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Local News Archives for 2020-07

Tornado Siren Malfunctions in Independence


Citizens of Independence were met with some confusion Thursday as the city's downtown tornado siren malfunctioned. The siren continuously sounded for 15-20 minutes before it was eventually shut off. 


Emergency Management Director David Cowan said the siren has been scheduled for repair. A company was in the city on Tuesday of this week doing repairs on several storm sirens throughout the community.

Gas Prices Drop Slightly Across the Nation, Kansas


As COVID-19 case numbers surpass 4 million, the demand for gasoline is weakening across the country. The lower demand contributed to a cheaper national average on the week – down one penny to $2.18. This is the first time since late April that the national average has declined. Prices declined in Kansas as well.


According to AAA, Kansas prices currently sit at $1.97 which is down one cent since last week. Montgomery County is currently sitting at $1.96 a gallon, while Labette County is three cents lower at $1.93 a gallon. Chautauqua County checked in with $1.92 a gallon.


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

Cherokee County Robbery Suspect Sought


The Cherokee County Sheriff's Office is currently investigating a Wednesday evening robbery at R&J's Convenience Store in northern Cherokee County.


At approximately 8:00 p.m., the suspect, described as a black male, approximately 6' tall, possibly in his 40's or 50's, stole an undisclosed amount of money. The suspect then fled in what is believed to be a white 2013 Volkswagon Passat.


Anyone with information regarding the suspects' identity is asked to contact the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office at 620-429-3992 or submit information by text. Tipsters can text the number 88877 and simply type 'tip cherokee' followed by whatever information they can provide..

Polling Information for Montgomery County


The polling place for the City of Caney voters has been moved from Cornerstone Church to Caney City Hall. Those voters who vote at the USDA Service Center in Independence are asked to enter the building on the east side. Early voting ends at the Montgomery County Courthouse at noon on Monday.


Sick and disabled voters may request a ballot through Election Day, but they must designate someone to transmit their ballot to them. The mail ballots must be postmarked on or before Election Day or delivered to the election office or a polling place by the close of the polls at 7:00pm. If you have any questions call the election office at (620)330-1200.


Register Dogs with City of Caney


The Caney Police Department has responded to numerous dog calls recently, as dogs on the loose are an issue in the city. Caney PD asks that each citizen, who has a dog, make sure that the dogs are registered with the City Clerk's Office. By registering your dog with the City Clerk's Office it makes it easier to identify dog if it gets out. It is also much cheaper if the Police or Animal Control Officer can just call you to come get your dog, rather than placing it in the pound. A dog at large ticket is $133.50, plus a $30 dog pound fee.


Caney PD is currently looking for an Animal Control Officer. This is a part-time postilion and the requirements for the job can be found on their Facebook page.


Labette County Releases Reopening Plan


Labette County USD 506 have released their plan for the 2020-2021 school year.


For grades K-8, the first option for students will be in-person instruction which includes two days per month of remote distance learning on Wednesdays. The use of face coverings and social distancing will be expected. The second option will be remote learning. Online daily attendance will be mandatory during school hours and the district will issue laptops.


For grades 9-12, the two options for K-8 will be available but a third option called the Hybrid Flex will require the student to attend school on Tuesday and Thursday with remote days on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Students will be allowed to participate in athletics and extracurricular activities.


The first day of school for grades K-9 will be on August 27th while everybody else starts on August 28th. Start time will be at 8:30 am at all sites.

Coffeyville Schools Re-opening on August 24th and 25th




Coffeyville Public Schools has announced their re-opening plan for the 2020-2021 school year.  The District is scheduled to open for Kindergarten, 7th grade, and 9th grade on August 24th while all other grades will begin on August 25th.


USD 445 Superintendent Dr. Craig Correll said parents will have a choice between on-site learning or remote learning and that there has been a great deal of interest in remote learning for various reasons.


Dr. Correll was also asked that students who participate in remote learning if they will be able to participate in school athletics and activities.


Dr. Correll went on to say that schools will be online only on Wednesday's so schools can get a deep cleaning. To hear the entire interview with Dr. Correll, you can hear it here.





Fredonia Starting School August 25th


The USD 484 Board of Education in Fredonia approved a plan Wednesday to delay the opening of schools to August 25th.


On-site and remote learning will be available. Those choosing to take the remote learning path will be required to complete a daily log to ensure the completion of work. Those who opt for the on-site path will be in school with enhanced sanitation, required face coverings and social distancing practices put into place when possible. Both plans will include the same amount of work and will take the same tests, quizzes, and finals. 


For more information, check out the USD #484 Facebook page.

Four Recover from COVID in Labette


According to the Kansas Department of Health there are 698 new cases of COVID-19 since their update on Monday.


In Montgomery County there are now 61 active cases up from 59, according to the county health department. In Labette County there have been no new cases since their most recent update and 4 people have recovered which brings their active cases down to 19.


Since March, statewide there has been 26,870 cases, 1700 hospitalizations, 349 deaths and 258,079 negative tests.

USD 413 Pushes Back Start of School


The Chanute School Board held a special session on Monday night and announced that it will delay the return to school to August 24th. The measure was unanimously passed by a 6-0 vote.


Parents of Pre- Kindergarten — 5th grade students will decide between online learning or face-to-face learning. Parents of 6th — 12th grade students will decide from face-to-face learning, online learning or a self paced/self directed course.


Parents and students will need to decide what their preferred option is and it will last through the end of 1st quarter of the school year. If a student/parent decides to not to attend school or attend face-to-face classes they will not be allowed to participate in school athletics and/or activities.


Online enrollment for is currently open and school offices will reopen on August 3rd for those who want to use a school computer to enroll.


CPD Receives Grant for COVID Aid


Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announced $6,202,603 in grant awards to state and local jurisdictions in preventing, preparing for and responding to the Coronavirus. Coffeyville Police Chief Kwin Bromley says they received $61,655.


Chad Soles with assistance from Stephanie Richardson wrote the grant. Chief Bromley says they did a great job and were responsible for them receiving it.


Be Aware of Covid-19 Scams


While the Coronavirus continues to impact our daily lives in various ways, it's important to be extra vigilant to the fact criminals are seizing the opportunity to capitalize on the fear and anxiety many people are feeling right now.


According to the Federal Trade Commission, in Kansas alone, there has been $850,000 in fraud related to Covid-19 scams this year. The top reports in Kansas involve thieves conning residents with scams related to online shopping, travel / vacations, credit cards, scams through unsolicited text messages and from credit bureaus.


If anyone should anyone call and try to obtain personal information or send an email (even from an official looking email address), it's best to hang up or delete the email without opening any links.

Two Arrested After Domestic Disturbance in Caney


Officers with the Caney Police Department arrested two people after a domestic disturbance call at an apartment complex.


Caney PD were called to 108 E. 4th Street just after 6 p.m. on Tuesday. Upon arrival, officers discovered a man and woman at that location had been involved in a physical altercation with each other. Further investigation revealed evidence of visible injuries to both parties, but neither required medical attention. The two arrested at the scene were 26-year-old Errion Dungey and 29-year-old Dijon Harris 29 for Domestic Battery. Both have court dates in September.

Pavement Reconstruction for Section of U.S. 59


Work will begin soon on a section of U.S. 59 in Labette County.


The pavement reconstruction project will take place over 0.3 miles, from 75 feet north of Commerce Street and then heading about 1,420 feet north. 


