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Local News

Railroad Crossing Repair Cancelled

 

The railroad crossing repair that was scheduled in Coffeyville has been cancelled.

 

Kansas Department of transportation says this week's planned repair of the South Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad crossing on Highway 169 south of Highway 166 in Coffeyville has been canceled. HWY 169 remains open to traffic. 

The AGs Letter on Energy

 

Eighteen attorneys general are urging leaders of the United States Senate to oppose the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2022, saying the act would be a reissue of the Clean Power Act, which was struck down by the U-S Supreme Court earlier this year. The coalition of attorney generals believes the power for their state's energy policy decisions would be transferred from the states to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

 

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says the issues the A-G's have with the act, is the ability for private companies to use eminent domain against state land, it would allow the F-E-R-C to construct wherever deemed necessary, and it would allow companies to spread the cost of constructing those facilities to citizens of other states. The act is expected to be taken up without committee hearings and public input. The letter from the attorneys general was sent to both Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

City Commission Expected to Declare Water Watch for Coffeyville

 

The Coffeyville City Commission is expected to approve a resolution to declare a water watch within the city of Coffeyville at their meeting tonight.

 

City Manager Mark Hall says this first stage is only voluntary.

 

The other steps after a water watch include a water warning and finally, a water emergency. Hall says there is still plenty of water available as reservoirs upstream are not yet depleted.

 

The commission will discuss this issue further tonight during their meeting in the Municipal Building at 6:30 p.m. As always, the meeting is open to the public.

Montgomery County Prosecutor Resigns

 

The Montgomery County Prosecutor announces her resignation. Prosecutor Lisa Montgomery says she can no longer serve the citizens of Montgomery County in an adequate way based on recent events. Montgomery's resignation comes after complaints she made during a commission meeting about the mandates handed down by Chief Judge Jeffrey Gettler. Judge Gettler mandated that reports generated by Montgomery’s office be done in a more timely manner in an effort to improve the speed of court traffic in the 14th Judicial District.

 

Montgomery at the June 27th commission meeting asked the commission to approve overtime hours for her and her staff due to the mandates issued by Judge Gettler. She told the commission that the orders created very low morale and in fact, the staff had walked out in protest of the mandates. She also mentioned in the June 27th meeting that members of her staff believed the mandates were issued because at the time she was running against Dan Reynolds for the Republican nomination for 14th District Judge. Gettler was a fellow partner with Reynolds in an Independence law firm. After the June meeting, Montgomery was investigated by the Office of Disciplinary Administrator for attorney misconduct. Judicial ethics forbid public criticism of judges by other members of the legal or judicial system. It is not known who sought the complaint or why specifically she is being investigated.

 

Montgomery’s resignation will take effect on October 7th. Montgomery is a Republican, so her position will be filled by the Montgomery County Republican Central Committee.

Caney Asks County For Help With Their Water Emergency

 

The City Administrator of Caney, Kelley Zellner met with the Montgomery County Commission asking the county for help in removing a log jam on the Caney river that is a half mile north of the City’s water intake pipe. The logjam is holding back water that could be used by the city.

Chair Robert Bever said that they could remove the jam, but the county needed a projected cost before the board would move further. Bever asked City Administrator Kelly Zellner to confer with Jim Wright about the removal. Wright would then report back to the commission next Monday, October 3rd with the projected costs. If Wright was able to come up with the cost prior to the October 3rd meeting then a special session could be convened to give the go-ahead for the logjam removal.

Zellner told the commission the removal was critical for Caney to receive all the water released from Timber Hill Lake which flows into the Little Caney River.

Woman Threatened By Man With A Gun At Riverside Park

 

On Saturday, Officers with the Independence police department were dispatched to Riverside Park to investigate a report of an individual pointing a gun at a female in her car, and then they fled the scene. A search was coordinated with other agencies and Montgomery County deputies outside of the city limits arrested 32-year-old Zack Barton who matched the description of the suspect. Barton is being held at Montgomery County Department of Corrections on the charge of Aggravated Assault with a deadly weapon.

Pancake Feed to Benefit Midland Theater

 

This Saturday before you head out to the Dalton Defender Day, join the Daylight Defenders Pancake Feed. The 1st Baptist Church at 9th and Elm will start serving pancakes at 7 and they will stop at 10:30. For only $5 you get pancakes, sausage, coffee, juice, or milk. All the proceeds will go to the Midland Theater Restoration.

The City Of Caney Is Still Under Mandatory Water Rationing

 

While water is actually seeping over the dam in the Caney River thanks to more water being drawn from Timber Hill Lake and the excellent response of the residents, Caney is still under mandatory water restrictions.

The official water emergency was declared on September the 14th during the special council meeting and the residents of Caney were notified by social media, door hangers distributed by the local Caney Boy Scouts, and KGGF news, as well as other news agencies.

The declaration specified that no water may be used for outdoor watering, either public or private gardens, lawns, trees, shrubs, plants, parks, golf courses, playing fields, swimming pools or other recreational areas, or the washing of motor vehicles, boats, trailers or the exterior of any buildings.

