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Local News Archives for 2020-06

Labette Will Wait for Governor's Official Order

 

With Kansas Governor Laura Kelly's new order to require masks in a public setting there are a lot of questions regarding how this going to be enforced. Labette County Commissioner Doug Allen says before they can make a decision for the county they'll have to see the exact order on when it comes out on Thursday.

 

Director of the Labette County Health Department Lisa Stivers gave the commission an update on where they currently sit with Coronavirus cases in the county.  The county commission will meet for their regularly scheduled meeting next Monday and will discuss the order given out by the governor.

 

Controlling Sericea Lespedeza in Pastures

 

Sericea lespedeza can be one of the biggest struggles for many pastures in Kansas. This noxious weed can overrun native grasses, and its seed remains viable in the soil for years or even decades. K-State Pasture Management Specialist Walt Fick says now is the time for herbicide applications to sericea, but the first thing is to positively identify sericea lespedeza before spraying.

 

There are a handful of herbicide products labeled for summertime treatment of sericea. All have been evaluated in independent K-State field trials. Fick says there are two primary options.  You can refer to the K-State Chemical Weed Control Guide for further information on chemical control of sericea lespedeza.

Candidate Forum in Independence

With the primary election just weeks away, it is time for candidates to present their platform to all voters. The Independence Chamber of Commerce and Women for Kansas are co-sponsoring a candidate forum.

 

Independence Chamber Director Lisa Wilson explains the details and how you can submit questions for the upcoming forum.

 

Wilson also announced the candidates who will appear at the forum.

 

For more information about the forum, contact the chamber at (620) 331-1890.

Enforcement Campaign On 4th of July Weekend

 

The Kansas Department of Transportation have announced that there will be a zero-tolerance policy for those who drive impaired for the Independence Day weekend.

 

On average, more than 415 traffic crashes occur over the Fourth of July weekend in Kansas each year. This is attributed to increased traffic and impaired drivers.

 

Kansas officials will be focused on keeping impaired drivers off the road to keep everyone safe. Officials also urge those who do drink to have a designated driver or have alternative arrangements for lodging.

COVID-19 Cases in Montgomery County Continue to Surge

 

The number of COVID-19 cases in Montgomery County continues to grow.

 

Emergency Management Director Rick Whitson told the county commission on Monday that the number of cases has doubled in just of a couple weeks. The current total now sits at 40, with more cases likely to be confirmed. Whitson said reducing that total will be a matter of continuing to practice prevention strategies, including avoiding mass gatherings.

 

The county commission also heard from CRMC CEO Brian Lawrence, who outlined the impact the pandemic has had on the hospital and its staff. Lawrence said the hospital is ready and prepared to deal with an increased workload.

Street Closure in Pittsburg

 

Motorists in Pittsburg who use Jefferson Street near the industrial park are encouraged to find an alternate route as roadwork gets underway in the area.

 

The City of Pittsburg along with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s Surfacing Mining Office is closing East Jefferson Street between Smelter Street and Stilwell Street. This closure is expected to remain in effect over the next couple of weeks as crews work to replace a portion of the street that has been removed. Truck traffic to the industrial park should enter from Rouse Street.

 

Motorists are asked to use extreme caution when traveling in the area of construction and be aware of workers in the work zone.

Rural Riverton Man Arrested During Drug Raid

 

A rural Riverton man was arrested yesterday afternoon after a drug raid was conducted by the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office.

 

During the course of the search, detectives located and seized suspected narcotics and took two minor children into police protective custody. Arrested at the scene was 35-year old Adam C. Evans.

 

Evans is being held in the Cherokee County Jail on allegations of Possessing Methamphetamine, Possessing Drug Paraphernalia and 2 Counts of Child Endangerment. Evans is also being held on an outstanding felony drug warrant out of Jasper County, Missouri.

 

The investigation is ongoing and additional arrests are anticipated.

Masks Required in Kansas

 

Cases of Covid-19 continue to rise in the state of Kansas. According to the Kansas Department of Health, there are now 14,443 confirmed cases in the state. Governor Laura Kelly says starting Friday all Kansans will be required to wear masks in a public setting.

 

Kelly says she will release guidance and the executive order on Thursday. She says she will work with the attorney general when it comes to implementing this policy.

Outdoor Movie Night Lineup

 

The Midland Theater Foundation's Outdoor Movie Night is set to return with one movie each month from July to October. The Foundations Haylie Bagwell says they have a great lineup of movies this year.

 

Bagwell says each movie night is free and popcorn will be provided by Community State Bank. Each night will have it's own theme and the movies will start around sunset.

IHS Reschedules Graduation

 

The USD 446 School Board met and decided to reschedule graduation for Independence High School class of 2020. Graduation will be on Friday, July 10th at 8:00pm at Schultis Stadium. If there is inclement weather Friday night, the back-up date and time is Saturday, July 11 at 9:00am.

 

The district is asking that parents, families and friends spread out around the stadium to social distance and they ask that masks be worn inside the stadium. The ceremony will be broadcasted live on the high school Facebook page for those who do not want to attend in person. They district says they apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and look forward to next Friday.

Standoff in Chanute Ends Peacefully

 

A man in Chanute held police in a standoff on Sunday afternoon before peacefully surrendering.

 

Chanute Police responded to the area of the 100 block South Highland for a domestic disturbance. After meeting with an adult female and three juvenile children, officers quickly learned that a male subject was inside the house armed with a shot gun. The lady mentioned, before she left the residence, the male subject had threatened the four of them with the firearm.

 

CPD and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation began to try to make contact with the individual held up inside the residence. After a short period of time, 30-year old James Fredrick Rose of Chanute came out of the residence and turned himself into law enforcement peacefully. He was arrested on 4 counts of aggravated assault and domestic battery.

 

The investigation is still ongoing.

Man Arrested On Charges In Two Different Incidents

 

A Chanute man has been arrested for committing crimes in two separate incidents on the same day.

 

Parsons Police Officers were notified of a threat to a citizen and were dispatched to Power Flame to intercept someone en route to shoot an employee. The suspect, 51-year old Dale Perry of Chanute, had already went to Grandview Products to looking for the victim and was told that he now worked for Power Flame.

 

After interviewing the witnesses and the victim it was found that there was substantial evidence to arrest Perry for Aggravated Criminal Threat and causing a business to go into "lockdown".

 

Later in the evening, Chanute Police located and arrested Perry at his home on a kidnapping charge that arose in Chanute that same afternoon. Perry is currently in the Neosho County Jail.

Passing Lanes Survey Begin Today

 

The Kansas Department of Transportation will begin a field survey for a project to add passing lanes on U.S. 400 in Greenwood County today.

 

The location being surveyed starts 11 miles east of the Butler-Greenwood county line and continues east for 3 miles. The survey will take place on the existing highway alignment.

 

KDOT expects the survey work to last eight weeks. Activities include the use of survey instruments on the ground to determine locations of existing features within the corridor.

Hesston Couple Injured in Accident

 

A couple was injured in a wreck in eastern Crawford County on Saturday.

 

According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, 28-year old Justin Bole of Cherokee was headed westbound on U.S. 400 when he struck a vehicle driven by 49-year old Ronald Dunlavy after a slowdown in traffic.

 

The collision caused Dunlavy's vehicle to go into the north-side ditch and roll over. Dunlavy and his passenger, 46-year old Anna Dunlavy, were transported to Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg with suspected minor injuries.

 

Bole had no apparent injuries and all involved were wearing their seat belts.

Parsons Man Arrested For Criminal Threat

 

A Parsons man was arrested over the weekend after threatening to kill another man.

 

Parsons Police were called to a disturbance in the 3100 block of Corning. It was reported that there was a man waving a gun in the air and making threatening remarks.

 

When officers arrived, they discovered that the altercation was the result of a civil dispute that turned hostile. The situation continued to escalated and 68-year old Steven Marshall allegedly pulled out a gun and pointed it at the victim threatening to kill him, according to the victim and a witness that was in the area.

 

Officers arrested Marshall and transported him to the Parsons Police Department. Police are sending charges to the Labette County Attorneys office for Aggravated Assault and Criminal Threat.

 

New Info on Summer Celebration

 

The Coffeyville Summer Celebration is still happening. There will be some regulations and recommendations that attendees will need to follow for this show to be successful. They encourage you to please practice social distancing at all times while attending they event, keep 6 feet apart from others that are not in your family and face masks are recommended but not required as they will not be provided. There will be 8 sanitize stations set up throughout the park for your convenience.

 

Unfortunately there will be no water slides and the Poker Run has been canceled, but all other events will go on as scheduled.

UPDATE: Runaway Has Been Found

 

The runaway juvenile that the Coffeyville Police Department was looking for has been located. Jaylin Nash was located in Coffeyville by CPD and has been taken into custody and returned to her parents.

 

CPD says they would like to thank the public for their assistance.

Gas Prices Continue To Rise

 

The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline has continues to climb as it currently stands at $2.17 a gallon, which is six cents higher than a week ago, 21 cents more than a month ago and 49 cents less than a year ago, according to AAA.

 

In Kansas, prices have climbed up to $1.95 which is up 5 cents since last week and is nearly 28 cents higher than last month. Montgomery County is currently higher than the state average by 2 cents at $1.97, while Labette County is one cent higher than the state average at $1.96 a gallon. Chautauqua County clocked in at $1.94 a gallon which is one cent lower than the state average.

 

Across the border in Oklahoma, the state average is $1.90. Washington and Nowata counties came in slightly under the state average at $1.86 and $1.77 a gallon, respectively.

OK Gov Stitt Discusses Thoughts on State Q802

 

Oklahoma State Question 802 would put Obamacare or Medicaid expansion into the state constitution. Governor Kevin Stitt says this state question is bad for the State of Oklahoma, because it limits the flexibility of the state legislature.

 

Stitt says this would cost the state about $200 million. He says the state is at a budget deficient and that the money would have to come from cutting funding to places like education or a public service or they would have to raise taxes.

New Stop Lights on 11th Street

 

The 11th Street and Willow Street project is nearing completion. There are new stop lights and turn lanes at the widened intersection. These stop lights feature a yellow flashing arrow. Traffic is allowed to turn left on the yellow flashing arrow but must yield to oncoming traffic. This is the first of these lights to be installed in Coffeyville.