Mission Construction, out of St. Paul, Kansas, put forth the winning bid of just over $1.3 million. The company previously worked on the 11th Street improvement project in Coffeyville, which took over 400 days to complete despite being originally scheduled for just 105 days.

Three Car Accident Injures One


A three-car collision sent a 32-year-old Oklahoma woman to the hospital on Monday evening in Pittsburg.


According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, Brittany Ardoin of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma was driving southbound on U.S. 69 headed toward 20th Street when she failed to stop at the red light and hit the rear quarter panel of a truck driven by 70-year-old Billie Kimball of Frontenac. In the process, a third vehicle driven by 19-year-old Alexus Merando, also of Frontenac, struck the driver's side of Ardoin's vehicle.


Ardoin was transported to Via Christi Hospital after complaining of pain. Kimball and Merando had no apparent injuries. Seat belts were in use in all vehicles.

Neodesha Schools Announce Start Date


The Neodesha School District Board of Education voted last night to approve the 2020/2021 school calendar.


Students in grades 1-12 will begin school on August 18th while students in Head Start, Pre-Kindergarten, and Kindergarten will begin school on August 19th . USD 461 also added four Teacher Workdays at the end of each quarter that have the option to be flex days.


The student enrollment link will be available August 3rd to all new and returning families. Parents will need to enroll their children online and have the choice between in-school learning or on-line distance learning. If you choose the on-line learning option, you will still enroll online but you will also need to contact the building principal to make your request.

USD 436 Caney Moving Start of School To August 26th


USD 436 in Caney has released its modified calendar for the 2020-2021 school year. The new start date for grades 1-12 will be August 26th, while pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students will not start their school year until after Labor Day. The school district will be offering two learning options, remote learning or on-site learning. 


Both options will have the same amount of coursework, but on-site students are expected to adhere to increased safety precautions including masks, temperature checks and social distancing. Activites and athletics information for USD 436 will be released soon.


A video with Superintendent Blake Vargas has been posted on the school district's Facebook page, which you can find here.

Ten Roofing Contractors Fined for Violating KRRA

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced today that ten roofing contractors were fined after violating of consumer protection laws during Fiscal Year 2020.


In the period ending June 30, Schmidt entered into consent judgments with the roofers for violations of the Kansas Roofing Registration Act (KRRA). The settlements require the contractors to pay civil penalties for KRRA violations. They also require the contractors to comply with the KRRA when providing roofing services in the future. The 10 roofing contractors fined are listed below.


  • KCRS, LLC, and KCRS Restoration Contractors, LLC, d/b/a Kansas City Roofing Service; Johnson County; Case No. 2019-CV-3906
  • Lionheart Contracting LLC; Shawnee County District Court; Case No. CV-2019-556
  • Garst Construction, LLC; Cloud County District Court; Case No. 2019-CV-30
  • New Era Innovations LLC; Wyandotte County District Court; Case No. 2019-CV-651
  • Absolute Roofseal, LLC; Johnson County; Case No. 2019-CV-6153
  • Weaver Construction Services, LLC; Sedgwick County; Case No. 2019-CV-2539-OT
  • Carlos Marquez d/b/a Marquez Construction; Decatur County District Court; Case No. 2020-CV-02
  • Jose L. Nunez-Vazquez; Miami County District Court; Case No. 2020-CV-19
  • Hometown Roofing, LLC; Johnson County District Court; Case No. 2020-CV-1969
  • Winterstone, LLC; Shawnee County District Court; Case No. 2020-CV-308

In each case, Schmidt alleged the defendants or defendants’ subcontractors engaged in advertising, soliciting or performing roofing contractor services in Kansas without registering with the attorney general’s office as required by the KRRA or violating other provisions of the Kansas Roofing Registration Act.


Schmidt reminded consumers to make sure roofing contractors are properly registered before signing any contract or having any work done. Consumers should request a copy of their roofer’s registration certificate and then should check the attorney general’s consumer protection website at to confirm that the roofer’s registration is in good standing.



USD447 Cherryvale-Thayer Delaying Start to September 1st


USD 447's school board has approved a plan to push back the starting date for Cherryvale and Thayer schools to September 1st.


At a special meeting held Monday, the board approved a plan that follows Governor Laura Kelly's executive order regarding COVID-19 safety measures in schools. Face coverings will be required for all students and adults when inside USD 447 facilities. Social distancing will be encouraged as much as possible. Kids participating in athletics will not be required to wear face coverings when performing drills or game-related activities. However, athletes will be required to wear coverings while on the sidelines. 


A list of COVID-19 mitigation measures approved by the school board can be found here. A detailed calendar with all important dates can also be found by clicking here.

Gov. Kelly Warns Kansas May Need To Rollback Reopening Plans


Kansas Governor Laura Kelly has suggested that the state might need to rollback reopenings due to a surge of coronavirus cases. Speaking during a press conference Monday, Kelly pointed out the large number of recent cases as a reason to revert back to Phase 2 of her "Ad Astra" reopening plan. Under this phase, bars would be closed and mass gatherings would be limited to 15 people.


There have been recorded cases in 103 of the 105 Kansas counties. Kelly said the coronavirus does not care for state or county boundaries.


Kelly said she would monitor the situation this week and announce any decisions next week. There are now more than 26,000 confirmed coronavirus cases across the state of Kansas. KDHE officials also reported a median age of 37 for those infected, a sharp decline from the average age of 52 that was reported last March.

Updated COVID-19 Numbers


The Kansas Department of Health is reporting 456 new Coronavirus cases since their last update on Friday. That brings the total number, since March, to 26,172 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state.


According to the most recent information provided by the Montgomery County and Labette County Health Departments there are currently 47 and 23 active cases respectively. In Montgomery County 17 people recovered from the virus from July 17th to July 24th. In Labette County ten people recovered from July 22nd to July 24th.

Girard Woman Arrested On Multiple Charges


A Girard woman was arrested over the weekend for several charges including trespassing and counterfeit currency.


On July 25th, at approximately 9:30PM, Chanute police responded to a report of someone trespassing at a business in the 2700 block of South Santa Fe. Upon officers arrival, they made contact with an individual reporting there was an adult female inside the store that had been previously issued a no trespassing order to not be on the property.


During the investigation, officers went inside the store, and located 36-year-old Nichole Michelle Kichler and she was placed under arrest. Kichler was found to have several $100 bills believed to be counterfeit and a bag with a crystal like substance.


Kichler was transported to the Neosho County Jail without incident for criminal trespassing, counterfeit currency with intent to distribute, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The Half-Pitts Band To Play In Next Virtual Concert


The Pittsburg Virtual Festival of the Arts continues this Wednesday as The Half-Pitts Band will perform.


The Half-Pitts Band includes four students at Pittsburg State University: Bryan Amor, keyboards and vocals and a music performance major from Parsons; Steven Fayne Speer, drums and percussion and a music education major from Pittsburg; Kiel O’Neal, bass guitar and an accounting major from Pittsburg; and Caden Forbes, electric guitar, who is from Altamont and attends Labette Community College. The band will present a playlist that includes pop and jazz tunes.


The festival is a collaboration of The Bicknell Family Center for the Arts, the Pittsburg State University Department of Music, and local performers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Audiences may view the one-hour concerts streamed weekly on the Bicknell Center Facebook page or on PSU’s YouTube channel.


Two Southeast Kansas Residents Arrested in Joplin


A pair of Southeast Kansas residents were arrested in Joplin this week on drug-trafficking charges.


