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Local News

Coffeyville PD Investigating Shooting In Town


The Coffeyville Police Department is investigating a shooting that occurred Monday afternoon. At 1:27 p.m. on Monday, officers responded to the 100 block of North Buckeye Street for a disturbance. At about the same time, a subject arrived at Coffeyville Regional Medical Center with gunshot wounds. 


CPD officers learned at this time that there had been an altercation and one subject was shot. The victim is currently being treated at CRMC. 


Anyone with information on this crime should contact CPD at 620-252-6160 or Detective Vargas at 620-252-6010. Those that wish to remain anonymous may do so by calling the Crime Tip Hotline at 620-252-6133.

Three Arrested in Car Chase in Independence


A car chase in Independence ends in a foot pursuit with three taken into custody. A Montgomery County Sheriff Deputy attempted to pull over a white Mitsubishi Diamante who was speeding and ran a stop sign at the intersection of 10th & Oak. The vehicle attempting to turn west on Willow St left the road and struck two signs, a building and a heating and AC unit. Three subjects took off on foot and a pursuit began.


Devante Marquez Jones was located in a near by apartment and was arrested and is charged with interference with a law enforcement officer, fleeing a LEO, criminal damage to property, failure to report an accident and driving with a suspended license. The other two later showed up at the apartment and are identified as Joshlynn Marie Martinez, who is charged with interference with a LEO, and a female juvenile.


The following day the Independence Police Department received a call of a firearm found in the area. The investigation is still ongoing and there are two more suspects being sought out in connection with this incident.

Star 98.9 Now Sonshine 98.9


Changes were made overnight on 98.9, KQQF. Formerly an adult contemporary format, KQQF has officially swapped to Contemporary Christian and has rebranded as Sonshine 98.9 KQQF, Today’s Christian Music. This is growing format among families, and KQQF is one of the few places it can be heard in Southeast Kansas. General Manager John Leonard says this should be a positive uplifting change of pace.


No longer will parents need to change stations to avoid topics the kids in the car shouldn’t hear. As we do with our other stations, we will give local ministries the opportunity to broadcast “Words of Inspiration,” or devotions, each morning on KQQF free of charge. Give Sonshine 98.9 KQQF a listen soon. We hope that it uplifts YOU in these challenging and negative times.

Labette County Commissioner Recommends Wearing a Mask


Last week the Labette County Commissioners voted 2 to 1 to opt out of the governor's order to require masks been worn in public. Commissioner Lonie Addis says its not about thinking masks aren't safe, but about not wanting to mandate masks be worn.


Addis says he didn't want to leave the wrong impression, that he does respect the advice of their medical community and asks the public to listen to that advice.

U.S. 400 Concrete Slabs Being Replaced


Motorists will need to plan for a minor delay as the Kansas Department of Transportation have started a project to replace concrete slabs on U.S. 400.


The project area is located between the Wilson-Montgomery county line and the south junction of U.S. 400/U.S. 75. Traffic on the four-lane section will be reduced to one lane in each direction. The posted speed limit is 55 miles per hour through the work zone.


The work should be completed by late summer, weather permitting.

Independence City Commission Holding Public Forum Tonight


The Independence City Commission will continue its discussions on whether to allow the sale of alcholic liquor on Sundays. A special public forum is scheduled for tonight at 6 pm at the Civic Center after being originally scheduled during a previous commission meeting. 


During the forum, several supporting documents will be looked at, including the written ordinance and Facebook comments made during a live broadcast of the original commission meeting. After the forum, city staff will place an item on the agenda for the reguarly scheduled July 23 meeting to make a proper decision.

USD 445 Preparing for Reopening of Schools


With just over a month until school should be starting back up the USD 445 School Board discussed what reopening might look like. Superintendent Dr. Craig Correll says right now there are a lot of unknowns.


Dr. Correll says there have been several committees meeting and those committees will come together on Thursday and discuss some ideas for those unknowns.  Dr. Correll says they will also be meeting with the emergency management director, the health department director and the medical director that afternoon.

NJCAA Moves Most Fall Sports to Spring


The NJCAA Board of Regents has voted to move a majority of competition to the spring semester. The most recent plan of action shifts all close-contact fall sports to the spring semester.  These sports include football, men's and women's soccer, and court volleyball. The NJCAA cross country championships for all three divisions and half marathon championships will remain as their originally scheduled dates in the fall as well as Division III women's tennis.


All winter sports competition will begin in January with a majority of championship seasons moved from March to April. These sports include men's and women's basketball, wrestling, and swimming and diving. Men's and women's bowling and men's and women's indoor track and field will be held at the beginning of March.


Spring sports competition remains intact with minor adjustments to dates. These sports include baseball, softball, beach volleyball, men's and women's golf, men's and women's lacrosse, track and field, and men's and women's tennis. Championship dates are subject to change based on championship facility availability.

Kansas Sees Largest Coronavirus Spike Since Pandemic Began


Kansas has had it’s worst week-long spike of coronavirus cases since the pandemic began.  Another 1,447 cases over the last three days has brought the total to over 20,000.  The KDHE said today that 20,058 cases have been reported since early March.  The department also said that four additional COVID-19 related deaths bring the that total to 284. 


