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Local News Archives for 2020-01

Coffeyville's Reawakening Update for HGTV

 

There was a great turnout this past weekend with the community showing out to show their support of Coffeyville as Coffeyville's Reawakening is in the process of getting submissions put together to try to get on HGTV's Hometown Makeover.

 

Shanna Motl with Coffeyville's Reawakening joined KGGF this morning (Friday) and had plenty of people to thank for the turnout this past weekend. She also added that there is still time to get involved.

 

The deadline for submissions is Friday, February 7th and if you have any questions or want to find out more information, visit the Coffeyville's Reawakening's Facebook page.

Road Construction Approved in Crawford and Greenwood Counties

 

The Kansas Department of Transportation have announced approved bids for state highway construction and maintenance projects in Kansas. The letting took place January 13th in Topeka. Some of the bids may include multiple projects that have been bundled based on proximity and type of work.

 

Included in the construction and maintenance projects for Crawford County are the K-126 bridge being replaced over the Kansas City Southern Railway located half-a-mile east of the U.S. 69 Business/K-126 junction in Pittsburg. Also in Crawford County, U.S. 69 from just south of 20th Street to just north of 20th Street in Pittsburg will be milled and overlayed. Both projects combined will cost just over $7.5 million.

 

In Greenwood County, the U.S. 54 bridge over the Verdigris River will be repaired at a cost of just over $97,000.

Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Launches Apps

 

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism have launched two new apps aimed at making outdoor recreational activities more accessible.

 

The "HuntFish KS" app allows hunters and anglers the ability to electronically purchase and store licenses and permits, while the "CampIt KS" app allows its users to make reservations at parks, campsites and more.

 

Both apps have been officially launched and are available for download now.

AG Warns of Super Bowl Scams

 

With the Chiefs making the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years the demand for Super Bowl apparel is at an all time high. Attorney General Derek Schmidt warns to watch out for scams when it comes to apparel and tickets.

 

Schmidt also warns of phone scams and says as a general rule, consumers should not answer the phone when it is an unrecognized number and never give personal information or make a payment over the phone or over an unverified website.

Kansas Gas Prices Some Of The Lowest In The Nation

 

Kansas has checked into the top 10 with some of the cheapest gas in nation, according to GasBuddy.com.

 

While the national average is currently stands at $2.48 a gallon, an average gas of regular gasoline comes in at nearly 30 cents cheaper at $2.20 in Kansas. That is just over 5 cents cheaper than last week's average and 8 cents off from last month.

 

Montgomery County clocks in at the state average of $2.20 along with Chautauqua County. Lebette County comes in 4 cents under the state average at $2.16 a gallon, however Wilson County comes in slightly above the state average at $2.22 a gallon. The cheapest gas in the state is a tie between Marion and Gove counties at $2.09.

 

Across the border in Oklahoma, an average gallon of gasoline is $2.13 with gas in Washington and Nowata counties coming in at $2.11 and $2.20 a gallon, respectively.

Indy Accepting Bids for a New Pickup

 

The City of Independence is now accepting bids for a new or used mid or full size 4-door pick up for the City's Park Department.

 

Bids will be in the office of the City Clerk at 811 W. Laurel St. in Independence on or before 2:00 PM on Thursday, March 5th.

 

Bids shall be enclosed in a sealed envelope plainly marked on the outside “Park Vehicle.”

 

The apparent low bid will then be presented to the Independence City Commission at their next regular meeting for their formal action.

 

For more information, go by the City Clerks office or call 620-332-2500.

Best of Broadway Series Continues in Pittsburg

 

Tickets are on sale now for the next show in the Best of Broadway series at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts: “An American in Paris.”

 

The production set to the soaring melodies of George Gershwin and full of dance will be produced in Pittsburg one night only on March 4th.

 

The plot of the musical is set just after World War II in Paris, where veteran Jerry Mulligan chooses the newly liberated city as the place to make a name for himself as a painter. But life becomes complicated when he meets Lise, a young Parisian shop girl with her own secret.

 

Curtain time is set for 7:30 p.m.

KDOT Announces Kansas Airport Improvement Projects

 

Twenty-three projects have been selected for Kansas Airport Improvement Program funding for the purpose of planning, constructing or rehabilitating public use general aviation airports, according to the Kansas Department of Transportation. KAIP receives $5 million annually through the T-WORKS transportation program and requires airport sponsors to share in the project costs by paying a minimum of 5% of the total project.

 

The KDOT’s Division of Aviation, which manages the program, considered 113 project applications this year with a combined total project value of more than $27 million. The selection board identified $4.2 million of improvements to address the top 15% most impactful airport improvements across the state. Two of the improvement coming to the SEK include removing and replacing runway markings in Independence and two 10,000-gallon fuel tanks and a card reader in Parsons.

Kansas Reaches Medicaid Fraud Settlement

 

Kansas has reached an agreement with a web-based electronic health records company to settle allegations of fraud resulting in improper Medicaid reimbursements. Under the terms of the settlement negotiated by the team of member states and the U.S. Department of Justice, Practice Fusion a web-based EHR company based in San Francisco, has agreed to pay a total of $118,642,000 to the federal government and the states. The settlement resolves allegations by the federal government, 49 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico that the company accepted kickback payments from drug manufacturers in exchange for using its software to promote those manufacturers’ drugs to physicians.

 

Of this total Attorney General Derek Schmidt says Kansas will receive $180,221.12 for its combined federal and state share of the settlement to be returned to the Medicaid program, in addition to reimbursement for the cost of the litigation.

 

Sculptor to Open Exhibition at Pitt State

 

Sculptor Jonathan Hils will present an artist talk to open his exhibition "Facets" in the Harry Krug Gallery at Pittsburg State University tomorrow. The lecture will begin at 4:00pm in Porter Hall 103 with a reception for the artist at 5:00pm in the Krug Gallery. The exhibition will be on view to the public starting tomorrow through April 1. The gallery is open from 8:30am to 9:30pm Monday through Thursday and from 8:30am to 4:30pm on Fridays.

 

Hils has received a number of recognitions for his work and has presented six solo exhibitions and participated in more than 40 group exhibitions across the country in the past decade. He’s also represented in several private and corporate collections internationally including the Four Seasons, Hyatt Corporation and Hilton Corporation. Most recently, he's completed public art projects for the City of Norman, the San Diego Port Authority, the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority and the Paseo Arts Association in Oklahoma City.

New Indy Sewer Cost Share Program

 

Independence residents can now receive financial assistance when making improvements to their sewer line. Due to the new sewer cost share program refined and approved at last Thursday's city commission meeting, residents can now qualify for up to $4,000 in assistance from the city.

 

Interested residents can fill out an application online or pick one up at City Hall, but must apply before they begin their project.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Set for Phoenix Logistics

 

The Montgomery County Action Council along with Phoenix Logistics will host a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, Feb. 5th at 2:30 PM at the Phoenix Logistics location of 2654 highway 169 in the Coffeyville Industrial Park.

 

Secretary of Commerce's David Toland will be in attendance to welcome both Phoenix Logistics and Array Technologies to Southeast Kansas.

 

Phoenix Logistics will provide logistics services to Array for approximately one million square feet in Coffeyville as well as in Wisconsin and Texas.

 

For more information, visit https://phoenix3pl.com

Possible Coronavirus Case in Lawrence

 

There's reports of a possible case of the Coronavirus that has been identified at Lawrence Memorial Hospital in Lawrence, KS.

 

Spokeswoman Amy Northrop said the hospital received a patient with symptoms and that the patient had recently traveled to Wuhan, China, where the first case was identified.

 

The hospital would not disclose certain information about the patient because of privacy issues.

 

The patient is currently in an isolation room specifically designed for disease prevention. More results from testing are expected later this week.

 

If the patient is confirmed to have the disease, it would be the first case of the Coronavirus in Kansas.

 

**Photo Credit: Chris Conde**

ICC Student Named Semifinalist for Prestigious Scholarship

 

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation announced today that Independence Community College Sophomore Munira Jorayeva is a semifinalist for its Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. Through this award, the Foundation supports high-achieving community college students as they transfer to some of the best four-year institutions in the country to complete their bachelor’s degrees.


Jorayeva, an international student at ICC from Turkmenabat, Turkmenistan, is one of 456 semifinalists chosen from a pool of nearly 1,500 applicants attending 311 community colleges in 45 states and the District of Columbia. She is one of three finalists in the state of Kansas.

 

The Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship recipients will be announced in April. Selected scholars will receive financial support for up to three years, comprehensive educational advising, and the chance to connect with fellow Cooke Scholars. Cooke Transfer Scholars are selected based on their exceptional academic ability and achievement, financial need, persistence, service to others, and leadership. Students must be currently enrolled community college students or recent graduates residing in the United States.


During her time at ICC, Jorayeva has been active in Student Government Association and has served as a peer tutor in the college’s tutoring center and performed in several theater productions. 
 

 


 

Scam Calls Being Reported in Sedan

 

The Sedan Police Department have been receiving numerous reports from AT&T cellular subscribers receiving calls stating their accounts have been suspended.

 

The caller ID shows the recipients own number as the caller and when answered, it asks you to press 1 to speak to a representative or 2 to activate your account. SPD recommends that you hang up immediately and block the number as this is a scam and pressing numbers may hack your device.

