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Local News Archives for 2020-11

Coffeyville Police Department Investigating Two Shootings

 

The Coffeyville Police Department is investigating two shootings from Thanksgiving Day. At about 1:30 pm on Thursday, CPD responded to the 400 block of East 6th Street, where a residence had been struck multiple times by gunfire. No one was injured at that time.

 

A few hours later, just after 4 pm, CPD then received reports of two vehicles chasing each other on Spruce, 1st Street, and North Buckeye exchanging gun fire. One vehicle was described to police as a small, white passenger car, while the other was described as a late-model Ford extended cab truck.

 

As of Monday, no shooting victims have come forward in either incident. Detectives are currently investigating both incidents and believe they are related. Anyone with information on the shootings is asked to call the Coffeyville Police Department at 620-252-6160. They may also call Detective Vargas at 620-252-6145 or Detective Kastler at 620-252-6145. Those wishing to remain anonymous may provide information to the Crime Tip Hotline at 620-252-6133.

CRC Reminds Everyone of COVID Guidelines

 

Youth basketball games start this week for the Coffeyville Recreation Commission and they want to remind spectators, parents and participants of their guidelines for activities.

 

Everyone will enter through the front doors of the Bobby Clemons Recreation Center, but the gym will remain closed until the gym is sanitized from the previous game. Player's and coaches on the team bench will practice social distancing and wear a mask. Players on the court will be allowed to remove their mask until they come back to the bench. Warm-up balls will be sanitized after pre-game and halftime warm-ups and the game ball will be sanitized after each quarter. CRC wants to encourage limiting the number of family members that attend each game.

Bids Approved at Labette Commission Meeting

 

Multiple bids were approved at the most recent Labette County Commission meeting including a proposal from Bartlett Co-op for fuel for the upcoming year. Commissioner Lonie Addis says not only did Bartlett have the best bid but they've also been good to the county in the past.

 

Public Works Director Sandy Krider says Bartlett will also return money if they paid for more gas than what they used by the end of the year. Other bids that were approved were the purchase of a carport for a motor grader and a chemical bid for the noxious weed department.

 

Bartlesville Man Arrested on Weapons and Aggravated Burglary Charge

 

A Bartlesville man has been arrested on several charges after allegedly committing a home invasion over the weekend.

 

Early Sunday morning, Caney PD was dispatched to a residence in the 200 block of East 6th Street about a fight in progress. Upon arrival at the residence, the female occupant informed officers that she and the male occupant awoke to 22-year-old Garret Sheets standing over them with a gun after he had kicked the front door of the home open.

 

21-year-old Haylee Nicole Oliver, who was with Sheet was standing at the front door holding the door open. The female victim forced Sheets out of the front door twice. Once Sheets was outside the home, he allegedly fired two rounds. Neither round fired had struck anyone. Both Sheets and Oliver then left the area.

 

Sheets later turned himself in and was arrested for Aggravated Burglary, Aggravated Assault, Domestic Battery, Criminal Discharge of a firearm, and Criminal Damage to property. Oliver was released pending further review of the case.

Montgomery County Opts Out of Governor Kelly's Mask Mandate

 

Montgomery County became the latest county to opt-out of Kansas Governor Laura Kelly's statewide mask mandate.

 

The county commission voted unanimously to instead create their own resolution which will recommend masks be worn in public, but there won't be any enforcement by authorities.

 

A sizable crowd piled into the Montgomery County Judicial Center to give their thoughts on the issue. Montgomery County resident Carrie Scott, who is a registered nurse, made it clear why she doesn't want masks to be required.

 

Over 80 counties have now opted out of the statewide mask mandate. According to the Montgomery County Department of Emergency Management Director Rick Whitson, there are currently 124 active cases and six reported deaths.

Independence Recreation Center Basketball Registrations

 

The Independence Recreation Center is now taking registrations for the 2nd session for the 2020-21 youth basketball leagues.

 

Leagues that are available for girls are 1st, 2nd, 7th, and 8th grades while leagues for boys 3rd through 6th grade are available. The cost is $30 per child and the deadline to register is December 17th.

 

For more information, you can contact IRC at 620-331-0260 or visit their website at indyrec.com. You can find the registration page here.

Winfield Woman Arrested for Multiple Stabbings

 

A Winfield woman has been arrested after being involved in multiple stabbings over the weekend.

 

Winfield PD was dispatched to a report of a stabbing and when officers arrived, they found two men who had suffered stab wounds. During the investigation, officers then received another report of a stabbing victim in east Winfield. Officers responded to that scene and found an injured female, identified as Medesta Howe. The two male victims were taken to William Newton Hospital in Winfield while Howe was transported to South Central Kansas Medical Center in Arkansas City.

 

After Howe was treated and released from the hospital, police arrested and booked her into the Cowley County Jail on two counts of aggravated battery.

Unemployment Numbers in SEK Show Mixed Results

 

The unemployment rate for multiple counties in October was lower than it was in September but still higher than a year ago.

 

Preliminary estimates reported by the Labor Market Information Services division of the Kansas Department of Labor and the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed Montgomery County had an unemployment rate of 5.8% which was a nearly 2% improvement from last month when the rate was at 7.6%. However, that is still higher than the 4.1% in October of 2019.

 

Labette County's unemployment dropped by 1% to 4.6% while Chautauqua County was near the state average at 5.5%. Wilson County had one of the highest unemployment rates in the region at 6% while Cherokee County had the lowest in the region at 3.9%. The overall average in Kansas is 5.3% which is far below the national average of nearly 7%.

 

A full list of unemployment numbers from across the state can be found here.

Unemployment Scam Going Around SEK

 

Several area residents have recently reported receiving notices from the Kansas Department of Labor, indicating someone has filed for unemployment benefits on their behalf. Scammers are contacting unsuspecting people and attempting to get their personal information by posing as a government or bank official on the phone or through email.

 

In response to the dramatic increase in fraudulent unemployment claims across the country, the Kansas Department of Labor has announced they are doubling the size of their fraud and special investigation unit. In addition, they have created an easy to use online system for residents to report suspected fraud.

 

Anyone who believes their name has been fraudulently used to apply for unemployment benefits should visit www.ReportFraud.ks.gov to make an official report.

Montgomery Gas Prices Down Slightly, Higher in Chautauqua County

 

Motorists in Montgomery County are paying slightly less at the pump while those in Chautauqua County have seen their averages jump to over $2 a gallon.

 

Over the past three weeks, prices in Montgomery County have dropped a penny to $1.93 a gallon. Labette County has stayed pat at $1.90 a gallon. Chautauqua County prices have jumped four cents to $2.02 for a regular gallon of gasoline. The state average remains at $1.87 a gallon.

 

In Oklahoma, the results are mixed as the state average is up to $1.81 a gallon. Gas in Washington County is down a penny to $1.74 while Nowata County is up three cents to $1.71.

 

Across the nation, the Thanksgiving weekend national gas price average is the lowest since 2015 at $2.12. The holiday weekend average that year was seven cents cheaper at $2.05.

 

Chanute Man Arrested for Possession of Drugs, Weapon

 

A Chanute man has been arrested on multiple drug and weapons charges.

 

Chanute police pulled over a car that had a tail light out in the area of 8th and Lincoln. During the stop, Chanute PD K9 searched the vehicle and sensed and located the presence of illegal drugs.

 

Police arrested 61-year-old Charles C. Cohee and he was charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of a hallucinogen drug, criminal use of a weapon, possession of drug paraphernalia, and defective tail lamp.

 

He was transported to the Neosho County Jail without incident.

 

Oklahoma Schools May Soon Offer In-School Quarantine of Students

 

Beginning on Monday, Oklahoma school districts may choose to implement an in-school quarantine policy for students who have been exposed to COVID-19.

 

The Oklahoma State Department of Health announced that schools may implement the change until December 23rd, when schools will need to go back to remote learning processes. 

 

To institute the policy, schools must be able to follow specific guidelines. Some of those guidelines include the availability of facilities to socially distance quarantined students, the required usage of masks at all times except when eating and repeated, rapid diagnostic COVID tests. The full list of guidelines can be seen here.

 

After December 23rd, data will be collected from schools to determine the number of students that become infected during the quarantine period. This data will be used to inform return-to-school policies for the Spring 2021 semester.

Winter Forage Conference Going Virtual

 

The annual Winter Forage Conference, hosted by the Kansas Forage and Grassland Council and Kansas State University, has been switched to a virtual event and will not take place in Great Bend.

 

The event will still occur on Thursday, December 10, 2020, beginning at 9:00 am. The program will continue to feature agricultural specialists addressing several forage topics including, pasture management and weed control, current hay prices and statistics, along with alfalfa management, insect control and a research update. 

 

Featured speakers include Kim Nettleton, Kansas Department of Agriculture, market news; Don Miller, Alforex Seeds; Romulo Lollato, KSU forage and wheat extension specialist; Keith Harmoney, KSU range scientist; and Walt Fick, KSU range management specialist.

 

The event is free for current KSFGC members whose membership extends into 2021, and $25 for non-members, payable online.
 

You must register online to receive the ZOOM link. You can find that link here.

2.9 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Lamont, Oklahoma


An earthquake hit northern Oklahoma early Thanksgiving morning.

