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Evergy Not Increasing Rates, Extends Cut-off Moratorium

 

The winter storm last week caused those in Coffeyville and the surrounding to consume higher amounts of energy to keep their home warm. After customers saw a huge increase in rates in Texas, many were worried about the same thing happening in Kansas. Coffeyville Chamber of Commerce Director said that if you are an Evergy user, your rates are not going up but your bill still may be higher.

 

Evergy also announced that it will extend its moratorium on service disconnections through May 2nd. This temporary moratorium includes residential and small business customers who owe past-due balances. Evergy is waiving late fees and offering up to 12-month payment plans to help customers pay toward their electricity bills.

Pittsburg State Weekly COVID-19 Update

 

Pittsburg State University has released its weekly COVID-19 numbers for the week leading up to Feb. 24th.

 

Tests were administered to 13 symptomatic students, with two positives. Currently, eight students are in isolation and approximately 16 are in quarantine as close contacts to infected people.

 

One faculty member reported an infection and one new close contact was identified. One is currently in isolation and one remains in quarantine. Since the onset of the pandemic, 62 faculty and staff have reported infections and 103 have had to quarantine as close contacts to infected people.

 

Weekly routine testing of athletes mandated by the NCAA continues. In this reporting time period, 193 student-athletes were tested and zero were found to be positive.

Coronavirus Curve Flattening in Kansas

 

The state of Kansas reported fewer than 100 cases in one day for the first time since June 8th. According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, there were only 65 new cases reported on Monday.

 

The newest report by the KDHE from Monday shows that there have been 883 new cases, 29 new deaths and 32 new hospitalizations since last Friday.

 

As for Montgomery County, there were 0 cases reported on Monday and only 6 total new cases in the last four days. There have been 3,212 total cases.

Coffeyville Continues to Ask Residents to Conserve Water

 

The City of Coffeyville is asking its residents to continue conserving water.

 

City crews are still repairing water main leaks and the water plant has been running at full capacity through the frigid temperatures. The city is not under a boil water advisory and there is no contamination in the water supply.

 

This is just a request for water conservation to help replenish water storage levels due to losses from the recent main breaks.

Multiple Resolutions Approved at Coffeyville Commission Meeting

 

Multiple resolutions were approved at last night's Coffeyville Commission meeting.

 

The first resolution approved was the Neighborhood Revitalization Plan. The city had the resolution approved at the Montgomery County Commission meeting Monday morning and the city of Coffeyville is now on board. Coffeyville Community College will discuss the plan with the city on March 8th.

 

Also approved was a grant application for the Kansas State Historical Society for a 2021 Kansas Rural Preservation Grant and a resolution to establish a service contract for the Endeavor Hotel Group.

Duo Apprehended in Foiled Burglary

 

A Baxter Springs duo is in custody after their mid-afternoon burglary attempt was foiled.

 

Cherokee County Deputies were dispatched to suspicious activity at a vacant home north of Galena. Upon arrival, a deputy apprehended a suspect who was allegedly attempting to cut the catalytic converter from a vehicle.

 

The deputy then attempted to detain another suspect still inside their car, when a third suspect emerged from inside the home and fled into a wooded area. The third suspect's identity is known but he has not yet been located.

 

39-year-old Justin Merrill and 33-year-old Lacey Powell, both of Baxter Springs, were transported to the Cherokee County Jail on allegations of Burglary and Theft. In addition, Powell is also being held on outstanding warrants for her arrest from Baxter Springs Municipal Court.

IPD Addresses Animal Neglect Reports

 

The Independence Police Department has received multiple reports on concerns of animal abuse amid last week's winter storm.

 

One dog was reported dead outside of an Independence home that had multiple dogs within their property. The living dogs were reported to be healthy and active. The owners were allegedly away from the home and left someone in charge of their animals.

 

There has been an outcry of social media posts about the incident from residents and animal rights activists. Independence Police Chief Jerry Harrison asked that the public give the department time to get this case right so justice will prevail.

 

Harrison said they are working diligently and asks that you limit calls to the police department regarding this case. He also added that since this is an open investigation, there are details about the case that cannot be released.

Grass Fire Warning in Effect Today

 

Warmer temperatures and breezy winds out of the southwest are prime conditions for grass fires to spread quickly. There is also low humidity in the air which allows fires to stay alive for longer periods.

 

The National Weather Service in Wichita says to please be mindful of anything that can cause sparks, and be careful with any outdoor burning.

City of Independence to Consider Declaring Financial Emergency

 

The Independence City Commission will consider declaring a financial emergency in the wake of last week's severe weather.

 

Due to sub-zero temperatures and even lower wind chills, the possibility for higher-than-normal utility bills is anticipated. The passage of a resolution declaring an emergency becomes important if aid becomes available, as it would allow the city to go after that aid. Montgomery County as a whole has already passed a similar resolution, doing so at its meeting on Monday.

