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Local News Archives for 2020-04

Gov. Kelly Announces 3 Phase Plan to Reopen State

 

The Stay at Home Order for the State of Kansas will come to and end on May 3rd. Governor Laura Kelly announced a three phase plan to reopen the state saying they will approach this slowly, gradually and cautiously.

 

Phase one limits mass gatherings to 10 or less people, individuals are encouraged to wear a mask in public and maintain the 6 feet rule. Kelly says there are still some businesses that will not be able to open and events that can't happen during phase 1.

 

Phase two will limit mass gatherings to 30 and phase 3 will limit them to 90. Phase three if things go as expected will end June 1st and then the state will begin the phasing out part of the plan. All the information for this three phase plan can be found at covid.ks.gov.

Commissioners Receive COVID Update

 

Labette County has been one of the leaders in Southeastern Kansas in both number of cases and in testing rate. With the month of April coming to an end, Emergency Management Director Charlie Morse gave an update to the county commissioners.

 

There will be a special commission meeting at 10:00am tomorrow morning to discuss the governor's press conference and plans to reopen the county.

Montgomery County Picks Up A New Positive Case

 

Montgomery County picked up a new case of Coronavirus, while the rest of Southeast Kansas remained unchanged in the latest report from the KDHE. Montgomery County now has 17 positive cases just behind Labette County who has 22 positive Coronavirus cases.

 

There are now 4,238 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Kansas, 523 hospitalizations and 129 deaths. According to the most recent data provided from the Kansas Department of Health, there have been just under 31,600 people tested with just under 27,400 of those tests being negative, which is a positive percent of 13.4. Currently as a state Kansas has a testing rate of 10.86. Labette County has tested 301 people with a positive percent at 15.3 per 1,000 tested while Montgomery County has tested 353 people with at positive percent at 11.0 per 1,000 tested.

Chanute Couple Arrested On Suspicion of Theft, Possession

 

A Chanute couple were arrested on various charges of theft and possession after an early morning burglary yesterday. Chanute Police responded to a report of the business that had been burglarized. When officers arrived, they collected evidence and were also able to obtain video from the business.

 

Less than two hours later, officers were notified that a large pulling unit truck had been reported as missing. During the investigation of both crimes, the stolen pulling unit was located and a traffic stop was conducted. During the stop, 48-year-old Fredrick John Foshag and 48-year-old Heidi Masters were arrested for burglary, felony theft, misdemeanor theft, criminal damage, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

Officers did recover some property that was reported to been taken from out in the county. It was unclear what county the property was taken from. If you have noticed any items missing from your residence, please call central dispatch at (620) 431-5768 and ask to speak with an officer.

Gas Prices Continue To Drop

 

The price of a barrel of crude oil in 2008 topped $140 a barrel. Last week, it was trading at minus $34, meaning oil producers were paying to have it taken off their hands. That’s one of the reasons gas prices around the country continue to fall.

 

The national gas price average is $1.75, which is a drop of 1 cent since last week, 21 cents since last month and $1.13 since last year. In Kansas, prices have dropped 8 cents since last week, nearly 32 cents in the past month and $1.18 since last year.

 

The state average sits at $1.44. Montgomery County, however, currently sits 15 cents higher than the state average at $1.59, while Labette County came in slightly higher than the state average at $1.49 a gallon. Chautauqua County is level with the state average.

 

Oklahoma has checked in with the least expensive gas in the country with an average gallon of gasoline costing $1.34. Gas in Washington and Nowata counties came in under the state average at $1.24 and $1.28 a gallon, respectively.

Governor Kelly To Announce Plan to Re-Open the Kansas Economy Tonight

 

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly will be conducting a press conference this evening to announce the plan to open the state beginning next week.  Kelly will be speaking at 6:30 this evening and her address will be broadcast live on KGGF 690AM. 

 

Yesterday afternoon Kelly announced that the current executive order directing Kansans to stay at home except for essential business will be allowed to expire at midnight on Sunday.  Again, tonight’s press conference outlining the steps to reopen the state’s economy will be broadcast live at 6:30 on KGGF.                                                  

Norman Says State is Outperforming in Terms of Covid-19 Response Projections

 

Secretary of Health for the state of Kansas, Dr. Lee Norman has provided some positive information regarding Covid-19 projections for the state.

 

In mid-March, they did some forecasting about how many cases the state was going to have, how many deaths there would be, hospital beds, ICU beds and ventilators.

 

Norman says the numbers have been positive and they've outperformed on numbers with equipment in healthcare facilities.

 

Norman spoke on Wednesday during Governor Laura Kelly's Press Conference with her comments discussing plans on Thursday to reopen the state.

 

Norman says that it's important to have the right numbers in place so they can work with the healthcare facilities to make sure all the proper equipment is in place.

 

Norman also provided details regarding the monitoring of 55 clusters of Covid-19 throughout the state. 18 in long term care facilities with 422 cases including 69 deaths. Two group living arrangements with 28 cases and zero deaths. The Correctional Facility in Lansing with 121 cases and one death. Two healthcare facilities with 16 cases and zero deaths.

 

Six religious gatherings with 100 cases and eight deaths. 20 in a variety of private companies with 170 cases and four deaths and six in the meat packing industry in southwest Kansas with 451 cases.

 

To hear the full interview with Governor Kelly and Dr. Lee Norman from Wednesday, click here. 

Proof of Citizenship Law Considered Unconstitutional By Appeals Court

 

A Kansas law requiring proof of citzenship to register to vote has been ruled unconstitutional.

 

The law, championed by former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, took effect in 2013 but was blocked by a federal trial judge. A panel of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld this injunction, noting that while 31,000 applicants were prevented from registering under the law, only 39 nonresidents managed to register.

 

The law required anyone who attempted to register to vote in the state to provide documentation of US citizenship, such as a birth certificate or passport. The state can appeal this most recent decision to the full Court of Appeals, or could appeal it to the Supreme Court.

Feeding America Radiothon Today

 

KGGF-KUSN and KQQF radio will be joining forces with radio stations around the nation to help raise funds to feed the hungry in our own communities.  The one day fund raiser scheduled for Thursday and is aimed to raise donations to Feeding America, the largest hunger relief organization in the nation. 

 

All funds raised during Thursday's event will go directly to Feeding America to support it’s 200 member network of local food banks across the country. 

 

KGGF’s General Manager, John Leonard says the fundraiser is way to give back to the communities we live and work in, "Radio has always been involved in our communities."

 

Feeding America has seen a 30% increase among the nations food banks since the beginning of the pandemic.  You will be able to help by donating on Thursday by going online to radiocares.org or text FEED to 95819. 

 

Plans to Reopen the State

 

An executive order will be announced tomorrow with details on reopening the state. Kansas Governor Laura Kelly is her daily press conference today says she will also extend the Emergency Disaster Declaration until May 14th.

 

Governor Kelly says with the plans to reopen the state there will be limits set for mass gatherings and provide guidance for all counties, but counties themselves can put in more restrictive guidelines.

Four New COVID-19 Cases in Southeast Kansas

 

Four new positive cases of COVID-19 were discovered in Southeast Kansas in the latest report from the KDHE.

 

Labette, Cherokee and Crawford County all tacked on one case a piece while Elk County had their first case reported.

 

For the entire state, there are 3,738 positive cases with 125 reported deaths and just over 25,700 negative results. Labette County now has 22 cases with Montgomery County staying pat at 16. Crawford and Cherokee counties have five and eight positive results, respectively. Chautauqua County has four reported positive results while Neosho has three. Wilson still has just one positive case.

Coffeyville Together is Giving Back to Local Businesses and Those in Need

 

The Coffeyville and Montgomery county area has been provided a fantastic opportunity to provide help to local businesses and those in need during the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

The Coffeyville Area Community Foundation has launched the Coffeyville Together Initiative.

 

Executive Director of the Coffeyville Area Community Foundation, Janie Devore Gillis says the goal is to provide assistance to local businesses and those affected by wage and job loss.

 

People are encouraged to support local businesses by going online and selecting businesses to purchase gift cards and certificates for use in the future.

 

The Coffeyville Area Community Foundation will match the amount of each purchase to provide food and basic needs to local residents in the forms of grants to local nonprofit organizations such as Genesis and the local Salvation Army.

 

Gillis says it's important during these trying times to support local businesses because there overall mission is your quality of life.

 

They ask any business that is interested in participating to register online with Coffeyville Together. They have seen great response from local businesses with the last up to date numbers showing nearly 30 businesses already registered. 

 

Gillis also wanted to provide a big thanks to Coffeyville Reawakening and the Chamber of Commerce for being involved in the process.

 

You can find out more information by checking out their website or by calling Gillis at the Coffeyville Area Community Foundation at 620-251-4769.

Coffeyville City Commission Approves Adjustment of Pricing for Republic Services

 

Residents around Cherryvale who use Republic Services for trash pick up will see an increase in pricing.

 

The city has two, three year contracts with Republic Services out of Cherryvale. One is for residential trash pick up services and the other is for trash services for city facilities.

 

Both of those contracts allow Republic to request a price increase of up to 3% per contract year and they are in the second year of those contracts.

 

Republic is required to justify any price increases to the city administration and City Attorney Paul Kritz says they're request is based on multiple items.

 

Kritz adds that they have always had a good working relationship with Republic Services and he believes that the request for the price increase is justified.

 

Mayor Paul Bauer also mentioned that the bulk trash pick up has been very valuable recently especially during these times with Covid-19.

 

Bauer made a motion to approve the resolution to approve the adjustments to the unit prices paid to Republic Services of Cherryvale and the motion was seconded by commissioner Ann Marie Vannoster which was followed by unanimous approval. 

 

You can find out more information on Republic Services out of Cherryvale by going to their website. 

 

 

KDOT Seeking Public Comment

 

The public will have an opportunity to provide the Kansas Department of Transportation comments to the FFY 2020-2023 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program document.

 

The approval of the STIP amendment requires a public comment period which will conclude on May 6th. The list of projects being amended can be viewed here. 

 

This specific publication lists all KDOT administered projects and includes projects for counties and cities as well as projects on the state highway system.

 

Check out KDOT's website for more information or call 785-296-3585.

Severe Storms Rock the Area

 

Severe thunderstorms that moved through Southeast Kansas and Northeast Oklahoma late Tuesday afternoon and early evening caused a number of Tornado Warnings to be issued.  The line of storms developed quickly around 3:30 near Winfield and quickly began moving east and southeast. 

 

The first tornado warning was issued at about 4:40pm when rotation was spotted about 9 miles north of Sedan in Chautauqua County.  Subsequent tornado warnings were issued for northern Osage, Washington and Nowata Counties in Oklahoma.

 

No major damage was reported however, street flooding was prevalent in numerous communities and small trees and debris were blown down.

Crawford Co. Mental Health Center Welcomes New Children's Director

 

There's a new children's director at the Crawford County Mental Health Center. New Director Bill Howell, who's still adjusting to his new role, says his goal is to grow and build on the great programs they already have in place.

 

Howell takes over during a unique time with COVID-19, but says they are still available to clients and their families.  Howell fills the vacant position left by Michael Ehling, who assumed the role of Executive Administrator at the end of 2019.

 

For more information regarding Crawford County Mental Health Center check out their website or call 620-231-5130.

Arkansas City Man Ordered To Repay Medicaid Program

 

According to Attorney General Derek Schmidt, an Arkansas City man has been ordered to repay more than $2,500 to the Kansas Medicaid Program after being found guilty of Medicaid fraud.

 

21-year-old Tyresse Jasper Boyd Hardiman pleaded guilty in September 2019 in Cowley County District Court to one felony count of making a false claim to the Medicaid Program. Cowley County Chief Judge Nicholas St. Peter ordered Hardiman to repay $2,501.92 to the Kansas Medicaid Program and also sentenced Hardiman to 24 months probation with an underlying prison sentence of 14 months.

 

An investigation by the attorney general’s Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Division revealed that Hardiman submitted false claims to the Medicaid program that between January 2018 and October 2018 he had provided in-home care to a Medicaid beneficiary.

Incentive For Early Registration at USD446

 

Registration for students in USD446 for the 2020-2021 school year is underway and the school district is helping everybody get a head start on the year and offering a chance at a prize.

 

Independence Chamber of Commerce Director Lisa Wilson joined KGGF this morning (yesterday morning) to tell us about the incentive for early registration.

 

You can go here to get started. Your family will be automatically added to the drawing upon submission of your online registration form. You can also call the Infinite Campus Help Desk between 8:00AM - 11AM Monday - Friday if you run into trouble at 620-779-9520.

Home Surveillance Used to Identify Suspects

 

Two suspects are arrested for a home break-in in Cherryvale. This weekend Montgomery County Sheriff Deputies responded to 5518 CR 5800 in Cherryvale for a past burglary and theft. The owner of the property told Deputies his shed was broken in to sometime earlier that morning. Deputies were shown home video surveillance which shows the suspects enter the residence where the victim was sleeping inside.

 

The home surveillance identified the suspects as Christopher Shawn Whittley and Melinda Matlock. Deputies were advised of where to watch for the suspects and along with the Cherryvale Police Department and Kansas Highway Patrol located the vehicle and after a traffic stop was initiated both subjects were taken into custody.  Whittley is charged with theft, criminal damage to property and aggravated burglary. Matlock is charged with aggravated burglary.

4-Wheeler Returned Suspects Arrested

 

Two suspects arrested and property returned in a four-wheeler theft. Sunday morning Deputies were dispatched to 4780 CR 4600 for a theft report of a 2017 Honda four-wheeler and a 2016 Honda Pioneer side by side. While deputies were searching the area the owner of the vehicles contacted them saying he had followed the tracks into Independence near Dollar General. Later that evening dispatch received a call stating there was a four-wheeler being driven around the area of Burns and Maple in Independence. IPD located the four-wheeler at 1016 E. Edison and two male subjects ran into the garage at that location. Both subjects were taken into custody.

 

Dalton Higginbothom is charged with theft and interference with a law enforcement officer, as well as having three failure to appear warrants. Nathan Wiebelhause is charged with possession of stolen property interference with a law enforcement officer.

 

Neosho County Woman Taken In For Battery, Possession

 

A 32-year old Neosho County woman was recently arrested for battery and multiple counts of possession.

 

Chanute police responded to a disturbance in north Chanute. Officers arrived and interviewed two individuals that reside at the residence. One of the individuals allegedly became angry and struck the other one in the face. Officers arrested Carla M. Brooks. While placing Brooks under arrest, officers located items associated with illegal drugs.

 

Brooks was arrested for domestic battery, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. She was transported to the Neosho County jail without incident.

Food Pantry Recognized as Hometown Heroes

 

Romans Chevrolet Buick and KGGF want to recognize a group of people as our Hometown Heroes.

 

Caney Valley Agape Network and Food Pantry are a relentless group of people who volunteer their time to bring fresh food to Caney and the surrounding area. They have overcome the challenges of these trying times to continue in a safe manner.

Indy Fire/EMS, Labette Health Issue 911 Reminder

 

Don't be afraid to call 911. Leaders with the Independence Fire and EMS Departments, along with leaders from Labette Health, want to remind residents that emergency rooms are still safe even amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

 

Independence Director of Safety David Cowan says the primary concern is that residents may be stalling or even avoiding necessary health care, owing to fear of exposure to the coronavirus.  Recent data shared by hospitals and emergency response organizations have shown a massive decline in emergency calls related to life-threatening situations. Such situations include heart attacks and stroke.

 

Director of Labette Health Independence Facility Becky Mitchell says everyone in the facility's ER is equipped with proper PPE and screen any and all visitors to the facility, including patients.