 

The 2.9 magnitude earthquake's epicenter was recorded as being just over 6 miles west of Lamont, Oklahoma, and just over 8 miles south of Medford. The earthquake was reportedly felt as far away as Wichita, which is about 83 miles north of the small town of roughly 400 people.

 

The earthquake is the most powerful recorded earthquake in Oklahoma this month. The largest earthquake felt in Oklahoma this year was not centered in the state, but rather in South Hutchison, Kansas. 

KC Renfest Opens Santa Clause at Knights of Lights

 

If you’re looking to avoid the crowds shopping Black Friday the Kansas City Renaissance Festival in Bonner Springs, Kansas is offering a special this Friday when their Santa Claus Knights of Lights Extravaganza kicks off.  Ticket for this Friday are on sale buy one get one free and get one free using the promo code: BLACKRIDAY and are available on-line at KCRenfest.com.  The Knights of Lights will continue on specific nights through December 27th.   

Youth Basketball Registrations Underway

 

If you are looking to get your children active during the winter season, the Coffeyville Recreation Commission is currently accepting sign-ups for youth basketball.

 

The Director of Recreation of CRC David Rains gives the details on who can sign up and how much time you have left to register.

 

Rains also lets us know the number of ways you can sign up.

 

A link to the registration page can be found here.

 

Options For Defrosting A Turkey

 

Thanksgiving is upon us and we all look forward to having that delicious turkey on our table for the big feast. Thawing out your turkey takes at least 4 to 5 days in the refrigerator depending on the size of your turkey. However, if you have forgotten to thaw out your turkey, you still have an option.

 

Diversified Agriculture and Natural Resource Agent at Kansas State University Adaven Scronce explains how that can be done.

 

For full instructions on thawing a turkey using both methods is shown below.

 


 

Montgomery County Automatically Opts in to Gov's Order at Midnight

 

Montgomery County will automatically opt into Governor Laura Kelly's Executive Order 20-68, regarding masks, at midnight tonight. Emergency Management Director Rick Whitson says they had opted into the governor's previous order.

 

Both Whitson and Health Department Director Carolyn Muller recommended opting into the new order, but the public who attended the meeting spoke in support of opting out. Commissioner Fred Brown made the motion to opt-in, Larry McManus did not second the motion and Robert Bever was not in attendance so the motion failed. With the motion failing the county automatically opts in at midnight.

 

Further discussion will take place at the next regularly scheduled county commission meeting.

New Playground at North Park Almost Complete

 

Kids in Coffeyville will soon have a new playground to enjoy. The City of Coffevyille is estimating that the construction of the new equipment at North Park is about 85 percent and will be completed soon.

 

For safety, the city is requesting that you do not use the playground until work is fully completed.

A Different Look at Thanksgiving

 

Like so many events since the pandemic began, Thanksgiving might be a little different this year. With some people taking the recommendation to limit in-person gatherings, Thanksgiving Day meals could feature less food or more leftovers. K-State Research and Extension Nutrition Specialist Sandy Procter says finding a smaller turkey might be difficult.

 

Proctor says if you can’t find a small turkey the leftovers can be used in a variety of ways following Thanksgiving. Plus, she thinks a bigger bird is going to be a bargain this year.  Proctor says if you are buying fewer ingredients and food this year you could use that many you saved to purchase items to donate to a food pantry.

Winter Sports To Start December 1st With No Fans


The Kansas State High School Activities Association Board of Directors voted in favor of winter sports starting December 1st.

 

Competitions including basketball, swimming, bowling, diving, wrestling and scholastic events will be held from December 1st through Decmeber 22nd. A moratorium will occur from December 23rd through January 7th with play resuming January 8th.

 

No fans will be allowed to attend from December 1st to January 28th. An amendment to allow two spectators per participant failed to pass.

Chetopa Student Named November Ag Student of the Month

 

Arvest Bank and KGGF have selected a Chetopa FFA student as the Ag Student of the Month for November. Amber Ross, who has been apart of agriculture here whole life, says she hopes to one day take over the family business.

 

Ross, who is the president of her FFA chapter, says if you are someone who is curious about FFA you should give it a try.  Outside of being involved in the family business, Ross shows livestock, judges both livestock and horses and competes in other contests like speech and food science.

 

Congratulations Amber Ross on being named the November Arvest Bank and KGGF Ag Student of the Month.

Remote Schedule Announced for USD 445

 

USD 445 – Coffeyville has announced their remote schedule when schools resume on November 30th after Thanksgiving Break.

 

Roosevelt Middle School and Field Kindley High School will share the same schedule with the 1st through 3rd hours and the SCOPE period occurring on Monday and Thursday starting at 9:00 am. Hours 4 through 7 will be on Tuesday and Friday also starting at 9:00 am. There will be a SCOPE period on Wednesday starting at 11:00 am.

 

Attendance for all days is mandatory and appointments with instructors may be requested outside of the learning schedule. Fall Finals for FKHS will be December 17th and 18th from 8:10 am to 3:10 pm each day.

 

Remote learning will run until the end of finals and on January 6th through 8th. On-site learning will begin on January 11th.

 

Turkey Day Safety Tips

 

As Thanksgiving quickly approaches, Caney Fire and Rescue reminds you of ways you can stay safe when preparing your turkey for your family this holiday.

 

Cold glass cookware should never be put in the oven and hot glass cookware should never be put in cold water or in the fridge.

 

Frozen turkeys should never be fried. When a frozen turkey is dropped into hot oil, the ice begins to turn to steam. The rapidly expanding steam causes the oil to boil over. If you are going to deep fry a turkey, make sure it's fully thawed in your fridge before you fry it. Make sure your oil is not overfilled in your pot, and make sure that the oil is no hotter than 350 degrees. When dropping the turkey in, make sure you turn the flame off and lower it into the oil slowly.

Number of COVID Cases in Montgomery County Reaches 1,000

 

The number of current and past COVID-19 cases in Montgomery County has gone into the thousands.

 

According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment's latest results, there are 1,026 current and past coronavirus cases, which is up from 942 last week.

 

Statewide, there have been 7,526 new cases, 46 new deaths, and 95 new hospitalizations since their last results from November 20th.

Disturbance Call Leads to Discovery of Drugs

 

A Chanute woman was arrested over the weekend on charges related to drug possession and child endangerment.

 

Chanute PD was sent to the 1500 block of West Main for a report of a disturbance. Upon their arrival, officers were informed about drugs being inside the residence. Officers applied for a search warrant and items associated with illegal drugs were discovered and seized as evidence.

 

39-year-old Daisy Lucill Cummings was arrested for possession of methamphetamine, endangering a child, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. The two teenagers in the home were taken into police protective custody and were placed outside the home.

 

Cummings was transported to the Neosho County Jail without incident.

Secretary of State Warns Business of Misleading Business Mailing

 

Kansas Secretary of State Scott Schwab is warning new business entities of a misleading mailing being sent from the "KS Certificate Service." The mailing tells the business that they may possibly need a Certificate of Good Standing.

 

Schwab said the Secretary of State's office will never use a third party to contact businesses and will always get in touch directly if needed. He also confirmed that similar mailings have been sent out in other states. Businesses are encouraged to reach out to the Secretary of State's office if they receive any suspicious letters or solicitations that appear to be sent on the behalf of Schwab's office.

Three COVID Cases at USD 446

 

There have been three more positive cases of COVID-19 at USD 446-Independence.

 

One case comes from a student at the Riley Early Learning Center, one is from a staff member at Eisenhower Elementary School and one is from a student at Independence High School.

 

All areas that those people occupied over the last several days are closed off to be thoroughly disinfected. Those who were listed as close contacts have been notified.

 

Those that tested positive will not be allowed to return to school for 14 days, but the students will have access to remote learning.

Two Arrested for Meth and Marijuana in Caney

 

Two men were arrested for drugs and other charges during a traffic stop in Caney. Earlier this weekend, while making a traffic stop at 4th Avenue and Highway 75 an officer with the Caney Police Department discovered the driver was driving without liability insurance. The occupants of the vehicle were identified as 65 year old Daniel Albert Holeman of Coffeyville and 65 year old Donny Ray Sumner of Independence.

 

While conducting his investigation the officer discovered both marijuana and methamphetamine in the vehicle and then upon arrest discovered methamphetamine on both men. The men were transported to the Montgomery County Jail, where Sumner is charged with possession of methamphetamine and marijuana, no liability insurance and driving under the influence. Holeman is charged with possession of methamphetamine and marijuana.

Labette Commish Passes Resolution Regarding Masks

 

A lengthy discussion took place regarding masks at the Labette County Commission meeting between all three commissioners and the County Attorney. Commissioner Cole Proehl says rather than opting in or out of the governor's order they passed their own resolution.

 

Proehl says they wanted to support the recommendation of wearing masks but did not want there to be a punishment for not wearing one.  The resolution passed on a two to one vote. Despite it not being a unanimous decision all three commissioners did voice their support of masks.  Full version of the resolution can be found here.

 

Caney Man Found Dead at Home

 

A 42-year man was found dead in his garage over the weekend.

 

The Caney Police Department received a call about an unattended death in the 200 block of North Spring Street in Caney. Upon arrival, an officer found a deceased male in the garage of the home.

 

After a joint investigation by Montgomery County Coroner’s Office and Caney PD, it was determined that Matthew McIntosh of Caney had committed suicide in the garage.