The School, which is the largest user of water in the city, is taking meaningful steps to curb its use as well. They have shut down all water fountains, large quantities of bottled water have been purchased, menus from the food service leaders are being adjusted to cut water use, portable toilets will be placed at the football stadium, and large quantities of hand sanitizer have been placed in the restrooms to use rather than running water for hand washing.

The city officials have another issue. The water is restricted by a logjam upstream that officials are working on to see how it can be removed.

Rain is not in the immediate forecast, so Caney will have to live with these changes until significant rainfall makes its way to SE Kansas.

Montgomery County Receives Grant For Temporary Position

 

Lee Miller with the Emergency Management Department asked the Montgomery Board of Commissioners in their regular session yesterday for their approval and signatures on a purchase order that would allow them to hire a temporary position that is funded by a grant of $4562.50 from the Department of Justice.

The Victim Services Position would look at all the available services for victims of crimes and also victims of natural disasters.

Chair Robert Bever asked that the commissioners receive a follow-up on what was accomplished.

The motion was passed by the board and now applications will be taken by Emergency Management for the position.

Coffeyville City Commissioners Approve House Grant Application

 

Coffeyville City Commissioners have unanimously approved an application for a housing grant.  Commissioners met in a special session and approved a resolution to apply for the state Moderate Income Housing Grant.

 

City Housing Director Charla Brown spoke to commissioners about some of the application specifics while Community State Bank CEO Mike Ewy addressed commissioners about how funds would be used.  The funds for the grants were recently announced by the state and include $5 million dollars annually that applicants can apply for.

ICC Expands Student Success with $2 Million Grant

 

Independence Community College has been awarded a grant to help aid in student success across campus.

 

The over $2 million dollar grant was awarded through the U.S. Department of Education. The Title III Strengthening Institutions program is designed to support colleges and universities seeking to become more self-sufficient and expand their capacity to serve low-income students. ICC will receive the funds over the next five years.

 

Vice President for Academic Affairs Taylor Crawshaw says this money will allow ICC to expand and enhance the services they can provide to students, creating additional access to success in the classroom and workforce.

Labette Commissioners will no Longer use Phones and Laptops During Meetings

 

The Labette County Commission votes to prohibit the use of cell phones and laptops by commissioners during meetings.

 

The motion was made by Commissioner Terry Weidert who says he doesn't think commissioners need these devices as distractions during meetings. Commissioner Lonie Addis says he uses his phone to check the time, so Commissioner Weidert added the purchase of an atomic clock to his motion to be used for keeping time in the commission room.

 

Commissioner Cole Proehl argued he uses his laptop for commission-related business. The motion passed on a 2-1 vote with Commissioner Proehl voting against it. After the vote, Commissioner Addis mentioned he had received a complaint about executive sessions being recorded. Addis says this motion should put an end to any concern over that.

Railroad Crossing South of 11th Street Will Be Closed Tuesday & Wednesday

 

A railroad crossing in Coffeyville will close for repairs this week.

The South Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad plans to repair its crossing on Highway 169 in Coffeyville on Tuesday and Wednesday. The crossing is south of Highway 166 or 11th Street. HWY 169 will be closed at the crossing.

Traffic will follow a signed detour on city streets. For more information on this closure, you can go to kandrive.org.

 

Missing Coffeyville Teen Found

 

The missing Coffeyville teenager has been found. 

 

The Coffeyville Police Department says Gage Keeney, who went missing last week,  has been located and is back with his family. CPD thanks the public for their assistance in locating Keeney.

Complaint Results In Arrest For Drugs

 

Independence Police Officers respond to a complaint by a woman being followed and arrest a man on drug charges.

 

Thursday at about 1:00pm, officers were called to Riverside Park in reference to a white male following a woman and her children. After speaking with the woman, officers located 46-year-old Jason Barrager.  After a search, officers arrested Barrager for possession of an opiate, a hallucinogenic drug and drug paraphernalia. Barrager was taken into custody and to the Montgomery County Department of Corrections where he awaits his first court appearance.

Teen Charged with Possession of Drugs And Tobacco

 

A teenager is arrested for drugs and tobacco in Independence.  On Friday at around 11:30am, Independence Police Officers were called to the 1300 block of N. 10th St. to follow up on a call of suspicious activity.

 

After an investigation, a 17-year-old male was charged with possession of a hallucinogenic drug, drug paraphernalia, and a minor in possession of tobacco.

Burglar Eludes Police, Arrested During 2nd Burglary Attempt

 

A burglary suspect escapes police but is arrested during a second burglary attempt. 

 

Early Friday morning, Independence Police Officers were called to the 800 block of W. Laurel St. for a vehicle burglary, in which the suspect was seen fleeing. Officers could not locate the man, but they identified him as 34-year-old Jason York of Independence.

 

Later that morning at around 8:00am IPD responded to a report of a burglary in the 600 block of N. 13th St. After an investigation, York was taken into custody and processed on charges of aggravated burglary, theft of a firearm, battery against a law enforcement officer and attempted aggravated escape from custody.  He was booked into the Montgomery County Jail and is awaiting his first court appearance.