 

Cowan says there is no need to take any chances with your health, and to call 911 as soon as you need assistance.

CRMC Continues to Encourage People to Social Distance

 

Montgomery County saw three new Coronavirus cases this past weekend but for the most part in recent weeks the numbers have been fairly steady with 16 cases in the county.

 

Infection Prevention Nurse with Coffeyville Regional Medical Center, Pilar Davis says it's a combination between the hospital and community as a reason we haven't seen a drastic increase in positive cases in Montgomery County.
 

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt has been receiving mixed reviews in regards to slowly opening back up businesses in Oklahoma.

 

Dr. Whitney Cline says she expects Oklahoma to see an increase in numbers because of the reopening of businesses throughout the state.

 

Any questions related to the Coronavirus can be directed to the clinic by calling 620-688-6566.

 

Coffeyville Together Giving Back

 

In an effort to support local business owners and residents in our community who are in need of necessities during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Coffeyville Area Community Foundation is launching the Coffeyville Together Initiative.

 

They ask that local businesses interested to register online with Coffeyville Together. They have seen a great response in the last week as they currently have over 25 businesses registered with the number growing.

 

People are encouraged to support local businesses by going online and selecting businesses to purchase gift cards and certificates for use in the future.

 

The Coffeyville Area Community Foundation will match the amount of each purchase to provide food and basic needs to local residents in the forms of grants to local nonprofit organizations such as Genesis and the local Salvation Army.

 

The goal is to get money flowing back into local businesses who may be experiencing a reduction in revenues, while providing assistance to families and individuals who have been impacted by wage loss due to Covid-19.

Statewide Numbers Rise No New Numbers in SEK

 

There are now 3,328 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Kansas, 496 hospitalizations and 120 deaths. According to the most recent data provided from the Kansas Department of Health there have been 27,167 people tested with 23,839 of those tests being negative, which is a positive percent of 12.3. Currently as a state Kansas has a testing rate of 9.33.

 

In Southeastern Kansas there are no new cases. Labette, Montgomery, Crawford and Neosho County currently having an about average testing rate when compared to the state. Labette County has tested 275 people with a positive percent at 7.6 and Montgomery County has tested 313 people with at positive percent at 5.1.

LaTurner Launches "Surprise a Senior" Scholarship Contest

 

In response to the shortened end to the school year, Kansas State Treasurer Jake LaTurner is launching the  "Surprise a Senior" scholarship contest, which will award scholarships of $2,500 each to 20 high school seniors.

 

Five scholarships will be given out in the four Kansas congressional districts. The $2,500 will be deposited into a new or existing LearningQuest® 529 Education Savings account for the student to use for qualified educational expenses.

 

Entries will be accepted through April 30. All completed entries are being considered and the winners will be notified by May 6. 

 

To submit an application, visit this link.

More Funding Coming from the CARES Act

 

The United States Department of Health and Human Services announced more than $7.5 million from the CARES Act will be going towards the State Hospital Improvement Program.

 

Kansas Congressman Steve Watkins says we are at war with an invisible enemy and our small and rural hospitals need reinforcements, these funds are providing the vital resources our rural communities need to battle this virus.

 

Follow the links for more information on the State Hospital Improvement Program and how these funds will be used to with SHIP.

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt Discusses the Reopening of Oklahoma

 

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt appeared on FOX News Sunday to discuss the reopening of Oklahoma with moderator Chris Wallace.

 

Stitt says with the numbers available, it's time for a measured reopening.

 

Wallace asked Stitt about the reluctance of some Mayors and a few businesses to reopen at this time.

 

Click here to listen to the full interview with Chris Wallace and Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt.

Trisha Purdon Addresses Loan Programs for Small Businesses

 

Small businesses effected by the Coronavirus can continue to apply for loan programs to help alleviate some of the problems they're facing that have been caused by the closures with Covid-19.

 

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) have once again opened back up as of Monday morning for those small businesses who are in need of funding.

 

Executive Director of the Montgomery County Action Council, Trisha Purdon says that those businesses who submitted applications but didn't receive a loan number will have the opportunity starting Monday to receive funding.

 

If you didn't get a loan approval number than you should check in with your bank and make sure you're in the queue and ready to go but if your banker says they're submitting than you should be good to go.


Purdon adds that our sole proprietors were hurt after the first round of funding ran out but with everything opening back up its a good opportunity to get them the help they need.

 

The Economic Injury Disaster Loan is different from the Paycheck Protection Program as its a typical small business loan except it is for six months of your operating expenses compared to the PPP which is for two months.

 

Purdon provides examples to how the EIDH is different than the PPP. 

 

Its a 30-year term at 3.75% interest is a hard loan to get even if there wasn't a crisis. You can apply for the EIDL which is directly through the SBA and a PPP. You just can't count your payroll, mortgage interest and utilities that you put on the PPP in your EIDL.

 

Despite some of the banks being considered regional, there was plenty of success and money given out to the southeast Kansas region.

 

You can find out more information regarding the loan programs on the Montgomery County Action Council's website or you can call 620-331-3830.

 

Montgomery Co. Courthouse Closed This Week

 

The Montgomery County Courthouse will be closed this week through Friday, May 1st due to a power outage.

 

The Courthouse is set to reopen on Monday, May 4th, but will still be closed to the public.

 

County office staff members and department heads will continue to be working and calls will still be received.

 

Any closure changes during this time will be posted on the county website.

 

Many services done with the county can be done online or over the phone. Check out the county's website to find out more information.

Covid-19 Numbers Increase with Crawford Co. Picking up Another Case

 

The Kansas Department of Health have released the latest numbers for Covid-19 in the state as of Sunday afternoon.

 

The number of confirmed cases in Kansas has climbed to over 3,000 cases with the number currently sitting at 3,174 with 485 hospitalizations and 118 deaths.

 

Montgomery County picked up a 3 new cases over the weekend as its number rose to 16. Labette County leads the way in southeast Kansas with 21 cases. Cherokee (7), Crawford (5), Chautauqua (3), Neosho (2), and Wilson (1) counties all remained at the same with the exception being Crawford as they picked up one new case on Sunday. 

Wind Blades Being Transported Today

 

The Kansas Department of Transportation would like to inform drivers that staring today, wind turbines will be transported from the laydown yard at Parsons to locations in Neosho County.

 

The turbines will be hauled along the following route from Parsons: west on U.S. 400 to U.S. 169, north on U.S. 169 to K-47, east on K-47 to U.S. 59, and south on U.S. 59.

 

KDOT reminds drivers to pay extra attention and to be sure to give the turbines extra room.

Officials Looking To Make Stretch Of Highway Safer

 

Officials from Crawford County and KDOT met to discuss making a section of K-7 Highway just north of Girard safer, after four truck roll overs in the course of two weeks.

 

Each lane of the two-lane highway is only about 10 feet wide, while the typical truck needs about 12 feet in their lane to drive safely.

 

As KDOT looks into remedying the issue, some have expressed concern that it may be difficult to re-route trucks onto Highway 69 due to the extensive road construction.

 

Another Big Increase in Cases In Kansas

 

The day after Kansas saw it's biggest one day increase in confirmed Coronavirus cases it now has a new biggest increase. According to the Kansas Department of Health there are now 2,777 positive cases, which is an increase of 295 cases. There are now 20,811 negative cases which is an increase of almost 2,000 negative cases.

 

These drastic increases seem to show an increase in testing as testing rates in Southeast Kansas have risen. Labette County currently has a testing rate at 13.10 and Montgomery County at 9.11. Labette County was the only county in the SEK to have a new confirmed case they are now at 21.

More Funding Available for PPP Loans

 

An additional $320 billion was made available for the Paycheck Protection Program. Community State Bank's Mike Ewy says this will allow them to help even more small businesses then they already have.

 

Ewy says they have about twelve other applications they can take a look at once the additional funds comes in.  The funds for the PPP loans should start becoming available at the start of next week and businesses will able to apply for more payroll protection.  Ewy did want to give a shoutout to everyone who is working during this.

Acme Foundry To Close For Two Weeks Due To Positive COVID-19 Test Result

 

Coffeyville’s Acme Foundry will close for two weeks beginning Monday due to a positive COVID-19 test result. 

 

The foundry will close as a precautionary measure after one employee tested positive for the virus.  There have been no other positives cases found at the foundry and according to a company spokesperson the foundry is only closing as a precautionary measure to protect all their employees.

 

Acme will close Monday and remain shut down for two weeks.

Verbal Altercation Leads to Discovery of Drugs, No Bomb

 

Two Cherokee County residents were arrested yesterday afternoon on multiple drug counts and criminal threat.

 

Cherokee County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a verbal altercation in a church parking lot in Scammon. Upon arrival, the deputies were advised a woman involved in the altercation allegedly made threatening comments about a bomb being in the vehicle. Kansas State Troopers and an Explosive Detection K9 Unit from the Quapaw Tribal Marshals Office then responded to assist.

 

The explosives K9 did not detect the presence of explosives, however a Cherokee County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Detection K9 alerted to the presence of illegal drugs. When deputies searched the car, methamphetamine and marijuana were discovered.

 

Arrested at the scene were 36-year-old Melissa Miranda and 60-year-old Kevin Gray.

 

Both suspects were transported to the Cherokee County Jail where they are being held on allegations of Possessing Meth with Intent to Distribute, Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Miranda also faces an additional allegation of Criminal Threat.

Sen. Moran Addresses Funding for Testing Among Other Topics in Media Session

 

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran joined the University of Kansas Health System on Friday morning for their daily media update regarding Covid-19.

 

Moran discussed the recently passed federal relief package, the Paycheck Protection Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act, which included an additional $320 billion for PPP, $75 billion for hospitals and $25 billion for testing.

 

Moran says that despite the money coming in for testing, there's still a long way to go.

 

Other participants on the panel with Sen. Moran included Medical Director of Post-Acute Continuum of Care Dr. Jessica Kalender-Rich, Chief Medical Officer for the University of Kansas Health System Dr. Steve Stites and the Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Control Dr. Dana Hawkinson.

 

One of the biggest concerns that surrounds the spread of the Coronavirus is the effects in Nursing Homes and Long Term Care Facilities.

 

Dr. Jessica Kalender-Rich acknowledges the strain on our Nursing Homes and Long Term Care facilities and they are doing everything they can to keep those residents safe. 

 

You can hear a recent interview with Sen. Moran with KGGF from earlier this month by clicking here.

Labette County to Meet at the End of the Month

 

The Labette County Commission meeting scheduled for this coming Monday has been cancelled while commissioners wait for direction on COVID-19 restrictions. 

 

Commission Chair Lonnie Addis says they are hoping to get more information from the state and federal government on the COVID-19 virus and if any restrictions are to be lifted.  Addis says the commission is waiting for both President Trump and Governor Laura Kelly to make announcements about the country and state going forward.  He adds that if some restrictions are lifted the county will likely follow suit. 

 

The commission will have their regularly scheduled end of the month meeting next Thursday.                       

Indy Commission Approves 4th of July Fireworks Proposal

The Independence City Commission approved a proposal for this year's annual 4th of July fireworks display, taking advantage of a  

 

The approved proposal will put the city into a contract with Rainbow Fireworks out of Inman, Kansas. Two different proposals were put forward, one that would see the cost rise from last year's show but essentially keep the same show, or one that would cost the city the same amount as last year but would result in a smaller show.

 

The commission decided on the former, with a donor previously offering to cover the difference in cost between the two proposals. With the COVID-19 pandemic creating financial strain in the community, the commission also took a recommendation to not seek donations this year.  Independence Mayor Leonhard Caflisch said he wants to provide an opportunity for the community to relax.

 

As of now, the fireworks have not been postponed, but the city will need to let Rainbow Fireworks know by June 20th if the show needs to be moved.

Former ICC Coach Court Appearance

 

Former Independence Community College Head Football Coach Jason Brown was set to appear in Montgomery County Court tomorrow. The case stems from charges that were filed last June for blackmail, identity theft and criminal false communication. The charges come from a series of cease-and-desist emails that were sent to the Montgomery County Chronicle by Brown pretending to be a lawyer representing him.

 

With concerns of COVID-19 and the restrictions on travel, KGGF reached out to County Attorney Larry Markle to see if Brown would appear in court, but Markle replied “no comment”. However, Brown's Twitter activity doesn't show him to be in Kansas or getting ready for court.

Confirmed Coronavirus Cases in Kansas to Almost 2,500

 

The State of Kansas saw it's biggest increase in day to day confirmed Coronavirus cases. In the newest data provided by the Kansas Department of Health there are now 2,482 total cases an increase of 271 cases. Hospitalizations are now at 442, with total deaths at 112 and 18,836 negative cases.

 

Despite the drastic increase for the state there were no new confirmed cases in Southeastern Kansas. Labette County has 20 cases, Montgomery County at 13, Cherokee County at 7, Crawford County at 4, Chautauqua County at 3, Neosho County at 2, Wilson County at 1 and Elk County remains at 0.

Extra Money Coming for Unemployed

 

Unemployed Kansans should be expecting $600 a week courtesy of Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, which is a part of the CARES Act. Kansas Secretary of Labor Delia(Del-Yah) Garcia says these payments have gone live and should be expected soon.

 

Garcia says the $600 payments will automatically be received and retroactive payments from when the CARES Act was originally signed will be following.

Next Steps for the Coffeyville Recreation Commission

 

The Coffeyville Recreation Commission and its Board of Directors are still setting a goal toward getting programs running toward the summer. With the COVID-19 crisis canceling all activities traditionally offered by the CRC at this time, the commission is still moving forward with baseball and softball signups. CRC Director David Rains said the staff is concerned with how quickly the staff can get programs up and running again once the all-clear arrives

 

Certain regions of Kansas have been hit harder than others, which may require different agencies to take a different approach to how they react to the pandemic. However, once restrictions start to loosen up throughout the state, or at least in the SEK region, Rains said it will be up to each county and its government to reevaluate the situation and open up as needed. In the meantime, Rains said the "stay-at-home" order doesn't necessarily mean one is required to stay in the house.

 

The CRC Board will hold a meeting on May 3rd to reevaluate the situation.

Two Women Arrested For Theft

 

Two women were recently arrested in Chanute on a count of felony theft.

 

The Chanute Police Department responded to a business in south Chanute for a reported theft. Upon officers arrival, it was reported to them that two females left the store with several items totaling nearly $2,000 without paying for them. Officers quickly located a car in the area matching the description given to them. Officers interviewed 25-year old Cheyenne Swenson of Parsons and 22-year old Casey Graham of Thayer and placed them under arrest for felony theft after locating the items in the vehicle. The items were returned back to the business.

 

Swenson and Graham were transported to the Neosho County jail without incident. The investigation is still ongoing at this time.

Healthcare Provider Recognized as Hometown Hero

 

Mardie Long is a family healthcare provider with Wilson Medical Center at Independence Family Medicine. Long is passionate about her patients health, safety, and all around well-being, especially during these uncertain times. Her energy, optimism, compassion and sense of humor are seemingly limitless. She has been described as someone who goes above and beyond in caring for others and that's what makes her a Romans Chevrolet Buick and KGGF Hometown Hero.

 

If you have someone you think is deserving of being a hometown you can nominate them here.

Kansas Receives $53.3 Million Payment From Tobacco Settlement

 

Kansas has received its annual tobacco settlement payment totaling $53.3 million, Attorney General Derek Schmidt recently announced.

 

As it does each year, the annual payment will reimburse the state for funds previously appropriated by the Legislature to pay the current fiscal year’s cost of programs financed from tobacco settlement proceeds. Since the first payment was made in 1999, Kansas has received more than $1.24 billion from the participating tobacco manufacturers.

