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Local News Archives for 2020-09

PSU Update on COVID-19 Numbers

 

The Bryant Student Health Center at Pittsburg State University reported that the number of positive COVID-19 cases involving students continues to decline.

 

COVID-19 Case Manager Taylor Panczer says currently, five students are in active isolation, down from 12 last week, and the number of those quarantined also fell for the fourth straight week to about 100 students In the seven days leading up to the end of September 33 individuals were tested. Of those, three tested positive and two are awaiting results. This points to a reduction in the percent positive rate among the student population. Among faculty and staff, one new case was reported in the most recent seven-day period.

Free Flu Shot Event Planned in Independence on Saturday

 

Flu season right is just around the corner. To help combat contracting influenza, it is suggested to get a flu vaccination. On October 10th, free flu shots are being offered to the community. Independence Chamber of Commerce Director Lisa Wilson goes into more detail about this event.

 

The will be approximately 200 flu shots available and they will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information on this event, contact the Independence Chamber of Commerce at (620) 331-1890.

Iola Shifts Away From Flexible Learning

 

The Iola School Board has informed students that they must pick a learning option and have to stay with it for the rest of the semester as they will no longer be offering flexible learning as of October 9th.

 

USD 257 had been giving the student the option of switching between on-site and remote learning when needed. A student may switch to a different learning model at the beginning of the next semester at the beginning of 2021.

 

The district will continue to have quarantined or isolated students do remote learning, regardless of the learning model they choose.

 

Coffeyville City Hall Reopening

 

The Coffeyville City Hall will be fully reopening starting tomorrow for its regular hours.

 

City Hall Administration Offices closed on September 21st due to possible contact with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. The drive-thru window and payment dropbox is still open throughout today as well as the Utility, Engineering, Code and Permit facilities.

 

For any administrative emergencies, please contact 620-252-6086.

Field Kinley Homecoming Festivities

 

Homecoming festivities at Field Kinley High School start tonight!

 

The 2020 Fall Homecoming Parade will begin tonight at 7 p.m. It will start at the post office at 8th and Elm Street. They will head east to 8th and Walnut and head south to 9th and Walnut. Then they will head west towards 9th and Elm and finish at the post office. There will be no bonfire or lip sync battle tonight.

 

The homecoming assembly will be tomorrow at 10:50 a.m. and will be live streamed on YouTube. The homecoming candidates will have an opportunity to introduce themselves. The coronation will begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Veterans Memorial Football Stadium before the game.

 

 

First Presidential Debate Tonight on 690AM

 

Tune in tonight to the Mighty 690 KGGF to hear the presidential debate. Predebate coverage will start at 7:00pm with the debate starting at 8:00pm and lasting for an hour and a half.

 

President Donald Trump and Democratic Candidate Joe Biden head to Cleveland tonight for what will be the first of three debates. There will be about seventy people in attendance and social distancing guidelines will be followed. Everyone attending the debate will be tested for COVID-19 and there will be no predebate handshake between Trump and Biden. Catch full debate coverage on the Mighty 690 starting at 7:00pm.

Campbell Named September Arvest Ag Student of the Month

 

A Nowata FFA Student has been recognized as the September Arvest Bank and KGGF Ag Student of the Month. Korbin Campbell says she joined FFA in the eighth grade. She says horses peaked her interest and that she loves the leadership aspect of FFA.

 

Campbell gave advice to underclassman that are considering being a part of the FFA program in Nowata.  Campbell is currently taking concurrent classes through Tulsa Tech in Owasso. You can watch the full interview with Campbell on the KGGF Facebook page

Staff Member at Eisenhower Elementary Tests Positive for COVID-19

 

A staff member at Eisenhower Elementary in Independence has tested positive for COVID-19.

 

Independence Public Schools was notified on Saturday about the positive test. The school has temporarily closed off areas of the building the individual used in the past several days to thoroughly clean and disinfect the spaces. The individual who tested positive for COVID-19 and close contacts of the individual will not be allowed to return to school for at least 14 days from the date of exposure. They will have access to Remote Learning.

 

Questions may be directed to Independence Superintendent Rusty Arnold at 620-496-4706 or rarnold@indyschools.com.

USD 445 Combatting Hunger

 

Starting October 1st, USD 445 Coffeyville Public Schools is providing free meals for all children from ages 1-18.

 

Children do not have to be students of Coffeyville Public Schools to receive free meals.

 

Meals are available curbside daily from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Nado Café at 606 Cherokee Street.

 

You may sign up curbside at the time of pick up, or call Pam Lane at 620-252-1785 to sign up.

Man in Pittsburg Arrested for Arson

 

Units from the Pittsburg Fire Department and the Pittsburg Police Department were dispatched in reference to a report of an active structure fire early Sunday morning.

 

Neighbors in the area reported hearing a loud noise and then observing the structure at 615 E. 22nd St. on fire. One of the residents, later identified as 38-year-old Justin L. Smutz, was observed walking away from the structure after it was already ablaze, and then standing in the front yard watching the fire.

 

While officers were on scene with Smutz, he became agitated toward one of the other residents and tried to strike them, and Smutz was taken into custody without further incident. He was later transported to the jail at the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office.

 

Smutz was arrested for felony arson, misdemeanor assault and for violation of the conditions of parole. The investigation is currently ongoing.

Man Killed in Accident

 

One man is dead and two more were injured in a Monday morning wreck in Montgomery County.

 

According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, a Ford F150 driven by 51-year-old Paul Thomas of Independence was headed northbound on Independence Avenue just north of Dearing when he crossed the center line and hit a southbound 1997 Ford Pickup driven by 56-year-old Monty Phillips of Fredonia. Phillips was killed in the accident while his passenger, 55-year-old Amos Cole Jr., also of Fredonia was seriously injured.

 

Both Cole and Thomas were transported to CRMC.

 

Arson Case Investigated in Parsons

 

The Parsons Police Department is looking for the public's help in finding the person who set a house on fire.

 

Over the weekend, Parsons PD dispatch received a call of a structure fire in the 1700 block of Morgan Ave. Parsons Police Officer Russel Parsons arrived with members of the Parsons Fire Department. Once the blaze was contained an investigation revealed that the fire was potentially an arson case.

 

Parsons Police Departments Investigations Division was contacted, along with the Kansas State Fire Marshal's Office. A State Fire Marshal responded to the scene and worked with police investigators and fire personnel. The residence was not an abandoned structure, but the residents were not in the home when emergency responders arrived. Police canvassed the neighborhood speaking with neighbors and gathering evidence along with any potential security footage.

 

If you have any information regarding this fire investigation, contact the Parsons Police Department at 620-421-7060.

Prepping Your Home for the WInter

 

It may seem a little early to be talking about preparing for winter, but there are things that can be done now to make sure you are ready. Kansas State University Assistant State Climatologist Mary Knapp says you want to protect the home from potential storm damage and prevent the cold air from getting in.

 

Knapp says to also get your furnace serviced and check the batteries in all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Numerous Items Covered at Labette County Meeting

 

A busy agenda for the Labette County Commission as the meet for their regularly scheduled meeting. Health Department Office Manager Tammie Murdock, Treasurer Crystall Addis, Public Works Director Sandy Krider and 911 Dispatch Director Brandy Grassl presented the board with the dates for their County Employee Health Fair.

 

The commissioners approved the use of grant money to purchase laptops, TVs, computers, tables and chairs and other items for the EOC. Parsons Economic Development Director Jim Zaleski and Parsons Community Development Director Laura Moore gave the commissioners an update on SPARK with more to come at next weeks meetings.

Bridge Improvement Application Proposal in Independence

 

Bridge 67 by County Road 3300 in Independence could be getting some much-needed improvements. 

 

An application will be sent before Thursday to the state regarding the proposal for improvements on the bridge.

 

Montgomery County Public Works Coordinator Jim Wright suggested to the County Commission Monday morning that the bridge be a priority and be fixed with the state's funds.

 

The commission agreed to allow Wright to move forward to apply for the bridge's funding. The application for the improvements is due Thursday.

 

The Montgomery County Commission meets every Monday morning at 9 a.m. at the Montgomery County Judicial Center in Independence.

Fugitive Arrested in Parsons

 

A wanted man from Arkansas was arrested late last week in Parsons.

 

Parsons Police partnered with the U.S. Marshals Service, Kansas Highway Patrol (KHP), and Labette County Sheriff's Office on a multi-agency fugitive apprehension. 33-year-old Bryan Lamont Smith was taken into custody in the area of Main and 29th in Parsons. Traffic was temporarily shut down during the operation.

 

Smith and another man are suspects in two fatal shootings in Pine Bluff, Arkansas on Sept. 3rd. He is being charged with capital murder, terroristic acts, unlawful discharge of a firearm into a vehicle, and possession of a firearm by certain persons.

 

Parsons Police Chief Robert Spinks said that due to hard work and inter-agency cooperation of the U.S. Marshals Service, KHP, and the Labette sheriff's office, another felon has been removed from the street of Parsons.

