Local News

Large Amount of Marijuana and Cocaine Seized in Pittsburg

 

Over 10 pounds of marijuana and over 150 grams of cocaine is seized in Pittsburg.

 

Yesterday afternoon, a Pittsburg Police officer saw a white 2008 Dodge Ram pickup fail to stop for a red traffic light. The officer pulled the vehicle over and upon approaching the truck noticed the smell of marijuana coming from inside. The driver, 25-year-old Quionte M. Tidwell, and passenger, 52-year-old Jose Flores-Velez, were detained while the officer searched the pickup. During the search, the officer located a loaded 9mm handgun, 13 two-ounce containers of THC, 4,777 grams of marijuana, and 162 grams of cocaine.

 

Tidwell was arrested for felon in possession of a firearm, felony possession of narcotics and marijuana with intent to distribute, felony possession of narcotics and paraphernalia and misdemeanor possession of marijuana. This continues to be an ongoing investigation.

 

Washington County Teen Back In Court

 

 A Bartlesville teen accused of killing her grandparents was back in court today.

 17-year-old Heidi Dutton is being charged with first degree murder of her grandparents Larry and Deborah Dutton. The murders took place just before Christmas in rural northern Washington County.

 Dutton's next court appearance is set for March 22nd on the first floor of the Washington County Courthouse.

Bartlesville Man Dies In Two Vehicle Collision

 

 A Bartlesville man has died after a fatality accident Thursday afternoon.

 The OHP says the collision took place around 2:30 pm on State Highway 123 at County Road 2712, just over a mile southwest of Bartlesville.

 A 2022 Kenworth driven by 41-year-old Brent Gregory, of Olathe, was traveling south on Highway 123, slowing to turn right onto County Road 2712. A 2016 Ford F250 driven by 60-year-old Joseph Harris, of Bartlesville was also traveling south on Highway 123. When the semi slowed substantially to turn right, the Harris truck struck the rear of the trailer. The semi then drug Harris's vehicle as it pulled off the highway.

 Harris was transported to Jane Phillips Hospital in Bartlesville, where he was pronounced dead. The driver of the semi was not injured.

Manhunt Ends In Two Arrests In Seneca

 

 A felony car stop in Seneca leads to the capture of two people after a short manhunt.

 Seneca police attempted to stop a vehicle late Thursday afternoon for a felony car stop, after receiving information from Joplin police concerning the vehicle. The occupants of the vehicle had warrants for drug and firearm violations. When they attempted to get away, officers deployed tire deflation devices near the Seneca Sports Complex north of Bethel Road. After the devices stopped the car, both occupants attempted to get away into a wooded area. Seneca Police, along with Newton County sheriff's deputies and the Missouri State Highway Patrol captured both shortly after 5:00 P.M. No names have been released as of yet, and there were no injuries.

Officer Involved Shooting In Wyandotte

 

 The FBI and Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation are investigating an officer-involved shooting at River Bend Casino in Wyandotte.

 The incident took place Thursday morning when a person pulled a weapon on a Wyandotte Nation police officer. The officer then shot the person. The person's condition has not been revealed. The FBI is involved because the incident took place on Indian Trust Land.

 According to KOAM-TV, the investigation is being handled by the FBI's Oklahoma City bureau.

Oklahoma Attorney General Apologizes

 

 Oklahoma’s new attorney general apologizes to a former cabinet secretary of Governor Kevin Stitt, saying his criminal indictment in 2020 was wrong.

 

 Attorney General Gentner Drummond sent the letter Wednesday to David Ostrowe, Stitt's former secretary of digital transformation and technology. Drummond writes that former Attorney General Mike Hunter failed to avoid the appearance of impropriety and should have removed himself from involvement in the investigation. Drummond is dismissing the case with prejudice, which means a permanent dismissal of a case that will not be refiled.

 

 Ostrowe was indicted in late 2020, accused of threatening to withhold state appropriations to the Oklahoma Tax Commission if they did not waive interest and tax penalties levied against a company owned by a former state senator. Ostrowe denied any wrongdoing, calling the charge by Hunter a way to settle a political score. Hunter dropped the charge against Ostrowe when he resigned in 2021.