 

The settlement payments are intended to offset the costs of tobacco-related illness and disease that are borne by Kansas taxpayers through government-paid medical benefits. The payments are made each year pursuant to a legal settlement that resolved claims made by 46 states, including Kansas, against the tobacco companies in the late 1990s.

Coffeyville Alliance looking for Volunteers Next Week

 

The Coffeyville Alliance is looking for volunteers for some help next week if you want to get out of the house and help out the community.

 

Executive Director with the Chamber, Candi Westbrook says its a great opportunity to help deliver supplies to those in need.

 

They are also looking for people with pick-up trucks to help deliver those supplies and they also have opportunities for volunteers at the Brown Mansion.

 

If you would like to volunteer or find out more information you can contact Linda at 620-313-0942 or you can contact Candi at the Chamber at 620-251-2550.

Coffeyville Man Arrested for Indecent Exposure

 

A Coffeyville man has been arrested for indecent exposure after touching his genitals in the back of a Washington County patrol car.

 

Matthew Talley was charged with one count of indecent exposure for the incident that occurred on Tuesday morning on highway 75.

 

According to the affidavit, an officer was requested to perform a welfare check on Talley who was walking through tall grass along the highway. Talley advised the officer that he was walking from Coffeyville to a homeless shelter in Tulsa.

 

The female officer offered Talley a ride to the county line.

 

Once stopped it was discovered that Talley was touching himself in a “vigorous” manner according to the officer's report. Talley was put into custody.

 

Talley had been reported as a missing person out of Montgomery County.

 

Talley will return to court on Thursday in Washington County and his bond was set at $1,000.

Arvest Bank Announces $1.05 Billion in SBA Paycheck Protection Program Loans

 

Arvest Bank has announced that via the U.S. Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program, it's gained approval for over 9,700 small business loans totaling more than $1.05 billion.

 

“As an SBA Preferred Lender, we are well-acquainted with the weight small businesses carry in every community we serve,” Arvest President and CEO Kevin Sabin said. “I'm not sure it's possible to overstate the role they play, and that is why we decided to begin taking applications as soon as we were given the green light by the SBA.”

 

Arvest has assembled dedicated teams from across the company to work with small business owners around the clock to process applications.

 

Arvest Bartlesville Market CEO Kim Adams says, “Of the 399 local applications submitted, all 399 were approved and 100% funded with just under $58 million,” adding that “7,886 workers benefited from this Payroll Protection Plan.

 

A second round of funding may soon be available if its approved by Congress. However, Arvest will not accept new applications to its queue until the current applicants have been taken care of.

 

Locally, Arvest Bank is located in Caney and can be reached by calling 620-879-5811. 

Gov. Stitt Announces Phased Plan to Re-Open State

 

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt announced a three-phase process to begin re-opening Oklahoma. Stitt says that he wants certain businesses previously deemed non-essential to start operating as normal. Starting Friday, the state will authorize personal care businesses like hair salons, nail salons and pet groomers to open on a by-appointment only capacity. Stitt says the response of Oklahomans has allowed this to happen.

 

More businesses will be allowed to open on May 1, including restaurant dining rooms, churches and gyms. These businesses must abide by the CDC recommended social distancing and sanitation protocols. Stitt advised that opening these businesses is in accordance with data provided by the state health department.

 

Almost 200 New Coronavirus Cases in Kansas

 

Montgomery County sees the only new confirmed case of Coronavirus in Southeast Kansas, which brings their total to 13. Statewide cases increased by almost 200 up to 2,211, with 432 hospitalizations and 110 deaths.

 

The average age for positive tests has moved from around 55 to now 50. The age range of 20-34 currently has the highest percentage of cases at 21% with 469 total cases. Age 55-64 has 400 cases at 18% and age 45-54 has 388 cases at 17.5%. This is the most recent data provided by the Kansas Department of Health.

Young Girl Rescued after 20 Foot Fall

 

The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, Independence EMS, Montgomery County Rural Fire and Elk City Rural Fire, responded to the Elk City Lake walking trails for a female juvenile that fell roughly 20 to 30 feet down one of the ledges on what is known as the blue trail. Independence EMS along with Montgomery County Deputies were able to locate the child and her mother north of the shell beach area of the trail. EMS, and other rescue personal were able to safely extract the child back down the trail to the ambulance, where she was transported to Labette Health ER in Independence.

 

Sheriff Wade would like to thank all the agencies involved in making this a smooth and safe rescue and wishes a speedy recovery.

Pittsburg Chamber Forced to Postpone Events

 

Due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns, the Pittsburg Chamber of Commerce has postponed several upcoming events.

 

The chamber foundation golf classic, originally slated for May 8th, has been rescheduled for August 7. The chamber's annual banquet, originally scheduled for May 21st, will be rescheduled at a venue and time to be determined. Chamber coffees have been postponed until at least May 21st, but every attempt will be made to reschedule postponed coffees this summer if guidelines allow. Lastly, postponed Leadership Crawford County sessions will be rescheduled for this summer as well.

 

If you have any questions about these events being rescheduled or want more information, contact the chamber at (620) 231-1000.

Changes Announced for Absentee Voting in Montgomery County

 

All registered voters in Montgomery County will be receiving a letter in the next few weeks from the Montgomery County Clerk's Office.

 

County Clerk Charlotte Scott Schmidt says that due to Covid-19 that they are encouraging residents to apply for the advanced ballots.

 

It will be two applications for Advanced Mail Ballot with one application for the August 4th Primary and then a separate application for the November 3rd general election.

 

These applications are labeled for each election and those may be returned to the Clerk's Office at the same time in the enclosed self-addressed envelope.

 

If you would like to receive a ballot by mail than those will be mailed 20 days prior to each election. 

 

Voters will still have the option to vote early at the County Clerk's Office located inside the Courthouse in Independence starting 20 days prior to the election or you have the option to vote on election day at your regular polling place.

 

Schmidt says voters will still have the option to vote at the polls.

 

Please contact the Montgomery County Clerk's Office if you have questions or want to find out more information at 620-330-1200.

PSU Student Wins National Poetry Competition

 

A Pittsburg State University student and Montgomery County resident has won first place in a national poetry competition. Amanda Trout, hailing from Independence, received the award from "The Lyric," which is the oldest magazine in North America dedicated to traditional poetry.

 

Her poem was a villanelle titled "Mourners in the Wake of Wind and Rain." Trout is a sophomore and majors in English with an emphasis on creative writing, as well as Spanish with an emphasis in language and culture. She hopes to become a college professor to someday become an advocate for poetry.

Coronaviurs Cases in Kansas Now Over 2,000

 

No new confirmed Coronaviurs cases in Southeastern Kansas for the last three days, but the area continues to improve the testing rate. Labette County currently has the highest rate at 11.67, with Crawford County in second at 8.55 and Chautauqua County sitting at third with 8.31. Montgomery County has a testing rate of 8.04, which is almost doubled what it was a week ago.

 

Statewide, according to the Kansas Department of Health, positive cases are now at 2,025, with 419 hospitalizations and 107 deaths.

Coffeyville's Reawakening Starts Unique C-O-V-I-D Initiative

 

“Capitivate Our Ville, Inspire Design” that's the new initiative started by Coffeyville Reawakening to encourage those who are stuck at home to revitalize their homes. Reawakening's Denise York says the rules are simple you take a before and after photo of your project, have a Coffeyville address and post your photos to the Reawakening's Facebook page.

 

York says the deadline for this initiative is June 1st. She says because of the Coronavirus they've had to put other projects on hold but they have many more planned as they move through the spring and into the summer.

Chanute Man Taken In For Domestic Battery

 

A 28-year-old Chanute man was arrested earlier today on a count of domestic battery.

 

At approximately 11:15 this morning, officers with the Chanute Police Department responded to the area of 1400 block of West Main for a report of a domestic disturbance. Upon officers arrival, officers made contact with the occupants at the residents. During the investigation, Christopher Raymond Compton was arrested for domestic battery.

 

He was transported to the Neosho County Jail without incident.

Street Work Begins in Parsons

 

The City of Parsons announced that roadwork will begin tomorrow to replace old water lines.

 

Main Street between 18th Street and Central will be shut down beginning tomorrow morning and is expected to re-open Friday, weather permitting. At this time, there are no plans to shut off the water to any businesses in the affected area of this construction.

 

For any questions, contact Derek Clevenger at 620-421-7020.

KDOT Announces Approved March Bids for SE KS Counties

 

The Kansas Department of Transportation has announced approved bids for state highway construction and maintenance projects. The letting took place on March 25th.

 

District Four – Southeast

 

Cherokee: K-102, from the west end of K-102 route (the beginning of the route) east to the K-7/K-102 junction (end of the K-102 route), overlay, five miles.

 

Neosho: K-39, from the Wilson/Neosho county line east to the U.S. 169/K-39 junction, ultra thin bonded asphalt surfacing, two and a half miles.

 

Wilson: K-39, from the U.S. 400/K-39 junction east to the west U.S. 75/K-39 junction and from the east U.S. 75/K-39 junction east to the Wilson/Neosho county line, ultra thin bonded asphalt surfacing for nearly 23 miles.

 

Visit the KDOT website for more information. 

Schmidt Highlights Scams, Price Gouging & Religious Gatherings in Latest Covid-19 Update

 

Attorney General Derek Schmidt highlights scams, price gouging, victims services and religious gatherings all related to the Coronavirus pandemic.

 

Covid-19 scams continue to be widespread across the state with people finding new ways to earn a few dollars and cents off of hardworking citizens.

 

Schmidt says they have been working very hard and with others to put a stop to these scams.

 

Kansas has a anti-price gouging law, actually called the Profiteering from disaster law and its rarely invoked. It's only in effect in a time of a State of Emergency and right now we are in both a Federal and State of Emergency declared.

 

Schmidt mentions that the Attorney General's office received their 300th complaint involving price gouging this week since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and he says that most of the complaints turn out to not be in violation of price gouging.

 

It's currently National Crime Victims' Rights Week and Schmidt is reminding residents in Kansas that the state's victims services capabilities remain operational amid the response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

 

Schmidt acknowledges that the idea is right in order to protect yourself and others but it is not okay to say that it is a crime if you decide to do something different.

 

You can hear the entire interview with AG Derek Schmidt by clicking here. 

 

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

Water Quality Report for Coffeyville

 

The City of Coffeyville had no drinking water violations for the 2019 calendar year, according to a report released by the city on Monday.

 

The Annual Drinking Water Report provides a "snapshot" of the quality of water that the city provides. It also contains a list of contaminants found to be contained in the water during testing. Contaminants can reasonably be expected to be contained in any sample, but does not necessarily indicate a health risk. Testing is often done less than once a year, but it is expected that the concentration of most contaminants will not vary greatly from year to year.

 

Most testing for the 2019 report was done in April and May of that year. The full report can be found here. Questions should be directed to Shane George, the Superintendent of Water and Wastewater, at 620-252-6132.

Showers and Thunderstrorms Possible Through Wednesday

 

The National Weather Service in Wichita is calling for showers and thunderstorms starting overnight tonight and running through Wednesday.

 

Southeast Kansas will be expecting plenty of rainfall, with the NWS prediciting potential localized flooding along and south of US Highway 400. This area includes locations near the Kansas-Oklahoma border. The storms will clear up by Thursday, with the NWS calling for mostly sunny weather and a high of 75 degrees.

Indy City Commission Agenda for 4-23

 

The Independence City Commission will consider a propsal for the annual fireworks display when it meets in regular session this Thursday.

 

The three-person commission will look at two proposals for the display, which is scheduled for July 4th. One proposal calls for the same price as 2019, but would require a smaller show overall. The other proposal will keep the same show as the 2019 edition, but will cost an extra $1,050. Rainbow Fireworks out of Inman, Kansas put forward both proposals.

 

Other items on this week's agenda include the consideration of change orders regarding the 1916 City Hall project and the consideration of demolition bids for several condemned properties throughout the city. The commission will also receive a March Sales Tax report and a 2020 Census update.

 

Due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, the city is requesting that those interested in attending the meeting do so through watching the meeting on Facebook Live or joining via conference call. To join the call, dial +1 785-289-4727 and enter Conference ID: 720 955 494#. The meeting will start at 5:30 pm.

Estes Announces $6 Million in Emergency Funding for Kansas

 

Congressman Ron Estes has announced $6 million in Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding for Kansas.

 

This funding was included in the CARES Act which is the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act and it will be distributed by the U.S. Department of Justice.

 

Estes voted in support of the CARES Act which included $850 million in funding to be made available to Kansas, local and tribal governments.

 

More information can be found by clicking here. 

Oil Prices See Record Low

 

While the average driver is enjoying the low gas prices we've been seeing due to the Coronavirus it is having an adverse affect on the oil industry. Oil prices have dropped to historic never before seen lows as the cost to have a barrel of U.S. crude delivered in May fell to negative $37. Oil storage tanks are running close to full amid an abundance worldwide.

 

Traders are still paying $20 for a barrel to be delivered in June, which is considered closer to the true price of oil.

National Work Zone Awareness Week

 

It is National Work Zone Awareness Week, which raises awareness of the dangers highway workers and motorists face in work zones. Highway construction projects are continuing across the state with modified work practices, and as always, work zone safety is a top priority for the Kansas Department of Transportation, Kansas Turnpike Authority and partner organizations. Unfortunately, there are oftentimes close calls in work zones. Last year in Kansas, 1,420 work zone crashes occurred in which 437 people were injured and seven people were killed.

 

A few locations around the state will be lit in orange to highlight work zone safety, such as the Amelia Earhart Memorial bridge in Atchison. For more information about work zone safety you can go to KDOT’s website and click on the work zone safety slide.

IHS to Hold Awards Ceremony on KUSN 98.1

 

Independence High School students are going to be honored on air this Thursday night on 98.1 KUSN starting at 6:00pm for their academic achievements. Counselor Sam Carnes says they will also announce the seniors who have been awarded scholarships.

 

Carnes says because they can't hold the awards banquet like normal they've been presented a unique opportunity to do it on air and increase the recognition these students could receive.

BREAKING: Latest Covid-19 Numbers for Kansas from KDHE

 

The Kansas Department of Health have released the latest numbers for Covid-19 in the state for Monday. 

 

The number of confirmed cases in Kansas slowly continues to approach 2,000 with the number currently sitting at 1,986 with 405 hospitalizations and exactly 100 deaths.

 

It's the second straight day of no new confirmed cases in southeast Kansas with Labette County leading the way with 20 cases while Montgomery County stays at 12. Montgomery County's testing rate is now about eight with an average of 8.01 people tested per 1000.

 

Other notable SE KS Counties: Cherokee (7) Crawford (4) Chautauqua (3) Neosho (2) Wilson (1)

PSU Moves Summer Courses Online

 

To ensure the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff while uncertainty surrounds the COVID-19 pandemic, Pittsburg State University will continue online delivery of courses through the summer, the university announced recently. Enrollment for summer and fall courses began yesterday.

 

Vice President for Academic Affairs Howard Smith said that the school already delivers 93 percent of their summer courses online so it is not a giant leap for the school. Faculty planning face-to-face courses in the summer will begin preparations to move the coursework to alternative delivery methods. The school's goal is to resume normal operations in the fall.

 

Academic labs will remain closed for whole-class work and Axe Library will continue to operate in its current limited capacity.

Labette County Jail Enacting New Provisions

 

After careful consideration and in response to the growing concern of COVID-19, the Labette County Jail is announced it is enacting the following provisions as part of a containment and mitigation strategy and pandemic response plan to prevent and/or isolate the occurrence of the disease within the facility.