FKHS Debate Looking for Volunteer Judges

 

The Field Kindley High School Debate team needs volunteer judges for its tournament coming up next month. The tournament will be virtual, meaning anyone 18 or older can volunteer from their own home. The only requirements needed are a reliable internet connection, a reliable phone number, and free time on Saturday, October 17.

 

This year, the topic is about reforming the criminal justice system in one of these areas: forensic science, sentencing or policing. The sign-up link to volunteer can be found here.

CPD Receives Grant for Communications Equipment

 

The Coffeyville Police Department has been awarded a grant to upgrade communications equipment. CPD will receive $82,035 to upgrade systems to better allow the agency to respond locally and assist in crisis situations in the region.

 

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says one of the keys to keeping the communities safe is making sure our law enforcement officers have up to date technology. The grant is part of the Federal Edward J. Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program and was awarded by the Kansas Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. Schmidt serves as the chair of the council.

Gas Holds Steady Nationally and in Kansas

 

Since Monday, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline has increased by a penny to $2.19, which is one cent more than a week ago and a month ago, but still significantly cheaper than last year. Prices have held steady in Kansas.

 

According to AAA, Kansas prices currently sit at $1.97, which is one penny less than at the same time last week. Montgomery County sits at $1.96 a gallon while Labette County currently at $1.97 a gallon. Chautauqua County is higher by four cents at $2.01 a gallon.

 

Across the border in Oklahoma, the state average is $1.90. Washington County came in at $1.82 a gallon while Nowata County checked in at $1.84 a gallon.

Native American Unity Gathering Saturday

 

Native American Fellowship and USD 445 Indian Education Program are hosting a Native American Unity Gathering tomorrow.

 

The event will begin at 10 a.m. and continue until 5 p.m. at the grounds of the Historic Brown Mansion in Coffeyville.

 

The event is free and open to the public. There will be dancing, drumming, craft vendors, educational activities for kids and free food while supplies last. Seating is limited so bringing a lawn chair is encouraged.

 

Those planning to attend are also encouraged to practice social distancing and wear facial coverings.

Chanute Man Arrested on Outstanding Warrants, Drug Possession

 

A Chanute man was arrested on outstanding warrants and possession of drugs.

 

Earlier this week, Chanute police responded to the area of the 700 block of South Santa Fe for a report of an individual trying to gain entry into a vehicle. Upon arrival, officers made contact with an adult female and male at the vehicle. During the investigation, officers learned that the male was trying to gain entry into the vehicle for the vehicle owner, but had an active arrest warrant out of Neosho and Woodson counties.

 

26-year-old Dustin Earl Schaffer was arrested for the outstanding warrants along with the charges of possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was transported to the Neosho County Jail without incident.

 

Homicide Investigation Underway in Longton

 

Authorities are investigating a homicide that occurred in Longton yesterday. 

 

According to the Prairie Star, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation is assisting the Elk County Sheriff’s Office in the investigation.  The Elk County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the scene on East 3rd Street in Longton just after 10:00 a.m. Thursday after receiving a 911 call from a family member.  Upon entry, deputies discovered a resident, 34-year-old Amy R. Lammon, deceased inside the home.  Lammon was pronounced dead at the scene. 

 

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is assisting the Elk County Sheriff’s Office in the investigation. Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call the KBI at 1-800-KS-CRIME.

Bartlesville Woman Arrested in Caney

 

A Bartlesville woman is arrested in Caney on multiple drug charges. Officers with the Caney Police Department received a report of a black Dodge Challenger in the area of South High Street traveling at accelerated speeds. Officers did not locate the vehicle matching the description at that time. Later on, an officer observed a vehicle matching that description, improperly parked at the Garden Walk Apartments. When the officer approached the vehicle, the driver was not present. In plain view, the officer observed two plastic marijuana dispensary bottles on the driver’s seat.

 

Shortly after 41 year old Maili L. Mello of Bartlesville arrived to the vehicle and was identified as the owner and driver of the vehicle. Upon search of the vehicle, officers located methamphetamine, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia. Mello is charged with possession of an opiate, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia

Pitt State Reports Decline In Positive Rate

 

Pittsburg State University reported Wednesday that the number of positive COVID-19 cases involving students continues to decline.

 

There are currently just 12 students who are in active isolation, down from 24 students in the last week, and the number of those quarantined also fell for the third straight week to about 50 students.

 

Among faculty and staff, four new cases were reported in the most recent seven-day period. Currently, four faculty/staff are in isolation and five are in quarantine due to possible exposure. Since the university began tracking in March, 14 faculty/staff have reported infections, and 36 have had to quarantine for any reason.

150th Cherryvale Birthday Planning Meeting Tonight

 

Cherryvale plans to celebrate its 150th birthday next year.

 

A meeting is scheduled for this evening at 6:30 p.m. where everyone will be able to share their ideas on how this special occasion should be celebrated. The meeting will be at the Cherryvale Community Center and is open to the public.

 

Voting for the celebration's logo will also take place at this evening's meeting. Safety percautions such as social distancing and face masks are encouraged.

Next Week Will Bring Cooler Temperatures

 

After higher-than-normal temperatures to end the week, cooler temperatures might prevail starting early next week.

 

The National Weather Service in Wichita reported that temperatures will likely remain about 5 to 8 degrees higher than usual through the weekend. After that, a cold front moving through the area will drop temperatures into the low 70s throughout the SEK area. Coffeyville will see a high of around 74 by this time.

 

The NWS reports that temperatures seen next week will be about 5 to 7 degrees below normal.

 

 

 

Two Injured After Wreck at Montgomery-Wilson County Line

 

Two people were injured following a collision just north of the Montgomery/Wilson County border Wednesday.

 

Crash logs from the Kansas Highway Patrol report the crash occured shortly before 5:30 pm. A 2011 Ford Focus driven by 65-year-old Daniel K. Wiziarde of Indpendence was westbound on County Road 6600 when it failed to stop at a stop sign. Wiziarde's vehicle was struck by a 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan driven by 35-year-old Leland Jackson Burns II. Burns was traveling northbound on U75 at the time of the accident.

 

Both men were taken to a hospital with suspected serious injuries. Safety restraints were in use by both drivers.

 

 

USD 446 Has Another Positive COVID-19 Case

 

USD 446 in Independence has reported its fourth positive coronavirus case in the last seven days.

 

The first one appeared last Friday at Eisenhower Elementary, a staff member at Eisenhower and a student at the high school tested positive on Tuesday, and another elementary student has been reported to have tested positive yesterday.

 

The school district has temporarily closed off areas that the student used over the last several days to thoroughly clean and disinfect the areas. The student and those identified as close contacts will not be allowed to return to school for at least 14 days, but they will have access to remote learning.

Genesis to Distribute Commodities Next Week

 

Genesis in Coffeyville will be distributing commodities from 9:00am to 11:30am, starting Tuesday and continuing each day until they are gone. Commodities can be picked up at 1312 W. 8th.

 

Director Linda Follet says you must live in Coffeyville, Dearing or Liberty to pick them up. She says there is also an income limit guideline that they must observe. If you don't know if you qualify, you can call Genesis at 620-251-3004 to find out. They ask that you bring a current piece of mail with you that shows your name and the date.

Eureka Man Charged With Child Sex Crimes

 

A Eureka man has been charged with three child sex crimes that allegedly happened when the victim was 9 years old.

 

The Greenwood County Sheriff's Office said 69-year-old Jim Gooch is in custody. He was charged with indecent liberties with a child, aggravated indecent solicitation of a child, and lewd and lascivious behavior. A complaint states that the alleged crimes occurred between May 1st and September 30th of 2018. The victim was 9 years old at the time.

 

Gooch is scheduled for a court appearance on October 6th.

Independence Man Arrested for Using Counterfeit Money in Caney

 

An Independence man was arrested in Caney for using counterfeit money multiple times, and owning a total of $46,000 worth of counterfeit bills.

 

Officers were able to locate the suspect at the Sonic Drive-In. Upon approaching the suspect, and during the arrest, a worker at the Sonic told the officers that the suspect had just used a counterfeit $20 dollar bill to purchase his food.

 

The suspect was identified as 28-year-old Jareel Dungy. He also confessed to a residential burglary in Altoona. Dungy was transported to the Montgomery County Jail on felony theft by deception and counterfeiting charges.

 

Officers with the Caney Police Department will be in contact with the U.S. Secret Service today which handles counterfeiting cases at the federal level.

House Fire in Indpendence Put Out

 

A fire at a home in Independence has been extinguished.

 

The fire started around 7:30 a.m. this morning at 606 S. 1st Street, and responders from Independence Fire-EMS first shift arrived on the scene.

 

Upon arrival, the attic of the home was on fire, but it was extinguished within just fifteen minutes.

 

The house was unoccupied and no one was injured. Independence Fire-EMS and IPD are investigating the cause of the fire.

Cherokee County Sheriff's Office Awarded $150,000

 

The United States Department of Justice has awarded the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office nearly $150,000 federal funding.

 

The funds will be used towards maintaining compliance with the Sex Offender Registration Notification Act through technology, collaboration, enforcement operations and training.

 

This grant will also cover the costs associated with increased investigative training and offender compliance operations over the next three years.