Meth Bust in Baxter Springs

 

A drug bust by state troopers in southeast Kansas netted 33 pounds of methamphetamine.

 

The Baxter Springs Police Department said in a Sunday morning Facebook post that officers assisted Kansas Highway Patrol troopers in the bust. The 33 pounds of meth were found after cutting open secret panels. The 33 pounds of meth would have a street value ranging from $115,500 to $165,000.

 

A 2018 KBI report on meth in the state lists the price per pound between $3,500 and $5,000.

Discussion Series Explores Parentless Children and Foster Care

 

The Parsons Public Library have announced a three-part book discussion series scheduled for February through April on the theme “It’s a Hard Knock Life."

 

The first discussion, scheduled for Monday, February 24 at 6:30 pm., is on Orphan Train, by Christina Baker Kline. The discussion leader will be Sister Rosemary Kolich. Kolich teaches English for the University of Saint Mary at both the main campus in Leavenworth and the Overland Park campus.

 

The series continues with discussions on The Chaperone, by Laura Moriarty on March 23rd and The Light Between Oceans, by M.L. Stedman on

April 27th. All book discussions will begin at 6:30 pm in the multipurpose room of the library.

 

The series is sponsored by the Humanities Kansas as part of its Talk About Literature in Kansas (TALK) program.

Winter Weather Advisory This Evening

 

The National Weather Service in Wichita has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for much of the southeast Kansas running from 6 p.m. this evening through 6 a.m. Wednesday.

 

The coverage area for the advisory contains about half of Montgomery County and Wilson County, Labette County, Neosho County, and also Crawford and Cherokee Counties. Wet snow is predicted to fall throughout today and tonight.

Updates Received During this Mornings Labette County Commission Meeting

 

Meeting this morning for their regularly scheduled meeting was the Labette County Commissioners. First item on the agenda was the GPDA monthly update from Park Director Brad Reams, Becky Dantic and Tim Peoples. Next a change in the bid to the improvement of the jail floors presented by Sheriff Darren Eichinger. The commission also meet with Sheriff Echinger and Parsons Police Chief Robert Spinks in executive session regarding court security.

 

Lastly the commission received an update on road damage from Public Works Director Sandy Krider and Noxious Weed Director Ralph George.

CPD Looking for Suspect Involved in Debit Card Theft

 

The Coffeyville Police Department is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying a person of interest. The suspect is wanted for questioning in a felony criminal use of a financial card investigation. After stealing the victims debit card the video shows it was used at several local businesses in Coffeyville before the card could be shut off.

 

If you know the identity of this person please message CPD on Facebook or call dispatch at (620)252-6160. As always you can remain anonymous.

Marshall County Clerk Sentenced to Two Years in Prison

 

The former Marshall County Clerk has been sentenced to more than two years in prison for felony misuse of public funds.  Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says 44 year-old Sonya Stohs of Marysville, pleaded guilty in November in Marshall County District Court to one count of felony misuse of public funds. District Judge John L. Weingart sentenced Stohs to serve 32 months in the Kansas Department of Corrections with 24 months of post-release supervision. Additionally, Stohs was ordered to pay $372,003.12 in restitution to Marshall Countys.

 

The charges stemmed from an investigation by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Secret Service that showed between May 2013 and April 2019, Stohs used funds belonging to Marshall County to pay for various personal items, in excess of $100,000.

Kansas Personalized Plates Get New Design

 

The Kansas Department of Revenue has introduced new design for Kansas personalized license plates starting this month.

 

The design, “Powering the Future,” features a series of turbines set against a Kansas sunrise and pays tribute to the state’s history and status of embracing wind energy.

 

KDOR began issuing the plates on Jan. 15. Customers with the 2015 “Sunflower State” personalized plate may retain their plates as a keepsake, but must switch to the new design if they want to keep their current personalization. Notifications will be mailed 45 days prior to their regular registration due date.

 

To order the new “Powering the Future Plate,” visit your local county treasurer’s office with your current registration receipt, photo ID and proof of insurance. Cost of the plates is $45.50 plus normal registration fees and taxes.

 

Citizens with standard vehicle Kansas tags will not be affected by the design change.

Montgomery County Commission Meeting for Jan. 27th

 

The Montgomery County Commissioners met for their weekly meeting on Monday morning.

 

After the call to order there was the approval of the agenda, minutes and invoices. There was discussion and clarification on some of the invoices but was eventually approved by the Commissioners.

 

Lee Miller with Emergency Management was in attendance to request a change in the quantity in purchase of new Thermal Imagery Equipment. Miller advised the Commissioners that the Caney Fire Department wanted to get in on the purchase for two of the thermal imagery equipment and that they would reimburse for the purchase. The Commissioners approved to update the purchase information to add Caney running the total purchase to nine pieces of thermal imagery equipment.

 

The majority of the meeting took place when Public Works Coordinator Jim Wright got in front of the Commissioners to update on them multiple items.

 

Wright got approval from the Commissioners about the Compensation and Classification Study that they are looking to get done with the Arnold Group which would run over $34,000.

 

There was plenty of discussion regarding roads and bridges. Wright presented the cash receipt report for 2019 for road and bridge. Wright discussed the purchase of a new truck that was wrecked last week and they were waiting to see if in fact the truck was completely totaled but looking to get ahead of it to make sure there was approval from the Commissioners.

 

Wright and the Commissioners set a date for Feb. 10th at 9:30 AM to discuss the road vacation in Caney.

 

Plenty of discussion took place when Wright brought up Montgomery County's retro reflectivity policy involving county signs. Plus, a carrier had reached out to Wright regarding cell towers in county right-of-ways. They have not made an official decision yet but it was in regards to 5G.

 

Wright also went through reports regarding noxious weed, household hazardous waste and the purchase of new equipment and materials.

 

County Clerk Charlotte Scott Schmidt closed the meeting with discussion involving potential Supervisor training to be set up for Supervisors in the county to learn proper training when it comes to handling matters internally. The Commissioners provided discussion and the next step would be to look at the cost of potentially bringing in a trained professional to provide that training to Supervisors throughout the county.

 

The agenda is always subject to change and all meetings are open to the public and they take place every Monday morning at 9:00 AM in the lower level of the Judicial Center in Independence.

 

 

Two Suspects Arrested After 8-Hour Standoff

 

Two suspects accused of committing crimes in multiple counties were arrested late last week in a small town in SE Kansas after an 8-hour standoff.

 

William Patton and Kaitlyn McMurry were arrested in Mulberry after receiving information about the pair hiding out at a residence. After unsuccessful attempts to have Patton and McMurry turn themselves in, KBI's High Risk Warrant Team entered the residence and located Patton and McMurry in the attic.

 

McMurry was arrested for her outstanding warrants and was taken to the jail at the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office for booking.

 

Patton was arrested and transported to the Crawford County Jail where he was booked for Aggravated Kidnapping, Aggravated Robbery, Aggravated Burglary, Aggravated Assault, Aggravated Battery, Criminal Possession of a Firearm by a Felon, Criminal Threat, Felony Theft, and Intimidation of a Victim/Witness.

 

This is a follow up to a story that was posted last week and you can find that story here.

Fredonia Woman Arrested On Multiple Charges

 

A Fredonia woman was arrested last week for multiple charges including counterfeiting.

 

Last Wednesday officers with the Chanute Police Department responded to the area of 1600 South Santa Fe for a report of counterfeit currency being passed at a business. During the investigation, officers arrested 27-year old Tabitha May Smith for counterfeiting, possession of certain stimulant, possession of drug paraphernalia and theft by deception.

 

Smith was transported to the Neosho County Jail without incident.

AAA Kansas Community Traffic Safety Awards

 

AAA Kansas has announced that 51 law enforcement agencies across the state are being honored with AAA Kansas Community Traffic Safety Awards for their work in 2019.

 

The agencies are scored and recognized for their efforts in multiple categories including education, emergency medical response, enforcement and engineering.

 

The winning law enforcement agencies will be recognized with presentations and plaques in their communities in the coming weeks and months.

 

Some of the notable honored agencies around the area include: Coffeyville Police Department (Gold), Independence Police Department (Gold), Parsons Police Department (Platinum), Pittsburg Police Department (Platinum), Caney Police Department (Platinum) and Cherokee County Sheriff's Office (Platinum).

 

Six Kansas law enforcement agencies have earned a AAA Kansas Community Traffic Safety Award in each of the nine years the awards have been given. Included in that is the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office and Pittsburg Police Department.

 

Tamegrass Stocker Field Day Set for Feb. 20

 

Kansas State University's Southeast Research and Extension Center will host the Tamegrass Stocker Field Day on Feb. 20th in Girard.

 

This event is to help the area's producers improve the health, nutrition and pasture management for their cattle herds.

 

The meeting will take place at the Greenbush Education Center near Girard from 9:30 AM – 3:30 PM.

 

Some of the agenda topics include: 

 

- Limit feeding stocker cattle 

- Methods to detect bovine respiratory disease early 

- Internal parasite control for stockers 

- Cattle Management on tamegrass - supplements, implants and pasture 

- Tamegrass pasture establishment and management 

 

Registration is $10 and includes a pot roast lunch. Interested individuals are asked to register by Thursday, Feb. 13th by contacting 620-820-6125. Registration and more information also online at www.southeast.ksu.edu/field_days.