 

There was no evidence of foul play discovered during the investigation and members of the family were the ones who discovered the deceased.

 

Kansas State Board of Canvassers to Certify Election Results

 

The Kansas State Board of Canvassers will meet soon to certify the results of the 2020 General Election. The board, which consists of Governor Laura Kelly, Secretary of State Scott Schwab and Attorney General Derek Schmidt, will meet Monday, November 30 to certify the results of the state's election.

 

The certification will begin at 2 pm at Memorial Hall in Topeka. As a state, Kansas voters chose Republican incumbent Donald Trump to receive its six electoral votes, and also chose Republican Roger Marshall to become one of its two senators. 

Independence Endorses Gov. Laura Kelly's Statewide Mask Order

 

The City of Independence has endorsed Kansas Governor Laura Kelly's statewide mask mandate that was established on November 17th.

 

Executive Order No. 20-68 requires citizens of Kansas to wear masks when in public. It also requires businesses to post conspicuous signs at their entrances saying that all employees and customers must wear masks while in the building.

 

The Montgomery County Commission will meet to discuss countywide mask requirements at their weekly meeting which was moved to Wednesday morning at 8 a.m.

Wanted Female Suspect in Craig County

 

The Big Cabin Police Department is looking for a female who they believe might have been involved in a recent burglary.

 

The female appears to be in her 20's and is seen with sunglasses, ripped jeans and a black hoodie. A picture of her can be found in the online version of this story at kggfradio.com

 

Officer Eric Bridges of the BCPD in Oklahoma said that if you are aware of who the suspect is, that you contact him at 918-783-5911.

Montgomery County Clerk's Office Closed Due to Illness

 

The Montgomery County Clerk's Office has been closed due to an illness to an unknown amount of employees.

 

It's not known what the illness is or how many people at the clerk's office are sick. Those who have the unknown illness have also not been identified. It is also unknown when the district clerk's office will be back open.

 

The office is closed effective immediately.

Man Injured in Montgomery County Crash

 

A man was injured in a three-vehicle wreck in Montgomery County over the weekend.

 

According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, a 2015 Mercedes Sprinter driven by Bradley Smith of Parsons was eastbound on County Road 6000 when he failed to yield at a stop sign at the intersection with U.S. Highway 169 and was hit by a 2000 Peterbilt driven by Kevin King of Bristow, Oklahoma that was headed northbound on U.S. 169. The wreck caused Smith's vehicle to hit a 2015 Dodge Ram driven by Patrick Conway of Sycamore who was facing westbound on County Road 6000 at the stop sign.

 

Smith was taken to Labette Health in Parsons for suspected minor injuries. King and Conway sustained no injuries and safety restraints were in use in all vehicles at the time of the crash.

Independence Woman Arrested on DUI Charges in Caney

 

A woman from Independence was arrested in Caney for driving under the influence over the weekend.

 

The 35-year-old woman, who was identified as Kimberly Marie Best, was weaving towards oncoming southbound traffic on Highway 75.

 

After investigation and a sobriety test, it was confirmed that Best had been under the influence of drugs or alcohol and had a child in the vehicle.

 

Best was arrested and transported to the Montgomery County Jail on counts of driving under the influence and felony child endangerment.

Name the Park Contest in Neodesha

 

The City of Neodesha is holding a contest to rename the area known as "City Pond".

 

Neodesha is working with the Active Transportation Advisory Board and community members to cultivate this area into a family-friendly green space with plans of a walking trail, picnic shelters, a fishing dock and more.

 

The contest is open to anyone. Entries are due December 7th and the winner will be announced in January.

Wilson County COVID-19 Numbers

 

According to the latest COVID-19 numbers from the Wilson County Health Department, the number of positive cases in the county has gone up again.

 

There are 242 total positive cases in which is up 16 since the last update but active cases decreased by 1 to 55 cases. Hospitalizations and deaths remained at 13 and four cases, respectively.

 

There were 2,565 negative tests while 189 have recovered. The next update from the Wilson County Health Department will come out later this afternoon.

 

 

Domestic Fight Leads to a Parolee's Arrests

 

A 30-year-old Parsons man has been arrested on a variety of charges including Assault and Battery.

 

Parsons police were called to a reported domestic situation in the 1400 block of Appleton. Upon investigation into the situation, it was found that the involved parties had gone their separate ways before the report was called in. Officers spoke to the victim she stated that she was battered and there was a firearm involved as well.

 

Officers identified the suspect as Detavious Jamel Cooper. Cooper who was on parole and had been recently been released from the Kansas Department of Corrections, spoke to officers for a time period and then fled from officers on foot, slamming a door on a pursuing officer.

 

Cooper was eventually taken into custody and charged with Interference with Law Enforcement, Aggravated Assault, Domestic Battery, Aggravated Battery on Law Enforcement, Aggravated Escape from Custody, and Parole Violation.

SEK Bikers Toy Run This Saturday

 

The 25th Annual SEK Bikers Run is Saturday. Those wanting to participate can meet at Orscheln's parking lot at 2 p.m.

 

The parade route starts there and will head west to Lewark, and then head north to 8th Street. After this, they will head east to Patterson, and then finally turn south to the Salvation Army.

 

There will be a chili feed after the parade at the American Legion. Be sure to bring a new unwrapped Christmas toy with you if you decide to participate.

Prevented Home Invasion Leads to Foot Chase in Baxter Springs

 

A foot chase followed a home invasion attempt that occurred early Friday morning in Baxter Springs.

 

A police officer chased the suspect at the area of 22nd and Cherokee around 12:45 a.m. after a neighbor had called the police department about suspicious activity.

 

The suspect was wearing a ski mask, and bolt cutters were also found at the scene. Another man was arrested who was sitting in his truck who was suspected to be his getaway driver.

 

They were both arrested on separate charges.

Nearly $75,000 Raised During Coffeyville's Match Day

 

A total of $74,551 was raised for over 20 area non-profit organizations during yesterday’s Match Day Fund Raiser in Coffeyville.  The nearly $75,000 raised came from a total of 333 donations.

 

Yesterday was the 8th year for the annual fundraising event that offered matching funds for donations of up to $40,000.  The matching funds came from the Wade Family Foundation, the Pratt Family Charitable Fund, and the Coffeyville Area Community Foundation.

COVID Cases Continue to Rise in Chautauqua County

 

The Chautauqua County Health Department is now reporting 28 active cases of COVID-19 in the county. Contact tracing is currently being performed, and those who are identified as being close contacts will be notified.

 

In addition, the health department can test those who are showing at least one symptom and/or is a close contact with a positive case. Results for tests are usually received in 3-5 days, but those tested would need to quarantine until test results are received.

 

To slow the spread of the virus, the health department is again asking those in the community to wear a mask, use hand sanitizer, avoid large groupings, and also take precautions concerning family holiday gatherings. Contact the department at 620-725-5850 if you have any questions or concerns.

 

 

Match Day Approaches $70,000

 

As of just before 5:00 this evening the dollar amount reached during Coffeyville’s Match Day has reached just over $68,045.  There’s still time to donate in person until 5:30 this evening at the former Community State Bank Drive-In at 8th and Beech or until midnight tonight

online at www.givematchgrow.com

 

Today’s donations will be matched, up to $40,000 by the Bernard and Effie Jo Wade Family Foundation, the Pratt Family Charitable Fund, and the Coffeyville Area Community Foundation.  The donations and match will be distributed among more than 20 area non-profit groups. 

Changes for Ag Policy in Congress

 

With Election Day behind us, the makeup of the next Congress is relatively clear. K-State Agricultural Policy Specialist Jenny Ifft says the odds are good that agricultural policy won’t change much any time soon.

 

Ifft says one thing for sure is that the Senate and House Agriculture Committees will be under new leadership and that could become influential as the drafting of the 2023 Farm Bill starts to take shape.  Ifft says although different people will now chair those committees, each will return senators and representatives who are well seasoned in agricultural policy development.

Less Travel Expected for Thanksgiving


A new survey by AAA indicates that a large majority of Kansas residents will not be traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday, and 47% of those staying home say it is because of COVID-19 concerns.

 

Spokesman for AAA Kansas Shawn Steward says given the recent surge in COVID-19 and the strong urging of public health officials for everyone to stay home for the holiday, the Thanksgiving travel landscape continues to change. With that in mind, AAA conducted a new poll asking Kansas residents who have decided against traveling for the holiday whether COVID-19, specifically, was the reason and around 47% said yes.

Economic Impact of Boys and Girls Club of Southeast Kansas

 

Match Day 2020 has many great non-profit organizations that will use today's donations for the greater good including the Boys & Girls Club of Southeast Kansas.

 

What used to be the Boys & Girls Club of Coffeyville has expanded and has seen incredible amounts of success. On top of providing children of southeast Kansas a place to find new friends and enjoy activities, Boys & Girls Club Representative Griffin Walker explains how they have also contributed immensely to the area's economy.

 

In-person donations can be made at the Community State Bank building at 8th and Beech Street in Coffeyville or online at givematchgrow.com.

K-47 Closed Between U.S. 169 and U.S. 59 Friday

 

Between the hours of 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. Friday, the Kansas Department of Transportation will close K-47 between U.S. Highway 169 and U.S. Highway 59.