Final Movie Night at the Park

 

For those looking to get out this weekend, the Independence Chamber of Commerce is putting on their final Movie Night in the Park of the season this Saturday night.

 

Executive Director of the Independence Chamber of Commerce Lisa Wilson talks about the movie that will be showing and the activities and dining options that will be available for the final event of the season.

 

Wilson also said that the Army Recruiter from Pittsburg will be there with football and baseball games to play as well as giveaways. The movie is free and open to the public and spectators will be invited to bring out their lawn chairs. For more information on this event, contact the chamber at (620) 331-1890.

 

Death Investigation in Iola

 

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation, the Iola Police Department, and the Allen County Sheriff’s Office are investigating a death that has occurred. The Iola Police Department requested KBI assistance on Monday afternoon and the KBI sent agents out to investigate.

 

At approximately 2:10 pm Monday, the Iola Police Department received a 911 call from a citizen reporting a fight at a residence. Upon arriving at the scene, officers found 34-year-old Jamie D. Martin of Iola lying in the driveway. Officers began life-saving measures as Martin was unresponsive. EMS responded and then transported Martin to the Allen County Regional Hospital. Martin was pronounced deceased at the hospital just before 3 pm. Monday. The investigation is ongoing.

 

The public is not believed to be at risk related to this incident. Anyone with information related to this case is asked to call the KBI at 1-800-KS-CRIME.

Fire at CRMC Under Investigation

 

Multiple fire departments responded to a fire at Coffeyville Regional Medical Center, KGGF's Jared Sleppy was live on the scene of the fire.

 

CRMC Director of Communication Melissa Summer says an MRI tech noticed a smell and smoke coming from their MRI suite, so they notified CPD, CFD and hazmat and begin evacuating the area.  Summer says she appreciates the concern of the community and all is well at CRMC. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

 

Second Round of SPARK Grants Approved in Chautauqua County

 

The Chautauqua County commission has approved a second round of SPARK grants funding to begin today.

 

At the commission's regular meeting on Monday, County Counselor Zoe Newton told commissioners that there had been a "very good" response to the workshop held the previous week. Newton reported that the SPARK board had received applications at least one school, business and city. Commissioner Parker Massey made a motion to open up a second round of applications as suggested by Newton. That motion was unanimously passed.

 

The second round of SPARK grant applications opened up today, but will close once again on October 2nd. In other business, Kansas Department of Transportation representative Wayne Gudmonson discussed several projects with the commission and answered questions as part of his listening tour.

Two Pittsburg Men Arrested on Drug and Burglary Charges

 

A pair of men were arrested in Parsons accused of burglarizing a storage unit.

 

Parsons Police were called to report a burglary in progress at 1425 North 16th Street. Arriving Officers found two males in the process of burglarizing the storage facility. Both subjects were detained by Officers. After an investigation, it was confirmed that the two suspects had burglarized a storage unit and were in the process of stealing property. The victim was contacted by police and confirmed that the suspects had her property from the burglary.

 

38-year-old Jason Rakestraw and 41-year-old Thomas Houdashelt, both of Pittsburg were arrested and booked into jail. A search warrant was obtained for the suspect's vehicle which resulted in the return of the victim's property. The search also located controlled substances, narcotics paraphernalia, and burglary tools all belonging to the two suspects.

 

The two suspects are being held for burglary, possession of methamphetamine, possession of narcotics, possession of drug paraphernalia, theft, and criminal damage.

Signups For Spooktacular

 

Save the date for Spooktacular, scheduled this year for October 26th! The Coffeyville Chamber of Commerce is encouraging a few protocols to help make this a safe event.

 

If your business would like to participate and set up a table, please call the Chamber at 620-251-2550 or send an email to chamberadmin@coffeyville.com. In addition, the Chamber is searching for donations of candy. Bags of candy or individually wrapped fun items can be dropped off to the Chamber before October 16th, or you can make a donation to help purchase treats.

 

Contact the Chamber for donation opportunities.

Nowata Man Wanted for Multiple Charges

 

A man in Nowata County is wanted for committing burglaries all throughout the county.

 

On September 4th, the Nowata County Sheriff's Office was called to a suspicious vehicle, which was a U-Haul truck being drove on old Highway 169. Chance Thomison was suspected of burglaries and theft of mail and packages in the eastern part of Nowata County. Deputies stopped the vehicle with Thomison driving and a 16-year-old female passenger.

 

A felony warrant was issued for Thomison with a $350,000.00 bond. Thomison is believed to possibly be in the Bartlesville area at this time.

 

He could be armed and dangerous, so please be cautious if you come in contact with him and call the Nowata County Sherrif's Office immediately at 918-273-2287.

Caney Man Arrested for Multiple Drug Charges

 

A Caney man was arrested Saturday for multiple drug offenses. Caney Police Department executed a search warrant for 26-year-old Austin Rees of 201 N. Wood St.

 

During the search of the home and vehicles on the property officers found drug paraphernalia, a handgun, marijuana, and cocaine.

 

Rees was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, no drug tax stamp, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, criminal use of a weapon, and possession of opiate. He was transported to the Montgomery County Jail.

Off-Duty Officer Responds to a Crash

 

An off duty Montgomery County Sheriff's Officer discovers a body at the scene of a crash. This weekend a deputy heard what he believed to be a motor vehicle accident involving a motorcycle. The off-duty deputy responded to the scene of the accident and discovered a man later identified as 52 year old James Donald Bullock Jr of Altamont who had not survived the accident.

 

The assistant county coroner was called to the scene and asked that Bullock be transported for autopsy. This was a single vehicle accident and Bullock was the only rider on the motorcycle. Sheriff Ron Wade says there are no hours when a deputy is truly off duty, being a deputy is a 24/7 job and this deputy went above the call of duty.

Shooting In Parsons Results In Arrest

 

A suspect has been arrested after a shooting in a Parsons neighborhood.

 

Parsons Police responded to the shooting in the area of 27th near Grand Avenue. Officers found a vehicle with multiple gunshots in it and questioned the driver. The on-going investigation revealed that the victim was driving away from the area the gunman began rapidly firing at the victim and his vehicle. The victim was not struck. After canvassing the area, Officers were able to potentially identify the suspect as a 16-year-old juvenile male.

 

The suspect is currently in custody at the Girard Juvenile Detention Center on one count of Attempted 1st Degree Murder, Criminal Use of a Weapon, Shooting a Firearm at an Occupied Vehicle, and Shooting a Firearm at an Unoccupied Dwelling.

 

 

COVID-19 Closes City Hall

 

Due to the possible contact with COVID-19, Coffeyville City Hall Administration offices will be closed until October 1.

 

According to a post on the city's Facebook page, utility offices will remain open, including the drive-thru window and payment drop-box. Engineering and code and permit offices will also remain open. For any administrative emergencies, please contact 620-252-6086.

One Injured In a Single Vehicle Accident

 

A 43-year old man was injured in a single-vehicle accident in Cherokee County over the weekend.

 

According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, 43-year-old Jaimie Faustman of Manhattan was driving a 2019 Polaris south on Southwest 10th Street when she failed to negotiate the curve onto Southwest Grove Street and the vehicle ran off the road ejecting all three occupants.

 

Nicholee Holzrichter of Newton was transported to Mercy Hospital in Joplin for minor injuries. Faustman and the other occupant, 46-year-old Michael Boesker of Columbus, were uninjured in the accident.

U.S. 54 Road Work at Eureka Begins Today

 

The Kansas Department of Transportation plans to begin a resurfacing project on U.S. 54 through the city of Eureka today.

 

Crews will mill, overlay, and patch U.S. 54 between the east and west city limits of Eureka. New curb, gutter, and sidewalks will also be installed along sections of U.S. 54. Traffic will be restricted to one lane in each direction in the work zone. KDOT expects the project to be complete in May 2021.

 

APAC-Kansas, Inc. is the contractor on the project, which has a construction cost of $2.2 million.

ICC Moves to "Study-in-Place" Program

 

Starting this week, Independence Community College has implemented its "study-in-place" program for all campus students on both the Main and ICC West campuses. 

 

Study-in-place procedures mean that the college will move to online instruction until at least Friday of this week. This period will be used to provide testing services to students, faculty and staff and to deep clean all buildings. Students have not be asked to go home and can remain in their residence hall room. Students can walk to the Student Union to take out their meals and bring them back to their rooms, but any student in isolation will have meals brought to them.

 

In addition, all athletic activities have been canceled during this time. The college will eventually return to "phased out" status and then "normal" campus operations.

Nado Homecoming Rescheduled

 

Homecoming for Field Kindley has been rescheduled for October 2nd. After a Fort Scott player tested positive for COVID-19 and the entire Independence High School football team had to quarantine, the Nado had filled their week 4 matchup with Liberal High School.

 

According to Head Coach Deonta Wade Liberal has decided to pull out of that game now leaving the Nado opponentless for two straight weeks. FKHS has decided to move their homecoming game to week 5 against Mulvane. Coach Wade says they will attempt to reschedule their rivalry game against Independence at some point later in the season.