 

The commission will meet and discuss the matter at its regular scheduled time, this Thursday at 5:30 pm. You can view the full meeting agenda here.

UPDATE: Fire Extinguished Behind Casey's in Caney

 

A structure fire was reported at a home behind the Casey's General Store in Caney this morning.

 

The fire was at the garage of 104 N. Ridgeway and was reported at 5:19 a.m. and Caney PD said that the fire spread to the garage of 106 N. Ridgeway. Caney Fire and Rescue crews were on the scene and were able to get the flames extinguished. There were no injuries during the fire and the cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

 

Those who signed up for KGGF Text Alerts presented by Equity Bank got this news first.

Rural Opportunity Zones in Kansas

 

Depending on where you live in Kansas you could receive a 5-year tax waiver or a repayment on a student loan. Rural Opportunity Zones in Kansas are areas to entice people to move to Kansas from out of state. Trisha Purdon of the Montgomery County Action Council describes the ins and outs of the ROZ.

 

The program expires on July 1st of this year but Purdon said the program could get an extension and also have an added benefit.

 

The full interview with Purdon can be found under the “Community” tab in “KGGF Morning News Interviews.”

2021 K-State Cattlemen's Day

 

Kansas State University's 108th Cattlemen’s Day will be held virtually this year, on the morning of Friday, March 5th.  Beef Cattle Specialist Dale Blasi says the Keynote presentation will focus on the pandemic and how it has impacted the cattle industry.

 

Blasi says K-State meats specialist Liz Boyle will provide some information pertaining to small local meat processing plants.  Blasi says if you want to take part in the virtual 2021 K-State Cattlemen’s Day you need to register at ksubeef.org.

Montgomery County Signs Disaster Declaration

 

The Montgomery County Commission signed a disaster declaration regarding a potential spike in utility bills for its residents following the recent winter storm.

 

Director of Emergency Management Rick Whitson said that some people could have possibly seen their utilities increase 10-25x their normal amount.

 

Whitson added that prices would skyrocket not just for utilities.

 

The disaster declaration is an amalgamation of Governor Laura Kelly and Sedgwick county's declarations. The declaration would also allow Montgomery County and its businesses apply for FEMA assistance.

CCC Tech Campus

 

The Coffeyville Community College Technical Campus recently gave tours to local high school Sophomores to showcase Career and Technical Education opportunities offered to high school Juniors and Seniors.

 

Caney Valley High School visited multiple programs in Coffeyville including Automotive Service, Collision Repair, Construction, Allied Health for Certified Nurse Aide and Certified Medication Aide. CCC also offers a Welding program on-site at the CVHS campus.

 

CCC Technical campuses provide quality education and high-demand certifications for traditional and non-traditional students. You can find out more information about the CCC Tech Campus online at coffeyville.edu.

Caney Water Process Control Lines Fixed

 

An issue with Caney's water process control lines has been resolved. Yesterday the city announced that there were lines that were frozen and broke as a result. The tower and distribution system has been returned to full capacity.

 

However, the city is still asking citizens to restrict the amount of water they use until further notice. Warmer temperatures will heat up the ground and cause it to move and cause broken water lines as well.

 

Caney asks if you see a broken water line, please report it to the police department at 620-879-2141.

USD 503 Board Decides to Make Up One Day

 

The Parsons USD 503 Board of Education decided during their most recent meeting to only makeup one of three snow days that were used during the this past week's snowstorm.

 

The district was still on schedule to finish above the state-required number of hours even with the days missed. Three options were discussed which included students not having to make up snow days, students making up days at the end of the year, or adding 10 minutes to each school day for the rest of the school year.

 

After a discussion, the board decided to change the Good Friday holiday to a normal school day and not make up the other two snow days.

 

Chanute Man Arrested for Drug Possession

 

A Chanute man was arrested on a pair of drug possession charges.

 

Chanute officers responded to the lobby of the Police Department for an individual needing to speak with an officer. Upon arrival, officers started talking with the individual and he started acting very odd. The individual told officers that people in camouflage clothing were stalking him. Officers were granted permission to search his vehicle and his person. The individual had items associated with illegal drugs on him.

 

Officers arrested 57-year-old Billy Leon Key Jr. for possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was transported to the Neosho County Jail without incident.

4.2 Earthquake Shakes Northern OK and Southern KS

 

An earthquake with a magnitude of 4.2 was felt throughout parts of Northern Oklahoma and Southern Kansas.

 

According to the United States Geological Survey, the quake hit at 7:56 a.m. this morning, and the epicenter was six kilometers southwest of Manchester, OK in Grant County which is 74 miles southwest of Wichita.