According to KDHE numbers, Montgomery County has recorded 67 cases since the start of the pandemic. Emergency Management Director Rick Whitson said on Monday that there were 24 active cases within the county. Meanwhile, Labette County has recorded 75 cases.

Two Injured in Crash Near Parsons


Two men were injured in a crash around 6:00pm Friday evening about two miles east of Parsons.


According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, 46-year old, Basilio Mejia-Gonzalez was driving a 2002 Chevy Suburban eastbound on U.S. Highway 400 when an unknown vehicle that was traveling westbound went left of center which caused the Suburban to over-correct into the west bound lanes. Mejia-Gonzalez over-corrected again entering the eastbound lanes and traveling into the ditch which caused the Suburban to roll.


Mejia-Gonzalez and his passenger 43-year old Luis Santos-Mora, both sustained suspected minor injuries and were transported to Labette Health. Both men were wearing their seat belts.

Montgomery County Sheriff Candidates Cite Drugs as Major Problem


Drugs continue to be a major problem in Montgomery County according to both candidates running for sheriff. 

Speaking during the Montgomery County Republican Forum this weekend the primary candidates both agreed the County’s drug problem is a major issue.  Incumbent Sheriff Ron Wade said that drugs are the root cause for a host of other issues.


Challenger Chris Williams added that the sheriff needs to put fear into drug dealers.


Who ever wins the primary on August 4th will be running unopposed for sheriff in the November general election. 

Field Kindley High School Graduation Set


Seniors from Field Kindley High School will finally get the graduation that they have been waiting for.


Principal Travis Stalford made the announcement last week including the date and location scheduled and guidelines that families will need to follow.


Stalford went on to say that the practice for the graduation will take place the day before.


Students are asked to check their e-mails for a detailed description of the events on July 17th and 18th. A hard copy was also sent out in the mail for those that could not access their e-mail.

Oswego Sees Substantial Storm Damage


Labette County saw some damage with the storms that rolled through the county this weekend with the City of Oswego seeing the most of it. The county commission approved a disaster declaration presented by Emergency Management Director Charlie Morse, who says when it comes to the cleanup the city will be coming by to pick up some of the debris.


Morse says as of right now there where four homes that were a complete loss but he believes there could be around 10 to 11. He says thankfully there were no injuries reported. If you have any questions you can reach emergency management at (620)421-4350.

Montgomery County Officials Renew COVID-19 Disaster Declaration


The Montgomery County Commission has renewed the county's COVID-19 disaster declaration for another 60 days. The declaration was originally passed back in March at the outset of the outbreak. Emergency Management Director Rick Whitson said the declaration must be renewed every so often


Whitson said at the time of his last update there have 65 total cases in Montgomery County, with 24 currently active. The decision to renew the declaration passed 3-0, with no commissioner dissenting.

School Officials Urge Oklahomans to Wear Masks After Death of Child


A state official is urging Oklahomans to do their part to contain the spread of COVID-19 following the death of a school-age child from the virus. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister said in a press release Sunday that for the safest opening of schools this fall, all Oklahomans must take decisive actions to mitigate the spread of the virus.


The child's passing is the first COVID-19-related death of a school-aged child in the state of Oklahoma. Hofmeister said wearing a mask is a "small sacrifice for the sake of literally saving lives." She also acknowledged that some parents might find distance learning to be preferrable, and commended districts that are providing those options.

Structure Fire in Caney


The Caney Police Department is investigating a house fire that occurred Saturday evening. Officers arrived at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Hooker Street to ensure no one was inside the structure.


Caney Fire Department units arrived shortly afterward and extinguished the fire quickly. Reserve officers with the police department secured the scene until a State Fire Marshal Investigator arrived. Officers worked closely with this investigator late Saturday.


It is undetermined at this time whether the fire was accidental or intentional with unknown motives. If anyone has information regarding events that may be related or may have transpired prior to the fire, contact the Caney Police Department at 620-879-2141. Callers may remain anonymous.

GOP Candidates Come to Coffeyville


The Montgomery County Republican Party hosted a candidate forum for many area races Friday night.   


Candidates running for local and state offices were invited to attend, including candidates for Montgomery County Sheriff Ron Wade and candidate Chris Williams. Montgomery County Commission District 2 Candidate Eugune "Nick" McCollum attended but Commissioner Larry McManus was unable to attend. State Senator Dan Goddard and challenger, former State Rep Virgil Peck addressed the crowd for District 15. US Senate Candidates hoping to secure the GOP Nomination for retiring Senator Pat Roberts seat in Coffeyville last night included businessman Bob Hamilton, former Kansas Secretary of State and Gubernatorial Candidate Kris Kobach and Retired Chiefs player and businessman Dave Lindstrom.  Roger Marshall who represents the Kansas 1st District declined his invitation to the Montgomery County Event according to GOP officials.  US Representative from Kansas 2nd District Steve Watkins, State Treasurer Jake LaTurner and Dennis Taylor challengers for the seat also spoke with attendees.