 

 Ostrowe is currently suing Hunter and the Oklahoma Tax Commission in district court, alleging he was maliciously indicted. That case is pending.

Considerations for Raising Chickens Amid High Egg Prices

 

As egg prices continue to remain high, some people may be considering buying chickens for egg production.

 

While raising chickens can be very rewarding, K-State Extension Diversified Agriculture Agent Adaven Scronce says you probably won't end up saving money on eggs by raising chickens.

 

Scronce says a sturdy chicken coop is another important consideration since chickens are often the targets of coyotes and dogs. As far as egg production goes, Scronce says you might not get an egg per chicken every single day.

 

During the winter, Scronce says artificial light can be used to keep chickens laying. If you have any questions on raising chickens this spring or maintaining your current flock, you can always contact your local extension office.

 

State Plans to Give $304M to Wichita Company for Chips

 

Kansas leaders in Topeka plan to give $304 million in taxpayer-funded incentives to a semiconductor company in Wichita to build a large new factory.

 

Gov. Laura Kelly announced the state has an agreement with Integra Technologies for a 10-year package of tax breaks and reimbursement of expenses. State officials say the new plant would cover 1 million square feet and have 2,000 employees. State and Integra officials said yesterday, however, that the $1.8 billion project won’t go forward without funds the U.S. government has promised for rebuilding the nation’s chip-making capacity. The law also requires Kansas to drop its corporate income tax rates by half a percentage point for each mega-deal. If the Integra project goes forward, the top rate would decline to 6% from 7%, saving all corporations roughly $100 million a year. While the project has bipartisan support, some lawmakers are critical of promising such big taxpayer-funded incentives to a single firm. The U.S. is trying to reverse a loss of capacity for making semiconductors and Congress last year approved $52 billion in grants and incentives.

Cherryvale Students Make Donation to Food Bank

 

Cherryvale High School students make a donation to the Cherryvale Food Bank.

 

Student Council President Alaina Plumley and Vice President Tiffany Moore presented Food Bank Representative Mark Dreisbach with 303 food items and $50. The donations were collected during the grocery cart decoration contest, which was a part of last week's Homecoming activities. 

A Neodesha Man Is Arrested On Multiple Charges

 

 A Neodesha man is arrested on multiple charges after he leads law enforcement on a short foot chase.

 Wednesday morning, Montgomery County detectives and deputies were following up on a burglary that took place at Red Bud Oil Services near Sycamore. The suspect stole a 2012 Chevy Equinox along with multiple tools and other items.

 While on the scene, detectives and deputies were notified of the possible location of the stolen Equinox north of Independence. They responded to 5225 County Road 3950 in Independence; they found the stolen Equinox, and they found Matthew Cook in the driver's seat.

 Cook tried to escape on foot but was apprehended a short time later. A search warrant led authorities to multiple items taken from Red Bud. Detectives also located methamphetamine, fentanyl residue, and drug paraphernalia.

 Cook has been charged with Felony burglary and theft, felony interference with law enforcement, possession of methamphetamine & opiate, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Suspected DUI Driver Damages Building

 

 A man is arrested for suspicion of DUI after he allegedly drives a truck into a Bartlesville building.

 Sergeant Chris Neal of the Bartlesville Police Department's Criminal Investigations Division says a single vehicle appeared to have left the roadway at Nowata Road and Oakdale Drive. The driver either was not injured or refused EMS. The man, however, was taken into custody for suspicion of DUI.

 

 The arrested individual was the only occupant in the vehicle. The building suffered minimal damage. The investigation is ongoing.

 

Annual Weather Talks Coming to SEK

 

Severe weather season will be here before we know it, and the National Weather Service is holding classes to help you prepare.

 

Each year the weather service embarks on a SKYWARN weather training journey to help train citizens across the state how to identify, interpret and remain safe during hazardous weather situations. Wichita NWS Office Forecaster Vanessa Pearce says the class covers a variety of topics.

 

Pearce says the information is valuable to anyone living in the area as severe weather season approaches.