 

CPD reminds you to slow down and use caution as everyone gets used to traveling through the new intersection with new turn lanes, and functioning stop lights.

Pitt State Delays Reopening Two Weeks

 

Pittsburg State University will move the broad reopening of campus from July 7th to July 20th. Pitt State President Steve Scott says given the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Crawford County, they feel they must do their part to keep the community safe by limiting contact?and gatherings.

 

Scott says they continue to prepare for a full reopening of the campus, and to carefully monitor the situation and assess needs,?making adjustments?as they go. The goal is not only to open, but to stay open?until students are dismissed for fall break and online completion of the semester on November 20th. Pitt State has also announced that starting Monday masks will be required for all faculty, staff, students, and visitors.

Man Arrested For Child Abuse

 

A Chanute man was arrested Wednesday night on a charge of child abuse.

 

The Chanute Police Department along with the assistance of a Allen County Sheriff Deputy, responded to the area of 900 block of South Evergreen for a report of possible child abuse. Upon officers arrival, they began to investigate the complaint and talk with the parties involved. During the investigation, 39-year old Travis E. Seuser was arrested for child abuse. The two juvenile children in the home were taken into police protective custody. The Juvenile Justice Authority was contacted for screening and placement outside the home.

 

Seuser was transported to the Neosho County Jail without incident. The investigation is still ongoing at this time

CPD Looking for Runaway

 

The Coffeyville Police Department needs assistance locating a runaway juvenile. According to a Facebook post by CPD they are looking for Jaylin Renee Nash, who ran away early this morning.

 

If anyone has any information of her whereabouts or who Nash might be with, please call CPD or the local law enforcement agency. Her family would like her to be home and safe.

IHS Cancels Graduation

 

Independence High School has announced they are canceling their graduation. According to a post on their Facebook page they say it is with a heavy heart that they are announcing that graduation on Sunday will not be taking place due to the repeated recommendations of both the governor and local health officials to not hold mass gatherings.

 

They are looking into other ways to honor the class of 2020 in the future. More information on how seniors will receive their diplomas, class t-shirts, and other graduation regalia will be shared when a plan has been fully developed. The safety of the students, staff, and the community is of the utmost importance to our district. If there are any questions regarding this process please contact the USD 446 Board of Education office.

Truck Carrying Jet Fuel Catches Fire

 

A vehicle carrying jet fuel catches fire in Coffeyville. CPD and CFD were on the scene near Clough Oil at 11th and Oak after being dispatched to a vehicle fire. Dispatch was able to determine the large utility truck that was on fire next to the gas station was carrying 600 gallons of jet fuel. This information was relayed to CFD prior to their arrival.

 

Fire crews had a quick response and got it under control with the aid of foam in only minutes. There were no injuries to report.

Disaster Declaration for Railroad Trestle Fire

 

The Montgomery County Commission approved the Emergency Declaration for the SKO Railroad trestle that was damaged in a fire. Emergency Management's Lee Miller says the area that was burned will have to be rebuilt it can't be repaired.

 

Miller says the economic impact with the railroad line’s closure could be significant as multiple regional industries use that line to transport goods as the line runs down to the Port of Catoosa. The trestle is located one-half mile east of the Independence city limits. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Bounce Back Bucks Out

 

After giving away over $5,000 in Bounce Back Bucks the Coffeyville Chamber of Commerce is officially out. Chamber Director Candi Westbrook says they hoped the program, which started at the beginning of June, would last about a month.

 

Westbrook says she won't have an official number until next week but there was well over $25,000 spent in the community. They are potentially looking at trying to do this again sometime this summer.

 

Washington County Man Arrested in Caney

 

Caney Police Officers peruse and arrest a wanted Washington County man. Officers received information about 19 year old Seth Trenton Dale Rogers that led them to a residence on Braden Street. After officers identified Rogers he refused to produce any identification and then fled out the front door and ran from officers on foot. Neighbors assisted in directing officers in the direction Rogers had fled. Rogers attempted to jump a fence and his clothing became entangled in the fence, where he was apprehended.

 

Rogers faces two felonies and one misdemeanor in Washington County, endangering others while eluding a police officer, escape from arrest or detention and driving without a valid driver's license. Rogers will face felony charges of resisting arrest and obstruction of justice in Montgomery County. The bond in Washington County was set at $30,000.

Montgomery Enters Phase Out of Reopening Plan

 

Montgomery County has moved to the Phase Out portion of Governor Laura Kelly's plan to reopen the state, despite the governor's recommendation to stay in Phase 3. Emergency Management Director Rick Whitson says they do highly recommend you follow the guidelines of Phase 3.

 

The county currently has 8 active cases and they are all quarantined. If things were to get worse in the county they could impose restrictions again. They will review where the county is and discuss any changes that need to be made on July 6th.

 

Couple Facing Drug and Weapon Charges

 

A man and woman were arrested in Cherokee county yesterday on drug and weapon charges.

 

Cherokee County Investigators executed a narcotics search warrant north of Columbus Wednesday afternoon. During the course of the search, detectives seized suspected methamphetamine, marijuana, drug paraphernalia and a firearm.

 

37-year old Sarah Jane Stark and 44-year old Michael Barton were both arrested at the scene.

 

Stark and Barton are currently being held in the Cherokee County Jail on allegations of Possessing Meth, Possessing Marijuana, Possessing Drug Paraphernalia and Criminal Use of a Firearm.

CDBG Grants Open for Applications

 

Montgomery County businesses may now apply for CDBG-CV Grants to receive additional funding. Applications opened up on Wednesday and are available to any for-profit businesses of 50 employees or less that are retaining jobs for low-to-medium income people. The funding was awarded by the Kansas Department of Commerce as part of the CARES Act.

 

The Montgomery County Action Council's Trisha Purdon said the grants are open to a wide range of businesses.

 

However, businesses that would otherwise qualify for CDBG Grant funding may not be eligible. Purdon said any business that has already received CARES Act funding can not apply for the new grants.

 

For more information, or to apply for funding, visit the Montgomery County Action Council's website here.

City of Galena Fireworks Usage

 

With Independence Day approaching, fireworks are a popular way to celebrate the holiday.

 

The city of Galena have announced the dates and times residents are allowed to use fireworks in city limits. On June 27th through July 3rd and July 5th firework usage maybe begin at 9am and go no later than 10:30pm. On Independence Day, usage may begin at 9am and run until midnight.

 

Some restrictions also apply to types of fireworks used, where they can be discharged and how they are used:

 

BOTTLE ROCKETS PROHIBITED: Bottle rockets and other similar self-propelled firework or fireworks devices consisting of a tube and attached guiding stock or rod shall not be sold or discharged in the city.

 

DISCHARGE ON STREETS AND PUBLIC PROPERTY PROHIBITED: It shall be unlawful for any person to discharge, ignite or fire any fireworks upon any public street, alley or avenue or in any park or public place within the city.

 

THROWING PROHIBITED: It shall be unlawful for any person to throw, cast or propel fireworks of any kind in the direction of or into the path of any animal, person or group of persons, or from, in the direction of or into any vehicle of any kind.

Latest COVID-19 Numbers

 

The latest COVID-19 numbers in the state of Kansas have been released by the Kansas Department of health. According to the KDHE, there are now 12,970 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Kansas with 1,082 hospitalizations, 261 deaths and just under 149,000 negative cases.

 

In Southeast Kansas, Crawford County added another 28 to push their total count 220 cases. Labette County added 22 more cases to increase their total to 50 after an outbreak was discovered at a long-term care facility. Cherokee County picked up 2 more cases to move their total to 20. Montgomery, Neosho, Chautauqua, Wilson, and Elk counties all remained unchanged according to the report.

Summer School Program in Sedan

 

Sedan Schools have announced that enrollment is now open for the Wild Wild West summer program for students Kindergarten through 5th grade.

 

Students will meet July 6th - 31st, Monday - Friday from 8:00am-12:20pm with breakfast, lunch and bus transportation provided.

 

Students will be split in grade-level groups to complete math and reading enrichment while also engaging in hands-on STEM projects. Additionally, students will spend time in P.E., computer apps, and art.

 

The enrollment form for this program can be found here.

One Injured in Labette County Crash

 

A Wichita woman was injured in a crash around 7:00pm yesterday in eastern Labette County.

 

According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, 21-year old Kegan Leftwich of McCune was driving eastbound on U400 and when he attempted to make a left hand turn, when a vehicle driven by Ashley Anderson clipped the right rear corner of his Leftwich's vehicle. Anderson's vehicle came to a rest in a hedge row.

 

Anderson was transported to Labette Health with suspected minor injuries. Leftwich had no apparent injuries.

Coffeyville City Commission Approves Agreement with FAA for CARES Act Funding

 

The Coffeyville City Commission passed a resolution approving an agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration for CARES Act funding. 

 

Superintendent of Engineering Thomas Osborn said this funding can be used for a variety of things.

 

The city will have four years to use the $30,000. The decision made by the commission on Tuesday was simply to accept the funds.

Advance Voting Available for Residents of Kansas

 

Advance voting is available to the voter of Kansas. Any registered voter is eligble to vote by advance voting ballot on all offices and special questions submitted in their district.

 

Ballots for advance voting in person in the county election office will be available beginning July 15th.  All voters must provide valid photo identification prior to receiving a ballot.

 

Advance ballots are counted by an election board of at least three board members consisting of both Democratic and Republican members. Every precaution is taken to ensure only one ballot per person is allowed. 

 

For more information, call 620-330-1200. You can acquire the the advance application by going to the county website here

Kansas Governor Kelly Recommends Communities Remain In Phase 3 of Re-Opening Plan

 

Although state was scheduled to re-open further this week Kansas Governor Laura Kelly says she thinks the state is not quite ready yet.

 

The Governor says Coronavirus is still out there and we need to remain vigilant.

 

Kelly says she is recommending that the state remain in Phase 3 of the re-opening plan.

 

She said that because of the recent upward spread of the virus communities should remain in Phase 3 of the re-opening plan for two more weeks.

 

Phase 3 restricts mass gatherings to a maximum of 45 people.       