Football Movie Night at the Midland

 

With the Field Kindley game cancelled tonight, you'll still be able to catch some football in Coffeyville in the form of a movie. The Midland Theater will be showing Rudy tonight for their outdoor movie night. They ask that you social distance and if you have to be within six feet of someone they ask that you wear a mask.

 

The movie will start around 8:15pm with free popcorn brought to you by Liebert Brothers Electric Company & Isham True Value Hardware. Feel free to bring your own food or drink. Port-a-potties and hand washing stations will be available courtesy of CVR Energy.

Nowata County Sheriff's Office Scam

 

The Nowata County Sheriff's Department has had reports of scam phone calls being sent from their own phone number. The scam calls made to citizens are being posed as if they are from a CIA agent.

 

The scammer will claim a loved one has been accused of money laundering or some other offense and say to send money to get them out of trouble. They will tell you that the money will need to be placed in a Federal Express box and sent to them.

 

Three people have been scammed in Nowata County so far.

 

If you have been scammed or called, call the Nowata County Sheriff Department at 918-273-2287, or send them a message on Facebook.

Man Killed in Accident on U.S. 169

 

A 35-year-old man was killed as he was struck by a car just north of Cherryvale.

 

According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, a 2016 Dodge Journey driven by 39-year-old Nicholas Barriger of Chanute was headed northbound on U.S. 169 when he attempted to make an evasive maneuver to avoid an airborne object and struck Darrin Kebert Jr. of Cherryvale who was on the right shoulder of the road. Barriger and his two juvenile occupants were unhurt in the accident.

 

Safety restraints were in use in the vehicle.

Elk Valley School District Moving to Remote Learning

 

The Elk Valley School District has moved to remote learning, exclusively, starting next week. Classes have been canceled for the rest of the week, according to the Montgomery County Chronicle.

 

In a statement by the Elk Valley administration, the Elk County Health Department will be reaching out to any student or staff member that may have been in direct contact with the parties as per public health guidelines.

 

As of right now, the district is unaware of any possible close exposure that would have occurred last week during normal school activities. The events in question occurred over the weekend.

 

 

Couple Arrested on Drug Charges

 

A man and a woman were arrested on multiple drug charges in Galena.

 

Early yesterday morning, officers responded to the Galena Motel & Suites for a domestic in progress. Once contact was made, officers observed narcotics in plain view and the subjects refused to exit the room. Police were granted a search warrant on the room and arrested 45-year-old Gregory D. Bell and 44-year-old Ginger L. Parker.

 

Both subjects were arrested on charges of Possession of Paraphernalia, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Methamphetamine, and Interference with Law Enforcement.

 

KDHE Guidance for Celebrating Halloween

 

Halloween is a little over a month away, and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment has created a guide to make sure you and your family celebrate the holiday.

 

The KDHE recommends events such as car parades, drive-in movies, and dressing up your house or yard. All of which have a considerably low risk of spreading the virus.

 

KDHE recommends not trick or treating this year due to it being very difficult to maintain proper social distancing and it not being very safe to be sharing food.

 

However, if you are going to trick or treat, KDHE recommends you take certain safety precautions such as social distancing, wearing a face covering, having hand sanitizer at the ready, and disinfecting the wrappers of your candy after completing your trick or treat route.

 

 

Three New Cases in Elk County

 

Elk County has three new cases of COVID-19 in the county, a male and female in their thirties and a ten year old. The Elk County Health Department has notified close contacts. There are now four active cases.

 

The health department says if you were at the Longton Fall Festival you may have the potential for exposure if you weren't wearing a mask, closer than 6 feet from others and if you weren't washing hands often or using hand sanitizer.

COVID-19 Numbers Trending Downward at Pitt State

 

For the second week in a row, Pittsburg State University has reported a decline in testing demand, and the percent positive rate is also trending down. Pitt State COVID-19 Case Manager Taylor Panczer says the number of students in active isolation dropped by half, and the number in quarantine is down to approximately 350 from the initial high of approximately 600.

 

The Bryant Student Health Center tested 50 students between September 9th and September 16th, down from 72 the previous week. 11 tested positive, with eight tests pending. Panczer says isolation numbers are down from 56 to 24 in the last week, and quarantine numbers are down by about 150. Currently, five faculty and staff are in isolation and three are in quarantine due to possible exposure.

Passauer Named Independence City Manager

 

The Independence City Commissioners have announced that Kelly Passauer has been appointed to the position of City Manager, effective immediately.

 

Passauer has served as the Acting City Manager since July 2019, and also served in the role in 2010 and 2017. She has been employed by the city for over 30 years and has worked in the City Manager's office for over 26 years. Passauer is also a Montgomery County native, having been born in Independence and raised in Cherryvale. 

 

The commission wrote in a Facebook post Wednesday that the interview process had become more detailed than originally planned, but felt that the process was successful in achieving its goal. 

Potentially Armed Suspect Forces USD 445 Soft Lockdown

 

A suspect is in custody after the Coffeyville Police Department searched for a potentially armed suspect yesterday.

 

The search caused a soft lockdown at the Coffeyville Public Schools, but no one was harmed during the incident. The suspect was running on foot from the police.

 

The precautions taken by the schools were part of the security plans enforced by USD 445 and they state that in a potentially dangerous situation they will lock down all necessary buildings to keep students safe.

 

The suspect's name has not been released.

General Election Information for Montgomery County

 

Election Day is almost upon us, and as always, there are multiple options on how to vote in the 2020 general election. The Montgomery County Clerk's Office released the following information on how to cast your ballot this November.

 

 

Montgomery County Voting Options in the 2020 Election

 

Early Voting: October 14 - November 2, 2020 at 12:00 noon.

 

Voter Registration Deadline: Last day to register to vote for the General Election. October 13, 2020

 

Absentee Voting:

The terms: Early Voting, Advance Ballot, Mail-in Ballot, Vote-by-Mail and Absentee Ballot are interchangeable. Ballots must be requested by October 27, 2020 to receive a ballot by mail. Voters can cast absentee ballots for any reason.

 

Absentee Choices: *Instead of requesting an absentee ballot, voters may vote early, in person, at on-site voting booths at the County Clerk office at the Montgomery County Courthouse, 217 East Myrtle, by 12:00 noon on November 2, 2020.

 

*If you are mailing an Absentee Ballot, it must be postmarked on or before Election Day (November 3,2020). Postage is $1.20. (If you are mailing in your ballot, do so as soon as possible).*

 

Absentee ballots may be hand-delivered to the County Clerk office until 7:00 pm on November 3, 2020. *Absentee ballots may be placed in the drop off box located on the south side of the Judicial Building (monitored by security cameras) until 7:00 pm on November 3, 2020.*

 

Absentee ballots may be taken to any Montgomery County polling place on November 3, 2020 by close of polls. Absentee ballots must be signed and sealed in the official envelope that the County Clerk office provided.

 

Election Day In-Person Voting: November 3, 2020 between 7:00 am and 7:00 pm at Montgomery County polling sites.

Body Found in Pittsburg

 

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is helping to investigate the death of a 23-year-old woman whose body was found inside her Pittsburg home.

 

The agency said that Pittsburg police received a 911 call Tuesday morning about an unresponsive person. Responding officers then found Tylei Messer dead inside the home.

 

The KBI says special agents and a crime scene team were sent to the home. No other details were immediately released, including her cause of death.

COVID-19's Affect on Beef Demand

 

Consumer demand for beef is important to the cattle industry and COVID-19 has significantly influenced beef consumption. Kansas State University Livestock Economist Glynn Tonsor says for June beef demand was up 34% from June 2019.

 

Tonsor says he conducted his own analysis which has more current information.  Tonsor says government aid may have influenced beef demand, with 23% of the people surveyed saying they did increase their consumption.

Caney Police Sergeant Promoted to Assistant Police Chief

 

Caney Police Chief Kevin Kitterman has announced that Sgt. Natalie Rees has been promoted to the rank of Assistant Police Chief.

 

Rees served in the United States Army and did two tours in Iraq, her first one was from 2006 until 2007 and the other in 2009 until 2010.

 

She began her law enforcement career with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department in 2011 and served with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department until 2014. Rees joined the Caney Police Department in 2016 and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 2018.

 

With the promotion, Assistant Chief Rees will be more involved with the day to day operations of the Caney Police Department.

Section of K-3 to Close For Pipe Replacement Project

 

Motorists in Bourbon County will need to find an alternate route as the Kansas Department of Transportation will close a section of K-3 in to replace four crossroad pipes on Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 21-22, weather permitting.

 

K-3 will be closed to through traffic between K-39 and U.S. 54 from 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. both days.

 

Coffeyville's Reawakening Porchology Winners

 

Coffeyville’s Reawakening: Neighborhood Initiative has selected four Coffeyville homeowners to receive porch facelifts as part of the 2020 Quick Action AARP Community Challenge Grant. A total of 12 judges rated 40 entries based on porch potential, homeowner care, and pride, structure, and location.

 

The final round consisted of three entries each divided into four distinct neighborhoods to ensure equity in awarding grants throughout the city. Winners include Cynthia South at 1303 West 5th, Tammy and James Jones at 1820 South Walnut, Sara and Richard Wellington at 406 East 10th, and Julia Kuehn at 911 West 6th. Each homeowner will work in partnership with Coffeyville’s Reawakening: Neighborhood Initiative project teams to determine look, feel, style, and priorities for that porch makeover.