Crowd Gathers in Downtown Coffeyville for Video

A crowd of about 100 people showed up in downtown Coffeyville Sunday to participate in a video shoot.  The video is part of an entry being put together for HGTV's series "Hometown Makeover."  The entry for the nationally televised progtram is being spearheaded by Coffeyville's Reawakening group.

Prominent Southeast Kansas Musician Passes

A longtime music legend from southeast Kansas, Vernon Sandusky of Edna has passed away.

 

Sandusky played guitar and sang vocals for a number of bands if national prominence from the 1960’s through the 1990’s.  He first became recognized as a member of Bobby Poe and the Poecats who performed with Wanda Jackson on tour and in the studio.  Following the Poecats Sandusky was a prominent member, playing lead guitar and vocals for the Chartbusters who had a national Top 40 hit with “She’s the One.” 

Sandusky went on to perform as a member of Rodney Lay and the Wild West and Roy Clark.

 

Sandusky toured the world as a performing musician and is a member of both the Rockabilly Hall of Fame and Kansas music Hall of Fame.  Sandusky was 80 years old.                                  

Windsor Place Named Coffeyville Chamber's Business of the Year

Windsor Place was named  Business of the Year at Friday evening’s  Annual Banquet of the Coffeyville Area Chamber of Commerce.  Windsor Place was cited for it’s business success, leadership and involvement in the community.

 

Additional recognition was given to Sunflower Soda Fountain which was named Small Business of the Year.  Nichol’s Hitchin’ Post received the Chamber’s Rising Star Award, Joe Brooks with the Salvation Army was named citizen of the Year while Bob and Denise York with Coffeyville’s Reawakening were received the Volunteer of the Year Award.

 

Nick McCollam with Derailed Commodity also took the reigns of Chairman of the Board for the Chamber.  Friday’s night’s Banquet was held at the Shrine Barn.

U.S. 75 / U.S. 166 Ramp Closure

 

The Kansas Department of Transportation plans to close the ramp from southbound U.S. 75 to westbound U.S. 166 on today, weather permitting.

 

The ramp will be resurfaced as part of the project to replace the South Kansas & Oklahoma overpass west of the U.S. 166/U.S. 75 junction. KDOT expects the ramp closure to continue until early April. The ramp from northbound U.S. 75 to westbound U.S. 166 will remain open to traffic.

Ron Wade Announced As New Montgomery County Sheriff

 

Ron Wade was announced on Thursday night that he will be the new Sheriff in Montgomery County as he replaces Bobby Dierks.

 

The Republican Precinct Committee men and women of Montgomery County were the one's, by statute, responsible to select the new Sheriff.

 

Virgil Peck mentioned that he was surprised once the process began by how long it took for candidates to reach out about the position.

 

“I was surprised actually, it took about a week and a half before I started hearing from candidates, those who wanted to be Sheriff, but finally when I did then the floodgates opened and I heard from several individuals asking about the process because they were interested.”

 

The convention was held on Thursday night at Four County Mental Health in Independence and Peck mentioned there was a great turnout.

 

"There were 50 eligible delegates involving Republican Precinct Committee men and women. Of those 50, 39 were in attendance and six sent in proxies so 45 votes were handed in to select the new Sheriff."

 

According to Peck, there were a few that reached out to him who showed interest in the position.

 

“There were five that I visited with and four then decided to show up last night to seek that position.”

 

To be a candidate you actually had to have one of the delegates nominate you and three of them received a nomination. One of the candidates would have to receive 23 votes to receive a majority and there were 25 ballots with Ron Wade written down on them.

 

Wade brings in a rich background in Law Enforcement which started back in 1989 at the Caney Police Department.

 

“I started my law enforcement career out in 1989, I started out at Caney Police Department where I was a patrolman and EMT.”

 

Wade is very familiar with the Montgomery County Sheriff's office.

 

“Then I was hired on at the Montgomery County Sheriff's office in 1995 where I served 14 years there as part of the Sheriff's department.”

 

He spent some time afterwards going back to Caney to follow in his grandpa's footsteps as Chief of Police and he was promoted into that position.

 

Wade mentioned that his time with the Montgomery County Sheriff's office was one of the main reasons why he reached out for the position when it became available.

 

“I respected all of the Sheriff's I worked under,” said Wade. “I just figured I would like to be a Sheriff at one time and this opportunity just came about and then I just figured this was probably a good time to at least try and see if I could fulfill my dream.”

 

From when Wade showed interest in the position he mentioned that at times it was stressful and exciting getting through the process before being announced as the new Montgomery County Sheriff.

 

Richard George was the acting Sheriff before the announcement and Wade credits him for being a mentor.

 

“He was a good mentor to me,” said Wade. “I do respect him very much and I hope that he continues to be willing to work at the Sheriff's office.”

 

The process will become official in about a week once the proper paper work is sent and signed by the Governor.

 

To listen to the full interview with Virgil Peck and Ron Wade from KGGF's Morning News – click here

 

 

Two Arrested On Multiple Drug Charges

 

A man and woman were arrested early Thursday morning in Chanute on multiple drug charges.

 

Officers with the Chanute Police Department conducted a traffic stop at approximately 1:40 in the area of 1500 West Cherry. During the traffic stop, Chanute K9 was deployed. Subsequently, the two passengers inside the vehicle, 23-year old Ashten Wilson of Iola and 33-year old Brandon Bennet of Altoona were arrested. Both Wilson and Bennet were arrested for an possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Wilson also had arrest warrant and Bennet was also arrested for driving while suspended. A 2004 Oldsmobile was seized pending forfeiture action.

 

Both were transported to the Neosho County Jail without incident.

Potential for HGTV Hometown Makeover in Coffeyville

 

On Sunday from Noon to 1:00, the Coffeyville Awakenings group is having a video shoot and taking pictures of people downtown on the plaza and would like to have some groups in other areas of Coffeyville in the very near future, like Sunday and Monday.


Whether its your family, civic group, church group, kids' groups, class of groups, etc. show up on Sunday to be in the video and pictures.

 

They are looking for help in producing a video for a chance that HGTV's Home Town Series will select Coffeyville for the televised makeover. They want to line the streets of downtown with the people who love Coffeyville and call this town their home.

 

They will be taking drone and regular video of the crowd so bring as many as you can to line the streets and show support.

 

Other video shoots will be announced on the Coffeyville's Reawakening facebook page.

Indy Commission Approves Recommendation for Firing Range

 

The Independence City Council unanimously approved the recommendation of the Planning Commission to grant a conditional use permit for an indoor firing range to be built downtown at 212 N. Penn Avenue.

 

Independence Gun Club member Mark Leaman spoke with the commission about the Gun Club's history, which has existed within the Independence area since the 1950s. The city has previously had a firing range, open near the airport, but Leaman said that range had closed.

 

Approved as part of the recommendations are 15 conditions that the indoor firing range must fulfill, including the assurance that the range will follow all local, state, and federal laws. Also included was a condition that there will be no increase in the number of decibals in the area when compared to a reading prior to the opening of the range.

 

Indy Police Chief Jerry Harrison was also in attendance at the meeting, and stated that he could not draw a conclusion on whether to recommend the range to be lead-free or not. You can view his memo, along with other documents relevant to the decision, by following this link.

Chamber Announces Youth Leadership Camp

 

The Coffeyville Area Chamber of Commerce is seeking high school or college age students for a unique five day experience where they will gain competitive insights and access to the tools needed to get a seven year head start on their future career.

 

Students will learn the formula for studying less and getting better grades, the secret to beating out the competition, the three biggest career decisions and much more. The opportunity will take place at KU in Lawrence July 13th – July 17th.

 

Student Tuition for the Coffeyville Area Chamber of Commerce members is just $300/student while the normal tuition for non chamber members is $1,497/student.

 

There are great leadership opportunities for high school and college students as the Chamber has two scholarships available. Contact the Chamber for more information at 620-251-2550 or go online to coffeyvillechamber.org.

Derek Schmidt Issues Statement on Dismissal of Court Funding Lawsuit

 

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has issued a statement on the Kansas Supreme Court's decision dismissing Frederick, et al. v. The Kansas Legislature which is a lawsuit asking the court to order increased funding for the judicial branch of the Kansas state government. 

 

"Today's dismissal of this lawsuit is in the best interests of the citizens of Kansas, who expect the different branches of their state government to work cooperatively, exercise restraint and respect the proper role of the other branches. The court should no more decide the size of its own budget than the Legislature should decide the constitutionality of the law it enacts. I commend both the court and the Legislature for their respectful and restrained handling of this matter."

 

For more information, visit the Attorney General's website. 

Neodesha Students to Participate in Community Clean Up

 

The student body of Neodesha High School will conduct a general clean up of the community on April 8th for any interested individual or business.

 

There is no cost to the individual or business as this is a free service provided by the student body. Projects the student can do include raking leaves, picking up limbs planting flowers, washing windows and more. Due to liability issues, no project can include the use of ladders or power tools.