 

During the closure, a wind tower crane will be moved across the highway between Elk and Ford roads. There is no signed detour for the closure. K-47 traffic should use alternate routes.

Coffeyville's Match Day Today

 

Coffeyville’s annual Match Day is being conducted today.  Match Day is an annual fundraising effort for more than 20 area non-profit organizations.  Every dollar donated today will be matched up to a total of $40,000. 

 

The matching funds are provided by The Wade Family Foundation, The Pratt Family Charitable Trust, and the Coffeyville Area Community Foundation. Executive Director of the Coffeyville Area Community Foundation, Janie DeVore Gillis says there are several ways to give…

 

DeVore Gillis says people can also donate by mail today.  This is the 8th  consecutive year that the Match Day fundraiser has been held in Coffeyville

Parsons Man Arrested for Kidnapping, Child Endangerment

 

A 44-year old Parsons man has been arrested on a laundry list of charges including kidnapping.

 

Parsons PD spoke with a possible victim of Criminal Threat. Officers were informed of more than just a criminal threat case. There were also allegations of several other felony-level crimes.

 

The investigation lead officers to the 2200 block of Washington to speak with the suspect to confirm allegations. Officers arrived and were informed the suspect was in the house but had made comments about not being taken into custody alive. Corporal Garret Lucas, a Parsons Police Department negotiator, was able to obtain the safe exit and arrest of Jeffery Lloyd Baker.

 

Baker was arrested on suspicion of Aggravated Child Endangerment, Kidnapping, Criminal Threat, Domestic Battery, Criminal Damage to Property, and Felony Failure to Register as an Offender.

Gov. Laura Kelly Announces Mandatory Mask Mandate


Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announced that a mandatory statewide mask mandate will be put in place.

 

The executive order will go into effect on Wednesday, November 25th, and local health officials will have until then to develop an ordinance for their communities. 
 

A total of 5,853 cases have been reported in the state on Wednesday with another 60 deaths. An additional 130 hospitalizations were also reported.

 

State law still gives commissioners the ability to opt out. There are currently 71 out of the 105 Kansas counties that have no mask mandates in place. 

PSU Update on COVID-19 as On-Campus Classes Wind Down

 

In the last week Pittsburg State University has tested 63 symptomatic students. Of those, 15 tested positive, which is a decrease from the previous week as the on-campus portion of the semester winds down. Since testing of students began in August, 719 students have been tested and 260 have tested positive. Isolation and quarantine numbers also dropped, with 15 in isolation and approximately 70 in quarantine due to close contact.

 

The last day of in-person, on-campus coursework is Friday, before students dismiss for a week-long Thanksgiving break. They’ll resume coursework entirely online on Monday, November 30th, until the semester concludes on December 11th

NPD Search for Suspect after Shooting at Apartment Complex

 

The Nowata Police Department is searching for a suspect involved in a shooting incident at the Village Apartments. According to NPD, the suspect broke into a vehicle and was confronted by the owner after the alarm went off. The suspect fired three shots at the owner and then fled the scene. No one was injured during this incident.

 

The suspect is described as a white male in his 20’s that is approximately six-feet tall with a slender build and shaggy hair. The suspect is said to have worn a red hoodie, a red ball cap, blue jeans and tennis shoes. According to the victim, there was a second individual in a getaway car. If you have any information regarding this incident contact the Nowata Police Department at (918)273-3531.

Chanute Man Arrested After Chase

 

A 36-year-old man has been arrested after leading multiple law enforcement agencies on a chase through Neosho and Wilson Counties.

 

Chanute PD tried to initiate a traffic stop with a GMC pick up in the area of 1500 West Main Street. The vehicle refused to stop, traveling west. The vehicle stopped briefly in the 1600 block of West Main and let out a passenger before driving off, still refusing to stop. The vehicle continued out of town and the Kansas Highway Patrol and Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks joined the pursuit. The vehicle left the roadway in Wilson County, pulling into a bean field where the driver was taken into custody.

 

Joseph Michael Leftwich was arrested for driving with a suspended license, reckless driving, fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer, possession of methamphetamine, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Fredonia Transitioning Back to In-Person Classes

 

USD 484-Fredonia will look to transition back to in-person classes starting Thursday.

 

The latest data from the Wilson County Health Department shows that the number of COVID-19 cases has significantly decreased along with the number of quarantined students. Fredonia students will be learning remotely Wednesday, but then transition to in-person Thursday and play the situation by ear.

 

The building principals will be sharing more detailed information via email.

PSU Commencements Planned for Friday and Saturday

 

Pittsburg State University has announced that they will hold commencement ceremonies on Friday and Saturday.

 

The university said it has taken every precaution when it comes to holding commencement ceremonies for those graduating in both the spring/summer and the fall, with a mitigation plan that includes a walk-through ceremony with no seating, guest limits, a mask requirement, and a live-stream option for those watching from home.

 

On Friday, four ceremonies will be held for fall degree candidates. Each will focus on one of four colleges at PSU. Saturday will feature one ceremony for fall graduate degree candidates in all colleges, and two ceremonies for spring/summer undergraduate and graduate degree candidates.

 

The University’s COVID-19 mitigation plan was approved by the Crawford County public health officers.

School Lockdown Prompted in Parsons

 

Parsons High School was put on lockdown yesterday due to a false alarm by a student.

 

According to reports from concerned students, there was an overheard conversation that made mention of persons needing to wear a bulletproof vest. Police were notified and investigated the allegations thoroughly. It was soon discovered that the overheard conversation was misinterpreted and reported, which prompted the lockdown.

 

Deputy Chief Dennis Dodd said that police do not take any allegation of shootings in schools lightly and he hopes that the students involved learn that somethings are not able to be joked about and that the seriousness of their actions can cause alarm.

Procedural Changes at Sheriff's Office

 

With an increase in the number of positive cases of COVID-19 in Montgomery County, there are going to be some procedural changes at the sheriff's office. Sheriff Ron Wade says they are going to be making changes regarding how they handle non-emergency calls.

 

Sheriff Wade says this change is to limit the risk of exposure for sheriff deputies so they can maintain the manpower needed for emergency calls.  Sheriff Wade says everyone needs to do their due diligence and wear a mask as much as possible to stay safe. If you have any questions you can give the sheriff's office a call at (620)330-1000.

Interactive COVID-19 Mask Mandate Map

 

A new interactive map regarding county mask mandates has been created by the Kansas Division of Emergency Management.

 

The map shows each county's mask mandate including Montgomery County which shows that there is a mask mandate in place. Montgomery has the governor's EO 20-52 order in place, but the map also states that the mandate is not being enforced because of "lack of leadership, buy-in and inability of law enforcement".

 

Labette County only has a mask ordinance in the city of Parsons, which is different from the governor's order, and their police department has been enforcing it, according to the map.

 

Counties in southeastern Kansas that do not have any order in place include Chautauqua, Elk, Greenwood, Wilson, Woodson, Allen and Neosho counties.

 

According to the map, 20 counties are following the governor's order, 14 counties have county-specific orders and 71 counties have no mask ordinance in place.

Independence City Building Closures

 

Due to staffing issues related to COVID-19, Memorial Hall and the Independence Civic Center will be closed to the public for the next few weeks, with the exception of a handful of events on the facility’s schedule.

 

Independence Assistant City Manager and Emergency Manager David Cowan said the building will undergo a thorough cleaning and sanitation process, and temporary staffing will be arranged for the private events and public meetings upcoming on the schedule, including the Independence City Commission meeting scheduled for Thursday, November 19th.

Thanksgiving Safe Arrival Grant Awarded to Galena

 

The day before Thanksgiving sees more impairment-related crashes than any other day of the year, according to the Kansas Department of Transportation.

 

Beginning this Friday through Sunday, November 29th, the Galena Police Department will join many other law enforcement agencies across the state, including the Kansas Highway Patrol, in the Kansas Thanksgiving Safe Arrival traffic enforcement campaign. 

 

A grant from KDOT will support overtime enforcement efforts.  While all Kansas Traffic Laws will be enforced, this extra provision will be aggressively targeting and removing impaired drivers from the roads.

Chautauqua County Canvasses Votes at Meeting

 

The Chautauqua County Commission took time out of its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday to canvass the votes in this month's general election. County clerk Niki Collier reported that the county saw a 68 percent turnout of all eligible voters, or 1,676 votes in total.

 

The county had 29 provisional ballots, of which the commission moved to approve six. The votes were counted, after which the commission moved to accept the canvassed votes and the official result.

 

The official election results can be seen on the Chautauqua County website.

Tri-Valley League Schools List Winter Sport Procedures

 

As winter sports begin, new protocols are being put into place in order to keep everyone who is attending these events safe.

 

For Tri-Valley schools, including Caney Valley, Cherryvale, Neodesha, Fredonia, Erie, Eureka, Humboldt and Leon-Bluestem, masks must be worn at all times.

 

Social distancing will also be enforced more strictly since these events are indoors. Concessions are limited, temperature checks will be taken at gym entrances, and payment options may be altered at both the gate and concession stands.

 

Each school may add additional restrictions, but all of the previously listed policies are required for all league schools. Field Kinley High School announced last week that they were limiting capacity during their events with the requirement of purchasing activity vouchers prior to events.