 

According to the USGS, it could be felt as far east as Caney and was felt in Chautauqua and Elk Counties. The vibrations went as far north as Saline County and as far south as Norman, OK and as far west as portions of Texas near the panhandle.

Independence City Hall Closing Early Today

 

The City of Independence announced they will be closing their city hall at 11:30 a.m. today. The closure is for maintenance and repair of their emergency generator and switches.

 

City employees will continue to work during this time, but the phone lines will not be operational. 9-1-1 calls will temporarily roll to a back-up dispatch unit and immediately be relayed to the police department.

 

If you have an emergency, call 9-1-1 as usual. The city expects to have its local 9-1-1 system back in operation by 2 p.m. this afternoon.

Energy Emergency Alert Back to Level 1

 

After a brief return to Level 0, the Southwest Power Pool has returned the Energy Emergency Alert to Level 1. The SPP made the announcement Thursday evening, saying that all available resources had been committed to meet obligations, but they were at risk of not meeting required operating reserves.

 

All customers of Coffeyville Municipal Light & Power in the area are still encouraged to maintain conservation efforts through the length of this weather event. Updates will continue to come as they are announced.

New Record for Consecutive Hours Below Freezing in OK

 

Oklahoma records have been set for consecutive hours below freezing, according to Oklahoma Mesonet.

 

As of 8 a.m. this morning, Washington County has been below freezing for the past 303 hours dating back to Sunday, February 7th. Osage County has been below freezing for 305 hours and Nowata is at 302 hours. The longest streak in the state is 308 hours in the northern parts of Woods County.

 

The lowest temperature in the state during the storm is -22 in Cimarron County which the northwestern-most county in the state located on the panhandle.

 

Some counties in the southeastern portion of the state had their streak snapped yesterday. The majority of the state will be near or above freezing today with temperatures reaching the 40s tomorrow.

Another Water Main Break in Parsons

 

A water main break was detected in Parsons at the intersection of 14th and Chess.

 

Please try to avoid the area if possible for your safety and the safety of city crews. If you live in the area you may experience loss of water pressure at some time.

 

Parsons, like many cities in the area, has struggled with water main breaks due to the winter weather, but Parsons had a boil water advisory issued which has since been rescinded.

Location of Labette Proposed Wind Farm Hearing Changed

 

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the meeting location for the proposed wind farm hearing has been changed to the Edna School cafeteria. The address is 220 West Myrtle. The meeting is Monday from 7:00pm to 8:30pm.

 

The Labette County Commissioners are asking for input from Labette County residents concerning RWE’s proposal to construct a wind farm. The Board of County Commissioners will not be answering any questions or making comments. This hearing is only for input from Labette County residents.

 

Masks and social distancing will be required. If you cannot attend in person a zoom link is provided in the online version of this story at kggfradio.com. If you have any questions you can call Charlie Morse at 620-820-3267.

Person of Interest Arrested in Dollar General Store Robbery

 

A 37-year old man was arrested Wednesday in Erie by law enforcement after being identified as a person of interest in the Dollar General Robbery that occurred on Monday.

 

Parsons detectives and officers have been following up on various leads and information that they have received in response to the robbery. During the investigation, officers found a vehicle that was near the scene and identified it as a possible getaway vehicle leaving the Parsons City limits north on Highway 59.

 

Detectives notified Erie Police about the circumstances surrounding the vehicle and its direction of travel. The vehicle was located in Erie by police was pulled over. Parsons Detective Kyle Wiford was able to assist Erie Police with the stop.

 

Benjamin Leroy Queen of Oswego was identified and arrested during the stop on multiple warrants from other jurisdictions and driver's license violations in Erie. Parsons Police are not naming Queen as a suspect only a person of interest until more follow-up and investigation can occur.

 

Queen had previously been arrested and charged in Labette County Court for the Aggravated Robbery of Casey's General Store in Oswego in 2020.

Gas Prices Continue Ascent in Kansas and Oklahoma

 

Gas prices continue to shoot upward in the area causing motorists to dig deeper into their pockets.

 

Prices in Montgomery County have risen to $2.43 which is a 26 cent increase since last month while Labette County has seen an increase to $2.37 which is an 18 cent increase. In Chautauqua County, prices are up 30 cents to $2.33 a gallon.

 

The state average is up 18 cents at $2.17 a gallon. In Oklahoma, the state average jumped to $2.30 a gallon. Gas in Washington County is up 23 cents to $2.30 while Nowata County is up 16 cents to $2.21.

 

The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline is at $2.57, which is eight cents more than a week ago, 19 cents more than a month ago, and 13 cents more than a year ago. Gasoline prices are expected to rise 10 to 20 cents a gallon in the coming days after winter storms knocked out about a dozen refineries in Texas, higher crude oil prices, and gas demand.

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