On July 22nd, Joplin police came into contact with 26-year-old Morgan L. Wilkins of Parsons in a Nissan Altima on the parking lot of a hotel. Wilkins had an active warrant for her arrest and was taken into custody. Wilkins was found to have 84 grams of methamphetamine, a 9mm handgun and over $3,000 in cash. Wilkins was also on probation for a previous conviction of Possession of a Controlled Substance from another state. Wilkins was charged with 2nd Degree Trafficking of Drugs and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm.


Detectives also contacted another vehicle in the parking lot that was occupied by 41-year-old Tremanyne M. Darkis from Columbus. Darkis had a felony warrant out of Placer County, California. Investigators found Darkis to have several bags of marijuana that were packaged for distribution. He also had over $3,000 in cash and other items of drug paraphernalia in his possession. Darkis was charged with Trafficking Drugs in the 2nd Degree, Delivery of Marijuana and charges of being a Fugitive from another state.


Bond was set at $10,000 cash only for both Wilkins and Darkis.

Parsons Classes To Be Held Online


Parsons District Schools USD 503, announced on their social media accounts, Friday evening, that classes this year will be held entirely online. Classes are scheduled to resume on August 26th.


The district says that more details about the plan to reopen will be coming soon.

USD 446 School Board Moves Start of School Year to Aug. 19


USD 446 will be starting its school year just a little bit later than originally planned. The school board voted Thursday to officially move the first day of classes from Friday, August 14th to Wednesday, August 19th.


The board voted 5-2 to delay the first day of classes so that teachers may get accustomed to new guidelines produced by the Kansas State Board of Education last week. USD 446 will release a more detailed reopening plan next week. There will be the option of on-site or remote learning.

Saturday Events for Indy150


Several events that were planned for the Indy150 event have already been postponed, but there will still be plenty to do this Saturday. A Farmers Market will be held from 7:30 am to 10:30 am at 8th and Chestnut. Also starting at 7:30 and running through 2 pm will be a sidewalk sale downtown. At 10 am will be the Auto-Rama Car Show, and the Professional Building will be recognized at 2 pm. Tours of the building will be offered at this time.


Indy150 is celebrating Independence's 150th birthday. The city of Coffeyville celebrated its 150th birthday last year in 2019.

Concealed Carry Applications Down For 2020 Fiscal Year


Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has announced the attorney general’s office received more than 3,100 new applications for concealed carry licenses in the recently ended 2020 fiscal year.


Between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020, the Concealed Carry Licensing Unit received 3,193 new applications. This was the lowest number of applications received in a fiscal year since the licensing program began in 2006. A legislative change in 2015 allows eligible Kansans to carry concealed without a license. While the number of new applications has waned, most Kansans who already have permits are choosing to keep their licenses active. The Concealed Carry Licensing Unit received 12,735 renewal applications during the 2020 fiscal year.


Licenses are still required in most states, and Kansas licenses are currently recognized in 40 states. Schmidt also encouraged all Kansans who intend to carry firearms to pursue training opportunities. He reminded all Kansans who choose to carry firearms to comply with properly posted signage.


More information on the concealed carry licensing program is available on the attorney general’s website at

Neewollah to Scale Back


Due to the evolving COVID-19 virus, the Neewollah Board has made the decision to significantly scale back the Independence Neewollah Festival this year.   All Neewollah events with the exception of the Queen Neelah pageant and the Medallion Hunt will be cancelled.  Plans for this year also include a scaled-back Neewollah Headquarters storefront.


In a statement released today the Neewollah Board says they know a scaled-back Neewollah will impact the community, volunteers and businesses but in good conscience they could not proceed with all the activities and risk the safety of participants, festival goers, entertainers, vendors, volunteers and sponsors.

Caney PD Looking for Suspect


The Caney Police Department is actively seeking the location of suspect Anthony Vanzant. He is reportedly driving a 2001 White Mazda TRB with Kansas plates 128-FYJ.


At around 6:00am this morning Caney PD received a 911 call in reference to a woman who had been beaten up, at the corner of 4th and Foreman. Upon Officers arrival, they discovered the lady with a laceration to her head, as well as other injuries. She was transported to the local hospital by Caney EMS.  During the investigation, it was discovered that the domestic disturbance had occurred at a residence, in the 100 block of East 2nd St.


If you have information on where officers might find Vanzant, contact Caney PD at (620)879-2141 or call your local law enforcement. Vanzant is wanted for Felony Aggravated Domestic Battery. Use caution and do not approach this subject. Law enforcement has information that he is armed and dangerous.

Joplin Man Sentenced In Store Robbery


A Joplin man was sentenced to nearly 6 years in prison after he robbed a convenience store in December of last year.


57-year-old Sheldon Jack Herrelson was originally charged with aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery, aggravated assault and aggravated battery for robbing the Old Riverton Store on December 19th.


According to officials, Herrelson robbed the store at gunpoint with a shotgun, demanded cash and bound the employee's hands and feet and fled the scene. Herrelson was sentenced to 71 months in prison.

Latest State and County COVID Numbers


After an outbreak at a Coffeyville nursing home Montgomery County has jumped ahead of Labette County in the total number of positive Coronavirus cases since March.  According to the latest figures released today by the Kansas Department of Health and Envioronment Montgomery County has 106 positive cases since the outbreak began.  Labette County has had 103 positive cases, with 31 current cases, 13 new cases and 6 recoveries since Monday.  Neosho County has 49 total cases since March, Wilson County 7 and Chautauqua County 5.


Statewide the KDHE reports 24,104 positive cases have been reported since March and 770 new cases across the state since Monday.

Moran, Schmidt Speak on COVID Scams


A hearing was held in the U.S. Senate to examine the rise of scams occurring during COVID-19 and what more can be done to protect the public from falling prey to these scams. Senator Jerry Moran says during this time of national emergency there are scam artists that seek to take advantage of consumers.


Moran thanked Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt for joining the committee to share state-level actions taken to combat scams and frauds.

CCC Spring Musical Invitation Only


Coffeyville Community College has moved their Spring Musical to invitation only. Due to concerns regarding COVID-19 and the health and safety of the community, employees and students, the decision has been made to transition the upcoming performances of Rock of Ages to invitation only for performers immediate family.


Theater Director Ryan Mahannah says the performers have invested a huge amount of time and effort into this production and it breaks their hearts to have to make this decision; however, they believe it is in the best interest of all concerned. Those who reserved tickets through Eventbrite will be contacted by Mahannah.

KSBE Reject Governor's Order to Delay School Reopening


The Kansas State Board of Education has rejected Governor Laura Kelly's Executive Order delaying the reopening of schools. It was a split decision as board members voted 5-5, but a majority was needed. USD 445 Superintendent Dr. Craig Correll released this statement to KGGF.


Governor Kelly says the vote puts students, faculty, their families and the economy at risk. She will continue to work with the school districts to ensure the safety of the children and will ask every school district to delay reopening.

Casinos Coming to Bartlesville, Pawhuska


There are new casinos coming to the Bartlesville area. Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Tara Sweeney announced that she has approved two long-standing land-into-trust applications from The Osage Nation in Oklahoma for its casino projects in the cities of Bartlesville and Pawhuska.