 

Any individual or business interested in participating in this project are asked to contact Principal Nathan West at 620-205-8303. The deadline to sign up is April 1st.

Non-Profit Applications Due January 31st

 

The Parsons Area Community Foundation have announced that applications for projects serving communities within a 25-mile radius of Parsons can be submitted online through January 31st.

 

Organizations that are allowed to apply are schools, government entities, and 501(C)(3) nonprofits. The PACF Board considers all applications for full or partial funding, makes final decisions and formally announces grantee winners each April. Total granting dollars include endowed unrestricted or field of interest funds administered by the PACF board, as well as funds designated by donors to benefit a specific charity.

 

Last year, the PACF was proud to award just over$230,000 to 34 projects across the Parsons area.

Chautauqua County Meeting for 1-21

 

The Chautauqua County Commission met once again on Tuesday for its regularly scheduled meeting. On this week's agenda, Mark McCall updated the board on the roads and bridges throughout the county. Commissioner Rodney Shaw asked McCall to look into Road 22, referring to it as one of the "worst roads he's ever seen."

 

Crystal Wade from the HR also spoke with the commission, detailing the latest KWORC inspection and also passing along a couple of travel requests for upcoming trips. The board also tabled a motion to delay a 3 percent raise for elected officials, with Commissioner Parker Massey wanting to ensure that all departments across the county had budgeted to account for the raise.

 

Also attending the meeting was Steve Wilkenson of the South Central Kansas Economic Development District. He spoke to the board about several programs his organization offers for low-income residents, including weatherization and housing rehabilitation. Wilkenson also spoke about the possibilities regarding renovations for businesses and getting buildings set up to code. 

 

The board will meet once again on the last working day of the month, set for next Friday, January 31. Meetings are always open to the public and are held on the second floor of the Chautauqua County Courthouse.

Pair Wanted On Several Counts

 

The Pittsburg Police Department is searching for two people wanted on several counts and one of them is considered to be armed and dangerous.

 

28-year old William T. Patton threatened to harm a woman with a gun and held her against her will on December 31st. A week later on January 8th, Patton was located in Woodson County driving a stolen vehicle from Pittsburg. It’s believed he also stole several handguns along with 21-year-old Kaitlyn McMurry. This past Sunday, Patton and McMurry were again spotted at 8th and Locust Streets in Pittsburg, but Patton again was able to escape before he could be apprehended by the police.

 

If you believe you may have seen either William Patton or Kaitlyn McMurry you can call the Pittsburg Police Department at 620-231-1700.

Wintry Weather Approaches

 

The National Weather in Wichita is advising residents of central and eastern Kansas of potential wintry weather overnight into Wednesday morning.

 

This system doesn't look like it will produce a significant amount of snowfall, but could it still have some minor impacts on roads. The NWS is expecting 1”-2” of slushy, wet snow but if temperatures end up colder than expected, the area could receive up to 4” of snow. The NWS suggests to allow extra time for travel on Wednesday morning.

Alert: Red Cross Urgently Needs Donors

 

The American Red Cross is in urgent need of donors, especially Type-O. The Red Cross has less than a three-day supply of Type-O blood available for patient emergencies and medical treatments.

 

Just 7% of the U.S. Population has Type-O negative blood, however it can be transfused to patients with any blood type and its what hospital staff will reach for during emergencies when their isn't time to determine a patient's blood type.

 

Donors of all blood types, especially O-positive and O-negative, are urged to make an appointment by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or by calling 1-800-Red-Cross.

 

Notable Donation Opportunities:

 

Allen County

Iola: Feb. 3rd (10:00 AM – 4:00 PM) at Allen County Community College, 1801 N. Cottonwood

 

Cherokee County

Weir: Jan. 28th (12:30 PM – 6:30 PM) at Senior Citizens Building, Lincoln and Forest

 

Cowley County

Arkansas City: Jan. 30th (10:00 AM – 4:00 PM) at Cowley County Community College, 225 S. 2nd / Feb. 12th (8:30 AM – 2:00 PM) at Arkansas City High School, 1200 W. Radio Lane

 

Crawford County

Girard: Feb. 11th (11:30 AM – 5:30 PM) at St. Michael's Catholic Church, 106 S. Western

 

Montgomery County

Coffeyville: Feb. 12th (10:00 AM – 2:00 PM) at Coffeyville Community College, 11th and Willow

Independence: Feb. 13th (11:00 AM – 5:15 PM) at Independence Civic Center, Penn and Locust

 

Neosho County

Chanute: Jan. 22nd (12:30 PM – 6:30 PM) at First Baptist Church, 118 N. Forest / Jan. 23rd (8:00 AM – 1:00 PM) at First Baptist Church, 118 N. Forest

Erie: Feb. 12th (2:00 PM – 7:00 PM) at American Legion, 321 S. Main St.

 

Wilson County

Neodesha: Feb. 10th (12:45 PM – 6:45 PM) at Church of the Nazarene, 812 N. 7th

 

 

Ribbon Cutting Set for Moo Do Martial Arts Academy

 

The Coffeyville Chamber of Commerce wants to invite the public to join them for the Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Moo Do Martial Arts Academy.

 

The event will take place at their location at 118 W. 8th Street on Monday, Feb. 3rd and the festivities will begin at 10:00 AM. Contact the Coffeyville Chamber of Commerce for more information at 620-251-2550 or go online to coffeyvillechamber.org.

Tips for Super Bowl Travel

 

With the Kansas City Chiefs, for the first time in 50 years, clinching their spot to compete for the NFL championship on February 2nd in Miami, there’s a lot of demand across Chiefs Kingdom for fans wanting to be there in person. Flexibility will be key for those booking travel at the last minute. Triple A Kansas has some tips to help you as you prepare to make that trip.

 

Making your travel plans with a travel agent is a good idea, especially to try and avoid any potential scams. Use your credit card when purchasing to give yourself a good way to have money returned if you need to cancel or dispute a charge. Read hotel and airline policies carefully so you understand what cancellation policies entail. Call the air, train or bus company you will use to get there personally. Leaving your reservations and hard earned dollars up to an emailed confirmation number can be risky. Do the same with hotel reservations. Try to talk to a live person who can confirm what you’ve just paid for.

Students Plan Formal Event For Black History Month and MLK Jr.

 

In conjunction with Pittsburg State University’s Office of Student Diversity, the Black Student Association will once again host a formal event to celebrate civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in recognition of Black History Month in Feburary.

 

The MLK Jr. Ball will be held from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1, in the Overman Student Center Crimson and Gold Ballroom. Dress will be formal. The event will include refreshments, a DJ and dance, a photo booth, speeches, and performances.

 

Admission is free.

Library Revamping Book Club

 

The Coffeyville Public Library will be revamping their monthly book discussion club into a relaxed weekly program called the “Bring Your Own Book Book Club”.

 

Starting on February 13th and every Thursday after that at 4pm, teens and adults are encouraged to come to the library's Genealogy Room, enjoy some coffee or tea, and share what they are currently reading, something they've read recently or something they have read in the past.

 

For more information on this event, contact the library at (620) 251-1370 or visit their Facebook page at Coffeyville Public Library.

City of Iola Hiring

 

The City of Iola is accepting applications for a full time Assistant Code Officer.

 

The position performs a variety of routine clerical, administrative and technical work, and is responsible for routine city wide inspections. Wages starts at $14.15 per hour, plus benefits. Applications are available online at www.cityofiola.com or at the City Clerk’s Office in City Hall.

 

Please submit applications to HR in the City Clerk’s Office or via email to hrdirector@cityofiola.com by January 28 at noon.

Sen. Moran Applauds Senate Passage of USMCA

 

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran has applauded the Senate's passage of the United States, Mexico, Canada Agreement.

 

Earlier this month, Moran urged Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer to bring the USMCA to the Senate floor for a vote as soon as it passed out of the appropriate Senate Committees. Moran voted both the Senate Appropriations and Commerce Committees to pass the USMCA, moving it to the full Senate for a vote.

 

The House of Representatives passed the USMCA in December and the trade agreement will now go the President's desk for signing. Mexico has ratified the agreement and Canada is expected to consider the USMCA in the near future.

LCC Cardinal Citation Nominations Sought

 

Labette Community College Foundation is seeking nominations for the Cardinal Citation Award recipient for 2020.

 

This prestigious annual award is presented to an individual jointly by the college and the LCC Alumni Association at Commencement in May. Nomination forms may be picked up in the Alumni office, the Parsons campus or can be found online at www.labette.edu. Nominees must have an association with the college but do not have to be a graduate nor have attended the college. The nominee must be living and have made outstanding contributions to their profession, community, state, or country during a lifetime of service.

 

Nomination forms must be turned in by February 10th.

Six Names Announced for CCC Hall of Fame

 

The Coffeyville Community College Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be February 22nd. This year those inductees include Steve Gomez for golf, former CCC Basketball Coach Jack Hartman, Michelle Heimerman for track, Current CCC Basketball Coach, Jay Herkelman, Jeremy Hull for track and Angela Lackey for women's basketball.

 

Basketball games for that evening are CCC vs. Butler with the women playing at 5:00 and the men to follow. Introductions of the 2020 Hall of Fame inductees will be at halftime of the men's game. Congratulations to the 2020 inductees.