Watkins Honored by US Chamber of Commerce

 

A Congressman representing the state of Kansas receives the “Spirit of Enterprise Award” from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for his support of pro-business issues from January 2019 through January 2020. This is the 32nd year that the Chamber has formally honored the accomplishments of this select group of members of Congress. By earning the 2020 Spirit of Enterprise Award, Congressman Steve Watkins has shown his commitment to not only supporting pro-business legislation, but also his commitment to the bipartisan leadership and constructive governing necessary to move the country forward.

 

Watkins says businesses face enough challenges as is and the last thing they should have to worry about is the government getting in their way. He says he will always lead the way to cutting red tape so that Kansas businesses can thrive and prosper in the free enterprise system.

Two Injured in Single Vehicle Accident

 

A man and woman were injured in a single vehicle crash just before 12:30 north of Girard Monday afternoon.

 

24-year old Jose Garcia-Tule was traveling northbound on K7 when another vehicle that was heading southbound was passing another vehicle which caused Garcia-Tule's vehicle to veer off the roadway, collide with a culvert and roll multiple times landing on its wheels.

 

Garcia-Tule complained of a possible injury while his passenger 36-year old Paulina Martinez-Chio had a suspected minor injury. Both were transported to Girard Medical Center. A third passenger, Miranda Garcia, had no apparent injuries.

 

Pursuit Ends in Felons Arrest

 

A 41-year old Parsons man who led police on a short pursuit has been arrested and charged on a laundry list of charges.

 

Early Saturday morning, Parsons Police Sergeant Brice Dickens attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a white Buick and the driver fled and a pursuit ensued. Once stopped, the driver was arrested and identified as Tremayne Darkis. Darkis was wearing an ankle monitor during his arrest and he is on parole out of California.

 

During the pursuit a bag had been discarded that contained a stolen 9mm pistol that was stolen out of Parsons in 2019. The bag also contained multiple items including narcotics.

 

Darkis has been charged with 10 charges including Criminal Possession of a Firearm by a Felon, Possession of Stolen Property, and multiple drug and traffic infractions related to the pursuit. A $10,000 bond was set by a Labette County Judge and Darkis has since bonded out. 

Coffeyville City Commission Agenda for 6-23

 

There will be a lot of decisions to be made at tonight's Coffeyville City Commission meeting, with one ordinance and seven resolutions on the agenda. The majority of the meeting will be taken up by these items, including one resolution to authorize a grant agreement with the Kansas Department of Commerce. The commission will also consider awarding construction contracts for two different projects, including the 2020 Intersection & Drainage Improvements Project.

 

The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will be held, as always, at the commission room in city hall. 

COVID Case at CMHS

 

An individual involved with the Summer Weights and Conditioning Program at Cherryvale Middle Senior High School has been positively diagnosed with COVID-19. This report was made by the individual tested, and has not yet been confirmed by the Montgomery County Health Department. The individual was last present at the weights session on Thursday and first developed symptoms on Friday. Once the district has received guidance from the County Health Department, all individuals who are at high risk of exposure will be notified and given further instructions.

 

Although there is no evidence of others exhibiting symptoms at this time, as a precaution, they will be closing the facilities at CMHS in order to thoroughly disinfect all areas. Summer weights and conditioning and Driver’s Ed will be suspended until they can determine that no one else becomes ill.

 

Latest COVID-19 Numbers in Kansas

 

The latest COVID-19 numbers in the state of Kansas have been released by the Kansas Department of health. According to the KDHE, there are now 12,465 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Kansas with 1,056 hospitalizations, 259 deaths and just over 142,000 negative cases.

 

In Southeast Kansas, Crawford County had another big increase of 25 to move to 192 cases. Neosho County added 2 more cases to increase their total to 17 and Montgomery County added another case and now has 25 cases. Labette, Cherokee, Chautauqua, Wilson, and Elk counties all remained unchanged since last Friday's update.

U.S. 400 Concrete Slab Work

 

Motorists near the U.S. 400/U.S. 75 junction in northern Montgomery County can expect delays as the Kansas Department of Transportation has started a project to replace concrete slabs on U.S. 400.

 

Work began on Thursday and is expected to be completed by mid-July, weather permitting. The project area is between the U.S. 75/U.S. 400 junction and the Verdigris River Bridge. Temporary signals will direct one-lane traffic through the work zone.

Coffeyville Reopening Survey Available

 

The Coffeyville Chamber of Commerce has made available a survey for citizens to give their opinion on the reopening of the city. The survey includes several questions asking citzens about their spending habits and their attitudes on the current pace of the city and county's reopening. The data will be used to inform local businesses of consumer spending habits and business protocols.

 

To take the survey, follow this link.

Crawford County Board Swears in New Public Health Officer

 

The Crawford County Commissioners have sworn two new public health officers for the county. Dr. Timothy Stebbins will serve as Crawford County Public Health Officer while Dr. Linda Bean will serve as Deputy Public Health Officer. Both Dr. Stebbins and Dr. Bean currently have roles that they serve in the community in addition to their new duties. 

 

They will work closely with Rebecca Adamson, the current Crawford County Health Department Director.

 

All health department services and COVID-19 testing remain open and accessible to the public. For more information regarding those services, contact the health department at 620-231-5411.

Earthquake Rattles Area

 

Residents of South Kansas and Northern Oklahoma were rattled late Saturday night by an earthquake. 

 

A 4.5 magnitude earthquake, 7.9 kilometers deep, was recorded 8 km northwest of Perry, OK at 10:15 p.m. 

 

The quake was reported to be felt all over Montgomery County and parts of Wilson and Labette counties. 

Confirmed Outbreak of COVID-19 in Labette County

 

Labette County officials have confirmed an outbreak of COVID-19 at a long-term care facility. No individuals are hospitalized at this time, and exact numbers are not available at this time due to some results still pending.

 

The Labette County Health Department will be following KDHE guidelines in determining any close contacts of those that may have been affected. All contacts will be notified.

 

Individuals who are exhibiting at least two of the known symptoms of COVID-19 should contact the fever clinic at 620-820-5230 to determine if further testing is needed.

Possible Abduction Attempt in Parsons

The Parsons Police Department is investigating an attempted abduction of a juvenile female Friday morning.

 

At approximately 9:30 am in the area of 32nd and Washington, a juvenile was outside in her yard when a sedan stopped in front of her house. A white male passenger exited the car, approached the child on the driveway and grabbed her arm. The victim said she would yell if he did not let her go. The male let the child go and fled back to the waiting car and sped off.

 

The vehicle is described as a full-sized sedan, white in color with a darkened rear window. No plate was observed by the victim.

 

The driver is described as a black male with some type of potential tattoo on his face. Possibly in his 20's or 30's. The passenger is described as a white male also in his 20's or 30's with blond hair standing about 5'10" to 6'0".

 

If you have any information call the Crime Tip Hotline at (620) 421-7057

Labette Health to Receive CARES Act Funding

 

Around $110,000 in CARES Act funding will go towards expanding telehealth services at Labette Health in Parsons. The funds will be used for purchasing videoconferencing equipment, telehealth software, telemedicine carts and laptop computers. This is to help provide COVID-19 screenings, with testing for infection as required, and other critical operations through telehealth, such as wellness and annual visits, sick visits, medication refills, and specialty consultations.

 

Congressman Steve Watkins, who spoke in support of the CARES ACT, says expanding access to quality health care in rural communities is a top priority of his. His is proud to announce a portion of these funds are headed home to Kansas to help do exactly what he has fought for, which is expand quality health care to rural communities.

Optic Communications To Cease Cable Service

 

Columbus-based Optic Communications have announced that they will be ceasing cable service at the end of the year.

 

The company announced that they will be focusing on online operations. According to the Optic Communications, it was just getting too expensive to provide cable TV to a limited number of customers, and more and more people are switching to streaming services for entertainment.

 

Optic Communications said it will end its cable TV services on Dec. 31, 2020.

 

For more information, call 620-429-3132.

Pittsburg State University Increases Tuition

 

Pittsburg State University has elected to increase tuition by $83 per semester following a proposal presented at the Kansas Board of Regents.

 

The increase will apply to in-state and non-resident undergraduate and graduate students. Following the increase, full-time undergraduate students will pay just under $3,000 per semester.

 

In addition, the University is undertaking further expansion of the Gorilla Advantage program, which grants in-state tuition rates to non-residents. Last year, all of Missouri, Oklahoma, and Arkansas were added, and this year the program is growing to include Texas and Tennessee through private funding.

 

Stolen Car Recovered By Montgomery County Sheriff's Office

 

A joint effort from the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office and several area police departments led to the recovery of a stolen car on Thursday. Deputies were advised of a possible stolen vehicle in southeastern Montgomery County. South Coffeyville Police, Coffeyville Police and Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to attempt to help locate the vehicle and eventualy discovered the car on US169 and State Line (CR1200).

 

Chase Vankirk of Independence was taken into custody and booked into MGDOC on Felony Possession of stolen property.

UPDATE: Both Suspects Arrested In Sunday Homicide

 

Both suspects have been arrested in the shooting death of 38 year old Otis Horner earlier this week. Coffeyville Police Department has taken 22 year old Jonathan Hall and 21 year old Ethan Bellamy into custody. CPD, responding to a report of shots fired, found Horner in the 600 block of East 3rd St early Sunday morning. Horner was transported to CRMC, where he was pronounced deceased.

 

Anyone with information should call CPD at (620)252-6160, Detective Jason Kastler at (620)252-6145, or if you want to remain anonymous you can provide information to the Crime Tip Hotline at (620)252-6133.

Crawford County Public Health Officer Resigns

 

The public health officer for Crawford County has resigned effective immediately. Rebecca Adamson will retain her duties as the director of the county health department. The board of commissioners and the board of public health are committed to serving the public health needs of the community and are restructuring the position in their search for a new public health officer.

 

All health department services and COVID-19 testing remain open and accessible to the public, for more information regarding those services, contact the health department at 620-231-5411.

 

Crawford County has recently seen a huge spike in positive Coronavirus cases going from 10 at the start of last week to, according to numbers provided by the KDHE, 156 this week.

Limited Access to Chanute Police Department

 

The Chanute Police Department have announced that due to a recent increase of COVID-19 cases in the area, public access to the Memorial Building and the Police Department will be temporarily limited. All individual finger printing and VIN inspections will also be temporarily suspended.

 

To check on court cases, pay on fines, or any other questions you may have, call the Chanute Municipal Court Clerk at (620) 431-5244 between the hours of 7:30am to 4:30pm.