City of Coffeyville Service Lobby Closes

 

The City of Coffeyville's customer service lobby will be closed until November 30th following COVID-19 protocols.

 

The drive-thru lane, dropbox, mail, and online bill pay are available for use for payment. The drive-thru hours are from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday.

 

The City of Coffeyville says it apologizes for the temporary inconvenience.

CRMC Foundation Establishes New Fund for Building

 

The Coffeyville Regional Medical Center Foundation is looking toward the future as it has established the new Building Our Future Fund. Director of the CRMC Foundation, Lisa Kuehn, explains what this new fund will be used for.

 

Kuehn went on to explain how the public can help and to keep an eye out for future information.

 

To purchase a Christmas shirt, click here.

Gas Prices Higher Than State Average in Parts of SEK

 

Motorists in Montgomery, Labette, and Chautauqua County are paying more to fill up their tanks than the state average.

 

According to AAA, Montgomery County sits seven cents higher than the state average at $1.94 a gallon while Labette County is currently at $1.90 a gallon. Chautauqua County clocked in at $1.98 a gallon. The average across the state currently sits at $1.87 a gallon which ranks #8 in the country for the cheapest gas.

 

Across the border in Oklahoma, the state average is $1.80 which is 2 cents higher than a week ago. Washington County is at $1.72 a gallon while Nowata County came in at $1.68 a gallon.

 

Nationally, the price of gas has remained relatively level at $2.12.

 

Montgomery County Tourism Committee Approved by County Commission

 

A Montgomery County Convention and Tourism Committee was approved by the County Commission at the weekly commission meeting Monday morning.

 

The funding for the committee will come from a countywide transient five percent guest tax derived from sleeping accommodations in any hotel, motel, or tourist court.

 

The committee will be made up of nine people with three each coming from the Independence and Coffeyville Chambers of Commerce, one each from the cities of Caney and Cherryvale, and one at-large member to be nominated by the Board of County Commissioners.

 

The resolution was unanimously passed and will go into effect immediately.

Child Abuse Suspects Arrested

 

A Parsons couple has been arrested on allegations of child abuse.

 

Parsons Police were asked to accompany Department of Children and Families workers to a residence in the 3300 block of Grand for an anonymous tip of child abuse involving a 2-year-old girl. Officers met with DCF staff and the investigation revealed the child had a large amount of bruising that would not constitute normal discipline measures. Due to the extent of the bruising and possibility of broken bones, the child was transported to Children's Mercy Hospital for medical evaluation after being placed in police protective custody.

 

22-year-old Nathan Lee Leatherwood and 22-year-old Halle Yulia Parish were both arrested for suspicion of Child Abuse and Aggravated Battery. Both were arrested and released on $25,000 bonds.

Chautauqua County COVID Update

 

The Chautauqua County Health Department is asking residents who suspect they have been in contact with COVID-19 to stay home. The department reported last Friday that there were 10 active cases in the county. Contact tracing on those cases have been started and those who are first person contacts will be or have been notified.

 

Local schools, including those in Sedan and Cedar Vale, have moved to remote learning in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Cedar Vale will not hold classes Monday, but will began the remote learning process on Tuesday. Sedan began Zoom classes on Friday, but the elementary school remains in session.

Evergy Grant Award To Help Raptors, Students

 

A $10,000 grant award from Evergy to Pittsburg State University’s Nature Reach program will help fund the Raptor Ambassadors Improved Housing project, including repair, improvements, and expansion to the enclosures built by the Westar Green Team in 2007 and 2011.

 

The enclosures house raptors that are unable to live in the wild but are of great value to Nature Reach, which uses them in outreach programs with children and adults across the region. Not only will the improved enclosures benefit the raptors, they’ll benefit PSU students as they’ll be able to gain real-world experience in animal care and become more knowledgeable about the new standards and training techniques.

 

Over the past six years, PSU Nature Reach has provided programming in 30 communities, primarily in Southeast Kansas, but also in Southwest Missouri and Northeast Oklahoma. Annually, Nature Reach serves approximately 4,000 students in grades K-12, as well as undergraduate level university students, most of whom are majoring in biology at PSU.

CRMC Foundation Creates New Education Fund

 

The Coffeyville Regional Medical Center Foundation has announced that it has created the Dr. and Mrs. James Wilson Associate Fund. The Director of the CRMC Foundation, Lisa Kuehn, lays out what this new education fund will provide.

 

The fund is named in honor of Dr. and Mrs. James Wilson who arrived in Coffeyville in 1971. Dr. Wilson was the first pathologist for CRMC. For more information on how to apply to this fund, call the CRMC Foundation at 620-252-1674.

Caney PD Finds Meth During Arrest

 

Caney Police Department found meth while booking a man who failed to appear in city court for a warrant.

 

The man who is identified as 48-year-old Dale McCoy was arrested Tuesday afternoon and during the booking, correctional officers found a white powder hidden in McCoy's billfold. The evidence was turned over to the police department and field testing confirmed that the substance was meth.

 

Officers have submitted a probable cause affidavit to the Montgomery County attorney asking that McCoy be charged with trafficking contraband into a correctional facility.

Parsons Merry Grinchmas Parade

 

Those in Parsons will be able to celebrate Christmas in a new way with the Parsons Merry Grinchmas Parade on December 3rd through the 7th.

 

Floats will line up in the Marvel Park parking lot or either side of the road, and guests will be able to drive by and see them as well as hear the bands playing. Those wanting to drive by are required to stay in their cars for everyone's safety.

 

The Parsons Chamber of Commerce is accepting donations of candy bags to be given away to kids at the end of the parade.

Chanute Police Modifying Process For Non-Emergency Calls

 

In response to the number of COVID-19 cases increasing recently, the Chanute Police Department is temporarily modifying its process for responding to non-emergency calls for service.

 

Calls for service will be prioritized by placing the greatest emphasis on emergency calls. Effective immediately, and until further notice, individuals who are involved in non-injury accidents are asked to exchange information between the parties involved. Non-emergency calls for service are asked to still call central dispatch and speak with a dispatcher. The information will be passed on to the shift supervisor. The supervisor will determine how the call for service will be handled. Emergency calls, those which involve an immediate threat to persons or property should be reported, as always, to 911.

 

All fingerprinting and VIN inspections, not including those done for businesses, are also suspended until further notice

USD 445 Winter Activity Protocols

 

As winter activities are about to begin for USD 445, making sure that everyone is safe and healthy is the school district's top priority. They have announced their protocols so you can be safe when attending these events.

 

Activity vouchers are required to enter an event to monitor capacity. Vouchers are available at the Field Kindley High School and Roosevelt Middle School offices prior to events. Students participating in a winter activity will be given four vouchers per home event.

 

Masks must be worn at all times and social distancing will be enforced. Mandatory temperature checks will also be taken at the entrances.

Pitt State University Reports More Cases, Exit Testing Available

 

Pittsburg State University students will have the opportunity for COVID-19 testing at the Bryant Student Health Center before leaving campus on Nov. 20 to finish the rest of the semester online, as planned, the university announced Wednesday. Tests will be conducted from 9 to 11 am. on Nov. 18 and Nov. 19.

 

PSU also announced that in the seven days leading up to Wednesday, 86 symptomatic students were tested and 32 tested positive which is an increase from the previous week. Isolation and quarantine numbers also have grown, with 47 in isolation and approximately 100 in quarantine due to close contact with an infected person.

 

One new case was reported in the past week among faculty with two isolation and 11 are in quarantine.

 

Holiday Plans for USD 445-Coffeyville

 

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches for schools across the nation, fears about COVID-19 spreading when students return to school also rises.

 

To help mitigate the potential spread of the virus, USD 445-Coffeyville will institute a plan using a mixture of remote and onsite learning after Thanksgiving. Roosevelt Middle School Principal Jeff Pegues describes what this plan will entail. 

 

For more information about this plan, you can contact the school district at 620-252-6400 or visit their website at cvilleschools.com.

Jesus Promenade 2020 at Tyro Christian Church on Saturday

 

Tyro Christian Church will be hosting Jesus Promenade 2020 which is a free drive-thru event for people with disabilities.

 

TCC is giving lots of free goodies to those who drive by Saturday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. There are promised to be lots of fun characters and surprises around the parking lot.

 

The event will be COVID-safe for families as the volunteers and everyone involved will have both masks and gloves on.

 

For any questions, Tyro Christian Church's phone number is (620) 289-4433.

Safety Tips for Staying Warm This Winter

 

As wintertime approaches, there are some precautions that should be taken when trying to heat up your home.


Coffeyville Fire Chief Billy Cockman provided a presentation on fire safety including the dangers of space heaters at this week's Coffeyville City Meeting.

 

Cockman gave a warning to those wanting to use a space heater this time of the year.

 

Two out of every five house fires are caused by space heaters and 25,000 residential fires and more than 300 deaths are caused each year in America.

Drive-Thru Early Childhood Event in Cherryvale Today

 

My Family and USD 447 Parents as Teachers are hosting a drive-thru Early Childhood Event today from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m in Cherryvale.

 

It's a free event for ages birth through five years that offers resources and lots of free stuff including a drawing of a bicycle and helmet. Individual gifts are available to those who enroll in free home visiting services.

 

The event will be at Logan Park with no need to get out of your car.

 

If you have any questions, please call 620-926-1454.