 

The Labette County County Sheriff's Office lobby is closed close to the public until further notice. Non-emergency questions are directed to call (620) 795-2565.

 

Due to Governor Laura Kelly's statewide stay-at-home order, inmate family visitation will be cancelled for the Saturdays of April 25th & May 2nd. Inmate money should be mailed by money order to the Labette County Emergency Operation Center. Jail ministry volunteers will be cancelled for the Thursdays of April 23rd, & April 30th.

 

Inmate Attorneys, Drug & Alcohol / Psychological / Children & Family Services need to call the jail and arrange for appointments by video. Bonding Agents must call the jail and make appointment for bonding inmates.

 

 

Montgomery County Students Named to Governor's Scholars List

High school seniors from Montgomery County schools have been named to the 2020 Governor's Scholars list for the state of Kansas. These students represent the top 1 percent of seniors across the entire state.

 

The students honored are Erin Ritter from Caney Valley High School, Alexis Jo Umbarger from Cherryvale High School, Deja Kuehn and Madeline Murdock from Field Kindley High School, and Samson Mah and Renee Trout from Independence High School.

 

The full list, which also honors students from the areas surrounding Montgomery County, can be found here.

Covid-19 Update: No New Confirmed Cases in SE KS

 

The number of Coronavirus cases in Kansas now stand at 1,849 from the latest figures provided by the Kansas Department of Health on Sunday.


 

There are 390 hospitalizations and 92 deaths related to the virus.


 

There are no new confirmed cases in southeast Kansas as Montgomery County stands at 12 positive cases while Labette County still holds the highest number in southeast Kansas with 20 confirmed cases. 

Kansas Education System to Receive Over $130 million in Relief

 

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) is going to provide over $130 million in direct relief for Kansas colleges, universities, and K-12 education.

 

Relief funds from the CARES Act include a flexible grant that can be spent on K-12 education including non public schools and charter, and also $37 million for colleges and universities in the states' 2nd Congressional District.

 

Congressman Steve Watkins, a member of the House Committee on Education and Labor and Member of the Subcommittee on Higher Education spoke in support of the relief on the house floor.

Labette Co. Resident Tests Both Positive and Negative for Covid-19

 

There have been questions recently surrounding a Labette County resident who tested both positive and negative for the Coronavirus.

 

KSNF reports that Cytocheck Laboratory President, Dr. Ron Leonard, says instances like this one are very rare and that in this case it is because that resident took two tests.

 

There are two different types of tests that look for Covid-19 and depending on what stage the virus is in, it could vary from one test to the other.

 

You could potentially have Covid-19 when you're getting tested but if the virus isn't in the right stages than the test could still show up negative.

 

Recommendations are if you do suspect that you are becoming ill to stay at home and call your local healthcare provider for your next steps.

 

The Covid-19 Clinic located at Coffeyville Regional Medical Center can be reached by calling 620-688-6566 and it is open Monday through Friday.

Useful Links for Covid-19 Information

 

The Montgomery County Commissioners during a special meeting to discuss Covid-19 wanted the community to be aware of the links and sites to go to in order to find accurate information regarding the Coronavirus. 

 

The most useful links for Covid-19 information is listed below. 

 

US Centers for Disease Control (US CDC) LINK

 

The Kansas Department of Health and Enviornment (KDHE) LINK 

 

Montgomery County Emergency Management Website LINK

 

Montgomery County Emergency Management Facebook Page LINK

 

Johns Hopkins Hospital - Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) LINK 

 

Governor Kelly's Webpage, with Executive Orders in the Press Release Section LINK

 

***The U.S CDC, KDHE and Johns Hopkins update their websites at different times each day so the numbers will not always match up exactly***

 

KDEM is providing a statewide situation map and some information for surrounding states. This map is for public health and emergency management agencies. 

 

 

Coronavirus Cases Now Over 1700 in Kansas

 

Montgomery County has a new confirmed Coronavirus case for the first time in almost a week bringing the total to 12. They have also significantly increased their testing, with 228 total tests bringing their test rate up from below 5 to 7.16 per 1000. Montgomery County had the only new test in Southeastern Kansas.

 

Statewide the number of confirmed cases is at 1,705, with 84 deaths and over 15,000 negative cases. This is the most recent information provided from the Kansas Department of Health.

Hero Honk in Independence

 

To show their appreciation to first responders, residents of Independence participated in Hero Honk as part of the Love Independence celebration.

 

Approximately 30-35 cars got lined up at the Matcor parking lot and slowly headed east in a caravan fashion flashing their hazard lights on Laurel Street to City Hall where the cars circled the building honking their horns. Some car windows were painted while others made signs showing their support of first responders in the Independence area.

 

The full video can be seen below

 

Dr. Norman Responds to Reports of Low Testing Rates

 

KDHE Secretary Dr. Lee Norman has responded to data ranking Kansas last in the nation in terms of testing rates per capita for the coronavirus. During a press conference on Friday, Dr. Norman referred to the data put out by the COVID Tracking Project, which currently ranks Kansas 51st out of all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Although Kansas averages just under 5 tests per 1,000 people, Norman said the state is using all of the supplies it is given.

 

Norman also shared some good news, pointing out data that shows Kansas ranks well in other areas.

 

In addition, Norman also said that more people are being brought on to perform contact tracing for earlier quarantine and isolation for those found to have coronavirus.

Columbus Resident Arrested On Multiple Drug Charges

 

A Columbus resident was arrested yesterday on a slew of drug charges.

 

A Kansas State Trooper requested the assistance of a Cherokee County Sheriff's Office K9 unit after conducting a traffic stop on a 2004 Chevy Blazer. Upon arrival, the K9 alerted to the presence of illegal narcotics in the vehicle. Arrested at the scene of the traffic stop was 33-year old Christopher Jon Markley. Markley was transported to the Cherokee County Jail on allegations of Possessing Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute, Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

 

In addition, who is required to register as a drug offender due to previous drug convictions, Markley is also being held on outstanding warrants for allegedly failing to comply with the Kansas Offender Registration Act.

Crawford Co. Mental Health Center Announces Temporary Closing of Addiction Treatment Center

 

The Crawford County Mental Health Center has stopped new admissions to the Addiction Treatment Center due to the Coronavirus.

 

The Addiction Treatment Center is located in Girard and they have not had a case of Covid-19.

 

No clients will be admitted during the duration of the close and they encourage clients and referral agencies to call and be placed on a wait list for when services resume.

 

Outpatient substance abuse services are still available through telephone and tele-video sessions. To schedule an appointment or to be put on the wait list, call 620-724-8806.

 

Mental health outpatient services are also available for new and existing clients by calling 620-231-5130.

 

As always the crisis mental health services are available 24/7 at 620-232-7283.

Kansas Making Changes On Applying For Unemployment

 

Kansas is asking jobless workers to limit when they file claims for unemployment benefits and has temporarily suspended a website function allowing people to check the status of their claims. The moves announced yesterday are a response to a surge in claims overwhelming the computer system at the Department of Labor.

 

The KDOL is asking people whose last names begin with A through M to file claims Sunday afternoons, Tuesdays and Thursdays and people whose last names begin with N through Z to file Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

 

The state received nearly 31,000 initial claims last week and handled more than 75,000 ongoing claims.

Phlebotomist Recognized as Hometown Hero

 

Teresa Goodman is a Phlebotomist, someone who draws blood, at Wilson Medical Center. Goodman always greets patients and staff in all of the communities with a huge, friendly smile and a warm greeting, which is something that is often needed especially during these complicated times.

 

Goodman has been described as someone who loves people and is quick to help in any way possible. She makes what could be an uncomfortable experience in having your blood drawn as pleasant as possible, distracting you with her fun and friendly banter. This is why Romans Chevrolet Buick and KGGF want to recognize Teresa Goodman as a Hometown Hero.

 

Child Injured In Dog Attack In Caney

 

A child was transported to a hospital after being attacked by a dog.

 

The Caney Police Department received a 911 call from a caller at 201 West 9th Street. The caller reported that their child had been attacked by a dog and were requesting emergency assistance. Caney Police arrived first and assisted with the injured child, until ambulance personnel arrived on scene. The two year old child was treated for facial injuries and transported to Bartlesville and later transferred to a Tulsa hospital.

 

A Caney Police Officer and Animal Control Officer attempted to catch the dog that attacked the child. The dog was aggressive towards the officers and attempted to attack them. A Caney Police Officer was forced to put the dog down, due to the dog being so aggressive.

 

The dog was taken and is being sent for rabies testing.

Wilson County Gets First Case Of COVID-19

 

 

 

The Wilson County Health Department announced its first case of COVID-19.  The patient that contracted the coronavirus was identified as a woman over age 90. The patient was released from the hospital after she was declared fever-free for 72 hours and the onset of symptoms had been more than seven days. The test results confirming a positive diagnosis of COVID-19 were received Wednesday.  The Wilson County epidemiology nurse is working to trace anybody who had close contact with the patient who contracted the virus. According to the department, those people will be notified as soon as possible with recommendations for their next steps.

 

The Wilson County case is the only new case in Southeastern Kansas, but according to the Kansas Department of Heath the total number of cases statewide is up to 1,588, with deaths at 80 and negative cases now over 14,500.

 

 

Joplin, MO Offers $1 Billion for Tesla Cybertruck Factory

 

Joplin, MO is 83 miles from Coffeyville and they are shelling out big bucks in order to entice Tesla to its community.

 

Joplin has put together a plan that features $1 billion in incentives to lure in a Tesla Cybertruck factory.

 

The incentives and savings for Tesla would include a discount on a near 1,050 acre site that comes with retail access as well as providing local and state tax credits.

 

One key note on their website says that Joplin has some of the leading battery manufacturers in the region and more than 150 battery engineers in the city.

 

Tesla revealed its new Cybertruck electric pick-up truck last year.

PSU Facilities to Remain Closed Through May 3rd

 

With the recent announcement from Governor Laura Kelly to extend the statewide stay-at-home order to continue to prevent the spread of Covid-19, facilities at Pittsburg State will remain closed through at least May 3rd.

 

The original order was set to expire April 6th but that was extended to April 19th and the most recent announcement adding two more weeks with possible further extensions in the future.

 

PSU employees will continue to work from home except the essential personnel who have been doing work on campus will continue to do so.

 

Visit pittstate.edu for more information.

Gov Kelly Extends Stay at Home Order

 

The Stay at Home Order for the State of Kansas, which was set to end on April 19th, has been extended to May 3rd. Govoner Laura Kelly, who made the announcement during her daily press briefing, says she wanted to extend it another two weeks.

 

Kelly says she understands the pressure to get things returned to normal and businesses opened back up.  One issue with the order being extended to May 3rd is that the state of emergency ends on May 1st. Governor Kelly says both her and the legislature are trying to work everything out so they can move forward together.

Almost 1,500 Coronavirus Cases in Kansas

 

The most recent numbers from the Kansas Department of Health have the number of confirmed cases of the Coronavirus at 1,494, with hospitalizations at 342, deaths now at 76 and just over 13,000 negative cases.

 

Labette and Cherokee County both have new cases bringing Labette to 20 cases, the most in Southeast Kansas, and Cherokee County to 7 cases. Montgomery County and Labette County have both seen five people that have recovered from COVID-19.

Iola Woman Arrested On Criminal Threat Charge

 

A 19-year old Iola woman was arrested yesterday on a charge of making a criminal threat.

 

Officers with the Chanute Police Department responded to the area of the 700 block of South Santa Fe and spoke with a female that stated an adult male and female pulled up in the alley behind the residence in a dark colored car. The occupants in the car, started yelling at a juvenile and allegedly the female in the car stated that she was going to shoot the juvenile. The vehicle left the area shortly after. Officers were able to make contact with Roushell Billbe who was the female driver of the car, and she was taken into custody for criminal threat.

 

She was transported to the Neosho County Jail without incident.

Romans Chevy Buick and KGGF Recognize an Area Doctor

 

Romans Chevrolet Buick and KGGF would like to recognize Dr. Joe Meier as a Hometown Hero. Dr. Meier is a Board Certified Family Physician with Neodesha Family Medicine and Cherryvale Family Medicine, as well as an ER Provider with Wilson Medical Center. He has been working to aid Wilson Medical Center, it's Rural Health Clinics, and the area communities in providing information and implementing health measures to reduce exposures and ensure patient and staff safety.

 

Dr. Meier has tackled this enormous challenge with compassion, 100% dedication, and a positive attitude. He has been described as an asset to the community.

Appointments the Highlight of New Business at Coffeyville City Commission Meeting

 

New business was the highlight for Tuesday night's Coffeyville City Commission meeting.

 

Mayor Paul Bauer opened the meeting with the review of the agenda following roll call and the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

The Commissioners reviewed the consent agenda which featured City Commission meeting minutes and the 2020 Appropriation Ordinance No. AO-20-07 in the amount of $923,583.99. After some discussion regarding the specifics of the ordinance, Mayor Bauer made the motion to approve the consent agenda and was seconded by Commissioner Ann Marie Vannoster. The Commissioners unanimously approved the consent agenda.

 

Usually there is a portion of the meeting that is designated for public comments however with the Executive order in place there have been some slight changes to the meetings going forward so there was no public in attendance to provide any feedback of topics and the Commission acknowledged and wanted to thank the public for their understanding during these unusual circumstances.

 

Plenty of new business was discussed on the agenda including appointments for the Coffeyville Recreation Commission Board as well as the Public Library Board of Directors appointment.

 

The Appointments for the Coffeyville Recreation Commission Board included applicants Lisa Collins and Allen Gillis. Mayor Bauer made a motion to approve the appointments and Commissioner Vannoster seconded the motion which was then followed by unanimous approval from the Commissioners. (AUDIO)

 

The Public Library Board of Directors Appointment featured applicant Sue Rudziensky. Commissioner mentioned that Rudziensky had been on the board before and that it was her passion and she had no problem appointing Rudziensky to the Public Library Board of Directors. The motion was made by Vannoster and seconded by Commissioner Robert York which was then followed by unanimous approval from the Commissioners. (AUDIO)

 

The remaining items under new business featured Resolutions R-20-21 through 24. Resolution R-20-21 was a resolution to approve entry into a Mutual Aid Agreement with GRDA. City Manager Mark Hull provided comments. Motion was made by Commissioner Vannoster and seconded by Commissioner Tracy Maxson which was followed by unanimous approval from the Commissioners. 

 

Resolution R-20-22 was a Resolution to authorize the Mayor to execute an Amendment to the City's section 125 Flexible Benefit Plan. City Manager Mark Hull provided comments. Motion was made by Vice Mayor Justin Doane and seconded by Commissioner Vannoster to approve the Resolution which was followed by unanimous approval. 

 

Resolution R-20-23's Resolution is to approve the waiver of certain building permit and inspection fees. City Manager Mark Hull made comments. The Commissioners also discussed a Resolution to amend the City of Coffeyville fee schedule for 2020 and they also had a discussion regarding future Commission meetings in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

 

City Manager Mark Hull gave his City Manager's report which was followed by comments from Commissioners and staff before the meeting adjourned. 

 

The next scheduled Coffeyville City Commission meeting is on Tuesday, April 28th beginning at 6:30 PM. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hero Honk for Love Independence on Thursday

 

Hero Honk for Love Independence will take place on Thursday, April 16th beginning at 6:00 PM.

 

Join the effort to honor and thank the unseen heroes from the Fire, EMS, Police & Dispatch departments, as well as the healthcare workers at Independence Healthcare Center and Emergency Room.

 

The vehicle caravan will assemble in the Matcor parking lot at 2400 West Laurel and they ask you to please arrive 15-20 minutes early so they can organize the caravan.