Sweeney says with this action, The Osage Nation can now move forward on its economic development plans and enjoy the benefits of its lands. The Nation proposes to construct a casino of approximately 57,400 square feet and a hotel with 150 rooms and approximately 11,800 square feet of meeting space. The Nation will move its existing Pawhuska Osage Casino to 17 acres on the site and eventually replace it with a proposed casino and hotel project that will be located approximately 300 feet directly across Highway 99/60.

Baxter Springs Man Arrested For Burglary, Theft


A Baxter Springs man was arrested after investigators with the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office executed a search warrant at his home Tuesday afternoon.


Investigators found multiple items inside the home that was stolen from the Baxter Springs Country Club this past weekend. In addition to the stolen property, detectives also discovered and seized suspected methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.


As a result of the investigation, 46 year-old Tony Breedlove was taken into custody and transported to the Cherokee County Jail where he is being held on allegations of burglary, theft, possession of Methamphetamine and possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Coffeyville to Begin Water Line Flushing End of Month


Beginning Friday, July 31st the City of Coffeyville Water Department will be conducting its annual flushing project on the city's water distribution system. The flushing is expected to last around four weeks. The effects of the line flushing will begin to be seen in areas north of 1st street, and then spreading across town as the flushing crews move to other areas. The effects that could be seen are low water pressure, slightly murky or discolored water and poor taste and smell of the water.


The inconveniences are temporary, will only affect a given area for a short time, may not affect some areas at all and are necessary to reach a safe and reliable water system. Any questions or concerns may be addressed by calling the Water Treatment Plant at (620)252-6150.

Entrepreneurial Training Coming to Montgomery County


Wichita State University’s Center for Entrepreneurship, in partnership with Montgomery County E-Community and NetWork Kansas, will bring an entrepreneurial certificate program called Growing Rural Businesses to Montgomery County starting September 10. This 8-week training course is custom made to meet the needs of existing rural business owners who are ready to grow their businesses and adapt during the coronavirus pandemic.


Weekly sessions will be held each Thursday from 5:30pm to 8:30pm. The first four sessions will be held at Fab Lab ICC on the campus of Independence Community College, and the last four sessions will be held in the Oak Room at Coffeyville Community College. This training provides hands-on, practical solutions and techniques to grow and modernize business ventures while living in a rural setting. A $17,000 grant to the Montgomery County E-Community from NetWork Kansas will provide the majority of the funding for the training, and participants will have a small enrollment fee with discounts available.

Caney Nursing Home Operator Fined


The owner of a closed Caney nursing home has been fined for failing to protect patient and employee records. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says James Laidler of Pittsburg, owner of Caney Guest Home, agreed to pay $150,000 in civil penalties. The judgment, which was approved by Montgomery County District Judge Jeffrey Gossard, also requires Caney Guest Home to submit a plan for the secure destruction of the documents within 60 days.


Schmidt filed the lawsuit in December 2017 after Caney Nursing Center closed February 2017. Schmidt alleged that the defendants knew there were unsecured patient and employee records contained in the building. The former nursing home had been burglarized, left unsecured and had been trespassed upon, which exposed the personal information on the records. Despite this knowledge, the defendants failed to secure or properly dispose of the patient and employee records as required by law.

Sports Sign-ups Underway at IRC


The Independence Recreation Commission have announced that sign-ups for multiple sports are currently underway.


Independence Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lisa Wilson explains what sports and grade levels are available to sign up.


Cost of registration for football is $30 for 1st - 2nd grade and $60 for 3rd - 6th grade. Soccer and volleyball are $30. The registration deadline is August 6th.


The link for sign-ups is here.

Windsor Outbreak Sees Jump in Cases in the County


The outbreak of Coronavirus at Windsor Place has seen a huge spike in the numbers of active COVID-19 cases in Montgomery County. There are now 53 active cases in the county which is up from 23 on Saturday. Emergency Management Director Rick Whitson says that as of yesterday none have shown symptoms.


In Labette County they have three new cases which puts them at 24 active with one currently in the hospital. The county has had two resident recoveries since Saturday. Total cases, dating back to March, are at 108 for Montgomery County and 89 for Labette County. Down in Oklahoma, Nowata County has three active cases.


CFA Closing to Public, Appointments Only


The Coffeyville Friends of Animals will be closing to the public due to a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases in the community. For the next two weeks, CFA will be operating under appointments only through August 3rd.


Appointments can be made to see a specific animal by texting 620-252-9046. Appointments can be made for Tuesday through Friday from 11 AM to 5 PM, or Saturday from 2 PM to 6 PM.

Chanute Man Arrested On Multiple Charges


A Chanute man was arrested over the weekend on multiple charges including burglary and trespassing.


Early Saturday morning, Chanute police were dispatched to a report of someone trying to break into a residence in the 600 block of South Kansas. Upon their arrival, officers made contact with an adult male outside the residence and observed some of the glass broken out from the door.


30-year-old Sean M. Felkins was arrested after an investigation in reference to the complaint was conducted. Felkins was arrested on charges of attempted aggravated burglary, criminal damage to property and criminal trespass. He was transported to the Neosho County Jail without incident.


Death in Caney Appears to be Natural Causes


The recent death investigation at 204 South Fawn in Caney, which resulted in an autopsy to determine the cause of death is complete. Last Wednesday, 76 year old Ronald Ross was found deceased in his home. Due to suspicious circumstances at the home the body of Ross was sent to Frontier Medical in Kansas City for autopsy.


Caney Police Cheif Kevin Kitterman says the results of the autopsy showed the cause of death appeared to be of natural causes. The family has been notified and the scene will be released to the family.


COVID Outbreak at Windsor


Windsor Place is reporting an outbreak of Coronavirus cases from over the weekend.  Executive Director Monte Coffman says that prior to late last week, the facility had only three staff members and no residents with confirmed cases of COVID-19.  Those three employees were immediately quarantined away from the facility. 


Tests on the Windsor Place nursing units was done Friday and the results came back showing 20 residents and 12 staff positive for the virus.  The results were limited to one particular unit at Windsor Place and all of those residents are able to remain on that unit and be cared for.  The positive employees are self-quarantined at home.  Coffman says the staff has worked hard to keep the facility safe and they remain committed in caring for residents, who are their highest priority.

Incoming Freshmen Sought For Scholarship Program


Pittsburg State University has announced that five incoming freshmen to the Electronics Engineering Technology program will receive a $7,200 scholarship funded by the Black & Veatch Foundation. The scholarship is good for $3,600 for each the fall and spring semester.


Scholarship recipients also will be invited to mentorship, learning, and networking opportunities with professionals at Black & Veatch. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and be residents of Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, or Arkansas. Students will be eligible to renew this scholarship in future years, pending future funding from the Black & Veatch Foundation and provided the students meet other criteria such as completing an internship.


To be considered for the scholarship, enroll in Electronics Engineering Technology at PSU at and complete a general scholarship application.

CCC Partnering With CRMC For Dorm Safety


Coffeyville Community College is partnering up with Coffeyville Regional Medical Center to ensure the safety of its dorms this fall.


The partnership between CCC and CRMC will allow the college to test all students for COVID-19 before they move in. CCC's Yvonne Hull said plenty of students come from "hotspot" areas and should be tested before attending school.


CRMC will also be assisting with testing students for the school's regular move-in day.

Chief Bromley Speaks at PINCH Meeting


Coffeyville Police Chief Kwin Bromley was invited to the latest People for Institutional and Communal Harmony meeting on Friday to talk about several topics including racial bias against minorities.


Bromley first spoke about complaints filed against the CPD about racial bias.