Resume & Job Search Workshop

 

If you are in the market for a job, Southeast Kansas Works is hosting a Resume & Job Search Workshop on Tuesday, December 8th from 1 pm to 4 pm at Memorial Hall in Independence.

 

Workshop attendees will receive a packet full of job applications and job postings for businesses that are currently hiring. Those attending will also be able to network with businesses and participate in mock interviews to help job seekers land their next job.

 

You can also join the workshop via zoom by clicking here. For more information, contact Southeast Kansas Works at 620-332-5904.

Two Men Arrested for Home Invasion

 

Two men are facing a laundry list of charges for committing a home invasion in Altamont.

 

Over the weekend, a 911 caller reported that two men had entered a home in Altamont and assaulted two adults living there with brass knuckles and a gun. Labette County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Charlie Brown was in Altamont when the call came in and he responded.

 

Brown saw two people leaving the residence and after a short chase, 29-year-old Richard Sanchez of Columbus was captured. During the search for the second man, a handgun and brass knuckles where were discovered. A short time later, 23-year-old Cody Scott was located walking northbound on U.S. Highway 59.

 

Both men face charges of aggravated burglary, aggravated battery, two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of criminal threat, and three counts of aggravated endangering a child. Sanchez also faces an additional count of criminal use of weapons for having metal knuckles.

 

Both men were taken to the Labette County Jail.

Match Day Next Week

 

Residents of Coffeyville can support a good cause next week with Match Day. On November 19, the Coffeyville Area Community Foundation will be accepting donations that may go to any of several participating organizations. The foundation, alongside the Bernard and Effie Joe Wade Family Foundation and the Pratt Family Charitable Fund, will also be matching each donation up to $40,000.

 

Those who wish to donate in person may do so from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at 601 W. 8th Street, or may mail their donation to P.O. Box 635. Alternatively, you may give online at any time on the day. To donate online, or to find more information, visit the Match Day website here. A full list of organizations can be found on that website as well.

Cherryvale Superintendent Retiring After School Year

 

USD 447-Cherryvale Superintendent Dr. Shelly Kiblinger has announced that she plans to retire after the academic year.

 

Fifteen years ago, she had promised her husband that she would retire with him when the time would come. Kiblinger said that she has loved her job and the district, but she loves her husband more.

 

She said that she wants to continue devoting herself to the safety and success of Cherryvale students through the end of this year to assure that her successor has a smooth transition going into next year.

 

Kiblinger still plans to stay in Cherryvale for many years to come and she looks forward to opportunities to volunteer in the community and for the school as well.

Two Arrested for Theft, Various Drug Offenses

 

Two Oklahoma men have been arrested on various theft and drug charges. Caney PD received a 911 call from Dollar General where the clerk on duty reported a man had run from the store and got into a white possibly Nissan car and left at a high rate of speed. Upon viewing video surveillance tapes, officers were able to determine the man had stolen items from the store.

 

Later, officers made a traffic stop on a vehicle matching the car at the Dollar General. Officers observed one of the men in the car matched the description and video footage of the person who had taken items from the Dollar General. 24-year-old Brandon Pulliam, of Bartlesville, was arrested for Theft.

 

Officers also arrested 35-year-old Herbert Rose, also of Bartlesville, who was wanted out of Washington County on charges of Failure to Appear on Possession of CDS, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Bringing Contraband into a Jail, and Violation of Court order. Rose was arrested and transported to the Montgomery County Jail.

Positive COVID Case at Independence High School

 

A student has tested positive for COVID-19 at Independence High School, according to the Montgomery County Health Department.

 

Areas that the student has used over the past several days have been temporarily closed off to be thoroughly disinfected.

 

Those listed as close contacts have been notified and they will not be able to return to school for 14 days, however, they will have access to remote learning.

 

If you have any questions, contact Superintendent Rusty Arnold at 620-496-4706.

Free Thanksgiving Food in Labette County

 

Parsons Foursquare Church, Kansas Food Bank and Feed America are giving free turkey, potatoes and apples to Labette County residents.

 

Food can be picked up at Parsons Foursquare Church on Friday at 2:30 p.m. and it will last until all the food is gone. This will be a drive-thru service. Be sure to follow the instructions when you enter the parking lot.

 

In order to get free food you must have a valid ID and a current utility bill. Only one per household with verification.

Outhouse Festival Planned for Next Weekend

 

The city of Elk Falls will be hosting its 25th annual Outhouse Festival next week. The festival will be held on November 20th and 21st from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

 

Vistors can purchase a button, map, and ballot to vote on the best outhouse for just $1 each. In addition to the outhouse tour, there will also be a quilt show, craft show, vintage campers and even bluegrass music. Elk Falls Pottery will also be hosting its 41st annual Open House.

 

For more information, visit the festival website here.

U.S. 169 Closure Extended to U.S. 58

 

The Kansas Department of Transportation has extended the area of the U.S. 169 closure in Anderson County.

 

The closure now begins at the K-58 junction and continues north to the U.S. 59 junction. KDOT expects the closure to remain in effect until August 2021.

 

KDOT reminds U.S. 169 traffic to use the signed state route detour on U.S. 54 and U.S. 59. County roads are not suitable detour routes.

 

The highway closure is part of the $21 million project to reconstruct and rehabilitate seven miles of U.S. 169 in Anderson County.

Dewey Schools Transition to Remote Learning

 

Dewey Superintendent Vince Vincent announced late on Monday afternoon that Dewey High School will be moving to virtual instruction after DPS was notified that a high school student had tested positive for COVID-19.

 

This student was also a member of the high school football team and participated in a game on Friday night. Superintendent Vincent said they’ve identified several potential close contacts and notified them that quarantining is necessary. As of now, 20-percent of Dewey’s high school student body is in quarantine. Superintendent Vincent said four high school staff members are also in quarantine.

 

Additionally, DPS has four high school students and one high school staff member awaiting COVID-19 test results. Because of this, Superintendent Vincent said it is necessary for the high school to transition to distance learning for the next two weeks.

 

Superintendent Vincent said they believe that the high school can return to full operations on Monday, Nov. 30th after the two-week pause and the scheduled Thanksgiving Break that runs from Monday, Nov. 23rd through Friday, Nov. 27th.

Courthouse and Tag Office Closed for Veteran's Day

 

In observance of Veteran's Day, the Montgomery County Courthouse and the Coffeyville Tag Office will be closed this Wednesday, November 11th.

 

Both locations will reopen for regular business on Thursday.

Stolen Vehicle in Caney

 

Two suspects were arrested in Caney for stealing a pickup truck.

 

Caney Police Department spotted the stolen 1999 Dodge pickup truck parked at the Casey's General Store on 75 Highway and 4th Street Sunday evening. 25-year-old Kodey Androlis, who was a passenger inside the vehicle, attacked an officer who was restraining the driver who was identified as Katy Kelso.

 

The couple from Cranberry, Texas were arrested for felony theft and felony interference with a law enforcement officer. They were both transferred to the Montgomery County Jail.

Temperatures Dropping Briefly This Week

 

After several days of warm temperatures, things will get quite a bit colder moving into the later portions of this week. Low temperatures across southern Kansas will fall to the upper 20s through lower 30s, including 32 in Coffeyville on Wednesday morning.

 

However, temperatures will rebound through the rest of the week, with the expected high on Saturday reaching about 69 degrees. Some rainfall is expected on Friday and Saturday of this week.

Fredonia Remote Learning Extended Through Friday

 

USD 484-Fredonia Superintendent Brian Smith announced that their remote learning will be extended through Friday due to the number of coronavirus cases in the district continuing to trend in the wrong direction.

 

There are a total of 165 students and staff that have been either exposed to the virus or have caught the virus. As of Monday afternoon, USD 484 was informed that over 28 residents within its district borders are COVID positive.

 

The school district will remain in the red zone for the rest of this week, then the Wilson County Health Department will make an assessment of what is safest for the students and staff in regards to resuming online learning or returning to in-person classes.

Remote Success Rates Mixed at USD 446

 

The USD 446 School Board convened for their monthly meeting Monday with several topics on the table.

 

One of the topics was concerns with remote learning for the 1st nine weeks as a few of the schools are experiencing a high failure rate. According to a learning data handout that was provided by USD 446, as a whole, the district is seeing a 51% success rate for students using remote learning compared to an 85% success rate for students on-site. The highest rate of students not passing was at the middle school with 66% while Eisenhower is at 44.5%.

 

USD 446 Superintendent Rusty Arnold said due to the high failing numbers, a new policy will be introduced.

 

Arnold said that a letter is being sent out to parents concerning this change. The USD 446 School Board will meet again on December 14th.

Independence Announces Park and Zoo Leadership Changes

 

Independence City Manager Kelly Passauer on Monday announced staffing changes in the city's Park, Zoo, and Cemetery Department. Angela Anthony has been named Park and Zoo Director and will join the staff next week. Katie Southwark has been promoted to Assistant Park and Zoo Director under the city's new reorganization plan.

 

Anthony is currently employed as a science teacher in Copan, Oklahoma, but does have experience as a park ranger and holds master's degrees in both Biology and Entomology. She will take over the duties of the position on December 18, after several weeks of orientation. Southwark has been employed by the city since 2008, and was promoted to Zoo Supervisor in 2013.