 

Notes for the event:

  • Please turn on your flashers and stay in your vehicle

  • For your health and safety, please do not invite anyone outside of your immediate family to ride in your vehicle

  • The caravan will leave the parking lot promptly at 5:55 PM to arrive at City Hall by 6:00 PM

  • The caravan will continue to the ER and will disassemble from there

  • Everyone is encouraged to make posters and signs and decorate their car thanking our heroes

  • Please use #HeroHonk and #LOVEIndependence when posting on social media

Moran Announces Over $3 billion to Provide KS Small Businesses

 

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran announced on Tuesday the U.S. Small Business Administration has approved nearly 20,000 loans totaling over $3.7 billion in federal relief dollars reaching Kansas small businesses.

 

The SBA was awarded supplemental funding through Phase III of the Coronavirus, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.


 

Sen. Moran joined KGGF last week and you can hear the entire online by clicking here.

U.S. Highway 169 To Be Closed In Anderson County This Week

 

The Kansas Department of Transportation plans to close U.S. 169 to traffic between Maryland Road at Welda and the south U.S. 169/U.S. 59 junction tomorrow, weather permitting. The closure will be in effect until late 2020.

 

Northbound U.S. 169 traffic will be placed on a signed state route detour as follows: from the U.S. 169/U.S. 54 junction at Iola, travel east on U.S. 54 to the U.S. 54/U.S. 59 junction at Moran, then travel north and west on U.S. 59 to the south U.S. 59/U.S. 169 junction. Southbound U.S. 169 traffic should take the same detour route in the opposite direction.

 

The highway closure is part of the $21 million project to reconstruct and rehabilitate 7½ miles of U.S. 169 in Anderson County. Work started in early March.

Phillips 66 Gives Huge Boost to COVID-19 Grant Program

 

The Bartlesville Regional United Way Grant Program gets a $300,000 donation from Phillips 66. This brings the total funding of the program to $340,000. President and CEO Lisa Cary says it was in response to the Coronavirus out break that the board of directors approved the creation of the 2020 BRUW COVID-19 Impact Grant Program.

 

Cary says the program will allow nonprofit organizations located in Washington, Nowata and Osage counties to apply for grants to support their respective programs and services that address needs directly related to the Coronavirus. Phillips 66 Vice President of Technology Ann Oglesby says they are pleased they can assist the frontline organizations that are responding to pandemic relief efforts in Bartlesville and the surrounding areas.

Over 1,400 Cases Statewide in Kansas

 

Fifty new confirmed Coronavirus cases in the state of Kansas. The most recent information from the Kansas Department of Health has the new totals at 1,426 confirmed cases, 327 hospitalizations, 69 deaths and over 12,500 negative cases.

 

Labette County has the only new case in Southeastern Kansas which bring their total to 19 confirmed cases. Labette is also the highest in Southeast Kansas when it comes to testing rate at 9.68 per 1,000. Montgomery county has improved their testing rate currently sitting at 4.46 per 1,000 with a total of 142 people tested in the county.

Nonresident Turkey Tags No Longer Available in Kansas

 

Turkey season is set to start in Kansas, but there will be a very limited number of out of state hunters. Governor Laura Kelly with the support of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism has suspended the sales of general nonresident turkey permits. Kelly says while turkey hunting is largely a solitary activity, the potential for inadvertent spread due to travel associated with nonresident participation is something we simply cannot risk.

 

Nonresident hunters who made their spring turkey purchase prior to April 9th may still participate in Kansas’ spring turkey season. Secretary Brad Loveless says there’s no doubt this will come as a disappointment to many of our out-of-state hunters and outfitters. He says he is confident many of these same individuals will understand and join us in staying local this year until we can once again travel without fear of spreading COVID-19.

Governor Kelly Announces New Executive Order

 

Governor Laura Kelly has issued a new executive order as part of her administration’s comprehensive response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Executive Order #20-22 will extend temporary relief for motor carriers from certain rules and regulations. It is an extension of motor carrier rules and regulations put in place by Executive Order #20-09.

 

The order lifts certain weight restrictions and permitting requirements to allow needed medical supplies, food shipments and other items to move through Kansas as quickly as possible. These exceptions apply only to motor carriers actively participating in COVID-19 response effort.

 

Kelly said that “The executive order issued today will ease the burden on the workers who are critical to our state’s response capabilities.”

Over 600 Masks Made by This Hometown Hero

 

After the CDC recommended wearing face masks when out in public the demand for them was very high and so was the need for homemade face masks. College Student and Mom Hunter Boorigie started making face masks with donated material for anyone needing or wanting a mask. Her post on social media spread quickly, and before she knew she had made over 600 masks and has given all of them away for free. Boorigie says that helping is the right thing to do,especially in this situation.

 

The threat of the virus hits close to home for Boorigie as her daughter Keeva has a bad kidney, and is very susceptible to any little infection or virus. So she knows how important it is to take all precautions to keep everyone as safe as possible. That is why she is being recognized as a Romans Chevrolet Buick and KGGF Hometown Hero.

Nowata County Man Arrested For Burglary, Possession

 

A 36-year old Nowata County man was recently arrested on multiple counts including burglary. Jesse Blanke was arrested for 1st Degree Burglary, Possession of Firearm while in Commission of a Felony, Resisting Arrest and other charges.

 

Blanke had been walking down a county road west of Nowata shooting a shotgun wearing only pajama bottoms when he then entered a residence with the shotgun, where a family with children were at home. A family member retrieved their own shotgun and confronted Blanke and the father disarmed Blanke who fled the scene. Blanke was found hiding in a ditch across the road and arrested after a brief struggle.

 

Blanke is in the Nowata County Jail on a $500,000 bond.

U.S. Census Suspends Field Operations until June

 

To protect the health and safety of staff members and community members, the U.S. Census Bureau has adapted or delayed some of their field operations.

 

Under the adjusted plan, field activities would resume after June 1st, as area Census offices begin returning to full staff capacity.

 

The U.S. Census Bureau is adjusting operations in order to protect the health and safety of the American people as well as employees of the Census. Implement guidance from Federal, State and local authorities regarding the Coronavirus, and ensure a complete and accurate Census count of all communities.

 

The 2020 Census is underway and you are encouraged to fill those out either online or over the phone.

 

As of Monday, April 13th, 48.1% of the nation's households have responded to the Census either online or over the phone. Kansas is #9 in the nation for a self-response rate of 52.5%.

Nowata County Covid-19 Testing Available Tuesday

 

As part of a statewide initiative to get all Oklahoman's who require a screening for Covid-19, a drive-thru clinic is coming to Nowata.

 

The site will be at the First Baptist Church of Nowata on Tuesday, April 14th, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Nowata County Emergency Manager Laurie Summers says that there are just under 100 tests available. Summers says she is in support of the clinic. 

 

The tests are free, but you must be a resident of Oklahoma, must either be displaying symptoms of Covid-19 such as a cough or fever or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive.

 

Only one test will be administered per vehicle. District One Commissioner Burke LaRue wants only those who truly need a test to come forward.

It's estimated that those who test positive will be notified within 48 hours.

45 Test Positive for COVID-19 at Bartlesville Care Facility

 

33 residents and 12 employees have tested positive for COVID-19 at Bartlesville Health & Rehab Community. Owner Alex Dout says every resident has been tested by staff from Jane Phillips Medical Center. Four residents have been hospitalized, and their condition at this time is unknown.

 

Dout says they immediately contacted Burggraf Restoration and had them sanitize the entire building. They have what they are calling a “COVID Ward” for their positive residents to keep them separate from the negative patients.

 

Dout says 12 nurses are working with the residents at this time. They are short staffed and could use anyone with nursing experience to help them at this time.

Two Arrested in Gun Store Burglary

 

34 year old Aaron Blake and 28 year Alexis Hoesman both of Cherryvale have been arrested in connection with a gun store burglary in Cherryvale. Earlier this month Montgomery County Sheriff Deputies and investigators were dispatched to USA Gun Bunker for a report of a burglary of the store. Due to the nature of the items stolen, the ATF was requested for assistance. Agents from the ATF, sheriff’s office detectives, Deputies, and Officers from the Cherryvale Police Department worked together in a coordinated effort to locate the stolen firearms and find the individuals responsible. At this point in the investigation multiple firearms have been recovered.

 

Blake is charged with burglary, theft, possession of narcotics and traffic of contraband in a correctional facility and is also being held with a felony warrant stemming from another case. Hoesmam has charges recommended for aiding and abetting burglary and theft. Sheriff Ron Wade says there were a lot of moving parts in this investigation, and multiple agencies involved. Everyone has worked very well together, and have made a lot of progress for the victims of this burglary.

No New Coronavirus Cases in the SEK

 

The State of Kansas continues to see an increase in the number of confirmed Coronaviurs cases. According to the most recent numbers provided by the Kansas Department of Health there are now 1,376 positive cases, 62 COVID-19 related deaths and almost 12,500 negative results. Despite the state seeing an increase there were no new confirmed cases in Southeast Kansas.

 

Labette County has 18, Montgomery County has 11, Cherokee County has 6, Crawford County with 4. Chautauqua County has 3, Neosho County has 2, and both Wilson and Elk County remain at 0.

Husband and Wife Honored as Hometown Heroes

 

Ask any healthcare worker or anyone who's have to wear a face mask constantly right now they can become very uncomfortable very quickly. Two former Montgomery County residents despite currently living in Virginia have stepped up to help alleviate some of that soreness that comes from wearing a mask daily. Chief Yeoman Kent Woods and his wife Ashley have been using their 3D printer to make over 300 3D mask extenders. They ran their 3D printer for three days straight so they could quickly get those extenders sent back to the people that needed them in the county. They have posted to their Facebook page that they are willing to make more for anyone needing or wanting some.

 

Romans Chevrolet Buick and KGGF would like to honor both Kent and Ashley Woods. Even though they are no longer living in the community they were quick to help and that makes them a Hometown Hero.

A Pair Of Hearings Scheduled In Independence

 

A pair of hearings have been s cheduled in Independence in May for a communication tower and and a trio of variance requests.

 

The Independence Planning Commission will conduct a public hearing on May 5 at 5:30 pm to receive comments on a request for a conditional use permit for a communication tower at 1101 E. Main Street.

 

The Independence Board of Zoning Appeals will also conduct a public hearing on May 5 at 5:30 pm to receive comments on a variance request to decrease the setbacks in three commercial services district at 611 W. Main Street, 615 W. Main Street, and 101 S. 12th Street.

 

The hearings will be conducted in the Civic Center and will begin at 5:30 pm. However, due to the Governor’s executive order limiting gathering to less than 10 individuals, participation is encouraged via conference call. The number to dial into the conference is 785-289-4727 and select conference ID: 886 362 748#.

 

All interested persons should participate in the meeting via conference and they will be heard.

Distance Learning Feedback on Monday Night's School Board Agenda

 

The USD 445 School Board Meeting is scheduled for Monday night with a light agenda on the docket.

 

USD 445 Superintendent Dr. Craig Correll joined KGGF on Monday morning to update the listeners about the meeting and he says the agenda will consist of an update on the continuous learning along with teaching provisions, and updated meal prices for the upcoming year.

 

Correll mentions that the distance learning feedback has been nothing short of positive and he acknowledges the teachers and staff members during these difficult times.

 

The school's are continuing to distribute meals to children 18 years old and younger during this time and Correll says that the meals can be picked up on Monday's and Wednesday's and that can take care of your children throughout the week.

 

The USD 445 School Board Meeting will take place at 5:00 PM and can be accessed with audio through their Facebook page.

Coronvirus Cases Continue to Rise in Kansas

 

Kansas continues to see a steady increase in positive COVID-19 cases. According to the most recent information provided by the Kansas Department of Health there are now 1,337 confirmed Coronavirus cases in the state, 56 that have resulted in death and nearly 12,000 negative cases.

 

Labette County has the most cases in Southeast Kansas with 18 and Montgomery County sits at 11 confirmed cases. Cherokee and Neosho County both have one new confirmed case bringing their total to 6 and 2 cases respectively. Crawford and Chautauqua counties both remain at 4 and 3 cases respectively. Wilson and Elk county continue to remain at no confirmed cases.

Kansas Supreme Court Says Executive Order Will Stand

 

The Kansas Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Governor Laura Kelly's executive order limiting church gatherings and funerals to 10 people or less. Late Saturday night, the court released its ruling, declaring that the Legislative Coordinating Council does not have authority to revoke an executive order.

 

The lawsuit was filed Thursday after the Republican-dominated council overturned the order, which was made on Tuesday. The meeting, which was held over Zoom, featured unprecedented electronic arguments. Senior Judge Michael E. Ward released the court's opinion, with Justices Dan Biles and Caleb Stegall writing concurring opinions. 

 

 

Independence Fire Leads to Fatality, Others Injured

 

A house fire that occured in Independence on Friday has taken the life of a young child and injured three others. According to the Montgomery County Chronicle, the fire started at about 8:22 p.m. at 1208 N. 6th.

 

Firefighters were advised that there were victims in the house. A female victim was found in a neighbor's yard and told responders that her husband and two children were still inside the house.

 

The victims inside the house were found and taken to an ambulance, then proceeded to the Labette Health emergency room for treatment. Later, the victims were taken to regional hospitals for more medical treatment.

 

The fire was eventually controlled at about 9 a.m, with the house being considered a total loss. The cause of the fire will be investigated by the Independence Police Department and the Kansas State Fire Marshal's office.

 

*Photo courtesy of Montgomery County Chronicle*

Nurse Recognized as Hometown Hero

 

Romans Chevrolet Buick and KGGF want to recognize LPN Rylee Kelly as a Hometown Hero. Kelly attended Oklahoma Union High School, took classes at Coffeyville Community College and is a part of the nursing program at Bartlesville Wesleyan. She is currently working at Hillcrest Hospital in Claremore while see works on becoming a RN.

 

Nurses are at the frontline when it comes to the COVID-19 and Kelly is one of many who have stepped up to help and that is why Romans Chevy Buick and KGGF thank Rylee Kelly for being a Hometown Hero.

 

Gas Prices Continue to Tumble in Kansas and Oklahoma

 

The demand for gasoline is down to a nearly 30-year low at a time when people are staying at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic and gasoline prices continue to drop.

 

As traffic drops, so do gas prices. The national gas price average is $1.83, which is a drop of 8 cents since last week, 50 cents since last month and 95 cents since last year. In Kansas, prices have dropped 10 cents since last week, nearly 50 cents in the past month and 94 cents since last year. The state average sits at $1.61.

 

Montgomery County currently sits slightly higher than the state average at $1.67, while Labette County came in slightly higher at $1.69 a gallon. Both Chautauqua and Elk counties are level with the state average.

 

Oklahoma has checked in with the 2nd least expensive gas in the country with an average gallon of gasoline costing $1.39. Gas in Washington and Nowata counties came in just over the state average at $1.40 and $1.44 a gallon, respectively.

50 COVID Related Deaths in Kansas

 

There are now 1,166 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Kansas, with 50 deaths and over 10,000 negative cases. Labette County has the most positive cases in Southeast Kansas with 14 out of 167 people tested. Montgomery County has 12 confirmed cases and 125 total tests. Cherokee, Crawford and Chautauqua Counties continue to stay at 5, 4 and 3 positive cases respectively. Neosho County sits at 1 positive case and Wilson and Elk county still have zero confirmed cases.

 

This is the most recent information provided by the Kansas Department of Health.

Conversation with Senator Dan Goddard

 

Senator Dan Goddard called into KGGF this morning and discussed several topics. Goddard was asked if the COVID-19 pandemic could affect the upcoming legislative session.