First Stage of Road Work Nears Completion in Parsons

 

The City of Parsons is nearing completion of the first stage of a 3-part project to reconstruct Morgan Avenue between 13th and 16th Street.

 

Work started with the area between 15th and 16th Streets, and will be moving on to the next block within the next month. New water lines are also being placed throughout the 3 blocks, as well as new sewer lines between 14th and 15th Streets. The city said that this project has been

broken up in to 3 stages of construction to minimize the inconvenience of residents in the area.

 

Late Summer of 2020 is the target for completion.

Winter Weather Possible For Region

 

The National Weather Service in Wichita is warning the public about the possibility of wintry weather that will impact the region this evening through tomorrow morning.

 

A mixed bag of light snow, sleet, and ice accumulations are likely especially in areas just north and west of Coffeyville. Hazardous travel is likely. The timeline for this particular winter event begin late Thursday night into Friday morning.

Art Exploration Workshop Starting in Pittsburg

 

ArtForms Gallery in Pittsburg will be hosting a series of free art workshops called Art Exploration.

 

Beginning on January 21st, Gallery artist Pat Glick will explore different types of art techniques from 1pm – 3pm every Tuesday afternoon. Different types of creative arts will be shown and discussed for each workshop. You also can bring along a piece of art you are working on. There will also be opportunities to participate in community activities and charities.

 

Art Exploration is free and you can call ArtForms Gallery for more information at 620-240-0165.

Clean Indoor Air Act Proposed

 

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has recommended that state law regulates smoking tobacco in public places should also cover indoor vaping.

 

Schmidt will request introduction of legislation to add use of e-cigarettes to the definition of smoking that is regulated by the Clean Indoor Air Act.

 

Schmidt notes that medical professionals suggest secondhand vape particles are harmful to people who inhale them.

 

As of October, at least 19 states and two territories prohibit use of e-cigarettes in places that are designated 100% smoke free. But in Kansas, the Clean Indoor Air Act as currently written only applies to combustible tobacco, not to e-cigarettes.

Montgomery County Sheriff's Office Hiring

 

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and Department of Corrections have announced it has an immediate opening for a Secretary/Records Clerk.

 

This is a full-time position with duties divided between the two departments. Applicants needs to be proficient in Microsoft Office, able to learn Jail and Records Management Systems, and bookkeeping programs. An Associate’s degree in a related field is preferred but not mandatory and a minimum of a high school diploma or GED is required. Applications will be accepted until position is filled.

 

To apply for this position visit Kansasworks.com.

AG Announces Agreement with PayPal

 

An agreement reached with PayPals’s nonprofit charitable arm will ensure donors receive adequate information and disclosures when making charitable contributions through the company’s online fundraising platform. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, along with a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general from 21 other states and the District of Columbia, reached the agreement that allows donors to contribute funds electronically to PayPal Charitable Giving Fund and then select a charity that will ultimately receive the benefit of their contribution.

 

PPGF has also agreed to provide regulators with future data to ensure the organization is complying with its obligations under the agreement.

German Vocal Ensemble To Perform At Pitt State

 

The Pittsburg State Department of Music is pleased to present the Calmus Vocal Ensemble, a group of five noted musicians from Leipzig, who will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 24, in the Sharon Kay Dean Recital Hall in McCray Hall at Pittsburg State University.

 

Founded in 1999 in Germany, the a cappella quintet embodies the rich choral tradition of its hometown of Leipzig. The group’s members are all graduates of Leipzig‘s renowned St. Thomas Church Choir School. The ensemble covers a range of music, from renaissance and baroque, all the way to contemporary choral repertoire, as well as pop songs and jazz numbers.

 

For tickets contact the PSU Department of Music at 620-235-4466.

Jon Schallert to Lead SEK Workshop

 

Area business leaders in Southeast Kansas will have an opportunity to learn new strategies for marketing and growth during a March workshop that will feature business development consultant Jon Schallert.

 

The workshop is called “New Rules for Business Success” and it will be held on March 11th from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM and March 12th from 8:00 AM to 2:30 PM. It will take place in Independence at the Independence Civic Center.

 

The two day workshop will talk about cost-effective marketing strategies and tactics designed to be implemented to attract and convert customers. Elizabeth Collins, the President of WebCom Resources, will be there and have a specific workshop offering the latest advice on social media marketing.

The cost is $125 per person for the two day workshop with a discount of $85 for the second person from a specific business.

 

Your registration will include breakfast and lunch for both days as well as take home materials and registration can be done online at www.fablabicc.org.

199 Crime Victims To Receive Support

 

The Kansas Crime Victims Compensation Board last week awarded financial assistance to 199 victims of violent crime at its January meeting.

Nearly $156,000 in awards were made in 92 new cases while additional expenses were paid in 107 previously submitted cases.

 

The Division of Crime Victims Compensation in Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s office administers the Crime Victims Compensation program, which was established in 1978 to help victims of violent crime pay for their unexpected expenses such as medical treatment, mental health counseling, lost wages, dependent support and funeral expenses.

 

The state’s three-member Crime Victims Compensation Board determines claims that are eligible for payment and how much money will be awarded to each claimant. A portion of assessed court costs and fines, inmate wages, parole fees and restitution paid by convicted offenders provides funding to the program.

 

Monday Recognized as Amber Alert Awareness Day

 

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and KBI Director Kirk Thompson remind the people of Kansas to stay vigilant when the public's assistance is needed to help locate missing children. The reminder comes after Monday was recognized as National Amber Alert Awareness Day. 

 

Since 1996, the national program has successfully brought 977 children home safely. In Kansas, 50 children have been returned home safely since 2002. 

 

When an alert is issued, the media are notified to begin broadcasting the details of the missing child and suspect. 

 

More information can be found online on the Attorney General's website. 

New Board Members Sworn in for USD 445

 

A new year and four new board members for USD 445. New board members include Gail Misch, Karen Rittenhouse, Jason Barnett and LaKisha Johnson. Assistant Superintendent Michael Speer swore in the new members for their first meeting of the new year.

 

In other business the board approved the resignation of four employees including CES Lead Principal Jennifer Bright. They also received updates on all the new things being offered with athletics and activities from Athletic Director Zach Johnson including the new Nado Live Youtube Channel.

Commissioner Addis Talks About the New Year

 

A new year with a similar focus in Labette County. Commission Chairman Lonie Addis says the focus remains on taxes.

 

Addis says they begin working on their budget around July and they always try to cut back as much as they can. Addis is the only one of the three commissioners not up for reelection. Commissioner Doug Allen and Commissioner Fred Vail haven't made an announcement regarding running for reelection.

GOP Sets Date to Choose New Sheriff

 

Montgomery County Republican Chairman, Virgil Peck, has set a date for a Convention of Montgomery County Republicans to determine the person who will succeed recently ousted Sheriff Bobby Dierks.

 

It is required by State Law to call a Convention “within 21 days of receipt of notice that a vacancy has occurred”. The set date is Thursday, January 23rd and by law has sent an official notice to each Republican Precinct Committeeman and Committeewoman eligible to vote for the replacement.

 

This will be held in the lower level of Four County Mental Health Center in Independence which is located at 3751 W. Main, and be called to order at 7:00 PM.

 

The Convention will be a public meeting although it's not required to do so.

 

As it relates to voting, Kansas law requires the “election shall be by secret paper ballot and the person elected shall be the one who receives the majority of all votes cast”.

 

After the Convention has made the selection, the Chair is responsible to execute a certificate stating the name of the person who has been elected to fill the vacancy to the Governor. The Governor will then have one week after receiving the certificate to appoint the person to be the New Montgomery County Sheriff.

 

You can listen to the entire interview with Peck here.

Chatauqua County Commission Reorganizes

 

The Chautauqua County Commission met once again this Monday, taking care of several items on the agenda and reorganizing for the new year. Parker Massey was unanimously selected as the chairman of the board, nominated by commissioner Jack Carpenter and seconded by Rodney Shaw. The board also selected the Prairie Star as the official newspaper of the county. Mark McCall provided another update on roads and bridges throughout the county.

 

After an executive session involving the continued annual review of employees, the board received a report from Sue Kill and passed a resolution to change the names on all signature cards from Shaw to Massey to reflect the changing of the chairman. Also passed was a resolution to remain a member of the Cedar Vale Chamber of Commerce.

Montgomery County Commission Meeting for January 13th

 

The Montgomery County Commissioners met once again on Monday with multiple items on the agenda. The meeting began with the Commissioners approving the agenda, invoices and minutes.

 

County Treasurer Nancy Clubine made a quick appearance to discuss an upcoming tax sale for 2020. The motion was signed and approved by the Commissioners. No date has been set yet as they are in the beginning stages but Clubine mentioned that they were looking at sometime in the fall for a possible date for the tax sale.

 

Rural Fire Director Rick Whitson followed discussing the reorganization of the district fire department. Whitson discussed the previous by-laws that were drafted in 2013 but he asked the Commissioners if it was okay to rewrite the by-laws with two different options discussing responsibilities for the District Chief. This was approved by the Commissioners.

 

Whitson also added that they were looking to purchase seven new Thermal Imagers for the seven fire stations around the area and that would be taken out of the special equipment budget for 2020.