Bromley was asked if CPD uses body cams to help protect officers that could be accused of bias.


Bromley also added that citizens can request to join an officer in a ride-along but due to COVID-19 restrictions, that has tapered off but hopefully can be continued in the near future.

Watkins Steps Aside from Committees


Kansas Congressman Steve Watkins announces that he has stepped aside from his committee assignments. Watkins says throughout his entire career, he has put service above himself, and this instance is no different. That’s why he's chosen to temporarily and voluntarily step aside from his committees and fight these charges. Watkins serves on Foreign Affairs, Veterans Affairs and Education and Labor committees.


His opponent Jake LaTurner's Spokesperson Kara Zeyer released a statement saying Watkins was forced to resign from these committees.

KGGF KQQF KUSN 2020 Auction Tomorrow


Join KGGF KQQF KUSN for the 2020 Auction at the Coffeyville Rec Center. The doors will open at 8:00am to browse all of the items that will be up for bid. The bidding will start at 9:00am. All items will stop at a guaranteed 20% off, but there could be even more savings.


Items from Coffeyville Feed and Farm Supply, Cantrell's Fine Jewelry, Messenger Furniture and so much more.

Sen. Moran Applauds FCC Designation of New Suicide Prevention Hotline


U.S. Senator Jerry Moran commended the Federal Communications Commission for its decision to designate 9-8-8 as the new, nationwide National Suicide Prevention Hotline, operational by July 16, 2022.


Senators Moran (R-Kansas) and Cory Gardner (R-Colorado) introduced legislation last year that would designate the three-digit 9-8-8 as the suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline. The current hotline is 10-digits, which is a barrier to some seeking help.


The legislation unanimously passed the Senate in May.  During the transition to 9-8-8, Americans who need help should continue to contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK). Veterans and servicemembers may reach the Veterans Crisis Line by pressing 1 after dialing or texting 838255.

LaTurner Receives Endorsement from Rep. Estes


Kansas State Treasurer Jake LaTurner has received an endorsement from a current U.S. Congressman. Rep. Ron Estes, who serves Kansas's 4th Congressional District, gave LaTurner his endorsement for the 2nd District position and said he would be the most likely to focus on the issues most important to Kansans.


LaTurner is in a three-way battle for the 2nd District seat that also includes incumbent Steve Watkins and Dennis Taylor. Watkins was charged earlier this week with three felonies and a misdemeanor regarding a 2019 local election.


Regarding his decision, Estes said that while Watkins deserves a fair trial, the Republican Party can not risk losing the seat to a "Nancy Pelosi liberal." Watkins' hearing will not be held until after the election.


Early voting by mail has already begun in the state of Kansas. The in-person primary will be held August 4th.

Suspicious Death In Caney


Authorities are investigating a suspicious death in Caney.   Caney Police were dispatched Wednesday to 204 S. Fawn Street tom respond to an unresponsive person.  Upon arrival officers spotted a body lying on the floor, made entry and confirmed the person as unresponsive.  The Montgomery County Coroner was called to the scene and confirmed the person as deceased.  According to the Caney PD, due to suspicious circumstances discovered at the scene the Kansas Bureau of Investigation was contacted.  The body has been sent for autopsy and the scene secured.


The name of the deceased will not be disclosed until family members are notified. There is no immediate threat to the community at this time.


Chief Kitterman asks that you show the family respect and privacy as they deal with the loss of their loved one. If anyone has additional information, please contact the Caney Police Department at 620.879.2141. You can remain anonymous, if you wish.

SEK Cities To Receive Funds For Road Projects


Four southeast Kansas cities will receive funds for road improvement projects as part of the Kansas Department of Transportation’s City Connecting Link Improvement Program, which funds improvements to state highways that extend through cities. The funds will be handed out for the 2022 and 2023 fiscal years and address different issues.


Pittsburg and Arkansas City will each receive $300,000 for surface preservation for the state fiscal year 2022. Surface preservation projects involve maintenance work such as resurfacing.


For fiscal year 2023, Parsons will receive $200,000 for surface preservation while Coffeyville will get $1 million for pavement restoration which typically involve full-depth pavement replacement and may also address drainage issues.

U.S. 400 Resurfacing To Begin


Motorists will want to give themselves extra time or have an alternate route in mind as the Kansas Department of Transportation expects to begin a resurfacing project today on U.S. 400 in Cherokee County.


The mill and overlay will start at Cherokee and continue east for seven miles to U.S. 69. Flaggers and a pilot car will direct one-lane traffic through project area during daylight hours so expect delays of 15 minutes or less. The speed limit will be reduced to 40 miles per hour through the work zone. The resurfacing project should be finished in one month, weather permitting.


KDOT awarded the $1.1 million construction contract to Bettis Asphalt & Construction, Inc., of Topeka.


All 2020 State Fair Tickets To Be Honored in 2021


The Kansas State Fair may have been canceled, but there will still be a chance to attend next year. The Kansas State Fair Board announced all 2020 tickets will be honored for the 2021 version of the fair. All tickets including gate admission, packages, and food tickets already purhcased will be honored.


This year is the first year in the history of the state fair that it has been canceled. State fair staff are still looking for ways to host open class and youth livestock shows over three weekends starting on Labor Day weekend.

USD 445's Dr. Correll Comments On Gov. Kelly's Executive Order


USD 445 Superintendent Dr. Craig Correll spoke with KGGF about Governor Laura Kelly's decision to issue an executive order delaying the opening of public schools by three weeks. He said the USD 445 staff has been working hard, and that the order does give the district more time to prepare for the guidelines set for them.


Correll also spoke of the mandatory nature of the order.


More information on what the order will mean for area schools and athletics will be offered on our website as it becomes available.


Gov. Kelly to Issue Executive Order Delaying Opening of Schools


Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announced through a press briefing Wednesday that she will issue an exeutive order that will delay the opening of public schools until after Labor Day. As COVID-19 numbers continue to rise throughout the state, Kelly said she is delaying the opening of schools to allow school districts ample time to prepare for changes that must be made this fall.


Governor Kelly will also issue an exeuctive order making masks, social distancing, and temperature checks mandatory at all public schools, regardless of the county's own decision regarding the earlier mask mandate. Kelly said this decision comes after seeing what happens when orders are voluntary.


Education Commissioner Randy Watson and Dr. Lee Norman were also on hand at the briefing to share more details about the spread of the virus. Watson said particularly that while it is important to get children back into school, safety must always come first.


More information will be available on our website as it becomes available.

Burglary Suspect Arrested


A Missouri man was arrested north of Galena on Tuesday morning charged with multiple burglaries attempts in the area.


The Cherokee County Sheriff's Office was dispatched to an area north of Galena where a man was discovered inside a resident's vehicle. When authorities arrived, the man identified as 37-year-old Tyler John Greenfeather was placed under arrest.


Greenfeather, along with his vehicle which was discovered a short distance away from where he was taken into custody, have been suspected by law enforcement of being involved in a series of recent thefts and burglary attempts in the area.


Greenfeather is being held in the Cherokee County Jail on allegations of Burglary and Criminal Trespassing.

First Term Congressman Charged with Three Felonies


Kansas Congressman Steve Watkins, who listed a UPS store as his residence, is accused of voting illegally in the 2019 local city and school board election, voting when not qualified and interfering with law enforcement by providing false information.