 

In addition to an update on the possibility of the start of the legislative session being pushed back, we asked the Senator his feelings on Governor Laura Kelly's Executive Order banning religious gatherings and the order being struck down by the Legislative Coordinating Council the next day.

 

To listen to the entire interview with Senator Goddard, you can find here.

 

Governor Kelly Sues GOP Lawmakers Over Revoked Order

 

The battle over Governor Laura Kelly's efforts to limit church gatherings to 10 or less people took another turn Thursday afternoon. Kelly, a Democrat, has submitted a petition to the Supreme Court of Kansas in an attempt to overturn the revocation of Tuesday's executive order. 

 

In her petition, Kelly and her counsel cited President Donald Trump's recent calls for social distancing, quoting him as saying it was "a matter of life and death." Furthermore, Kelly also argues that the Legislative Coordinating Council does not have the power to revoke executive orders and that such decisions must come through the state legistlature.

 

In her daily press briefing on Thursday, Kelly said she fully believes the court will be fair in its judgment.

 

Kelly's full petition to the court can be found here. A hearing has been scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday morning.

Injuries During Fire in Indepedence

 

A fire at a home in the 1200 block of North 6th Street in Independence has resulted in injuries to several occupants. The fire occurred shortly after 8:15am this morning. According to what witnesses told the Montgomery County Chronicle, they saw three injured people removed from the house on stretchers by the Independence Fire-EMS Department. They were transported to Labette Health's Independence Healthcare Center.

 

KGGF reached out to Independence Police Chief Jerry Harrison and are awaiting further details. 

 

*Photo courtesy of Montgomery County Chronicle*

Nurses From CRMC Update Community On Latest Covid-19 Info

 

Sarah Hoy and Pilar Davis with Coffeyville Regional Medical Center joined KGGF on Friday morning to update the community on information related to Covid-19.

 

Hoy is the Chief Nursing Officer and Davis is the Infection Prevention Nurse with CRMC.

 

Hoy had high praise for the community and those involved with helping out by providing masks and other equipment to the front-line workers in our healthcare facilities.

 

There have been plenty of questions surrounding the availability of test kits within our healthcare facilities and Davis says there are kits available at CRMC but certain criteria needs to be met in order to be tested.

 

Hoy discussed the specific criteria that needs to be met in order to get tested for the virus and the symptoms to look out for. Davis added that shortness of breath and those with anxiety can experience symptoms that can be related to Covid-19. 

 

Not only do healthcare providers have to deal with everything related to Covid-19 but they still also have to deal with other emergencies not related to the virus. Hoy mentions those who are having babies makes it challenging and the numbers around the country for healthcare facilities are down overall.

 

Hoy highlights the many policy changes they have had to make at CRMC during this pandemic. 

 

Davis also mentions that using the Kansas Department of Health and Environment website is a great source to stay up to date with numbers and information. 

 

You can contact the CRMC Covid-19 Clinic if you have any questions related to the virus at 620-688-6566 and provider will be available to provide information. 

 

 

Iola City Council Meeting Modifications

 

Due to Governor Kelly’s Executive “Stay at Home” order the City of Iola will modify upcoming City Council Meetings during the COVID-19 situation. The modified meetings will continue in this fashion until this Executive Order expires or is lifted.

 

For the protection of public health, as well as the City Council and staff, the public will not be allowed into the building but the press will be allowed to attend. To comply with the Kansas Open Meetings Act, the meeting will be available to anyone to watch and listen to the meeting through Facebook live on the the City of Iola's Facebook page. The City Council meeting video will also be aired on Cox Cable Channel 6 and posted on the City’s website following the meeting for viewing.

 

For any further questions or information about these modifications call 620-365-4900 to speak with a city official.

The Regular Labette Co. Commission Meeting Cancelled for Monday

 

The regular commission meeting for Labette County scheduled for Monday, April 13th has been cancelled.

 

All accounts payable, abates and refunds will be handled on Monday since the commissioners has given the authority of approval to the commission chair.

 

A special meeting in the near future could be called for if something were to come up that needs to be discussed.

 

Work has been divided up with the commissioners so that all aspects of county government is carried out. Commissioners can still be contacted if you have any questions or comments.

Indy City Commissioner Talks Road Safety During Meeting

 

Independence City Commissioner Dean Hayse took the time at Thursday's city commission meeting to stress the importance of road safety. With plenty of road construction around the city, big trucks and other traffic are often moving around city streets.

 

Hayse said if you are out and about and see unsafe activity, you should speak up. He also spoke of the experience that led him to bringing up his concerns.

 

Hayse said he is confident these issues can be taken care of.

Discussion Centers on Emergency Grant Fund at Indy City Meeting

 

The Independence City Commission met Thursday for its regularly scheduled meeting. Only two items were listed for the commission to take action upon, including a resolution setting a date of June 25th for the condemnation of a structure on 801 Birch Street. That was met with approval. The commission also discussing reconsidering the requirements defined by “brick and mortar” for businesses looking to qualify for the emergency grant fund. Commissioner Leonhard Caflisch provided a definition of what “brick and mortar” should mean.

 

Commissioner Louis Ysusi said he's aware that the pandemic has taken a toll on everyone in the community, but still recognized that there's not enough to cover everything.

 

Finally, commissioner Dean Hayse looked toward the future with other grants.

 

Director of Safety David Cowan was also in attendance to give the commission an update on the numbers surrounding the spread of COVID-19. The next regular city commission meeting will be held in two weeks on April 23.

Montgomery County Courthouse to Remain Closed Through April

 

As part of continued efforts to contain the COVID-19 virus, the Montgomery County Courthouse will continue to remain closed for business to the public through May 7th.

 

County office staff members and department heads are still working and calls will still be received. Many services provided by the courthouse can be done online or over the phone.

 

The Judicial Building is also still closed to the public and visitation to the Department of Corrections has been suspended until further notice.

BREAKING: Latest Covid-19 Numbers for Kansas from KDHE

 

The latest Covid-19 numbers have been released for Kansas by the KDHE for Thursday. The number of positive results have surpassed 1,100 with 1,106 including 42 deaths which is four more than the previous update.

 

Montgomery county remains at 11 positive cases with 117 people reported to have been tested. That is an average 3.68 of people tested per 1,000.

 

Labette county has added two more positive results which brings the total number of cases to 11. Chautauqua remains at 3 while Neosho stays at one. Elk and Wilson counties have yet to report a positive case.

 

The highest number of positive cases in the state are in Wyandotte, Johnson and Sedgwick counties. Wyandotte with 272 positive cases, Johnson with 252 and Sedgwick with 161.

Continuous Learning Plan At Coffeyville Public Schools

 

During this time of the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, school buildings in the state were closed to help stop the potential spread of the virus. But because the school buildings are closed, it doesn't mean learning stops. Early Learning Center Principal Amanda Cavaness joined KGGF this morning (yesterday morning) to talk about the steps the state and USD445 have taken to continue the school year.

 

Cavaness also talked about the various ways the learning packs can be accessed.

 

Cavaness also discussed the early start of the summer meal program.

 

You can hear the entire interview on our website at K-G-G-F Radio.com

Headlights For Hope At CRMC

 

This was just a sampling of the horns that were heard last night at CRMC's Headlights for Hope. The event was to show appreciation for Coffeyville Regional Medical Center's healthcare workers who work extremely hard to keep the community healthy.

 

The event began a little before 7pm with cars honking, flashing their hazard lights and were holding signs to show their support during shift change at the hospital. An estimated 50-75 cars showed up for the event and healthcare workers had signs thanking everybody for showing up.

 

You can see the full video of the event on our Facebook page.

 

 

 

2020 Census Update: Kansas Ahead of National Response Rate

Montgomery County is lagging behind the rest of the state when it comes to response rates to the census.  According to the latest figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau, 51% of Kansans have responded to the census but only 43.7% of households from Montgomery County have responded.  Within the county Independence is fairing a little better with a 45.5% response rate4 while Coffeyville is at 43.7%.

 

Elsewhere in southeast Kansas, Neosho County has a 51.3% response rate, Labette County 44.5%, Wilson County 43/3% and Chautauqua County 36.5%.

 

41.9% of Oklahomans have responded to the census with Washington County at 48.2%, Craig County at 39.7% and Nowata County at 24.3%.

 

Equity Bank Offering Paycheck Protection Program to Small Businesses

 

Equity Bank serves as a Small Business Administration lender actively offering the Paycheck Protection Program which provides an immediate source of funding for small businesses affected by Covid-19.

 

Southeast Kansas Regional President of Equity Bank, David Wright, joined KGGF on Thursday morning and provided the listeners an overview of what the Paycheck Protection Program is.

 

PPP loans are funded by the SBA and underwritten by Equity Bank, for the lesser amount of 2.5 times monthly payroll costs or up to $10 million. 

 

Those that are eligible for this program are small businesses and non-profits with less than 500 employees and/or sole proprietors, independent contractors and other self-employed individuals.

 

Wright says its been busy the last week in trying to get all of the applications processed.

 

According to Wright, they have done 520 applications and $310 million have been loaned including nearly $5 million of that in southeast Kansas.

 

The way it works is that you apply through Equity Bank and the lender will require payroll tax reports, evidence of health premiums, and documentation of retirement plan funding. Equity Bank will finalize the loan and SBA application and transmit it directly to SBA.

 

Wright says its a simple process that can be done on their website.

 

According to Wright, the average amount of time it takes for the application to be processed and the money to be given out to the business is around 48 hours once all the correct documentation has been filed with the bank. 

 

The Paycheck Protection Program loans can be used for payroll costs which is salary and wages, commission or tips. Mortgage interest and obligations incurred before Feb. 15th. Also rent lease agreements in force before Feb. 15th as well as utilities and service which began before Feb. 15th.

 

The loan terms include a 1.00% fixed interest rate with up to a two-year term and payments deferred for six months. The loan may be forgiven by the SBA, which means your business may bet to keep the money as long as you use it to keep paying employees or other qualified expenses.

 

Wright says the lobby is closed but can be utilized if you would like to set up an appointment.

 

Equity Bank has 53 locations in the four states area with four locations in southeast Kansas: Coffeyville, Independence, Neodesha and Pittsburg. 

 

For more information and what's required, go to www.equitybank.com/SBA

 

To start the application with Equity Bank, go to www.equitybank.com/ppp

 

You can contact David Wright with Equity Bank if you have any questions in southeast Kansas at 620-331-1660 or by email at dwright@equitybank.com. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brooke Austin Honored as a Hometown Hero

 

Roman's Chevrolet Buick and KGGF want to recognize Brooke Austin as the latest Hometown Hero. She is working the front-lines of the Covid-19 pandemic as an RN at Labette Health.

 

She is also one of the Senior Field Service Technicians and she continues to work shifts on the Covid floor while staying and sleeping in an RV since last week.

 

We thank Brooke and her family for the service and sacrifice they have made during this difficult time. If you would like to nominate someone to be the next Roman's Chevrolet Buick and KGGF Hometown Hero just click the link under the community tab.

Two Montgomery Co. Covid-19 Related Deaths Due to Church Gatherings

 

Two Covid-19 related deaths in Montgomery County have been linked to a Church Conference that was held in Kansas City, Kansas in Mid-March.

 

One attended an event at Miracle Temple Church of God in Christ and the other was a contact of the attendee.

 

The Wyandotte County Health Department believes anywhere from 150 to 200 people attended the event.

 

According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, three Covid-19 clusters in Kansas have been tied to Church gatherings.

 

The latest Covid-19 numbers from the KDHE have 11 confirmed positive cases in Montgomery County with over 1,000 across the state including 38 deaths which is a 40% increase from the previous reported numbers.

Kelly Responds to Revocation of Executive Order

 

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly is "deeply disappointed" by the recent decision to revoke her executive order limiting church gatherings and funerals to 10 people or less. During her daily press briefing on Wednesday, Kelly pointed to COVID-19 numbers both in-state and out-of-state as reasons for needing the order to be followed.

 

Reiterating that her role as governor is to take decisive steps to mitigate damage and flatten the curve as quickly as possible, Kelly also defended her decisions as unavoidable and "absolutely crucial."

 

Kelly says she is shocked by the decision and feels it is putting more Kansas lives at risk. 

 

Because of the revocation of the order, churches and funerals rejoin the lengthy list of exceptions to the stay-at-home order issued by Kelly late in March.

Kansas Lawmakers Repel Governor's Order Limiting Church Gatherings

 

Kansas lawmakers have overturned Governor Laura Kelly's most recent executive order limiting church gatherings and funerals to 10 or less people. Kelly made the order on Tuesday, but the Legislative Coordinating Council voted 5-2 Wednesday to overturn the order.

 

Attorney General Derek Schmidt was one of the first to speak out about the order, saying that while the order was sound medical advice and should be followed, the governor cannot take the COVID-19 pandemic as a chance to infringe upon constitutional rights. This sentiment was echoed by several Republican lawmakers, including Senate President Susan Wagle.

 

 

Conavirus Cases Continue To Rise In Montgomery County

 

The number of coronavirus cases continue to rise in southeast Kansas, as well as across the state.  The latest figures released by the KDHE Wednesday afternoon show that there are now 11 confirmed positive cases of the virus in Montgomery County and 1,046 across the state.

 

Elsewhere in southeast Kansas, Labette County reports nine positive cases, Chautauqua County are reporting three and one in Neosho County.

CRMC Healthcare Workers Appreciation

 

If you are looking to show your support for the healthcare workers in Coffeyville that put in long hours and work hard to make sure we stay all healthy, there is an event being held at CRMC tonight so you can show your support. Coffeyville Chamber of Commerce Director Candi Westbrook explains.

 

Once and if the parking lot fills up, you will be allowed to park along the side of the road but please do not block entrance ways to the hospital. The event begins at 7pm.

$3.4 Million in Federal Health Grants for Kansas' Second District

 

Congressman Steve Watkins announced $3.4 million in Department of Health and Human Services grants to help combat the health crisis caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic will be distributed between four agencies in Kansas' Second Congressional District which include a large portion of southeast Kansas.

 

The $3.4 million will be distributed between the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas (CHCSE), Heartland Medical Clinic, and Atchison Community Health Clinic. These grants awarded directly to community health providers comes from the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security act, better know as the CARES Act. Congressman Watkins spoke in support of it on the House Floor.

 

Watkins went on to say that healthcare workers across Kansas’ Second District are fighting on the front lines to keep families safe during this health crisis. Congress has come together to support them and provide resources necessary to win the war against COVID-19. This funding will go a long way in saving as many lives as possible.

U.S. Sen. Moran Highlights Healthcare and Agricultural while Addressing Covid-19

 

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran joined KGGF on Wednesday morning to address Covid-19 and the toll its taking on our community and state as a whole.

 

Moran has been conducting recent business in Kansas as he continues to follow the stay at home order and he says its a challenge throughout the Senate.

 

Small Business Administration Loan Programs are being put together to help local small businesses during this time of financial crisis and potentially soon there could be more money put into this in order to help out smaller businesses.

 

Not only in southeast Kansas but all across the nation, small businesses out there have struggled even before Covid-19 hit the U.S. The number one priority is getting the nation healthy and past the Coronavirus and the economy won't get back on track until that happens.

 

Moran joined his colleagues in sending a letter to President Trump urging a strong, coordinated federal effort to support our front-line workers by addressing the national shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). A shortage of this equipment leads to the everyone working the front-lines potentially exposed to the virus and that's not only a problem in Kansas but it's a problem across the nation.

 

Healthcare facilities particularly in southeast Kansas have been hit hard even before the Coronavirus with financial burdens and now with Covid-19 it makes it that much more challenging to keep our facilities up and operational during these times.