 

Most counties will have their own presentation. In Montgomery county, the spotter talk will be Thursday, February 16th at 6:30 p.m. in Memorial Hall in Independence. Chautauqua county will be Tuesday, February 21st at 6:30 p.m. in the Sedan Senior Citizens Center, and Labette County will be Thursday, February 23rd at 6:30 p.m. in the Altamont High School Theater. A full list of presentations by county is available here.

Johnson Reminds Kansans To Check For Unclaimed Property

 National Unclaimed Property Day was Wednesday, and Kansas State Treasurer Steven Johnson marked the day by reminding Kansans to claim their unclaimed funds.

 

 An estimated one in ten people nationwide have unclaimed property, with more than $500 million in unclaimed property in Kansas alone. Johnson says it's worth checking on a regular basis to see if you, your family, or your friends have funds available to claim.

 

 The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators estimates that nearly 33 million people in the United States have unclaimed property, financial accounts, or items of value in which the owner has not initiated any activity for a number of years. When that happens, and the company cannot locate the owner, the money or properties are submitted to the state. Common examples include unpaid life insurance benefits, forgotten bank accounts, safe deposit boxes, and unused rebate cards.

 

 Johnson reminds Kansans that it is always free to search and file claims through the State Treasurer’s website. That link is available here.

Rep Estes Announces Assignments for 118th Congress

 

U.S. Representative Ron Estes announces his committee and subcommittee assignments for the 118th Congress.

 

Rep Estes will continue serving on the House Committee on Ways and Means, the oldest standing committee of the House. He will continue his tenure on the Trade and Tax Subcommittees, as well as return to the Social Security Subcommittee. Also this Congress, Rep. Estes will begin serving on the Budget Committee, and he is returning to the Education and the Workforce Committee, a committee on which he served in the 115th Congress.

 

Typically members serving on the House Committee on Ways and Means only receive one committee assignment. However, Rep. Estes’ background and experience have resulted in more committee assignments from GOP leadership.

Sen Marshall Announces Subcommittee Assignments

 

U.S. Senator Roger Marshall announces his new subcommittee assignments for the 118th Congress.

 

Senator Marshall will return to and rise in seniority on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions, both of which he was a member of during the 117th Congress. By retaining his position on the Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee, Senator Marshall will play a role in writing the 2023 Farm Bill.

 

Additionally, Senator Marshall will join the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs and the Senate Committee on the Budget for the 118th Congress.

New Scholarship at Parsons High to Honor Alumnus

 

A new scholarship has been established at Parsons High School in honor of 1969 graduate Gilbert Baker. 

 

Baker was an artist, designer and activist who designed and created the rainbow Pride flag.  He passed away in 2017 but his flag has become recognized and adopted around the globe.  Retired teacher and former Board member of the Parsons Education Foundation Sherri Spare says classmates were looking for ways to honor the Parsons native.
 

Spare says that while any Parsons High School student can apply for the scholarship it will be geared toward students who are members of the Open, Ally, Questioning Club or similar organizations at Parsons High. Anyone who’s interested .in donating to the scholarship fund can do so online at the Parsons Area Community Foundation website or by mailing a check to the Foundation at P.O. Box 994 in Parsons, zip code 67357.

 

The first scholarship is expected to be awarded this May.

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9-8-8 Helping Kansas Crisis Rates

 

 More Kansans are reaching out for mental help since the inception of the 9-8-8 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

 Governor Laura Kelly says 9-8-8 has handled a nearly 27% increase in call volume compared to the six months before its launch. Based on national projections, 9-8-8 is estimated to reach 120,000 Kansans in the hotline’s first full year of operation.

 Governor Kelly signed Senate Bill 19 in June 2022, creating the state’s three-digit dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

 Calls, texts, or chats to 9-8-8 involving thoughts of suicide, mental health or substance use crises, or other kinds of emotional distress are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Callers can also receive the immediate support of mobile crisis teams in cases of extreme risk, referral to local mental health services, and resources for follow-up care.

 Kelly encourages Kansans to tell family members, friends, and neighbors that this resource is here for them whenever they need it.

New Senior Center at Independence Public Library

 

The Independence Public Library now has a brand new Senior and Community Center for the community.

 

The Center is located on the second floor of the library, and has plenty of space that is both comfortable and accessible.