 

Jim Wright with Public Works was joined at the meeting by Phillip Hayes to discuss the Steering Committee recommending The Arnold Group to be contracted for the Classification and Compensation study. Hayes is the Vice President of Human Resource Services and Operations for the Arnold Group. Hayes provided details regarding what the compensation study would detail and how it would affect different departments within the county.

 

Montgomery County has identified a need to create a comprehensive classification and compensation study that is fair, equitable, and meets the goals of the organization.

 

Because compensation is very important to employees, a compensation program is designed to communicate and reward strategic goals increases the probability employees not only understand what those goals are but also achieve them.

 

After a lengthy discussion with the Commissioners that lasted around 45 minutes, Commissioners Larry Mcmanus and Fred Brown wanted to table the discussion for a couple of weeks so they could discuss and think about the study and the impact it would have on the employees.

 

Matt Debo with Environmental Health/Zoning updated the Commissioners that they have found two individuals for the last vacant spots on the planning commission to where they would have all nine spots filled and that was tallied and approved by the Commissioners.

 

Reminder that the agenda is always subject to change and all meetings are open to the public as they take place every Monday morning at 9:00 in the lower level of the Judicial Center in Independence.

 

 

 

Game Night for Grown Ups At The Library

 

The Coffeyville Public Library will be hosting a new event called Game Night for Grownups this Friday from 6pm-8pm.

 

The library has a wide variety of video games, board games, and card games available to play. You can bring your friends and your favorite game to share, or try something new.

 

This new program is for adults 18+ and registration is required due to the program being after normal library hours. To register for a spot or for more information, call (620) 251-1370 or go to the library's Facebook page.

No After Hours Event for January

 

There is an update for the Coffeyville After Hours Networking Event. Due to the Chamber Annual Dinner on Friday, January 24th, there will be no After hours for this month.

 

They are looking forward to a host in February and if your business is interested in hosting, give the Chamber a call at 620-251-2550.

 

To host your own Business After Hours or for more information, you can also contact Candi Westbrook by email at cwestbrook@coffeyville.com.

Water Boil Rescinded for Cherryvale

 

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment rescinded a boil order advisory for the city of Cherryvale on Saturday afternoon.

 

The advisory was originally issued due to loss of pressure in the system which may cause a loss of chlorine residuals and bacterial contamination in the water.

 

Laboratory samples from the city of Cherryvale indicated there was no contamination and all other conditions that put the system at risk have been resolved.

Winter Weather Closures

 

Current list of closures, late openings and postponements

 

St. Paul's Episcopal Church will not have their Sunday Service

 

Nichol's Hitching Post has postponed their grocery auction to next Saturday

 

Coffeyville Public Library will open late at 1:00pm today

Winter Storm Warning

 

Most of southeast Kansas and portions of northeast Oklahoma are under a Winter Storm Watch from 6:00 this evening through 6pm tomorrow. 

 

The National Weather Service says a heavy wintry mix is expected with accumulations of 3 to 4 inches of snow and 1/10 to ¼ of an inch of ice expected.  This could make driving hazardous coupled with drifting snow and low visibility as wind gusts of up to 40 miles per hour are also expected.  If you must travel you should make sure you have a flashlight and pack extra food and water.  You can get road conditions for your specific area by calling 5-1-1.

Cherryvale Police Looking to Crackdown on Car Break-ins

 

The Cherryvale Police Department is asking citizens to be vigilant in locking their cars and removing valuable items in response to a recent string of vehicle break-ins around the area. In a post on the department's Facebook page, the CPD confirmed there had been a string of unlawful vehicle entries in the city. Anyone with information about the break-ins should call the Cherryvale Police Department at 620-336-2400.

NWS in Wichita Provides Details for Winter Storm

 

A winter storm watch was issued Thursday afternoon and will last until Saturday at 6:00 PM.

 

Heavy mixed precipitation possible with total snow accumulations of three to six inches and light ice accumulations of around one tenth of an inch possible.

Winds could gust as high as 35 or 40 MPH.

 

Affected areas including portions of Central, South Central and Southeast Kansas, especially along and east of the Kansas Turnpike.

 

The storm is expected to begin Friday night and last through Saturday afternoon. After an initial round of rain and a light wintry mix, a more intense area of snow may develop along and east of the Kansas Turnpike on Saturday morning.

 

Plan on slippery road conditions and areas of blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility. Rain will transition to a wintry mix across portions of Central Kansas on Friday afternoon outside of the winter storm watch area. This could also result in slick roads and travel delays.

 

Target counties in this storm watch include Montgomery, Labette, Neosho, Greenwood, Elk and Chautauqua.

Indy City Commission Reorganizes For New Year

 

The Independence City Commission has reorganized itself following last November's elections, including swearing in a new commissioner and electing a new mayor and vice mayor.

 

New commissioner Dean Hayse took his oath and office and will serve a four-year term expiring in 2024. Louis Ysusi, the previous Mayor of Independence, was reelected this past November for a two-year term. After the swearing in, the new commission unanimously elected Leonhard Caflisch to the position of mayor and Hayse to the position of vice mayor. Caflisch has previous experience as the Mayor of Independence.

 

The commission also declared the Independence Daily Reporter as the official newspaper for the city and Community National Bank as the official city depository. The schedule for meetings in 2020 was also approved, with the commssion electing to continue to hold meetings on the second and fourth Thursday of each month.

Hogsett Honored For Years of Service

 

Former Independence city commissioner Gary Hogsett received a plaque at the beginning of Thursday's regular commission meeting, honoring his years of service as a city commissioner and city mayor. Hogsett served as a commissioner from August 2014 to January 2020, and also served as mayor from February 2016 to January 2017. 

 

Hogsett did not run for reelection, allowing the newly-elected Dean Hayse to take his place on the three-person commission.

Large Crowd Turns Out for Job Fair

 

A record turnout for the job fair hosted by Phoenix Logistics at the newly purchased Amazon building. Montgomery County Action Council Executive Director Trisha Purdon says they are very optimistic with how many jobs are available and are going to become available.

 

Southeast Kansas Works Lacie Bohr says there's a variety of jobs that they are looking to fill.  Purdon and Bohr says that within the first ten minutes they had around 130 applicants which beats previous job fairs by a wide margin.

Thursday is National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day

 

Thursday is National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.

 

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt issued the following statement in recognition of National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.

 

Every day, we are grateful for the dedicated service of our Kansas law enforcement officers across the state who protect our communities. As we mark National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day today, I am especially grateful for the sacrifices they and their families make to protect all Kansans. I hope Kansans will join me today in expressing appreciation and thanking a law enforcement officer for his or her service and sacrifice.”

 

To show support for local law enforcement in the community, concerns of police survivors suggests the following activities: Wear blue clothing to support law enforcement, send a card of support, share a positive story about a positive law enforcement experience through social media, ask children in the community to write letters in support and participate in Project Blue Light by shining a blue light from your home.

 

But most importantly, thank a local law enforcement officer in person.

KDOT Announces Approved December Bids - Montgomery County

 

The Kansas Department of Transportation has announced approved bids for state highway construction and maintenance projects throughout Kansas. The letting took place on December 18th in Topeka.

 

Some of the bids may include multiple projects that have been put together based on proximity and type of work.

 

In Montgomery County – U.S. 75, from the north city limits of Independence north to the east U.S. 400/U.S. 75 junction for milling and overlay that will cover over seven miles.

 

The project will be completed by Cornejo & Sons LLC, Wichita, KS.

CCC Starts Spring 2020 Semester

 

Coffeyville Community College will resume classes today for the Spring 2020 semester. Students will return to campus for the next four months, with classes running until final exams are held the week of May 4th. Graduation for Spring 2020 will be held on May 9th.

USD 447 Announces Series of Meetings

 

USD 447 will continue the series of community meetings to discuss facility needs. The meetings will be held at the Cherryvale Middle and High School, food will be served from 5:00-5:30 with the meetings running from 5:30-7:00pm. The first meeting will be January 14th and will feature Montgomery County Emergency Coordinator Rick Whitson and the Cherrvale Police Department talking storm shelters and other weather safety concerns. Following that there will be meetings February 3rd, February 18th, March 5th and March 16th with topics ranging from education to finance.

 

More meetings will be scheduled as needed. Upon conclusion of this series of meetings, it is likely that a committee of volunteers will form to create several facility improvement options to bring back to the community for additional input.

Company Affiliated with Chinese Counterfeiter

 

A Johnson County judge has revoked the articles of incorporation of a company affiliated with a Chinese counterfeiter after finding it has abused its corporate powers under Kansas law. Attorney General Derek Schmidt says District Judge James F. Vano entered the default judgment in Johnson County District Court after the company failed to respond to a lawsuit filed by the attorney general’s office in July. According to the lawsuit, Koch Membrane Systems the Kansas corporation, was formed in 2018 for the sole purpose of using its name and Kansas registered corporate status to masquerade as part of Koch Industries, a well-known Kansas business. It used an address in Johnson County but had no physical office there or elsewhere in Kansas.