 

The agricultural industry has taken a hit with Covid-19 affecting farmers and ranchers across Kansas and the country. Moran joined 41 of his Senate colleagues to urge U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, to ensure the continuity of our country's food supply during this pandemic by providing relief to farmers. The letter calls on the Administration to make temporary flexibility's on farm service agency loans permanent for the duration of this crisis and to ensure adequate credit throughout.

 

Moran says that citizens need to understand how important rural America is especially during this pandemic.

 

Moran acknowledged the state of Kansas in responding in a proper way during these hard times but citizens need to stay vigilant and aware to get back to more normal times.

 

To hear the full interview with U.S. Senator Jerry Moran, click here. 

 

 

 

 

Highways Remain Open Despite Stay-At-Home Order

 

Despite the stay-at-home order in place for Kansans, the Kansas Highway Patrol is continuing to remind travelers that the state's borders and highways are still open to the public. Those needing to travel are welcome to do so on any highway throughout the state without the need for papers stating whether or not you are an essential worker.

 

Issues have arisen in other states, including Colorado, where reports of police impersonators have come to light. For the most up to date information on stay-at-home orders, visit the governor's website here.

 

Fugitive in Custody After Four Hour Tree Standoff

 

A fugitive from Cherryvale was taken into custody after eluding police and camping in a tree for nearly four hours on Tuesday afternoon.

 

Jeremiah McKenzie was wanted on a failure to appear for possession of a weapon charge out of Montgomery County. He led police on a short chase to Johnstone Park where he left his vehicle and entered the Caney River.

 

The vehicle McKenzie was in was reported stolen out of Dodge City. A K9 officer chased McKenzie into the Caney River, where he than floated down stream to a tree.

 

With a waterfall and faster currents awaiting McKenzie under the bridge, he held onto the tree tight.

 

The Bartlesville Fire Department threw McKenzie a life jacket when they met him on the north side of the bank. They then set up their rescue boat to get McKenzie out of the water. However, McKenzie was not ready to be taken into custody, so he climbed up the tree.

 

From there it was a waiting game for everyone involved. McKenzie was in the tree for approximately four hours before coming down peacefully.

 

Bartlesville Police Captain Jay Hasting told KWON that there was a female passenger in the vehicle McKenzie fled on foot from.

 

There are a couple of misdemeanor and felony charges that McKenzie will face now that he is in custody. Those charges will be dealt with in Washington County. When McKenzie is done with the court process then the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office will place a hold on McKenzie, and he will have to deal with the legal issues he is faced with in Kansas.

 

McKenzie could be charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, and eluding police on top of other charges.

 

McKenzie climbed up the tree around 1:20 PM on Tuesday afternoon. He came down around 5:28 PM that same afternoon. 

 

 

Bartlesville Police Chief

 

 

 

 

 

 

Final Video - End is the individual coming down out of the tree

 

 

Kelly Issues New Order Limiting Religious Gatherings

 

Governor Laura Kelly has announced the enactment of Executive Order No. 20-18, intended to bring religious institutions and funerals in line with a previous order limiting gatherings to 10 or fewer people. 

 

Originally, religious insitutions and funerals were exempt under the previous order. However, with Holy Week here and Easter approaching, Gov. Kelly announced the limitations during her daily press briefing on Tuesday. Kelly said in a Facebook post that the decision was not an easy one, and one that she did not have to make. But with the COVID-19 crisis still ongoing and the number of cases in Kansas now above 900, Kelly said the entire state will need to continue adjusting to circumstances to protect Kansans.

 

The new order supersedes all less restrictive orders given by local health departments. Aside from religious gatherings, all previous exemptions are still included under the new order. 

Romans Chevy Buick and KGGF Recognize Dairy Manager

 

Grocery store employees are front and center when it comes to this pandemic. Not only are they concerned about their own health but they have to make sure their stores are sanitized and safe for customers. Grocery shopping is a necessity and as we've seen during the Coronavirus it can get a little hectic when it comes to panic buying. Romans Chevrolet Buick and KGGF want to recognize the Nowata Homeland Dairy Manager, Austin Samson as a Hometown Hero. Samson not only has to make sure that they stay stocked on milk, eggs and other dairy items but that the dairy section stays sanitized as it can be one of the higher trafficked areas of the store. Romans Chevy Buick want to thank Austin Samson for continuing to put the needs of the customer first.

 

If you would like to nominate someone as a hometown hero, head to kggfradio.com and click the link.

USDE Approves Oklahoma Waivers Granting Schools Flexibility

 

The U.S. Department of Education (USDE) has granted preliminary approval of Oklahoma waivers allowing public school districts greater flexibility in the spending of existing federal funds. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister made the request and received notification within 24 hours that it had been approved.

 

The waivers allow schools to repurpose existing K-12 education funds for a number of COVID-19-related matters, including technology infrastructure and teacher training on distance learning. Additional flexibilities would allow schools to redirect resources to areas of highest need. Oklahoma districts may immediately begin implementing matters authorized under the waiver.

 

 

Kansas Hits 900 COVID-19 Cases

 

The latest Covid-19 numbers for the state of Kansas are up to 900 positive cases with 27 reported deaths and just over 8,600 negative results. The numbers are the most recent reported by the Kansas Department of Health.

 

Montgomery County stays at 9 positive cases with a total of 99 people tested. Labette County saw the largest jump in positive cases up to 8 confirmed. Cherokee, Crawford and Chautauqua Counties counties stay at five, four and three positive cases respectively. Neosho has one, while Elk and Wilson counties have yet to report a positive case.

U.S. Highway 69 Pavement Rehab To Begin

 

The Kansas Department of Transportation is starting a concrete pavement rehabilitation project at the intersection of U.S. 69 and 20th Street in Pittsburg this week, weather permitting.

 

U.S. 69 traffic will be maintained through the work zone while 20th Street will be closed to traffic at the intersection, with a posted detour on local streets.

 

The cost of the construction is $1.3 million dollars and the project is scheduled to be completed by late summer, weather permitting.

Indy City Commission Agenda for 4-9

 

The Independence City Commission will once again meet this Thursday for its regularly scheuled meeting. On this week's agenda, the commission will consider a resolution setting a date for the condemnation of a fire damaged structure located on East Birch Street. The commission will also receive reports from a recent Recreation Commission meeting, a 2020 census update, and an update on emergency preparedness proceedings to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak.

 

The meeting will start at 5:30 p.m, but due to Governor Laura Kelly's order limiting the number of participants, the commission is requesting those interested in attending the meeting do so through watching through Facebook Live. Alternatively, you can call +1 785-289-4727 and enter conference ID 413 617 028#.

Pittsburg Man Booked on Charges of 1st Degree Murder

 

A Pittsburg man has been jailed after he allegedly called police to say he had fatally shot his father.

 

Crawford County Sheriff Danny Smith said 29-year-old Michael Woodson called the department Sunday night to say he had just shot his father at their home. Deputies found 53-year-old David Buckley dead inside the home and arrested Woodson without incident. Smith would not say how many times the father was shot and investigators are still trying to determine a motive.

 

The two men were the only ones home at the time.

Schmidt Appoints New Head of Victims' Services Division

 

Topeka victims’ advocate Michelle McCormick has been named the new director of the victims’ services division in the attorney general’s office, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced today. McCormick joins the attorney general’s office today as director and also will serve as the state victim rights coordinator, a statutory position housed with the attorney general’s office.

 

McCormick succeeds Dorthy Stucky Halley, who will retire from state service later this year. McCormick lives in Topeka and has been involved in victims’ advocacy since 2003. She returns to the attorney general’s office having previously served as the Batterer Intervention Program Coordinator from 2009 to 2016.

 

The victims’ services division of the attorney general’s office is charged with coordinating statewide victim rights efforts and administering grants and educational programs. The division also provides a Kansas crime victims’ hotline at (800) 828-9745. 

Virtual CNN on Wednesday

 

The Coffeyville Chamber of Commerce wants to remind the community about Virtual CNN which will take place on Wednesday.

 

Even though the stay at home order is in place and they aren't allowed to hold a public gathering, they still want to share the latest announcements.

 

You can send your news, updates or announcements by 5:00 PM on Tuesday and they will share them on Wednesday during Virtual CNN through Facebook, E-blast, the radio and newspaper.

 

Email them to Kasey at chamberadmin@coffeyville.com.

Updated COVID-19 Numbers

 

The latest Covid-19 numbers for the state of Kansas are up to 845 positive cases with 25 reported deaths and nearly 8,300 negative results. The numbers are the most recent reported by the Kansas Department of Health.

 

Montgomery County now has 9 positive cases with the first reported case over a week ago. Crawford and Cherokee counties have four and five positive results respectively. Chautauqua now has three reported positive results while Labette has five and Neosho has one. Elk and Wilson counties have yet to report a positive case.

Romans Chevy Buick and KGGF Recognize Windsor Place Nurse

 

Romans Chevrolet Buick and KGGF want to recognize Windsor Place Infection Control Specialist Melanie Savage as a Hometown Hero. Savage has been described as someone who is working to make sure not only she understands the latest changes but that staff and residents understand them as well. She continues to respond quickly as information changes and she is open minded to listen for input from others. Her dedication and passion brings calmness to the residents and staff during these uncertain times. Savage has been described as someone with a passion to help and protect others, this is one of the many reasons she is being honored as the Romans Chevrolet Buick and KGGF Hometown Hero.

 

To nominate someone for Hometown Hero just click the link.

U.S. Supreme Court says Kansas Officer Acted Reasonably

 

The U.S. Supreme Court today held that a Kansas officer acted reasonably in making a Douglas County traffic stop, reversing the Kansas Supreme Court.

 

The high court ruled 8-1 that a sheriff’s deputy making an investigative traffic stop after running a vehicle’s license plate and learning that the registered owner’s driver’s license had been revoked was reasonable under the Fourth Amendment. The Kansas Supreme Court had unanimously held the stop violated the Fourth Amendment.

 

Attorney General Derek Schmidt said Monday’s decision further clarifies the scope of the Fourth Amendment for law enforcement officers in Kansas and around the country.

 

While on routine patrol, the deputy involved in this case ran a registration check on a pickup truck with a Kansas license plate. The Kansas Department of Revenue’s electronic database indicated the truck was registered to an individual whose driver’s license had been revoked. Without observing any other traffic infractions or identifying the driver, the deputy pulled over the vehicle, discovered the owner was in fact the driver, and cited the defendant as a habitual violator for driving while his license was revoked.

 

The U.S. Supreme Court noted that today’s ruling is narrow and that any traffic stop in this situation must quickly end if the officer’s reasonable suspicion about who is driving the vehicle is not confirmed. The case now returns to the Kansas Supreme Court, which will determine whether additional proceedings are necessary.

 

Labette Health Taking Action

 

Labette Health sent out a news release on Monday as they continue taking actions to further protect the safety, health and well-being of their patients, staff, visitors and communities. In preparation for any potential surge that may happen, they wanted to alert the public of some activity this week at both of their campuses in Parsons and Independence.

 

In Independence, they have ordered three modular buildings as well as constructing a temporary RV park for healthcare workers to stay at the facility. These additional modular units combined with existing rooms will allow Labette Health to care for up to 30 hospital patients at Independence Healthcare Center.

 

In Parsons, they have temporarily converted an unoccupied floor in the hospital, conference rooms, and The CORE to accommodate hospital beds. Some of this preparation is complete and some is ongoing. Late Friday evening, Labette Health applied to Kansas Department of Health and Environment for an expansion of the hospital license from 99 beds to 160 beds, and are in the process of attaining any necessary CMS waivers.

Montgomery County Commission Meeting for April 6th

 

The Montgomery County Commissioners held their weekly meeting on Monday morning in Independence with multiple items discussed on the agenda.

 

The meeting opened up with the approval of the agenda and minutes while there were no invoices to approve of this week.

 

Environmental Health/Zoning Administrator Director, Matt Debo was short with his item as he was there to amend RV Zoning Regulations and to get certain approval by the Commissioners. (AUDIO)

 

Public Works Coordinator, Jim Wright along with Jeff Phelps with Maintenance updated the Commissioners on what they had going on in their respective departments. Wright started off by getting approval regarding the funding of letters to the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. He provided an update on equipment as they are still looking to lock down a bid for a new pick up truck for the department to replace one that was wrecked within the last few months.

 

Phelps provided the Commissioners an update regarding the purchase of a washing machine that would be used at the Department of Corrections. The main issues with that was getting it to the county from Kansas City to make sure it was here in case something happened to current one that is being used. After discussion with the Commissioners that was approved and he is now allowed to move forward with getting that delivered to the county. (AUDIO w Wright/Phelps)

 

Computer Department Director Jason Clubine met with the Commissioners to talk about ways to get the public involved with meetings during these times with Covid-19 and how people are not allowed inside most buildings. Clubine discussed Zoom which is a video chat service similar to Skype that the county would set up and use during Commission meetings so that the public could still be involved without actually being in attendance. (AUDIO)

 

Trisha Purdon with the Montgomery County Action Council provided an update to the Commissioners on applications that have been put in by certain businesses to provide short term loans during these tough times with Covid-19 and the details surrounding that moving forward. (AUDIO)

 

As always the agenda is subject to change and meetings take place on Monday morning beginning at 9:00 AM in the lower level of the Judicial Center in Independence.

 

 

 

Parsons Police Detective Tests Positive For COVID-19

 

The Parsons Police Department have announced they have had a member of the department test positive for COVID-19. The information was given to the Department over the weekend by the Labette County Health Department.

 

Upon noticing symptoms early last week, the officer self-quarantined and went to the Fever Clinic at Labette Health for testing. The involved officer is a detective who was not on a patrol assignment and had been in the Police Annex which is separated from the main police facility. Two additional officers have been placed in self-quarantine as a precaution due to this situation. These officers also are part of the investigation’s unit and have not exhibited any of the symptoms, which means they cannot be tested at this time.

 

The department has said that backup plans have been put into place to maintain staffing and the highest level of safety at the Police Department.

2nd and 3rd Reported Covid-19 Cases in Labette County

 

Labette County officials have confirmed the 2nd and 3rd confirmed positive cases of the Coronavirus in Labette County as of Saturday.

 

The patients are a 67 year old female and a 49 year old male who are currently both recovering at home.

 

The Labette County Health Department is currently working to contact other individuals who may have had close contact recently with the two patients.

 

They continue to urge good hygiene and to practice social distancing and stay at home as much as you can.

 

For general info, contact 1-866-534-3463 for the KDHE phone bank or email COVID-19@ks.gov. The Labette County Health Department can be reached at 620-421-4350.

Two More Positive Coronavirus Tests in Montgomery County

 

Two more positive tests for the Coronavirus were reported in Montgomery County Sunday afternoon by Emergency Management Director, Rick Whitson.  That the brings the total number of positive cases reported in the county to eight. 

 

According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, the total number of cases statewide now stands at 747 with 22 deaths, including two in Montgomery County.  The KDHE reports that Labette County has four cases, Chautauqua County three and Neosho County with one.

Montgomery Lags Behind Neighboring Counties In Coronavirus Testing

 

Although Montgomery County has the highest number of positive Covid cases in the immediate area the county has the lowest rate of people actually being tested for the virus.  According to figures from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Montgomery County has had 77 people tested for Coronavirus or 2.24 people per 1,000.

 

By contrast, Labette County with 4 positive cases has had 76 people tested, 0r 3.87 per 1,000. Chautauaqua County with 3 positive cases has had 8 people tested for a rate of 2.46 per thousand, Neosho County with 1 case has had 64 people tested for a rate of 4 people per 1,000 and Wilson County, which has yet to have reported a positive test result for the virus has had 28 people tested for a rate of 3.28 people per 1,000.