Waktins Spokesman Bryan Piligra gave this statement to KGGF. “Give us a break. 30 minutes before the first televised debate and the day before early voting starts, the DA, who shares a political consultant with our primary opponent Jake LaTurner files these bogus charges. They couldn’t have been more political if they tried.” “Just like President Trump, Steve is being politically prosecuted by his opponents who can’t accept the results of the last election.” “Kansans and Americans are tired of these kinds of silly games. This is a desperate political attack by a desperate political campaign on its dying breath down twenty points. Jake LaTurner is hell bent on seeing Democrat’s win and undermining Republicans at every turn.”

Fatality Accident in Montgomery County


A Parsons man died in a two vehicle crash late Tuesday night on Highway 75 just east of Havana.


According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, a Kenworth truck driven by 49-year-old Christopher Kretzer of Savannah, Missouri was on County Road 2600 and was attempting to back down the road when a van driven by 62-year-old Paul Workman of Parsons struck the middle of the trailer as he was headed southbound on U.S. 75.


Workman died in the accident while his passenger, 47-year-old Lindon Allen also of Parsons, was transported to St. John's Hospital in Tulsa with suspected serious injuries. Kretzer was not injured in the accident.

Watch for Signs of Heat Exhaustion


July and August can be two of the hottest months of the summer. For anyone doing work outside for extended periods of time, Dr. Brett Gray says to be on the lookout for signs of heat exhaustion.


Dr. Gray recommends those working outside to first acclimate themselves to the temperatures outside, take frequent breaks in the shade and to drink plenty of water.

Three Arrested in Car Chase in Independence


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


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


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

Star 98.9 Now Sonshine 98.9


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


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

Coffeyville PD Investigating Shooting In Town


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


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


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

Labette County Commissioner Recommends Wearing a Mask


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


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

U.S. 400 Concrete Slabs Being Replaced


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


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


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

Independence City Commission Holding Public Forum Tonight


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


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

USD 445 Preparing for Reopening of Schools


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


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

NJCAA Moves Most Fall Sports to Spring


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


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


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

Kansas Sees Largest Coronavirus Spike Since Pandemic Began


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


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

Two Injured in Crash Near Parsons


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


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


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

Montgomery County Sheriff Candidates Cite Drugs as Major Problem


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

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


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


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

Field Kindley High School Graduation Set


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


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


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


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

Oswego Sees Substantial Storm Damage


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


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

Montgomery County Officials Renew COVID-19 Disaster Declaration


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


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

School Officials Urge Oklahomans to Wear Masks After Death of Child


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


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

Structure Fire in Caney


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


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


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

Statement from City of Independence Regarding Positive Case


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


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

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


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


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

Gas Prices Hold Steady Nationally, Up in Kansas




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


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


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



Independence City Hall Closed After Positive COVID-19 Test


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


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

GOP Candidates Come to Coffeyville


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


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


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

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


Sedan to Discuss Funding of the Police Department


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


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

Indy Receives Fund to Help with Maple Street


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


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

Nebraska Man Arrested For Battery, More


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


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


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


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


Chanute Man Arrested After Release From Hospital


Authorities have arrested a Chanute man who was shot by two sheriff’s deputies at a campground in Neosho Falls following an altercation.


The Kansas Bureau of Investigation said in a news release that 41-year-old Edward Bridges was taken into custody Tuesday after he was released from the University of Kansas Medical Center.


Bridges has been booked into the Allen County Jail. He is charged in neighboring Woodson County with aggravated assault, possession of a narcotic drug, criminal possession of a firearm, possession of stolen property, criminal carrying of a weapon and possession of marijuana.

CRC's Recreation Center Requiring Masks


The Bobby Clemons Recreation Center in Coffeyville is requiring facemasks or other face coverings to be worn while in the building. The Coffeyville Recreation Commission clarified in a Facebook post that the building is a city building and thus subject to the decision made by the city of Coffeyville earlier this week. 


Due to the difficulty of social distancing while playing basketball, open gym and basketball rentals are closed until further notice. Pickleball will still be allowed, but a mask must be worn if you are unwilling or unable to keep at least 6 feet of social distancing.

Kansas Man Arrested in Nowata County


A Kansas man was arrested in Nowata County on various drug charges.


According to the Nowata County Sheriff's Office, Deputy Walton conducted a traffic stop on Highway 169 near County Road 19 for a vehicle driving off of the roadway. Before 42-year old Byron Anderson came to a stop, he began throwing items out of the window. During this traffic stop, 116 grams of a substance suspected to be methamphetamine, 77 pills suspected to be ecstasy, and 4 grams of a substance suspected to be cocaine was found.


Anderson is being charged in district court for two counts of trafficking illegal drugs and possession with intent to distribute.

Independence Man Arrested in Nowata County

An Independence man remains in custody in Nowata County.  26 year old Hank Florio of Independence was arrested by the Nowata County Sheriff’s Office after he was reported to be running around the Town of Wann with a gun.  According to the sherrif’s  department when law enforcement arrived Florio ran away from a stolen vehicle wearing only his underwear. Florio was able to flee from law enforcement for about three hours before being arrested after he got out of a manure pond.


The gun Florio had in his possession was stolen from a residential burglary in Independence. Florio was arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of a stolen firearm, and burglary. Florio was arrested with the help of the South Coffeyville Police Department and Oklahoma Highway Patrol and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office also assisted in the search.

One Injured in Labette County Crash


A Mound Valley girl was injured in a single vehicle crash around 1:00pm yesterday in Labette County.


According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, 15-year old Alexis Sharp was driving a 2000 Ford truck eastbound on U.S. Highway 160 and when she went off of the roadway to the right. When she attempted to get back on the road, she over-corrected and went off the roadway to the left.


Sharp was transported to Labette Health with a suspected minor injury. Sharp's seat belt was in use.

Cases of COVID-19 Spike in Montgomery County

The number of positive COVID-19 cases has spiked in Montgomery County according to the latest figures released this afternoon.


According to the KDHE the number of cases in Montgomery County has increased to 53, up 12 from Monday.  Elsewhere in southeast Kansas Crawford County also saw an increase since Monday, now with 294 cases.  Labette County remains the same at 64 cases, Neosho County remains at 34 positive cases, Chautauqua County is up 1 at 5 cases and Wilson County remains at 4 cases.


Statewide the number of positive cases in Kansas is at 17,618 with 282 deaths.  In Oklahoma there are currently 17, 220 confirmed cases with 404 deaths.







Man and Woman Arrested On Multiple Drug Counts


A man and woman were arrested in Chanute Monday evening on multiple drug charges.


Chanute police initiated a traffic stop in the area of the 100 block of East 19th street. During the traffic stop, Chanute Police Department K9 discovered methamphetamine in the car.


Both 41-year old James William Joseph Waggoner of Chanute and 35-year old Tonya Lynn Beisly of Neodesha were arrested for possession of methamphetamine w/ intent to distribute, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Waggoner picked up extra charges of driving with a suspended license and operating a vehicle with an expired tag.


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

Coffeyville City Buildings to Require Masks


The City of Coffeyville have announced that in response to Governor Laura Kelly's executive order and to be consistent with the Montgomery County Health Department, all city buildings in Coffeyville will require individuals to wear masks or other face coverings.


Visitors will be required to wear a mask or cloth face covering that covers the nose and mouth when the are inside a city building and are asked to practice social distancing.


For any questions about this new policy, you can contact the city at 620-252-6108.