Air Tour to Stop in Southeast Kansas

 

An air tour organized by the Kansas Department of Transportation and the Kansas Commission on Aerospace Education will make a stop in southeast Kansas early next month.

 

The annual flying celebration promotes aviation and economic growth, and Pittsburg, Kansas is one of the nine stops on this year's tour.


Aircraft participating in the tour will be at the Pittsburg airport between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Thursday, October 6th.
More than 30 pilots have already registered to fly the Air Tour this year.  Other stops include Wellington, Ottawa, El Dorado, Augusta, Rooks County, Hays, Concordia and Junction City. For more information, visit the Fly Kansas Air Tour Page here.

 

Two Dogs Shot in Separate Incidents

 

Two dogs are shot in separate incidents in Parsons.

 

Yesterday morning at around 11:30am, Parsons Police responded to a report of a dog shot in the 1500 Block of Grand. Witnesses provided varying descriptions of a white male wearing camo with a black backpack. The age range given was between 20 and 40. At least one pistol shot was fired. The dog was a pit bull and it was shot in one of its legs. A veterinarian had to euthanize the dog.

 

A second shooting occurred just before 7:00pm. Police responded to a residence about 1.6 miles northwest of the first incident. In this attack, a pit bull was shot one time. The dog was taken by its owner to a local veterinarian and appears it will survive after surgery. No witnesses have been located and no one reported hearing a shot being fired in the second incident. There is a $39,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of this individual. Anyone with any information should contact Parsons PD at (620)421-7060 or call the tip line at (620)421-7057.

MG CO Board Of Commissioners To Meet Monday

 

The Montgomery County Commissioners will meet on Monday, September 26th at 9 am in the Judicial Center in downtown Independence.

The Board will meet with the Human Resources Director Becky Lewis about the 2023 budget and so will the County Appraiser Melody Kikkert immediately following. Jim Wright with Public Works will meet at approximately 9:30. Emergency Management will discuss the coroner and approval for a temporary position. Anne Miller with GIS will give a software update and the County Attorney Lisa Montgomery will go into executive session with the board at about 10:15. Following that, Jason Clubine will discuss Microsoft Teams.

In other business, the board will have discussions about neighborhood revitalization projects in Elk City and Independence.

The Agenda is subject to change and as always the meeting is streamed LIVE on Facebook or ZOOM or attend in person and let your voice be heard.

Chanute Man Arrested For Outstanding Warrant To Face New Charges

 

Earlier this week officers with the Chanute Police Department responded to a hang-up call coming from the 900 block of S. Lincoln Ave. During the course of the investigation, officers arrested 35-year-old Tim Martin of Chanute for an active arrest warrant out of Neosho County and he was also allegedly in possession of methamphetamines, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Upon completion, reports will be forwarded to Neosho County Attorney’s Office for review and consideration of charges being filed.

Dewey Man Busted For Drugs During Traffic Stop In Caney

 

A Dewey man was stopped by Caney Police yesterday. 24-year-old Bret Thompson was charged with alleged possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving while license canceled, suspended or revoked, unsafe turning or stopping, failure to give proper signal, and failure to yield from a private road or driveway. Reports of the arrest will be submitted to the prosecutor for review and formal charges.

Wilson Man Sentenced To Two Life Terms For Child Sex Crimes

 

An Ellsworth County man is sentenced to two life terms to run consecutively for the conviction of child sex crimes under the Kansas version of Jessica’s Law. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced that his Senior Assistant Attorney General Melissa Johnson and Ellsworth County Attorney Paul Kasper prosecuted the case and that the defendant 36-year-old Jason Cunningham was found guilty in July of 10 felony sex crimes involving two minor children. The abuse occurred between 2014 and 2020.

Judge Carey Hipp sentenced Cunningham to two life sentences with parole eligibility after 50 years, plus an additional 32 months in prison. Hipp also ordered Cunningham to register for life as a violent offender and lifetime parole.

 

CPD Seeking Missing Coffeyville Teen

 

The Coffeyville Police Department is asking for help in locating 16-year-old Gage Keeney. He was last seen leaving his residence Monday the 19th wearing a gray shirt, gray shorts, a tan hat, and carrying a tan backpack with gray straps. If anyone has seen or knows the whereabouts of Gage Keeney, please call the Coffeyville Police Department at 620-252-6160.

Wilson County Old Iron Days Wraps Up This Weekend

Wilson County Old Iron Days will wrap up this weekend with a full schedule of events in Fredonia.

 

The annual gathering includes demonstrations of early farming equipment, engines, and old-school skills.

 

There will be more than 25 working exhibits on display Friday until 4 p.m., and Saturday's schedule includes a tractor pull, musical entertainment, a parade, and a garden tractor pull. The event will conclude Sunday morning with worship in the historic church on the event grounds.

 

It's all happening in Fredonia, Kansas just southeast of the roundabout at the intersection of US 400 and KS-47. More information is available here.

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