 

In addition, the judges awarded a special “Porchologist” recognition to the entries that represented what a porch can be and had made improvements. All winners will receive plaques recognizing their neighborhood improvement.

Two Hospitalized in Independence House Fire

 

Two were hospitalized in a house fire in Independence early Monday morning around 6:00 a.m.

 

Independence Fire-EMS responded to a structure fire in the 300 block of South Wald Street. Upon arrival, the house was completely engulfed in flames, as the structure was considered a total loss. Independence Rural and Cherryvale Fire-EMS were also on the scene to assist with the incident.

 

Two individuals were taken to the Independence E.R. Independence Police Department is currently investigating the matter.

Chautauqua County Holding Workshop for CARES Act/SPARK Applications

 

Chautauqua County individuals and businesses that have questions on the upcoming CARES Act/SPARK grant deadline will have an opportunity to ask questions and confirm whether their application meets all the necessary qualifications.

 

County counselor Zoe Newton will be available for a workshop from 9 a.m. to noon on Friday, September 18. She will be able to review applications to determine whether it is complete or if more documentation is needed.

 

Some information required by the application is confidential, so a one-on-one appointment with Newton will be required. To set one up, email cqcountycounselor@gmail.com or text/call 620-306-0533. 

COVID-19 Precautions for USD 445

 

USD 445 Coffeyville released a public health statement regarding their precautions in case of a positive test for COVID-19.

 

The statement said that upon notification of a positive case, contact tracing and quarantine will be immediately be performed through the efforts of the Montgomery County Health Department, Emergency Management, and the school district. Those that have been in close contact will be promptly notified and advised to quarantine.

 

The statement also said not to contact the Health Department, Emergency Management, or the school district if a positive case appears. These calls would only cause delays in the process. If you are not contacted, then there is no action needed.

Montgomery County Commission to Finalize Budget at Special Meeting

 

The Montgomery County Commission will gather for a special meeting Wednesday to finalize the county budget for next year.

 

The 2021 county budget is expected to be $30.6 million, up from $27.5 million in 2020. KGGF's Jared Sleppy reported that the biggest jump in the budget is the Special Bridge Fund, increasing to $2.1 million from $600 thousand the previous year.

 

At Monday's regular meeting, a local citizen expressed concerns about the raising of the budget. The special meeting will begin at 9:45 a.m. at  the commissioners room, in the lower level of the Judicial Center in Independence.

Independence School Board Approves Greenhouse Purchase

 

At the Independence School Board meeting on Monday, the board discussed which of the two bids they were to accept on the construction of a greenhouse that will be behind the tech building. USD 446 received bids from Growspan and BWI Greenhouses for construction of the greenhouse. Superintendent Rusty Arnold made a recommendation on one of the bids with further discussion with the contractor.

 

Arnold was asked how long it would take to construct the greenhouse.

 

The total cost of construction with be $34,842 with $28,000 coming from a grant by Coffeyville Resources and the remaining amount paid from the capital outlay fund.

 

ELC Presents Kindergarten Readiness to School Board

 

Coffeyville Early Learning Center Principal Amanda Cavaness alongside Parents as Teachers Director Leslie Ewy, School Social Worker Sarah Lange and Assistant Director Meaghan Ward presented the USD 445 School Board with the Kindergarten Readiness Plan. The program starts with PAT, which helps parents as early as prenatal, get their children ready to begin school.

 

The board also voted to not participate in the payroll tax holiday option, approved and adopted the Board Accountability Plan and approved the purchase of network equipment for Roosevelt Middle School.

Four Arrested Following Residential Burglary

 

Four suspects are in custody following a mid-afternoon burglary in rural Cherokee County Monday.

 

Just after 3:00 p.m., Cherokee County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a home in the Lowell area, where a residential burglary was believed to have just occurred. As the deputies were en route, the suspects fled the scene. Cherokee County dispatch broadcast the suspect vehicle description to deputies and surrounding law enforcement agencies, which is when the Baxter Springs Police spotted the vehicle as it was heading into town.

 

A traffic stop was conducted and deputies discovered stolen property, including a firearm which had been previously reported stolen to the Pittsburg Police Department earlier this summer, along with suspected marijuana, wax, and drug paraphernalia.

 

Arrested at the scene were Koby Stark of Baxter Springs, Bridger Skye of Baxter Springs, Andrew Hendrix of Quapaw, Oklahoma, and Tevaris Young of Pittsburg.

 

Stark is being held in the Cherokee County Jail on allegations of Burglary, Theft, Criminal Use of a Firearm, Possession of Stolen Property, Criminal Damage to Property, Possession of Marijuana, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

 

The other three suspects are being held in the Cherokee County Jail on allegations of Burglary, Theft, Possession of Marijuana, and Drug Paraphernalia.

 

Labette County Crash Results in Multiple Injuries

 

Multiple people were rushed to the hospital after a two-car crash in Labette County over the weekend.

 

According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, a 2008 Toyota Camry driven by 20-year-old Rolando Hernandez-DeLeon of Oswego was southbound on U.S. 59 between Oswego and Chetopa. Hernandez-DeLeon saw an animal in the roadway and swerved to miss it and struck a 2011 Hyundai Sonata that was headed northbound driven by 17-year-old Dakota Smith of Altamont.

 

Both Hernandez-DeLeon and Smith sustained minor injuries and were taken to Labette Health and Mercy Hospital in Joplin respectively. Hernandez-DeLeon's passenger 18-year-old Jaymee Best of Oswego was also taken to Mercy Hospital with suspected minor injuries. Smith's three passengers, all 16 and under, were also transported to Mercy Hospital with various injuries.

Montgomery County Proposes Increase for 2021 Budget

 

The proposed 2021 budget for Montgomery County is $3 million more than this year's current year estimate.

 

The budget for 2020 is estimated at nearly $27.5 million, and next year is expected to be $30.6 million. The biggest jump in the budget is in the Special Bridge Fund, where this year's expenditure is just under $600 thousand, and next year is over $2.1 million.

 

At the Montgomery County Commission meeting, local citizen Max Williams suggested that the budget should be going down, not up. Williams also said that due to the population of the county going down, the budget should be going down as well.

 

The Montgomery County Commission meetings are at 9:00 a.m. every Monday at the Independence Judicial Center.

Longtime KGGF Broadcaster Bill Miller Passes Away

 

Long time KGGF Radio personality and Program Director, Bill Miller passed away on Saturday.  Miller worked two stints at KGGF from 1955 to 1958 and from 1968 to 1981.  He was especially known to listeners in southeast Kansas and northeast Oklahoma for creating a cast of popular characters including the iconic “Jasper P. Jones.”

 

Miller was also active in the Kansas Association of Broadcasters serving two terms on The Board of Directors including one as the secretary-treasurer.  As chairman of the KAB Sports Committee, he instigated a working relationship with the Kansas State High School Activities  Association.  Miller was presented with the KAB’s Distinguished Service Award in 1998.

 

After his time at KGGF Miller hosted the syndicated radio program ”Wax Works” which later became the Bill Miller Show which was heard on 114 stations in 30 states.

 

Arrangements are pending with the Penwell-Gabel Funeral Home in Olathe.

Search of Home Leads to Seizure of Fraudulent Documents

 

An ongoing investigation led Cherokee County Sheriff's Deputies and Investigators to obtain and execute a search warrant on a rural Cherokee County home late Thursday night.

 

Multiple documents suspected of being fraudulent were seized during the search including driver's licenses, social security cards, financial cards and credit applications.  In addition, electronic equipment used to manufacture fraudulent and forged documents along with suspected controlled substances was also located and seized.

 

Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves said that as this investigation continues, he anticipates the filing of formal charges and arrests as early as next week.

Person of Interest Sought By Local Law Enforcement

 

The Montgomery County Attorney’s Office is seeking the public’s help in locating a person of interest in a series of worthless checks being passed in the County.  The suspect is 42-year-old Ronald Gross of Independence.  Gross is being sought for questioning in regards to numerous worthless checks drawn on a Bank of America account. 

 

If anyone has information regarding gross or his whereabouts they are asked to contact the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office or Independence or Coffeyville Police Departments.

Summer Season Low For Gas In Over a Decade

 

Motorists saw plenty of savings at the pump from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

 

The national gas price average during the unofficial start and stop to summer was $2.15 which is the cheapest since 2004. Demand was down this summer, which ultimately meant increased supply and cheap gas prices. That trend continues. At $2.20, today’s average is two cents less than last week, three cents more than last month, and 35 cents cheaper than a year ago.

 

According to AAA, Kansas prices currently sit at $1.99, which is one penny less than at the same time last week. Montgomery and Labette counties are currently at $1.96 a gallon, while Chautauqua County is a nickel higher at $2.01 a gallon.

 

Across the border in Oklahoma, the state average is $1.91. Washington County came in at $1.88 a gallon while Nowata County clocked in at $1.84 a gallon.