 

The walk in lobby located at the southwest corner of the Memorial Building will remain open to the public. Everyone can continue to walk in and pick up the phone to talk directly to a dispatcher if needed.

Copan Woman Arrested on Various Charges

 

A Copan woman has been arrested on numerous charges after being pulled over in Caney Wednesday.

 

Clarissa Jo Evans was traveling southbound on McGee when she was pulled over due to an inoperative tail light. During contact with the driver, the Officer smelled an odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from the vehicle and observed an open alcoholic beverage container in the hands of the driver. Evans was pulled from the vehicle after refusing to exit and was placed under arrest after a short struggle.

 

Evans was charged with suspicion of DUI, Driving While Suspended, Interference with Law Enforcement Officer, Transporting an Open Container, and Operating a vehicle with inoperative tail lamps. Evans was transported and booked into the Montgomery County Department of Corrections.

KDHE Adds and Removes States From Travel Quarantine List

 

Three states have been added and six states have been removed from the KDHE's travel quaratine list. Effective June 17, those who have traveled to Alabama, Arkansas, or Arizona are being asked to self-quarantine for 14 days. Those states join Maryland on the most current version of the list. 

 

Those who have been on a cruise ship or have travelled internationally are still being asked to quarantine as well. These quarantine orders do not apply to critical infrastructure sectors that need to continue operations during the current pandemic.

SEK Communities Receive Grants

 

Two southeast Kansas communities were chosen to receive grants as part of the Union Pacific Kansas Main Street Recovery Fund. The fund is a grant program to support the economic recovery of Kansas downtowns and commercial districts impacted by COVID-19.

 

Independence Main Street will receive $3,000 to support downtown marketing and promotional initiatives, as well as technical support from the National Main Street Center’s Field Services team. Independence Main Street will also use grant funds to offer a Main Street gift card promotion, providing shoppers with gift cards for money spent downtown.

 

Downtown Parsons will also receive $3,000 to support their commercial district marketing efforts.

 

Grant project ideas were judged based on how they would contribute to commercial district recovery efforts, as well as their community impact after the initial project implementation.

Two Killed in Motorcycle Crash in Neosho County

 

Two men were killed in a single vehicle motorcycle crash just west of Chanute.

 

According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, 52-year-old Ronald Bigpond and 47-year-old Richard Standridge were eastbound in the 2400 block of 200th Road when they departed the roadway to the left and continued over the railroad tracks where it overturned and ejected the driver and passenger. Both men were pronounced dead at the scene.

 

Neither Bigpond nor Standridge were wearing a helmet.

 

Coffeyville Municipal Light & Power Receives Another Award

 

Coffeyville Municipal Light & Power has once again been recognized for its efficiency. The electric company received First Place in the Oklahoma Municipal Alliance's (OMA) Electric Operations and Reliability Competition. The utility was recognized in the category for cities over 10,000 population and cited for achieving the highest reported level of service reliability for cities within OMA's four-state member region.

 

The utility was recognized for having an Average System Availability Index of 99.9992 percent in 2019. Coffeyville Chamber of Commerce Director Candi Westbrook said the department's efficiency helps it stand out among all others

 

OMA General Manager Tom Rider presented the award to Coffeyville Light & Power. OMA is a municipal utility trade association representing cities in Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, and Arkansas.

Second Suspect Arrested In Connection to Double Homicide

 

A second suspect has been arrested in connection to a Sunday morning double homicide in rural northwest Cherokee County.

 

29-year old Kimberly Blizzard, a.k.a. Kimberly Seely of Pittsburg was taken into custody on Tuesday afternoon. Blizzard is being held in the Cherokee County Jail without bond on allegations of Aiding and Abetting Capital Murder.

 

29-year old Mark Gerald Hopkins II of Columbus was previously arrested around 3:00 am Monday morning in Fairland, Oklahoma. He was extradited back to Kansas Monday afternoon and is also being held in the Cherokee County Jail without bond on charges of Capital Murder.

 

Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves said that the investigation into the murders of Blaze Swank and Kylan Shook continues.

Special Meetings for Indy Commission

 

The Independence City Commission will hold two special meetings in the coming weeks. The first meeting will take place on Wednesday, June 23rd and will center on discussing the SUST ballot question. The next meeting will be held the following week, June 30th, and will cover Phase II Programming for City Hall.

 

Both meetings are scheduled for 9:00 am and will be held at the Civic Center at 410 N. Penn in Independence. 

Political Campaign Sign Rules

 

If you have been driving anywhere in southeast Kansas, you will see campaign signs in towns and on the highways. However, the Kansas Department of Transportation reminds you to make sure the sign is not located on highway right of way.

 

All right of way on state highways is to be used exclusively for public highway purposes only regulatory, guide signs and warning signs are allowed on the state highway system.

 

If a political campaign or business sign is located on the right of way, KDOT maintenance crews will remove the signs without notice. All such signs will then be taken to the closest KDOT subarea office where they can be picked up by the owner with the agreement they will not be placed on state right of way again. All political campaign signs not picked up will be disposed of after the election.

Independence Hosting Opener for Kansas Airstrip Attack

 

Independence will serve as the host for the season opener for the Kansas Airstrip Attack next month.

 

The event was originally scheduled for two days starting April 18th, but was pushed back due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Instead, the event will start on July 18th and then run into the following day. The airstrip exhibition is a half-mile side-by-side roll race and trap speed exhibition featuring high-end exotic cars such as those made by Porsche and Lamborghini. 

 

When purchasing tickets, citizens of Independence that use city servcies can use a promo code found on their utility bill for 25% off tickets to the event. Indy Chamber of Commerce Director Lisa Wilson said this code will be worth a lot of savings.

 

For up-to date information, make sure to check out both the Shift Sector and Kansas Airstrip Attack Facebook pages.

Woman Dies in Weekend Crash

 

A 45-year old woman died in a single vehicle crash over the weekend in northern Cherokee County.

 

Cherokee County Emergency Personnel responded to the area of Northeast 50th and Highway 103, east of Weir, at approximately 4:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.

 

The investigation indicates a westbound 2016 Chevy Equinox left the roadway and entered a body of water.

 

The driver, and sole occupant, Mindi Sue Uber was pronounced dead at the scene.

Possible COVID Exposure at Caney Valley High School

 

Caney Valley Schools released a statement this weekend saying those who participated in summer workout programs could have had a possible exposure to COVID-19. The district says no student or staff member is showing any symptoms. The statement says participants in the voluntary summer weights and conditioning program may have been exposed through two degrees of separation to a positive COVID-19 case. There have been no staff or students exhibiting symptoms but as a precaution they will be closing the facilities.

 

The district says it will be testing all involved. It also recommends students who participated in workouts for volleyball, basketball, track and football limit their exposure to other individuals. All areas within the facilities are expected to be disinfected.

 

Full Statement

Big Spike in COVID Cases in SEK County

 

Crawford County has seen a huge spike in confirmed COVID-19 cases. According to the Crawford County Health Department, last Monday the county had 10 confirmed cases and now a week later they have 44 confirmed cases. The individuals are all fully cooperating with health officials and are currently isolated per public health guidelines.

 

According to the Kansas Department of Health statewide there are now 11,419 confirmed cases, 988 hospitalizations, 245 deaths and over 125,000 negative cases. For the rest of Southeastern Kansas, Labette County has 27 confirmed cases, Montgomery County 22, Cherokee County 15, Neosho County 8, Chautauqua County 4, Wilson County 1 and Elk County remains at 0.

Double Murder Suspect Charged With Capital Murder

 

A Columbus man has been arrested and is facing Capital Murder charges stemming from a double murder in rural northwestern Cherokee County.

 

Early Sunday morning, Cherokee County Sheriff Deputies were dispatched to a location where the bodies of 27-year-old Blaze Swank and 20-year-old Kylan Shook were discovered. Both victims had been shot.

 

Cherokee County detectives, along with agents from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, issued an arrest warrant for Mark Gerald Hopkins II charging him with Capital Murder after conducting numerous interviews and serving search warrants through out the day Sunday.

 

Hopkins was located near Fairland, Oklahoma early Monday morning and taken into custody. Hopkins is being held in the Ottawa County Oklahoma Jail, pending extradition back to Kansas.

Montgomery County Commission Approves Vehicle Purchase

 

The Montgomery County Commission was in session for its weekly meeting this morning (yesterday). Duane Powell of Juvenile Services bring forward the bids they had received for a new vehicle. The commission approved a bid by PERL Chevrolet for a 2017 Ford Escape priced at $15,995. Although the price was lower than the other bids, Powell said the mileage was just as important.

 

Also, Jim Wright from the Public Works department reported that instead of needing to fill three vacancies as he had previously mentioned, he now needed to fill five.

Retirement Reception for Longtime Indy Judge

 

The public is invited to a retirement reception for longtime Independence municipal judge William "Bill" Kelly. The special reception will be held June 25th at the Veterans Room of Memorial Hall, starting at about 4:30.

 

A native of Independence and a local attorney, Kelly began his service as judge to the city in 1979. He had also served as a Municipal Judge for the communities of Elk City, Cherryvale and Neodesha. In 2015, he joined local attorney Joslyn Kusiak in establishing Kelly and Kusiak Law Office LLC. He retired from private law practice in 2018.

 

Kusiak is currently served as the new municipal judge, having started that position June 1st.

Crash Kills One, Injures Another

 

A Joplin man died and another was hurt after a crash Friday near Baxter Springs.

 

According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, 41-year old Gage Phelps was driving east on Highway 166, about two miles east of Highway 400. For an unknown reason, his SUV crossed the center line and hit an ongoing semi-truck head-on.

 

The highway was closed for nearly 11 hours between Baxter Springs and the K-26 Junction.

 

Phelps died in the crash while the driver of the semi-truck 40-year-old, Jeremy Johnston of Winfield, Mo., suffered serious injuries and was taken to Freeman Hospital in Joplin.

Coffeyville Police Department Investigating Homicide

 

The Coffeyville Police Department is investigating a homicide that occured early Sunday morning. CPD responded to the 600 block of East 3rd Street for a shooting. Responding officers located a gunshot victim, 38-year-old Otis Horner of Coffeyville. Horner was transported to CRMC, where he was pronounced deceased.