Latest Kansas COVID-19 Numbers

The statewide figure for positive COVID-19 cases in Kansas now stands just short of 17,000.  The latest figures released by the KDHE today show 16,901 positive cases.  Here in southeast Kansas Crawford County leads the count with 278 positive cases.  Labette has 64 followed by Montgomery County with 41.  Neosho County has 35 positive cases while Chautauqua and Wilson Counties each report 4 cases.  

Chautauqua County Recommends But Will Not Require Masks


Citizens of Chautauqua County are strongly encouraged to wear masks in compliance with Governor Laura Kelly's executive order last week. However, the county has also announced that it will not enforce the order, leaving it as just a suggestion.


Chautauqua County Medical Director Dr. James McDermott and the Chautauqua County Health Department have both suggested and encouraged the continued use of masks and social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19. 


Citizens furthermore are still encouraged to restrict all non-essential travel, practice good hygeine and only interact with those in their immediate family.

CCC Names New Director of Theatre


Coffeyville Community College Fine Arts has named Lisa Fischel its new Director of Theatre.


Fischel specializes in teaching Acting and Voice and Movement, and is on track to certify in Lessac vocal training. She graduated with a BA in Stage and Screen Acting from the University of Nevada - Las Vegas and earned an MFA from the University of Southern Mississippi in Theatre Performance.


According to a bio put out by CCC, Fischel's mission in life and the arts is to make a positive impact and inspire those around her to tap into their potential and make it a reality. She will start with the school next week.

Parsons To Require Masks in Businesses


The Parsons City Commission on Monday night voted unanimously to approve an ordinance to requiring people in Parsons to wear face masks inside businesses beginning in two weeks.


Businesses are required to post a sign at the entrance stating that masks are required and employees will be required to wear a mask. Business owners will also have the ability to remove a customer from their business. If the customer doesn’t comply, the person could be charged with criminal trespassing.


Individuals inside businesses without a mask are subject to a warning for the first offense and a $15 fine for the second offense. A third offense would result in a $50 fine plus $90 in court costs. The commissioners will also spend up to $10,000 on face masks that will be given to businesses to give to customers who do not have their own mask.


The city commission included a 14 day grace period, where there won’t be any enforcement, so that residents and business owners can get used to the change. The ordinance will be in effect until October 1st, unless the city commission shortens or extends it.

Special Use Sales Tax Will Be Discussed at Thursday's Meeting


The Independence City Commission will consider ballot language for renewing the special use sales tax when it meets for its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday.


In June, the commission met twice for special meetings to discuss the special use sales tax ballot question. Discussed during those meetings were the percentages for each set of projects, including mill levy/debt repayment, buildings and facilities, and economic development. A final direction is needed regarding these percentages for city staff to provide to bond attorneys so that a resolution may be drafted for commission consideration before the August deadline.


The meeting will be held at the Veterans Room of City Hall, this Thursday at 5:30 p.m. The full agenda can be found here.

Man Arrested in Caney For Domestic Battery


A man was arrested early this morning in Caney on a count of domestic battery.


At approximately 12:10 AM, Caney Police were dispatched a residence in the 100 block of East Taylor Street for a report of a domestic disturbance. During the investigation of this incident officers learned that a female had been assaulted and suffered injuries. Officers with CPD and the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office made contact with a male subject at the home. The male subject had allegedly made threats towards law enforcement. Officer's identified the male as 41-year old Nicholas Finley of Owasso, Oklahoma. He was arrested for domestic battery.


The case remains under investigation and further charges are expected.

Supreme Court Upholds Ban on Robocalls


The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the federal ban on almost all robocalls to cellphones remains in effect and government debt collectors must abide by it. Attorney General Derek Schmidt says the exploding problem of unwanted robocalls is one of the most pressing consumer-protection issues Kansans face on a day-to-day basis. The ruling affirms that the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act will remain an important piece of the “all-of-the-above” approach to try to curb the unwanted robocalls, particularly to cellphones.


The dispute arose because in 2015 Congress amended the near-total prohibition on robocalls to cellphones by adding an exception to allow debt-collectors hired by the government to use robocalls. The plaintiffs in this case then challenged the entire law, arguing that the government engaged in content-based discrimination. Schmidt, along with a bipartisan coalition of 32 other state attorneys general, filed a brief in March asking the Court to uphold the TCPA’s prohibition on almost all robocalls to cellphones.

USD 445 Delays Activities with Positive COVID Case


The USD 445 school district has been made aware of a student athlete attending weights and conditioning has tested positive for COVID-19. The student was last in the weights room on Monday, June 29th.


At this point they are erring on the side of caution and postponing all activities on the high school campus for the next week. Regularly scheduled events will begin taking place on Monday, July 13th. Dr. Craig Correll says the district is in regular contact with county officials and will provide updates when and if they are necessary.

Possible IPD Officer Impersonation Turns into a False Report Case


The Independence Police Department had received information that someone operating a black Dodge Charger with tinted windows and a light-bar on top was attempting to pull cars over in the city.  According to Police Chief Jerry Harrison they have identified the driver of the Dodge Charger and now believe he was falsely reported as impersonating an officer.  Harrison says he appreciates all of the information provided by the public and that they are now investigating this as a filing a false report case. 


The reported incident occurred over the holiday weekend south of Independence on US 75 according to information from the Kansas Highway Patrol.  IPD has shared the information with area law enforcement.

Labette County Will Not Require Masks


Many people in attendance at the Labette County Commission meeting with discussion of the governor's order requiring face masks on the agenda. Labette Health's CEO Brian Williams, County Health Director Lisa Stivers and members of the hospital board spoke in support of masks, but Commissioner Doug Allen says his concern is with enforcing it.


Despite the recommendation of health officials to support the governor's order on masks Commission Chairman Lonnie Addis made a motion to opt out of the order.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Fred Vail and passed on a two to one vote as Commissioner Allen voted to not opt out. Masks will not be required in Labette County.

DUIs Arrests Down From 2019 for Holiday Weekend


The Kansas Highway Patrol released the number of citations and warnings that were issued during the Independence Day holiday weekend.


KHP had 20 DUI arrests during the holiday from July 2nd to July 4th. That count is down from 28 in 2019 but higher than the three recorded in 2018.

The KHP also wrote 824 speed citations, wrote just over 100 seatbelt citations and assisted 920 motorists for various issues. Overall, all enforcement issues were down for the entire state from 2019.


There were no fatal DUI related crashes but the KHP did work three non-DUI related fatal accidents which is up two from last year.

Fire Totals Sycamore House


A house in rural Montgomery County is total loss after it caught fire early this morning.


At approximately 2:05 this morning, Independence Fire/EMS responded to 5616 CR 3950 to assist Sycamore Rural Fire with a structure fire. Upon arrival, the front half of the house was totally involved with fire. Additional assistance was called in from Independence Rural, Cherryvale Rural, Dearing Rural, Elk City, Liberty Rural and Wilson County Rural. Independence Fire/EMS, Sycamore and Dearing departments remained on scene until approximately 6:30 extinguishing hot spots.


The house is a total loss and the cause is under investigation by the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office.

Crash Sends Two To The Hospital


Two people were injured in a multi-car crash that occurred at around 10am Friday morning in Cherokee County.


Three vehicles were headed eastbound on U.S. 400 driven by 69-year old Dennis Burk of Spearville, 69-year old Jerry Ludlum of Chanute and 67-year old Nancy Gomaz of Charlotte, Tennessee.