Caney Valley Historical Society Holding Birthday Planning Meeting

 

The Caney Valley Historical Society and Museum is holding another planning event to help prepare for Caney's 150th birthday next year. Everyone is welcome to attend as they discuss plans and fundraising ideas for the event, which is currently scheduled for May 2021.

 

The meeting will be held September 29th at 6:30 pm at the Sandstone Event Center in Caney. Suggestions can be emailed to Caney2021party@gmail.com.

 

The city of Caney was founded in 1871, and will hold its sesquincentennial celebration next year.

PSU Officials: Remain Diligent to Stay The Course

 

Officials from Pittsburg State University expressed optimism that the initial spike in COVID-19 numbers among students might be subsiding but cautioned that it will require diligence and good decision-making by everyone to maintain on-campus operations through Nov. 20th as planned.

 

In the seven days leading up to Wednesday, 72 students were tested at the Bryant Student Health Center which is down from 154 last week. Of those, 48 tested positive. Isolation numbers are half what they were last week, from 101 to 56, and quarantine numbers are down by about 100.

 

Of approximately 1,000 faculty and staff members, two are in isolation, and five are in quarantine due to potential exposure. Since the university began tracking in March, four faculty/staff have reported infections, and 28 have had to quarantine.

 

PSU is closely following CDC guidelines and best practices for testing, which are to test only symptomatic individuals, and in some cases asymptomatic close contacts.

USD 446 Elementary Student Positive for COVID

 

A student at Eisenhower Elementary School in Independence has tested positive for COVID-19. The school has temporarily closed off areas of the building the individual used in the past several days so it can be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. USD 446 is also in contact with the Montgomery County Health Department and will take the steps necessary to protect the health of the students and staff. The individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 and those identified as close contacts will not be allowed to return to school for at least 14 days, but will have access to remote learning.

 

The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to regular seasonal influenza. Parents of students exhibiting flu-like symptoms or staff exhibiting flu-like symptoms are asked to contact a school nurse, local health authorities or the health department. If you have questions you can contact Superintendent Rusty Arnold at 620-496-4706 or rarnold@indyschools.com

Vigilant Deputy Leads to Drug Arrest

 

Earlier this week a Montgomery County Sheriff's Deputy on routine patrol observed an individual he identified as 43 year old Randall Bruce of Independence. Bruce was wanted on warrants in two other jurisdictions, did not have a valid driver’s license, the vehicle registration was not in good standing, and the vehicle was not insured. The deputy also observed drug paraphernalia in plain-view in the vehicle.

 

A search warrant was obtained for the vehicle, and inside the vehicle deputies found marijuana, methamphetamines, and drug paraphernalia. Bruce was taken to department of corrections and charged with possession of marijuana, possession of methamphetamines, possession of drug paraphernalia as well as traffic violations. Sheriff Ron Wade says he believes it is important for the public to be made aware that deputies are out on a daily basis, and getting drugs off the streets.

Reward Offered In Suspected Murder of Independence Man

 

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly has offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the disappearance and suspected murder of Independence resident 37-year-old Detreck Foster.

 

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Independence Police Department announced the reward today. Foster was last seen around April 12 in Independence.

 

KBI agents and detectives from the Independence Police Department are conducting the case as a homicide based upon findings during the investigation into Foster’s disappearance.

 

Anyone with information related to this case is asked to call the KBI at 1-800-KS-CRIME, or the Independence Police Department at 620-332-1700.

Juvenile Male Arrested On Rape Charge

 

A juvenile male had been arrested on charges of rape.

 

Chanute PD responded to Neosho Memorial Regional Medical Center for a report of a juvenile sex crime. Upon arrival, officers made contact with a juvenile female and her parents. During the investigation, officers were able to obtain a description of the juvenile male and a search warrant for a residence in the 1300 block of South Evergreen. Officers arrested the juvenile male at the residence and he was taken to be screened by the Juvenile Justice Authority.

 

The boy was placed in the Girard Juvenile Detention Facility on the charges of rape and criminal restraint. The investigation is still ongoing at this time.

 

Independence City Commission to Consider Extending 1916 City Hall Project

 

The Independence City Commission will consider extending the contract schedule for the 1916 City Hall Project at its regular meeting this Thursday.

 

Change Order 11 would extend the contract schedule with general contractor Hofer and Hofer and Associates by 126 days, pushing the expected completion date back to January 31, 2021. At the August 27th meeting, a representative of design firm TreanorHL informed the three commissioners that the COVID-19 pandemic had impacted several supply chains, primarily window manufacturing. The commission expressed their frustrations with the delays at that meeting. The first phase of the City Hall project was supposed to be completed later this month.

 

In addition, the commission will consider awarding a bid for the purchase of a new ambulance with SPARK funding. Thursday's meeting will begin at 5:30 pm in the Civic Center of Memorial Hall. The full agenda can be seen here.

Coffeyville Man Arrested for Drug Possession

 

A 44-year-old man was arrested Sunday evening for a variety of charges including drug possession.

 

The Montgomery County Sherrif's Office performed a traffic stop for a blue Ford Explorer that had expired tags.

 

After a short investigation, the driver was identified as Adam Laney of Coffeyville. Laney was arrested for possession of methamphetamine, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of anabolic steroids as well as other traffic offenses.

 

Formal charges will be decided by the Montgomery County Attorney’s Office.

Chautauqua County Moves into Phase II of SPARK Program

 

Chautauqua County is moving into Phase II of the SPARK grant program.

 

Phase II of the program will allow schools, businesses and cities to apply for grants to help make up for expenses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, the state of Kansas approved Chautauqua County's filing, allowing the county to move out of Phase I and into this new phase.

 

Applications will be served on a first come, first serve basis. An application will not be considered complete until all required information and supporting documents have been received. However, the Chautauqua SPARK Advisory Board will not commence reviewing applications until after the deadline of September 21 at 4 pm. There will be an informational SPARK meeting held at the Sedan High School auditorium on Thursday, September 10th at 5 pm.

 

Documents related to Phase II of the SPARK grant program can be found here. Questions can be directed to Chautauqua County Counselor Zoe Newton by emailing cqcountycounselor@gmail.com.

Caney Man Arrested in Domestic Disturbance

 

A Caney man was arrested on Monday afternoon for choking a female victim at the 100 block of North Main Street in Caney. 

 

Officers responded to the domestic disturbance and apprehended 38-year-old Shane Schmidt of Caney. Upon investigating the incident, officers interviewed witnesses, who observed Schmidt committing the crime.

 

Schmidt was transported to the Montgomery County Jail where he was booked on domestic battery charges.

U.S. 400 Resurfacing Project to Begin

The Kansas Department of Transportation begins resurfacing construction on the U.S. 400 highway east of Parsons today. 

 

The sections that are being resurfaced include about 900 feet east of Trego Road and continuing east for about 1,300 feet, as well as about 1,000 feet east of Victory Road and continuing east for 2.8 miles to York Road.

 

The project includes a mill and overlay on the driving lanes and placing a chip seal on the shoulders.

 

Flaggers and a pilot car will direct one-lane traffic through the project area during daylight hours; expect delays of 15 minutes or less. The resurfacing work should be completed in two weeks, weather permitting.

Fatal Crash at Elk City Lake Overlook

 

One man is dead after a motor vehicle accident at Elk City Lake earlier this week.

 

Deputies with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to the entrance of the Elk City Lake Overlook on Labor Day in reference to a motor vehicle injury accident. Witnesses reported that a green 1983 three-wheeled trike driven by Franklin Bliss of Independence failed to stop for an unknown reason at the gate, which was closed and locked entering the overlook.  Bliss's vehicle entered the treeline and came to rest on the northwest side of the roadway.

 

Bliss suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Chatuauqua County Fair Dates, Logo Contest

 

The Chautauqua County Fair Board has announced its dates for 2021.

 

The county fair will be held in Sedan from Monday, July 19 to Saturday, July 24. With the dates being set in advance, the fair board has also announced a theme slogan & logo design contest being held through the entirity of September. To enter, participants must complete an entry form and submit it along with their artwork at cqcountyfair@yahoo.com. Entries will be accepted from now until September 30th. The winner will receive $50.

 

The rules for the contest, an entry form and several examples can be found at the Chautauqua County fair website.

Coffeyville Weed Lot Mowing Costs

 

At the Coffeyville City Commission meeting Tuesday night, it was brought to attention that the city spends nearly $36,000 a year on cutting down weeds. Commissioner Robert York feels that money could be going to other more important projects.

 

Additionally, nuisance cleanups around the city have cost Coffeyville $17,415. The commission hopes that the city can be more responsible for cleaning up around the city so they don't have to spend as much to pay for the public's messes.

 

The Coffeyville City Commission meets every other Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.

 

 

Man Injured in Montgomery County Crash

 

A man was injured two-vehicle wreck in Southern Montgomery County.

 

According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, a 2010 Ford Edge driven by 49-year-old Laura Yunker of Medford, Oklahoma was stopped southbound on Spruce Street in Tyro. At the same time, a 2005 Harley Davidson driven by 51-year-old Henry Wetthuhn of Pittsburg was westbound on U.S. 166. Yunker attempted to pull out onto U.S. 166 which caused Wetthuhn to strike Yunker's vehicle.