 

Two persons of interest are being sought after for questioning. CPD is looking for 21-year-old Ethan Bellamy and 22-year-old Jonathan Hall, both of Coffeyville. 

 

Anyone with information on the case should contact CPD at 620-252-6160, or Detective Kastler at 620-252-6145. Those wishing to remain anonymous may provide information to the Crime Tip Hotline at 620-252-6133.

Water Shut Off for Cherokee beginning Monday

 

The city of Cherokee says water will be shutoff from June 15th to June 19th to replace bolts on their water valves.

 

The city will dig up and replace the old bolts with stainless steel bolts that do not rust. They will shut off the water starting at 7:00 A.M. each morning of the week and  have the water back on by 4:00 P.M. each day.

 

The city will likely be on a boil advisory for the whole week. Non-drinking water will be available for flushing toilets, but the city encourage residents to stock up on drinking water.

 

The storm siren will sound when the water is being shut off.

New Disc Golf Course Headed to Parsons

 

The residents of Parsons will have a new activity to partake in as Tolen Creek Park will receive a new 18-hole disc golf course.

 

The city of Parsons received a $7,000 tourism grant from The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism to add the disc golf course. The grant will also connect two legs of the trail in the park.

 

Parsons had planned to add WiFi to the park but were only awarded half of the amount of money the city had applied for. The city said that adding WiFi at the park will have to wait as the city focuses on the disc golf course and trail.

Man Injured in Wilson County Collision

 

A thirty-year old Rose Hill man was involved in a two-vehicle accident in the construction zone two miles east of Altoona.

 

According the Kansas Highway Patrol, Nickolas Bailey was westbound on K-47 approaching a semi-trailer driven by 48-year old Roy Fulton of Humboldt who waiting at the stop light when the vehicle driven by Bailey struck the rear of the Fulton's vehicle.

 

Bailey was transported to Wesley Medical Center in Wichita with serious injuries. Fulton had no apparent injuries.

 

Demand Growth Raises National Average

 

Since Monday, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline has increased by five cents to $2.09, which is nine cents higher than a week ago, 24 cents more than a month ago and 65 cents less than a year ago, according to AAA.

 

In Kansas, prices have climbed up to $1.87 which is up 14 cents since last week and is nearly 35 cents higher than last month. Montgomery County is currently higher than the state average by 2 cents, while Labette County came in slightly under than the state average at $1.86 a gallon. Chautauqua County clocked in at $1.81 a gallon.

 

Across the border in Oklahoma, the state average is $1.81. Washington and Nowata counties came in slightly under the state average at $1.78 and $1.76 a gallon, respectively.

 

New Multipurpose Trail in Pittsburg

 

Pittsburg residents can look forward to a enjoying a new multipurpose trail in about month as construction crews will begin work on the Memorial Drive Trail Project starting Monday.

 

The new six-foot-wide trail will stretch nearly half a mile from North Walnut Street to McNally Road, connecting cyclists and pedestrians to recreational amenities in Lincoln Park. The project is estimated to take 25 working days to complete.

 

Funding for the $146,000 trail project was made possible thanks to a $88,000 grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation and other grants given to the city for the construction of walking and biking trails.

Cherryvale Announces Graduation Date

 

USD 447 have announced that the Cherryvale High School class of 2020 graduation will be held June 27th at 9:00 am at Logan Park Stadium.

 

Each students’ family will be assigned an area in the home bleachers, which will accommodate 12 persons to whom the family wishes to extend an invitation. Seating for others will be in portable bleachers, west side visitor bleachers, or lawn chairs in designated areas around the track. The event will also be live streamed on Facebook.

 

In the case of inclement weather, a decision will be made by 7:00 am on June 27th to move the ceremony to the Cherryvale Middle High School Gymnasium. Patrons will be notified by Facebook, USD 447 email lists and text messages to all phone numbers in the Infinite Campus database should the location be moved.

Boil Order Rescinded for McCune

 

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has rescinded a boil water advisory for the City of McCune.

 

The advisory was issued because of a loss of pressure in the system. Failure to maintain adequate pressure may result in a loss of chlorine residuals and bacterial contamination. Public water suppliers in Kansas take all measures necessary to notify customers quickly after a system failure or shutdown.

 

Laboratory testing samples collected from the City of McCune indicate no evidence of bacteriological contamination and all other conditions that placed the system at risk of contamination are deemed by KDHE officials to be resolved.

Coffeyville's Bounce Back Bucks Engaging New Shoppers

The success of Coffeyville’s Bounce Back Bucks program has done more than generate retail dollars.  The Executive Director of the Coffeyville Chamber, Candi Westbrook says the promotion has also seen a lot of new people participate.

 

The promotion gives consumers $10 in Coffeyville Bucks to spend a participating retailer for every $50 purchased.  Equity Bank funded the program with $5,000 and after just a week and a half it’s given out over $2,000 in Coffeyville Bucks.  The promotion is set to continue until June 30th or until all the Bounce Back Bucks are claimed.

 

Local business participating in the Coffeyville Bounce Back Bucks promotion include Bandits and Bling Antiques, Cantrell’s  Fine Jewelry, Carter Automotive Warehouse, Coffeyville Feed and Farm, Coffeyville Gold and Silver, Coffeyville Tire and Auto, Derailed Commodity, Dollar Tire, Factory Connection, Green Acres Florist, Isham’s True Value Hardware, Jan L’s Flowers, Gifts and Interiors, Lanning’s Downtown Grill, Liebert Brothers Electric, Maple Street Meat Market, McClellan’s Appliances, Miss Kate’s Mercantile, Mom & Pop  Nutrition, Natural Food Center, Nichol’s Hitching Post, Simply Southern Boutique, Sunflower Soda Fountain and the Yoke Bar and Grill.

Caney Man Arrested on Multiple Criminal Damage Counts

 

A 21-year-old Caney man has been arrested on multiple charges after spray painting several properties around Caney.

 

The Caney Police Department received a report of criminal damage to property discovered at the Caney Volunteer Fire Department building on Monday night. Shortly thereafter, another report was received from Sonic Drive-in stating that the words “crips” and “bloods” were spray-painted on their property as well. Officers with the Caney Police Department patrolled through town in attempt to locate more damaged or defaced property. In total, 5 properties, 5 signs and 1 headstone at the Sunnyside Cemetery were vandalized.

 

After conducting interviews, CPD identified the suspect to be Logan Matthew Jennings. Jennings stated that he committed the acts alone and went on to state that he does not have any affiliations with the Crips, Bloods, or Antifa.

 

Criminal damage to property charges are being submitted to the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution against Jennings.

Coffeyville Commission Receives Another Update on 11th Street Project

 

Coffeyville city commissioners continued to show their frustrations over the progress of the improvement project on 11th Street. At the latest commission meeting on Tuesday, commissioners learned that the new goal for the completion of the project has been set for July 4th. Mayor Paul Bauer pointed out the project has now taken over a year to complete.

 

The July 4th goal, if reached, would come just over 400 calendar days after the start of the project, which began on May 29th, 2019. The project was originally scheduled for 105 contract days, but the company received 46 additional days because of weather delays. Darrin Petrowsky, a KDOT area engineer, defined the conditions that must be met for days that don't count against that total.

 

Mission Construction, out of Saint Paul, Kansas, is the company contracted for the project. It has appealed to add four extra days to its total. Petrowsky said he had not yet decided whether that request would be granted.

 

City of Parsons to Use Free Chlorine Residual

 

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment routinely recommends that public water supplies that utilize a combined chlorine residual, perform an annual cleaning of the water distribution system with a free chlorine residual.

 

The City of Parsons plans to use a free chlorine residual starting Monday, June 15 and running for approximately one month. During that period of time, users may notice some chlorine tastes and odors in the water. There is no cause for alarm and this is being done purely as a precautionary measure, and as part of the ongoing efforts to provide the people of Parsons with the safest possible drinking water.

 

For questions regarding this process, call 620-421-7020.

 

Plans for Coffeyville Summer Celebration

 

The Coffeyville Summer Celebration is coming soon. The festivities are currently scheduled for July 11th at Walter Johnson Park. Several of the events that will be featured include a 5K run, a car show, several musical performances, and the CCC Quack Clash. Also featured will be the largest fireworks show in the southeastern Kansas area.

 

Event organizer Gail Smith spoke to KGGF early Thursday morning. He said they've seen a ton of interest despite not having the same amount of time to plan.

 

For more information about next month's event, check their Facebook page at Coffeyville Summer Celebration.

Sen. Moran Applauds Passage of Bill to Protect Senior Scams

 

Kansas Senator Jerry Moran is applauding the passage of a bill aimed at protecting seniors from being preyed upon by scammers. The "Stop Seniors Scams Act" would create a federal advisory council to develop educational materials for retailers, financial institutions and wire transfer companies to train employees on how to spot and stop financial scams at the point of sale.

 

Moran introduced the bill alongside Bob Casey, a Democrat from Pennsylvania. If you or a loved one receives a suspicious call, contact the office of Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt to file a complaint.

Fab Lab ICC Receives Grant

 

Fab Lab ICC announces they have received a $25,000 grant from NetWork Kansas. The grants are being awarded to colleges and small businesses that are making PPE for healthcare workers during COVID-19. Fab Lab's Jim Correll says they want to provide masks that are more comfortable and have them available for anyone who needs them.

 

Correll says they made around 40-50 masks and around 80 face shields. He says they also want to work on making a machine center so they can make parts to fix ventilators or other machines.

Cherokee Nation Donates to Nowata Emergency Management

 

The Nowata County Commissioners accepted a $5,000 donation from the Cherokee Nation. The donation was on behalf of Nowata County Emergency management. Director Laurie Summers says this donation is twice the amount of their previous year’s operating budget.

 

Summers says NCEM must hit certain benchmarks before it can qualify for Emergency Management Performance Grants from the state. She says it’s a goal to build an emergency operations center for the county, but for now the funds could help improve communications.  The funds will be allocated to the emergency management donations account. There was also an identical donation to Washington County Emergency Management.

Brush Fire at County Barn in Nowata Quickly Controlled

 

A small brush fire occurred at the Nowata County District One barn. District One Commissioner Burke LaRue says a brush pile caught fire but nothing of value was damaged.