 

Anthony will replace the outgoing director, Barb Beurskens, who has worked for the city for over 40 years in various positions. The director's position includes management of Riverside Park, the Ralph Mitchell Zoo and Mount Hope Cemetery.

Disaster Declaration Renewed for Montgomery County

 

A disaster declaration has been extended for Montgomery County due to the global pandemic.

 

At the weekly Montgomery County Commission, Director of Emergency Management Rick Whitson stated that this is the same disaster declaration that was made earlier this year, but this time the declaration has been extended until it is rescinded.

 

This is unlike previous extensions where they have been extended 90 days.

Caney Man Arrested on Active Warrant

 

A Caney man has been arrested on an active warrant out of Montgomery County.

 

An officer with the Caney PD was on patrol and observed three males subjects walking south on 75 Highway in front of Casey's General Store. As the three men crossed 75 Highway, the Officer could tell that one of the men appeared to be intoxicated and was staggering.

 

The officer made contact with the three men, where it was discovered that two of the individuals were juveniles and the other was an adult who was intoxicated. The adult male was identified as 36-year-old Eric Seaton of Caney. Upon checking for warrants it was discovered that Seaton had an active warrant for failure to appear on a child support case.

 

Seaton was arrested and transported to the Montgomery County Jail. The two juvenile males were released to an adult relative who came and picked them up.

 

Work on U.S. 69 Crawford County Expansion Underway

 

The expansion on U.S. Highway 69 in southeast Kansas continues as the Kansas Department of Transportation has started a project that will expand a near six-mile section of the highway in Crawford County to a four-lane divided expressway.

 

The expansion project begins three miles north of the north city limits of Arma and continues north to the Crawford-Bourbon county line. Two lanes will be added to the existing U.S. 69 alignment. At-grade intersections will be constructed at 680th, 690th, 700th, 710th, and 720th avenues.

 

Two-way traffic is being maintained on the existing lanes of U.S. 69 while the new lanes are under construction. Traffic delays are expected to be minimal. The speed limit through the project is 55 miles an hour.

 

KDOT awarded the $21.6 million construction contract to Bob Bergkamp Construction, Inc., of Wichita. The project is north of another U.S. 69 expansion project at Arma, which began in March. The work should complete by summer 2022, weather permitting.

Neodesha Elementary School In-Class Quarantine

 

A class from North Lawn Elementary School in Neodesha will be doing a modified in-school quarantine due to a student testing positive for COVID-19.

 

The student who tested positive will quarantine from home. The other students from the class may resume in-person classes, but they will have to quarantine.

 

Ms. Odette's class will be in their classroom all-day with the exception of designated bathroom breaks and a designated time for recess. Lunch will be brought to them and they will eat in the classroom. The students will come to class late at 8:15 a.m. and leave early at 3 p.m. to avoid contact with other students in the hallways.

 

The quarantine will last through November 20th and Ms. Odette's students may resume their normal routine on November 21st. Parents of these students may choose to do remote learning but they must contact the school office first.

 

For more details on the quarantine you can visit Neodesha's Facebook page or if have any questions, contact the Wilson County Health Department at 620-378-4455.

Galena PD Unable to Capture Men in Chase

 

Galena Police Department attempted to stop a Chevy vehicle when it crashed near Overlook Drive.

 

The two passengers fled on foot into a residential area Friday night. Galena PD, the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office, Kansas Highway Patrol, Quapaw Tribal Marshalls and Kansas Game Wardens all searched for the men but were unable to locate them.

 

It's believed that the men have been picked up and taken back to Missouri. The names of the men have not been released and the investigation is ongoing.

Update: Man Spotted During Elementary School's Recess

 

Neodesha's Chief of Police Sam Tomlinson confirmed a man who was spotted talking to a second-grade student at Heller Elementary School was a grandfather who thought he was talking to his grandson.

 

The child did not know the man so the child reported it to the teacher's supervising their recess. Shortly after, they got in contact with the Neodesha Police Department.

 

The man was driving a white pickup truck and told the student that he would pick the child up from school. The student had his mask on and the man couldn't tell that he was talking to the wrong student.

 

If there are to be any changes to your pickup plans, please notify the school office first so mixups like this don't happen in the future.

AWOL Seeking Proposals

 

The City of Independence, in conjunction with AWOL Humane Society, is seeking proposals for the installation of an HVAC unit in the dog kennel portion of the AWOL building.

 

The dog kennel currently is heated by two wall-mounted gas heaters and has no A/C. Cooling is obtained by several exhaust fans located in the kennel. One of the most critical requirements of a renovated HVAC system is to properly minimize disease spread among animals.

 

The amount of fresh air make-up, the hourly rate of air exchange, heat and cooling recapture, air filtration, and purification are essential components of this design.

 

Proposals may be submitted via e-mail to Lacey Lies at LaceyL@Independenceks.gov.

 

Roundabout West Leg Now Open in Labette County

 

Motorists in the area just east of Altamont will be able to move a little more freely as the Kansas Department of Transportation has opened the west leg of the roundabout at U.S. 59/U.S. 160 in Labette County.

 

Construction, however, continues at the south leg. The north and east legs opened to traffic in mid-October. The temporary road for east- and westbound traffic is currently being removed. KDOT reminds drivers to obey the signs and pavement markings and to slow down through the work zone.

 

LaForge & Budd Construction of Parsons is the primary contractor on the $3.2 million roundabout project. Weather permitting, the roundabout should be finished and open to unrestricted traffic by December.

Veterans Day To Be Observed With Special Broadcast

 

As was the case with the annual Memorial Day ceremony in May, Pittsburg State University will present a re-imagined Veterans Day program — one that is being recorded in advance at the PSU Veterans Memorial and that captures stories of veterans with pavers in the memorial.

 

It will air on pittstate.tv and PSU's YouTube channel at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, in honor of the “11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month” of 1918 that signaled the end of World War 1. It also will be available for viewing on-demand later as an archived video.

Neodesha Man Spotted During Elementary School's Recess

 

A suspicious man was spotted at Heller Elementary School in Neodesha. He told two second-grade students that he would pick them up from school. The children did not know the man. He was driving a dusty, white pickup truck and had a big, white "Santa-like" beard.

 

The children alerted the teachers supervising the noon recess who notified the police. Neodesha Police Department is investigating the matter, and according to USD 461, the teachers will continue to be on alert for any suspicious characters.

 

Superintendent Juanita Erickson stated that if pickup plans need to be changed to please notify the school office.

Fredonia Moves to Remote Learning

 

USD 484-Fredonia is moving to remote learning due to exposure of COVID-19 to multiple students and staff.

 

Fredonia's classes are canceled Friday and remote learning will begin Monday and continue through Wednesday.

 

A total of 90 students and staff have been placed in quarantine.

 

Fredonia's playoff football game vs. Osage City scheduled for Friday night has been canceled.

Caney Schools to Transition to Remote Learning

 

Caney Valley Jr/SR High School will move to remote learning effective immediately. The district has learned of multiple positive Cases of COVID-19 in the community and the first presumed student to student transmission while in school. These cases have involved both students and staff. Despite their best efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 outside contact has offset those efforts.

 

Following guidance from the health departments, the district will follow protocol as they move the Jr/Sr high to remote learning. At this time Lincoln Elementary will continue in-person instruction. The plan is to return to in-person instruction on Monday, November 16th.

KDOT Announces Approved October Bid

 

The Kansas Department of Transportation announced approved bids for state highway construction and maintenance projects in Kansas on October 21st in Topeka. Included in the bid process was a project in southeast Kansas.

 

In Montgomery County, 3900 Road from 1.7 miles south to the south city limits of Independence will be graded and re-surfaced. Mission Construction Co. Inc., of St Paul, was awarded the construction project with a bid of just over $548,000. The date of this project will be announced at a later date.

Sedan Chamber Poker Run This Weekend

 

The Sedan Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Poker Run this Saturday at Hollow Park.

 

Participants may walk, run, jog or even bicycle the 2-mile route. Each participant will visit each of five stops along the route to draw a playing card. At the end of the route, all forms will be turned in, with the best hand winning a cash prize.

 

The event will begin at 1 pm and will go until about 3. All ages may participate, but there is a $5 participation fee. All proceeds from the event will go toward putting electricity in at the Hollow for the Winter Wonderland of Lights.

South Dakota, Belgium and Czechia added to Travel Quarantine List

 

The state of South Dakota, as well as European countries Belgium and Czechia have been added to Kansas' travel quarantine list along with North Dakota and Andorra.

 

If you have been to any of these locations or have been on a river cruise or cruise ship you need to quarantine for 14 days, according to the state's quarantine policy. You also need to quarantine if you have been in a mass gathering of over 500 people who were not social distancing or wearing masks.

Penny to the Dollar Sales Tax in Independence

 

Independence voted in favor of renewing the Penny for Progress during the November 3rd election which taxes all sales a penny on the dollar.

 

The money from the tax will be used for projects such as extensive improvements at Riverside Park and Ralph Mitchell Zoo, major street improvements and more.

 

The continuation of the tax will not increase the sales tax rate of 9.5%. It will also avoid the increase of property tax to cover the city’s obligations for mill levy support and financing of debt related to past and future community improvement projects.

 

The Penny for Progress tax was set to expire on October 2022 and has been in place since October 2012.