 

Wetthuhn was transported to CRMC with suspected serious injuries. Yunker had no apparent injuries.

Chautauqua County Commission Meeting for 9-8

 

The Chautauqua County Commission continued discussions on an office moving project at its weekly meeting Tuesday. Richard Hambleton, who works in maintanence, walked the commission through a timeline of the project and explained what would need to be done.

 

The commission also received an update on the Twin Caney watershed and heard from Misti Byers from the health department. Next week's meeting will be held on its usual Monday at the Chautauqua County Courthouse.

Missouri Man Arrested on Multiple Charges

 

A 23-year-old man from Missouri was arrested in Greenwood County on numerous drug charges.

 

A Greenwood Deputy conducted a traffic stop a vehicle on U.S. 400. During the stop and a search of the vehicle, illegal narcotics were discovered.

 

The driver, Justin Young of Missouri, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance for distribution, possession of paraphernalia for distribution, possession of marijuana, possession of paraphernalia for use, transporting an open container of alcohol, vehicle registration violations, and a warrant from out of county. Young was also in possession of a loaded rifle while on bond for a violent felony with bond conditions prohibiting possession of a firearm.

 

Young was on a $500,000 bond for his part in a shooting and robbery in Pulaski County, MO in late March.

106th Washington County Free Fair This Week

 

The 106th Washington County Free Fair kicks off today, Tuesday, with the indoor exhibit entry day at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Dewey, Oklahoma.

 

The judging for the indoor exhibits takes place Wednesday, September 9th, and it is closed to the public.

 

The remainder of the Washington County Free Fair for animals and other exhibits runs September 10-11-12 and is open to the public.

 

Food and beverages will be for sale each of those days in the North Room Cafeteria with meals provided by the Copan Aggies on September 10th; The 4-H Parent Volunteer Association on September 11th; and The Bartlesville Indian Women on September 12th.

 

Food trucks will also be serving food.

 

You can't miss Cattle Women Pie & Basket Auction Thurs, Sept. 10th at 6:00pm.

 

For more information, log on to http://countycourthouse.org/pages/2019-free-fair.

Sexual Assault Suspects Arrested

 

The Pittsburg Police Department have two men in custod being charged with kidnapping and multiple sexual assault crimes.

 

The victim contacted police and reported she was held against their will for several hours and sexually assaulted by two male suspects earlier that morning.

 

After a day long investigation, 24-year-old Abdul Wali Shoatz of Pittsburg was arrested. Shoatz is being charged with aggravated kidnapping; two counts of rape; two counts of aggravated criminal sodomy; and aggravated intimidation of a victim. Shoatz is currently being held a $250,000 bond.

 

A second suspect, 25-year-old Fedor Lee Warren Lomax, of Pittsburg, turned himself the next day. Lomax was arrested on similar charges as Shoatz. Lomax is also held on a $250,000 bond.

U.S. Senate Candidate Roger Marshall Visits SEK

 

Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate from Kansas, Dr. Roger Marshall made a campaign swing through southeast Kansas today .          Marshall made stops in Pittsburg, Coffeyville and Independence.  Speaking to KGGF News Marshall explained he is running for the Senate because he feels the American Dream is being threratened.

 

Marshall went on to say he’s concerned during this election cycle because of the increasing amount of misinformation put out by social media.

 

Marshall also addressed the importance of agriculture and education to our state's economy.

 

Marshall, who currently serves as the Congressman for western Kansas was accompanied in his swing through Montgomery County by Virgil Peck who is running for the Kansas State Senate, representing parts of Montgomery, Labette and Neosho Counties.

 

The entire interview with Dr. Roger Marshall can be heard at kggfradio.com.

 

Man Arrested for Various Drug Charges, Driving While Suspended

 

A 35-year-old man was has been arrested in Chanute on a variety of charges including drug possession.

 

Chanute Police were dispatched late Wednesday to the intersection of Oak and Plummer for a report of a vehicle accident. Upon arrival, officers spoke with the individuals involved in the accident. During the investigation, officers arrested Jacob Andrew Bancroft of Chanute for Driving while suspended, Illegally displayed tag, driving without a valid license, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

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

Pittsburg Woman Arrested in Caney on Drug Charges

 

Caney Police Department arrested a Pittsburg woman for drug possession Thursday afternoon who was identified as 19-year-old Crystal Jean Harrison.

 

An officer was conducting traffic in a school zone when a car with three passengers sped by. The officer initiated a traffic stop, and he was able to smell a strong odor that appeared to be marijuana from within the vehicle. Upon further investigation, the officer found marijuana, drug paraphernalia, scales, and packaging materials, along with a small amount of methamphetamine.

 

Harrison admitted the drugs were hers and she faces charges of possession of marijuana with intent to sell within 1,000 feet of a school, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of methamphetamine. She was transported to the Montgomery County Jail.

UPDATE: Drowning Victim Identified as ICC Student

 

A victim of a drowning at the Montgomery County State Fishing Lake on Wednesday evening is identified as 18-year-old, Khalil Fulton, according to the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department. Fulton was a freshman at Independence Community College and was a defensive end for the football team.

 

Witnesses say Fulton resurfaced after going into the water and went back under once again and never resurfaced a second time. There was no indication Fulton was in distress. In the early morning hours Fulton was located, not far from the area where he entered the water. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Foul play is not suspected, but the investigation is ongoing.

Drowning Victim Identified as ICC Student

 

The drowning that was reported at the Montgomery County State Fishing Lake is an Independence Community College student athlete. Executive Vice President Cordell Jordan told the Montgomery County Chronicle that the deceased student was a member of the ICC football team. At this time a name has not been released as the college is working to notify the student's family. The Montgomery County Sheriff's Department is expected to release a statement at a later time.

 

According to the Chronicle, Jordan says losing a student is always a tough situation for everyone on campus and they have made various mental health services available to assist the students. Law enforcement and first responders were summoned to the lake late Wednesday night for a report of a possible drowning. The body was recovered from the lake this morning.

 

Stolen Vehicle Recovered, Suspect Arrested

 

A 39-year-old man was arrested and a stolen vehicle has been recovered after Cherokee County Sheriff Department received a tip from a passerby Wednesday afternoon.

 

After receiving information of possible suspicious activity in the Crestline area, Cherokee County Sheriff Deputies located a Jeep Liberty, which had been reported stolen out of Southwest Missouri earlier this week.

 

Walter Sanitizo of Crestline was arrested and transported to the Cherokee County Jail on allegations of Felony Possession of Stolen Property.

 

Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves said that this situation is an excellent example of how a suspicious activity report can not only help us hold suspected criminals accountable but can also allow us to recover stolen property and return it to the rightful owner.

New Scam Targeting Online Shoppers

 

Text messages looking for its receiver to confirm the delivery of a "pending package" are nothing more than scams looking to steal personal info.

 

Those who receive the text messages are told that they have a package pending from several months ago, and are asked to claim ownership so they can have it delivered to them. Clicking on the link provided in the message will then take the user to a page where they enter their credit card information, giving up their personal info and allowing the scammers to steal their identity.

 

The best way to avoid this scam is to simply delete the received message without opening it or clicking on the link inside. If you've already fallen victim to this scam, watch for suspicious charges on the credit card you provided information for.

 

These scams typically target the elderly, so be sure to inform any relatives or neighbors you feel are susceptible to this kind of activity.

Montgomery County Courthouse Closed for Labor Day

 

The Montgomery County Courthouse will be closed on Monday. Due to the Labor Day holiday, both the courthouse and the Coffeyville Tag Office will be closed to all business.

 

This will also delay the next scheduled Montgomery County Commission meeting, which would normally have been held on that Monday. Instead, the Board of County Commissioners will meet the following week, September 14th.

Caney Woman Arrested on Numerous Charges

 

Around 10:45 p.m. Tuesday evening while on patrol, an officer with the Caney Police Department and a Caney PD Reserve Officer witnessed a 2011 Toyota Camry with Oklahoma plates driving through the closed roadway area in the construction zone on the south side of Caney.

 

The vehicle then exited the construction zone and attempted to go down a side road which has been closed and is now a dirt road.

 

Upon investigation, it was discovered that the driver of the vehicle was 15 years old and was not legal to drive, as he had no license.

The passenger of the vehicle was identified as Tammy Sprague, 55 years of age, from Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

Officers quickly realized Sprague was under the influence of either alcohol or drugs and was allowing the 15-year-old to drive.

 

Upon further investigation, officers discovered an open container in the vehicle, as well as drug paraphernalia and a trace amount of methamphetamine. The vehicle's registration was expired and there was no insurance on the car.

 

Tammy Sprague was arrested and transported to the Montgomery County Jail. She was booked on charges of contributing to the misconduct of a child, no insurance, expired registration, open container, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of a stimulant.

Marshall to Visit Montgomery County Friday

 

A candidate for the United States Senate will be making a visit to Montgomery County later this week.

 

Representative Roger Marshall, who currently serves as a U.S. Representative for Kansas's 1st District, will be holding a meet-and-greet at Ane Mae's Coffee Shop in Independence this Friday from 1 to 1:30 p.m.