 

LaRue says the tires were around because the county barns weren’t able to hold their annual tire disposal event. He says sometimes having brush dropped at his barn is an inconvenience but its preferred over having tree limbs and other things block roads or clog bar ditches. A quick response from the Nowata Fire EMS and the Nowata County Sheriff’s Office kept the fire from causing any harm.

Parsons Police Write 84 Citations During Click It or Ticket

 

During the Click It or Ticket Campaign recently completed, the Parsons Police Department conducted overtime saturation patrols to aggressively enforce Kansas occupant restraint, texting, impaired driving, and other traffic laws.

 

During the campaign, officers wrote 75 safety belt citations, and 9 other citations and arrests. 83 vehicle stops were made during the campaign. Over 60 hours of overtime was logged during the campaign to reduce vehicle crashes in Parsons and enforce occupant restraint laws and inattentive driving habits.

 

Click It or Ticket was supported by a grant to the Parsons Police Department from the Kansas Department of Transportation.

Suspicious Activity Alert in Cherokee County Update [UPDATE]

 

The Cherokee County Sheriff's Office has updated the story regarding a man and a woman going door to door, claiming to represent Freeman Hospital Systems and offering free breathing treatments.

 

The man going door to door contacted the CCSO and advised he works for Four State Health and Wellness, providing single room air purifiers to residents interested in using the device to remove dust and allergens from their home.

 

The man stated they are not associated with Freeman Hospital Systems and while they do have identification badges, they do not look like Freeman employee badges.

Coffeyville's Bounce Back Bucks Starts off With a Bang

Coffeyville’s Bounce Back Bucks is proving to be a resounding success.  The Executive Director of the Coffeyville Chamber, Candi Westbrook says she’s been surprised at the response.

 

In the first week and a half there have been over $2,000 in Bounce Back Bucks given out representing over $12,000 in sales.

 

The program was designed to spur the resurgence of local retail sales following the pandemic.  There is a total of $5,000 in Bounce Back Bucks giving consumers $10 in Bounce Back Bucks for every $50 they spend at participating businesses.  Those Bounce Back Bucks can then be spent like cash at any of those retail locations.  The Bounce Back Bucks are being fu8nded through the help of Equity Bank.

 

There are over 20 participating retailers in the Coffeyville Bounce Backs program including:  Bandits and Bling Antiques, Cantrell’s  Fine Jewelry, Carter Automotive Warehouse, Coffeyville Feed and Farm, Coffeyville Gold and Silver, Coffeyville Tire and Auto, Derailed Commodity, Dollar Tire, Factory Connection, Green Acres Florist, Isham’s True Value Hardware, Jan L’s Flowers, Gifts and Interiors, Lanning’s Downtown Grill, Liebert Brothers Electric, Maple Street Meat Market, McClellan’s Appliances, Miss Kate’s Mercantile, Mom & Pop  Nutrition, Natural Food Center, Nichol’s Hitching Post, Simply Southern Boutique, Sunflower Soda Fountain and the Yoke Bar and Grill.

 

Dalton Defenders Days Scaling Down for 2020

 

Dalton Defenders Days will still have a festival this year, albeit a scaled-down version. This year's festival will take place on Saturday, October 3rd only. There will be three reenactments, scheduled for 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm. There will also be activities scheduled throughout the day. 

 

The festival is being scaled down for 2020 due to the pandemic and financial-related concerns. Dalton Defenders Days celebrates the four townspeople who died defending Coffeyville from the Dalton Gang. The gang was attempting to rob two banks in the city, but all but one were wiped out by the townspeople. 

Coffeyville PD Receives Praise From Pastor Over Protests

 

The Coffeyville Police Department received high praise from a local pastor for its conduct during recent protests in the city. Pastor Melvin Simpson of the First Church of God and Christ in Coffeyville addressed the city commission at Tuesday's meeting.

 

He said he thought Police Chief Kwin Bromley did an excellent job communicating with the protesters.

 

Around 200 people gathered last week in front of Nellis Hall at Coffeyville Community College to protest racial inequality in America. Simpson also thanked the city for its response to the COVID-19 outbreak, which had affected both him and his wife.

Alderman Acres Receives Grant from NetWork Kansas

 

Alderman Acres announces it has received a $32,000 grant from NetWork Kansas with funding provided by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas. The grants are being awarded to colleges and small businesses in Kansas that are making personal protective equipment for healthcare workers with low supply during the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

 

NetWork Kansas is a nonprofit that works to grow small businesses in Kansas and foster an entrepreneurial spirit among Kansans. This is one of several initiatives that Network Kansas is involved with to help small businesses and communities respond to this pandemic.

KDOT Beginning Field Survey

 

The Kansas Department of Transportation plans to begin a field survey at the First Cow Creek drainage bridge on U.S. 69 at Frontenac this week.

 

The bridge is 2¼ miles north of the north junction of U.S. 69/U.S. 69A.

 

The field survey covers .6 miles on the existing alignment. Survey crew members will gather information for the detailed design of a proposed improvement to replace the bridge. KDOT expects the survey work to last four weeks.

 

A member of the survey crew will contact property owners or tenants for permission to enter private property.

 

Persons with questions may contact KDOT at 620- 902-6433.

Coffeyville City Commission Considering Amendment to Inducement Agreement

 

The Coffeyville City Commission will consider adopting a resolution that amends a previous agreement with Prosperiti Builders, LLC at its meeting tonight. The Springfield, Missouri company was set to move into the previous Southwire Building, but due to the coronavirus, the timetable has been delayed.  City Manager Mark Hall said the resolution will push back the inducement agreement for a few months.

 

The commission will meet tonight at City Hall, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Pittsburg Virtual Festival for the Arts Planned for July

 

The Bicknell Family Center for the Arts has turned challenges presented by the need for social distancing into an opportunity to showcase area performers and give audiences the feel of live concerts.

 

In collaboration with the Pittsburg State University Department of Music, staff at the center are spending June recording performances by individuals and small groups on stage in the Linda & Lee Scott Performance Hall.

 

Performers range from the popular J3 Band, known for its classic rock sound, to dancers from Midwest Regional Ballet, and musicians from Pittsburg High School and PSU. More names are being added each week.

 

Audiences may view the virtual festival each Wednesday evening on the Bicknell Center Facebook page or at pittstate.tv.

 

Busy Agenda For Independence City Commission Thursday

The Independence City Commission will have a busy agenda when they meet in regular session on Thursday.  Commissioners will be scheduling two special meetings for later this month, one to discuss proposed projects for the special use sales tax and the other to discuss Phase 2 for the 1916 City Hall.

 

In other business commissioners will hear updates on the budget process, the census, the neighborhood revitalization plan and a West Main Street update.  Commissioners will also consider several grant applications, the abatement of Nuisance Taxes for 812 W. Laurel and the sale of property located at 1901 Bradley Court.

 

Commissioners will meet at 5:30 this Thursday in the Veterans Room of Memorial Hall.

New Kansas Bicycle Map Available

 

The 2020-2022 edition of the Kansas Bicycle Map is now available. This year's map includes many features such as a Kansas Rail Trail Map, state and national Historic and Scenic Byways, a list of recreation areas and amenities and much more.

 

Maps are available free of charge and can be ordered online by visiting the new KDOT Transportation bicycle map request portal. Alternatively, you may contact Jenny Kramer, the Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator for the Kansas Department of Transportation, by phone at  (785) 296-5186.

USD 445 Board Approves Laptop Purchase

 

Every school district in the state of Kansas received money courtesy of the CARES Act. USD 445 received around $450,000, which Assistant Superintendent Michael Speer says some of that will be used to purchase laptops for each Community Elementary student.

 

The laptops will cost around $270,000 and will provide each student access to a laptop at school. The school board voted unanimously to approve the purchase.

Body Found in Indy Identified

 

A deceased man who was found in Independence late last week has been identified. Friday evening sheriff deputies were dispatched to an address on South Cement Street for a report of a possibly deceased man laying in a garden. When deputies arrived, they found a man who appeared to have been deceased for a considerable amount of time. Investigators were called to the scene and the man was transported to Kansas City for autopsy.

 

He has been identified as 56 year old Bayard Laughlin. The circumstances of the death are still under investigation pending the results of the autopsy. Foul play is not suspected at this time.

New Cases in Labette, Montgomery and Cherokee

 

 

 

Labette County Health Officials have confirmed 4 new positive cases of COVID-19 within the county bringing the total case count to 26. An 82 yr old male, 50 yr old male, 16 yr old female and 12 yr old female who are all fully cooperating and are isolated at home. Health Department staff are conducting a case investigation to quarantine all contacts of the individuals.

 

Statewide confirmed cases are at 10,650, with 936 hospitalizations, 236 deaths and 108,859 negative cases. For the rest of Southeast Kansas Montgomery County is up to 21, Cherokee County has a new case they are now at 10 and the rest remain unchanged.

 

 

Montgomery County Commission Meeting for 6-8

The Montgomery County Commission gathered for its regularly scheduled weekly meeting today (Monday).

 

Emergency Manager Rick Whitson provided the commission with a quote to fix the judicial center's generator, which wouldn't start due to leaks. Estimates for the repairs came out to be just over $3,300. Commissioner Robert Bever said if there was an opportunity to save money, they should take it.

 

The commission then went into executive session alongside the Montgomery County Action Council's Trisha Purdon, who shared financial and trade secrets for economic development.

 

The Public Works department is looking for bids on a new truck, rather than looking for bids on a used truck as previously discussed. Commissioner Larry McManus said he wasn't a fan of the increased cost, but he likes the potential long-term benefit of the purchase. The department will also be offering J&J Drainage a bid for the purchase of pipes for further work.

 

Matt Debo with the Environmental Health/Zoning Department stopped by to inform the commission that the department had approved its comprehension plan for another year, pending the gathering of additional documentation.

 

The commission will meet once again next week at 9:00am at the lower level of the Judicial Center in Independence.

Chanute Man on Various Drug Charges, Battery

 

A Chanute man was arrested over the weekend on various drug charges and domestic battery.

 

Chanute Police responded to the area of 300 block of South Evergreen for a report of domestic disturbance. The report came in that one party involved was able to leave the residence and go next door to call 911. Upon arrival, officers spoke with all individuals involved. During the investigation, officers were able to obtain two search warrants, one for a residence and one for a vehicle after a deployment with CPD K9.

 

Officers arrested 25-year-old Conner Anthony Lair for aggravated domestic battery, possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was transported to the Neosho County Jail without incident.