 

The lawsuit alleges Koch Membrane Systems in fact has no relationship to Koch Industries and instead appears to exist for the purpose of impersonating a real Koch subsidiary based in Massachusetts by using a nearly identical company name in order to provide false credibility to counterfeiting activities of its affiliate in China.

Job Openings in Neosho County

 

Job opening with the Neosho County Sheriff's Office. The are accepting applications for a full-time Deputy Sheriff and have two detention officer positions open. Minimum requirements for the sheriff deputy include at least 21, have a High School Diploma or GED, pass a background, physical and psychological evaluation. For the dentition officers no experience is necessary as on the job training will be provided. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, have a high school diploma or GED, and a valid driver's license, and pass a background check.

 

More information is available on the Neosho County Sheriff's Office Facebook page. Applications are available at the Sheriff's Office. The hiring process will remain open until the positions are filled.

AG Schmidt Looks to Have Rule Withdrawn

 

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt last week asked a federal court to find that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has properly withdrawn an Obama-era rule seeking to further regulate the organic livestock and poultry industry.

 

In a brief filed Friday with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Schmidt, along with a bipartisan group of attorneys general of 13 other states, asked the court to find that the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Rule proposed by the Obama administration in 2016, but which never took effect, was lawfully withdrawn in March 2018.

 

The attorneys general argue that the rule, if it had taken effect, would have unlawfully sought to regulate animal welfare, which was not authorized by Congress when it enacted the Organic Foods Production Act in 1990 and would have had harmful effects on both the producers and consumers of organic livestock and poultry products.

Phoenix Logistics, LLC Job Fair on Thursday

 

Phoenix Logistics, LLC will be hosting a job fair on Thursday, January 9th from 2:00 to 6:00 PM at the Old Amazon Building located at 2654 North Highway 169.

 

Phoenix Logistics, LLC is currently seeking a Warehouse Manager, Inventory Control Coordinator, Customer Service Representatives, Forklift Operators/General Warehouse Associates and also Yard Hands/Load Preparation.

 

Interested applicants must be prepared to walk long distances and you can apply and interview with their team on site.

 

They ask that you enter thru the front of the building if you wish to attend.

 

Contact the Coffeyville Area Chamber of Commerce for more information.

Road Work Begins on U.S. Highway 400

 

The Kansas Department of Transportation announced on Tuesday that they plan to replace concrete slabs on U.S. 400 in Montgomery County starting today, weather permitting.

 

The work will take place west of the U.S. 400/U.S. 169 junction. Temporary signals will direct one-lane traffic through the work zone; expect brief delays through mid-January.

Final Details for 2020 Annual Dinner

 

The Coffeyville Area Chamber of Commerce has released final details for the upcoming 2020 Annual Dinner which will take place on Friday, January 24th.

 

The Chamber will present their annual awards along with Chamber highlights and special guest speaker, Curtis Sneden from the Greater Topeka Partnership.

 

They will have lots of great games including a Diamond Dig, Rake in the Cash, a 50/50 and the popular Dessert Dash so make sure you bring your cash.

 

A commemorative glass will be available for $20 that will include their unlimited signature drink plus special 1920's music will be played.

 

Register for the 2020 Annual Dinner online at coffeyvillechamber.org.

New Law Requires Escort Vehicle Drivers to be Registered

 

A new law has been passed by the Kansas Legislature and has been in effect since the first of the year. The new law requires escort vehicle companies and service providers working with wide or overweight vehicles to be registered with the Kansas Secretary of Transportation, according to the Kansas Department of Transportation.

 

Escort vehicle drivers must be registered, successfully complete a training course and have a valid driver's license.

 

Your registration will be valid for one year and there is no registration fee.

 

To register as an escort vehicle, visit the K-Trips website at www.k-trips.com and create a user account and then fill out the necessary information. To find out more information, contact 785-368-6501.

Man Arrested For Domestic Battery

 

A Chanute man was arrested last last week on two charges including aggravated domestic battery.

 

On January 2nd at around 8:00pm, officers with the Chanute Police Department responded to the area of 200 block South Gretchen for a report of a disturbance. Upon officers arrival, the officers discovered that an adult male and female had been in an altercation. 27-year old Patrick McCarron II (the second) was arrested for aggravated domestic battery and endangering a child.

 

He was transported to the Neosho County Jail without incident.

Fire Danger in Southeast Kansas

 

The National Weather Service in Wichita is warning for the potential for grassfires Wednesday in southeast Kansas due to high winds and warmer temperatures.

 

Montgomery, Chautauqua, Labette, Wilson and Neosho counties have been placed in the “Very High” category on the fire index scale while Elk and Greenwood counties were put in the “Extreme” category.

 

NWS says the main time frame for the potential of grassfires is Wednesday afternoon into Wednesday evening and any fires that start during this time frame will be difficult to control.

 

Indy City Commission Agenda For 1-9

 

The agenda for the first Independence City Commission meeting of 2020 has been set. Among the new business presented for the new-look group will be the reorganization of the commission itself. After new commissioner Dean Hayse and reelected commissioner Louis Ysusi have taken their oaths of office, the commission will decide on a new mayor and vice mayor. The mayor has traditionally been the commissioner whose term was not up for the most recent election, but that tradition does not need to be followed.

 

Also under the reorganization of the commission is the designation of the official city newspaper and official city depository, and also the approval of the commission meeting schedule for the rest of the year. The full agenda can be viewed here. The meeting will start at 5:30 in the Veterans Room of Memorial Hall.

First Montgomery County Baby of the New Year

 

Coffeyville Regional Medical Center would like to congratulate Brandon Jones and Summer Doane on the birth of their son, Jayce Logan Jones. Jayce was the New Year’s baby for Montgomery County. He made his entrance into the world on January 2, 2020, at 6:27am. He weighed 8 pounds, 6 ounces, and was 20 inches long. Dr. Perry Lin was the attending physician and Dr. Whitney Cline was the attending Pediatrician.

 

CRMC donated a case of diapers, baby wipes and $50 Wal-Mart gift card there will also be other prizes from KGGF for being the first baby born in Montgomery County for 2020.

Dierks Officially Out as Sheriff

 

Suspended Montgomery County Sheriff Bobby Dierks has been officially ousted from office following a settlement hearing. Dierks was charged with attempting to persuade sheriff deputies to not arrest his girlfriend with a DUI in January 2018 and then attempting to persuade them again from testifying in her hearing in April 2018. He was officially ousted for misconduct of office and in his agreement will not try to seek public office again for at least a year.

 

Interim Sheriff Richard George, who has been serving in the role since March of last year, will continue in that role until a new sheriff can be appointed.

Black Hole Observatory Night Scheduled for January 17th

 

The Greenbush Astrophysical Observatory near Girard will be holding its monthly observatory night on January 17th at 7pm with a presentation on black holes by resident astronomy guru Josh Cochran, followed by a viewing of the night sky using the research-grade telescope. Smaller telescopes, binoculars, and iPads loaded with astronomy apps are also available for visitors to enjoy.

 

Black holes are among the most mysterious and poorly understood objects in the universe. They are often a popular target of science fiction writers and this leads to many misunderstandings. Come learn about what we know and also do not know about black holes.

 

For more information, call 620-724-6281.

New Year, New Chairman for Labette County Commission

 

Short meeting for the first Labette County Commission meeting of the new year. The commissioners met for their regularly scheduled meeting with one item on the agenda, a discussion with County Appraiser DeLinda White.

 

The commission will meet for their next meeting on Monday, January 13th where Commissioner Lonie Addis will take over as the Chairman of the Commission. Addis, who was first elected in 1982, is currently serving in his 10th consecutive term.

Chautauqua County Commission Meeting Monday

 

The Chautauqua County Commission met on Monday for their first weekly meeting of 2020. Following the acceptance of the prior meeting's minutes, Mark McCall gave the board an update on the various road and bridge projects occuring throughout the county.

 

After an hour-long executive session for the annual review of employees, the board also passed Resolution 2020-01, which resolves to protect and defend the individual right to bear arms in Chautauqua County. Under the resolution, officials elected by the citizens of Chautauqua County have no authority to force any federal law that would unconstitutionally infringe on an individual's right to bear arms. Commissioners Rodney Shaw and Jack Carpenter were physically present to vote for the resolution, while Parker Massey called in to also vote in favor. The resolution becomes effective as of today.

 

The board of commissioners will meet once again next Monday on the second floor of the Chautauqua County courthouse.

Montgomery County Commission Meeting for January 6th

 

The Montgomery County Commissioners met for the first time in 2020 with plenty of discussions about purchase approval, generator invoices and public works.

 

The meeting began with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance, then the Commissioners approved the agenda, minutes and invoices.

 

Carolyn Muller from the Health Department was present to discuss the purchase of a new refrigerator in Coffeyville. They checked with three different sources, one that was more expensive than what they were looking for and one that was cheaper. They settled on one fairly similar to the original and the price was listed at $4858 along with a shipping cost of $750. After review by the Commissioners, the purchase was approved unanimously. (AUDIO)

 

District Fire Chief Rick Whitson was joined by Lee Miller for a brief period during the meeting to discuss an invoice regarding a generator. After brief discussion with the Commissioners, the invoice of the generator was approved unanimously. (AUDIO)

Public Works Coordinator Jim Wright went before the Commission with a couple of items on the agenda. Wright was joined by Kenneth Weaver regarding dissolution of the Sewer District #2 Advisory Board while there was discussion regarding a request for a street light at 58 road and Brookside Drive. (AUDIO)

 

The street light discussion ended in decline from the Commissioners because it didn't make sense financially.

