies the scope of the Fourth Amendment for law enforcement officers in Kansas and around the country.
While on routine patrol, the deputy involved in this case ran a registration check on a pickup truck with a Kansas license plate. The Kansas Department of Revenue’s electronic database indicated the truck was registered to an individual whose driver’s license had been revoked. Without observing any other traffic infractions or identifying the driver, the deputy pulled over the vehicle, discovered the owner was in fact the driver, and cited the defendant as a habitual violator for driving while his license was revoked.
The U.S. Supreme Court noted that today’s ruling is narrow and that any traffic stop in this situation must quickly end if the officer’s reasonable suspicion about who is driving the vehicle is not confirmed. The case now returns to the Kansas Supreme Court, which will determine whether additional proceedings are necessary.
Labette Health sent out a news release on Monday as they continue taking actions to further protect the safety, health and well-being of their patients, staff, visitors and communities. In preparation for any potential surge that may happen, they wanted to alert the public of some activity this week at both of their campuses in Parsons and Independence.
In Independence, they have ordered three modular buildings as well as constructing a temporary RV park for healthcare workers to stay at the facility. These additional modular units combined with existing rooms will allow Labette Health to care for up to 30 hospital patients at Independence Healthcare Center.
In Parsons, they have temporarily converted an unoccupied floor in the hospital, conference rooms, and The CORE to accommodate hospital beds. Some of this preparation is complete and some is ongoing. Late Friday evening, Labette Health applied to Kansas Department of Health and Environment for an expansion of the hospital license from 99 beds to 160 beds, and are in the process of attaining any necessary CMS waivers.
The Montgomery County Commissioners held their weekly meeting on Monday morning in Independence with multiple items discussed on the agenda.
The meeting opened up with the approval of the agenda and minutes while there were no invoices to approve of this week.
Environmental Health/Zoning Administrator Director, Matt Debo was short with his item as he was there to amend RV Zoning Regulations and to get certain approval by the Commissioners. (AUDIO)
Public Works Coordinator, Jim Wright along with Jeff Phelps with Maintenance updated the Commissioners on what they had going on in their respective departments. Wright started off by getting approval regarding the funding of letters to the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. He provided an update on equipment as they are still looking to lock down a bid for a new pick up truck for the department to replace one that was wrecked within the last few months.
Phelps provided the Commissioners an update regarding the purchase of a washing machine that would be used at the Department of Corrections. The main issues with that was getting it to the county from Kansas City to make sure it was here in case something happened to current one that is being used. After discussion with the Commissioners that was approved and he is now allowed to move forward with getting that delivered to the county. (AUDIO w Wright/Phelps)
Computer Department Director Jason Clubine met with the Commissioners to talk about ways to get the public involved with meetings during these times with Covid-19 and how people are not allowed inside most buildings. Clubine discussed Zoom which is a video chat service similar to Skype that the county would set up and use during Commission meetings so that the public could still be involved without actually being in attendance. (AUDIO)
Trisha Purdon with the Montgomery County Action Council provided an update to the Commissioners on applications that have been put in by certain businesses to provide short term loans during these tough times with Covid-19 and the details surrounding that moving forward. (AUDIO)
As always the agenda is subject to change and meetings take place on Monday morning beginning at 9:00 AM in the lower level of the Judicial Center in Independence.
The Parsons Police Department have announced they have had a member of the department test positive for COVID-19. The information was given to the Department over the weekend by the Labette County Health Department.
Upon noticing symptoms early last week, the officer self-quarantined and went to the Fever Clinic at Labette Health for testing. The involved officer is a detective who was not on a patrol assignment and had been in the Police Annex which is separated from the main police facility. Two additional officers have been placed in self-quarantine as a precaution due to this situation. These officers also are part of the investigation’s unit and have not exhibited any of the symptoms, which means they cannot be tested at this time.
The department has said that backup plans have been put into place to maintain staffing and the highest level of safety at the Police Department.
Labette County officials have confirmed the 2nd and 3rd confirmed positive cases of the Coronavirus in Labette County as of Saturday.
The patients are a 67 year old female and a 49 year old male who are currently both recovering at home.
The Labette County Health Department is currently working to contact other individuals who may have had close contact recently with the two patients.
They continue to urge good hygiene and to practice social distancing and stay at home as much as you can.
For general info, contact 1-866-534-3463 for the KDHE phone bank or email COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org. The Labette County Health Department can be reached at 620-421-4350.
Two more positive tests for the Coronavirus were reported in Montgomery County Sunday afternoon by Emergency Management Director, Rick Whitson. That the brings the total number of positive cases reported in the county to eight.
According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, the total number of cases statewide now stands at 747 with 22 deaths, including two in Montgomery County. The KDHE reports that Labette County has four cases, Chautauqua County three and Neosho County with one.
Although Montgomery County has the highest number of positive Covid cases in the immediate area the county has the lowest rate of people actually being tested for the virus. According to figures from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Montgomery County has had 77 people tested for Coronavirus or 2.24 people per 1,000.
By contrast, Labette County with 4 positive cases has had 76 people tested, 0r 3.87 per 1,000. Chautauaqua County with 3 positive cases has had 8 people tested for a rate of 2.46 per thousand, Neosho County with 1 case has had 64 people tested for a rate of 4 people per 1,000 and Wilson County, which has yet to have reported a positive test result for the virus has had 28 people tested for a rate of 3.28 people per 1,000.
To assist in easing the economic strain in the surrounding community, Labette Health will be forgiving April patient payments in all of its clinics and hospital. All patients will see their April payment written-off, meaning it will not be required to be paid. Labette Health asks that all patients do return to their regularly scheduled payment plan in May. Accounts on auto-draft will not have the payment come out of their account this month.
Businesses that went to their local bank to begin applying for the SBA loan which is part of the SBA's stimulus package have found the process in a state of disarray. Mike Ewy, President of Community State Bank in Coffeyville and Vice-Chair of the Kansas Bankers Association says there are technical glitches with the system.
Ewy said many banks had problems accessing the system.
According to the Kansas Bankers Association banks did not receive guidelines until late Thursday and many of the banks are unable to access the system. Ewy says the people he’s talked to believe the system should be functional early this coming week. According to the KBA there are nearly 40,000 loan applications in the system’s que.
The Montgomery County Health Department is reporting two deaths of county residents from COVID-19. The individuals had underlying health conditions and were hospitalized in a hospital out-of-state at their times of passing. Montgomery County Health Department Administrator our condolence goes out to family and friends.
The Health Department strongly urges the public to continue to take appropriate precautions. Everyone needs to practice good hygiene, stay informed, practice social distancing and limit in-person interactions. If you are experiencing symptoms such as cough, fever or other respiratory problems, call your healthcare provider or an urgent care clinic first to determine if testing is needed. If symptoms are mild, do not go to the emergency room.
One of the many issues that has arisen during the changes that have been brought on by the Coronavirus is the need for meals for students who are now out of school. Roman's Chevrolet Buick and KGGF want to recognize two of the many people who have stepped up to deliver and make sure these kids have lunches and breakfast. Our next Romans Chevy Buick and KGGF Hometown Heroes are Donna Gee and Ann Bryan, who have devoted their time to deliver food and insure that kids from the Caney Valley School District have lunches and breakfast. Thank you Donna and Ann for assisting in this time of need.
If you have someone you'd like to nominate for hometown hero just click the link.