Second Man Charged in Camper Theft

 

A second man has been apprehended for his alleged role in the theft of a camper trailer last month from the Riverton area.

 

Cherokee County Detectives obtained an arrest warrant for 29 year-old Ethan Brookshire, who was taken into custody in Ottawa County in Oklahoma. Brookshire is being held on allegations of Felony Theft pending extradition back to Kansas.

 

32-year-old Nathan Clark had previously been arrested for his suspected participation in the theft and he remains incarcerated in the Cherokee County Jail.

 

Labette County Teen Dies in Crash

A Labette County teen is dead after hitting a piece of farming equipment Friday afternoon.

 

16-year-old Michael Weimer Jr. was driving south on Kiowa, southwest of Altamont, when his truck struck a spreader that had entered an intersection.

 

The fertilizer spreader was traveling westbound on 11000 when Weimer struck the passenger side of the spreader. Weimer was pronounced dead at the scene. 

 

The operator of the spreader, 46-year-old Sean Merrick of Cherryvale, sustained minor injuries. 

Peaceful Protest and March in Bville

 

Hundreds of peaceful protesters took over downtown Bartlesville to march for justice and racial equality. Pastors, community leaders and business owners took the stage at the new Tower Center at Unity Square. They spoke about injustice, systematic racism and long-running prejudice. Police blocked off downtown streets as the masses walked wielding signs with slogans of “I Can’t Breathe”, “Black lives Matter” and “Enough”. Some police officers held weapons while others watched and helped direct traffic.

 

Onlookers from local businesses encouraged those who marched and passed out water bottles. Chants in support of George Floyd, the Minneapolis man who was killed by police echoed the downtown streets. In total, the demonstration lasted just under two hours. There were no arrests or any signs of violence.

IPD Officer Conduct Continues to Earn Trust in the Community

 

The last week there has been a microscope on police officers and their conduct. Independence Police Chief Jerry Harrison, during First Friday, shared his thoughts on what happened in Minneapolis last week.

 

Harrison says when he first arrived in Independence he noticed a special and unique bond between the police force and the people of the city.  Harrison says they have several things in place to help keep the positive relationship they have with the community including the Police Chief's Advisory Committee.

 

Community Wellness Conversations Set for June 16th and 24th

 

Some counties in southeast Kansas consistently receive some of the lowest health rankings in the state, which threatens the health and wellness of residents in the community.

 

Make your voice heard and provide input during Community Wellness Conversations on Tuesday, June 16th and Wednesday, June 24th at 6:30 PM.

 

Those involved would like to know how the Coronavirus has affected your health, what barriers to health have been noticed in your community, and how they can preserve and improve the health of Montgomery and Labette county residents.

 

To participate, register online or call K-State Research and Extension at 620-724-8233.

CCC Quack Clash Duck Race Re-Scheduled to July

 

The 2020 Quack Clash Duck Race, hosted by Coffeyville Community College, has been rescheduled to July 11.

 

The Quack Clash is an annual fundraiser put on by CCC at Walter Johnson Park. The proceeds going to support its various athletic, activity and academic programs. Participants buy rubber ducks to race down a body of water through several heats, with top performing ducks moving forward to a final championship race. The winning duck and its owner win a $1500 grand prize.

 

Other non-cash prizes will be drawn through a raffle, and each attendant at the event will receive a free ticket. Ducks for this year's event can be purchased by following this link.

U.S. 69 Resurfacing Project Begins Today

 

The Kansas Department of Transportation expects to begin a resurfacing project on U.S. 69 between Columbus and Crestline on today.

 

The work includes a surface recycle and ultrathin asphalt bonded surfacing. Flaggers and a pilot car will direct one-lane traffic through the work zone during daylight hours; expect delays of 15 minutes or less. The resurfacing project should be finished in one month, weather permitting.

 

KDOT awarded the $1.3 million construction contract to Bettis Asphalt & Construction, Inc., of Topeka.

Peaceful Protest in Coffeyville in Support of BLM

 

Around 200 people chant “Black Lives Matter” as they gathered in peaceful protest in support of the BLM movement in the Nellis Hall parking lot in Coffeyville. Justin Cartwright, a teacher at FKHS, says this was put on by the youth of Coffeyville and he came to support them.

 

Cartwright says there were some people worried about the protest but he says they stayed peaceful. At one point the group gathered in a circle with fists in the air and remained silent for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, which is the amount of time the officer's knee was on George Floyd's neck.

Indy Commission Discusses Special Use Sales Tax

 

A special sales tax that was approved in 2012 in Independence is set to expire in October 2022. Mayor Leonhard Caflisch says the commissioners met to review how the sales tax had been used and looking at having it renewed again by bringing it to a vote of the people.

 

The commission will determine the language that is used on the ballot, and will work closely with the bond council to prepare a resolution announcing the election date. The commission must adopt a resolution announcing its intention to include the question on the November ballot 90 days prior to the election.

Two Democrats and Two Republicans Join Incumbent Watkins as Candidates

 

With the deadline to file for Kansas's Second Congressional District passing candidates now look towards the August 4th Primary. Incumbent Representative Steve Watkins says there are two democratic candidates and three republican candidates including himself.

 

Watkins says one of the stories of this race is the response to COVID-19, but says the deeper issue is that socialism is rising.  Watkins is apart of three committees, education and labor, foreign affairs and veteran affairs. He says all three are very important to him as he has personal ties to each one.

K-31 Resurfacing Project to Start Next Week

 

Motorists should expect delays on a large stretch of K-31 next week due to roadwork.

 

The Kansas Department of Transportation expects to begin a mill and overlay project on K-31 in Anderson, Linn and Bourbon counties on Monday, weather permitting.

 

The road work starts at the south K-31/U.S. 59 junction and continues east and south to the K-31/K-65 junction. Flaggers and a pilot car will direct one-lane traffic through the work zone during daylight hours. The road work should be finished in one month, weather permitting.

 

KDOT awarded the construction contract of $1.9 million to Bettis Asphalt & Construction, Inc., of Topeka.

K-47 Rail Crossing to Close For Repairs

 

The BNSF Railway plans to close and repair its crossing on K-47 at Girard starting today.

 

Traffic will follow the signed detour on K-7, K-126, U.S. 69 and K-47 during the closure. Since a width restriction of 10 feet is in effect on a section of K-126, trucks with wide loads should use U.S. 400 instead.

 

The closure is scheduled to last until Monday.

Newton Man Arrested on Various Drug Charges

 

A Newton man was arrested yesterday morning on a variety of drug charges.

 

At around 11:30, Chanute police responded to the area of the 500 block of West First Street for a report of an individual slumped over in his vehicle. Upon officers arrival, they made contact with an adult male that appeared to be sleeping in his car. During the investigation, police K9 was deployed. During the search of the vehicle, officers located items commonly associated with illegal drugs.

 

43-year-old Daniel Keith Brill was arrested on the charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was transported to the Neosho County Jail without incident.

Genesis to Distribute Disaster/Emergency Food Boxes

 

Genesis in Coffeyville is set to distribute disaster and emergency food boxes starting on Monday from 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM at their location at 1312 W. 8th street.

 

They will continue to distribute the boxes each morning until they are all gone.

 

No identification or proof of income or residence required and anyone who needs food can go get a box.

 

For more information call Genesis at 620-251-3004.

Montgomery County Back Down to 19 Confirmed Cases

 

According to the most recent information from the Kansas Department of Health, there is 10,170 confirmed cases on COVID-19 in the state, with 890 hospitalizations, 222 deaths and almost 98,000 negative tests. Montgomery County has gone back down to 19 confirmed cases from 20, which was reported Monday by the KDHE.

 

Testing rates continue to stay steady while the number of new positive cases decreases. Through the first three days of June there have been 4,698 test with 140 of those testing positive a positive percent of 2.98%. Montgomery Count has tested 854 people with 19 positive cases at a positive percent of 2.2% and Labette County has tested 729 people with 22 positive cases at a positive percent of 3%.

CRC Looking for Volunteer Coaches

 

The Coffeyville Recreation Commission is looking for coaches. They are looking for two coaches for blastball, 3-4 clinic coaches for peewee baseball ages 7-8 and 2-3 clinic coaches for farm baseball ages 9-10. If they can't find volunteer coaches they will not be able to offer those sports for those kids. If you are interested please contact Program Supervisor Shelli Stanley at (620)251-5910.

 

CRC will also be opening up Bobby Clemons Recreation Center on Monday with a limit of 45 people. Open Gym will take place from 1:00pm-3:00pm Monday-Friday, pickleball will take place Tuesday and Thursdays 10:00am-12:00pm and Fridays 9:00am-11:00am. They are working on a plan to reopen the Field Kindley indoor pool for fitness club and water exercise.

Boil Water Advisory for McCune

 

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has issued a boil water advisory for the City of McCune due to a loss of pressure.

 

If customers should observe dirty tap water, flush the 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. Water used for bathing does not generally need to be boiled.

 

For more information, contact the water system or KDHE at 785-296-5514.

U.S. 160 Rail Crossing to Close For Repairs

 

U.S. 160 in southwest Elk County will be close beginning next Tuesday as the South Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad plans to close and repair its crossing approximately two miles west of Grenola.

 

During this closure, traffic will follow the signed detour on K-99, U.S. 166, K-15 and U.S. 160.

 

The work is expected to finish Monday, June 15, weather permitting.

Neosho County Jail Allowing Visitations By Appointment

 

Starting Saturday, the Neosho County jail will once again allow visitations to inmates by apponintment only. Due to the state lifting most restrictions in regards to the COVID-19 outbreak, appointments will be allowed for designated times on Saturdays and Sundays.

 

Inmates are allowed one 30 minute visit per weekend. The Neosho County Sheriff's Office asks that you please continue to maintain recommended guidelines for social distancing while in the public lobby.

 

If you have an immediate family member in custody and would like to make an appointment, call 620-244-3884.

Coffeyville Bounce Back Bucks Campaign In Progress

 

The Coffeyville Bounce Back Bucks program is midway through the first week of it’s campaign.  The program, sponsored by the Coffeyville Chamber and Equity Bank rewards consumers for shopping locally.  The program gives $10 in Coffeyville Bounce Back Bucks for every $50 they spend at a participating Coffeyville retailer up to $250. 