Watch the entire forum below or on the KGGF Facebook Page.

  • US Senate Race (15 Minutes into Video): Bob Hamilton, Kris Kobach and Dave Lindstrom
  • Kansas 2nd District Race (44 Minutes into Video): Rep Steve Watkins and Jake LaTurner
  • State Senate District 15 (1 Hour 15 minutes): Senator Dan Goddard and Virgil Peck
  • Montgomery County Sheriff (1 hour 18 minutes): Sheriff Ron Wade and Chris Williams
  • County Commissioner - District 2 (1 hour 35 minutes): Eugene "Nick" McCollam
  • County Commissioner - District 3 (1 hour 45 minutes): Mike Cordray and Gene Tucker


Statement from City of Independence Regarding Positive Case


After being informed of a City of Independence employee’s positive test for COVID-19, the County Health Department was contacted immediately and determined that any risk to the public would be considered very low. The employee worked for a day and a half this week before becoming ill and going home. The employee sought health care and was tested for COVID-19 and did not return to work.


There was interaction between the employee and the public while at work. However, all City employees, including the person in question, have been instructed to follow the governor’s recommended guidelines for wearing masks and distancing from other individuals. Any community members who visited City Hall on Wednesday or Thursday this week and are concerned about possible exposure should contact the Montgomery County Health Department at (620) 331-4300.

Tri County Tech to Receive $1M in CARES Act Funds


Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt announces a $1 million grant through the CARES Act Governor's Emergency Education Relief fund will go to Tri County Tech of Bartlesville to launch its Skills to Rebuild initiative in partnership with several local employers. Tri County Tech's CEO and Superintendent Lindel Fields says they have looked at the community and they know what the need is.


Tri County Tech’s Skills to Rebuild initiative will provide accelerated programs to train 375 individuals to immediately enter well-paying jobs that are in high demand in the region. The CARES Act grant will allow for Tri County Tech to make these programs tuition free for students who complete the programs.

Independence City Hall Closed After Positive COVID-19 Test


Independence City Hall is shutting down to the public due to a positive COVID-19 test of a city employee. Utility bill payments may be made over the phone at 1-844-215-7377, online at, or dropped off at the two drop box locations at either 811 W Laurel Street or 120 N 6th Street. The city is working on establishing a phone line for utility services that should be available sometime next week.


For other city services, use the Citizen Request Tracker.  The city thanks you for your patience and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Gas Prices Hold Steady Nationally, Up in Kansas




The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline has held steady at $2.18, which is one cent higher than a week ago. According to AAA, in Kansas prices have climbed up to $1.98 which is up 2 cents since last week.


Montgomery County is currently sitting at $2.00 a gallon, while Labette County is three cents lower at $1.97 a gallon. Chautauqua County has the lowest prices in southeast Kansas with $1.92 a gallon.


Across the border in Oklahoma, the state average is $1.90. Washington and Nowata counties both came in under the state average at $1.83 a gallon.



Sedan to Discuss Funding of the Police Department


A Town Hall will be held in Sedan next week to discuss the funding of the police department. Chief Kirk Richardson says the city had been employing two sheriff deputies part time as officers which had saved the city some money.


Richardson says, according to city council, the police department budget had been reduced over the last few years because they didn't need as much.  Richardson says the Town Hall will be next Wednesday, July 15th at 6:30. He encourages the citizens of Sedan to come out and share their opinions on the matter.

Indy Receives Fund to Help with Maple Street


The City of Independence will receive a nearly $1.6 million award from the Kansas Department of Transportation to assist with improvements to a stretch of Maple Street from 17th Street west to Peter Pan Road. Interim City Manager Kelly Passauer says the funding is part of KDOT’s Cost Share Program, which supports transportation-related projects and requires a percentage of matching investment by the local entity.


The proposed Maple Street project is estimated to cost $2,635,452 with KDOT providing $1,594,089 and the City matching at $1,041,363. Passauer says this section of Maple Street is currently narrow and plagued by ruts, failing pavement and immediate deep ditches and requires nearly constant repair. The next step in the process is selection of a project consultant and after surveying, project design and bid letting, construction is anticipated to take approximately one year, from August 2021 to August 2022.

Nebraska Man Arrested For Battery, More


A Nebraska man was caught in his hometown after police said he hid in a woman's vehicle in Arkansas City and attacked her. Arkansas City Police said it happened Monday afternoon.


Police said they were initially dispatched for a report of a disturbance in a vehicle near Arkansas City High School. A citizen later called, saying an injured 27-year-old woman was near 252nd and 51st Roads. They said her vehicle had been taken by the attacker.


Arkansas City police identified the attacker as 35-year-old Loengrys Castellanos-Mesa. An arrest warrant was issued for Castellanos-Mesa on suspicion of aggravated battery, aggravated burglary of a motor vehicle, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery, battery-domestic violence, criminal threat, stalking and theft.


The suspect was apprehended after a stand off early Wednesday by police in Grand Island, Nebraska after an officer spotted him at his home.


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