 

Marshall will also visit KGGF earlier that day for an interview that will be aired on 690 AM. Marshall is running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Pat Roberts. His opponent in November's general election is Democrat Barbara Bollier, who easily secured her nomination in the Democratic primary last month.

Man Arrested for Robbery

 
A Parsons man has been arrested on robbery charges.
 
Early Tuesday morning, Parsons Police were called to a disturbance at the Parsons Village Apartments in the 1100 block of South 13th. When officers arrived, they met with witnesses and a victim who stated that a man had forcibly taken a tablet from a woman and then smashed it on the ground outside of his apartment. The witnesses said that the suspect was yelling during the exchange.
 
The witnesses and victim were able to identify 36-year-old Jeromy Heiskell as the man who took and destroyed the tablet. Parsons Police were able to locate and arrest Heiskell without incident. Heiskell is facing charges for Robbery, Criminal Damage, and Disorderly Conduct. Heiskell was transported to the Parsons Police Department Lock-up to await charging and first appearance with a District Court Judge.

Fifth Arrested in Murder Case

 

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation says a 15-year-old boy is the fifth suspect to be arrested in the killing of a 78-year-old man at his home in Eureka.

 

Officials say the teen was arrested Monday afternoon on suspicion of felony murder, aggravated burglary, felony theft, and conspiracy to commit felony theft. Four others were earlier charged with the same counts in the killing of Danny Shue. Those charged are 34-year-old Leon Lindsay and 25-year-old Joseph Warden, both of El Dorado; 30-year-old Noah Farr, of Dighton; and a 17-year-old.

 

Greenwood County deputies found Shue's body on August 19th during a welfare check at his home. The KBI has not released details about Shue’s death.

K-58 Resurfacing Project Postponed

 

The K-58 resurfacing projects from Leroy east to U.S. 169 have been postponed until late September or early October. The project was scheduled to begin Monday.

 

The 15-mile project is planned to start at the west city limits of Leroy and continue east until it hits U.S. 169. The project will take about one month to complete, weather permitting.

 

Bettis Asphalt & Construction Inc. of Topeka is the contractor on the project, which has a construction cost of $1.1 million.

Chautauqua County Commission to Respond to Doctor's Letter

 

The Chautauqua County Commission will give an official response to a letter posted in a local newspaper by an area doctor.

 

In a letter to the editor that appeared in the August 27 edition of the Prairie Star, Sedan City Hospital Chief of Staff Dr. Jim McDermott shared his concerns that emergency management director Cody Collier and the county commission are not taking every measure to acquire protective resources in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to McDermott, 104 out of 105 counties have declared a state of disaster, with Chautauqua County remaining the only holdout. This, in turn, disqualifies the county from receiving PPE, FEMA reimbursement for damages, and liability coverage.

 

McDermott attended the August 24 commission meeting in person to share the letter with commissioners. At this Monday's meeting, commissioners Parker Massey, Jack Carpenter and Rodney Shaw agreed to submit an official response to the newspaper alongside Collier.

Man Arrested in Caney for Domestic Disturbance

 

The Caney Police Department responded to a domestic disturbance late Monday night. At around 9:00pm officers were dispatched to a domestic disturbance in the 500 block of South State St. Upon officers' arrival, they discovered that a female had suffered injuries during the domestic disturbance. Caney EMS responded to the scene and transported the victim to a local hospital.

 

As a result of the incident, officers arrested 60 year old Jimmy Bowden, who was transported to the Montgomery County Jail where he was booked for aggravated domestic battery.

 

Labette County Man Faces New Charges

 

A Labette County Man who is already facing a variety of charges on rape and exploitation had his bond set $100,000 in a new case against him.

 

In 2018, 20-year-old Owyn T. Back was charged with two counts of rape, two counts of aggravated criminal sodomy, one count of aggravated kidnapping, and one count of aggravated battery. He could face at least 12 years in prison if he were convicted. The alleged assault took place on May 12th and 13th of 2018.

 

Back was free on bond until his arrest on Oct. 30 of last year on two new counts of sexual exploitation of a child. The complaint alleges Back persuaded a child under age 18 to engage in sexually explicit conduct.

 

Back will be under house arrest and subject to electronic monitoring. Due to the new case including exploitation by electronic means, Back is to have no access to the internet or a cell phone.

Two Arrested in Casey's Robbery

 

Two arrests have been made in the armed robbery of Casey's General Store in Caney. Earlier this week a robbery was reported to the Caney Police Department. The store clerk says the suspect fled on foot and got into what she believed to be a getaway car. After Caney PD identified two suspects they discovered the suspects had attempted an armed robbery in Tyro, so they Montgomery County Sheriff's Office joined the investigation.

 

A search warrant was executed in the 600 block of East 5th St, where officers found items that linked the suspects to the crimes. Both suspects confessed to their involvement in both crimes. One suspect identified as 20 year old Kurtis Gruver was arrested, transported to the Montgomery County Jail and is facing charges of aggravated armed robbery and aggravated assault. The second suspect is a juvenile, who is in custody at a juvenile detention center and facing charges of aggravated armed robbery and aggravated assault.

Kansas AG: Use Caution When Directing Disaster Donations

 

Recent times have seen several natural disasters strike the United States, but Attorney General Derek Schmidt is reminding Kansans to be aware of potential scam artists looking to use these events to their advantage.

 

Following the recent hurricane that struck the Texas and Lousiana coast, as well as the wildfires in the western states, Schmidt said Kansans are eager to help out, but should make sure they are checking the reputation of the charity they are donating to.

 

Below is a list of tips provided by Schmidt's office. More information on avoiding charity scams is available on the attorney general’s consumer protection website at www.InYourCornerKansas.org.

 

 

  • Make donations to established organizations with a strong track record of organizing and providing disaster relief.
  • Be careful with social media efforts to fundraise for storm and fire victims.
  • Initiate the donation yourself, rather than responding to online or phone solicitations. If you wish to make a donation online, go directly to the charity’s website; don’t just click a link to an unknown site.
  • Avoid door-to-door solicitors or offers from charities to stop by a consumer’s home to pick up a check. These too could be fraudulent.
  • Do not fall prey to high-pressure pitches from solicitors. Legitimate charities allow you time to think about how much — and when — you choose to donate.
  • Be wary of charities that ask for alternate forms of payment. Legitimate charities rarely if ever ask you to give by wire transfer, gift card or other non-traditional methods.
  • Before giving, check out the charity at www.kscharitycheck.org to assess whether it is registered to solicit in Kansas and to see important aspects of its financial filings, including how much of any money you give will be spent on the charity’s overhead expenses rather than going to support the charitable purpose, such as disaster-relief efforts. However, some charities are exempt by law from registration.

 

Chase Leads to Felon's Arrest

 

A 37-year-old man who led Parsons police on a chase late Sunday night was arrested on a variety of moving violations and outstanding warrants.

 

Parsons Police Sergeant Brice Dickens was on North 16th street when he noticed a vehicle in with no license plate visible. Sergeant Dickens conducted a traffic stop at 16th and North Boulevard. After making contact with the driver, Sergeant Dickens was informed by dispatch that the driver, Ivan William Oldenburg of Parsons, had two active warrants for his arrest from Johnson and Linn counties. After multiple attempts to get Oldenburg to comply willingly, Oldenburg put the vehicle in drive and fled from the scene. After a short chase, Oldenburg ended up wrecking and was taken into custody.

 

Oldenburg has been charged with Fleeing or Attempt to Elude, Interference with Law Enforcement Officers, Reckless Driving, Speeding, No Headlights, Failure to Signal, Illegal Turning, and Illegal Tag. He is also being held on the Linn County warrant for Probation Violation.

Union Pacific Foundation Grant Awarded to Coffeyville's Reawakening

 

Coffeyville's Reawakening has learned that it and the Coffeyville Area Community Foundation will be awarded a $25,000 grant from the Union Pacific Foundation to help build a new "pocket" park in downtown Coffeyville across from the Midland Theater and Event Center.

 

Work on the new park is expected to begin soon and to be completed by next summer. According to Denise York, Chairperson of Coffeyville's Reawakening, "This new park, to be called The Union Pacific Railroad Park, will be a welcome addition to Coffeyville and is another important step in the community's efforts to revitalize the historic downtown area. We thank the Union Pacific Foundation for its $25,000 grant, and we look forward to work commencing on the park this fall."

 

For more information, contact either Coffeyville's Reawakening headquarters or the Coffeyville Area Community Foundation.

Southeast Kansas Woman Missing

 

According to Kansas Missing and Unsolved, Mary Elizabeth Marshall from Arkansas City, KS has been missing since July 12. The 59-year-old female was last seen driving a blue 2018 Nissan Titan truck bearing an Oklahoma tag JNX050. Marshall has blonde hair, blue eyes, and weighs around 110 pounds.

 

Mary is currently homeless and maybe found traveling the lower Midwest and Southern states (especially Oklahoma and Arkansas). She has been known to frequent the Kansas City area.

 

If you have any information regarding Mary's disappearance, contact the Arkansas City Police Department at 620-441-4429 or 620-441-4444.

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