 

For more information including what else the tax will be used for, visit the Penny for Progress handout on the city of Independence's website.

Christmas on the Plaza Next Month

 

The Coffeyville Area Chamber of Commerce and friends want you to help "Keep the Cheer Here" through Christmas on the Plaza. Through several dates during the month of December, head to the plaza for shopping, food, music, Santa and lights.

 

The month of activities will begin on December 4th, starting with the Christmas parade at 6 pm. Events will run from 5:30 to 8:30 pm each day. There will also be candlelit tours at the historic Brown Mansion throughout the month. Tickets for those tours will be sold in advance, online or at the Coffeyville Chamber. There is a limited quantity, and masks will be required for entry.

 

For more information, follow "Coffeyville: Christmas on the Plaza" or the Brown Mansion on Facebook.

Caney PD Reaches Goal for Drug Dog Fund

 

The Caney Police Department has reached its goal for the Caney Police Department Drug Dog fund.

 

The department is very thankful for the community's contributions to the fund. Over 35 businesses have donated with over $9,300 raised.

 

Caney PD's K-9 Handler Natalie Rees and K-9 Ozzy are currently in training.

Indy City Offices Holiday Schedule

 

Independence City Offices will be closed on November 11th for Veterans Day, November 26th and 27th for Thanksgiving, December 25th for Christmas and January 1st for New Year’s Day. There will be no trash pick-up on those days. On Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve city offices will close at noon, however, there will be trash pickup on those days.

 

Normal hours for the City of Independence are 8:00am to noon and 1:00pm to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday. The phone number is 620-332-2500.

Two Women Injured in Crawford County Crash

 

Two women, including a 24-year old from Coffeyville, were injured in a crash around noon yesterday near Pittsburg.

 

According to a report from the Kansas Highway Patrol, 24-year-old Shania Baker of Frontenac was south on South 200th Road approaching K-126 when she failed to yield to an eastbound Mack truck driven by 29-year-old Jacob Lovewell of Pittsburg. Lovewell's truck hit Baker's vehicle on the passenger side which sent the car into the northbound ditch. The truck came to rest in the southbound ditch.

 

Baker and her passenger 24-year-old Courtney Cannici of Coffeyville both suffered serious injuries and were transported to Via Christi of Pittsburg and Freeman Health in Joplin respectively. Lovewell was uninjured in the wreck.

New Positive Cases, Isolation and Quarantine Numbers Go Up

 

Pittsburg State University announced more positive coronavirus cases in the latest week of testing.

 

In the seven days leading up to Wednesday, the Bryant Student Health Center tested 62 symptomatic students with 23 testing positive. Isolation and quarantine numbers have grown to 40 in isolation and approximately 90 in quarantine due to close contact with an infected person.

 

Among faculty and staff, three new cases were reported in the past week with three faculty/staff members in isolation. Nine are in quarantine due to close contact with an infected person. Since reporting began in March, 22 faculty and staff have tested positive, and 54 have had to quarantine due to close contacts.

 

The men's basketball team was also administered tests as part of their NCAA-mandated testing protocol. A total of 22 athletes were tested with no positives.

General Election Results for State and Local Elections

 

Montgomery County will have a new County Commissioner.  Republican challenger Mike Cordray defeated Democratic incumbent Fred Brown in yesterday’s election.  Cordray garnered 63.6% of the votes to Brown’s 36.3%.  The actual vote count was 2,030 for Cordray to 1,157 for Brown.

 

In Wilson County, Republican incumbent Joe Newland defeated Democrat Mark Pringle with a margin of 3,191-653 for a State House seat. Also, Republican Jack Lucke received 1,792 votes in the County Sheriff race to beat Democrat Harold Kuhn who received 1,241 votes.

 

In other elections of local interest for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by long-time Senator Pat Roberts, Republican Roger Marshall defeated Democrat Barbara Bollier by a 53 to 42% margin.  In the U.S. House, race for the 2nd District, State Treasurer from southeast Kansas, Jake LaTurner defeated Topeka Mayor Michelle De La Isla by 55% to 41%. 

 

As was the case in the rest of the nation, heavy voter turnout was reported in Montgomery County partly on the strength of over 4,000 advance voting ballots.

City of Coffeyville Asks Residents to Keep Water Clean

 

The City of Coffeyville released information on how its residents can keep the city's water clean.

 

Properly discarding yard trimmings from your lawn after mowing is helpful due to them clogging storm drains. Following proper instructions when applying fertilizers and pesticides helps with making sure chemicals from these products aren't misplaced and end up polluting the city's water. Cleaning up your pet's waste and discarding it properly eliminates any harmful chemicals from the waste being released in bodies of water. Lastly, having your vehicle serviced regularly can avoid oil, antifreeze or any other harmful vehicle fluids from polluting the water.

 

For more information, you can call the City of Coffeyville Stormwater Department at 620-252-6019.

 

 

Heavy Area Voter Turnout

Election turnout in Montgomery County appears to be mirroring the rest of the nation with near-record numbers of voters participating. 

 

The Montgomery County Clerk’s Office mailed out 3,430 advance ballots with 2,637 of those being returned by last Friday.  An additional number of ballots that were received in the mail yesterday.  The Clerk’s office reports that another 1,461 people voted in-person at the Courthouse.  Those numbers indicate 4,098, plus those whose ballots were received Monday voted in advance of today's general election. 

A canvass of several polling places in Coffeyville and Independence witnessed heavier than normal voter turnout.

 

KGGF 690AM will provide continuous election coverage that includes national, state, and local races in Montgomery, Labette, and Chautauqua Counties beginning shortly after the polls close at 7:00 tonight.  In addition, updates will be provided on KGGF 104.1FM, KUSN 98.1FM, and KQQF 98.9FM

Fatality Accident in Neosho County

 

A Buffalo couple died in a two-vehicle crash yesterday in central Neosho County.

 

According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, a 2004 Chevy Avalanche driven by 67-year-old Michael Drake of Buffalo was westbound on 160th Road when it collided with a header of 2017 Case International Combine driven by 41-year-old Adam Kepley of Chanute while crossing a bridge.

 

Drake and his occupant 63-year-old Marilyn Drake died in the accident. Kepley was not injured. Seat belts were in use in the Avalanche.

 

Man Arrested in Chanute After Getting Stuck in Chimney

 

A man was arrested over the weekend in Chanute on a pair of criminal charges.

 

Chanute PD responded to the area of the 700 block of North Santa Fe for a report of a man that was causing issues with some of the other passengers on a bus. Due to the way the individual was acting, the bus wouldn’t let him back on. Officers told the man that he could stay in the lobby of the police department and wait for someone to pick him up.

 

The man eventually left the police department and a few hours later officers received a call about an individual going down the chimney of a building. Officers went to the outside of the building and could hear an individual yelling for help from inside the chimney. Fire and EMS crews were called in to assist with getting the man out of the chimney. Once out, officers arrested 33-year-old Brent C. Avalos for criminal trespassing and felony criminal damage.

 

He was taken to Neosho Memorial Regional Medical Center for a medical evaluation.

Update: Break-In Attempt in Downtown Coffeyville

 

It's been discovered that there were a total of four suspects involved in the break-in attempt at the Coffeyville Gold & Silver Pawn.

 

It was originally thought that there were three men, but with additional footage from security cameras, a fourth suspect has been spotted at the scene of the crime.

 

The break-in attempt occurred at 9:50 p.m. Sunday, and the suspects are still unidentified. They are offering a $500 reward for any information leading to the whereabouts of the culprits.

 

Election Day Today

 

As of this morning, the polls are open for the 2020 General Election. Registered voters who have opted for in-person voting may do so at their specific voting location until 7 p.m. tonight. Photo identification will be required.

 

A full list of voting locations for Montgomery County can be found here. Full election coverage will be provided throughout the day on the Mighty 690, KGGF.

Sports Complex Master Plan to be Discussed at Indy City Commission Meeting

 

Independence could be getting some new and improved sports facilities in the future pending the approval of the Central Park Master Plan.

 

The plan has amenities such as new youth soccer fields, renovated baseball diamonds, a brand new batting cage, a multi-purpose sports field, more parking, and much more.

 

The improvements, if approved, will be on North Park Boulevard and East Sycamore Street.

 

The Independence City Commission meeting will be held Thursday at Memorial Hall at 5:30 p.m.

Oklahoma Man Arrested for Drugs in Caney

 

An Oklahoma man is arrested for drugs after a routine traffic stop in Caney. Late this weekend an officer with the Caney Police Department stopped a vehicle that was displaying license plates that did not match the vehicle.
 

Upon further investigation the passenger, identified as 54 year old Chris Richesin of Copan, was found to be in possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. Richesin was transported to the Montgomery County Jail and charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Trout Season in Kansas

 

Trout season is underway in the state of Kansas. LeClere Lake in Coffeyville has been stocked with around 490 trout funded though a grant project from Kansas Fish and Game.

 

A trout permit along with a fishing license is required to fish for trout. For more information on Kansas fishing and where to get a trout permit click here.

IPD Looking for Suspect

 

Independence Police Officers are looking for an individual and vehicle.

 

The individual is wanted in connection with an aggravated assault, battery, and aggravated child endangerment incident that occurred at the Super 8. If you have any information, please call (620)332-1700.

 

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