Labette Health Forgives April Patient Payments

 

To assist in easing the economic strain in the surrounding community, Labette Health will be forgiving April patient payments in all of its clinics and hospital. All patients will see their April payment written-off, meaning it will not be required to be paid. Labette Health asks that all patients do return to their regularly scheduled payment plan in May. Accounts on auto-draft will not have the payment come out of their account this month.

SBA Paycheck Protection Loan Program Snarled

 

Businesses that went to their local bank to begin applying for the SBA loan which is part of the SBA's stimulus package have found the  process in a state of disarray.  Mike Ewy, President of Community State Bank in Coffeyville and Vice-Chair of the Kansas Bankers Association says there are technical glitches with the system.

 

Ewy said many banks had problems accessing the system.

 

According to the Kansas Bankers Association banks did not receive guidelines until late Thursday and many of the banks are unable to access the system.  Ewy says the people he’s talked to believe the system should be functional early this coming week.  According to the KBA there are nearly 40,000 loan applications in the system’s que.

Two Die from Coronavirus in Montgomery County

 

The Montgomery County Health Department is reporting two deaths of county residents from COVID-19. The individuals had underlying health conditions and were hospitalized in a hospital out-of-state at their times of passing. Montgomery County Health Department Administrator our condolence goes out to family and friends.

 

The Health Department strongly urges the public to continue to take appropriate precautions. Everyone needs to practice good hygiene, stay informed, practice social distancing and limit in-person interactions. If you are experiencing symptoms such as cough, fever or other respiratory problems, call your healthcare provider or an urgent care clinic first to determine if testing is needed. If symptoms are mild, do not go to the emergency room.

Romans Chevy Buick and KGGF Recognize Food Deliverers

 

One of the many issues that has arisen during the changes that have been brought on by the Coronavirus is the need for meals for students who are now out of school. Roman's Chevrolet Buick and KGGF want to recognize two of the many people who have stepped up to deliver and make sure these kids have lunches and breakfast. Our next Romans Chevy Buick and KGGF Hometown Heroes are Donna Gee and Ann Bryan, who have devoted their time to deliver food and insure that kids from the Caney Valley School District have lunches and breakfast. Thank you Donna and Ann for assisting in this time of need.

 

If you have someone you'd like to nominate for hometown hero just click the link.

Conversation with Doug Blex

Representative Doug Blex called into KGGF on Friday morning and talked about a number of different things but led off with a surprising revenue report.

 

Also on the table was the fact that state has started tracking residents by using their cellphones.

 

You can listen to entire conversation with Representative Blex on K-G-G-F Radio.com

 

Latest Covid-19 Numbers in Kansas

 

The latest Covid-19 numbers for the state of Kansas are up to 620 positive cases with 17 reported deaths and nearly 6,500 negative results. 

 

The numbers were updated as of 11:00 AM on Friday morning. Montgomery County has six positive cases with the first reported case last weekend. 

 

Crawford and Cherokee counties have four and five positive results respectively. 

 

Chautauqua now has two reported positive results while Labette and Neosho counties each currently have one positive result each. Elk and Wilson counties have yet to report a positive case. 

 

 

Labette Health Adding Beds To Deal With Covid-19

Labette Health has announced that they are increasing their number of beds to help deal with the Covid-19 crisis.  Director of the Labette Health Care Center in Independence, Becky Mitchell says they are increasing the number of beds across their facilities.

 

Mitchell says that 160 beds will be added.

 

Mitchell said the additional beds will be in both Independence and Parsons.

 

30 beds will be added in Independence and tshe rest in Parsons.

 

Michell spoke at Friday morning's Independence First Friday event.    

CRMC's Medical Chief Says Covid Peak A Few Weeks Away

As the number of Covid cases are continuing to climb in Montgomery County, the Medical Director at Coffeyville Regional Medical Center, Dr. Michelle McGuirk says the peak number of cases is still expected to be a few weeks away.

 

McGuirk says the number of virus cases is expected to peak around April 24th.

 

McGuirk, who is also a member of Montgomery County’s Covid-19 Task Force, added that there is a reason to stay positive.

 

She added that there is an end in sight so there is reason to stay positive.

 

McGuirk spoke Friday morning during a facebook live feed of the Independence Chamber’s First Friday event which was closed to the public.      

Crawford Co. Mental Health Continuing to Provide Services

 

Crawford County Mental Health currently have their lobbies closed to the public but they want to remind the community that they are providing services via telephone and tele-video.

 

They have set aside designated rooms at their facilities where clients will have access to smart devices so they can participate in tele-video services if they don't have access at home.

 

If you would like to make an appointment, they advise you to tell reception if you would rather do telephone or tele-video. Clients will be directed by reception what they would need to do next.

 

Clients will be screened prior to entering the facilities. You can find out more information by visiting their website at crawfordmentalhealth.org.

 

To make an appointment or for more information: 

 

Children's Services 620-232-3228

Adult & Outpatient A&D Services 620-231-5130

Addiction Services 620-724-8806

Romans Chevy Buick and KGGF Recognize former City Clerk

 

Romans Chevrolet Buick and KGGF want to recognize their first hometown hero, Cindy Price of Coffeyville. Price has sewn and donated 50 masks to the Coffeyville Regional Medical Center and is currently working on more for the local nursing home. Price used her talent as a seamstress and put her other projects on hold to help out in this time of need. Thank you Cindy Price for donating your time and effort during this time.

 

If you have someone you'd like to nominate for the Romans Chevy Buick and KGGF Hometown Hero just head click the link.

Fishin' and Social Distancin'

 

A local country musician spent some time social distancing on the riverbank and brought in a huge haul of fish. Fisherman Bryan Knowles says he's enjoyed the extra time he's had to fish and if you are wanting some tips he can't give away all his secrets.

 

Knowles says he can't give the exact location but he does most of his fishing on the Elk River. As far as what he's going to do with the fish he says he's got plans for them.  As far as the music goes Knowles says he is working on an album and is ready to get back into the live music scene once this all comes to an end.

U.S. 400 Rail Crossing To Close For Repairs

 

The South Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad (SKOL) will close and replace the tracks at the crossing on U.S. 400 in Montgomery County on Monday, April 6, weather permitting.

 

The SKOL crossing is two miles west of the U.S. 400/U.S. 169 junction. The crossing will be closed to through traffic starting around 8 a.m. Monday and continuing through Friday, April 10. Traffic will follow the signed detour on U.S. 400, U.S. 169 and K-47 during the closure.

 

Department of Commerce Launches COVID Jobs Website

 

The Kansas Department of Commerce unveiled a new website designed to connect job seekers with businesses looking to fill positions during the COVID-19 outbreak. The website, which can be visited here, allows employers from essential industries to offer COVID-related jobs to qualified workers. 

 

The website will operate at no cost to either employers or job seekers. Secretary of Commerce David Toland said demand and opportunity in several critical industries, such as food and grocery, shipping, and healthcare led to the creation of the site.

 

6.6 million Americans filed initial unemployment claims last week. In Kansas, Governor Laura Kelly issued an executive order doubling unemployment benefits to soften the blow caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Peck Files to Run for State Senate

 

Former State Representative and current Chairman of the Montgomery County Republican Party, Virgil Peck, announced Thursday morning on KGGF that he has filed the necessary paperwork with the Kansas Secretary of State as a candidate for the State Senate – District 15 which includes most of Montgomery and Labette Counties and all of Neosho County.

 

Peck, who describes himself as a small government, low tax, pro-life, constitutional conservative, says District 15 needs a strong, aggressive voice representing them in Topeka.

 

“Something we currently do not have”. Peck adds, “I'm confident when republican voters learn the voting record, conduct and lack of action of the current senator, they will understand the need for change.”

 

The seat is currently occupied by Dan Goddard, a Parsons Republican. Peck, who lost to Goddard by 171 votes in the low-voter August 2016 primary, said that for many years Senate District 15 had an actively engaged senator, Jeff King or Derek Schmidt, working for them in the State Capitol, but says, “That does not describe our current Senator.” Peck reports, “In his four years as a Senator, Goddard did not introduce/author even one piece of legislation, he merely occupied the seat.”

 

Peck says as a member of the Kansas House, he authored numerous pieces of legislation, with several becoming law. He added, “I've proven I can get things done.”

 

Peck said, “The residents of Senate District 15 want and deserve an aggressive, engaged Senator, one who will represent their interests and is not beholden to deep-pocketed special interests groups.” He points out that, since being elected in 2016, Goddard's campaign finance reports show he has taken over $35,000 in contributions from lobbyists, while only receiving one $500 contribution from someone living in Senate District 15.

 

As it relates to the campaign, Peck says, “I look forward to the opportunity to visit with many voters over the next several months about issues important to them. I'm not a perfect person. Like everyone else, I've made mistakes. But my campaign will focus on the issues as I compare and contrast the political differences between me and my opponent. I want voters to make an informed choice.”

 

Peck, a 60-year-old insurance agent, says 42 years ago he married his high school sweetheart, Tamara, and it was “one of the best things I've ever done.” The couple have three children and six grandchildren. He says, “My faith guides me, my wife, three children and six grandchildren inspire me.”

 

Voters can learn more about Peck on his website at www.virgil4senate.com or Facebook at Virgil Peck for State Senate.


To hear the full interview from Peck with KGGF, click here. 

 

 

 

Watch Out for Counterfeit Money in Caney

 

Officers with the Caney Police Department have seized two counterfeit $20 bills over the past week. Caney PD wants to notify the local business owners and their employees as well as the citizens to watch for counterfeit money during commercial and/or personal transactions.  Caney PD recommends using a counterfeit detector pen if possible. If you do not have access to one, there are a few red flags to look for that include blurry boarders, authentic bills will have red and blue thread woven in and out of the note and authentic bills will have a watermark that will be visible when held up to the light. 

 

Here's a link with more ways to identify counterfeit notes and what to do if you encounter one.

 

Photos courtesy of the Caney Police Department

Grocery Shopping Assistance Available in Indy

 

For those in Independence that have trouble getting out to get groceries during the COVID-19 pandemic, two groups are stepping up to help out.

 

 

Grocery orders will be taken by phone will be delivered the day after they are placed while pharmacy orders will be delivered the same day, contingent upon medication availability.

U.S. 75 Resurfacing to Start Monday

 

The Kansas Department of Transportation plans to begin a project to mill and overlay a seven-mile section of U.S. 75 in Montgomery County on Monday, April 6.

 

The project starts at the north city limits of Independence and continues north to the east U.S. 75/U.S. 400 junction. Flaggers and a pilot car will direct one-lane traffic through the work zone. Expect delays of 15 minutes or less during daylight hours. The road work should be finished in one month, weather permitting.

 

The cost of construction is $1.4 million.

Boil Water Advisory for Caney Heights Development

 

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has issued a boil water advisory for the Caney Heights Development in the City of Caney. The advisory is not related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

  • If your tap water appears dirty, flush the line water lines by letting the water run until it clears.

 

  • Boil water for one minute prior to drinking or food preparation or use bottled water.

 

  • Dispose of ice cubes and do not use ice from a household automatic ice-maker.

 

  • Disinfect dishes and other food contact surfaces.

 

  • Water used for bathing does not generally need to be boiled but is not to be ingested. Persons with cuts or severe rashes may wish to consult their physicians.

 

The advisory took effect on April 1st and will remain in effect until the conditions that place the system at risk of bacterial contamination are resolved.

Positive Labette Corona Case Works at Refinery

 

The first positive Coronavirus case from Labette County is an employee at the Coffeyville Refinery. According to a source at the refinery and a Facebook post from the wife, the patient began to feel sick with a headache and fever on March 19th. He went to the doctor the following day and was tested for COVID-19. With the exception to the trip to the doctors office the patient has not been out of the house and has been self quarantining. The positive test result came on March 30th ten days after being tested.

 

Coffeyville Refinery has implemented multiple protective measures to insure the safety of its workers.

Recognizing Hometown Heroes

 

Romans Chevrolet Buick and KGGF want to recognize doctors, nurses, medical workers, EMTs, police, firefighter, essential retail and food service workers, caregivers, sanitation workers and others who are serving us during this unique time. These are the people who do not have the option of working from home, and you can help Romans Chevrolet Buick and KGGF to thank them.

 

All you have to do is snap their picture, go to kggfradio.com, and click on the Hometown Heroes link under the “Community” tab. Simply say who they are and what they do, and they will be recognized.

Chamber Update with Candi Westbrook

 

Candi Westbrook with the Coffeyville Chamber of Commerce joined KGGF on Wednesday morning to update the community on the latest news from the Chamber.

 

Virtual CNN is on the way and right now they are getting information from businesses and they are going to use all of their social platforms to get the word out on what businesses are doing during these times. 

 

Westbrook also updates on what some local restaurants are doing to help the community with food service. (AUDIO)

 

Coffeyville Community College has cancelled the Endowed Scholorship Auction and they plan on having it bigger and better in 2021. 

 

There is a project going on called "Adopt a healthcare hero". A group of women in town are making sure that healthcare workers in town get different types of cream for their hands and feet. You can donate $25 or you can send in lotions and hand sanitizers to help out. For audio and information, click here. 

 

To hear the full interview with Candi Westbrook, click here. 

 

 

Parsons Police Receive Updated Technology

 

In recent weeks, the Parsons Police Department has been able to make much needed updates to the computers in their patrol cars. This was a part of a large-scale project that was initiated by Parsons Police Chief Robert Spinks to keep up with the technology trend in policing nationwide.

 

Making investments in technology have helped to keep the department up to date with the advances in law enforcement. Parsons Police Department can now share criminal information with these Sheriff’s office in Labette County, Bourbon County, Cherokee County, and police departments in Frontenac, Fort Scott, Galena, and Garnett.

 

The Parsons Police Department is also currently working on a new website for the public to use which will allow citizens the ability to sign up for police alerts, crime prevention messages and emergency management information. Its launch is coming in just a few short weeks.

 

Flexible Funding Announced to Help Fight Covid-19

 

Congressman Steve Watkins has announced immediate, flexible funding to fight Covid-19.

 

This award is a result from the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act which is Phase III of the Coronavirus Relief Bill.

 

Watkins spoke on the house floor in support of the issue. (AUDIO) 

 

The Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded Kansas' 2nd Congressional District $1.75 million in community development block grants which allows flexible funding for a wide variety of services to address Covid-19 impacts to the community. 

Coffeyville Electric Utility Recognized at National Level

 

Coffeyville Municipal Light & Power has been recognized on a national scale. The American Public Power Association, which represents 2,000 non-for-profit, community-owned electric utilities, recognized Municipal Light & Power for achieving exceptional electric reliability in 2019.

 

The Association helps the utilities that work with them through their subscription-based tracking service. They compare the numbers gathered through that service to numbers recorded by the U.S. Energy Information Administration for all types of electric utilities.

 

Mike Shook, the Director of Electric Services for Coffeyville, said receiving the recognition is a testament to the hard work of his staff. 

 

Coffeyville’s System Average Interruption Duration Index averages out to be about 3.83 minutes. That figure is calculated by dividing the sum of all customer minutes of interruption by the specified time frame by the average number of customers served during that period.

Limited Access for Labette County Facilities

 

Until April 30th, all Labette County government facilities will have limited access to help limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus. According to commissioner Lonie Addis, this decision to do so is based off of the president's recommendation, and that things could open up again sooner if things change.

 

The county recently confirmed its first coronavirus case, and declared a state of emergency on Tuesday.

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