The vehicles driven by Ludlum and Gomaz were stopped at a stop sign at the K7 junction. Burk's truck failed to stop and hit Ludlum's vehicle which then hit Gomaz's vehicle. Burk then entered the intersection and hit a semi that was headed northbound on K7 driven by 47-year old J.W. Bowman of Seneca, Missouri. Ludlum and his passenger 57-year old Amy Ludlum were transported to Via Christi Hospital with suspected serious injuries.


Burk, Gomaz and Bowman had no apparent injuries and seatbelts were in use in all vehicles.

Officer Involved Shooting in Neosho Falls


The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is investigating after a Chanute man was shot by two Woodson County sheriff's deputies yesterday afternoon at a campground. The shooting occurred near the pavilion at the campgrounds in Neosho Falls.


Two deputies from the Woodson County Sheriff’s Office were attempting to question subjects regarding a nearby vehicle that was reported stolen. During questioning, an altercation occurred between the deputies and an armed male subject. Both deputies fired shots that struck the man, who was later identified as 41-year-old Edward G. Bridges. The deputies were not injured during the incident.


EMS transported Bridges to the Allen County Regional Hospital. He was then flown to the University of Kansas Medical Center. Bridges underwent surgery and is now in stable condition.


This investigation is ongoing.


Pittsburg Virtual Festival Continues


Two Pittsburg State alumni will join forces for a classical music concert as the second offering in the Pittsburg Virtual Festival for the Arts, planned for 7pm Wednesday, July 8. The festival, which kicked off on July 1 and will continue through Aug. 12, is a collaboration of The Bicknell Family Center for the Arts and the Pittsburg State University Department of Music.


Violinist Rebecca Cutler-Metzger and pianist Robert Ensor will bring to life the works of Tchaikovsky, Brahms, and several other musical masters. Ensor spent a large portion of his career in Vienna performing recitals and accompanying opera singers throughout Europe.


Cutler-Metzger. She is a private music instructor at Thomas Jefferson School in Joplin and performs regularly with groups such as the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas.


Audiences may view the one-hour concerts streamed at 7pm each Wednesday evening on PSU's YouTube channel.

Area Fireworks Shows

Even with social distancing and masks in place a number of area communities have 4th of July Fireworks displays planned.  Sedan will start things early with a fireworks display planned for tonight.  The show will begin at dark with fireworks shot from the Sedan City Lake.


Independence has their fireworks display scheduled to begin at 9:30 tomorrow night at Riverside Park.  Parsons show will begin at dark tomorrow at Marvel Park.  Fredonia has their show scheduled to begin at dark tomorrow from Pryor Stadium and Gene John Field.  Nowata will present a fireworks show at Jack Gordon Park beginning at dark tomorrow, Bartlesville’s display will be at Sooner Park at 9:45 tomorrow night.


The fireworks display in Coffeyville is scheduled for next Saturday during Coffeyville’s Summer Celebration at Walter Johnson Park.  

2x Natl Champ Coach Headed to Hutch


A two time national champion head coach will be leaving Coffeyville Community College. Red Raven Volleyball Coach Delice Downing has taken the head coaching job at Hutchinson Community College. The Blue Dragons announced Downing as their new coach at a press conference earlier today. It will be a new challenge for Coach Downing as she moves from Division II to Division I.


Downing, who has been at CCC since 2005, has 432 wins, four straight first place league finishes and of course the back to back National Championships in 2017 and 2018. Downing has produced 43 All-Region VI players, 22 of which were first-team. She leaves CCC as the all time leader in coaching wins for volleyball.

Parsons Man Last of Four People To Be Sentenced


A Parsons man who played a role in a 2019 home invasion in Pittsburg was handed a sentence of 59 months in prison.


22-year old Daelon Hendricks was the last of four people sentenced for the home invasion that included aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon, kidnapping, aggravated burglary and felony theft. The charges relate to a robbery that happened in March of 2019.


Four people forced their way into the home and subdued three occupants and injured one of them in the process. The suspects forced the occupants to sit in one room of the home while they rummaged through the residence looking for valuables.


Hendricks' accomplices 18-year old Kylee Beachner received 4 years in prison for aggravated robbery and aggravated intimidation of a witness in September of last year. Earlier this year, 20-year old Malik Robinson received three years in prison for robbery and 18-year old Jeremy Stringfellow received 36 months probation.


Kelly Issues Order Requiring Masks


Kansas Governor Laura Kelly has issued the executive order requiring most Kansans wear a face mask in a public space or in spaces where you can't social distance properly. This order takes effect at 12:01am tomorrow and will remain in effect until rescinded or until the state wide disaster declaration expires.


Kelly says the last few months have presented many challenges for Kansans, and everyone wants to return to their normal lives. Unfortunately, we have seen a spike in the number of cases in the state. She says the order doesn't change where you can go or what you can do, but wearing a mask is a simple and effective way to stay healthy. Guidance regarding specific places or situations can be find in the full executive order here.



KDOT Opens Three Ramps in Montgomery County


The Kansas Department of Transportation have opened three ramps to traffic at the U.S. 169/U.S. 160 interchange in Montgomery County.


The fourth ramp, connecting southbound U.S. 169 to westbound U.S. 160, remains under construction. The signed state detour for southbound U.S. 169 traffic uses U.S. 400 west to U.S. 75, and U.S. 75 south to U.S. 160 at Independence.


KDOT started construction in April 2019 to convert the intersection at the north junction to a grade-separated interchange. King’s Construction of Oskaloosa is the primary contractor on the $12 million project.


Drivers are reminded to slow down and use caution in the work zone.

State Q802 Passes in Oklahoma


Oklahoma voters narrowly passed a state question that would expand Medicaid in the Sooner State. Despite oppositions from Governor Kevin Stitt, Oklahomans voted in favor of State Question 802 with 50.48% of the vote. The state question edged out the vote with about 6,000 ballots in favor of the measure.


Medicaid expansion is now a part of the Oklahoma Constitution. Lawmakers now will be forced to figure out how to pay for the expansion.

OK School Districts to Receive Grant Money


Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt and State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister awarded Incentive Grants totaling $16 million to 150 Oklahoma school districts to help mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on student learning and ensure students are able to access learning opportunities in the new school year. The grants consisted of $8 million from the Oklahoma State Department of Education and $8 million from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund.


Some of the school districts in the Northeastern Oklahoma area who received grant money include Bartlesville receiving $257,423, Caney $50,000, Pawhuska $24,500 and Welch $50,000.


CRMC Doctor Highly Recommends You Wear a Mask


Cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in the county, according to the Montgomery County Health Department there are now 44 confirmed positives. Medical Director Dr. Shravan Gangula says we need to be very vigilant when it comes to prevention.


Dr. Gangula says it is important not to delay your routine care, so don't let COVID scare you away from seeing your doctor. A link to Dr. Gangula's full statement along with instructions on how to make your own mask can be found here.


Montgomery County Health Department Recommends Compliance With Governor's Orders


The Montgomery County Health Department and the Office of Emergency Management are continuing to recommend that residents follow Governor Laura Kelly's guidelines during the coronavirus outbreak. Emergency Management Director Rick Whitson told the county commission of his recommendation during a special meeting this morning.


The health department and the office of emergency management request that citizens do not call 911 dispatch, law enforcement, or the health department to report non-compliance. Law enforcement will likely not have the authority to enforce this executive order. For further updates, please continue to watch the Montgomery County Health Department and Emergency Management Facebook pages.

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