Executive Director of the Montgomery County Action Council, Trisha Purdon provided an updated to the Commissioners as they're now in full swing for 2020. (AUDIO)

 

Purdon brought up the recent news of Phoenix Investors purchasing the old Amazon building as they are leasing that building to Array Technologies and how it is set to bring in some new jobs for the community and Purdon says that the number for potential jobs continues to rise. (AUDIO)

 

The Commissioners also went into an Executive Session regarding job status for non elected personnel. 

 

A reminder the agenda is always subject to change and all of the meetings are open to the public.

 

 

 

7th Annual Taste of Soup Event at the Coffeyville Library

 

The Coffeyville Public Library with be hosting the 7th Taste of Soup on Thursday. January 23rd between 11am to 1pm.

 

Soups that will be available for delivery and large orders will be chicken noodle, chili and cheeseburger. Deliveries to businesses or organizations must be an order of $20 or more will be made by 11am on January 24th.

 

For $5 you will get 3 cups of soup, a drink, and crackers. You can also order your soup by the pint or quart. 1 pint for $5 or 1 quart for $10. Delivery and Pint/Quart orders must be ordered and paid for by January 15th. The Imagination Library will be hosting a bake sale as well.

 

All soup proceeds go to the Coffeyville Public Library Foundation. All dessert proceeds go to the Coffeyville Imagination Library.

Reception Before Indy City Commission Meeting

 

The public is invited to a reception preceding Thursday's Independence City Commission meeting. The reception is being held to honor Gary Hogsett for his service to the commission and welcome Dean Hayse as his replacement. Louis Ysusi will also be welcomed back after winning his reelection.

 

The reception will run from 5 p.m. to 5:30 in the Gallery on the lower level at Memorial Hall. The City Commission meeting will follow as usually scheduled.

Water Safe to Use Again in Humboldt

Residents of Humboldt are able to once again use the city water after a water plant that was shut down reopened.

 

Humboldt officials urged residents on last Thursday to conserve water because of a chemical spill in the Neosho River. State health officials gave the all-clear on Sunday afternoon and residents were told they could go back to regular water use.

 

The chemicals were spilled during a fire at Mid-West Fertilizer in Iola.

Two Chanute Men Arrested on Multiple Charges

 

Two Chanute men were arrested for a variety of charges including unlawful discharging a firearm on Tuesday.

 

Officers with the Chanute Police Department responded to the area of the 1400 block of South Evergreen for a report of what sounded like shots being fired. Upon arrival, officers learned of the house where the gun shots were coming from and were told possibly had several children inside.

During the investigation, 57-year old Robert Coble was arrested for unlawful discharging of a firearm, aggravated endangering of a child, and interference with a law enforcement officer. While still at the residence, 20-year old Anthony Holland was also arrested for battery on a law enforcement officer and interference with law enforcement. A search warrant was served at the residence after the residence was safe. Several loaded and spent shell casings along with firearms were seized at the residence.

 

They were both transported to the Neosho County Jail without incident.

Chamber 101: Maximize Your Membership

 

The Coffeyville Area Chamber of Commerce cordially invites you to Chamber 101 designed to help businesses maximize their memberships.

 

You will be able to learn about membership benefits and events, including: How to set up your website services and event calendar and you can also learn about some exciting new changes with the Christmas Bucks giveaway.

 

Also learn about maximizing your referrals and much more.

 

The event is free but registration is required and limited in seating. You can bring your own lunch or there will be pizza available for $5. Contact the Coffeyville Area Chamber of Commerce for more information at 620-251-2550 or go online to coffeyvillechamber.org.

Minimum Wage Bill Still Waiting For Action From Kansas Legislature

 

A minimum wage bill introduced last year is still awaiting action taken by the Kansas Legislature. House Bill 2022, introduced by Representative Jim Ward of Wichita, has sat untouched since its introduction on January 14, 2019. The bill was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Labor and Economic Development, but a look at the Kansas Legislature's website shows no action has been taken since.

 

If passed, the bill would raise the minimum wage in Kansas to $11 in 2020, then $15 an hour by 2021. Workers who receive tips and gratitities would see their pay increase from $2.13 to $3.13 in two years. Kansas currently uses the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour. Numerous states that border Kansas have already started increasing wages, including Missouri, which will eventually move to $12 an hour by 2023.

 

A copy of the bill can be viewed here.

Duo Arrested, Facing Meth and Burglary Charges

 

A man and woman were arrested Thursday afternoon in Scammon after Cherokee County deputies responded to a burglary in progress.

 

Arrested at the scene of the burglary was 34-year old Carl Thomas Powell of Pittsburg and 27-year old Nictoria Michelle Hill of Fort Scott. Although Powell was armed with two large knives, both were taken into custody without any further incident. 

 

Powell is being held in the Cherokee County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bond on allegations of residential burglary, theft, possession of meth and possession of drug paraphernalia. He has previously been convicted in Cherokee County for attempted intentional 2nd degree murder. Hill's bond has been set at $6,000 on suspicion of residential burglary and theft.

 

 

2020 Corn School Approaching

 

Make plans to attend the 2020 Corn School, being held January 8 at the K-State Southeast Research and Extension Center in Parsons. Registration will open at 8:30 on the day of the event and will run until about 2 p.m. Participants will hear from several members of the K-State faculty on a variety of topics. Faculty in attendence includes Dr. Dave Mengel, Dr. Doug Jardine, and Dr. Gretchen Sassenrath. There'll also be a farm bill update from Dr. Mykel Taylor.

 

The event is free to attend. To register, visit this link

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month

 

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt is reminding others that January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Combating human trafficking has been one of Schmidt's biggest concerns and goals since taking office. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, human trafficking is one of the largest and fastest-growing criminal industries in the world. It is based on recruiting, harboring and transporting people for the purpose of exploitation. Both sex trafficking and labor trafficking occur in Kansas and both adults and children are victims.

 

Kansas’ location and interstate system make it a major transportation area for victims of human trafficking. Under Schmidt, the state has seen its rating rise from "F" to "A" as given by Shared Hope International, a victim advocacy group that seeks to end sex trafficking and exploitation of women and children worldwide. Kansas is one of only six states to accomplish that feat.

 

The public can assist by reporting suspicious activity to the national hotline at 888-3737-888 or to local law enforcement in an emergency situation. The month of January is also being recognized as Stalking Awarness Month, as declared by Kansas Governor Laura Kelly last month.

Oklahoma and Kansas Report No Fatal Crashes On New Years

 

Neither the Oklahoma Highway Patrol nor the Kansas Highway Patrol reported working any fatal vehicular crashes on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day. According to the OHP Facebook page, there were no fatalities to report, and the office hoped to work fewer crashes total in 2020.

 

The Kansas Highway Patrol did work one fatality crash on New Year's Eve, a plane crash near Overland Park that killed two. However, there were no vehicular crashes that could be attributed to DUI or other NYE-related activities.

Chanute Man Arrested For Theft

 

A Chanute man was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of theft.

 

Officers with the Chanute Police Department responded to the area of the 900 block of North Washington for a report of a person had entered a residence and the resident didn’t know who the subject was. Upon officers arrival, 48-year old Scott Crabtree was arrested for aggravated burglary and theft. He was transported to the Neosho County Jail without incident.

 

The investigation is still ongoing at this time.

Fundraiser Being Held for Two in Cherryvale

 

Cherryvale Fire Rescue will be hosting a benefit for Firefighter / AEMT Teresa Prather and Don King on February 8th at the Cherryvale Community Center.

 

There will be a cornhole tournament, raffle for a rifle, pancake feed and a live auction.

 

Prather has recently been diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer while King has Multiple Myeloma and has been receiving stem cell treatment along with medication. The money from the fundraiser will be used to help with fuel, traveling expenses and hospital bills.

 

If you have items to you would like donate for the auction or would like to help in any other way, please call Lt. Trent King at 620-336-2121.

Joplin Man Arrested in Cherokee County

 

A Joplin man who was wanted on outstanding felony warrants was arrested early Wednesday afternoon.

 

48-year old Troy Hamilton was discovered inside of a Lowell home following an outside tip. Lowell was barricaded inside the home and claimed to be armed, while refusing to cooperate with authorities. Hamilton said he did not want to go back to prison, but Cherokee County Sheriff's Deputies were able to convince him to surrender and be taken into custody.

 

Hamilton was transported to the Cherokee County Jail where he is being held without bond on two outstanding felony warrants. One for aggravated assault related charges, along with a misdemeanor arrest warrant for DUI and driving while suspended.

Be on the Lookout for Porch Pirates

 

Packages being stolen off of front porches has become a growing issue across the country. Coffeyville Police Chief Kwin Bromley says while it hasn't become a huge issue here there are ways you can help prevent becoming the victim of a Porch Pirate.

 

Bromley says they are currently investigating an incident where the victim has a doorbell surveillance system and has pictures of a suspect who took a package off their front porch.

 

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