Executive Director of the Coffeyville Chamber of Commerce, Candi Westbrook provides an example of how you can participate.

Westbrook says it's about the small businesses in our area and doing everything we can to keep them open.

 

Those Coffeyville Bounce Back Bucks can then be spent like cash at that store or any other participating retailer by August 31st.  The Bounce Back Bucks promotion will end June 30th or until the funds run out.

 

There are over 20 participating retailers in the Coffeyville Bounce Backs program including:  Bandits and Bling Antiques, Cantrell’s  Fine Jewelry, Carter Automotive Warehouse, Coffeyville Feed and Farm, Coffeyville Gold and Silver, Coffeyville Tire and Auto, Derailed Commodity, Dollar Tire, Factory Connection, Green Acres Florist, Isham’s True Value Hardware, Jan L’s Flowers, Gifts and Interiors, Lanning’s Downtown Grill, Liebert Brothers Electric, Maple Street Meat Market, McClellan’s Appliances, Miss Kate’s Mercantile, Mom & Pop  Nutrition, Natural Food Center, Nichol’s Hitching Post, Simply Southern Boutique, Sunflower Soda Fountain and the Yoke Bar and Grill.

Moran Announces $4 Million in Grants for Kansas Law Enforcement

 

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran announced on Tuesday that Kansas will receive $4 million in grants from the Department of Justice's COPS Hiring Program for 15 law enforcement departments across the state which includes a couple of departments in the southeast Kansas area.

 

The Cherryvale and Arkansas City police departments will each receive $125,000 while the Bourbon County sheriff's office will receive over $118,000.

 

The Kansas City police department will receive over $1.3 million and the Wichita police department will receive $875,000.

 

Moran says the grants will help Kansas communities hire additional officers to make certain that the departments are properly staffed to meet the needs of their communities.

 

Other police departments across Kansas receiving these grants include Atchison, Bonner Springs, Cheney, Gardner, Goodland, Hesston, Hiawatha, Pratt, Wabaunsee and Wellsville.

Safely Prepare Food on the Grill this Summer

 

Warmer weather and summertime approaching means more food being prepared on the grill. K-State Research and Extension Food Safety Specialist Karen Blakeslee says to use a food thermometer to make sure your food is fully cooked and to make things simple there are three numbers to remember.

 

Blakeslee says a variety of food thermometers are available and they all work a little differently, so she suggests buying one that best suits your style of grilling.  Blakeslee says to prepare several ice chests to keep food cold and to separate items. Keep beverages in one chest, ready-to-eat foods in another and raw meats in a third.

Kansas to Appeal Voter Fraud Decision

 

Kansas will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision of a federal appeals court that struck down the Kansas statute requiring first-time voters to provide documentary proof of their citizenship as part of the voter registration process.

 

Attorney General Derek Schmidt says he has consulted with Secretary of State Scott Schwab and the two agree the April 29th decision should be appealed. Schmidt says voting is only for citizens, and this Kansas law is designed to confirm the citizenship of those registering to vote. After reviewing the appeals court’s decision, they have concluded there is a reasonable basis for appeal.

Scheduled Power Outages for Labette County on Wednesday

Parts of Labette County will experience a scheduled power outage on Wednesday.  

 

The outage is expected to last less than 15 minutes beginning at 7:00 am in order for crews to switch the electrical source to a power supplier to safely make repairs inside the Altamont Substation.  

 

The source of power will be switched back to normal operations Friday at 9:00 am.

 

Section of K-31 to Close For Pipe Replacement Project

 

If you travel along K-31 in Linn County, you will need to find an alternate route as the Kansas Department of Transportation will close a section of K-31 to replace two crossroad pipes on beginning next Monday, weather permitting.

 

K-31 will be closed approximately three miles east of Blue Mound, between Flint and Gorman roads.

 

The closure will start after 8 a.m. and remain in effect until late Monday.

Summer Activity Sign-Ups Are Available Through the Independence Recreation Commission

 

The Independence Recreation Commission is up and running again and sign-ups are underway for multiple activities this summer.

 

Sign-ups are available now for baseball and softball, tennis lessons and swimming lessons.

 

Executive Director of the Independence Chamber of Commerce, Lisa Wilson says there are multiple ways you can get your children signed up for these summer activities.

 

The Ash Center is open for adult lap swimmers from 6:00 AM to 1:00 PM. The rest of the facility will remain closed besides for office hours and registrations from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM.

 

Call 620-331-0260 for more information or you can visit their website.

Baxter Springs Man Arrested on Theft Charge

 

A Baxter Springs man has been taken into custody for his alleged role in the May 12th theft of a camper trailer from a rural Riverton area.

 

As a result of their investigation, Cherokee County Sheriff Detectives obtained an arrest warrant for 32-year-old Nathan L. Clark.

 

Clark, who is facing felony theft charges, was apprehended on in Newton County, Missouri, where he is being held pending extradition back to Kansas.

Chautauqua County Commission Votes to Reopen With No Restrictions

 

Chautauqua County is once again open, with no restrictions or regulations due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The county commission voted 3-0 last Friday to reopen the county after Sedan Mayor Jack Warren asked if there would be any continued restrictions.

 

Chautauqua County has seen four positive cases since the KDHE began releasing numbers, with 73 negative tests. Counties have been able to decide their own paths since Governor Laura Kelly allowed them to do so last week.

New Covid-19 Case in Montgomery County According to KDHE; Statewide Cases Surpass 10,000

 

The latest Covid-19 numbers from the Kansas Department of Health now shows more than 10,000 confirmed cases statewide with two new confirmed cases in southeast Kansas.

 

Montgomery and Cherokee counties each added a new cases according to the KDHE with Montgomery going from 19 to 20 and Cherokee from nine to 10.

 

Total cases statewide are at 10,011 with 862 hospitalizations and now 217 deaths related to the virus. Negative results have surpassed 93,000.

 

A more detailed outlook for Kansas' numbers from the KDHE can be found here.

Sunflower State Games Still a Go in July

 

Registration is now open for the 31st Annual Sunflower State Games. The 2020 games will take place July 10-19 in Topeka and will feature over 40 different competitions for all ages and skill levels. Highlighting the 2020 Games will be the addition of two new sports, E-Sports and a Big Bass Fishing Tournament. Baker University as the new university partner and the host of E-Sports. The format will be two person team competing in Rocket League. Big Bass Fishing will be held at Melvern Lake and hosted by Flint Hills Bass Association. 36 different sports will be featured in 2020 including archery, disc golf, slow-pitch softball and many more.

 

In regards Covid-19 the Sunflower State Games staff and Board of Directors are actively working with the venues, partners, medical team, and all pertinent personnel in evaluating each of the sports and are continually monitoring the situation and staying up-to-date with state and federal recommendations for hosting events.

 

Teen Crashes Increase During 100 Deadliest Days

 

In Kansas, 117 people were killed in crashes involving teen drivers in the past ten years during the “100 Deadliest Days,” the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Nationwide, more than 8,300 people died in teen-related summertime crashes from 2008 to 2018. Due to their inexperience, teen drivers are at a higher risk of crashes. According to the new AAA Foundation Traffic Safety Culture Index, about 72% of teen drivers aged 16-18 admitted to having engaged in at least one of the following risky behaviors in the past 30 days, speeding, texting, running a red-light, aggressive driving, drowsy driving and driving without a seatbelt.

 

The combination of schools closed, activities curtailed, summer jobs canceled, and COVID-19 restrictions being lifted, could prove deadly as teens take to the road this summer. AAA recommends that now is a good time for parents to both model safe driving behaviors and help ensure their teens practice them too.

 

Crawford County Sheriff's Office Lobby Limited Reopening

 

The Crawford County Sheriff's Office have announced that their lobby has reopened and people will be allowed in on a limited basis.

 

Staff will be screening visitors in the foyer before they are allowed to enter the building. When you enter the foyer, please dial the extension for the service that you are there for and a staff member will give you directions from there. Delays are to be expected, depending on the service that you are there for especially for visitation.

 

Only one video visitation kiosk will be on during this time and up to 3 family members will be allowed in the visitation room at a time.

 

For more information about these new policies, call 620-724-8274.

Galena Woman Arrested for Car Theft

 

A Galena woman was quickly apprehended for allegedly stealing a vehicle.

 

Cherokee County Sheriff's Deputies were contacted after a woman reportedly stole a Chevy passenger car from the Quick Shop Convenience Store in Columbus.

 

Less than 10 minutes later, deputies quickly located the vehicle and got it stopped northwest of Columbus.

 

30-year old Samantha Sigman was arrested and transported to the Cherokee County Jail on allegations of Felony Theft and Driving While Suspended.

CCC Opening Up by Appointment Only

 

Coffeyville Community College is opening back up as of Monday but some restrictions are going to be in place.

 

Senior Director of College Relations and Student Services, Yvonne Hull says that right now the school is going to be by appointment only. 

 

You can find phone numbers to specific departments on CCC's social media accounts or the schools website. If you're a student and are already hooked up with an advisor than you are advised to contact them through email or by phone call.

 

Once you have your appointment set, you will first need to go to the student union on campus and you will be instructed what to do from there. 

 

Hull says the goal is to keep it easy and as streamlined as possible going forward throughout the summer. If you have any questions you can visit CCC's website or call the school for more information.

Crawford County Recovery Task Force to Drive Decision Making

 

A new group of key stakeholders from around the Crawford county area is going to focus on a coordinated approach when it comes to a safe reopening and recovery with the economy in regards to Covid-19.

 

The group is called the Crawford County Recovery Task Force. The group will continue to meet on a weekly basis going forward.

The group will enable the county's entities, including governmental bodies, public health, K-12 and higher education, businesses, tourism and agencies focused on the economy to plan and communicate with each other.

 

The task force will share information and resources to the public in the next few weeks and will invite the public to submit questions and concerns that they would like the task force to address.

 

More details can be found here.

Estes Announces $8 Million in Funding for Covid-19 Testing in Rural Kansas

 

Congressman Ron Estes announced late Friday that over $8.6 million in funding was going to help expand Covid-19 testing at Rural Health Clinics in Kansas.

 

Estes voted in support of the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, which included $225 million for designated Rural Health Clinics.

 

The funding is disbursed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the Health Resources and Services Administration.

 

More details can be found here.

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