 

Independence Chamber of Commerce President Lisa Wilson says that the space was designed with the intention to coordinate senior activities in one location.

 

The Senior and Community Center features free wifi, a meeting room and kitchen that can be reserved for free, as well as access to free library resources such as Ancestry.com and genealogy help. There is also computer access and a coffee bar with snacks.

 

The space is available to the public on the second floor of the Independence Public Library at 220 East Maple. For more information, contact the library at 620-331-3030.

Comet Appears Tonight (If Clouds Cooperate)

 

 A comet with a greenish glow will make its closest approach to Earth in 50,000 years overnight tonight.

 

 The comet, known as C/2022 E3, will come within 26.4 million miles of Earth. EarthSky says the comet will pass between Mars and Earth, traveling at around 128,500 mph.

 

 Viewers in the Northern Hemisphere who have a clear view of the night sky will be able to spot the comet without a telescope. If you're unable to get to a place with clear skies, however, you can still catch the action by tuning into the Virtual Telescope Project's live stream of the event, which will start at 10:00 p.m. CST.

Parsons Man Killed in Wilson County Crash

 

 A Parsons man was killed in a crash on Highway 400 in Wilson County last night.  54-year-old James R. White Jr. of Parsons died in the head-on collision that occurred on Hwy 400, less than a half-mile east of the K39 junction shortly after 6:00 last night.

 

 The Highway Patrol says that White’s vehicle was eastbound on 400 when it crossed the center line.  A vehicle that was driving westbound crossed over into the eastbound lane trying to avoid a collision but then White’s vehicle crossed back into the eastbound lane striking the second vehicle head-on.

 

 The driver of the second vehicle, Korey Ladenburger of Larned was transported to Wesley Medical Center in Wichita with suspected serious injuries.

Multi Vehicle Crash In Bartlesville Kills One

 

 The Broken Arrow Police Department is investigating a deadly multi-vehicle crash.

 

 Police records show the crash took place around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday evening when a pickup truck crashed into an SUV at the intersection of Lynn Lane and  Albany. Police say the truck pushed the SUV about 100 yards down the street, then slid into a minivan.

 No information has been released as of yet about the person who died in the accident. The crash remains under investigation.

Riverton Narrows Superintendent Search

 

 The Riverton School District has narrowed the field to three candidates for their next superintendent.

 

 Public sessions for each of the three candidates will be held, then the candidates will meet with the board of education. The candidates are Dr. Mark Stanton, current superintendent of the McDonald County School District, current Riverton High School principal Chad Harper, and former Webb City Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kevin Cooper.


 

 The public session will take place beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium. More information can be found on their website, usd404.org.

Kansas Attorney General Sues Biden Administration

 

 Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach is suing the Biden administration over the lesser prairie chicken being categorized as a threatened species.

 Kobach says the listing of the species as threatened will devastate Kansas ranchers, Kansas oil producers, and Kansas wind farms.

 The rule change would require Kansas ranchers to seek the federal government’s permission to shift a cattle herd to a new field. Kobach says there would also be tougher restrictions for energy pipelines, roads, and other development, including oil drilling. Kobach says the Biden administration has not considered Kansas’ pre-existing and ongoing conservation and mitigation measures.

 Kansas is part of the “Northern Distinct Population Segment” where the lesser prairie chicken is to be designated a threatened species, while birds in the “Southern Distinct Population Segment” will be designated an endangered species. The Final Rule is to take effect on March 27. If the rule is not withdrawn, Kobach said he will file litigation.

New KC Airport to Open This Month

 

The new $1.5 billion Kansas City International Airport will open on February 28.

 

City officials said Monday the opening of the single-terminal airport will be on time and on budget. The city broke ground on the airport four years ago, after a sometimes contentious fight to replace a three-terminal airport that opened in 1972 at a cost of $250 million. The terminal is largest single infrastructure project in the city’s history. It has 40 gates, with room to expand to 50 gates. The terminal is being built on the site of the original Terminal A. Terminals B and C will close for good on February 28th. The new terminal will provide up to 50 places to eat and shop. Concessions companies are hoping to fill at least 800 jobs before the airport opens.

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